Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blog Post 5

The iSchool Initiative

iPod Touch

Travis Allen made a video called The iSchool Initiative when he was a senior in high school. The main question that Travis asked viewers in his video was "Does technology belong in our classrooms?" He believes that schools should be technologically literate and incorporate iPods into the classroom. By implementing the iPod into the classroom, schools would save hundreds of dollars and also create a "green" school because the use of pencil and paper would no longer exist. Of course teachers could still plan lessons that required paper and pencil, but the need would not be as high.

The iPod has numerous of applications that can be downloaded. Apple has created many applications that have an educational purpose. Some of these include Chemical Touch, USA Presidents, a Graphing Calculator, Digital Constitution, World Wiki, Star Walk, and many more. Travis believes that with use of these educational applications along with the email and iHomework applications, students and teachers can use these iPods to learn.

Travis Allen is now touring the world with a group of 25 students in order to influence his idea of the "iSchool." This group is called Zeitgeist Young Minds. They want to the world to rebuild, rethink, and retool education for the technological world that we live in today.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

In 2010, Jennifer Chamber introduced EDM 310 to Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir. The virtual choir sang "Lux Aurumque". The video was revealed on Early WKRG5 Early Morning News.

The choir was put together entirely online. The choir had never met or practiced together. All the singers followed the same guidelines that Eric Whitacre provided. They were singing from all over through the use of blogs and videos.

The fact that this choir was developed entirely online is important to future and current educators. Karl Fish once asked the question, "Is it okay to be a technologically illiterate teacher?" I do not know your opinion on virtual choir, but it is definitely an eye opener to me of how important it is for teachers to understand how to incorporate the use of technology into the lessons that they teach. One idea I had for myself would be to record myself each day when I give a lesson and post it onto my classroom blog. The purpose of this idea would be to help students who miss a day of school to stay caught up with the rest of the class. Also, it would allow parents who may not remember how to do certain math problems or remember everything about Alabama's history to refresh their memory. It is important that parents know and understand what their students are learning in the classroom so that they can help them at home.

Teaching in the 21st Century

Kevin Roberts made a video that instilled the question "What doest it mean to teach in the 21st Century?" In today's world technology has established a whole new environment in the classroom. In the past teachers only had textbooks, lectures, and a few hands on activities to help them create a lesson. Today teachers can use a SmartBoard, iPad, iPod, or many other new technical resources to catch the attention of their students. With these new inventions in technology and the use of internet, learning is more fun, creative, and exciting.

A 21st century teacher needs to be technology literate, in my opinion, because almost every classroom now has a SmartBoard, and I am sure that there are more inventions to come. For example, when I watched the video A Day Made of Glass, I saw where Corning has created their own activity table made of glass that connects to a tablet similar to the iPad. If a teacher does not know how to use the iPad, how will they be able to use this invention if or when it is ever adapted into the classroom? I physically cannot wait until the Corning activity table is affordable for classrooms, and if given the chance I will learn to use this table because I know how much my students could benefit from it.

Today's educators have to rethink the tools they use and the type of problems they ask students to solve. With the use of the internet I will make sure to teach my students how to use reliable sources and use the internet to the most that it can be. Portfolios are also a good way to help students progress in their work and reflect on it over time. I will use e-portfolios because they are easier to use and can be viewed easily online. Parents can also look at their child's work because an e-portfolio is online.

I liked the positions that Roberts addresses in the video. He says that teachers need to be relevant, challenging, and engaging. Engaging is different than entertaining. Teachers engage students to create active learning, a meaningful purpose, and to allow students to solve problems creatively. I will challenge my students to be engaged in their homework assignments. It is important to me for my students to explain, justify, and evaluate their answers.

I also want to allow students to use numerous resources when they are learning in my classroom. This will help my students to better their skills and intelligence. The use of numerous sources creates in depth conversations in the classroom.

I will be very lucky to become an educator of the 21st century because there are so many resources out there now. In today's society students can create their opinions through blogging, podcasting, animating, etc. The future only holds more opportunities and resources, and I cannot wait to see what will be developed through the years that I will be teaching.

Flipping the Classroom

In the video Why I Flipped My Classroom, I learned about the importance of applying and engaging students in the lessons that are being learned. Without the use of technology 90% of class time is spent on the delivery or review of the lesson. Only 10% of the class time is spent on the application of the lesson.

