Sunday, February 22, 2015

Blog Post #6

What do you learn with these conversations with Anthony Capps?

There was a lot to gain from the videos between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps. Within the videos Project Based Learning Part 1 and Project Based Learning Part 2 both gentlemen went over the premise of teaching rather than scanning over regurgitated knowledge. In order for students to perform well they must be given an excellent amount of information. Examples given are:

1. Authentic Audience
2. Students must be interested in the subject
3. Community Involvement
4. Content Driven

In a classroom it is not the job of the teacher to limit the amount of creative potential a child has, moreover, it is our job to give them chances to explore. Each lesson using project based learning is an opportunity for students to stretch their creative muscles and showcase what they've learned.

tips.atozteacherstuff.comSome aids that Capps brought up that he found beneficial for his students to utilize. They are iCurio and Discovery Education. iCurio is a great tool due to the fact that it is a safe search engine for students to use. As well, students can use a "bookmarking" type function to save places they've visited and information they have acquired. This gives students a chance to organize information and learn how to search for items by criteria instead of just name or content purpose. Discovery Education leans more towards science and social studies and helps provide visual displays as well as important information that could pose as useful during project based learning.

Anthony's Strange Tips for Teachers Part 1 is a great video that gives the viewer qualities that make up a well-rounded teacher. They include:

1. Having an actual interest in learning
2. Knowing that hard work is both beneficial and fun
3. Flexibility and creativity
4. Start your lessons knowing the end goal
5. Always seek out 100% student engagement
6. Reflect and self-evaluate

Capps goes on to explain to the viewers the dangers of scaffolding in his video Don't Teach Tech- Use It and Additional Thoughts About Lessons. He states that using and teaching technology is a build up process. You will teach/learn one type and build on it from there. Capps uses the analogy of a "Russian Doll":

1. Year
2. Unit
3. Weekly Scale
4. Daily Lessons

It was great to view videos from a former EDM 310 student to see how useful all of these tools can really be in the "real world of teaching". It is inspiring to see these tasks in action and functioning well. I look forward to using these tools in my own classroom.

Project #7 Part B

For The Parents

For The Students

Project #8 - Book Trailer

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Presentation Project #3

Project #7- Four Movies, Part A

My Sentence

My Passion

Blog Post #5

PLNs, What Are They?

Today is a normal discussion day with your students. One student who is equipped with a question asks don't know the answer. Instead of using the scapegoat of "Google it", you-the instructor-pull out a different tool. You use your Personal Learning Network (PLN). This is a system of people and tools to better find an accredited answer, help, collaboration, or consultation on a given subject. PLN systems can help keep track of your connections. A good PLN does not consist of a consolidated listing of organized contacts. Instead, a good PLN is a quality group of people and tools that an instructor can call upon at any given time to formulate a better response. PLNs can also be helpful for project based learning due to the fact students can research people and tools from all around the world trying to find the answer or to better discuss something in class.
Personal Photo
Ways of forming your PLN one could use Symbaloo as a means of bookmarking all of your favorite websites, blogs, forums, etc. It keeps a neat and clean display on the home screen so that it is easier for you to access your favorite websites. My Symbaloo account would start off consisting of teachers we've met and will meet through our C4Ts as well as teachers from the blog assignments and videos. I would utilize specific search engines as tools. Also, I would try to network with teachers in the area by Twitter or their own educational blogs.

NetVibes is a neat source because it monitors digital usages and users can publish and personalize the digital aspects of their everyday lives. Corporations use it as a means of organizing widgets and contacts or corresponding organizations. This is another way to use PLNs.

PLNs are great ways to maintain a collaborative environment for the lifelong learner. This tool can instill students to continue growing their PLNs in order to connect with learners and educators from all around the world and to continue learning.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Blog Post #4

What do we ask? How do we ask?

Nothing is more frustrating to a teacher than the tedious task of pulling teeth trying to get an answer out of their class. As well, nothing is more annoying than a student getting called on to answer "pointless" questions. Then it becomes a game of "don't make eye contact and I might not get called on" between the teacher and their students. However, this does not have to be the case.

creatememe.chucklesnetwork.comFinding the right questions will ignite a fruitful discussion that will explode into a productive project based lesson that will benefit both teacher and student. The best part is that there are ways for teachers to gain new ideas to improve their classroom discussion. Edutopia has a series of effective questions to utilize in the classroom. These questions can range from elementary level to the highly advanced. Sometimes asking how, what, and why are great ways of kick-starting an open-ended discussion.

