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.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Podcast Reflection #10: Moving at the Speed of Creativity

I listened to the Moving at the Speed of Creativity podcast titled Podcast375: Technology Leadership Advice for 60 New Oklahoma Superintendents.  Wesley Fryer, the author of Moving at the Speed of Creativity, attended a conference at the beginning of April for new superintendents in Oklahoma and spoke about how technology can be used to enhance education today. He spoke about how technology can increase students' opportunities to learn.  He discussed how technology helps us share, create, and connect in ways we really would never have imagined.  I can relate with this.  I never thought I would be blogging about educational resources and that people in other countries would be reading my blog.  It really is mind-blowing to me!  Wesley Fryer seemed to be calling the new superintendents to embrace technology in the classrooms rather than deny it.  He asked the superintendents to think about the increase of technological devices in our lives and made the conference listen to Brad Paisley's "Welcome to the Future".  The song discusses how technology has changed our lives, and the way we do everything. 

 Next, Wesley discussed how we need to move from being technology "consumers" to "creators".  He emphasized how kids need to be critical thinkers, and how he thinks technology can give them an outlet for this.  I agree, I think technology can be used to help students learn, think, and grow in new ways.  Wesley suggested for the superintendents to think of all the untold stories of veterans and other important people.  He emphasized the importance of these stories to our history and community.  He suggested students use technology to capture these stories.  This reminded of a similar such project being done in Kansas.  This project is called Celebrate Kansas Voices.  Wesley talked about how these kind of projects can get students, families, and communities excited about technology in education.  I agree with Wesley and think these sort of projects can capture some great stories and can get people excited about technology. He discussed several other ways technology can be integrated into the classroom as well.

Wesley also discussed how the superintendents can either embrace technology or stand in the way of it.  The superintendents discussed some issues they were concerned with technology.  They discussed the "digital divide" and how many teachers are fearful of technology.  Wesley seemed to enjoy the questions and told the superintendents that they are the "gatekeepers" of technology in their schools and can make it easy or difficult for teachers to use technology in their classroom.  I think it's important for superintendents to learn more about technlogy themselves before they decide how it's in their schools.  Personally, I think technology can enhance instruction because technology is the 21st century child's language.  Also, another important point of Wesley's is that teachers don't have to know everything about technology but giving students the chance to use it in the classroom enhances their learning.  Overall, I enjoyed listening to this podcast and thought it discussed several important advantages to using technology in the classroom.

Podcast Reflection #9: Learning in Hand

I listened to the podcast Learning in Hand.  The podcast I listened to was titled Ipods #07: iQuiz.    In this podcast,it discussed how to use iQuiz, which is a app for 5th generation or newer iPods.   The podcast discussed how educators can use this tool to create quizzes for their students.  The cost of the app is only 99 cents and can be synced to mutiple iPods through one computer.  Students can also sync iQuiz to their own iPod, but once they sync with their home computer iQuiz will be erased, which is important to remember.  The podcast discussed other resources that can be used in conjunction with iQuiz to make it more applicable for educators.  Using iQuizmaker as an educator is one way to create new quizzes for students to take.  iQuizmaker is completely free.  Students will get immediate feedback on these devices, and educators will get statistics back on each student and their performance. This pdf explains iQuizmaker more in depth.  An additional resource discussed in the podcast to be used with iQuiz is iQuizshare, where people share previously published quizzes they have used for different subjects. However,  iQuizshare seems a bit disorganized and doesn't allow the user to search through the iQuizzes.  I don't think I would use it.  A resource similar to iQuizshare is iQuizr.  This website allows educators to search, create, and share iQuizzes all in one spot.  It seems to be very convenient, easy to navigate, and more geared toward educators. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Comics in the Classroom

ToonDoo is a great tool used for creating cartoons.  I believe the tool can be used both by teachers and students.  Teachers could use the tool to create an interesting lead-in to a lesson, or as a way to present information in a fun and interesting way.  For students, I think it would be an excellent way to present information they have been learning in almost any subject.  Also, students could learn about the creation of comics and more about comics as a genre of literature.  The tool is fairly easy to use and figure out.  As a teacher, I would definitely do a demonstration before I let my student loose on the tool.  In addition, I would make my students have an layout or outline of how their cartoon will look before I let the students get on the website.  The site could be used as a reward for students as well.  I created my own ToonDoo introducing the concept of sight words and to explain why they are important.  Overall, I think this is an excellent tool, and a resource I plan on using in my future classroom.

