Archive for January, 2013

Week 2

21 Jan

Let me start by saying that I did not like the look of the “21st Century Pedagogy” website. To me their website looked un-professional and honestly, ugly. I didn’t like the very bland look of the site or how it was organized, and I also found it hard to figure out where information was.

With that said onto this weeks blog!

Question 1: What do you think about each Web sites point of view?

I think the “Core Knowledge Foundation” and “Partnership for 21st Century Skills” (P21)  both had very interesting views on education. Their websites were also well organized and easy to navigate. Both websites were very clear on their purpose, clear on what information they think students are missing out on, and clear about what steps they believe should be taken to help improve our education system.

Something that I really liked was how P21’s stated that educational skills should be assessed, “A balance of assessments, including high-quality standardized testing, along with effective classroom assessments, offer students a powerful way to master the content and skills central to success.” Personally I am very against standardized testing and I do not believe it should be the only way to assess our students. I found it refreshing to explore a website that had creative and new ideas about education. P21 also states, “As much as students need to learn academic content, they also need to know how to keep learning — and make effective and innovative use of what they know — throughout their lives…” I thought this was a fantastic take on education! Much of education is based on memorization, especially since we use standardized testing, and memorizing information isn’t knowledge! It’s just being able to spit facts back out at someone when they ask you a question. Now do we want our students to know facts? Of course. But, we want them to know and understand the POINT of those facts. Think about this, a student is able to recall the dates of all the important battles of the Revolutionary War but they can’t tell you why the Colonists decided to go to war with England in the first place….is that real knowledge? In my opinion no. Just knowing the facts isn’t good enough, students need to be able to understand the facts and use them to make connections with the real world and life experiences. I think that is something that P21 is trying to do. They want students to know educational facts but they are also stressing the need for students to be able to develop skills that they can take with them into the real world so that they become productive members of society.

I think the philosophy of the Core Knowledge Foundation is great, “We believe that every person in a diverse democratic society deserves equal access to the common knowledge base that draws together its people, while recognizing our differing traditions and contributions. We believe that offering universal access to this shared knowledge is a primary duty of schooling, critical to literacy, and to the closing of the achievement gap between ethnic and racial groups. Most important of all, we believe that shared knowledge, a shared narrative, and shared ideals of liberty and tolerance are indispensable ingredients for effective citizenship and for the perpetuation of our democratic institutions.” I think it’s great that the foundation is fighting for educational equality for all students. The main purpose of the foundation is to make sure that all students get equal education and they they get the education they need to continue to build on their knowledge and education throughout the life of the student. While I do think 21st century skills are important I think many people get so caught up in the technology and the ways in which the world is changing that often we forget that we need to teach our students basic skills that they can build on. Without basic skills, like being able to read well, it will be very difficult for students to develop their 21st century skills and difficult for them to become successful world citizens.

How does what you read in each Web site change your view of how you should teach your subject area?

The Core Knowledge Foundation website didn’t change my view on how to teach my subject area, if anything it just re-enforced how much of an impact elementary school teachers have on their students. In elementary school is where many students are first taught how to read and write on their own and if teachers don’t help to develop those skills or does a poor job at developing them the student could struggle for a long time. Reading and writing are such basic skills that are needed for daily life. If anything the Core Knowledge Foundation stressed even more to me how much of an impact a teacher can have on a student and how important it is to be a good teacher.

P21 changed my view on how important it is for our students to learn new skills as well as their core skills. The world is a very diverse place and in order for our students to be successful in it they need to understand how other countries operate, how to work well with others, how to be respectful of others and their needs, how to critically think about issues and how to be able to work well with others to solve problems. Group work wasn’t stressed in my k-12th grade education I think because I wasn’t exposed to it at an early age is part of the reason I hate group work now. I mean I hate it, I much rather work alone than with other people but that just isn’t the way our society works anymore. P21 website helped me to realize that, helping me understand the positives to group work and that if I expose my students to it at younger ages they’ll develop skills that I never developed or didn’t develop until much later into my education.



P21. (2011). Framework for 21st century learning. Retrieved from


Common Core Foundation. (2013). Why knowledge matters. Retrieved from

INDT 501. Week 1.

18 Jan

Let me start off by say that the University of South Florida is absolutely amazing for coming up with the Technology Integration Matrix!

My first thought on seeing this website was, ‘What the heck is the Technology Intergration Matrix?’ Lucky for me the website explains exactly what it is: “The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students” ( Now, the website goes into more detail about the TIM but the above statement gets the point across. What a great resources for teachers to go to if they are struggling with ideas on how to use technology in the classroom or if they are sick and tired of the same technology and are looking for something new and exciting.

As most of us are aware, we live in a digital age. Students are growing up with more and more technologies so expecting them to come into the classroom and work only with paper and pencil isn’t going to work. The world around us has changed greatly in the last 15 years and as teachers we must adapt and grow in order to keep our students engaged and interested in learning.

I got so caught up in this website that I watched many different video! There were so many great and creative ideas that I couldn’t stop watching! Many lesson plans I wanted to make note of so that in the future I could use them in my own classroom.

This week we were instructed to find a video in the matrix that we thought was interesting, engaging and that communicated the information well to the students. We were also instructed to find a video that did the opposite.

Interesting Video:

The video that really stood out to me was the American Revolution Culminating Event. It was used in a 4th grade classroom and it was classified under: constructive learning, adaptation level, and social studies.
The objects of the lesson was the students needed to decide if the colonists should declare independence or remain loyal to the king and choose a technology to present their information. I love history but throughout my whole life I’ve always heard people say, “What’s the point of learning about history?” This lesson plan allowed the students to have some control over their learning because the teacher allowed them to choose with technology they wanted to use. In letting the students choose it helps them to stay more interested because instead of being forced to use a technology they may not like, they can pick a technology they love therefore the assignment becomes much more interesting and fun. I also thought it was great that the teacher told the students they had to pick a side and justify their reasons for either staying loyal or not against the king, just like the colonists had to do. In doing this it makes it so the students can relate to the people of the time period because just like the colonists they had to make a choice they needed understand the situation at hand in order to make and justify their decision.

Skeptical video:

The skeptical video I found was called Fish Facts. It was for a first grade class and it was classified under: goal directed learning, adaptation level and science.
The object of this lesson was to use the internet to find fish facts and then the students could either email the teacher, make a powerpoint or make a movie about the facts that they found. First of all I’m not so sure 1st graders know how to use powerpoint nor am I sure that they would know how to navigate a software well enough to create their own movie. I also didn’t like how the teacher just kind of sent them on their way to do research on their on on the internet. I felt like this lesson could have been more structured. It came across as the teachers just letting the students talk to each other and surf the internet hoping that they find facts about fish. I might be wrong, maybe the teacher’s plan was more detailed than the video showed but this video really made me stop and raise my eyebrow.

A technology that really stood out to me that I’ve seen first hand was a pollution program. It was a program that I used in my environmental science class  during my last semester of my undergrad program. Basically, the program used cars and other things that pollute the air to show us the type of damage that it is causing to our environment. The program started off with one car and then we added more cars and we got to see what happened to the air, the earth’s temperature, and the ozone layer as we added more and more pollution. It was really neat because it actually gave you something to see rather than just assuming damage was being done to the ozone layer, which is something we can’t physically see. I’m not sure which categorizes it would fall under….I know for sure it would be collaborative learning because we were using the programs in groups, and it also might be authentic learning because we were learning about our environment and pollution which is a real thing that is effecting our lives.



Florida Center for Instructional Technology. (n.d.). The technology integration matrix. Retrieved from

Thoughts of a Future Teacher

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