Aimee Radel's Edim 510 Portfolio

Web 2.0 Introduction Reflections

Throughout these readings I’ve learned quite a few things. In the first article that I read titled, “Do Web 2.0 Right” by Daniel Light, I learned that “the teachers who have had the best luck with Web 2.0 are using the tools to create ongoing conversations among students and “always on” learning communities” (Light, 2011, pg. 11). I had previously thought that too much of anything can become boring and less effective with students. Light argues that a learning community that is available 24/7 is the most effective. I also learned that “the most successful individual blog tasks…involved using the blog principally as a private means of communication between the teacher and each student” (Light, 2011, pg. 11). I have had students use blogs in the past and we always made them public because we thought that it would be a more “authentic” and “real world” task if it was a public posting. Light argues that that is counter-productive.

The second big thing that I learned wasn’t really something I learned, but a new perspective on something I’ve already known. In the article “Burp, Chatter, Tweet: New Sounds in the Classroom” it talked about technology as being a motivator for teachers. Since our audiences are getting harder and harder to “keep entertained” it can be seen as a motivator to push teachers to be more and more creative in the classroom, particularly in the area of incorporating technology (Galagan, 2010, pg. 26). I’ve never thought of it this way. I’ve always seen it in a more negative light where teachers are trying to compete with technology and losing at every turn.

In the article “Burp, Chatter, Tweet: New Sounds in the Classroom” I learned that multitasking decreases attention (Galagan, 2010, pg. 26). I wouldn’t say that this is necessarily new information, but it is nice to see someone else confirming what I’ve been telling my students. I had a few issues with this article because I don’t believe that it is completely my job to make everything super exciting for my students. (Not that I don’t want to.) I think that if we continue [ make everything super exciting, students will be completely unprepared for the real world where things are not always exciting. Reading tax code and preparing your taxes is not exciting, but it still needs to be done. Not all learning can be super exciting, sometimes they need to just work on quieting the world around them to focus on a task that isn’t super stimulating. They are constantly working at such a fast pace and are always connected that I think a break can be good for them.

The third big thing that I learned about was “The Taxonomy Table” (Krathwohl, 2002, pg. 217). I had known about Bloom’s Taxonomy and used it regularly throughout my career, but I’d never seen it with the Four Knowledge Dimensions. I really liked the idea of using the chart to see what knowledge dimensions I’m hitting and which Cognitive dimensions I’m hitting and more importantly, which dimensions I’m not hitting.

The last big thing that I learned about was the importance of teachers constantly learning about pedagogical knowledge, content knowledge, technology knowledge and how they relate to one another (Koehler, 2009, pg. 64). I have always known that it was important to learn about these three concepts, but I never really thought about how important it is to also learn how to effectively combine them. I found Andrew Churches’s article Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy to be a great guide for how to start combining these three elements in ways that I’d never even thought of.

Churches, A. (2009). Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy. Retrieved from:

https://live.wilkes.edu/content/enforced/223221-11013.201710/blooms_digital.pdf?_&d2l

SessionVal=pyHvKXKvqXl5NTbplmCEVAW0h&ou=223221

Galagan, P. (2010). Burp, chatter, tweet: New sounds in the classroom. Training & Development, July 2010, 26-29.

Koehler, M.J. & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.

Krathwohl, D. (2002). A revision of bloom’s taxonomy: An overview. Theory into Practice, 41(4), 212-218.

Light, D. (2011). Do web 2.0 right. Learning & Leading with Technology, February 2011, 10-15.

My favorite pedagogical model to support the use of digital tools to support teaching and learning would be Kathy Schrock’s. I like her model best because it incorporates both Bloom’s Taxonomy and the SAMR models. I like incorporating both because they are good reminders that we should constantly be working to help kids up the ladder. Many times we are content just to incorporate a piece of technology and we don’t think about what that piece of technology is actually doing. Incorporating both models will help me to ensure that they are moving upwards towards Creating by Redefinition of how I’m incorporating technology into my lessons.

