Week 1 Reflection
There were a lot of interesting and innovative ideas in the articles and videos that were posted. I recognized many of the tools on the Web 2.0 Landscape, however I did not know that they had the specific names to be split into categories (aggregation/recombination, collaborative filtering, etc.). There are so many Web 2.0 tools that it can be a bit overwhelming. I have tried some of them with my own students and some I have learned about in my other graduate classes. It seems normal that some students may be reluctant to blog with the fear that their classmates may respond with rude or harassing comments. Luckily there are so many parameters that the teacher can set so that it can be made as private or public as he/she sees fit. Our school has been working a lot with Collin's writing and this involves different types of writing. Type 1 would elicit prior knowledge before teaching a skill or unit. This is basically a free write where the students write everything they know without worrying about conventions. The article really connected this idea through classroom blogs. This also pulls the shy kids out of their shells and gives them a "voice". The push is for more student talk and less teacher talk and blogging and creating a wiki is the perfect place for this to reside.
We are in the age of devices and we have become controlled in our everyday lives by these devices. This has definitely created a society of entitled children who have a hard time holding a conversation with their peers when they are not talking through social media or another form of technology. It is hard to enforce zero devices when we are utilizing it in our classes and encourage students to integrate technology into their learning. When it starts to be a behavior issue, it is not longer serving its purpose. I totally agree with the article when it says that it's not about how the engaging the technology is but how well the teacher keeps the students' attention. When my students are using the iPads they know the rule about having the case closed when I am speaking. I just had to remind them about this the other day because I was going over the daily schedule and it seemed that no one was listening and everyone was involved in what they were doing in their iPads.
Many of these methods were fairly new to me. I teach first grade and it is phenomenal what they can do even at 6 and 7 years old! I have a love for technology and this transfers to my students. When looking at the TECH method, it seems to have a clear progression from where we are as an educator right down to our students. There are many teachers that I have worked with who are very apprehensive about trying new technology or even turning on their iPad! Sometimes it surprises me because it seems so simple, but I have to remember that they may be at different stages on the SAMR model. I use laptops and iPads daily to enhance learning in my classroom, however, my school only has one iPad cart with 15 iPads that are signed out to different teachers. This makes it hard to rely on a daily task involving technology when it simply is not available. I set my students up so that they are introduced to the new technology tool and then they usually take off with it. A lot of them end up navigating through the app or website and teach me what they learned! This is a huge proponent of a growth mindset.
Personal Learning Networks
I really enjoyed learning about personal learning networks. The YouTube video was a great visual with some comic relief to explain the importance of personal learning networks. According to Tobin, Knowledge is a unique type of economic good. With most economic goods, if you give them away, you no longer have them. With knowledge, you can give it away and keep it. In fact, the value of knowledge increases when you share it with others. This is such a powerful message and the whole concept around being a teacher and lifelong learner.
I am very fortunate to have grade-level partners who are not only my friends and support system, but also my personal learning network. We are required to meet with our grade-level team two times a week and we always joke how we are constantly talking about our students and their needs and what we are doing with the curriculum. Our reading specialist is a huge part of my personal learning network because we collaborate on all of our data using Google Drive and Google Docs. We meet with her to discuss what is working in our instruction and how we can use the data to drive our instruction. Being a tech integrator at our school has given me a great personal learning network with other tech integrators and the whole tech department. We meet monthly to discuss issues from our buildings and take a lot of ideas back to our staff. Of course I use Google a lot when I am teaching to show videos or to find answers to questions that pop up during lessons.
As far as Utecht’s scale, I found that I could relate to all stages at different points in my learning. Technology is such a big part of my lift that it is hard to put down the device. I guess that would put me at Stage 4 Perspective. I was probably worse with this when I did not have any kids and my whole world revolved around my job and classes. Now I am forced to prioritize my time and split between family, work, classes, and daily responsibilities. I am in the beginning of Stage 5 Balance where I am focusing on what needs to be done right now and what things can wait. It is not easy when everything is readily available at your fingertips. Also, if something is not holding my interest, I want to resort to browsing Facebook or another app that does not require much brainpower.
