Blog created for EDIT 2000.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Reflection #5--Gaming in Education

         When I was younger and had computer time, I could be found playing a game called Jump Start Typing. It incorporated different games that were aimed at helping you learn to excel at typing. I really enjoyed the competitive nature of the game and truly wanted to get better at typing so that I could reach higher levels. Aside from computer games, another game I played when I was younger was Monopoly. This game introduced life skills such as economics, money handling, and real estate. This is knowledge that you do not necessarily learn in a classroom, so I believe it really helps explain these skills through a board game, and something entertaining and fun.
           In my personal opinion, gaming is becoming so popular in 21st century learning because it is so natural for this generation of learners to learn how to use a gaming device or a computer. The skillset of being technologically savvy is a huge advantage 21st century learners have. It also can be found all over the world in different varieties and adaptations, creating what I have dubbed a "good global epidemic". This spread of technology usage across the globe creates a world capable of interaction and learners who are capable of using technology to create and advance our world.
             I personally know that I am no good at video games, so the idea of gaming is hard for me to see myself doing. However, if the game were computer-based, I have full faith in my abilities to learn to play that way. The idea of gaming could prove beneficial in many classrooms, and could teach children a variety of things. We saw this work out well for Joel Levin at the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in NYC. If I were to personally use gaming to help myself or others learn in 21st century learning, I believe I would have to make it a computer game, as I feel they are easier to teach and to learn. Computers are also very popular right now, so I feel like other learners and myself would pick a computer game over a video game.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

20% Project Blog Reflection 4--Have you talked with any experts or anyone from your potential audience?

            Things are good with my 20% project, and I am enjoying the research process to find out how social media can be found and used efficiently in education. I am very pleased with my selection of this topic, as I believe this is definitely a growing learning tactic that many teachers could include in their own lesson plans due to it's ease, attractiveness, and communication medium.
            While working on my 20% project, I have not taken the initiative to speak personally with experts that could provide insight to my particular project. I am unaware of where I could engage these experts or professionals, aside from my previous and current professors--which I already know do not use social media in their courses. A suggestion to browse LinkedIn has been recommended, and I believe it has the potential to lead me to some new ideas and experts.
            I also have not taken the opportunity to speak to my potential audience. I suppose that asking my potential audience ways in which social media has been involved in their coursework, could provide knowledge about ways in which different courses use social media. This could be beneficial to analyzing different ways in which social media was used in different classes across the board, ranging from education to business to journalism.

             Going forward with my 20% project, I would like to focus a little bit more on specific examples of how Twitter and YouTube can be used in a class. For instance, I would like to locate case studies of classrooms that have used these channels, what they used them for, and the success rate from the tactic. I am also considering conducting a poll from my classmates, asking how they have used social media in school and using the data from that to enhance my search or tailor my presentation to my classmates.

Friday, March 7, 2014

20% Project Blog Reflection 3--How are you using social media to find resources to think about/write about?

       Since the topic for my 20% project is social media I am definitely using this medium to search! In particular, I have searched Twitter to find resources and accounts that teachers could "follow" and learn different techniques, methods, and projects. I have not been as successful as I would like in finding accounts that could assist teachers and instructors in this manner however, many accounts provide links to websites, which could assist teachers. Some examples from Twitter include @edutpoia, @EduTweetTech, and @educationweek. I think that if I broaden my scope and look deeper into accounts, I will be able to find users who tweet important tactics that could be used to teach meaningful learning with technology integration. I have not yet begun my research on YouTube but I anticipate that I will be able to find a multitude of pages that could be used to teach in classrooms.
       I am not avidly interacting with others via social media on topics related to my specific project. This is an area that I need to devote some time to and make the effort to collaborate and communicate with classmates who are researching about the same or similar topics. Aside from comments on reflection blogs with my blog partner, I have not taken the time to comment on related blogs or ask for feedback and comments about mine. This would be a good idea going forward with my project from here, especially when I consider how many of my classmates could have ideas to other sites which could assist me in my endeavors. The great thing about this assignment and course is that we do have access to use each other as resources, and I need to take the initiative to do so.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Reflection #4--Visual Learning

     To quote from the article entitled "Life on the Screen", 21st century teaching and learning seeks to "understand a new language of expression" and to understand "the importance of graphics, music, and cinema, which are just as powerful and in some ways more deeply intertwined with young people's culture. We live and work in a visually sophisticated world, so we must be sophisticated in using all the forms of communication, not just the written word." I think these sentences encapsulate the importance that is behind 21st century teaching and learning. The adaption of learning to this advanced and higher learning through visual representations is important because as our world is changing, our learning styles need to change as well. In comparison to education in the past in comparison to learning environments now, a lot has changed. New and different technological mediums have been introduced and offer a different way for students to learn, and to learn just as effectively.