Podcast, Website & Blog Mid-term Critiques

(Part 1-Website/Blog)There are two podcasts I listened to done by my DED318 classmates. Also, I explored their growing websites.  The first was Ms. Wheeler's Classroom website.  Her site was made on iWeb and is very appealing to the eye.   She even included a guestbook on her website, which I thought was a very creative idea.  I would like to add one to my website to monitor who is visiting my site.  The podcast I explored on her site is called  Ms. Wheeler's Group Podcast. 

(Part 2-Podcast)  They first resource discussed is the Magic Tree House website, which includes information about the books, games, and even resources for parents and teachers.  The site seems very interactive, and kids can even preview each Magic Tree House book right from the website. 

Another site, they talked about was For the Love of Learning Blog.  This is blog written by Joe Bower.  He discusses several interesting topics and considers himself to be a progressive thinker and educator.  The group discussed a couple other resources, but I found these to be the most interesting and helpful.

(Part 1-Website/Blog)  Secondly, I explored the podcast and website of Samantha White.  Her site was made on Weebly and is very creative.  I can definitely tell her concentration is in History.  The site is very well made.  Her site made me want to spruce my website up a bit. I would like to mine to be more eye-appealing.  I explored her podcast which helped me discover many resources for Social Studies teachers.  I will only dicuss a few.  (Part 2-Podcast)  The first resource she talked about was  She discussed how she has used the site before and how it was helpful to her in high school.  There are many resources and links on the site including timelines, Indian Ocean history, and even film resources, showing what films cover what history time period.  Beware though, some of the links on the site do not work. 

Another resource she discussed was CNN Student News website.  She discussed how students could listen to a current events discussion and then even take a quiz on it.  This could be great for helping keep high school students updated and  interested in current U.S. and world news.  The news video is geared towards high school students and helps students understand the news.  They even do a high school shout-out and shouted out to a high school in Cheney, KS today. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Classroom 2.0

Classroom 2.0 is another resource I explored. It is an online community for teachers.  I created my account with ease.  There are several groups which you can join such as Elementary School 2.0.  On each group page there is a discussion forum in which you can participate in discussion and ask questions.  Also, there is a wall in which you can post comments and questions.  The setup is similar to Facebook groups.  Classroom 2.0 also has weekly podcasts through Classroom 2.0 Live, which are interactive.  Classroom 2.0 seems like a great resource, and one that gives support to teachers in the field.  It seems like a great way to collaborate and learn about new resources from people who have used them before.  After my account is approved, I plan to join groups to become more involved. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011


EduTeacher is a great website for searching to find new resources.  I found three great resources that I think will be useful to me in the future. 

The first resource I found is Professor Garfield.  This is a site for students.  There are several interactive games that involve math and reading.  This would be a great site for students to practice skills they have been learning in the classroom.  One game called  Reading Ring works with sequencing events while reading a cartoon.  I can see students really enjoying this game and learning comprehension and sequencing.  Another game I thought would be useful is called Comics Lab.  It lets students create their own cartoons online or allows students to print out templates to make 3-panel or 6-panel cartoons.  There are other informational lessons that can help students create a comic that is organized and makes sense.  Creating a cartoon does require a student to register with the site, but it is completely free to use and explore.   There are several other games on the site as well.  The site is very appealing to children, and I think it would be a great reward for students in the classroom.   

The next resource I thought would be useful is ToonBooks.  This is a resource for teachers and students.  It is website that contains several cartoon books that are interactive and read aloud the story to the student.  I think this would be great to reinforce reading skills for students K-2 especially students who are ESL.  Also, there are several lessons for teachers that give tips on incorporating cartoon books into their classroom.  ToonBooks even has a place for teachers to gain resources on how to create a ToonTheatre where students can perform a reading a one of the ToonBooks.  I think this a great resource for teachers,  and one I will use in the future.  I think it would a great way to introduce cartoons as a genre of literature. 

