Learnings from Readings and Videos
My very first reaction to the Schrock video was, “Wow”. I had no idea of the scope of the tools, and I consider myself to be pretty tech savvy. In particular, the link to the page that categorizes the Web 2.0 tools is a phenomenal resource. My biggest take away then, having been a bit overwhelmed at first by all of the tools and resources available, was something in the Light article. He writes that it is important to not just throw tools at kids, but to use one or two on a consistent basis, so that it becomes part of the class routine. (Light, 2011) This made me feel better, and so now the trick is to find a tool that will be effective in my classroom. I would be interested in finding a tool that would help students collect data in the field using their phones.
Important considerations when using web 2.0 tools with students are privacy, social norms, and engagement. Though my students are by far bigger users of social media than I ever will be, they do not always use common sense when using it in their lives. We can all site times when students have used it to bully or intimidate peers. It is important to educate kids about proper use of blogs, social networking sites, etc. so that they understand the social considerations involved, especially if posting to a class webpage or Wiki. We have a website that we maintain for our program, and we have kids contribute articles to it. It would be interesting to start a student blog that is incorporated into the page.
One other thing I read really resonated with me, and that was the Galagan article. I was slightly taken aback by the statement made that if kids are bored in the classroom, it is the teacher’s fault. (Galagan, 2010) The pressure to be interesting and engaging can at times be hard, as students need constant stimulation, lessons that will pull them in, and keep them interested. This takes a tremendous amount of energy and creativity on the part of the teacher. I would like to see the students take on more of this burden - teachers should guide and not lead, and so some initiative on the part of the students is necessary.
Light, D. (2011.) Do web 2.0 right. Learning & Leading with Technology, Feb. 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2017 from https://live.wilkes.edu/content/enforced/227585-20148.201720/web20_classroom.pdf?_&d2lSessionVal=2UskWsxeJnLFAX7Jff4SlWBcv&ou=227585
Galagan, P. (2010). Burp, Chatter, Tweet: New Sounds in the Classroom. Training & Development, 26-29. Retrieved May 7, 2017, from https://live.wilkes.edu/d2l/le/content/227585/viewContent/2422593/View.
Schrock, K. (2015). Creating With Online Tools. Retrieved May 07, 2017, from https://vimeo.com/121203978
Pedagogical Model - Incorporating Web 2.0 Tools into the Classroom
I teach at a freshman academy that utilizes project-based, experiential learning curriculum. In cooperation with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4H Learning Center at Bryant Pond, all of the freshmen in our district attend this off-campus program on a lake in Maine.
We use a variety of tools, but have not adopted any one pedagogical model for technology integration into our projects. One project, which is the culmination of our unit entitled “Exploration and Discovery”, requires the student to document their learning throughout the course, which includes a trip to Washington, DC for 5 days. The students must produce a digital story, which is then shared in a public forum at the local movie theater. Using the SAMR model, this is clearly an application of “redefinition” as the student is presenting new information, creating a video, and presenting it to an authentic audience.
Roberts, J. (2013.) Turning SAMR into TECH: What models are good for. In Literacy, Technology, Policy, Etc. ...A Blog. Retrieved 4 May 2017 from http://www.litandtech.com/2013/11/turning-samr-into-tech-what-models-are.html
Personal Learning Networks
I am part of a few personal learning networks, some formal and others rather informal in the sharing of thoughts and ideas that take place. Daniel Tobin’s article highlights the importance of PLN’s, as the sharing of knowledge and wisdom can be invaluable in the advancement of one’s learning. (Tobin, 1998) I am definitely in stage 1 of Utecht’s scale, which is immersion. (Utecht, 2008) Although opportunities to collaborate outside of the school walls are abundant, I have only begun to explore this avenue for learning. Professional learning communities have existed within our school for a few years now, but collaborations outside of the building have been less prominent. I have certainly taken part in many one-time only collaborations, but having a consistent network of professionals to tap into is not something I have prioritized.
