Futures of Education, Week 10

From taking two technology in education courses to renew my teaching license, I have become aware of how much technology is impacting, can impact, and will impact education.  Lacking technology in my own education, and not having a natural inclination to it, I definitely have gained insight to how I can learn to use it in my future classroom.  Although I have learned many useful ways to implement web 2.0 tools that are free and I am hopeful to use them, I still worry about what I will do in my actual classroom when it comes to lack of access to computers and digital tools and other such challenges.

When watching the videos for Thin Clients and Blade PCs, I felt like I had seen them in schools already.  From substitute teaching, I see a vast difference in the technology from one district to the next.  However, I do not get to see exactly how it is utilized.  What a relief that there is finally technology being created that is not just meant to have to be purchased anew in two years or so.  One major obstacle of technology in education was the cost of maintenance and replacement.  

The videos on Virtualization were more challenging for me to follow.  There was a lot of “techy lingo.”  However, from what I understood, it has many benefits, including: keeping the main hard drive safer and cleaner, allowing multiple operating systems and one physical machine, cutting costs almost in half, better resource utilization, shared physical memory, easy to move files, and more.  The VMWare video also emphasized the safety of using virtualization technology.  I foresee Virtualization becoming more adopted by K-12 schools in the future, although teacher training may be an issue with this.   

The ZDNET article gave me a lot of insight to the growth and future of Gesture-Based Learning.  I like that the article proved what a great impact GBL can have on education, yet also acknowledged the issues associated with this technology, such as cost benefit vs longevity, training, the novelty factor, and feasibility.  In my opinion, GBL would be a very motivational tool that could help improve student understanding if it could be properly implemented.  However, with so many obstacles, I am not sure how far off this technology is from the average classroom.  From what I understood of the video interview of KinectEducation, GBL is beginning to be designed for and implemented into education.

Learning Analytics (big data) sounds overwhelming to me right away, but the more I read about it, the more it made sense.  From the video with Steve Schoettler, I could tell the need to move to big data when he mentioned being two years behind for data regarding the nation’s education to be gathered and processed.  Learning Analytics also has the benefit of gathering and measuring a lot more areas of assessment, such as with current personalization.  It also allows for more frequent assessment in turn to tailor instruction to students’ needs.  It is exciting to think of what a positive impact this technology will have on education.

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Week 9, Open Source Resources for K-5

1. freereading
A free, open source, research-based, pK-6 reading intervention program (classroom-aid.com).  On this website, you can find activities, share lessons and ideas, teach the program, and more.  There are tools and resources, such as: picture cards, decodable passages, word list generator, audios, videos, and vocabulary tutors.  I would use this site to supplement activities for readers who are struggling, since most schools already have a reading program in place.  NETS-T # 2

2. Curriki
A hub for free, open course materials, which contains course materials in a variety of subjects and grade levels, including lesson plans, free courses, textbooks, and teacher community (classroom-aid.com).  I tested this site for ‘Mathematics’ and found you can browse by Topic and/or by Education Level, and from there you can define your search even more by term, etc.  You may create an account with this site.  I would use this website in teaching to find specific tools to enhance student understanding in various subjects. NETS-T # 3

3. OER Commons
A site with free-to-use, trustworthy and sound, teaching and learning content from around the world, for grades K-20, for all subjects and all media types (classroom-aid.com).  OER offers training and professional development, support services, global community and more.  You may create an account with this site.  When I looked at browsing options on this site, under Grade Levels, I saw 9,081 for Primary, 22,420 for Secondary, and 26,576 for Post-Secondary.  Browsing, I found a “1st Grade Science Vocabulary in English and Spanish” document that would be useful.  They also have a site called HelpingWithMath.com http://www.helpingwithmath.com/ that would be a great homework resource. NETS-T # 3

4. Scratch
An open source application that enables kids to create interactive stories, games, music, and art (duffy.fedorapeople.org).  This site has an educators community page, ScratchEd, http://scratched.media.mit.edu/, where you can share stories, exchange resources, ask questions, and find people.  One useful thing I found on this page that someone posted was a Computer Programming Rubric for Students.  Some classroom ideas for this resource are as a tool for storytelling, creating digital art, and designing games. NETS-T # 1

