Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Playing with GoAnimate

Trying out goanimate due to a recommendation from +Tim Flanagan.  Here it is, an Introduction to health class for the first day of school.

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Final Network Learning Project- Homemade Pierogi's!!!

At the beginning of the ITDML program I decided to venture on a journey to make homemade pierogi's.  A month ago it seemed virtually impossible.  Pierogi's were something I could get out of a bag and make things a lot easier.  But after hours of research and many taste test later I found a recipe and the confidence I needed to accomplish the task.  Even during the final taping I had some complications but this is exactly why they call it homemade!  I knew it would take a little while to make the mashed potatoes, and dough on camera so I took these photos to demonstrate the process.  I used the following ingredients for the dough. 
The ingredients are:
  • Flour
  • Sour Cream
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Water


 The Mashed Potato Filling:
Sour Cream


Next I rolled out the dough and cut the dough into about 2 x 2 inch squares.  I filled the square with the filling and put an egg wash on the dough to make the sides stick.  I learned if I didn't "glue" the sides all the filling would spill out into the boiling water. 
Adding Egg Wash to the Sides

After the pierogi's were made I put them into a pot of boiling water.  Once cooked (about 3-5 minutes) I transferred the pierogi's into a pan with sautéed onions.  I served the pierogi's with sour cream, scallions and chives. 


I cannot believe I did it and they finally came out great! I hope you enjoyed taking this journey with me!  Learning online was not only easy but fun too.  I wasn't afraid to "mess up" but enjoyed researching the different ways to make pierogi's.  I didn't realize online learning was so easy and convenient.  I will definitely encourage my students to try to learn online through videos, tutorials, and discussions.  Even uploading the video I needed to research how to change the file from movie maker to a compatible file for YouTube! I am extremely glad I learned something new and even more excited because now I gained the confidence to use the internet for solving problems or learning new tasks. Hmm...what is next?


Today I attended EdCampCT with my classmates from the ITDML program.  EdCampCT was not what I expected.  I expected the programs to be interesting but ones I could not relate to in the physical education and health classroom.  Boy was I wrong!  The programs were extremely innovative and there were many applications, documents, and websites I could use in the physical education field as well as bring them back to my school! I was a part of many talks and also led a talk with Stephanie Lavado about the different applications used in PE and health classes.  I really enjoyed the Google Classroom talk, LED name tags, summer course opportunities, and Kahoot! Not only was I able to collaborate with my peers but I was also able to talk with principals, assistant principals, teachers and districts technical supports. Today was exciting and demonstrated many items I would like to take back to my classroom.  Thank you everyone for a great!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

So What Now???

There are many different digital literacies that can affect teaching and learning.  I am extremely happy to be a part of the ITDML program because it has calmed my fears that most educators have about technology.  Technology is continuingly moving forward and will be heavily a part of the classroom if it isn't already.  The overall push for technology in the classroom has become more present in the past couple years.  As a physical education teacher there are many applications, programs, and ideas I will remember when moving forward to life after ITDML.  For example, Newsela is a great program I would be able to use during my classes.  Newsela is a database with a variety of articles.  Based on the student’s ability various articles on the same topic can be generated.  Not only have I found programs like Newsela, but there are also applications that can help enhance the classroom setting.  Glogster, skitch, and screencast are only a few I can use in my classroom. With all the excitement revolving around technology there is also a lot of fear and disposition.  I think to ease teachers thoughts about integrating technology in the classroom is it is not going anywhere.  It’s true, technology has proven improvement in student achievement.  The quicker some teachers understand this the easier it might be for them.  Also, teachers need to understand not everything is perfect.  Technology may not work all the time, items may not transfer well from program to program and much more.  Patience is another key to remember when integrating technology into your classroom.  Lastly, I believe the biggest problem is loss of control and fear.  When using technology there is a great deal of fear that pairs with it.  Will it work?  Am I using the application right? Can I understand it?  All those questions have answers, yes.  Once an educator accepts the challenge to educate their students the best they can, technology should be integrated.  Our students use technology all the time outside of school.  Having the ability to communicate with our students outside of school can not only improve our students scores but also have the students be excited to do work are the ultimate goals.  If technology can take us one step forward to our goal then I believe we all should embrace it.    

