Thursday, March 27, 2014

Future Employers

While I am not currently using this blogger account actively, this site demonstrates my ability to bring technology to the classroom in new and exciting ways.  Blogger itself  is a great resource for classroom communication between students, parents and the teachers as it forms an ongoing learning environment outside of the classroom. It provides students with a way to share with their families what they are learning in class while also providing a mode of ongoing communication with the teacher. The pages and posts on this account demonstrate a few of the endless possibilities to use technological tools such as I-movie, Prezi, Microsoft Word and Excel, Garage Band, Inspiration,  Google Pages and Google Docs.  Explore my many pages and posts to see how technology can bring education to life!

Monday, May 2, 2011

I-Movie PSA


NETS 1,2,3
This is a Video I made using I-Movie. I imported video and audio clips into I-movie and used editing to create an original public service announcement.  I included screen effects, transitions, freeze frames, and voice overs.


video

Monday, April 18, 2011

Journal 10: Learning Connections: Find Free Tools and More NETS-T 1,2,3,4

Ribera, M. (2011). Learning connections: find free tools and more. Learning and Leading with Technology, 38(6), Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/issues/Learning_Connections_Find_Free_Tools_and_More.aspx

This article discusses a great web resource for teachers called, EduTecher. This online site was developed by Adam Bellow, director of technology for College Board Schools and an ISTE emerging leader and therefore directly addresses teachers needs. This is a free of cost and free of ads site that catalogs and shares web tools for for the classroom at all grade levels and disciplines. This site is now in its third redesign, and contains more than 1000 links for teachers, students and parents of all different technological experience levels. Bellow includes sites designed for classroom use as well as others that can be re-purposed for the classroom using his explanation of how to incorporate the site into your lesson. Each site has a clear explanation of how it can be used beneficially in the classroom from a former educators perspective. This site also has a collaborative aspect, as each link allows users to leave feedback and questions. Users an also leave their own links and web tools for other teachers to use. This web resources has a great search tool that allows teachers to find specific sites to enrich their lessons regardless of time restraints. EduTecher is also readily available to teachers due to its availability on mobile applications such as the i-phone and other smart mobile devices.

Question 1: How will this site help you as a new teacher?

This site will be very beneficial to me as a new teacher as it will help me develop lessons using web 2.0 tool that will engage my students and connect with the standards of my lessons. I will also be able to use it to collaborate with other educators and ask questions about how to use the site or complete a lesson.

Question 2:

Did you find this article useful?

Yes, I did find this article helpful as I was not aware of this site beforehand, and it sounds like a great tool that I will be able to use throughout my teaching career.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Journal 9: "Teaching Green" NETS-T 1,2

Waters, John. (2011). Teaching green. The Journal, 38(4), Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/research/2011/04/digital-edition_april_pdf/asset.aspx?tc=assetpg&returnkey=DUc5hIYTuX9Y8Xmk4MsZaQse9VSulSL2

Summary:
In this article the author, John Waters, discusses educational websites that address the National Environmental Education Act enacted by President Nixon in the 1960's. These websites all provide resources for students and teachers about "green teaching and learning". The first website is called, "Classroom Earth". Directed towards high school students, this site encourages inclusion of environmental science into other high school subjects. There are resources for students and teachers including lesson plan ideas. The next source was "Walk in the Woods", a website for younger students grade 3-5 who are not often exposed to true nature. This offers a virtual tour trip through the woods in either English or Spanish that includes notes, picture snapshots, and identifies Illinois statewide learning goals, as well as sample lesson activities. "EEK" or "Environmental Education for Kids" is for student’s grade 4-8 and is in the form of an online magazine. It provides lessons on an array of environmental subjects, and also has a great teacher’s page with tips for teachers and subject specific lessons. "The Ecological Footprint Quiz" allow Highschool students to take a test to see how many planet earths it would take to sustain their lifestyle, hence showing them their environmental footprint. This will encourage students to live more sustainably to preserve our earth. "Power Up" is an online multi-player game in which participants get to save a foreign world from their environmental disasters. It also provides a parents guide and a lesson plan for teachers. Finally, the "US Environmental Protection Agency Teaching Center" is a teacher focused site that offers resources, lesson plans and helpful articles and tools separated for specific grade levels.

