Am I Technology Literate Yet?

In my first post I talked a lot about how I did not feel like I was technology literate. I know I am still not 100% there but I have gained one important thing. I now have a spark of curiosity about the technology that is in the world. I have more wonder and motivation to learn about new technology and apps that I could integrate into the classroom. I think that curiosity is the main piece of the puzzle that I was missing, now that I have been exposed to a small slice of technology that is available I have more interest in discovering what is out there.

I feel more comfortable navigating different apps and formats such as Apple products or Google Drive elements. I still get frustrated occasionally when I encounter something that is not made or set up with what I view as common sense. However I have learned to push past my frustration and un-comfortability for the benefit of my students. I want them to also have new experiences with technology so I could fall flat on my face but the students would probably be able to teach me about whatever technology thing-y I don’t understand.


Personally in the beginning of the course I was not a fan of how “loose” the structure of the class was, if you haven’t figured it out I’m a bit of a Type A person. However I realized that we were the first group of students shaping the course so both the instructor and the students were figuring it out as they went along. And honestly, some flexibility is good for me to learn as a teacher.

The only other suggestion I would have is maybe one or two class periods where we could possibly get different devices like iPads or chromebooks and actually physically play around with different apps like nearpod, kahoot or keynote. I just think a bit more hands on practice with what your classroom would actually look like could be benefical!

Thanks for everything!

 

Attribution: Bryan McDonald

edTech Methods: Now what?

Looking back at my first blog post, I am amazed that the semester is already over and how much more exposure I’ve been getting to technology that can be used in the classroom as well as how I can use it to make learning spicy.

Throughout my time student teaching at my placement and since beginning this class, I have definitely experimented more and done more with the available technology in the classroom. With the recent addition of a cart of chrome books, I have taken advantage of online platforms such as MobyMax, Geogebra, Khan Academy, and Desmos in order to enhance learning….or just keep the kids busy if I was a little behind on grading *cough*. The kids enjoyed my experiments more than I did, I think, just because it was different from me just lecturing at them.

I feel like taking this class has allowed me to really branch out and experiment with things that I didn’t think I would want to experiment with. I have been so much more confident and I am so grateful that my CT has been so flexible with me and has given me free reign to perform all of these experiments and use the kids as guinea pigs. I have definitely discovered more of what my ideal style of teaching is through using the resources that were presented through this class, and I will definitely carry everything that I have learned from this class with me throughout my entire career.

One thing that I will have to do before graduation is to bookmark this blog post and all the resources that everyone has blogged about and use it if (and hopefully when) I get a classroom of my own. I feel like I have also learned how to adapt to an environment without easy access to technology just based on the implications of what you CAN do with technology and how to get around that should the technology not be available to you.

I have also become more adept at looking for more than one way to present certain material, and I think that this will definitely help me a lot when I actually get a teaching job (again….fingers crossed).

I don’t have anything to suggest for this class. It was extremely flexible, which I appreciated immensely, and the course was really just like a living thing. I am reminded of the Constitution of the United States in the sense that it is a living document and is always capable of changing, and that was the sort of feeling I got from this course. I also appreciated the fact that we were able to choose the way we presented our findings when playing with the various materials that were available to us. It was a lot of fun to play with the different things that were introduced to us; especially when we had already had a bit of experience with the resource, such as Google.

Thanks, Peter, for opening the horizons a bit more and making these resources available to me and the rest of the class. We will definitely benefit greatly from the things you have taught us. It was also super fun to run a blog (sort of) that might one day help future teachers! And let’s not forget the fact that we are now published authors with Apple, even though it was just with one book.

 

For the last time, thanks for reading! ūüėÄ

 

Featured image courtesy of Adobe Spark.

A Time for Reflection

I feel like I have learned how to better use several tools that will help students visualize the mathematics that they are learning.  I practiced using Desmos graphing calculator and thought of multiple ways that I could use it in a lesson.  I also learned about new tools that I have never heard of before, such as GapMinder World.  Overall, I feel like the teaching with data visualization was the most valuable lesson for me.  I could see myself using several of the tools in future math lessons.

The thing that was the most frustrating for me was creating a screencast.¬† I didn‚Äôt like that if I made a mistake while screencasting, I had to go back and re-do the entire video.¬† I understand that creating screencasts can be valuable ‚Äď it makes it unnecessary for a teacher to explain the same thing multiple times and allows for time to focus on other tasks during class time. However, I do not think it is a teaching strategy that I will ever use because I found it to be very time-consuming and frustrating to create one short video.