Schrock, K. (2013). Bloom's and SAMR. Retrieved from: http://www.schrockguide.net/uploads/3/9/2/2/392267/blooms_samr.pdf

Twitter Trial

As someone who has never written a tweet, this week has been enlightening. I went from just having a Twitter that I checked once every few months, to becoming fully immersed in the Twitter world. I helped create a PLN with my classmates from my Wilkes EDIM510 course. I was proud of myself for writing and posting my very first Tweet. #proudmoment

In other news, I did have to delete several Tweets because they didn't format correctly, or because I forgot to include #edim510. I realized that you cannot go back and edit Tweets. You have to just delete them and repost them.

While I did find the character limit frustrating at times (English teachers are not usually known for their conciseness), I did enjoy the fact that I could be concise and didn't have to worry about writing a novel. The conciseness of Tweets makes them very easy to read and either look further into or move on. This is perfect for me since I have so little time to read and gain new information for my classroom.

Blog Reading

For this assignment I read the Discovery Educator Network National blog, This and That, The Daring Librarian, and The Aside Blog.

The DEN National blog contained a lot of varying articles. I read a few articles from Discovery, one from Kathy Schrock on literacy, and one Spotlight on Strategies about the 3-2-1 Pyramid. These articles are definitely meant for teachers. The content, writing style, and navigation definitely do fit the audience. They use all of the acronyms and lingo that teachers use because they don’t need to waste the time explaining everything. Examples of this would be words like “differentiated instruction” or “think-pair-share”. Navigation wise, this site was simply a list of blog posts to read. It wasn’t like a traditional blog because it had many different topics and contributors. I typically think of blogs as one author writing posts chronologically about various semi-related topics. This blog jumped from reading strategies to math strategies, to posts about conferences.

The Daring Librarian had a lot of varying posts. She had posts revolving around ideas to use Instagram as a way to promote literacy, posts about general information about the school library, and advertisements for books that have been adapted into film. This blog had a more universal writing style in that it didn’t throw lots of education lingo around. It was definitely targeting a different audience than the Discovery Education Network blogs. This blog was aimed at students, teachers, and parents. It was obvious that teachers were a target when the opening page had a blog post about using Instagram in the classroom to promote literacy. She writes, “all you really need is creativity and a few minutes a day to make meaningful, fun, and lasting connections with your community” (Jones). Technically this could be aimed towards teachers trying to connect with the community or students trying to connect with the community. Navigation wise, I struggled with this site at times. There were blog posts on the home page, but then there was a link to a “Library edublog.” I wasn’t completely sure if there was a difference between the two, but after investigating found that they contained different blog posts. I feel that stylistically, this blog appealed predominantly to students. There were lots of pop culture icons, colors, and images.

The Aside Blog had articles relevant to education, such as articles about “Why Multitasking Is A Myth AND Bad For Our Children.” The article talked about how students and adults pride themselves on being great multi-taskers, but multi-tasking isn’t something that is actually good. The article stated that multi-tasking slows us down and causes us to miss out on vital information. I liked this blog because it connected to a variety of topics and issues in education. For instance, it had a blog post, “Building Common Ground Through Respect and Curiosity, Not Fear Of The Unknown”, that related to our role as teachers in helping students navigate our changing world. In terms of writing style, it was definitely aimed towards teachers. This was evident from his repeated use of the phrase, “we, as educators”. In terms of navigation, this blog followed the traditional pattern that I am more used to. Blogs were posted on various issues in education in a chronological order. He also used tagging, which made it easier to find topics that related to what the reader was searching.

Lastly, the This and That blog wrote about the importance of “The Big Three”, which are infrastructure, devices, and Professional Development. It also talked about needing to start incorporating Digital Citizenship. This blog was definitely aimed at teachers. This was evident in his posts about what should be incorporated into curriculum in terms of technology. In terms of his writing style, it is clear cut and easy to read. It gets right to the point. In terms of navigation, this blog also follows the traditional pattern of one post after another in chronological order. It also had the tagging system, which made finding specific topics easier.

All of the blogs that I read had an informal style of writing. Some contained the author’s opinion, others presented objectively on certain topics within education. In all cases they were focused in on one specific strategy or idea within education. They all were created with the intent of informing the reader. Whether they were informing of a new trend in education, or a new way to use technology in the classroom, they all were giving the reader something new to think about or try.

Reading a blog is different from other types of reading because it is condensed and concise. It is also tailored to a very specific audience, unlike other types of writing that usually try to appeal to a broader audience. Because it appeals to a specific audience, it often uses academic language related to that discipline.

