Learning Activity 8.2: Genius Hour

I have never heard of Genius Hour before this part of the last module of this course.  Basically what Genius Hour is, is it a project-based activity.  Students can pick any topic that interests them and can be completely self-driven.  There is no set topic that students have to choose from it is solely a topic that is interesting to that specific student.  I think this is a great idea and there are several benefits that I see but also some obstacles that might present themselves.

First for the benefits.  One benefit that I see is that it can really help motivate students intrinsically.  The students get to pick a topic that interests them.  Allowing students to pick their own topic, which is great, because students can fully explore the topic of their choice which will motivate them to complete the activity.  The second benefit is that this type of project and activity can be used from elementary to high school.  It’s a great way for the younger students to explore technology and find out more information about a career or even a hobby they have now.  It’s also a great way for high school students to find out what they want to do after high school is over.  The third benefit that I see is that this activity can reach many different styles of the way students learn in the classroom.  It can be beneficial to all types of learners because it can be used for all of the modalities in education.

I see three obstacles that might have to be overcome when implementing this type of activity in the classroom.  The first obstacle would be if students simply do not want to learn this way.  This has to be addressed right away with those specific students and they must be informed about the benefits of learning in this type of way and the should see the different ways that they can benefit from it.  The second obstacle would be finding the time to incorporate the activity into a classroom that is already jammed packed with other things that need to be taught.  This is where trying to incorporate this lesson into a standard that needs to be taught might be beneficial.  The last obstacle that I would see is trying to justify this type of lesson to the administration in the building.  I think that having the administration come in to do an observation will help benefit the justification as to why this is being done in the classroom.

Learning Activity 7.5: Zoom Meeting

This afternoon I was able to do a Zoom meeting with John and the conversation was great!  Zoom was a great tool and very easy to use and we did not lose reception at any point in our meeting.  We learned a lot about what each of us was doing during this time of quarantine and school closures.  John and I actually did our Zoom meeting about an hour after the Governor shut down schools in PA for the remainder of the academic year.  So our conversation started with that and we talked about what our districts have been putting in place for students.  Overall it was a great experience talking with another educator and coach.  It was nice to have a conversation about what might happen with this upcoming football season and many other topics as well.

I have used Zoom twice before John and I spoke.  Our district has been using Zoom to have department meetings so I have been participating in them.  I feel that Zoom is a great tool and it is very well versatile to use and very user friendly.  I know I will be using Zoom in the future to connect with my students and parents throughout this process.  I look forward to using it and doing this conversation before using it with my student has really helped with my anxiety about using a new tool.

Learning Activity 7.2: Twitter

I found Twitter about two years ago as an assignment for one of my courses for my master’s.  We were tasked to create a Twitter handle and then join an educational chat.  After that assignment, I was hooked.  I have used Twitter for professional development in both teaching and coaching.  I have to be honest and say that I use it more for coaching than my professional development for teaching but I to tweet out some information that our district posts and special education information as well.  I have gotten so much great information for coaching and new ideas for teaching and how to implement certain topics in my classroom.  I have met and learned so much coaching information from other coaches across the country it has helped me out tremendously.  I have also met many teachers from around the country and used some of the things I have learned in my classroom as well.

Here are some Pros of using Twitter:

  • You can access it from anywhere.
  • It gives great opportunities for real-time discussions with other teachers
  • It is easy to use and very interactive.
  • It can be a very powerful eLearning tool for any type of profession
  • It can build a strong community among teachers and staff members throughout the district.

Here are some Cons of using Twitter:

  • Your post can only be 140 characters.
  • You can send a direct message to one user at a time.
  • It does not archive content and conversations.
  • Your tweet might be considered just a moment in time.
  • It can be distracting.

 

Learning Activity 6-1: Flickr

I have to admit I never heard of Flickr before.  Once I looked more into it I actually thought to myself that this can be used for a multitude of things in my classroom.  I was also reminded of picture stories, I did when I was in school.  Those picture stories would use pictures from stories or pictures we have never seen before and we would have to create a story based on the picture.  As soon as I went online to find out more about Flickr I thought right away from using Flickr in that sense and bring the picture stories to 21st-century learning.

Here are some other ways I would use Flickr in my classroom:

  • Introductions of students the first week or so of school.
  • To connect and collaborate with other students through photos.
  • Make a slideshow project in history class.
  • Mapping out a location or using photos to talk about a place they would like to travel too.
  • Students can keep a portfolio.
  • You can also use it as keeping photos for the school yearbook.
  • If the school has a photography class.  They can use it as a place to store photos and places to show photographs off.
  • Another way is to use a picture in English class and have students pick a person from that photo and create a story of the person based on the picture.  Such as the picture below.

