Alas Cellphones Allowed in the Classroom

I have been anticipating this week for quite some time now. The rules of most high schools are “NO CELLPHONES ALLOWED” yet… walk into any classroom in HS and you will see them on the desks, you will see students peeking at them in their bookbag pockets, or they’ll be trying to text, tweet or use Facebook right under their desk. We spend countless amounts of time disciplining students because they have their cellphones out yet if we would just make use of them for educational purposes students would be more likely to not break the rules. I could be wrong but it just seems that students need more to catch their interests. If instead of copying a bell ringer every single day what if they could text message a response through a group message that displays on the whiteboard and reveals the answer. It’s almost like using cellphones at clickers. I found this incredible website that offers forty, yeah forty different ways to incorporate technology into the classrooms using cellphones. I think that my favorite way was number 12. Students often do not finish copying the notes as the bell rings. Have them take out their cellphone and snap a picture of the board. No that does not substitute handwriting the notes, because repetition is key however, not having the notes is not okay either. I just really found this resource incredible. Check it out here.

Teachers need to hold student interest. The more we recognize this as educators the better off students are going to be. We have got to start changing the mundane daily tasks. Our job is not to put on a show and I fully recognize that. However, our role is to influence students and create life-long learners. If that is not something that is happening than things must begin to change. If that means utilizing the free resources around us than that is what we are going to do. Students might even begin tweeting about your class and things they learn instead of relationships and the weekend parties. Cultures within schools could change as a result of learning to love learning.

I checked out several 3-D websites and I wasn’t entirely sold on those. I think those could be exceptionally cool at the lower levels of education but at the high school level I am not sure that they will really be amazed by the difference. But then again I did indeed find them fascinating. Students do need to experience new things of course so adding these features to a few lessons could really help students. I especially enjoyed the website that involved creating stories. Take a look at the varying things that can be done.

This week ultimately for me was the huge takeaway that cellphones can be used in a way that is okay. We took a look at etiquette using cellphones and that to me was a HUGE selling point. I think that cellphones are frowned upon because students do not know when to put them away and they are attached to them. Teaching students how to use proper etiquette is an essential integration of this technology in the classroom.

It was a great week.

Sources:

Lepi, K. (2012, Oct 13). 40 quick ways to use mobile phones in classrooms. Retrieved from http://edudemic.com/2012/10/40-quick-ways-to-use-mobile-phones-in-classrooms/

 

Mar 24, 2013 - Weekly Blog Reflection    Comments Off on Mini Projects Part 2

Mini Projects Part 2

Well hello! It’s the end of another week. I am putting this post up a lot later than intended. It was definitely one of those weeks in which I taught every single day and got no work done until the weekend. The projects this week were a bit more tough but I enjoyed the challenge. I began with the timeline. Timetoast was an incredibly easy tool to use. I had worked with Xtimeline before and just wanted to try something different. A lot more can be done with Xtimeline but the simplicity of timetoast is what makes it such a valuable resource. Students will easily be able to make timelines that are clear and feasible as a teacher to understand and grade. Take a look at the timeline I created surrounding the life and events of Abraham Lincoln and his significance in the Civil War. This of course aligns with a U.S. History SOL. The images for Lincoln that are available to share were astounding and there were so many. I loved that. A few other projects that I have tried to tackle have not been so forth giving with their photos. Does anybody know anywhere that offers incredible photos that are free to use that is not a google search?

The second project is not quite finished, so far from being finished I am not ready to share it. I will post it tomorrow for you all to see but here is what is being done. I am making a Google Trek through the events of the Civil War. Working off the same SOL used in my timeline but taking it a bit further for my students to take the journey to all of these “locations” where battles were fought, important documents signed etc. I think it was one thing to say the place but it is another to show them and take them there. The Civil War is not an all over battle and I think it will be very interesting for the students to see just how close many of the battles were fought. Watch this video on how I quickly picked up on how to use Google Trek.

Thanks for hanging tight with me this week! Excited to update tomorrow.

