Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Poet's Weave...

Is a podcast that can be subscribed to through this link...http://www.podcastalley.com/podcast_details.php?pod_id=47054 It could be used in any English class during a poetry unit. It is very interesting because it is a weekly-five minute program which poetry is shared that is written a town in Indiana. Sometimes regional poets will air their own poetry on the show. I think this would be valuable for students to view because it will give them ideas and they may be able to better relate to some of the other poems and poets that will be reading their poetry rather than just the teacher. Every student learns and is touched in different ways this is just one other small opportunity that students can listen to other respected poets and maybe give them the desire and drive to write something meaningful and magnificent on their own. I think podcasts can be very useful in the classroom especially in the older grades where students like to explore the world outside of their own classroom.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Internet tools and Global cooperation

With so many internet tools currently available and global cooperation projects for students and teachers around the world-the way in which students are learning in the schools is concurrent with new technology. I would like to see global cooperation websites, like iEarn use tools like www.surveymonkey.com It would be an easy way to get feedback from around the world. Any topic that you wanted information on would be available simply by making a survey specifically regarding your interests or needs.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Global Cooperation

I recently reviewed some interesting global cooperation websites. One was iEARN and the other was Kidlink. They were both very interesting and valuable but different. iEARN is an excellent not for profit tool where students and teachers across the world can work together through the internet to improve the quality of life on the planet. They do so by creative service learning projects in which classrooms across the world can link up, discuss and work together to towards their specific project. Projects can include planting flowers at the same time as children in other areas of the world and keep records of growth and sharing them with classrooms that are doing the same thing. Sharing folktales using art and text from their country is another project that has been done. This website enables students to participate in meaningful projects with their peers around the world to make a difference as global citizens.
Kidlink was different in that it was a user-owned organization and the students were not participating in projects specifically but more as an open communication system with kids like them all over the world. Each child has their own profile in which they can communicate with other children in any of the 176 other countries that participate. Users are somewhat younger in this system, often ranging between ten and fifteen years old. The site really helps the children to set life goals and talk about their personal interests. There was one particular link that I liked, kids clicked on what they wanted to be when they grew up and discussed why they chose that career. Then there was a link at the top of that page and the kids had to write how they could accomplish that goal. It was interesting to see the kids’ responses. This would be an excellent way to get kids to learn language, interact with students from around the world and also to help find themselves. I see children really getting a lot out of this website.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Power Teaching Video

After searching for some videos to use in my classroom, I came to a video about a "Crazy Professor" game which I thought would be very useful. During reading time, students read to a partner with dramatic enthusiasm, using hand gestures and even props. This makes sure that the students are paying attention to each word and are able to better paraphrase and comprehend what they are reading to a new level. The "Crazy" game ensures that students are not bored while they are reading. The video can be used by teachers to learn how to implement this tool in their own classroom and also the video can be shown to the students so that they can better understand their new "crazy" way of reading in class.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


After watching some fellow tweeters on my twitter account, I see how fun and useful tweeting can be. However, it is kind of hard to understand what is going on sometimes on some pages. You have to scroll down to see where a conversation started. I see twitter being most useful for when people post links and quick references of information on an educational account. I like it for personal use as well, I can see how it is fun and people really feel connected to people that they know. I also thought it was neat how celebrities are using twitter. It makes you feel like you know whats going on.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Microblogging continued....

However, to the contrary of the learning experiences that microblogging is useful for, there are people who perhaps disagree. I read an article titled, “More on Academic Twittering: Breaking Down the Classroom Walls” which can be found at this link http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/2825/more-on-academic-twittering-breaking-down-the-classroom-walls. David Parry has been a supporter of twitter and microblogging for educational purposes. It seems not everyone is on board with what he is saying. One quote from the article that stuck out in my mind was, “…these ‘new’ ways of socializing such as Facebook and MySpace are where students are forming their learning communities, ones which do not entirely, perhaps only minimally, overlap with their classroom experience. Thus to extend the walls of the classroom, make education relevant to all aspects of students lives rather than just what they do four-five hours a day we need to think of ways to extend the ways we form and foster learning communities.” However teachers are claiming that when they do form these networks of communication with their students, they will block them from their page. This is giving mixed signals in that students do not want to be networking with their superiors outside of school. Many students are using microblogging for peer socialization, not for education. But I think there are certain boundaries that need to be set, if there is something personal on your page that you don’t want anyone to see then you shouldn’t put it on or you should make a separate page for only your friends to view. The possibilities of learning opportunities with microblogging are so incredible it’s a shame to throw it away because students are not ok with their teachers or professors viewing their personal lifestyles on their webpage.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Microblog uses in the classroom!

After reading a couple of articles on microblogs, I have realized how many great ways they can be used in the classroom for education. This one article that I read, "Can we use Twitter for Educational Activities?" (Grosseck, Holotescu, 2008) had some really great insights. The article can be located at this link for your own reading http://www.scribd.com/doc/2286799/Can-we-use-Twitter-for-educational-activities. "People use twitter to communicate, to ask questions, to ask for directions, support, advice, and to validate open-ended interpretations or ideas by discussing with the others. Twitter has mashed up personal publishing and communication, the result being a new type of real-time publishing" (Grosseck, Holotescu, 2008).
Microblogging has the potential to create a positive impact on education due to so many ways of its uses. It can change classroom dynamics, it is easy to get information, keeps people connected that might never otherwise have met, it keeps track of conversations students carry on of a topic, requires summarizing, teachers can be available, it connects students to the real world and quiet students can finally be heard! Some of the more specific ways microblogging can be used in the classroom based on the article is that it promotes writing as a fun activity, fosters editing skills and the development of literacy skills. Questions and responses can be set to a group in the classsroom, it develops online discourses. Students can have an audience to their thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. They can send notes, manage meet-ups for studying and group work. Collaboration across the school or even the country has just been made easier with microblogging as well! It seems the possibilities are endless.