Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog Post #5

Scott McLeod
Dr. Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky and is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). In his blog post Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?, he discusses the reasons why people don't want kids to learn about technology and why they are wrong. I agree that technology is a vital tool that children need for success in the future. It is becoming a large part of our society and that will only increase. The integration of technology into the classroom as enhanced the learning process as well as prepared the children for the future. It has allowed them to connect with other students and learn from others around the world. We must, however, teach our children the positive and negatives things about the internet to help them stay on track .It is our responsibility to equip them with the knowledge and resources to utilize technology in a beneficial and positive way.

iPod touch
Travis Allen and the iSchool Initiative
Travis Allen founded the iSchool Initiative with the vision of revolutionizing the education system today. In the first video he presents the idea for his program that he developed in High School, while the second video was made later on after his initiative had been put into action. He and a team of other students are working to spread their idea of using iPod's in school as the main tool for books, notes, grades and other various things. They travel the country encouraging schools to become apart of the initiative. Their mission is to cut down on costs for the education system and help the environment in the process. This initiative as even gone international and many schools have signed on to be apart of the change in education and the technology of the future.
I think that they have a good idea which can be appealing to many school systems as well as parents. If implemented correctly it could be very effective in helping the education system. This process however would need to be completely funded by the schools because there are lots of students who would not be able to afford them. If used incorrectly I feel like this could take a way from the student teacher relationship that is also a vital part of the learning environment. This is a good idea and if it can integrated successfully into the classroom I can see it becoming a major part of the education of the future.

Virtual Choir Poster
Virtual Choir
A choir of 185 people from around the world are conducted by Eric Whitacre and sing Lux Aurumque. These people have never met or performed together before. By the use of technology and the internet all these voices are brought together to produce a beautiful piece of music. This shows the value and endless capabilities of technology. There are so many new and exciting things being done today using technology. Though there a some negatives, there are way more positive things that are possible. Technology is ever changing and becoming more integrated into society and we can chose to embrace it by using it for wonderful things such as this video.

Teaching in the 21st Century
In this video, Kevin Roberts is discussing what it means to teach in the 21st century. Today information and facts are much more accessible to student through websites such as Google, Wikipedia, and various blogs. They can find anything at anytime. This has made the teacher to be more of a filter rather than the main source of knowledge. Teachers need to teach skills and the application of them. Learning how to effectively use resources like Google is also important. We need to engage to the students rather then entertain them. It as about having them use their own creativity to learn and apply the facts and content.

I agree that this is the direction Education is going. As teachers our responsibility is to help them learn about technology and the effective way to use it. We need to continue to learn effective of ways of teaching students how to apply what they learn and engage them in the thought process. One thing that he said that stood out to me was, "tools provide temptation but are not the source of negative behavior." We often tend to think that technology can be the source of distractions, when in reality those will be there no matter what. This is not an excuse to hold back the advancement of technology in the classroom. As a future educator this will effect the way I teach and the content I focus on in the classroom. It will be more about the application of various skills, rather then just facts and information.

kids spell out literacy
Reading Rockets
This website provides lots of information and resources to help teachers as well as parents. There is a whole section with several different resources for first-year teachers. Statistics say that many teachers don't come back after their first year and these are some valuable tools to get you started and help you along the way. This I feel will help me to learn from my experiences and become the best teacher. It also shows you how to be effective in the classroom and not get discouraged.

There is also a section on how to create a literacy rich classroom. This includes strategies, materials, and plans for effective integration into the classroom. It helps guide you in making literacy an important part of your students learning process which will help them to be more successful. This helps teachers to gain knowledge from others ideas about effective teaching methods in the classroom. Learning from each others experiences as Educators can be a vital part of a teachers success in their own classroom.

Project #9a Individual Timeline

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blog Post #4

Langwitches Blog
In her blog, Ms. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, discusses the podcasts she makes with younger elementary students. In her post Podcasting with First Grade she specifically talks about a first grade class she worked with to create a podcast on the chapter book they were reading. They read through the book while brainstorming for questions they might ask the main characters in an interview. The teacher used these questions and responses to finalize the script. Then the students would take turns recording their voices for the podcast.

The students really enjoyed helping make the script as well as recording their voices. This taught them more about technology, as well as increasing their reading, writing, and comprehension skills. Even the shy students really became vocal in the podcasts. It gave the students self confidence and they learned about voice acting and oral speaking.

students making a podcast

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
Joe Dale discusses the benefits that podcasts have in the classroom. In his video, he talks about the various benefits and gives some examples. Most students today have grown up with technology and this is a new and relevant way to help the students become more excited about learning.  It uses visuals to enhance the learning experience. When students are absent it allows them to have quick and easy access to in class lectures that they have missed. The students say that it really makes them think and learning is more fun. This is a very effective tool in the classroom. The students have the opportunity for more project based learning. This also gives the parents more communication and the ability to hear what there child is learning.

