EDU 305 Blog 4

This blog post is a reflection on my learning this semester in EDU 305 “Web 2.0 Technologies for Public Schools.” After reviewing  the ISTE Standards-T again, I choose three concepts that I feel strongly about. In this blog, I will describe how I want to use technology in my future classroom in accordance with the three standards I chose.

Standard 2c: Customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources

I am a big proponent of diversity. I believe that diversity makes the world beautiful and interesting. I believe that diversity in a classroom can either be challenging or used as a great learning tool if used correctly. Students have the ability to learn so much more than content in a diverse classroom. They can learn awareness of others, respect for different cultures and languages and different learning styles. A teacher of a diverse classroom must be able to personalize lessons and learning activities to address students diverse learning styles, working strategies and abilities using digital tools and resources. Using technology in the classroom allows room for diversity in assignments. For example, storyjumper is a website that I have mentioned previously in Blog 1. Storymaking websites are a great tool for students to be able to show diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using a digital tool. In my future classroom, after teaching a lesson, I would storyjumper or another digital storybook website as a formal assessment tool. I would allow students to decide if they would like to work in a group or by themselves. Then I would have students look at a storyjumper book I made. I would give my students a blank rubric and help them fill out expectations for their product. I would allow them to decide what their book should contain, how long it should be and how the information should be presented. Once the student/s and I agree on their individual or group rubrics, I would allow them to start working on their digital storybook using either storybird, storybook, or storyjumper websites. This assignment may take them several class periods to complete. As the teacher, my job would be to facilitate my students learning. I would identify individual needs and assist in any way I could. The goal of this assignment is to allow the students to have differentiation in their digital learning. I would want my students to feel like they are in charge of their learning and they are able to make a product that accurately represents how they learn and what they know. Once the stories are complete they would submit the assignment on our classroom twitter account by telling 1-2 sentences about their book and attaching the URL to their twitter post. Then I would use the rubrics they created to grade their assignments. I feel that using a digital story is a great way for students to be able to show their individuality in the classroom. Depending on what website they chose to use, students could upload pictures (with permission of the people in the pictures) and personalize their stories. This assignment allows students freedom to create digitally and allows the teacher to facilitate in that learning, but not take over and conform students to one product or way of thinking. Each product will be different and unique like the students in my class will be.

Standard 3c: Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats

Communication is extremely important in a classroom. Communication among parents, teachers, peers and administration are a few forms of communication that take place in an American school in the twenty-first century. An educator must be effective at communication. Teachers must keep parents, students and administrators up to date on the learning and activities that are taking place in the classroom. I plan on communicating in several different digital formats with parents, students and administrators.

Parents: I plan on communicating with parents through weekly or bi-weekly newsletters, whichever I feel is more necessary once I begin teaching. I will use a spreadsheets document of students information to personalize these newsletters with parents names and students names before emailing them to each parent. Using a spreadsheets document to personalize newsletters will save me time as a teacher and parents will appreciate the personalization of my note.

Students: I plan on communicating with my students in many ways. One way I look forward to communicating with my students is through social media. I can use twitter or Instagram to send homework or assignment reminders, give extra credit or update students about school events. I could post a picture of something or a question and tell my students that responding to the post will get them one point of extra credit for their next assessment. I can also have students post a link to their digital assignments on social media for the rest of the class to see. Social media would be a fun way for me to communicate and interact with students. If students do not have access to social media I can use other forms of communication such as newsletters or verbal communication.

Administrators: Professional communication is extremely important for administrators. I want the administrators at my school to trust that I will communicate effectively with them. I will use a spreadsheet of student information to record grades and compare the pre and post assessment progress of my students. I will share these numbers with my administrators so they know I am being an effective teacher. I will also have the spreadsheet set up and updated for when an administrator wants to know the progress of my students on a lesson or assignment. Keeping a spreadsheet of students scores and progress is a simple way to communicate with administrators that I care about my students and the progress that they make in my class.

Standard 4a: Advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources

I believe this standard is so important to teach to the twenty-first-century learner because  technology is so prominent in their lives. If children do not learn about good digital citizenship in school then where will they learn it? To be a good teacher of digital citizenship, an educator must also be a good example of digital citizenship. As an educator, I plan to always cite my sources of information in proper MLA or APA formatting at the end of slides or presentations. I will use music in presentations that is either on public domain or that I have purchased legally. I will make my students aware of how artist make their money and how the illegal downloading of music is unethical and evokes bad digital citizenship. I have a video about how to be responsible while using social media that I made in my EDU 305 class. I plan on showing this video to my class and getting feedback on how the video made them feel or think. I will expect them to cite sources they use in their work and give proper credit to all parties involved. I will also be a good example by providing credit for any lessons I use from the internet or from another teacher in my school. Being a good example for my students is important to me as a perspective educator.