Response to the Educational Researcher Articles

The article by Lei, O'Byrne, Zawilinki, McVerry, and Everett-Cacopardo talks about the internet being a direct link to the 21st century learning. As my professor previously stated, "the internet is the digital text of the future".  This article struck me because it also discussed how some communities with less resources are expected to raise scores.  I work in an urban school with limited resources in comparison to other schools.  So what happens to the students who are less fortunate?  Does the internet close the gap or make it bigger?  In my experience, technology is a great tool to be used in classrooms.  But I believe in schools it should be used as just that, a tool.  It should enhance the educational process but should it define it?  So how then can we "even the playing field"? How can learning happen at home for those who do not have access to technology? There are many issues associated with integrated technology in schools.  Do schools have a budget for the technology?  Do the kids have access to it? If not, who provides access to it?  What do teachers do with the students who do not have access to technology?  If the schools provide the technology, who is responsible if it gets lost or stolen?  I do not believe I am in a position to answer all these questions; however, I do believe it is a barrier we would be able to get past.  Education itself has evolved and will continue to evolve, technology is just the next step in the process.  In the article Greenhow, Rogelio, and Hughes, one concept it discusses the evolution of the World Wide Web and technology.  One part that stood out to me was "researchers should continue examining learners online inquiry practices, especially how they navigate, understand, evaluate, trust and critically evaluate".  By collecting the data on social networks as well as other websites researchers can analyze how people "use the internet". Once experts understand how people use the internet they can continue to make it better.

Response to ORMS and MOOC

The ORMS (online research and media skills) and MOOC (massive open online class) readings talk about developing and analyzing strategies with technology based learning.  The readings also discuss the common core and how it is calling for an integration of online research and media skills.  The benefit of ORMS is the ability to communicate with others, share your own ideas and showcase your knowledge in that particular field. Common core is trying to integrate higher order thinking.  Well what better way to do this then to use technology as a tool to share, collaborate and explore knowledge from yourself and others.  One issue I believe teachers will face is teaching the students not only how to navigate around certain technologies but more importantly how to use it appropriately.  Many students use technology for social reasons.  Imagine, you enter your classroom and rather than saying, "put away your phones and get off twitter" you say "it is ok to use twitter but this is how it will be used in our classroom".  Imagine your classroom atmosphere?  Using technology appropriately and teaching our students how to do so is a big challenge but one worth taking on.

Response to Connected Learning Principles

The article Connected Learning Principles discussed how connected learning should follow three principals:
  • Interest-powered – Individual have an interest or liking to the topic and therefore are seeking knowledge about it. 
  • Peer-supported – Shared feedback can be a powerful tool and can help enhance the education of a person.
  • Academically oriented – Not only should the learning have academic relevance but also provide growth to individuals.
The article also stated that connected learning is "real-world. It’s social. It’s hands-on. It’s active. It’s networked. It’s personal. It’s effective." This statement reminded me of student engagement. In my school as well as others, many teachers struggle with students engagement.  Our periods are only 45 minutes long compared to other schools with blocked scheduling.  Based on this article and others I have read during the ITDML curriculum, I think by using different techniques and technology into the classroom more students will become engaged in the subject.  One hurdle I believe I will face is control.  Control of being right, having one way to do things and one avenue to get there.  My focus needs to stray from that and concentrate more on the end result.  Are the students actually learning what I want them to learn?  Once I can get past that hurdle, I believe the students will be more engaged and feel like they are in charge of their own learning. Not only can students learn from each other but I'm sure I will learn something as well!

What is Connected Learning Response

In the article What is Connected Learning | Connected Learning, there were many great ideas and reflections. One video I watched talked about learning anytime, anywhere, and by anyone.  I find this statement very true.  In my field especially, it is difficult for some students with different types of disabilities to be on an "equal playing field".  Now with the use of technology those students can be just as engaged and active.  Not only does technology allow all students to learn but it also provides people with the ability to learn from anywhere and just about anything! I just came back from Knoxville Iowa and I while I was there I found myself searching up answers on my phone for various questions.  When answers can be found at your fingertips to a vast field of expertise, there are no boundaries.  I believe this is why technology engages so many students.  Even something as simple as reading the paper has turned into a strange pastime.  Now we are capable of getting real time footage in our pockets or purses through digital devices.  This article and attached videos confirmed my thoughts that connected learning has been and will continue to be how learning takes place.