Question 1: How could you use these websites in your classroom?

I could use these websites in many ways as helpful resources for my class. Some of these sites I can use in my planning stages to prepare lessons for my class, and research environmental issues. Other sites students will be able to go onto during class to complete objectives, while others students can use on their own to complete assignments at home.

Question 2: Which of these sites do you believe sounds the most useful?

While all of these sites offer several useful tools, I believe the Ecological Footprint site is a great tool to allow students to visualize the damage done to the earth by not living sustainably. I used this site for one of my college courses, and it had a lot to offer students, and would be great at the high school level as well. When your Ecological footprint is high, it teaches you how to bring your score down and shows you how to live more sustainably.

Journal 8: "Point/Counterpoint: Should Schools Be Held Responsible for Cyberbullying" NETS-T 4

Bogacz, R, & Gordillo, M, G. (2011). Point/counterpoint: should schools be held responsible for cyber bullying. Learning and Leading with Technology, 38(6), Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Libraries/Leading_and_Learning_Docs/March-2011-Point-Counterpoint.sflb.ashx

Summary:
In this article, the point and counterpoint to the argument against schools responsibility in the battle against cyber bullying are addressed. Renee Bogacz offers the argument that that teachers and administration are responsible along with parents and students. This is because whether the bullying occurs on or of campus, the damage will greatly affect the schools environment as well as teenage culture. She argues that in order to make a change away from cyber bullying, teachers, administration parents and students must all work together and be on the same page. Teachers must begin by listening to their students and providing them with available resources. Administration must then establish clear consequences and follow threw with them so students know this behavior is not tolerated. Parents must monitor their children’s cell phone and computer use, and insist that they delete offensive material. Finally, students need to understand what cyber bullying is and take a stand against it by not being a bystander, but rather encouraging other students to report it.
The counter-argument was written by Migual Gordillo. He argued that schools can not be held responsible for behaviors that have been learned at home. He claims that today’s society has lost touch with the institution of functional families. With more and more kids living in broken homes, dual income homes, and young uneducated parents, more kids are not being offered the LOVE they need to learn compassion and tolerance towards others. Since parents are the primary educators, they must learn how to raise their children how to treat others, and the difference between right and wrong. In his opinion, educators can help parents with this by communicating with the parents about their educational plan for their children, and providing them with helpful resources.

Question 1: Do you agree with the argument, or counter-argument?

While the counter-argument is true that most behavior problems are learned at home, I believe the argument is correct that it is the responsibility of teachers, administration and parents to ensure children’s cyber safety. All of the above are responsible for teaching, monitoring and protecting children’s safety since they are all role models and positive influences on children’s development.

Question 2: What ways can you influence your students to take a stand against cyber bullying?

I believe it is important to teach students about what cyber bullying is and how they can recognize it. I believe a great time to do this would be during character lessons, when you can address what is right and what is wrong. Students will learn what cyber bullying is, how it can affect classmates, and what they can do to make a difference.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Journal 7: My Personal Learning Network NETS-T 4,5

My Personal Learning Network or PLN is important because it allows me to collaborate with other educators and continue learning about emerging theories in education. A PLN is a collection of social media networks in which you can connect with people who share similar interests and collaborate with one another about ideas, educational resources, and helpful on line links. It is therefore very important as a classroom teacher to establish a PLN as it connects you to others around the world and allows you to stay up to date with emerging technological advances and educational practices.

Twitter is a great addition to a professional PLN. While it is often looked at negatively due to its social and gossip aspects, many people fail to realize the networks endless educational possibilities. There are many people, my self included, who use twitter strictly as an educational and collaborative tool. On my Twitter account I currently have just over ten followings who are all classmates, future teachers, or current educators. By following such people, we will be able to view each other tweets, and collaborate on our shared interest of education. On twitter I also participated in an online chat sessions, in which educators around the world all meet to communicate about a specific topic over the period of one hour. I participated in the #edchat discussion on Tuesday April 5th from nine to ten am. The topic of the chat was, "Social Media is a professional tool for successful exchange of information and collaboration. How do we involve more educators". This topic was strangely relevant to my participation in the chat, as it directly addressed the importance of establishing a PLN. During the chat, I was more of an observer then anything else, as I was a little overwhelmed by the vast participation, and fast pace of the tweets. I could barely keep up, reading all the tweets but did read some very inspirational ideas about how to show others that social media can be a great educational tool.