Blog writing does require a different type of writing. It reminds me almost of my journalism class in college. Not that journalism is informal, but it is a much more condensed version of writing, much like blogs are.

Most of the blogs that I read didn’t have many comments, or if they did, they were nothing more than a “Great post” comment. I could see how comments could make a blog post more meaningful, much as online discussion boards can be helpful. I can also see where they can detract from a post, especially if people are just trolling the post or author.

I think blogs have a similar appeal to having online discussion boards. Blogs would enable students to write about a subject that they have learned about, and share their knowledge with their classmates. This would enable students who do not feel comfortable sharing out loud, to still participate in learning. In addition, it would get to students to work on their reading/comprehension skills and constructively commenting on a peer’s work. Digital citizenship is an invaluable skill for students to have as they enter college and life after college. Lastly, getting students to start reading blogs could help set them up to become life long learners.

References

Jones, G. (2017, March 4). 12 Insta Easy Instagram Library & Literacy Promotion Ideas [Web

log post]. Retrieved from: http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/.

Podcast Reflection

The Process

I found iPadio to be very user friendly. I really liked being able to record the podcast on my phone versus having to find a microphone to use with my laptop. Once I created my iPadio account, I just had to call the number, enter my pin, and record my podcast. The trickiest part of the whole process was writing the two minute script for the podcast. English teachers aren’t known for their conciseness, and I struggled to pare it down to two minutes. Once I finished recording, I was able to listen to my podcast, and then redo it or save it.

Practical Applications

As I worked on my own podcast, I tried to think of practical applications for my own classroom, and the number one place where podcasting could help me would be in terms of recording classroom discussions and lectures for students who are absent. This year more than ever, I have an exorbitantly high number of absent students, and their grades are suffering for those absences. While I can post their work on Canvas, they are still missing out on the valuable discussions taking place in the classroom. Podcasting the lessons would fix the problem, as long as students took the time to listen to them. (That is a big if.)

I could also have students use podcasting as a way of expressing their own learning. Many of my students are able to take all of the information they are given, and regurgitate it back, but when it comes to moving higher up Bloom’s Taxonomy to synthesizing or creating, they struggle. For instance, I have my 11th grade College Prep. English class read various pieces related to the Romantic movement in America during the 1700s. At the end of the unit, I try to have them examine everything we’ve read in order to describe what the movement was about and how it came to be in relation to the previous movements we have learned about. When we get to this step of the process, they all stare at me blankly. Having them examine the pieces and then explain to me via a podcast what the pieces have in common and what that could say about America during the 1700s.

In Conclusion

This has been, by far, the smoothest experience that I’ve ever had with podcasting. From start to finish, the recording of the podcast took minutes. I have only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of practical applications for using podcasts in the classroom. Having such a smooth process has definitely made me consider using them in the classroom.

Podcast Channel Link: http://www.ipadio.com/channels/AimeeRadel1

Podcast RSS Feed: http://www.ipadio.com/channels/0f1b8wHFr9o8-NoFcO819A/rss

RSS & Aggregation

Aggregating large amounts of information using a tool such as www.feedly.com can save time and energy. Rather than having to click through each bookmarked blog, website, podcast, or wiki, a website, like feedly, enables readers to subscribe to various feeds. Once all of the feeds have been subscribed to, feedly, will then collect and notify the subscriber whenever a new post is made. This saves the subscriber from wasting time looking for new posts that may not exist.

In addition to saving every day subscribers time and energy, it has even more possibilities in the classroom. In terms of students, feedly could be used to help students locate keep up to date with the most current information in the field that they are studying. For example, a student taking an Environment & Ecology class is limited by their textbook. Rather than using older, out-of-date information, students could subscribe to various blogs, websites, wikis, or podcasts on the topic and be kept up to date on the newest advances within the field. The same idea applies to teachers. Teachers could subscribe to various feeds on education and technology and be kept up to date on the newest information in the field of education and the use of technology within education.

