Sunday, December 7, 2014

Blog Post #16

Final Reflection

All in all, this picture shows one of the things that I have truly learned this semester:

The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don't tell you what to see.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

C4T #4


For my C4T this week, I chose educator Joe Bower's blog, for the love of learning. I was mainly drawn to this blog because of its name. This class has really taught me that it is necessary to love learning to truly be an effective educator. When I looked at Mr. Bower's blog, his last post related to one of the subjects I have often thought might become a problem for me as a high school teacher. His blog this week addressed manipulative children. He says, "Show me a child who manipulates others, and I will show you a child who has grown up being manipulated." Many years ago, he made the decision to stop rewards and punishments as a teaching and parenting tool. He believes that children should not be reinforced in these ways, but the children should learn from their own successes and mistakes. This strategy of his is the best way, he feels, to combat the children trying to manipulate him. When his students or children attempt to bribe or threaten him, he can turn their argument around on them and honestly say,"I don't use rewards and punishments on you, so don't you bribe and threaten me." His whole goal in this is so the children will recognize that it is his job to work with them until they achieve their goals. He is not there to present prizes so they will do what he wants. He will not manipulate his students and children, so they know not to attempt to manipulate him.

C4T#4, comment 1

This post really spoke to me this week. Since I am going to be a high school English teacher,  I have had people ask me how I will get my students to respect me. I honestly was not sure. This makes so much sense! I never thought of rewards and punishments as manipulation, just as reinforcement; however, I can clearly see now that it is. I do not ever want to manipulate my students, and I feel as if this approach will keep a mutual respect between us. This was a wonderful post.


This week's post from Joe focused on ClassDojo, a program used to keep track of children's behavior. Joe gives six reasons to reject using this service.
Class Dojo Characters
  1. ClassDojo gets character education wrong. 
  2. ClassDojo gets motivation wrong. 
  3. The public nature of ClassDojo is inappropriate. 
  4. ClassDojo pits adults and children against each other. 
  5. ClassDojo can only ever be experienced as coercive and manipulative. 
  6. ClassDojo prepares children to be ruled by others. 
All in all, schools should be dojos. They should be places that are well cared for both physically and pedagogically. Apps like this should be left a the door. 

C4T#4, comment 2

This is extremely interesting! I had never heard of this. In EDM310, we have focused a great deal on students using iPads and laptops in the classroom, but we have also discussed using technology ourselves. I'm sure many of my classmates have come across this and may be considering using it one day. I definitely agree with his insights on this. Children should not be motivated to learn based solely on how they will be rewarded.

Blog Post #5 Part B


Silhouette stating never stop learningMy PLN started off as a little unorganized baby at the beginning of this semester. Now it has grown into a slightly more organized child, but altogether I am proud of how it is developing. I know it will continue to flourish into a fully organized adult one day. Like we all continue developing, I know it will never stop either. Before this class began, my PLN was nothing more than a crowded bookmarks bar. I made sure to try to keep it organized, but it never quite worked. Now I have a very nice Symbaloo in which I keep all of my links. My Symbaloo includes links to my blog, the class blog, Edutopia, and my C4T teachers' websites. I also have links to everyday websites such as Pinterest, Twitter, Khan Academy, Teaching Channel, Gmail, Facebook, Skype, Google Drive, and Purdue Owl. Within Twitter, my learning network has also grown. Some of my network has still hidden itself inside of my bookmarks bar, but all in all, it is definitely growing. I have learned a lot from forming my PLN, and I extremely look forward to growing it throughout my career!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Post #14

According to Klein, many things in the education system need changing, including: "giving far more school choices to families, using technology to improve teaching and learning, adopting a knowledge-based curriculum and starting education before a child is 5 years old." However, most of all, Klein feels that professionalizing teaching would be his greatest concern if he could wave a wand and change anything. In order to professionalize teaching, Klein addresses:

Teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning owl print
  1. Choosing from the Best
  2. Removing the Seniority Distraction
  3. Radical Change

In regards to choosing from the best, Klein suggests several solutions. The first of these begins with better training for future teachers. Second is a new method for recruiting teachers. Instead of letting anyone be hired, we should be choosing from our top third of college graduates. Lastly, we must change how teachers are rewarded. Teachers vary in their performance, but they are not rewarded by performance. This leads us to the second point. Teachers are typically rewarded by seniority.

In regards to seniority, Klein suggests a very simple solution. He feels that we should ignore this distinction completely. Professionalizing teaching would include no longer awarding merit off of how long a teacher has been employed. Merit would come from the effectiveness of the teacher. This would benefit both teachers and students. According to Albert Shanker, we must professionalize teaching in order to preserve the reputation of our teachers and the education system. Skanker wrote these ideas over thirty years ago! Skanker's solutions include attracting the best students and developing a base of knowledge that will be ruled by a set of peer relationships. He also feels the need for a national examination for teachers that are similar to the entry exams required for lawyers and doctors. His plans would also include an apprenticeship to supervise and evaluate the performance of prospective teachers for one to three years.

In regards to radical change, Shanker goes even further than the previous ideas. In order to protect the profession, teachers should form boards to enforce standards and as a way to remove ineffective or incompetent teachers. Teachers would also be merited and promoted through these specialty exams. There would be fewer teachers; however, they would have true mastery over their subjects. These teachers would be aided by college graduates who are teaching assistants. Lastly, education would no longer require students to be assigned to certain schools, but students would be given a greater choice among public schools.

Radical scrabble tiles
Both Klein and Shanker make wonderful arguments when it comes to issues in education. Although Shanker wrote over thirty years ago, his concerns and ideas are still on the education radar today. We must be able to address these issues! I have not had much exposure to these issues before reading this article. I had heard some of these ides, but I had not researched much into them yet. I still feel fairly new to education, but through reading articles such as this, I feel as if I am becoming a part of the education community. I am gaining insights on the same issues that so many others are trying to face.

As far as I can tell, so far I agree with all of these points made by these two men. As I said, I did not have much exposure before this article, but it has made me realize that I do need to pay attention to these issues. Professionalizing education is an absolute necessity. Teachers are no longer respected as they once were. I personally have been faced with so many people who believe I am crazy for choosing education as my profession. They do not think it is worth it and would not give it a minute of their day. They give the typical excuses of teachers not making enough money, the risk of being in a high school, and not having the patient to deal with students, but none of those things bother me. The students need to learn. We as teachers need to learn. Those who look down upon teaching need to learn! Teaching is every bit worth it, and we need to regain the respect that education deserves.

