Tuesday, February 28, 2012

C4K February Summary

C4K #1
Mohamed in Mrs. Diaz Class
Mohamed commented on the best school ever. He claimed that his school was his second home. I rarely hear students say they like school, much less it being their second home. I hope some of my students feel that way about my future classroom. I was so glad to see these thoughts about a school come to life. He stated that he has changed schools many times and I could relate to that, because I have been to five schools since kindergarten.

C4K #2
Charlotte in Australia

Charlotte wrote a post on her holidays. She had a nice slide show of pictures that showed a few fun things things that she and her family did. She is from Australia, so it is warm there for Christmas.

I would love that. It is funny the children that I am being assigned to, all have something in common with me. Charlotte's mom, mum is how they say it, birthday is in January and so is mine. I was very shocked at how a fourth grader had such a terrific blog. I stated that I am just getting started and she probably knows more about it than I do. I could feel the excitement from her just from her comments.

C4K #3

Sarah is from Winnetka, California. She is in a seventh grade computer class and they have assignments that they post on this site. I read Sarah's about me first. She posted about how she loved cupcakes, music and had good friends that support her. I commented that i also love cupcakes and make them for parties. I was eager to know if she ever made her own cupcakes, so I asked her in my post.
One of the assignments she had to post is a self portrait of herself using paint. It looked so good, as if she actually drew it. It amazes how well these kids know how to use the resources that a computer offers. They make it look so easy. I attempted to use paint and do a self portrait and it did not look so well. The more I explore her site, the more I wish we had a class like this when I was in seventh grade.

C4K #4
5p2 GF
Mrs.T.G Class

My student this week is in 5th grade in Iowa. He was commenting on how sporting good stores should have more sales. He commented on the store Scheels. I had never heard of this store before, so I went online to see what they have. Being a softball mom, I would like this store. I completely agree with him about the sales. Sports can get very expensive.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blog Post #5

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

This post by Dr. Scott McLeod was very interesting to me. He took the approach of downsizing the use of technology in the schools. Discussing the dangers of the web and how the basics are important. Basics meaning pen and paper assignments. This is how some educators view technology is the classroom, as a threat. Dr. McLeod actually does use the technological advances in his classroom. He is the founding director of the nations only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of the schools. Dr. McLeod is trying to get administrators of schools to understand the importance of technology. He also holds the position of Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky.
As I was reading this particular post, I gained a new insight on how I will teach my students. I learned that not only do I need to guide students in learning the technological advances; but I also have to prepare them in the dangers they might face. Technology should be viewed as a good resource that the children can use to their advantage. We have parental blocks that can be used and if we as parents and teachers monitor what our children do on the web, then it will cut down the amount of dangerous contacts. Technology is overtaking our society and we as teachers and parents should keep up with it. Dr. McLeod mentions the future, as to who will have the leg up on technology. I believe that we as education majors can assist the students and schools we enter into with learning and applying technological devices.
children on computers

Videos By: Travis Allen

These two videos iSchool Initiative and Zeitgeist Young Mind's Entry are the future of education as we know it. Travis Allen has this idea of schools becoming virtual through itouch. He calls his program the iSchool. Travis believes that this will cut back on budget cuts and large classes. The educational experience needs change and he believes he has the answer. He states that it would save 600 dollars per student. The main objective is the question does technology belong in schools. Yes, it does! The rise of technology is upon us, and these ideas will rebuild the educational process. With the ischool the teachers can place a lock on internet controls of the students.
The itouch is already capable with apps that are necessary to schooling. With the teacher being able to customize them, the experience would be amazing. This mobile learning will enable the students to be creative and they will also be prepared for the digital world.
This 'Go Green' idea will save money and at the students fingertips they will be connected to the world.
The Four Beyonds

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

WOW!! I am absolutely amazed by this video. Eric Whitacre directs a choir via the internet. It was beautiful. They seemed so connected as if they were face to face. I thought to myself, is this real. I went and did more research and found The Introduction to the Virtual Choir. Mr. Whitacre speaks about why he started the virtual choir. The way he took 185 voices and places them together is spectacular. The following video is the actual Introduction to the Virtual Choir from you tube. Watch it!

What Does it Mean to Teach in the 21st Century

This collaborative is by Kevin Roberts. He sees teaching changing in a way where students will acquire higher order thinking skills. To teach is to guide the students in a networking system that will stay with them forever. These ideas of web based learning instead of pen and paper will link the students to the world. When i graduate I hope I can lead my students in 21st century learning. A student centered, project based classroom is ideal. The students engage in creativity and learn to apply real life skills. I see students being more interested in schooling and making it meaningful for their future. Don't we all, as future teachers, want this for our students. I know I do!

