Blog #4

The ISTE Standards for Students helps to guide teachers in providing engaging experiences that will improve learning. The three concepts that I feel strongly about from the ISTE Standards-T include “Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity” standard 1B, “Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments” standard 2B, and “Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility” standard 4A.

Standard 1B from “Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity” promotes the engagement of students in the exploration of real world issues using digital tools and resources. In other words, students are able to use digital tools and resources for real world learning and authentic problem solving to give the content material meaning and purpose. An example from EDU 305 of a teacher modeling this standard was the video of gifted students looking up information about the stock market. Learning through the stock market integrates multiple subjects and it allows students to deal with real world issues. As a teacher, I would like to implement this standard in my classroom because I believe that students should always have assignments that have a purpose and the students should be aware of the purpose. This can be modeled through stock market activities or designing a house or club house with digital tools to create rooms based off of specific dimensions. Real world examples will also provide opportunities for students to connect to the material easier as well.

Standard 2B from “Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments” encourages teachers to develop a technological learning environment that supports students in creating their own goals and expectations. This standard requires students to take responsibility for themselves and their work. Students are able to take ownership for all of their work, expectations, and assessments. In EDU 358, Dr. Duncan allowed us to create our own learning contract and determine when our assignments were due as well as how we would demonstrate that we understood the learning objective. We were also required to build the guide or rubric for assessing our work. I enjoyed this model because I was able to be in charge of my own learning and I think that this could be helpful for my students as well. In my classroom I would like to incorporate assignments that required students to meet a specified learning goal. Students would be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the learning goal by creating a product of their choice with any digital learning tool available. The students would also be required to create an assessment tool for me to use to assess their product. This allows students to take responsibility for their work and manage their own learning which is essential for any global 21st century learner.

Standard 4A from “Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility” addresses the importance of safety with digital learning. It is very important for students to keep a safe presence online. As a teacher I will advocate to my students how important it is for online safety. Students will be using digital tools in and out of the classroom, so they must be knowledgeable of the legal and ethical uses of digital information. Students in my classroom will demonstrate an understanding of how to ethically use digital tools in the classroom before we use digital tools independently in the classroom. It is important for students to understand that they must give credit to all sources being used for their work. For example, when students in my class are creating a product and they find ideas for their product online, they must include the source of their ideas. It is also important that students know what information they should and should not provide to online resources. In my classroom students will use class accounts in order to protect their personal identity. When class accounts are not available, students will know that they are not allowed to give out their home information or phone number.

These concepts are very important to the classroom and to students. I believe that the concepts provide a positive impact on students of the global 21st century. As a computer science major, it is important that I use my knowledge of computers and knowledge of education to provide a digital classroom for my students to learn and grow. I have found numerous digital tools to use in the classroom through EDU 305. Our society is growing through technology and students should be exposed to this technology as much as possible. Throughout this course I have learned that technology should be used to enhance lessons and to enrich activities. Technology should not just be used to use it. There should always be a clear purpose for the use of digital tools in the classroom. Creating lesson ideas and using digital tools in this course has provided me numerous tools to use in my classroom as well as ideas for classroom lessons.

Blog 3

Blogs: Connecting and communicating with students and parents on a day to day basis.

Blogs are a great resource to communicate with students and parents about what is going on in the classroom. Blogs are a great way to stay connected and post any class updates or events. Blogs are also a great place to post additional information about a project or important upcoming assignments and events in the classroom and at the school. The blog can include information that will help parents support their children through new academic content. Blogs can also be used to support parents. I would use a classroom blog to post common issues and solutions that affect children on a day to day basis, so that parents are not alone and neither are their students. The resources provided would provide support as well as provide parents with an additional resource from someone who sees their children just as much as they do! Blogs also provide a place for teachers to put themselves out there in a professional manner; parents are able to understand that teachers are people too. This allows parents and teachers to create a closer and trusting relationship. Blogs can be used to post an interesting topic of the day. This topic of the day can be used for classroom discussion with students to provoke critical thinking as well as allow for personal opinions on the topic at hand.