However, with the use of technology, these two ratios flip positions. Teachers can create videos of the lesson being taught for students to watch prior to coming to class the next day. The teacher can also set a website where the students can questions before class or chat about what they are learning with their classmates. With the use of the Internet, teachers can focus on engaging students by applying what they are learning while they are in class.

Dr. Lodge's view of Flipping the Classroom still has the same idea from the first video that I watched. His idea on flipping the classroom is called FIZZ. He believes there is too much lecture in the classroom that is non-engaging and inefficient. His plan is for teachers to create "FIZZ Learning Lecture Videos" that are to be watched at home.

Ms. Munafo made her own video about Flipping the Classroom based on Dr. Lodge's FIZZ idea. She believes that video lecture is fun and more exciting for students. The students are not bored in their regular classroom setting. This allows classroom time to be more engaging.

She believes that "flipping" works by having the students to watch lecture videos for homework two or three times a week. The teacher can replay the video at the beginning of the day in order to refresh each students memory and make sure they have watched it. From watching the video at home, the students then bring in their questions, thoughts, or opinions on the lecture. I believe this keeps the students more involved and organized with their learning.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Blog Post 4

Ms. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano has a series of blog post on her blog Langwitches. She has enlightened readers on the importance of podcasts and how they can influence our lives.

Langwitches: 1st Graders Create Their Own Read Along Audiobook:

Ms. Tolisano made a post on how her first graders created their own audiobook. She pulled students aside, chapter by chapter and had them summarize the chapters into a script. Each chapter was recorded and printed into a script. When the last chapter was finished, Ms. Tolisano presented the script and audio to the class.

She said that it was amazing to see her students follow along with the typed scripts as they heard the podcast. The students really got into the assignment. They kept wanting to re-record their voice if they didn't "sound right." The whole point of this assignment was to teach the children the techniques of making a podcast. The fact that they learned about the book from the podcast was only a plus to the assignment.

Language Listening-Comprehension Podcasting

In this blog post Ms. Tolisano talked about second graders who used a podcast through Garage Band and the Smart Board to learn another language. This caught my attention because I am currently studying Spanish. She told readers that the students used the podcast in order to listen, record, and re-emphasize the correct pronunciation of the vocabulary they are learning.

I wish that we had had the technology that we have today when I was in elementary school. I spent a few years in magnet school learning Spanish. I believe that if we had had the opportunity to use Garage Band or a Smart Board in the classroom while learning Spanish I would have carried what I learned with me through the years. In high school I took Spanish 1 and had to re-learn many of the words I had "memorized" as a child.

Flat Stanley Podcast

Ms. Tolisano made an assignment with her first graders on the book "Flat Stanley." During their assignment, the students had to create their own "Flat Stanley" and send it to their relatives in the mail. This was relevant to the story "Flat Stanley" because the character Stanley was shipped in the mail.

To take the assignment to the next level, Ms. Tolisano assigned them homework to pick a location around the world that they would rather send their "Stanley." They were required to read about that location and then record in the podcast about that culture. They then sent their recording "around the world" by posting it into Ms. Tolisano's blog.

To all you wonderful bloggers reading this post, let me ask you two questions:
How will you use podcasts in your classroom one day?

Do you think podcasts can make a difference in the classroom?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Angela Maiers Post

In our EDM 310 class, Dr. Strange has assigned each of us to comment on a teacher's blog of America. He assigned me to Angela Meiers. Angela is very head strong and has a passion for furthering the leadership in education. She has taught for twenty years and is now the lead consultant of Maiers Education Service. I first commented on her blog on September 2. The post I commented on was about looking at the No Child Left Behind law from a different view. The title of her blog post was "Forget NCLB- We Must Leave No Genius Behind."

Here is what I said to Angela in my first comment:

Mrs. Angela, My name is Amy Archer. I am a Junior at The University of South Alabama. This Fall, I'm enrolled in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 Class. For his class I have to comment on a teacher's blog and then later make a blog of my own about my experience.

You have many remarkable talents, and I love your entry on "Leave No Genius Behind." Many teachers are stressed to the max about making sure no student is left behind, but you have touched on many key points that teachers need to address. I am influenced to not just encourage my students but, to instead, help them to see themselves as the intelligent masterpiece they are.