 

Advertisements

EDU 305 Blog 3

Part 1

Blogs are a great way to communicate with students and parents. Teachers can use blogs to publish assignments, resources and to keep students and parents up to date on classroom information. Students can use blogs to practice their writing skills and publish their thoughts or ideas on the internet (How To Use Blogs In the Classroom). I would use a blog in my classroom to communicate with students and parents. I would make weekly newsletters and post them on my blog for students and parents to read. In the newsletters, I would include what we did in class that week, what went well and what did not go so well and a short snapshot of what units we will cover the following week. I would also use the newsletters to talk about any special events going on in the school, such as pajama day or a can drive. In addition to giving them out in class, I would use my blog to post homework assignments. Posting homework assignments on my blog would help families who live in separate households. It would give them a place to go if students left a homework assignment at one parents house. It would also be a resource for parents to keep up with their children’s learning. In addition to posting homework assignments, I would post extra resources for students and parents to use. I would post good websites for practice quizzes and upload worksheets students can use if they need or want any extra practice on a topic. In the blog post “EDU 305 Blog 2,” I talked about an assignment I would give to a diverse classroom using my blog. I would use my blog in other assignments, such as that one, that create unity among my students and allow them to practice their writing skills. Having students comment on my blog would allow me to get to know them better, their thoughts and opinions and their styles of writing. These are just a few ways I would use a blog to communicate with students and parents.

Source: “How To Use Blogs In the Classroom – ELearning Industry.” ELearning Industry RSS. 2013. Web. 10 Feb. 2016.

Part 2

For part 2 of my blog I viewed the programs, Animoto, GoAnimate, and Voki. I will discuss the “good,” the “bad,” and how I would use these programs in a classroom.

Animoto

Description: Animoto is a website that allows users to create videos. Once a user signs up for a free account, they can make videos by choosing templates or starting from scratch. A user can upload his or her own video footage or pictures to use in the video. After the video is created a user has the option to save or publish his or her video.

The good: Animoto was easy to sign up and easy to use. The website provides a variety of free templates, such as templates for holidays, family, education and business videos. The website made it very easy to upload personal videos or photographs. The website was free and easy to use.

The bad: The website did not allow quite as much freedom as iMovie or other movie making software programs. It does not have the option to record a voice to include in the video. Other than the video templates, the website did not have any animated pictures or characters to include in the video.

Application to the classroom: I would use Animoto in a unit teaching social studies standard 5.C.1.4 which says, “Understand how cultural narratives (legends, songs, ballads, games, folktales and art forms) reflect the lifestyles, beliefs and struggles of diverse ethnic groups.”  I would use Animoto to create a video of me explaining how legends, songs, ballads, games, folktales and art forms reflect the lifestyles, beliefs and struggles of a specific ethnic group. After I taught a lesson on this topic, I would show the video I made to my class. I would have each student choose a different ethnic group and create a video that explains the same things about their chosen ethnic group. I would then have a presentation day in class where we watch everyone’s video about cultural narratives in different ethnic groups. I would create a rubric as a guide for students to follow while creating their video. My goal for this assignment would be for the students to understand what a cultural narrative is and why they are important in understanding ethnic groups as a whole.

GoAnimate

Description: GoAnimate is another website where a user can create a video. The difference between Animoto and GoAnimate is GoAnimate only produces animated videos. The website has lots of characters and background choices. A user can add sound, text bubbles and props to their video and publish the video when it is finished.

The good: This website is easy to use and has a tutorial to watch before making a video. There are a lot of characters and props to choose from. A user can make a character’s mouth move to make it look like it is talking. The website looks very professional and is set up in a user-friendly manner. Users can save or publish their videos.

The bad: The downside to this website is that you only have a free trial once you sign up. After a certain amount of days, you have to pay to make a video on the website. There is a fourteen-day free trial for one teacher and forty-nine students to use. The other downside to this website is that the videos can only be animated and a user does not have the option to upload personal videos or photos. A user is limited to what the website provides.

