Social Media — May 28, 2015

Social Media

Clay Shirkey had several forms of evidence to show how social media has become a revolution in technology in our present time. I understood and agree with his thoughts on how social media is changing all previous forms of communication. Now we can share pictures and talk about them with others or simply comment on it and allowing others to view those comments. The conversations don’t have to be two-way, but you know that others are able to read about your point of view.download (1)

I myself have purposely tried to stay away from social media. I had a bad experience once and have stayed away from it ever since. I sometimes feel like an outcast when I have a get together with my family and I see so many of my family members on their phones updating facebook. They sometimes share with me pictures of other family members that we rarely see and I’m able to see them and their families. Sometimes I wish that I could be able to have that, but I can’t seem to let go of my bad experience.

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For that reason I am not too familiar with the different types of social media that exist for personal purposes. In education, I have realized that most students have phones at early ages and it is difficult as a teacher to keep them away from their phones. Sometimes it seems that their phones are a part of their bodies and you can’t just detach it without hurting them. I believe that we can turn this into a good thing. In the past I have observed teachers who have incorporated devices into their lessons and have been able to teach students the topics by allowing them to use the devices that they are most comfortable with. I think that technology use in classrooms will continue to increase and I believe that as teachers we need to just hop on the train and make sure that we are using it in the best way possible to teach content to our students. Our culture will continue to change as technology changes and I think that in the future it will be impossible for anyone to stay away from social media.

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E Portfolios — April 28, 2015

E Portfolios

During my first quarter at the University of La Verne I created an eportfolio. I had no idea what I was doing and I only included the required material that the professor specified. This is now my last quarter at the University of La Verne and I had not updated my eportfolio at all. Now that I’ve been learning a little bit more about the technology that we are able to use, I can see how having an eportfolio can be very beneficial. You can make it look the way you want it to look, include anything and everything that you want others to know about you, and you can include links to other things that you have created such as a blog, a wiki page, or a youtube channel. Conveniently those are all topics that we have learned through this class so far.

Since I am currently in the process of applying for jobs to be a math teacher in the bay area, I believe that including a link to my eportfolio to show everything I am capable of doing can make me look more attractive in the eyes of the districts that I am applying for. The template that I chose is a template for someone in the teacher education program and it comes with many pages. One of them is a page where you can include your resume. This makes it even more convenient to share the eportfolio with the company you are applying with. It would also allow easy access to your resume and will also make it easy to update your resume.

An eportfolio could be used in the classes where I teach as a way of helping students keep their work together in one place. They could scan their tests and have access to them whenever they have internet access. It could help them when studying for finals. Or I could possibly have assignments throughout the year where students can write about what they have learned and they could also keep that in their eportfolios to go back to whenever they need to remind themselves of something they have previously learned.

eportfolio

Here is a link to what is appropriate for students who are in grades 10-12 for those high school people.

https://sites.google.com/site/eportsforlearning/10—12-level

Screencasting — April 24, 2015

Screencasting

I do not have much experience with screencasting. I had on occasion viewed videos that helped me follow a process that I needed to learn. I saw these videos on youtube and never expected that I could join the club of people who teach someone else through a video. I actually had no idea it was so easy to make a video, much less that I would be able to make one. I am not very technologically advanced, but I felt like a professional once I was done with my video. So far I have really enjoyed working with Snag It, it is pretty easy to use and I keep thinking of different ways that I could possibly use these videos with my students.

 

The first thing that I thought of that I could use screencasting for in my classroom is for students who are absent. At the school I work with many students are in sports and they have early outs a few times a week. These students are missing my classes and start falling behind. They usually need to stay after school or come in at lunch so that they can catch up on what they have missed. Making screencasts of the lessons that I teach would be a great way for those students to keep up with missed classes. I am not sure how I feel about making those videos available to all students though. I get these weird feelings that if I make those videos available to all students then half of the students that are in class will dose of or think that they don’t have to pay attention to me because they will be able to just see the video later.

 

As I was doing some more research on screencasting I came across a great website about screencasting. Here is a link to that website, http://www.schrockguide.net/screencasting.html. This website includes many links to everything related to screencasting and teaching. I ran into an article on this website that made me change my thinking about how to use screencasting in my classroom. Here is a link to that article, http://digitaldollar.edublogs.org/2011/02/28/reverse-and-improve-your-instruction-with-screencasts-lecture-at-home-practice-at-school/ . This article described a way that a chemistry teacher uses screencasting on a daily basis to his students by assigning them to watch the videos for homework. Then he didn’t have to spend the time in class trying to lecture and wonder if the students were catching all of it. I loved this idea because the students can pause or rewatch anything in the video that they did not fully understand. Then I could spend the time in class actually working on practice problems that will really help me see whether the student has grasped the material or not.

