Wednesday, November 17, 2010

CMSESMC-Podcasts.pdf (application/pdf Object)

This is a more general resource relating to podcasting.  It starts out by describing a podcast.  The author then discusses some useful mathematics and education podcast sites that she feels to be worthwhile.  Ending the article is a section that details how to make your own podcasts. Again, this resource would benefit me in understanding a podcast.  I can benefit from the useful tips that are presented and utilize them in my own classroom.

teaching & learning with podcasting

This resource explains that podcasting is a new medium that enables you to easily incorporate on-demand audio recordings into your curriculum.  The author explains the five steps (in depth) that will get you started creating your first podcast.  They are: Step 1: select your content; Step 2: determine your instructional goal; Step 3: design your content; Step 4: produce your podcast; and Step 5: incorporate the podcast into your course.  This resource will be very useful to me in creating a podcast.  Since I have never done so before, I can follow his steps and utitilze the information that is provided. 

Using Podcasts to Teach Math « Design for Learning

This resource discusses ten ways that podcasts could be used to teach math.  For example, students can share their own math stories and problems or, as a teacher, you could broadcast monthly updates to both parents and teachers on the types of math lessons and activities students will be focusing on.  The author of this article also posted two sites (that were interesting to him) with math related podcasts.  I feel this resource will be useful because I could hopefully incorporate some of the author's ways that podcasts can be used in my math classroom. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bloom's Digital Taxonomy

Although I have learned about Bloom’s Taxonomy before in an education class, I have to admit that this conceptual framework was very helpful to me.  I have learned about the original Bloom’s Taxonomy that included: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.  Honestly, after reading this material, I actually like Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy better.  Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy (remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating) seems easier to comprehend.  Both taxonomies technically aim for the same goal (understanding the lower order thinking skills before you can understand higher order thinking skills).  This reading does a great job of explaining the key terms and giving many examples of the possible activities that can be used in describing the concepts.  I feel that Bloom’s Taxonomy is a resource that we definitely need to follow as teachers.  We cannot expect our students to analyze a story or apply a math concept if they don’t have the knowledge (or remembering) of the concept being learned.  Bloom’s Taxonomy is the step-ladder that is to be followed.  Students must remember, understand apply, analyze, and evaluate before they are able to create.  If they cannot master the lower order thinking skills, then there is no way they are able to master the higher order thinking skills.  As a teacher, it will be my job to make sure that my students understand the concept I am presenting before I expect them to do anything with that concept.  Until this class, I never realized how many useful technologies can be used not only in a math class, but for any class.  Even now, I can find some activity that incorporates technology for each area of Bloom's Taxonomy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning is a great way to support 21st century skills.  Real-world scenarios make it much easier for students to understand what exactly they are learning and why.  When given the opportunity to experience problems hands-on, the subject/topic becomes more meaningful to students.  Working out of a book and just doing problems doesn’t help students want to learn because they don’t know why they are doing it.  Project-based learning emphasizes learning activities that are student-centered and integrated with real-world issues.
A project-based lesson in math could be a Geometry Map Project:  students are required to design a map that includes lines, angles, and triangles.  The map can be of a neighborhood town, city, or state.  The map must include the following as a minimum:  two sets of streets that are parallel, two sets of streets that are perpendicular, one street that intersects another street to form an obtuse angle, one street intersects another to form an acute angle, one street that is a line segment, one street that is a line, one street that is a ray, one building in the shape of an equilateral triangle, one building that is in the shape of a scalene triangle, and one building that combines three different geometric shapes in its design.  This project combines important words that are learned when studying Geometry.  Students must put together a Geometry Map that correctly portrays each idea.  Students may face some challenges if they do not thoroughly understand each geometrical concept.  Some students may also have trouble if they are not comfortable using a ruler and a protractor.  Those are necessary tools needed in order to construct the map properly.  Overall, this project-based learning activity will give great insight as to whether or not your students truly understand key geometrical concepts.  Completing this project will also help students understand why it is they have to learn about lines and shapes!   

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

21st-Century Skills: Evidence, Relevance, and Effectiveness

For this blog, I would like to focus on the quote that begins the article.  It states, “The 21st century isn’t coming; it’s already here…. Public schools must prepare our young people to understand and address global issues, and educators must re-examine their teaching strategies and curriculum so that all students can thrive in this global and interdependent society.”  Times have changed.  The teaching strategies that were used a few years ago may not work for the present classroom.  As an educator, we must be responsible and re-examine our teaching strategies so that we can better them for our students.  Teachers need to connect with their students and they achieve this by their teaching strategies—the way they present a topic or lesson.  As we are in the 21st century, we can see that   technology has become a great resource in today’s schools.  We as teachers need to learn how to use the technology so that our kids can be successful.  Technology has so much to offer, but it is up to us to allow the kids to explore.  As we learned last week by the Flat Classroom Project, we must prepare our students to understand and address global issues.  Learning the material is not enough.  Students must understand what it is that they are learning and how it relates to the outside world.  In math, the question should be: How can I apply the method(s) just learned?  If we can get the young children to explore with technology and to understand global issues, then I believe we are a successful teacher.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Flat Classroom Project

Learning about the Flat Classroom Project was nothing new for me.  In fact, I actually had to read Thomas Friedman’s book, The World is Flat for my Globalization class during my freshman year of college.  These articles provided a nice review of a topic that we had thoroughly discussed.  What exactly is the Flat Classroom Project?  We learned that it is a multi-modal learning environment that is student-centered and a level playing field for teacher to student and student to teacher interaction.  The objective is to work collaboratively with others around the world in order to create students who are competitive and globally minded.  I believe it is a great way for students to think “outside the box.”  In other words, we need to learn about things beyond our local neighborhood, beyond the state in which we live, beyond our nation, and learn about issues/ideas that we face globally.  When reading the article called Learning & Leading, I really liked the statement that read, “Technology is essential to school transformation and future opportunities for the 21st century learners around the globe.”  Without the technology, this would be impossible.  Think about it:  Don’t you find it amazing that you can sign on to Skype and talk to someone across the world in China?!  I certainly do!  My generation grew up with technology and I sometimes feel we take it for granted.  Technology allows us to do many things and we must use it to our benefit.  Until reading these articles, I have never heard about Digital Citizenship.  I learned that Digital Citizenship is about transforming yourself into a professional who can effectively research technology trends, monitor the uses of technology in your school or district, avoid the fear factor that can easily paralyze you, and empower student-centered learning to create vibrant, exciting learning projects.  This is a powerful statement that we as individuals should strive for and, more so, in becoming an educator.  I also like the idea that was made about learning.  Learning takes place in many different ways, times, and places.  My learning style might be different than yours, but the success is that we both understood/can apply the information.  When I am sleeping, somewhere across the world students are at school.  Learning is everywhere and it is a great opportunity for us to expand our knowledge.  One day, I will be teaching the students about math and how it applies to our everyday lives.  Who knows, I may “flatten” the walls of my classroom by joining with another across the world to virtually become one.