Week 5 Cool Cat Teacher

After exploring Vicki’s website I read her story about how she got into blogging and teaching. It was awesome to read about her global accomplishments. She even mentioned that at one time she was a stay at home mom. She then went on to talk about all the different things she juggles now. It is comforting to know that she can teach and still work on her many projects, this gives me hope that I can be a good teacher while incorporating technology into the classroom. Her websites will be great resources for me to use as a future teacher!


Week 3: Should Schools be Required to Teach Digital Citizenship?


You may be asking yourself, what is digital citizenship? I asked myself the same question as I was beginning this assignment. After doing a bit of research I found that the gist of digital citizenship is being responsible and respectful on the internet. It is very critical that this idea be taught in the classroom since the internet has become such a big part of our everyday lives. 

There were several instances in high school where it was obvious that students weren’t fully aware of the impact their activity on the internet could have. Multiple students got in trouble for pictures posted to their facebook pages. Other students harrassed others over instant messenger and suffered the consequences when the conversation got printed off. 

This could have all been prevented first and foremost if the students had used more responsible actions. Secondly if they had been educated on digital citizenship they would be aware of the amount of people that are able to access their information. Teaching Digital Citizenship in the classroom is very important due to the increase in internet use and availability. Students need to learn how to appropriately use the internet because future employers will be able to view their information. 

http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/ This is an interesting site that gives parents information on what their student needs to know to responsibly use the internet. 

http://www.nisd.net/digitalcitizen/ This website effectively defines digital citizenship and provides other useful definitions. 

http://www.brainpop.com/spotlight/digitalcitizenship/ This is a webpage that introduces the idea of digital citizenship to students. It would be a great resource for the classroom!

Digital Footprints

What you post on the internet can basically be seen by anyone. Do you want your future employer or the parent of a student to see pictures from a wild weekend or vulgar status updates? If the answer is no, you need to think about your digital footprint. Some ideas for creating a positive digital footprint are to monitor what you post. I have my grandmother and my mom as friends on facebook. Everytime I question whether or not to post something I ask myself, would I really want my GRANDMA to see this? By doing this I avoid posting things that would offend future employers. 

If an employer were to google or search my name I would hope that they get a positive feel for my personality. I hope my creativity and unique-ness would be clearly displayed. I would want them to see that I have a positive attitude and a good balance of work and play. The pictures they would find would be appropriate and display my love for life and adventure. I also hope that people would find my to be a responsible and trustworthy individual from the information I post online.

My digital footprint is important as an educator because I will be around children constantly. If a parent finds a picture of me out partying they may not want me to be influencing their child and they may feel uncomfortable with someone like that taking care of their child. As an educator I will be a role model to many children and my digital footprint needs to reflect that idea. 

http://blog.iinet.net.au/internet-safety-digital-footprint/    This blog was filled with useful tips and ideas of how to clean up or make sure your digital footprint will be a good one. 

http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Kids/Tips%20to%20stay%20safe%20and%20cybersmart/Your%20digital%20footprint.aspx This would be a great website to share with your students. It is kid-friendly and full of tips for the kids to stay smart on the internet. It also defines what a digital footprint is and why it is important. 




Week 11: TED Talks You Need to Share With Students


After watching the TED videos I found plenty of reasons to use these videos in my future classroom. For starters they are videos, and videos grasp attention. It would be a great way to get students to want to know more. I could use them to start a lesson to get the students engaged and eager to learn. 

A few of my favorite videos were; Learning from Sherman the Shark, What adults can learn from kids, Muses on Humanity, and Math needs a Makeover. 

I think that all of these videos could be used in the classroom, not all for the same purposes, but used none the less. A good idea for the, Learning from Sherman the Shark would be to allow kids to see someone that did succeed at being good at art. A lot of parents and teachers discourage kids from wanting to be an artist. They will tell children, you can’t make a living doing that, so kids try other things that they may not be good at or enjoy. 

What adults can learn from kids, would be a great motivational clip for students. It would show them that they really can make an impact and give them a feeling of value and worth. It would allow them to see that dreaming is okay. 

The clip on humanity gave examples of different cultures and government styles this clip could be used to introduce a social studies lesson. Kids love technology and using it during a lesson gets them ready to learn. 

