Sunday, April 27, 2014

Project #4 [C4T Summary #4]

     For my last C4T, I got to read some posts by David Wees, writer of Thoughts from a 21st Century Educator. Davis has had experience teaching in quite a few places around the world including New York, London, and Thailand. He has also taken part in writing a textbook for the International Baccalaureate Mathematical studies course. His website is a portfolio of the different projects he has been involved in, and I highly recommend that you check it out to read about his work! 
     For the first post I got to check out, David shared with us some videos from the Teaching Channel, another C4T I had the opportunity to check out this semester, and also introduced us to the a2i Project. The a2i Project (Accessing Algebra through Inquiry), is a project designed to implement math common core into different schools with the goal of maximizing student and teacher learning. For my first comment, I introduced myself, and let David know that I'm a student in EDM 310, and a little bit about what this class is all about. I thanked David for sharing this post with us, and let him know that the videos and information were super helpful for someone who is studying to become a math teacher someday! I let David know that I'd be featuring his blog over on my EDM 310 class blog so I could share some of his work, and some of his tips with my fellow classmates. His posts were definitely an interesting read, so any math teachers might want to pay a visit to his blog! 
     The second post I got to check out from David's blog was more of an artistic, personal post where he shared that we communicate all of our different ideas through the the medium of language. Sometimes students can learn all of the different words and terminology that goes along with an idea, but still not have a true understanding of the idea itself. David talked about how he struggled with linear functions in school because his professor explained things in a slightly different way than what he was used to. Eventually he overcame it though, and developed a true understanding of linear functions and how they worked! He talked about how he moved past a "just the words" understanding of linear functions into a more flexible and useful understanding. David's post made me think a lot, and I agree with him that we need to help our students get a clear understanding of the topics that they are learning about, and how they work together instead of just letting them slip by with only having a vague idea. For my comment, I let David know that I enjoyed reading all of his thoughts on this subject, and found it encouraging how he overcame all of the struggles in his topology class! I agree with him that teachers should do their part to help their students develop a true understanding of the different concepts that they need to know. 

C4K Summary for April

     This month's C4K assignments were all for students from Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. A lot of these students have had experience with sharing their classwork through blogging since Year 4, and it was pretty awesome to be able to see technology being used in the classroom for students of all different ages. I've linked my student's blogs below in case you'd like to check out their work, all of the awesome things that are happening at Pt. England School, and keep the C4K going!
     For my first C4K, I got to check out a post from a little girl named Doris, who is now in year 7 or 8 in Ms. Paget's classroom. She has been blogging for a while now, and shared a post about her school's recent Athletics Day! Doris described how the students got to participate in a lot of different activities during the day, and told a story about how her classmates cheered her on as she almost won the high jump competition. For my comment, I told Doris I enjoyed reading her stories about Athletics Day, and congratulated her for doing so well in the challenges. It must've been awesome having all of her classmates cheer her on! 
     For my second C4K, I checked out a post from a Year 5 student from Miss Ouano's class named DJ. This student introduced me to a new word that I am not familiar with, Fiafia, which means a celebration of different cultures' dances and other performances. DJ and his other classmates are participating in their own Fiafia at Pt. England, and DJ talked about some of his favorite dances and songs that they will be performing to. For my comment, I thanked DJ for sharing with us what Fiafia is all about, and wished him luck in his performances. I know it must be fun learning all of the different dances with his friends!
      For my last C4K, I got to comment on a younger student's blog from Mrs. She's Year 2 class. For this blogpost, Mrs. She recorded each of her students telling a story! My student, Esther, talked about how she got to go visit all of the other classes during a camping day for part of their school's outdoor education program. She talked about how she got to see all of the tents, which were so many different colors. For my comment, I told Esther I enjoyed watching her video that she shared, and that I bet she can't wait until she gets to participate in the camping activities when she's in Year 4. I told her to keep up the good work with sharing on her class blog! 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blog Assignment #13

This blogpost assignment is for all of the music education majors, and music minors out there. What are some interesting, exciting and effective ways that technology can be used in a music classroom to help students improve? Research a few, and write about them here!

