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“Cool Tools, Social Media, and Curriculum” by Joanne Troutner

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“Cool Tools, Social Media, and Curriculum” by Joanne Troutner is an article describing many 21st century tools that teachers should experiment with in their classroom.  This article contains loads of these examples and where you can find them.  Talk about a real life application of information!

My Thoughts

This article is not a deep thought provoking article, however its application may be the most significant of recent articles I have read.  Joanne Troutner holds nothing back in this piece, from the get go she lets you know about the many tech tools that you can and should get your hands on!

The tech tools are organized into three sections: teacher tools, social media, and curriculum sites.  Each section is full of examples that can be applied to your classroom tomorrow.  One of the best aspects of this article is the fact that all of the links are housed in this article.  This makes it tremendously convenient for educators to access the new found resources.  The idea of self-embedding links into articles is something that I will have to utilize when I create content for my various audiences.

As I mentioned before this article was not one that was going to provoke controversy, but I did have many thoughts about this article as I was reading it.  I will share with you some of the items that I will be trying during my three day weekend.  The first bit of information that caught my eye was the over 1.300 apps that are reviewed by distinguished educators.  I really need to visit APPITIC and see what this is all about.  It feels like this could be buried treasure!  Another set of teaching resources that I will be checking out are the many Pinterest sites: Classroom images , Tony Vincent’s Math Apps, and Maggie Mulligan’s Social Studies.

I also was intrigued by the idea of using QR codes generators.  I have recently heard a lot about these, but I need to discover how to use them in a 1st grade classroom?  The item that fascinated me the most was YUMMYMATH.  This site is designed by two math educators who provide math problems with real life application.   Combining real world application with math problems is something that I truly believe is missing in a lot of our math classrooms.  I hope that I can utilize it in mine!  Along those same lines is the site 24/7.  This sounds like a great science resources that contains lessons and activities for students that would definitely create a sense of excitement for learning!

Food for Thought!

As you read my response to this article you may have noticed that I mentioned how I loved that the author placed hotlinks into the article, well take a look back at mine and see that I have done the same thing!  Always try something new, click on one of the links and discover something that could change your classroom!

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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

“Teaching and Learning with iPads, Ready or Not?”

Summary of Article

The article “Teaching and Learning with iPads, Ready or Not?” by Orrin T. Murray and Nicole R. Olcese addresses the issue of iPads in the classroom and questions how and if iPads will transform the educational realm.  Based on the research they conducted the authors argue that the iPad within three months of release and the applications associated with it were nothing that would revolutionize the classroom.  The main reason for this belief is the lack of educational applications that are based on the 21st century skills of collaboration and creation.

My Thoughts

I was really surprised with the direction of this article.  As I initially glanced at the title I thought that the authors would be in total support of the use of iPads within the classroom.  When I discovered that the conclusion was that the iPad and the applications were lacking essential attributes to be affective I was completely shocked.  Could iPads lack the ability to be effective in our classrooms?

When I look at an iPad I see a tremendous amount of potential:  its ability to navigate through the interface with ease, interactions with applications, and the ability to read online content.  It seems like an amazing tool for the 21st century person.  This analysis has held true for me in the educational realm as well.  I have always felt that the potential was unlimited.

After reading this article I began to look at the iPad and the applications associated with a little more scrutiny.  The statement that the iPad and the applications do not allow for the students to create or collaborate got me thinking.  Is the iPad just another technology phase that will soon be forgotten?  It is hard for me to believe that this is the case.  However, if you take a look at your educational folder on the iPad you will probably see a lot of flashcard based games.

Overall I still believe that iPads have an amazing potential for student learning in our classroom.  Just because you can do something with an older method does not mean that the newer version is worthless.  Today’s students are raised in a world surrounded by stimulation, one of the benefits of teaching with iPads is that as educators we touch into that world that they are raised in and bring the knowledge we are trying to teach with us.

I wonder if since the release of this article more sophisticated iPad apps have been developed, and if there will be a push to have apps that let students create and collaborate at another level?  What are your thoughts on technology/iPads in the classroom?  Is it a fad that will fade away or is it here to stay?

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Educational Articles

 

“Learning Everywhere, All the Time” By Vickie Cook-Article Review

Overview

“Learning, Everywhere, All the Time” was an article about a new educational paradigm that exists, where learning is constant inside and outside the classroom walls.  This new theory of connectivism is where “knowledge can be obtained through valuing diversity of opinion because the connections between many sources can lead to new knowledge.”(Cook, 2012)  One of the greatest tools we have to help promote these connections is technology, more specifically online classrooms.

 

My Response

This article is a tough one for me to call, for part of the article I was bored with what I thought was a rehash of information.  Then later in the article I found a few interesting pieces of information that I could use directly in my teaching.  Overall I thought this article was one that was informative, but not ground breaking.

As I was reading through this article I felt like for the most part it was applying commonly help truths in education and apply them to the technology realm.  As an educator I believe that one of our most important objectives is to create lifelong learners.  Your life is more than what takes place in a classroom; to me this is a fact that is completely clear.  That is why I was underwhelmed with the article’s statement of “Learning should also take place continually outside of the classroom. This is true of all ages and stages of learners who are taking classes online. Real-world, experiential learning assists students as they work together to build learning in an online setting through the guided instruction of a professional teacher.”  Shouldn’t this be the belief of all our classroom and classroom teachers?

Furthermore, “Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000) viewed learning online as a process and asserted that the effectiveness of online learning is dependent upon building a strong learning community.”  When I read this statement I couldn’t help but feel that this is a vital attribute to a physical classroom as well.  Where was the breakthrough revelation for teachers?

When the author stated tools that would promote student understanding it seemed to me that the items  listed were items that would be found in any 21st century classroom.  “Video, PowerPoint, music, lectures, podcasts, calendars, work schedules, digitized handwritten comments. Web pages and quizzes, tests, and assignments” (Cook, 2012)

There were a few items in this article that I thought were thought-provoking and helping to teachers looking to make the most of their classroom.  The first was a quote that I believe made an argument for more fluid curriculum.  “Static documents can become dated very quickly. Using current events occurring in the world and assignments that connect the student to new areas of thought and culture through videos, music, podcasts, blogs, wikis, and new mlearning [mobile learning] apps for tablets and smartphones that allow connectivity to occur with content in different ways will all be part of connecting content to the student.  These practices assist the building of cognitive connections for the students.” (Cook, 2012)

Today with the use of social media, the idea of using a piece of it that was a little bit more discrete was very valuable.  The article mentioned that “The Google Plus product is promoted as an ideal way to share the same types of information often available via Facebook, but the program allows only small groups or subgroups of individuals to have access to the information. Users must receive an invitation to join a specific circle of users.”(Young, 2011)  This approach may be one that parents and school district could get behind based on the closed access that Google Plus provides.

 

Food for Thought

“It isn’t about the technology. It is about connecting students with the faculty to assist them with learning through the use of technologies.” -Bethany Brevard (Cook, 2012)

-Mr. Radicia

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Educational Articles

 

Mr. Radicia’s Spelling List Activity Glog

 

Check out my spelling list activities!  I think this would be a great resource to attach to my teacher page, or give the students the link directly.  I am able to control exactly what I want the students to do, but they have the ability to take ownership by selecting whatever activities interest them!

This was a fairly simple process, I think that I spent 20-30 minutes on this Glog.  Take a look and see what you have can come up with!

Be sure to share!

-Mr. Radicia

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Who do we want teaching our students about the digital environment?

The article, “Digital Citizenship in K-12: It Takes a Village” poses an interesting question.  Who do we want teaching our students about the digital environment?  By the time our students walk through the school doors for the first time, they have already been exposed to the digital world.  Together we must apply traditional responsible citizen qualities to the digital environment.

Personally, I believe that as educators we need to be the frontrunners on this issue.  One of the essential jobs as teachers is for us to prepare our students to be productive citizens.  Lets face it technology is not going anywhere, and it has opened up a new realm for citizenship.  A problem that we are facing as educators and a community is that we may be waiting to long to address any of the real issues.  Mike Ribble states that, “By the time students are twelve years old, their behavior in how they use technology has already been set.  So digital citizenship in schools from grades 8-12 is starting too late.”  As a learning community we need to start early and often.  This concept of responsible digital citizenship should become an ongoing process that is as regular as any that we teach.

Technology is a big part of my teaching; I feel that without it students will be unprepared for the future.  As we expose our students to this technology we cannot be afraid to teach the responsible use of it, while allowing them to learn from their mistakes. According to the Pete Blackshaw, an executive vice-president of the Nielson Company (2009), the online population of youth, grades 2-11, number “boys at 8,040,000 and girls at 7,927,000”.  This statistic should spark urgency among educators, we cannot expect to impact our students and forge a digital citizen if they have already been molded.  This teaching moment should be a primary concern for our learning communities.

Can we afford to look away from the digital world that we are surrounded by any longer?
“So, the inevitable question must be asked: Who represents the village for our youth, as it relates to digital citizenship? Will it be parents, teachers, administrators, academics, technology professionals, media specialists, or students?” (Hollandsworth, Dowdy & Donovan, 2011)

The answer, “Ora na azu nwa”

Food for thought: iSAFE, a non-profit organization promoting child Internet safety, reports “that 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online; 53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful things to another online; 42% of kids have been bullied while online; and 58% have not told their parents or any adult about something mean or hurtful that had happened” (2010).-How does this compare to bullying and comments in the general sense?  Is the bigger problem the issue of bullying, and it just happens to show up permanently on the digital record?

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Educational Articles

 

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Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in Uncategorized