Sunday, July 21, 2013
Well, this is it! I made it through quite an interesting semester of EDM 310. However, this is not the end! This is the beginning to a career I have always wanted, the beginning of me changing children's lives! Last spring I enrolled in this course, not being good with time management, I gave up half-way through. To be completely honest, I wasn't wanting to spend the 9 hours each week and I just didn't give EDM a chance. This time around, I put in a lot of hard work with my assignments and this has become one of my favorite classes so far at the University of South Alabama. After all, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to be an educator. Dr. Strange and his staff, along with everyone in his PLN he has shared with his students this semester, has taught me so much and introduced me to new tools necessary to create the environment I want for my students.
For our very first blog post assignment this semester, Dr. Strange asked, "If You Built A School, What Would It Look Like? After reading If I Built A School on Krissy Venosdale's blog, Venspired, I could imagine JUST what my school would like. Colorful walls, a tree house for a library, kids art work everywhere, and comfy seating. But what about the methods of teaching I will emphasize, the tools my students and I will use, and the learning that will take place in my classroom? EDM 310 is one of the few education classes I have taken so far and it has given me a better understanding of what my teaching philosophy will be. I can now answer these questions thoroughly thanks to this EDM 310 course.
In my elementary classroom, preferably first or second, I want to be the teacher that provides my students with an environment for them to be creative, daring, and successful. I don't want my students to be afraid of coming to school because they feel dumb or different. I will remind my students to always do their best and to be creative while following their dreams. My student's will be young and still learning about school and who they are. I will not allow my classroom to be the place that tells them they are wrong for being creative. They will know it is okay to make mistakes, but to reflect on what they have done to be successful the next time. I want to know my student's interests and passions, so I can create lessons that they will be engaged and interested in. I want my classroom to be colorful and full of technology. iPads, SMARTBoards, laptops, and Nintendos (thank you Ms. Cassidy's First Graders for that idea) will be available for my students.
My students will not be taught the way I was. No more "busy work" because it's Monday and the teacher needs quiet time. My students will learn collaboratively with their classmates. They will create meaningful projects based on the state standards. They will be encouraged to ask questions when they are unsure of something. My students will have technology resources to help with their assignments. I will incorporate blogging into my classroom, I love how this is a unique way to enhance literacy skills and give my students an opportunity to practice peer editing. Vocabulary words? Discovery Ed has visuals to help teach them in a different way from the old school copying definitions in the back of the book. Thanks to the idea on Dean Shareski's blog, I could use Skype to have people all over the world visit my students and tell them the definitions of our vocabulary words. Students retain information when they are interested in the assignment, that is how my future students will learn, through engaging projects and collaborative learning.
I am taking with me so many tools and resources from this course that I plan to use in my classroom. Dr. Strange challenged his students to find different technology tools and to learn about ones he introduced to us. This has been a class very different from any other course I have taken. EDM 310 was more about independent learning and projects, which I find 1,000 times more useful then the "burp-back" education I am still experiencing in a few of my college course! Education has changed a lot from the 4 years I have been out of school and I know it is constantly changing. As a future project-based educator, I will take everything I have learned in this course and continue to use and find new technology tools to give my students the education they deserve. Thank you EDM! Have a great rest of your summer!
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Anthony Capps is a former EDM 310 student and lab professional who excelled in Dr. Strange’s class. He has also become a great friend of Dr. Strange. Anthony Capps is a third grade teacher in Baldwin County and Dr. Strange sits down with him in these video calls discussing various different technology topics.
iCurio- iCurio ,according to Anthony Capps in his video call with Dr. Strange, is an online tool that allows students to not only search websites safely, but also other forms of media that has been filtered for educational purposes that adhere to the ACCRS and other State Standards. iCurio has two other major components as well as being a safe search engine for students. One great aspect of iCurio is that it has a storage capacity that not only allows teachers to store items, students can store content that they find valuable. iCurio allows students to start getting practice with virtual organization through the folders and files. Other great tools components of iCurio are features such as Timelines and Historical Figures. Anthony talks about how he plans to use Timelines more next year but that he has used a lot of the Historical Figures feature. iCurio has a directory feature with Historical Figures where what students do is type in keywords about a certain topic. For instance, if the students are doing a civil rights projects, they would type in “1960 African male”. This kind of directory is important because students do not have the background knowledge to know the names of historical features, that is what they are researching. What I found useful about what Anthony says about iCurio is that it can be used in any grade level! I will be teaching in the elementary classroom and plan to use it in my classroom because not only does it have safe text that has been filtered, there are a lot of other media that will engage the students! Great tool and I can’t wait to use it more and incorporate it into my classroom.
Discovery Education- One of the tools that Baldwin County has made accessible to educators now is Discovery Ed. Dr. Strange sits down with Anthony Capps in this YouTube video, to get Anthony’s thoughts on Discovery Ed in the classroom and why he thinks it’s a useful tool for Project Based Learning. “A picture’s worth a thousand words, and a video must be worth a million.” Discovery Ed is a great tool to backup a text with visual which helps the students retain more through visuals. Anthony talks about how he uses it with his students in their classroom. For instance, if they are doing a lesson on plants, Discovery Ed takes the students way farther than just a picture. Discovery Ed provides them with videos and brings in experts on topics via video. Anthony uses Discovery Ed in his classroom for student searches and he uses it to bring different texts to life. One fascinating fact that they talked about was that students retain more information when they are viewing something rather than just reading a text. The same goes as if students are engaged. I think Discovery Ed is a great tool to engage students in the lesson and a tool I can see myself incorporating in my future elementary classroom.
Don’t Teach Technology-Use It! - In Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps’ video, Use Tech, Don’t Teach It, Anthony talks about technology in his classroom. Our culture is so technologically based that there is no way to escape it. Whether adults are interested in technology or not, it just comes natural to children. An important way to incorporate technology into the classroom is to scaffold your tools and use different ones. Start with doing a small reflection on iMovie one week and then the next have them create a movie. Use technology to get your students excited about lessons, use it to let them share what they have created, and as a teacher, use different tools meaningfully. DON’T EXPECT PERFECTION! If you use a new tool, allow students time to reflect on what they have used and what they made mistakes on. I like how Dr. Strange’s class allows us to learn on our own, we actually learn it better and remember what we have done to master the skills. It will be the same way with elementary students, use technology with your students, don’t just teach it to them. I really enjoyed the talks with Anthony Capps, I like that he is a former EDM student and how far he has come in his career! Thank you Anthony for everything you have shared with us!
iCurio- In the conversation with Dr. Strange, Anthony Capps describes his viewpoint of iCurio as a safe search engine that allows students to search websites that fit the Alabama State Standards. Not only does it allow you to search websites, it allows you to search images, videos, etc. that are pulled and filtered for educational uses. It also has two other components other than being a safe search engine for students. One component is a storage capacity for students and teachers. This is a great tool for teaching students organization so they can organize valuable content in files and folders. This is an advantage. If students have to leave iCurio to go to lunch, P.E., etc. they are able to save the website they were visiting so they can remember where they were. Another component is Timelines and Historical Features. Anthony talked about using Timelines in his classroom next year. You can search by criteria when using Historical Features. If a child is doing a project but they do not know much about it, they can simply search something like female, minority, astronaut. This is like a directory for historical figures which is important because students do not have background knowledge to know the names of all historical figures. iCurio also has an accessibility feature called Read Aloud. I thought it was interesting that Anthony said iCurio would be useful for any grade level that the teacher feels comfortable letting students search the web. In my future elementary classroom, I plan to use iCurio. It is not only a safe search engine, but it allows the students to search the web for websites and other media tools that fit the Alabama State Standards. I cannot wait to use this tool with my future students!