The Mini Projects Part 1

I like the “mini” projects play on words. Mini… many?  Anybody? Anybody at all? Okay maybe only I laughed out loud a little bit at this… because it’s many (four) but they’re mini. It must be said over and over again. This class blows my mind week after week. I mean literally. I think at first I was intimidated by this class. I am considered a digital native but I mean come on. I email and that is about all. I have Facebook and I have Twitter but I am not a huge fan of either of those. So I say it again, I email. I have this fancy Mac computer (because any windows computer I have ever had has crashed and burned on me) and I don’t know how to use it or do much with it. This class has changed my entire view on what technology in a classroom can look like. It has given me full confidence that I can totally do it. I mean totally absolutely manage and survive using technology in my classroom. I will use the things I have learned in this class for a long long time.

Truth be told I don’t know what mini-project options are for next week but I secretly hope they’re the same as this week because I wanted to do all of the options. I mean digital storytelling seemed a bit wild but I wanted to try it. The wordle I wanted to do it too (and think I actually still might try it because I was that intrigued) but ultimately tried my hand at comic making instead because it’s something that challenges my creative side. I think there are students that LOVE comic books and I confess I know nothing about them nor do I found them that enjoyable so I challenged myself a little this week. I made a little comic strip about ethnocentrism. I just presented the idea or term and use comic strips. Nothing incredibly cartoon like because using free and shareable photos made that hard because of the term I chose but I created a comic none the less. I loved how easy Comic Life was to download and use. The tutorial that Dr. Coffman provided was money! It really gave a simple overview of the basic elements but otherwise a lot of things that come with templates are trial and error. This is what I created! Screen shot 2013-03-17 at 9.20.31 PM Screen shot 2013-03-17 at 9.21.16 PM Screen shot 2013-03-17 at 9.21.33 PM

Ethnocentrism isn’t a term that needs a TON of time explaining but in my mind using a visual like a comic makes the term more real and fun for the students then a single slide in a PowerPoint. I am learning about the term ethnocentrism in a book called “Teaching What Really Happened” by James W. Loewen and how he discusses that history can help end this idea. Therefore, I thought that it meant it was important for HS students to know that America is not superior. We have to learn from those around us who are different. I used picture that were fair and shareable. But in putting those pictures up I realized that I did not add a “reference” comic page which would have been a stellar example for students on always citing where things come from. I of course saved all this information so look for the reference sheet for the finality of this project. The classroom use of this tool is endless. This is a new kind of poster. It allows students to create something using historical pictures. Students can interpret a battle or a war or even a conversation. Students can present a speech of a famous historical figure through a comic strip. Those are just ideas for history but a comic strip could do a lot in English too. I get a little jealous!

The other mini-project I chose was the Voki. Oh man the Voki. I loved loved loved this so very much. I am begging you guys to check mine out and please please do what I asked. I did not get the amount or the various responses I had hoped for on my sticky board and I used the Voki to ask anyone who sees it from my Google site to please comment on my sticky board. My question was something very important to me and therefore I really really wanted input. SO GO CHECK IT OUT! This little tool was something I found immediate use for in any classroom. As a teacher we do a lot of the talking and instructing. Why not let a talky critter do it? Let the critter give instructions? The Voki could wish students good luck on a test before they begin with instructions and specific things to pay attention too. The Voki could be a neat way to ask the warm-up question instead of always using PowerPoint. Those immediate things make the Voki super valuable and a diamond in the rough of resources. This is my Voki take a little looksie.

I miss spring break. I would be lying if I said I didn’t. I enjoyed the reading for fun and the relaxing. Time to work again. Have a good week y’all.

Loewen, J. (2010). Teaching what really happened: How to avoid the tyranny of textbooks & get students excited about doing history. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Mar 2, 2013 - Weekly Blog Reflection    Comments Off on Week 7: Sticky Notes

Week 7: Sticky Notes

Sometimes I get to the end of the week… and I cannot even figure out how to only answer the blog prompt. We did so many neat things this week that I can’t just talk about my sticky note board. I mean come on really… I did a quick write, I learned how to record my computer and voice over it AKA screencasting, created a jeopardy board game and then I made a sticky note board. HELLO!!!

