Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Blog Post 14/15

I feel that EDM310 has really opened my eyes to just how much education has changed. When I was in high school there were hardly any types of technology available for the students to use. Now every single student has access to either an iPad or Macbook. These tools have become an essential part of a student's education. This course has helped me to become more comfortable with the many types of Project Based learning that I will have to adapt to when I begin my teaching career. While I have definitely not completely grasped all of the concepts, I do feel as though I am well on my way. I would say that my strengths in regards to PBL and technology as a whole are well suited for today's modern education. I am very comfortable with many different programs that we have used and if not have been able to adjust quickly. I believe that I am a fast learner and will be able to help my students access the full capabilities of the technology they have available to them today. I will also say that I still have some weaknesses that I need to work on. My organizational skills are lacking and that is not a very good characteristic to have as an educator. I need to stay organized so that I can keep track of my students many projects. I also think that i need to develop a larger network of professional resources that I can use for inspiration to advance my own teaching methods in the future.


The video, How to Make an Audio QR Code, was very interesting to me. I did not know that you can assign audio to a QR Code. I always thought that QR Codes were only used to pull up pictures or websites. This could be an excellent tool to relay information to students as well as their parents.

The use of iPads in the videos, iPad Reading Centers, Poplet, Alabama Virtual Library, and iMovie Trailers show the multitudes of ways that iPads can be such an effective way of teaching. They are so versatile and will only continue to get better as more apps are developed. The iPad Reading Centers seems like an excellent way for students to hear themselves read the stories back to themselves. Practicing this allows for the student to hear where they messed up and also go back through the material for a second time. Poplet is an excellent PBL tool that the students use to complete their project. They must look up information/images and then place them in the diagram in order to present them to the class. Alabama Virtual Library is a great online resource that the students can go to for info on book. 

The Build a Board video gives an example of another way that iPads are great tools for PBL. The kids set up their virtual "Board" that shows the information they have collected on a particular subject. After they have completed the assignment they then present their findings to the class. 

In Twitter for Educators and We All Become Learners the focus is on technology not only changing education, but also the educators themselves. Twitter is discussed as a very insightful resource that can bring the ideas of the entire world right to your computer screen. Twitter gives the ability to listen and respond to education professionals instantly. These new technologies have also turned the table on the balance of learning in the classroom. The students are no longer the only individuals who are learning. Teachers are actually being taught by their students now! Technology allows for students to be able to show off what they have learned to their classmates as well as their teachers. As educators we must keep our eyes and ears open because we never know what we are going to learn next.

21st Century Educator Skills

C4Tp #4

The Langwitches post, Building Good C.U.L.T.U.R.E., Ms. Tolisano discusses how sharing through Twitter can lead to new ideas forming. She shares how a simple tweet directed at her lead to her creating a new piece of educational art. The tweet showed an acronym on how to build a good C.U.L.T.U.R.E. = Collaborate. Understand. Love. Trust. Unite. Respect. Empower. This simple phrase becomes a motto of sorts just by being shared through a social media source. This is an example of how quickly ideas can grow in this modern age of the internet.


The Blogging Kraken: How to Keep Up with All Your Students' Blogs?, is a post about effectively monitoring your classes' blogs. She discusses the importance of blogs in developing a student's ability to document, reflect, organize, and use critical thinking. The importance of feedback from teachers to students is also highlighted. After discussing the importance of having students create blogs she then details how a teacher should set up an effective system for keeping track of them. Using the RSS Reader, Feedly, teachers are able to organize the blogs. Creating this system of organization allows for quicker review times, the ability to search through the blogs, keep up with when students post and keep track of your grading progress. Ms. Tolisano stresses that having an organized system is the best way of properly keeping track of the student' blogs. 

The Blog Kraken

C4Ta #4

On his website, The Flipped Coach, Jason Hahnstadt discusses many of the ways that technology and "flipping" the classroom has assisted him in his coaching career. In his post, Google Chrome Screencasting With Snagit App, he talks about a helpful program for creating videos of your computer screen. He explains that this program is very easy to use and allows him to make videos of his computer screen so that he can use it to teach his students. After creating a video he is then able to share it with his students so that they will have the information they need for the following day of class. He also talks about how it is an effective way for coaches to share and review game film with their players. I found the fact that this app is connected to Google Drive to be a major asset. Having access to Google Drive gives the ability to easily save a video as well as a simple method of sharing.

Coaching Football

Mr. Hahnstadt writes about how iBooks and iBooks Author, are great programs with many educational uses. He begins this post by talking about a recent iBook he had viewed called 101+ Pro Style Pistol offense Plays. This iBook is a collection of offensive football plays. This is a great example of how technology is becoming more and more present in sports. He also talks about the many different features that the iBooks programs offer. Mr. Hahnstadt encourages coaches to create their own iBooks so that they are sharing their knowledge of the game, and sometimes even making a profit in the iBooks store. Finally, he talks about how accessible these books are for students through the use of their iPads. Teachers are now able to create interactive books that relay the information they are trying to teach to their students in an effective manner.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blog Post #13

In the video, Teaching History in the 21st Century, Thomas Ketchell discusses the ways in which today's history teachers have begun to adapt new methods of teaching. He talks about how the old outdated methods of teaching history are no longer able to capture the interest of today's students. 

