Saturday, March 10, 2018

EME2040 - Blog Post #9

I believe gesture-based media holds the most promise for education. With it, students are able to do things such as geomapping where they can get a true hands-on experience in social studies and science especially. In social studies/history, students can "visit" virtual places that parents may never have the money to ever actually visit. In science, students can manipulate atoms/electrons, etc. and create new molecules or compounds (according to the text - I didn't do any further research but I'd wager to bet gesture-based media could be useful in other subject areas as well). To me, these things hold the most promise for education.

The Digital Divide affects education by creating a "gap" between students who do and do not have access to the internet and technology. This podcast reminded me of something I saw on Facebook recently. In that video, there was an academic challenge between two teams of four students. The teams were divided by a curtain and could not see each other. As the challenge went on and the questions got more intense, one team (unbeknownst to the other team) received laptops and internet access while the other team received some textbooks and other paperback resources. When asked the new, harder questions, Team A (with laptops) answered within seconds while Team B (with textbooks) struggled to find the answers. In the end, the curtain was moved and Team B suddenly realized how Team A managed to get the answers correct every time.

This also reminded me of something else in real life. I have been working as an in-home private tutor since August 2017. The students I work with attend a school that relies HEAVILY on apps, smartphones, and the internet. EVERYTHING the students receive - homework assignments, grades, etc.  - is available ONLY through apps the school uses. Even afternoon dismissal is done with...yep, you guessed app (actually, two apps......). It's insane! And then, at the other end of the spectrum, you have schools that cannot afford to even supply their students with computers, let alone assume they all have internet access at home.

Needless to say, I realize that the Digital Divide is real and in full effect. As a professor (eventually), I'm not sure how this Digital Divide will affect me. I mean, if I am teaching classes online - as you are, Prof. JiYae - then obviously we're relying heavily (almost exclusively) on the internet and online platforms (hello Canvas...). On the other hand, if I am teaching at a brick and mortar campus, then the amount of time I spend online and that I require of my students may be more limited. I do expect that, in either case, whether I'm teaching online or in person, that my students will rely on the internet to some extent. If I can help it, we won't be reliant on any apps (shudder).

So, as far as Prof. JiYae's blog post - First of all, I'm impressed she's actually reading our posts. Sometimes I do wonder if she has the time to actually read all of these blog posts and/or follow all of our Twitter accounts to make sure we're tweeting regularly. (I would like to point out that I AM and HAVE BEEN tweeting regularly all semester with the hashtag #FSU2040! Look to the right and see my Twitter feed....)

That being said...I think Prof. JiYae and I would somewhat disagree on the learning styles issue. She's entitled to her opinion of course, just as I'm entitled to mine. However, I think there really is something behind the "learning styles" theories. In fact, I just wrote a blog post titled "Homeschooling to Your Child's Learning Strengths." (At this point, it hasn't been published but if you Google the title, by the time you see this post it should be published. It goes out 3/12/18.)

So, in my blog post, I discussed teaching to your child's learning strengths and how beneficial this is. Instead of focusing on your child's weaker areas, why not focus on his/her strengths and pull the weaker areas in on an as-needed basis? For instance, if your child naturally excels at math or science (or both), then focus heavily on those areas and try to base the other areas on those strengths. Find science passages to use for assessing his/her language arts skills (not talking basic phonics; I'm assuming a child old enough to read here). Things of that nature.

In addition, I read her views on digital immigrants vs. digital natives. I loved the blog post quotes she posted about those! I would say I agree with the vast majority of what was shared there. As a digital immigrant (I'm 37) and yet still a digital native (this is why I'm considered Generation Y....), I see both sides of the coin here.

**Blog posts I commented on: Brooke's and Fernanda's.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

EME2040 - Blog Post #8

Adaptive technologies have made using "regular" materials accessible for those individuals who may not otherwise be able to use them. One of the main features I've noticed on my own keyboard is the "Sticky Keys" function. If I accidentally hold down the "Shift" key for too long, a prompt pops up asking me if I want to use Sticky Keys (I always say "no.").