Animoto

Good- The setup of the program is simple. You pick a style, song, and customize your production with photos, videos, and text. Additional factors of Animoto that are good include the ability to download the program on to Ipad’s IOS, and Android devices. Educators can apply for a FREE Animoto Plus account for classroom use! This program is also good because you can share your products via email, blog, website, export to YouTube, or download to your computer for presentations.

Bad- You have to apply for the plus account if you are an educator, this is only bad if you need the program immediately. After the being accepted to the educator program you are sent a classroom code for students. Another risky part of the program is that you have to be sure that students do not provide any personal details about themselves while they are creating their accounts and their products.

Classroom usage: I think Animoto would be a great program for students to use throughout the year. As a class we can take pictures of big projects and units that we work on and each student can keep up with their own work. Throughout the year we could work a little at a time to build individual videos of student growth from the beginning of the year until the end. This would promote creativity and time management as well as motivate students to do well on their assignments so that they can include them in their Animoto.

GoAnimate

Good: GoAnimate has several security measures in place to keep student work private and safe. Additionally, all student work has to be approved by the teacher which prevents any negative videos from being published.

Bad: GoAnimate is so protected that videos cannot be accessed by the public, therefore parents would have to know their child’s login in order to look at their work. GoAnimate also cannot be used with any other social media, which could prevent students from uploading their work to a blog or class Facebook.

Classroom Use: This program can be used for group work in the classroom on projects or day to day classwork when students need to present their understanding of a topic. For instance, students could create a video on landforms or the five themes of geography. The options for videos are endless. Since the program does not allow students who are not in the group to see the work of other groups, cheating is less of an option for students.

Voki:

Good: Voki is engaging because of all of the options and figures that the program provides. Voki provides an option for teachers to manage students, classes and lessons, and review student’s Voki. Another great feature of Voki is that it automatically generates its own webpage to showcase student’s work. This webpage allows for privacy settings as well.

Bad: The bad thing about Voki is that with a classroom subscription, the presenter account is not included. If a classroom teacher wants the presenter account, they must buy the bundle package. This program also has a fee for classroom usage.

Classroom Use: The opportunities are endless with Voki. Voki can be used to put on a play with different Voki characters that you can customize to look like historical figures. This program can also be used to create presentations where you customize a character to look like you and record your voice to match the Voki. Using Voki for a presentation could relieve stress that a student may have about public speaking.

Instagram and Twitter in the classroom:

After reading How Twitter Can Be Used as Powerful Educational Tool and David Truss: Pair of Dimes for Your Thoughts, I believe that Twitter can be a powerful source of technology for students to use. Twitter can be used to reach classrooms around the country. One classroom wanted to collect local water data each month and they wanted other classrooms to collect the same data. This is a great way to use Twitter as a means of finding other classrooms as well as getting data that is not specified to what you see every day. Global classroom data allows for more opportunities to compare and contrast typical weather in areas. It is important for teachers to find educational hashtags in order to be successful on twitter for educational purposes. Twitter also serves as a place to post educational resources that you may find to helpful for you as well as other educators and students.

After reading Everything you need to know about teaching with Instagram and Nerdy, Nerdy, Nerdy, I believe a class Instagram can be a useful educational tool if teachers have the ability to connect with other class’s Instagram. Instagram can be used to share creative project ideas and activities that other students are creating on the same topic that your students are learning about. Student work can be displayed on the class Instagram with approval from parents. Instagram can connect classrooms to other classrooms across the country. Parents can get a sense of involvement by looking through the class Instagram of different projects or units that their children are working on in class. Students can compete in photo essay contest through any subject. Additionally, using Instagram in class provides a digital learning aspect to classroom activities using 21st century skills. It can be used as a way of review for students by posting responses to a picture that the teacher posted. For students who do not have Instagram, the same information can be provided on a blog or website. The class Instagram is basically a scrapbook of everything important that happens throughout the school year. When used properly, it could be a great learning tool for students.