The first example he gives is of his own creation. He discusses how he used Twitter in order to discuss London's Great Smog of 1952. By using the hash-tag, #GreatSmog, he tweets as though he is an individual living through that event. By using this perspective he is able to make the Great Smog come to life for his students and followers. This method allows for the use of technology that the students can utilize and also engage them by making it seem as though it is a real-time event. 

Great Smog

The second method he discusses is the creation of a student. By using the game, Minecraft, the student is able to actively engage himself with the material he was covering in his history class. The student creates an entire Roman Bathhouse on this program that he can connect with. From this creation he actually learned to speak Latin and eventually began giving virtual tours of his creation. This is an amazing example of a student's creativity that actually helped him to process the material. 

Minecraft Roman Bath House

The final example in the video is about educator, Enrique Legaspi  who also uses Twitter to reach his history students. Collaboration between the students is amplified through the use of Twitter. They are able to discuss a topic or event through a common hash-tag. He has seen an increase in student participation and even participation from the more reserved students. This has led to all of his students feeling they have a role in the classroom. 

I feel that these methods discussed would definitely aid my history education. The incorporation of tools such as Twitter would allow for more collaboration among me and my classmates. The creation of 3D models through the Minecraft engine is something that i would be very interested in. It would be a very exciting project to build a replica of historical buildings. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Blog Post #12

What Assistive Technologies Are Available To You As A Teacher?

Man holding ipad

The advancement of technology has led to many new doors being opened for individuals with impairments. Students who are blind or deaf now have many more tools to assist them in their academic careers. I believe that it can be argued that the iPad is at the top of the list of most important technologies created for the impaired. As shown in the video, iPad Usage For The Blind, the iPad comes straight out of the box with the ability to be configured for a blind individual. Through the built in program, Voiceover, the contents of the screen are read aloud. By having this ease of access, the iPad has made it possible for the visually impaired to be able to do things such as read a book or even search iTunesU for academic materials. One can see that this would not only help the student in their studies, but also aid the teacher in being able to educate. The accessibility of the iPad would allow the educator to assign reading materials to the entire class. This would also make the grading and feedback process more efficient for teachers because the students with visual impairments are now able to use email as a means to submit work.

Many apps are being developed to take advantage of the iPads boundless capabilities. The e-book, Reach For The Stars, is just one example of developers trying to create a method for blind students to experience science and the universe. Astronomer Elena Sabbi, the inspiration for the e-book states that, “And technology is improving so fast that we are sure you will be able to learn and do new things. Things are becoming more reachable.” I believe that this is the main way that technologies such as these assist educators the most. They give teachers the ability to reach the impaired students nearly just as effectively as their general students. These tools allow for an impaired student to have a much greater chance at discovering that subject or topic that they connect with and want to study deeper.

 - Russell McDuffie

The Mountbatten, an electronic machine used to write braille, is very beneficial not only with the blind student but for the instructor and fellow classmates. The device uses word processing and provides audio feedback to ensure the correct character was selected. The use of the iPad for deaf/blind students in Having a Great Time Teaching demonstrates how effective such modern devices have become in the world of education.

Music notes

In the field of music education, a website entitled Blind Music Student lists several programs that would aid in a visually impaired child’s ability to read, compose, and perform music. Two programs that assist are Lime Lighter and Goodfeel. Lime Lighter creates a legible digital music score for individuals with low vision while Goodfeel serves as a music note-to-braille translator. Goodfeel also allows sighted teachers and other musicians to change typical sheet music into Braille without having any prior knowledge of the Braille system. Before Goodfeel was invented, converting musical notations into Braille could take six weeks to complete after sending the materials to a translator.

Another app that is widely popular with those working with exceptional children that fall under the Autistic Spectrum (along with several other developmental and intellectual disabilities) is Proloquo2Go. The features found in this program provide assistance with children who benefit from symbol support. Students can speak by tapping buttons with words/phrases, develop their vocabulary, and send emails/text messages.

-Vikki Turner

What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?
Currently iPads are becoming increasingly popular in all classrooms, and voice reader allows every student to participate even if a student is blind. Simply hovering over an application or icon allows the voice reader to read the name of the application aloud, and also instruct an individual to double click the icon in order to open it.

Computer Assisted Notetaking (CAN)
Students can enjoy full access to instruction in selected mainstream settings through the use of this real-time captioning system. An instructor or paraprofessional typing into a laptop computer, that is hooked up to a high-luminosity portable projector, will allow not only deaf students, but non-hearing impaired students to follow the instructions on an oversized screen or whiteboard at the front of the room. Hard copies of the notes will be edited into functional language-masters and provided to students at the end of the day for study at home.