Image credit Moyan Brenn

Immigration Unit

With candidates like Marine Le Pen and policies like Brexit cropping up internationally, and much national focus on immigration and border control, immigration and the human rights issues that surround it are topical and relevant issues for all groups of students. I’m a big proponent of using my platform as a teacher to promote social awareness (regardless of personal opinion), and English/Language arts is particularly well suited to helping students build this kind of empathy. ¬†Reading, absorbing, and analyzing literature is as close as one can get to living through the experiences of the author and the situations they are writing about.

One particularly excellent text about immigration, that I hope to teach in my classroom wherever I land, is a wordless graphic novel called¬†The Arrival,¬†by Australian artist Shaun Tan. Despite being wordless, it manages to convey incredibly sophisticated themes that are politically neutral, since the story is visual fantasy and is not set in any particularly identifiable time or place. Because of its neutrality, it allows readers to connect with the characters without necessarily conveying blame, or causing the reader to become defensive. Students experience along with the characters the displacement and loss of leaving a homeland, the adaptation to new customs and places, and eventual reunion with family. It’s fabulous.

An excellent tech tool to go along with this text is the Metrocosm World Immigration Map. In much the same way that The Arrival removes the otherness of immigration through the sympathetic characters, this tech tool normalizes immigration by showing that people are coming and going from nearly every country, and that immigration is a global process rather than an isolated perceived annoyance.

Featured Image: Graphic Novel illustration by Laurence Hyde retrieved from Flickr

Flipping English

English/Language Arts lends itself really well to the flipped model, and teachers often do it pretty naturally within this subject. Students often do their reading and writing, the most focused activities in the discipline, as homework. One reason for this is that there isn’t enough time to always do these things in class, and another is that having students read and write at home leaves time in class for activities such as discussions, activities, and peer editing.

Learning objectives: 

Students will  compare and contrast Macbeth with its screen adaptation, Throne of Blood. 

Students will compare the relative aspects of film vs written drama.

Flipped/Blended Elements:

Students watch Throne of Blood at home and take notes about the plot and differences between the version they just read and the film they are watching, as well as the visual techniques Kurosawa uses.

Active learning strategies: 

Viewing the film, forming opinions, collaborating in groups, writing debate cases

Lesson Flow: 

Students read¬†Macbeth¬†aloud in class the previous week. When finished, assign students to watch Kurosawa’s¬†Throne of Blood¬†at home over the weekend.

In class, students create Venn diagrams comparing and contrasting the film and reading generally. Decide, as groups, which telling of the story is more effective, and write a simple debate case that argues their side. Groups will then debate the effectiveness of the play vs the film adaptation.

Benefit to Students: 

Using the flipped strategy, students have the opportunity to watch a film adaptation that they may not have time for if we tried to contain everything to the classroom. By removing this time constraint, students had time to work together and really dig into the material collaboratively in class.

Image Source: “Macbeth and Banquo Encountering the Witches” from¬†Wikimedia Commons

Class 15: Finishing our iBook

This week we will finalize our critical thinking lessons for inclusion into our collaborative iBook.

TECHNICAL ASPECTS

The iBooks will be designed using iBooks Author in the Mac lab. Students will bring digital versions of their project content¬†‚Äď including all image and sound files, text files, citations and URLs.¬†Here‚Äôs a quick guide to managing your files to get ready for¬†iBooks Author: edtechMethods Tool Kit: iBooks Author

I’ve created a YouTube channel with some short tutorials that students may wish to refer to. See iBooks Author Tips.

We’ll take a look at Adobe Spark / Posts for making some graphics to add to our project.

End of Semester Checklist
  1. Complete course assessment at SmartEvals
  2. All blog posts completed – see list here.
  3. Finished iBook Author file uploaded to our shared Google Drive
  4. When in iBooks Author you can create a PDF version РSelect Share / Export / Then choose PDF. Then take your PDF and upload to TaskStream for final assessment.

Create the Wheel of Your Desire!

The intent of this mathematical activity is to have the students apply the Pythagorean Theorem and to show off their creative sides.  By this time, students would have discovered the Pythagorean Theorem (a^2 + b^2 = c^2) and that the theorem only works for right triangles.