I believe that each of these three points is a problem that education in general is facing. We should definitely be choosing more carefully! This starts with better training, and better training starts with classes such as this one. Teachers must be in touch with students and how students will learn most effectively. The students deserve better than a second rate teacher. Choosing from the top graduates would be a great advantage to the students. If better training does become much more prominent, then maybe we would not have this need to only choose from the top tier of graduates. If all graduates come out much more in touch with what they should be doing and they can actually do it, then I feel that goal will have been more than covered. All of this should be focused on improving the students. Each student should be successful!

I also agree with removing the seniority distraction. When schools must cut back, the last hired are the first to go, and there are so many effective teachers that could get fired this way! The older teachers get to stay because they have been teaching longer, and the new teachers never even get a chance. This is a detriment to the students. All of these problems are not just teacher related problems, but they are problems that effect the future of children! Some things such as a national evaluation or national test might not go over so well with others and definitely have the potential to be very complicated to implement, but if that is what it takes for education to reestablish itself as a well-respected profession, then so be it.

Lastly, regarding these radical changes, my favorite idea is no longer requiring students to go to assigned public schools but allowing families to choose. I definitely could see problems with this, but it is one of the many subjects that the education system should address. I by no means am a solution guru, but I do recognize all of these as valid ideas that have the possibility to soar into greatness.

Education does need some kind of change, whether it is radical or simple. There are problems, and there are solutions. Many have been rolling around in people's minds for years, while others are quickly appearing. We all must consider them, bring them into our education philosophies, and stand for what we believe in.

Be the change you want to see

C4K Summary for November

October 27 - November 2

life cycle of a frogJordan is a fifth grade student in Ms. Stadler's class in South Africa. He and his classmate's posts were on the life cycle of a frog. Jordan described the laying of frog eggs, their fertilization, their growth and development, and their final development into a frog. This cycle happens again and again. In my comment to Jordan, I told him that I think life cycles are so awesome to learn about! He wrote a very good description of what his class learned. When I was younger, I actually used to spend time down at my family's pond to watch the tadpoles grow. I really don't like frogs now, but I must admit they are surely fascinating creatures. This post was great work.

November 3-9

Example of a Linoleum Cut for Printmaking
Jami is an eighth grade student in Mrs. Myers class at Waverly Shell Rock Middle School Iowa. For their art project this week, her used used linoleum blocks to make prints. Using a carving tool, they carved designs into their blocks. Then, they used small rollers called brayers to put color on their blocks. Lastly, paper was pressed onto the block to pick up the color and reveal the design. Jami's design was a blue peace sign. She really enjoyed doing this project. First, I told Jami who I am and where I go to school. I thought this was an awesome art project. We learned about printmaking in my Art Appreciation class last semester, but we never got to actually make a print. Since then I have wanted to make one. I absolutely love art. This was a great post!

November 17-23

Yazmin C

Helping Hands TreeYazmin in part of Mrs. Mena's fifth grade class in Chula Vista, California. This week, Yazmin's post was about two of philanthropy's iconic figures, Nelson Mandela and Jane Addams. She described the major accomplishments in both of their lives.
I told her that she did a very good job summarizing these two individual's lives. I have learned about Jane Addams many times before, but I have never learned much about Nelson Mandela. She taught me quite a few new things! She is doing great work.

Mason is in Mrs. DeBuhr's seventh grade class at Kingsland Middle School in Kingsland, Minnesota. This week, Mason's blog was about the goals he has set for himself now that his class has finished first quarter and are moving into second quarter. His goals are to raise his Literature and Language grades to A's, go to the bathroom less, and to stop talking in class so much. He says he is going to become a new Mason.

Goals spelled out on a clothespins

I told Mason that I am glad he has gotten through quarter one and have moved into second quarter. Setting goals for himself is a wonderful thing to do, and these are especially great goals! I'm sure his teacher will really appreciate it when he achieves these goals. I can tell he is working hard. He should keep going strong and keep up his good work.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blog Post #13

With the vast amount of resources that can be found through the internet, many students these days fail to cite their sources of information. What is plagiarism? How can you avoid plagiarism? How do you think the concept of plagiarism change in Project Based Learning?

man contemplating plagiarizing

  1. Begin by exploring the website
  2. Read Avoiding PlagiarismIs It Plagiarism Yet?, and Self-Plagiarism: Ethical Shortcut or Moral Scourge?
  3. Watch the video 10 Types of Plagiarism
  4. Summarize what you have found in these websites, paying close attention to quoting, citing, and paraphrasing sources and avoiding plagiarism. Now answer the question: How do you think plagiarism will apply to Project Based Learning?
Answer the question in a post that adheres to the standards found in the ACCRS and in Writing A Quality Blog Post

Example of Blog Post #13:

According the, plagiarism is"
  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward." Ideas are intellectual property; therefore, according to the U.S. government, they can be stolen. Ideas fall under copyright law protection. Even using images, videos, and music without credits to the owners is a form of plagiarism. According to Avoiding Plagiarism, giving credit to a source is necessary for three things: to serve your reader, to respect your sources, and to support your work. The tricky part is that plagiarizing can be a very ambiguous situation, so it is important to know the different form that plagiarism can occur in. According to and 10 Types of Plagiarism, these types are:

list of the ten types of plagiarism

Also according to, "a 'citation' is the way you tell your readers that certain material in your work came from another source. It also gives your readers the information necessary to find that source again, including:
  • information about the author
  • the title of the work
  • the name and location of the company that published your copy of the source
  • the date your copy was published
  • the page numbers of the material you are borrowing"

Citations should be used anytime you present ideas that are not your own. They are also a moral necessity. Not only do you give credit where credit is required, but the originality of your own ideas is also emphasized. There are many citation styles, including Chicago, MLA, and APA. All of the standards for these citation styles can be found online, but it is typically the instructor who will assign the style for the assignment. The key difference between paraphrasing and quoting is the need for quotation marks. Direct quotes require quote marks, whereas paraphrases take the ideas of an original source and mold them into your own words, requiring only a source. 

Man self-plagiarizingAccording to Avoiding Plagiarism, plagiarism is not the only misuse of a source. Sources can be misquoted, used out of context, overused, and relied too heavily upon. This makes plagiarism nonetheless serious. According to Self-Plagiarism: Ethical Shortcut or Moral Scourge?,  one paradoxical form of plagiarism is Self-Plagiarism. When a student uses a paper or assignment for more than one class, it can be considered plagiarism unless the student has permission from both teachers. This is wrong. 

Lastly, according to Is It Plagiarism Yet?, when considering plagiarism, one must consider whether something is "common knowledge." When debating whether your reader might already know something that would be common knowledge, it is always best to be safe. If the idea is questionably not common knowledge, it is always best to cite it!

