EDCI 500 Blog Reflection 5: Teaching for Reflection

March 30, 2013

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og_9hAV7-Cc [/youtube]

I have always felt that when I was able to put my hands on something and just work through the problem or see how something fits together I was able to walk away with more information and a better understanding of the concept of how and why something works. The teacher was able to hold my attention, because I knew that if I was good and paid attention that I would be able to explore and apply what I was learning.


I have loved all of the science classes that I have ever taken and I think that it was because I knew that eventually we would actually get to do something, there was always some experiment or exercise that we got to complete.


I feel that Ms. Baveja is building on students’ prior knowledge and using the tactile methods for her students. Inductive learning builds upon inference and evidence finding skills. Ms. Baveja is giving the students’ more and more difficult plants to identify and they have to build upon the information they have and categorizes plants into new categories and element the other ones previously identified. By doing this she is teaching the students’ about concepts. Woolfolk defines concepts as “defining attributes, or distinctive features” (Woolfolk, 2013, 299). The students’ gain the knowledge of the identifying the plants based upon prediction by examining one part of the plant you can predict what the other part of the plant is going to be like. For example, if you look at the leaves of a plant, can you tell if the plant has a deep root base or a shallow root base?


The students from Ms. Baveja’s group also were able to identify plants because they had actual memories of seeing and identifying plants; this is referred to as exemplars. Exemplars are something that people do naturally according to Woolfolk (2013).


For myself I think that I would prefer teaching in a more tactile method for the inductive learners. More special education students are visual or tactile learners. Teaching the inductive process is more beneficial I feel for more students.

Hoy, A. W. (2013). Educational psychology. Boston: Pearson.

Miller, K. (Producer). (2010). Inductive Learning [Motion picture on Internet].

Categories: Educational Psychology.

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Week 11 INDT 501: New Technologies

March 30, 2013

Waging the war for New Technologies


It is absurd to think that we as teachers are going to be able to win the battle of no cell phones in school. There is not a day that goes by that students are not texting, listening to music, playing games or just looking for something on their phones browsers. As teachers we should embrace the fact that students are adept in the use of such a powerful and helpful tool (their phone). There are so many options for teachers on the internet, cell phones, iPads, iPods and other devices that we, as teachers are the ones who are uneducated if we don’t use them.  Why not embrace all that is available to us and utilize it to the best of our abilities. I believe that students will be far more responsive to us if we utilize their devices and show them how they can benefit from using new technology, apps and other features. Coffman suggests that when students are able to link their own interest in with the lesson or application of the lesson they benefit from the lesson and are able to build upon what they already know and understand (2013).


If you were teaching a fourth grade class on Virginia studies you could use iPods or iPads in your classroom. There are several free apps of the Virginia battlefields with virtual tours (one is even developed by a professor at UMW). Students from all over the state, who are unable to take field trips to this area would benefit from seeing how the battle took place and how the land aided in the battle. Students could use apps that quiz them on information they have learned. It would help student gain a better understanding the battles and information. You could use Voki and have Abraham Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address to your class. The possibilities are endless for the classroom. We live in a time when we have the amazing opportunity to bring the world into the classroom and lay it at the feet of the students, for them to take the steps necessary to learn of the world in which we live.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9miyGD8Bf-c [/youtube]

While I think I need a little more experience with the virtual world, I think it is a valuable tool for the classroom. Some research from Solomon and Schrum suggests that students are making gains in learning in a virtual classroom (2010). While I am not a digital native, I think that I have been able to gain a larger understanding of the application of technology from this class and I believe that my students and I will benefit from all of the knowledge that I have gained.

Civil War Interactive iPad App Review – DailyAppShow. (2012, December 19).YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9miyGD8Bf-c

Coffman, T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and information literate students (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0 how-to for educators (1st ed.). Eugene, Or.: International Society for Technology in Education.

Categories: Technology in Education.