An open sourcce suite of K12 Applications produced by the KDE project (duffy.fedorapeople.org).  This site focuses on schoolchildren ages 3-18.  It also offers support and aid to teachers in lesson planning.  This site also allows you to select a language.  One application I saw that would be fun for students is Marble, a Desktop Globe.  Another one I could use is KTurtle, “an educational programming environment that aims to make learning how to program as easily as possible” (edu.kde.org).  NETS-T # 1,2,3

6. SchoolForge
A site with a mission to “unify independent organizations that advocate, use, and develop open resources for education” (schoolforge.net/about).  This site contains many categories with open source resources you can install.  One example I saw that I could use is Alice, “an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game or a video to share on the web.”  NETS-T # 1,2

7. ChildsPlay
Includes a number of different educational games suitable for preschoolers and kindergarteners (linuxplanet.com).  Since I do not see as many tools for the younger, beginning students, I thought I would include this one, since Kinder is an age group that I enjoy working with.  It would be a good tool for students needing more practice in a certain area or as a motivational tool/ reward for getting work done. NETS-T # 2

8. Kids Open Dictionary
An open dictionary with a glossary builder that exports to multiple formats (classroom-aid.org).  This site would be interesting for teaching kids about open sources and wikis.  Benefits of this resource is it is free, open, sharable, and appropriate for kids in content and language level.  This site gave me an idea of using a wiki to have students create their own class dictionary where they would share/compile definitions, sentence examples, pictures, videos, etc. of vocabulary from their school subjects.  NETS-T # 1, 2, 4

This Operating System OS “is a free bibliographic and quotation/notes management and article authoring system designed for either single use or multi-user collaborative use across the internet.” It makes it easier for students to search for a quote or collaborate with multiple authors and automatically formats footnotes, endnotes, and bibliography based on the chosen style guide (linuxplanet.com).  This would be a good tool for students to work together on a research project or report.  NETS-T # 1, 2, 4

10. Tux, of Math Command
An arcade game that helps kids practice their math facts.  Goal: to make it effective and fun (tux4kids).  I have the site Tux4Kids, http://tux4kids.alioth.debian.org/, recommended on educational sites.  There are other tools I could use besides the TuxMath program, including TuxPaint and TuxTyping. This would be a great extra practice, recommend to parents for at-home, and motivational tool.  NETS-T # 2



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Week 9, Open Source, Article 2, K-5

Open Source, K-5

Article Title: Next Stop: OpenSim!

Author: Korolov, Maria

Source: T.H.E. Journal, p46-48, 50-1

Date: Jan 2011

The article I read focuses on the shift of educators from Second Life to using OpenSim, “an open source virtual world platform that schools can run for free on their own servers or can get cheaply and quickly” (abstract, ERIC).  For virtual classrooms this offers K-12 students to “take field trips from their home base to any of hundreds of other virtual environments already running on the platform, including scientific simulations, museums, and… other schools” (abstract, ERIC).  According to the article, advantages of OpenSim for educators are the accessibility and safety it offers to young children (p. 48).  Second Life had only been offered to teen ages 13-18 and had safety concerns with adult advances for children.  Meets NETS-T 4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibiltiy, a. and c.

Before reading this article, I hadn’t really thought about using educational sims in my teaching, because I thought of it being useful for secondary education, but not for the K-3 range, specifically.  Most examples in the article were for ninth grade and higher, but it did give an example of OpenSim being used at the fifth grade science level.  Here, the “teacher is conducting a simulated research mission to the planet Mars, for which [a space station was built] in which the student astronauts work together” (p. 51).  Meets NETS-T 1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity, b. Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources, and d. Model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments.

One challenge for me using this type of open source would be training.  The article states that “the largest example of the educational uses of OpenSim is the Boston-based Immersive Education Initiative” and “will help schools set up their own worlds, on their own servers” along with “free training for educators” (p. 51).  While this is appealing, it still requires teachers who individually wish to implement OpenSim in the curriculum to spend a lot of their own time.