A Mountbatten Brailer

The Mountbatten Brailer
The MB Learning System has been designed for children who need Braille. It is a fun and inclusive introduction to Braille literacy and provides a solid foundation for a lifetime of learning. Extensive research and development has resulted in a design suitable for the very first stages of Braille instruction through to high school and beyond.

-Melanie Lee

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Blog Post #11

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From These Teachers?

In his video, Back to the Future, science teacher Brian Crosby discusses the Project-Based Learning methods he uses in his classroom. He details how his students worked on a project using a high-altitude balloon as the basis. By creating the lesson plan around the journey of their balloon all the way to the Earth's atmosphere, Mr. Crosby is able to keep his students engaged and actively learning. Not only are the students able to learn about the science behind the balloon's travels, but also practice their writing skills by documenting it.

UP House

Mr. Paul Anderson discusses the Blended Learning Cycle in his video. He breaks down the way in which he teaches his students by unit. He uses the acronym "QUIVERS" in order to explain his method.

Qu - Question
   I  - Investigation/Inquiry
  V - Video
  E - Elaboration
  R - Review
  S - Summary Quiz

This acronym is used to summarize what the students complete throughout each assignment. He begins the lesson with an intriguing question which then leads the students to want to discover the answer. Once they have completed the assigned materials, an assessment is then given.

In Making Thinking Visible, Mark Church uses a video to propose an idea to his classroom. After viewing this video he asks the students to create a headline for that video's main idea as a group. He uses group collaboration in order to allow the student's to share their thoughts and work together to answer the question.

Sam Pane uses a very innovative method to teach his students how to be responsible online. The video, Teaching Digital Citizenship, shows how he uses technology in his classroom. Each one of his students create a super hero online and then get to use this character in their own comic strip. In this comic strip the students show themselves making poor decisions on the internet. The character they created then "saves" them from their mistake. This is an excellent method for teaching proper internet usage that allows the students to show how creative they are.

Project Based Learning shows a high school in Canada that has taken a new approach to teaching many of the core subjects. They have combined Language Arts, History and Information Technology into a blended course. The educators are able to create a more rounded learning experience by including these three courses together. The subject matter has been blended so that writing assignments also have historical implications as well. This also allows for the teachers to expect more from their students' abilities because of the increased amount of time they spend in this type of course.

Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program emphasizes the importance of public speaking and collaboration from their students. They state that they strive to teach the students lessons that they will use during everyday life in the future. A sense of community is represented in their PBL Program in which students work together in order to solve the problems they are assigned.


C4Tp #3

The Possibilities of Student Blogging

In this Langwitches post, the positive effects of students maintaining a blog are discussed. Silvia Tolisano, the website creator, has posted a video one of her colleagues filmed. In the video, Andrea Hernandez discusses the many ways that student blogging is beneficial to not only her students, but other students around the world. She talks about how they utilize a system of "quad-blogging" in which four different classrooms around the world are involved. The four classrooms in the video consist of the United States, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Thailand.  The students are able to learn about other parts of the world by having such diverse cultures actively participating with one another. The primary goal of the blog use is better quality writing. This better quality of writing will come after the student views critiques from the other global students.
Ms. Hernandez also talks about how important it is for the teacher to create the connections for the students. The educator must use their Personal Learning Network in order to set up an educational system such as "quad-blogging". This requires the teacher to be digitally active with resources such as Twitter to make these connections. The educator is able to bring a higher method of learning to their students by having these relationships built.  

Global Blog

Documenting FOR Learning

Ms. Tolisano discusses the importance of documentation in an educational setting in this post. She begins by stating that she had only used documentation in professional settings for use by other educators. By expanding how documenting is used, she sees that it can be used by many types of people besides educators. Ms. Tolisano shows that it can be useful for Teachers, Students and even School/Districts. Students are able to showcase their work and grade their learning growth. They are also able to create an electronic portfolio of their accomplishments. Schools/Districts are able to use documentation for parent/community involvement, attract employees, and develop their employees. Teachers are also able to create a portfolio, reflect and change lesson plans if needed, and evaluate their teaching methods through their students' progress.

Documenting gives the ability to make a record of past methods and reflect upon them. This reflection can lead to the creation of more effective methods for Teachers, Students, and Schools. She also gives a list of tools she uses for documenting: "Videos, Photos, Notes, Tweets, Blogs and so on." She is showing that documenting can be an important way of reflecting upon your past experiences in order to improve your future educational methods.

