Sunday, August 30, 2015

Vimeo vs. Youtube

I decided to compare Vimeo and Youtube so readers can have an alternate to using Youtube if they see Vimeo's features more suiting to their needs. Personally, I have had some issues over the years with playing Youtube videos in the classroom so it is always nice to have various options to choose from when using video making tools. 

Image result for vimeoThe Basics of Vimeo include:    

  •          Ability to upload videos
  •          Share videos with family, friends and the world
  •          Connect with other people
  •          Explore using Vimeosphere
  •          Learn how to make better videos - vimeo school
  •          Free


The Basics of Youtube include:
  •       Create, upload and share videos Free of charge                                  
  •          Subscribe for tutorials and troubleshooting
  •          Create Playlists, add Channels and join Discussions           

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Building your PLN

PLN you say? Another acronym, what does this mean? PLN stands for Personal Learning Network. Don't worry, before this semester I had no idea what that meant either so don't be so hard on yourself.
Imagine yourself when you started your first teaching job. Like me, you probably had nothing to bring from home other than yourself and all your excitement and energy. Once you got into your classroom and the door was shut, you probably panicked a bit thinking now what do I do. Next,  you prayed that someone around you would be kind enough to check on you and see how your day is going. That person would then be your saving grace, the person you would go to every time something went wrong or surprisingly right.

Fast forward 15 years, now you are an established teacher, the one who is checking on the new teacher to make sure he or she is surviving their first day, week, or month. The one who teachers come to ask questions and hope to get a quick answer from. So who are you learning from all these years? After awhile, you begin to realize you want to learn more than what you learn from your weekly sight meetings. So you begin to reach out, reach out to the WORLD that is. You get connected with Twitter, Teaching Channel, Facebook and various other networking sites to get more. Once you start browsing, searching and tweeting you realize how much the rest of the world has to offer. You are pleasantly surprised and so glad you are not alone in this amazing profession called TEACHING!

What are some steps you are taking to building your PLN?

I had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Dvorak, Director of Education Tech department at Fresno Unified School District. Please Click below to hear what he had to share.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Why Project-based Learning?

Project-based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered teaching method in which students gain knowledge and understanding by engaging in the investigation of real-world problems and challenges.  The teacher poses the problem/question and students work either independently or collaboratively to find a solution.  Just a real-world issues can be "messy" and often be resolved by varying means, so too can project-based lessons.     

PBL takes learning to an even deeper level of understanding not typical for 21st century students.  Today's students are entrenched in a routine of rote learning - memorizing information and processes simply to prepare and succeed on standardized tests.  Students learned what they needed to advance to the next level and then the process repeated itself.  There was little effort, engagement, and excitement occurring in the classroom.  Not so with PBL.

PBL begins with an open-ended question that frames the lesson.  The students then work to investigate or research the issue and construct a possible answer.  Students utilize technology to "communicate, collaborate, conduct research, analyze, create, and publish their own work for authentic audiences" (Boss, 2011).  Throughout the PBL, students are engaging in real world problem-solving, using all the tools that are necessary to succeed in today's work force. 

Teachers need to seek out opportunities to include PBL in their classroom whenever possible.  Creating PBLs is not an easy task, but professional development may help to guide and streamline the process.   Not only is PBL an engaging and exciting way for students to learn, but the best way to prepare them for success in future

Boss, S. (2011). Project Based Learning: A Short History. Edutopia.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Learning in the 21st Century

Promoting better learning in the 21st century would be possible if educators made changes in the way they are currently teaching. As a classroom teacher, I know sometimes its hard adding new ideas or techniques to what already works for you. Change would involve more flexibility given to teachers by the school districts and less restrictions for the use and integration of social media and various other uses of the internet.
When students start learning because they are engaged in and are active participants in all they are learning anything is possible. Students must learn how to problem solve and work towards improving their efforts when collaboratively learning with others. This will require skills that are not only taught in the classroom but also life skills that are taught primarily at home from their parents or parent guardians. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Social Media and Parenting

We all know social networking can be a place for a community of learners, however as a parent I am being very cautious to let my daughter enter the world of social networking before her time. Why do our kids want to rush to get a Instagram account when it states required age 13? Its amazing to see the number of parents who allow their children to join social networks before they reach that certain age. My daughter who will turn 10 soon says, " Mom, everyone else has one, why can't I?" I don't have answers to why everyone else has things before she does, but I told her I can't explain why other parents make decisions... I just know for myself and my children... I just want to slow things down.. They will have the rest of their life to be on social media.. Right now I just want them to enjoy their childhood.

Friday, July 3, 2015

What does it take to be a Leader?

A leader is a person who must have the abilities to coach others (followers) as mentioned in the readings. Remembering that each person they encounter can possibly have a different background and not all will be easy to work with. A leader must have confidence and be knowledgeable in all areas related to the work they are doing. They need to promote collaboration with all colleagues.  They should have the ability to make decisions that everyone can benefit from. Be able to delegate duties so any given project or assignment is manageable.  Must be flexible and be able to realize that not all people work the same. Make clear and attainable goals. A leader must be approachable.  The last thing you would want is to have a leader whom no one wants to talk to.