Application to the classroom: I would use GoAnimate to show proficiency in common core standard CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.4 which says, “Report on a topic or text or presents an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.” I would have my students read an article or watch a video about the historical development of local governments (which covers standard 3.C&G.1.1 Summarize the historical development of local governments) and then have them create a video on GoAnimate that reports their findings on the historical development of local governments. To cover  common core standard CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.4 and NC essential standard 3.C&G.1.1, I would expect their videos to summarize the historical development of local governments while supporting the main ideas or themes and speaking clearly and at an understandable pace. I could sign up for a free 14-day trial to allow my students to create their video without any additional cost to the school. My goal for this video would be for my students to show proficiency and understanding in both standards and provide students with a fun assignment they could publish to the internet if they wanted to.

Voki

Description: Voki is a website where a user can make a speaking character for education. Users have a variety of options when making a character, they can choose from different hair colors, skin tones and lip shapes. The voki character will move its mouth while the sound is playing to make it look like the character is talking. A voki can be saved and added to a slideshow presentation.

The good: A voki can be created in twenty-five different languages. The website was simple and easy to use. A teacher could create a voki and add it to presentations. A teacher could then post the presentation to their blog or website. If a student missed class they could watch the presentation on the teacher’s blog or website to get caught up.

The bad: Voki is not a free program to use in a classroom. Ir requires a yearly membership fee. Voki also does not run well on Mac computers.

Application to the classroom: I probably would not use Voki in a classroom because of the yearly subscription costs, however, I do like the idea of adding vocals to presentations. I might take the idea and record myself teaching a lesson and post the lesson to my blog for students and parents to view. I could also record myself talking and add it to a powerpoint presentation. I like the voki website, but I think there are other ways to use sounds in presentations that are free for teachers to use.

Part 3

I Read these articles on using Twitter and Instagram in the classroom:

How Twitter Can Be Used as a Powerful Educational Tool

Everything YOU need to know about Teaching with Instagram

Using Instagram as a Classroom Tool

Twitter EDU

Ideas that I concluded from these articles pieces: All of these articles were very interesting. My personal favorite was “How Twitter Can Be Used as a Powerful Education Tool.” I am not a savy twitter user but I like that twitter can be used to to connect to students and expand on their learning. I believe that using social media effectively in the classroom teaches students digital citizenship and how to have a positive online presence. I liked that a teacher found a way to incorporate instagram in her classroom (Dallas). After reading these articles, I dediced that I would like to use Twitter and Instagram in my classroom one day. I would like to create a project where students use hashtags on twitter to learn about current events and gather local opinions about those events (November & Mull). I would like to use instagram to share comical meems with students and start good conversations (Dallas). I could use Instagram in a homework assignment by posting something and having my students comment on the post. If some students do not have access to instagram I could use my blog for this homework assignment as well (Dallas). November and Mull, authors of “How Twitter can be used as a Powerful Education Tool” said that “Teachers should be able to use social media to connect their students to real-world problems.” I agree with this statement. Teachers should be able to integrate social media into thier units to make the information relatable for students. As Dallas says in her blog, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

Sources:

Dallas. “Nerdy, Nerdy, Nerdy!” : Using Instagram as a Classroom Tool. 25 June 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2016.

November, Alan, and Brian Mull. “Twitter as a Powerful Educational Tool | Using Twitter Hashtags.” November Learning. 18 Oct. 2012. Web. 10 Feb. 2016.

Reflection on any understandings about the relationship between Twitter and Instagram and teaching and learning: Twitter and Instagram have a powerful relationship with teaching and learning. Using Twitter and Instagram in the classroom will make students more excited about and engaged in learning. Teachers who use social media will be more relatable and understandable to their students. Students will see that their teacher is making an effort to present information in a comprehensible and fun way. Twitter and Instagram are valuable resources that can be used to cover a variety of standards in all subjects. Teachers can get ideas from Twitter and Instagram to use in their classroom and share ideas they have with other teachers. I hope to be as innovative as the people who wrote the articles above in my classroom one day. I also hope that I will find ways to use technology, social media and the internet to enhance the learning environment of my classroom. Maybe I can check out Twitter for ways to be innovative as a twenty-first-century teacher.