Discover Ed- Discovery Ed is a useful tool for project based learning that gives text a visual aspect. In the conversation, Dr. Strange talks to Anthony Capps about how he uses Discovery Ed in his classroom. Anthony says, “A picture is worth a thousand words, but a video must be worth a million.” Discovery Ed is worth that according to Anthony. He says that if a child has a visual text, they will retain a lot more. It is a great tool for social studies and science. For example, if they are doing a lesson on plants, the student can search “beautiful flowers” and it will give them a video to learn instead of just a picture. Discovery Ed gives the opportunity to bring experts into the classroom via video, which is crucial. Discovery Ed is beneficial for student searches so that they are able to enrich their research experience. It is also beneficial because it brings different texts to life and gives the opportunity of comparing and contrasting reading. Discovery Ed is a tool that I will use in my classroom. As Anthony said, the students will retain more when they are viewing something rather than just reading text.
The Anthony- Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1-In the conversation between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps, they discuss five things that every new teacher should think about and prepare for. This is a great list that I will keep in mind as I pursue my teaching career. The first five tips for teachers are:
1. BE A LEARNER- To be a successful educator, you must be interested in learning. Then, you must model it for others. This reminds me of what Dr. Strange says, “I don’t know, let’s find out.”
2. HARD WORK- Teaching is hard work, but there is no separation between playing and teaching. Teachers are still learning the craft of teaching in their free time. Teaching can be fun and fascinating if you let it be and in the end will be very rewarding.
3. FLEXIBILITY- When you are teaching, things will not always happen as planned, therefore you cannot be committed to one way of doing something. Teachers must be able to respond to unexpected events. For example, in Anthony Capps class, the servers were not working, so he had his students on the floor painting. Surprises like this always happen so we must be flexible.
“Start with the end in mind.” Start out with the end goal in mind, if it doesn’t look like what you intended, be flexible.
4. GET KIDS ENGAGED- Anthony Capps says you must have 100% engagement in your classroom. Teachers should not leave any child behind. To engage students, choose a content they are interested in, make it a process they want to use, let them discover something and get excited about it, and make it shareable so they have an audience to share their work with. There are many ways to get motivated. Each day, always think how you can get every one of your students involved in the learning process.
5. REFLECT- Self evaluation is important in the process of learning. Use audiences as a purpose to reflect and use critiques from the audience. Reflection needs to be the goal and an audience leads to reflection.
I learned five great tips that every teacher, including myself, should always remember when teaching. One fascinating thing Anthony Capps said was that, competition, pride, collaboration and purpose lead to more students reflecting and sharing their work as if it were gold. I enjoyed the conversations between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps, especially the Strange list of Tips for Teachers-Part 1. I look forward to Part 2. Thank you Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps for sharing your knowledge and tips!
iCurio Baldwin County has started using iCurio in the schools. In the interview video of Dr. Strange and guest Anthony Capps, Capps describes what iCurio is and the many ways he uses the program in the classroom. Capps said that iCurio pulls safe websites for students to do research on for educational purposes. iCurio is also an easy way to store and organize virtual files and folders. Capps uses iCurio so that his students can get an early start on practicing organizational skills. Another way Capps uses iCurio in the classroom, is to make virtual timelines. For instance, if his classroom is studying historical figures, the students can look up the focus figure and find out what historical events were happening during their time. iCurio even allows read-alouds for students with reading disabilities. For my future classroom, I would love to use the timeline feature on iCurio so that my students can grasp a better understanding of what major historical facts happened.
Discovery Ed In another interview of Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange, Dr. Stange asks Capps to explain how he uses Discovery Ed in his classroom. Capps starts off by saying, “if a picture is worth a thousand words then a video must be worth a million and Discovery Ed is worth every bit of the million!” I love Capps’ quote!! Capps says that Discovery Ed is a great visual aid resource because students can use videos to enrich their research experience. The reason why is because, students using Discovery Ed don’t look up pictures relating to what they are learning, they look of videos to gain information. “Discovery Ed really brings text to life” says Capps, and that is so true!! Students won’t just read their text, but they will use visual aids to gain knowledge about their learning content. Capps’ students reacted to Discovery Ed in a positive way. They enjoy using Discovery Ed just as much as they love reading the actual text. They associate reading with visual aid learning. I would love to use Discovery Ed in my future classroom, so that my students will be able to expand their research experience!
An Additional Thought About Lessons- The last part of Anthony Capps’ and Dr. Stange’s interview video, Capps adding his thoughts on lesson plans. Capps said lesson plans are four layers thick with each layer meaning something different, but all of the same importance! the first layer is the year layer. In the year layer, where you question how the lesson plan fits into the year, and are you going to cover all of the content standards? The second layer is the unit and in the unit, the question that should be asked is are the unit projects devised in a way that is meaningful? The educator can not do all of the required activities and projects in one day, they should be spread over a time so that the student can understand and comprehend the learning content over a unit time which is usually six to eight weeks. For the third layer, the question that should be asked is how are you devising the projects so that they can be done weekly? The final layer is the daily lesson plan. For the daily lesson plan layer, the educator should think about how to deliver the material to the students so that they are hooked and engaged. The four components come together to make a lesson plan. I have never thought about seeing lesson plans as to having layers. After listening to Capps talk about the four components, I think I have a better understanding on lesson plans.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
For this week's assignment, the options are limitless. Dr. Strange asked us to create a blog post assignment in our area of specialty that he might use in the future. My area of specialty is Elementary Education (K-6). I had no idea where to start or what I was going to do! Then I started really thinking about my classroom and what I want it to be like. This is the second time I have taken EDM 310. What I really like about this semester though is that it is a lot more collaborative. I know I am not the only student who thinks working in groups (especially with 16 hours of work in a unit) is the most beneficial. There are so many benefits of having a collaborative classroom that I wanted to do something with that topic. I wanted to find a tool or resource for other EDMers to find more about and hopefully find it useful in their classroom. So with that said:
Blog Post #____, Due ____
What is ePals? How can you use it in your classroom?
Answer these questions following the guidelines of Writing A Quality Blog Post.
Melissa Canterbury- What is ePals?
ePals is an education media company and the leading Global Learning Network. They offer a safe and secure platform worldwide to K-12 students, parents, adminitstrators and teachers for building educational communities, providing quality digital content and facilitating collaboration for effective 21st century learning. ePals serves approximately 1 million classrooms and reaches millions of teachers, students and parents in approximately 200 countries and territories. "ePals provides digital content designed for collaboration and self-paced, self-directed learning as well as a safe platform to share work globally. Authentic ePals projects are centered around meaningful content and experiences that require teamwork, digital literacy skills, higher-level thinking and communication."
Global collaboration- ePals' reach, including 200 countries and territories, provides a powerful network effect that brings together students and educators based on areas of learning interests and geography. Unlike traditional social networks, where a person usually connects solely with people he or she knows in the "real world," the ePals network connects students both "down the block" and literally around the globe with people they may not know, but with whom they share a common interest. For example, a high school class studying Chinese may use ePals to connect with a class in China that is studying English. These interactions help students in both countries learn the language and experience some of the culture through this real-world connection.
Effective Learning- ePals is a platform designed to promote meaningful teaching and learning, showing teachers and students how to use technology strategically to promote the fundamental learning principles essential for academic achievement. This involves creating a safe and secure content-rich environment that challenges students and educators to research smartly, collaborate with other learners of all ages, think critically, problem-solve, and communicate their learning using various web 2.0 tools. It is this way that technology serves deep learning and is not simply an add-on in the classroom.
