Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Interactive Whiteboards

Smart boards

What is an interactive whiteboard?

The interactive whiteboard is a large interactive display that is computer drawn.  This allows its users to access and manipulate electronic files by means of a projector and the board's surface.  You can annotate over any software and save the notes electronically.  Annotation can be done by  your finger, pen, or stylus.

Image result for interactive whiteboard

How does the interactive whiteboard work?

The interactive whiteboard is is connected to a computer by a USB cable, then the computer is connected to a projector.  The system needs all three of these things to properly function.  You shine the projected image onto the whiteboard and then calibrate the image onto the screen by using several different points. 

What can I do with an interactive whiteboard?

This board serves for a variety of different reasons.  At a very basic level, you can think of this whiteboard as a large computer accessory as it can mirror whatever is displayed on your computer.  

It is also possible to write electronically on this device.  Think of this as chalk that you would use on a chalkboard.  When you make contact with the board, you can draw and write things out, just like you would on a chalkboard.  You can think of this as digital ink.  You are still writing on the board but just in a different way.  You can have the board blank and then fill it up with notes,  just like a chalkboard.  But when you are finished with annotating whatever you want, you can save the image and keep it in your files, unlike a chalkboard where you erase it and it is gone forever.  At that point it is saved as an electric file that can be emailed, saved, and printed for a later date, whatever you want to do with it!

What is an Interactive Whiteboard? This link goes more into depth about all the great things you can do with Interactive Whiteboards! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning

The Myth of Average

What is UDL?

UDL is an educational framework based on research on learning in sciences.  This includes cognitive neuroscience that guides the development of flexible learning environments that can accommodate individual learning differences.  This calls for different sets of curriculum including:
  • Multiple means of representation- gives learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge
  • Multiple means of engagement- tap learners' interests and to challenge and motivate them
  • Multiple means of expression- provide learners alternatives to demonstrate what they know
Image result for albert einstein our education system

Multiple Means of Representation

What can you do as a educator to provide this?

  • "Front-load" content or highlight critical features, provide examples
  • Support background knowledge with relevant content
  • Use materials beyond the textbook (technology, maps, poetry, films, guest speakers, etc.)

Multiple Means of Engagement

What activities will you have your students do?

  • Discussions, reading, writing, debates, Web Quests, project-based, 

Multiple Means of Expression

What means will you provide for students to show what they know?

  • Report, YouTube video, photograph, websites, poems, songs, games, plays, speeches, charts, graphs, cartoon strips, recordings
National Center for UDL is a great resource that gives several videos and examples of using Universal Design in classrooms!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Expanding my Personal Learning Network!

Expanding my Personal Learning Network

This semester I was really excited about putting myself out there and building a Personal Learning Network!  Connections are important in any career path you choose, but connecting and getting ideas from other educators is both inspiring and interesting!  

Here is a list before trying to explain my PLN…

Who I connect with:
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Professors
  • Coworkers
  • Peers
  • Advisors

Where I connect:
  • School
  • Social Media
  • Home life
  • Work
  • Blogs
  • Internet
  • Student organizations
  • UNI campus
  • Elearning

Where I give and receive:
  • Facebook
  • Classroom
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Text
  • Google
  • Email   
  • Twitter
  • Google docs
  • Commercials
  • Prezi
  • YouTube

1. Twitter Chat

As a way to build connections and follow some other educators I decided to join a TweetChat!  Not knowing what to expect with the hour ahead, I took the route of observing my first TweetChat.  It was very fast paced with several different “tweeters” talking about all kinds of different education topics.  One that I was particularly interested in was a tweet about a Special Education.  A teacher was asking ideas on how to connect their students with other students in the general education setting.  I really enjoyed looking at all the tweets when the following hour was up.  There were so many comments on the video which made it an easy and interesting way to gain new and knowledgeable information!  After this I started following a lot of different educators to further my PLN.  I hope to join into more chats in the future and next time get my own input in the conversation.

2. Twitter

Before this class,  twitter for me was to watch funny videos and look at funny GIFs.  Wanting to be an educator though,  I thought twitter would be a fun way of expanding my PLN.  I found other educators I could follow that could have useful information to better educate myself.  Expanding my twitter network is a good way of connecting with other educators,  sharing ideas,  asking questions,  and finding options or ideas about activities in the classroom!  To spread knowledge myself,  I tweeted several tweets to the hashtag #UNIETD about our class and what we were learning about!

3. Instagram

Another way to expand my PLN is through the social media site,  Instagram.  Instagram wasn’t new to me,  but I mostly spent my time on Instagram looking at my friends posting of their pictures.  I thought Instagram would be an interesting way to see what other educators post about.  After following some accounts of other teachers,  I found one I particularly liked more than the others.  Tara Elken posts several pictures of activities that she is doing in her fourth grade classroom.  Being that fourth grade is possibly the age range that I would like to teach,  I thought that her ideas were both creative and fun while following the criteria given to be a fourth grade teacher.

4. Zoom

Another aspect I used to expand my PLN was Zoom.  Zoom is a free conferencing source that I learned about from class.  In class we had to meet with our professor and my group to discuss one of our projects.  This is very convenient being that everyone can talk about the project without actually having to meet no matter the location.  Zoom is a great resource to use to communicate with people throughout the world.  With zoom you can reach out to other educators and interact with them without having to meet face to face.  This makes gaining knowledge in my field much easier knowing that I can communicate with other teachers around the world.  This tool can help me as well as my students.

