Archive for the ‘Instruction Methods for 21st Century’ Category

EDCI 506: Week 15 Blog: Reflection of Group Project

Friday, April 26th, 2013




Throughout all the presentations the main theme was having a green school as well as incorporating a plethora of technology into the classrooms. Every group had some sort of energy efficient school, a progressive style teaching method (very hands-on) and having the newest technology in their schools.  It was really neat to see all the different ways that the groups incorporated having a “green” school, whether it was through the structure of the school, having rooftop gardens, using solar panels or using preexisting buildings in the area.

It was also interesting to see how the schools would receive funding and how they would be able to pay for the technology that they would be using.  It was a little hard to understand the full concept of funding, and maybe some of the ideas were a little far-fetched for the amount of money that the school would actually have.  Of course, every school would love to have sponsors and donations of computers and ipads, but in reality is that really possible?  Would Apple be willing to donate 250 computer? Probably not.  However, the amount of grants for technology and e-rates that you can receive could definitely help off-set the costs.

I believe that my teaching philosophy pretty much went along with my groups and the other groups presentations.  I still strongly believe in having a technologically saavy classroom, and using all the technology tools my school has to offer in order to be a more progressive teacher.  Using a more hands-on approach and letting my students be able to use these tools and have a choice in the projects that they wish to complete.

In regards to the school that my group had created, it was pretty much along the same guidelines as the other schools.  Our school, however did not focus as strongly on being “green”, not did we try to focus or specialize in any curriculum, such as math and science, or agriculture.  Our school was pretty much like schools today but just adding more of a collaborative approach.  Allowing for “social interaction and discussion” in the mornings, current event boards in the hallways, brag boards and back-alley hallways were teacher can meet away from the students.  We wanted to focus on a community approach, by having parents involved from the first day.  It was important for our group that the teachers and parents had a relationship outside of parent-teacher conferences.

Throughout this whole process of creating a 21st century school, I learned that creating a school is difficult. I never realized exactly how much thought has to go into the school, such as design, curriculum, funds, development, etc.  This project made me go outside my comfort zone, and start to think critically and creatively about what a school entails.  I never gave much thought to how teachers would have professional development or how students needed to learn, but this opened my eyes to the fact that students learn differently and that teachers and the school’s curriculum must showcase that.


EDCI 506 Blog: Week 12

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

school21 school image



Schools in the twenty-first century are encountering several issues.  More and more policies are being added to state’s educational plans, such as NCLB, IDEA Goals 200: Educate American Act.  These policies are making it hard for schools and instructors to be their best.  The impact that these acts and policies have on state standards will heavily influence the way that an instructor plans his or her lesson.  The instructor needs to be aware of performance based outcomes and how those will affect the students and the teacher.

Although these policies have been trying to make education better, there are still accounts where new ideas are being stifled due to reemerging old ideas.  During the Cold War the idea of education was based upon intellectual training due to a “concern over economic competition with foreign countries”, you can see this idea now as the US tries to become one of the top countries.  The US falls behind in areas such as math and science to other countries who score higher and are able to obtain higher-paying jobs even in the US.  As well as intellectual training the idea from the 1960s and 1970s that education should focus on educating the disadvantaged is also making a comeback.  The issue here though is, are these goals and objectives of education relevant of the times?

I think that these reemerging ideas are relevant to the issues of the US today.  Education should focus on intellectual training as well as educating the disadvantaged.  Programs are in place to allow for the more intelligent students to further their knowledge in magnet schools and gifted programs.  Head Start Programs and after school programs are helping to educate the disadvantaged students in order to get them into the school system and keep them there until graduation.  These are programs and ideas that need to be in place if the US has any hope of having an educated generation in the upcoming years.

I think that it is important the schools focus on the creativity and allow for students to have some control over the content that they will be learning.  By giving the students a little control it will make the students seem that they have had a voice, that they aren’t being told every class what they will learn without a reasonable explanation to why.  This way if they want to focus more on the Civil Rights movement, let them decide what they want to focus more on, collectively as a class or by themselves as a project for the lesson.  It is important that instructors try not to stifle the creativity of their students but instead to embrace it.  Let the students have some control on what they want o learn, how they want to learn it and how they want to showcase what they have learned.  This will let them have to think for themselves and to take some responsibility.



Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. (11 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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INDT 501-02: New Technologies

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

TED talks Youtube channel

I’m just going to start off by saying that those TED talks are so interesting and awesome! I thought it was incredibly neat that when you “wore technology” you could just put your four fingers together and take a picture..of anything..ANYWHERE. That is awesome! That could definitely be beneficial in classroom. For only $350 (which doesn’t seem too bad), you could have one that the school can share.  It was be neat for classes to take this on a fieldtrip, that way a blog or school website could be updated instantly with pictures from the trip.  It would also be neat to have this in the classroom or in the environment when you’re outside with your students. I can only imagine that this would open up so many opportunities and ideas for the future generations!

