Archive for April, 2012

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Outline

April 25, 2012

Mission Statement:

I am an educator.  I believe everyone has the ability to excel, given the opportunity.  I will strive to be respectful and understanding to my students as well as my fellow teachers and administrators.  I hold myself responsible and honest toward my actions as an instructor.  Not only will I aim to instruct my students well, I will also allow them the room to think for themselves.

Classroom Rules:

1.Be seated and quiet when the school bell sounds.

2.Be respectful to the teacher as well as fellow students.

3.No inappropriate behavior, follow the school-student handbook for descriptions of inappropriate behavior.

4.Any homework due is to be turned in at the beginning of class.

Physical Layout:

I want the classroom to be surrounded with books as well as cupboards.  I want educational posters on the wall, I want a smart board at the front of the class with the desks in rows facing the smart board.  In the back of the classroom I want computers lined up to use for the virtual classroom.  Finally I want my desk to be at the front, right, corner of the classroom facing the students’ desks and smart board at a side view with the windows of the classroom directly behind the desk, along that wall.

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Future Classroom #1

April 24, 2012

After doing some research on what future classrooms should look like, I realized that teaching will be much more than just four walls with desks and a teacher in front of the room lecturing (Mind Shift, 1). There will be a classroom of ethnically and age diverse students and part of the day will be spent with learning technology.  Following that will be finding out which students need help moving through a particular lesson and the focus will be for those who are struggling the most.  The type of learning will be more self-guided and the teacher will seem as more of a coach or mentor. Additionally, to take care of those students who were mis-educated such as black and brown students, “the most needy students need the most qualified teachers in the most supportive schools”  (Mind Shift, 1). 

It is important that the schools have a strong relationship with their students in the future. Future classrooms should also have a strong focus on creativity, innovation and skill-based learning (You should read…,1). Of these three, creativity is the most important because it is a much needed skill in the world and is becoming dominant in the workplace.

Critical thinking skills and cultural awareness are another facet to the future classroom. The use of technology will be key in future classrooms and the proper use of that technology will help develop higher order thinking skills and contribute to positive thoughts on learning where as the “textbook teaching” method typically was not as effective in the learning process.

 

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Educational Technologies

April 19, 2012

The first item I think is a useful piece of technology is Edublog.  Anything posted on this blog is easily manageable from school and home.  Students are easily able to respond to blogs posted using Edublog and it allows for collaboration among teachers and students.  This technology allows for images and designs making learning much more enjoyable and engaging.  Edublog also makes it easy to post class information to allow students to stay up-to-date with their assignments.   This technology also takes away photocopying and is environmental friendly which can suggest it is much more efficient to type, post, and publish work rather than for a teacher to shuffle through papers and be able to give genuine feedback.  This is apart of Higher Order Thinking model because it allows students to be creative through not only translating the way they understand material but also to utilize videos, podcasts, and the like in order to give more visual aide and as a way to keep the audience more responsive and more in-tune to what they are viewing and learning.  For example, in a 7th grade social studies class studying the Roman Empire, Edublog could be used for the teacher to post questions and open up for discussion.  The teacher can also post videos for his or her students to watch and then students can summarize what they watched and then students can evaluate each other based on what they learned  and finally the teacher can correct any misconceptions in the discussion so that the students may further understand the material.
The next tool that should be focused on is Wikipedia.  According to the site I found, Wiki in the classroom “is used for pedagogical, administrative and social goals.”  This tool can be used for brainstorming and posting ideas which are also backed up with reliable information.  The teacher can also use this tool to ask questions to get students to think about other aspects of the material and evaluate their understanding.  Wiki also allows for student portfolios which can help with peer editing and improvement of writing skills. Incorporating this into the lesson for studying the Roman Empire could be the following: Brainstorming and then research reasons as to why you think the Roman Empire became so powerful as well as backing up their information with reliable sites to avoid the pitfalls of source inaccuracy that Wikipedia is often aligned with.  Then once the students answer the questions as to why the Roman Empire became powerful, the teacher can open for discussion in-class and come to a consensus as to narrow down some of the major reasons why the Roman Empire became so powerful. This type of learning process is connected to Higher Order Thinking in the following way: Through brainstorming and then discussion, students can see for themselves how close they are to more accurate answers and narrow down and keep those precise ideas.  Finally, this process allows the students to get their ideas out in the open and be evaluated in a meaningful way and again, contributing to the Higher Order Thinking model.
The final tool that I think should be incorporated into the classroom is Google Docs.  Google docs is a very useful and collaborative tool to use for students and teachers alike.  With google docs, individuals can have a personal account, they can write documents and share them with peers and go back and later edit the material you have written, you are also able to choose who can edit your material as well.  Google docs also allows for easy access and edit documents from any computer or smart phone. It is important to note that the kinds of documents individuals can make are not limited to word documents, but also spreadsheets, drawings, presentations, and forms.  In general, google docs is important for Higher Order Thinking because it enables students to analyze others’ works and allows for improvements to be made through peer evaluation.

