#4thchat Blog #5

Tonight I participated in #4thchat, which included 4th grade teachers from all over the country, and even Canada.

Tonight’s chat was combined with #elemsci so the main topic of discussion was how to incorporate science in 4th grade and to make it more interesting.

Questions included:

Q1: How do you incorporate seasonal science?

Q2: What projects do you like to include in the fall?

Q3: How do you encourage inquiry in your lessons?

Q4: Share some of your favorite Fall Science Resources

I found this twitter chat extremely interesting, especially because I am a middle level education major. Even though I am taking a language arts class and mathematics/science class, I learned more information to make science more interesting through this twitter chat than I did in my education class. Many teachers were sharing various websites that they use for resources, which I checked out and look forward to sharing as a teacher.

Teachers mentioned that they like to take their students on nature walks to nearby parks and use their iPads to take pictures to reflect on in class at a later time. Also, another teacher integrated mathematics with pumpkins in the fall last year to estimate the amount of seeds that are contained in one pumpkin, and I have already thought of more activities to use with pumpkins in science class!

This twitter chat was very fast paced, something I enjoyed being a part of because it forced me to stay focused. The chat included many topics about science that are very important to know as a future middle school teacher. The only problem that I came across was the confusion that everyone was having at one point, because someone answered A3 instead of A2, which resulted in people posting “where is Q3, did I miss it?” etc. I found it extremely annoying, but the problem was easily solved, very quickly.

The people that I followed:

Bill Krakower (@wkrakower): He was the co-moderator to #4thchat. He is a teacher in New Jersey, Ed Tech Presenter, and co-moderator to #satchat and #njed as well He is a member of #edcampnj and co-director of NJASCD. 

Paula Naugle (@plnaugle): She is a 4th grade teacher and also a moderator to #4thchat, but not tonight’s. She is a poart of DEN Star, SimpleK12 Ambassador, EdcampNOLA organizer, tech integrator specialist, and an innovative educator of 30+ years of experience from NOLA.

Megan Carey Schuchma (@HahnclanMegan): She is a 4th grade teacher from Saint Paul.

Sarah Baker (@Baker2S): 4th grade teacher who enjoys reading and technology. She is from Bradenton, FL.

Mr. Kresl (@MrKreslTeaches): Full time teacher who is a Bluestem Committee member, reader.

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Personal Interest Project

For my Personal Interest Project, I plan to study/research mobile learning/apps used for learning.

For this project, I will be partnering with Brittany Scott. We will be collaborating by researching the benefits that mobile learning offers, as well as the different types of applications that are available for different subject areas, such as mathematics, science, language arts, social studies, etc.

I am interested in learning how I can begin applying mobile apps in the classroom for students, maybe even for my tutees that I tutor through the ALC. With society all about the internet, it is important to incorporate the various applications that can help students connect through their phones with the subjects/content areas they are learning in school.

I am also interested in learning how mobile apps benefit students, and maybe even finding the downsides of mobile learning, and how I could turn the negatives into positives.

Some information that I have found on this topic:

I have also found two articles pertaining to mobile learning from the Learning & Leading magazines:

November 2012, Vol 40 No 3:

  • Google Forms & Flubaroo: Less Paper, More Teaching (discussing how to use google apps in the classroom)

August 2012, Vol 40 No 1:

  • First Graders with iPads? (explaining how teachers improved reading through iPads)

 

 

Blog #4, #paedchat

Last night I participated in the chat #paedchat. It was really interesting! The topic of discussion of the night was effective instruction for non-fiction. Honestly, I was a little nervous participating in this chat, because the moderator was a superintendent of North Penn school district, which is relatively near by.

Some of the questions included:

Why do many students struggle with comprehension of non-fiction text more than fiction text?

To what degree does your curriculum explicitly address non-fiction text skills and strategies?

Since it was raised, how will the PA core/common core emphasis on non-fiction shift instructional strategies?

