It’s Been Awhile…

Just getting back into my senior year education classes… W.O.W.  I hope to be posting on experiences that I go through this year moving through theory to practice.  I am excited!

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It Is Not Good-bye, It’s See You Later

It’s not good-bye EDT400, it’s see you later! 

To begin to recap on this semester is hard to even think about.  I came in unable to blog, using computers for really only Facebook and typing papers, laughed at what I thought Twitter was capable of, and now I realize how much I was missing out on.  This class, simply put, was an insight into the power technology can have on a classroom enviorment.

A classroom, up until this point for me, has been a single room I would sit in with fellow students.  This class however changed that.  I was able to interact with students in different sections and engage in conversations and topics we were discussing in class.  All of my work has been online through many different mediums.  This class also allowed for me to look at professionals in the field and actual professors dealing with the issue of technology in the classroom.

My educational philosophy in this class shifted in a good way.

“This tool of technology is something I highly value.  Is there a place and time to use it in the classroom? Yes.  Should I embrace the options of exploratory learning? YES.  Technology offers unlimited amount of knowledge when used correctly to fuel the curiosity that students have.  Is there times when not to use technology?  Yes.  It is a matter of finding a balance.  It is like if the power goes out and we are totally reliant on technology, then what.  However, while the power is on, we should take advantage of the opportunities.”

My PLN Links are below.  Before this class, I had FAcebook.  Below are the ones I used most often, but are not limited to…

Follow me on Twitter!

Check out my Blog

Hungry For Moose Soup?

Come to my 2.0 Classroom!

ELEV8D: Where Students Speak!

YouTube Education Project! 

My Wiki Space !

Let’s Go DIIGO

My Portfolio Link for Project

So what did all these tools build up to for the semester?  This is my project below on the site ELEV8D.  It has almost 200 hits, and is still climbing.  IT is not about how many hits this projects gets, it is about how many teachers it makes rethink about what is going on in Education today.

Good Luck to all of you and thanks for a great semester!

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Educational Philosophy

My mom always tells this story of when I was in kindergarten and how there was a girl with Down syndrome in my class.  Her name was Chelsea.  Whenever the class would leave the room, whether going to gym, art or recess, we always had to pair up and hold hands.  I was the only one is the class that would hold her hand.  I made sure she never got left behind; I made sure she stayed with the group.  My mom said I was going to do something some day to help people.  When I was in second grade, I told my mom I was going to be a teacher and help kids learn.  I have never changed my mind.

My name is Linda Gaudreau and I am that person that everyone can go to with a problem or the one that has all the crazy creative ideas.  I actually pride myself on my energy level and creative mind.  I want to take a lesson and apply my energy, my creativity, and my passion in between the lines.  I love to talk and share ideas as much as I love to hear the ideas of others.  I am the one with the plan and make sure things get done.  I have always found myself taking on leadership roles and working in groups with people.  I believe that the necessary characteristics for teaching are the classroom environment, the needs of the students, the concept of life long learning, and the competences of a teacher for my students.

My educational philosophy is to create an environment that serves the number one purpose of fostering a positive learning environment for all students to grow and reach their potential.  The student comes first.  For this to be possible, it is my responsibility to my students to be highly effective in my teaching methods and my content knowledge.  I need to be able to integrate the material in a way that my students not only understand the subject, but that they can apply it outside my classroom.  Surrounding elements in the classroom make the learning environment. The nature of learning is a self-exploration process in which children connect with themselves.  Creating a welcoming, secure classroom is important.  Students need to feel safe and respected by teachers, peers, and themselves. Education does not strive for perfection, it strives to create an environment to learn through mistakes, express oneself, and develop characteristics of a strong individual.

It is important to make students aware of morals without forcing mine specifically on them. Something as simple as the Golden Rule teaches everyone should be treated, as they would want to be treated.  There is more in that than the cliché statement that goes along with it.  For me, my deep morals and ethics are based on common ideas of respect, good judgment, responsibility, and decision-making.  My classroom environment needs to be one where students feel safe to answer their hands, regardless of whether the answer is correct or not.  I believe that students need to participate in their learning in some way or another.

The purpose of education is to develop individuals to reach the fullest of potential.  I believe that education provides an environment to learn skills that can be used both in and out of the classroom. Education teaches abilities to identify and solve problems that are related to the world outside the classroom.  I want my students to develop more that problem solving skills; I want my students to become critical thinkers.  I want for my students to discover their talents, their passion, and their inner motivation. Every child has something to offer, some kind of talent to share, and some sort of story to tell.  Without realizing it, the roles can be reversed between the student and the teacher.  While a teacher may be actively teaching, he/she is passively learning from the students.  Students may never know what they are passively teaching while actively learning. Each child has something to offer.  I believe that listening to my students is essential in knowing how to teach them best and knowing who they are. I want students to achieve disciplined thinking, explore their imagination, and learn skills for lifelong learning.