I teach as part of a 4 teacher team, and we meet everyday to collaborate on all aspects of our freshman program. We expand our team frequently, to include other teaching professionals, community members, and experts, in order to add to the offerings we have available to our students. Our team also belongs to a four school collaborative through the Maine Math and Science Alliance. This allows us to collaborate with teachers from other schools in the state, and also with a school in the US Virgin Islands. We meet regularly online to share ideas, and belong to a Google + collaborative. We exchange curriculum and assessment ideas, and have just started to collaborate on a math project that all schools will participate in.
I have had a Twitter account for some time due to our school’s involvement with the Follow a Researcher program at the University of Maine. Through Twitter, we follow a U Maine scientist to the field, and learn about the research they are conducting by participating in weekly, live online Twitter sessions. This has connected me with many teachers, students and professionals, and has allowed my students to virtually travel to the Falkland Islands and Antarctica. The program that I am a part of is a collaboration between the University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4H Learning Center at Bryant Pond and our local school district, and so the opportunities to network are greatly increased.
The network within my teaching team is most valuable to me, as we must work together to make our project-based learning program successful. It also opens the doors to many opportunities to collaborate with the community, professionals, and the state university. Since becoming more active on Twitter this week, I can see the value of PLN’s with the countless connections I can make.
Tobin, D.R. (1998). Building a personal learning network. Retrieved 14 May 2017 from http://www.tobincls.com/articles/
Utecht, J. (2008, April 3). Stages of PLN adoption. Retrieved 14 May 2017 from http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption/
I have had a Twitter account, but have rarely utilized it, and felt intimidated by thisassignment. As part of a program my students participate in, we use Twitter to follow a University of Maine researcher as they conduct work in the field. We participate in live Twitter sessions, but I have participated using the Twitter handle @telstarfreshmen, but this week have used my own, @kellydolek1.
My stats for the week - I followed 50 others, accrued 15 followers of my own, and tweeted 8 times. I also had a like for one of my tweets. It was interesting, time consuming, and at times, beneficial. After wading through ads and suggestions, I found good information that I chose to retweet. I also was fascinated to see the web that exists, as followers of those I had chosen to follow were suggested to me. I participated in surveys that Wilkes classmates posted, and can see the value of using this tool with my students. It would make a great way to get final thoughts on a day’s lesson, or to generate discussion about a topic.
Blog reading, and writing, is something new to me. The education blogs contain a ton of valuable information, and sorting through it all would take some time. The blog posts that I read came from four different blogs. I wanted to choose four that were a bit different from each other, but I am not sure I accomplished that goal. The audience and the writing style for all four blogs seemed to be very similar.
The Discovery Educator Network blog is definitely geared toward educators. Some posts mention DE resources, but most link out to other incredible resources. It is clearly written, and easy to navigate, but I found that some posts were really long, and those did not keep my attention as much and I found myself skimming. The Aside Blog is also written for teachers, but also for students, and the focus is on design. Teachers who are looking to incorporate design concepts into their curriculum would find helpful information here. The TeachThought blog seems to be focused on teachers looking to improve their craft. Blog posts are categorized into helpful subsections, so that one can read about a particular aspect of teaching. The final blog I examined was Jonathan Wylie, who writes with a technology focus for educators looking to learn how to effectively incorporate technology into their classrooms. It is written in a more “how-to” style, with instructions of how to use various technology tools.
Blog writing seems to have some common threads, such as the dissemination of a lot of information, that is clearly written, with a purpose in mind. That purpose can be to teach or to persuade. The writing style is different than many styles, such as fiction or scientific writing, but similar to reading a magazine article or informational text. The writer is attempting to teach or persuade, but with fewer words and sentences. Reading blogs is similar to reading the newspaper or a magazine, as I imagine that if you are a dedicated reader of a blog, you may not read every post, but only those that interest you
I find the comments section of posts to be the most interesting, as that forum allows for a great exchange of information, such as feedback from readers that may potentially offer a variety of viewpoints that the reader may not have recognized previously.
