Sunday, April 26, 2015

Final Project 16

Blog Assignment #5 - Part 2

It has been a few weeks since I have learned about personal learning networks (PLN) and since I have made my own PLN. My classmates and I have already created an extensive PLN just through this class. We have been assigned to comment on teacher's blogs throughout the semester, enabling us to gain valuable information that we can use when we become teachers.

Another way that I have increased my PLN is by using Twitter. Twitter is a great resource for anyone. There is so much information that you can get from Twitter, and you can also get in touch and communicate with other educators from all around the world.

Lastly, Symbaloo is a great resource that can be used for building PLN's. I did not use mine very much because I used Twitter more often. However, Symbaloo is great because it is very easy to have all of your links to various websites and blogs in one place. You can also organize Symbaloo in anyway you would like.
Example of what a Symbaloo PLN looks like

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blog Assignment #13

What did I leave out?

In this blog post assignment, I get to choose something that I think should have been assigned as a blog post. After choosing my assignment, I will actually do the assignment.

What educational apps can be used in the classroom?

ClassDojo app iconThis app replaces classroom management tools. Teachers can use this app to customize behaviors that they find to be the most important. Teachers can also reward students on this app by giving them Dojo points. This app is great in that it also allows communication between teachers and parents. The students can also create their own account and customize their Dojo avatars. Lastly, this app is great because it can be used on any device such as laptops, iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, and even smartboards!

Raz-Kids app iconRaz-Kids
This is an app that contains numerous e-books. There are many different levels of e-books available on this app. This app also contains e-quizzes that allow the teacher to keep track of the students comprehension level. Along with providing a plethora of e-books for children to read, the app also gives teachers the ability to customize assignments, view reports, and track the student's progress.

Top-It app iconThis is a math game app. This app is a great way for the younger elementary students to learn basic addition facts. The game is a two player game. Each player draws two cards, finds the sum of those two cards, and compares the sum of their cards to the sum of their opponent's cards. The players are awarded points based on correctly finding the sum of the two cards, identifying the greater sum, and having the cards that equal the greater sum. The person with the most points at the end of 8 rounds is deemed the winner.

Sight words for 2nd Grade app iconSight Words for 2nd Grade - Talking Flash Cards
This app is composed of sight words that are common for 2nd graders. The app consists of flashcards that have a word printed on them. The child reads the word on that card and then the app will say the word correctly. This is a great way to have children practice their sight words at home or even in the classroom while there is free time.

Toca Store
Toca Store app iconToca Store is a great app that allows children to play a game while also learning important skills. It teaches children turn taking, cooperation, negotiation, basic math skills, resource management, and how to spend money wisely. This app allows children to be either the store owner or to be the customer. It is meant for two players, but it works perfectly fine with only one player.

Monday, April 13, 2015

C4K Summary for April


My first C4K for this month was James A. from Mrs. L's Awesome 7th Grade Class 2014-2015

BasketballJames' blog post that I read was about basketball. James said that basketball is his favorite sport. He likes it better than football because there are more games in basketball than in football. James dreams to one day be able to play on a NCAA Division 1 basketball team. He mentioned that he had met a professional basketball trainer and that he asked that trainer to make him a division 1 basketball player. The trainer told James that it was possible since James has so much talent at such a young age. James is also trying to get on a competitive basketball team over the summer that would allow him to not only play his favorite sport all summer, but also allow him to travel.

I started off my comment by telling James who I was and why I was commenting on his blog. Next, I told him that I think it is really great that he found a sport that he loves playing. I mentioned that although basketball is not my favorite sport, I still enjoy watching it, even with my limited knowledge about the game. I told him that it sounds like he is going to have a great summer. I mentioned that summer was my favorite time when I was in junior high and high school because I got to play my favorite sport, softball, almost everyday of the week. Lastly, I told James that I enjoyed reading his post and that I hope he has a great summer doing something that he loves and enjoys.

My second C4K assignment was India from JHFI Class of 2015.

Bright Future AheadIndia's post that I commented on was about her life and what her future plans are. She explains that in five years she would like to graduate and also have a career modeling in New York City.  In ten years, she would like to settle down and have a family with her boyfriend. It does not mention this in the post but I am assuming, after browsing through her blog, that she would like her boyfriend to be Chris Brown.

In my comment to India, I told her how great it was that she has goals. I think it is very important to set goals for yourself. I then proceeded by telling her a few of my goals that I hope to attain within the next 5-7 years.

My last C4K for this month and semester is Charlotte from Room Three @ Auroa Primary School.
This school is in New Zealand, and I think that it is awesome that we get to comment on a student's blog post from a different country.