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Week 10: Mini Projects Week II

March 24, 2013

I must say that mini-projects are awesome; I have completely enjoyed doing the projects and investigating all of the options that were placed before us. I think that all of the project ideas have a valuable place in education and I look forward to finding a home for each one of them. I decided to do the timeline project for one of my mini-projects. Capzules was by far the most appealing for visual purposes, but I think that some kids will have a greater difficulty following it. I think it would be better utilized for upper grade levels. I think that timetoast would be better for my purposes as a special education teacher. I think that timetoast is a much better program for students to visualize events and put them in greater perspective and presents information in a much clearer format.


The next one I was interested in was Lit trip on google earth. This would be an excellent tool as an English teacher. I found it to be a very useful application and look forward to using it in the classroom. The final one I decided on was Google Trek with Google Maps. I really enjoyed this application, I did find some problems with the application, but for the most part I found it to be a really helpful tool. Again, I think that Google Trek would be really useful to demonstrate to students where things are, how close they are to things. I find it very exciting to have all of these tools to bring to the classroom with me. I feel like I am better prepared as a pre-service teacher to enter the classroom and be able to present information in a much clearer format to the students so they are able to come away with useful information.

Categories: Technology in Education.

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EDCI 500-02 Blog Reflection 4: Prior Knowledge

March 16, 2013

Initial Hypothesis: Like the Calvaria major tree, its seeds have a long life. The trees are over 300 hundred years old. The seeds take an extended period (possibly decades) of time to wear down and begin the germination process. We will find that the seeds are being disturbed and are being prevented from beginning germination and we need to secure the area around the trees to help encourage growth and regeneration of the tree.


As a scientist investigation is the first step to any problem or project. As a part of the team each one of us would do our respective investigation into information to the Calvaria major tree. As a nature lover it breaks my heart when anything or species is on the road to extinction. We must first discover certain information about the tree in order to make sure that we have all of the information necessary to help solve the problem that is preventing the seeds from sprouting and forming new trees.


Some questions would be:

  • What is the environment like?
  • Is pollution a concern?
  • What do we know factually about Calvaria major?
  • What do we know about other extinct species from this environment?
  • Why are these species extinct?
  • What is the relationship between the tree and these species?
  • What is the life cycle of the tree? Is it in our lifetime?
  • What is the germination period of the tree?
  • Did the acidity of the soil change?


By delving into extinction of the Calvaria major tree we are practicing “enactive learning or learning by doing” (Woolfolk, 2013, p. 272). Enactive learning is a useful tool, a lot of times scientists are tactile in nature, and learn valuable lessons through investigation or enactive learning. Scientist execute numerous experiments before they reach the desired outcome, conducting experiments is a necessary step in proving a hypothesis.


Initial investigation: Some background information that I discovered in the initial phase of my investigation suggests that the germination is indeed being interrupted, “exotic weeks whose dense undergrowth prevents the regeneration of the timber trees” (Hill, 1941). Further evidence presents as “monkeys, also exotic, who destroy the fruits” (Hill, 1941). This information offers some supportive information to our initial hypothesis, but much more investigation must be completed in order to validate or disprove the hypothesis.


While my hypothesis is laughable at best it is a hypothesis and still needs to be investigated and experiments should be conducted to determine the validity. I had some prior knowledge of this tree, but my knowledge was limited and I had already determined that one extinct bird could not possibly hold the fate of a tree. I am probably 95% wrong in my assumption, but with my limited knowledge I had formed this opinion and decided that I knew what I was talking about. Like me kids come into the classroom with some prior knowledge “some of these preconceptions are right, some are part right, and some are wrong” (Woolfolk, 2013, p. 356). What we do with this prior knowledge is what sets us apart from others, will kids come into the classroom and build on their knowledge and store more information to carry them forward or do they fail to make connections?


Building on prior knowledge is important and for certain students teachers need to build a clear relationship between the students’ prior knowledge and new information that is being introduced. Building this bridge to the information is essential, it is also essential to build metacognition skills. Metacognition skills for students are helpful in getting students to “’learn how to learn’” (Woolfolk, 2013, p. 321). Forgetting takes place in people through interference or decay. The new information that students take in interferes with the old information or prior knowledge that they brought into the classroom. Some forgetting is necessary for students, their working memory would be overwhelmed if forgetting did not take place (Woolfolk, 2013, p. 294).