How can we address student deficit in academic vocabulary or background knowledge related to non-fiction text?

How do we help teachers overcome their lack of confidence in instructing non-fiction text?

How are non-fiction text and informational or persuasive writing connected?

 

I thought this chat was going to talk solely on the language arts curriculum, but it also discussed other subjects, which I found extremely interesting. Many of the participants answered that it is hard to teach non-fiction text because it is harder for students to relate to the text, as well as understanding the non-student friendly academic vocabulary.

It was very interesting to see what math teachers had to say. Many mentioned that math teachers should walk students through solving the word problems by analyzing the text.

Many teachers of other subjects mentioned that it is important to share ideas between teachers in the school and work together to use the same vocabulary domain, so it is easier for students to connect ideas between subjects and curriculums.

 

Overall, I found this twitter chat very beneficial for me as a future teacher. It definitely helped me understand what to expect as a teacher and gave me ideas to help students learn reading and vocabulary skills in mathematics, not just English. Unlike the last twitter chat I participated in, the moderators did a great job moving from one topic to another, and there were a lot more people involved in a conversation than just a select few.

The five people that I followed from last night’s chat were:

@josephdevinekv: He was one of the two moderators in this chat. He is a Middle School Assistant Principal who used twitter to grow as a leader and a learner.

@dianeholben: She was the second moderator of the chat, she asked majority of the questions to change topics. She is an assistant superintendent of North Penn school district from Allentown, PA. She is an advocate for equal learning opportunities, data and research junkie.

@SMStout: She is from Lower Merion, PA who is an assistant principal at a middle school. She graduated from Penn State and is a lifelong learning.

@BillBlackRI: He is a teacher from Providence, RI. He participated in a lot of the conversation, making good point to a lot of the questions. I found it extremely interesting how he connected with teachers from PA, even though he is from another state!

@MissBamberger is a 4th grade teacher from Lancaster, PA. She uses the SMARTboard, is a constant learner, tech lover, grad student, and a believer in Public Education. She is a moderator/confonder to #elemsci and a contributor to #4thchat

Blog #3, #alg1chat

Last night I participated in #alg1chat, algebra 1 chat. When I entered the chat, I introduced myself as a middle level & mathematics education major. However, unlike the last chat I participated in, not many people seemed conversational. I must say, this chat was not one of my favorites.

The moderator was not really “moderating”. She asked one question in the beginning of the chat, but then didn’t ask another until 9:30… a half hour into the chat. Because of this, not many people were communicating. It was the same people each time, and it started to get really boring. I didn’t interact in this chat as much because of it.

The topic of the night was about math standards.  The question asked by the moderator was “What CC standard would you like to look into more tonight?” . I thought the topic was pretty interesting, but the moderator didn’t ask another question after that, which kept the chat moving very slow.

Because the chat was moving so slow, I decided to ask a question of my own, in regards to the smartboard, since that was what we were learning in EDU350 at the moment. Unfortunately, no one responded with the exception of one person. The one person who responded to my question mentioned that she never used it before, so she couldn’t be much help.

The only good thing I take from this chat was the advice that the moderator gave me: “Jump into everything you can find in the math twitter blogosphere, join chats and read blogs.”

The five people that I followed tonight were:

  • Kathryn Freed: @kathrynfreed; graduated from Central College and is a High School math teacher from Iowa. She was the moderator of the twitter chat.
  • Chris Rime: @chrisrime; High school math teacher from Washington State who also has a wordpress account!
  • Sean Saffell: @seansaffell; Math & Science teacher and staff development coach at Marysville Schools
  • Brandy Romer: LHSmrsromer: didn’t have any bio information, but wants to make her math classroom more student centered, this twitter chat was also her first time participating in a chat!
  • Lucy Freitas: @lucyefreitas: Math teacher who finds it difficult to explain math vocabulary, she wanted to learn how to improve this during the chat.
  • Ben Mahas: @greenemiddle: Algebra teacher from Ohio! He mentioned how he explains the distributive property by telling a story about the Little Red Riding Hood. I found this extremely interesting. He tells a story of the Little Red Riding Hood going to her grandparents houses (they are divorced). Little Red is the number on the outside, who is distributing goodies to grandma and grandpa.

