Concluding Post

During the course of the semester I found that there were many things that I will take back to my classroom in the fall.  Throughout this class I have not only learned new concepts about integrating technology into the classroom, but learned many small helpful details as well.

Using WordPress for blogging taught me how I can transform a blog into a professional website.  Not only did I figure out how to set up my own copyright licensing using creative commons, but I also learned how to make sure that I am teaching my students how to failry use copyrighted materials.  

Another tool that I will use in the classroom is YouTube as well as other video viewing tools.  It is evident through my networked learning video that I acquired a new skill by watching videos and I am very excited to share this with my students.  They use this tool for learning something they might have always wanted to in addition to aiding them with a math concept they might be struggling with.  I have used YouTube videos in class before but never as a homework assignment to show different insight on a concept.  

The last tool that I will use is Twitter.  I honestly believed that Twitter was not something I could use to enhance my teaching.  I now know that Twitter could take my teaching to the next level by expanding my collaboration across the world.  There was no doubt in my mind that collaboration is such an important tool, but I did not realize that Twitter could be used in this way.  In an instance I can have a scholarly conversation with people in my field discussing ways to enhance my teaching.

I am excited to get started using my new knowledge with my students and I want to say thank you to my professors for helping continuing my education throughout this course and beyond.

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Making Sushi: Giving Back

If you have been following my blog you would know that for a class, I was challenged to learn to do something by only watching YouTube videos. I chose making sushi. This video accurately portrays that I now know how to make sushi and I thought I would contribute to anyone else who would want to know how to make sushi by allowing them to follow my instructions.

The video however does not show how I struggled a few times in previous attempts to make sushi, but that is all part of the learning process. Should I ever attempt a “network learning” skill again, I think I might make sure I am recording the skill I am learning each time I attempt and have an outtakes reel at the end of my video. That way viewers could learn from my mistakes.

The overall take away from this experience is that I really did learn the skill and worked out any wrong doings on my own. Is that the way I would like my students to learn? The answer is yes, however I do teach math and I knew what the end product of making sushi was supposed to look like. If my students do not understand how to make sure their answer makes sense this way of learning might not work in all cases. In certain instances, I believe this could be a brilliant way of teaching.

Cooking with TPACK

In this video I was given a task to complete where I could only use whatever items my son chose for me. This assignment allowed for me to reflect on how technology, pedagogy, and content really need to work together to help guide our students to learn. I hope you enjoy.

Learning by Watching: Take Three

On my quest to make sushi using brown rice, I found the following video.  This video helped me to figure out how to make brown rice sticky so that it can be wrapped and hold the ingredients.  Although I have not got the chance to make the brown rice sushi, I fear that it will not be as easy or as straight forward as the video states.  I think that the most difficult part for me during this assignment has been to not use the other resources I would normally use.  Although the YouTube videos have been extremely helpful, I like to have conversations with others who have made sushi before.  Luckily, I do not know many people who have made their own or I would have probably failed already.

This whole experience so far has been great and actually forced me to make sushi.  If I had to say what has been the most difficult part of this experience, it would be the following:

  • Consistency of the rice to make it sticky
  • Ensuring the correct amount of ingredients is inside
  • Sealing the sushi roll
  • Using brown rice

I am looking forward to showing everyone how much of a sushi “master” I have become in the upcoming weeks when I post my video.

Integrating Technology Lesson Plan

In creating lesson plans, I do my best to engage the students in the overall learning process and allow them to be creative.  In this particular lesson plan on Solving Linear Systems of Equations, I wanted the students to embrace themselves as advertisers and create their own cell phone company since it is important that schools and classrooms be learner centered (Bransford et al., 2000, p. 23).    In the past I have not had a lot of access to technology, so students have always created their plans on paper. But I now have three tablets at my disposal, as well as access to a laptop cart containing over 20 computers allowing me to really enhance the lesson.

Access: I chose Glogster for this activity because I had newly tried this show my knowledge of a reading required in my last graduate class and though it would be a wonderful tool for an advertisement.  Since digital media provides access to a rich source of information and play (Thomas & Brown, 2011, p. 37-38). Also, Glogster was free and only needed an email account which is what our school required of each student so that they could have access to such tools.  Much of what makes play powerful as a tool for learning is our ability to engage in experimentation ((Thomas & Brown, 2011, p. 97). I am not sure if my students would have already used this tool before in another class.  Our school also requires that students take a test on digital citizenship and how to be appropriate on the internet before they can have access to our school laptops.

