Benefits to audiobooks

I read an article this week that discussed some benefits to audiobooks.  I found the article very interesting because I never really preferred audiobooks myself because I would often find myself daydreaming while listening to them.  After reading the article I found it very interesting how audiobooks could help students in a few different ways.  For the boy that this article was written about, audiobooks gave him a love for reading, he was excited to find another book as soon as he finished his book.  The article discussed how audiobooks provides equality in the classroom because all of the students are able to read the same books whether it be with their eyes or their ears, students do not have to chose books that are lower level just so they can decode them.  They support critical thinking because students are able to read the higher level books who’s texts goes deeper than the lower level books giving them a chance for higher level thinking.  Struggling readers often begin to hate reading because it is hard for them but audiobooks gives them a chance to read along and listen and enjoy instead of being stressed trying to decode the text.  Overall it is giving students the courage they need to branch out and continue to read even if they are struggling.  I think this is a very positive thing and hope that if they follow along with the book in front of them they will begin to pick up on more words and become better readers.

Benefits to Blogging

This semester specifically has shown me how blogging can bring many advantages to a classroom.  Before joining wordpress for this class, I my preconceptions of blogging consisted of people complaining on the internet while others followed and commented, or people sharing their opinions in thorough essays that were humerus or completely serious.  The word blogging used to make me think of a lonely individual who never put their computer down and was always writing to please viewers. I never saw any benefits until I actually began blogging for this class.

One particular aspect I really like about blogging is the freedom to write anything, and voice your opinion, while also reading other people’s posts and learning from another point of view.  I think blogging is more casual, and less pressure overall, than writing a few paragraphs on a word document and handing it in.  With blogging, the writer can be writing from any point of view, and not feel the need to be as strict with his or her word choice, or need to follow specific rules of writing in terms of heading, paragraph topics and other elements of essays that are very strict and specific.  Blogging brings a more flexible, engaging, free, and less pressurized participation to a classroom.

Another component of blogging that makes it even more beneficial for a classroom, is the class page that allows students to read each other’s ideas, comment on them, and use as reflection or comparison for their own ideas.  This creates a more natural conversation within the class, which makes the participation less forced.  A teacher can read students posts and provide feedback, even pull out some student’s posts for the class to recognize more in depth.

My new conception of blogging has completely changed.  I will definitely be using blogging in my future classroom, as a great way for students to engage, participate, and contribute to class discussion in a fun, less pressured method.

Blogs

Blogging is an excellent resource that allows for students to communicate their ideas freely. Blogs can be used for homework assignments and classroom activities. The are versatile in the sense that they can be used for students to create their own personal page, and have parents be able to see what their child is working on every day. Kids love having things that are their own, so blogs can be a great way for teachers to get the most out of their students. One possible use of a blog would be to have students keep a semester long journal about what they are learning. The students could customize their own page and work on their writing skills while creating something they care about. Students could be tasked with leaving comments on other students blogs, and eventually the class will have a better sense of community due to the increased communication between members. Students are in essence creating a type of yearbook that lasts forever and will always serve as a peek into what their life was like that year. Blogs are such a versatile classroom tool that can be used in various aspects of learning.

Blogging!

I have never been exposed to blogging as much as I have been this past semester in my education classes. At first I was hesitant, curious to see how blogging could enhance learning with students and if it was relevant. However, I have been pleasantly surprised the large effect blogging truly has on the classroom. Each week for this class even, we have to write a blog post explaining which information may have caught our attention this week or something we did not agree with. It gives us the opportunity to explore articles written on the internet and form our own opinion in an informal context. Blogging has caused me to think hard about what I have read for the week and the points I wish to highlight in a short post. I think that this idea of blogging goes much further than just college students, and that it can apply to students all the way down to elementary school. Given that students are becoming more tech savvy everyday, this will be quite easy for students to grasp. The article I read for the week discusses that parents can also be apart of the blogging experience! It is imperative that parents monitor these types of blog posts since internet activity can get iffy from time to time. Not only is it a safety aspect, but parents can be apart of the students’ progression within the classroom and also regarding their writing. It is easily accessible for parents as well as the students. I do not think that blogging should be used for every activity within the classroom setting, since it is still very important that students are applying themselves through pen and paper.