The math video was interesting in that it is so true. Students will be able to see that they aren’t the only ones struggling with math and that it is difficult. It may be a source of encouragement for the students. 

I really enjoyed the video of Ken Robinson. I strongly agree with his ideas on ADHD medication. It is hard for any child to sit still in a classroom regardless if they have a learning disorder or not. Some of the smartest people I know, like my little brother, cannot sit still to save their life. Teach in a different way that doesn’t restrict movement. Instead of sedating the students to sit and listen to a teacher lecture. Get the student involved in learning and it will decrease the level of fidgeting. 

Videos are a wonderful tool to use in the classroom. The TED videos are a great resource for future teachers. 

Check out my top 5!

1. Jim Toomey: Learning from Sherman the shark: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang///id939
2. Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang///id/815
3. Chris Abani muses on humanity: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang///id/294
4. Dan Meyer: Math Class needs a makeover: http://blog.mrmeyer.com/
5. Anna Deavere Smith: Four American Characters: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang///id/60

Video in the Classroom

Video in the Classroom

After watching the three videos I think they all had a pretty similar message. Students in today’s classroom are needing a different kind of education than was offered in the past. They no longer are satisfied with the pencil and paper that we grew up using.

The first video I watched made a good point about needing teachers that were willing to learn. It is important that as a future educator I am ready to take on the challenge technology presents. Students that aren’t allowed to use technology in the classroom may not be suitable for jobs in the future. I already feel that I am behind and need to catch up so that my students receive the best education I can give them. Quality education doesn’t just focus entirely on technology but it needs to have a variety of different methods. So I need to be familiar with many different methods such as using glogsters and wikis.

The message of the two videos was that times are changing and we need to incorporate technology into the classroom. Students are becoming digital learners and are very technology literate. So if you present them ideas using technology they may be more prone to really soak up the ideas rather than just continuing using completely traditional methods.

I plan to engage my students by using a variety of different techniques and methods. I will use some traditional methods but I will also incorporate new technology’s to grasp my student’s attention. By allowing my students to use the internet I believe that they will become more engaged in their learning.




Multitasking in the Classroom

Multitasking in the Classroom 

  • I multitask everyday. I always have my phone with me and check it regularly. I find it hard to focus on homework for long stretches of time so I generally bounce between homework, pinterest, craigslist and facebook. I also usually have the t.v. on while doing homework. 
  • I am most likely to multitask when I am doing something I don’t really find enjoyable, such as homework. I also multitask a lot at work answering phones and dealing with customers. I am also guilty of multitasking while driving. When driving sometimes I am eating, texting or looking for something I’ve dropped. I am constantly multitasking, even though it may not be effective. 
  • I use facebook and pinterest on a daily basis as well as texting and calling on my phone. 
  • I think that having the t.v. on while doing homework has a negative impact on my retention and short term memory. It is much harder to focus on what I need to be learning when a show or movie is on the t.v. that I want to be watching. 
  • I have noticed that a lot of my classmates are on their phones during class or navigating between facebook and taking notes, if they are using their laptops. I learned the hard way my freshman year that multitasking during class makes it much harder to learn and succeed during class. 
  • I think today’s students have increased multitasking. Not only do I notice more people on their phones or computers but it also starts at a younger age. Kids in a third grade classroom may already have cell phones which can be a major distraction. I think multitasking has a negative affect on learning. Students cannot focus on what the teacher is telling them when they are worried about the next text that is coming in. It also slows students down when doing homework. If they are watching t.v. they may have to re-read something three times and still may not retain what they just read. 
  • I think that your attention is very limited. I have a hard time listening to music and doing homework because I may type what the musician is singing. This is an example of how limited my attention is. 
  • I don’t think that brains can change just because the demands change. I think students slowly adapt to being able to do more than one thing at a time. I don’t think it is an effective way for the students to learn. 
  • Multitasking with electronic media is similar to being in a classroom stuffed with irrelevant distractions in multiple ways. Both situations would make it hard for the student to focus. They are both visual distractions that aren’t easy to tune out. 
  • I think that frequent assessment would help students to want to stay focused. When I know that I am going to be taking a test over information being presented to me I don’t get on my phone or navigate away from taking notes. By limiting competitive stimuli students would be able to focus on what is being taught. Working in short modules with a variety of learning media would help to keep students engaged in what is going on. By continually switching what you are doing student would remain interested in each module because they are so short. 
  • The article says that students can pay attention to multiple stimuli rather than sustaining focus on one stimulus. Benefits haven’t been discovered yet, but I think being able to multitask allows students to broaden their learning experiences because they can focus on multiple topics at once.
  • http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95256794

Week 1: School Technology Solutions, Brad Flickinger


After exploring Brad’s website, http://www.schooltechnology.org/2011/12/29/educational-technology-bill-of-rights-for-students/ I found his Bill of Rights to be very interesting. As mentioned before I am not completely convinced about a lot of technology in the classroom.