     As someone who is studying to become a music teacher someday, I thought it would be interesting to research some of the different ways that technology can be taken advantage of in a music classroom setting. Not only can technology be used in some of the more obvious ways, such as having the ability to record and playback music, but after my research, I've also found a few unique ways that technology is being used that some people may not know of! Technology can be used to help music students improve more at their skills on their own time at home, supplementing what they are learning at their music lessons or in the classroom.
      The first type of music technology that I'd like to introduce you to is MacGamut, an ear training program for both Mac and Windows. By using MacGamut, students can practice working on their ear training, and also improve on their knowledge of basic music theory during their own time or convenience at home. A lot of times in a band or choir classroom, teachers don't get enough time to focus on teaching their students as much music theory as they'd like. By assigning MacGamut assignments for homework, teachers can ensure that their students are getting enough practice with music theory as their students need! MacGamut lessons can be customized by teachers so that way students will only spend time focusing on certain lessons, or certain techniques that are important. MacGamut grades your work as go, and also gives you the option to work in practice mode if you're just interested in working on developing your ear! 
     The second way that technology can be used in a music classroom is just by using simple recording capabilities. If a band or choir teacher is working with their students on a new piece of music, they can find a good quality recording of the song, and post it to a class blog so their students can reference it when practicing on their own at home. Often times, it helps for students to hear an example of how something is played so they can try to mimic the sounds. For a choir teacher, it also might be helpful as students are learning the lyrics to their different pieces. 
     The third type of technology that I've done some research on is assistive technology that can be used in music classrooms. For students who have difficulties reading the fine print on most sheet music, teachers can use the enlarge option on the photocopier or even translate the music to braille for students who are blind. I was also excited to find out that clamps, toggle-keys, joysticks, and switches can be added to instruments for students who have difficulties with holding an instrument or reaching all of the different notes. Students who have more severe disabilities don't have to feel left out because they can always participate in the percussion section without having to learn how to read music. They can be given visual cues when to strike instruments such as the bongo, the bells, or the tambourine! To keep thing interesting though, students should be given a chance to switch out the instruments so they don't get bored. These are just a few ways that I've found technology being used in music classrooms. As technology improves, I'm sure there will be more ways that this can happen everyday! What new and exciting information can you find?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Project #4 [C4T Summary #3]

      This week's C4T features Dorothy Burt, the writer of the Manaiakalani Blog, and the Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. This school has been given the opportunity to team up with Google, and their students have had some amazing learning opportunities because of it! Dorothy describes Pt. England School as a "community of learners" rather than just your typical school setting, and it's pretty evident in the videos that this school is a unique place! To get a better understanding of what the student's are doing, I highly recommend you check out Dorothy's blog, and watch some of the videos so you can see the students in action.
     For the first post I got to check-out, Dorothy wrote about the Manaiakalani Film Festival, and how their 6th year was another success. The festival expanded to two theaters, and 3,000 students got to participate in the activities during the day! The post included a video from the festival, and the children really seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage. For my comment, I congratulated Dorothy on the success of another festival, and wished them success for the years to come. I look forward to checking back on Dorothy's blog later to see more of what her students are up to, and to find out how the Manaiakalani Film Festival goes next year!
     In the second post I was able to check out, Dorothy talked about how Pt. England School was given the amazing opportunity to team up with Google, and the post featured a video filmed by Google giving you a glimpse into their learning community! The students at Pt. England were provided with Chrome-books, allowing them to bridge the gap from just learning at school to also being able to continue that learning at home. As one parent pointed out, learning becomes a lifestyle for their students, which is much different from how things were when we were in school! Not only that, but students have also been able to collaborate with their peers, and others using Google Docs and other tools. Dorothy talked about how much of a success this has been not only in engaging the students, but also at improving literacy outcomes. For my comment, I let Dorothy know that I'd be featuring her blog, and the Pt. England School over on my EDM 310 class blog so I can share some of the wonderful things that are going on at their school with my fellow classmates. I also mentioned how awesome I thought it was that this opportunity has given their students the chance to become lifelong learners, as having access to the internet and technology gives students the power to learn on their own! As one of the parents in the video said, it truly does bridge the gap between school, and home. 

Project #10 [Interview Movie]

C4K Summary for March

Te-Manea from Mrs. Jenny's 2nd Grade Class at Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand     
     For my first C4K, I got to visit a student's blog all the way from Auckland, New Zealand! If you go visit the main class blog, Little Voices, Little Scholars, you can read a little bit about the literacy cycle, and the types of projects the students are working on in the classroom. The children get the opportunity to write and record stories, draw graphics to illustrate them, and then share their work online. In this post, Te-Manea created a video, and shared her weekend story with us! She told us about how she got to go over to her Auntie's house, and play and splash in the pool all weekend. For my comment, I introduced myself, and let Te-Manea know that I'm a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I commented on how it sounded like she had such a fun time over at her Auntie's house, and that I'm ready for summertime to get here so I can enjoy going swimming at the pool, and the beach as well! Those have always been some of the funnest days! I also let Te-Manea know that I am impressed that she already knows how to create, and share videos. I told her to keep up the good work, and that I enjoyed hearing about her weekend story!
Literacy Cycle

Jordenne from Mrs. Lagitupu's Class at Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand 
     For my second C4K, my student was also from Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand, and these students have been blogging since year 4, and are now in year 7/8! In the post I got to check out, Jordenne wrote about how she and her classmates attended the Festival of Education. There were several different booths set up where the students could explore, and learn new things about education. Jordenne had to film a movie with one of her colleagues as an assignment for the day, interviewing people at the different booths she visited. Her favorite part was singing a song with a Maori lady who was playing a ukelele! For my comment, I introduced myself, and let Jordenne know that I'm a student in EDM 310 studying to become a teacher someday. I let Jordenne know that I was impressed with the work she was doing because we are students in college, and just now learning about how to film our own interview movies! I linked Jordenne to my blog in case she wanted to check out some of the videos we have created, and told her to keep up all of the good work! 

Blog Assignment #11