In Charlotte's blog post 321 go... she explains how she had completed the triathlon at her school. She talks about her experience as a story. She writes what she was feeling and thinking as she was doing the triathlon. She said that she was so excited when it was her turn. She started off running to her bike, then she biked for about 4 meters. She discusses how sweaty she was and how red her face was. She thought her legs were about to give out when she finally made it downhill. After finishing the biking portion, Charlotte goes on to swim 2 meters before she is finally finished. She won 5th place, and one of her friends won 7th place.
Swim, Bike, Run

I began my comment to Charlotte by explaining to her who I am and why I am commenting on her post. I then told her how I enjoyed reading her post and how she did a great job explaining how she felt about the triathlon. I also told her that I think it's amazing that she was able to complete the triathlon and come in 5th place. I do not think that I would be able to do a triathlon, much less win 5th place in one. Lastly, I told her that it sounded like she had a lot of fun at the triathlon.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Blog Assignment #12

What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher? How are they useful?
What's assistive technology?

According to the Assistive Technology Industry Association's website, assistive technology is any item or software that is used to "increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities." I believe that every educator should have some knowledge about assistive technologies, because you never know when you may encounter a student who needs this kind of assistance. There are many different types of assistive technologies. In the following paragraphs, I will describe a few of the types of assistive technology.

Picture of the MountbattenThe Mountbatten - Assistive Technology for the Blind is a video that explains and shows how a Mountbatten works. The Mountbatten is a braille writer that allows visually impaired students to be involved in the curriculum. As the student "brailles" the Mountbatten will produce the braille while announcing what is being "brailled." This way students can confirm that they are using the correct buttons on the machine. The Mountbatten can not only save files, but it can also send files to a computer and receive files from a computer. I think that this is a great invention. I had no idea that something like this existed. I believe that this would be a great tool to have in the classroom because it allows better communication between the student and teacher.

Image of how VoiceOver can be turned onBoth the videos iPad Usage for the Blind and Having a Great Time
show the ways that an iPad can be beneficial for visually impaired students. iPads come equipped with VoiceOver which makes using an iPad incredibly easy for visually impaired individuals. VoiceOver is gesture-based, so it requires the individual to touch the screen in order for it to work. By simply dragging your finger across the screen, VoiceOver will inform you of what is there. If you hear something that you want to access, all you have to do is double tap anywhere on the screen. Both of the videos listed above show not only the functions that VoiceOver is capable of, but they also show how easy it is for anyone to operate the iPad using the VoiceOver program. Since many schools already have iPads in the classroom, this would be a very beneficial tool for visually impaired students. It would not require any additional money to be spent, since all iPads come equipped with this program. It is also very easy to learn how to use VoiceOver, so there is no reason that this program would be a problem to use.

FaceTimeOne invention that is a great tool for the hearing impaired is FaceTime. FaceTime is a video call program that is available on Apple products such as Macs, iPads, and iPhones. FaceTime enables the deaf to communicate non-verbally with others. Other video call systems, such as Skype, can work this way also. Another tool used for communicating with deaf individuals is text. Texting is a feature that is available on all cellphones. Almost everyone in the world owns a cell phone of some sort, so texting is a great tool that allows the deaf to easily communicate with others. I believe that FaceTime or Skype would be an effective way to communicate with a deaf student in the classroom. If the teacher did not know sign language, an interpreter could be called via Skype and relay the information to the deaf individual.

Monday, April 6, 2015

C4T #3

For this week's C4T, I was assigned to comment on Jennifer Ferguson's blog My Journey as an Educator.

In her post InfoWhelm and Information Fluency, Ferguson has a video that discusses the enormous amount of digital output we produce. It was very shocking to see the numbers of just how much digital output we use. The video mentioned that it would take thirteen stacks of books from Earth to Pluto just to show how much information we have. Ferguson mentioned how she was"in awe at the increase (and continued exponential growth) of our digital output."

My comment to Ferguson stated how I am also in awe at how much digital output we produce. I also mentioned that as technology continues to grow, students will need to know how to use this technology and information correctly. I believe that as a future educator I need to stay up-to-date with the latest technology so that I will be able to effectively use it in my classroom.

The second post that I commented on was entitled Professor Ferguson: An Affectionate Moniker.
In this post, Ferguson describes the close relationship that she had with her students at a small K-12 school. She also explains that she and her students were both learners. Ferguson was very honest with her students as well. For example, she mentions that whenever her students asked her a question about her life, she would tell them the answer. Ferguson even said that her students probably knew her better then her colleagues.

To the world you may be just a teacher but to your students you are a hero!
I really enjoyed reading this post, and overall, I have enjoyed reading Professor Ferguson's blog. She seems to be such a great person. I started my comment to this post by telling Ferguson that I believe that it is very important to have a strong relationship with the students you teach. I also told her that I came from a small K-12 school similar to the one that she taught at. I explained how beneficial it was that I was able to have such close relationships with all of my teachers when I was in high school. I finished off my comment by stating that I hope to someday have close relationships with the students I will teach, as Ferguson has had with her students, and as I have experienced while in high school.