Screen shot 2013-03-02 at 7.31.59 PM

 Using a program titled “wallwisher” I created a wall of sticky notes. Essentially you just register and then hit “create a wall” it’s really that simple. The wall can be as decorated as you like with themes and images or as simple and plain. I went for a theme of a notebook. The only way to allow people to comment is if your board is set to public. Easily done it’s in settings. Really this was probably the most simple website we have gotten to work with all semester. It was also a fun rush to share the sticky note site with all my friends. I immediately went to social media. I posted it on twitter, linkedin, and facebook. I used facebook to share it in my groups and on individual friends walls. I admit getting people to participate is much easier done when you can personally sell the page but I do not feel as though I have failed. People need time to work these things out. I admit I was somewhat addicted to checking every hour to see if anyone had posted. I LOVED IT. I cannot even begin to express how much I value this new tool.

I can think of SOOOOO many examples on how to use wallwisher in the classroom. It is the ultimate collaboration tool. Ask students their warm-up this way. This will gain their attention right away and allow you to keep doing tasks that are essential to move forward with the class (attendance, assignment collections etc.) Ask students to respond to a post for a homework question. Students can sign up for projects this way. It allows them to see what is already being done and pick something else of interest to them. Students can brain storm and use it to ask classroom questions. Students can study together from home together on tools such as wallwisher. This is an excellent collaboration tool within a school. Teachers can bounce ideas and opinions off one another without having to leave their classrooms. Teachers can better team teach across curriculum with such a tool as this. Man. I cannot wait to get to use this. I am absolutely going to try to use this in my practicum this semester!! AHHH! I can’t wait to share how it goes!! Have a great week y’all! Here is my link to my sticky note board.

Feb 24, 2013 - Weekly Blog Reflection    Comments Off on Week 6: I am FLIPPIN’ out.

Week 6: I am FLIPPIN’ out.

What do you think? Is this the true nature of a flipped classroom? Is this good pedagogy? Write about your thoughts on this approach to teaching and learning. How can this approach be implemented effectively in your classroom?

 

Friends. And those who do not know me… the flipped out classroom is something special. If you don’t know what a “flipped classroom” is you have missed out on something pretty special. I am going to do my best to explain my interpretations of what a flipped classroom is but if I fail I will provide some resources that are professionally done that shed some light. Okay the flipped classroom is essentially doing everything that traditional classrooms do… but backwards. Lecturing and teaching happens at home as if it were homework while the homework, activities and practice happen in the classroom. The teacher is available as a resource to almost tutor students during instruction time instead of lecturing and trying to cram in activities. The motivation behind a flipped classroom is that the student is more at the center. The teaching takes place outside of the classroom therefore inside the classroom the student is able to be the focal point. Okay. If you’re confused… check this out.

I think flipping the classroom could be incredibly difficult to pull off if you happen to be teaching in an area where students access to the internet is minimal. If this is not the case why would you as a teacher not attempt to pull this off? I also think there is something truth to varying what is done in the class. Meaning, maybe use a flipped classroom two-three times a week instead of every day. I think that there is extreme value in being able to give your entire day to students needs but it could also be very effective to lecture in front of them and field questions based on what you’re saying.

When the students get to your classroom giving them a pretest is an excellent idea to figure out what needs to be done. It will keep you as the teacher from running around all period long trying to assess where students are. A pretest will also give you an idea of what kinds of activities to give the students and how to differentiate lesson plans for your students. A flipped classroom is definitely good pedagogy. It creates an environment that allows the teacher to just guide. Students come into the classroom already knowing or being informed.

