Monday, September 30, 2013

Blog Post #6

Asking Questions

Edm 310 is based around project based learning (PBL). How will we as educators promote, use, and implement PBL into our classrooms? Well, asking questions is how we get started. Getting students to think is the main goal, and asking them questions will do that. However, it is very important to know what, when, and how to ask. Ben Johnson, high school principal, author, and instructional learning coach says that "asking 'do you understand?' does not work, because often, students do not know that they do not understand." Such questions leave students behind and teaches them "learned helplessness" to just say yes to move on. Another approach to shy away from are yes and no questions. When you ask a question that can be answered with one word, that does not get the students to think on a wider scale.

Asking questions should increase student participation and encourage active learning! For a long time, and still today, the average student in America is just fed facts and never learns to actually think on their own. School should be a place to think. It should be an environment for opinions, debates, and new ideas. Asking questions should be a crucial part in assessment. Ask questions to assess what students have learned, develop thinking skills, and even to study for exams. When a student is asked a question it tells them that you are interested in what they think. Every question should be clear, direct, and specific. No question should be used more than once, and it is very important to wait paitently for their response.

Lastly, Whenever you get answers, respond with another question! This will keep students thinking and eventually it will teach them to go through the same thinking process with every problem in life.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

This iMovie looks a little bit different than the trailers in the example. I could not fit any of the examples to this children's book, and I found it to be very hard to change slides, music, and anything else on the themes. I hope it is okay.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Comments4Teachers Post #1

Post #1 

Annie Palmer's Breaking Education Barriers Blog

Ms. Palmer's latest blog was titled: Embarking on New Adventures. She shares that her newest teaching endeavor is being a reading interventionist. She enters this stage in life after ten successful years of teaching. Ms. Palmer says that all teachers have "moments of success and challenges in areas of teaching that we are more passionate about."Annie is passionate about reading, and everything to do with reading such as the instruction, motivation, and interventions. Her true joy comes when she helps children find amazing adventures in books which, in-turn, helps America's youth to be "life-long readers."
My comment to this blog post goes as follows...

"Ms. Palmer, It is nice to see a teacher pursuing their passions within the realm of education. I agree wholeheartedly that teaching students not only to read, but to be 'life-long readers' is very important. Reading is the foundation to almost everything academic, and is a very crucial factor when building upon education and that will ultimately 'eliminate some of the woes that face individuals and communities in our country.' Good luck on working on your leadership strengths in your new position, and I look forward to reading future posts."

Post #2

Unfortunately, Ms. Palmer has not published a new post since my previous summary, so I commented on the next to last one I could find. The title was Working Smarter, Not Harder: Setting Objectives. Annie says that the challenge with new and improved instruction is that there are so many new ideas out there, that educators may get too caught up in what is "new." It is important to focus on what works, rather than what is the newest idea. She also stresses that setting "end-of-lesson" objectives help keep her instruction focused. Then, after the lesson, re-visit those objectives to make sure they were met. 
My comment to this blog post goes as follows...

"Thank you for your post. As an aspiring teacher, I will definitely remember to focus on “research-based strategies that have been proven time and again to be effective… as opposed to the newest latest and greatest.” This will help me immensely, because lately it seems like there are so many new teaching strategies out there, and at times I feel like I am at a cross road, or even bogged down."

Project #3 Presentation

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Blog Post #4

Why Podcasts?
Basically, Podcasts are school lessons on steroids! Podcasts should be used in the classroom because almost one hundred percent of students today are millenials. Millenials are people born after the year 1980, who spend crazy amounts of hours daily on some sort of technology, so why not use technology to educate? Podcasting is a twenty-first century skill that promotes student-centered learning based from Bloom's Taxonomy. The overall goal when podcasting, or anything to do with Bloom's Taxonomy, is to get students to learn through creativity and innovation. Just a few ways that podcasts are able to do this, is allowing students to make presentations in their own voice, or reading information in someone else's voice or character, which makes learning fun. Podcasts are not only for students, but for the teachers disposal as well. For example, if a teacher podcasts every lecture, a home-bound sick student will not miss any classroom information that might be crucial for an upcoming test by watching the podcasts from home.

Langwitches' blog Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting, provides a great example of teaching listening comprehension through Podcasts. They said that in order for a student to learn a new word, they need to see and use that word over seventy times. Podcasts allow the student to see the word's letters, context, and its use in sentences. Not only that, but they create it by themselves! Through creating a Podcast, the student pronounces the word, therefore hearing and seeing it come out of his or her mouth, and then edit their own work.

Judy Scharf's Podcast Collection shared some critical things to remember when using Podcasts in the classroom. For starters, Be comfortable with the software yourself before teaching students how to use it. Give the students topics, allow them to pick their own groups, and allow plenty of time to work,  because lessons will always take longer than planned! Lastly, the students will take great pride in the Podcast they created, so invite the principal or a general audience so the students may display his or her work.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blog Post 3

How Can You Provide Meaningful Feedback to Your Peers?

After reading Paige Ellis' Blog Assignment #12, and watching What is Peer Editing, Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial, and Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes, I can honestly say that I can now edit peer work with ease. When reviewing someone else's work, the three things to address are compliments, suggestions, and corrections. By remembering these rules when editing, I can be a more effective editor through constructive criticism.

Complementing on someones work is not only a common courtesy, but it shows him or her that there are not only some things they have to work on, but that there are a lot of positives in their work. Most complements and corrections may be made through suggestions. I can suggest that I like (or dislike) their word choice, or details. I also ask myself if their work sticks to the main idea, if they have run-on sentences, or if their organization (flow) needs some work.