 

This is what people are calling the flipped classroom, where students watch the lecture at home and come to school with questions and get to spend the time practicing what they have just learned.

 

Another way I could use screencasting in my classroom would be to have students create a screencast video to teach the rest of the class a topic. Students learn really well from each other and they usually do a good job in trying to explain the process the best they can so we can use those videos for them to teach the entire class as opposed to just the person next to them.

 

Wikis — April 14, 2015

Wikis

I have not had very much experience with wikis. Of course, I have heard of wikipedia, but when I heard about it I also heard that the information there was not reliable. So I have never really used wikipedia. I realize now that I had no understanding of what a wiki was. I know why I was told that the information on wikipedia is not reliable, but I understand that the reasoning behind that comment was due to the fact that anyone can edit. From professor Decker’s video I learned that you can see how reliable a page on wikipedia is by whether there are any issues visible at the top of the wikipedia page. I think I now feel more confident in using wikipedia and any other wiki as a resource. I also know that the information can be edited by anyone so I know that I would probably need to find other resources that show that the information I have read on wikipedia is correct or not. Although I feel a little more confident with looking up information, I still don’t feel I am an expert in anything to be able to make edits to a wiki page.

Wiki Teachers https://www.wikispaces.com/

I believe that in today’s classrooms we could use wikis for projects between group members where the group has to come up with a product that all of them have worked together on (i.e. a report, a presentation, etc.). With a wiki students can write and read what other members of their group have written and what they know. Students are able to add to what anyone else has written and can make the final product look as if only one person wrote it. The final product would show the amount of collaboration that the group made to make the final product look as if only one person wrote it.

Wiki

However, some disadvantages to having a wiki assignment for students to work on together can put more stress on the students who like everything to be perfect and that want to make changes to everyones input. Also there is the risk of one students doing most of the work while the others just add a small amount of information. The main advantage that could outshine any of the disadvantages is that using wikis will teach students how to collaborate with others and that will be knowledge that students will take with them through the years and through all content areas.

wikimedias

Project Based Learning (PBL) — April 4, 2015

Project Based Learning (PBL)

PBL is different from what most classrooms are like today because most classrooms today consist of a teacher lecturing and teaching students using notes and textbooks. Sometimes small projects are assigned, but those are mostly projects based on the information or topic they were just taught. Students are instructed to just restate the information given to them in a nicer format. PBL is a project with a topic that can go in any direction. Students can choose to research something that is of most interest to them. They start without knowing much on their topic and they make their own questions and find the answers which most of the time leads them to ask more questions. Teachers make rubrics that guide students to continue in the path that will have them learn the most of the topics chosen by the students. Students learn more with project based learning because they are constantly engaged in the topic of their choice.

As a student myself through middle school and high school I have never experienced project based learning. Even as a teaching credential student, I have not seen this in action at any of the schools I have visited. The closest thing to a big project I remember where I was really engaged was an assignment where a teacher told us that we had a million dollars and we had to try to spend it all in one day. He brought in newspapers and magazines (there were no individual laptops or chromebooks that we could use to research like there is now) and we had to find the things we wanted to buy i.e. a house, a car, etc. It was just supposed to show us that a million dollars is a lot and that it is hard to spend that much in one day (now a house can easily be worth that much).

I think PBL is a great thing, but it requires a lot of planning from the teacher side. Once it is planned though I think it would be very satisfying as a teacher to kind of step back and watch the students taking charge of their own education. The advantages of using PBL for our students would be that they would learn how to research, think critically, and work in groups to achieve one common goal. These are all skills that they will need no matter what type of job they get after their schooling. Some disadvantages to PBL could be that it causes stress for the students to perform at their best (especially when they have to present to their parents and other community members). Also some students don’t do well working with others and could cause some conflicts within groups.

The part of PBL that I found the most interesting is that the teachers are considered a resource and not the main source of information. The teachers guide students and provide them with the tools necessary to successfully research, create, and learn the topic that they chose.

Here are some pictures that explain PBL in a visual way.

PBLProblem-based-Learning-3

Hello world! — March 26, 2015