Lifelong learning starts with building a strong foundation to stand on top of.  Everyone should learn the basics to the standards of the classroom. Excellent, highly effective teaching is working with children who are willing and unwilling to learn.  Knowing students limits and emphasizing creativity is important.  In order to do this, I have the responsibility to get to know my students and the age they are at mentally and physically.  Encouragement is key for all students.   While providing resources and space for exploration, instilling leadership values allows for students to become young leaders among peers and society.

There are many competences of an effective teacher that are already embedded into the way that I live.  My content knowledge for English is a prime reason I am doing English.  I love reading, creative writing, analytical writing, and hope that I can inspire my students using my knowledge.  I am looking forward to working with adolescents. Being aware of my classroom composition of learners and their learning styles will allow me to get more material across to my students.  I will be able to integrate my lessons better to their advantage. Adolescence is a time where my students are going to be very centered around them.  Some may have some self-esteem or self-efficacy problems.  Socially, they are trying to figure out who they are and often struggle with this image of self.  Taking my curriculum and trying to apply it to real life experiences, especially through writing and reading our texts, will be most beneficially for my students.  I love to be prepared.  I am very conscious of time management and what it means to have deadlines.  I hate being late.  I enjoy planning out lessons and intertwining creative ways of teaching the material that will not only be effective, but also grab the student’s attention.  I want to make an impact for my students. I want to take all that I have learned, inside and outside of the classroom, and take the theory of teaching to practice.  I have a responsibility to the students sitting in the seats in front of me to provide them with the best learning opportunities possible.

Education is currently stuck in this place between the old traditions of teaching the new developments in innovation.  Technology does offer a purpose.  Technology has been used on the small scale, but proven to show results that are relevant to the 21st century learner.  The majority of classrooms are not taking advantage of this tool.  Applying the tools that can be made available to my students I think is a great way to enforce the idea of life long learning.

This tool of technology is something I highly value.  Is there a place and time to use it in the classroom? Yes.  Should I embrace the options of exploratory learning? YES.  Technology offers unlimited amount of knowledge when used correctly to fuel the curiosity that students have.  Is there times when not to use technology?  Yes.  It is a matter of finding a balance.  It is like if the power goes out and we are totally reliant on technology, then what.  However, while the power is on, we should take advantage of the opportunities.

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Do You Like Ice Cream?

 

As silly as this little video seems, there is a important point made.  Ice cream, like many businesses, can start out as a small family run store.  I know that from growing up on the ocean.  All the locals always know the best places.  They also always know who doesn’t belong (which I know sounds horrible). So how do these little family run places get their name out there?  Social Media seems to be the answer.

Unlike factory produced products, friends and neighbors started something.  It was a community, though not virtual yet.  The town got the reputation, of course it was also named Scoopville, as the place with the ice cream.  It was getting attention.  With all the people going there for a product, everyone started created new ideas.  How is ice cream here like social networking?  If someone starts a group on Facebook lets say, and everyone starts to notice that group for what ever the theme is, people can start posting on the wall or adding pictures.  This creates a learning and interactive environment as word spreads about it.  So what happens next?

Back to the ice cream.  The ice cream started getting better because the people were leaving areas for people to post comments.  It allowed for the makers to get a description, a rating, and a comment.  This feed back was essential in creating the best tasting ice cream for loyal followers.  The people saved money with advertising because their board with ratings and comments was right outside of their shop.  It was assessable.  By creating a blog about what ever the topic, it allows for a forum to open up for discussion.  Take this blog I am writing now.  People may comment, they may tell me they love my ideas, they may tell me I am an idiot, but either way, it is an open path of communication about an issue. People can communicate.

Whether it is ice cream, Facebook, or blogs, social media links people together through ways of communicating.  It creates a VLE for anyone with a computer to access.  It opens up conversations and flows of ideas that may not have been possible before.

What flavor will you create?

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Love Connection

So do PLN’s do?  Aside from keeping people connected, they allow for the sharing of ideas and the answering of questions.  Many people have created their own diagram of their own PLN’s like this one below.  This one made me laugh because in comparison to other’s, this one is very bluntly put; blogs and communities let the average blogger be connected the experts, or “smart people.”

 

For Shelly Terrell, PLN does not stand for Personal Learning Network, it stands for Passionate Learning Network. In an article from “Digital Media and Learning: The Power of Participation”, author Howard Rheingold talks about his experiences with getting involved with social media.  It is something relatable to anyone who is just getting their hands on this technology. When Rheingold went to a conference where Terrell spoke, he became aware of even more possibilities and options for his classroom.