Organized Files

Project #10 - Teacher Interview

C4Ta #3

In his blog, The Physical Educator, Joey Feith discusses how technology is essential for the education of his students. He uses it as an outlet to share what tools and methods he utilizes through his teaching. In his post, How I Teach: Ash Casey, he interviews a PE teacher from the UK, Ash Casey, who uses technology in his course. Casey begins by giving some of his essential tools that he uses in the classroom. He lists items such as Keynote, Word, iStockphoto, Twitter and iAnnotatePDF. He states that these items allow him to expand his base of knowledge on a day to day basis. When asked about his classes he claims, "I am not afraid to look silly and I will hoop and holler and try to get my students engaged." This shows that he is very active with his students and will try all types of methods to get them actively participating. At the end of the post Casey discusses the best piece of advice he ever received. He admits that when he first started teaching he thought he knew everything, but he learned from his mentor that he had a lot of things he could change about his teaching style. Casey states, "I used to consider myself as the finished article until I came to realize that I am a co-learner in every session I teach." I found this quote to be very true because as an educator we should be learning from our students just as much as they are from us. We should not believe that we know everything already but instead be willing and able to learn new things.

Physical Education, Teacher Education

In the next post, Team #PhysEd Stories: Standards Based Instruction, Sarah Gietschier-Hartman discusses her grading method adjustments in her PE classes. She begins the blog talking about how in the beginning of her career she did not put much effort into her student's assessments. After reading the book, How to Grade For Learning: Linking Grades to Standards by Ken O'Connor, she decided to create new strategies for assessing her student's learning. Instead of continuing the standard format she had been accustomed to, she instituted a new one based on two components. These two components are Standards-Based Grading and Standards-Based Instruction. These are both more accurate representations of the students' achievements in the classroom. They are checked against the national/state standards that are set and allow the student and parents to compare their student with their grade level equivalent. She also created a more "kid-friendly" description of the grades:

Level 4 = "Wow!" (100%)
Level 3 = "Got It!" (89%)
Level 2 = "Getting There!" (79%)
Level 1 = "I need more practice. (69%)

By creating this new method she is able to relate these categories more effectively with her students. By giving them these "fun" terms for grades it gives the students a goal they want to achieve (Wow!). She talks about how it is important for the student's to understand the grading system in order to know what grade they want to obtain. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Blog Post #10

What Can We Learn From Mrs. Cassidy?

Mrs. Cassidy is a first grade teacher in Moose Jaw, Canada. She uses technology and project-based learning methods in order to instruct her class. In her video, Little Kids...Big Potential, a compilation of many of the kids at work is shown. It is very entertaining to see such young students being able to be so comfortable with technology. The students walk the viewer through the many different tools they use to enhance their learning. Items such as blogs, SMART Boards, and even Nintendo DS are used to give the student a very rewarding learning environment.

Technology in the Classroom

In Dr. Strange's interview with Mrs. Cassidy, they discuss how important the use of technology in the classroom is for modern day students. Mrs. Cassidy emphasizes the fact that the way students used to learn in the past is not going to be successful with today's students. She states that students do not have to "power down" when they come to class anymore. By having the same technology used in the class that they have at home, they are able to continue to build upon their prior computer knowledge. Students now have so many more resources at their fingertips because of the internet. Through the use of blogging and wiki pages her students are able to not only use the computer for their work, but also show it off to the world. Mrs. Cassidy discusses how being able to share their work brings so much excitement to the students. Obviously if the students are excited about what they are working on, they will want it to be high quality. Mrs. Cassidy can teach us that her use of technology in the classroom can allow us to maximize a student's learning potential by using the technologies available today.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Project #12 - SMART Board

Blog Post #9

What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project-Based Learning?

Project Based Learning

Project-Based Learning is a method in which students can be given a problem that peaks their interest and then must investigate how to fix it. Instead of just giving facts and later testing them on their memorization skills, PBL allows for the student to have to create their own path to success at the given topic. In, Seven Essentials for Project-Based Learning, a strong emphasis is placed upon the development of a topic that a student will be heavily interested in. They provide great examples of sparking student interest through the use of "entry-events" such as: videos, guest speakers, field trips and so on. By creating a "buzz" about the topic that the project is going to be based on, you have assisted the students in engaging with the material. The driving question is also a key factor in sparking student interest. This question allows the student to have a clear understanding of exactly what it is they are trying to accomplish.

In his video, Project-Based Learning for Teachers, Tony Vincent explains to teachers the benefits that come with Project-Based Learning. He describes it as, "While meeting the standards and creating an authentic product, students learn: Collaboration Skills, Communication Skills, Critical Thinking Skills and Career and Life Skills." He uses this video to show the multitude of ways that students gain critical skills through the use of PBL. At the end of his video, Mr. Vincent also shows a huge list of the many technology programs that can be used in Project-Based Learning. This video can be very educational to an educator who is considering developing a Project-Based Learning class and wants to know the positive aspects of this teaching method.

Andrew Miller discusses the effects of Project-Based Learning in his article, Project-Based Learning and Physical Education. He shows how using this teaching method can benefit the students in many different social and educational aspects. Mr. Miller gives an example in which high-school students are asked to create PE plans for students in middle school. This presents a task that allows them to work collaboratively on the development of a program to assist the middle school students. Through their collaboration the students are developing communication and presentation skills. These are tools that will not only be useful in academia, but also throughout their lives.