My Growth with PLN in Comparison to Jody Ceglarski

 There are many things in life pulling us in different directions.  Different thoughts, opinions, feelings and experiences.  Jody Ceglarski did a very different PLE focus than myself.  She did a great job talking about all the different avenues we as learners can take to develop our own personal learning environment.  I really liked how she clearly defined the types of technology she would use in her classroom and personal life.  My approach was slightly different.  I decided to do my PLE project through the eyes of an individual setting out on their first experience with the internet.  Even though our project were different, there were many things very similar.  For example, I indicated under resources, the internet is a way to shape and develop our personal learning environments.  Jody did as well!  We both realized there are vast amounts of new and different information on the internet to not only learn new information but also share information.  Being a teacher, sharing information over the internet is fast, fun and efficient!  Throughout this first section of the ITDML classes, I have learned a great deal about myself.  I have learned that technology is only scary when you don't take the time to learn from it.  I have learned there are many different avenues to use in our classrooms such as popplet, glogster, blogger, and skitch.  All these different types of technology can be used in my classroom to help my students better understand the material.  Many people fear technology because it is powerful.  Unfortunately, those very same people who fear the unknown do not take the time to learn the possibilities of enhancement. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Personal Learning Networks

Popplet has shown me how to turn my experience with personal learning networks and into a visual for all to see.  My popplet on PLN demonstrates how I believe one shapes, develops and creates their own voice on the internet. I believe one must start with four main categories:
  • Personal
  • Resources
  • Community
  • Background
From there, many things can stem off of this.  For example, community can be your coworkers, friends, family, town and much more. Background plays a role in your development as well.  Your education and prior knowledge really shape what you believe in now.  Resources is another key component to developing oneself online.  Resources available is not only important to your development but also the development of your students.  Lastly, personal is the most important piece. Yours thoughts, beliefs, and most importantly interests play a key role in developing who you are as a person on the internet. On the internet we all have different faces in comparison to what we are in person.  Maybe this is because we all feel no one can "see us" when we are on the internet.  In fact, your true personality can come out on the internet and therefore shaping your identity.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Response to Sloep and Berlanga on Learning Network, Networked Learning

Network learning is fairly new term to me.  As an educator I had my resources within the school.  I also collected ideas from the web as well as other educators.  Most of the collaboration I had was amongst my co-workers.  Collaborating with other educators in my field was always an option but it seemed abstract to me. Where would I start? Am I asking the right questions?  How can they offer advice when they don't know my students.  I know know this was just ignorance talking.  Learning networks are designed to exchange experiences with others and work collaboratively.  Yes, it is true these other educators do not know my students.  And yes, sometimes their ideas might not work in my setting and my ideas might not work in theirs; however, when taking the step to share ideas is where a word of hope comes in, possibilities…I started to think about the endless possibilities and resources.  Then I started to think of my field in particular.  There are many learning networks already setup for physical education teachers to share, critique and seek help.  Most notably is PEcentral.  Not only does physical education have a learning network setup there are also sites on edmodo set up.  Edmodo shares lessons quizzes and information from all the physical education teachers in our district.  Learning Networks are supposed to be a place where one can set up communities for discussions, offer and receive support, and lastly finding resources.  As the old saying states, “there is no I in team”.  Learning Networks are a perfect way to share ideas and seek help with people who are in the same field as you.

Response to O’Brien's Article on “At-Risk” Adolescents: Redefining Competence Through the Multiliteracies of Intermediality, Visual Arts, and Representation”

I found this article inspiring.  The article discussed a student named Dan.  Although at-risk,through literacy comprehension, Dan was given a task using multimedia sources.  Due to technology “leveling the playing field”, Dan developed a multimedia document despite his low development.  I believe, many teachers fear technology will widen the gap between the students documented as at-risk in comparison to regular education students. In this article, the Literacy Lab was set up as a place for at risk students to work with technology and develop project through the use of multimedia text. The lab was hoping to improve the quality of student engagement, self-esteem, and motivation.  Too many times at-risk students are faced with disadvantages.  Any advantage that can be given to these students is worth implementing at schools.