Another adaptive technology is MouseKeys which allows you to use your 10-key keypad (the numeric portion) as a mouse. I've never used this and have no idea if my computer does this or not. According to the text, there are also "alternative mouse devices" and "alternative keyboard devices." Again, I've never used either of these but I can certainly see how this adaption would be handy for those who need it. Similarly, "on-screen keyboards" and "customizable keyboards" would be useful for those with different abilities.

The only challenges I foresee using these in my future classroom are the fact that I'm going to have to get to know how to use some of these technologies myself if any of my students do! I'm not the greatest at learning new technologies, but I'll do my best.

As for the WebQuest - you know, funny thing is, ever since that assignment, it seems like I keep seeing WebQuest everywhere! Every lesson plan I look at or ed-tech website I've browsed has something about WebQuests. I'm going to be honest and say, I do not see myself using such a thing in my future classroom. I plan to just discuss whatever it is we need to discuss face-to-face OR using something like Google Classroom. I have no intentions on creating WebQuests. :)

Here is a screenshot of my WebQuest:

**Blogs I commented on: Fernanda and Katy

Monday, February 26, 2018

EME2040 - Blog Post #7

Maintaining a course website will be incredibly useful as a teacher. They are very important in this day and age and worth the effort. I won't say they're worth the "trouble" because these days, there are so many ways you can maintain a website without going to much trouble. Currently, for my homeschool (and sometimes for the tutoring students I have), I use Google Classroom. It's not as "advanced" as some class websites, but it's very similar to, say, Edmodo and other apps that teachers use. It doesn't have all the same capabilities as Edmodo, but it's useful. For a full-blown class website, one tool that's useful is Weebly.

As a professor, I envision using technology in many ways - especially if I'm teaching classes online. In any case, I'll use creativity software (or Microsoft Publisher) to create things like newsletters, flyers, and announcements. I will use classroom management software possibly to assist in keeping track of grades. Since I plan to become a college professor, many of the ideas in Chapter 5 and the podcast don't apply to me because I won't be involving parents, won't be creating cutesy worksheets, and won't use transparencies (I don't think). 

**Blogs I commented on: I actually commented early (commented on Week 6 blog posts DURING week 6 instead of waiting until week 7 to comment). See my week 6 post to see whose posts I commented on. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

EME2040 - Blog Post #6

This week for EME2040, we were to find class websites and see what information we could pull from the website without being "logged in" as a parent or student. In browsing around different class pages for Sawgrass Bay Elementary (a local public elementary school), I notice roughly the same information from each teacher: class name, usually room #, and a brief bio for the teacher. Below is a screenshot example:

This screenshot was taken from Mrs. Da Silva's class page. Mrs. Da Silva is a Kindergarten teacher. 

As for Twitter: 
So far, I can't seem to find many people tweeting with the hashtag #FSU2040. I did a search just now and I see my own posts but not many others. Before this class, I was already familiar with Twitter, so I can't say I've learned anything new but I have gained a new appreciation for the teachers and teacherpreneurs I've been following on Twitter. I've especially enjoyed reading tweets from those involved in #edtech because they've been helpful for this class. I try to RT anything I find that is related to educational technology. 

In the future, I will be a college English professor. I would LOVE to see college professors blogging and sharing lesson plans, but I doubt that'll happen anytime soon. Maybe it just depends on the subject you're teaching, but I can't seem to find anything anytime we're tasked with finding lessons (I usually look for lessons for ENC1101 and 1102 but sometimes I look for AP English Lang/Lit lessons.). So, in the future, it'd be helpful to reach out to other college professors and collab with them for lesson plan ideas. 

**Blogs I commented on: Emily's blog and Fernanda's blog. :) 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

EME2040 - Blog Post #5

1) ELA technology standards vary in nature, but the ones I feel most qualified to teach are RL.7.2., RL..6., and RI.7.4. Specifically, these are what the standards say:

RL.7.2. - Words & illustrations in print and digital text to understand character, setting, and plot.

RL.7.6. - Compare reading story/drama/poem to audio, video, or live version.