I also thought that the ARIS game program was really neat. I would definitely try to use this as much as I could in a classroom. I read an article that an ARIS game was created which walked students through Vietnam protest on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The students, “using their phones, the kids view footage of protests at the same spots where they’re standing. They also learn how the press covered the war and how that colored the protests”.  As I hope to teach History I think this would be an amazing app to walk students through the Fredericksburg Battlefields and spots around Downtown Fredericksburg where significant events occurred during the Civil War and such.  I would also want to incorporate the podcasts via mobile phones so that the students could immediately share with the class their feelings of being in the same spot that events occurred hundreds of years ago.

I would also like to have a class blog for my classes. I want the blog to be a source of information and creativity for my students. I like the idea that you can upload videos, texts and pictures from your phone to the blog (  This would give the students more opportunities outside the classroom to find information and immediately upload the information instead of waiting and forgetting. This would have made it easier for me as a student when I saw something that relted to my class while I was in another state or on vacation. If I could updated the blog and shared what I found instead of printing the picture, and writing up a reflection.  It’s important that as we continue to live in the 21st century that we try, as teachers, to incorporate as much of modern technology as we can. As teachers, we cannot fall behind into the traditional teaching model but need to embrace the technology, embrace our students needs and desires of learning and try our best to make learning hands-on and fun again!

EDCI 506 Blog 11 EEO

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Inclusive classroom grades 6-12

Curriculum and instruction will vastly differ between a gifted class and that of other classes.  In gifted classes students are taught and expected to think more creatively about situations.  They are expected to master complex vocabulary and to think deeper about stories and subjects they are learning about.  For example, my sister is in 7th grade and in the gifted education program.  Her gifted class focuses more so on English than any other subject.  She usually has upwards of an hour of homework to do working on analogies, interpreting poems and stories, conducting research and creating projects on what they had read about. I’ve even noticed that she thinks more into topics than I, or my parents do. Her vocabulary is astounding (I even have to look up the words sometimes that she uses).  She wouldn’t get this type of experience or higher-level learning in a regular class. I was not in the gifted program at school (I pretty sure it’s because when I was tested and they asked me what I liked to do for fun, I replied “play with barbies”), I’m not as creative or think as deeply into readings. I’m not an expert at interpreting readings and poems and my vocabulary could definitely be stronger. If I have gifted students in my classroom I would try to give them additional independent work.  If I’m teaching a lesson on the civil war maybe I would ask these students to do extra research on literature of that time period, or of a battle. I would not want to separate these children drastically but also have them inter-mixed when I assign projects, hoping that their ways of thinking could influence the other students.

Honestly to find resources I just googled inclusive classroom techniques. I found this really cool “live binder” that had hundreds of tabs, research and teacher experiences on teaching within their nclusive classroom.  You can find the live binder here.  Just by going through ha few of these tabs teacher provided input on how you should address students with disabilities, how you should make examples out of the children who are staying on tasks and working quietly, “I love how quietly Group X is working!” The binder also gave examples of how teacher should choose their instruction methods when they encounter certain types of children with disabilities, for example the question was asked on how to plan for curriculum with students with Asperger’s Syndrome.  The website gave some valuable information, they said the most important thing is to make sure that the material is relevant and meaningful to all the students.  Without having meaningful material, you may lose the interest of students especially those with Asperger’s.  I also found this website which provided a plethora of resources for inclusive classrooms.  I really liked that it shared an article of Apps that can be downloaded in order to “level the playing field” I think it’s important to still try to keep up with modern technology with students with disabilities.

It’s also important that teachers and administrators regularly meet to discuss inclusion in the classroom. Teacher that have students with disabilities in their classrooms need a strong support system, people that they can rely on when things start to get tough.  Keeping administrators, special-ed teachers, gifted-teachers informed about the ongoing problems in the classroom and meeting to go over ideas of how the process can be made easier will help the teacher as well as the students in the classroom.  Using the resources found online on inclusive classrooms teachers can get a real feel for how their classroom might be and how they can facilitate instruction.

For myself, I think it would be challenging to have students with disabilities in my classroom and I would definitely reach out to other teachers and specialist to make sure that I am including all of my students in my lessons. The fact that the internet allows for me to research situations and figure out what other teachers have done will be a godsend!  I would want to make sure that the material I am teaching is meaningful to all the students. I would try to put the students in groups as much as possible in order for a calming classroom climate, as well as for the students to all interact with each other and feed off of each other in terms of higher-level thinking.  I would regularly ask the special-ed or gifted teachers for their input on my lesson plans and how they believe that I could change them to make it easier for the disabled students.  Their input and feedback would really help me be a better teacher.