Week 5 Response: How Remix Culture Fuels Creativity & Invention: Kirby Ferguson at TED

The article “How Remix Culture Fuels Creativity and Invention” really made me rethink copyright laws and challenge where creatively truly comes from.   The video talked about Bob Dylan and flirts with the idea that a lot of his songs were copied.  Does this happen?  I looked back at my life for the past year.  Most creativity has been started off an idea of someone else.  For example, in our classrooms we have our students look at other “exemplary” work and get ideas from it.  Is that coping?  In my personal life, my husband and I drive around to get ideas of different things we can do to our house when going through renovations.  Is that coping? Or is that form a collecting of information to make the best informed decision at hand.  The article states creativity and invention is simple coping, transforming and combining them with your own ideas. To contemplate the idea of coping work and developing your own based on another person's idea is a strange thought.  Throughout my schooling I was taught coping work was unacceptable. To me, recreating work into the development of your own ideas is simply an invention of collaborative work.  As mentioned in the video, Picasso said, “good artists copy, great artist steal.” As a teacher I do not think I would go as far as saying stealing work.  But it is interesting to think about when it comes to coping work and what it means.  The important thing to remember when having students develop work is this, one can look at ideas to shape their own innovative response.  When students hear the word copy and its ok in the same sentence it might become a word for word redo.  Teaching students what it means to look at ideas and recreate them into your own idea is very different form of”coping”.  So is this an idea schools should adapt or have they already been adapted?

Online content construction by O’Byrne

After reading the article about online content construction I felt very much like Mrs. Vasquez.  I too am unfamiliar with technology although I enjoy it and find it useful especially in the classroom.  Just like Mrs. Vasquez, my principal had told us, as long as you are flexible, persistent and can manage change technology can work in your classroom. Mrs. Vasquez had not only her students but teachers work collaboratively to recreate online content.  By including the teachers as well, students felt empowered and in charge of their own education.  The article stated the students needed to  “reconsider their concept of “school” and rethink their role as a student”.  I found this quote interesting because I think we all need to “rethink” our role.  Whether we are teachers, students, or administrators we are all on the path of education.  Teachers have also taken the role as learners/mentors, students as teachers/mentors and administrators as delegators.  This article also defined online content construction the best.  Online content construction is collaborating, collecting, and analyzing information from various sources and recreating the information into a useful format for your needs. In the article, students used wki, videos, blogging,  and online collaboration.  Wiki has become a tool I would like to learn more about and potentially use it in my classroom.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Multimedia Tutorial-Lose It! Application in PE and Health Classroom!



Summary of the Tool
The “Lose It!” is an application used to track caloric intake and output.  The application also tracks foods from the various food groups and pairs with MyPlate.gov.  Based on your height, weight, goal and activity level, Lose It calculates the appropriate amount of daily calories necessary.

Pedagogical Uses
After setting up the free application on the desktop, one must develop a goal such as gain weight, lose weight, or maintain weight.  You can also download the application onto your mobile device for on the go tracking.  Once your profile is set up Lose It! calculates your target calories to reach for the day.  Throughout the day you can include each meal you ate including snacks and drinks!  The Lose It! application can make a running tab on your calories and calculate the remaining daily calories.  Lose It1! can also track your daily activities such as mowing the lawn, house cleaning and much more.

Now that you are ready, it is time to start “Losing It!”.  Click on the top left hand corner marked “Add Food” as seen below.  If you are using a mobile device you can also scan the barcode on the food package. The students will be able to compare their food intake to the daily intake national average.  They will also be able to analyze their daily intake to determine and set fitness goals. You can also create custom meals and workouts!  So if you do not see it, add it!

How to do it
Below is a screencast on how to use the application:

With any applications there are some drawbacks to the program.  The program requires the individual to input all the food and the amount.  This means, unless the person measures their food it may be hard to judge how much they are actually having.  Also, the caloric output numbers are all estimates.  One might think they run at a fast pace when they might be running slower with will change the end result.