You really got my attention when you asked readers to stand up if they thought they were a genius. I am fascinated with your analogy because you are absolutely correct when you say a five year old would stand but an adult would not. The first idea that popped into my head as the definition for a genius was "someone who is a know-it-all."

After reading your blog, I saw that my definition is not accurate at all. We are all geniuses in our own way. I agree that it is time to put the idea that only people like Albert Einstein are what we call a "genius." I hope to remember and adapt this into my own teachings one day.

Also, I love how you are sharing your thoughts with the rest of the world! Until reading your blog I did not even know Classroom 2.0 existed!

Do you have any suggestions for me, as a future educator, on how to better view every student as a "Genius"? Thank you for your time, and good luck in all of your writings!

Amy Archer

On her comment back she said:

Hi Amy,

I am so thrilled that you are reading and commenting on blogs. That is the best way to start building your own personal learning network. Twitter is another wonderful way to learn from and be inspired by others. And when you are ready, you can start to share your genius with the world. 140 characters at a time!!

I also, follow Angela on Twitter. She is amazing and very inspiring. Every times she tweets it is about a way to improve the world, yourself, or the lives of those around you. If you are following me on Twitter, you will notice that I re-tweet her tweets a lot.

Tonight I made my second comment on Angela's blog. The blog that she posted tonight is called "Twelve Must-Have Habitudes For Social Media Success." I found this post very interesting and adaptable to my life. The twelve steps are insatiable curiosity, audacious imagination, fearless learning, unwavering persistence and perseverance, courage with confidence, adaptability and agility, self awareness, empathetic compassion, gracious generosity, realistic optimism, resilience, and relentless passion. Each of you should check out her blog if you haven't already.

Here is the comment that I left on her blog tonight:

Hi Angela,

My name is Amy Archer. I am a student at The University of South Alabama. I commented on your blog once already, but I wanted to comment again because you have inspired me to advance my performance on all the social media networks I am involved in. This blog post about the habitudes for social media success are very useful for the class that I am currently taking.

I believe that social media networks are rapidly becoming a necessity in the life of any job or student. I also wanted to thank you for your inspiring words. You are making a difference in the world one blog post and one tweet at a time. I can't wait to read what you post next!

Amy Archer

I have enjoyed this assignment to read Angela's blog and start a relationship with her.

Have you found new relationships through blogs?

Has anyone inspired you to increase your social media talents?

Presentation Project 5

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blog Post Assignment 3

What is Peer Editing?

From the video, What is Peer Editing?, I learned the importance of peer editing. A peer is someone your own age or a classmate. Editing is the process of making comments, compliments, or corrections to writing. Peer editing is working with someone your own age to improve or edit their writing.

By listening to the video, I learned that the three steps to peer editing are compliments, suggestions, and corrections. No matter what, a editor always needs to begin their comment with a compliment. Compliments encourage the writer to continue their work, not bring them down. An editor follows his/her compliments with suggestions. The suggestions give the writer specific ideas on how to make their writing better. When making a suggestion, the editor must remember the purpose of the writer's blog post and guide the writer to better their topic or catch off topic sentences.

The final step to peer editing is the use of corrections. When an editor is reading a writer's blog post, they must remember to check punctuation, grammar, sentences, and spelling. Please do not forget to stay positive through out the whole process of peer editing. There are nice ways to correct someone else's writing, and peer editing is not meant to discourage anyone's motivation.

Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial

The slideshow called Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial encouraged reader's to peer edit properly because it is fun! When a student peer edits a classmates work, they are not only improving their own grammar skills but helping a classmate in their writing as well. When an editor corrects a classmate's writing they are helping the writer to improve, revise, and edit his/her work.

The three steps to peer editing are the same in the video I watched and the slideshow I viewed. I will remind again that the three steps to peer editing are compliments, suggestions, and corrections. One must always remember to stay positive, be specific, and complete all three steps when peer editing.

The beginning of your peer editing starts with a compliment. In this slideshow, I was able to see an example of writing and actually practice critiquing. I learned from this activity that even with writing that has poor grammar, there is always a compliment to be said. For example, I loved the topic that the example writer wrote about in the slideshow, so I started my practice comment by letting the writer know how much I enjoyed his/her topic.

