Category Archives: Research

My Reflections: A Possible Grant Proposal

My Reflections: A Possible Grant Proposal

            In the Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach states, “Only through reculturing – changing the values, dispositions, and beliefs we have about the purposes of school – will we be able to shift teaching and learning to a higher level” (617). I believe that this quotation represents the challenge that we, as educators, must embrace in order to bring technology into the classroom and engage students in a digital school environment. The school environment has not changed in the last fifty years. When one thinks about a school, what comes to mind? Students sitting in rows with a teacher standing in front writing on a chalkboard? Or students sitting in groups utilizing different technologies in order to meet their learning goals while the teacher roams around the classroom engaging with his/her students? I believe that most people would think about the first scenario, even though the second one has the most potential to reach children that live in this new technological world.

This class has forced me to think about the processes of learning that we see today. With all of these new tools at our disposal, why not integrate them into the curriculum? Most students are utilizing these technologies at home. I believe that it is imperative for schools to integrate these technologies into unit and lesson plans in order for students to become engaged and receive an education based on authentic scenarios that they may find themselves in the future. We need to keep up with these constantly changing technologies in order to better prepare our students for what will come in 2050 and beyond!

Taking my experiences in this class, I would love to utilize a flipped classroom, collaborative format in my prospective classrooms. I would love to be able to record my own lessons, as well as have my students record their own work. In order to make this a reality, I would like to write a grant proposal for twenty iPads and one Smartboard for my classroom. My students would be able to take the iPads home and watch the videos for homework, as well as create their own videos in class using the iMove app. I would be able to integrate more technology into my lessons through the use of the Smartboard, as well as display my students’ movies to the rest of the class. With these tools at my disposal, students will be able to complete their online assignments at home, gain experience using a new technological tool, and use their creativity to create authentic assignments that can later be posted on a class websites for others to see and benefit from.

Reculturing needs to start in the classroom, and what better way to help our future students by starting this process now.

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Pros And Cons Of iPads In The Classroom

I really enjoyed reading this article. Elizabeth Woyke’s article discusses the pros and cons of using iPads in the classroom from a study conducted at the University of Notre Dame. Students were given iPads as a replacement to most of their needed textbooks. Overall, students had a favorable experience when using the iPads, but still felt that improvements were needed and the cost was simply to high.

Check out the full article here.

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Five Ways Readers are Using iPads in the Classroom

While scanning Google articles, I found this great article that highlights how teachers are utilizing iPads in the classroom. As a prospective English teacher and Technology specialist, I found this to be a great article for inspiration and ideas!

Five ways readers are using iPads in the classroom: 

1. Intervention

2. Enrichment

3. Assistive Technology

4. Digital Literacy

5. Organizing Resources – and for Reading

Check out the full article: http://www.eschoolnews.com/2011/05/27/five-ways-readers-are-using-ipads-in-the-classroom/5/?

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Teaching and Learning: Using iPads in the Classroom

Check out this article written by Ben Johnson, a school administrator, discussing the benefits of incorporating iPads into a classroom of kinesthetic learners. He names some great applications that are available for students!

Here is the link to the full article: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/ipad-teaching-learning-apps-ben-johnson

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The Flipped Classroom Model: A Full Picture

In this second article that I found that discusses the “flipped method,” the author, Dr. Jackie Gerstein, describes the problem that many teachers have with this model: “The problem is that educators, as a group, know how to do and use the lecture.  When educators are asked to replace their in-class lectures with videotaped ones (either their own or others) that learners watch at home, educators may not know what to do with this now void in-class time.” I can see how this could be a potential problem of the reversed learning method. Many teachers, including myself, were students of the traditional methods and continue to teach using these old, rigid methods out of comfort and knowledge. When they decide to switch over to a student-based, project learning style during class time, they can become confused. This style pushes teachers to incorporate creative projects into their material. I could see some teachers that are so used to providing information to their students for the entire class, stumble during class time. They can no longer fill up this time talking and providing notes and need a framework in order to make this transition.

This author provides a diagram that shows how a flipped classroom works. She calls it a cycle that “provides a sequence of learning activities based on the learning theories.”

Here is the model she provides in her article:

“Activity”: The cycle begins with experimental exercise in which the students become interested in the topic and learn from experience rather than provided facts and information. I would love to be a student working in this type of environment. I love to use my creativity and discover things, although I do get nervous and like to have information to back up my findings.

“What”: After class, students are then asked to watch lecture at home. They are provided with the background knowledge that they played with during class. This model would be perfect for a student like me. I would be able to be creative and productive during class, and then I would also be able to write down my notes and make sense of my exploration at night.

“So What”: Then comes reflection! Students can reflect what they learn by blogging, reflective podcasts, and even tests in class. This stage allows students the chance to engage in technology while teachers can assess what they have taken from the lesson.

“Now What”: Lastly, students can demonstrate their application of what they have learned through creative projects and presentations. The final step to any lesson or unit!

I believe that this breakdown could really assist teachers during their transition to the flipped model. This model, although it flips when the students practice and receive the material, it follows a very similar pattern of reflective and applying what they have learned. I really enjoyed the breakdown that this article provides as well as the visuals.  Feel free to check this site out! There are videos and pictures of “The Flipped Classroom” in action!

Article Link: http://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/the-flipped-classroom-model-a-full-picture/

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How the Flipped Classroom Is Radically Transforming Learning

This article begins with a description about how “The Flipped Classroom” concept was started. Two teachers, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams both began working on this concept while teaching at Woodland Park High School and noticing that students in rural school districts miss a lot of school. In a response to this dilemma, these two teachers began videotaping their lessons and using valuable class time for student-centered activities.

According to this article, “one of the greatest benefits of flipping is that overall interaction increases: Teacher to student and student to student.” Instead of standing in front of the class the whole day consumed in lecture, teachers are able to work with students one-on-one and in groups during activities, help students who have more trouble with the lessons, and allow students the chance to discover and learn on their own at their own pace. Teachers are able to witness more collaboration between students as well as give parents more feedback on their students’ work and abilities. Teachers can share what they have witnessed during class activities and let parents know if their children are on the right track.

Overall, I believe that this idea could be a great teaching strategy in school districts where students have the proper technologies at home. In a flipped classroom style, teachers tape their lesson lectures and ask students to view these lessons at home while taking notes. During the school day, they then practice these new concepts through a series of student-based activities and discussions. I believe that students would enjoy this method more because they are more active during the school day. They are able to take control of their own learning and collaborate with others instead of sitting quietly all day listening to teachers and taking notes. The only problem I see with this concept is the lack of resources in many school districts. While teaching upstate, I noticed that many of my middle school students did not have any technologies at home: computers, data phones, etc. So I do not know how students like these would be able to watch lectures for homework and may need to find a way to accommodate these students’ needs.

At the end of this article, the authors share that they are releasing a book dedicated to flipping the classroom. On Amazon, I was able to find Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams’ book: Flip Your Classroom: Talk to Every Student in Every Class Every Day. This book will be released July 15, 2012. From what I have read based on this article, I would be interested to read the new book.

Link to the Article: http://www.thedailyriff.com/articles/how-the-flipped-classroom-is-radically-transforming-learning-536.php

Pre-order the Book: http://www.amazon.com/Flip-Your-Classroom-Every-Student/dp/1564843157/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330184552&sr=8-1

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