This website has several good points that reinforce the idea of technology in the classroom. Number three was especially interesting to me. In the classroom I observed for my teacher aiding experience they used glogsters. The kids were so excited and it was like a special treat for them. They did a wonderful job putting together their information because they had some variety in their daily routine. The teacher was familiar enough with the glogsters to efficiently guide the class into creating their glogster. 

Number seven was also a very good point. I didn’t become very tech savvy in grade school because none of my teachers used it in the classroom. It would be a wonderful skill to start early so that students don’t become afraid of technology. 

I really enjoyed Brad’s Website and it gave me some great insight into different ideas about technology in the classroom. 

Reflection Week 2: The Tech Chicks Tips

Reflection Week 2: The Tech Chicks Tips


50 Ways to Use Wikis for a More Collaborative and Interactive Classroom

After exploring the Tech Chicks website I ventured to an article about different ways to use wikis in the classroom. I have always been very skeptical about technology in the classroom, but this article has provided solid evidence of how students can benefit from this advance.

The article was divided into different ways to use wikis in the classroom and then had different project ideas that utilized the wiki. The categories included; Resource Creation, Student Participation, Group Projects, Student Interaction, For the Classroom, Community, and other.

There were plenty of awesome ideas that any teacher could use. I picked a couple of my favorites! One idea was to create a virtual field trip. The students would research far away places that they would like to go to on field trip and then share images and information about their destination on their wiki. This project would allow students to be creative while working on research skills and polishing their technology skills. There are multiple benefits to this project, all the while students are enjoying themselves.

Another useful idea for a wiki would be a class glossary. The students could compile a list of terms they discover in new units and add the definitions of these words, and even images, to help them remember the words. This would be a wonderful twist to learning vocabulary that would allow the students to organize the words and compile definitions themselves.

Peer editing was also a suggested use for a wiki. The students would post their work on their wiki and other students would read/edit to check for spelling and grammar. This idea would help to keep their ideas and other changes to their work organized and clean. It would eliminate sloppy drafts and help students to track new ideas.

After exploring The Tech Chicks website I have gained a better understanding of how to use a wiki. I have also discovered many creative project ideas to use in the classroom. I found the title to be true; the website gave many different ideas of how this piece of technology can get the kids engaged and promote an interactive classroom.

Reflection Week 2: Moving at the Speed of Creativity

Reflection Week 2: Moving at the Speed of Creativity

Social Versus Local Computer Website Bookmarking

Wesley Fryer Ph.D.

After exploring fryers website,  http://www.speedofcreativity.org/, I found many useful ideas. One particular idea that stuck out to me was the idea of social bookmarking. I am always losing ideas and forgetting websites where I have found unique and creative ideas. Social bookmarking is a practical solution that would allow me to efficiently organize useful websites.

Fryer claims that traditional bookmarking is not always desirable as there are many disadvantages such as; limited access and organizational options, as well as limited sharing and discovery options. Fryer presents an alternative, social bookmarking. With social bookmarking Fryer shares that you will have ubiquitous access, more powerful organizational options, and powerful possibilities for discover and location.

With social bookmarking you can access your saved bookmarks on any computer that has access to the internet. This would be handy for teachers so that they could access ideas at home as well as school, even at the library.

Social bookmarking also has better organizational options than traditional bookmarking. Social bookmarking allows the user to tag websites, a more advanced feature than the simple folder system found with traditional bookmarking.

Social bookmarking also allows teachers to more efficiently find information. Teachers can browse other users websites and benefit from the tags that those users have created. This weeds out useless information Google may produce.

Fryers information about social bookmarking is very useful and would be a great tool for any level of teaching professional.