Interesting Educational Blog

So I have been trying to get ahead and I am now waiting to continue with Mod 6 about using microblogging and more specifically "Twitter". Although I have signed up for the website I am at a total loss for how to "make it work".

While searching around for blogs to add to my blogroll I came across a blog called "The Tech-Savvy Teacher". Since I added this website to my blogroll I haven't had any interest to go back and see what's new on this website...until today. The first post I see on the page is called "Getting Twitter..." Right away this caught my attention since I don't understand what to do with my Twitter account. Reading this blog didn't make me understand Twitter much better but it DID rouse my interest more in learning about it since it talks about all of the organizations, etc. that use Twitter to pass along new information. I couldn't believe that I can use Twitter to find out about new laws, etc.

Now I am very excited to learn how this resource works and hopefully find a way to incorporate it into my classroom or at least my list of resources as an educator!

A Learner Is Like A....


I was very interested while reading Siemens' (2005) article and listening to his audio called "The Changing Nature of Knowledge" (2009). When I first began reading the article I thought at first of thinking of a learner as a "tower of blocks". After thinking about it further I didn't think this analogy was sufficient and didn't encompass enough of my thoughts of the learner. After continuing to think about my description of a learner I was thinking about a chocolate candy with a gooey carmel inside. Although I liked this analogy I still didn't feel that this showed something that could be molded and changed as today's learner is.
Eventually, I decided on thinking of the learner as a tye-dye marshmallow Peep candy. Now to explain my reasoning... A Peep is soft marshmallow on the inside and thousands of tiny grains of sugar on the outside. I feel that each of those grains of sugar stands for the abundant knowledge of a learner. I thought of these thousands of grains of sugar when I read Siemens (2005) where we wrote that "learning...can reside outside of ourselves..." just as those grains of sugar are on the outside of a Peep. Siemens (2005) continued to say that learners have "room to grow". This quote made me think of putting a marshmallow in the microwave and how it it enlarges just as a learners knowledge grows and expands. The last part of this analogy that I included was to make the Peep tye-dye. I felt that these various colors would signify that "learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions" (Siemens, 2005). I felt each section of color would show this diversity of each individual learner, especially since no two Peeps would be colored exactly the same.

Ways To Use Blogs in the Classroom

After reading Chapters 1-3 of our textbook I was amazed at the different ways Blogs and the Internet as a whole could be integrated into EVERYTHING done in the classroom. Reading this made me feel like I wanted to start apply for every grant possible in order to get a classroom set of laptops for my students. After the book referred to how blogs could be used to meet all 12 of the ELA standards I was furiously taking notes about how to apply this in a classroom setting (which I've recently interviewed for!!!!)

Thinking ahead to having a classroom of 30 students of my own (instead of 450 students) I think that I would:

1) Read articles on-line on topics that interest them and make reactions, reflections, and summarize what they read.
- This allows students to choose something they are interested in will make them more likely to complete the assignment and creates interest in them to know more about a topic.
- By asking students to write about what they read covers to major aspects of the ELA standards (reading/writing) as well as requiring them to think.
2) Create an on-line book club where students could reflect and ask questions about what they read.
- I think this would be great for students to post their thoughts, reflections, favorite parts, and questions they might have. Allowing classmates to respond to each other keeps the teacher from just "giving the answer" when students ask questions. In this way students are interacting with one another and "teaching" each other.
3) Connect with a classroom in another part of the country or world (electronic penpals)
- I think writing is such as important part of life that any way we can promote writing and encourage students to write for pleasure (as well as school assignments) will give them practice and get them excited about the various purposes and audiences used in writing.
- Helping students to connect with other students from around the world allows them to practice their writing skills while also helping them to be more open to making new friends, learning about new cultures, and experiencing new avenues of communication.