The next resource I found from EduTeacher is  This website has several resources such as templates, lesson plans, printables, and creation tools to create your own worksheets for several different subjects.  If you scroll down the bottom of the page, there are useful links to the lesson plans on different subjects such as Fractions.  One math worksheet I thought would be helpful is Runaway Math Puzzles.  The puzzles are organized into grades, and teachers can even create their own Runaway Math Puzzles for students.    There are several literature units organized by grade that could be helpful. There are so many resources in one spot at, which makes it very convenient for teachers.  I plan using this website to find activities, worksheets, and to create individualized lessons.  Lastly, it is free and very easy to navigate.

Another quick resource I found is the Zac Browser.  It is web browser that was created specifically for autistic children.   Click here to see an informational video about Zac Browser.  I think this could be a helpful resource for teachers working with students who are autistic.  This resource could save time and help students navigate the Internet in a safer, more efficient manner.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kan-ed Reflection

As I explored the Kan-ed website, I discovered several resources.  The first is Grant Wrangler.  This seems like a great website to find grants.  They are organized into different categories by subject, and you can even search for grants by grade level, subject, or deadline. 
The next resource I explored was KERC.  This is a really nice resource helps you align assessment and instruction.  I am working on a lesson plan for another class, so I decided to look up the subject and standard I am working with.  When you click on the standard and benchmark, it brings up lesson plans and resources that align with each.  Some of the links were broken to some of the resources and lesson plans, which was a disappointment.  I did find two lesson plans that align with the standard and benchmark, and they are the Globe Game and Sharing African Culture.  I like how the KERC website is so easy to use and search for aligning lesson plans.  Also, I think it would be a good place to start to get ideas for a lesson plan. 

Another resource I explored was netTrekker.  This is another academic alignment tool, but this one has a search engine.  Also, under each subject, there are concepts organized alphabetically,  and there is three tabs which show the subjects for elementary, middle, and high school.  I think this site would be helpful in exploring a specific subject more in depth and finding resources for students to view.  It is also helpful that each site under each category is rated and shows the readability level.  When searching, you can filter by learning aids, multimedia, readability, language, collection, and subject.  I can this tool being very useful in finding specific resources to a subject and lesson. 

Thinkfinity is another great resource I explored.  Thinkfinity is a resource for teachers, parents, and students.  For teachers, there are several lesson plan ideas, interactive activities, and websites that will be helpful.  I like how the website is organized because it is very easy to navigate.  From Thinkfinity, I stumbled upon ReadWriteandThink.  This is another great site which you can find resources by grade.  You can then see the featured and most popular resources. 

Connected Kansas Kids is a great resource for parents, students, and teachers.  There are mental health diagnoses explained there.  I think this could be a very helpful website for teachers and especially parents.  The website contains some different ideas about how to work with students with special needs.  I think these could be really helpful to first year teachers on how to work with and help those with special needs in the classroom.

Overall, I think the Kan-ed site is a very useful website and one I will use throughout my education and teaching career.  There are so many useful sites in one place, which makes it a convenient place to start. 

Podcast Reflection #8: Moving at the Speed of Creativity

I listened to Podcast371: Cartooning around in Language Arts.  Wesley Fryer, the author of the podcast,  records a presentation by Malia Triggs at the 2011 Mississippi Educational Computing Association annual conference.  Malia discusses using GoAnimate with students.  Also, there is  GoAnimate4Schools for educators with resources for lessons using GoAnimate.  These are both FREE resources.  Malia discussed how she likes that she can monitor her students online as they make the animations.  Also, she discussed how she makes students create a storyboard before letting them online to GoAnimate.  I think this is a great idea.  In addition, this demo video explains more about GoAnimate.  This is a resource that incorporates students thinking about setting, plot, author's purpose, and several other elements of language arts.  Malia shared two GoAnimates her students created, which are on Wesley Fryers show notes.  Click here to check them out.  Malia talked about how she sets limits with her students and teaches them about what is appropriate online and what is not.  I think GoAnimate sounds like a great way to engage students in learning.  I watched the two GoAnimate videos made by Malia's students.  You can see the organization skills and language arts skills used in creating a video.  The students sound like they are having a lot of fun with the project and are collaborating with other students as well.  Malia also mentioned her students normally take about 15 minutes to create a GoAnimate video.  Overall, I enjoyed this podcast because I think GoAnimate is a great resource for teachers and students.   I definitely plan on using GoAnimate in my classroom to spark student creativity and engage students in higher level thinking and planning!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Podcast Reflection #7: Tech Chick Tips

