Unit 1: Introduction to Web 2.0
After viewing the videos and readings for the introduction to Web 2.0, there were some interesting points made about the usage of this type of technology within the classroom. I use many types of Web 2.0 applications with my students, but some that were mentioned I do not use as I was not sure how receptive my third graders would be to them. When using tools with my students, I find they absolutely love them when first introduced and as time continues, the interest fades. I feel that when using any technology tool, it is most important for students to have intrinsic motivation about the topic they are studying. By having a driving question, along with real-world authentic tasks, students will have the motivation to work with the technology tool for longer periods of time.
Introduction to Web 2.0
In my classroom, I use various types of technology tools to enhance my instruction and to keep my learners’ attention. The one practice I read about was how teachers use blogs within their classroom. I know many teachers in my third grade hallway use blogging tools almost on a daily basis, but I was always unclear of how they did this and how it was really any different than just simply using a Google Doc. Teachers who use the blogging tool use it to elicit conversation from their students about topics (Light, 2011). However, Daniel Light continues on to explain teachers who use blogging find it most beneficial when their students use it as a reflection tool and keep their thoughts private with their teacher instead of allowing their peers to view it (2011).
When considering this, I was thinking about the ePortfolio my district is asking us to use called Seesaw. This ePortfolio could be used as a way for students to blog their thoughts and reflections, but it is also shared with their parents and teacher. As I’m considering having my students complete this on Seesaw, I am wondering if it might be more beneficial to keep the students’ reflections for certain topics or assignments just between the students and myself? I want the students to feel they can express themselves freely to me about our class activities. Furthermore, I think it would be important for my learners to collaborate via a blog and make the blog private to just my own class (Light, 2011). I believe it would also be beneficial to set up individual blogs for my students where only I can view their information being posted. In this case, I believe they might be more apt to take risks in response to questions posed as they know their peers will not be viewing their blogs (Light, 2011).
Lastly, as I listened to the video on all the various Web 2.0 tools that can be applied within my classroom, I was considering that if I introduced all of these applications to my third graders, they would be completely overwhelmed. I want to take a handful of the applications to use for various types of uses within the classroom and personally try them. I want my third graders to easily be able to use the tools, without many complicated steps. Some of the Web 2.0 tools are directed towards higher level students and I know they would be extremely difficult for my students to use. With this in mind, I look forward to finding and working with specific tools that I can use directly with my own students in order to reach higher level thinking skills.
As I conducted research on the various pedagogical approaches to teaching with Web 2.0 technology tools, I find that my teaching style is centered around the SAMR model. The SAMR model is one that my district uses and promotes. Inservices were used to teach the staff about the importance of driving our instruction versus simply substituting technology for paper and pencil, allowing us to complete previously impossible tasks (Roberts, 2013). As I plan my lessons each week, I think about how I am planning to use technology and the SAMR model. My goal is to use this model to improve the way I view technology and create ways for students to use it to redefine tasks. My district has explained that it is okay to use technology as a substitution or augmentation, but the integration of technology using modification and redefinition is the goal. This is targeting higher order thinking skills and promoting authentic real-world tasks for learners’ to complete (SAMR Model, n.d.). The SAMR model is a way for me to evaluate my integration of technology throughout lessons and allows me to visualize and plan to transform my students’ learning (SAMR Model, n.d.).
Introduction to the SAMR Model. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2017, from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/introduction-to-the-samr-model
Light, D. (2001). Do Web 2.0 Right. Retrieved March 08, 2017, from https://live.wilkes.edu/d2l/le/content/223221/viewContent/2402995/View
Roberts, J. (2013, November 30). Turning SAMR into TECH: What models are good for. Retrieved March 08, 2017, from http://www.litandtech.com/2013/11/turning-samr-into-tech-what-models-are.html
Unit 2: Twitter
As I experimented with Twitter this week, I found that I had some successes, even if small, as well as some challenges. First of all, I signed up for a Twitter account a few years ago and really only ever used it to follow celebrities. I have not used it for a very long time, but was required to send out one tweet for a grad class in the fall. As I developed and created my new username, I unfollowed all of the celebrities that I originally had on my page and then started following people from my class. I thought this was a great success as it allowed me to explore Twitter and realized I could unfollow and find people to follow quite easily.
