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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.