This week I researched virtual reality in the classroom. I found lots of articles about how you could use virtual reality in a history classroom, so I originally planned to just write about that. I realized this would not be beneficial to me as a future math teacher. I wanted to learn how MY future students could use virtual reality. So I researched more and found virtual reality methods in a math classroom. I was surprised to find some really cool lessons using virtual reality to do math. But if you’re interested in the teaching history check out this really cool article that I found where a teacher uses virtual reality glasses to bring her student beyond the classroom.
Back to math and virtual reality, in this video, students use a virtual reality program to create 3-D objects using mathematics. They learn to scale these objects and create transformations of the objects. Not only are these students learning a lot of geometry and other mathematics by doing this, but they are also learning to be more very tech savvy. They learn global collaboration by using the internet to teach themselves how to use these programs. This is considered global collaboration because they could possibly be learning these lessons from people all over the world. So essentially, they learn how to teach themselves and also apply mathematics in their projects. They are currently working on a project to put solar panels on the roof of the school. Using virtual reality, they are able to create a realistic image of what the solar panels will look like. This way the school can decide how to position these solar panels, or whether or not they should actually be placed.
One last point that I would like to make is that the students in this video seem to be very gifted. To be able to teach themselves to use these programs and the vigorous math needed is impressive. We should give our students time to grow and progress using these programs. In my future classroom I can definitely see myself using similar programs to the one shown in this video, especially in a high school geometry setting. Maybe not the same program depending on the level my students are at. But if I can guide my students to learn how to use these programs, this will open so many doors for them in the world of mathematics.
For this week’s blog I decided to explore a storytelling app. I love taking pictures and videos while on vacation so I decided that a video making app would best suit me. I discovered the app Animoto and decided to test it out. According to Cool Tools for Schools, “Animoto is an easy to use tool to create photo & music video stories.” I decided this would be a perfect tool to tell the story of one of the most memorable Spring Break’s, my Disney World trip, since I had so many pictures and videos to share. I looked through all my Facebook and Snapchat clips and found my favorites from the trip. I then put them in order and decided what parts of the story were missing. I then filled in the blanks with more footage. Finally, I added text in-between each of the clips to explain what part of the story we were at.
I really enjoyed this app because it makes life easy and creates videos for you. All you have to do is give it what you want in an orderly fashion. By doing so it puts everything in that order. You don’t have to do any editing. Plus, you can change the music and layout. Although this is a great app I would also like to include some of the cons. This would include some of the pictures that I wanted to post got cut off, I was limited to only 20 video clips and pictures, and the video clips could only be 5 seconds long. This app would be perfect for a younger classroom setting. But as students get older we should allow them to use actual video making tools that allow them to generate their videos from scratch.
This week in my Web Tools class we were assigned to explore the National Geographic website’s Out of Eden Walk. As I was scrolling the first thing that caught my eye was the Holy Lands Journey. My mother had just visited the Holy Land to see some family, and ever since she got back all she talks about is how amazing it was and how I need to go there with her next time and visit. Below is an image of my mother last year during the Orthodox Easter holding the “Holy Light.” This is a light that appears every year during Orthodox Easter coming from Jesus’s tomb.
I’ve always wanted to go to the Middle East to explore my roots. So reading this journey to the Holy Lands was very educational for me. My 3 favorite stops during this walk include:
- Jordan: We stopped near Ghor Al Safi and Al Quweirah. Jordan was of course one of my favorite stops because it is where both my parents were born and raised. This is one of the main reasons I picked this journey. Below is a picture of the Jordanian flag that my cousin captured in Philly. I love this picture because it includes both the Jordanian and Lebanese flags. Both of which my ancestors are from.
- Near Jericho, West Bank: This was cool to explore because I have relatives who are from Palestine. So I decided to read into it. I learned that they share the dead sea with Jordan. No wonder why I have family from both Jordan and Palestine. They are so close they share a sea! West Bank is also very close to Amman which is the city that both my parents are from.
The Palestinian flag above is similar to the Jordanian flag. The only difference is the Jordanian flag has a star in the middle of the red triangle.
- Jerusalem: Last but certainly not least we finally made it to the Holy Land! This is the home of “hundreds of shrines sacred to the worlds three great Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.” Below is an image of all 3 religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam coexisting in Jerusalem.