 

Interesting looking group of people - circa 1920

Aussie~mobs. (2012, April 13). Interesting looking group of people – circa 1920. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/hwmobs/6926208868/in/photolist-by3CAh-Sy3Ek4-2hxnBmD-Pz6YAZ-qgUfEd-DyvDmi-8i2DVs-252pJqZ-NW5SSe-2iqnxMH-233ecw4-4UGhao-57AtWe-RTmuGp-4M3fs7-2io5G2E-2iCis6t-JjUFrw-goR2aF-LazmAs-241MwvK-UYuQg5-8PR18H-pSLwHy-LQetvW-23WLxYw-EjgSbt-22B97ev-2cCw4S6-rkDZec-2fzQaZF-28rdTEw-2g7Cye9-Vig6wf-CfkC9K-2gDT5bP-i3qzjA-e5cgio-2hKHy6p-2gdSZxw-SPP38H-2hVPeyr-R2ge5v-LtLC96-UYuQ4w-WfPAdK-P5bvpJ-8cgPWq-LNKYxC-cM8Kjj/

Learning Activity 5-1: Collaborative Education

Having a collaborative environment in my small group math class, that I teach, for special education students has been tremendous.  This isn’t the first time I used collaborative education with special education students and have seen great things.  When I was teaching at the high school level I was using a collaborative learning environment in a small group computer class.  This class consisted of special education students ranging from emotional support to students in life skills.  With this computer class, I thought them a variety of collaborative education tools from Microsoft 365 to all of the Google apps.  I love using all of the Google apps and so did my students.  We did collaborative work on all of the Google apps.  We started off working separately on different projects when I started teaching a new app from Google.  As the lesson progressed we always finished with a collaborative project.  I have to be honest the first collaborative project I did with them failed miserably.  I am not ashamed to admit that because through that project failing I learned so much about my students and about my teaching style that helped make the other collaborative projects a success.  Through these projects, I had to adjust my model of teaching and how I presented information to the students.  The students also had to adjust some of the ways they learned but for the better.  I think the first one failed because of my lack of explanations and the students were really not willing to work with one another the way I thought that it was going to happen.

After the fail of the first one, I really had to adjust the model of my teaching because I wanted to continue doing collaborative work.  I made some adjustments to my teaching style and some adjustments to how I approached the grouping of my students to work on the projects together.  I have to admit I was very hesitant but it was such an improvement that I am never going back to not incorporating a collaborative project in any class that I teach.   I felt that my teaching style and the way I approach a project has changed for the better.  Also, I saw such an improvement with my students and how they interact with one another and their confidence level it was very rewarding.  The students I had in my computer class went to other classes and started using the Google apps in other classes and teachers would compliment them on the work that they completed.  I also saw their confidence grow and saw them interact more with other students outside of the classroom.  I am seeing the same things in my students at the middle school level and it’s great.  I am one teacher that will be continuing to use collaborative assignments in my classes in the future.

 

 

Mathematicians Lesson Plan

Diigo Lesson Plan – Mathematicians Research

Brief Description:  Students will work together in groups to learn information about famous Mathematicians.  Diigo will be used to organize and share their information with classmates.

Grade Level: 7th-grade students.

Major Objectives:
1.  The student will research and become familiar with a famous Mathematician that they are familiar with.
2.  The student will research and become familiar with a Mathematician that is new to them.
3.  The student will use Diigo to organize and collect the information that will be needed to complete their project.
4.  The student will utilize bookmarks, capture, and highlights to organize information.

Equipment: Use of one computer for each student, worksheet to help students follow the needed process and ensure they are collecting proper information, pencil/pen, paper

Procedure:

1. You have been assigned to research 2 Mathematicians. You must pick 1 Mathematician that you do not know anything about, and 1 Mathematician that you are familiar with.

2.  All research must be completed on the Internet.  Use Diigo.com to compile your research and share it with teammates.

3. You must share materials with others in the class.

4. You will be working with others in your group to research the Mathematicians.

5. You must answer the questions that are listed below in complete sentences.

6. If you have questions, first ask a classmate and then ask a teacher if you do not get the answer you need.

7. Work quickly, quietly, carefully.

8. This project will need to be completed within 3 class periods.

Assessment:  Check for understanding by having the students collaborate with each other in their groups.  They will need to begin preparing their group presentation to present to the class.