Diigo, is another great tool for educators, as it saves you the step of searching for creditable and useful on line material and resources. Diigo is a social bookmarking tool that allows you to bookmark sites and tag them with helpful key words. Through such keywords you are able to find other sites regarding the information that other educators have already tagged as valuable. In my Diigo account, I picked my followings by first looking for others with the ed422 tag. I then explored others followings to find people who had bios that sounded like they would be a positive person to follow and learn from their bookmarked pages. I found my bookmarked PLN pages by searching PLN tags and choosing ones I thought connected to this class and my future. The first site was titled "How to use Twitter to grow Your PLN" and was an article about twitter by Edutopia.  This site listed many different educational hash tags and chats, and was a very positive site for PLN building.  The second site was titled, "Personal Learning Networks are Virtual Lockers for Schoolkids" and was also an article by Edutopia.  The final site I tagged PLN was a google site titled "building a PLN".  This was a very useful resources with links, videos and descriptions regarding PLN building. 

Finally, I became a member of classroom 2.0. This is a social media site for classroom educators who are interested in web 2.0 where they can read articles, watch videos, participate in chats and blogs and collaborate with others. Like other social networking sites, this allows you to create your own blog and follows others, except unlike twitter, it is limited to educators, which eliminated the gossip aspect. On this site I explored the elementary school 2.0 blog, which was designed to discuss the specific challenges of social media at the elementary level. On this blog people placed links to their own blogs and shared their experiences with incorporating technology in the classroom.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Journal 6: "Grow Your Personal Learning Network" NETS-T 3,4,5

Warlick, D. (2009). Grow your personal learning network. Learning and Leading with Technology, 36(6), Retrieved from http://www.learningandleading-digital.com/learning_leading/200904?pg=15&pm=1&fs=1#pg14

Summary: In this article the author, David Warlick, explains the importance of maintaining a Personal Learning Network to establish life long learning. He writes that, "Technology has inspired a shift from a hunting-and-gathering information economy to the domestication of the information landscape"(Warlick, 2009). This refers to the vast amount of information available to educators who have established a network of peers to collaborate and gain information, without aimlessly searching in textbooks and other sources.
Warlick identifies 3 types of PLN's used to establish collaboration with others. The first is a personally maintained synchronous connection. This is the traditional network which is like attending a meeting with out the restrictions of being in the same room. The second is referred to as, personally and socially maintained semi synchronous connection. This refers to the conversations you can have through your PLN's with out the constraint of time, so people can respond when it is convenient for them. The final category is referred to as dynamically maintained asynchronous connections. In comparison to the first two categories which connect you to other people, this branch connects you with useful content sources such as education blogs and social bookmarking tools. This will be useful to you when you are searching for information because rather than getting ALL the information that has been posted on the internet about a particular subject to search through, you will only be given the sources that others have found useful, and are pre-recommended for that subjects use. All of your many PLN paths, through both new and old technology, lead to the same goal of reflecting and knowledge building and will assist you with your life long learning.

Question 1: What resources will you include in your PLN?

So far, I have already found many helpful resources to use to build a strong PLN. This includes, twitter and educational #tags, Diigo’s social bookmarking, TaskStream, and Skype. I hope that through these sources I will be able to expand my PLN by collaborating with others and learning of great new sources.

Question 2: What is one advantage to establishing a PLN?

A PLN allows me to expand my learning by collaborating with others who have similar interests. Through resources like Twitter, I can connect with fellow educator and we can share helpful links, and new ways of thinking with one another. This allows me to gain support from people all over the globe in which we can discuss educational tools and discover new techniques. My PLN will also separate useful resources from non-useful sources which will save me time and effort in the long run.