In thinking of ways that I could use OpenSim in a K-3 classroom, I came up with a few ideas.  I could create a school, classroom, and/or town to represent the one the students attend.  If I taught a hybrid class, this could be especially useful.  Another idea is, after learning to use it, I could train the students to create a setting, etc. for a book report, or to create a representation of a setting for a story they have written.  Also, I could use it to have the students create a representation of a place they know well, then have them practice giving directions, using key vocabulary for description.  Meets NETS-T 2. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments, and 3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning


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Week 8, Open-Source, Article 1

Theme: Open-Source
Grade: K-3

Article Title: Use of a Mobile Application to Promote Scientific
Discovery Learning: Students’ Perceptions towards and
Practical Adoption of a Mobile Application

Seol, Sunmi, Aaron Sharp, and Paul Kim. “Use of a mobile application to promote scientific discovery learning: students’ perceptions towards and practical adoption of a mobile application.” Proceedings of the 13th annual conference on Information technology education. ACM, 2012.

The article I read focused on mobile devices and open-source technology in teaching science.  The specific tool studied was eBookMaker, which is an android based mobile application.  Students can use it to create their own mobile documents and add images, sounds, and texts to them.  The way eBookMaker was used in this study was as a learning support tool in science education.  32 fourth and fifth grade students (50% female) from a public school in California took part in this study.

This article really pushes for the use of mobile devices in education, stating a consideration “for the current trend toward the consolidation of open-source mobile operating system platforms and that mobile phone ownership among children has increased by 68% in the past five years” (pg. 1) They also point out “the distinct benefits of mobile devices as educaitonal tools…, the rapid advances .. increase in processing power, memory, and connectivity.. , more interactive and media-rich…, offering a fun and engaging context to learners” (pg. 1) to name a few.

When I thought about using such an approach in my own classroom, I considered the issue of cost and providing equipment for students to carry out the activities.  In this study, “each student received one Motorola Android smart phone preloaded with the eBookMaker application regardless of whether or not he or she already owned a phone” (pg. 3).  The reality of implementing such an activity seems much less attainable without access to mobile devices in this case.

In the first study, students listened to a 15-minute explanation on how-to basics for the application along with expectations for the activity.  First students typed a summary of previous learning, then took a picture of materials related to that learning, then recorded an audio explanation.  Afterwards, students read their documents and shared them with peers.  Finally, they took a survey asking about their thoughts on using this mobile application in their learning process (pg. 3).

In the second study, students individually explored scientific phenomena from their daily life using the mobile application (pg. 3).  First students shared thoughts and were encouraged to select a topic of their own choosing and students were given examples. Then students gathered their observations and research for two weeks.  Afterwards, students had 90 seconds to present their discoveries using a document camera.  They were to “report the topic of their investigation, how they chose to explore the scientific phenomena, the most interesting thing they had learned
in the discovery learning process, and the conclusion on the findings of their own investigation” (pg. 3).

While the study seemed to have positive results in student learning and satisfaction, I find the obstacle of providing such technology to each student overwhelming.  I would love to implement such a project in the future with students, but would need to find a way to gain access to mobile devices.  I can see this possibly being done through grant application.  A way I could adapt this study is to use the same criteria for the activities, but have students use another free open-source tool on a computer.

1. Creativity and Innovation, a) Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes, and b) Create original works as a means of personal or group expression
4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making, a) Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation, and c) Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions
6. Technology Operations and Concepts, a) Understand and use technology systems, and c) Troubleshoot systems and applications

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Video for Grades K-3 Research Article #2

Article Title: Flippin’ Out
Author: Katherine Grayson
Journal: T.H.E. J 37 no3 Mr 2010 p. 35-8

I spent a lot of time looking for a good, recent article that discusses the use of video technology in elementary education, specifically grades K-3.  Unfortunately, I found hardly anything.  I did find an article that caught my attention however, on a topic I am interested to know more about: video camcorders.  This article focuses mainly on high school grades, but there are some examples of upper elementary grades included.  I decided I could adapt ideas and information to fit the needs of primary grade learners.