I hope to have better luck with the next twitter chat. Although I thought this twitter chat was beneficial for me as a future math teacher, I hope the next chat I participate in is more interactive!

 

 

#Web20Tools, Learning via Twitter

Being the person who is always on social media, I never thought I could learn so much. Especially through twitter. Better believe that I was amazed, yet again,  in the amount of things you can learn on social media. I’m not talking about what’s for lunch, either.

Tonight I participated in my first Twitter #chat, where I communicated with teachers, technology specialists, and administrators from all  over the country in #Web20Tools from 6-7 PM EST. I’m still relatively new to the term Web2.0, so I thought participating in a chat revolved around the tools used in Web2.0 would be beneficial. Those who participated in discussed what tools they liked, why they used them, and how to get around blocked sites in schools.

When I first logged into my Twitter account tonight and searched #Web20Tools, I started to get extremely nervous. I introduced myself as Nicole Huber, Middle Level Education Major. So many people replied to my tweet and welcomed me with open arms, or tweets, if you say.

Throughout the conversation, I already received notification that I have new followers! As a result, I followed them back and learned more about the background of those who I had conversations with:

Sean Junkins: Sean was the moderator of this chat. Sean is an International Technology Specialist, Apple Distinguished Educator, and a Google Certified teacher. He is from Myrtle Beach, SC. His first question that he tweeted to those participating was: “How do you keep up with all the Web 2.0 tools that are out there?” You can check out his website, seansdesk.com or follow him @sjunkins

Michelle R. Green: Michelle is an educator with a passion for learning technologies, community #INeLearn #maltrocks and is also a mom. Michelle is from Evansville, IN; Henderson, KY. Michelle gave me some great links to some web 2.0 tools! You can visit her website at michellergreen.com and follow her @mrg_3

Lisa Lund is from Olathe, KS. Lisa is a technology integration coordinator. Lisa also gave me great links for web 2.0 tools that she uses as well! Check out her website at tinyurl.com/techbylund and follow her @@TechIntegratio1

Erin Formella is a high school social studies teacher. She teaches US History, World History, and Psychology. She is from Hudson, WI. Erin tweeted at me and told me how she enjoys using livebinder like I do! She mentioned that she is using livebinder as a way to post interviews her students write/do about 9/11. I thought this was extremely thought-provoking and inspiring. Thank you Erin, you already have me writing ideas down for what I can do with my future students! You can follow Erin @@NillaVanilla555

Brad Currie is also another person that I followed after the chat tonight. Brad is a school administrator from Chester, NJ, and is the cofounder of #satchat. You can follow him @bcurrie5 and check out his website bradcurrie.net

I learned so much after participating in this chat. When selecting tools, age does matter. Web 2.0 tools offer creativity and are key to 1:1 success. FYI: if a tool you would like to use is blocked by your school district, talk to the administrators. Some school districts offer teacher overrides, while most administrators will approve tools after you explain the opportunities offered and show why those tools are essential for learning. But how do you know students are learning by Web 2.0? Simple: use a rubric or teacher observation for students to follow. Also, end your class time by allotting 5-10 minutes to share and celebrate students work using these specific tools!

Even though I’m only required to participate in these chats for 30 minutes, I found myself sitting in front of my computer intrigued by the amount of knowledge I was learning. Here are some suggestions of Web 2.0 tools to use:

  • Twitter
  • ReadWriteThink.org
  • webinars
  • voicethread
  • audioboo
  • Prezi
  • glogster
  • Smorepages
  • educlipper
  • google drive

I’ve already checked some of these tools out, and you better believe that I’ll be making use of most of them.