The one thing I really found interesting was that he said podcasting uses the highest level of blooms taxonomy. The children must use in depth thinking skills while producing these podcast. I have learned about blooms taxonomy in my other class and I love how this tied right in to the same concepts. The skills that they use will help them to progress their thinking process and help them in the future.

podcast on ipod
Judy Scharf's Podcast Collection
The post Podcast Collection defines what a podcast is and its main uses. She talks about podcasts in the classroom and some of the beneficial reasons for them. This post includes in depth instructions on how to make a podcast. It gives many different materials and worksheets for making podcasts with your students. A few of the materials are a time schedule for creating a podcast, ideas for podcast projects, and suggestions for researching your topics. These are wonderful ideas about the integration of podcasts into classes. It is a helpful source for all teachers looking to make this technology a part of their classroom. This will also help me in the making of my own podcasts for this class, as well as ones I will produce in the future.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Project #5 Google Presentation

C4T Summary #1

Review: Raising the Standards Through Chapter Books: The C.I.A. Approach
In this blog post, Diane Dahl a teacher from Texas reviews a book by Sarah Collinge. The title of the book is Raising the Standards Through Chapter Books: The C.I.A. Approach. The book uses the C.I.A approach which stands for Collect, Interpret, and Apply. It has steps for introducing the approach in your classroom and how to use chapter books to effectively teach thinking skills. Ms. Dahl believes that this approach will lead to greater achievement and can help advance students thinking skills. She suggests this book as a great resource for integrating the approach into your own classroom. I really enjoyed reading about the book and her thoughts on how chapter books are a great way to develop critical thinking. This is a great suggestion of a book that will assist teachers in integrating chapter books into the class which will help the students to be more successful. 

reading activity in classroom

Teach Thinking Skills to Increase Learning in Class and Life
In this blog post, Ms. Dahl discusses her first day of school and the frustration she experienced because her students lacked the basic skills needed for learning. She decided that before she taught them anything else she needed to teach them the skills that are required to learn efficiently. Previously, in a BRAINSmart class she had learned a about curriculum, Thinking for Reading by Dr. Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers, which she realized would be the perfect thing to try with her students. Two days a week for five weeks they learned about the ten different skills. There was a story, discussion points and coloring pages that went along for each one. The skills and concepts became a part of the class daily and she could slowly start to see changes throughout all of the students. This is a process and the skills take a little while but she knows that they will have a positive impact on each and every student for their life, as well as in the classroom now.

I love how she saw the need of basic learning skills in the classroom and took the initiative to step in and change it. She took what she had learned from others and applied it in the classroom. I feel it is very important for teachers to build a learning community such as this and to help each other discover effective methods for teaching. This curriculum would be a tremendous asset for any class. It is clear from the video and the stories of her students' responses that it had a major impact on them. I think that these skills are vital for the students to learn and will help with their success in the future.

Blog Post #3

student with iPAD

Technology in Special Education
Ms. Cook is a wonderful educator, it takes a special person to be able to teach special needs students. She understands their needs and has a desire to learn and inform others about effective teaching methods for children with special needs. Technology she believes is important in helping encourage student participation. Many of her students have diasabilities that effect their verbal and physical abilities. Technology has opened up a whole new avenue of helping them learn in an exciting and faster way. It keeps their attention while allowing them to do things they may not be able to do on their own. The teacher can build relationships and connections with the students. Communication and learning is a easier and more successful process. Her vision for the students is that they can continue to learn about the value of technology and all of the new ones so that they can use their knowledge to assist them in the future.

This video really helped me to realize and think about the importance of technology in the special education classroom. Technology can be effective as well with other students who may have learning disabilities. In my future classroom I can fully integrate the technology into the classroom to help the children learn along with the other students. They can be apart of the class as well group work with the communication opportunities that this technology brings.

Apps for Special Education
I came across an app called Eddy's Number Party which helps children match, count, and lots more. It would help the children by giving them a visual and interactive tool that can allow them to have fun while learning. This application uses colorful graphics and a story line to help the children to learn math skills. Also it can help the children learn application for real life as they count the balloons and other things at the party.
I really like the idea of using iPads and other technology to help special needs children. Children learn better with hands on material. Using theses applications can be effective in keeping these childrens' attention while giving them the extra practice and assistance that they require. In the video we watched How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism we could see how the dad used this technology to help his child learn words and numbers at his own pace. The application was interactive which also helps him to learn better.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count
social media sites
When I watched this it really amazed me and put things in to perspective. I don't think we realize how much technology and especially social media has become such a large part of our society. We live in a generation where technology is changing every day and as educators we need to be up to date on all of it in order to better relate to and teach our students. We need to take advantage of the technology and help prepare our students for their future as it will become a major part of their lives.