How will I use this in my classroom?
ePals offer SO many resources for educators. There are hundreds of classrooms all over the world and gives an in depth description. I can see my students collaborating with students all over the world depending on the unit we are studying and interests. Like I said about EDM being more collaborative this semester, I think my students would LOVE to Skype with other classrooms, visit their blogs, and work on projects collaboratively through ePals.
There is a resource tool that provides teachers with projects already made by other classrooms to use, links to useful websites such as Smithsonian Institute, McGraw-Hill Education, Nat Geo Education, and BIE.Org. ePals also has tons of lessons plans! Another tool that I absolutely love about ePals (and wish I would have discovered weeks ago for my lesson plans) is Common Core Projects and resources!
I have added ePals to my Symbaloo page and I absolutely love it. I think every educator in the 21st century should use this company in their classroom!
Thursday, July 11, 2013
This semester has been quite a journey for me. I have been introduced to so many brilliant people and resources I don't know where to even begin. I created a Symbaloo page at the beginning of the summer to store all the websites I find useful. I have this set as my homepage and use it daily. One of the greatest additions to my personal learning network was Dr. Will Deyamport. Not only did he introduce me to #ntchatp, which is a weekly educational chat on Twitter, he has also introduced me to Aaron Koleda and Jamie Vandergrift. There are so many resources available through Twitter that these educators have showed me, I am so thankful. I have learned of some great technology resources throughout the semester as well. iCurio, DiscoveryEd, Edmodo, numerous iPad apps, and Padlet. The teachers that I have had the opportunity to leave comments on have been great! Dr. Deyamport was one, Dean Shereski, Steven Anderson, and Hadley, J F all had great blogs and very helpful to a young future educator. The videos that Dr. Strange had us summarize and evaluate this semester have all been informational and interesting to watch. I have so much to take with me from educators and websites, to inspirational videos on YouTube. I can only thank Dr. Strange and his EDM 310 staff for everything they have shared with me!
For my last C4T assignment of the semester, I was assigned Dean Shareski's personal weblog, Ideas And Thoughts- Learning Stuff Since 1964. Dean Shareski is a Digital Learning Consultant with the Prairie South School in Moose Jaw, SK, Canada. He specializes in the use of technology in the classroom and recently started working for Discovery Education as the Community Manager of the Canadian DEN or Discovery Educators Network. The whole layout of Dean Shareski's blog was eye catching to me. He has his posts set up as if they were hanging from a string by a nail. I just found the layout really neat which made me want to explore his blog more. I think this is important in any aspect of life. In my elementary classroom, I want it to be colorful and inviting to my students. Another interesting thing I found about Dean Shareski's blog was that it his own personal weblog. It isn't a blog for his work, although he does make references to his work, but this is his personal space to share his ideas and thoughts. I guess I find it interesting because its more personal.
The first post of this series was titled, Whatever Happened to Joy? or A Culture of Joy: Part 2 from July 2, 2013. This post was about opportunity Shareski had to speak at TEDxWestVanEd. TED is a nonprofit organization where world leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in about 18 minutes. TEDxWestVanEd started out as a casual conversation between three educators at an Unconference in Delta, BC in the fall of 2012. Their focus is on education and learning through new eyes. The opportunity Shareski got to speak at one of these events meant a lot to him. His video is about joy in the classroom, a theme that has been emerging in Shareski's work since 2011. Shareski talks about the importance in keeping joy alive and engaging students. The two definitions of joy that he gives:
1. the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.
2. the expression or exhibition of such emotion.
I couldn't agree more with how Dean Shereski feels about the importance of joy and its role in the classroom. In his video, he says that some would argue when we tie joy to education, it becomes nice but it isn't necessary. Shereski argues, as would I, that joy in itself is a worthy goal to pursue.
Dean Shereski shows his audience clips of children and the "joy" on their faces when they succeed at an experiment, or after completely a funny video with friends. After seeing the happiness on those children's faces and see how they light up after success, I can only think, why would any educator not make that a goal in their classroom? Another part of his talk, he shows a news video of an educator, Jarad Heidinger, who flies a helicopter in his classroom to pick out vocabulary words. Heidinger shows videos of people from all over the world who addresses his class and says the meaning of each vocabulary word. I LOVE this idea. Instead of the usual, putting vocabulary words on the board and having the students look up the definition, this is a more fun and engaging way to get the definition. I know the students will remember a famous athlete telling them what a word means than having to look up the word themselves. I probably wouldn't use a toy helicopter flying around in my classroom, but I would love to have people video themselves telling my students vocab words!
My comment to Dean's post on joy was a brief introduction of myself and my assignment to visit his page and post a summary of what I've read. I left my feedback on his post and thanked him for sharing! My comment:
My name is Melissa Canterbury, and I am one of Dr. Strange’s students in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. We are assigned a blog every two weeks to comment on and at the end of this unit I will be leaving a summary post on my blog, I would love for you to visit and leave feedback!
I really enjoyed reading this post because I am a strong believer in making the classroom fun. I am still getting my degree and haven’t started my started teaching, but I hope to always engage my students and make the learning process enjoyable for them. I know through personal experience, I always wanted to do the best I can for particularly the teachers who always had fun with us. Even in college, my Music for Elementary teacher was silly with us and made the classroom fun. I hope some day I am that teacher!
Thank you so much for sharing the video of Jarad Heidinger! I probably won’t use a helicopter in my elementary classroom but I love the idea of having other people from all over the world tell his students the vocabulary word. I think that is so neat! Dr. Strange has his students communicate with other educators from different places and also kids from all over the world. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to visit any students because it is the summer but it’s still an awesome idea!
I’ve had a lot happen recently in school and work and also my personal life, and I have been trying more to enjoy those things and have fun! I really enjoyed your video and look forward to visiting again.
The second post I commented on was titled, The Stupidest Creative Act, from June 29, 2013. Dean Shereski writes about the honor it was to be chosen to speak at the opening session of this year's ISTE conference in San Antonio, TX. International Society for Technology in Education is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the use of information technology to aid in learning, teaching of K-12 students and teachers. Shereski says how this particular format of presentation was hard to do and that he tried to submit slides that contained videos but he wasn't allowed to. He says if he ever got the honor to speak at this conference again he will be more creative with his time.
The talk he gave at ISTE was about being silly. He begins his talk by talking about a conversation he had with his daughter. His daughter walked up to him and said, "Dad, I can’t fit any more apps or songs on my phone it’s says it’s full”. Dean took his daughter's phone and found the problem......985 selfies. Dean says he is known to take a few selfies himself, this is his introduction to him being a big fan of silly. Silly is what makes us human. Yet in our "achievement obsessed" schools, we would do better to reconsider ways of bringing in silly and joy. I agree with Dean that we can not convince any school district to make silly a part of the curriculum. However, everyone can agree that creativity is an important part of learning now. Silly is a wonderful spark for creativity. Creativity does not come to us, however silliness is a great place to start.
Dean talks about how when he first started writing posts, it was of the things his dog would chew up. Of course then, people would tell him he has too much time on his hands. While he was posting pictures of chewed up shoes, he assumed the people telling him this was out finding a cure for cancer. The evolution of his work then became the important things others were telling him to produce. He then quotes Clay Shirky, “The stupidest creative act is still a creative act and that the real gap isn’t’ between the mediocre and great work, the real gap is between getting started and doing nothing." If you've created something, even if it's stupid or silly, you have put yourself in a starting position to do more.
Next, Dean calls Twitter the "ultimate experiment in stupid". Who came up with the idea to tell the entire world that we just ate a sandwich? However, as experienced in Dr. Strange's class, Twitter has became a community for personal and professional relationships formed.
