Poetry Annotation: The ‘Sickest’ Way to Read Poetry

For the life of me, I don’t know how I’ll integrate screen captures into my instruction, but at this point in time I think it’s worthwhile especially as more and more schools go 1-to-1 with devices. I wish this was usable on the iPad though.

You’ll definitely see how janky my control over the writing tool is as you watch my video, but I suppose that was a learning experience. So enjoy listening to my awful, sick voice try to explain annotation in a format that flat out does not work.

 

Featured image by Felix E. Guerrero

Stuck in a Slope? Let’s Find a Way to Intercept That and Get Out.

So, in the video below, I recorded a mini-review about the parts of y = mx + b, or slope-intercept form.  What I hope to achieve here is that people who watch it can get a better understanding of what and  are asking for when they look at y = mx + b.  I also hope for them to be able to plug the slope ( m ) and y-intercept ( b ) correctly into the formula if given those numbers and/or be able to tell which is the slope and which is the y-intercept if given the formula, like y = 4x – 5 for example.  In this case, they would find that m = 4 and b = -5.

After learning and messing around a bit with screencasting, I saw some benefits and a few struggles, but that can easily be overcome with perseverance and determination.  I am also very happy to finally figure out how those people on YouTube do those “How-To” videos that involve going from screen to screen.  Always thought that those people had a really good recording camera that was set up on some sort of amazing tripod and they created the video from there.

Anyways, the biggest benefit I can see is that screencasting can be very useful in filling in any holes that a lesson(s) could have had since, as we know, class time can be quite short (55 – 90 mins) and that not everything can be covered in that span of time.   Another benefit is that after the video is made, it is now a semi-permanent resource that can be accessed by one’s current students and future students if one was to teach the same lesson again.  Another benefit is that the application is easy and free to use (as far as I know) that one does not have to buy much equipment (except maybe a microphone).

The struggles I found are just some personal struggles that I feel like some people share with me.  One struggle is that, even with a script, one can still say too much or too little.  In other words, one can go off-script at times.  Another is that If one is really nit-picky about their recording, then he/she would probably restart every time he/she makes a mistake.  Another struggle is that the “attached” recording equipment can be faulty at times and one would not find out unless they do a test run or until the end, depending on the type of person one is:  “being prepared” or “power on through”.  I would make a new recording for the video down below, but I wanted to show where these struggles can pop up.  And like I said earlier, all of these can be remedied by staying determined and having the motivation to make a good lesson video for one’s students or for the people of the world.

So, I can see myself using this in the future definitely.  It was a lot of fun, though I did not enjoy hearing my own voice coming out of the speakers.  The idea of making these was challenging.  You know, making sure all the basis were covered, my “recording room” was quiet enough to record, my script was a draft of what I wanted to say (Reminder Points), and so on.

Enjoy the video! Hope you learned something or laughed at my mistakes!

Featured Image: Wikimedia

Screen-Recording-English-Paper-Research-Absolutely-Wild-Fun-Tyme!

I did my screencasting assignment on showing how to do research from the UP databases. At first I wanted to do multiple videos, however that desire quickly changed. I realized how scattered that would be because doing research on the internet involves going back and forth to certain websites. So I decided to just make one long video that comes out to be roughly around 3 minutes. After a few takes, I realized how awkward I seemed to be while just being a voice while talking over a website. This was just something I had to get used to. Quicktime makes it incredibly easy due to its user-friendly-ness, so that helped out a lot.

I have learned that there is so much use in screencasting. I feel that I would have understood how to do research at UP if I just saw a ten minute video online on how to use the databases rather than going to an hour and a half class on how to research. Also, when trying to find my “embedded” code in order to put the video on this blog, I went to different videos on YouTube to see where the code was. The multiple advertisements I saw while searching for the code seemed to be all screencasted. It was here when I realized just how much everyone uses this tool. I think this is an immensely useful tool to use. I would definitely encourage teachers to know how to use screencasting because they can convey things to students via video in a much more applicable way than talking.

Here is my screencast video about doing research at UP!

Featured Image is called “Typewriter” by Charlene N Simmons

What is a Nearpod, you may ask?

Instead of Screencasting for my students, since earlier in the year my kids did a Screencasting activity for social studies, I thought I would screencast something that teachers could use in their practice that is related to technology.  Earlier in the year during a PD on Smartboard activities, I was introduced to this great website called Nearpod, which is a website that allows you to create interactive PowerPoint presentations that students follow along with on their own devices.  The one major hindrance for this resource would be that students would need their own device, like a Chromebook or an iPad in order to be able to participate in the lesson.