I believe that plagiarism and PBL will be a very complicated situation. PBL promotes research, using the ideas of others, and turning those ideas into your own. That sounds like it should call for traditional avoidance of plagiarism, but we saw with Mrs. Kathy's videos earlier in the semester that this might be changing. The internet is an obvious source of information. Things are becoming public and common knowledge much more easily than they once did. If people are concerned with self-plagiarism, I know that there will be continued talk of plagiarism and Project Based Learning in the future. 

Project #12B

Delivering a Lesson Via the Smartboard:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blog Post #12

Assistive Technology for learningWhat assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?

Educators have the responsibility to ensure that each student has the opportunity to learn to their best ability! So when a student has a learning disability, it will be our responsibility to find the best tools for their learning. These technologies are called assistive technologies. This Slide Presentation presents different types of technologies available to teachers and students. Our group split up the assigned videos, made slides on each, and then did our own research into assistive technologies.

Project #10

Interview Movie:

C4T #3

Five for Fridays Logo

Lana Gerin is a fifth grade teacher living in the South with her husband and her adorable son. She loves the Lord, and she loves her classroom. Her blog is entitled 4 the Love of Teaching. This post was a Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching. In this post, she went through five things she did through the week. The first was an adorable acrostic poem she received from one the students. The girl had taken Mrs. Gerin and used each letter to describe a sweet aspect of Lana's personality. The second experience of her week was a huge book haul. A retiring teacher was having a sale, and she bought 500 books for around twelve cents apiece. She got some awesome books! Third was some more awesome deals she got during the week. She found a straw dispenser to use as a pencil dispenser, and she found an old book scanner. Next, she posted pictures of some artwork she and her son did on a rainy day. He painted handprint acorns, a fall tree, and a rainbow. Lastly during her week, she and her husband toured a school that her son might be attending next year. She and her husband are trusting in the Lord to take them wherever they need to go.

C4T#3, comment 1
Once I told Lana who I am, I began by telling her that this post was extremely refreshing to read. I love reading teachers' blogs that are so enthusiastic about their students and classrooms. Her book find was an awesome score! The artwork by her and her son is also adorable, and it is wonderful to see that she has put her life into the hands of the Lord. Lastly, I told her that I look forward to reading more of her posts.

Lana's next post is also another Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching. Her class had a busy week this week. Her school hosted Red Ribbon Week, and she saw many colorful socks on their "Sock It to Drugs" day. They also had a "Dress Like Your Hero" day, and one girl made her own cape with her Heroes and Sheroes on it. Next, her class completed their STEM project, "Do you think the number of seeds in a pumpkin is related to the size of the pumpkin?" Their pumpkin had 840 seeds! On Halloween, she dressed up with her son as Ninja Turtles and went Trick-or-Treating. Her last picture just shows how tired she is after such a fun, hectic week.

C4T#3, comment 2
Lana was Superwoman this week! I told her that her students do such neat activities. I love the socks, capes, and pumpkin seed project. She seems like a terrific, inspirational teacher! Her students and son are blessed to have her, and she must feel blessed to have them!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blog Post #11

What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?

In Brian Crosby's Ted Talk, Back to the Future, Brian poses the question, "Why are kids so disconnected?" This video about his classroom and his students learning styles explores this question. The majority of his students are second language learners and students of poverty. When surveyed, nine out of twenty-five of his students knew which city they lived in. Half knew the state in which they live. Three knew the country, and seven knew their address. Brian wants to build passion in his students. His curriculum involves having the students set goals for themselves. They are not able to explore the world as some other children have been able to, so he does not want a narrow ciruclum. He wants his students to be able to build schemes for the world through imagination and creativity, which have been stunted for most of his children. His students have fun while they are leaning! His kids build learning networks with kids from all over the world. We have been learning about this since the beginning of the semester. I am honestly no longer surprised one bit when I see children doing such amazing things with technology, and when I see their passion to learn when they are enjoying it! Everything Brian does in his classroom helps to build up these second language learners. Just doing any type of project helps them build their language skills. You read and write to learn, write to clarify and share, wrtie to tell a story and be creative, get feedback, articulate orally, connect globally, gain global awareness, and have an authentic audience.
back to the future

I honestly had never thought about being placed in a school one day in which I will have second language learners. These students and Brian have shown me a lot when it comes to this topic. I very well may be teaching these types of students one day, but these students are no different from others. As long as I can inspire and engage them to be active learners, project based learning will continue to be an effective method. Those students may take some extra time, but I know that every little step in education will be worth it to my future students' lives. They may not realize it at the time, but I will. Brian says,  "We don't want to teach students how to be taught, but how to learn on their own through their 21st century skills." Lastly, one of Brian's comments really stuck with me. Education is the birthright of every child, and we have to go back to a notion of building schools that honor kids. This says so much about both teaching and learning. We as teachers need to focus on our students. Teaching trends may change, and the world will definitelity change. The world always changing. What doesn't change is the need for each child to receive an education in which they are the sole focus. Each student deserves to receive the attention and care that will provide them will the skills needed to live a successful life. Students need to also recognize that as learners, they at entitled to this type of education.

In the video, Blended Learning Cycle Paul Andersen discussed the power that the blended learning cycle can bring to a classroom. The Blended Learning Cycle combines the "Power of Question" and the "Power of Learning." The Power of Question is about exploration through directed inquiry. Blended Learning is learning using multiple online, mobile, and classroom sources to gain knowledge. The Learning Cycle involves fives E's: Engage, Explore, Explain, Expand, and Evaluate.
Put these three together, and you get the Blended Learning System!

the blended learning cycle
In his science classes, Paul enjoys using the mneumonic device QUIVERS:

Always begin with a good question.

Make inquiries and investigations.

This frees teacher to review with students instead of lecture.

More reading, diagrams, and explaining what is going on!

Meet with small group or individuals to make sure they have an understanding.

S-Summary Quiz
This ensure the kids know what they have done.

Paul says, "I don't think you've learned something until you can explain it to someone else." I have believed this since high school. I was always the tutor of my class, but I honestly didn't mind because when I taught, I learned. This is a wonderful form of both teaching and learning for students, because it is a combination of the two.

Our next video to watch was Making Thinking Visible by Mark Church. This video is a trailer related to Mark's book by the same title. The book is about connecting ideas, extending thinking, and facing puzzles or challenges. It also addresses how thinking changes overtime. When students do a project, the purpose should be so the students will grow. After a project is finished, the students should have some knew knowledge they have gained. This means that the end of a project should not be the end of that learning process! Because thinking changes overtime, we should lead our students back to their projects to see how their thinking has changed about them. I had also never thought about this method. I know personally that my thinking has changed overtime. I look back at some of my projects or papers from high school or previous college semesters, and I see how much better or different they could have been. Going back, I can see how my learning has changed and how much I have gained. I want to be able to give my students a chance to do this.