The video, Students Solve The Case of Watery Ketchup, is an excellent example of PBL. The students explain that they both shared a common interest/problem and then collaboratively worked together to find a solution. Through the use of the technology they had available to them, a 3D printer, they were able to put their ideas into physical form and create a solution to the watery ketchup problem. While this subject may not be viewed as "academic", the methods that these students employed to approach the topic are the most important.

Begging Ketchup Cartoon

PBL: What Motivates Students Today is a video about how today's students think. It shows that they have certain aspects of education that they deem most important. I found the student that talks about having his accomplishments publicly celebrated interesting. PBL is the perfect forum to be able to show off what you have worked on! Through instruments such as blogging on the internet, students are now able to share their work with the entire world. They are even able to get feedback from these individuals. Students will try harder and take more pride in their work by knowing that the public will be able to review it.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

C4Tp #4

Copyright Flowchart

The Langwitches blog is an excellent resource for all things educator related. The author, Silvia Tolisano writes about many different aspects that come with being a teacher. She constructs very insightful blog posts that are full of helpful information. This post is about the significance of copyright usage on the internet. She begins the post by talking about how "murky" using intellectual properties on the internet can be. In her view teachers should be held responsible for properly educating students on what materials they are allowed to use from the internet. This is an excellent point because I myself have never been taught the different laws that come with images/properties on the web. Through her research she has collaborated to create quite an extensive flowchart dedicated to properly identifying what materials can be used. This is a great tool for teachers and students to be able to call upon when they are questioning themselves.

Copyright Flowchart

The flowchart seems to be very user-friendly and goes step by step through many of the possible materials you could come across. As you move through the chart she goes into greater detail to narrow down the types of restrictions an item could possibly have as well as state the ways it can be used. As I stated earlier, I do not really understand the different levels of protection that materials have so this could definitely be a tool that I would be interested in using. 

In this post, Silvia Tolisano discusses how mediums such as blogging and Twitter can be used as a "Curation Platform." She uses this definition: "Content curation requires more than just the selection of information. It's the assembling, categorizing, commenting and presenting of the best content available." In other words you need to learn how to filter the information you are reading as well as passing on through your works. By consistently acquiring and sharing dependable work, you will be known for sharing trusted, informative works. She states that one must find a "niche" of sorts. Through this she means that you must organize and pass on info that is relative to one another. Through this you will be seen as a consistent source for that particular subject. The idea of being a "Curator" is a somewhat interesting one to me. Being able create a network of people who follow your info and also share their own can be a helpful tool in your studies. The most important aspect is that the information that is being shared is reliable. 

Sharing Information

C4Ta #2

MasterCoach Mystery Bag Challenge

In his blog, JonesytheTeacher, Brendan Jones writes about different methods and tools he uses for his PE classes. He uses this site as a way of sharing many of the effective ways he teaches his students.
MasterCoach Mystery Bag

In this post he discusses an activity he has created to get his students to think about how the games they play work. This is an interesting method because it makes the kids work together and use the items they are given to create a game of their own. Not only does it promote team-work, but also critical thinking because they have to create rules in which the game will be executed. After creating the game with the random items given, they then have to explain how the game will work to the  rest of the class. This is also important because it gives them practice at giving a presentation. Once the game is initiated he continues to ask them questions about the game such as: (How can it be made better? What would you change?) Not only is this game focusing on the physical aspects of PE, but also their mental problem-solving.

GoPro in PE

Mr. Jones discusses how recording video can be helpful during physical activity in this post. He talks about how he used his GoPro camera during one of his classes in order to get the player's point of view during a game of rugby. This is a really cool video because it shows the real-time action up close. I could see how this could be useful for football coaches and players. By being able to see what the player did on the field from this point of view, coaches could help correct and show them their mistakes. It would allow for a better understanding of plays by the players. This is another great example of how technology can be very beneficial in sports.
GoPro Mount

Blog Post #8

Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture

Wow, what an incredibly powerful video. Mr. Pausch gave an excellent lecture that perfectly sums up the basis of being an educator. Through the video he shows that he was able to achieve many of his childhood goals, one way or another, and how he was made a better person because of them.

Mr. Pausch uses this lecture to give an outline of how a person can not only better themselves, but also others around them. This is also very applicable to educators because making their students better people should be their primary goal. Through the use of his "head-fakes", he helped develop a new method of education. It is not about focusing on the material itself, but instead on the method in which it is learned. This idea was implemented in his Computer Science programs and showed great success. Through a series of project based learning principles, he created an environment for each student that was fun and academically rewarding. He stated that this method made hard subjects fun.

Learning is also a topic that Mr. Pausch covers in his lecture. He uses his own shortcomings and successes to show how he has learned over time. Self-reflection is a way in which the way we should all learn. Feedback from either your peers or teachers is a way in which you can gauge your own educational development.  By listening to this feedback, you can see how others perceive you.