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Digital Footprint

April 18, 2012

A digital footprint is a way of identifying individuals and shows information about those people on the internet’s database as well as sites they have visited  on the web. Digital footprint can have a negative impact on anyone, especially those who are going to be teachers or those who already are.  The posts, pictures, etc. that an individual posts is stored in that particular database and cannot be removed so it is important to try to construct a positive digital footprint rather than a negative one. A way in which a digital footprint can be constructed positively is to be careful of the posts you make online as well as the websites you visit because all of that information is stored in the computer’s database.

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Blogging in Education-SDUSD

April 4, 2012

Blogging in Education is an interesting web article that explains blogging in an easy-to-understand way.  The article begins by explaining that blogging is similar to a journal or diary entry where writers are able to write about practically anything and once published, this “web log” can be commented on and be the basis of discussions.  The author of this article gives the name for blogging as “connective writing” where the blogger can publish creative writing to large audiences.  The author makes the connection between blogging and literacy where blogging is about reading and writing, literacy is about reading and writing, and therefore blogging is literacy.  Then the article shifts over to using blogging in the classroom in that it is good to have blogging in the classroom because blogging promotes critical and analytical thinking, creative and intuitive thinking, is a good medium for exposing quality information, and it creates social interaction.   Next, the article briefly discusses three different types of blogs: The tutor blog, class blog, and the learner blog.  The teacher is in charge of the tutor blog and the content of this type of blog includes syllabus information, course information, homework, assignments, and others.  The class blog is shared among the teachers and students. This type of blog includes collaborative discussion and is used as an extension to the classroom itself.  Lastly, the learner blog requires a great deal from the teacher to be set up and ready to go.  However, of the three, this blog is the most rewarding in that each student receives their own blog and can post comments on one another’s blog.  Next the article gives several different links/examples of blog articles, blogs in education, and ethics and evaluations of blogs, directories for blogs, and recommended lists on blogs.  Finally, the article wraps up by giving a brief 6 step process to blogging in education, tutorials, aggregators, and blog hosts.

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Instructional Media

April 4, 2012

Benefits

There are many benefits to using multimedia in the classroom.  First, multimedia allows students to interact in classroom activities. Next, multimedia allows more enjoyment in learning where the teacher is not teaching lessons straight from a textbook but rather incorporating multimedia in some way to engage the students and make them focus on the content in a more meaningful way that is not intimidating such as through the use of videos, pictures, puppets, music, ect..  Also, multimedia in the learning process allows for the students to have an increase in motivation. The collaborative effort of students working together on group assignments creates high quality and effective multimedia presentations and projects.  According to the article on Multimedia Makes its Mark, teachers noticed that student involvement in the projects gave students an “audience, a purpose, and a direction.”  Furthermore, when students know they have an audience, they are much more attentive in their preparations and feel their work is much more valuable.

Barriers

The barriers of multimedia in the learning process is technical difficulties with software, hardware, lack of support for teachers from the schools, and “the absence of other teachers using the same tools to answer questions and discuss ideas” (Multimedia Makes its Mark, 2).  Another barrier is time constraints because it takes time to adapt and learn the technology as well as it takes time to stay up-to-date with the latest technology.

