Sunday, August 26, 2007

Informal Learning is where it's at!

After reading the last few pages of the Siemens' book on Web 2.0, really made me reflect on my own teaching methods and how I have integrated new advances of technology in the classroom. It made me realize, along with this entire class, that I need to make more of an effort to expose students to new technology and how to use technology in various ways further learning.

I really enjoyed the part of Siemens' book that touched on the power of "Informal Learning." Being adaptable, taking on new experiences, and staying updated and current is crucial for teachers in today's ever changing society. If do not mode how to be flexible and take risks in our classrooms then we selling our students short of the education they should be receiving.

In my mind holistic teaching and learning is the only path to take today in order to allow for growth the WHOLE child. Allowing learning to flow within the classroom, not only when learning about the newest way to integrate technology but in all areas of education, is probably the greatest gift and learning opportunity we can give our students today and in the future.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Group Collaborative Project

Well, I have really enjoyed doing the group collaborative project, although, I wish I could have communicated better through blogging with my partners. Unfortunately there are multiple steps to take in order for me to look and respond to others blog entries because we are located in China, but luckily my group members and I were able to correspond through emails. I'm sorry team that I haven't been responding to your blogs! I would if I could!

I also have learned a lot about wikis and how great this program will be to use in my classroom. When doing technology with my kids, I usually leave it up to the tech teacher, for the most part, but know I would definitely feel comfortable team teaching or teaching students myself about this program.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I thought chapter 5 in Blogs Wikis and Podcasts by Richardson was very informational both personally and professionally. So often I am questioning sources that I and my students get information from and this RSS feed would allow me to get valid, relevant and the most current sources information out on the web. Since a lot of information that we get from the web changes daily, it's extremely important for me to make sure that I'm giving my students information that is not dated and this program would help me reduce that chance of not getting information correct.

The only thing that scares me, like Richardson states at the end of the chapter, is all the emails and alerts I would have to search through. Also, teaching young students and making sure that information that my kids or I receive is relevant to them. Is there anyway to gather information from the RSS feed that is kid friendly or is this program basically geared towards more advanced learners?

This will, though, be a program that I will most definitely use for my own educational benefit.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

moodle vs. wiki

So at my school they are providing a workshop on Moodles. I am wondering if anyone has any views on which program, either a moodle or a wiki, would be better to use in a grade 3 classroom for a class newsletter that the kids would create every few weeks.

I know that a wiki would allow our class to archive each newsletter, which would be great, but I'm not sure if the Moodle program allows this. I heard that the Moodle program is more like a webpage.

I can't make the workshop due to another meeting, so I was wondering if any had ahny thoughts on the difference between these two programs?!


let the learning flow

While reading the Siemen's article, I realized that he makes a point about integration of new knowledge into organized structures that it so important for me to always remember as an educator. He states, "Do not force new knowledge into organizational structures. Let it exist for awhile. See what happens. Do not decide in advance" (Siemens, pg. 96).

For me, it brought me back to my first year of teaching, when I thought I had to plan all my lessons to a T. This is what they taught us in Univeristy. To plan accordinaly to ensure that the outcomes of your lessons/units were what you had decided before you even taught them.

Now I look back at this thinking and am so much more relaxed because,like Siemen's states, you need to let the process takes it's own course and see where it goes. Give students a structure and guidelines, but let the learning flow. Allow students to discover without you drawing it out on the board how they should go about learning new information.

"Real value exists int he knowledge patterns that emerge," writes Siemens and I totally agree (Siemen's, pg. 96). This makes me feel much more comfortable going into this school knowing that I'm going to integrate new technology into my classroom curriculum. Giving students the tools to discover and allowing them the freedom to let the learning take it's own course is extremely important. It not only makes learning more fun for the students, but takes a load of the teacher's shoulder's as well! In my mind, this is the most meaningful kind of education you can give kids today.

integration into Elementary Classroom

Well school has started and now it's time to put all this information that we've learned in this class to work! I have a lot of ideas, but I would love to know if anyone has integrated wikis, blogs, or podcasts into their elementary curriculum program and which program is the most kid friendly to start off with.

My ideas as of now are:

*creating a literacy wiki (connecting to our collaborative literacy wiki) where students write book recommendations
*wiki newsletter page, created by students every few weeks
*monthly podcasts on what's going on around school

If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know! I love to hear what works well and will be most meaningful to the kids!! I teach grade 3 so these programs can't get too complex. THanks!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Web 2.0

I just began reading the section from Web 2.0 and from the first 20 pages I believe there are some really solid points about technology and how it's advancement is allowing us to become more aware of the people and world around us. I love how the internet and other technology is allowing people to understand more clearly what is going on in the world without having first-hand experiences.

Some people are not lucky enough to have the means to travel around the world and take in all the culture and knowledge that come from countries other than their own, and technology is allowing people to access more and more information to enhance their minds about the world.

I did have an issue with Siemen's comment when he stated, "Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we need to know today" (Siemens, pg 83). I know it's important to learn new innovative ways to help us learn how to use new information and technology, but can we live for and use what we know for today? If we're always looking forward to new technology that may be invented in the future, how can this help our children today? Exposing students to new technological advances is extremely important, and quite possibly I may have internalized this quote a bit much, but living for today is often forgotten in our fast paced society. Sometimes we need to sit down, relax and enjoy what we have, what we know and trust in our abilities to learn from prior experiences when new experiences come about.