Thursday, April 11, 2013


English Grammar

This is an excellent vodcast to show adjectives and pronouns. I would use this for struggling students or in a whole group setting to show a different view of teaching other than my own. The teacher gives great examples. I think it would be nice for students to create their own vodcast explaining grammar. This would be fun for them as well as gaining higher comprehension since they'll be repeating what they know and coming up with their own examples.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Collaboration Across The World

Diversity Through ePal

I think the slogan "where learners connect" says it all! Within the first two clicks, I fell in love with this website. I was just talking to a peer about taking students on virtual field trips to show them that there is more out there in this world. My first two clicks was finding a classroom match. The tools were easy to use, selecting French and the age level. From there I was able to chose many different classroom teachers who wanted to connect to show their students diversity for multiple reasons. I feel this is a great way to experience education for all content areas, especially Social Studies. I can see myself doing this in my future setting up an online chat with the another classroom presenting to one another, doing writing exercises by becoming pen pals, options are endless. I truly believe I could write in my blog all day about ePals. I am all about integrating technology as well as other content areas to maximize learning.
The Learning Centers tab offers multiple subjects for students and teachers. In the Science Center there is ideas about turning our map green by growing plants. One lesson I can vision is communicating with another classroom from another country we're studying(Technology) in Social Studies, compare and contrast different organisms we have in our countries (Science), and build our own gardens. We could even take measurements (Mathematics). In this one lesson there would be four different content areas. Learning can be fun and interactive, causing students to soak in information that is real and relevant to them in real life situations. Love this website!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Photo Stories with Stupeflix

This assignment was a lot of fun.  Normally, I would use iMovie to create something like this but to try something new, I used Stupeflix.  It was free to use and had great music selections to sample from.  I found a really catchy beat to go with my story.  I used pictures of my dogs, Dixie and TJ as the stars.  My friends dog, Courage the German Shephard, played the salesman.  I tried to make something that was fun to watch even if its very dry humor but regardless, I enjoyed making it. 

I think this would be a great tool for creative writing.  Students would love to make have this to get that extra bit of show out of their stories.  Adding personalized pictures and picking a music soundtrack was fun and it really got my attention.  Students could be given subject to write on, such as a story on their family vacation.  After doing a quick walkthrough on how to use and navigate the Stupeflix website, they could be on their way to making a cool, fun to watch photo story.

Educational VoiceThread's

TV Shows

This VoiceThread was nice, seeing as the overall question made the students think critically about an answer. The question also gave students two options, depending on their native languages.

Learning English

I felt the teacher did a nice job at this VoiceThread. I personally didn't think about doing one on introductions, however this is important to start a class. I enjoyed how the teacher also added in what the students wanted to get out of the class.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bookr and Flickr

Using bookr to make a digital story with flickr images is very easy and will be a great learning tool.  Flickr is built in to bookr so it makes searching for photos to use very easy.  It is easy enough even for young students to do and would be a great and fun way for them to excercise their vocabulary and writing skills.  There might be better tools out there for publishing digital story books but just for the ease of use alone, Bookr seems great.
My story, The Greatest Adventure Ever , shows an excellent way for students to show their learning.  A lesson could be taught and students could display their understanding of the content by creating a digital story.  As said on the University of Houston Digital Storytelling Website, research shows that multimedia aids help students in learning. 
Bookr would be a great tool for teaching writing skills to students.  A good lesson plan for this would be for students to work in groups making their own stories on a topic provided by the teacher.  Each group would be able to communicate with each other to develop their own stories and publish and present them for the whole class to see.

Digital Storytelling and Flickr

Coronet Cluster: A Neighbor of Star Formation (A region of star formation about 420 light years from Earth.) by Smithsonian Institution
Coronet Cluster: A Neighbor of Star Formation (A region of
star formation about 420 light years from Earth.), a photo by
Smithsonian Institution on Flickr.

Digital storytelling has the potential to be a very valuable tool in teaching. It is defined as "The practice of combining narrative with digital content including images, sounds, and video to create a short movie typically with a strong emotional component" Basically, it is the use of technology to create a personalized version of a story, be it your own unique idea or a new take on an old one. It has been proven that the use of multimedia aids help in learning retention and the photos found on Flickr and the stories that can be created on Bookr help with this process.

Digital stories can be highly edited and produced audio and video or simple slides with music in the background. It is a great way to present historical, instructional, persuasive, or reflective stories. It is not easy though to create a story as it requires careful thinking and consideration of who your audience is and how best to reach them. A story tailored for a 1st grader would most likely not be deep enough to gather the interest of a 4th grader and vice versa. Digital stories are great tools to use for groups to work together on or indivudals to create.

There are many different applications of digital storytelling for teachers. All of them require you to be creative to implement them. One way they can be used is for teachers to enhance lesson plans with. Instead of reading from a text, teachers could deliver information through a story to the students who then could reflect on the story. It engages students with images, audio, and video elements that they would not get from a paper text book. Students could also create their own stories with proper instructions from the teacher on how to make them. They could research a topic and write their point of view on it or create their own stories from historical events. Another fun way to implemnent it would be to have them read a fictional story and create their own story to summarize it and present it to classmates. Using these tools develops communications skills by learning to organize their ideas, express opinions, construct a narrative, and present stories and knowledge gained University of Houston Digital Storytelling Website.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Serious game: Sim City

Serious game: Sim City
I chose Sim City for my serious game.  Sim City focuses on city building and planning.  Students could learn math from the game and budgeting as each year, you spend money to make your city grow and raise taxes to pay for the growth.  The concept of budgeting might be hard to understand for younger students but the principles of math to be learned could be fun if used in a "Sim City" scenario.  We could play a scenario where the class is the mayors of the city and run through trying to solve how much we could grow and what buildings we could build.  Each student could have a turn to spend the classes money to buy new properties.  I bought the game years ago and it can now be downloaded at EA Games .  In a classroom setup, only one instance of the game would need to be running and all of the students could look on the screen.