Implementing this successfully into a classroom is where the challenge in my opinion lies. After you’ve gotten over the adjustment of something new and working hard to create different lesson plans and activities, getting students on board and running with this flipped classroom is the task. Communication would be the number biggest thing in my opinion. Letting students know what is going to happen and really reaching out to parents. If students do not watch the videos or tutorials before coming to class, then it is going to be a difficult day of learning for them. Having support at home with parents who are going to invest in your students. The students will need a clear vision for the direction of this classroom. They may also need access to your home/cell phone if difficulties arise. This involves risk but if you believe in a student-centered classroom then you will take these risks. Creating a newsletter for parents and a website seminar for parents to walk through and understand will be a huge benefit to you as the teacher in the long run.

If  I teach at a school that I can ensure all my students have internet access, I will absolutely use the flipped classroom. I heard a quote this weekend at a conference that said, “high expectations, creates low impact. Low expectations, creates high impact.” Keep your students guessing. Change it up. Give them something different and a flipped classroom could just be the thing that brings HIGH impact!

Feb 17, 2013 - Weekly Blog Reflection    2 Comments

Week 5: Creating a Video

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE TweetDeck which I confess I have called TweetDock all week! But man do I love it. The reason I love it so very much is that I have a personal Twitter account, an educational account and I am also involved in an organization and it is my job to run the Twitter account. Obviously the TweetDeck was invented for me! TweetDeck is incredibly easy to use and really efficient. I am very pleased and thankful that my professor suggested using this tool.

Screen shot 2013-02-17 at 8.58.48 PM

 I am not completely sold on LinkedIn yet. I understand what it is and think that it is a brilliant idea but I am having a hard time keeping up with it. I call it “grownup Facebook” because it really functions in similar ways to Facebook. I have not kept up with my LinkedIn as well as I have my educational Twitter but I do see great value in LinkedIn. I have watched my profile be changed by friends because they know my skills and have given me recommendation. I love that. I do not do well with bragging about myself and to be able to let others give recommendations or endorsements is a huge asset to my profile because people think of things that are true of me. Things that are true but that I don’t think to put in my profile. I have participated in a few groups offering comments here and there, and I have really enjoyed doing that. I do have knowledge to offer and it feels great to get to help someone else out.

Google Reader is incredible but overwhelming. I am still struggling to figure out how to make my folders public. If anybody reads this and can offer some help I would greatly appreciate it. I find Google Reader overwhelming because it constantly updates and adds new articles and I never get to the old ones. I also think a lot of the stuff I am reading about doesn’t necessarily help me right now and it more or less distracts me from my school reading. But the archives allow me to keep the articles and find them whenever I do wish to read them. It is a GREAT resource. My favorite thing about indt501 is that everything is relevant. Nothing that is given or suggested isn’t useful to me. I really appreciate that.

 I have not completely finished creating my video but I have hit a few bumps in the road. I do not like the copyright rules. It limits the amount of photos available substantially. When considering the topic for my video I had to switch multiple times just for lack of resources available in searches. But I do love the idea of this video being the hook in lessons. Students love video days. I don’t entirely know why but to change things up and get students excited about learning is exactly what I think these videos can do. There is value also in the fact that as a teacher I create such a video. It makes me dive into the content more and stretches me creatively. That is something that often lacks within the educational world. As teachers we get comfortable instead of always trying to engage students. These types of introductions to lessons could really change students reactions to what they will be learning simply because it is different and technologically savvy. I am very excited to use Animoto in the future.

Looking forward to another week of learning. I think this week coming up is going to whoop my tail but I am ready to go!

Week 4:Information Literacy and Creativity

I have to first begin this blog by showing what I made. I ABSOLUTELY love editing photos. I am not by any means talented at such a hobby but it is something that makes me feel artistic. I cannot draw at all but with a few clicks of my mouse I feel as though I have created something new. Check this out.