The students will be using this knowledge to draw and label a nautilus-looking wheel titled the¬†Wheel of Theodorus. ¬†Explanation is in the link to the activity below. ¬†While students are drawing their right triangles and thinking of what they want to draw using their wheel, they are applying the Pythagorean Theorem by labeling the sides of the triangles (legs and hypotenuse ‚Üź they have to use the theorem to find this guy) and labeling the right angles in each triangle.

That’s about it. ¬†Short and Simple. Why not give it a try? Click on the link below to see the instructions to start making a Wheel of Theodorus of your own. ¬†Have fun!!

The Wheel of Theodorus Activity

Featured Image: Jeremy’s Own Wheel (taken from camera)

Academy Khan : Here is Lesson Flipped The

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang Daniel! Back at it again with the blog posts!

Today we’re discussing flipped lessons. (See what I did there with the featured image? I literally used powerpoint and flipped the slide upside down. Funny, huh? Laugh. It’s funny)

 

SWBAT: Every good teacher should know this acronym. It describes the learning objective, or target, that the class should have reached by the end of the lesson. The learning target for this lesson would be dividing fractions.

Students Will Be Able To: Divide Fractions

The digital resources that would be particularly useful would be the Khan Academy lessons on dividing fractions as well as a program where students will be able to play with digital manipulatives that will help them visualize how fractions and operations performed on those fractions can be modeled and . This will be especially helpful for students who are more visually inclined than others. These lessons would be done at home.
“What would you do in class with all that free time?”

Well, for this particular lesson, it would be amazing to set up different math stations that deal with the most common fractions: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc. These stations would have these fractions represented in different ways, and the students would be asked to perform the different operations on the fractions as well as describe what is happening to the models of the fractions with each operation in their own words.

The digital resource (Khan Academy) would be available at each station as a review, or as a way for students who may not have that much access to technology to engage in the lesson and do the assigned lessons at the same time the class is working at the stations.

This lesson would benefit greatly from being flipped because of all the misconceptions students often have about fractions. This would allow them to work with the concepts in the comfort of their own home and come up with their own conclusions about what the lesson was trying to teach them, without any influence from their peers.

Then when the students show up to class, they will be able to compare conclusions and how they might have gotten to those conclusions. They will also feel confident going through the various stations because they had a taste of the material the night before. Any misconceptions they have about the material will be made clear by their classmates or the available media; or, of course, the presiding teacher.

I think this is a fun and engaging way for students to understand how fractions work and how to divide them.

Class 14: Working with iBooks Author

Digital technologies have put us in charge of the information we access, store, analyze and share.  Creating an iBook harnesses those motivational factors into an engaging learning experience. The ease of distribution across the world (via iTunes) means students can communicate with a broader, and more authentic audience than just their teacher and class peers.

This week we will wrap up our first drafts of our critical thinking lessons for inclusion into our collaborative iBook.

Technical aspects

The iBooks will be designed using iBooks Author in the Mac lab. Students will bring digital versions of their project content¬†‚Äď including all image and sound files, text files, citations and URLs.¬†Here‚Äôs a quick guide to managing your files to get ready for¬†iBooks Author: edtechMethods Tool Kit: iBooks Author

I’ve created a YouTube channel with some short tutorials that students may wish to refer to. See¬†iBooks Author Tips.

We’ll take a look at Adobe Spark¬†/ Posts for making some graphics to add to our project.

Assignment

Students should write¬†a brief blog post that serves as a course reflection. Begin by re-reading your first post in response to the prompt “What do you want to learn about edtech?” What progress have you made? Successes, frustrations? Suggestions for this course?

Please post by April 27th.


Image credit: Adobe Spark

Getting To Know You All Starts From The Basics

Learning Objectives:

  • My main objective is to assess where my students are in terms of their mathematical skills since students coming into the classroom are on a variety of levels when it comes to their academic skills.
  • I want the students to be able to gauge themselves on their academic capabilities and learn that it is okay to make mistakes and that sometimes asking for help from a peer or teacher will always be the best choice to make in my class.
  • I need to free up class time so I can register students onto WordPress (or some equivalent like Edmodo) accounts so we can do online help forums on the various units we will be covering in the year.

Digital Resource(s) I will be using for the lesson:

  • I will be using a WordPress blog post with a multitude of links titled with mathematical concepts that will lead students to online worksheets to practice on.
    • Examples: ¬†Addition and Subtraction, ¬†Multiplication and Division,¬†Long Division, and so on. *I just underlined them so they are not actual links*
  • The list will go on up until the last concept we will be covering in the year. ¬†A lot of the students may give up before that point since they have yet to learn these concepts, but some will give it a try.
  • Each “worksheet” will contain around 5 – 10 problems each. ¬†3 – 5 if they are word problems.

