Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Final Reflection

Reflecting on the past two weeks of class, I cannot believe how much we accomplished in such a short time span. Especially when my first blog post only listed research and Microsoft Office tools as technology that I am familiar with! I had been only somewhat familiar with creating a blog and I had once watched another student create a Prezi presentation in another course. Now, I have my own blog and I used a wide variety of web 2.0 tools. (I had no idea that there was such a term as web 2.0 before this class.) I learned how to use Glogster, Wallwisher, Windows Moviemaker, Audacity, Vocaroo, Prezi, Delicious, and in two short weeks. But more importantly than any technical tools, I learned how easily and seamlessly technology can be woven into the English curriculum. A majority of my English courses only used computers for research and writing papers (which explains my previous ‘Technobiography’). That routine can, however, become stale and uninteresting for a 21st century student. I know that I can assess whether or not my students are learning the material in a variety of ways apart from a term paper. They could create a Glog or a radio show for a book report. They could create a to visualize grammar concepts. The ideas for differentiation are limitless. I always felt that technology was a great tool for the classroom, but now I know that it is something that is not just meant for a PowerPoint or a Research Unit. The computer can be a consistent and ever-present source of learning. After this course I would like to take a workshop or a seminar that strictly focuses on technology in the English classroom. I am sure that there are many more creative ideas of using technology to enhance and to make the literature come alive to my students.

A Reflection on the PTE

I think that the Practical Teaching Experience that Katie and I created went remarkably well in the classroom. Once everyone settled on a novel, they seemed to be enjoying the experience. People were creating characters and new voices to defend their novel in a creative and productive manner. I think that this project would be just as well received by an 8th, 9th, or even 10th grade classroom. The students are allowed to pick a novel of their choosing and yet they are still learning the importance of the theme of “Coming of Age”. Students will have that freedom to read what they want (after it is approved by the teacher) and they will feel more in control of their learning. In addition, the teacher is still able to assess whether or not the student grasped the meaning of the concepts they were meant to learn. The radio show implements the use of technology while bolstering team work and creativity. It also asks the student to gather the evidence needed to have a literary debate. Then if there are any more points we want the students to cover, that will be tested with the second piece of the teacher as a caller onto the radio show. So, instead of the typical book report, the students have a fun and exciting radio show that they can share with their friends, family and their parents on their student blog. The only alteration that I would make to the project is to have students use Audacity instead of Vocaroo because they would be able to edit their work and the sound quality is far superior. I think Vocaroo worked best for our short presentation time, but when I have the time to make this a longer classroom experience, I would opt for Audacity.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Web Portfolio: Technology Standards

Standard I: Technology Information Access, Evaluation, Processing and Application-

I think that two projects exemplified the values of this standard, namely the Subject Specific Bookmarking project and The Learning theories assignment. In both projects we needed to do our own independent research ("access" the information). Then we needed to determine what resources provided the most useful and relevant information ("evaluation"). Then we created either a Delicious bookmark page or a Glogster that presented the information in an accessible and organized manner ("processing and application").

Standard II: Communication -

A: The first piece of the Communication Standard focuses on interaction. I think our blog and its blog posts were one form of interaction. And then our comments on other class member's blogs served as the second part of that interaction.

B: The second piece of this standard focuses on presenting information in a variety of formats. My synopsis of UDL Chapter 8 used both and Vocaroo to present the information in a visual graphic organizer and a complementary voice recording. Both of these technologies presented the same information, but in different styles.

Standard III: Legal, Social and Ethical Issues –

My CyberEthics project on Cyber bullying and my Copyright Blog address the "Legal, Social, and Ethical" standards of technology. As future teachers, this is one of the most important standards for us to know and know well. We must be aware of the dangers that the internet may present (especially the impact that cyber bullying can leave on the victim). We also need to teach and be aware of copyright laws in order to use works in a legal and fair manner.

Standard IV: Assessment for Administration and Instruction –

I think that the overall blog that we have created in this class serves as a clear example of researching information that could improve instruction and then sharing our research with parents and the community.

Standard V: Integrating Technology into the Curriculum and Instruction –

I think that my Digital Story and my Practical Teaching Experience project both serve as examples of using the technology learned in this course and directly applying that knowledge to our course content. Both of these projects had us explore how technology can seamlessly blend into our content, and therefore make our lesson more interesting and relevant to our tech-savvy students.