Sam Pane's Super Digital Citizen addresses how much power the internet gives us. Sam's goal is to educate his students on proper internet behavior. "With great power comes great responsibility" so says Spiderman and Sam. The internet gives us so much power. To harness this power, Sam gets his students to create online superheroes who are super digital citizen. His students then must make a story with their hero in it, combatting some form of digital crime. This exercise gives ownership to the students, making the project and responsibility of handling the internet correctly more meaningful. Students are going to be exposed to so many things online, so they must know the right choices to make. I love this superhero comic book project. It meets English Language Arts and Digital Standards, and as a future English teacher, I have been wondering how I would be able to incorporate projects into my students' learning. I have had some ideas, but this one spoke to me.

This video Project Based Learning by Dean Shareski combines the collaborative work of three teachers in one high school. These teachers worked together to combine their three subjects, History, Engish, and Information Processing, into one classroom. Research shows that integreated studies engage and provide deeper learning, and these teachers have seen this first hand. All PBL can produce road blocks. The biggest, most important part of this combination was time; however, these teachers put in the effort, found the time, and put together and effective, meaningful program in which they can teach more than just curriculum. The deeper, longer, and more feedback this combined class gives allows the students to take more ownership for their work. The teachers and students can both see that they are teaching and learning more than just the curriculum. They are teaching and learning skills that will help to build a furture. I would love to be able to work in this type of classroom setting one day, but the biggest thing I took away from this video is its emphasis on the necessity of time. It seems that most everyone today has no time for anything! Both teaching and learning take time, patience, and dedication.

Our last video was Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program by Trish Reilly Taylor. This entire school works together to form one large, cohesive PBL program incorporating themtaic instruction. The largest part of this school's plan is Student Choice. Since each child has a different way of learning and their own form of self-motivation, student choice allows student to make their own decisions about independent and collaborative learning. Differentiating activities incorporates different intelligences and learning styles while building social skills in each student. Students are able to reflect on not just how they did but also on what they did. This school believes that PBL allows children to find the spark that will make them want to question and learn more about their world. PBL makes the school more cohesive. They know it's not easy, but the quality of the learning is worth it. How true this is. Both learning and teaching may not be easy, and more than likely they won't be easy; however, each and every child deserves the work.

"Learning really is messy."- Brian's Blog

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Project #14

This link below is connected to our Google Site that we created to share our lesson plan:
Lesson Plan #2 Created by Heather Howton, Alex Odell, Justin Thompson, and Andrea Fust

Technology Flowing

Our lesson plan is directed at an eleventh grade History class. In our lesson plan, the students will be brainstorming what technologies they use the most, especially technologies that they take for granted. Each group of students will come up with their top five technologies and research the histories of each. These technologies and histories, as well as possible reasons why we take them for granted, will be combined into a Google Presentation and presented to the class.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Blog Post #10

What can we leaner from Ms. Cassidy?

Ms. Cassidy's Conversations with Dr. Strange:

Microphones captioned "Expert Interviews: Are You Ready?"

Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 1
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 2
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 3

Introduction to Technology:
Ms. Cassidy is a first grade teacher in Canada. She is a true 21st century teacher, educating and building 21st century learners. Ms. Cassidy was first introduced to technology in the classroom when she was given five computers with internet access; however, you could not put any type of program on them. She had to find useful, engaging tasks for her students to do on the internet! She found things like blogging and webpages.

School and Parents:
She started this internet involved learning on her own, but soon she found that she has a good support system for her use of technology. The school administration may not have always be too interested, but were always willing to let her try something new. Even the parents really enjoy the activities their kids are performing. Of course, we must have the parents' permission first. On the first day of school, all of the kids get a form sent home letting parents give permission for their child to use the computers and have his or her work posted on the internet. The parents really seem to enjoy this because they can see their child's work on their blog as an online portfolio.

Blogs as a Learning Tool:
Blogs reflect each child's writing process. Kids and technology go hand in hand. Technology will not go away, so the tools we once used must change because the world has changed. Online opportunities are so great that it is a disadvantage to the students to not allow them to use it. What difference do blogs make? They provide an audience. The kids know people all over the world have the possibility to read the blog instead of just the teacher. The students develop relationships with other students outside of their classroom that are assigned to comment on their blogs. Ms. Cassidy's room has an online cluster map showing every time someone from another place in the world comments on one of the student's blogs. Ms. Cassidy says her kids are beginning to take these online experiences for granted because it is so natural for them.

technological literacy tree
Technological Literacy: 
As we have seen throughout most of our own experiences, some teachers don't want to change and refuse to embrace technology. Does every teacher need to be technologically literate? Yes. Students develop their own online networks to keep up with technology, and we should do the same. We have to keep learning. Where should we start? Like Ms. Cassidy, we should start with our interests. We should have our own Personal Learning Networks, helping others and having others help you. When it comes to embracing new ways of collaborating, we are going to have to change our views in some areas. Some educators are worried about cheating, copying another student's work. In order to avoid cheating, teachers should be presenting information where you must take other's work and make it your own. Students and teachers both have to go through this shift.  In order to protect students, we must also teach them digital citizenship, what and what not to do on the internet.

Classroom Approaches:

The video First Graders in Mrs. Cassidy's Class perfectly shows how technology can be utilized in a classroom. Mrs. Cassidy describes her classroom and her approaches to learning through technology. Mrs. Cassidy's class is very tech savvy, and all of her students seem to really enjoy being that way. They write on blogs, play educational games found of their class webpage, make videos, and use wikis, skype, and even their Nintendo DS's in class. Their blogs serve as online portfolios of their work. The students extremely enjoy writing and getting comments on their blogs, and they know to always be safe. Their class webpage allows them to independently choose what to work on through choosing which educational games to play. They are helping themselves learn by choosing games. On their wikis, they can ask people questions to help them put together their projects. Making videos helps them work together in groups, and then they post the videos to their blogs for others to see. Skype brings in experts in certain fields to further explain a lesson, or it can bring in the students' buddies from across the world. The Nintendo DS is the last technological bit mentioned in this video, and the most interesting. While they are used for games, they can also be used to teach problem solving and sharing. What wonderful ways to embrace technology in the classroom!