Tobin, D. (n.d.). Building Your Personal Learning Network. Retrieved May 09, 2017, from https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=http%3A%2F%2F000gel3.myregisteredwp.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fsites%2F3971%2F2017%2F01%2Fbuilding-a-personal-learning-network.docx
Utecht, J. (2008, April 3). Stages of pln adoption. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption/
I have had a Twitter account for some time now. I will admit that I do not use it frequently, and I rarely use it for education. I always felt like it was a bit overwhelming with so many groups, organizations and people that it was like being in Utecht's Stage 3. Where do I begin and how do I turn it off so that it does not consume me? One hashtag turns into another Twitter page, which turns into more comments with more hashtags taking me to other pages. This could be why I never embraced Twitter as a teaching tool. I teach primary and so I am not sure if Twitter is the most appropriate tool for first graders.
Using the #edim510 was helpful in honing in on the specifics for this class and to keep me from straying to other Twitter pages. It was great seeing all of the pictures, articles, and Twitter handles that other students were posting. Creating a poll was something new to me and I could not believe how easy it was! This is a quick way to get some feedback from such a large personal learning network. I felt bad for the posts that I really did not have much to offer like the teachers who were posting about high school English. It is important to scroll through the comments on a particular post because there could be other ideas from teachers in response to the question. I posted some pictures of my students using technology in my classroom. After I posted, I wondered if it was okay to post the pictures? I am not sure what the rule is about that. I would assume it would be like any other internet permission for pictures. I am looking forward to implementing some of the examples of using Twitter in the classroom from the website link.
Using iPadio for podcasting was totally new for me. Podcasting in general is something that I do not do a lot of in my classroom. It always seemed like it would be a great tool to have my students use when it comes to working on fluency.
I downloaded iPadio on my phone and then signed into it on my computer. I did a trial recording on my phone and it seemed easy enough. There were no major issues but I did want to make sure the RSS worked. After trying the RSS feed, it seemed like it was not working. I played with this and it worked after I used Firefox instead of Chrome. I realized I must have my live bookmark setup on Firefox.
iPadio RSS feed http://www.ipadio.com/channels/wRBNqheoV05hzDmmtJ6gEA/rss
Discovery Educator Network
This blog was very pleasing to the eye the way it was laid out. It had a scrolling feed with what is trending now and that kept it very current. There are different drop down menus where you can pick the subject you are searching or the type of community you are in. When you picked from the drop down menus, it took you to another page that had the blogs laid out by date.
Principal of Change
This blog was very “clean” in it’s layout and it had a picture of the author. This was helpful to put a face to the information in the blogs. The information was based on his personal experiences and how he is incorporating this into his professional life.
The Innovative Educator
The Innovative Educator also had a picture of the author and drop down menus to sort through the content. It was interesting that the first blog on the page (posted today) started off with “Even If You Hate Interactive Whiteboards…” This was definitely an eye-catching blog title and left me wanting to read more.
Emerging EdTech was all about using tech in education. The most current blog post is on the main page and then you can search for posts by category where it has the five most recent posts for each category. I liked the Tool-Torials and a lot of the posts could be applied to my teaching.
• Who is the audience for the blog you are reading and does the content, writing style, and navigation meet the need of that audience?
The audience for these blogs seemed to be educators and administrators. The content involves leadership, technology, tools for the classroom and updated news about education. I felt that the writing style was very laid back and not so rigid like it would be in a collegiate research paper. There was some swearing and light humor, which may not be for everyone but did not bother me. The navigation was super easy and even educators that are new to blogging could easily navigate through the content and eventually get to what they needed.
• Is there anything similar in the blog-writing styles across all the blogs you read?
As I mentioned in the last section, the blog –writing styles seemed to be geared towards teachers who have been teaching for a while and “get it”. They were all non-threatening and friendly in nature. Some were more to the point and did not mince words. The blogs that were all written by actual people who are just getting through life like the rest of us had a more relaxed writing style.
• Is reading a blog different from other types of reading? Why or why not?
Reading a blog is different than other types of reading in that they are shorter and more to the point. There’s a goal in mind and it is laid out with pictures and headings which makes it more visual pleasing. This would be different than a research article, or educational journal. It is more of a place for bloggers to put their thoughts and not as focused on the specific writing rules.
• Does it seem that writing blog entries (not comments) is different from other types of writing?
Writing blog entries may be similar to posts on Facebook or Twitter. It is a nice balance between a research paper that requires citations and proper formatting and a review on a current movie that is out or a text you are sending to a friend. There are still rules and you have to be careful of your audience, however, it is up to you what you want to say in your own blog.
• Do the comments from others on a blog post help make the blog post more meaningful?