Then educators come into play. "Great teachers can take stupid or throwaaway and turn it into something beautiful and meaningful." -Dean Shereski. Often stupid creations are safe and risk free. Teacher's need to allow students to create, experiment, and at times be silly, but lead students to reflect and ask, "What more can this be?" Sometimes, silly creations will blossom into something of beauty and value and sometimes it won't. If teachers want to see their students be more creative, we should allow them to be silly at times. Dean says, "It’s one of the attributes of new media and indeed the benefits of technology. Cheap failure."
Dean ends his talk by leaving his audience with a quote, "Adults need to have fun so children will want to grow up." I LOVE this! In the classroom, students are always going to be watching me. I need to be the teacher that allows them to be silly and who can be silly with them. This quote reminds me of what the coach said that visited our EDM 310 class. He told us how he would wear a hat of his favorite team while teaching a lesson of his. Yes, the students thought he was silly and he ended up on Pinterest, but they remembered what he said and was more engaged in the lesson. If I am the teacher who is afraid to be silly with my children or allow them to creative, why would they ever want to grow up to be some boring ole adult?
My comment to this post was agreeing with Dean Shereski's views about joy and silly in the classroom. I gave him my thoughts on the subject and left a link to the summary post I would be writing of my visit. My comment:
Great post! I have always considered silliness and fun to be an important part of learning. Especially in my elementary classroom why would I want to limit their creativity by telling them they are "wrong" for being silly.
I really enjoyed visiting your blog and feel strongly about your topics of joy and silly in the classroom. It's so overlooked now that our culture is so obsessed with standards and achievement.
I will be posting a summary post of what I have read onto my EDM 310 blog. I would love for you to visit and leave a comment!
Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed your posts.
A Student in EMD310 at the University of South Alabama
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
What can we learn from these TED talks? -Dr. Strange
Throughout the semester, Dr. Strange has assigned our class different videos from TED talks for us to watch and summarize. What is TED talks though? Why are these videos important to us? TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a nonprofit organization that began in 1984 as a conference that brought people together from all around the technology, entertainment, and design worlds. TED holds two annual conferences that bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. With more than 1400 talks and FREE, the mission of TED is to spread ideas. As young educators who are still learning, TED talks are important to us because they share thoughts and ideas from such brilliant people who have experienced situations we can learn from.
This week we were giving a list of 10 of these talks that Sir Ken Robinson picked as his favorite, and were assigned to choose three to summarize and evaluate.
Shane Koyczan: "To This Day" ... for the bullied and beautiful - Melissa Canterbury
"If you have time to watch only one video today, it should probably be this one. After being posted to YouTube, animated spoken-word poem 'To This Day,' by Canadian poet Shane Koyczan, has spread like wildfire online ... Slate called the video 'beautiful,' Yahoo! News dubbed it 'powerful' and Mashable promised that it will 'reshape your views on name calling, harassment and pain.'" -The Huffington Post
Shane Koyczan is an author, poet and musician who has published three books and who also performed at the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. He turns spoken-words into music and poetry. Koyczan’s poem , “To This Day”, is a powerful story about bullying, survival and what it’s like to be young and...... different. This spoken-word poem captivated millions and is illustrated from animators all around the world.
Through humor Shane Koyczan gives a poem of what it’s like to be bullied. He begins by saying how at such young age, children are expected to find themselves and that if they didn’t others would do it for them. For example, calling other names like “geek”, “fatty”, “slut”, “fag” etc. At the same time that children are being told these names are what they are, they are asked what do they want to be. What do you want to be when you get older? Koyczan goes on to say that when he was a kid he wanted to be a marine biologist (until he saw the movie Jaws), that he wanted to be an adult, and he wanted to shave (now he has a full beard). He says that age 10 he was told his parents left because they didn’t want him, age 11 he wanted to be left alone, age 12 he wanted to die and at age 13 he wanted to kill a kid. Koyczan was then asked to choose a career path, and he said he wanted to be a writer. He was told he should choose something more “realistic”. So, he chose a professional wrestler! He was told not to be stupid. How can we ask children what they want to be or what their dreams are and then shoot them down? Not only was Koyczan called names, he dreams were called names as well.
Koyczan recalls when his dream came back to him after being criticized and ridiculed about it. He remembers his first line of poetry was in response to a world that demanded he hate himself. From a time in life, age 15-18, he hated himself and the world he lived in. He says that standing up for yourself doesn’t have to lead to violence, he would trade in homework assignments for friendship. It’s so sad but this is the world we live in. Now, with technology it is so easy to sit behind a computer and for children to cyber bully other children. I know I am not going to fix the bully situation, but I won’t allow for it to take place in my classroom.
Next, Koyczan describes how when he was a kid, he thought pork chops and karate chops were the same thing. His grandmother thought it was cute so she never corrected him. One day while playing where he shouldn’t have been, he fell from a tree. The gym teacher saw the bruises on his ride side and turned him into the principle. His response to the questions about his home life was “When I’m sad, my grandma gives me karate chops!” If only he knew this would lead into a full investigation and would be removed from his home for three days. News got around the school and he got deemed the nickname, “porkchop”.
The rest of the video is of a glorious poem with illustrations and a violin in the backdrop about bullying. Let me just say that Shane Koyczan is incredible! The emotion in his work is so inspiring and I plan to watch more of his work.
Bullying is a horrible thing. It happens in schools, there is no way to completely get rid of it, unfortunately. This video has opened my eyes to pay attention to students. Not only will I be an educator, it goes much further than teaching a lesson on multiplication. I need to be aware of the relationships in my classroom and show students that bullying is a real action and how to handle that situation.
Teaching One Child at a Time- Caitlin Lankford
Shukla Bose is the founder of Parikrma Humanity Foundation in India. For twenty six years, Bose worked in the corporate world and has never been trained to be an educator. However, one day she wanted to make a change in the education world and decided to educate children that live in the slums of India. There are 800 slums in India, and of the 800 slums, there are two million people living in those slums. Bose and her co-workers decided to walk through some of the slums to find out how many houses had children that did not go to school. They put their numbers together and found out that 200 million children, ages four to fourteen, should be going to school, but do not. There were 100 million children that went to school, but could not read, and 125 million children could not do basic math. However, Bose and her team did not want to play the number game anymore, and made an effort to make a change! They started their school during the month of June, in the slums, on a rooftop of a two-story building. When the school started in June, there were 165 children and Bose described it to be an amazing bonding experience, due to the excessive amounts of rain that month. Soon after the first school began, more schools started. There are now 1,100 children, four schools, and one junior college. Bose speaks about three myths that are believed in India. The first myth is that no one in slums can speak English. She quickly responded by saying, that the myth is not true. Bose showed a video to the audience at the TED conference of two children speaking english. The girl that was in the video, talked about a few books that she enjoys reading and that she cannot put some books down once she begins reading them. The boy in the video, explained his desire to have a bike. Bose told the audience that he has not seen a bike in person, but has done plenty of research on Google to know interesting things about bikes. The dream of Parikrma Humanity Foundation is to educate children, but most importantly to calm the children and prepare them for the real world of chaos. People that are first introduced to the foundation, think that the curriculum taught is too hard for the students, but Bose is quick to defend her students, because she says they excel in school, and do very well with the high curriculum. Another myth about Indian slums, is that parents do not like their children going to school. Wrong!! Bose said that the parents are very supportive and want to give their kids something that they don’t have and what they didn’t get as a child. At teacher parent meetings, 80% of the parents are present. Although, on more occasions 100% of the parents are present. At first, when parents registered at conferences or school meetings, they would sign in using their fingerprints, but now, the parents sign in with their signature because the students helped the parents learn how to write and sign their name. Soon, parents wanted to start learning to read and write. So Bose began an afternoon program for parents, mostly mothers. Unfortunately, 98% of the fathers are alcoholics, so the foundation sent the fathers to addiction labs, and when they were released, the foundation helped the fathers find jobs, and taught them how to cook so the children and their families would live healthier lifestyles and go to school energized. Another myth Bose discussed was that children that lived in the slums, did not integrate with “main street” (children that do not live in slums) children. Once again, that myth is incorrect. Bose presented a video of a girl that was given an opportunity to go to a camp with other students that didn’t live in slums. The girl was so excited to have been given the opportunity, and she couldn’t wait to go to the camp. She explained that she made new friends and the “main street” children treated her the same they treated everyone else. They did not bully her or treat her with different attitudes. The “main street” students were her friends. At the end of the video, the little girl began to cry because she did not want to leave the camp, because she did not want to leave her friends!! The little girl was a maid before she started school, but now she wants to be a neurologist. Sports is also a major deal at the schools. Every year, Bose’s first built school is invited to a “Best School Competition” where there are five thousand children, one-hundred and forty schools, and Bose’s school has won “Best School” three years in a row. Bose ended her presentation by saying, what is in the building is not important. The color of the walls, the toilets, and what the library looks like, is not important, all that matters is what the children are learning. I loved watching Bose speak at the TED conference. She kept the audience engaged by using humor, heart touching stories, and mind-blowing statistics. It was so heartwarming to hear about all that she has done to change the way children are being educated in the slums of India. One thing I learned from Bose, is NEVER, EVER, give up on children, no matter where they come from or what their background is. Everyone deserves a chance in this chaotic world, so we as teachers need to be patient, loving, and have a desire to change lives!!