Reason:  I chose this lesson because I have the students do this at the beginning of the year in my small group math class as a fun way to get the students familiar with the computers.  I do this lesson without using Diigo and I think the addition of using Diigo will greatly improve the way that this lesson is completed.  The worksheet I have them follow is a teacher made worksheet that gets the students to stay on task and make sure they are following along.

Advantages and Disadvantages: I feel that some of the advantages that I will see because of the revisions will be that students will be able to keep research more organized.  Another advantage will be that it will be more time effective because of everything being in one spot and students not losing their research.  With the advantages, I see I can also see some disadvantages or setbacks at first.  I think my students might have some difficulty with using Diigo at first.  I can also see some confusion on how to keep things in one spot.  I feel that if I can put a lesson together on how to use Diigo these disadvantages can be minimal.

Learning Activity 4-1: RSS Feeds

     I have only used an RSS feed once before and I have to say its awesome! I am not going lie it was overwhelming at first and it still is a little bit but it is a great tool.  I thought it was great how in one place and I can access all of my classmates’ blogs along with many others.  The one time I used the RSS feed was great because it helped me keep things organized and everything in one place.  I feel that “The Old Reader” is very reliable and a tool that I can see using if I get a new position I am hoping to get next year.  I will be using it to help students keep information on different types of careers.  I can also have the students use it to keep research information for their project that I am projecting them to do as a requirement for the course I might be creating.  I will be using The Old Reader to help me grow in my professional development as well. I have subscribed to many different things since exploring this RSS feed.   The things I subscribed to will help me keep everything organized for all of my Master’s classes that I am taking for my Master’s in Online Teaching.  The Old Reader will be helping me find new things to teach my students about and find new careers that I can inform my special education students about for their transition piece of their IEP’s.  

     I also subscribed to two blogs that will help me currently and for the foreseeable future.  They are the teacher pay teacher blog.  This blog gives great ideas for teaching all different subjects and it’s a resource site for teaching and they are resources that were created by teachers. The next one is the IXL blog.  use IXL currently in my math class and I love it.  This blog gives more ideas on how to use it and in different ways, it can be used in other classes as well. 

The three websites that I want to inform everyone that I found are:

Think TechEd- Technology in Education, Emerging Education Technologies, and stemedcoalition.org (Links to an external site.).  I like all of these because I have found several things that will help me in my professional development and information that will help me with my other classes to help me complete my masters in online learning.  The last one, stemedcoalition.org (Links to an external site.) will help me in my teaching of the course I hope to create next year in my district.  hope to use some of the information in the class and inform the district of things that are happening in the STEM world as well. 

Getting Started with Edmodo

  • Title: Three Activities to Get Started with Distance Learning Using Edmodo, Author: Doreen Wolfgram and Tiffany Louie, Location: go.edmodo.com

 

  • Summary: 

In this Article, both authors focus on three activities and how to implement them for distance learning.  This article was just published on March 10th of this year because of the school closings because of the Global Pandemic of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Even though this article was created because of the pandemic I feel that these activities can be used in a blended learning environment as well as a full-online setting.  The article breaks down three activities by describing them, how to create the activities and then finally how to implement them.  I feel this is a great way because it gives out so many great ideas on how to create the activities and then how to implement them, which is often the most troublesome for a teacher to think of.  Another great thing about this article is that these three activities are not subject-specific.  These activities can be used by any teacher teaching any subject.

The first activity is a digital scavenger hunt.  The activity states that students will follow clues and search for digital information on a topic that the teacher creates.  The goal of this is not to have the students read everything but to scan digital resources for information needed to complete the task.  The teacher can create the questions for the hunt based on information from the textbooks, websites or videos.  For this activity, teachers can implement this lesson in two different ways.  Both ways include using Edmodo but in two different ways.  One way is to post the directions in the Edmodo classroom.  The other way is to create it as an assignment and attach the instructions from an already created document.

The second activity is a digital resource comparison.  For this activity, students will complete a graphic organizer to compare three different resources.  Those resources can be a website, ebook, digital textbook or a YouTube video.  The resources must be on the same topic.  This activity is to see the difference in how information might be present through different digital resources on the same topic.  Again this activity can be implemented in two different ways, again as a post to the classroom or as an assignment using a premade document.