When editing someone it is important to remember that this is constructive criticism, and that our goal is to better each other! We can better each other by correcting punctuation, grammar, or spelling when it is noticed. To be a good peer editor, do not be picky, harsh, or general. It is also important to receive criticism well in return. When someone is offering constructive criticism, do not ignore it, and try not to be offended because we are all in this together!

My C4C assignment was to comment on, and edit Amanda Weller's most recent blog post on Flipping the Classroom. My positive feedback went as follows:
"Hey! I really liked your post on Flipping the Classroom. I agree that this style of teaching will "allow more creativity and students to get a more hands on experience with technology." I also liked the picture illustrating how the classroom instruction will be inverted from "lecture today" to "activity today." My only discretion would be that after reading it, I wanted to know more about how Flipping the Classroom actually works, but it is awesome that your blog makes me want to do so! Also, I think the apostrophe "s" in "teacher's" is out of place, but other than that, great post!"

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Blog Post 2

Mr. Dancealot   By: Daniel LoVette, Mary Brabston, Morgan Rushlow

Mr. Dancealot went about trying to teach the students dances by using the lecture/regurgitation model of education instead of demonstrating and letting the students perform the dances for themselves until the exam, which was not a good way to go about it. Why? Because the students were confused, bored and unsure about what to do when it came time for the exam. The students were not engaged in the learning process and it was unable to start up for them. Just like a vehicle that has lost its fuel and oil and can’t start, demonstration and hands-on experiences with concepts are the fuel that drives the learning process and learning can not begin without it. This shows a problem in education still today because this method of education is still use and it causes the same problems for the students that it did in this video. Our thought was, that we hope those students were able to figure out how to do the dances on their own and pass Mr. Dancealot’s test.

Teaching in the 21st Century - Kevin Roberts   By: Daniel LoVette

Kevin Roberts ultimately thinks that teaching in the 21st century means that “teachers are no longer the main source of information, they are filters,” and I could not agree more. As more technology is introduced into the average American classroom, educators need to implement these tools so that their students may look up information on their own, and not be “spoon-fed” facts. This ultimately leads students to do the same thing when asked an everyday question such as: “who should I vote for? Roberts sees teaching changing toward a more facilitating role. Teaching is changing due to the fact that an average student is capable of having access to an endless amount of information very easily. Information may be accessed through cellphones, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Google, online surveys, etc. I feel very convicted about the positions expressed in this video. Students need to learn that every question is followed by answering with creativity.To create, students must research, upload, post, link, network, and collaborate with others. Using any of these creativity techniques will give students a better chance at a deeper understanding of material. This Prezi by Kevin Roberts will affect me as an educator in many ways but overall it will help me be more efficient. I will show my students how publish and evaluate their work by using wikis, video, audio, and graphics. They will collaborate by using Skype, Google Docs, Twitter, Facebook, and create e-portfolios which they can reflect on their work and see progress. I will engage students rather than entertain them.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts By: Morgan Rushlow

Vicky Davis in this video- “Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts” believes that learning is better done simply by doing and finding information than just being lectured to. Davis believes that students can learn more in just a few short days of just doing research and getting practice with concepts than they would simply learning through lecture-or rote learning in a month. She believes that learning  about  using technology through just using it for whatever it is, research, or creating something is a better way to learn than just sitting  through a lecture. She believes you don’t have to know everything right away to learn, you just need some demonstration from trained experts and practice.

The Networked Student By: Mary Brabston

“The Networked Student” by Wendy Drexler was a very interesting clip to watch and to think about.  In the 21st century, teachers and students are quickly realizing that technology is not only used for entertainment purposes but for educational purposes also.  Teachers are no longer using handouts and textbooks to educate students instead they are using laptops, and iPads to educate their students.  Some students feel that since all of their assignments, assessments, and projects are completed online that they basically do not even have a teacher or an instructor and they are the ones actually educating themselves which brings up a great question: “why does the networked student even need a teacher?” One of the main theories in Wendy Drexler’s video is connectivism, which is a theory that presumes that learning occurs as part of a social network of many diverse connections and ties, but this network is only made possible through various tools and technology.   Drexler makes a good point that, “the tools are not as important though as the connections made possible through them,” referring to how important it is for students to make personal connections first to establish their own personal learning networking system.  Creating a personal learning network system is quite easy in today’s society since there are so many social networking websites such as Facebook, linked-in, twitter, blogspot etc.  Once a student either posts or shares a status, blogs, or tweets a website, article, video etc. about a specific topic they have found interesting, others too that have the same interest in that topic can comment and use the information they found.  Social media has opened doors for many educational purposes in the 21st century. Another 21st century technology device that can be used for educational purposes is an iTouch or an iPhone.  Since both the iTouch and iPhone is under the Apple operating system, students use the iTunes store to explore educational podcasts, videos, sound clips etc. about a specific topic they are interested in learning about.  iTunes also has a program called “iTunes U” which has tons of recorded courses and lectures from actual professors from top universities such as Yale, Stanford, Harvard, and other huge universities.  Students are becoming more of their own teacher today with all of these 21st technologies that are available because they are in control of what they are using as sources for their information.  It is also very important for any online student or any student in general to make sure they get class information/research from a credible website such as google scholar or an university or college school database system.  Students automatically assume once they find information or research that it is credible and useful but with today’s technology and various search engines, the information they could be using could be completely false.