I also really enjoyed this quote: “The brick walls are there for a reason. They are not there to set us back; they are there to let us show how badly we want something.”

Brick Wall

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Blog Post #7

21st Century Learning Tools
We have already learned about many different technologies in EDM310  that will assist us in the future as educators. While Dr. Strange has introduced us to many that he is familiar with, there is still a wealth of resources out there to discover. In this post I will look at different tools that I believe will help me not only as a Social Studies teacher, but also as a coach.

XOS Digital is a sports technology company that is developing new methods for coaches to use in video editing. Through the use of touch screens and projection devices coaches are now able to quickly relay information to their players. Looking at film from practice as well as games allow coaches to teach and correct their players. Through the utilization of communication tools such as these, coaches are able to be more efficient.
XOS Digital In Touch System

Football Playcard is another football coaching resource. It is an app that makes drawing up plays a lot more convenient. It is currently available in the iTunes store. This app allows your iPhone or iPad to turn into a drawing board for offensive plays. This method is a lot quicker and more efficient than old paper and pen playbook creation methods.

Google Earth and Google Maps are two resources that every Social Studies teacher should utilize. These tools give a visual representation for the area of that is being discussed. Students are able to see exactly where historical events took place. Teachers have begun to utilize these engines to make them even more beneficial for their students. ActiveHistory has a database of Google Earth resources that create overlays over the maps. 3D models of buildings such as the Taj Mahal, Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Great Pyramid of Giza allow teachers to show students ancient civilizations more closely than ever before. Overlays are also useful because they give a more interactive view of things such as battlefields on the map.
D-Day Map Overlay

Project #13 - Lesson Plan

Curious Critters!
Our group, Miami, decided to do a Lesson Plan on animals and their habitats. Through the use of hands-on props as well as internet research, our students will learn about how multiple animals live.
Koala Eating

Project Planner

Project Calendar

Project Checklist

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Project #8 - Book Trailer

Blog Post #6

Conversations with Anthony Capps

I heard many examples of how technology has become an integral component of learning throughout the conversations of Dr. Strange with Anthony Capps. These discussions give us a first-hand account of an educator in the field teaching his students through many of the methods we are learning in EDM310. These videos allow current EDM310 students to see the value of learning to incorporate technology into their teaching methods in order to be successful in their teaching careers.

Students with MacBooks

Mr. Capps discusses a program, iCurio, which I was not familiar with. His description of the site show just how valuable of a resource it can be. The first way in which it is helpful is by serving as an online search engine. This search engine differs from those we are accustomed to because of its search restrictions. In order to protect the students from the inappropriate material on the internet, iCurio has been filtered to only show educationally relevant materials that have been approved. It also provides a personal storage space for each student. By giving each student a space to save their work, they can have their work available to them at any time. iCurio also serves as a virtual organization tool. Instead of having files placed in the wrong places, the students know exactly where to find them. The historical figures directory also sounded like an excellent tool for student projects. By inputting a standard set of search criteria, the students have access to academic sources that help them find the people they are trying to study. Overall, iCurio sounds like an excellent resource that provides the students with a safe and organized tool that allows them to expand their learning abilities.

Discovery Education is another tool Mr. Capps highly recommends in the video. He discusses the importance of visual learning for the students. He describes the site as, "images and videos created by experts to allow students to research about many topics." Teachers can also use it as a resource to gather more information about their lessons.

In the video, Don't Teach Tech - Use It, a very important ideal is brought up regarding how the students are introduced to using the different computer programs. Mr. Capps argues that a "scaffold" approach should be instituted. You cannot just give the students a project that needs the use of multiple programs to complete. Instead, you must first assign smaller items that allow them to get accustomed to each piece of technology one at a time. As they use these programs they began to master their uses. By allowing them to "build" upon the earlier foundations set through earlier assignments, the students are able to show their mastery in the larger projects later on.

The final video, Additional Thoughts About Lessons, gives future educators a good tip about lesson planning for the school year. Mr. Capps uses a Russian doll analogy to give a visual of the process. To be successful as a teacher, you must break down your material into units so that the material is not overwhelming. This way the material is efficiently spread out in order to maximize student learning and retention as well as covering the required materials.
Matryoshka Dolls

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Project #3 Presentation

Blog Post #5

What Does Your PLN Look Like?

     A PLN (Personal Learning Network) is an integral resource that every educator needs to have. It is a way for a teacher to maintain professional connections to other members of their field. These connections are easily made and kept through social media such as Twitter and Facebook. The use of such platforms to keep contacts in the teaching profession allow for individuals to create a network of assistance to their growth. This system can be used to share ideas, dialogue about a variety of topics, and also discuss the effectiveness of certain teaching techniques. By being able to keep up with other teachers' progress, an individual can decide if those methods would possibly work in their own classroom.