Mae Jemison on teaching arts and sciences together - Lauren Macon
“The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin even, or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity.” - Mae Jemison
Mae Jemison is an astronaut, a doctor, an art collector, and a dancer who tells stories from her own education and from her time in space. In 1992, she was the first African American woman to go into space. She has a new vision of learning that combines science and art, intuition and logic.
Mae Jemison begins with three quotes:
“When God made the color purple, God was just showing off.” - Alice Walker
“Research is a formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” - Zora Neale Hurston
“If you don’t much care where you want to get to, then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.” - Lewis Carrol
Often when we think about the near future, we have an attitude of “whatever happens, happens.” Mae Jemison expresses that we should not have this attitude, that it does matter which way we go and what road we take. As a future educator and as a person in general, this is important to remember. She says that the most important issues for the future that we need to revitalize are the arts and sciences. What we do today, is important for the future because the world is going to be built on the ideas and creativity we came up with today. What are we contributing to that legacy? Mae Jemison says we are in a sense of failing in this. She quotes Frantz Fannon, “Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill or betray it.”
Mae Jemison’s mission is to reconcile science and the arts. What is your mission? Many people think that science and art should be separated. I agree with Mae Jemison and think that they should be combined. Others think that scientist are not creative and that artist are not analytical. How can someone think this? Who wants to be uncreative? Who wants to be illogical? Not me!
Next, she talks about her childhood in the sixties. She wanted to be a hippie and resented the fact that she was too young to be a hippie. What she took away from the sixties was that there was hope for the future. There were ideas and creativity percolating. Things that are “cool” today, are ideas from back then. She then talks about how she always wanted to go into space. She loved fashion design, dance, and art. Mae Jemison was trying to figure out if she should go to medical school or New York to become a professional dancer. What a talented woman! But, she went into space instead.
In the rest of the video, she talks about the differences between art and science. The difference is the manifestation of the same thing. They are avatars from the human creativity. Science is a manifestation of our attempt to express or share our understanding. It is experienced by everyone. Art is a desire or attempt to influence others through experiences that are curious to us as individuals. They are all part of us. Our understanding, our resources, and our will become our outcome.
Mae Jemison is so passionate about integrating arts and sciences. Ideas are like potential energy, nothing will happen until we risk putting them into action. We must take responsibility for our future. In my future classroom, I will take the responsibility for integrating science and art. Often people think that art is not important in education. I think completely opposite! Creativity is needed everyday. It is what our future relies on and if we fail at that, then our future fails. I will encourage my future students to be creative, have new ideas, and put risks into action. Before watching this video, I would have never thought about combining art and science. It opened my eyes to realize that these two need to be integrated. One thing I learned from Mae Jemison, is “Science provides an understanding of a universal experience. Arts provide a universal understanding of a personal experience.”
Sunday, July 7, 2013
“What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?” -Dr. Strange
Sir Ken Robinson is an English author, speaker, and international advisor on education in the arts to government, education, and arts bodies. He was Director of The Arts in Schools Project, in 1985–1989, a Professor of Arts Education at the University of Warwick from 1989 to 2001, and was knighted in 2003 for his services to education. Robinson’s specializes in education, creativity, and innovation and frequently speaks at conferences about those topics.
How to Escape Education’s Death Valley- Melissa Canterbury
Sir Ken Robinson begins his speech, How to Escape Education’s Death Valley, with an important statement about the drop out crisis and the students it includes. One major crisis in the education system is the dropout rate. In American society there is a 60% rate and in the Native American society, an 80% drop out rate. However, the drop out crisis does not include all the students who are in school but are disengaged in learning, don’t enjoy it and who are not getting any real benefit from it. The problem with this is not that Americans are not spending enough money or making initiatives to improve education. We spend more money on education than any other country. The problem is that education is going in the wrong direction. Sir Ken Robinson maps out the 3 principles that are crucial for the human mind to flourish but are contradicted by the current culture of education.
The first is that human beings are naturally diverse. “Education under No Child Left Behind, is not based on diversity but conformity.” -Sir Ken Robinson. Students are being evaluated on what they can do across a very narrow spectrum. One issue with No Child Left Behind, is that educators are forced to focus on the standards such as Science and Math. According to Sir Ken Robinson, these standards are necessary, but they are not sufficient. Education should be equally weighed throughout Arts, Physical Education, and Humanities as well. Robinson is quite humorous throughout his videos and especially when he mentions ADHD and that children are not suffering from a physiological condition, they are suffering from childhood. You can not assign a student worksheets and “busy work” and expect them not to get fidgety and bored. Students prosper by a broad curriculum that encourages their various talents and engages them in the learning process.
The second principle is curiosity. Students will learn better on their own if the teachers spark this principle. Children are natural learners. I LOVE what Sir Ken Robinson says about teachers and their role in the school. He says that teaching is not a “delivery system”. Teachers are not here to simply deliver information to students so that they can, as Dr. Strange would say, “burp it back” to us. “Teachers are the lifeblood of the success of schools” -Sir Ken Robinson. Yes, great teachers deliver received information. They also engage, mentor, stimulate and provoke students. He also makes a very good point about testing. Testing is important, standardized tests do have a purpose. However, tests should not be the dominant culture of learning. Tests should be diagnostic and used to help evaluate students but not the only form of evaluation.
The third principle is creativity. “Human life is inherently creative.” -Sir Ken Robinson. One role in education is to awaken the imagination and creativity in students. Our culture in education is standardized however, but it doesn’t have to be. According to Sir Ken Robinson, Finland regularly comes out on top in subjects such as Math, Reading, and Science but they have a broader curriculum and focus on Humanities and Arts as well. Finland’s education system doesn’t focus on standardized test either. Robinson also mentions that Finland doesn’t have a drop rate. At a conference recently. a representative from Finland asked why drop out when they immediately help students with their issues and support them.
“What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?” -Dr. Strange. Education will be successful once the education system adopts individualized teaching and learning, recognizes that it is the student who is learning, and engages the students curiosity, individuality, and creativity. This is how we will get our students to learn.