Personally, I believe that Twitter, Instagram, teaching, and learning are all interconnected when used appropriately. There is a time and place for all technology and if teachers use these online social media resources it could really benefit the classroom. The use of Instagram and Twitter in class helps students to use a tool that they may or may not use daily, as an educational tool rather than just a social tool. Twitter and Instagram give teachers the opportunity to use tools that students are already using, just for different purposes. Using Instagram to post pictures and have students post responses allows them to use their accounts for a productive and educational purpose rather than posting selfies of themselves. It also requires students to keep a professional online presence because their classmates and teacher will be able to see their individual profile. Additionally, Twitter is also a great resource for reaching out to other schools and classrooms across the world to share resources and creative ideas for presenting content to students.

I read Kelsey Lockner’s blog 3. We have similar ideas and feelings towards using Twitter and Instagram in the classroom. One idea that she pointed out is that parents can be involved in the social media learning tools as well. The teacher can save the pictures that students take of their classwork and projects to send to the parents, so that the parents know what their children are doing in class on a week by week basis. Instagram and Twitter can be used for class announcements. After reading Kelsey’s response to Twitter and Instagram, my perspective towards Instagram and Twitter is still positive, if the tools are used correctly and for the right reasons, students could really benefit.

Blog #2

1. How would you use the blogs with a diverse population of students (e.g., ESL, AIG, special needs, etc.) in your classroom to communicate information about the subject you are teaching? (Give specific examples.)

I would use blogs in my classroom to communicate information about the subjects that I will be teaching in various ways. Blogs can be used for communicating information about writing by providing links to good websites that help with common errors. As the teacher I could provide instruction in Spanish as well as English, if I have the resources to do so correctly. Blogs can also be used manipulated for any subject such as math, social studies or science. Blogs can be used for proposing discussions for students to post their responses on. Using blogs for discussions and writing journals can be differentiated in many ways. ESL students can use the blogs as a place to practice their primary language as well as English. The students can first write their blog in their first language and either explain their blog to the class in English or include a translation. This will help them continue with their primary language and also improve their academic English. AIG students can use blogs for enrichment purposes to post additional research they are completing for enrichment activities. As the teacher, I can post enrichment activities on my blog for students to work on. I can also include remedial information for students who have areas of improvement. For special needs students, blogs can be read aloud or provided in a format that fits their learning plan. As the teacher, I can also post material for parents whether their child is ESL, AIG, special needs, or just needs additional help or enrichment.

2.Review videos – Minecraft in School (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO_cs1DrbhA) and World, Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievement (https://www.worldpeacegame.org/thefilm/trailer) and the extended trailer.

Which of the following videos are the best example of 21st century learning?

While the Minecraft in school was really engaging, I think that World Peace and other 4th Grade Achievement is a better example of 21st century learning. The Minecraft in school video showed how engaged and involved students were in their work, whether they created houses or big buildings, all of the buildings were personalized. This allowed the students to be creative and use outside resources to build better buildings. One student used YouTube as a resource to better his building. I think this is a good resource for teachers, but I don’t think that it is the best example of the 21st century. World Peace and other 4th Grade Achievement is a better example of 21st century learning because it includes the 4C’s of the global 21st century. Students are collaborating, creating, thinking critically and communicating with each other. Students are using problem solving skills and thinking critically. The students are learning about of the world, resources, and battles through the challenge of the game.

3. Go to http://edjudo.com/web-2-0-teaching-tools-links. Focus on the programs in three sections: Animation and Comics (do not choose Voki), Bookmarking and Online Collaboration, and Instructional Videos and Video sharing. Choose only two programs from the three sections. Discuss in your blog the “good,” the “bad,” and how your choices can be used in a classroom. (Give specific examples.)

