My Blog List

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Middle JAAR's Lesson "PicMonkey"

I really enjoyed learning about Pic Monkey. It reminded me a lot of another picture editing website called picnik. Except I like Pic Monkey better. It is a lot easier to work with the pictures and edit them. When working with the idea of helping a veteran in need, it really hit home. My brother actually just landed from Afghanistan last weekend so when creating my Pic Monkey poster I was able to use a picture of my brother after he just had landed. The picture shows my brother, my mom and I.

There is a program out there called Adopt a Solider where one can essentially adopt a solider and send them packages, letters, and pictures. This is a way to let them know someone is thinking of them and truly does care for the work they are doing for their country.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Googe Sketch Up

Google Sketch Up  is such a great tool used when looking to create a sketch of pretty much anything. We used this particularly to create a boundless playground. Through Google sketch up we were able to design and playground that would be well equipped for students with special needs. A lot of playgrounds are not accommodated for students who may be in wheel chairs or may have difficulty climbing. Below is a picture of the finished project of our playground using Google Sketch Up.

A link to this actual google sketch up is on Chase Piper's Blog. We worked collaborative on this project. As you can see from the picture we weren't able to fully finish the project but it was coming a long greatly.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Global Learning Experience

The flat classroom project is a amazing program founded by Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay. In which I have linked their own personal Blogs to. These two ladies merged their classroom's together to create the idea of having a flat classroom.  This brings together middle school and high school students. Our classroom was able to skype with Vicki Davis. This was such a great opportunity for our classroom because we were able to hear first hand how she implements project based learning with in the classroom.Vicki mentioned that she uses the same idea as Google does. She gives her students 20% of classroom time to allow students to work on their own projects, doing things that they are personally interested in. This gives the students the ability to work on what they want to do. Which leads back to the whole idea of "passion" based learning. The students can be more passionate about what they are doing, and with that passion comes great ideas. The 20% idea is something that I really want to implement within my future classroom.


Above is a video talking more about the 20% time idea.

Creating our Group PBL learning lesson

Our group has been focusing on the idea of having children feel like they truly do matter and also explaining how words can go a long way. With that in mind, our group worked on this project, with the passion and the drive from all of the ideas we have came up with through this semester. When our group would meet, we truly enjoyed what we were doing. The whole idea of project-based learning is to have it be meaningful to the students. It gives the students the drive to actually want to do the project, and that is exactly how we, as students, felt about this project. Our team has been working very well together so this project was a fun ending project to this class. We were able to incorporate all that we have learned and also introduce something new that the class hasn't seen before.

Our group decided to use Glogster. Glogster is a site that allows you to create a online "poster." Within this poster you can add text, graphics, pictures, audio, and video. We decided to use this for our group PBL because it fit in well with our idea for the project. It is a great technology based media that students can create instead of doing the old school posters. 

Creating the Collaborative Research Project

The collaborative research project was a tough one for our group. The idea of communicating solely through collaborative technologies such as Facebook Chat, Skype, Google Docs, or Twitter was hard to do. It was nice though to be able to communicate while sitting in the convenience of my own dorm room or just on my own time.  Our group decided to work through Google Docs so that we could comment on each others ideas and also that fact of being able to do it on our own time. Skype and Facebook Chat would have worked just as well but we would have had to set up a time and date as to when we would want to do this. This project really pushed me to look more into what Google Docs was all about. I really enjoy the idea of commenting and editing on others work.

While creating our collaborative research project, we were introduced to the idea of Jing.
Jing was such a awesome idea that I can see I will be using a lot in the near future. The idea of being able show someone a new form of technology or show someone how to work something online while using your voice to show them is just awesome. My mom calls me all the time asking how to do something on the internet and instead of trying to explain it to her on the phone. I can actually record my voice, showing her exactly how to do it.

To the right is a picture of what the Jing setup would look like! Its super easy to install onto your computer. There are also Jing Toutorials on Youtube that can show you how Jing works.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Global Learning Effects on Education

For some reason I never stopped to think about the idea of what I am learning right now, is being implemented in other places around the country. The idea of being able to Skype a classroom across that country blows my mind because when I was younger there was nothing like this besides the idea of "pen pals." The technology we have today to make this all happen is amazing. When doing this though, we have to think about the time difference. This is also something that I forgot to take into account. Also, some other countries are not able to have some of the technology advances that we do due to the fact that they cant afford it.

The idea of getting in contact with another classroom across the something I hope to implement within my classroom. I think it is such a great opportunity for students to see more diverse atmosphere. There is such more that the students could get out of when having this opportunity. Technology today gives us great opportunity to connect globally. This You Tube Video below gives great reasons as to why we are able to get connect.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Creating/Using Podcasts in Education

The creation of Team Workin' On It's podcast has been such a fun and exciting experience for us. It is such a great tool to use within our classroom and a great tool I plan to use in my future classroom. We are able to incorporate our own ideas into our podcast which makes it that much more individualized to us as students. Our group did our Podcast on the idea of "You Matter." An idea that the wonderful Angela Maiers did a wonderful Youtube Video on.

 While there are several people who speak on the importance of self worth, Angela Maiers is one that leads the way. Angela has spent twenty years as an educator and has worked in a variety of settings. They include university teaching, instructional coaching, research, writing, publishing, corporate training, and she has even started her own business. Angela is very passionate about her work, and she has changed the lives of many people. She is definitely a tremendous inspiration to anyone who follows her work.


 This video was a real inspiration to my group as we are pre-service teachers and are looking to better the community in which we plan to teach in. Through this podcast we were able to further Angela's ideas and also incorporate our own personal past experiences with the idea of "you matter." Angela Maiers has a wonderful website which incorporates more of her work and also more into the "you matter" idea. 

Our group was able to get in contact with Angela and talk to her about our podcast. She was extreamly excited to hear that we working on this podcast. We will be sharing this podcast with her in hopes that she is able to incorporate it into her blog.  



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Using Problem Based Learning

Using problem based learning, or otherwise known as "passion" based learning, within classroom is, in my opinion, one of the most beneficial ways to learn. Students are able to have more of a hands on feeling. The excessive lecturing from teachers gets students know where. Do you honestly think they are listening to what you have to say? Not at all. When the students have a passion or at least a drive for what they are doing, it makes the experience that much more memorable. Students who try and sit there, listen to a teacher talk for 45 minutes, try and retain what they are hearing, and spit it back out on a test, are not going to remember the content of that lesson at all. Its projects or activities that they are going to remember more. Ask yourself, do you remember that 50 question test you took in high school? Or do you remember that community project you did that really made a difference in your community? Most everyone would say they remember the community project. Not only is there more of a drive within the students, but there is also a drive with the teachers as well. The teachers are able to sit back and gain ideas and knowledge from their students, as their students create. Its such a wonderful concept. I have found a wonderful article by Kimberly Vincent, talking about the Nine Tenets of Passion-Based Learning.  It gives nine great ideas on how to incorporate this passion-based learning within our classrooms.

Looking further into problem-based learning, I found an incredible video that gives great insight into problem-based learning. It incorporates not only the teachers point of view, but also the students point of view on problem-based learning.  This is a group of academy science students who are allying the scientific method and working collaboratively to diagnose medical cases.

Sunday, April 1, 2012