Week 8…Really?

I cant believe it is Week Eight already, I feel like I have been jamming through this semester.  These past two weeks have been hard.  My family has been caring for my Grandmother with Alzheimer’s for about three years, watching her slowly decline into a near catatonic state has been especially devastating for my Father.  While we are all relieved that she is in a much better place, we are still reconciling with her loss.

However as far as class goes; I really benefited from the Google Earth tour, I never knew about this feature! The two YouTube videos that were posted were incredibly helpful and I really liked putting together a tour of Dr. Mae C. Jemison’s biography.  I may end up using it in my class for my upcoming Space Unit.  Dr. Jemison was the first African American woman in space, making it a great chance to promote diversity in STEM.

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Image Credit: Azquotes.com
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The Flipped Classroom

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I’ve always been quite nerdy which I have stated in previous posts and so this week’s screencast assignment was really exciting.  Not only was I able to use my many pieces of technology like my USB Yeti microphone and my HD webcam but I was able to combine it with my passion for teaching!! In a past life I used to stream video games, so I have the technology to do all of it and the recent research on the Flipped Classroom is really exciting to me.

I always thought about teaching online, before I started working in Special Education I worked from home as a virtual personal assistant for a worldwide non profit and really enjoyed it.  Now having my son working from home in a virtual classroom seems even more exciting and I may just start to look for those types of positions!

Feel free to check out my screencast and let me know what you think, its over on my YouTube channel.

Image Credit: http://mozuku.edublogs.org

Week Four Has Arrived!

Week four of my graduate degree adventure and I am really enjoying it so far!  I never imagined I would have made it to Graduate school, let alone doing it while working fulltime and having a 6 month at home.  I am so incredibly blessed by the fact I have the support to juggle it all.

I was very excited about being able to learn about flipped classrooms this week, I have always had a desire to do online learning and be able to work from home with my son.  I actually finished the last two years of my undergraduate degree completely online!  Since being back into the classroom, I have been surprised by how much I like it.  I appreciate the feedback, the callouts in class and the interaction with my fellow students.  The concept of flipped classrooms really seems to be a perfect combination of online learning but hands on learning.

I have set up my Youtube channel, I actually have one for my “gaming” persona.  I have done livestreaming before and have recorded/edited videos before so I am excited to begin our first screencast assignment.

The Classroom of the Future

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What will we be teaching, how will we be teaching in the future? These are both questions that were brought up by this week’s videos and texts.  Helping form a child’s mind, their views about education and encouraging lifelong growth are already heavy enough but finding out we are teaching students who will have a job that is not even in the work force currently is quite heavy.

How do we reach these students? How do we teach students who are adapting to new technology on a daily basis? I believe the answer is join in.  Currently I have more friends spread out across the world than I do within a 30 mile radius.  These friends have all different types of backgrounds, hobbies, and more. These interactions create learning moments, ones that I would love to reproduce for the children in my classroom.

Understanding what my students are “into” is imperative to reach them.  Just recently I was working with my 4th graders on a worksheet after reading a book, these students are reading at a level closer to 2nd or lower.  These students know reading is tough, they don’t enjoy it and writing using vocabulary is even tougher for them.  I turned to one student and asked what she wanted to write for the vocabulary word “length” she didn’t respond.  I said, what about “I want to measure the length of Catwoman’s car.” ? She immediately lit up, this is her favorite movie and she started to write furiously.  That isn’t a short sentence at all, but something she loved and excited her made it easy to write.

Technology should be the same way, many of our kids are used to the new constant sensory input of video games, television, etc. It shouldn’t be our job to “break them” of it or discourage habits or skills that may end up landing them a job in the future.  We are still nurturers and we should nurture all skills they may have including ones we may not have or don’t understand quite yet.