I listened to Tech Chick Tips podcast on Sparking Creativity.  They discuss several resources for educators.  The Tech Chicks start out talking about The Steller Cafe blog where Peter Reynolds wrote about being inspired by his 4th grade teacher.  A great story about the power of words to change writing and how they can inspire others when shared.  Another resource they discuss is icivics, which is a site that is for both students and teachers.  They have really interactive games that bring democracy and government alive for students.  Also, the games are connected to students' lives.  I explored one game that the player had to decide whether a band t-shirt was protected under the 1st amendment.  It asks several questions and asks the student to actively listen while both cases are presented.  I think students will really enjoy games like this when studying civics.  There are many resources for teachers on icivics as well.  You can search your state's curriculum and find lesson plans, which align with state standards.  Justice O' Conner helped create the icivics website and is very passionate about getting young people engaged in civics.  This website impresses me.  Another resource I think could be useful is Quizlet.  It is a resource for creating flashcards.  There is a demo video that explains how one teacher uses Quizlet and the benefits.  You can see her students are not only learning but having fun!  Overall, I enjoyed this podcast by the Tech Chicks and plan to listen to more pod-casts by them.

Podcast Reflection #6: Classroom 2.0 Live

I watched the Classroom 2.0 Live podcast/video on LiveBinders.  It introduced me to several resources through LiveBinders.  LiveBinders is basically a three ring binder online.  Click here to watch a informational video to learn more about it.  Several different educators and parents talked during the video and showcased their LiveBinders.  There were several I found helpful and interesting. Steven Anderson gave an overview of Twitter and talked about how he uses LiveBinders to share information with his colleagues.  Click here to see  his Twitter LiveBinder.  The next guest speaker showcased her LiveBinders on Amazing Animals and easy Classroom Printables.  She discussed how she loved sharing resources with her colleagues and how LiveBinders is an easy, quick, organized way to do so.  The next presenter was a parent that showed her son's LiveBinder he completed for a book report.  You can see this tool would be great for students to work with and is an easy way for students to organize information for projects.  Another guest speaker talked about using the LiveBinder as an open forum to learn about social justice.  Click here to see this LiveBinder.  I think LiveBinder sounds like a great way to share, present, and organize information online.  It's super easy to share because the LiveBinder is just one URL that connects to several different pages.  I plan on using it in my future classroom for sure.

Podcast Reflection #5: EdTechTalk Parents as Partners

I listened to the Parents as Partners podcast.  In this episode, Dr. Debbie Pushor, an Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, discussed her class and how to interact with parents as educators.  There were several interesting ideas presented in this podcast.  Dr. Pushor discussed how there is curriculum for pre-service teachers on how to teach content, but many education programs do not have classes on how to work with parents.  Working with parents is an inevitable part of being a teacher.  Dr. Pushor discussed how many teachers make assumptions about their students’ parents and how often those assumptions are wrong.  She discussed how we look at parents to blame when they do not show up for a meeting or parent teacher conference, but how many options for times did we give them?
In addition, Dr. Pushor discussed how many schools only have a handful of nights where parents are invited to visit the school and classroom.  She discussed having these events more often and taking advantage of this time to get to know students’ parents and families.  Another idea she discussed was homework.  She suggested talking to parents about the activities and other engagements they are involved in.  This simple conversation can save time. Teachers will learn more about their students and students’ families as well as how much time students have for homework.
Lastly, Dr. Pushor discussed really communicating with parents and families about the student.  She suggested asking what the parents hope and dream for their child.  This is a way a teacher can really get to know their student’s family and parents, and the teacher will also gain an understanding of the parent’s expectations for the student.  Dr. Pushor explained we as teachers are guests in students’ lives, and parents are there forever.  I think this is something teachers need to remember and respect.  Overall, I really enjoyed this podcast because it was very thought provoking and brought up many interesting ideas for interacting and engaging parents.  Click here to listen to this podcast for yourself.

