Up and coming technologies

Write a 400-700 word blog post where you react and respond to the material in the videos. How do you think the technologies will impact your classroom? How soon will you see those impacts? What kinds of changes could this have in your professional life? Do you think such technology will be implemented where you work?

All of these technologies are pretty amazing. The one that caught my attention the most was the gesture based learning. Honestly, I thought that this kind of technology was only for the movies. Then the Wii came along with its advanced movement technology but still needed a controller to be able to sense the movement. Then when the Kinect came along for the Xbox platform, I was amazed that there was no physical controller needed. Not only that, but this technology was not just for the rich and famous. The average household can now use this technology for playing games, watching television shows, and using the internet.

These videos showing how it is the next approach to educational learning are fantastic. Students would be far more engaged in accessing this technology in regards to educational content in the classroom. Or if they have this technology at home they could use it for educational purposes as well. Although I think it will be years before the Kinect technology is common place in schools. My school just recently acquired SmartBoards for the majority of classrooms and some teachers are still using overhead projectors for everyday use.

The other technology I think would greatly impact student achievement and learning is using feedback in a more real-time way with analytics. It’s so true that the world of education is usually at least two years behind with data and tracking. I’ve always wondered why it takes so long. If we can access and use data in a quicker way, it would be so beneficial to educators. I’m really hoping to see these changes in the near future. It doesn’t seem like the analysis time frame will be extensive.

Another one I really liked was using the thin clients and blade PC’s. It would save so much space in our IT department not to mention in our classrooms and in our labs. I also like the fact that if one has any issues, then it can be replaced easily without any loss of information. Also they seem very secure from viruses and hackers. Again, I don’t think they will be in our school anytime soon. We just spent a lot of money on getting new Mac’s in our lab so I don’t think our district will be looking to spend more on technology for another couple of years. But I really hope we will be able to utilize it in the near future. The only major con I see is in the cost of replacing everything and the waste that is a result.

Classroom flipping resources

SOPHIA – http://www.sophia.org/

  • Sophia is loaded with many resources for classroom flipping. There are many resources for all subjects including technology and demonstrations. They facilitate teachers set up and curriculum development online so that students can access the materials that they need.
  • NETS – Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

Prezi – http://prezi.com/

  • This is a zooming presentation program. You create a presentation, much like Power Point with various color schemes, fonts, and media imports. The main difference is that instead of moving from one slide to the next, Prezi zooms in and out on a directed path of how you want to present your information. It is very visually appealing and sort of a trippy experience.
  • NETS – Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity.

Edmodo – http://www.edmodo.com/

  • Edmodo is an website dedicated to educational networking. Teachers, parents and students can access homework, resources, grades, and school notifications. It’s free to join and access.
  • NETS – Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

Vimeo – http://vimeo.com/

  • A video uploading tool to share and watch videos created by others. I would love to have my students upload videos that they created from my Geometry class. Students have a final project where they get to choose what type of project they do, one of which is a video. They could upload and share their videos with the class and other classes worldwide.
  • NETS – Promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative process.

NeoK12 – http://www.neok12.com/

  • NeoK12 is a website with an abundance of free online resources available for educational use. Kids, teachers, parents can all access videos, interactive games, pictures, and quizzes for a variety of subjects.
  • NETS – Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others

Student Circles Network – http://studentscircle.net/live/

  • Student Circles Network is an educational networking site for students, teachers, and parents. Collaboration and connection is the main draw for this website. Resources can be shared and discussed.
  • NETS – Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

WordPress – http://www.wordpress.com

  • Word press is a support system for network sharing, and personal blogging platform. It is free to sign up and user friendly. After posting or blogging, others can also make comments regarding your posts.
  • NETS – Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.

YouTube – http://www.youtube.com

  •  YouTube is a networking site for uploading and sharing videos. Amateurs to professionals can upload their videos to share and others can make comments or use these videos for educational or non-educational purposes.
  • NETS – Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.

Edutopia – http://www.edutopia.org/

  • A website for educators and administrators to influence today’s educational practices. It encourages teachers to use project-based learning styles to promote critical thinking, creative problem solving, communication and collaboration. They have many resources to help various content teachers to find unique lessons on the subject at hand. This is a great resource for learning more about how to incorporate project based learning in your classroom and to discuss ideas with others in the same area.
  • NETS – Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation.

KHAN Academy – http://www.khanacademy.org/

  • The KHAN Academy is a great website for viewing educational videos on different subjects. Most videos are math related but range from science to history to finances. These videos are easy to access and understand for a variety of ages. The nice thing about this website is that you don’t have to log in or join, in order to watch the videos.
  • NETS – Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

Before You Flip, Consider This

This article is focused on helping teachers who are looking to flip their classes. They ask important questions about what is the motivation for teachers to flip their classroom and would it be beneficial to students. Teachers are different and they have to be properly motivated, in other words, their reason for flipping needs to be backed by asking if it will be the most beneficial to their students learning.

