A Presentation Perspective on "Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology" by Allan Collins and Richard Halverson
Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America is a book written by Allan Collins and Richard Halverson. This presentation was based on the information provided by both authors concerning the role of 21st century technologies, current challenges of schooling, new curriculum designs, and ideas in rethinking teaching and student learning.
As part of the my continuous search on different articles and information on mobile learning, I cannot help but revisit the ongoing possibilities on a partnership with Web 2.0 technologies. Ever since I have been exposed to mobile learning, I have been interested in searching for resources that can be integrated with it, whether in a face-to-face setting or in a blended learning approach. Last August 2nd to 5th, the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) provided a free virtual conference called the speak VOLumes conference. I had the opportunity to present about different Web 2.0 technologies, for the first time, in a virtual conference. My presentation included a feature of some examples of Web 2.0 technologies are highly interactive and these can be used in face-to-face, online/virtual, and/or blended learning.
You can access each Web 2.0 by clicking on each slide. Below are screen shots of my presentation:
In this day and age, majority of the younger generation live in a learning environment that is filled with technology tools and resources. They use technology as part of their everyday lifestyle, whether it is for learning, sharing, discovering, or entertainment. In doing so, it is necessary that as educators we should be ready in addressing and supporting these type of learners who desire to learn beyond the traditional classroom setting. In this presentation, you will be learning different web 2.0 technology tools and resources that you can use in your classroom for instruction, as well as obtaining wonderful ideas for seamless technology integration.
What is Web 2.0 Technology? Web 2.0 technology is associated with web-based applications that facilitate opportunities for collaboration, creation of new ideas, global communication, and creativity.
How can Web 2.0 Technology Tools and Resources be used in the Classroom?
Web 2.0 tools and resources can be used, but not limited to the following ideas:
What are some great Web 2.0 Technology Tools and Resources? There are several web 2.0 tools that have been developed through the time of its inception in the 21st century and many of them have and continue to be used in education. Here are some of the highly recommended Web 2.0 technology tools and resources that you can use in the classroom:
Create your own Children's book using ArtisanCam's Picture Book Maker!
Audacity is a FREE download application that allows you to record audio that can be exported and used for a podcast, presentation, or audio-video support.
Edmodo is a FREE microblogging that can be used in the classroom.
Evernote Evernote allows you to save your ideas, things you see, and things you like. You can sync your ideas on the web or on your phone. What's even better is that it is free!
Fur.ly shortens multiple URLs into one. Imagine the possibilities!
GlogsterEDU is a free web tool that I believe many teachers will enjoy. It allows you to create online posters or glogs that can serve as a medium of individual expression, creativity, sharing of knowledge and ideas, and collaboration of skills.
Graphic Organizers by Education Place Education Place presents
Graphic Organizers that can be used to help students classify ideas and communicate more effectively.
Google Translate can be used to conduct basic translation of words to establish vocabulary development. Google Translate (insert in your blog) - steps on how to insert a "code" for the Google Translate bar to appear in a blog or website.
Google Search features Reading Level
Google Search provides the reading level feature that is useful when conducting web searches in the World Wide Web.
JamStudio is a free web tool that allows you to create music with the help of notes and instruments that are ready for use. You don't need to be an expert musician to make your music. This web tool makes it easy for an ordinary person, like you and me, to create background music, short music snippets, and songs without the hassle of knowing how to play an instrument or memorizing the musical scale.
Mindmeister is an online Mind Mapping and free web-based collaborative mind mapping software for brainstorming and project management.
MyAvatar is a free web tool that allows students and teachers create their "Wii-ish" avatar that can be applied in virtual environments. Cool isn't it?
Poll Everywhere is an audience response system that uses mobile phones, twitter, and the web
First time I heard and saw QR Codes, I wasn't really sure if I was seeing scanning codes just like in grocery stores and shopping malls, or an encrypted message that will require deciphering.
Tagxedo Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning tag cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text.
The Mixxer is a FREE educational website for language exchanges via Skype.
Twitter can be a good place to share and discover what's happening right now, anywhere in the world.
Visual Thesaurus is an online thesaurus that provides users with visualization to facilitate communication, learning, and discovery.
Voki is a free service that allows you to create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog, profile, and in email messages.
Wikispaces allow you to create FREE wikis that are simple web pages that groups can edit together.
