John Waters' article “Teaching Green” is a great article to refer to for tools and online resources to teach environmental issues within your classroom. With Earth Day here, it is a great time to remind our educators that everyday should be Earth Day in our classrooms, and that there are great resources to help make that happen. These tools range from student aimed resources and games to teacher resources filled with lesson plans, assessments, and ideas.
Classroom Earth is a great site to use as a starting point. This site is a straight forward resource for teachers and students. Its has a great tab: “How to get started teaching about the environment,” which gives you a step -by-step action plan, with examples, on how to incorporate such issues within your classroom! You can search resources by exploring topics or subjects.
This article gives you resources to take ecological footprint quizzes, in addition to educational games!
What is your reaction to this article? I was very happy to read this article. For so long I have separated the technology era from the environmental conscious era. I was pleased to see how I can incorporate them together to benefit my students. I think it is when educators find ways to combine interdisciplinary subjects students are able to find a deeper more meaningful understanding of the subject matter.
How can you use these resources in your classroom? I am excited to use these resources with students in the classroom. I am especially excited to use the ecological footprint quiz. This quiz will make students think about their own consumption in addition to be able to compare it to others who live in the US, their classmates, and possibly other countries. This is a great tool to make the students analytically think about their ecological footprint.
In this short and concise article, Renee Bogacz and Miguel Gómez Gordillo state their opinions of whether or not schools should be the one held responsible for cyberbullying. Bogacz believes that schools should be held responsible for such bullying and ought to be a leader in following strict guidelines to prevent and deal with cyberbullying. She reminds the reader that “whether or not cyberbullying takes place on or off school grounds, it is clear that it greatly affects the school environment.” Therefore, she holds all educational stakeholders accountable; “if one group is not on board, then cyberbullying will continue to be pervasive in the culture of teenagers.”
On the opposing side, Gómez Gordillo does not believe that schools are responsible for cyberbullying. He believes it is the lack of parental love and the disappearance of institutionalized family values. Therefore, if suggests that if the schools were to implement systems of family support and create a method of collaboration that would occur between the home and family unit and the school, we could effectively deal with cyberbullying and hopefully stop it.
Do you side with Bogacz or Gómez Gordillo? Should schools be held responsible for cyberbullying?
In this discussion I definitely side with Bogacz although, like Gómez Gordillo stance, I too believe the role of the family unit is very important in combating such issues such as bullying. Even though the re-creation of the family unit is important, I believe in this situation to the situation. Like Bogacz stated, whether the bullying occurs on school property or not, the school environment and consequently the students are tremendously effected. Therefore, if the students are being affected at school, then it is the schools duty to actively fight against cyberbullying.
Have you ever been involved or heard about cyberbullying? What type of course of action was taken to stop it?
I am very lucky to say that I have not been involved or do I know anyone personally who has been involved in cyberbullying. Although this is the case for me, it is not the case for many students who are trying to successfully make it in our schools. In fact, I was told a story by a Principle of a high school in Temecula about a senior who used a social networking tool to harass and potentially physically hurt freshman students. the post was found by a parent who was terrified for their child to attend school on this specific date, because as the post stated, the seniors were to push a freshman that day. Depending on the severity of the push, the senior obtained points. On notification the Principle took action. All student knew the consequences if they were to partake, the local news crew was there, and police authorities. There was to be no tolerance for this type of action.
I entered my Educ. 422 class on the first day of the 2011 spring semester with no previous knowledge of what PLN stood for and how to obtain one. Now I know it is the acronym for Personal Learning Network, and that it takes time and energy to create and solidify one's PLN, and if used correctly, a PLN is an extremely useful collaborating and learning tool. I have spent the last 12 weeks creating my own PLN. As a result, my PLN stems from Twitter, Diigo, Classroom 2.0, and The Educator's PLN. It consists of other individuals, stationed throughout the globe, who share my passion for teaching. My PLN is primarily connected to those who focus on early childhood education and how to use technology as an asset in the classroom. As a prospective teacher, I am very excited to enhance my PLN and use it to collaborate with other teachers and professionals passionate about education. I will be able to share ideas, ask for help, and collaborate with other like-minded individuals in my profession. My PLN will help support me as an educator!