Factors in Selecting Instructional Media

Finally, the factors which should be acknowledged when selecting instructional media are as follows: Practicality, Student Appropriateness, and Instructional appropriateness.  With regard to Practicality, teachers have to be able to figure out if the media they are intending to use is practical through being available, cost efficient, and that the teachers understand how to use the media.  Student Appropriateness is another important factor in selecting instructional media. The media being used in the classroom needs to be appropriate for developmental and experiential levels of students.  Student Appropriateness covers a wide array of learning outcomes such as intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, verbal information, attitudes, and motor skills (Instructional Media, 4).  Finally, Instructional Appropriateness deals with the different kinds of constraints a teacher encounters in the selection process.  This includes the availability or unavailability of materials, production constraints and instructor facilitation.  If a teacher is lacking materials because no previously used instructional material exists, that instructor must create their own leading to production constraints.  Since producing your own instructional media costs time and money, it is important to find an acceptable level of media quality.  Lastly, the majority of instructional media “involves some sort of demonstration, implementation, or facilitation” (Instructional Media, 5). The challenge of media facilitation may make it difficult for a teacher to effectively utilize the particular media.

Resources:

Multimedia Makes its Mark

Instructional Media: Selection and Use

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11 Advantages to Using a Blog for Teaching & Blogging in Education

April 4, 2012

Slide Show #1

After reading the slideshow for 11 Advantages to Using a Blog for Teaching, there are many good things about using blogs for education.  First off, blogging has a more independent structure towards teaching and learning.  One can use blogs on his or her own time which makes it helpful when dealing with everyday responsibilities.  Blogging is more participant-centered in that it allows for an on-going discussion based on a particular topic.  In general, blogging as well as other self-driven learning transforms education in a good way and leads to increased communication, participation, and motivation.  Although some individuals prefer “one-way learning” as the slideshow discusses, blogging allows more freedom for those who set their own goals, taking initiative, handle constructive critism, and have a strong desire to learn.  The pitfalls of blogging are biased or incorrect information. Additionally, some learners have time constraints to blog because of work, spending time with family, or other activities which make participation difficult.  On the other hand, blogging improves writing ability and also shows changes in thoughts whether through informing or persuading the reader.  The slideshow also shows the differences between blogs and wikipedia in that blogging show the thoughts and ideas that change in an individual and can be used as a collaborative process but Wikipedia does not show these changes as clearly and the content displayed can be  added and edited by other readers.  Another advantage that the slideshow discusses is that blogs are informal which refers to discussions and chatting with others.  On the other hand, formal deals with preparation, presentations, and internet research.  The slideshow also explains that informal education is a more successful way to transfer knowledge.  Blogs also incorporate the use of images and reflects the type of individuals who use blogs because they constantly interact with images such as videos, pictures, and the like rather than text.  Finally, the slideshow finishes with one final advantage:  The use of blogs reduce costs.  Where the cost of taking an exam includes the room, pencils, paper, etc. Blogs do not require that because they are already there and are at the students complete disposal.  Yet one problem is a lot people fear change from their current status of how they are being educated.

Slide Show # 2

Blogging in Education is a relatively short slide show which first briefly discusses blogging as a web log where the author can write, receive comments, and have discussions on certain topics.  It also discusses that there are many types of blogs.  For example, there are personal blogs such as vacations and there are narrowly focused blogs such as celebrity gossip and professional topics.  Then the slide show discusses who blogs and lists statistics such as 8 million American Adults blog, 27% of internet users read blogs, and 12% of internet users post comments.  Next, the slide show relates blogs in education where it compares teacher and student uses of blogs.  For example, teachers use teacher webpages, they use blogging for instructional purposes, homework, and classroom news for parents where they let them know how their child is doing in class, what he or she needs to improve whether it be academically or behavioral.  Students use blogs for writing journal entries, writing reports, and interacting with other students through activities assigned by the teacher.  Finally, the slide show finishes up the presentation with blogging examples such as those that teachers use for their classroom and then different blogging services which are available to students and teachers.