My Final Prezi

Although I’m still getting used to Prezi, this is my final project for the technology module of Intro to Writing Arts. It has to deal with web2.0 and the abilty it has for networking and expanding our connections. Also, it deals with the future of writing and some apps we used in the class. Play it on autoplay at 10 seconds. Make sure it’s not anything else, or else it’ll look ridiculous. You can check it out here or the link is also posted below. I hope you enjoy.

 

http://prezi.com/plkm64xxf4dd/narration-for-intro-to-writing-arts/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

 

Yes. It’s finally done.

 

Thanks for watching it!

Advertisements

Variety within Twitter

I have always had a twitter, but I don’t think I’ve ever used it to its full capacity until recently. I’ve always just used it as a way to communicate with friends and keep up with their lives as we all have started to separate onto different paths. Recently, I have learned to engage with the many professionals in my field around me. I have started to follow them, as well as having some of them follow me in return.
Through this I was able to read some of the incredible posting they put out on twitter. As an education major, I have followed many people within that field. They have put out ideas that not only are interesting to read, but I keeps me up to date with the advances in education.
For example, I started to follow MaryAnne, @mamasmiles. She is currently a stay at home mom, but has the background of a masters in education. Besides tweeting, she also has her own website, which is mamasmiles.com. Through her twitter, I have viewed countless ideas that she has posted. They’re educational and allow for the children to engage within the actives, as well as learn.
I tweeted her myself and expressed to her that I was extremely impressed with what she has posted and for my future classroom, I hope to be able to use some of those ideas. She was gracious enough to tweet me back and express that she was glad that I was enjoying them.
Through twitter I’ve learned that it is not only for socializing, but it is a tool that I can use for my future career.

Welcome Scrutiny

Recently, Amy McKeever, tweeted an article “How Opening Up Classroom Doors Can Push Education Forward” by Katrina Schwartz. She says that opening our classrooms to the public allows for the best possible education for our students. It’s impossible to be perfect and opening our classrooms brings in other perspectives and opinions on the best course of action. Parents, students, other teachers, and administration can all be of help in tweaking practices to meet the ever changing needs of students. Schwartz says “by welcoming a variety of voices into a discussion about what drives powerful learning experiences, and why certain teaching practices work and others don’t, the process becomes participatory. Everyone shares the responsibility for changing a system that matters to the future of the country.”

Check out this video on opening our classroom’s doors

Allowing the public to be part of our classrooms brings a sense of community from the classroom outwards. Instead of being a learning community solely within the doors of our classrooms we can extend the community to parents, other teachers, and even the administration. To produce the most effective classroom, using tips and advice from outside the classroom is a must.

openlearning

openclassroom

Enhanced by Zemanta

Do You Read What You Tweet?

Reading is something we do every day, but how in depth do we really read? Students need healthy reading habits to help their skills as readers grow, but they’re growing up in a society that doesn’t even read the majority of things they post to Twitter. This article was Tweeted by Arielle Armenti and it talks about how we often don’t read. We just skim. Chartbeat CEO Tony Hailie said, “We’ve found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading.” Chartbeat investigates our activity online so they can notice habits and behavior. Twitter can be great for sharing ideas, but in a fast paced world like this how can we expect to really take in all that information? How can kids be expected to stay focused and read in a world where attention spans are lessening and the desire for immediate simple information is growing?

UpWorthy and Buzfeed attempted similar tests and found that “the majority of shares on social media occur after someone has spent over three and a half minutes on the page.” This means that people either tweeted based simply on the title of the article and not on the content, or they read most of the text or all of it. This makes me wonder whether students act the same way. Do they simply skim over the title and text or read the whole thing thoroughly? Or is there some in between? And if our kids’s attention spans are wearing thin and they don’t focus on reading how can we turn that around? I personally have a “less is more” attitude when it comes to information. The less you subject yourself to, the more detailed you can look into it. I can’t say I have an answer to whether our kids are doomed and if Twitter will never become more in depth with its readings, but I can say that becoming aware of that fact is the first step and we are well on our way.

