Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blog Assignment 5

The iSchool Initiative
Many schools around the country are struggling financially. They receive little funding, if any, to provide their students with the resources they need to compete academically with the rest of the world. Travis Allen had a solution. The iSchool Initiative was created when he was a high school senior in Fayetteville, Georgia and his school was experiencing financial difficulty just like the rest of the nation. So, he discovered the idea of going paperless. All of the students would receive iPod touch devices which would replace books. The students could share work over email and have several useful apps. Some of these apps include a Constitution app (you can see every part of the U.S. Constitution), a planet app (you can discover the solar system), and a presidents app (every president is listed with information about each one). All of these could take thousands of pieces of paper to print or you would need an expensive textbook to find all of this information. Not anymore! The overall cost of supplies/books for a student is normally around $600. With Allen's ideas, the cost to supply a student with the same information is roughly $150. This is a revolutionary thought that could save education systems millions of dollars.

I liked how students formed these plans and began to put it into action. They wanted to change the education system because they felt as if they were falling behind the times. Many kids talk about what should be done, but Travis Allen and The iSchool Initiative put it into action. Because of their perseverance, students across the nation are receiving the top technology possible. This is why EDM 310 is so important because students are beginning to receive this new technology and they do not know how to use it. As teachers begin to understand these innovations, students will only grow into better learners.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
In this video, Eric Whitacre created a choir, but not any ordinary choir. The choir includes roughly 2,000 members that send in video of themselves singing. Whitacre compiles them to form his virtual choir. This would be very difficult to perform in person which is why this is so mind boggling. Imagine 2,000 people in one room. It is just not practical!

Virtual Choir

I was so amazed by this video. People with incredible voices from around the world can now sing together without having to travel at all. So many different sounding voices can be chosen by the conductor to place into their song. This can change the future of choir and recording songs. YouTube has already become the stepping stone to stardom for many famous artists and I think those numbers will continue to grow.

Teaching in the 21st Century

Kevin Roberts has a plan for teaching students in the 21st century. Teachers will provide all information for their course on the internet, while teaching them the tools that can be used on the internet. This way, they are learning information while learning crucial technology skills. Teachers will allow for students to figure out how to use tools like Google and Facebook, which in turn will teach them how to problem solve and learn things on their own instead of being spoon-fed by the teacher. Also, teachers can warn them about illegal acts that can be committed on the internet. Some of these include plagiarism, pirating, and copyright. Students will be forced to act in a professional manner at a younger age.

There are so many possibilities for educating students with the technology we have today. Computers and phones will no longer just be used for entertainment. They will be used to engage students and make them excited about learning while it will be meaningful at the same time. As an future educator, I will need to start this revolution. The generation of teachers before me did not take EDM 310 to open their eyes to how important technology is. The teacher can make a difference. If they open these new teaching tools to students, the classroom will be a better learning environment and the students will be more prepared for adversity they will face in the world.

Flipping The Classroom
Lodge McCammon
In a classroom setting, there are three types of students. These include the higher level students (who are not challenged), the middle level (in which the majority of students lie), and the lower level students (the struggling students). With Dr. Lodge McCammon's concept of Flipping The Classroom, all three groups of student's needs can be met. Typically in a classroom, 90% of time spent is lecture oriented and 10% of the time is used to learn and practice a concept. Anything you do not complete is finished in homework. Most students learn better by practicing a concept. By "Flipping the Classroom", more of the learning will be done in the classroom and the lecture will be received outside the classroom via videos created by the teacher. This is better for the student because all levels of learners can benefit. Higher level students can move on to new lessons after they have grasped a concept. Middle level students will be able to easily follow along in class. Lower level students can re-watch the lectures until they fully understand a concept. Also, this benefits the teachers because if a student is ill, the students can go online to see what they missed and will not be behind. What if the students do not watch the videos? Does this help with disciplinary issues? These questions and more can be answered by Flipped Classroom-FAQ created by Katie Gimbar. This seems to be a great solution for engaging all students in the classroom. I will definitely try and incorporate this into my curriculum because i think that it will be very practical.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blog Assignment 4

Langwitches-Podcasting with 1st Grade
Podcast symbol
According to Langwitches, podcasting is a positive way to relay information to kids. They love that what they are doing can be received by anyone in the world, showing that they really do matter. In these student's podcast, they did a question and answer series from a popular children's book series, The Magic Treehouse. The students were very interested in making the podcasts perfect. If there was even the slightest sound in the background, they told the teacher they wanted to do it over. For the students, it was kind of like they were in acting class, and they enjoyed it tremendously.