The article recommends having a strong support team working and communicating with other teachers who are experienced in using the flipped approach. Having some other teachers to collaborate with and share resources in order to enhance learning, would be invaluable. They also recommend having a collaborative working relationship with the IT department for the school. If teachers are posting videos, they need to have a proper place to load them so that students can access the tools without bogging down the servers.

Teachers also need to be supported by their administration. This is true for all aspects of teaching but the idea of flipping is new and not fully understood by the general community. If the administration is on board, then the controversial issues and backlash from parents may be lessened. Administration also needs to be aware that flipping a classroom is time consuming. Teachers need extra time in order to search for the proper content in video or other technological formats. They also need time to learn about any new software themselves before they can help students learn it. Of course, the more they practice, the faster and easier it will become.

One of the most important aspects of a flipped classroom is having a teacher that is reflective about their own teaching methods and content. If the teacher is not thoughtful about their own teaching and student learning outcomes then the flipped approach could be a complete failure. But if teachers are willing and able to be insightful, this approach could be very effective and meaningful.

This article addresses every single NETS-T standards: 1. Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments. 2. Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS·S. 3. Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society. 4. Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices. 5. Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.

Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Before you flip, consider this: leaders of the flipped classroom movement say each teacher will have a different experience, but securing school leadership support, time, and IT resources will be important to every effort. Phi Delta Kappan, 94(2), 25.

Flipping the classroom

I was very intrigued by the idea of a “flipping” approach to teaching. This is where students watch videos or pod-casts at home for a lecture portion of the content and then when they come to class the next day, they participate in hands on activities and discussions to reinforce the content. This approach is used to promote collaboration and communication between students and teacher with an emphasis on higher order thinking objectives.

This addresses many of the NETS standards: students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information; students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others; and students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

This article is written by a biology teacher in an all-boys high school who wanted to experiment with classroom flipping. He argues that in order for his students to be successful, a meaningful established relationship needs to be formed between students and teachers. He wanted to see if flipping his classes makes this more beneficial for his students. “Teachers who use online learning effectively with their students seem to be able to build strong learning communities and relationships” (Thornburg, 2012). He used his introductory biology class with 12 students to experiment with.

His findings, however, were not very positive. He found that students felt like they had a lessened connection to him and were more anxious about respect from the teacher. When interviewed, the boys voiced that they preferred having the teacher lecture in class and using technology on their own for studying. They also admitted to not being able to self manage their time or work ethic very well. “It seemed that the thought of learning independently of the teacher was not a method the boys preferred, nor a process for which they were adequately prepared” (Thornburg, 2012).

There are many issues that he says he would change in the future. He would change the website platform to a more user friendly, personal one such as Edmodo. He also admits that his lack of experience with technology and using effective learning strategies within technology may have affected the study. He suggested having some mode of interaction where he could be available while students are participating in the online portion of the class. He wants to do more research on self-directed learning incentives.

I think that this method would be more successful with older students, such as college students. I also think that the more experience and exposure students have to this method of teaching, the more successful it will be.  I don’t think this method would be very effective in my teaching because I teach sixth grade; but I do think that there are many great ideas behind this approach.

It, I. Y. B., & Come, W. T. (2012). –Flipping the Classroom. Mining Key Pedagogical Approaches, 79.

An exploratory study of bullying in sixth grade students

This article discusses how in the face of new and arising technology and more frequent usage, kids are facing recurrent online bullying.  “…cyberbullying ranks as one of the most common forms of harassment among adolescents”(Accordino & Accordino, 2011). This article chooses to focus on bullying in the sixth grade because it is the beginning of the adolescent time frame. The authors are studying the key factors that can or could be associated with personalities of the bullied or bully’s.

Some of the major reasons they found in adolescent cyber-bullies are anonymity, being unable to empathize with the victims, take on an online personality, and feel more comfortable using technology than in social settings. Many cyber-bullies are often previous victims of face-to-face bullying and tend to use it “as a medium for revenge” (Accordino & Accordino, 2011). These students often have a very poor parent-child relationship, are online frequently, and have poor coping methods.

Other research has indicated the health and mental issues that arise in victims of bullying including headaches, stomach aches, anger management issues, sleep disorders, feelings of loneliness, and a risk of depression and suicide. This is why we as educators need to be aware of the growing issues and address and model appropriateness when online. This addresses the NETS-T standard of ‘Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices’. I think this plays a major role in education because often time’s students are being bullied by peer students and of course the school is in the middle of it all. Schools need to have a strict policy on bullying, not only in school but also online. My school has a no tolerance policy, even if “just playing around”. Students know that teachers and administration takes bullying very seriously. I’m not sure if we have an online bullying policy but I will definitely look into it because of this article.

