Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I have several strong attributes that I feel like will make me an effective teacher.  I am enthusiastic, optimistic, motivating, collaborative, active, resourceful, kind, and knowledgeable about technology.  In 3-5 years I see myself as a Special Education teacher at the local elementary school.  I see myself working in the resource room with students grades fourth-sixth.  I envision myself starting an after school Walking/Running Club to promote health, self-discipline, and self-esteem.  I want to inspire my students to be the best they can be, and I can't wait!
Technology has had a strong impact on my education, and I use it everyday for homework, research, and connecting to others.  I feel pretty tech savvy.  There are several strategies I would use to learn about new software.  First, I would try to use it.  Usually I pick up new technology programs by using them and playing around with them.  If I couldn't figure it out that way I would use Twitter to send out a questions to see if anyone knew anything about the program or software.  I would also Google and see if there were any tutorials available that went through how to use the software or program. 

I plan to use technology in my future classroom.  I think technology can enhance instruction and make instruction more interesting to students.  I think technology can help students with different learning styles create projects that teachers can assess individually.  I think technology can help students collaborate and work in groups at a more successful rate.  Technology can help teachers differentiate instruction by allowing teachers to create speech-to-text and text-to-speech for lessons.  In addition, there are several other applications that can help teachers reach all students.  I plan to be an advocate in my future school for the use of technology.  I plan to teach other teachers about the resources that I know about.  I think showing other teachers tools and teaching them how to use them will be the best way to encourage the use of technology at my future school.  Some teachers might not feel comfortable with incorporating technology into their instruction without the support or help of another educator.  I want to help others because I feel intern I will be helping students learn.  There are  so many resources that I can share with my future school.  I am familiar with so many technology tools and resources that will help me in my future career.  Check out my delicious page to see some of the tools I have used and bookmarked for future use.

My WOW Moment

I will be honest.  At the beginning of this class, I was skeptical about the use of technology in classrooms, and I felt like it was more of a time-waster than something that could enhance instruction.  My attitudes towards technology in the classroom has totally switched.  I realized how students need technology in the classroom and in instruction because technology is their world.  Students today are going to need technology in their future, and we need to teach them using these kind of tools.  I realized their are so many education resources out there as well.  It's so exciting to know that I will have the resources I've learned about in this class as a future educator.  Technology has broadened my thinking about education and how it should be.  I think my WOW moment would be when I looked at the stats of my blog and realized that I had people from ten different countries that have read it.  That stat alone was amazing!  I was so excited and feel like technology can connect me to so many other educators across the world.  Also, there are so many tools and resources that will help me teach my future students about concepts that may have been hard to understand or difficult to explain.  Technology also gives a teacher so many ways to assess students by using online rubrics, project-based learning, and so many other ways.  In addition, my concentration is in Special Education.  Technology can help me as an educator differentiate instruction and accommodate students with disabilities.  I know I will use technology in my future classroom, and I am excited to use it in my future classroom.

Podcast Favorites

I think my favorite podcast was the Moving at the Speed of Creativity podcasts by Wesley Fryer.  They were just so full of interesting information over different conferences he attended.  They gave more than just his perspective on the topic, tool, or issue.  I also liked that he provided show notes to each of his podcast.  I am a very visual learner so having the show notes helped me explore each podcast more in depth.  Also, his voice was very easy to listen to and understand.  Some of the other podcasts were low quality sound and made it hard to concentrate on what the person was saying.  Overall, I will continue to listen to the podcasts in my free time to learn more about current education resources, topics, and issues.  I think they are useful, and I love learning about new resources and listening to the current debate over education issues in the United States. 

Semester Favorites

I have found several tools throughout the semester that I have found will be very useful for my future career as a teacher. First of all, I think Prezi is a great tool for educators to use to make presentations more interesting and appealing to the eye.  I like the way you can add videos, add text, and then make the trail for the presentation.  I also love that you can create a Prezi presentation with others each using their own computer.  I think this will be very useful in the classroom to have students work in groups.  I even shared this tool with a former high school teachers of mine, and she seemed very excited.  Also, I used it to create a presentation for one my Art for Elementary Teachers class, and it is just so easy to use!

