Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Thing #24 - Is It the End or Only the Beginning?

One of my favorite exercises was the LiveBinders application. I felt like this is something I could really use to enhance my classroom and help my students learn. Having supplemental activities and web pages readily available to my student will help them succeed in their studies at home, which is probably where the most learning occurs. I also really enjoyed Twitter, and the other social networks, like LinkedIn. Although I haven't really delved into it too deep I think it will benefit both my personal and professional life.

I don't think my lifelong learning goals have really changed too much. However, I definitely have a renewed appreciation for technology and its use in the classroom. Truth be told, I think I learned more from this program than I expected to. I guess I already thought I knew most everything about using technology in the classroom and now I know that I was wrong. For example, I had no idea Creative Commons, LiveBinders, Delicious, or Animoto even existed.

Some of the "things" assigned as part of the program seem a bit tedious. For example, I think I would eliminate #6, #9, and #14 and replace them with other, more constructive "things", that would help teachers integrate technology into the classroom. 

These exercises changed the way I think about technology in the classroom. There are numerous methods for me to share ideas, websites, and videos online with my students. There are also applications that will help me stay better organized, which I definitely need. I plan to keep up with new developments in web 2.0 by subscribing to different news feeds that circulate around the changing scenery in web 2.0 interfaces.

Thing #23 - Creative Commons

Regarding evidence for 23 Things being based off someone else's work, there is a tab on the side bar that reads "credits". This is where you will find credit given to previous creators of 23 Things' ideologies. Additionally, on the homepage of the 23 Things Project there is a note at the bottom that cites this project is loosely based off of the website 43 Things and the Stephen Abram article titled 43 Things I (or You) might want to do this year (Information Outlook - Feb 2006).

Creative Commons is a great place to make your educational discoveries and work freely accessible to others. Conversely, Creative Commons enables you to find educational content that is free to use in your own classroom.  I will definitely use this licensing platform for certifying my work (lesson plans, activities, professional development plans, etc.) and helping other teachers make their classrooms more effective for learning.  That's what it's all about right?  We want to help each become better educators so why not share content and ideas?

Thing #22 - LiveBinders

The titles of my binders are Biology II - Evolution, Biology II - Natural Selection, and Biology II - Speciation. LiveBinders are very useful for categorizing webpages, articles, and videos I find that can be used as supplemental material for my students. Additionally, I could always use my LiveBinder files as a back-up in case my original lesson plan doesn't pan out like I want. It's always a good idea for teachers to have a Plan B in case instruction needs to be changed up. I could even use LiveBinders to assign homework to students; each student would be required to find one supplemental resource on the topic we are covering and download it to the class LiveBinder.

Biology II - Natural Selection Binder

Thing #21 - Animoto


Animator is a very interesting and useful application. It took a while for me to figure out how to get it embedded into my blog, but once I did I was pleasantly surprised. For my video I used photos from my France's Flickr account. She took these photos in her photography class at Austin Peay to represent different forms of light. I like how easy Animoto makes it to create videos.  Also, it's only $5 per month to create full length videos.  I could make short clips of activities going on in my classroom and post them onto my Twitter or blog for my students and parents to view. I could even use this in my classroom and have students make introductory videos of themselves.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thing #20 - Beyond YouTube

I embedded a YouTube video below of Bill Gates addressing what America needs to do to make their teachers great. I thought this video was interesting because its coming from a non-educator viewpoint and it's relevant to my career. I liked YouTube's ease of use and the fact that you can subscribe to certain video authors. The one thing I didn't like was the fact that most of the videos on YouTube aren't worth viewing. It would be interesting to have my students create videos to explain various concepts from my class and see what sort of feedback they get from their peers and the public. My classroom website would definitely have an archive of YouTube videos that compliment the curriculum we are going over in class. Students can use these videos as a resource for doing homework and studying for tests.

One of the new tools I visited was Vine. Vine is a platform for people to make short videos (up to 6 seconds) that are to be shared with others. I could have my students use Vine to make a short clip of them introducing themselves or stating what they want to learn about this year in my class. I could then compile the videos into one large file and show the class their creation.

Thing #19 - Beyond Facebook: Other Social Networks

The best uses of social networking are keeping up with peers, developing professionally, joining interest groups, relaying messages to students, and being available for contact almost 24/7. I'm not a member of any online communities, period (aside from my made-up Twitter account). However, having done a little bit of research on the benefits of social networks for teachers, I think I will start to use Twitter and LinkedIn. Twitter will help me communicate with others in my academic community and LinkedIn will help me develop my professional portfolio and network. Additionally, I liked the idea of joining a book network, such as Shelfari or GoodReads, because I like to read a lot of fiction novels.

Thing #18 - Exploring Social Networking

I created a twitter page with the username of BorderCollieLover because I love that breed of dog and I wanted to remain anonymous. I use to have a twitter account but I deactivated it about a year ago because I never used it. I feel like having a classroom would be a good opportunity for me to bring twitter back into my life. Teachers need to understand social networking so they can better understand their audience (students) and enjoy their personal lives. I never really got into the whole hashtag frenzy, but now I see why it's so popular. It's like a shortcut to finding the feeds that are relevant to you. I liked the vast amount of information I was exposed to upon my hashtag search, but I didn't like some of the jargon that came along with it. As a teacher I could have a twitter feed that updates students on school news and assignments for my class. By having my own account I could tweet at the school's homepage as well.