“Something as simple as settling on a time for regular Twitter chats and a hashtag to tie the tweets into a discussion thread grew into an open, voluntary, shifting, growing community that uses the same media they are teaching their students. These folks don’t just talk about using social media to share knowledge — they are among the first to evaluate and maybe adopt new media that show educational potential. When Shelly asked me what I wanted to talk to #edchatters about, I realized I that I would prefer to talk with them. I could make use of (and contribute to) the power of her PLN on behalf of my own pursuits” (2010).

Shelly is passionate about PLN’s.  She defines them as “the people you chose to connect with and learn from” (2010).  There are many ways to get information. We have the web, face-to-face conversations, podcast, YouTube, Tweets, etc… The best learning happens together.

So how do we as educators deal with skeptics to using technology in the classroom? Terrell talks about convincing a principle to use Skype for the purposes of teaching English.  How did that work?  “Terrell and I talked about how she showed her skeptical principal in Germany how her 4 year old students learned English together with a class in Turkey, sharing stories and drawings via videoskype. Shelly has a list of resources for educators who want to use Skype and videoskype to go global with their classrooms. She maintains a wiki of social media resources for educators, and has published ascreencast about how to build your PLN using Twitter”(2010). Is a demonstration all it takes to convince administration?

So what does your PLN look like? This is the Moose PLN 🙂

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Envisions4Education On Video

So I have found websites, such as ELEV8D, that have a similar theme to my project I have been working on this semester.  The only way I could add to the site was if I had a video.  So, I thought, WHY NOT?  Creating a video has allowed for me to do two things.  The firs thing is, give my project a reboot and send it out on Youtube.  It has links back to this blog and my Moose Soup (the original home of the project.)  The second thing creating a video has allowed for me to do is add it to the ELEV8D website (currently working on). To all of those who sent me pictures, THANK YOU SO MUCH.  To all of you who would like to get in on this project, keep sending them.

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Asa Adams Adventure

When you need assistance, AAA is a good start.  However, I am not talking about when your car goes off the road.  I am talking about when education needs help in keeping kids engaged.  This past Thursday, our Technology in Education class went on an Asa Adams Adventure.  What I had been expecting was not at all what I experienced.  Sometimes we can assume that when we are teachers that we teach the students, but in this experience, the students taught me.  Deb White’s classroom has recently installed a Smart Board, a tool with multiple functions and a lifetime guarantee, and what the student’s had to say was amazing.  What they students could demonstrate was even more exciting.

Our class went to observe a second grade class.  This class was made up of ten students, six boys and four girls, all excited to share how the smart board could help in learning.  White had her preferences to using the board as well.  “There are two things to use it for instead of going on a computer. There is a big screen so everyone can see it and you can write on it.”

The kids were not shy to get up and show us college kids how this works.  “You can use different colors and fonts,” one little girl told us.  White showed the fun feature of tapping on an image on a magnetic board to perform many useful functions.  “You don’t have to switch pens to get different colors,” she explained.  This is useful in the classroom for sentence practice.  For example, the students could use red to write the original sentence, blue to edit the sentence, and green for revisions of the sentence. White prompts, “think of a correction you can add to the sentence to make a richer detail.”

What makes a class activity that much more valuable with the Smart Board?  These lessons can be saved and posted on the web for parents to see what their students are learning it class. Watching the students write on the Smart Board allows for White to witness muscle control with the mechanics of writing, conventions of writing, and abilities for self-correction of writing.  What was the most outstanding part of this observation was what the kids had to say.

How many times does the cliche line between parents and kid occur of, “What did you learn in school,” with the reply of, “nothing.” When kids were asked in White’s class about what they were learning, there was nothing they wanted to do more than share and demonstrate.  “You can play math games,” one said while another chimed in, “This is the technology of the future.”  How is technology sinking in for these kids?  “I love YouTube.” Another example is when White was demonstrating the power of ten.  There was a high success rate for students using this calculator on the computer screen than using the little calculators at their desks from the dollar store.  In regards to technology, White herself knows that it is a powerful tool for her students.  “She did get an award,” a boy announced from the front of the room.

“If we don’t teach them how to use it appropriately, how will they learn,”White stated as moved into a computer lab.  It is all about approaching the new technology out there with a new attitude.  By letting the students use the technology, teachers can address ethical issues such as logging into others accounts and acting appropriately with the internet.  “The earlier it is dealt with, the sooner it becomes a habit.”

Observing the third graders that came into the computer lab was fascinating.  Not that I assumed they would have difficulties with the computers, but they knew exactly where to go.  This included navigating the computers applications, knowing where the games were, both educational and fun, and helping each other find programs.  It encourages collaborative learning when the students are helping each other with the programs.  They knew to be responsible too. “I would go to Google, type in the name of a person or thing and make sure that the safe images was on.  This is so it is not inappropriate and is a safe search.” It was amazing.

The experience that we had for this class period was like enriching.  It took concepts about technology that we have been learning in class and observing it in practice. The students had so much information to share.  How often is it that you walk into a classroom like that?

 

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