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Final Reflection

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For my final reflection I will be writing about two of my favorite apps that I experienced working with. Along with my final thoughts about blogging, technology, and my wow moment of the semester.

imageThe first app that I enjoyed working with was Adobe Slate. Adobe Slate was a new experience to me, but with how user friendly it was made using it a breeze. There are many different ways to use Adobe Slate, you can have pictures as a background and then the words on the picture or you can have a picture then add words as a caption. Another aspect that I like about Adobe Slate is that it slides down, it makes reading the information easier then flipping page by page in a book. I will use this app in my classroom for multiple usages. One would be around the first week of school as an about me like the one I made. To view it click here. I would also use it in the form of a research project, where students would have a topic they pick and present to the class as a whole. I would most defiantly use this in Social Studies and Science where learning can be boring at times to help spice it up. Also check out my blog post “Adobe Slate in the classroom” to see how else I enjoyed this app. You can also see what Adobe Slate looks like by visiting mine “Meet Me”.
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20151009-104514.jpgWord Cloud was the project I enjoyed doing in Ed Tech. The app I downloaded for this assignment was WordPack, I did have to pay for this app but I wanted to have the best experience possible. Yes free apps can provide that but not always. So for this project we had to make  word cloud. Before this I have not experienced working with word cloud or really knew what it was. Now after the project I loved how powerful it can be and beneficial it can be to a classroom. I have also noticed word clouds in my surroundings now when before they were non-existent. The word cloud I made is pictured below. My experience working with eye cloud was very good, there were some aspects I would change in WordPack but overall it was a great experience. I got to pick the color scheme I wanted along with the shape and there are many different kinds to pick from. To hear more about my experience using WordPack or creating my word cloud check out my blog post “Word Cloud in the classroom“.

Looking back at my blogs really made me realize how much my knowledge of technology grew through this course. At first you could tell I was a little apprehensive of using so much technology in the classroom. At first I thought that it was a distraction to students or they just used them to get on games and just mess around. Little did I know that that is not the case with technology in the classroom. I also thought that a one to one classroom was not a good idea for a school. That changed after I read the article High Tech High. I also watched the video below of Larry Rosenstock speak about what comes from having a one to one school and the advantages it brings. This video and probably the blog Ditch that Textbook became my turning point or WOW moment that changed how I though about this course and technology. It made me realize that technology is not always bad but it is not always good either. It is how the teacher uses it in their classroom.

I was surprised by how many apps their are that can be used in an educational way if your alter them. For example with Adobe Slate I never would have imaged using it to present material of have my students present material with it. Also word cloud I had no idea what that was and it is a tool that I plan to use in my classroom as well. It is just crazy how much information and technology that is out there, yet not that many people know that it is available for them. With that being said I want to help spread the knowledge that I learned to other educators who have not had the opportunity to learn or discover what I have.

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Interactive WhiteBoard and App Tutorial for: Spelling Bee App


The app that I decided to make a tutorial for was for the Spelling Bee. Which is for all ages in elementary. This app is very beneficial for students who are learning the English language for the first time at an older age. There are hints that can help a student spell the word without giving away all the letters. Doing this experience was hard at first it took me a couple times to realize what all I needed to do on each picture. Also if I were to mess up I felt that I had to start all over. The app I used to make the video was ShowMe. This website has a lot of other education apps on there along with other information that can benefit teachers in need. I created an account and look forward to using and creating more tutorials. It was a fun process and I can not wait to create some more! I would defiantly recommend having a teacher make on of these in the future because it helps you to be very clear because your user has no idea how to work the app and your are teaching them how. Which is what we are going to be doing with our future students.

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ThinkLink in the Classroom

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I had used ThinkLink many times and I love it more and more with each time I use it. There are a number of ways you could use this in the classroom. One way would be like I did for a class, use it as a meet me. This allows students who are a little more shy to open up because clicking on the dots can lead to a discussion. Another I would use it is in Social Studies, this is a topic that can be kind of boring at time. Well if you pick an important event that happen and there is a picture about it you can do a small report by adding information by text or by adding links that others can follow. My favorite aspect is that you can add YouTube videos, but it allows you to search them through ThinkLink! That by far is the best feature they have. The ThinkLink I decided to do was Easy as ABC, I really like early elementary and teaching the ABC’s isuntitled really fun, there is also a lot of different materials out there so I thought others could value from the great information I found about teaching students their alphabet. Here is an image of my ThinkLink . Another great tool to use in the classroom is Padlet. I have used Padlet  a couple times. At first it was really confusing on how to work; however with time I am slowly getting better and I will defiantly use it in my classroom. It is very accessible, meaning as long as you have the correct link you can get on Padlet and discuss with other students or teachers about the material you are covering. How I would use it is by putting students in groups and giving them a topic, each topic is related but different. Then I would have the groups post to Padlet that way other students can see and have access to the information at hand. To view more ThinkLinks like mine check out our classroom Padlet!