As I explored the website I read about some of the stops they made on the journey. I also checked out some of the 360 images and clips. I realized while doing this how useful this website could be in a classroom. If we introduce this website to our students, they could explore and learn about where their ancestors are from. By exploring the different countries around them, they can learn about their roots. This will allow them to explore the culture and what the country is like. Exploring the Holy Land really made me mindful of the countries that are located near each other. This would incorporate geography as well as culture in the classroom. This was a wonderful tool that every educator should check out!
This week in my Web Tools class we learned about different types of shortcuts on Google. I found this video very interesting and useful so I thought I would share some of the tips as this week’s blog post!
Tip 1: You can search for an exact phrase or quote by putting the search terms in quotation marks.
Tip 2: You can omit a word from search results by including a dash (-) before the word.
Tip 3: If you are trying to search for something but you forget certain words in the middle you can use the symbol * as a placeholder for the words.
Tip 4: You can find an image that you have saved on google by going to images.google.com and actually copying and pasting the image URL to search that image as well as similar images.
Tip 5: You can search a site by typing your search term followed by site:url.
Tip 6: To search for a website similar to another you may like you can search related:url.
Tip 7: To search for a cashed version of a website you can search cashed:url helping you find material on a website that was updated or deleted.
Tip 8: To search for a specific file type search filetype: followed by whatever file type it is.
Tip 9: To search for a webpage title you can search intitle:searchterm.
I thought I would share these tips because I didn’t know any of them before this video. I thought some of these tips would have been very useful in my past years of learning. But never too late to start using them!
Check out the original video below:
According to The Global Educator by Julie Lindsay, there are eight Norms of Online Global Collaboration. According to the text these norms are “typical or usual behaviors or actions to be practiced in synchronous and asynchronous modes when collaborating globally.” These norms include:
- Be Prepared
- Have Purpose
- Be able to Paraphrase
- Be able to Perceive
- Be Positive
- Be Productive
- Realize the Potential
In today’s blog I will be discussing the first two norms.
Norm 1 talks about being prepared. Lack of preparation in an educator is a big thing that allows a lot of global collaborations to fail. The reason being is they do not know how to prepare. Two ways the book teaches us to prepare is to connect and communicate. In order to connect, a global educator should first find like-minded partners for global collaboration and then determine what common tools they will be using to connect and collaborate. They should also make sure to test everything beforehand and work out the time zone differences. The way they should prepare for communication is decide on what communication activities students could do as well as how the teachers are going to communicate. They should also discuss what is appropriate for the students to say during discussion and what expectations are being held. They should also determine the different school’s schedules and when they might be closed for holidays so your schools know when they are able to communicate.
Norm 2 talks about how every connection, communication and eventual collaboration must have a purpose. You must plan to be successful! Some examples the book includes are a cultural exchange, inquiry and exploration into a topic or topics, global project, shared outcomes, and artifact exchange.
Check out this link to see activities for collaborative learning!
For the past couple weeks, I have been taking a class called Web Tools. This class explores different teaching methods through the use of technology. Exploring the instructional technology world has been a valuable journey thus far. I have learned useful information through blogging, tweeting, and using different educational tools. I have engaged with educators, administrators, and even students through blogs and twitter chats. All of these things have taught me a lot about what it will be like as a future educator. Being able to create my own lesson plans, quizzes, and presentations has not only prepared me to teach myself, but also to use my own creativity to translate information to others. All these different teaching meatheads that I have learned will help me keep my lessons interesting.
This class has also helped me better understand the risks of the internet when it comes to teaching. By researching about different teachers who have lost their jobs by uploading mindless posts on the internet, I better understood that any teacher can lose their job by posting something rash. In this class we are expected to watch videos through EDpuzzle and answer questions as we go along. This method helped me stay focused while watching these videos. A video that I found very beneficial to understanding how teachers should act on the internet can be viewed below.
To explore the Japanese culture, I decided to watch a Japanese TV show called: “Death Note.” I heard about this show from my brother who loves to watch anime. What a better show to watch then one that is recommended by an anime junkie. He was very excited to watch it with me in Japanese.
The first scene was a group of high school students in a class. The students were dressed very well in suits and ties. I noticed students would stand up to speak and were referred to by their last names in the class. All these things could be because of the setting and culture of this show.
Outside of the classroom, we learn that the show is based in a city. We know this because the scenery is mostly buildings, and there is a combination of people walking, riding bikes, and driving cars. This is very similar to an American city. I also noticed the cars drove on the opposite side of the road as to what we are used to in the US.