After experimenting with podcasts last week, I found myself excited by the prospect of recording some classroom discussions or lectures. Now, with using RSS as a way of cataloging and keeping up with the information, I have a way to get my podcasts into my students’ hands. They could all subscribe to my podcasts as a way of keeping up to date with what is going on in my classroom, especially if they are absent. If teachers aren’t comfortable with podcasting, they could use the same premise to share a class blog or wiki with students. Students would subscribe and be able to keep up with what is going on in class.

Critical Evaluation of Information

Google Slideshow

I really wanted this lesson on how to critically evaluate information to be something that my students remember. They so often take all information found on the internet as fact, therefore, I wanted this lesson to show them just how careful they have to be. I know that my high schoolers are not likely to do anything that requires a significant amount of time or energy. In order to pinpoint key ways in order to actually get them to critically evaluate information, I surveyed my classmates and asked them what they thought would be the best way to ensure that students ACTUALLY critically evaluate information. My options were: Make the process quick, Make the process simple, Make the process consistent, Teach them how so often that it becomes a habit, or They won’t do it no matter what. The highest response was “Make it simple.” Once I had my feedback, I went to work on my slideshow. Having previously learned about and used the “CRAAP Test”, I opted instead for Kathy Schrock’s “5Ws of Web Site Evaluation.” I chose Kathy’s method because I know that my students can easily figure out what the 5Ws are. The odds of my 10th and 11th graders remembering, Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose was significantly lower, and there were even lower odds would be that they actually remember what each of those words meant.

I have used the Creative Commons website since I piloted a Hybrid Learning program at my district five years ago. Throughout the various trainings we spent a good bit of time working with copyrights and how to ensure we were only using materials that were allowed. While I do see it as another hoop that students may or may not choose to jump through, I do see Creative Commons as a streamlined way for students to figure out whether the images/content that they are using is legal for them to use. If nothing else, I think it brings up a great conversation to have with students since they often seem to be under the assumption that anything that is put on the internet is free and fair game. Having them work with and explore the Creative Commons site will perhaps make them more cognizant of the fact that everyone’s work is their own and cannot and should not be simply handed in with a new name slapped on top of it.

Thinglink 

Thinglink to introduce students to Transcendentalism

Map of the key places in Transcendentalism

Adobe Spark Video on "How to write a Critical Analysis"

Link to video

Blog about Thinglink vs. Adobe Spark Video

Interested in learning about how these two tech. tools stand up to one another? Check out my blog where I write about my experiences using both of them.

Google Timeline

For this assignment, I was supposed to pick a year and make a timeline of events. I was then supposed to find ten images to support those ten events. I found the process to be time intensive and a bit monotonous. Having to find ten events from a specific year, then find images, save the images, write down the citations for the images, and then put them all together into a timeline was very time consuming. When presenting my sample timeline, I will explain that the events were selected because they showed that 1985 was a time of great change, both bad and good. Since the content of this project, the year 1985, had no real connection to what I’m learning, the task felt like busy work. I noted this because when I try to incorporate this into my own classroom, I will have to be careful of making my own students feel the same way. While I was working on the timeline, I was trying to think of ways to incorporate a similar task in my own classroom, and in a way that would be meaningful. At its most simplistic level, this assignment could be used in my classroom as a means of having students summarize a story. They could plot out the key events of the storyline, adding images to retell. At a more advanced level, students could use this tool as a way of plotting out their own story. This could work as simply a graphic organizer for the timeline of their story, or as a means of storytelling. Since my students really struggle with organization, this could be a really valuable way of getting them to think about and work on their organizational skills when it comes to their writing.

Link to my Sample Google Timeline

Canva Infographic

Fotoflexer Infographic

During this past week I spent quite a bit of time trying out various infographics. I tried making a timeline with Google Draw, a timeline with Canva, and an infographic bar chart with fotoflexer. See my thoughts on the experience and how these tools could be used in a high school English classroom by clicking on the link below.

Link to my blog article on "Infographics in the classroom"

PSA Reflection

When watching and making Public Service Announcements (PSAs) it is important to analyze them for more than the message that they convey. While the message is obviously vital to the PSA, the audience to whom it is aimed, and the effectiveness of the PSA is also important. For this assignment, I analyzed two PSAs through the lens of a teacher in order to analyze the effectiveness and message. Read my blog here.

Blog Link

PSA aimed at getting teachers to use more technology in the classroom

Credits:

Created with images by jarmoluk - "book exposition composition"

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