 

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CKV: The Story of RC Kennels

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For my Celebrating Kansas Video project I decided to interview Ron Stopfer. He is part own of RC Kennels, the other own is his wife Cathy Stopfer. Together they worked on starting RC Kennels from scratch, it was nothing more than a pasture full of cows when they first imagined their dream. There were many struggles that they faced, some are mentioned in the video below. I have been working for them for about six years now and have seen the company grow. Watching it expand is just miraculous! I can’t image how they must feel from seeing it start from scratch and get where it is today. And that leads me to into why I choose this for my video project. Starting your own business is very hard no matter where you do it. However there are some places that make it a little harder and Kansas is on of them. As Ron says in his interview they are not in town so their location is hard to find, and when people struggle to get somewhere they often give up. Also the taxes are very high around Junction City are very high as well, which can lead to a lot of financial stress. But how Ron and Cathy manage to continue to expand their business even in the hard times if the economy and last for 32 years and counting is just inspiring.

iMovie Application

iMovie Application

The apps I used for this project was just the regular camera on the iPad then I movie. I did use music from the I movie app to help with background music from when my pictures were playing. I did take all the pictures at RC Kennels with the approval from Ron and Cathy. The arial picture was taken from a friend that is a pilot, who asked not to reveal his name, but gave permission to use. Using my camera to take the video was very easy, however once the video was in I movie it was very hard to handle. I struggled with splitting the video in the right place, and if I got the wrong place I would have to drag it till I got to the correct time frame. That process was very long hard and confusing. The next challenging aspect about I movie was that I could not add just regular slides for like a begging or and ending credits. One aspect I did like was that’s he pictures moved from one point to the next to help make it more appealing to the watcher. Overall I was not that impressed with I movie, maybe if I used it more and understood it better than I would like to use it.

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Week 14 Reflection: TeachThought

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For this weeks blog I looked into TeachThought. After looking threw this blog it was kind of hard to naviagate through and was quite different then the ones I have looked at in pervious weeks. Although this did not stop me, I kept looking around to find an article or something that I would enjoy. This happened when I stumbled upon the article, 30 Incredible Ways Technology Will Change Education By 2028. The article caught my eye, you think man 2028 is a long ways away; however in reality it is only 13 years away. When you hear 2028 you think that there maybe robots, flying cars, or no Portal-2teachers! Well after reading this article some of these may come true! In the article it talked about how technology is changing and that it is happening so fast it can be hard to grasp how to work everything correctly. An example that the article uses is Google, how it came about just 15 short years ago, but yet how many people can really remember life without it. This also shows how dependent we as people are on technology. One other part of this article that jumped out at me was that fact that they think by 2028 that learning simulations will start to take over teachers roles. That of course hit home to me because that is what I see myself doing for awhile. Way longer than 13 years from now. This article also showed me that as teachers we need to be ready for all of these technological advances and embrace them, otherwise our jobs maybe difficult.

 

 

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Week 13 Reflection: Miami Device, A Fantastic Conference Experience

 

Silvia-Tolisano-Logo250xFor my reflection for this week I choose to do Miami Device, A Fantastic Conference Experience. Wes and Silvia talk at a lot of conferences, and at times it can be rare for them to attend a conference without having to be responsible for a keynote or facilitating serval sessions. Although that did happen for them, they were able to attend MiamiDevice, a first year conference put on by Felix and his Saints Stephens Episcopal School team in Coconut Grove, Florida. They really enjoyed their experience at the conference, there were many fantastic breakout sessions. Below are some of the notes they took from the conference, however they are not your traditional yellow notepad. Notes from Wes and Silvia are more in the form of tweets, or sketchnotes. Sketchnotes is one aspect of this conference that I will take with me, some students already like to doodle so why not show them a way to take notes by doodling. This would probably help more students who struggle to stay more focused in class.

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Week 12 Reflection: Moving at the Speed of Creativity

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Moving at the Speed of Creativity was created by, Wesley Freyer. Wesley created this blog to, “digitally document my own journey of learning and collaborate with other educators and lifelong learners around the globe”. Some of his major works include the use of multimedia to help students “show what they know with media“, by using digital literacy, digital storytelling, digital portfolios, blended learning educational leadership, digital creativity and digital citizenship. Wesley is an author, teacher, technology director speaker, digital storyteller, and change agent. As of now he is the Director of Technology for the Casady School in Oklahoma City.

In Wesley’s Blog he talks about a lot of different information, he explains some activities that his daughter does online, he also reflects on other technology articles. One other aspect that Wesley covers is numerous podcasts that others can listen to. The podcast I decided to watch was, Podcast 436: The Technology Director Speaks. In this podcast Wesley talks about 11 different topics in 67 minutes! He describes new updates about his new position this year as the school technology director. He also previews “iPads Media Camp in a box” which will take place the summer of 2016. Wesley also shared some of his favorite podcasts that he has done over the years and audiobooks as well.