Reading Rockets

This website is truly a very resourceful tool. It has so many interesting ideas and ways to help teachers and parents assist children in reading. It provides suggestions to help the students. It is limitless to the range of students. The website provides these tips to normal learning students and to students with disabilities. I completely agree with Mr. Capps in that this website is very valuable to teachers.
One of the pages that I found helpful is the article on Autism. One of the quotes that is listed on the site is, "Teaching kids to read, and helping those who struggle"; this quote is very moving for me. I hope to pursue a teaching career in Special Education. This article explains what autism is, tips for the parents and teachers, and what is being done in the schools to help with this learning disability. One area it places emphasis on is to find the students strengths and focus on them.
Another useful article that I stumbled upon was Creating a Classroom Library. I enjoyed this one the most and plan to use this in my classroom. It is a instructional article on how to effectively create a classroom library. It begins by listing some ideas on how to organize the library. The steps include: marking the books, labeling bins and sorting the books. The author also includes suggested categories on how to create the labels. This teaches the children organization skills. They can partake in a active role in helping to set up the library. To make the classroom their own. Check out the video that is posted in the article and watch the children's faces when the teacher involves them in this process of creating a classroom library.

classroom library

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blog Post #4


This post by Silvia Tolisano, is about how podcasting can be a good tool in listening and understanding the written material. Mrs. Tolisano, being a world language teacher, has some great ideas of how the students can understand the material they are reading and other languages. Letting the students record sentences of books in other languages and critiquing themselves is a good way for them to understand the importance of editing. She did a podcast with second graders in Hebrew. Each student was assigned a sentence to record. The sentences were placed out of order and the children had to put them back in the correct place. Hearing the script over and over helps the students understand the material. She stated that this lets the students play with the mechanics of languages. They also gain speaking skills while doing a project of this nature. I do not know how I could use this for my podcast, but it is very informational to podcasting. She used Garageband to record their sentences and that will be a useful tool for me.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom

This post, including the video by Joe Dale will be very helpful to me while doing my podcast. It demonstrates the importance of podcasting in the classroom. The students gain higher order thinking skills and they can let their creativity shine. Since technology has overtaken this generation, podcasting is a very useful tool. One point the video makes is that podcasting gives the classroom a more student centered approach of learning. It makes learning enjoyable. Near the end of the post are some useful links that I will use in making my podcast. One of the links, How to Podcast, is a step by step tutorial of how to do these things. I will definitely be using that link during making of my project. I plan to incorporate podcasting in my classroom, as a teacher, because if allows the parents to be active and differentiation.

Podcast Collection by: Judy Scharf

This post also included some valuable information that we as students or teachers can use. Mrs.Scharf defines a podcast and provides some links to tutorial videos on how to podcast. I found all of the videos useful because I was lost on the idea of podcasting. I feel somewhat behind the world in technology. She also provides some tips on a successful podcast, which I recommend saving a copy, or writing them down. One of the tips provided is to be sure that you are comfortable with the software you are using to do the podcast. This makes me feel like I should review the instructions and be sure I properly know how to use the software. Another thing that she provided was a example time schedule. The time schedule is helpful because we can all keep up with what is going on. She also provided a list of suggested podcast projects that can be useful in the classroom.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blog Post # 3

Peer Edit

For this assignment, I was told to watch some very informative links about peer editing. One very good link I have posted under My Links in the sidebar. Stephanie Hogue is my classmate that I was assigned to review. Her blog post number two was very informative. I really did not notice any errors, except for one. She wrote about Mr. Wrinkle Wakes, and in her beginning paragraph she did not capitalize Winkle. Other that that, she has good summaries and clarity. Everything she commented on flowed together smoothly. I liked the fact that I could relate to her post in certain areas. For example, when she wrote about her grandmother, I could relate to that and gave her some pointers on how to get her involved with technology. She also has some good ideas on creativity. I loved the fact that she let her daughter be creative with the banana picture. Overall, I believe that Stephanie's post was good and I didn't get bored with it either; which is a good quality.