RI.7.4. - Charts, graphs, diagrams, timelines, animations, or interactive elements on a webpage.

 RL.7.2 - I've been homeschooling for 14 years now and have spent the past several years focusing on literary elements such as character, setting, and plot. I find these specific literary elements quite easy to teach. In my experience, students easily grasp the concept of who the "characters" in a story are, what the "setting" is, and what actually happens (plot).

RL.7.6. - As avid fans of the Orlando Rep, we have had several opportunities to compare stories we've read to live versions. We've also spent a great deal of time comparing and contrasting book versions to video versions.

RI.7.4. - My students are millennials, which means they grew up in the age of digital technology and web pages. That said, I've found it quite easy to point out the charts/diagrams/etc. that are available and that actually help students understand the content better.

2) My students range in age from 13-17. Again, as a homeschooling mom, I have four students. I love implementing Google Classroom for our homeschool. It's a perfect way for my students and me to communicate at times when I'm not able to help one individual student.

Believe it or not, even with just four, I can be quite busy with my own work, my own school (such as this blog post!), or helping another student/child of mine. One of my students may have a question about an assignment I've posted on Google Classroom...*right this minute*......and if s/he doesn't get it out ASAP, s/he may forget it. Google Classroom has come in handy in that it's allowed my students to ask those questions or turn in assignments or alert me to the fact that they've submitted work elsewhere.

As for digital citizenship, I've always taught my students this concept, so this isn't really applicable. I mean, they're my own children so...I've been able to address this one-on-one with them each.

3) OK to be honest? I didn't acquire any new skills on the Newsletter assignment. Those were very, very basic Word skills, in my opinion. I've known how to do all of those things for years, and it was - for me - "busy work." =/ That being said, I didn't mind doing's just that it didn't teach me anything new.

*Blogs I commented on for week 4: Brenda (comment is awaiting moderation) and Jessica (also awaiting moderation).

Friday, February 2, 2018

EME2040 - Blog Post #4

This week, our two paragraphs are to discuss the DID method of evaluating a lesson plan and to discuss the concept of "open" courseware mentioned in the podcast we were to listen to. 

1) So, I decided to look for a lesson on something relevant to my homeschooling right now, and that is A Case for Reading - Examining Challenged and Banned Books. Moving through the steps in DID, I've evaluated the lesson as follows: 
a) Know the learner - I know my students so I know that this is a lesson that some will find boring while others will appreciate learning that some books are banned in schools. My kids are, of course, used to having books they're not allowed to read. As they've gotten older, the types of books they're allowed to read have increased. Nonetheless, this step is about knowing how my kids rate according to learning styles (auditory, kinesthetic, and visual). My auditory and kinesthetic learners will really appreciate this lesson. My visual learner will appreciate seeing the T-chart that is involved in the lesson. 
b) Standards-aligned Performance Objectives - I chose this lesson because it is aligned to multiple Common Core standards for 5th grade. The objectives for students are as follows:
Students will:
  • be exposed to the issues of censorship, challenged, or banned books. 
  • examine issues of censorship as it relates to a specific literature title. 
  • critically evaluate books based on relevancy, biases, and errors. 
  • develop and support a position on a particular book by writing a persuasive essay about their chosen title.

c) Teaching and learning strategies - The teaching strategies include the teacher providing students with a list of books banned by the American Library Association's list of the most frequently challenged books. The learning strategies include students choosing a book to read at home and write a persuasive essay (to the librarian or administrators) letting them know how they feel about a particular book being banned. 
d) Select support technologies - Selecting technologies to support the learning outcomes for this lesson involves providing students with the link to the list of banned books. The students could use an online platform for the T-chart they're to use next, but otherwise, there isn't much technology incorporated into this lesson. 
e) Assess and Revise - There is a rubric available for assessing this lesson. In addition, the lesson plan itself outlines the following for assessment: 
  • Monitor student interaction and progress during any group work to assess social skills and assist any students having problems.
  • Respond to the content and quality of students’ thoughts in their final reflections on the project. Look for indications that the student provides supporting evidence for the reflections, thus applying the lessons learned from the work with the Persuasion Map.
  • Assess students’ persuasive writing piece using the rubric.
2) Open education is the idea that every educator should have the same access to the same materials at no cost so that they may provide all students with a comparable education. Those in favor of this philosophy work to eliminate barriers and anything else that might stand in the way of this happening. Open educational resources (or OERs) can be modified because the creators of such resources have given anyone with access to them permission to modify them to suit their individual needs. An example of this might be a math teacher who obtains open-access math word problems but who changes some of the terms or names in the problem to help her students relate better to the ideas in the problem. 