The inclusive classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved from Resources

Resource for inclusive classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved from



INDT 501-02: Week 10 Mini Projects II

Sunday, March 24th, 2013



I really enjoyed learning more about Timetoast and GoogleTrek.  Timetoast was SUPER easy to use! I liked the idea that you could add more than just text to the specified date. I chose to do major events of the Civil War from 1861-1865. I had to cut down on some of the events due to the overwhelming events that occurred and I did not want to bombard the timeline with 100+ events.  I narrowed down to the ones that I believed were most important and that most people would know about. I would definitely use this in my classroom as a type of project for my students to do. I would want them to investigate a time period (in groups) and come up with the 10 most important events that occurred. This would be an easy website for the group to work on in order to put those events in chronological order. I also like the idea that your timeline get’s published so we could ask other students in other schools to weigh in on how they felt the students did on the timeline, or maybe we could even receive feedback from students that used our timelines in their class to help them!

GoogelTrek was also cool! I liked how easy it was, just put the place-mark and type your info and you were done! It was neat to have to choose 8 places to map out. I chose to do places in relation to the Holocaust (concentration camps, Anne Frank’s house, museum in DC, etc) in order for students to have to go through the journey of the concentration camps. Each place-mark was embedded with a link to that concentration camp’s historical webpage. Each place-mark also included a question to make the students think about what they had just read on the webpage, or gave them a question to think about before they looked into the camp/house/museum. I would want to use this in my History classes in order to map out the journey of voyagers or even map out major battles of wars in order for the students to get a feel for exactly where these events occurred. I could even tie together the timetoast timeline and the googletrek assignemtn in order to showcase both of the tools!

INDT 501: Mini Projects

Sunday, March 17th, 2013


I really liked the idea of choosing two technology tools to focus on this past week. I enjoyed learning about all of them but the idea of a Wordle and Voki really stood out. I was a little skeptical at first on how I was going to make these and what I would use as information in each one.

Let’s just start off by saying the Wordle is AMAZING. I thought it was so neat that it arranged the words for you and you could change around the colors and shapes. I would definitely use this in my classroom as an introductory page to the lesson we were going to begin, perhaps by putting all the important/key words or vocabulary words on the sheet in a neat shape to get the students attention. That way they could always relate back to those sheets when they needed to think of the word.

Creating the Voki was pretty fun. I had a sore throat this week and sounded kind of gross so I chose to just type in the information and then go from there. I chose to create a voki as if I was planning for my students to view it either the night before class or during computer lab time in class. It was a short sample of the beginning of instructions for a webquest to the Supreme Court website. I gave simple instructions on how to find the website and then gave two instructions for finding material on the website.   (view Voki here!)


 I would definitely try to incorporate both of these ideas into my lesson plans and offer them as choices for the students to do projects with too!


Information on Wordle: I chose a civics lesson from the state standard CE.3 (Social Studies, Grade7) from the Library of Congress website. This lesson focused on the values of American citizens. I decided to enter random words about America and civic duties to make into the wordle. I did not choose too many words in order to keep it pretty neat and clean. I think it came out nicely. I would want to play around with it more and add more words to it in order for it to mean a little more to the students and the lesson.


INDT 501-02: Shared Sticky Notes

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013


Wallwisher (now Padlet) is amazing. I thought this was one of the neatest tools to use.  It way super easy and allowed for anyone to post, and contribute to your “wall” with their own “sticky note”.  I would use this in my classroom as much as possible. I think it would be really helpful to use this when students are brainstorming ideas for research projects, brainstorming for a paper topic, or just to see ideas that students have.

I would want to use this within my classroom to really get to know how the students are feeling about a certain topic, and because you don’t necessarily need to put your name onto the post, it could be done anonmyously in order for the students to truly express their opinion of the topic they are learning or about a test they had just taken.  This tool allows for the students to get more involved without having to talk allowed in class. I would really want to use this as a secondary entrance or exit ticket. I would ask for the students to submit a “sticky note” in regards to a reading they just did for homework or to reflect and answer a questions (in their own words) about what they learned that day in class.

I chose to create a wall titled “Most Important Historical Figure”.  That way, with this topic, people coudl list anyperson that they wanted, with an explanation or not. I chose to submit JFK, and then post a youtube video of his famous “ask not what..” speech for others to view.


Feel free to click the link at the top and post your own sticky note!!



INDT 501-02 Blog 6: To Flip or not to Flip?