I thought that it was cool that the kids began to deconstruct their voices and the way they sounded. I believe that podcasts will help students speak more clearly and even correct speech impediments. The kids seemed to enjoy critiquing their voices to improve. This trait is hard to grasp, but I think podcasts will help. The podcast was so good that sounded like someone from a audio book company compiled it. This teacher did a great job with these kids and I will definitely try and interweave this concept into my curriculum whenever I become an educator.

Flat Stanley Podcast
It is amazing what children can do with technology. In this post, they discuss a podcast that included children from many parts of the world. What brought all of them together? A little piece of paper cut into a person named Flat Stanley. Flat Stanley is used to show the children and explore different parts of the world. The kids research a certain part of the world by reading or looking on the internet so that the kids could learn about different cultures. This concept has been used for many years now, so these classrooms decided to bring in technology and make a podcast. After students researched their location of choice, they would write a script about that place for the podcast and add them all together to form a large podcast.

I think that by using Flat Stanley, the kids have a better chance of remembering geographical and historical information. Also, it is pretty cool that they get to connect with other parts of the world by doing a similar assignment. Kids like to connect with people they do not know from other places. I believe that Flat Stanley will continue to be used for a long time.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
For the next generation of learners, technology is all that they know. Podcasting is becoming a major part of the way they learn. It allows for creativity and innovation within the students. Podcasts make the students use higher level thinking skills due to them having to explain concepts and ask questions. It can also be much easier on the teacher. They can record their lecture on a podcast, so that they do not have to repeat it every time that a new class comes in. Also, if a student is out sick, they do not miss any important information and can hear the information when they are feeling up to it.

This video is very informative and covers everything anyone would need to know about podcasts. They prove to be very convienient for teachers and save a lot of time. Students also gain a lot more from them because they have to recall information out loud. If they do not know their information, they could mislead or give someone the wrong idea about a concept. Overall, podcasts are the future of our classrooms and will help students better their brain capacity.

Project #3- C4T #1

The Power of Educational Technology
Wednesday, July 18, 2012-Focusing on What Works!
Mrs. Liz Davis' post pertained to a book called The Thin Book Of Appreciative Inquiry by Sue Annis Hammond. It gave us eight tips that can be used in the workplace or life. These included:
1. "In every society, organization, or group something works."
2. "What we focus on becomes our reality."
3. "Reality is created in the moment, and there are multiple realities."
4. "The act of asking questions of an organization or group influences the group in some way."
5. "People have more confidence and comfort to journey to the future (the unknown) when they carry forward parts of the past (the known)."
6. "If we carry parts of the past forward, they should be what is best about the past."
7. "It is important to value differences."
8. "The language we use creates our reality."
The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry
Under each of these tips, Davis gives a description. In my comment, I told her how I would definitely use these suggestions as an educator and how helpful they would be. Also, I talked about how the book sounded interesting and that I would love to read it.

Wednesday, September 19,2012-iPad Ideas for Sept 19, 2012
This post showed it's readers how to add an icon on an iPad or iPhone for a link to any website you would like. This can be very useful because it is sometimes very time consuming to type in a web address with your fingers every time you need to get to a website. In the classroom, this would be an easy way for your students to quickly get to a page that you are using for your class session. I told Mrs. Davis that I thought this concept was genius. Also, I sometimes have trouble with the iPhone keyboard due to it being so small. This will save me from that hassle of typing things I do not want.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blog Assignment 3

Peer Editing
Writing a review for someone is not always the easiest thing to accomplish. It is hard to establish the line between positively critiquing and negatively criticizing. In What is Peer Editing?, the Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial, and Writing A Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes students are given several tips on how to correctly peer edit what someone has written. We must learn how to effectively use peer editing to achieve progress on our writing. These three resources help reveal to us what we must do.

What is Peer Editing gives us the definition of peer and editing. This helps us fully understand what we are trying to accomplish when leaving comments. In the Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial, students are given a three step process to guide us when peer editing. First you must compliment the student on what they have done well. Next, you give suggestions to better their writing. Lastly, you provide them with corrections
Picky Patty and another student discussing an essay
like grammar problems or spelling issues. Tim Bedley's class created the video Writing A Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes. They use cute examples like "Picky Patty" to show what not to do when critiquing someones work or how to react when someone is editing what you have written. Peer editing can be useful to better your work if done correctly.

Technology In Special Education
Technology, like computers, can be used to benefit special needs children as shown by Stephanie Tyler in Technology In Special Education. Children who cannot vocalize their thoughts or have trouble reading sometimes have trouble keeping up in their classes. Different devices can help diminish this and begin to excel. Some of these devices include specialized computers and iPod touches that can read to the kids. Students can now focus on learning instead of how to communicate with the teacher.