Twitter is and will continue to be a useful asset in my PLN. I follow individuals related to early childhood development, K-2 education, and technology. Therefore I receive "tweets" related to these subject, and more. These tweets often have web addresses to blogs, articles, resources, lesson plans, and art projects! It has become a useful resource in my PLN. In fact, I was wanting to connect to Kindergarten Teachers, so I tweeted about it. Before I knew it, my PLN was supporting my exploration by telling me who they follow for support and information! In addition, I am able to use Twitter to ask for advise and collaborate in chats. For instance, on April 6, 2011 at 5 P.M. PST I observed #ntchat. On this day, #ntchat "chatted" about using poetry in the classroom. This was my first chat I had been a part of and although I did not "tweet" myself, I observed individuals posting their favorite quotes, asking for resources on how to implement poetry in the classroom, sharing ideas and successful lessons, and stating the many ways in which poetry helps students succeed. It was a very positive and motivating space. Those who wanted to collaborate where present, and you could see the enthusiasm in the chat-room. I am excited to participate in other chats and see the ideas flow!
Diigo is a very interesting tool and I am fascinated by it. I love the fact that I can be at any computer, log into my Diigo account, and have "my" wealth of bookmarks with me, in addition to having the ability to connect to others' bookmarks. For me, it has become a research tool, similar to Google. By adding Diigo to my PLN I am able to network, research information, resources, and collaborate with others in the Diigo community. Within my Diigo account I have tagged #PLN to digital discussion forms and articles that support and explain PLN building. These tools have helped me understand what a PLN is and how to create one. Now that I have tagged them with the hash tag #PLN, I am able to share these useful resources with others who desire to find information about building and using a PLN.
DIGITAL DISCUSSION FORM: The digital discussion form is new for me. I joined The Educator's PLN and Classroom 2.0. There is such an abundance of information in these forms, I often become overwhelmed and nervous when looking at the web page, but I am excited and confident that the more I use this amazing tool, I too will be able to contribute to these discussions.
On The Educator's PLN I watched a video Professor Daniel Willingham had created that stresses that teaching content is teaching reading. This is a 10 minute video with no voice, only visual aides and writing. It critically evaluates the importance of a deep knowledge base in order to be a successful reader, while visually capturing the audience with relevant photographs. It was a great piece of critical thinking and in turn made me evaluate what is being taught in the classroom, and reconfirmed the importance of introducing reading materials that teach about the world, in addition to lesson plans that take time to introduce and allow for exploration in all subjects. This broad range of information will allow for a deep knowledge base, which in turn will present content knowledge to reading materials. I was very please with what I watched and am excited to belong to a PLN that presents films and other resources with such critical thought.
In this article, Warlick discuss the developing change in the ways in which we view and manipulate our personal learning networks (PLN). He captures this evolution by beautifully stating, "technology has created a shift from a hunting-and-gathering information economy to the domestication of the information landscape." This transition has transformed the way we search for information and has opened the repertoire of resources. It has torn down the traditional barriers of geography and has replaced these barriers with virtual realms, conversations, and semisynchronous connections... as you sit in the luxury of your own home, office, or coffee shop. In turn, by creating a PNL in one's virtual realm, he may seek out, hone in on, and potentially train information to organize itself and deliver itself to you! Seeking knowledge, resources, and ideas has just become a little more tangible... you just have to learn how to create your own PNL.
Warlick describes 3 main types of PLNs:
1. personally maintained synchronous connections: the people and places you consult to answer your questions, solve problems, and accomplish goals
2. personally and socially maintained semisynchronous connections: a question, comment, or statement sent out through a community of people who are linked together due to their collective interests, professions, and expertise
3. dynamically maintained asynchronous connections: connection to a content source; training information to organize and deliver itself to you
Warlick discusses a potential weakness. What is it and do you agree/ disagree?
The potential weakness Warlick discussed is that often when creating a PNL we frequently predisposed
toward sources that reflect our own opinions and worldviews.
Yes, I agree that this is a potential weakness of PNL networks. I was very pleased to see this point by Warlick. PNLs are new to me and this potential weakness did not cross my mind. PNLs can be used to benefit the individual, but we must remember to constantly challenge our views and demand critical and analytical thought from ourselves. By cultivating well-rounded networks we tackle new ideas and broaden our own horizons, knowledge, and tolerance. In addition, we are educators and challenging our students to think for themselves and think critically is imperative.
therefore we must strive to cultivate networks that constantly challenge our views and demand critical and analytical thought.
Warlick gives 10 tips for creating, cultivating, and pruning your PNL. What are 4 of them? #2 Organize your subscriptions by topic or job function
#6 If you are teaching a unit, find sources that will help you prepare for it and subscribe to them. When you are learned what you need, sever the lines.
#8 Invest some time, but don't fret that it will take up all your time. According to David Jakes it takes only 15 minutes a day to learn something.
#9 You do not have to subscribe to a dozens of educators blogs' to learn about Voice Thread. Instead, conduct a Google Blog Search for voicethread and subscribe to that search's RSS feed.
This article is based on an interview with Meg Ormiston, once a curriculum coach, school board member, conference presenter, professional development specialist, grant facilitator, and currently an technology advocate within school settings.
Ormiston makes imperative points within her interview about accessing the Internet at school. Many schools have put up filters and blocks on the Internet, enabling teachers to teach technology to their full potential. The issue here is not black and white; there needs to be room for mobility.
In addition to allowing the teachers access, she states that "we have to remember to teach responsible computing" to the students and "help students make good choices with networking resources and sites." It is true that our current times are changing and becoming more technology based. In turn, it is the responsibilities of the educators to incorporate responsibility and accountability and be a "filter" while using the Web. Yet, it is often found that the administrators and the IT departments enable such lessons because of the locks they have placed on the Internet.
What did you learn about the use of "social networks" within the classroom setting? Do you agree, that as a whole, they should be banned? I found the information about the banning of "social networks" in the learning environment very interesting. Before I read this article I would have assumed banning such networks and website to be beneficial, because I was unaware of the dynamic us of them. When I think of social networking I immediately think of Facebook, MySpace, and so on. But I did not consider Flickr, Voice Threadm, or Blogster, which can positively be used within an educational setting. Yet, because they fall under the umbrella of "social networks" they too, are banned. In turn, we are blocking a lot of creative, innovative learning. This I do not agree with.
It is said that many students know how to "work-around" the filters put up at school. If the students can still access the sites, are they being negatively effected by the rules?
Absolutely! Even though many of the students are able to interact and navigate into the blocked sites, the process of doing so sends a clear message to the students: "you are doing something wrong." When in fact, if the teachers were encouraged and allowed to use the sites for educational purposes, our students would be able to see the positive outcomes of these sites.
In addition to failing students, by blocking innovative and creative sites, blocking such networks fail the educators. It makes the educator more likely to give up on technology. The educator becomes less technologically equip and discouraged, which will negatively affect his/her students.
Ferguson and McClintock Miller write about PLNs (Personal Learning Network), specifically Twitter, a virtual community of individuals.Within this community, individuals come together to share knowledge, learn, communicate, and collaborate.Ferguson continues by giving you step-by-step directions on how to successfully create and use your twitter account.
Set up your account: Who are you and why are you on twitter
Learn to follow: Choose people you want to learn from; what are your interests?
Tap into great lists: “A good way to find people to follow is to check out the lists that other people create.”
Watch and Listen: You may silently interact within your community until you are ready to participate.Watch, listen, and learn; when you are ready… participate!
Give generously: Once you are ready to delve in, start re-tweeting.The more you re-tweet the larger you PLN community will become
Expose yourself: begin with simple, positive tweets, and then begin to share you ideas, links, and tools
Tag your tweet: add a hashtag (# symbol) so more people can follow your tweets
Use your twitter organizer: the organizers available help you organize your tweets into columns
Manage with a bookmarlet: to share resources by bookmarking it into hootsuite and sending out a tweet
Be strategic: make a plan of action when using twitter... how you are you going to allocate you time?
What will you search for in Twitter to help you as a professional? Why is this important?
After reading these two articles I became excited to develop my twitter PNL. In order to create my PNL I must begin by: Setting up myaccount,learn how to follow, choose people you want to learn from, and tap into great lists. I am very thankful for my Educ 422 Professor at Cal State San Marocs because I will definitey begin by using his tweets and PNL in order to begin to learn, tap into great lists, and follow. This one step will allow me to tap into other peolple with my same interests and their PNL. This will open my Twitter doors!
I will search tweets such as: elementary education, multicultural education, kindergarten lessons on _______, classroom managment, and so on.
Why is bookmarking in Twitter useful? Bookmarking in twitter can become useful because it has a similar conceept as "favorites" or "Diigo," for instance, but it takes catologying information one step futher. Bookmarking on twitter, then allows you to save the bookmark and tweet about it to you PNL. It helps and supports your PNL.