Throughout the duration of one semester, I have been exposed to a variety of blogs and fellow bloggers. I have learned how to create one as well as how much of an impact they can have on learning and the spread of knowledge. I have mingled with a network of life-long learners and individuals eager to share their ideas and love of information. I specifically learned so much about how useful technology can truly be in a classroom and how beneficial a multimodal approach to content can be for students with multiple intelligences. I know that I will continue to blog and contribute to the transfer of knowledge to individuals of all facets of life.
Yes! I loved having the opportunity to create something I knew my fellow colleagues and other educators and life-long learners would read and give feedback to. I took pride in creating each and every post and put all my energy and care into this blog, knowing that I created something others would read and benefit from. I felt apart of and connected to a community. I never knew how much fun it could be!
Blogging opened my eyes to the world of technology and how I could use it in my future classroom as a future English teacher. Knowing how much I enjoyed it, I realized it could be used as an enjoyable alternative to a traditional five paragraph essay. The fact that it incorporates text, videos, images, and even sound helped illustrate that blogging is a multimodal means of engaging students. This blog can also enhanced my life as a professional because it has added to my professional digital footprint and has contributed to my professional E-foilo. I am proud to share it will my colleagues and other professionals.
Blogging could serve as a way to collaborate with other students across the world to share their ideas about a concept. It could help students to present information in a condensed manner and allow them to read and comment on what other classmates wrote. Blogging fosters a multitude of skills such as:
Students can build their digital footprint in a positive way and at the same time, they can learn to be globally aware. The benefits of blogging are tremendous for students!
Here are some helpful resources to get you or your classroom started:
GoAnimate is a fun and creative way to turn a script or a story into an animated video! It’s a free website that requires no artistic talent. With GoAnimate, anyone from students to business associates can find a use for creating an animated video. GoAnimate offers a selection of templates, backgrounds, music, sounds, characters, and even languages or accents for your characters. You have the opportunity to type twenty lines of dialogue to create your story, or you can record your own voice for your characters! The step-by-step process is easy and there is a guided process that eliminates any confusion. When you are finished, GoAnimate creates a video for you which you can share and publish to any number of social media sites for everyone to see!
There is actually an entire subsection to GoAnimate called GoAnimate4Schools. Students and teachers can use this website and this application for classroom projects and incorporating technology into a lesson in order to spice it up and engage the students in their education. Here are several more uses for GoAnimate for schools:
Here are some more reasons for teachers to use GoAnimate for Schools:
Teachers can also create a video as a hook or anticipatory set for their lesson plans, or even to teach simple concepts! It is a great way to capture students attention! This is a fantastic classroom application that teachers should absolutely try in their classrooms!
SchoolTube.com is “the nation’s largest K-12 moderated video sharing platform, specifically designed for students and educators and is exclusively endorsed by over twenty national education associations.” Their goal is to empower students and teachers through the use of video with a safe, informative, and fun video sharing experience.
SchoolTube was created by father and son, Carl and Andrew Arizpe in St. Louis. They wanted to make a website that schools would allow to utilize and pass through their strict firewalls. The Website was established in 2007 and has since boasted over 400,000 videos and is used by at least one user from 40,000 schools nationwide.
Many schools block YouTube, so SchoolTube is a safer, more controlled alternative. A teacher in the district where the student uploads the video must approve it before it is posted to the site. SchoolTube is educational and serves as an exciting and engaging alternative to assignments such as reports, and offers an alternative option for a video project. A student can learn a variety of skills and the project can by deemed as authentic because it will be published for a large audience outside the classroom, which encourages students to produce their best quality work. SchoolTube is a large network of educational videos categorized and filed in one location for students to browse and learn from in a safe, educational environment.
Here is a great link from SchoolTube on how teachers can navigate the website in order to ensure their students learn to their potential and have access to this educational vault.
A Personal Learning Network (PLN) is “an informal learning network that consists of the people a learner interacts with and derives knowledge from in a personal learning environment.” In other words, the women in your book club, your inner circle of friends who discuss gaming, and the time spent discussing football with the guys, are all examples of a PLN. A PLN can also be digital. Technology allows a person to connect and discuss with a multitude of other individuals who share common interests.
There are a wide range of tools utilized for PLNs. Here are some examples:
This link offers a vast variety of of resources and components of Personal learning Networks that are both informative and interesting.
Audience of One 90.2 FM is the faux radio show broadcast I created with my colleague Lauren Wasilchuk for a college media literacy course this semester. We created the show around the topic of music and included a variety of segments that included listener call-ins with prizes, interviews with band members and local DJ’s, commercials promoting cafe’s with live music and open mic nights at the local college, as well as interviews with community members inquiring into their favorite artists. We also created a “Making Of” after show in which we explained our experiences and the process.
A lot! Lauren and I met up several times. Together, we created a script as we collaboratively shared our ideas for segments, characters, and lines. After creating the script, we chose sound effects and bumpers from Freesound.org and searched both our iTunes libraries for songs to add for transitions. We also selected videos from YouTube to record. After we had pieced together our broadcast, we recorded our show using the recording and editing program, Audacity. It included a lot of time-consuming cutting, piecing together of clips, alterations, fade-ins, effects, and more.
Well for starters, the software program was a little tricky for us to navigate at first. It was mostly a trial and error type of experience. It took some time to learn how to cut portions of the clips and how to select pieces to alter for effects such as slow motion. We also had a lot of difficulty figuring out how to insert music or sounds into the program. We utilized a series of tutorials as well to guide us along. We even ran into problems trying to upload the finished product to SoundCloud when we realized it didn’t accept Audacity files. Ultimately we had to upload it to iTunes. We also had difficulty stretching the radio show to meet the time requirements, so we unexpectedly had to create extra segments which were unscripted. To begin with, we were also a team member down! We only had two instead of three! Luckily we were able to make accommodations to make our broadcast shorter in length.
Lexia Reading Core5 is a technology-based product designed to help students from Pre Kindergarten through fifth grade master fundamental and foundational reading skills. Lexia “provides explicit, systematic, personalized learning in the five areas of reading instruction, and delivers norm-referenced performance data and analysis without interrupting the flow of instruction to administer a test.” Lexia is also specifically designed to meet the Common Core Standards and is based on extensive research. Lexia Reading Core5’s purpose is to accelerate reading skill development. It also can predict students end of the year performance and supplies teachers with plans of action based on data that are personalized for each student.
This video will give you an extensive overview of all the components of this technology-based reading improvement product.
Bookshare is the world’s largest online library of copyrighted content for people with print disabilities. Their goal is to make reading accessible. Individuals have access to a large and diverse variety of texts for both academia and reading for pleasure.
Bookshare is in compliance with IDEA 2004 which requires timely access to materials for qualified individuals. It also provides access to most curriculum’s for students with print disabilities. It also helps promote inclusive education and helps create the LRE or Least Restrictive Environment. Bookshare helps reduce the costs associated with special education accommodations as well as use tools that support the Universal Design for Learning. It even eliminates the cost to scan or copy books.
This video depicts a child who has improved his confidence in reading as well as his grades by using Bookshare.
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