Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blog Assignment 5

iSchool Initiative
The iSchool Initiative by Travis Allen
Watch Video Here
Travis Allen's ZeitgeistYoungMind's Entry
Watch Video Here

Travis Allen launched a digital learning revolution demonstrating the capabilities of mobile learning in the classroom. He formed the iSchool Initiative dedicated to revolutionizing education. He wants to prepare our youth for the digital world they were born into. The iSchool will be built on apple's iTouch platform. It is a handheld device that could change the ways of public education.
Students would be able to have access to their classes anytime and anywhere. Parents would also be able to monitor their child's progress in classes easily by just accessing a computer or phone. The iSchool would save schools and students money. The cost of an iSchool would be around 150 dollars. Compare that to the costs of supplies and books now; that is a lot of savings. According to Travis Allen, it is 600 dollars worth of savings. It would also have a great impact on our environment by reducing or maybe even completely ridding student's use of paper. Technology has changed so many things that we do everyday from shopping to communicating. Why not let technology impact the way we learn too? Travis Allen asks "Does technology belong in our classrooms?" Well, he convinced me. You can check it out now at the link I provided and make your decision.

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
Watch Video Here

A choir ensemble of 185 people peformed Lux Aurumque without ever meeting or performing together. The entire performance was put together through the internet and then posted on You Tube.
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

Wow! This is an amazing example of use of the internet. I would have never even guessed that it was possible for that many people to sing the same song separately, and then the songs be put together as a choir without even being together. I enjoyed listening to the voices, and found the video incredibly interesting.

Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts (John Strange version)
Watch Video Here

What does it mean to teach in the twenty first century? Kevin Roberts asks this question in the video several times. Honestly, I have never really thought about it. I always think of teaching like how my teachers taught me, but this video showed me that this is not the case at all. Things have changed and will continue to change, and I, as a teacher, will have to adapt my role to be as effective as possible. I can say I want to be the best teacher I can be, I want to empower my students, and I want to make education fun for them, but I cannot do any of this until I know what my role is and how to do it. Roberts states that we as teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge and information. Students have so many different tools to use to find any information they need at their fingertips. It is now the teacher's job to be the "filter". We have to teach the students how to handle all these resources. Roberts says, "We need to rethink the tools we use and the types of problems we ask students to solve." He is right! We need to prepare them for their future properly. I love how Roberts contrasts entertainment and engagement. Engagement requires active learning and solving problems. Entertainment does not. One of the first things I thought when watching this video was, "so what do I do now?" Good thing for me, Roberts included that in the video too! He lists four steps. First, see what is out there. Second, start small. Third, collaborate. Fourth, take a risk. Now, I think I can do that! I will find out what it means to teach in the twenty first century, and I will do it!

Flipped Classroom

Katie Gimbar "Why I Flipped My Classroom" and "Flipped Classroom"
Watch "Why I Flipped My Classroom" Here
View "Flipped Classroom" Here
Dr. Lodge McCammon "Dr. Lodge McCammon's FIZZ - Flipping the Classroom"
Watch Video Here
Ms. Munafo "Flipping the Classroom - 4th Grade STEM"
Watch Video Here

The concept of flipping the classroom is a great idea. It is a way of decreasing in-class instruction time and increasing application in the classroom. Their are usually three sets of students. Their is the middle set who get most of the teaching. Then their is the higher group that is not being challenged. Their is also the lower level group that is struggling and can't keep up. Ninety percent of class time was spent on delivery and review of content, and the small left over ten percent was spent on application. Flipping the class changes all of this. Students watch videos of their teachers giving the information at home previous to coming to the class. Then students can pause, rewind, or move forward. They can learn the information at their own pace. This means that ninety percent of class time is now spent on application and the other ten percent on the delivery of the content. This allows teachers to work with students who each learn at their own pace. This way of providing effective differentiation is an outstanding idea that I will definitely consider using in my classroom. I once had a teacher who put podcasts of her teaching instruction online. She also provided notes with blanks, so students were not trying to write every piece of information down. Instead students were able to watch, listen, and concentrate on the teacher instead of concentrating on writing all the notes down. Students were also able to go back and watch the podcasts if they did not understand something or were not able to follow along at the teacher's pace. The student could rewind and re watch material that he or she knew she needed to work on more. Flipping the classroom is something I will look into when I have a classroom.


  1. I really liked how you connected with the blog reader (For example, you said, "Well, he convinced me. You can check it out now at the link I provided and make your decision."), rather than making your post straight-forward and informative. You did a great job summarizing the videos; it made it easy for the reader to follow. In terms of grammar, there was one thing that caught my attention. In the last part of your post ("Flipped Classroom"), you used the word "their" instead of "there". I have one suggestion. Even though the way you are doing it seems fine, you can also take the approach of hyper-linking the titles of each part of the post to the videos instead of having separate subtitles ("watch video here").

  2. Alison,

    Well done, Alison! This was an excellent post and probably the best written one I've read this week. You went beyond summary and into actual interpretation! You have no idea how happy it makes me to read a post that actually shows some indications of thought. Keep up the great work!

  3. Allsion, You are an excellent writer. The flow of your thoughts makes it easy and interesting to follow. I only saw a few “very small” things I would change. (He wants to prepare our youth for the digital world. they were born into.) I would not end a sentence in a preposition. You missed placing a period after the word “possible” in one of your sentences. I have personally been working on watching the use of the word “that”. I use it far too much! I would not have used it in this sentence (…outstanding idea that I will definitely consider…) but, it is probably OK. Great job! Ann PS: Just read the above post. That's funny because I liked the way you put, "watch video here". I suppose its a matter of opinion.