From reading the slideshow I was also able to gather the importance of making sure my suggestions are detailed and specific. If I have a suggestion for a writer, it is in their best interest for me to give examples of how they could revise their document. Otherwise, the writer will not know why they need to correct the problem or how they can edit the situation.

As an editor it is important to be at the top of your game on making corrections for spelling errors, grammar mistakes, missing or unneeded punctuation, and incomplete or run-on sentences. This final step to peer editing is important to me because I am a future educator of the world. As a teacher, I need to know how to correct my students' work, so why not practice it now?

Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes

I absolutely loved watching Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes! If you have not seen this YouTube video before, I highly encourage you to go check it out now. It is created by elementary students who were learning the correct way to peer review in their classroom. The examples used in the video are all cute and creative!

One of the examples that I liked was "Mean Margaret" because the student who played Margaret let her acting skills shine. She showed viewers exactly how to be extremely negative which is the opposite of what peer review is all about. In peer review it is necessary to stay positive and uplifting towards the writer when critiquing their work. No one wants to hear harsh, mean comments about their writing because we all have feelings and desire to be uplifted by our classmates!

Technology in Special Education

I am so glad we were assigned to watch the video Technology in Special Education because it completely opened my eyes to a different look on technology. Before watching this video, I did not realize how influential the use of technology can be in the life of a special education student. The incorporation of computers/laptops into special education classrooms has increased the communication level between teachers and students. Many special needs students are non-verbal or they have trouble communicating accurately. However, the use of lap tops makes it easier for students "state" their opinion by typing sentences.

Not only do the teachers enjoy using technology in the classrooms, but they students love it as well! One student in the video named Chris typed on his computer, "I like using my computer because it helps me to talk." Another example of technology that is being incorporated into the classroom is an Ipod touch. Students who used to have to have aids help them with silent reading can now listen and follow along with stories uploaded to their Ipod touch.

I believe it is important to make sure that the special education students know how to use the technology equipment we use today, so they can keep adapting new inventions as they enter the real world. Before the improvements in technology there were not many jobs that disabled citizens could apply for. If all the special needs students now how to type and use a computer though, they have a better chance of continuing their education. I highly agree with the students' end closing when they said, "Technology helps us to succeed in life!"

How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism

Braden is a elementary student who struggles with Autism. His father made a video, How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism, to show the world one of the many features to an iPad. He downloaded numerous of apps for his iPad to help his son in school. While watching the video, it was easy to see how easily entertained and hooked Braden was to learning with his iPad.

On of the apps that Braden uses in the video is called "My First Words". This is a fun activity/game that helps children to practice their sight words. The word pops up on the screen and the iPad tells the child what the word is. The child then repeats the word out loud and then touches the word to move on the next one. This activity is a good hands on app that gets the fine motor skills moving in a child's brain.

After watching this video I was able to see how handy an iPad really is. It has many applications that are not on my computer. The iPad is also much easier to use for those type of applications because it has a touch screen.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis is one of the many teachers that incorporates the use of blogs into her classroom. Her video called Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts showed me how useful blogging in the classroom can be. Her students blog on the "flat classroom conference" which is a blog site for students all over the world. The students are able to comment and communicate with children from other cultures.

Another idea that she had that caught my eye was the fact that she took her students on a trip to another country to see other students they had blogged with and learn about their culture. Not every school has the time and money to travel like this, but it is still a creative way to learn about other cultures through blogging. She also requires her students to have a Wiki. I loved how she stated that through her incorporation of technology she is "learning from her students". As teachers, we never quit learning.

Dora's ABCs Volume 3

After learning about the quality of the iPad I researched educational applications for the iPad through my iTunes account. The one that I found most attractive was Dora's ABCs Volume 3. Every child I have ever babysat for is in love with watching Dora, so I believe any student would enjoy this application. Most of the users also gave it a five star rating.

The application helps students to learn to read with Dora. While they are learning, they are also enjoying it because each level as a new task to help Dora conquer. At one point in the application the child gets to help Dora "get the frogs across the pond" by reading. It is a very cute and interactive way to get students involved in learning to read.
Dora's ABCs Volume 3