Another success I had was using the hashtag to post Tweets, re-tweet items, along with replying to classmates. I felt like I was connecting with others by asking my peers for any suggestions for blogs they follow as well as replying to fellow classmates. Finally, I re-tweeted a motivational quote from another peer that I am following as I found it really struck a chord with me. All of this was new to me and I felt quite proud that I was using Twitter with ease.
A challenge I had using Twitter was figuring out what I wanted to say. I wanted to post something, but I wanted to say it in a way that might resonate with others. This was challenging for me, as I can be a little ‘wordy’ at times. When I was unable to come up with something clever to say, I found the motivational quote on a classmate’s page and re-tweeted it due to the cleverness behind the saying. I overcame my challenge and as I was searching through other tweets, I realize that not everything I say needs to be cleverly written.
My Next Steps
At the start of next year, I want to use Twitter as a way to communicate with families in my classroom. It is a simple way for me to quickly tweet pictures of projects we are working on, updates, homework, and even changes in our schedule. I can create a hashtag, such as #room307 and have parents use the same hashtag to communicate about holiday parties and/or other questions they may have for me. I’m challenging myself to using this technology tool next year. I want to use it consistently and try to tweet something each day. It is a great way to bridge the gap between home and school.
My twitter handle: @Mrs_Jensenius
Unit 3: POdcasting
Using iPadio to create a podcast was fairly simple. I needed to register with a phone number and the site assigned me a pin number. I called the podcast number they provided and it felt like I was leaving a voicemail for someone. I completed my podcast and was able to replay it back to myself by just talking into my phone. It took a few minutes for my podcast to upload to the site, but when it did, I was able to download it and listen to the entire airing.
One aspect I am a little disappointed in is the sound quality when using my cell-phone. I re-recorded my podcast using my landline phone and the quality turned out to be much better. I have used Garageband to record myself in the past and feel that I can get a much clearer quality than using my cell-phone to record. I know this website has the option to record onto my computer and then upload it. I may decide to do this next time just to have a crisp quality to the voice-over.
The second part that was a little frustrating to me was the fact that I did not have a timer on my screen for me to see how long my reading was and whether or not I needed to adjust my speed.
Overall, publishing my first podcast was a success! I had preconceived notions that podcasting was difficult or had many steps. In the end, this was much easier to navigate than my original thoughts.
Podcast Website: http://www.ipadio.com/channels/RebeccaJensenius/
Podcast RSS Feed: http://www.ipadio.com/channels/5_2V8Rg46_tClpRkWx3xAQ/rss
Unit 3: Blog Readings and Reflections
Overview of Three Different Blogs
Discovery Educator Network National Blog
Content: This website provides activities that teachers can use with their students for grades K-12. It contains videos, such as “Improving Conditions for Teacher Success.” The writing style was very professional. I was able to gain specific ideas for activities, such as ways to celebrate spring and STEM strategies. It provides grade level ranges so if I have lower students, I may find the activities to be more beneficial in the K-2 range instead of the grades 3-5 range. Discovery Education Network National Blog has content that was easy to read and understand for educators.
Navigation: The navigation of this site was fairly easy to use. It has specific subjects, trending ideas, and activities to implement. I was a little overwhelmed by all of the different areas I could explore throughout the website. There are places to access webinars, areas specifically designed for administrators and students, along with virtual field trips. I really like that this blog has a “search” bar where you can look for key information. For example, after doing some searching for math topics, I stumbled upon a blog by Kathy Schrock about Pokemon Go and how to incorporate the game within the classroom. What a great find! The writing styles and navigation meet educators’ needs and the site uses language that is familiar in the field.
The Daring Librarian
Content: This blog is a great tool for librarians who are trying to incorporate new and fun activities within their library curriculum. While scrolling through the blog, there are pictures of students doing “Shelfies” and many other ideas of how to promote books. For example, students were video-taped promoting certain books, along with writing ‘promotional post-it's.’ Another excellent activity this librarian blogged about was ‘book-face Friday.’ This is where students use part of the book cover and part of themselves to become ‘one’ with the book. This blogger incorporated many of her own Twitter pictures to demonstrate her different activities and ideas, along with providing many links to specific content located on the right-hand side.
Navigation: When navigating this site, all one needs to do is scroll through the blog in order to see all of the different activities shown. This is very easy to navigate for any librarian, along with the content being extremely easy to read and understand. The pictures really help to see how the activities look when done within a library.