Internet branching out of a computer as a web

What I Would Use:

Well, after watching these videos, I want to teach a first grade class and use all of these approaches from Ms. Cassidy! Reality beckons however, and I know I truly could not handle teaching first graders. Instead, I am going to take Ms. Cassidy's classroom and apply to my future high school English classes! First and foremost, I am going to blog. My students are going to blog. We are all going to blog! I love this idea of using blogging as a writing portfolio for all to see as well as connecting my students to the world. Problem: I know all of my students won't be so enthusiastic about this whole blogging thing as I am. I foresee getting them to really put forth the effort to have a great blog might be a tough hurdle to leap. Hopefully, they will have exposed to blogging before they reach my class though so maybe they will enjoy it. Only the future can tell. Even if they are not enthused, hopefully I will have the skill to engage them and use their passions to develop some good bloggers. I will also definitely have a class webpage/blog where all homework and classwork can be found. Several of my college English classes have had blogs, and I have found them so useful. Problem: Getting the students to actually use the blog is going to arise at some point I assume. I really don't know how to face this problem, but maybe with time I would be able to figure it out. I also would enjoy using videos and Skype in my classroom. I would like to use videos as a part of projects and Skype as a tool to connect by class with the world. I don't see a major obstacle with this idea. Hopefully, I will have a large enough Network by the time I am a teacher to have many friends around the world to connect my classroom with. Well, really, I guess the major problem facing all of these ideas is the simple fact of whether or not technology is available inside of my classroom. In order to blog, use webpages, make videos, and use Skype, my classroom will have to have computers or iPads available. Hopefully, all schools will see the growing need to embrace technology by then, because if not, then I am going to have to do some crafty thinking to get my future students to where I want them to be! I know my future students would thrive just as Ms. Cassidy's and benefit so much if I could use these approaches. As Ms. Cassidy says,

"Little Kids, Big Potential"

C4K Summary for October

September 29-October 5


Haters gonna hate typographyJaea is in Madame Thomas's Class at Prince George County School. In this post, Jaea said "So you don’t like me? That’s okay, I don’t wake up everyday to impress you." Jaea's simple post left me with some very deep thoughts to consider. As I wrote my comment, I realized just how true this statement is. I told her that I love that she feels this way, since it took me along time to realize that I’m never going to be able to make everyone like me. We have no one to impress but ourselves. As long as we are happy with ourselves and the actions take, then what others think really does not matter. That does not give us an excuse to do mean or horrible things, but it gives us the confidence to live our lives the way we feel we should, not the way others feel we should. She did a great job.

October 6-12


family silhouettes at a sunset
Amber lives in Wisconsin and is in seventh grade. This post describes herself and her family. So far, she has had a wonderful year, and all of her teachers are very nice.  She has four people in her immediate family, but her extended family is huge. She loves to spend time with everyone in her family, and her favorite thing to do is to go canoeing and tubing with them. She is close with all of her family, but she is closest to her grandfather. Amber may be new to blogging, but she is going to do her best to write interesting posts that are fun to read. I told Amber that this is a wonderful introduction about herself. I myself only have one sister who is three years older than me. I also described activities I enjoy doing with my family, which is relatively small. Although we may not be large in numbers, we are massive in our amount of love. Lastly, I told her that I am also new to blogging. This is my first year, and I am enjoying it greatly. She may be new to this, but she doing a great job!

October 13-19

Amber M:

One for the Murpheys book coverAmber's blog post was about a book she and her class recently started reading, One For The Murphys. So far, they have met the main character and have been introduced to her life. Amber described what they have read so far, and she asked her classmates some questions about what they thought would happen in the book. Even though she just started the book, she thinks it is really good and is excited to finish it.  I told Amber that this is a great post. I have never read this book, but it sounds very intriguing. I am excited to see that she is so interesting in reading this book. Since I am going to be an English teacher, it is encouraging to see that kids are enjoying their reading. I told her that I know a lot of people who dislike reading, but it is a wonderful thing to pick up a book and live in that world for a while. She wrote a great summary of what she has read.

October 20-26


Volcano erruptingNoah is a year six student at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand. Noah's post was about a field trip his class got to take. Last Thursday, his school's six, seven, and eight classes got to go to the museum. First, they had morning tea. Then, once in the museum, they got to see all sorts of neat things, such as marae houses, dinosaur bones, an old town, and a library with books about soldiers and war. His favorite exhibit was the volcano because of the special effects that went along with it. After they saw the volcano, they had lunch time. After lunch, they got to see the rest of the museum before going back to school. This was a very fun post, so I told Noah of my experiences with museums. I told him that I love museums of all kinds, and it sounds like they went to a great one. My favorite thing would have been the library, but that's not surprising since I am going to be an English teacher. It surely seems like they enjoyed this trip. I know I would have! Lastly, I asked him what was in the rest of the museum that they saw after lunch and told him that this was a wonderful blog post.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Blog Post #9

What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Based Learning?

First up this week was Seven Essential Elements for Project-Based Learning by John Larmer and John R. Mergendoller. Larmer and Mergendollar say, "A project is meaningful if it fulfills two criteria. First, students must perceive the work as personally meaningful, as a task that matters and that they want to do well. Second, a meaningful project fulfills an educational purpose. Well-designed and well-implemented project-based learning is meaningful in both ways." This page taught me about how to structure project-based learning lessons as a teacher. We have already made one lesson, and I got some idea of it, but I really felt like I had no idea what I was doing. This website help me clearly see the difference between doing projects and learning through projects, something every teacher who wants to use project-based learning must realize. This not only teaches us how to present project-based learning as teachers, but it also presents how to make learning meaningful to the students.

Seven Essential For Project-Based Learning:

1. A Need to Know
need to know

This is the entry event for every PBL lesson plan. Without a need to know, students do not feel compelled to truly learn in the project. They are doing it for a good grade or because it will be on the test, not because they want to take up the challenge of learning about something.

questions equal more bigger questions
2. A Driving Question
This gives the project a clear purpose. This should not be a question with a simple answer. Higher level critical thinking should be evoked through this questions. It can be abstract or concrete, but it should always drive the students to do some serious thinking.

student voice megaphone3. Student Voice and Choice
This makes the project feel meaningful to students. If a project does not feel meaningful, the students will not want to learn or take up the challenge of answering the driving question.

4. 21st Century Skills
This one was not knew to me. We have already learned quite a bit about building these skills in our future students. These skills are essential for being successful in this technological world.

5. Inquiry and Innovation
This drives students to form new questions on their own. Since questions are the basis of all learning, these students are truly using their skills to become better learners. With new inquiries come new answers. Instead of finding someone else's answer in a book or online, students can come up with their own answers when they begin asking new questions.

feedback conversation6. Feedback and Revision
These two are very important to the learning process. Students must learn that the first time something is done, it probably isn't of the highest quality. We are always revising things, not just in school. Revision is a part of life, and feedback must be taken and used to improve what we are doing.