IT Conference Region 19: Flash-Based Sites for Curriculum and Instruction
WIX is a web-based application that allows you to create easy and creative flash-based websites using available template builders and interactive add-ons. It contains different features, which encourages users to explore pages, text formats, photos or images, and animated controls, as well as to discover ideas on how to use WIX as an effective tool in developing websites. WIX features include, but are not limIted to:
WIX provides technical support to its avid and new users through a WIX Support page. This page contains detailed explanations on the following topics:
Imagine the possibilities in creating flash-based sites for curriculum and instruction. Technology resources, such as WIX, are important in enhancing and supporting classroom instruction. When properly used, these resources can provide ideas to teachers in evaluating student projects, obtaining feedback from students, encourage better participation and build higher levels of motivation, and the like. Here are some questions you may want to reflect on:
More WIX resources:
Blogging has established its roots of recognition and use in our global world. A world that continues to develop, implement, and promote virtual or online collaboration and communication in different aspects of people's lives. There are many evidences of success in the realm of blogging, whether it is in the field of education, business, or for individual use. Blogging continues to grow and yet, there are people who are just beginning to explore its possibilities, especially in teaching and learning.
In my previous post, What is a Blog?, I have provided some basic defintion and information that you may find useful, particularly if you are a beginner in blogging. I recommend that you visit my previous post to understand, first and foremost, what a blog is and how you can use a blog based on your desired goals and expectations. I had to conduct my own research when I started to learn about blogging. I caution you, though, to take time in learning the needed information. Once you start, it may be difficult to stop.
Below are some blogging sites that I find useful. Take a look and see if one of these blogging sites will suit your needs.
Edublogs is an online blogging community that allows educators and students to create blogs based on various needs. It is very easy and enjoyable to use based on ready-made templates, wonderful and creative designs, customizable features, easy to upload process for multi-media projects (i.e. podcasting, videos, photos), and the like. What even makes this blogging community stand out is that it is free!
Resource: Technology at Its Best! by Sharo Dickerson, a sample blog created with Edublogs.org
You will be asked to enter a username, an email address, and a short description about your blog. You will have to check "I Agree" for the terms and conditions tied in with Edublogs.org and from here, you can click "Next".
If this is your first time to create a blog, you may want to read, research, and solicit some ideas to help you get started. Edublogs.org offers 10 ways to use your edublog to teach. These ideas are direct to the point and very relevant to every hardworking, dedicated, and busy teacher. Of course, you can always incorporate other ideas that may suit your blog' objectives and goals better.
Blogspot or Blogger is an easy blogging site that is free for you to share your thoughts, interests, ideas, photos, etc. It is easy to use such as posting text, photos, and videos. It also has unlimited flexibility to personalize your blog with themes, gadgets, and many more. If you do not have a blog within your school or would like to try something different as an additional resource to what you already have, why not try Blogger.com
Typepad is another blogging system has more features compared to free blogging sites. This particular blogging site makes blogging simple through its intuitive interface. It allows you to maintain complete control over your blog since it provides blog management tools. Typepad makes it easy for people to find your blog with its optimized search-engine. Since Typepad is a paid service (sorry, it's not free except for a 30-day trial version), there are no advertising spam. Typepad has commissioned graphic designers to create their design template that adds more spice and pizzazz to your blogs. There is the presence of new features as they continue to add more functionality to your blogs.
February 7-8, 2011
TCEA 2011 Conference
You have probably heard about MOODLE, especially if you are involved in the technology industry. If not, you might be wondering if MOODLE is a form or type of Chinese noodle (*grin*), or maybe something totally out of this world! Who would name a system such as MOODLE in the first place? (*laughs*). I recall my first encounter with MOODLE. It was during a technology training when I heard and learned about MOODLE's capabilities and potential features. It was quite challenging to grasp at first, particularly for a system that was new and uncommon to the eyes and ears of an educator.
MOODLE is a Learning Management System (LMS) that is open sourced, which means...free! (*applause!*). It is a system that facilitates and supports an online or a virtual learning environment. Likewise, this web based system is usually installed and deployed through a server. The MOODLE database and structure resides in a server, and this system is published through the web using a URL address (web domain). Online content in MOODLE is created and developed using different activities and resources. Some of these activities include: web page creation, establishment of links with other web sites, etc. While some of MOODLE's resources include: discussion forums, chat, quizzes (i.e. multiple choice, essay, choice, true or false), wikis, online assignments and uploads, interactive glossary, to name a few.
MOODLE also provides online course developers and online teachers with different course creation tools and teaching tools. For example, online course developers uses blocks within MOODLE to segregate course sections, units, and categories. When a course developer logs into MOODLE, one sees three columns which are often referred to as blocks. You have the right blocks and the left blocks that consist of the online course menu, categories, administrative tools, RSS feeds, and other creative and useful information. On the other hand, the middle block (or section, as I would refer to at times) is where the majority of the course content resides. It is where you identify, select, and apply the course activities and resources for every unit of an online course.