 

http://beyondpenguins.ehe.osu.edu/issue/keeping-warm/its-elementary-blogging-with-young-learners

Podcasts in the Classroom!

http://beyondpenguins.ehe.osu.edu/issue/polar-oceans/podcasts-in-the-elementary-classroom-tools-for-teachers-and-students

This website is a great resource for the different ways to use podcasts in the classroom. The website addresses several of these different ways to incorporate podcasts in the classroom.

Listening to Podcasts- this is a great way for students to gain information about a topic. This is a unique approach to learning. In most cases listening to a podcast would be more engaging for students that just reading an article (could be used as a reward for good behavior)

Making a Class Podcast- this is an awesome way for students to collaborate and share ideas. Students could all do independent research and share the information they learned with the class. Together, the class could put the information together to create a podcast. A teacher could assign a science concept that the students need to research and then make a podcast using what they learned. Students could also use a podcast for interviews.

Podcasts can really enhance how information is presented. Students can add music to their podcasts as well as different sound effects. Students can upload their podcasts to a class website for all their peers to view!

5 Smart Ways to Use Digital Images in the Classroom (Again!)

http://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/technology/5-smart-ways-use-digital-images-classroom/

After last week’s class on photography’s use in the classroom- I was intrigued and fascinated with it endless advantages in the classroom. Personally I haven’t really considered how using photography in the classroom, or digital images could really help enhance learning- until last week’s class, the scavenger hunt, and also its useful tactics from this article. I really appreciate how photography in the classroom makes the lesson come alive- in an interactive way for students to visualize. It is a hands-on approach to learning, and allows students to take their creativity and express it through digital images. To reiterate digital images in my opinion is definitely a resource I would love to incorporate in my classroom. Drawing from this article-  an important quote I took from Mike Acedo includes:

“It is important for students to be able to use images as a tool to advance their own knowledge and achievement. In this capacity, students are able to think abstractly about complex ideas and information, transforming the curriculum into more of a narrative they can absorb through creative imagery.”

In essence this article presents a lot of the advantages we discussed last week. I like how Acedo constructed his article around the fact that social media and digital imagery is ever more so present in generations today. They grow up around a screen- whether that be a television, iPad, iPhone etc.  By children having this technological advantage, having photography incorporated in the classroom allows them to touch into their senses and skill of digital imagery to represent themselves and what they know. This article besides discussing the advantages of digital images in the classroom, also gave several examples of lessons that were centered around photography in the classroom. They include:

  • Visual Biographies
  • Photo Essays
  • Visual Storytelling (a lot of what we discussed prior)
  • Photojournalism
  • & even Vocabulary building (also a lot of what we discussed prior)

As seen with these ideas above, the endless options of ideas, and including photography in the classroom is very much possible in any aspect really. I really enjoyed the discussion of photography in the classroom as I mentioned it is a resource I hadn’t really considered.

 

 

Making the Most Out of Movies in the Classroom

http://www.teachhub.com/making-most-out-movies-classroom

This article discusses the use of movies and videos in the classroom. The author begins the piece by stating “Most administrators will tell you they hate when teachers show movies in the classroom.  For the most part, I agree with them.” I think it was great that she started the article like this because it is true. It shows that the way the author used videos in the classroom must have been influential to the education of her students to write about how well it worked out for her. She talked about how she showed a movie about Korea and its dictatorship. One can read alot about these things, and even see pictures, but sometimes a movie can really reinforce an idea because it grabs the audiences attention in ways pictures and words cant. The author also made sure to not just let the students watch the movie, but also add in an assignment to do during the movie as well. I do not know how I feel about movie assignments because of my own personal experience with them. I have noticed that I become focused on the information that is being asked for on the worksheet and will actually not pay attention to anything else. I also feel as though constantly stopping the movie interupts the process of watching it, and makes students break their focus that may have taken a while to grasp.  I thought it was also great how the author added links to the end of the article to help teachers of all subject areas find videos that could be used as a great resource in their room. It shows that there are many choices that can benefit the students. I think movies are a great tool in the classroom, but I think it really depends on what movie or video it is, how it is connected to the lesson and what is done to reinforce what is seen.