Secondly, I think Twitter is a very useful tool for educators to connect with one another and a great resource for finding education resources.   I found so many resources for educators and found so many other educators to connect with.  It is just amazing how many resources are out there.  I think I will definitely keep my account on Twitter and use it in the future.  It seems to be almost like a support system if you have a question about a technology resource or need some more information about something you can just put out a question.  I have even used it to communicate with some of my classmates when I had a question about an assignment.  I think the possibilities are endless with Twitter.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Challenge-based Learning Reflection

I think challenge-based learning is very beneficial to students.  I think it helps them connect to the real world that they live in.  Students can learn so much by learning about how they can change the world.  I think it is important for students to realize the impact each of them can have on the world as a group and as individuals.  It is very inspiring, and I think we need to emphasize what kind of impact we want students to have on the world.  Of course, we want students to have a positive impact, and we want them to change their world for the better.  I think presenting problems and issues in the student's community, state, country, and world helps students develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills.  These are skills students will need in the future, and the skills that will help them succeed.  Also, by exposing students to problems or issues in their own community, state, and country gives them a head start on helping to solve these problems as an adult.  I am very passionate about civic service and helping one's community, and I think we need to teach this passion for others.  Our students will soon be the ones that have to take over and take care of our communities and environments.  We need to help them realize their impact and how they can essentially change the world.  One of my favorite quotes is by Margaret Mead.  She says, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  We can teach our students that they can be that group of people.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Podcast Reflection #12: Moving at the Speed of Creativity

I listened to another Moving at the Speed of Creativity podcast by Wesley Fryer.  This podcast was called iPads and iPod Touches in Kansas Elementary Classrooms.  There is a video shared that shows a MACE conference and Lansing, Kansas educators using iPads and iPod touches in their classroom for differentiation, high-ability groups, low-ability groups, and as a way to enhance learning and instruction.  One benefit of using iPads over netbooks is ease of use according to the video.  You can see in the video that the students are engaged and enjoy using the iPads.  One of the teachers listed out some of her most used apps in her 1st grade classroom.  Discover these by clicking here.  Also, in the video, they emphasized using iPads and iPods collaboratively in the classroom instead of just giving each student one.  According to the presenters, using the iPads and iPods in groups or in pairs will help student develop social skills.  I agree and think these tools should be used both individually by students and in pairs or small groups.  Students can learn from each other when they are working together using one of these tools.  In addition, students need to learn how to work together using these technologies and learn how to collaborate.  Collaboration and cooperation are some of the 21st century skills these students will need in the future.  I think if we start with the students young using these tools collaboratively; there is no telling what they will learn, create, and discover.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Podcast Reflection #11: Learning in Hand

I listened to another Learning in Hand podcast called iPods Episode #20: Classroom Dos and Don'ts .  Tony Vincent discusses how teachers can successfully use ipods in their classroom without unneeded stress or work.  There several dos I think would be helpful for teachers to be aware of before using ipods in their classroom.

1) Sync all iPods to one designated computer
2) Label ipods in classroom to keep them organized
3) Make play lists to organize information in iTunes
4) Delete content after you are done with it
5) Make procedures for using Ipods in classroom
6) Get ear buds for each student
7) Make sure students know consequences for misuse
8) Make students sign usage contract before using iPods

There are several more dos, but I think these are the most important for educators to consider before using iPods in their classrooms.  Also, the podcast discussed don'ts.

1)  Don't buy expensive accessories
2)  Don't give iTunes password to students (you never know what they'll download)
3) Don't sync everyday, only when you need to (plan in advance)
4) Don't just use free apps (there are more than just the free apps)

See more dos and don'ts by clicking here.  I think iPods could be a very interactive learning tool in the classroom especially if your school doesn't have computers readily available.  I think there are two things to remember before introducing iPods in the classroom.  They are organization and planning.  If the educator is organized and plans in advance how they will use the iPods, I think the implementation of the iPods in the classroom will be successful.