Reaction to classmates response: I visited Victoria Cooper’s blog. I found out that she and I have very similar ideas for incorporating social media in the classroom. We both think social media is a great way to communicate with students and provide an engaging learning environment. Victoria pointed out that in the article “Everything you need to know about teaching with Instagram” the author talks about how you can use a social media post as an exit slip from a lesson. This is a great way for students to summarize what they learned that day. I agree that adding social media to a lesson can take a unit a step further. I like what Victoria had to say about the articles. It was good to read that other perspective educators have similar ideas on how to incorporate social media in the classroom.

EDU 305 Blog 2

Part 1

A blog can be used in many ways in a classroom. A blog can be particularly useful when working with a diverse population of students. For part one of this blog, I will explain how I would use a blog in a classroom with a diverse population of students to communicate information on a specific subject. There are many cultural differences among students in American classrooms. To give students an understanding of different cultures, I would create an assignment called “The Holiday Project.” This assignment would cover Common Core Standard CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2 which reads, “Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly” (http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/5/). Around the beginning of December, I would write a blog post and title it “The Holiday Project.” In my blog, I would write about what I do for the holidays, family traditions my family has, what holiday I celebrate and why I celebrate it. From there, I would teach my students the common core standard listed above. I might do this through powerpoint or demonstration. During class, I would have my students read my blog post individually and comment on my blog. I will expect their comments to be informative/explanatory and tell what holiday they celebrate (if any), why they celebrate that holiday (or not) and any family traditions their family may have. I would also expect their comments to convey the information and their ideas clearly. After writing individual comments, I would have each student read three of their classmates comments and make notes. To end the assignment, I would have every student come to the front of the room and present one holiday they read about that was different than the holiday they celebrate at home. This assignment will have two learning outcomes: 1. To understand and appreciate other cultures in the classroom and 2. To write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. This would be a great way for students to learn about different cultures and what those cultures celebrate during the holiday season. This is one way a blog can be useful in a diverse classroom.

Part 2

http://www.worldpeacegame.org/the-film/trailer

After watching the above video on Minecraft in schools, I decided this video was a great example of twenty-first-century learning. Technology can be a great asset to teachers in the twenty-first century. Children love playing games such as Minecraft. Therefore, teachers should find ways to integrate such games into lessons to make learning engaging for students. There is a version of Minecraft that is made specifically for use in an education setting. It is called MinecraftEDU (MinecraftEDU can be found here http://minecraftedu.com). MinecraftEDU was created by educators to teach digital citizenship at a young age. Minecraft teaches creativity and problem-solving skills (MinecraftEDU). Students learn to collaborate while using Minecraft (MinecraftEDU). When students are living in a digital world, it is important to teach digital citizenship starting at a young age. Minecraft would be particularly useful in a media specials class to teach certain aspects of technology and how it works. Minecraft could also be beneficial in a social studies context to teach different aspects of citizenship or community, which is required in the NC Essentials Standards. White watching the video, It was interesting to me to see how something normally seen as non-educational is used in such a powerful way. The students appeared to be learning without even realizing they were learning. The twenty-first-century learner is growing up in a digital age, which means teachers need to find ways to teach students digitally. As a perspective teacher, it is important to stay up to date on technology and how it can be used in classrooms. Staying up to date on technology will help me integrate technology into my lessons to make learning engaging for students.

Part 3

I visited http://edjudo.com/web-2-0-teaching-tools-links and focused on the programs in three sections: Animation and Comics (do not choose Voki), Bookmarking and Online Collaboration, and Instructional Videos and Video sharing. I then choose two programs from the three sections. For part 3, I will discuss the “good” and the “bad” of the two programs I chose and how the programs can be used in the classroom.

  1. Comic Mater

Description: Comic Master is a free website for anyone to use. On Comic Master, I made an account and then had access to templates and clip art to make comics. I messed around and made a comic. It was fairly easy to make and I had a lot of room for creativity. After I made my comic I had the option to save the comic to my account or to print it out.

The good: There was a lot of room for creativity with this website. I was able to pick from many different backgrounds, characters, thought bubbles, and speech bubbles. I was able to save my work regularly and view my finished product on a full screen. The website is free to sign up, use and print. Comic Master was colorful and had creative sound effects whenever you clicked on a button or icon.

The bad: The website did not allow me to make a comic any shorter than eight boxes. The comic could be as long as sixteen boxes. Comic Master also did not allow me to shrink or enlarge characters or backgrounds. I could move around a background so a certain part of it could be seen, but I could not shrink it so the entire background could be seen. Comic Master also did not allow me to save the comic to my computer. My only options for saving the comic were to save it to my Comic Master account or to print my comic.