The ASIDE Blog
Audience: Educators and Parents
Content: This is a very professional blog that has information about key topics when it comes to children. For example, one recent blog discusses multi-tasking and how it is actually bad for children. This type of content is excellent for both educators and parents as it demonstrates how children are multi-tasking during many tasks and it takes them twice as long to finish (i.e. homework). Furthermore, there were a list of book club discussion questions for “Originals” by Adam Grant. This is a great resource for educators who are looking for literature circle questions. Furthermore, there were infographics presented that provided events like the Olympics and Halloween with ways to incorporate events such as these into the classroom. The writing style and content are both excellent for both parents and adults as the blog presents relevant content for both.
Navigation: The navigation was extremely easy to follow. When looking onto the blog, one just needs to simply scroll down to find the most recent blog posts. However, the site also includes the mission statement, resources, and infographics. The infographics have so many resources, such as how to create one, the various websites used in the creation, and providing access to infographics already created.
Similarities Between Blogs
I believe there are many similarities between Discovery Educator Network National Blog and the ASIDE blog in ways of navigation and resources provided. Both of these blogs were extremely professional looking and had many different perspectives on topics right on one site. When searching through both blog sites, I was able to find information on all kinds of topics, from activities to use within the classroom, to topics such as homework. The Daring Librarian was quite different from the other two because it seemed more personalized. The pictures of the librarian’s actual students conducting the activities makes me more apt to try some of them because I see how the students are enjoying themselves, while also learning about the books. All three blogs provide outside links and are written in ways that are easy to comprehend, but still provide important information and activities.
Reading and Writing Blog Posts
Personally, I read blog information a little differently than other type of research. I am a little more skeptical on the content I am reading as I am not fully sure if it is backed up with research all of the time. Much of what I read on the Daring Librarian’s blog was her opinion and her activities that she conducts within her library. I feel reading blogs are a bit easier to read than research articles and much of what is said attracts my attention due to the personalized writing. However, reading blogs is extremely informative and motivates me to research more on various topics that are presented.
Writing blogs are also different than other types of writings. The blog writings seem to convince others of opinions at times, but I also think they are also used to share what they know about topics. Blog writing is a way that will let “anyone be a reporter and publisher - often for free” (Blogs in Plain English, 2016).
Comments Enhancing Blogs
Many times, comments will enhance the blog posts due to others’ commenting and sharing their knowledge on the same topic. It is a way to network with other people who are interested in the same topic. Many times the comments provide a different perspective or different ideas and activities that you may enjoy reading. People who share similar interests will be able to communicate back and forth and form relationships. “Bloggers often work together. In addition to comments, you'll read each other's posts, quote each other and link your blogs together” (Blogs in Plain English, 2016). This is a way to connect and gain so much more information on a topic.
Blogs Enhancing Student Learning
There are many ways to enhance student learning by using blogs. According to the Teachers First website, they reported many various types of activities that can be conducted with classes (Teachers First - Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers, 1998-2017). A few of them really stood out to me as options that I could use with my third grade students. I like the idea of posting a writing prompt for students, having them write their own opinions, and requiring them to comment on their classmates’ blogs (Teachers First - Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers, 1998-2017).
Furthermore, I really like the activity called “The Week in Review” (Teachers First - Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers, 1998-2017). During this activity, a group of students write about their week of events within the classroom (Teachers First - Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers, 1998-2017). I like the idea of this because it has the students taking control over bridging the gap between home and school. I feel parents will be more likely to read the content if they know their children are publishing the blog.
The third topic I really liked was having a “Question Blog” where students would answer a question or two posed by the teacher before starting a new topic (Teachers First - Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers, 1998-2017). This is an excellent way for the teacher to gauge students’ thoughts and opinions on a topic and where misconceptions might be before even beginning a new unit. It is a way to pre-assess students in a manner where they can write freely and communicate without taking a ‘test’ on the content. It forces the students to think about the subject with greater thought than if they were to just simply answer multiple choice questions.