5. Pinterest

Pinterest is an entire different aspect of social media for me.  I found out that you can follow and create different boards.  There are several different boards just for the purpose of Education!  This gave me so many different resources of information that I could hopefully one day use in my own classroom.  It’s very easy to find specific boards about whatever you are interested in.  I made several different boards of different subjects and categories.  Not only can I use Pinterest to share my own ideas but also others!

6. Blog

Blogs are a great source of information that educators can use to expand ideas.  Luckily,  in my Educational Technology and Design class our professors put out a new blog post every week!  Each week has different sources of information about several topics!  This can be used by not only educators, but anyone interested in learning something new!

7. Email

Yes,  of course I have used email before taking this class.  But this was the first time I got to talk to  former teacher!  For a children’s literature assignment we got to contact one of our old teachers and ask certain questions and communicate back and forth.  This was an awesome experience and this colleague and I still communicate about education every once and awhile!  I got to communicate with my 4th grade teacher, Carol Schmidt.

8. Facebook

Through Facebook, I was able to follow one of my favorite authors as a child! Doreen Cronin is an amazing author along with illustrator that has very catchy stories that are humorous.  With following this account I get to see any upcoming stories she might be working on,  interesting facts about her,  and some of the ideas she had to write and develop some of her stories!

9. TedTalks

Ted Talks is an organization that has several speakers over several topics.  These talks are short,  but very powerful.  I learned about TedTalk through my Needs of Diverse Learners class.  One TedTalk that really caught my attention was a TedTalk about Autism.  This TedTalk was about how people label children and bash autistic's by putting down their personalities.  Rosie King continues this TedTalk explaining how autism freed herself.

10. Education Summit

I attended a Education Summit at University of Northern Iowa about different teaching strategies about several subjects.  One presentation that caught my attention was about science and how girls are less involved in science than other subjects.  This summit opened my eyes to new ideas about educating children through science without the gender roles.  

My PLN has grown so much doing this activity throughout the course of this semester.  Looking at my list before it looked pretty long so I was concerned about reaching 10 different examples of expanding my PLN.  This project has expanded my PLN in different ways like:

  • Google Planner
  • Email
  • Google
  • People: other educators, family, friends, classmates, professors
  • Zoom
  • Pinterest: subject boards
  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Websites
  • EdChat
  • Books
  • Authors
  • Video Chats
  • Podcasts
  • And so much more!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning is a systematic method that engages students in learning knowledge and skills through an extended inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and tasks.

In-depth Project Based Learning 

  • Organized around an open-ended driving question or challenge
  • Creates a need to know essential content and skills
  • Requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication
  • Allows some degree of student voice and choice
  • Incorporates feedback and revision
  • Results in a publicly presented product or performance

Planning Project Based Learning

  • Get to know your students and their strengths before beginning a project so you can tailor the project to their needs
  • If you or your students are new to Project Based Learning, start small
  • Plan projects so that some activities take place outside the classroom
  • Get kids excited about the project
  • Involve students in the development of the driving question and culminating project
  • Design projects that address local, state, and national standards and issues
  • Develop assessment strategies and rubrics 
Set clear expectations for students
  • Base project grades on a variety of criteria from a variety of sources 
  • Involve community, professional, and business resources
  •  Plan how to accommodate the needs of diverse learners

Assessing Project Based Learning

Use a combination of
  • Traditional assessment (quizzes and tests)
  • Portfolio and authentic assessment
  • Rubrics
Involve students in their own assessment

  1. Choose your grade level and content subject area (s)
  2. Create the question or challenge
  3. Decide on end product
  4. Identify the content standards in the subject area
  5. Identify the key skills you are going to assess
  6. Identify different things the kids will be thinking about
  7. Plan assessment during the beginning, middle, and end of the product
Image result for group projects

What is Project Based Learning?- This website gives several elements on why Project Based Learning is efficient while students are learning success skills!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Jigsaw Classroom

Jigsaw Classroom

Image result for jigsaw Cooperative Learning Technique 

The jigsaw activity in the classroom gives each student a piece of the puzzle, making every child an important aspect in completing and fully understanding the project at hand.  Every child's part of the puzzle is essential which is what makes this strategy effective.

The jigsaw classroom is a researched-based cooperative learning technique.  This technique reduces racial conflict among children, promotes better learning techniques, improves motivation, and increases their enjoyment on whatever subject they are learning about.

Jigsaw in Ten Steps
  1. Divide students into different groups of 5-6 students
  2. Appoint one student as the leader of the group
  3. Divide the lesson into 5-6 segments
  4. Assign each student one of the segments
  5. Give students time to read over their segment and familiarize themselves with it
  6. Form "expert groups" by having the students team up with members of their same segment
  7. Bring students back to original group
  8. Ask each student to present their segment to the rest of their group
  9. Pass by groups, observing each group
  10. Quiz students about each section 
Education World: Jigsaw Technique is a website that gives examples on how to use the Jigsaw Technique in different subjects!

"OVERVIEW." The Jigsaw Classroom. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my blog! I have been active in the social media world via twitter, Instagram, pintrest, etc. but this is my first blog ever (so stick with me).  I am currently a Sophomore at University of Northern Iowa and I'm an Elementary Education major with a minor in Special Education.  Most of my blog posts will be about instructional resources that education majors would be interested in (I believe). Stay tuned to read more!