In my opinion, the comments from others do not sway my thoughts if the blog is meaningful. There is no way to check the validity of who is making the comment. The great thing about blogs (and the internet) is people can read and comment whenever and however they like. Unfortunately, this can be a downfall too. It may put a bad taste in your mouth after reading the blog.
• What aspects of a blog would enhance student learning and why?
I think the quick informational videos would enhance student learning because they could watch them and you would not have to worry about different reading abilities. The comments may have ideas or posts from other educators who are in the same grade level or looking for the same ideas as you and you could learn about a new idea or tool that may help student learning in your own classroom.
Couros, G. (2017.) The Principal of Change [blog post]. Retrieved 17 May 2017 from http://georgecouros.ca/blog/
Discovery Education. (2017.) Discovery Educator Network National [blog post]. Retrieved 15 May 2017 from http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/
Nielsen, L. (2017.) The Innovative Educator [blog post]. Retrieved 17 May 2017 from https://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.ie/
Walsh, K. (2017.) Emerging EdTech [blog post]. Retrieved 17 May 2017 from http://www.emergingedtech.com/
RSS and Aggregation
Using a tool to aggregate large amounts of information is phenomenal. It adds a whole new layer of efficiency to our already busy lives. I had a Feedly account before this assignment and have created folders so my blogs and websites could be saved and organized by topic. Instead of searching through websites and blogs to get updates, the updates come to us. When I look at this on my phone it allows me to scroll through today’s updated blogs and news and then it marks them read. This is incredibly time saving and narrows it down so I do not have to search through every piece of information.
Thinking of ways to incorporate RSS readers into my classroom is challenging because I teach first grade and most of the ways would benefit communication with my parents. My students are learning the basics as far as keyboarding and it would be time consuming for them to create blogs and update them. My students could create podcasts to practice reading fluently. I could assign certain podcasts that have our anthology stories or other listening to reading tasks so the students could listen to them at home. I have a monthly newsletter to keep parents and students updated on what we are doing in the curriculum and any other special events or announcements. Using a blog for this purpose could replace the newsletter and parents (or students) could subscribe to my blog.
Critical Evaluation and Creative Commons
Google Slide Presentation
Using Mentimeter was new to me and I am looking forward to finding ways to use it more in my classroom. It was so easy to create a question and then choose the best way to present the information. I feel this would be a great tool to use with staff at my school as well. My survey for critical evaluation focused on the type of licenses that people use to protect their work. I felt like this was a question I did not know before reading the content. There were not many responses to my survey but it was interesting to see how many of the votes were not correct.
The information on Creative Commons was very informational. I thought it was appropriate for upper elementary students up to grad students. It was hard to find resources that would be appropriate for my first graders. This would be a tough skill to teach to primary students. I could use Creative Commons as I am looking for resources for research papers or images for slide shows. I had no idea there was a Creative Commons section for Google images. This will be very useful for when I have my students searching for images to use in their animal research reports. Also, I use a lot of technology in my classroom for my lessons and I would want to make sure I am using items that are labeled for reuse. When I found an image I wanted to use in my slideshow and went to the URL it was a Flickr site. I was able to find the license and from reading about the various licenses, I understood the language and what it meant as far as how the picture could be used and shared.
First Grade Padlet
I decided to create a Padlet focused around our content areas (Science and Social Studies). This would cover things like animals, plants, continents, and oceans. This could be used as an assessment during a lesson or as a summative assessment following the unit.
Higher-order thinking. (2017, April 27). Retrieved May 30, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher-order_thinking
Adobe Spark Video
The Water Cycle Video
Here is my blog on my thoughts on using Padlet to teach content lessons and also my Spark video on the water cycle.
I have used all of the apps within Google including photos. I never knew it had those capabilities. At first I was a bit confused as to how to navigate through the text boxes and pictures, but once I completed one, the rest came easily. This is a great tool for your visual learners. It’s very organized and the layout is clean and easy to read. Using Google Photos with students could help with research reports where they have to show a visual to describe certain events, or showing realistic pictures of animals for animal reports.
Free Image on Pixabay - Online, Internet, Icon, Tree. (n.d.). Retrieved June 07, 2017, from https://pixabay.com/en/online-internet-icon-tree-leaves-2177692/
Here are some feelings about infographics on my blog. This was totally new to me!
PSA Part 1
Here are some thoughts after reviewing the videos. My role was a tech director.
PSA blog post
PSA Part 2
This is a PSA that I created coming from the viewpoint of a Tech Director. I am trying to stress the importance of technology in the classroom and how it will enhance our future.