Can We Meet The Demand For Computer Science?

It’s no secret. Technology is the way of the future. We’ve been making the transition to computers and digital everything for years now, so why is it such a big deal? This article that Amy McKeever posted to Twitter explains that. Long story short, too few schools teach computer science. It’s been estimated that “in the next decade there will be about 1 million more U.S. jobs in the tech sector than computer science graduates to fill them.” That’s scary. What’s worse is that we’re missing out. The education technology sector is worth 8 BILLION DOLLARS and it’s still growing. It has no foreseen end to its growth.

Oh. My. God. 8 BILLION DOLLARS?!

One organization called Kodable is teaching kids ages 5 and under programming by playing games. They have kids as young as 2 years old using it. Is this the new direction for schooling? Will they implement these programs to create a new generation of super programming children? Maybe. Schools are not teaching computer science, but this curriculum could change all that. Schools new newer computers and a new curriculum to meet this demand. Otherwise, the gap of knowledge will only grow larger. It’s more than just students who need to meet this new demand. The schools teaching them have to improve as well.

Facebook Can Predict My Relationships?!

When looking through Bloggin’ With Friends’s blog, I couldn’t help but notice an article called “What Can’t Facebook Do?” and it caught my attention. What Can’t Facebook Do? Nowadays it seems like there’s nothing they can’t do. After reading this article, I’d say that’s pretty much right.

Bogdan State, Facebook’s data scientist, took a look at Facebook’s data about relationships (because of course they know everything about you and your significant other) and found that “About half of all Facebook relationships that have survived three months are likely to survive to four years or longer.” What?! He’s not kidding. Statistically, he’s completely right. It turns out if you can make it three months, you might as well hunker down and get ready for the long haul.

Image

He also noticed that a lot of relationships end in the Summer and a particular amount of relationships ended in 2011. Why could this be? His answer seemed to guess at the economy’s condition at that time. No money? No relationship. That’s just how it works. You have to take care of yourself before you can make time for others, especially those who are significant others.

So what does this have to do with education you might ask? I’ll admit it is a stretch, but jobs like being a data scientist are the new fields students will go into. Statistics will become more and more valuable in the future, especially when dealing with technology. Technology has given us Facebook, Twitter, and tons of other sites. Now our students who are using these sites will potentially be hired by them to increase productivity. These are where the new jobs are. Being a mathematician can now be useful for social networks. This field is only growing, so it’s good for teachers to prepare their students for jobs like this and it’s important for students to know that studying harder in math could lead them to a job at one of their favorite sites. Like I said, it is a stretch. This article was just so interesting I just couldn’t pass it up.

This article was eye opening and kind of scary to say the least. I’d advise you check it out and also Bloggin’ With Friends. They’ve got some good stuff going on.

Can you learn history through a podcast?

I saw recently, one of the top 5 podcasts this week was a 15 minute history lesson that the University of Texas created. It begs a question for me- can you learn anything from these short history lessons? I think the use of technology encourages a more in-depth look at an event in history. So technology used this way is advertising history in an attempt to wet the appetite for a greater interaction with history. I have heard great debate on whether the History Channel can even be used or should be used for educational purposes. ( for a comical look at this check out Cracked .)

But there are resources out there for educators to use technology in an attempt to get closer to history, making things interactive for students. I think the only problem is in thinking that all of the technology is enough research to understand a topic. For Example, when Researching Native Americans, I found it a lot more helpful to spend time in the library looking at books. In fact, the closer you can get to the authentic material the closer you are to history, for me I found, for example William Penn’s historical description of the Lenape Indians more useful (though ethnocentric) then the newer materials available online. You can not get every resource on historical events by relying on what has been placed on the internet.

We can learn something of interest in Podcasts, Youtube, the History Channel but the actual learning takes place when you integrate media ideas into historical text and make an educated guess as to the actual historical events.