The Importance of Creativity- Caitlin Lankford
In the video The Importance of Creativity, filmed in 2006, Sir Ken Robinson speaks at a conference about why creativity is important. Robinson made some strong and effective points about creativity. He started his speech by saying that children starting Kindergarten, would be retiring in 2065. Robinson then asks a stunning question: what will the world look like? He said we do not know what the world will look like in 2065. Better yet, we don’t know what five years from now looks like, yet we are supposed to be teaching and preparing students for the future. Robinson said, if you are not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original, and most kids loose that “creativity” when they grow up, because they are afraid of being wrong. We live in a world where our national education systems are saying that mistakes are the worst things we can make; as a result, teachers are educating people out of their creativity! Robinson goes on to say that every education system around the world has the same hierarchy of subjects: math and language arts, humanities, and then arts. Under the arts subject, there is another hierarchy where music and art come first, then drama and dance. There is NO grade school that teaches dance the way they teach math, because mathematics and language arts are used for workforce. There are so many things we can learn from Robinson, but three main things he covered in his speech were using creativity wisely, see the capacity of creativity for what it is, and seeing children for the hope that they are. We cannot take creativity out of the learning process, because we will lose our creativity and start being afraid of being wrong. “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso
Changing Education Paradigms- Lauren Macon
In the video, Changing Education Paradigms Ken Robinson says that, “Every country on earth, at the moment, is reforming public education.” The first reason is economic, people trying to work out the question, how do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century, given that we can’t anticipate what the economy will look like at the end of next week. The second reason is cultural, trying to educate our children so they have a sense of cultural identity. He challenges the way we’re educating our children. He speaks about the way he would change education. I agree with him! The current system of education was designed for a different age. He then talks about ADHD, he says it is not an epidemic. They are being distracted from “boring stuff.” They are taking drugs to get them focused. We should be waking the students up to what the have inside of themselves. But, we are doing the exact opposite and medicating them. I could not agree more. Changing education means no more standardized test. This reminds me of the burp back education. We should do away with standardized test because that was designed for a different age. Children to not think the same way they did years ago. Everything else has changed, but not education. New school systems should cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple intelligences.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Ms. Cassidy's First Graders
I loved watching such a young age group use technology the way Ms. Cassidy's first graders did. It was no surprise though. Over the past couple of weeks I have watched many different videos of classrooms that have incorporated technology and viewed different blogs of teachers. Up until the beginning of the summer, I never really considered how much technology would play a role in my classroom. I mean I knew I would have a SMARTBoard and of course my computer, but EDM 310 has opened my eyes up to a whole other world of technology.
Ms. Cassidy's first graders were what Dr. Strange would consider "technologically literate". They were using computers, iPads, Nintendos and so much more. Her students used Skype and wrote regularly on their blogs and commented on others. They worked collaboratively to make videos of what they had learned. Ms. Cassidy's students used the computers in the classroom to visit their webpage and to create wikis. They communicated with teachers and students all over the world including EDM 310 students. The students genuinely seemed to enjoy using the technology! I was in complete awe watching these students talk about how much they enjoy what they do in Ms. Cassidy's class. They were blogging!! This is the first blog I have ever created and to be completely honest, if it wasn't for this class I might have never started one. Then there are this tiny children who are using it every day!! It amazes me and I love the reaction of the children.
The first thing I see myself incorporating in my future classroom (with no doubt in my mind), is blogging! Ms. Cassidy brings up a wonderful point that pencil and paper does not hold an audience that blogging does. As mentioned in our EDM 310 class yesterday, the broader the audience, the more likely students will try harder and give their best. Ms. Cassidy had her students write a couple of sentences on specific topics that made the students stop and think about it. Which is what we as teachers want right? We want our students to think. Another aspect of blogging that Ms. Cassidy's students pointed out as well as from personal experience, is the relationships students encounter with people all over the world. My students can learn so much from the other students. Of course writing on a regular basis improves their literacy skills.
One concern I had about blogging, which Ms. Cassidy addresses very well, is cyberbullying. I know from EDM 310 that all comments and blog posts can be monitored, however cyberbullying is a huge issue. I thought it was great hearing how the students should comment. They told us that you can only say nice things. Props to Ms. Cassidy for emphasizing that! Another impediment that might come with blogging at such a young age is jealousy. The program Ms. Cassidy uses tracks the number of views each students get.
Ms. Cassidy addresses another concern I had about blogging very well, the issue of student privacy. She encourages her students to use only their first name rather than their first and last. I think it is great Ms. Cassidy is teaching her children about internet safety at such a young age because it prepares them for the future.
Another resource I see myself incorporating in my future classroom is Skype. Ms. Cassidy's class does a wonderful job of demonstrating how great it is in the classroom. They use Skype to communicate with educators all around the world. They used it to interview questions about lessons they were learning about in class. I think having the visual interview would be so interesting for my future elementary classes!
Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy
The Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy was interesting and she makes some valid points about technology in the classroom. There is so much for me to learn as a future educator in the 21st century about technology that Ms. Cassidy demonstrates in her classroom. This educational media class has been a wonderful starting point for me as an educator and I am looking forward to having a classroom full of technology resources for my children!
For my third C4T this semester, I was assigned Steven Anderson's blog, Blogging About The Web 2.0 Connected Classroom His blog was particularly interesting to me because it concentrates on technology in the classroom, and I can relate through Dr. Strange's class. Steven Anderson is the Director of Instructional Technology for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in Winston-Salem, NC. He also regularly visits schools and districts around the country talking about the use of Social Media in the classroom. Another interesting fact to me was that he is responsible for helping create #edchat on twitter. I was introduced to #edchat and #ntchat on twitter a few weeks ago by Dr. Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. and found it VERY neat. #edchat is a weekly education discussion on Twitter that boasts over 500 weekly participants.
The first blog post I visited on Steven's blog was from June 14, 2013, titled, 5 Leadership Questions To Finish(And Start) The School Year With. Steven Anderson had spent some time recently talking with administrators in his district, discussing technology in the classroom and their vision for where they wanted to go and how they play a key role in the development of technology practices. He came up with a list of questions, and these are by far not the only to consider, to answer when getting a feel of where technology integration will take place. The questions he considers are followed:
1. To what extent do you compare and align your school technology plan with other plans such as your school improvement plan?
2. To what extent do you promote participation of your school’s stakeholders in the technology planning process of your school or district?
3. To what extent did you disseminate or model best practices in learning and teaching with technology to faculty and staff?
4. To what extent do you include the effective use of technology as a criterion for assessing the performance of faculty?
5. To what extent do you participate in professional development activities meant to improve and expand your use of technology?
In my comment to Steven, I briefly introduced myself and gave my thoughts on a few of his questions. My comment:
My name is Melissa Canterbury and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Dr. Strange has assigned us to visit other educator's blogs and to leave comments. I will be posting a summary in a couple of weeks of my visit and would love for you to leave feedback on my blog.
These questions that you have provided have been very helpful. As you may know by now, Dr. Strange's class is about preparing his students for technology in their future classroom. These are important questions to consider when evaluating and improving our technology integration. Question #5 stood out to me because I feel that is it crucial for educators to do their "homework" and educate themselves further than the traditional PD. We are just like the students here, we expect our students to spend time outside of the classroom so we should be doing more ourselves!
That question also stood out to me because of your comment about Twitter. I've always saw Twitter as a way of keeping in touch with my friends in high school and to let the world know every. single thing I was doing! However, this class has opened my eyes to another side of Twitter. I have met a few educators through this assignment and they started following me and introducing me to more educators and resources. I recently got invited to #ntchat and I am so excited to explore it!
Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed reading your blog!