  1. Domo: Animated videos that can be used in the classroom.
    • Good: Videos created by students are protected. Student personal information is never collected. Teachers are allowed to set a preference to where they can preview the video before it is published. There are no inappropriate objects or props available for students to use either
    • Bad: One of the features of Domo is that other classes cannot see your work. I think this should be an option rather than a security measure that is already put in place. This prevents students from allowing other students in classes other than theirs from viewing their hard work. Additionally, this resource has a fee for teachers of $59 a year with no students or $356 for five teachers and 200 students.
    • Classroom use: This resource can be used to present information on any topic for students. Students can use Domo for creative writing assignments. Students can use this resource for projects. Students can use this resource as a chance to work on language skills. With the built in voice recording for the characters, students can give speeches about specific topics through Domo. Since Domo provides speech actors in more than 20 languages, English language learners can create their video in their primary language.
  2. Diigo- Organize and share ideas about webpages easily.
    • Good: Students can organize and collect their sites. They can tag the webpages with relevant terms for easy retrieval. Students can highlight the information that is most important to them. This resource allows students to structure their research by automated streamlining, but it also allows them to personalize the outline. Students can add sticky notes with text and comments to any webpage. In addition to personally organizing all of their webpages, students can share their research and annotations with classmates or friends. There is a free version of this software but you can update for a monthly fee. There are many formats available for your laptop, PC or Mac, and mobile devices.
    • Bad- If you have the free account, your online resources with annotations are not protected if the website goes down or is removed. With the premium account, all information stays intact.
    • This could be used in the classroom in many ways. Students can use these features in and out of the classroom. Students will really appreciate being able to annotate webpages. As I read articles for classes now, I will be able to use this feature. Annotating what you read really helps you remember what was important and what questions you have. Students can use this resource to better their papers and research based projects. As the teacher, I can use this resource to mark important sections for students to pay close attention to and then share my notes with them. The sharing feature would be extremely helpful for teachers and students!

 

(a) a new technology/information that you have learned since your last blog

I’ve learned about a ton of new technology resources for the classroom since my last blog. There are so many resources for blogging, creating videos, annotating websites, and online collaborating. There are multiple resources for students and teachers to create animated and creative videos and cartoons such as Domo, Pixton, Cartoonster, and Comic Master. I learned about Diigo and Delicious, both of which are resources for teachers and students to use for sharing annotated resources.

(b) the things you already knew how to do (and you might have thought the assignment was a waste of time)

I already knew about Titanpad, Pinterest, and Toondoo. We use Titanpad in my computer science classes to come up with group ideas for projects and t-shirts. We all post links for ideas for whatever we are working on. Once there are enough ideas posted we are able to go back in and make decisions. I use Pinterest on a weekly basis, so I have used this resource for organizing a lot of ideas and interests. I used Toondoo in my AP U.S. History class in high school. It was a pretty engaging resource. We used it to make comic strips of different historical events.

(c) and, then how you might be able that technology in the classroom with your students.

All of the technology that I have discussed can easily be used in the classroom with my students. The animated video tools can be used for any subject. Students can come up with songs or poems to help them remember math facts, states and capitals, or any literary work. With the video tools, students can add creativity and their own personal design. Diigo and Delicious are both good for improving reading comprehension and understanding. Students can use these resources when they are researching or just completing class readings. Students can use these annotation resources to annotate their weekly news to share with the class. In my class I plan to have a different news reporter each day, students can bring in anything that they find interesting in the news to share it with the class. This will work on their online research skills, their ability to find the important parts of their article and annotate with one of the resources above, as well as improve their public speaking.

Online Storytelling

This is my online story for EDU 305. Tommy the Terrific is a book for young children grades K-2. Tommy has a very strong imagination and at night he thinks about all of the amazing things he could do if he had super powers. This book is to get children’s imaginations going wild. After children read the book, get them to think about what they would do with super powers and which super powers they would have if they could choose. It requires children to think creatively. After reading Tommy the Terrific, children could even write their own imaginative storybook and publish it on an online storytelling software such as story bird.

To read Tommy the Terrific: CLICK HERE! 