S. (2016, September 25). Blogs in Plain English. Retrieved March 20, 2017, from https://www.commoncraft.com/video/blogs
Teachers First - Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 1998-2017, from http://www.teachersfirst.com/content/blog/blogideas1.cfm
Unit 4: RSS and Aggregation
Aggregating large amounts of information by using a website such as Feedly is a valuable tool for educators. It is a way for teachers to save time when searching for new information in their field because the updates are sent right to one site (2016). It is important to keep up-to-date with ideas in education and it is difficult to find the time to search the specific blogs and websites each day. RSS feed allows the web to do the work for you.
As a teacher, I could use RSS within my classroom in a variety of different ways. For example, I could share out my RSS feed with my parents and have them subscribe to my Schoology page and Twitter so they can get updates each time I post information. Parents could also use this to receive updates on my students’ ePortfolios so they can simply check one site in order to see if there is any news related to our school.
I like the idea of subscribing to my students’ RSS feeds so I can quickly see who has been updating their blogs and read over them fairly quickly. Furthermore, I want to share my Social Bookmarking with my students using aggregation so they can keep up-to-date with various websites I save (Stern, 2007). I like this idea because they will have a running list of informative websites based on the content we are studying in class. They will be able to see when I bookmark something new and will be able to keep this list of sites to use as resources for future assignments.
S. (2016, September 25). Retrieved March 27, 2017, from http://commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english
Stern, L. (2007, May 15). RSS in Education. Retrieved March 27, 2017, from http://www.slideshare.net/leonardstern/rss-in-education
Unit 3: Critical evaluation and creative commons
After reading about Critical Evaluation and Creative Commons licensing, I have a much deeper understanding of the importance of both and the part they play in the research process. When creating my survey, I decided to ask a question that related to others’ opinions on the best way to teach young students how to critically evaluate websites. Those who took my survey needed to state which way they felt was best to teach their learners about Critical Evaluation. I wanted to see if my opinion aligned with other educators’ and it did! It is important to show students how easy it is for anybody to post information on the web and make it look authentic.
Creative Commons is a topic that I would teach my students after explaining the idea of Critical Evaluation. Personally, I feel third graders, even though they are in elementary school, need to understand Creative Commons Licensing because “Creative Commons puts unprecedented power into the hands of content owners and users, creating an environment in which restrictions take a back seat to permissions and the creative talents of individuals benefit the common good” (Educause, 2007). Students need to learn that it is important to know the rights of others and the idea that they are allowed to use certain items from the web. Creative Commons allows my learners to legally use pictures in their presentations and writing. They will be able to take information from the web and use it for different types of research based on what specific authors have decided upon for their licensing agreement. It is a great way for students to have the freedom to learn from the web and share that knowledge with others.
Google Slideshow: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1dcuYdxOtg30lCoUEN_LTqQiMhtmZ-1GQCLBgvLzM2XE/edit?usp=sharing
7 Things You Should Know about Creative Commons. (2007, March). Retrieved March 25, 2017, from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7023.pdf
Unit 5: narrated Video on Figurative Language
Video Link: https://spark.adobe.com/video/t5aAq2sQKBFhK
Thinglink: Geometry- Attributes of shapes
Imaged used with permission from: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/Distorted_truncated_square_tiling.png
Thinglink VS. Adobe Sparknote Video
Unit 6: Timelines
Google photos was extremely easy to manipulate and create a timeline. The most time consuming part about the project was finding the images that I wanted to use and making sure they were under the Creative Commons licensing. After I found the photos I wanted, I placed them onto my desktop. After doing this, I was able to drag them into Google Photos and type text to go under each one. This was extremely easy and something my third graders would be able to do.
During third grade, we complete a Wax Museum project in May. This is where my students dress up as a person they studied and read a speech written in first person. One of their projects that must be on their display is a timeline. Students could develop their timeline of their person’s life using Google Photos. They can be specific about the event by typing text underneath pictures they found under the Creative Commons license.
In the past, we have used Kidspiration in order to complete the timelines. I always found they were a bit difficult to do for my students and did not have much creativity. By allowing my students to complete their timelines using Google Photos or even Canvas, they will be able to make stunning timelines that will accurately depict their person’s life.
My thoughts on using infographics with third grade students. Galloping to Greatness Blog
Unit 7 PSA: My Thoughts
My thoughts on the messages being conveyed for two public service announcements. Check out my blog: Galloping to Greatness
Unit 7: my personal psa
The following public service announcement is created from the viewpoint of a parent who has a child in a school district. This parent is trying to convince others to push for more technology tools within their school district.