Technology in Special Education

Lacey Cooke uses this video to tell the world about how important technology is in the classroom. She teaches a special education class, and uses technology very effectively. Her students are mostly verbally impaired and they use the computers to communicate. I was very effected by this short video, because I am interested in special education. I never realized how technology could be used in ways that the SPE children could maximize their learning.
One boy, Kris, can not speak and if he tries it is very hard for anyone to understand him. He uses the computer to type whatever he wants to say. Kris seemed excited that he had a way to communicate. The audio books on computers, phones, i pods is a very effective way when the children are doing silent reading, I could use that idea in my classroom. Instead of teachers and assistants reading aloud to the students; they could feel active and empowered by listening to the books on their own. Empowerment of students is one thing I hope to accomplish in my classroom. The zoom applications on the computers help the visual impaired and I would use these applications to do the smart board for my lessons. I believe it would grab their attention more effectively.

Pattern Recognition for I Pad

This would be an app that I would use in my classroom. It has a variety of patterns and shapes to use for matching or patterns. The user (teacher or parent) can pick the settings to the level of difficulty. This app would be used to help the children mastered the skill of patterns and placing the missing thing in a pattern.
Some special needs children have difficulty understanding what is missing in patterns or organizing things. This would be a fun and exciting way to help them accomplish that skill. The child would have control over the game and it would help build logical thinking in a way that does not make the children feel like they are actually learning. Sometimes children perform better if they think they are just playing a game, but in reality they are learning a very important skill.
Each puzzle/pattern is different and the children can help customize the categories, which would make them feel as if they are contributing to the lesson. This app would improve the matching skills of the children. Instead of a paper/pencil assessment, teachers could use this to determine the mastery skill of students. They would be participating actively in an entertaining way. This would also improve their learning experience because it would be fun. Children learn more effective when they are interested in the activity they are participating in. I think this would be a valuable asset in the classroom for special needs children.

Social Count Media

The social media counts was very surprising. I could not believe the many hits that were going on every second. As for my career as a teacher, I believe that technology will be used more and more as time passes. I also think that soon all children will have so much knowledge of computers, and use it for basically everything. How could we live without the technology that we require today? It is important to include these technological devices in schools. As a educator I plan to include them in everyday use and as much as possible. I believe it will be more exciting for students and I think they will be more eager to learn.

A Vision of Students Today

Children today are more interested in many things other than school work. Micheal Wesch clearly proves that in his video. Most students do in fact sit in class and play on their phones and many other things. Teachers could use these devices to their advantage. Instead of writing on a chalk board, teachers could incorporate power points and the students could upload them to follow the lesson. Most teachers already use the smart board to teach their lessons.
Smaller class size could cut down the amount of distractions in the classroom. In small classes the students are more active and have more one on one contact with the instructor. That is a major contributor to effective learning. I personally prefer small classes. When a teacher knows my name, I feel more at ease because it makes me at ease. The participation rate is also higher in small classes. Students, as well as teachers, learn more about the other people in the class.
Students create most of the problems with their learning experience, because they do chose to sit in class and do other things rather than paying attention. I will say that teachers could help with that problem. They could have more active lessons and encourage the students to participate. Participation is a great factor to have in the classroom. It creates situations where the students can interact. This movie put things in perspective for me, I never realized how many students just did not even read the textbooks or just focused on other things. It is going to be a challenge as a teacher to gain control over these distractions in the classroom; but I hope to have student-centered activities that grab their attention and keep it.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

C4T One

The Silver Bullet...
By Amber Teamann

            This particular blog post on Connected Principals, referred to what tool was the "silver bullet", for the students. Amber Teamann discussed how we, the teachers, are the major tool that influences the children of the classroom. She uses the term "silver bullet" referring to what is used to get the point across. The use of the workbook and other things that are short term focused is not as useful as the teachers taking the time to be sure that the students are gaining what they need.

I simply loved this post. Her words encompass what I strive or will strive to be as a educator.Teachers should be the most influential tool at a school. We should all want to be the ones that push the students forward in the educational life. Amber said and i quote, " Teachers are the masters of invention ". We should all take that thought and use it to the advantage of our classrooms!

Educating for Entrepreneurship by Stephan Harris

This post on connected principals was very informative. Mr. Harris wrote about how important it is to add entrepreneurship skills to secondary schooling. He commented on how it could rise the employment rates after schooling. He raises the question about what if students were tested on the impacts they have made on things rather than subject matter content. How would this change schooling? Mr. Harris refers to the students creativity and how incorporating this idea would bring real life issues to learning.

I am very interested in this sandbox project. The project is called the sandbox network. This is a very good idea that needs to be instilled in the students at a appropriate age. As I commented on his post, the children should learn these skills at an age where it will make a difference. The chart in the post is very helpful in learning what entrepreneur skills are comprised of. I plan to share this idea to others and hopefully teach some of the skills in my classroom.