Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Urban Seminar 2013

Hello bloggers! Now that I don't have to write specifically about class projects, I'm going to blog about this trip that I am taking. I am a part of the 2013 group of students who are taking a trip to Philadelphia to gain teaching experience in an urban setting. Philadelphia is a new place and I am really excited to be here. If you want to read what I'm experiencing here, please check out the page at the top of this blog labeled "Urban Seminar 2013." It is right next to the tab that says "My 21st Century Classroom." There is nothing up just yet, but please keep checking back for more!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Digital Citizenship inside an Elementary setting

Digital citizenship is simply about "teaching users the rules of good citizenship online; this usually includes email etiquette, protecting private information, staying safe online, and how to deal with bullying, whether you're a target or a bystander" ("American School in London"). As a future teacher, I want to be in an elementary classroom, specifically in grades 1-3. I believe Digital Citizenship is extremely important to teach students how to use technology and the internet safely. This project involved using Prezi to be able to answer five questions that were provided. Those questions can be seen inside the presentation itself. Enjoy!

Works Cited can be found here

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Learning to Unlearn

Everyday technology advances. It might not be available to the public yet, but it is advancing. This chapter in the book "The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age," the author states how important unlearning material is. Alvin Toffler said, "The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." I believe everyone has the ability to unlearn and then relearn what is needed. For example, we have gotten so technical and have morphed our writing into text speak. That must be unlearned in order to be relearned for formal writing.

There are three elements to unlearning and relearning. The first is knowledge for practice. This is a passive strategy. It lays the groundwork for gaining experience and it gives you shared information between your professional learning networks and professional learning communities. The next is knowledge in practice. This recognized the educators knowledge for improvement in the classroom. This is often referred to as "try it out and see if it works." You have to practice your opportunities so you can share your feedback with other educators who are looking to improve their practices in the classroom. The final element is knowledge of practice. This is collaborative. It allows or more deep learning and it goes beyond the classroom itself. This is more hypothetical and philosophical: asking many questions.

Teachers often teach from the ways in which they themselves were taught in grade school/secondary school. They often revert back to that style of teaching, but it is not effective to children in our classrooms to necessarily teach how we were taught. With all the advanced research, we now know there is such thing as differentiated learning and that we should have a differentiated classroom. As teachers, we must unlearn how we were taught and relearn how to teach the new generation and the generations to come.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Interactive Whiteboards in Today's Classroom

Every day, technology gets one step closer to being, well, we don't know what technology is stepping closer to. Perhaps it's stepping towards all of the mass destruction that happens in Terminator. Or it could be moving towards the animated movie, Meet the Robinsons where there were flying cars, bubble travel and human-like robots have accentuated emotion and feelings and speech. The truth is, we don't actually know where the future of technology is taking us. While we do know it's movie forward, we are also moving much of this technology into our classrooms. One form of this is the addition of the interactive white board (IWB) into classrooms.

Interactive white boards are simply white boards that are connected to a computer, essentially creating a large computer screen. It is touchable and 100% interactive. Two companies are currently the leaders in this technology. They are SMART and Promethean. Each company put a twist onto the board itself and how it is able to be used, but these are the companies that are most often found in classrooms. When I was in high school, we had a SMART/Promethean board in every classroom. Some classrooms never used them, but in my freshman English class, my teacher created games and we played the games to review the material. It was always a lot of fun and we were able to learn and make sure we knew the material. It was really helpful for everyone.

Personally, I believe that these are great tools to use in a classroom. They are interactive and kids love interaction. It isn't necessarily a hands on type of deal, but it has enough of an interactive appeal to act as hands on as possible. Teachers have done dissections using the boards, word games, presentations, math activities, and many other activities. The boards can be very useful when it comes to creating a differentiated classroom. Every single student is very different from the next student you will teach. Whether they are visual or a kinetic learner or anything else, the boards can be set up to play to everyone's strengths. The visual learners see it, the auditory learners hear it, and the kinesthetic learners do it.

Monday, March 25, 2013


So differentiation is a new concept that schools and teachers are working into every day lessons. It is something that is very important and is needed. Every student learns completely from the next student that you will have in your classroom. At first I didn't really understand what differentiation was exactly. I watched videos for class and I read one article titled "Deciding to Teach Them All" and a second article titled "Differentiating Instruction to Include All Students." Both were very helpful in learning what differentiation actually is. It's about giving students options to do the same work as their peers, but at a different pace and by using their style of learning.

The main goal of differentiation is to maximize student growth and to promote individual student success. With classrooms becoming more and more diverse, that means students learning styles are becoming more and more diverse. There are many different learning styles and with so many, it makes it difficult to find a one-size-fits-all type of activity. Technology helps with this by being able to give options to students. Many students work better as a visual learner while others are more hands-on. Technology can help with both.  3D is an up and coming industry and it also gives every type of learner help with the project or activity they may be working on. It's something that is tailored to the individual learner while still being useful for everyone else. Differentiation may be hard to think of activity wise, but it is definitely beneficial to the students learning the material.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Twitter and Me!

Twitter and I have always been best friends. I have had a twitter account for a while now. While I am really big into other social networking sites like Facebook and Tumblr, Twitter has always been one of those websites that I make sure I update and watch. I knew how to use tweetdeck before Professor Smith told us about it. I have always liked Twitter. It's the place I go when I need to say something that I can't say on Facebook because of family, even though it's only 140 characters long.

In class, we had to make a professional Twitter account, so I now have two Twitter accounts: my personal Twitter and my professional Twitter. Today during class we had a quiz. It wasn't a normal quiz though. We were in groups of three, but we couldn't talk. My professor posted the questions via twitter and we had to answer them via twitter. Then, with our groups we had to post the answers into a Google drive document. My group all got on Facebook and communicated that way while at the same time using Twitter and Tweetdeck.

I really enjoyed using that as a quiz. It seemed confusing at first, but it turned out to not be so bad. He showed us another way to use twitter in our future classrooms. In a classroom, a teacher might ask a question and one or two students will answer; whereas, if you post a tweet stating the question, every student can answer the question simultaneously and I as the teacher can go through and favorite or re-tweet the best answers.  I think Twitter can be a good tool in my classroom and that I will find someway to incorporate it one day!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Final Frontier

In my technology class, we had the first project of the semester:  a group presentation. We had to use Google drive, which is an updated version of Google docs. Included in the presentation had to be a call to action, an embedded link, transitions from slide to slide, images, and links to outside sources. I worked on this project with Megan Trinh and Meg Dulion .

The article, titled "Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs: The Final Frontier in Our Quest for Technology Integration," can be found here. This article discusses teacher's beliefs in switching to technology-based teaching in the classrooms. It goes by three main experiences: First hand experiences, vicarious experiences, and social-cultural experiences. It discusses whether or not teachers are willing to change their beliefs from old school to new school, so to speak. Experiences have a lot to do with beliefs of teachers.

I really enjoyed working with a group and being able to use Google drive to collaborative with my group. Through technology, we were able to access the same presentation via Google. We were able to work on the presentation on our own time, while still working together. I love being able to do that with my busy schedule. 

Here is our presentation on the changes of technology. In this, we show statistics, first order changes vs. second order changes, safety measures, and was even able to add in a Meet the Robinsons quote "keep moving forward!"