Nearpod is a great tool for increasing student engagement because there are lots of interactive slides that you can build into your lessons, while also teaching students any concept that you might come across in your curriculum. I just thought I would share it with you guys, especially those of you who are secondary and may use PowerPoints  a lot and are looking for a way to get your kids more engaged.  In my Screencast, I show the viewers what a Nearpod lesson looks like both from the perspective of a student going through a Nearpod lesson, as well as what a Nearpod lesson looks like from the perspective of a student.

As for Screencasting, like I said earlier, the tech coach at our school came in earlier in the year and taught our kids how to use Screencasting to talk about these PowerPoint presentations that they all put together on Google Slides that showed what they had learned about the Revolutionary War up to that point.  They then posted their Screencasts to some website that they all had access to using their district Google accounts that were then accessible by QR codes that their parents could scan with their phones during a Tech Night that the school hosted in December.  I would love to do another Screencasting activity with my students, I just don’t know when we will have time before I’m done student teaching.

 

Featured Image Wesley Fryer

What would I even use this for?

So Screencasting is something that I kinda sorta knew existed but never really bothered with it. Well, I finally bothered with it! I decided to mess around with Screencasting by teaching how to navigate a scientific research database. Looking back on my Biology Minor I really wish that one of my professors had told me how to navigate different research websites. Because of that it became my focus for practicing screencasting. Overall it was pretty intuitive on how to use it. In the beginning there is a bit of noise in the background so if I continue to use this I might want to invest in some sort of microphone.

My challenges are currently a lack of technology in my classroom. However in an ideal world I could see a couple uses for screencasting. I could teach my students how to use different applications like quizlet or edmodo which I both implement in my classroom. I could also show them different reliable and safe science websites.  By giving the students access to these videos they will be much more safe online and be exposed to routines that I implement in the classroom. This could free up valuable classroom instruction time, definitely a benefit!

I feel that I have only recently been exposed to screencasting so I really do not know all the opportunities that it could have for my future classroom but I plan on finding out!

Featured Image

https://www.flickr.com/photos/69504630@N03/6320530875/in/photolist-aCwnCg-4uu1k-dHxtKH-4zFbDW-aRufP6-aDuUL-oohXc-4MSLXm-8UMPZ3-4Nkp4-bgqHEX-5upwd8-4EVquu-9D4hFt-9D4gP6-9D7beW-L2kYf-7nUjfY-9D7cjU-9D4hEP-9D7bTY-9D7cLY-9D4hjP-9D4giR-9D4ide-9D4hUM-9D7cE3-9D4ggF-9D7az1-9D7cGC-L2kXd-9D4ifD-9D4ij8-8FmzXf-9D4gLF-9D7c73-9D4hBv-9D7avw-7k34sV-4NiPa-57ga9c-9BxRqj-5TcFgs-5NfGcU-aDuUk-7Jf643-LiR3R5-4tPWqy-LCkK1-4qN2vF

Attribution: librarianpond

The Ripple Effect

http://images.tutorvista.com/cms/images/101/waves.jpg

I do it all the time in order to greet a friend or a relative. I think everyone does it at some point; everyone’s learned how at some point of their lives. But what, really, is the core of this simple motion, this simple greeting we offer to our friends and loved ones?

It is the wave, my friends, and it is not simply the back and forth motion of your arms or hands. It has a particularly deep occupation in the world of science, from climatology to meteorology to oceanography; to physics, psychology…everything. Waves are connected to everything and everyone.

During my research concerning waves, it boggled my mind how delicate the nature of waves is, as well as the tenacity and strength that they can have. Add in the ripple effect and the other properties that come along with it, well….it’s just amazing. Every time I think of the ripple effect, I am reminded of the proverb or saying about a butterfly’s wings? Something about starting from a butterfly and ending up as a strong gust of wind halfway across the world? Something like that.

While I was looking for media, I was really inspired by all the creativity that I found when looking at images. I found the pictures that I saw on Flickr especially to be super calming and definitely something worthwhile to look at.

Wave

Like the one above from AJC1. Doesn’t this just make you want to go swimming/surfing/whatever you do in the ocean? Isn’t it weird to think that this picture of a particular kind of wave makes your brain send out a different kind of wave? (a brain wave…duh.)

Waves are super calming, and I loved seeing all the creativity that went into trying to convey that. I looked at some of the science-y stuff that I found as well, but there were some things that I didn’t really understand, mostly because it was really late at night and I didn’t feel like delving that much into hyper-physics (I’m pretty sure that’s a thing). Not only waves super calming, but they’re also essential to nature for various reasons. (Again, more science-y stuff) In the link, I have provided my OneNote compilation of said calming pictures of waves and such, and there’s an article there that explains the benefits of the ocean’s waves in 6 easy little blurb-y paragraphs.

