Archive for February, 2013

Week 6. The Flipped Classroom.


23 Feb

The flipped classroom: interesting and great idea but it’s not always delivered properly. Having students view a video outside of class and then in class just work on work sheets or work on writing a paper is not the correct way to deliver the flipped classroom model. The main point of a flipped classroom is to give the students more interaction time with both their peers and their teachers.

As a student there have been many times where I have zoned out in class. The teacher is just going on and on, I’m tired or bored or whatever, either way I’m not engaged so I end up retaining very little to no information. I’ve walked out of many classrooms thinking to myself, “what was the point of coming to class today? I didn’t learn anything.” I’ve also had classrooms that are hands on and interactive which make the class fun and I remember a lot more. I prefer the 2nd teaching method, obviously. Which is why I really like the flipped classroom method.

Even though I like the flipped classroom method that doesn’t mean I don’t have some concerns. As a future Elementary school teacher I worry about how useful this method would be my classroom. Elementary school students tend to have less access to computers and the internet than high school or college students. So that brings up the question of “how do you get the students to watch the videos if they don’t have access to a computer?” This video that I found on youtube shows a 4th grade teacher using the flipped classroom method in her classroom and it also shows how she deals with the fact that many of her students don’t have access to computers outside of school.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_55kgyRjqQ

Personally I think she did a wonderful job! Also, the students really seemed to enjoy it and she was getting great results!

I really like the flipped method because I think when it is done correctly a teacher has the ability to reach all of the students’ learning abilities. As we know students learn at different speeds and in different ways and I think the flipped method allows teachers to meet individual needs more easily than a traditional classroom.

While I do not think the flipped method is best for all subjects at the elementary school level I really think their are subjects that it can be useful for. I hope to do more research on the method and I hope the idea continues to catch on so that educators can become more proficient at it and we can keep developing ways to engage the students in the classrooms rather than just lecturing at them and then having them do worksheets. We want learning to be fun and engaging! We want students to be able to critically think, problem solve and enjoy learning, not walking out of class and wondering why they even came to school and I really think that the flipped classroom method is a great step to doing that.

Week 5-Video


17 Feb

This week we had to make a video based on a lesson plan that we would teach. For this assignment I decided to do a lesson for a 5th grade class on the Civil War. I created a video that was an introduction of the War, I think it come out great if I do say so myself! I found the website we used (animoto.com) very use friendly and a lot of fun to use! Finding the pictures via google advanced search and using only pictures that licensed to be re-used ended up being a bit of a challenge. It took a lot of clicking and a lot of time but eventually I came across “Life Magazines” flicker account, where their pictures could be reused, so that ended up being very very useful!

Personally, I think this tool could be very useful to a teacher. I plan on using it in my class. It’s a fun way to introduce a subject or even review a subject. It’s something that would really engage the students and you could even allow the students to create their own videos, which I think would be a lot of fun. What kid wouldn’t enjoy making their own video about what specifically they found interesting and fun about a specific topic or unit? It’s different from the everyday report and it allows the students to use skills that they are most likely using everyday on their own anyways.

As I said, I very much enjoyed this assignment and I will be using this tool in the future classroom!

my video: please take a look! http://animoto.com/play/s1BCK6NKVC0J9huXPfrbfA

 

 

 

 

Week 4. Information Literacy and Creativity.


08 Feb

Let me start by saying this: I’m 24 years old. I’ve grown up with the internet at my finger tips. Computers have been part of my daily life pretty much since the age of about 10. I consider myself to be pretty intelligent when it comes to the internet and technology and I HATED the Scratch program. I had the most difficult time using scratch. It wasn’t easy to use even after looking at the videos, I never actually figured out how to change the background color and my video is the most simplest thing in the world but at least I tried. Even though it is supposedly a super easy program to use I found it very frustrating and hard to follow and understand. I’ve never been very good at creating nor have I ever had the desire to create my own videos, so I found the scratch program very frustrating, difficult and annoying. I did watch some youtube videos to help me understand the program a bit better and I even enlisted the help of my husband and my good friend. My husband is an IT and writes computer codes and my friend has her degree in graphic design. I think the idea of scratch is a very neat and creative idea but I truly believe that even though it is a “simple” tool, it still isn’t for everyone. I didn’t find it useful for myself personally. I can see how it could be possibly be used in a classroom if a teacher wanted to create a plant cycle video that students can interact with or even if the teacher wanted to let the students create their own video for a project I believe this program could be very useful. However, if a teacher is going to use this program in their classroom they need to make sure they have extensive knowledge of the program, can explain how to use the program very, very well, and can remain very patient as their students learn the program, the teacher should also be prepared to have this project take up a lot of time. I personally do not plan on using this in my future classroom for a few different reasons 1. I don’t know how to work it  2. It takes up way too much time to even do the simplest animation and 3. I don’t know how it would be useful in a lesson plan. What would my students really gain from it?

I did find the Technorati website interesting and very useful. I think it would be a great tool to use in the classroom or at least expose students to because they can gain a lot of information from it. Also, since we have to use twitter for this class it got me wondering how as a teacher I could use twitter in my classroom? I don’t know if it would be possible especially since I want to teach at the elementary level but at least it got me thinking because I never would have considered twitter before.

Looking at other classmates blogs I found that I wasn’t the only one who was frustrated and annoyed. I have to admit, that made me feel better because I felt pretty stupid while using the program. Angela and Cassie expressed many of the same issues I did: not being able to get things to work, taking a lot of time to do some simple things, and not being able to change the background color were just a few of the same issues we had in common. I’m glad it wasn’t just me.

Week 3. Copyright.


01 Feb

 

To find the picture of the Washington Monument that I used I went to google search and used the advanced search tool and clicked on “labeled for reuse”. Then I typed in “a famous building in Washington DC” and a few different pictures came up but not as many as I actually thought would, which was a little frustrating but oh well. It amazes me how many pictures that had nothing to do with Washington D.C. came up. For example there was a picture of a couple in front of a lake on their wedding day……how random is that?

Here is my picture:

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Modeling this skill to students is very important because students need to take responsibility for what they use in their work. They also need to develop this skill because this skill is something that they will need to use in their lives even after they have graduated from school. Students need to be able to find their own sources, they also need to know which sources can be reused and which sources can not be reused. Up until this point in my school career I had no idea that I couldn’t just take any picture off of google that I wanted to and I’m in graduate school. How come no one ever taught me that? I find that very interesting and a bit alarming. As teachers our “goal is the have students think broadly and deeply using skills, behaviors and dispositions that they will need for a lifetime” (Coffman p. 25). I look at this skill as being a useful skill that I will keep using now that it has been taught to me but again I ask, why wasn’t I taught it earlier? Copyright issues are a huge deal. I was constantly reminded when writing a paper to site my sources of risk getting a failing grade or even worse getting kicked out of school, but no one eve said anything about copyrighting pictures off of google. As teachers we need to make sure that we are teaching our students the right information that will help them be successful in their lives.

All in all I found this activity very useful and insightful. I became aware of things that I didn’t even know existed like google’s advanced search tool. I also became more aware of copyright information and tools that are available to me.

 

 

Resources:

1. NCinDC (photographer). (2011). Retrieved from:

monument/fdr

 

2. Coffman, T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom. (2 ed.). New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

 

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