The last activity is a digital presentation piece.  Students will choose from a list of content-specific topics that were put into place by that subject teacher.  They will create a presentation with their findings in different ways.  They may present in a PowerPoint, video or any other digital creation.  A rubric can be created by the teacher to define what the presentation must cover and have.  Again this activity can be implemented in a post on the website or as an assignment.  Also what is neat about this activity is that the students can post their findings in a video or submit the presentation and then a voice recording of them present their findings.

Overal this article gave three great activities that can be used in a blended learning setting or in a fully online classroom setting.  It gave great insight as to what the activities would be and different ways they can be implemented through Edmodo.

 

  • Citation: 

Wolfgram, D., & Joseph. (2020, March 11). Three Activities to Get Started with Distance Learning Using Edmodo. Retrieved from       https://go.edmodo.com/three-activities-to-get-started-with-distance-learning-using-edmodo/

Who Can Use Edmodo

  • Title: How to use Edmodo in the Classroom Author: Jason Cunningham, Location: www.educationworld.com

 

  • Summary:

In this article, Jason talks about who can use Edmodo and how each one of those groups can use it.  The first group that Jason talks about is teachers.  Teachers can use Edmodo to truly bring the classroom to the online world.  Teachers can give assignments, quizzes and poll students.  Teachers can also manage their classes and consolidate all activities in one place.  Teachers have unlimited options to share digital content to students and to other teachers.  Teachers can embed instructional videos, manage calendar events and create different learning groups for students.  Teachers also can search for topics to find and share information with other teachers.  Another great feature that teachers can use on Edmodo is to make rosters to print out for substitutes.  Edmodo can also be used as a classroom management system and motivation system with their badges that teachers can give through Edmodo for doing well on an assignment or quiz.

Another group that can use Edmodo is administrators.  District administrators and principals can use Edmodo as a way to collaborate and coordinate with teachers and different types of leadership teams.  Another great way administrators can use Edmodo is a way to give feedback to teachers and receive feedback from teachers.  Another way administrators can use it is a way of conducting professional development during In-Service days.  Edmodo uses a video service called SchoolTube so administrators can post a professional development seminar to all the teachers in the district and then they can watch it at the same time.

The next groups go hand and hand.  Of course, Edmodo will be used with students but parents can also use Edmodo.  Students will benefit from Edmodo because they can access extra help from peers, teachers, and SchoolTube.  Students will receive instant feedback from teachers including teacher annotations.  Edmodo is also a great way for students to learning how to interact safely online.  Now to the parents.  Edmodo is great in the way that parents can log in either as their students or create an account for themselves.  If a parent creates their own account they will be able to review their child’s work, grades and get updates from the teacher.  This way parents will know if a student misses an assignment and also school happenings.

 

  • Citation: 

How to Use Edmodo in the Classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/how-educators-can-

                use-edmodo.shtml

Reasons Why Edmodo is Awesome!!

  •  Title of article: 10 Reasons Why Edmodo is an Excellent (and hugely popular) Digital Learning Platform,  Author: Kelly Walsh, Located: www.emergingedtech.com

 

  • Summary of Article:

This article was very informative and gave great information that will better help me understand Edmodo and might possibly sway some teachers into using this great tool!  As the article’s title states, there are 10 reasons in the article as to why Edmodo is excellent.  I am not going to explain all of the reasons but I will explain the ones that stuck out to me and might help influence the next teacher to use Edmodo.  One reason is that it is a safe environment for kids.  There are no advertisements that are on this learning platform.  There is a process that Edmodo uses to invite and managing what students have access to the class.  So those things along promote privacy and safety.  The next reason is that it is easy to learn and use for all age groups and how nontechnological a teacher might be.  Edmodo offers great Quick Guides, Frequently Asked Questions and a ton of other supports and help tools.  Edmodo is also a great platform for Blended Learning opportunities.  Edmodo is completely FREE!!! That is no cost for school districts so a school district that might not have all the finances to get a Learning Management System, Edmodo is a great alternative.  Lastly, Edmodo offers real-time analytics.  This means you, as the teacher, know exactly how many students are logged in, what assignments they are working on and what quizzes were taken by each student.  There are more reasons why Edmodo is an excellent collaboration tool that this article states.  I felt that these three reasons would be best to explain a little bit about Edmodo and give some more insight for other teachers to decide if Edmodo would be right for their classroom.

  • Citation: Walsh, K. (2015, April 04). Kelly Walsh. Retrieved from https://www.emergingedtech.com/2013/12/10-reasons- why-edmodo-is-a-excellent-and-hugely-popular-digital-learning-platform/