The article Flippin’ Out discusses the enthrallment of both students and teachers by the “easy-to-use project tool,” Flip Video camcorders (35).  As with most technology in education, students are motivated to use flip cameras to create projects.  One teacher testifies that in project-based learning, he gives the option of students presenting a poster instead of using the flip cams for the same credit, but that the students never choose to submit a poster (38).  This is in line with NETS-S 5. Digital Citizenship b) Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.

How can the flip cameras be used in Elementary Education?  The article highlights a fifth grade teacher who uses the device for many learning projects, “such as creating video trailers for books they are reading, making movies about famous events in history, or even sharing science demonstrations with their peers and other classes” (36).  Also suggested is “using the Flips to make videos about such topics as recycling with younger students who can benefit from the visual display of new skills,” as well as, “instructor use of the device to aid petitions to the local school board for Flips or other new equipment that can aid in classroom project work, such as document cameras” (36).  I like that these ideas have an audience in mind, since it is important for students to have motivation and a goal to work towards.  This incorporates NETS-S 1. Creativity and Innovation b) Create original works as a means of personal or group expression, and 2. Communication and Collaboration b) Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.

Another teacher plans to use the Flips for a project where students in grades 4 to 6 will choose an animal at the local zoo and research many aspects of its life, classification, and habitat.  After the research is complete, the students will create shooting scripts” (37) where they practice beforehand, record at the zoo, edit with teacher help, create a class movie, and present it to their families at school.  I know of a school that has a similar project, which is based on students making observations in notebooks of a local wildlife refuge throughout the seasons.  If I were teaching in such a program, or implementing a similar project, I would like to use this teacher’s approach.  This incorporates NETS-S 2. Communication and Collaboration a) Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media, and NETS-T 2. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments a) Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity.

Overall, I can see these Flips being very useful and exciting tools for student projects.  However, I can also see cost being a big issue.  The article promotes the Flips as being affordable at $150, and that some programs give them out for educational purposes (mostly at the high school level).  I would think applying for grants would be one of the main ways of accommodating Flips or similar tools.

The article gave these tips as well (38):
Tips for Flips
“How to Use Flip Cameras
in the Classroom”: ehow.com/
“The Flip Camera in the Elementary
School Classroom”: cnx.org/content/
“Forty Interesting Ways to Use Your
Pocket Video Camera in the Classroom”: slideshare.net/mbelinsky/

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Video Resource Collection for Grades K-3

1. Kids’ Vid: Video Production for Students
“An instructional website to help teachers and students use video production in class to support project-based learning.”  This site has four areas of focus: Scripting, Making, Editing, and Showtime.  I would use this to teach students how to make their own videos and allow them to refer to it as a resource during the procedure.  NETS-S 6. Technology Operations and Concepts a) Understand and use technology systems

2. Windows Movie Maker
This tool “enables you to create home movies and slide shows on your computer, complete with professional-looking titles, transitions, effects, music, and even narration. And when you’re ready, you can…publish your movie and share it.”  I would first teach students how to use this and let them practice.  Then I would use it as an option of tools for presentations. NETS-T 2. b. Develope technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.

3. Animoto
This is a tool for using your photos, video clips, and music to create unique video pieces.  It is fairly easy to use and with Animoto Lite you can create unlimited 30-second videos.  I would have students use this to create an advertisement or book share, etc. to share with the class in pairs or small groups.  NETS-S 1. Creativity and Innovation b. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression. NETS-S 2. Communication and Collaboration d. Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

4. Creaza
This website has a toolbox with four tools: Mindmodo – a mind mapping tool for students, which can contain media files, links, and text, Cartoonist – a cartooning tool students can use to create multimedia stories (comic strips, digital narratives, etc.), Movie Editor – students can produce their own movies with Creaza’s thematic universes, video, images, and sound clips, Audio Editor – allows students to produce audio clips.  I would introduce students to this site and let them practice using it.  This would be a fun tool for students to use to create a presentation for a project and allows a lot of room for creativity. NETS-S 1. Creativity and Innovation b. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

5. Storybird
This website allows students to create “short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print.”  A teacher can create a “Teacher/Class” account for this site to keep in line with student online safety.  I would like students to create their own stories using this site and then upload them to another tool where they could add audio of themselves narrating.  NETS-S 1. Creativity and Innovation b. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression

6. WatchKnowLearn
This site has well organized, free educational videos for ages 3-18.  The menu is arranged as Directory by subject, Common Core by grade level, and Classrooms by type.  A great aspect to this site is that it is Kid Safe.  This would be a good tool for introducing and supplementing instruction.  It would also be a tool students could use in researching.  NETS-S 3. Research and Information Fluency b. Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.