People Networking

    As a future history teacher and football coach I have found myself being drawn to Twitter accounts that reflect my interests in these areas. Sources such as the Smithsonian History Museum give interesting information about many historically relevant subjects. Dan Carlin's Hardcore History also tweets about many excellent discussions and articles that really make a topic interesting. I also have kept many connections through My Facebook to former coaches and other individuals I met while playing football in high school. 

My Sentence Videos

My Sentence is...

My Passion is...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Blog Post #4


Asking Questions

Questions are an important aspect of any learning environment. They allow for a dialogue to be opened on a topic that can lead to a general discussion that can involve an entire classroom. By creating an environment in which the class is engaged, more students will be actively retaining the information. Dr. Maryellen Weimer supports this thought in her work, Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom, by arguing that the most powerful aspect of a question is not exactly the answer, but the process in which the answer is found. She states, "Sometimes we forget when questions are most powerful, when they best engage students, and when they are at their thought-provoking best. It’s in that space between the question and the answer." Dr. Weimer is showing that the thought process initiated in the students by asking a question is the most important aspect of their learning from it. They must recall back through their previous knowledge of the subject in order to conclude what the correct answer to the question is. She argues that you must keep the question unanswered for an amount of time in order to keep the students occupied in their attempt to answer it. The importance of the question by educators in the classroom is summed up in her conclusion, "We need to ask good questions so that students see the importance of questions—how they make us think and help us learn." 

The ways in which questions are asked are also an important factor. The student does not have to critically think when they are given a simple "yes or no" question. This question does not challenge them to have to go into detail about the answer they are choosing. As Dr. Andi Stix describes in her video, Open Ended Questions, there must be a higher level of thinking accessed in the student's response. By simply including the statement, "For what reasons..." or "Explain in detail..." as question openers, the students are challenged to explain their answers more thoroughly, which therefore makes them think harder about the answer. Invoking higher-level thinking and/or brainstorming will lead to student's learning more effectively from the method of questioning you use in the classroom.

C4T#1p (Silvia Tolisano)

"Blogging as Pedagogy: Facilitate Learning"

On her website, Langwitches, Silvia Tolisano blogs about teaching right now and in the future through technology. In this post she talks about how blogs can be an important tool used as Pedagogy. She uses another writer's definition (Ann Davis) to describe the term as "The strategies, techniques, and approaches that teachers can use to facilitate learning." This is an interesting way to view blogging, but it is one that we have quickly adapted in our own EDM310 class. I had never wrote blog posts prior to this course but have now used it as an essential educational tool.

Tolisano breaks down four primary areas that Blogging supports:

She then goes into further detail with each one of the categories in order to show the large amounts of benefits that come from Blogging in an educational setting. I found her comment on Reading to be very applicable when she stated that it "becomes a personalized content experience versus one size fits all approach." By having the content individualized for each student's blog, they will be more interested in the topic and therefore more willing to learn about it. The Writing portion also shows the effect of having your work in the public space. Since the writer of the blog will be viewed and critiqued by others from all around the world, they want to create the best form of their writing possible. 

Through this post she shows how the act of Blogging is an effective educational tool that can target multiple teaching skills with one assignment. I can see the overwhelming positive aspects of this Blogging method being adopted in education's future. 

In this post, Ms. Tolisano looks at how a math class has begun using a blog for their classwork. She is very excited and surprised that a math class has been able to incorporate the use of a blog because of the numerical aspects needed to be shown. 

She states, "The Math teacher instinctively understood that blogging is not just about writing. It is about “presenting” your work, your thoughts and products to a large audience FOR feedback. Blogging is a platform that allows students to think about their Math work." This is an important outlook on blogging; the students are now able to show their classmates the process of how they came up with the answer and are now able to get feedback on whether they made a mistake. This can be a very effective method of not only allowing students to help others in the class, but also retain it even more through the act of teaching it.

I really enjoyed the portion of this post when she shows the feedback of the students in these classes. It shows, similar to EDM310, how they are able to give instant analysis of their classmates' work. Whether it was a title needing to be corrected, offering up helpful websites for their classmates to use, or even just giving positive feedback on a job well done, the use of a blog by these students shows how effective the creation of an "online community" is for the classroom. 

McDuffie, Russell Project #15 - Search Engines

Bing is Microsoft's search engine. It is a very similar style to Google in the way it operates. Many of Microsoft's online sites such as MSN are also accessible from this site. It would be best used for common searches such as websites, images and videos.


Yahoo Search is run through the Yahoo website. It primarily brings you to sources affiliated with Yahoo more than any others. Since they cover so many different topics on their site I got somewhat bogged down when looking at their results page. I would only use it if I used Yahoo Mail as my primary email account.

Mercy-Designs is a search site that has tried to differentiate itself from the others. While it does take simple search parameters in its engine, the company has instead marketed itself as a "question" search engine.  You ask a question in the bar and it gives you either an answer or websites the answer is located. While it did not work as well as other engines listed before, I did like how it showed a couple of the most popular answers to the question on the sidebar.

