How Do We All Become Learners?
Schools 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.
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 http://www.recordmp3.org/, 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 http://www.qrcode-monkey.com/. 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.
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:
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.
These three videos, Tammy Shirley Discovery Education Board Builder Moon Project, Mrs.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.