Tammy Worcester is one of the featured presenters in the TCEA 2011 Conference. Tammy's sessions have often been well attended by many teachers since her sessions focused on the meaningful use of technology in content areas. She demonstrates how technology can help teachers save time, be productive and efficient with available technology resources, and integrate technology seamlessly in everyday teaching and learning experiences (the real deal! *grin*).
Let's face it, technology is here to stay. We need to keep up with the changes and be able to understand as to how technology resources can facilitate and enhance instruction. With the thousands of web-based resources, online tips and tricks, and applications available for intellectual consumption, it is quite overwhelming! Teachers cannot afford to waste time exploring and finding resources that they can use in the classroom, especially if they teach in a test-driven environment. They need help and we need to recognize and support them in whatever way we can. Tammy is able to help address this constant problem by bringing technology resources that she has used, tested, and evaluated for teacher use. As a veteran in the education field, her vast experiences in classroom teaching provide authenticity and reliability on the resources she has selected for teaching and learning.
Now, what are Tammy's favorite FREE web tools and resources? Here are a few that you can use in your classroom that I find interesting (and believe me...there are many to explore! *smile*):
Online Best Practices: PD Support for Individuals, Schools, and Districts This presentation is made possible by Sylva Kezar who is the Southwest Region Program Manager of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). At the beginning of the session, Sylva allowed each of us to introduce ourselves. What a great start! A great way to begin the networking process. *smile*
I am currently surrounded by different individuals from the education world. It is quite interesting how much education can be placed in one room with a facilitator who is an expert in bringing professional development to life. Sylva Kezar emphasized during this session that this is not a sit and get type of teaching and learning, and she wanted us to contribute our individual ideas (believe me, I have a lot of that! *grin*). She believes in changing the way we do things, especially for those educators who have been in the education business for years.
As part of the professional development world, professional learning communities are encouraged to establish collegial learning groups, teams, study groups, and support individuals who want to learn any time. We are asked to discuss at our tables the following questions:
Here is an interesting point. Whenever we are in the classroom and teaching our students, we walk around in order to ensure that students are continuously engaged in their lessons. Now, whenever we train teachers for their professional development, what do we usually do? Do we turn around and walk around to make sure that they are engaged? Or, do we stay behind a podium and continue to talk in the same spot where the microphone is.? Do we provide engaging activities that allow teachers to talk to each other, walk around, use their brains, and share ideas? Or, do we bombard them with our ideas and information for at least 4 hours of blah-blah-blah.
What is cool about ASCD? They are offering professional development in focus and in an online format. This means that educators can access videos, ebooks and downloads, book listings, periodicals, and information on conferences. These resources are available through membership that opens many doors of learning opportunities. Videos are targeted and provides useful information on different teaching strategies and methodologies that we implement in our education system (i.e. The Art and Science of Teaching, The Whole Child, Implementing RTI in Secondary Schools, etc.). As a Virtual School Developer, I need to brush myself up with these strategies and methodologies and find a commonality with the virtual learning environment that is being built for my district. I am excited to see how these resources will be able to support my own professional development that I can share with my online course developers and teachers to create better online courses.
You need to determine first and foremost if you are going to develop and implement a true virtual environment, or, adapt a hybrid approach. Either way, you need to ensure that the learning environment entails consistent communication, organization, targeted goals and clear expectations, realistic timeline, quality professional development, and availability of abundant resources.
Wiggins and McTighe explained the concept behind "Backwards by Design". What is Backwards Design? As an online course developer, it is important that one has to understand and visualize what the end looks like before beginning the development of the course. Backwards Design allows and provides opportunities (even challenges as opportunities) to identify what issues or problems learners will eventually encounter in a course, what process and accessibility will be easy for them, what works and does not work in the course, how learners will be gauged in their learning levels, to name a few.
Assessment is key in determining an online student's success. Think about Backward Design, rubrics, posted due dates, and email/posted reminders. Communication is important in relaying feedback and information to parents. Text-blast is a good tool in sending mass text to students and parents.
I am all about providing free resources that are made available in a free learning management system to teachers. I believe in this strongly. Simply because charging teachers with the tools and resources that should be provided to them, in the first place, is unfair and unjust. For this reason, I applaud Moodle LMS and the thousands of web 2.0 technologies that are made available by talented and skilled programmers and web application designers who share the same belief of sharing resources for free. In this day and age, when technology funding is on the line, why spend money to purchase a box system when, constantly, you hear district and school administrators bombarding you with words such as, "to think outside of the box"?
In developing a course, there should be student interactivity. Address various learning styles create a community, and produce projects that are meaningful and challenging. Some instructional strategies that you may consider to use include, but not limited to, Gange's 9 Events of Instruction, Madeline Hunter, Marzano, and Phil Schlecty.