 

 

Collaborative Learning in the 21st Century

As I have been saying in my previous blogs, learning is not the same. I cannot stress this enough. Many people think being a teacher is easy because we have all had the opportunity to observe teachers everyday for over 12 years. This is not the case. We can, however, use these experience to grow and adapt with our learners.

Collaborative learning has become all the craze within the last decade. Teachers are realizing the importance of group work and encourage collaborative activities. How can we use technology and  collaborative learning? The Multi-Touch table is a perfect way to use collaborative learning in the 21st century.

How can we use a Multi-Touch table in our classrooms?

In his article, Collaborative Learning on Touchtables: Engaging Students with Group Work, Daniel Tomasini shares the collaborative advantages a touchtable or multi-touch table has to offer. I found this article in a tweet shared by Amanda Yacovelli. A multi-touch table is not merely a larger tablet. A tablet is for individual use while a multi-touch table is designed to be used by a whole group. This allows for students to work together on a project or activity all being able to contribute while using the advantages technology has to offer and students maintain engaged in their learning.

download

Apps for Teachers

The world is changing right before our eyes. Things that once were are no longer in existence. Gary Layton tweeted an article that Bianca Bosker wrote for the Huffington Post.  In her article she talks about this. In the last decade things like the VCR, phone booths, and many more have become obsolete.  If the world is constantly changing it only makes sense that the people are changing. More importantly this means that our students are changing. It is our responsibility to facilitate the learning in any way that reaches our students.

Check out this inspirational video about changing for our learners

 

IPads, and other tablets have become a huge trend in our country. Children can often work them before even reading. Tablets offer a variety of applications that can be used in many ways to facilitate learning with our students. Educational Technology & Mobile Learning’s article A Round-Up of 12 Educational Ipad Apps for Teachers provides a list applications and what they are do that are educational and useful for teachers use in the classroom.

1. Creative Kids

2. Audio Notebook 

3. Lets Be Social

4. The Love Book

5. Daisy the Dinosaur 

6. TheDesign Museum 

7. Color Uncovered

8. Touch Van Gogh 

9. Bubble Pop Multiplication

10. Puppet Workshop

11. Draw Your Stories

12.Disney American Presidents

Technology should be used as an advantage. Instead of banning these things from school we need to embrace them. Use them to our advantage. A game that educates and entertains is more effective.  As a future teacher I plan to always adapt my lessons to my learners and to use a variety of teaching methods including technologies and other ares of strengths of my students and I hope that all teachers do so as well. Our growing students will continue to grow far beyond we could have ever imagined. And after all, children are the future.

url

Google Science Fair

google fair
Through viewing feedly I stumbled upon an article about the 2014 Google Science Fair. In this fair, students are asked to submit their experiments online. This alone is a great way for students to carry out their tests and feel that they have a way to share it with others. It probes them to come up with different or interesting ideas and find a solution to answer their questions.

Another great part about the Google Science Fair is that it also has a component called the idea springboard. In this they are able to plug in what they love to do or are interested in and the springboard gives them videos and websites to view. I can relate to every year as a younger student being assigned the project of having to complete an experiment for the science fair. Every year I had no idea what I wanted to do. I would search tons of sites and keep looking for different ideas with hopes that one would spark my interest.

idea_springboard

The springboard allows students to be given things that they are actually interested in. They have the option to put in a topic, place, or thing and have ideas that revolve around what they picked. I wish I knew of this in school because I could have picked topics that I really enjoyed instead of just using something I settled for.

This science fair also offers a section for teachers to view as well. So it’s a place that can be given to the students for help, but can also be used by the teacher, too. In this section teachers are given lesson plans that they are able to use. It guides the students through the process of experiments and ideas in science. This is helpful to first time teachers, who are new to teaching a class in science and need an extra help. It’s also good for the teachers who have been doing it for long periods of time and need extra inspiration and ideas to teach the class.