7. KidsTube
This site is described as “free educative video resources for your students” and is geared to provide kid safe and kid friendly videos.  Just as with any site being provided to students for research, I would register first as a teacher and give the students my password to log-in.  NETS-S 3. Research and Information Fluency b. Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.

8. Audacity
This tool is a free recording software for recording and editing sounds.  Students can use this to record audio for their movies.  I would demonstrate to students how to use it, allow time for practice, and then let them determine how they would like to use it for their video projects.  NETS-S 6. Technology Operations and Concepts b. Select and use applications effectively and productively

9. Jamendo
This site provides music available for downloading, which contains a Creative Commons license.  Students must use proper crediting to use the music from this site.  I would introduce students to this site and show them how to download music and use it in some of the video making tools available for their projects, then they could use this as a tool at their discretion.  NETS-S 6. Technology Operations and Concepts b. Select and use applications effectively and productively

10. SoundBible
This site is exemplary in containing free sound clips, sound bites, and sound effects.  Students can use these to enhance their video projects.  I would do a how-to so students knew how to download and use the sounds in their videos, and then let them determine how to best use it for their own class projects.  NETS-S 6. Technology Operations and Concepts b. Select and use applications effectively and productively

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Video and Grades K-3 : Week 6, Article 1

Learning Medium: Video
Learner Group: K-3

Article Title:  I can see me: webcams in the classroom
Author(s):  Timothy J. Frey , Elizabeth D. Gruis and Abby L. Houlton
Source:  Learning & Leading with Technology. 38.3 (Nov. 2010): p36.

This article was about video use in elementary education.  What interested me about this article was that it gave different examples of effective ways to use video technology in the elementary classroom.  The article stated, “We have found that even primary grade level students can record, view, and take advantage of what we call the “I can see me” principle” (36).  That statement compelled me to keep reading, as I often work with grades K-3 and I find that much of the technology in education lessons are geared towards secondary and higher grade levels.  Another appealing aspect for primary grades is that the students in the article did not have prior experience or training using the webcam, but quickly learned how. (NETS Student 6. Technology Operations and Concepts a) Understand and use technology systems)

The focus of this article was a technique called “I can see me.”  There are seven steps to the procedure.  Here are the steps as outlined in the article on page 36:

1. The teacher selects an appropriate text and makes two copies for each student. The two copies will be stapled together.
2. Using a webcam, the student records a video of herself reading the text.
3. While watching her videos, the student highlights any errors she made while reading the passage. She rates herself in the areas of rate, volume, and accuracy.
4. The student discusses thevideo with the teacher. The conference should last about three to seven minutes.
5. The student rereads the passage on another video.
6. The student watches the second video, highlighting her mistakes.
7. The student completes a reflection sheet that asks her to again rate herself on the rate, volume, and accuracy. In addition, the student evaluates whether her reading improved during the second recording, explaining any differences and reflecting on any changes.

Following the steps for this procedure, the article lists helpful guidelines for conferencing with the student, which takes place during step #4.

I would like to use this for working with primary grades, because of the motivational effect it has on students.  Students are excited to use technology and see themselves.  When interviewed, one student said that he felt the process helped him become a better reader due to seeing himself read and taking note of his mistakes (36).  I have also seen various articles that show that this technique works well for developing skills in students with disabilities.  (NETS Teacher 4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility b) Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources)  


According to the article, “Facilitating communication, adapting instruction, and providing opportunities to practice self-correction on performance skills are just a few uses for webcams” (37).  Obviously, there are many uses in the classroom for this technology.  I would incorporate webcams in Learning Centers.  I would have one center set up for students to be able to work on recording depending on what the assignment is that week, for fluency practice, or a project we are doing (Project Based Learning), or for an oral report, etc.  (NETS Teacher 2. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments a) Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity)


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