Authors have several recommendations to reduce bullying either face to face or online. These include encouraging adult presence in hallways and common areas, having clear rules and discipline procedures, peer mentoring with students who tend to be excluded, and educating students on avoiding, standing up to bullies, or de-escalating a situation.

I think that using social networking in education can be an excellent resource for students to collaborate and communicate especially because they are most likely going to be using these skills in their everyday careers. But we as educators need to be very careful about how and when we promote certain online activities. I’ve heard many comments about how bullying is part of growing up but if unaddressed, it can be devastating to kids and families.

ACCORDINO, D. B., & ACCORDINO, M. P. (2011). AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF FACE-TO-FACE AND CYBERBULLYING IN SIXTH GRADE STUDENTS. American Secondary Education, 40(1), 14-30.

Cultivating Connections with Parents

This article is emphasizing the importance that parental relationship play in the lives of children and their educational experiences. When schools and educators make an effort to connect with parents and families, individual success is greater while keeping off task behavior to a minimum. “Engaging family reduces dissonance between expectations from family and school” (Weaver, 2007). This ties directly to the NETS – teacher standard of ‘Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.’

This connection helps students see that parents and educators are working together for their academic success instead of always being the enemy. Social networking is a new feature that schools and families can access to promote connection and collaboration. Many teachers and parents associate a negative connotation with school contact. “Parental support is often considered unattainable, but researchers cited using ingenious methods to garner parental support for middle and high school populations that represent exceptionality and socioeconomic, racial or ethnic diversity” (Weaver, 2007).

Online social networking has been a great way to bridge this wide gap in reaching a community. My school is located in a rural town that serves many different types of people. Our school administrator runs a Facebook page dedicated to updates and announcements about what is going on at school. Teachers are encouraged to contact parents and families to discuss positive behavior and to celebrate students. This is to change the negative connotation about families always getting negative calls from schools. I think because of this, we have a reduced amount of students that misbehave. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the connection that our school promotes with the community. We also greatly encourage parents to use technology to access student’s grades, attendance history and email teachers for any reason. We know first-hand that students with positive adult connections tend to succeed at a higher rate, and an immense amount of technology is here to help us with that.

 

Weaver, S. M. (2007, September-October). Cultivating connections with parents. The Clearing House, 81(1), 5+. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.wou.edu:2113/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA170733193&v=2.1&u=oregon_western&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w

Social Networking Resources

Facebook – www.facebook.com

  1. Facebook is a general networking site for the general public. People can share pictures, status updates, and events with family members, friends, anybody who is connected. It is free to join.
  2. NETS – Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.

Google+ – www.google.com/+/learnmore/

  1. Google plus is very similar to Facebook. It’s slightly more capable of separating contacts into various circles that are related, for example if you only want certain people to see what you post and not others.
  2. NETS – Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.

Pinterest – www.pinterest.com

  1. Pinterest is mainly a sight for sharing pictures and the associated websites. It’s free to join and share. The majority of posts are about crafts and do it yourself projects that people can share and build upon each other’s ideas.
  2. NETS – Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.

Shutterfly – www.shutterfly.com

  1. Shutterfly is website used to host individual websites. It’s free to create your own website for sharing pictures, calendars, updates, and anything else that needs sharing.
  2. NETS – Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.

Edmodo – http://www.edmodo.com/

  1. Edmodo is an website dedicated to educational networking. Teachers, parents and students can access homework, resources, grades, and school notifications. It’s free to join and access.
  2. NETS – Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

Classroom 2.0 – http://www.classroom20.com/

  1. Classroom 2.0 is a website dedicated to educators to come together to learn from each other and share ideas. There are blogging discussions dedicated to many different topics, live discussions, and question and answer forums to participate in depending on your interests. It is free to join.
  2. NETS – Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

Student Circles Network – http://studentscircle.net/live/

  1. Student Circles Network is an educational networking site for students, teachers, and parents. Collaboration and connection is the main draw for this website. Resources can be shared and discussed.
  2. NETS – Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

WordPress – www.wordpress.com

  1. WordPress is a support system for network sharing, and personal blogging platform. It is free to sign up and user friendly. After posting or blogging, others can also make comments regarding your posts.
  2.  NETS – Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.

Youtube – www.youtube.com

  1. Youtube is a networking site for uploading and sharing videos. Amateurs to professionals can upload their videos to share and others can make comments or use these videos for educational or non-educational purposes.
  2. NETS – Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.

Twitter – www.twitter.com

  1. Twitter is a networking site for sharing in 140 characters or less. This means that people have to be succinct in their posts. Pictures can also be shared. Individuals can choose to “follow” certain others depending on their personal interests.
  2. NETS – Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.