The use of a blog in the classroom can be a powerful tool to enhance student learning. The public aspect of a blog may cause students to strive for higher quality writing, therefore improving their writing overall. Blogs are also great for promoting participation, collaboration, and discussion among students. Even a classroom blog, not made public to all, could be valuable to enhancing the learning of students due to the ongoing conversation blogs allow.
iPadio - My First Podcast
My first podcast - and it really felt like the first! I felt fairly adept at recording myself using my computer, and had success in getting it uploaded to iPadio. But, then I ran into trouble and could not get my broadcast to show up on my channel page. The experience has been frustrating, to say the least. The tutorial showed pages that looked nothing like what I was looking at, and I ended up watching many other tutorials to try to find out why the podcast does not show up on my iPadio channel. Still researching!
RSS feed address: http://www.ipadio.com/channels/iIM_4Bq8UCKkKx8aV3tclQ/rss
Feedly is a news aggregator that can save you time and effort. If you follow many blogs or news websites, an aggregation tool will gather updates for you so that you do not have be checking in many places - just one. Stories from a large variety of sources are pulled into one page. Feedly will also categorize feeds by topic or source. You can conduct a search of feeds for keywords, making it a great way to help students read and stay up to date with news.
If students had a Feedly account, and subscribed to a variety of teen-friendly news sites and blogs, they could do a keyword search after a major event had occurred. For example, today could have been “Ariana Grande”. Or, I could post messages on my blog, and because I would require them to subscribe to me, as well as add me to their Feedly, I could easily get them news, homework, or announcements using a quick blog post. Anything I shared in my blog would go to them automatically.
Critical Evaluation of Information
I took a 1-question poll of classmates to see how much they knew about critical evaluation of information, asking them to rate themselves on a scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. It is not something I think of often, and so I wondered what their experience was. My first question was used to gauge their overall knowledge of the internet, hoping that all educated adults would realize that not everything found on the internet is true. The second question asked about their ability to spot a good website, and more agreed than disagreed that this was something they were good at. The final question asked them whether they personally taught their students this skill, and again the average was in the middle. Clearly, this is not something teachers feel comfortable with.
Click on the link below to see a presentation I put together on this important topic.
Creative Commons Licensing
Creative commons licensing was not something I was familiar with, but can see applications for student use. Anything that a student creates can be licensed, giving students the opportunity to share their work with others, and have others use it, change it, and build upon it. With proper attribution, the student can see how others have used their work, or changed it, perhaps inspiring them to go even further with their original creation.
A Lesson on Acid Rain Using Padlet
Students conducting a stream assessment
Try the lesson below - add your answers to the board to complete the Padlet!
How to Test the Aquaponics System - A Narrated Tutorial
Online Presentation Reflection
I created two online presentations this week, one using Padlet and the other using Adobe Spark Video. Click the button to read about my experience:
I used two different tools to create inforgraphics about the same topic - the top hurricanes from 2001 - 12. I used Google photos, and created an album, and used captions. I found it to have few options - I could not change the font, color, etc. and it was limiting. The end product was OK, but not that visually attractive. I also made a similar timeline using Canva, and found it to be very user friendly, and the options to change layouts, colors, and fonts, were numerous, and I felt that I had more room to be creative. I have used Canva in class previously, to create posters and magazine pages. I think it could be used in a wide variety of ways - creating advertisements for products they innovate, invitations to the community dinner we put on, or a flyer to invite community members to a presentation. Google photos could be used as a place to gather images to use in presentations, but I would choose other tools to make the presentation itself.
Here is the infographic created with Canva:
And here is a link to the Google album I created:
And one more, made with Google drawings, that shows statistical information in a visual format.
Thoughts on Infographics
Check out my latest blog post on using infographics with students:
Public Service Announcements - Get Your Point Across
Click below to read about two videos I viewed this week. Both were PSA's, but were quite different from each other.
Keep Technology in Schools
Click the button below to view the PSA I created using Stupeflix