Blogs I commented on from Week 3: Caroline (says "awaiting moderation") and Julie (also "awaiting moderation"). 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

EME2040 - Blog Post #3

In the past (and, for that matter, the present), I've used Word for all research papers I've been required to write. There was a time when Word was the only application I knew how to use. Since then, I've acquired skills in Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher. I have different "faves" for different tasks, but the one I use most often is probably Publisher. 

In any case, as a student, I've used Word for papers. I've seen professors use Word for many things, from the class syllabus to class calendars. Frankly, I'm not a fan of Word when I need to incorporate graphics (I prefer Publisher or PPT for those tasks). Word tends to get persnickety about adding images and sometimes blocks me from doing what I want to do with graphics. It also gives me a hard time with fonts I want to use as images. For that reason, I've learned to use programs that are much more graphic-friendly, such as the ones I've already mentioned. 

The issues of copyright are interesting to discuss and reflect upon. As a TPT Seller and creator, I'm very familiar with copyright issues and with incorporating attributions somewhere in my work. Most Sellers I buy clipart from have some TOU (terms of use) that require anything from simply stating that you used clipart from that Seller to incorporating the Seller's actual logo in my work. Now, some Sellers like to request that people incorporate a link to their store on top of that, but that isn't something that can be legally enforced. 

Furthermore, this blog itself was designed by me but I couldn't have done it without using graphics, clipart, and fonts from another TPT Seller. I actually obtained her permission to use her clipart in my banner at the top of this page and she didn't really care about attribution (probably because my blog doesn't get even the traffic her blog gets). 

Implementation issues - So, one of the biggest issues I see that need attention are: 
  • Cyberbullying - In the classroom, I can prevent this by making sure to have a relationship of some sort with all my students at least to the point where they'd feel comfortable letting me know they're being cyberbullied right in my classroom AS I'm teaching lessons. 
  • Student Privacy - Since I don't plan to teach K-12, I won't need to have much interaction with parents (ever...), so the best thing I can do is obtain permission from my students to post/share things they send to me. I can also make it a requirement that they use applications such as Twitter or join the class FB page to ensure that anything they post is material THEY want posted and not just something I've decided to share. 
  • Piracy - I can help my students make sure their laptops and other devices are only used on secured networks when students are in my "care." 
I do feel like some of these implementation strategies don't necessarily apply to the students I will be teaching, since I plan to teach in the realm of higher education (meaning, mostly adults or at least students over the age of 18). I think this changes a lot of things, but I'm imagining myself as a K-12 educator when answering these questions. 

Posts I commented on from Week 2: Gabrielle's and Jessica's

Monday, January 22, 2018

EME2040 - Twitter (Part 1)

For part 1 of this assignment, we're to share our Twitter handle with the class.

On Twitter, I am: @lessons_pajamas
Find me here ---->>>

EME2040 Blog Post #2

This week, I began reading in our textbook (Teaching and Learning With Technology) and must write a response to our blog post prompts.

A) I would say teachers are influenced to use technology because a) it streamlines everything into easier platforms and b) it's what students are used to using. Teachers have the ability to use technology for everything from administrative tasks and lesson planning to actually implementing the lessons and interacting with students. Students are influenced to use technology because it's what they are used to using in their "off" time. When not in school, many students can be found playing games and communicating with friends through their cell phones and/or iPads and/or computers. It's practically a given. Because of this, students are more drawn to lessons and activities that involve technology. According to the text, teachers use technology for admin tasks, presenting lessons, prepping lessons, communicating, and teaching. Students use technology for participating in lessons, communicating, and learning.