7. A Publicly Presented Product
When students realize that their work is going to be seen outside of the classroom, the work they does tends to be of much higher quality. Higher quality work is typically a product of higher quality learning.

Next up was the video Project Based Learning for Teachers by Tony Vincent. This video emphasizes Project Based Learning's ability to utilize technology and make students the center of their own learning. It addresses the need for a driving question, an audience, and extended amounts of time for students to work. According to the video, "Common Core Standards are the What", and "Project Based Learning is the How." This really struck me as something new and important. We have learned about both Common Core and PBL, but until now, I had not consciously seen them this way. When putting together our first lesson plan, obviously this is what we did. We used a project based learning lesson plan to achieve certain standards. I just really enjoyed the way Tony put this into perspective for me.

In the video, What Motivates Students? by Suzanne Ball, Suzanne conducts real interviews with students to answer these questions. She asked these two questions, and underneath are the answers she received:
self-motivation I know I can and I think I can post-it notes

What Motivates You To Do Good In School?
- pointing out you did well, recognizing the effort, makes you feel accomplished
-looking to the future, good job one day
-good grades for college and a degree for a future job
-parent approval, extracurricular activities, avoid punishment

Rewards That Work:
-surprises, eating lunch with teacher, classroom money, charts to keep track, money for stores-combining money
-candy, outside, work outside, music monday etc.
-food, school supplies (cool pencils), stickers
-brownie points

This video showed how students perceive their own progress in school. By knowing how students feel when they are complimented and why they want to do well in school, we as teachers can really focus on how to better our students. How to enhance our students learning in general is highly based upon the students themselves. Trying to further a child's education is a hard battle to win when they are not motivated or do not feel that their work is significant. By looking at these two questions and their answers, we can learn not just about Project Based Learning, but learning altogether.

Ten Sites Supporting Digital Classroom Collaboration in Project Based Learning can be found on Michael Gorman's blog. If you want some amazing sites for PBL, then check these out. Some of them are most definitely going in my bookmarks for later use. These websites taught me how broad Project Based Learning really is. There is some technological advancement for every aspect of learning that you could imagine, and if you can think of something there isn't a website for, I'm sure there will be one for it soon. These websites are great for motivating students to use technology instead of playing with it:

collaborative, not competitive classroom
1. Titan Pad
2. Wall Wisher
3. Corkboardme
4. Google Docs
5. Microsoft Live
6. Today's Meet
7. Will You Type With Me
8. Linoit
9. Skype in Education
10. Quick Screen Share

Lastly, I looked at the story of Two Students Solve the Problem of Watery Ketchup by Designing a New Cap by journalist Lindsey Foat. This is the story of two seniors at North Liberty High School who both had one thing in common, ketchup. Together, the two boys used their school's technological capabilities to design and 3D print a new design for ketchup tops. This article is a great example that student motivation and engagement has the power to create wonderful products if the students are just given the opportunity to create something meaningful. The boys said they always started their projected with the phrase "It really bugs me when..." It may not be a driving question, but it surely does provoke critical thinking. This article shows that obviously, Project Based Learning can be extremely fun.

"But it is the process of students' learning and the depth of their cognitive engagement— rather than the resulting product—that distinguishes projects from busywork."-John Larmer and John R. Mergendoller

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Project #9

Video Book Conversation:

Blog Post #8

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

Randy Pausch at his Last Lecture
Randy was a Computer Science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. In this video, Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, he discussed many aspects of his life including:

  • His Childhood Dreams
  • Enabling the Dreams of Others
  • Lessons Learned: How You Can Achieve Your Dreams or Enable the Dreams of Others
As I walk through Randy's lecture, I will be be relating what Randy believes as well as how I am applying it to my future career as both a teacher and a learner. As a child, Randy was always smiling. He did a great deal of dreaming. No matter what, we should never lose the passion for dreaming; furthermore, having specific dreams is important. 

His Childhood Dreams:
  • Being in zero gravity
  • Playing in the NFL
  • Authoring an article in the World Book encyclopedia
  • Being Captain Kirk
  • Winning stuffed animals
  • Being a Disney Imagineer

Zero Gravity:
All of Randy's dreams were quite specific dreams, but this one was very specific. He didn't want to be an astronaut. He just wanted to have the feeling of weightlessness. In this dream, he encountered several brick walls, but he pushed right past them. 

Football on fieldIn not achieving this dream, Randy learned more than he would have had he accomplished it. This dream taught him fundamentals. If you don't have fundamentals, nothing else you try to build will work. He also learned that it's a good thing to be criticized by those who are trying to teach you. When you screw up and no one is saying anything anymore, that person has given up on you. Critics still show that someone cares. When you are messing up and no one notices, you're in a bad place. He also realized that when you do something young enough, it becomes a part of you. If we can instill good educational habits and new ways of learning in our children from young ages, it will become part of them. Randy says, "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." In terms of learning in general, we tend to learn things indirectly. The "head fake" is when we teach and learn things in this indirect method. We may be having fun doing a project, but all the while, we are learning hard skills. People learn best if they think they're learning something else, such as learning teamwork skills through football. We all tend to enjoy learning hard things if we are having fun while doing it. We send our kids to play sports in order to learn more important skills, but we should be teaching our students in ways that instill these same skills as well as necessary 21st century skills. 

Being Captain Kirk:
Dreaming of one day meeting Captain Kirk actually turned into Meeting Captain Kirk. Randy did not get to meet him as a child but met him as an adult. As Randy thought about why he had so greatly looked up to this man, he was perplexed. Captain Kirk was not the smartest guy on the ship. There were others with much more obviously skill sets that he, but out of all the people surrounding Captain Kirk, he was the leader. Leadership is key in both teaching and learning. We are leaders of our own learning, whether we are designated a student or a teacher. As future teachers, we will be the obvious leaders, but we must instill in our students great senses of leadership.

Being an Imagineer:

Walt Disney Imagineering LogoRandy was rejected from the job of becoming an Imagineer for Disney. He met huge brick walls, but brick walls appear for a reason. They are not there to keep us from the goal we are pursuing. They are there to see how badly we will work for our goals and how badly we want them. They're there to keep those who are not willing to work hard or dream big enough out. Randy did actually get an opportunity to work with the Imagineers on a virtual reality project where he met a man who gave him some great advice. This man said, "Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you." You must give people time. We must give our students time. Two people can say the same thing to someone, but it's all about how they say it. We are to be encouragers at all times. No matter what is being said, typically there is some encouraging way to say it. When people are negative, we realize that some brick walls that we encounter are unfortunately made of flesh. This project brought together artists and engineers. We must learn to do this in classrooms. It is our job to be guides in collaboration, and collaboration cannot be limited to people who are molded from the same clay. People from all sorts of backgrounds with various personalities need to be taught to collaborate and compromise with one another. 