A weblog, which is usually shortened to blog, is a type of website where entries re made (such as in a journal or diary), displayed in a reverse chronological order. Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. Read more...
A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world....A blog gives you your own voice on the web. Read more...
"Typically, a weblog is a small web site, usually maintained by one person that is updated on a regular basis and has a high concentration of repeat visitors. Weblogs often are highly focused around a singular subject, an underlying theme or unifying concept." Read more...
How different is a blog from a website? The main difference between the two is that blogs tend to be a lot more dynamic than websites. Blogs are updated on a regular basis with posts or entries that usually contain date/time stamps. Websites, on the other hand, are designed to be static. Read more...
How did blogging gain influence and popularity? Recently, researchers have analyzed the dynamics of how blogs become popular. There are essentially two measures of this: popularity through citations, as well as popularity through affiliation (i.e. blogroll). Read more...
Basic Blog Content
* What is the purpose of your blog?
Is it to provide information , to teach a new lesson, to provide a venue for learning a different language , to reinforce a lesson already taught, to gather responses for a book read, to feature photography as literary springboards or discussion points , or to share ideas among peers or colleagues? The list goes on.
* Who is the target audience?
Will your blog be read by colleagues, students, peers, or education professionals? Be aware of your audience interests, age group, skills, and abilities in order to achieve the goal or objectives you have set for your blog.
* What title will be best?
Your blog's title can provide added impact to your blog content. The title should be related to the content of your blog. You may want a catchy, creative or unique title that readers will easily remember.
* What should I write in my blog?
The content of your blog depends on your blog's purpose. If you are to share information, you may want to avoid bias opinions unless your intention is also to create reviews. On the other hand, if you are going to use your blog to reinforce a lesson already taught, you may want to provide a spot for a quick review of the lesson and emphasize to your students that the blog is to enhance the lesson they have already taken in class.
* Why blog?
Herman Melville put it best when he said, "We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results." Don't you agree? Blogging is not only a past time but it is a way for today's generation to rant, rave, or communicate. Aside from the technological skill involved, students are able to use their creativity, personalize their blogs base on their interests, and have something that they can claim as their own.
* How can I create a blog?
There are different software that you can use to create your weblogs. The most common is the free online blog sites such as Edublog , Wordpress , Blogger , to name a few. More features are availabe with blogs that require paid subscription such as Typepad . If you are familiar with the programming world, you can create your own blog layouts using CSS stylesheets, HTML, and the like which you upload to a web hosting site (i.e. Yahoo , Go Daddy , etc.).
Below are examples of blogs and videos demonstrating varied uses of weblogs.
Rosario Dickerson's Science 10 1 . This weblog was created with YISD's SchoolCenter Webpage and Science 101 shows the use of a weblog containing a Science activity on Animal Adaptations. The blog features instructions of a Science activity with links to websites. It is a great way for students to participate and reply by posting their findings in the Comments link.
Educational Blogging Episode 1 . A video discussion and demonstration on what blogs are and how blogs are created using free online software.
Educational Blogging Episode 2 . A video discussion and demonstration on what blogs are and how blogs are created using free online software.
Blogging Across the Curriculum . Pattie Belle Hastings who is an assistant professor in the Computer Science and Interactive Digital Design Department of Quinnipiac University used individual student weblogs as a substitute for the traditional paper design journal. The weblog became a successful venue for her and her students to create constructive feedback and share updates.
Donald E. Suburu School A blog used as the campus website where parents, students, and teachers can login and get periodic email bulletins about events and other important information.
Happy Headlines: Welcome to Miss Higginbothan's Weblog! An elementary blog that is mainly used by the teacher to post homework or assignments in different subjects and announcements.
Mr. Wright's Third Grade Clas s is a class weblog that a teacher uses to post upcoming events, upload newsletters saved as pdf, online quizzes, event videos, assignments, new lessons, photos, and the like.
Teaching High Schoo l . A secondary teacher's weblog which contains links to other educators' blogs, tips and tricks in classroom management, and personal views regarding the classroom scenario
BizDeansTalk An adminstrator's weblog that contains articles about leadership for better campus management.
Pamela Coates A principal's weblog that features updated information for parents, staff, faculty, and peers. Likewise, her weblog highlights significant teacher and student learning happening in her campus.
Mr Mayo Weblog Demonstration A teacher's blog that shares information about recent updates on his campus' online magazine by students at Silver Spring International Middle School.
The Blogging Center serves as a portal of all my blogs that caters to technology gadgets and software, education issues and strategies, links to administratorative journals, photography, technology integration and innovation, and other interesting ideas. To access every site, click on the image.
Educational Leader. Advocate of Equality and Equity in Education. Photographer. Graphic Designer. Web Developer. Digital Artist. Technology is my medium for creative and artistic expression.