Standard VI: Assistive Technologies –

Katie and I took this standard into consideration when we created our Practical Teaching Experience project. Students will have a brief written assignment in conjunction with a speaking assignment. Therefore, students with writing disabilities will be able to present their book report via their radio show which is more focused on speaking. Thus they are fulfulling our assessment standards with confidence.

On a side note, I felt that when I created the Vocaroo synopsis for Chapter 8, that the simple recording device would be a great tool for a teacher with a blind student. If that student were to miss class, they could listen to a recording of the class or a brief verbal summary, in order to review the information they missed.

Standard VII: Professional Growth –

I think that this entire class served as a great step in professional growth for me. I learned new strategies as well as new technologies that I can easily integrate into my classroom on a regular basis. Not only do I benefit from these Web 2.0 tools, my students will also benefit from a classroom that creates a highly inventive and interactive learning experience.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cyber Ethics: Cyberbullying

Here is an overview of Cyberbulling with a Wallwisher page.



Bhat, Christine Suniti. "Cyber Bullying: Overview and Strategies for School Counsellors, Guidance Officers, and All School Personnel." Australian Journal of Guidance & Counselling 18.1 (2008): 53-66. Education Research Complete. EBSCO. Web. 20 July 2010.

"Cyberbulling." National Crime Prevention Council. NCPC, n.d. Web. 20 Jul 2010. .

"Megan Meier Story." YouTube. Web. 20 Jul 2010. .

"Stop Cyberbulling." Wired Kids Inc., n.d. Web. 20 Jul 2010. .

"Talent Show - Cyberbullying Prevention Commercial ." YouTube. Web. 20 Jul 2010. .

Digital Story: A Lesson on Banned Books

Copyright Note: The Flickr user encouraged the spread of his picture. The clip art pictures are public domain. The ALA allows use of their campaign posters for educational purposes. All other images were obtained from Wikipedia as noted below. I do not own the rights to the pictures in the video.

My Resources:

"Against Banned Books." Flickr. Web. 20 Jul 2010. .

"Banned & Challenged Books." ALA | Home - American Library Association. Web. 20 July 2010. .

"Catcher in the Rye." Wikipedia. Web. 20 Jul 2010.

"Chocolate War." Wikipedia. Web. 20 Jul 2010.

"Color Purple." Wikipedia. Web. 20 Jul 2010. .

"Freadom." American Library Association. Web. 20 Jul 2010.

"Mockingbird." Wikipedia. Web. 20 Jul 2010.

"Perks of Being Wallflower." Wikipedia. Web. 20 Jul 2010. .

"Sister's Keeper." Wikipedia. Web. 20 Jul 2010. .

"Tango Penguin." Wikipedia. Web. 20 Jul 2010. .

"The Twilight Saga Hardback." Wikipedia. Web. 20 Jul 2010. .

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Subject Specific Bookmarks: English/Language Arts

Copyright and Fair Use

Website Reviews:

Teach Act –

This website was helpful in that it outlined all of the conditions and requirements involved in the Teach Act for face-to-face and distance teaching. I also found the checklist at the end of the passage to be a great resource tool for any teacher. However, the website could have been more clearly written.

Copyright and Fair Use –

I found this website to be both efficient and highly informative. It presented the ideas of copyright, fair use, and the Educational Multimedia Guidelines in an accessible and well organized manner. I liked the use of links and jumps in the website that allowed you to go directly to the question you want answered. Finally, the sample template of a request for permission letter is a great go-to reference for a teacher.

Copyright in the classroom –

I think that this website would be a great tool for teaching students how to consider copyright when creating presentations, research papers, and other school projects. It is written in a format that students would understand and it covers the basics of copyright and fair use. I think that teachers would need to fill in the blanks when students ask more detailed questions.

Two Things that I knew:

I already knew the concepts of “copyright” and “attribution”. For many years I have written research papers and/or made presentations where I used quotes from copyrighted material that I then credited the source of that quote with a reference page and parenthetical documentation.

Two things that were new to me:

I did not know that there was a two year time limit to a multimedia project and I did not know that slogans cannot be copyrighted but are only protected by trademark laws.