Sunday, February 24th, 2013


To be completely honest, I don’t really know how I feel about a flipped classroom.  To me, it definitely has its pros and cons.  I think it’s a good way to make a classroom more student-centered and to focus on what the student doesn’t understand.  However, I think we would like to believe that everyone in this day and age has access to internet and a computer, but that’s not the case.  I can’t see a flipped classroom being implemented in lower income areas, where it could be most beneficial.  It just seems to me students won’t be a receptive to an online lecture the night before a class.  Especially since most students dread having homework, and then on top of it they would have to watch a lecture or do an online lesson?

I like parts of the flipped classroom but I don’t think I would ever fully “flip” my classroom. I would want to take aspects of the flipped classroom, such as having a mini video or small online reading or research to do for homework to prepare them for the next day, but I would want to review the video or reading the next day in class to make sure that the students understand what they had watched.  I also like the idea of how the flipped classroom got started.  I would love to be able to video my class discussions and lectures so students who are absent, or even students who did not take notes, or who did not understand the lesson fully could look back on the video to see what I had discussed in class that day.

I don’t think this is the best pedagogy.  It cuts down on the actual face time with students and becomes impersonal.  It would be hard to really see how students learn if you are only spending time with them to help with homework.  What if the students aren’t learning this way? And instead of a flipped classroom improving passing rates, it hurts them? Then the school system is back to where it started and would have to go through another “flip”.  I think it would be best to only use this method in certain classes, with older children.  Perhaps a high school science class could watch a video about a dissection they will be doing the next day in class.  Or a history class watches a lecture on the civil rights era and does their homework in response to the video.

INDT 501-02: Creating a music video

Sunday, February 17th, 2013


When I first saw that we were creating a music video, I had this idea that it would be a video of me singing about a lesson, and quite frankly I was scared.  However, learning that it would be done via pictures on really soothed me!  I thought the website was easy to use.  I watched the tutorial, which was quick and easy.  I decided to do a lesson on the Emancipation Proclamation.  I thought this would be a good topic to introduce via pictures that way students could really see what was going on at the time of the Civil War instead of reading about it in a textbook.  The only issue I had with the making of this video was finding pictures that were “free to use or share” on Google images.  Most of the pictures ended up coming from, because I kept getting strange pictures of people on Google.

I would definitely use this as a tool often in my classroom.  It could be a little tedious to make a longer movie, and I’m not sure that students would be as engaged sitting watching a longer movie.  I would definitely use this as an option for projects in my classroom, or group work to make mini movies about a topic that we had read about.  I think students would enjoy being able to pick their own photos and music to describe a topic, this would give them a little control, and also let me see how they are interpreting the topic.


INDT 501-02 Week 4: Information Literacy and Creativity

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013


The scratch program is very interesting.  I had a hard time using it, even with watching the tutorial. I think I had this idea in my mind that it would come out a lot cleaner and not be as awkward to use, this was not the case.  I’m not sure if it was my computer, but it split the sprite into 2 images even though it was only 1.  I tried to get the sprite to move steps but what I thought would be a lot (40) turned out to not be that many and then the sprite got cut off the screen.  Even with retracting the steps it still stayed split off the screen.  I think this is a good concept but I’m not sure if students could comprehend It as quickly as a class period.  I like this idea in terms of introducing a concept to the classroom.  In terms of using it to engage in the classroom I would stick with having the students introduce their lesson they would be teaching to the class, or their project by creating a Scratch program but I would not want them to use it fully.

I did sit and think about exactly what I wanted to do in terms of the Scratch.  I knew that I wanted it to only introduce a topic for further discussion.  Therefore I thought about if I was teaching a Civics or government class and I wanted to introduce how a bill becomes a law.  I had the two sprites quickly converse about if they know how a bill becomes a law.  I would like to add more detail the sprite eventually when I add it to my Web Portfolio to actually have links ready for students or others to click on to get basic information on how a bill becomes a law.   I would also like to link up to a webquest or a lesson online through or such that the students would do.  I think this would get them interested in seeing the Scratch (perhaps making one of their own), and then continuing to use technology to teach the rest of the lesson.

I think ideas such as Scratch programs, game programs and other technological tools would aid very much in the classroom.  This is definitely more engaging to students than the teacher standing in front of the classroom at a podium reciting the book.  I also think this idea of a Scratch program would be a good assessment tool.  Students could be asked to create a Scratch on what they learned throughout the lesson. There would not be clear directions because I would want to see what the students could come up with on their own.  With the Scratch program I can see how they would apply the lesson to the real world instead of them just creating a concept map of vocabulary terms that they used.  I think a perfect idea for a Scratch program would be for each students, or groups of students, to research one amendment on the constitution. Using a google themed search for the amendments that I have created, the students then act out the amendment, or the reasons for the amendment being introduced, through a Scratch program they wrote themselves.