Lisa Lund, as I mentioned above, also gave me a link for some tools to use: http://bit.ly/VXwkQD

Michelle R. Green also posted a link to her favorite Web 2.0 resources: http://bit.ly/SI42e0

After looking at both these sites, I couldn’t help but bookmark them onto my computer. They are so useful and are great ways to integrate technology in the classroom, without using a smartphone or iPad!

I want to thank everyone who participated in #web20Tools for giving me such great information to work with!

Transforming Education?

 

It’s crazy to think how quickly technology is evolving and transforming every day life. After only being enrolled in EdTech for almost a full week, I have already been in complete shock. For an assignment, I had to watch videos and read articles pertaining to technology in education. In comparison to a typical classroom set up that most of us (meaning 90’s kids and older), today’s classroom is a whole new world. Students now have access to iPads and iMacs, where most of us were used to three or four desktop PCs in our classrooms. Students still sat at their own desks, but instead of pens, papers, and textbooks, they only had iPads and laptops. Amazing, right?

I must admit that after watching “One Transformed Classroom” and the “One to One” Videos, I think technology is definitely important to incorporate into the classroom. Students can work together and be excited to do partner work when sharing an iPad, instead of a paper. Incentives are now more interesting because students want to use technology. I never thought that “Words with Friends” would be used in the classroom as a way to teach students how to spell. Students are able to become creative and customize the background of iPads in order to distinguish which iPad is theirs. Not only that, but the use of technology allows students to have some freedom. Students don’t have to be told what to do after they complete their classwork. Instead, they are able to play games without even realizing that they are learning.

Most, if not all students had positive feedback in regards to using technology in class. Students are able to communicate with their teachers via email in all aspects, whether it is emailing the teachers questions or emailing teachers assignments that they completed in class. Students are able to complete assignments, especially writing assignments, quicker than ever because they can not type their entries during class instead of writing them. Students are able to type daily journal entries on their laptops instead of in a paperbound notebook. Also, students have easy access to looking up useful information, like definitions of words, or different lighting techniques in digital photography. In digital photography class, students are able to upload pictures onto their computers and get to work immediately, instead of developing photos in a dark room. With the laptops being easy to carry around, students are able to complete all assignments at any given moment.

In the video, the teachers all seemed to have positive thoughts in regards to the technology as well. One teacher mentioned that technology “opens the world up” to students and allows them to access anything on the Internet, especially with updated information from all over the world, which is particularly important for social studies classes. It gives students a chance to be “a part of the real world” by connecting with people from other countries or with a United States Senator! The teachers felt that teaching styles have not changed, but instead technology has allowed teachers to stretch themselves and develop more creativity. Teachers have seen improvement in their students’ work because technology has allowed students to “learn by doing“, like creating movies about a particular topic instead of writing a paper!

There are many ways that teachers have incorporated and differentiated their classes because of technology. Students are able to incorporate science and math by using graphing applications and digital equipment on the computer to experiment the temperatures of different colored paper. Teachers have begun using “expeditionary learning”.

As you can see, technology has transformed the typical classroom that we are all used to. It has been almost three years since I have been in high school, and there has already been drastic changes to the curriculum due to technology. Instead of using computer labs, computers on wheels, or the library, students now have access to iPads and iMacs in the classroom! No more limited time on classroom desktops, most schools have enough computers and iPads for all students. I never thought how important and useful technology could be in education.

I must admit, I have mixed feelings about the overpowering of technology in education. I’m actually nervous that I won’t have a job one day because technology will take over teachers, if it hasn’t already. Yes, it does give students more freedom to explore their creativity, but it also takes away from the personal interactions teachers had with their students. As a future math teacher, I’m amazed at all the applications that can be used to help teach math by the amount of games offered online. But how much longer until teachers don’t exist?

Is technology becoming the soul source of education? I sure hope not. I guess I’ll have to decide that for myself as a teacher, and not let technology take over my classroom completely.