The second post I commented on titled, Google Tools To Check Out was very informative to me. Other than the tools used by countless people all over the world such as Hangouts, Docs, Mail, and Search, Steven Anderson discusses a handful of Google tools beneficial in the classroom.
The first was Google Custom Search Engine- one of Steven Anderson's favorite tools. This tool allows people to do a simple search such as "dolphins" and returns with million upon millions of results! You can customize it to the sites you want to include and also allows you to control whether you are searching the entire domain or a small portion. One way for teachers to use this tool in the classroom as Steven suggests, is to start the search engine for the students and then allowing the students to add on throughout the course of the unit or school year.
The next tool was Google Keep. This is not only new to me, but to Google tool lineup as well. This tool allows you to keep notes, lists, pictures, etc. and gives you access from anywhere. It doesn't give you the option to share or make public yet, however there is no doubt it is coming. To me, it reminded me of the Padlet we used in Dr. Strange's class.
Google Mars- WAY NEAT! Have you ever wanted to visit Mars but never got the time? Google allows you to explore the planet with all it's glory! A neat way to have incorporate this in the classroom with a science project!
Next Steven introduces Public Data- This tool provides data that Steven says in relevant to making a point or a great visualization. Very beneficial for science teachers!
URL Shortner- Great way to shorten those long, hard to type, and ugly URL's. Just type in the URL and Google provides you with a shorter version. You can also track the number of clicks your URL gets, and even get a QR code to scan with you mobile device.
The last one I find the most beneficial to me, was Google For Teachers. Resources, personal stories, lesson plans, tools and solutions, programs, events, the list goes on! I will definitely be adding this to my Symbaloo page!
My comment to the Google Tools was:
WOW! I loved each and everyone of these tools. Thank you so much for sharing! I have never even heard of these before. My favorite would have to be Google For Teachers because I spent some time exploring it more. I think it is most beneficial to me because I am just starting my teaching journey and it has so many resources to help me started!
I did however check out Flubaroo as mentioned in one of the comments! I am in LOVE. I will definitely be adding that to my Symbaloo page to make grading easier.
Thank you so much again for sharing.
Also, I published a summary of the two blog posts of yours that I visited, I would love for you to read it and leave feedback!
Sunday, June 30, 2013
"What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?" -Dr. Strange
As I was preparing myself and getting comfy on my sofa to watch an hour long video titled, Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, Dr. Strange's question repeated over and over in my head. I thought I would be watching a lecture of teaching styles, probably technology in the classroom, or even a lecture of student/teacher interaction. I was wrong! Randy Pausch was such a powerful motivational speaker who inspired people to follow their heart and chase their childhood dreams. I was the child who would set my stuffed animals up in rows and "teach" to them in my bedroom. My dream has always been to be an educator and to help children. When I opened the link to start the video, Randy Pausch immediately begins with jokes and a slideshow of his fight with cancer. Not only does he speak to people about thier faith in their dreams, he is a living testament of what he is speaking! This was an amazing video!
Okay, I am getting off track from the assignment. "Brick walls are there for a reason, let us prove how badly we want things." -Randy Pausch. How true is this, though? In the classroom brick walls are everywhere. We are going to have those darling little ones who just don't get the lesson or just won't focus. As the teacher do we just give up on those students? Stop teaching them? No!! We work with them and give them the attention and resources they need to succeed. We hit that brick wall to see how badly we want to help them. I WILL be the teacher who pushes my students to chase their dreams so fast and never give up!
"You can not change the cards you were dealt, you can only change the way you play your hand" -Randy Pausch. I can't expect the perfect classroom, school, and 100% of my students eager to learn and baby Einsteins. I need to be the teacher that makes the most of every situation for my students. Only 3 iPads in the classroom? Do collaborative lessons! Make the classroom fun!! Even though Randy Pausch refers to this as being a motto to live your everyday life, it will be a motto for my classroom as well. What I am taking from Randy Pausch's Last Lecture is to never give up on my students, enable their dreams and make learning enjoyable.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Sunday, June 23, 2013
What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers? -Dr. Strange
Making Thinking Visible: Melissa Canterbury
In the video Making Thinking Visible, Mark Church, a sixth grade teacher at International School Amsterdam, asks his students to talk among their small groups about a video they watched in class the day before. He gives them time to discuss within their groups and asks them to come up with a headline to capture what the video was all about and what exactly did what they watch mean. Church gave his students a strip of paper to write their headline on after they decided on something as a group. I liked that he put the students into groups and asked them to work together to come up with a headline. By doing that, he is engaging the students and allowing them to learn from other students in their group. We can learn from Mark Church his way of engaging the students in the thinking process. Church gave the students an opportunity to share their own opinions and then showing them how to work in groups to come up with a final decision for the headline. I really like the idea of students working in small groups and I think that keeps them engaged in the lesson. From personal experience, I love working in groups and hearing what my classmates say because sometimes I can’t explain what I am thinking or put it in the right words and my group members help me get it out. I love learning from other educators and think it is only beneficial to us especially as young teachers with little or no experience in the classroom.
Back to the Future: Caitlin Lankford
In the video Back to the Future Brian Crosby, a fourth, fifth, and sixth grade science and technology teacher, was describing how he “runs” things in his classroom. Crosby talked about how all of his students have a computer, access to a web camera, and their own blog. Basically what Crosby was focusing on in his presentation, was that he does a learning activity with his students, and then to assess them, he makes the students write about it in their blog! How neat? Crosby’s class is very focused on technology activities, yet very hands-on. For instance, Crosby and his class, made a hot air balloon go into high altitudes of the sky and attached a camera to the balloon so that they may be able to receive information from where the balloon is. The children discussed the learned information on their blog and wrote a book about their findings. The children received numerous amounts of positive comments on their research and findings! I love what Crosby did with his class; he made learning fun! I hope that one day, I will have the means to do something special with my class just as Crosby did with his.
Blended Learning Cycle: Lauren Macon
In the video, Blended Learning Cycle Mr. Paul Anderson, a high school AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana explains how he is using the blending learning cycle in his classroom. Blending Learning is taking the parts of online, mobile, and classroom learning and blending them together in a classroom. The Learning Cycle is composed of engaging questions, exploring experiments, explaining the phenomenon, expanding on it, and then evaluating. This is what inspired the Blended Learning Cycle. Mr. Anderson begins his class with a good question about a phenomenon. I think this is a great way to start your class off! It gets the students attention and gets their interest. Asking questions is something I will use in my future classroom. After the question, he explains we should be prepared for investigation/inquiry, video, elaboration, review, and a summary quiz. He uses different types of technology during this process. I also explored his blog, Bozemanscience. His blog has hundreds of science videos that he created. He is always learning new things and sharing them. I learned that you should let your students be in control of their learning, questions are important, and that you can learn with your students too. Watching Mr. Anderson’s video was very beneficial. I will use these skills in my future classroom!
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
For this week’s blog post assignment our group wanted to find assistive apps for iPads. Since iPads are becoming more common in the classroom, we decided this would be the most beneficial to us. Specialized apps for special needs children allow the students to still be connected with the other students using the iPads, however they have their personalized programs that help expand their own learning experience.
iWriteWords: Melissa Canterbury
iWriteWords is an app for the iPad that teaches students fine motor skills, handwriting and literacy through entertaining games. It is a perfect app for individual seat work for the special needs children who struggles with the traditional worksheet. After looking around on Pinterest and special education boards, iWriteWords caught my attention. The students help Mr. Crab collect numbers in sequence by dragging with their fingers and drawing the letter at the same time. After the student traces each letter, the program says the letter aloud and then says the word that the letters make. This app is designed for younger elementary students as they learn their sight words and handwriting. iWriteWords can be purchased in the app store on iTunes for only $2.99, which I think is great! The cheaper the better, although it isn’t the price I prefer, which is FREE, it is still very affordable.