This show is based on a smart high school boy named Light who found this book called the death note. The death note was dropped in the human world by the death god. The way the book works is Light writes down names of people he wants dead, and they die within seconds after. I found it really interesting how everything is in Japanese except for the book. The death god tells him the book is in English because English is the most common language in the human world. The fact that they have gods in the show may demonstration another a cultural aspect. I looked up the most common religion in Japan and it is Shinto. This religion believes in multiple gods. So that is probably why they have multiple gods in the show.
Another thing I noticed is how the god ate as well as in other anime shows that I have seen. Eating food in these shows is very exaggerated; a lot more exaggerated than in American shows. This may be because in the Japanese culture it is polite to slurp and be loud while eating.
All in all, this show did a great job in depicting Japanese culture. Although, this show wasn’t made to show off the culture, it was a great way for me to explore a different culture in a way that is entertaining.
Before this class, I had no idea Twitter could be used in a professional teaching aspect. I always thought of Twitter as a website strictly used for personal thoughts and interactions. I never thought of it in a professional way. After making my professional Twitter account, it was cool to be able to participate in different Twitter chats and interact with teachers and other professionals on different topics of discussion. My first chat wasn’t very interactive because I didn’t follow many people, and so I picked a random chat (#edchat). After following multiple educators and classmates, I was able to see Twitter chats that people I was following were interacting in. This week I participated in #blogchat. This chat was a lot more interactive. I posted a question and within seconds I got multiple responses. It was a much more exciting experience than my first. I also got great advice on how to find my voice when it comes to blogging!
Now you ask: how can this be applied in the classroom? Well before interacting on Twitter through Twitter chats, and watching videos of teachers who actually use Twitter in their classroom, I didn’t know Twitter and teaching could be a thing; but I was very wrong. As I stated in my previous blogpost, Twitter can make your classroom more exciting and allow your shyer students to become more engaged in discussion. So I was thinking, well this is great for a writing class, but what about us math teachers? How can we use Twitter to benefit our classroom? I came to realize through my Twitter chat that we could have Twitter discussions posting math problems and having our students post their thoughts and opinions on how to solve. After learning the different uses Twitter can have, I am excited to try them out when I do start teaching.
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little extra.” (Jimmy Johnson). When it comes to students in the classroom, they all need that little extra push. Whether a student is struggling for those few extra points for an A or barley passing, our job as educators is to help them achieve their goals. A way to do so is by inspiring these students. Pushing them to their limits and always telling them they can do better. Never put your students down, and always keep them thinking positive. A happy student is a motivated student. If we inspire our students, they will succeed and be the best that they can be.
Now you may ask? How can we inspire and motivate these kids; especially the ones who really don’t care to learn? In the TED Talk, Every Kid Needs a Champion, Rita Pierson does a great job explaining ways to really motivate these students to learn. She puts her students in a positive mindset and motivates them to do better. She believes in her students and they know that. This is how we make our students successful. As I said, a happy learner is a successful learner. In the video she states, “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” If we build bonds with our students and show them we care, they will be inspired and actually want to learn. In the article, Motivating Students, it states: “Students who are not motivated will not learn effectively.” So let’s motivate, inspire, encourage and stimulate our learners’ minds! Let them know to shoot for the moon, and even if they miss, they’ll land among the stars. (Les Brown)
With modern day technology we have numerous ways of teaching our students. We don’t realize how we can make things more exciting in the classroom by using these tools. When looking through the textbook, The Global Educator, I came across different tools of community and social media. One that struck me was Twitter: a tool almost every student is familiar with. Students use this tool every day for personal uses. But what if we could use this tool to create discussion boards beyond the classroom. What if student could use their Twitter accounts to blog and interact with other classmates. The lesson plan, Twitter and Academic Research, starts off teaching students how to use Twitter; for those who are unfamiliar. This is followed by a presentation after the lecture. This presentation is done by tweeting. Students must use hashtags to search things related to the topic of discussion. Finally, once they all have tweeted the class will discuss what they have found.
This lesson plan isn’t the only thing I found where students are able to engage with Twitter in the classroom. In the video, CNN: Twitter has place in classroom, a high school teacher notices how much students are on their devices and uses this as a tool in the classroom. He decides to allow students to engage using Twitter as part of the group discussion. He asks his students questions in the classroom and then asks them to tweet about it using their own technology or technology in the classroom. These tweets would then project on the board where they would be able to discuss them as a class. This helps every student participate in the discussion. A lot of students do not participate in out loud discussion because they are too shy, so this is a way to include everyone. He says in the video, “Twitter did become this Paperless way of sharing what’s on their mind.” This is the future of journal writing. As technology advances, so will our tools in the classroom.
Watch this video below: