Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Post #16 (My Final Reflection)

I had no clue going in what this class was going to be about so it made me a bit nervous. After the first couple of weeks in the class I felt so stressed thinking I was so far behind and that I may not ever catch up, but eventually I got the hang of things. It was a wild ride but I enjoyed every bit.

This class has taught me a lot of things that will be very useful in my teaching career. One of them is how to use my time effectively and not put things off to the last minute. To me that was a big one because that's one of the problems that I've had. Over this semester I have learned so many things in the course dealing with technology such as: iMovie, PBL, iBook, Blogging. That's just to name a few. 

I enjoyed this class. It taught me so much in the short amount of time that we met. Going forward as a teacher after this semester I think technology is the future of teaching. This class showed me many ways to use technology in the classroom and that is what I plan to do in my classroom one day.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

Assitive technologies that are available to us as teachers by Katlyn Lusker, Tarcela Kohn, and Jake Dukes 

According to wikipedia.org, "assistive technology is a term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them." "Assistive technologies promote greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks." There is great diversity in today's classrooms. It's one of the most remarkable aspects of modern education. Students of all disabilities study in all classrooms from kindergarten up through college now, due to mainstreaming and inclusion policies. This benefits both disabled and non-disabled students. However, this can create challenges for teachers. Thankfully, teachers today can implement many new technologies to assist and aid students with disabilities, whether those students are in a traditional or online classroom (teachthought.com). 

Assistive Technologies umbrella

Model me Going Places by: Jake Dukes

This is an application that can be used on any apple product such as an ipad, iphone, or itouch. This app is for kids that have autism. This app puts the kids in situations where they would have to choose what they do themselves. It puts the kids in social situations where kids with autism would have hard times dealing with. This app can make it where kids that suffer from social awkwardness make it easier for them to deal with being around people. In this app you decide what you say and do in the group of people or wherever you are at in the game. We feel like this is a good idea for kids and think that it would help them out going forward in life. It also tells you things that you should do at every particular place such as restaurants and playgrounds. This is a very useful app.



Screen Readers by: Tarcela Kohn

Some Assistive Technologies include: screen readers for the blind individuals, or screen magnifiers for low-vision can be used for the vision impaired. Screen readers are software programs that allow blind and visually impaired users to read text aloud that is displayed on the screen in word processor, web browser, e-mail programs or other applications. The user sends commands by pressing different keys on the keyboard which instructs the speech synthesizer to say and speak the text. The screen readers are available for personal computers that are running Linux, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems. Screen reader’s benefit the blind and vision impaired, but it could also be used for an individual with vision. This software can be used when traveling and an individual struggling to read text while leaning close to the computer screen. 


Hearing Assistive Technology Systems (HATS)

Hearing assistive technology systems (HATS) are devices that help individuals with hearing impairments function better in their day-to-day communication situations. There are several types of assistive listening devices that are available for improving sound transmission for hearing loss. Some of these devices are found in the classroom, theaters, airports, and place of worship and then one-on-one conversations in a small setting or group. The ALD systems for the larger facilities include hearing loops, frequency-modulated (FM) systems, and infrared systems. I will be explaining the hearing loop system; it is a system that uses an electromagnetic energy to transmit sound. There are four parts to a hearing loop system: a sound source, such as a public address system, microphone, or home TV or telephone, an amplifier, a thin loop of wire that encircles a room or branches out of the carpeting and a receiver worn in the ears or as a headset. The sound that has been amplified travels through the loop and creates an electromagnetic field that is picked up by the receiver that is being worn.


Hearing Loop Installed


Word Talk by: Katlyn Lusker

Word talk is also an assistive technology available to teachers. It is a free text-to-speech plugin developed and designed for use with all versions of Microsoft Word. Word talk is very beneficial for people with reading and writing difficulties. Having text reinforced by having it read out loud can be very useful. Children especially who have reading and writing difficulties, benefit when they have text read aloud to them. In schools this may be done by an assistant, however, assistants can be expensive, and their presence may be greatly needed somewhere else. Word talk has special features that include: speaking the text of a document and highlighting words as it goes, the voice and speed of the speech may be adjusted, the speech may be saved as an audio file, and a person is able to choose whether it speaks the entire document, a single paragraph, a sentence, or just a word (wordtalk.org). 


Word Talk

Sunday, November 24, 2013

C4K Summary for November

#1

One kid that I commented on his blog was Damon. He is in Mrs. Lieschke class and his blog was about the Typhoon that hit in Haiyan. He is a very nice kid saying that he was thinking and wishing good luck to all the people that had to go through all that disaster. He says they are going to help out by bringing clothes and other stuff to help out. It was a very nice thing to say and to do to help people that are going through something like that. I can only imagine how awful that would be to be going through something where you lose everything and losing people you know and that you are close to.





#2
Another student's blog that I commented on was Losehina out of Mrs. Jenny She's class. I watched two of the videos that she made. One was a popcorn animation where she made a video that showed a popcorn machine popping pop corn. It was very creative. The other video that I watched and commented on of Losehina's blog was the one which was titled I can Animate Movies. In this video she made it where it looked like a toy giraffe was walking inside of a classroom. It was pretty neat because she made it where you couldn't see the person moving the toy it was just like walking itself. She did a great job on this.

C4T #4

#1

The first teacher's blog that I commented on in the month of November was Michael Gorman. In his blog Math and Project Based Learning 22 Sources he had links to PBL websites where it used technology and math in one.I thought that was a great idea because just trying to learn math by itself can be tricky. I checked out some of the links that he had and I found out they were quite useful by intertwining math and technology and I will be sure to use them in the future. His blog is helpful to anyone that needs help in math or needs to find out another way of doing it so it's not so hard on them.

2


#2


For the second blog I commented on in November was Allanah King's about LIfe is not a race to be finished first.  In this blog he explains how you should always ask for permission to share a picture of someone on a website such as Facebook, twitter, or any social media where anyone can see it if they are a friend of yours. For some people putting their picture up on websites is scary because you really don't know who is looking at pictures of you on the web. King always says to ask for permission to put up a picture of anyone besides yourself and I like that idea. It is a good way to keep your identity safe and where you live.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blog Post #14

Becoming a Special education teacher is a lot of different from being any old teacher. Most special education students aren't able to use technology like a normal kid would and be able to interact with it. There is a new thing out for kids with disabilities on the Ipad where students can write what their thinking or maybe see a picture of it and click on it and its able to describe what they are thinking. This is a way for kids that have autism and other social skills problems to have a ways around speaking in public without being socially awkward. The idea is called See, Touch, and Learn and it is an app on an Ipad for kids that have special needs it helps them communicate in ways they couldn't before and easy ways of learning. This is a way to improve learning for special education students and even students with disabilities all over the world. This is an Introduction to See, Touch, Learn.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Post #13

Alison Gopnik's "What do babies think" by Jake Dukes 

In the video What do babies think by Alison Gopnik, she explains how babies think and how they learn. She explains how babies think as if you were in a new place and you're just trying to learn your surroundings for the first time. In an experiment that Alison conducted, she used broccoli and goldfish crackers on a 18 month old child. The first thing she did was ask the baby which one they wanted and of course they wanted the crackers. The next time she did the same experiment but then switched it up. She tried to fool the baby by acting as if the broccoli was yummy by eating and saying that it tasted good. Then she ate the goldfish and acted as if they were gross and said that it didn’t taste good. This didn’t fool the baby she again asked which one they would like, but the baby still went back to the goldfish. By this experiment she found out that babies already know at 18 months old that not all people like that same things. Alison says that as babies grow, they try to figure out how things work and how the world works. Another experiment she did was done on a five year old boy. This experiment involves a child putting shapes together in a particular order to make a light come on inside of a box. One of the sides of the box was already lit up, to show how it is works. After a couple of tries the kid was able to turn the light on in the other box by just placing the objects through a series of trials.






Shukla Bose’s “Teaching one child at a time” by Katlyn Lusker 

In Shukla Bose’s video "Teaching one child at a time" she tells the story of her Parikrma Humanity Foundation that is growing more and more each day. This foundation brings hope to the Indian slums by “looking past the daunting statistics and focusing on treating each child as an individual.” Shukla Bose began her speech in this video by explaining what led to her forming a foundation. She explained that they first walked through the slums of India. Of course, they could not go to all of them, but they tried to cover as many as they could. As they walked through the slums, they tried to identify houses where children would never go to school. They were excited about doing something, to bring them education, and then the numbers finally hit them. She said, “they’re 200 million children between ages 4-14 that should be going to school, but do not, they’re 100 million children who go to school but cannot read, and 125 million who cannot do basic mathematics.” Mrs. Bose also said that one in four teachers in India do not go to school the entire academic year. They have absent teachers, and that is harmful to children's learning. These numbers are overwhelming! She said it is hard not to get worried and scared about them, but instead they should and they want to focus on taking one child at a time. To make sure that child completes the circle of life. 

The first Parikrma school was started in a slum where there were 70,000 people living below the poverty line. In this first school, they had 165 children attend. After six years, 4 schools, 1 junior college, and 1,100 children from 28 slums and four orphanages have developed. English was taught, and they adopted one of the best curriculum's possible. The curriculum is tough, some believe it is too tough, but the children actually do very well. Through this foundation, they have also started many programs for the children’s parents, as well. Many of the parents want to learn, and after-school programs have been developed just for them. They have started all kinds of programs just to make sure the kids come to school. Mrs. Shukla Bose started this thinking she wanted to transform the world, however, now she believes she is the one who has been transformed by the impact the children have played in her life. I have learned a lot from Mrs. Bose. She is very inspiring. Her dedication and commitment to helping these children is so moving. “Educating our poor is more than just a number game.” Instead of trying to reach as many children as possible, it may work so much better to help one child at a time, to make sure that what they are being taught is working and it is effective. Many children go to school, but not all of them learn.

Mrs. Shukla Bose TED talks


Shane Koyczan "To this day... for the bullied and the beautiful" by Tarcela Kohn 

In the video To This Day… for the bullied and the beautiful by Shane Koyczan, he shares his own experiences in a beautiful poem. This video was very moving, funny, and relatable. The way he opened the floor with “I’ve been shot down so many times I get altitude sickness just from standing up for myself,” was a part of his poetic journey in his video. Shane expressed that we are told- “to stand up for ourselves, but that is hard to do if we don’t know who we are.” However, to do this, he explained that “we are expected to define ourselves at an early age, and if we don’t, others will do it for us.” Shane uses the names "nerd," "geek," and "fatty" as examples of others defining us. 

Shane Koyczan then went on to explain his childhood. When Shane was a kid, he wanted to be a man, and he wanted to shave. However now that he is older, he does not want to shave as much. By the time Shane was eight years old, he thought he wanted to be a Marine Biologist. When he was nine years old, he saw the movie “Jaws” and drastically changed his mind about becoming a Marine Biologist after all. Shane Koyczan had a very rough childhood. At ten years old, he was told that his parents did not want him anymore. At the age of eleven, Shane just wanted to be alone. When he was only 12 years he wanted to die, the next year he wanted to kill a kid, and at age 14 he was told to “seriously consider a career path.” Shane replied that he wanted to be a writer, and the response was “choose something realistic.” So he answered, “professional wrestler,” and the response then was “don’t be stupid.” Shane explained a great point: “We were being told that we somehow must become what we are not, sacrificing what we are to inherit the masquerade of what we will be.” This statement was a beautiful analogy; and is true. We are dismissing children’s dreams, to tell them what they want to dream. 

Shane said, “at the age of 15, poetry hit him like a boomerang; the one thing that he loved came back to him.” He remembers the first thing he wrote, “I hated myself for becoming the thing that I loathed: a bully.” The words “Standing up for yourself doesn't have to mean embracing violence,” from Shane himself, are very positive and everyone can learn from his statement. Shane Koyczan, then delivered his poem about two kids, one a girl and the other him. The little girl was called names and was made fun of only because she had a birthmark on her face. Shane expressed that because he was adopted, he went to therapy and had a “personality made up of test and pills.” He was called a “popper,” and because of the cruelty, he wanted to end his life and he actually tried too in the 10th grade. He explained that they are not the only kids that grow up being bullied this way , and that it still goes on today. Another great message that we can receive from this video is when Shane said, “I want to tell them that all of this is just debris left over when we finally decide to smash all the things we thought we used to be, and if you can't see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer, because there's something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit. You built a cast around your broken heart and sign it yourself. You signed it, They were wrong.” This video would be worth sharing with students to stop bullying and to show kids that are bullied that they are wanted, and there is something special about them! 

 Ouch! Bullying Hurts

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Project #10 - Teacher Interview Movie

video

Blog Post #12

"LEARNING FROM SIR KEN ROBINSON" by: Jake Dukes, Katlyn Lusker, and Tarcela Kohn
 
"Changing Education Paradigms"

There were so many things to learn from the video Changing Education Paradigms by Sir Ken Robinson. A few things we learned from Sir Ken Robinson were; “Every country on earth at the moment is reforming public education,” “The current system was designed and conceived for a different age,” “Kids now are living in the most stimulating period in the history of the earth and we because of this we need to make some changes,” and “We need to go in the opposite direction of school conformity and standardization.”

The first thing we learned from Sir Ken Robinson was “Every country on earth at the moment is reforming public education.” The two reasons for this are economic and cultural. This video asks the questions, “How do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century?” and “How exactly do we do that when we cannot anticipate what the economy will look like at the end of next week?” We think these are two very important questions to ask ourselves, especially knowing how the economy has been going lately. We aren't guaranteed anything, so these questions are valid. Sir Ken Robinson put it best when he said, “One big problem we are facing is that we are trying to meet the future with doing what we have done in the past.” People who went to school a long time ago were told that if you work hard, do well, and get a college degree, you would get a job. Kids now a days do not believe that, and they have every right not to. Sir Ken Robinson said, “You are better off having a degree, but it does not guarantee you a job anymore.”

The second thing we learned from Sir Ken Robinson, which is a continuation of our last point, was “The current system was designed and conceived for a different age.” Sir Ken Robinson explained this by saying, “Public Education, paid for from taxation, compulsory to everybody, and free at the point of delivery, was a revolutionary idea.” He also said many people group other people into two categories based on “Academic Ability.” He said those categories are the “academic or smart people” and the “non-academic or non-smart people.” This creates a problem because many brilliant people think they are not because they have been judged on this particular view of the mind. Public Education being made up of economic and intellectual categories has caused chaos in many peoples lives. Some have benefited from it, but most people have not.

The third thing we learned from Sir Ken Robinson was “Kids now, are living in the most stimulating period in the history of the earth and we because of this we need to make some changes.” Kids have so many distractions “from every platform” now that include computers, phones, advertising, and television. We agree with Sir Ken Robinson when he said, “Children get to school and their teachers expect them to focus on ‘boring stuff’ for the most part.” We agree with this because we have witnessed this happen and we can testify to this ourselves. In this video Sir Ken Robinson continued by giving his views on ADHD and how lots of drugs to treat ADHD shut kids senses off, deadening them to what’s really happening. He said, “We are getting our children through education by anaesthetising them, but we should be doing the exact opposite.” We need to wake our children up to what is happening inside of themselves.

The fourth thing we learned from Sir Ken Robinson was “We need to go in the opposite direction of school conformity and standardization.” Children have basically always been put through school in “batches” according to their age, but is that really what’s important? Is that really what we want our students to think is the main thing they have in common with other students? One of the most impacting things we thought Sir Ken Robinson said was, “If you are interested in the model of Education, then you don’t start from the product line mentality.” Sir Ken Robinson believes we need to go in the opposite direction of school conformity and standardization, and that’s exactly what he meant by “Changing the Paradigm.” In order to make this change we must first, think differently about human capacity and get over the old conception of academic, non-academic because all it is is a myth and secondly, we have to recognize that greatest learning happens in groups, collaborations is the stuff of growth.


 “How to Escape Education’s Death Valley”

In the TED Talks video; How to Escape Education’s Death Valley by Sir Ken Robinson, there was a lot of information that we found useful. Sir Ken Robinson started his video by saying that the No Child Left Behind is an irony, because approximately 60 percent of kids drop out of high school, and in the native community about 80 percent of the kids drop out. We were unaware that when a student drops out of school, it cost an enormous amount to clean up the damage. With this dropout crisis, it does not factor in the students that are disengaged, that don't enjoy school, and the students who do not benefit from school. Sir Ken Robinson stated “that this is the reason our education is going in the wrong direction.”

Sir Ken Robinson explained that there “were three principles on which human life flourishes, and work hand in hand by culture of education under most teachers have labor and most students to endure.” The first of the three principles that Sir Robinson explained that we learned was that all humans are different and diverse. Sir Robinson made a great analogy, he asked the audience members if they had kids, grandkids, or have seen kids. He then goes on to ask the parents of two or more children and makes a bet with the audience members that the children are different from each other. There is no way of confusing them with each other. “Education under the No Child Left Behind is based on not diversity but conformity.” One of the effects of the No Child Left Behind has been to narrow the focus on the STEM disciplines. Sir Ken Robinson said that the STEM discipline was very important; however, a real education has to give equal weight to the arts, humanities, physical education, and to the kids.



 

 The second of the three principles was curiosity. Sir Ken Robinson explained that if you light the spark of a child’s curiosity, they will learn without any further assistance, very often. He continued by saying children are natural learners, and curiosity is the engine of achievement.
Lastly, we learned that teachers are the lifeblood of schools, but teaching is a creative profession. Sir Robinson stated that “to teach properly; it is not the delivery system that you just pass on received information. However, great teachers do pass on received information, but they are mentors who stimulate, provoke, and engage. We have also learned from Sir Ken Robinson that the role of a teacher is to facilitate learning, and that is it.

"How Schools Kill Creativity"

In the TED talks video How Schools Kill Creativity by Sir Ken Robinson, we learned a lot about creativity. Sir Ken Robinson began by saying, “creativity now is actually just as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” He explains that as kids we are more creative because we are not scared to be wrong. As we grow up we are more likely to be less creative because we are frightened of being wrong. Sir Ken Robinson also said, “we are now running national education systems where mistakes are the worse thing you can make.” This results in educating people out of their creative capacities. One specific thing we really liked in this video was when Sir Ken Robinson quoted Pablo Picasso saying, “All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” Creativity is a good thing because it separates us from the rest of the people in our classes, making us unique. Sir Ken Robinson concluded his speech in this video by saying, “We need to see our creative capacities for the richness they are, and see our children for the hope that they are.” Our task as teachers should be to educate their whole being so they can face the future, and to help them make something of it.


 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Blog Post #11

For this post we had to watch "Little People, Big Potential" This is about Ms. Cassidy's first grade classroom. She is a teacher in Moose Jaws, Canada. She hasn't always used technology in her classroom it was about ten years ago when she started putting it in her classroom to see what students were able to do with it. Once she started used technology she used everything you could from blogging to skyping to using a Nintendo DS in her classroom as technology. The students would have access to the schools website wherever they went so if they wanted to show there parents what they have being doing in class they could with a simple log in.

 




In the interview with Ms. Cassidy "Part One about Technology" she tells how she got involved with technology. It all started ten years ago when she received five computer. Once she got the computer she had an idea to incorporate technology into her classroom which she wanted to do, but which the computers that she got she couldn't download any of the stuff that the students needed to teach kids about technology.  In Part two of the interview with Ms.Cassidy she talked about how you shouldincorperate technology into your classroom.

In the third video Ms. Cassidy was answering questions from Dr. Strange's students. In this interview she explained nothing was planned she went day by day if the students needed more time on something we'd stay on it longer and give them time to do it. She said one year one of the classes blogged everyday in class but another one just blogged every week it all is according to the class because every class is different.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Project #12A

In this video, I teach you how to: Turn on a Smartboard, calibrate one, use texts with smartnote,work with objects, use object animation, use the Infinite Cloner and work with digital ink, save items added in ink layer to separate file, and use multimedia objects. These are some of the skills needed to work a Smartboard properly.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blog Post #10

"Randy Pausch's Last Lecture"

Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He taught a class much like EDM310 at Carnegie Mellon University other than it was all Project Based Learning. In this class all his students were in groups of five and every two weeks they were expected to turn in a project. Every two weeks you would get new partners and you'd have four new people to work with and try to make a new project which I think is neat. It makes you work better with others and makes it where if you don't like your group your in you won't be stuck in that same group throughout the semester.

In 2006, he diagnosed with cancer and was told that he only had a couple months to live, but he didn't let that stop him from living his life. In his video Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. He explained his dreams as a child. Some of them involved him becoming a National Football Player to being a Disney Imagineer. These are just some of the few that he said in his lecture but that was two of the most interesting to me. As a kid he had a lot of big dreams. Unfortunately his dream of being the the NFL (National Football League) never came true but as for his dream of being an Disney Imagineer, it became a reality. It took a lot of time and a lot of hard work but it was worth it. As an Disney Imagineer he got to work on the movie Aladdin and after that he brought everything that he had learned while working their to his classroom while he was teaching.

Some of the things I learned while watching this video was to never get up. No matter how hard things get or how people don't believe you can do something all you have to do is believe in yourself and with that you can accomplish things you would never have dreamed of. He gave me hope as a person that I can do anything if you believe you can.

Project #14

In this lesson plan for project based learning, our fourth grade students will learn about the Solar System. This lesson plan includes the subjects: science, reading, writing, and art. Our group made this into a two week lesson plan. This project is intended for our students to grasp the concept of our Solar System including asteroids, meteors, and comets. They will create a science/art project to show their understanding of the information after one week of the lesson. On Friday of the first week, they will present their projects in front of the class. During the second week, they will write a descriptive paper titled "My Trip in Outer Space." Then they will peer edit their papers in small groups of four students. After peer editing each others work, each group will choose/vote one paper that they think is the best and should be read to the class. The next day, Thursday, the presenters will read their papers and then when our students are finished reading, everyone will hand in their paper. On Friday of the second week, our students will have a multiple choice/ short answer/ and matching test on the Solar System that is made up of about 10-15 questions. This lesson plan includes resources such as iCurio, YouTube, Smart-boards, and Mac laptops. The driving question for this lesson plan is, "How do we characterize and put into order the planets of our solar system?" This is the link to our site.





Saturday, October 19, 2013

Blog Post #9

By: Katlyn Lusker, Tarcela Kohn, Jake Dukes, and Alex Hopson  "Back To the Future" by Brian CrosbyBrian Crosby is a teacher from Agnes Risley Elementary School in Sparks, Nevada. In his video "Back to the Future", he explains that 90 percent of his students are second language learners. His students are at risk because they qualify for free lunch, meaning they are students of poverty. On the second day of school, Mr. Crosby gave his twenty-four students a survey to find out where they stood. After gathering the results he found out when they were asked "Which city do you live in?", only nine children gave the correct answer. When they were asked "What state do you live in?", twelve gave the correct answer. When they were asked "What country do you live in?",only three students answered correctly. When they were asked "What is your address?",only seven students were able to answer correctly. Mr. Crosby then poses the question, "Why such a disconnect for these students?"

"We do not want to have a narrow curriculum for these students, but these students have had a narrow curriculum since they were born." Mr. Crosby also said, "They haven't had the experiences and the inputs to build the schema for the world." One of our favorite quotes from this video was when Mr. Crosby said, "It's hard to be able to imagine what could be if you don't know anything about what is. And if it's hard to imagine, where does your creativity spark from? If you don't have a lot of imagination and creativity, where do you build your passion from?" Those few sentences are very powerful. They make you think deeper and you start to ask questions.

In this video, Mr. Crosby's students did a balloon project where they created "high hopes" cards and then they created a place to put all of the cards, their pictures, and cameras for filming the process. Once they created a place for all of these objects they tied it to a balloon. After the balloon went out of site they went back in their room and tracked the balloon. They were able to watch the balloon in real time. The students were also instructed to come in and write about what they saw, what they did, and then they swapped pictures with each other. It didn't even stop when it landed because they were in a learning network. They are tied into other students from across the world, and they started getting messages about how some students wanted their own teachers to do some of the same projects as they had done. 

They would Skype different classes and the students from Mr. Crosby's class (that had already articulated these projects in writing) showed the other students exactly how to do them. Mr. Crosby said, "When you're working/ dealing with second language learners, articulating it in speech is a whole different ball game, and by practicing, they are reviewing the material, and most importantly they get to shine. They get to show off what they know."  

By doing projects like these, language is at focus. They  learn to read and write to learn- content, they use writing to clarify and share, they write to tell a story, they use creativity, they learn to give and receive feedback, they learn to articulate orally, they connect globally, they become aware globally, and they have an authentic audience.  

Mr. Crosby says, "This is active learning. This is empowering students to become learners. Now we are empowering kids to learn on their own. To use a lot of these 21st century tools like; connecting, empowering, being active, including, motivating, and collaborating, allows them to do just that." We agree with Mr. Crosby that by using these tools, we are connecting students to the world. He said it best when he said, "We can't just keep racing kids through school, it can't be a race. We have to keep making sure that we are giving them opportunities to build schema for the world."

"Blended Learning Cycle" by Mr. Paul Andersen "Blended Learning Cycle" video was made by Paul Andersen. Mr. Andersen's video was actually a podcast to discuss and inform others about the "Blending Learning Cycle". Mr. Andersen explained that last year he presented at TED Talk on "Classroom Game Design" and how he turned his classroom into a video game. He said last year " was a great year, however, it strayed a little from what he knew about the power of the question in his science class." Mr. Andersen depicted an image that we found humorous. The image below, is from the "Blended Learning Cycle" video. It is from 19th century France, predicting what students will look like in the year 2000. We agree with Mr. Andersen, our classrooms do not look like this, however, our classrooms have changed tremendously. 



"A 19th Century painting that predicting what students would have looked like in the year 2000"Mr. Andersen made a great point, he had a great year, but the class strayed. So over his summer, he assessed himself and became more inspired about his classroom. He then explains what he found during his rethinking process. He came up with a way to incorporate "The Blending Learning Cycle" into his Science Class.  Mr. Andersen defined Blended Learning as taking compelling parts of online, mobile, and the classroom, then blend them together using technology in a positive way. The next part of the cycle are the 5e's: Engaging, Explore, Expand, Explain, and Evaluate. When starting with "Engaging," you as the teacher want to engage the students with an opening question. Mr. Andersen explained it as the "hook." The second "e" is "Explore". After you have given the engaging question/opening question allow for the students to explore/investigate/inquire on their own with books, technology, etc. Next, is to "Expand." Here, Mr. Andersen uses videos or podcast. He says it allows to free up his time to assess his students. Now for the fourth "e," Mr. Andersen said his students "Explain" by elaboration with diagrams, reading, etc. Lastly, "Evaluation" was covered.Here Mr. Andersen assesses his student's understanding of the content. It is here that he will use a video or podcast that students can watch, so he is able to have individual time to ask questions to his students before his students have to take their Summary Quiz at the end of their lessons. Mr. Andersen then finishes his podcast by explaining that when you combine the Blended Learning and the Learning Cycle you get a "Blended Learning Cycle." 

"Making Thinking Visible" by Mark Church In the video "Making things visible", Mr. Church has his students work in small groups to have a discussion about a video they had watched the day before, concerning the topic of early human beginnings and the origins of human society. In order for his students to capture the "heart" of what the unit was all about, he asked his students to talk about the "puzzles" in their small groups and to come up with a headline to capture what the "puzzle and challenge of the search for human origin" was all about.  

One of Mr. Church's students asked her group, "How could we sum up everything that we have been talking about in one phrase?" We agree that through communication and collaboration, the thought process among these groups become visible. After discussing each groups headlines, Mr. Church then puts the headlines up on bulletin boards to be displayed. After two weeks more of the same unit and when the kids do a final project, Mr. Church is going to ask them "What's the headline now? How has the story changed? How has your thinking changed?"  

This video was a great example of seeing thinking become visible. Communication and collaboration are some of the 21st century tools that we have been studying and to see children work and think together definitely proves that they are important tools needed all throughout life. "Making Thinking Visible the book"

"Super Digital Citizen" - Building Comics by Sam Pane The focus in the video "Super Digital Citizen Building Comics" by Sam Pane was "How to become a super digital citizen." Mr. Pane is a fifth grade teacher at Wilson Focus School in the Omaha Public School District in Nebraska. He teaches all curriculum's which include: reading, math, science, and social studies. 

In this video, Mr. Pane asks his students "Who is really in charge of using the internet safely?" The video in this lesson is about how to be a good digital citizen and being able to evaluate when you go to websites, what kind of information they might be after. Mr. Pane brought up a quote from Spider-Man which was, "With great power comes great responsibility." He then asked his class, "What kind of power does the internet give us?" They had a class discussion and then they talked about what it means to be a digital citizen ("someone who chooses to act safely, responsibly, and respectfully, whenever they are online"). 

The project Mr. Pane gave his students was to build a comic showing safety, responsibility, and respect. They were to design a digital super hero that would step in, in order to save the day. The website that these students used is one that allows people to build their own super digital character. They were allowed to pick from three basic designs and then they were able to modify and customize it as much as they wanted. These students did their projects on Mac laptops. "A student creating a super digital citizen" Mr. Pane said, "Matching up with English, Language standards is a huge deal in this lesson because the students have to create their super digital citizen and then they have to actually take that and put them into a imagination situation." 



They are creating a narrative between themselves and their super hero. They also use pictures of themselves along with their super hero characters, which creates a sense of ownership for them. Mr. Pane said, "Building comics are a great way to do a visual presentation of learning and of text. We can also use this as a way to teach dialogue (text bubble)." When the students were finished creating their comic, they got up and walked to a different laptop to read someone else's comic. Then they had to determine if the person used examples of safety, respect, and responsibility. Mr. Pane said the bottom line is that "Students are going to be exposed online to all sorts of opportunities, and he wants his students to know that they're choices they will have to make, and that it's going to take a super digital citizen to make these choices." 

We really liked this video because building comics is a great idea to use in classrooms. It used many of the 21st century skills including communication, creativity, collaboration, and it was also very engaging. The students looked like they really enjoyed this project and any project that promotes learning but is also fun at the same time, is always a great project.