I found that I spent most of my time on Flickr, just looking at pictures of the ocean. It made me kind of homesick to be honest. This is probably the reason why I switched to science. Then the science aspect started to speak in…well, science lingo, and that bored me out of my mind. I had the (bad) smart idea to look into brain waves, and I saw lots of MRIs of brains in lots of different bright reds, greens, yellows, and some in some really calming blues and grays…although I think the calmer colors mean little to no activity? I also used a lot of regular Google searching.

What made this experience really fun was being able to use OneNote in a way that wasn’t notes. It felt sort of like scrap-booking, and I’m really into that kind of thing. Maybe now I’ll be able to use it more like a scrap book than anything educational.

That’s it for now!

 

My OneNote Thing!

Featured Image: Waves from Tutorvista.com

Trekking into the Jungle of Internet Resources

The internet is a jungle – vast, dense, and full of resources.  This task challenged me to pick up my hypothetical machete and trek into it, learning how to find needed resources efficiently and then use them fairly.

On this particular trek, I delved into the virtual jungle to find pictures of the actual jungle – or at least pictures of Venezuela to get started on a presentation for a Spanish class I’m taking.  I chose Flickr to search for photos, limiting my search to Creative Commons photos.  I noticed how many high quality photos disappeared when I added this limiting term, but what could I complain since I could use the material free of charge (with reference and non-commercially)?  I further noted that I could limit the search by size, orientation, date, and content, which could make the search process more efficient.

My archive tool of choice was Google Keep, which centers around “notes” that can include a mix of text, content, colors, and links.  Once I found my photos of choice, I simply downloaded them, uploaded them to Google Keep and added a short description and photo credit.  For fun, I tried using Bitly to shorten the link addresses to the Flickr photos, which was self-explanatory and simple.  When all finished, I had a neat collection of photos, ready to use for content creation since I could easily include the image sources.

(My assortment of images and sources on Google Keep)

And that concludes my short foray into the jungle, learning about the mesas of Venezuela, and digital literacy and content curation at the same time.

Image: Tomorrow by Matsography  – Link

 

Maximizing My Use of Limited Technology

Access to technology is frequently limited in my classroom, and what is available can often be somewhat basic.  In an increasingly technology driven world and culture, this presents challenges; students live in a technological landscape, but are expected to radically change how they approach learning, creating, and thinking because they tools they are accustomed too are not available.

Available for use in my classroom is a Chromebook cart with 30 Chromebook laptops, but this must be checked out and reserved in advance.  The entire 8th Grade team shares this cart, meaning getting access to it can be competitive and sometimes problematic.  Generally, this means that students have access to technology only when it is planned far in advance, and even this is dependent on luck — or coordination among 8th Grade Team members, which while certainly do-able, adds another logistical problem and step.

My students come from a variety of backgrounds and many lack technological skills.  While they are fluent and adept at using phones to find information and navigate the world, they sometimes lack the skills to quickly and efficiently make use of other forms of technology like laptops and computers.  This doubles the challenge of limited technology; the only form of technology we have available is also the form students are most likely to be unfamiliar or unskilled with.

These are all challenges, and I have been working –and continue working — to find solutions.  One area I’ve been able to most successfully incorporate technology is with research projects.  This has offered an opportunity for students to use technology, which they are generally very receptive too, and a chance to teach some basic digital literacy skills — how to identify and correctly use a reputable source.  It has also offered an opportunity for students who are less familiar with Chromebooks to acquire some basic typing and program use skills, without tying their proficiency to a grade.  By supplementing student online research with articles and books provided in hard copy, I’ve been able to provide students a number of different avenues to approach research, with technology usage being one, of several, options.

Finally, an additional solution to technology limitations has been the use of cell phones.  This is a tricky area, and requires extensive circulation and monitoring to make sure students stay on task, but by being flexible and allowing students to use phones for basic searches — such as for images to base visuals off of for projects, or details from reputable sources — I feel that I have been able to provide a more authentic learning experience for students who spend a large chunk of their time and lives on devices already.

Digitally Exploring Oregon’s Native Plants

For this task, I chose to collect public domain sources related to the native trees and plants of Oregon.  After fiddling around on Microsoft OneNote for a few minutes, I felt as though I was completely incapable of operating a computer.  There were so many toolbars and sidebars that I had no idea where to go or what to do in order save my sources.  I decided to switch over to Google Keep instead.  I found Keep to be fairly easy to use.  The user interface of Keep was a lot simpler and didn’t have nearly as many options as OneNote, which I personally find to be a good thing.  I downloaded Keep as an extension to my Google Chrome browser.  Every time I found a source that I was interested in saving, I simply clicked on the Keep logo in my browser’s toolbar and a link to the webpage was saved in Keep.