Dragon Dictation: Caitlin Lankford
Dragon Dictation is an iPad app not only designed for children, but is for adults too. This app is similar to Siri on the iPhone, and just like Siri, Dragon Dictation records what you say and not only gives you the option of sending your words through text messaging, but also via email, Twitter, and/or Facebook. Therefore, when used in the classroom, the teacher can email, or text the child’s progress to himself, the parent, speech pathologist, and/or principal. Also, when used in the classroom, struggling speakers can record what they say, hear it read back to them, and see their words on the screen. For those who have a difficult time speaking certain letters in words, such as saying “w” instead of “l,” this app is an easy and effective way of correcting the speech. To make this app even better, it is FREE!!
ArtikPix: Lauren Macon
ArtikPix is a FREE iPad app designed for children to receive speech practice and self-monitor their productions during flashcard and matching activities. More decks are available for purchase individually or in groups. When using this in the classroom, the teacher can create their own flashcards using illustrations or photos and share them. This is a great and fun way for students to practice his/her sounds in spelling words or individualized sentences. Then, share them with other ArtikPix users via an email attachment. This allows the teacher to customize the student learning experience when used in the flashcard and matching activities. If you have the full version of ArtikPIx, you can combine decks and configure sound groups. It also collects scores, which is great for the teacher to monitor the progress of the student. To facilitate speech practice, there are audio and visual options. There are also options to enable varying levels of students.
I was SO excited when I saw I was assigned Dr. Will Deyamport's blog, Peoplegogy for my second C4T! Even though we had no video, I really enjoyed the Hangout session we had with him and was looking forward to learning more about what he had to offer. After introducing myself to him through my first comment, I left a link to my page on Blogger and asked him to visit and feel free to leave feedback. I was surprised he actually did! I've heard before that educators will probably not comment back to us, however not only did Dr. Deyamport comment back to me, he left comments on my own blog posts, followed me on Twitter, and also added me to Google+. He is now a part of my personal learning network that I am building.
The first post I viewed on Dr. Deyamport's blog was titled Youtube Training Video. It was a tutorial video showing all the ways to explore Youtube. He really emphasized the way educators can use Youtube in the classroom and not just how we can keep up with all the Justin Beiber music video. Dr. Deyamport introduced me to a couple of resources that would be helpful to me, the one that really caught my attention was TED-Ed. TED-Ed is the educational channel of TED Talks. I have never heard of TED Talks before but what I was really interested in as an educator, was the TED-Ed. It provides educators with lessons through Youtube videos. I am still exploring the website more and what all it offers.
In my comment to Dr. Deyamport's Youtube video, I introduced myself and told him how excited I was to learn more about the face behind the Hangout session we had in class. I was honest with Dr. Deyamport about my first thought when I saw the title "Youtube Training Video". I was totally closed minded and thought to myself, what more could I possible learn from Youtube when I watch reruns of "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" all the time? Well I was wrong and learned a lesson to keep an open mind because everyone knows education never stops!! I also told Dr. Deyamport about how he taught me about the different channels. I knew before the video that people had profiles once they became active on Youtube, however I never really thought to visit them. Dr. Deyamport showed me different profiles I can use as an educator. Lastly, I thanked Dr. Deyamport for his video and asked him to visit my page and to feel free to leave feedback.....and he did! :)
The next post I viewed on Dr. Will Deyamport's blog was even more interesting to me! This post was titled, Edmodo Training Video. Like the first post I viewed, it was a tutorial on Edmodo. The reason I was so interested in this post was because not too long ago, Dr. Strange assigned us a blog post to find technological tools for our classrooms. I chose Edmodo! I was excited to see an educators point of view on the website. Dr. Deyamport walks his viewers through Edmodo and shows everything an educator would need to know from posting an assignment to creating communities.
In my comment to Dr. Deyamport, I told him about the assignment Dr. Strange gave us and how I chose Edmodo. I explained how I'm active on social media sites and how I really like the idea of having that connection with my students and their parents. I pointed out that one of my favorite parts of this website is that not only can I have teachers I work with in my online community, but also teachers all over the district. I love seeing educators' different points of views and especially right now being so young in the field, I love learning from all the different educators! I did set up an account on Edmodo, however since I don't have the educators, students, etc. to make my communities, I can't really see all the benefits and how to use it fully. I thanked Dr. Deyamport for this helpful video and explained I would be summarizing what I've learned and my comments on a blog post.
I think Dr. Deyamport will visit again and leave his feedback. I am looking forward to learning more from him and about technology in the classroom throughout my journey to becoming an educator!
Monday, June 17, 2013
I chose Symbaloo to begin my personal learning network. So far it consists of tools I use daily such as Pinterest and my Gmail. I added education sites such as TeacherTube and PBSTeachers to my PLN. My webmix is organized by color tiles in categories such as education resources and social websites I use everyday. I am looking forward to adding on to my PLN throughout the semester!
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
"What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?" -Dr. Strange
We all know by now that in order for project based learning to be successful, the students in your classroom must be involved and engaged in the learning process. Asking students' questions is the best way to increase student interaction.
To answer Dr. Strange's question, What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher, I needed to do a little research on questions in the classroom and what types of questions are out there. There are two types of questions: open-ended questions and closed-ended questions. An open-ended question encourages participation and provides more information, whereas a closed-ended question can be answered with a simple yes or no response. Joanne Chesley makes a valid point to think about in her YouTube video, Asking Better Questions in the Classroom Pt. 1. Chesley points out that we are getting exactly what we ask for when questioning in the classroom. The educator needs to put thought into the types of questions before they teach a lesson. If we ask our students closed-ended questions, we are not encouraging them to open their minds and engage in the learning process, therefore we get a closed-ended response.
Now that I know what kind of questions there are and what kinds I will be using in my classroom, I need to know how to ask these questions effectively. Maryellen Weimer recommends three actions to preform that have the potential to improve our questioning in her blog post, Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom. First she recommends preparing the questions. Instead of spending so much time focusing on the content and just asking a question when it comes to you, Weimer suggests writing out the questions ahead of time and thinking about appropriate times to ask them and it is really irrelevant to the learning process. Will this question make the child to think or will it give me a closed-ended response? Next Weimer suggests playing with the questions. Often students will stop thinking about a question once the teacher announces that it has been answered correctly. Instead, she tells us to give the students time to put thought into the question. Whether it be to talk among their peers collaboratively or for them to brainstorm for five minutes on a piece of paper. The educator can also ask the question and give the students overnight to think about an answer. Playing with the questions keeps the questioning process engaging and allows the student to be more involved in the learning process. If educators only announce the correct answer immediately after the question, students are not using their thought process to really think about the question in depth. Weimer also recommends preserving good questions. Questions can be kept she says. If a student in a previous class asks a great question, share it with your other classes. Revising our own questions with questions the students are asking can help teach the content better.
There are different types of questions we need to know about and how to use them correctly in order to be an effective teacher. We also need to know how to improve our questions in order to be effective. Educators do not know everything. Even if our little six and seven year old students think their "Superhuman Teachers" know everything in the world, we don't. We as educators need to teach students the importance of questions and how they make us think. As Maryellen Weimer says, there are going to be students who ask us questions that we are not able to answer. When that day comes for me as an educator I will be excited to find out the answer with my students, and show them more personally the importance of questions.
"We hear only those questions for which we are in a position to find answers." -Friedrich Nietzsche Students will only "hear" or engage in the questions educators ask them if they are "in a postition" or required to find the answers themselves. We need to be able to provide them with the types of questions that require them to think and explore their minds more.