B) ISTE Standards - So, one standard that is meaningful to me is:

Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
This standard essentially says that educators can use technology to create an atmosphere where students will take ownership of their learning, whether in a group or on their own. I like this one because I feel it's very true! I've personally seen it in my homeschooled kids and in the kids I tutor in person. Through the use of technology, students are able to take something they're familiar with (say, their iPad) and use it to learn more about something they want to know. The only downside to this is that technology changes or "crashes" and if students are only used to relying on technology for their learning, they're relying on something they have no control over.

A standard that seems outside of my skillset:
Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
If I'm being honest, I'd say almost ALL of the standards for "Educators as Designers" are outside of my skillset. At least, if we're talking about creating interactive multimedia activities. I'm very skilled with Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Publisher), but even within these, I know there are many things I don't know how to do - such as creating interactive games/activities that are iPad-friendly. I wish I knew how to do this stuff, but I don't and don't really have time to learn it, so I end up relying on those who do to create materials I need.

C) To be a "digital native" means to be someone who was not only at the beginning of the digital age but also someone who practically knows no life outside of digital technologies. Digital immigrants, on the other hand, are those who try to learn and understand things from the perspective of the natives. This is a perfect description for teachers and most adults because we're stepping into the world of students and want to make lessons and learning relevant to them. To do so, we need to familiarize ourselves with things the "natives" already know. We're "immigrants" into their worlds.

I do agree with these terms. As a college student, I'm a digital native. However, as a homeschooling educator, mom, and adult, I'm a digital immigrant. (I guess it just depends on who I'm compared to...) I've definitely seen differences in how I use technology and how the digital immigrants in my life use technology. Most of my observations come from watching adults who don't have teenagers to guide them in using some aspects of technology (I have 4 teens who clue me in!). I'm not going to be teaching K-12, but there's a good possiblity I'll be teaching at the university level (that's if I go into teaching at all). That said, I'm SURE students will have a leg up on me and that I'll suddenly become a major digital immigrant in their world! 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

EME2040 Blog post (Week 1 & Learning Styles Quiz results)

This semester (Spring 2018) is my LAAAAAST semester of undergrad. Finally! Finally, finally, finally...I will hold that Bachelor's degree in my sweet hands (actually, it'll hang on the wall or counter). I'm currently finishing up coursework for my Bachelor's in Social Sciences with a primary concentration in Sociology and a secondary concentration in Public Administration. That's a mouthful that basically means...a degree in Sociology and Public Administration. From there, I hope to enter UCF's English MA program and eventually be a candidate for their Ph.D. in English Rhetoric and Composition. The ultimate goal is to become a college professor teaching English and literature.

My prior experiences with technology include Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PPT, Publisher, to be exact) and online blog-building platforms such as Blogger and Wordpress. As a writer and copy editor, I work on the computer all day. Part of my job involves blogging for a few clients, so this is pretty second nature to me! I am familiar with Wordpress and see its benefits, but I also prefer the Google integration of Blogger.

I hope to learn how to better put to use technology in the classroom. While I have no intentions on teaching in the K-12 sector, I know that institutes of higher education can benefit from technology as well. For instance, this class is delivered asynchronously (100% online), which means I'd better have a clue about how to use the computer. I'm honestly not sure why FSU requires I take this class given that I've taken umpteen classes online, but it's a grad requirement so here I am! I hope to learn something new in this class...something I didn't already know. While I may not learn how to use technology, I hope to learn how to integrate it according to best practices in the realm of higher education.

As a class assignment, I was required to take a learning styles quiz, which I found very interesting. Below are the results of my quiz:

According to the information below the results, I'm definitely a visual and "sensing" learning. While I'm not sure what sensing means, it's apparently the opposite of intuitive. I can't say I'm surprised by the results; I've always referred to myself as a visual learner. I "see" things better than I "hear" them, and I definitely have a photographic memory.

All in all, a fun activity!