Application to a classroom:  I could use Comic Master in many ways in a classroom. I believe a comic would be a great way to assess students learning. Standard CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.4 reads, “Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes” (http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/5/). To teach this standard, I would design a lesson plan, conduct a pre- assessment of my class, redesign the unit based on the assessment, teach the unit, do assessments, informal and formal, formative and summative, and post-assessment of the unit. After teaching the unit, I would give my students specific instructions to create a comic that shows their knowledge of the standard. I would create a rubric for my students so they know exactly what they are being graded on. For example, I may tell them to have two smilies, two metaphors, and one onomatopoeia. I would also create my own comic to show to them an example of what I am expecting. I could let them read my comic individually and have them point out similes, metaphors and so on. I would know if the comic was successful or not by using informal assessment. I would observe the students while they are working and ask myself, were they engaged while working on the project or did they struggle with creating figurative language? I hope that the comic would be a fun way for students to show mastery of the learning objectives, however, if I determine the comic is unsuccessful for this topic I will reevaluate this form of assessment for this standard.

2. TeacherTube

Description: TeacherTube is like Youtube for teachers. It has videos, audios, documents, groups, classrooms and channels. You can upload your videos, pictures, lessons and files or view others users posts. TeacherTube is free covers a variety of topics. You can search for topics or browse through recent posts.

The good: This is a fantastic resource for teachers. There is a little bit of everything on TeacherTube. TeacherTube has lesson plans, educational videos, information for teachers, the latest statistics of school systems, funny photos and groups to join on a specific subject or topic. It is free and easy to use and once you join you have access to all of the videos and files on TeacherTube. TeacherTube would be a great way to find out the latest information and trends in education and find videos and activities to use in a classroom.

The bad: There really is no downside to this website. It is free, easy to use and efficient.

Application to a classroom: TeacherTube could be used in so many ways in a classroom. I would use a video from TeacherTube to introduce common core standard 5.NBT.4 which reads, “Use place value understanding to round decimals to any place” (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/acre/standards/common-core/standards-k-12.pdf). I found a video on TeacherTube where students explain how to round to the tenths and hundredths place of a decimal (video can be found here http://www.teachertube.com/video/place-value-rounding-decimals-to-tenths-and-thousandths-266550). It is a cute video that is short, sweet and to the point. After I gave a pre-assessment and made the proper adjustments to my lesson plan I would show this video before I taught the lesson. I think videos are a great way to introduce a new topic to students. A good video will be short and give an overview or snapshot of the topic. A short video will hold students attention better than a long video. Once I show this video I would get into my lesson and break down why rounding is important and how it works. Using a video gives a lesson a multi-modal approach and is a fun way to start an activity. TeacherTube is full of similar resources that would be useful in a classroom and on a variety of topics.

Part 4

I am in the second semester of my Junior year at Meredith College. This semester I am taking EDU305 Web 2.0 Tech for Public Schools as park of my K-6 licensure program. In this class, we assess different forms of technology and different uses of that technology in the classroom. This class will help me be a successful and engaging educator in the twenty-first century. Below is an evaluation of the class since Blog #1.

1. A new technology I have learned in EDU305 since Bolg #1:

I have had a Mac for nine years now and I have never once used iMovie to make a video. I finally got to use iMovie for EDU305. We were assigned to make a digital story that covered a topic in digital citizenship. I chose to create a video telling students how to be responsible while using social media. My video can be found on Youtube. I really enjoyed learning how to use iMovie. It was very easy to use and I had fun creating a video. I could actually use my video in a classroom one day.

2. Something I already knew about iMovie before taking EDU305: I honestly didn’t know anything about iMovie or making a digital story before EDU305. Therefore, the assignment was great and did not waste any of my time. I gained a lot from just playing around and using the software.

 

3. How I might use iMovie with my students: I plan on using iMovie to make other instructional videos. I would like to make a few more videos about other aspects of digital citizenship, such as internet safety and piracy issues. I also think it would be fun to create a video my first year teaching. With permission from the parents, I would video my students at various points throughout the school year. I would video them working on assignments, playing on the playground and having discussions in class. At the end of the year, I would compile all the videos and make a five minute or shorter video of the year. I would add a soundtrack and talk about different things my students did that year and all the fun we had. At the beginning of the next school year, I would show the video to my new students so they would have a snapshot of what their year will look like. I think the video would make students excited about being in my class. I would also post the video to Youtube and on my classroom website so parents and guardians could view it.