First Blog- EDU 305

Blogger Credentials:

When looking at credentials and qualifications of bloggers, Erin Klein, from Kleinspiration, has experience in the classroom as well as a business background. Her Master of Education is focused on curriculum and instruction. She has background knowledge in program development and teaching. Her blog focuses on creating technology enriched activities that correlate with common core standards. Erin is an award winning education, author, and national keynote speaker. She is certified in Brain Gym and Educational Kinesiology. She served as the Michigan technology chairperson for three years. In addition to rich experience and education, Erin has received many educational awards. (http://www.kleinspiration.com/p/meet-erin-klein.html)

Overall, bloggers can have many credentials or qualifications, but none are required. All bloggers need is a purpose and an audience.

 Three things I learned from Kleinspiration:

For many schools, getting technology for all students is very difficult. When using technology in the classroom students are able to be more independent learners. Before student digital learning occurs, teachers should instill in students digital responsibility. According to Erin Klein, there are three reasons why every teacher should use Bing in the classroom. Bing rewards allows schools to earn credits just for searching through Bing. Credits can also be donated to a school of your choice. Once a school earns enough credits, they can redeem them through Microsoft who will send free surface to the school. I found this to be really interesting, I tried to find out how many credits a school would need to receive the product but I was unable to find it. Another bonus of using Bing as a search engine is the ability for teachers to access common core aligned digital literacy lesson plans. Digital literacy lessons are available for K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 through bing.com/lessons. In addition to the digital responsibility of students, Bing provides an additional layer of safety through built in content filters to prevent inappropriate results or ads. I have never used Bing but after reading all of the benefits, it seems as though it is a useful resource.

Klein, E. (2015, October 25). 3 Reasons to Use Bing in the Classroom. Retrieved January 23, 2016, from http://www.kleinspiration.com/

Three ideas presented in A Vision of K-12 Students Today and Rethinking Learning: The 21st century learner that surprised or concerned me include:

  1. Students who are gamers want to be measured. One of the speakers said that a real gamer believes that if they aren’t learning something, then it isn’t fun. I found this statement to be surprising because I wouldn’t have thought of gamers as students who wish to be measured to prove knowledge.
  2. I found the technology philosophy of Parsons the New School for Design to be extremely useful. Their philosophy is to bring out technology when we need it and put it away when technology is not the best tool for the content. I found this to be surprising and concerning. I found it concerning because controlling when students use technology could be difficult, but with this school wide policy it becomes a standard.
  3. I found it concerning that 63% of teachers never let their students’ use digital learning in the classroom. I found it concerning that 61% of reading teachers never use digital story software. I found it concerning how classrooms lack the use of technology among all subjects.

As a prospective educator, some of the ideas in the videos that were meaningful to me include the technology philosophy and importance of digital responsibility, the vision of k-12 students today to be able to use engaging and emerging technologies, and the importance of 21st century skills. Students need the ability to create, to collaborate, to think critically, and to communicate in multiple ways. As our global society becomes more technologically innovative, the more our students need to be immersed into technology.

Teaching content knowledge with Wordle

I would use this Wordle in a second grade class to discuss the importance of the environment as well as how people positively and negatively affect the environment. This Wordle has positive and negative effects that humans have on the environment. As a class we would discuss the words included in the Wordle and separate each word or set of words into positive effects and negative effects. As we separate the words, we will discuss as a class how each one effects the environment. To reflect and assess our knowledge on the positive and negative effects on the environment we will create a list of things we can do as a class to better our environment.

wordle

 

New technology information: I learned that using Bing as a search engine allows schools to earn credits for Microsoft technology. Revisited information: I already knew that schools could use Skype to interact with classrooms around the world because a school that I toured with Teaching Fellows was Skyping a school from a different state. I think this is a great use of technology and allows students to get another perspective of how school is around the world. I also knew how to use the Wordle, but I thought it was good practice to come up with a topic that is useful for the classroom. Classroom usage: I think that Bing can easily be used in a classroom as the main search engine to gain rewards for the school. It is also a good search engine to use because of the restrictions that can be placed on the search engine to prevent inappropriate content as well as ads. I also believe that students can easily use Wordle in the classroom for any subject to demonstrate prior knowledge or newly learned content. Wordle can be used as a method of assessment rather than multiple choice tests or essays. Wordle promotes creativity and critical thinking to create representative words for a specific topic.