Thoughts From Me:
Our dreams can teach a lot, especially when we don't realize it. Skills we would not have ever thought of learning can be wrapped up in our dreams. As education moves forward, we should be teaching and learning through our passions. Passion keeps everything exciting, engaging, and fun. Each child will be so much more interested in furthering their life if we can only make each and every education personal. This was my group's topic in our Video Book Conversation, and I am a firm believer that passion-based education is the best way to develop any child's interest. It's not just about learning through passion. We should teach through passion. Our passion should be to seek to better our students and understand each of their needs. Randy Pausch's video has only reiterated by belief in this. 

Enabling the Childhood Dreams of Others:

There is no better place to enable the dreams of others than being a teacher. We encourage dreams, and we teach skills that will help others throughout their entire lives. No matter how good the work we receive from our students, we should always encourage them to do better work. Even if we are blown away by the work, obviously we must be behind on something. They were able to achieve something that we couldn't fathom them doing, so we must start dreaming bigger dreams for our students. Never do we want to discourage a student from doing something bigger and better. Freedom is essential to have true, innovative project based learning. People will ignore feedback or they will take it. Either way, we must instill self-reflection.
All of these things Randy experienced for himself and imparted his wisdom on to us through this video. All of those things were about students learning, but he also had plenty experience on teaching. If you're going to do anything that is remotely pioneering in any field, you're going wind up with arrows in your back from someone. We cannot let those discourage us. We also must learning to deal with coworkers, amazing or terrible. We can never forget the importance of giving credit where credit is due. Randy deserves so much credit and admiration for these lessons and they way he lived his life. Everyday of his life was fun. He poses the question, "Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?" He most definitely was a Tigger.

Tigger bouncing on his tail
Lessons Learned: 
Randy lists some lessons at the end of the lecture that we should all learn. These are not about just teaching and learning, but they are about living life in general
  • Never Lose the Child-like Wonders
  • Help Others
  • Loyalty Is a Two-Way Street
  • Never Give Up
  • There Are Moments That Change Your Life
  • How to Get People to Help You: Tell the Truth, Be Earnest, Apologize, Focus on Others
  • Get a Feedback Loop and Listen to It
  • Show Gratitude
  • Don't Complain; Just Work Harder
  • Find the Best in Everybody, Even If You Have to Wait a Long Time
  • Be Prepared

All in all, education is not a job. It's a lifestyle. This whole lecture was not just about his life or the lessons we can learn from it. It was not about how to achieve your dreams, how to teach, or how to learn. This lesson was truly about how you live our own lives each day. 

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. 

Implications and Teaching Opportunities for Camera Use in Teaching and Learning


A recent study by Zogby Analzytics has uncovered staggering, yet not really surprising, statistics concerning young people aged 18-24 and their smartphones. Of these statistics, Dr. Strange specifically pointed us to six.

Smartphone Camera1. 87% say their smartphone never leaves their side.
2. 80% say the very first thing they do in the morning is reach for their smartphone.
3. 78% say they spend 2 or more hours per day using their smartphone.
4. 68% say they would prefer to use their smartphone instead of their laptop or personal computer for personal use.
5. 91% say that having a camera on their smartphone is important (61% very important)
6. 87% say they use their smartphone camera at least weekly. 59% use their smartphone camera at least every other day. 44% use their smartphone camera for still or motion picture taking every day.

Of these six, I would have to agree with at least five of them, or I would be lying. So if smartphones are so important to my generation already, what are we as student now going to be facing when we become educators? Our students will have spent their entire lives with these devices, cameras and all. What will the implications be for educations from the use of these phones and their cameras?

Obviously, there is no denying there will be implications. Anyone who believes that we can successfully combat this smartphone revolution and ban them from education should consider rethinking his or her platform. I believe there is no way around this but through acceptance. I personally was not allowed to use my phone for school, and many of my college professors still attempt to ban them from the classroom. I do not mind being without my phone. I can go for some old school learning, but I know that people who feel this way along with me are becoming scarce. While students are embracing, educators are denying. These data show that this denial is going to become more and more futile. The idea that we must embrace technology in education is only reiterated by these data. We must find a use for ALL aspects of new technology. Smartphones can't just be mini computers. Their wide range of capabilities must be utilized, or educators will be fighting an uphill battle against the students. Embracing this won't be a bad thing though. If the students are required to know these skills for a job, then obviously they need to be taught in classrooms how to use technology professionally.


How can smartphone cameras be used in the classroom?

  • Taking photos to make iMovies and other presentations
  • Recording self-reflections
  • Recording video for iMovies
  • Send photos of assignments to other group members
  • Send pictures to students of important dates on a calendar
  • Send pictures to students of project instructions
  • Work on photo filtering and manipulation to teach how to use them professionally instead of childishly
  • Take pictures of projects to upload onto blogs or other websites for the class
This is only the beginning! There are so many ways to be discovered to embrace technology in the classroom!



This week, I was assigned to Karl Fisch and his blog, The Fisch Bowl (clever, right?). Karl has been a math teacher for twenty-five years and currently works as the Director of Technology at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado. This week, Karl posted a powerful video to his blog. I cannot summarize this video, as it is immensely to powerful to put into words. The video portrays a story, but that is all I can say about it. You MUST watch this video for yourself. It is more powerful than anything I could ever say! Not only is a wonderful portrayal of digital storytelling and poetry, but it is also contains a powerful subject that should be discussed.

C4T#2, comment 1

In my comment, I truly did not know what to say. I immensely enjoyed watching. I told him that I am supposed to summarize his post on my blog, but I would not be able to do this video justice; therefore, I am just going to include this video in my post. I went on to tell him basically what I said above, and that maybe once I watch it a few more times then I will know exactly how I feel. Lastly, I thanked him for posting this video.


In this short and simple post, Karl asked his students as colleagues to post what their last five tweets or other social media posts were and what they hoped those tweets or posts said about them. Although it was short and simple, the comments he received on it were quite interesting. Over one-hundred people commented.

Megaphone with social media flowing out of it

C4T#2, comment 2

Oddly, I have quite a few social media accounts, but I do not post to any of them. I use them to explore what others are doing. I don't do this in a nosy way, but I enjoy reading the ideas of others and looking at what is important to them. Because I am in EDM310, I told him about my blog posts and described what they contain. In regards to what I hope they say about me, I hope they show that I am serious about my schoolwork and that I am creative in my use of technology.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Project #13

This link below is connected to our Google Site that we created to share our lesson plan: Lesson Plan #1 Created by Heather Howton, Justin Thompson, Alex Odell, and Adrea Fust

Rosie the Riveter propaganda ad

Our lesson plan is directed at a tenth grade English class. In our lesson plan, the students will be learning about propaganda and its various categories. The students will explore examples of propaganda on their own as well as making a group ad on a their assigned category.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Project #7 Part 2

Classroom Introduction for Parents:

Classroom Introduction for Students: 

Blog Post #7

How Do We All Become Learners?