Active Learning Strategies

  • Students will be gauging themselves on how well they are able to do the following concepts. ¬†The quicker, the farther. ¬†They will have a huge confidence boost at the beginning since the work will be “easy” for them, but the challenge will slowly rise as they continue.
  • Students will be able to work with fellow peers on problems they are unable to get passed, establishing that teamwork and group work strategies will be used in the classroom.
  • Once I have finished with setting up the WordPress accounts with the students individually, I am then able to walk around the classroom and interact with the students. ¬†Getting to know and/or answering any of their lesson specific questions.

How the digital resource integrates into other instructional elements of lesson ‚Äď what‚Äôs the flow of the lesson?

  • The flow of the lesson is quite free form. ¬†On my WordPress blog post, all the students will see is a bunch of math concept titles that they are able to click on that will send them to a worksheet with problems related to the title. ¬†They do not necessarily have to go in order (top to bottom), though I feel like some students will do that. ¬†If students are comfortable enough with the concept/skill, they are allowed to “skip” on clicking that link and move onto another that perhaps will provide a challenge ¬†to them or that will allow them to revisit a concept/skill they are not strong in and practice. ¬†Students are allowed to ask others for help, but only after they have given the problem an honest-to-God attempt.

Benefits for¬†student content¬†mastery, collaboration¬†or learning¬†workflow ‚Äď Why is it worth it flip / blend some of the content?

  • I believe it is worth it to doing this because the students (most of them at least) will see that they have learned many things in their academic journey and that they are able to do them all and are going to learn more concepts to add to that repertoire of theirs.
  • Hopefully, the students will see that math skills build upon themselves and what they are doing is adding tips and tricks to those skills. ¬†It is an important skill to be able to do math problems on pen and paper since the work will be saved “eternally”, or until one throws it away, that can be used to check back in and refresh oneself, to have others check your work more visually and easily, and as physical evidence to the teacher that one is doing the work.
  • I also see this lesson as a practical lesson on the expectations of the class surrounding teamwork, behavior, and conduct in my classroom.

Featured Image:  Mathematics Title

Mapping Literary Adventures

For this project, I chose to use the My Maps feature of Google Maps to chart Odysseus’ journey home after the Trojan War. With this tool, I was able to place points at important locations, and in another layer, I included the pathways in the order that Odysseus visited them. This tool allows students not only to visualize the distance he traveled, but also to actually add up the approximate distance with the tool’s included distance measurements.

This tool also allows you to add images ¬†and descriptions to the location points, further enriching the experience. I have added an image and description to the first point on the map as an example. If there was a way to have students editing this, it might be a good group or individual activity to have the students create descriptions, or identify important information to create a more complete representation of Odysseus’ (or any literary or historical) journey.

Featured Image Source: “The illustration for the humorous book The General History Edited by Satyricon”¬†by¬†Alexander Yevgenievich Yakovlev accessed from Wikimedia Commons

 

I want to know why you find Science intimidating!

Students are always going to have a favorite subject or a classroom that they look forward to going into everyday.  When you are a teacher you have to learn to not take things personally and often your classroom will not be that safe haven for every single student. However I still want to know every single know of my students feelings about science and school in general. You cannot truly teach your students well until you understand them as a person. Because of this I explored using the google tool Google Forms. I created a survey that I would have my students take within the first couple days of a new school year.

I created a brief version of what I wanted, outlining the different topics I would want to cover. If they like science, if they think they are “good” at science, do they feel like they are a smart as they are ever going to be and what do they want to learn this year. These are the different topics that I would want to learn about from my students.

Understanding where your students frame of minds are when entering a science classroom can be key to running a successful classroom. If students are not interested in science I need to plan super engaging lesson initially to make sure to grab their attention. If students have specific requests about what they want to learn and I can incorporate them great! If I can’t maybe I can point them in the right direction to learn more about it. I need to know whether my students have growth mindset or whether that is something I need to incorporate into my teaching. These are all important elements that I can gain from a survey and Google Forms makes it even easier to manage!

 

Google Form

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Mk4sjrsnNmnHe5WP09vR9Q-bEFgGSvrw7JIMfBKe3gg/edit

 

 

Featured Image:

Attribution : US Coast Guard Academy

130305-007 Chemistry