In my professional career as a teacher technology can be a very important tool in educating children. It can keep their interest while providing the essential skills they will need in the future. Technology is something that everyday becomes a bigger part of our lives and is constantly changing. When children grow up they will need to know about them to succeed in school and future careers. It can also benefit me by learning from fellow educators about effective teaching methods and create a positive learning community.

college lecture

A Vision of Students Today
In this video it shows the thoughts of students and the lack of technology in classrooms. The statistics and facts show that students spend more time on Facebook, email, and other forms of technology rather than on schoolwork. Students become bored by just sitting and listening to a lecture. With college class sizes averaging around 100 people they become far too large for a personal learning experience and some students don't even bother to come. Class becomes boring so students find themselves not paying attention and doing on other things on their computer rather than note taking.
We are a technology driven society and by utilizing this effectively in the classroom students will be more engaged in the lesson. Schools need to look at the needs of their students and work to fill those. Hundreds of dollars are spent on books and thousands on school tuition. We should use this to make the learning experience more of an effective one by helping them prepare the future, which will most definitely include technology.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blog Post #2


Did you Know?
In Did you know 3.0 John Strange 2012 Version, the viewer is presented with some really hard facts, and it asks the question, "Are you ready to be an Educator?" This question really makes you consider the tools we still need to learn, to fully prepare us to be in charge of a classroom. It compares the intelligence of citizens in other countries with those of the United States, and shows some very stark contrasts between them. It shines a light on the areas that the U.S. education system needs to improve. For example, statistics predict that in China, over the next twenty or so years, there will be more Chinese speaking English, than native English speakers in the world.

While watching and discovering some of the different facts I found it to be very revealing. When it presented the statistics of students with cellphones, computers, and the amount of SMS messages sent by each, it was really very interesting, but yet not surprising. Our culture has become consumed with technology and the need to keep up with the latest trend. Having knowledge of these various technologies will be a vital part of success in the classroom.

Mr Winkle Waves
Mr Winkle Waves is a video about Rip Van Winkle who woke up from sleep after a 100 years. As he explores, he realizes things have changed drastically over the last century. The first place he visits is a office building where there are printers, computers, and various different modern technologies.  All of this becomes too much and he becomes ill. He then must take a trip to the hospital, where he encounters even more technology. He cannot believe that technology is so advanced, they even have machines to keep people alive and breathing. Lastly, he visits the school where and is pleasantly surprised to discover nothing has changed. The teachers still lecture, while the machines he encountered earlier collected dust. Though many things had changed, the classroom remained the same.

This video depicts how technology is used in some schools today. Teachers need to use the resources that are available to them and help the students learn. These technologies will become a part of their everyday lives as they continue to expand and become more integrated into our daily lives. It is important for their future success to learn about and use technology effectively . As children get older, technology will only become more influential and integral part of their daily lives.

Child's Creativity

The Importance Of Creativity
 In Ken Robinson's video, Importance of Creativity, he discusses our children, their creativity, and how schools have destroyed it. We place the more importance on math and literature, than the arts. This can cause many children to never realize their talents. Education has become about studying only so one can be accepted into a university. He suggests that we need to radically rethink our definition of intelligence, and the fundamental principles of our education system. The gift of human imagination is special and we need to see the value in our children, and their creative capacities, to prepare them for the future.

I really enjoyed this video and agree with Ken Robinson on his views about creativity in the education system. We are suppressing the children and holding them back from all the wonderful things they are capable of achieving.  The one thing that really got my attention was, "If your not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original." He goes on to talk about how children have no fear of being wrong, so they are more creative and think outside of the box. As they get older, and go out into the business world, this fear becomes a part of their lives. This fear can hold people back, preventing them from reaching their full capacity. The idea of academic inflation also really stuck out to me. Students become so focused on getting through school, in pursuit of a higher education, that they do not value and absorb what they are taught before that.

A Vision for 21st Century Learning
In the video, A Vision for 21st Century Learning, an idea is presented for a "21st century" classroom, that is completely run by technology. Their goal is to prevent children from just learning facts and memorizing information, but to really comprehend it and learn how to apply it pratically. Using technology, such as virtual 3-D video games for world history, they want to help students become more interested in their work. Also, believe it is important for students to play a more active role in learning for themselves. The students would become empowered by teaching themselves, while the teacher would be like a mentor.

I think they present some good ideas to integrate technology into the classroom, however, I believe it is still a necessity for the teacher to be in full control.  Children do well with hands on learning, which is where these types of technology can be a wonderful tool, but ultimately teachers are something that cannot be replaced. In my opinion, the personal impact teachers have on their students is something that technology could never imitate.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
The video, Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts, is about a teacher, in south Georgia, who is using technology to teach her kids and connect them with the outside world. They learn about avatars, blogging, work together to make collaborative reports, and so many other things. She allows them to learn most things for themselves, which she believes empowers them. Although they are from a small rural town, they have been able to connect with people from around the world. Using this technology is a way to prepare them for the future, as technology continues to become more advanced.

I enjoyed seeing seeing how she uses technology in her classroom and how the students were able to learn and explore for themselves. A hands on learning approach can always be very successful in helping students learn effectively. They also tend to see it as more enjoyable rather than just boring assignments that are required.