Reflection Week 4: Clt + Alt + Teach – 8 Ways to Introduce Second Life for Educators

Second Life is a “game” or virtual world, that some are arguing that it is appropriate to use as a professional development tool for educators, administrators, and even students. Two aspects that I thought were fairly interesting about the program was the ISTE SigVE [Special Interest Group: Virtual Environments], which every 3rd Thursday of the month will have guest speakers in a virtual setting. There have been many speakers, including a woman from the National Defense University in D.C., a professor from Harvard, and many more. I do like the fact that you can listen to a group speaker that you may not have got the chance to listen to otherwise, as well as the fact that they could still be across country while it is happening. Guest Speaker The other aspect I found interesting was the Virtual Pioneers, which was started by a group of history teachers searching for a virtual representation of past worlds, and today’s wonders. Just a few things you can view include the Renaissance, The Globe Theater, and Versailles. Which allows students to explore, and in a sense, experience the worlds their teachers are sharing with them. Which I

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believe will help with comprehension not only of the subject, but of what life was actually like during the era. But like any educator, I have my reservations about it. It makes me nervous because: 1) you never really know what is going on, on the internet in general but specifically virtual servers. So by having my student on something like this would be really nerve-racking, because you don’t know the people on there other than your own class. As well, it could be abused by your students or facility members. Though you would hope this wouldn’t happen, there is always the “what if”.

Even though this virtual world seems to be geared toward educators and schools with sections such as VWBPE Annual Conference [Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education] and VWER [Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable], I would still approach with caution. But I am considering trying this myself, in order to properly gauge my comfort level with it, because with the rise in technology use, it may be a good way to keep my students engaged.

 

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Reflection Week 3: iLearn Technology – Science of Everyday Life

I was really excited to find this post because I think that this website, Science of Everyday Life is going to be a great tool to use in my classroom. It’s a Discovery Education and 3M collaboration website, that ranges from kindergarten to 12th grade, which encourages curiosity and exploration. There is also a range of topics within science that it covers, from life science, physical science, earth science and technology/innovation. Which is really exciting for me because it will fit easily within my concentrations, and will give me great resources to look at; including videos, virtual labs, and interactive programs. And as an added bonus.. LESSON IDEAS! What more could you, as a teacher, want out of an educational website?

Science of Everyday LifeWhat I also really enjoyed about the site, is its easy navigability. It’s so simple to go through the website as either a parent, teacher, or student and find exactly what you’re looking for. As well, there are really fun and engaging activities that seem to be age/grade relevant.

 

Reflection Week 3: Web based 3D/CAD for kids – NSC-Tech

This post I viewed was from a blog called NSC-Tech by Kevin Barrett, which discussed 3D modeling programs to replace the Google sketchup program when it was sold, and he disliked it’s usability. Barrett found many programs from Tinkercad to 3Dtin which were all free and he liked the programs much better. I think that programs such as these are great learning tools for students, especially for classes such as shop and math, but I think that with its usability as well as it being free, I could incorporate this into my Earth Science classroom. For example, I could easily have my students create 3D images of a fault line, and other such tectonic plates, which would help them apply this in a sort of “hands-on” experience, as well as incorporating technology.


Though I thought that these programs were really cool, I honestly think the best part of the post was when I read about the Origo, which is a 3D printer “for ten-year olds”. What basically this entails is by using a 3D modeling program, you can create something such as an airplane (like in the video) and the “printer” will create it for you. What a cool concept! Where were 3D printers when I was ten? But beside the fact of my obvious jealously for the awesome new toys/technology available for children today, this also could be really beneficial in classrooms. Especially in a class such as shop, or even maybe a physics class. The only set back is the cost. These 3D printers are often costly, though the Origo concept (a 3D printer for home) is still in it’s beginning stages, there are such “printers” already in place at some schools, but as stated before come with a hefty price. 

Digital Footprints

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Though I know that it’s pretty close to impossible for there not to be another person with my name, I was still surprised to see exactly how many there were. I couldn’t even imagine how many more there would have been if I had a common last name. Honestly, I did think it was pretty cool that my Facebook and picture were both first in the lists of Danielle Epting’s, but that could also be a bad thing if I had a negative digital footprint. I believe that the best way to have a positive digital footprint would be to be careful what you post online. Everything within the Google image search that I found, that actually had to do with me, were of just me, my fiancee and I, or my family. So  I’d have to say that luckily I have a fairly positive digital footprint. Which is definitely good in today’s world because many people don’t realize not only are your friends and family looking at your Facebook, Twitter, and other such social media outlets, but now possible employers and college’s often view these to see what you’re really like as a person, rather than the overly sweet and qualified person sitting in front of them. Which is what the article, “Is Your Digital Footprint Squashing Your Reputation?” discusses in further depth, including that a study found that up to 70% of employers now, scope out their prospective employees on Google. As well, as a future educator, I don’t want my students to search me or any other educator for that matter, on Google and find provocative inappropriate photos, or photos with alcohol in my hands. I find it irresponsible and unprofessional, and people need to think more about what they’re saying before they post, because it may say it’s deleted but there is still a digital footprint left behind. And once something is on the web, it will always be on the web, just waiting for someone to find it. This point is not only important for yourself to be careful of as the article “A Great Guide on Teaching Students About Digital Footprint” discusses, because it’s important to educate others, and your students on the dangers and positive and negative sides to digital footprints. This is because if they don’t start/understand the repercussions of a negative digital footprint while they’re young it could harm them later in life.

Digital Footprint

Teaching Channel – Text What You Learned: Use Technology to Assess

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This video was about embracing technology, such as texting in the classroom. By doing this, according to the teacher Sarah Wessling, the students received affirmation in themselves by seeing their answers (anonymously) on the board. As well, in an instant the teacher is able to see where the class is at and what learning has occurred. I think that this would be really beneficial for any teacher in that it engages the students partly because it keeps it relevant to them.  Also I think that the word cloud, that shows the overall learning concepts is really neat. I think that this kind of technology would be interesting and useful for any classroom. I believe this because I think by embracing the technology such as the texting it encourages them to use the technology for beneficial reasons, and shows that technology is appropriate sometimes. As well, the Teaching Channel website has many videos, in various subjects and sections that could help in several areas and would be a good place to spend some time researching. 20130602-144147.jpg

Teaching Channel – Teaching Practice: Sharing Common Core Language with Students

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This video was about the importance of sharing Common Core Language/Standards With your students. Now I understand the purpose of doing this, because then the students understand the how, what and why. Which them keeps them engaged. I think that this would be beneficial for me as a teacher because students often see science classes as an easy pass, because of the lab. Or as something that they have to take, but I hope that by sharing the core standards, they will then understand the depth of the class and engage themselves within it.

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Reflection Week 1: Upside Down Education – Going Mobile

Smartphones

Smartphones

This post from the Upside Down Education blog, was based off of a study done at the Pew Research Center, and the teacher/blogger is trying to address the issue, of whether or not there is an economic digital divide. I think that according to these statistics, there really isn’t much of a divide anymore due to cellphones. According to these stats, 95% of teens use the internet, and 75% do so by the use of cellphones. I knew that the percentage was probably relatively high, but the actual numbers were a bit more staggering than I had expected. As well, I had never really thought about where a student lived, rural, urban, or suburban effects whether or not a teen has a smart phone. That really isn’t something that I had ever thought about, but it’s because of the access to the cellphone towers and service and how readily they receive the 3g and 4g services. So with saying that, rural teens are the least likely to have a smart phone, which was a little surprising, I would have guessed urban.

Internet

Internet