There are many students that are non verbal or have physical and cognitive complications that doctors may not be able to fix, but educators can make school a lot easier for them. For example, at one point children had to leave the classroom during silent reading if they needed help by having a teacher read to them. Now, iPod touches can read their books to them without having to bother other students in the process. Computers help tremendously in the education of special needs children. They can now type what they want to say instead of struggling to write or point out letters on a sheet of paper. Also due to all of this technology, students are more eager to learn which in turn is improving the lives of many children who would have never had the opportunity a few years earlier.

Assistive Chat
"Assistive Chat" is an app from Apple that helps people who have difficulty with or cannot speak to others have the capability to communicate. The student can type in what they want to say and the device reads it aloud for them. Sentences can be saved and words are predicted so that they do not have to type out all of the words every time they try to talk. You can even choose how you would like the voice to sound and the speed of the voice. This is a revolutionary idea that will be used for several years to come.
This app would allow these students to be able to have discussions in class and connect with other classmates. Some of these kids probably never thought they would have a chance to carry on an actual conversation. Now the teacher can receive actual responses from their students. Most of these kids are very intelligent, but cannot verbalize it. This would change that and allow them to feel normal for once.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
In Vicki Davis' classroom, you will not see pencils or paper. She uses technology to teach her students how to learn on their own. Davis said that she does not know everything about technology and learns something new everyday. Davis proves to be very humble by admitting this. Technology is always being innovated to equip people with things to make life easier.

I liked how Davis made the students teach the class. When I was required to do this, it seemed like I was forced to learn something and it made it easier for me to remember. Her class seems to be set up a lot like our EDM 310 class. These students are able to learn from things they use everyday like Twitter, blogs, and even text messaging. Students are more likely to participate if these techniques are used.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Blog Assignment 2

Did You Know? 3.0 By John Strange
Over time, new technology arises. Although this is true, the way we teach our children in the classroom does not mirror the new innovations. In John Strange's presentation, he shows how the United States is falling behind in educational standards and how new technology would help lessen the ratio. Strange states that India has as many honor students as the United States has students! Also at some point in the future, China will have more English-speaking people than US citizens. These incredible numbers show how advanced other countries are educationally and how far we have to go as a nation.

Some may argue that students are not prepared for a move towards new technology.
Although the belief of many is that not all children have computers in their homes, yet in reality 92% of students from the ages 8-12 do have them. Most children seem to know how to use them better than the older generation does. I believe that educators are scared to move towards new technology because the students know how to use computers, Google, SMS texting, and YouTube better than they do. If we were able to start using these things in the classroom, students would be more likely to respond and participate in learning activities. As we start to shift this mindset, the United States will arise to an elite educational status.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
Mr. Winkle getting out of bed
After being asleep for one hundred years, Mr. Winkle awoke to find that many things have changed in the world of technology. He goes to an office building and a hospital which house things that he had never seen nor heard of before. Winkle describes things like printers and computers that were all foreign ideas to him. This shows how technology can change drastically in one hundred years. Things people had never thought of back then can be created now.

Near the end of the video, Mr. Winkle goes into a school. He sees that everything is the same and he feels comfortable there. This shows the progress in the world of technology and how there has been no progression of technology in schools. It seems that with everything else progressing into new horizons, shouldn't the schools also be moving forward. We are only holding the next generation back by not giving them the tools they need to succeed.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
In Robinson's Presentation, he uses his dry sense of humor to persuade the audience how important creativity is in a child. He says that by telling children that they are making mistakes, we are keeping them from expanding their creative ability. Robinson stated "We do not grow into creativity, but grow out of it." I believe that this is true because the world tends to tell us the way things are supposed to be. For example, artistic people are percieved to be not as successful as a lawyer or doctor. People try to say how much money you make is how successful you are and that is not the case. The academic system is based upon academic ability and this is why we are hurting these children.

In the future, degrees will become unimportant because of the push for every child to attend college. Therefore, the job market will not have as many jobs for these kids finishing college. This is why students need to choose a career that they will be happy in because they have a better chance of getting a job for something they are more passionate about than how much money they will make. Ken Robinson makes us realize how education or intelligence is in the eye of the beholder and should not be based upon what others think.

A Day Made of Glass 2
Have you ever wondered what the future holds for technology? This video shows what the world would be like if they developed new innovations with glass. One concept shown was a 3D image that is reflected from the glass. This is something that people want to see in the future and it was cool to actually visualize this. All of the glass will be able to project images and be used as a touchscreen.

Why is this important? Glass is a more eco-friendly substance than other compounds like aluminum. Our world is trying to become more healthy and this will help that. As time goes on, this would be an awesome thing to see our world revolving around glass products.