Adventures in Twitter!

I’ve chosen to use Twitter as my Social Learning site during this course. I’ve followed multiple educators, as well as companies promoting unique and interesting ways to present curriculum to the student and school districts. I’m looking forward to the new tools and resources that Twitter will open up to me. Follow me on Twitter! Image

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Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century

“If we teach today’s students the way we taught them yesterday, we rob them of tomorrow”

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Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century explores five different ways in which technology is being used to enhance learning in the classroom and out. I was extremely blown away by the amount of creativity in the use of technology that is being implemented in the classroom and as a technique for learning! I was particularly interested in the Manhattan based school Quest 2 Learn, the use of video games in the classroom was taboo when I was growing up and I never would have thought the educational purpose they could serve. These children are having to create these games, by doing so they are creating problems for someone to solve, to move to the next level in a video game you must solve the problem in order to win – the children are learning, but they’re having fun while doing so. As was said in the video, you can’t move to the next level without knowing and learning what’s on the one before – the child has already been assessed, learning and assessment are the same thing. I thought that was a very interesting and eye opening concept, instead of memorizing facts the information is presented to the children in such a way that it makes for an extremely rich, creative and unique learning system.

“Free Technology for Teachers” Blog

For this assignment, I explored the blog “Free Technology for Teachers”. I was immediately pulled in as I think this is a great tool for educators and to utilize when implementing the use of technology in their classroom in addition, this blog is also beneficial for parents when helping children study at home. The author, Richard Byrne, delves into and researches free websites, technologies and applications that can be used in classroom across a broad spectrum of school subjects he also really goes into how using technology can improve teaching skills and enhance learning. 

On the homepage there are links to different areas of the blog one of which being tutorials for anyone wishing to learn all of the tools that Google has to offer. Also, as iPads are increasingly becoming more available to classrooms to use as an aide in learning, Byrne includes a link on his blog for iPad Apps for School and under each app is a description of how to use the particular app and what it can be used for. Byrne also includes links to Resources for various other technology and teaching blogs.

One post I found extremely interesting and informative was How to Create a Website or Blog, Byrne really dives into all logistics of a website and blog, including Power Points and videos on how to create an effective online hub (i.e. blog, website, wiki), he lists options for blogs and tools to create websites and under each gives a detailed description of the site and how to navigate the use of it. I also particular enjoyed the last Power Point on this post, Byrne, gives step by step instructions for teacher on creating a quiz or test through a Google Document. The thought of having a quiz/test through this medium had never crossed my mind before.

Check out Free Technology for Teachers when you have time, it’s a really interesting and informative blog that you’re bound to come away from with some new knowledge!

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Standard of Learning Focus – 4th Grade Social Studies

This semester the standard of Learning Focus I would like to hone in on is fourth grade social studies, particularly Virginia history and the Colonial era. Growing up and attending elementary school in Virginia I’ve always been interested in the state of Virginia’s history and remember 4th grade’s history lessons were one of my favorites. Field trips to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, Mount Vernon would be a fun way to teach the history of this state as well as an interactive hands on approach to learning. Class room activities using smartboards, educational videos and in-class group activites such as implementing a “Colonial Day” are forms of teaching I would like to use when teaching this specific standard of learning.