 Title: Cell Phone Lesson Plan

Subject: Math

Grade:  Algebra 1 (8-12th)

Standards:  L1.2.4 Organize and summarize a data set in a table, plot, chart, or spreadsheet; find patterns in a display of data; understand and critique data displays in the media.  A2.4.2 Graph lines (including those of the form x = h and y = k) given appropriate information. A2.1.7 Identify and interpret the key features of a function from its graph or its formula(e), (e.g., slope, intercept(s), asymptote(s), maximum and minimum value(s), symmetry, and average rate of change over an interval).

Due to building on the previous concept of linear equations, I would first have my students review linear equations by completing a card sort.  To introduce this unit following the sort, I would propose the following assignment to my students:

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Creating: The mission- Create an advertisement for a new cell phone company using Glog EDU  containing the following information:

  • Title for your cell phone company
  • Slogan
  • Picture of cell phone(s)
  • Monthly charge (this must be between $0 and $50 a month)
  • Charge per minute (this must be between $0 and $50 also but please do not make them the same)
  • Anything else to make the poster/flyer presentable

After you have completed your poster/flyer:

  1.  Create a table, equation and graph using your data.  Remember to include labels where needed on your graph.  You can do this by hand or try the free graphing calculator online.
  2. Graph your data on the teacher’s computer using the free graphing calculator website.

Analyzing: Once everyone has graphed their data, please complete the following questions:

  1.  Look at the class data and tell me which cell phone plan would you choose and why?
  2. Look at the class data and tell me which cell phone plan would you NOT choose and why?
  3. Would you change your answer if you were told that you use 50 minutes each month?  Why?
  4.  Describe what each point of intersection represents in terms of the problem.

Reflecting: This would be the introduction to the unit.  Throughout the unit I would reflect upon our cell phone plans to make the unit relevant.  In addition, I would ask that students keep record of how many minutes they used on a weekly basis. This would allow us to come back and create classroom discussions on what would be the most affordable plan so the students could see how data changes.  Students could then see and understand the real life applications to linear equations.

References

Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., and Cocking, R.R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school: expanded ed. (pp. 3-79). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace.

Learning by Watching: Take Two

To prepare myself into making sushi for the first time I viewed a few videos.  Most were helpful to me.  The first was this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPMaid87Es0 which helped to show me the ingredients.  However, the full sushi experience to me was rolling the sushi into rolls so this was not the full experience I was looking for.   The second video accurately displays how I thought the sushi making would go for me.  The video,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Mm_5Z__TjQ, was entertaining and I now know what not to do to make sushi through viewing.   The one I found to be the most helpful was the video http://allrecipes.com/video/303/how-to-make-sushi-rolls/detail.aspx.  This was what I needed to see to get started.

My first attempt at making sushi was hard due to getting the rice to be the correct consistency of stickiness.  Normally I would have asked a store clerk when buying the ingredients or google how to make the right consistency, but part of this assignment was just to use YouTube or help forums.  Therefore, I just selected a rice that said sushi on it.  After making the rice, I realized it was not sticky.  Luckily, I found a help forum that mentioned adding sugar and vinegar and I actually had those ingredients in my house.  Although my sushi turned out alright, I knew it was not what I wanted it to be yet and I am building up to trying it with brown rice.  I have now dedicated one night a week to trying to make new sushi.  My first creation was a simple cucumber, cream cheese and imitation crab roll and I o used the method on the video where the nori is on the outside of the roll.  My second roll had nori inside the roll as well as shrimp, avocado, cucumber, onion and cream cheese.  What I learned during the second roll is that I need to make the ingredients smaller when I had so many.  The roll would not seal correctly, but at least it tasted good. 

In my next blog post, I will have attempted to make sushi with brown rice as well as mastered the maximum limit of what a sushi roll can have inside.  My husband wants me to attempt a reverse roll which would contain raw fish on the outside, but I will save that for another day. 

Making Life Easier

In learning about getting things done (GTD), I found that I need to find a better way to organize my life to increase my creativity.  Workflow management is about taking the tasks needed to accomplish and organizing them to improve productivity.  Typically, the tasks at hand are written on a post it note and stuck to my school computer.  After learning more this week about how to be productive, I realized I might not be organizing as well as I should.  In order to expand my horizons, I tried using the program called Evernote.  Evernote allowed me to create my “to do” list as well as upload documents.  When I first began, I did not realize how putting my “to do” list online would be beneficial so I began searching for other ways to use this tool.  I found this tool to be very helpful when organizing my teaching lessons.  For example, in may have a lesson that includes a YouTube video, presentation, some example problems with visuals, and some common mistakes.  I can organize all of this information using Evernote so that it is all together and accessible by viewing, replaying, and sharing.  I could easily share this information with parents and students so that parents can help their child with homework and that absent students can receive and view the missed material.  I look forward to continue exploring and using this tool and appreciate any additional insight.