The original photo looked like this:

oceanside

But what you see in the above photo is deceiving the photo with some light looks like is this…oceanside with people

But with a few tricks I created something really awesome using iPiccy. This in my opinion is hanging on the wall worthy!! oceanside edit

Okay okay okay I’ll stop bragging about my editing and start talking about how this week was super valuable for me concerning education. It was a flipping hard week. I mean extremely hard BUT… I am coming to the end of it and I am glad for it. The Personal Learning Network. I admit that I went into the hallway of my house and stomped my feet and screamed like a child. It took a long time to sign up for all the websites and fully establish myself with each one. But it is going to make using them easier because they’re already created. Although… I hate social media and a lot of it involves being social on the internet hahaha so I have to get over myself.

The big assignment of the week was creating a game using the website Scratch. The website did a great job at providing several introduction videos. Here is a tutorial that you can watch about Scratch.

I found this assignment to be difficult and initially I was convinced I would never use it ever again! I had a ton of problems. I thought at first that I could just wing it. A few clicks here and there then VOILA I would have a product. Boy, I was wrong. The first attempt was a disaster.  I was nearly finished and then when I was “testing” what I had created I realized that my scripts had disappeared. Whatever I had programmed has made them disappear. After a few more clicks I somehow duplicated all of my codes and it was a mess. So I saved it… if you would ever like to view a HUGE mistake just leave me a comment !! Like I mentioned I thought I could wing it but quickly realized this needed more thought. I was originally going to do something with “How a Bill Becomes a Law” but the information for that particular topic is endless and seemed WAY too difficult. So I then thought well a life cycle could be fun. My mom once had a genius realization when my littlest brother was studying food chains, “Birds eat food” I guess she didn’t realize. Therefore, inspiration to create a food chain began. That required no research because well I have been to a science class or two. But then I had all these problems so I took a break and then did some reading. I read EVERYTHING that Dr. Coffman made available to us. Some of it was a little repetitive so I get to skim but on the whole man did it help me realize that this program was going to require some serious studying. I began fresh but still realized that a lot of the definitions of the codes were unclear so I read a few Scratch Cards that really gave some good hints. But the ultimate help in this entire process was watching other examples and viewing the scripts/codes used. I didn’t necessarily know what they meant but I knew those worked. That is where the creativity began. I began to pick and choose some that I saw work and then finally I was making progress. The tutorials gave me peace that it was simple but I was fooled! But it must be done. Major take-a-ways would have to be that I have got to stop being prideful. I assumed I could handle this game without reading. I am after all a digital citizen. But in reality to be efficient and to be excellent I need to research all that I can. If I always think I can wing… It is likely that I chose the wrong path. Education demands always learning. Striving for more. If I just assume I can wing it then I will fall flat on my face and it’s at students expense not just my own. Second take-a-way is that there are people out there that LOVE this stuff. They love coding and creating. Sadly, I am not but that does not mean that I should not try or even dabble in new things. So I didn’t love it. BIG deal… I LEARNED! I think I need to dare to try more often and get away from the simple.

The best way I can think to use this in education… (since I did not like it) is to let my students do this. Use this kind of design as an assessment instead of a multiple choice test. Let students create a game or an interactive thingy that lets them show how much they know. Give them this resource and let them go wild. This allows variety and students get to choose. They also are not limited, really the sky is the limit with such a project. With some guidelines students can experience freedom in education. They are restricted so much and it’s time to take into account that they need freedom. This idea about freedom is something I am learning EDCI 506 from the very famous John Dewey.

Citations:

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience & education. (pp. 1-91). New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Copyright

I confess this week has been a tough one. I am juggling a lot and this week I let a lot overwhelm me and crush my drive. I would not say that I am a procrastinator but I would also not describe myself as an overachiever but this week, I just barely stayed afloat on all the requirements for my classes. Copyright is something you have always known to exist but also something I confess I didn’t consider too often. I always am asked to give citations therefore I just have always assumed I am in the green. After this week, I am now completely aware of the legal rights I am held to as a teacher when it comes to using things that I myself do not create.

Copyright for Educators

Countless resources this week that Dr. Coffman so greatly provided led to a wealth of information that spelled out limitations and requirements for teachers when it comes to sharing information. I did not stop at just reading information but instead was challenged to take this information and put it into practice. I successfully found this photo of Abraham Lincoln (what a stud) via an advanced google search. Interestingly enough while I was sitting here writing this blog my significant other (Mike) peeped over at my computer and saw the photo and said, “Noticed Lincoln’s hands. One hand has the sign language symbol for the letter ‘a’ the other hand the letter ‘l’ the man doing this sculpture was deaf.” Now whether that is true or not… I will let you decide but the not knowing was somewhat beautiful to me. Through an advanced google search I was able to change the usage rights while in the image search to only bring up photos that are labeled “free to use and share”. I then simply searched, “A famous building in Washington DC” and the image above popped up.The image is stated to be free to use because if you click on the “rights reserved” the Creative Commons page pops up stating the photo is registered to be shared. Creative Commons is something that I learned about just today. It is a website that teachers or anyone can use for free that has items that are loaded that are free to use and share. It is a website that is dedicated specifically to facilitating sharing. I chose this image from the others because of the movie Licoln. I was also a history major at James Madison University and have always found Abraham Lincoln to be a man who fought for what was right despite hard obstacles. Plus, who doesn’t have a crush on a tall man that speaks in monologues?

As a teacher we have a responsibility to our students to model behavior of proper compliance to copyright laws. I knew that teachers could not show movies for fun but I didn’t know that teachers could not copy worksheets off the internet. In some of my previous practicum lessons I took worksheets right off the internet. I am thankful to have learned that I need to ensure that such worksheets have been given approval to be used. I would hate to get in trouble because of a lack of knowledge on my part. I was not as worried about the youtube video sharing. I have never made a video therefore I know that I have not stolen a video or music or anything from someone else. I am very thankful for this weeks lesson. I learned a lot of information. It was also information that I know I will need to review time after time because I am sure it gets updated as well as ensuring that I am complying.

Citations:
Michael McDonough. (2006, October 14). The Lincoln Memorial. Retrieved from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemcd/540118063/

.org websites do not comply well with “normal” citations rules. Therefore, I will provide the link as well as the contact information for the kind people at Creative Commons.

http://creativecommons.org/
Creative Commons
444 Castro Street, Suite 900
Mountain View, CA 94041

phone: 1-650-294-4732
fax: 1-650-965-1605

Jan 27, 2013 - Weekly Blog Reflection    Comments Off on Week 2: 21st Century Skills v. Core Knowledge

Week 2: 21st Century Skills v. Core Knowledge

What a busy week it has been! I taught a lot this week and then got to have the most wonderful weekend with friends at my undergraduate alma mater James Madison University. I am more tired getting back from vacation then I was when I left. I loved this module. It was all incredibly relevant and real to what I hear at faculty meetings. Educators are incredibly stumped with how to reach kids in the most effective ways. Kids do not respond to lecturing and note-taking as they once did. I got the opportunity to long term substitute in a world history class at Massaponax High School. It was the best time ever! I fell in love with the community there and the students. But what I saw in the students was a lack of motivation. They did not want to listen to my lectures nor did they want to do any of the activities. Even if the activities involved some scavenger hunting the students were not interested. Their first question without fail daily was, “Can we work with partners?” Naturally I would answer “NO” repeatedly. Students in the 21st century thrive in social situations. They also greatly lack communication skills. They spend their hours abbreviating every word possible in order to text or to fit 140 characters in their twitter box.

Reviewing the websites of the Core Knowledge group as well as the Partnership for 21st Century Skills I found myself at a crossroad. A real dilemma. On one hand the argument that anything can be Googled and learning can take place makes sense. I Google way too many things. But then on the other hand without the proper techniques for knowing how to find credible sources and fish for the truth how will students know that their Google search resulted in the truth? Then I think about what growing up in school was like for me and I took notes and listened. I thrived doing that. But I am considered a digital native. The Core Knowledge is what being a teacher is. Efficiently teaching students core knowledge in subjects that vary from science to history. But when taking a closer look at the Core Knowledge website there are only core standards for mathematics and language arts. This is a major blow to my future profession as a history teacher. Do students not need a base standard for historical knowledge (Hirch, 2013)?