As well, in order to give an effective lesson the teacher must be effective with their delivery of their lesson and when asking questions.The next thing that needs to be addressed is How a teacher must go about asking questions. This reverts back to not asking "yes" or "no" response questions. Asking open ended questions will be the best route to take. This way students will have to think more critically and quite possibly do some research in order to find the answer. Here the teacher-through proper question asking-has created a project based learning environment. In turn, this allows all students the chance to figure it out whereas otherwise some students who did not quite get the discussion would've let those that did take the limelight and would not fully get the lesson. Asking questions properly gives all students the opportunity to fully tune in and engage with the lesson and helps improve overall understanding.

Project #15: Search Engines

The internet is a vast space with an abundance of free knowledge. Sifting through all of the junk, wrong leads, and spam is difficult enough. Finding safer ways of searching for the right information doesn't have to be. Search Engines are a great way to find the information you want to help a student find creditable information. Here is a listing of some search engines I have found useful that will also be useful for students.

1. RefSeek is a search engine that will search through newspapers, books, encyclopedias, journals and webpages. It is proud of the fact that it takes away the distracting information that most broad search engines allow to enter into the search results.

2. iSeek is meant mainly for students and teachers. The site values their technique of "targeting results" rather than merely searching for information and receiving a broad spectrum of miscellaneous responses.

3. Kid Rex is a fun search engine meant to be completely kid friendly with 100% accuracy. I love the set up on this page, mainly due to the fact that it will dismiss most if not all inappropriate content.

4. Wolfram Alpha is a search engine I wish I had known about. A student can actually type in an equation and receive feedback or help as results. I think this would be very helpful for students that need a little extra help with math or science.

5. Sweet Search will be great for research papers. It has a lot of validated information that is easier to access without fussing with normal search engines.

6. Dogpile is my favorite search engine because it will sift through other search engines to find the best answers without you having to do the legwork. Also, the site donates large portions of its revenue to the ASPCA!

7. Pipl is a neat search engine that can be beneficial to students doing research on a particular person. This site helps you find out information about a particular person by pulling any and all accessible information forward.

8. Blinkx is one a teacher would have to monitor the students' usage of. It is a way to search for videos that would be useful for research, visual aids, or clips for iMovie projects. However, it does have broad access to videos that may not be school appropriate.

C4T #1

21 Apples is a blog run by Mr. Glover. The first blog I read was about his encounter with the book author, Jodi Gold. She discusses the importance of drawing the fine-line between allowing students to utilize technology and knowing when it becomes a distraction. At the meeting at Glover's school, Gold, spoke to the Parent's Association about finding the balance. Glover outlined a few key points from her discussion:
  • "have your tween/teen install the self control app
  • don’t spy on your kids, get in the practice of them touring you through their tech world, and giving you their passwords
  • use technology to send people compliments and caring expressions
  • delete embarrassing photos
  • don’t like mean posts
  • unsubscribe from mean group chats
  • do talk about pornography with your kids
  • too many more to list!"
These few rules I commented could really be a deciding factor by how students respond to the restrictions. Instead of testing the limits on their usage, I believe that giving them understandable and set guidelines will help them acclimate easier. This way teachers, parents, and students will be able to utilize more tools in the classroom and use it safely and effectively.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Blog Post #3

What is Peer Editing?

Peer Editing is having an equal review your work and give suggestions and input in order to improve your writing capabilities. The more common ways of doing a peer review would have to be making comments on the actual piece, complimenting it, or giving suggestions. This is a very useful tool that teachers should implement with their students so that the students will be more driven to perform better; being that their work is being critiqued by another student of their own age group. However, in order to utilize this tool the teacher must teach the students the proper skills so that they can accurately perform their peer edits.

1. Compliment: Always lead with a compliment and let the author know that there are good points within their work.

2. Suggest: Without being harsh or rude, make suggestions that will honestly help the author make improvements on what they have already created.

3. Correct: If there are any evident spelling or grammatical errors ensure that the author is aware of them and be polite when making these corrections.

Peer editing will be a vital tool in order to practice critiquing works of others as well as knowing the proper way to help authors improve their works. In EDM 310, this will be an everyday occurrence. I will have to always keep in mind these three rules so that I am effective, professional, and precise about my compliments, suggestions, and corrections. As well, this will be an important tool to use on my own works. I will have to be humbled by my compliments, open to any suggestions, and cooperative with any corrections. No one is perfect and this is a way to fix any mistake whether or not it is a major mistake or a careless one. Utilizing this tool is a way to become more aware in one's own writing abilities and to either sustain or improve.