Animoto in my Classroom

Animoto is a website used to create videos.  You get to add your own videos, photos, and music, and Animoto takes care of the timing.  The website is very easy to use and produces great videos.  As a future educator, I think I will use Animoto is my classroom.  I have made two videos thus far using Animoto.  The first video is a video I would use to introduce myself to my students.  Check it out here! The second video I made on Animoto is to introduce students to the seven continents.  Also, it introduces the students to a small selection from Beethoven.  Check it out here!  I think Animoto is a great way to capture the attention of your students and introduce a lesson.  I could use Animoto to showcase my students artwork and projects as well.  Also, Animoto could be used by the students.  At the beginning of the year, students could use the tool to make a video about themselves and show it to the class.  Also, students could present research about almost any topic to the class in an interesting unique video.  After students make a video in Animoto, they will definitely have something they can be proud of.    I definitely plan on using it in my future classroom! One last piece of advice, Animoto is free to make a 30 second video and charges to make a full-length video.  Also, it helps to use PowerPoint to create slides with text and pictures then saving them as a JPG file to upload into Animoto.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Using Twitter as an Educator

Twitter is such an awesome resource!  I have found so many people to follow, and these people have become resources for me.  Some even from other countries.  My list of following and followers continues to grow each day.  I have found so many resources through contacts on Twitter.  Recently, I found the Free Technology for Teachers blog from a twitter post, which seems to be a great resource.  The blog seems to showcase each month’s most popular resources.  I found this Dr. Seuss Glogster that will help students explore the author Dr. Seuss through a post on twitter.  Also, recently following markbarnes19 and ShellTerrell has given me some resources through Twitter.  Through ShellTerrell  I found some great action research that could be helpful for an upcoming research paper I have to write.  It's exciting!  Every person has become a resource, and someone that will respond if I have a question. Every time I log-on I find something I’m interested in or find a new resource. It’s exciting to find so many resources with the click of a button.  There are several advantages to using Twitter.  It is very easy to use, completely free, and can help a teacher find resources with the click of a button.  Also, I feel like I could use Twitter in my classroom for conducting polls, connecting with others, and so many other things.  I connected with a high school teacher that posed questions to be answered via a posted link on Twitter.  Her students will get a variety of answers and viewpoints because the teacher shared the link on Twitter.  In addition, I feel like once I get in the classroom the possibilities will be endless and more ideas will come to mind.  One disadvantage for me is that I tend to get distracted and need to limit my time on Twitter.  But the benefits definitely outweigh the downfalls for me.  Feel free to check out my Twitter page!  And check out Twitter, you will reap the benefits of amazing resources and connections!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Podcast Reflection #4: Driving Questions in Education 2011

In this podcast from Driving Questions in Education 2011 titled Kimberly Wright, Kevin Honeycutt talked to Kimberly Wright, a fourth grade Science and Technology teacher.  Kimberly discussed her interest and experience with technology.  I related to her because she had experience with PowerPoint, and she described herself as a non-techie.  She discussed her views on testing and making things fun in the classroom.  She stated she thinks technology bridges the gap with her kids.   Kimberly discussed how she never feels alone and feels she has so many people resources to go to for support and questions.  I feel very empowered by Kimberly’s statement, and I feel like technology is really connecting people.  Teaching has become such a collaborative effort especially with the use of technology such as Twitter and Skype.  Kimberly discussed connecting with teachers in other countries.  The thought of connecting with other teachers through technology really gets me excited to get in the field and use these technologies in the classroom.  The learning of the students will surely be enhanced with technology.  Also, Kimberly and Kevin discussed using Plurk to connect with other teachers.  I wasn't sure about it, but an article Plurk vs. Twitter described it as a online "community-building" tool.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Podcast Reflection #3: Speaking of History...