So I am still standing at this crossroad. Because I see that students need something else but I also believe in students having a great span of knowledge ranging in varying subjects. My very humble opinion is that there has got to be something in the middle that incorporates technology as well as a teacher giving students information to recall and use in the future. One of the major ways we discussed using technology was through the Interactive White Board (IWB).
In this video you will find 5 quick and easy tips to make this board usable and easier for you and your students. Incorporating technology efficiently is a process that needs in depth training. It needs to be a common goal within a given school or department in order to reach students.

I think it would be a really neat idea to incorporate twitter and facebook into course curriculum. Students spend a majority of their time on these social media sites. Even students who do not have access to internet at home find a way to use these sites when possible. I think designing an account for your classes each year would be a smart way to remind students of upcoming assignments or even current homework assignments.

I conclude with students need both. You need to incorporate both technology and core knowledge for students to be successful in the world and well rounded candidates for jobs. Looking forward to module three. See y’all next week.

Citations:
edu, T. (Producer) (2009). 5 tips and tricks for the smartboard edutecheredutecher·61 videos [Web]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWNCHG-xB9o&list=PLA5EDAD339DB42C96&index=9

Hirch, E. D. (2013). Coreknowledge. Retrieved from http://www.coreknowledge.org/

Jan 16, 2013 - Weekly Blog Reflection    2 Comments

Week 1 Reflection Blog Post: The Technology Integration Matrix

The work done with the Integration Matrix was intriguing and provided an overload of information including techniques that use technology with different teaching strategies. There were some examples that were better than others.

One example that I found especially compelling was the use of a podcast to learn and experience different geographical locations. The lesson was referred to as “Where in the World” and the students would record clues and various facts about a location and students were to guess where in the world the place was that was being heard on the podcast. It wasn’t just simple recall as often noted in a behaviorism style of teaching but instead it allowed students choice, higher level thinking, and connection making. This particular style of teaching geography resembled that of constructivism in which students were drawing from all parts of their experiences, their knowledge, and the facts at hand to draw conclusions about the location. The students in the video were very engaged and appeared to be enjoying what they were doing.

There was an example of an integration that I found a bit complicated and not necessarily as valuable to student learning. This video was about a recycling program that was designed by students who used video cameras and voice overs to create a show that recognized good recycling behavior. When something good was done they captured said event and introduced facts about recycling to those around. The idea was great and I think watching students support good behaviors is a great thing for schools to implement however, from a teaching perspective it seems as though a lot of valuable learning would be lost trying to catch students doing good things. Letting students have a show and know facts is great but actually witnessing such acts would be difficult unless created by the students. If the teacher assigned roles to the students to do good acts and then students filmed said acts this would change the activity. There would be a single episode and then students could move forward. I just didn’t agree 100% with the actual method used in this video. It was a stellar idea but a bit hard to pull off.

The most common example of technology that I see used in a classroom is with an interactive whiteboard or smartboard. Teachers use this technology in various forms. Sometimes at the Entry-Active level in which only the teachers is using the technology. They use the smartboard to host their PowerPoint or worksheet. When I long term substitute taught I would often put a picture up and would use a color to circle details in a photo revealing characteristics of Queen Elizabeth I. But then I have also seen the smartboard used in students getting up and writing a concept map on the board. So creating and linking ideas in my opinion is still Entry but instead of Active it is more Entry-Constructive because they are constructing ideas and linking things.

This week in our module I think we were trying to learn and accomplish that there are different styles of teaching and depending on what is being taught there are different methods to try. Incorporating technology into these styles striving for the enhanced learning is going to set  you apart as a teacher. This was a fun week to just begin to understand strategies that change student learning and incorporate technology in these various techniques.

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