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!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

McDuffie, Russell's Blog Post #2

 The video "Mr. Dancealot" illustrates a professor teaching a dance class. As the video progresses the viewer notices that the course on dancing is being taught completely through the use of lecture and PowerPoint. The author does this in order to show that there are much more effective methods of teaching the subject to the students. Instead of having the students engage and practice the moves that the professor is explaining, they are taught through their writing down of the movements. After teaching the students all of the dances that are required on his final exam, the professor then expects them to exercise these moves with a partner. The conclusion of the video shows the students attempting to look through their written notes in order to execute these dances. They are all confused because they have never physically engaged in the movements with a partner. This shows that while they may have been lectured all of the needed material for the dances, they had no practical experience with this dance material in order to have learned the dances. I agree with the conclusion of this video. It shows that just having the students write down and memorize the data does not mean that they have a complete understanding or mastery of the information. 

Teaching in the 21st Century 

    In Kevin Roberts, "Teaching in the 21st Century", he shows how the education system is undergoing an evolution. Roberts shows that education must harness the advantages being created through technology. He argues that teaching today must now become more about going beyond teaching facts to the student, but also about how showing students how to use this information. By using social methods such as Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, and Blogger, students will be able to not only have their own voice on a subject, but also be able to compare their own with others around the world. This system creates a forum in which this knowledge can be interpreted and mastered by both parties of the discussion. Roberts points out that students now have instant access to unlimited information, this leads to educators adapting their roles in order to allow the students to maximize their skills in the use of this knowledge. He raises excellent points about the future role of teachers in the future. I do agree that we, as educators, must adapt to a new generation of teaching in order to best cultivate our student's skills in all aspects of their lives. 

The Networked Student    

 "The Networked Student" shows how learning will take on a new form in the 21st century. Instead of only having one source for information on a subject, the teacher, students will now be able to rely upon multiple sources in order to learn. By using Podcasts, iTunes U, Blogs, and making social connections, students will be able to create a more rounded curriculum on any given subject. Through the utilization of all the information hubs, students will have the ability to learn at a higher rate than ever before. Teachers will now be a tool that will assist the student in creating this network of knowledge as opposed to being the only source of the knowledge. 

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

     Davis uses all forms of technology in order to teach her class. She states that just using paper and pencil leads to some students not being able to fulfill their highest potential. I agree with her argument that technology use in the classroom allows each student to be able to have a higher ceiling of learning as well as obtaining a greater mastery of the material.
Keyboard with Enter Key that says Learn
The creation of a more globally connected course allows for her students to experience other parts of the world that they had never had access to before. 

Flipping the Classroom

     I had never heard of the approach of "flipping" prior to viewing this video. I can definitely see how this method would be a more beneficial form of learning for the students. By allowing the students to know the information that they will be working on the day before, they will have a general understanding before entering the classroom. It also gives them the ability to be able to teach and learn it on their own. By having the "lecture" portion of the assignment already completed, the educator now has more time to work with each group or individual students that may need some assistance.