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.