      To me a standout example of visual literacy is advertising. Posters for products require viewers to seek out further knowledge from just a print ad, and challenge them to look through the ad to discover the extended meaning behind such ad. Another slight example of visual literacy is traffic signs placed on roads. Such signs require the viewer to process the sign and then pay attention to its meaning and direction illustrated.

    If I were to help others develops visual literacy, I would say that the process would need to begin as early as possible. By integrating this tactic into a student's life at a young age, more prosperous learning can develop and occur. As a 21st century learner, I could help myself develop visual literacy by taking more time to think through an image, before just "Googling" an answer. By doing so I can challenge my brain and myself to reach conclusions on my own, without the hindrance which are Google and the Internet. By processing a conclusion on my own, I can further develop my visual literacy, instead of crippling my ability to form an opinion.

    For me personally, keeping this blog maintained has been a hassle. The writing of my opinions comes naturally however; time constraints present themselves as I struggle to muster creativity for visual representations and images. I know personally I could never imagine posting a singing blog and I did not fancy the video blog. I would prefer to search different options, which could incorporate writing more than recording, as I find my strengths to be in prose.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Classroom Design for Collaboration

After much deliberation, I decided on the following design for my classroom, which I believe will foster communication and provide a prosperous learning environment for students.
           To begin at the middle of the classroom, assuming there were 20 children in my class, I used semi circle tables to group the children for everyday learning. This encourages communication and collaboration for group work they would be projected to complete, as well as still leaving opportunity for independent learning. The table in the middle of the students provides a space for the teacher or for some students to collaborate in the middle and demonstrate examples of topics covered in class. This could include role-playing scenarios of historical lessons or even hands on examples of chemical science procedures; it is up to the imagination of the teachers and the students, in itself another collaboration effort.
         The four corners are the other stand out arrangement in the classroom I created. I intended for these separate areas to urge students to incorporate different mediums for learning, in which they travel around with their desk-mates to each area to research, watch, explore, and lecture the topic of the day. The collaboration process at each rug is endless, and can be altered based on the topic or activity.
         1. Research Rug: Denoted by the purple rug and beanbag chairs, this rug allows students to first read up on topic of the day. It entails detailed passages, books, and papers, which discuss the subject of the day's class. It could also include a worksheet to gauge general understanding of the text, where collaboration is established through completion of the assignment together.
         2. Watch Rug: The red rug, in the lower left hand corner is the area where students can watch short films and clips pertaining to the topic being discussed in class. Allowing students to watch on screen allows them to engage through means of technology. Students can collaborate at this rug by discussing the videos after
         3. Explore Rug: The black and white rug with the laptop computers serves to allow the students to research the topic of the day and learn new facts about the subject. Collaboration here can be completed through sharing interesting details that were gained by each student through investigating on the Internet.
         4. Lecture Rug: This rug in the upper right hand corner incorporates the last 8 remaining students. At this rug, one group would be the listeners and sit on the couch, while the other 4 students would give a mini-presentation of their findings on the subject. This presentation would require the utmost collaboration between the lecturer group to decide on the information that they would pass on to their fellow classmates.

         These activities would have to be set up in timed intervals, starting at the purple rug and moving in a counter-clockwise motion. While waiting for their turn to begin the sequence, students could be completing other assignments/homework independently or together at their respective group tables, where the last group to begin would be the first lecture-listeners for the first group to complete the circle.
         The rationale for this design comes from my own personal opinion that collaboration and communication are both essential tools that need to be passed on to students of all ages, and repeated numerously to increase comfort with public speaking and working with a group, as these skills are very important for students to find early in life, and to perfect such abilities. The physical set up of this room allows for collaboration and communication at many different levels, through many mediums, and allows students to participate with their classmates to further their understanding of a subject.

Gel Polish 101--Communication and Collaboration Project Stop Motion Animation

The stop motion video that we created as part of the Communication and Collaboration Project.