You learn something every day if you pay attention. Ray LebondSchools are turning more and more towards Project Based Learning lately, and by all means I think this with wonderful based on what I have learned so far; however, by no means do I feel anywhere near ready to teach in this way. I myself have just become a learner on how to educate. Gladly, I have at least two and half more years to figure out how to become a teacher. I know that I will be able to embrace being both a teacher and a learner in a setting where technology has such importance. Although I am not prepared yet, I would still say that I have some strengths that will be very useful in becoming a project based teacher.  I have a strong desire to learn that leads me to being open to trying new things. I am not afraid to be a learner with my future students. I do not expect to gain all the knowledge I need during college and then never learn anything else. I expect to and hope that I will learn something new every day of my life, so I am not ashamed when I do not know the right answers. I also love exploring new technology. I could sit and click around on a computer all day long just to see what it can do and be perfectly happy. Of course with strengths come weaknesses. I have had no exposure to any type of learning such as this before this class. Technology and learning while teaching are very new to me. I can honestly say right now I have no idea what I am doing, but I feel as I go through videos such as the ones below and our other assignments, it is becoming clearer how to utilize technology to its fullest.

QR Codes:

QR code to my blog
Since QR codes have become a popular thing, I think I may have scanned two? Needless to say, I don't know much about them. I thought I had the basics covered, but then I realized at most all I knew was how to scan them. I had no clue what they could be used other than advertising and no idea how to create them. In the video How to Make An Audio QRCOde, Michele Bennett gives a great overview on how to make audio QR codes; furthermore, she gives a great example on how they can be used. Many kindergarten and elementary teachers make QR codes of themselves reading books. The students can then have the teacher read the book over and over to them, so the teacher essentially also becomes a tutor for the child. Wow was my mind blown over this idea. I would have never in my life thought of this! Maybe that's why I'm not going to be an elementary teacher? Regardless, what a fascinating and practical function for technology!
With the website, anyone can record an mp3 that is transferred into a URL . Once it is recorded, it can be played back and accepted, or it can be redone. Then, the URL is transferred into the website When the URL is pasted into the website, the QR code is generated and can be copied and pasted. Not only does this website support URL generations, but it can also generate QR codes for text, email, phone numbers, and many other things. This is a multifunction website and a great one to have. Not only did this video provide me with the basic knowledge for generating a QR code, it got me thinking on how I could possibly use them in my classroom one day. Although I'm not exactly how I would, I am definitely going to keep them in mind and bookmark this generator for future reference and pondering!

iPads and Reading:

In this video iPad Reading Center with Ginger Tuck, her students are reading and recording in a center for kindergarten. In this exercise, the students read a story while recording themselves on an iPad. Then, once they are finished, they play the video back and read along with it to see if they made any mistakes. This is a very easy exercise and is a great reinforcement tool for students. I had not heard of this method before. I observed a kindergarten class recently, and they did not do anything close to this type of exercise. They all seemed to be pretty good readers, but this is a good independent exercise to increase learning. I love that this exercise is independent and only guided by the teachers. This early on in schools students are being taught 21st century skills. This is excellent! I not only learned a new method for enforcing reading in this video, but I was also reinforced with the need to build these skills such as independent in these up and coming generations.


Popplet Logo. See what you think, together.Ginger Tuck and two of the children in her classroom help to explain the free app Popplet in this video Popplet with Ginger Tuck. Popplet is a way to develop virtual thought webs that include both pictures and text. I actually got out my iPad and downloaded this one for myself. Ginger uses this app of her reading centers, so that the children can read a book and then transfer it into a Popplet. This enhances both the reading skills and typing skills of her students. Students also practice taking pictures of the book when they are making their webs. I was a little confused on exactly what all this could be used for just from watching this video, but when I downloaded it for myself, I decided to not even delete it when I finished exploring it. This is just a great app in general for brainstorming. Its text and picture features provide great tools for all types of brainstorming.

Alabama Virtual Library:

Alabama Virtual Library Logo. Connecting you to a world of knowledge.This video, AVL and Kindergarten Students, is such a reinforcement to me of how advanced our kindergarteners can be these days! These children are logging into libraries, choosing what to look up, watching videos and audio on what they find, and then report back on what they have found by writing a sentence about each thing. These students are accountable for their own work. These are pure twenty-first century skills being taught! The abilities of children who are being taught today and how they are being taught just blows my mind.

Board Builders: 

These three videos, Tammy Shirley Discovery Education Board Builder Moon ProjectMrs.Tassin 2nd Grade students share Board Builder Project, and Mrs.Tassin students share Board Builder Project are about Board Builder for Project Based Learning and explain what Board Builder is and how students can use it. Board Builder is a feature of the Discovery Education program. Students can use it to organize their research into an simple but effective presentation. Boards can be built on just about any topic. Through this, these children are truly taking charge of their learning. The teachers are there to guide them, so the children to their own research. I am learning about how education from just watching these children, and they inspire me to continue to have a passion for learning.

iMovie and the Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten:

Kindergarteners are making iMovie Book Trailers. Wait, didn't I make one of those last week for the first time ever? How behind do I feel? It is uncanny how these children can grasp technology so easily. I said it in my last post, and I will say it again. Technology is a second language for children. All of these videos reinforce my belief in this! Dr. Strange, Michele Bennett, and and Elizabeth Davis discuss iMovies and AVL in Kindergarten in Using iMovie and the Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten. Making these iMovies doesn't only give them experience with technology, but it also improves their editing skills, something that most people my age don't really care about as far as I can tell. Michele Bennett says that once the mechanics of a program are established, the students take off and run with it, and this could not be any more true. Almost always, students exceed our expectations, so we should never put limits on what they can achieve! With the Alabama Virtual Library, students can search and learn to do basic research at a very early age. At this age, they are excited about using these abilities and are proud of what they have accomplished. It's like pulling teeth around a college most of the time to get students to do research!

We All Become Learners:

In We All Become Learners, Dr. Strange, Michele Bennet, and Elizabeth Davis continue their conversation about technology in elementary schools. By using technological devices in classrooms, everyone become both a teacher and a learner. Using these devices can help to lower to the barriers in classrooms between teachers and students. In this way, everyone is learning from one another. Classrooms become personal learning networks within themselves.

Technology rocks. seriously.