Hill, A. W. (1941). The genus Calvaria, with an account of the stony endocarp and germination of the seed and description of a new species. Annals of BotanyV(20), 587-606.

How Does Students’ Prior Knowledge Affect Their Learning. (2011, January 15).YouTube. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKVFoljm3As

Hoy, A. W. (2013). Educational psychology. Boston: Pearson.


Categories: Educational Psychology.

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INDT 501-01Mini Projects 1

March 16, 2013

Technology is a wonderful thing. Kids today are growing in a wonderful time when the world is literally at their fingertips. I love the idea that as a teacher I can teach a flipped class, use podcasts, digital story telling, comics, and tools like Wordle. I love the idea of using a variety of tools in the classroom. I think that kids are much more receptive to using technology based instruction in place of a boring lecture. This week I enjoyed investigating the digital storytelling, I even found two free apps for my iPad, which I am excited to use. I think that I could use the digital story telling on all levels, especially since I will be teaching special education. I think it would help struggling readers’ gain an interest in books. I also believe that any kid could use it, if some have difficulty it could be a collaborative assignment.


Using Comic Life would be very useful in reaching students as well. A large amount of students read comics, or anime, and by using this to my advantage I could create a comic strip to entice kids who would otherwise show no interest in a lesson. I think I am the most excited about Voki. I love the idea of using podcasts, I think podcasts are a great resource for teachers. Our textbook says that “educators have discovered endless uses for education, too, and podcasting has become one of the most frequently used Web 2.0 tools” (Solomon, Schrum, 2010, 49).  I really enjoyed creating my avator with Voki, and think that the enhanced version for teachers would be great. It would be very useful for addressing history topics and I think even math. While substituting the other day in a Geometry class the other inclusion teacher used story telling to gain the students interest, I think that it would have been better received through a podcast or digital storytelling, but that is just my opinion. Since being exposed to this digital class  I have a ton of ideas to change the class around, I look forward to implementing these new ideas.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0 how-to for educators (1st ed.). Eugene, Or.: International Society for Technology in Education.

Digital Storytelling in the Elementary Classroom. (2011, June 13). YouTube. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUZXBc6yRhU

Categories: Technology in Education.

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INDT 501-01: Shared Sticky Notes

March 2, 2013

I guess not have to share my sticky notes if I used Padlet, which is a good thing because I tend to hoard all of the sticky notes! Where would the world be without sticky notes? I’m truly happy that I don’t have to find out! They are an essential tool for me when I write, I jot down ideas all the time, notes for future writing projects, I am constantly writing in my head and I have to make little notes for myself. Padlet is going to be a wonderful way to separate and organize my ideas. By demonstrating this process to my students it may help them with their struggles in organization and brainstorming.


Leading by example I think is important. If you can show your students what works for you and show them that sometimes it takes a little bit of searching and sorting to get ideas that work together and build off of each other. Students can then use the program to post ideas, read others ideas, and then hopefully build off of a combination of ideas to come up with successful projects. By doing this you are allowing them to collaborate without disrupting the classroom and it also does not use up valuable class time if it is a homework assignment. It also works toward a flipped classroom, by adding the assignment to postings. According to Solomon and Schrum, “these tools have also afforded educators a way in which to promote and encourage collaboration authentically in the development of projects and papers” (2010, 69). “There is also evidence that students become engaged when they share their work with other students” (73).


Collaboration also builds social skills, which many special education students lack, so you are building a teamwork atmosphere and developing social skills. I look forward to use as many of the tools we have learned in class with my students.

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On my Padlet board so far I have only posted a couple of ideas about sticky notes. Maybe I will use it for a paper I am working on in another class, just to see how it works for me.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0 how-to for educators (1st ed.). Eugene, Or.: International Society for Technology in Education.

Categories: Technology in Education.

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