I found a few of the public domain search tools to be very helpful.  Flickr was a great source for finding images.  It was easy to search for images and identify the type of license associated with each image.  My only problem with Flickr was that many of the images were incorrectly labelled by the person who posted them.  For example, I found this image of a lady fern when I was searching for a sword fern.

I’m not a plant expert, but I was able to identify several other images on both Flickr and Google Images Creative Commons Search that were incorrectly labelled.  This could potentially be a problem for students who are researching native plants for a school project.  Incorrectly labelled images might cause confusion about what plants look like.  On the other hand, it might be good practice for students to filter through information and identify which sources are reliable.

 

Image credit to vladeb

Creative Commons Quest

My AP Lit students have a Chaucer unit coming up, so I thought this week I could use the Creative Commons search opportunity to gather some resources.  I was honestly pretty unfocused about it so I’m not sure it will all be helpful, but the process of gathering data was super easy and I think I found some things I can actually use.

The Creative Commons search tool was great because of the quick access to different types of media. I found a few classic images of Chaucer/depictions of the travelers on Flickr. There were also a lot of photos of a boxer and a chameleon, ostensibly named Chaucer. Cute, but not exactly what I was looking for. I found more useful images on Google images. The Internet Archive was the most useful resource for this dusty old topic. I found PDF versions of the Middle English and translated versions of the text, which is really useful because we have less than a classroom set of books.  I also found an audiobook version, which, while terribly voiced, could be really helpful for struggling readers and my busy seniors in general who are traveling to work etc. I wish I could have found better video sources, but I see how it would have been easy to do so if my topic was something else. Overall, it’s nice to use things that I know I have permission to use.

I chose OneNote to store these resources. I found the program perfectly serviceable and easy to navigate, but not particularly exciting. I like that organization was really clear with the different sections, and that you could add different file types etc, but it would take some getting used to for me to curate things this way. I get the point of having everything in one place and accessible from any device, but in my world my devices are more reliable than my internet connectivity, so I need to change my living situation and my mindset before something like this would be fully useful to me.

Here’s a link to what I came up with.

 

Image Credit: The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer edited by FS Ellis, Kelmscott Press, 1896 by Kotumi_ on Flickr

 

A Little Obsessed with Hippos

As I already have experience with OneNote, I decided to explore Google Keep to record my notes for this assignment. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to use! I chose to look at hippos and their environment for this assignment because they are one of my favorite animals.

Google Keep was very user friendly and easy to navigate. You can also customize the layout to be a grid of posts or list in order to fit your task. When uploading an image, it automatically recognized the link and attached it for quick access on each post. I thought that was convenient because you don’t even have to open the whole note, but can quickly select the link below the title. The notes are fun because they can be highlighted in different colors for organization or just a pleasant appearance. You can also make checklists, set reminders, and pin important notes to the top of the page. I prefer the grid format as it makes me feel like I’m creating my own Pinterest board. You can also create links on posts that connect to other note pages you have created.

For students or teachers, it seems like Google Keep would be great for sharing ideas and collaborating because there is a quick button to add anyone. I also believe this would be great for students researching for a project. They could save images or notes with quick links to the online source to refer to. They could pin a checklist of the criteria to the top and check things off as they find the information as well. Overall, Google Keep is user friendly and could be incorporated into the classroom for both students and teachers.

 

Image: Hippo by Noel Reynolds link

Feature Image: Hippo by Andrew Mason link

Secured!! The Captured Beauty!!!

Captured! The Beauty of Guam!!

I used Microsoft OneNote to store my collection for this activity.  In my honest opinion, OneNote was the easiest storage-maker(?) to use.  When you open the application, up at the top of the page, in big letters, are the options of what you can do within OneNote.  Insert a picture, take a picture from your camera, insert a link for a video or audio, and so on.  It was just that easy.  I mainly used pictures for my collection though.  Also, it seems if you downloaded any fonts onto your computer to mess around when using Microsoft apps (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.), they are available to you on OneNote.  Sadly, you guys cannot see it unless you have the font in your device too.  But, I will attach a picture of what I was seeing as I made my collection!

Sorry about the quality!  Happens when you take a picture of a screen.  But, yeah, the font is called “Burton’s Nightmare”, which is the font of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.  Awesome movie!  Recommend watching it then re-watching it every Halloween and Christmas!

I wish I was introduced to this earlier! It is fun and easy to use!  It is not that I am afraid to try new things, but that I am just too comfortable (*lazy*) with stuff I am familiar with.  I already have some pages (note sheets?) saved on OneNote to be used to help me with my student-teaching so we can see that I plan on using this app more in the future and, hopefully, for a long time too.

Featured Image: Island of Guam