Lycos is also a standard search engine that gives many of the same categories to search by such as Images and Videos similar to Google and Bing. It is a very simple website that is pretty much "bare bones" in terms of how it looks. It worked quickly but did not seem to gather near as many results to my search query.

Yummly is a website created for the single purpose of locating recipes. I had never heard of the website prior to this assignment but must say I am very happy I found it! The search function was very simple and almost any type of food you can think of was quickly located with a picture included.

WebMD is the most well known medical database on the internet. It is used to search for symptoms to ailments primarily. By typing in what type of condition you are experiencing, it gives you results that could give the reader better knowledge of what is causing their sickness. It is an                                                             excellent medical site that is easily accessible and fast to use.

Zillow is a search engine used to locate real estate that is for sale. You can limit your search to many different categories such as For Rent, For Sale, Location, Price and so on. Just by typing in a zip code you are able to see all land and houses that are for sale in the area. It also has an                                                               interactive map that is easy to use and very helpful at showing                                                                       surrounding areas.


WolframAlpha is a specialized engine that gives you much more than just "results" to your query. It is a scientific engine that gives you facts to your questions. Calculations to mathematical problems are also a specialty of this site. Not only will it give the numerical answer to a mathematical equation, but also plots on graphs and other forms of the answer that could be needed. 

McDuffie, Russell C4T The P.E. Geek

Physical Education


The PEGeek is a site dedicated to "Bridging the gap between Physical Education and ICT" (ICT is Information and Communication Technologies) The website creator, Jarrod Robinson from Victoria, Australia, provides an excellent resource so that other teachers can stay well informed on helpful technologies or applications that they can take advantage of. In this blog post he talks about many helpful apps that he has developed or highly recommends for fellow PE teachers. The first three apps listed below were developed by Jarrod himself. 

Music Beep Test App
Exercises such as Shuttle Run (Instead of annoying Beep, you can use songs from a playlist instead. The songs can be ranked by Beats Per Minute (BPM) so that the music gets faster as the test gets more intense. Also gives results (Poor, Good, Excellent) of your shuttle test by age. This app would be an excellent way for the students to enjoy doing the test as they listened to the music. It always seems more entertaining to have music playing as you work out. By having music at the same pace that you are moving, the shuttle test could seem to go by more quickly.

Sport Search - The Ultimate Sports Word Find
This app allows for individuals who may not be able to participate in the physical activity to be able to have an activity to work on for themselves. Also uses sport terminology to introduce to people who have never heard it before. I like how this application keeps all students included in it. Even though some physically disabled kids may not be able to participate in many PE activities, this activity would be accessible to everyone.

Tube Downloader
Application that allows for instructional videos to be downloaded in order to be accessed later when away from WiFi. This is an excellent idea for an app. Obviously PE coaches are not always around wireless internet on the fields or in the gym. This app gives them the ability to already have the videos or instruction they need saved and waiting for them to access them without having to worry about having internet access.

Bit Gym
This is not one of his apps. It was created by Virtual Active and Bit Breaker. This app turns most devices into a running path for creativity while jogging. It allows the runner to feel like they are moving through a different environment as they work out. The camera on the device also tracks the pace at which you are running.

The PE Geek Mobile App

In this post Mr. Robinson discusses his new application that he has created for his website The PEGeek. This app gives users access to nearly all aspects of the website. From your mobile device you can view his most recent blog posts, view his workshop schedule, listen to the PEGeek Podcast and download many of his other apps. This app gives an excellent all around resource for PE teachers that can be used on the go.

After downloading the app I found that it was very easy to operate and ran very smoothly. It looks polished and well made. Two big positives about the PE Geek Mobile App were the large databases of helpful videos and teacher-friendly apps. I could see this app being a valuable resource for teachers of all types on a daily basis.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

McDuffie, Russell Blog Post #3

Providing Peer Feedback
     Peer review is a very important aspect of any course. It provides each student the ability to learn by having their work critiqued by one of their classmates. The student doing the critiquing is also learning the proper methods of grading. In the video, What is Peer Editing?, three methods are detailed that outline the most effective way to critique a classmate's work. The video states that you first Compliment the good things about the work, then you make Suggestions about ways in which it can be improved, and finally, Correction of possible grammatical and spelling errors. Peer Edit with Perfection also lists these same three methods as the proper system of peer review. The major takeaway from both of these resources is maintaining a positive demeanor while reviewing a work. It is much easier to have your assignment corrected by someone who is being complimentary of the good parts of the work, rather than only focusing on the negative aspects.

Comic Strip about grading papers
     I found the video Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes to be not only somewhat educational on the subject, but also entertaining. The kids did an excellent job of displaying common problems that can be found during the peer review process. They show the different attitudes of individuals that can be negative during a peer review. I thought back to my own experiences during high school and can remember having to work with a "Whatever William" and even a "Social Sammy". "Social Sammy's" are the worst!