In conclusion, this application is a great user friendly way to create meals and analyze the student’s daily intake.  It is easy to use and requires little effort from the student.  Also, the application can be used on multiple devices so the students can track their intake and output from anywhere!  Not only will the students be more conscience about what they are eating but this applications allows them to see progress as well.  It is an application they can either connect with others as motivation or stay private if necessary.  Lastly, this is a program they would be able to use the rest of their life!

Revision History/Audit Trail
The Lose It! application is a product of FitNow Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts. The application was introduced as an iPhone version in 2008.  Since its growing popularity, FitNow Inc. decided to include the web other devices.  The Lose It! application has a central place for FAQ and a place to make requests and changes to the program.  This can be found in the Contact Us tab on the www.loseit.com website seen below.

Lose It! on Twitter

Lose It! in the News!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Network Learning Project Update

For all those sharing in my pierogi journey, I must say I am getting better but not by much.  After making many different types of pierogi's my daughter has told me, "please stick with just the basic kind."  With that said, I have foreseen many challenges.  I have found a couple websites as well as a lot of videos on how to make pierogi's  I must say, all of them make it look easy and none of them offer helpful hints.  For example, in order to make the pierogi stick to itself I needed to search a couple different website recipes to learn egg or simply water can help adhere the dough together.  I also encountered the famous "overstuff" .  Anyone who makes pierogi's, ravioli's or simply anything stuffed knows what it means to be overstuffed.  I thought it would be an ok idea because my husband is a hungry man.  Turns out, the overstuffed pierogi does not do well in the boiling water.  Once I placed the overstuffed pierogi in the water, it cracked and all the stuffing seeped into the water.  Throughout the process my once "gritty" dough has become better and my lumpy filling is now creamy.  One thing I have not perfected is the amount of stuffing to use.  Stay tuned for the final video of my pierogi's!!!

Challenges of Technology in the Classroom

When I look at www many times I oversee what it truly means…World Wide Web.  What does it mean to truly be worldwide?  Are we truly connected to people not only in our very own town, city, state, country, and continent but all across the world!  To think about an idea as big as worldwide I can only think one thing…possibilities.  Possibilities of education, knowledge and collaboration.  The World Wide Web poses as many different faces.  Some that scare us and some that enhance our lives.  So is the internet truly helpful or hurtful to the education of our students?  Many people look at videos such as Look Up and think technology isn’t embracing the “true” purpose of life, especially in the classroom.  ”Put your phone away” and “stop texting during class” are common phrases in classrooms.  For those who are skeptics and believe technology shouldn’t be in the classroom because “we never had it growing up and look how we turned out”.  I challenge you for one day to not use technology, too much? Then what about for 6 hours.  Will you feel lost?  Will you be upset you couldn’t get your 6 o’clock news?  Or hear from your granddaughter to tell you she loves you?  Sure there are many challenges with technology in the classroom.  But looking at what technology can do in the classroom as seen in “Bridging our Future”, is proof that given the proper training and tools, the only barriers we have is our own self.  Managing the web as our new text is a tough idea to understand for those who believe lectures are best.  What happens for the students who do not have technology at home simply because affording it is not a priority?  All these challenges face our school systems and our communities; however, they are all challenges that can be overcome.


Response to Chapter 9 and 10 Readings

As stated in the readings, 94% of students access the internet for homework use.  Lawless and Kulikowich defined their data into three clusters: knowledge seekers, future explores, and apathetic hypertext.  Lawless also discusses prior knowledge.  This can be seen as a challenge in the classroom as well.  What do the students actually know and more importantly, what don’t they know?  Do they know how to access resourceful verses fictional information and do they know how to determine the difference?  Motivation and affect of the material can also be a challenge in the classroom.  How can I actively engage my students, monitor them to stay on task and embrace learning through the process all at once.  In contrast, chapter 9 states “the development of valid and meaningful knowledge assumes that the students are actively involved in the learning process.”  One statement in the chapter 9 reading that stuck out to me was “technology often changes faster than we can effectively evaluate for learning”.  It is a scary statement but also very true.  One thing teachers must keep in mind hopefully relieveing some tension when it comes to technology in the classroom is although technology is changing, the information remains the same.  How we present the information may be different but our overall goal is standard.  As long as passion pairs with knowledge and a hunger for learning is present, the possibilities are endless.  Ultimately, isn’t that the goal we try and teach our students?