This blog was not one of my favorites that I have reviewed, I mean there is a lot of valuable information; however, it was just not information that really connected to me or information that i though I could use to better myself as an educator.

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Google Communities in the Classroom

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During this week for Ed Tech I discovered what Google Communities are. Before this assignment I had no idea what Google Communities were about or that they were even apart of Google.  Once I had done some digging, searching, and exploring, I realize that Google Communities are very benefical to educators or anyone that wants to know more about a certain content area. I joined to Google Communities which were, Special Education and Educational Technology.

20151207-113804.jpgThe first community I explored was Special Education, which was intriguing. At first I was nervous about joining the group because there were only about 3,300 members in it. But after looking around it turned out to be a good community. Post on this page are up to date and people post regularly. All of this happens on the community page were you can share videos, articles, blog posts, and start discussions with other teachers. One aspect of Google Communities that I really enjoy is that you do not have to be a teacher to join academic pages like the one I did. So that means that parents, aunts, uncles, and other faculty could join and receive information about special education as well or provide teachers with information they would like to share about their child’s needs.

Next the second community i joined was Educational Technology. This community I was very eager to join because, it teachinghas over 204,000 members in it. With this many members getting new information more frequently is more likely, which will keep you up to date with all the new technology. One reason I decided to join this group is because we are at the prime of the technology age, and I am a little behind in the process. It may come a shock since I grew up at in a time where technology was being used. But times have evolved even more and there are things about technology that I do not know and my eight year old cousins has information that just blows my mind. One article that I saw that on this community that I really enjoyed was, Teaching in a 1:1 Classroom. What I found helpful was the article gives you tips to lead to success when working 1:1 with students and technology. Some tips include, prepare and start gradually, define the role, switch off when appropriate, and keep learning.

Google Communities is a resource that I plan on using inside my classroom along with helping me develop my classroom. I will use it inside by creating a community that is strictly for my class where students, parents, guardians are only able to join. On the community board I would post information about upcoming events, homework assignments, or just helpful information. It may have some pitfalls of not every parent being able to get on to the community or they do no want to join, but that decision would be up to them. I also would use Google Communities to help keep fresh ideas in my classroom. In addition I will use it to for my personal hobbies such as crafting, and scrapbooking.

 

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Week 10 Reflection: K-12 Online Conference

The online conference that I decided to watch was called, “Game Jams: Students as Designers”. Matthew Farber created this video and described how important it is to have students create games in the classroom to strength knowledge. Matthew is also the author of the book, Gamify Your Classroom: A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning. This book discusses how Matthew uses gamed jams  in his middle school social studies classes, as well as digital game jams in the after school club he advises.

Matthew talks about Game Jams are growing in popularity around the world. Game Jams are designed to challenge teams to crate a game in a short period of time. In a way Game Jams are a game about making a game. Another purpose of Game Jams is to have students apply systems thinking, user empathy, collaborations, storyboarding, and iterative design, while also learning how to tackle broad open-ended problem. Matthew also believes that games are systems with interconnected components, which include; goal, rules, components, core mechanics, and space. The core mechanics of a game set are what keeps the system of play in motion, they are what you do over and over in a game. Some examples are arguing, trading, voting, exploring, jumping, guessing, role-playing, resource management, and press your luck. When creating games in your classroom Matthew says it is key to have examples for students to see. He uses the institute of play to help develop guides, there is also playtest reflections that should be done. To find more out about Matthew or his Gamify ways you can contact him through: email, twitter, or his link

Overall Game Jams should be used in the classroom. Game Jams helps students in many different ways. I will be a teacher that uses Game Jams in my classroom, and encourage it to other teachers I met.

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Using the Canva App: My First Infographic

unnamedThis week I created a poster and an infographic using the app Canva. Before this experience I have never used the Canva app before. After using it, I have grown to love it! This is app is a great way to incorporate color and visual aids into the classroom. I can definitely see myself using this app in my future classroom. Students will be able to use creativity and express their individuality while putting together important information in an infographic, which will help information stick with them by creating a deep understanding. The infographic I decided to make was about  how pollination works. Normally this is a topic that can be kind of boring to some students, however having them create an infographic can help make it more enjoyable. Other projects you can make in  Canva are posters, invites, banners, along with much much more. It is a great way to add excitement into the classroom, or have visual reminders for students. I would recommend this app to anyone who has a hard time being creative, one reason is how user friendly Canva is to someone new to the app. There are also tutorials that help show you how to navigate through the app! I can not wait to use infographics in the future or decorate my classroom with colorful posters!

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