I listened the podcast Speaking of History by Eric Langhorst.  He spoke of his time at Mount Vernon during a conference this summer.  He was very passionate as he spoke about the history of Mount Vernon and how it made him feel.  He wanted to remember how it felt to be there, so he could share these vivid memories with his students.  Also, he could even let his students listen to his podcast so they could hear him describe the place.  Eric just kept saying how amazing the views at Mount Vernon were and how they were protected by the historical foundation.  I think Eric’s podcast could really resonate with his students on how important history is to our American culture past and present.  Eric seemed to be really getting connected with where George Washington was from and how he must have thought the world and the land.  It seems the better familiar teachers are with their subject matter; the better they will be at teaching it.  Eric’s podcast made me want to learn more about Mount Vernon and where George Washington lived.  I think podcasts are just amazing because you can learn so much in so little time.  Overall, I enjoyed Eric’s podcast about his experience at Mount Vernon, and it gave me a lot of ideas on how to make history come alive.  For example, students could research different president’s birth places online and try to imagine how it might have been in the past.  The internet makes so many things possibilities when teaching about history and any subject really.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fun with Text

There are many ways in which I would use Wordle and Tagexdo.  First of all, I would use Wordle as a way for students to practice their spelling words.  It would provide a fun and interesting way for students to practice spelling and looking at their words.  Also, I would use Wordle to type in lesson/unit vocabulary words.  It would provide an interesting way to look at the words and get students excited for the lesson.  Another way I could use Wordle in the classroom is to have students use the tool to create posters for other students.  The students could list positive compliments about each other to help promote positive self esteem and connectedness in the classroom.  

            Tagexdo is another great tool I plan on using in my future classroom.  I would have the students use tagexdo to create interesting projects and displays for the classroom.  Also, I would have my students create projects using Tagexdo to portray facts about different historical periods or events, science facts, math facts, and vocabulary words.  It could also be used as a neat way to display students’ writing projects.  Tagexdo provides so many options and the possibilities are really endless with a student’s imagination.  In addition, both of these tools could be used as a reward when students earn computer time after their work is done. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reflection #2: CDK's Education Technology Place

The CDK's Education Technology Place website has a lot to offer.  There were several things I was interested in.  I think the Celebrate Kansas Voices project is such an amazing project.  It has inspired me to want to video record stories from my family gatherings.  What a gift it would be to watch those stories being retold over and over again.  I think this project also presents me with many lesson plan ideas for my future students.  There are so many things you could do with video recording.  The possibilities are really endless and seeing this project has energized me.  The “When I Become a Teacher” YouTube video is thought provoking.  I don’t want to be like any of those teachers and will make sure I am not.  I have seen the “Think Different” video, and it’s always one that really inspires.  I do want to change the world, and I believe by being the best me I can.  I really enjoyed the ease of access to other teacher's blogs, and I feel like I could spend so much time here browsing the blogs.  I really enjoyed Thoughts from Jen.  It’s really amazing how much I have learned in the last 30 or so minutes from reading about other’s ideas, thoughts, and projects.  I have an idea book for ideas for my future classroom and have jotted down several ideas.  It’s exciting!

Reflection #1: Technology Bits Bytes and Nibbles

I think a blog is a great way to share information and news articles.  I really enjoyed the wealth of topics covered in the Technology Bits Bytes and Nibbles blog and explored the ones that interested me.  I was particularly interested in the articles about a Tennessee school requiring I-pads and an article about how to bring your lesson plans to the 21st century.  The article of the school requiring I-pads surprised me.  I did not know schools were requiring such devices, and I hope it is a successful for their school.  The article over lesson plans seems to be a great resource that I will bookmark for future reference.  It gave an example of how to liven up and bring a Christopher Columbus lesson to the 21st century.  It gave me some different ideas on how to plan history lessons and some different ways to incorporate technology.  Also, I enjoyed the article about Google maps, and it gave me some ideas for future lesson plans.  I could use the old vs. new pictures of real places as an introduction to a lesson to have the students compare and contrast the old vs. new of some idea, place, or thing.  Overall, I feel like a blog is a great way to share information and resources.