I read the Practical PBL: Four Tips for Better Implementation on Edutopia. This article was about how project based “learning will change your students’ lives.” After reading this, I was excited. I feel like Project based learning is changing the face of curriculum in the classroom. This article made some excellent points on how practical Project based learning can be.
1. “Collaboration and Responsibility”
A good quality of PBL is having equal collaboration and responsibility between your students. If each student has shared responsibility between each other then they are able to teach each other there part. By doing this, each child is learning and teaching at the same time. It benefits each student individually.
2. “Coaching Teams to Success”
This is so important. In the article, they mention how students always say their best learning experience with teams are in sports. This is because “on those teams, everyone matters.” They do matter, and by coaching your teams. By making sure they know that everyone is important, they will have great learning experiences together.
3. “Know the Goal Before You Go”
Students need to understand the goal of the project. They need to be able to get something out of it. If they are just doing each step of the project, but are not learning something as a whole project. Before starting, each student MUST understand the finish, if not they won’t be fully understanding each step in the process. It is really important for each student to understand their role and responsibility of the project.
In the end, the article I read was super informational and helpful to educators. It helps us know that each student needs to know it is a team effort. Also, they need to understand how important their role is and how they are just as a valuable team player as the others. It is important to get this information across, first. When you set your standards high for the students, they will preform to that level.
In my Foundations in Education class, we were just discussing how children with smartphones (and everyone else with smart phones) are technically the smartest people in the world. This may sound weird, but it is kind of true. Because of the technology in smart phones, we are accessible to the world at our fingertips. You google anything in less than a half a second with over a hundred million results. With this, everyone has access to any information they want at any point in time. By the time I am teaching, I am sure most kids (depending on the age level) will have a cell phone in my class room. This is incredibly beneficial to each student, they can watch screencasts from their phones, take class polls, take simple online quizzes, and they can even check themselves into class. Instead of taking attendance, a teacher can have each child have a QR code on their phone and just wave it over the teacher’s iPad or cellphone each day when they come to school and that checks them in. As a teacher, there are so many things we can do if each child had a cell phone/iPad/tablet accessible to them at all times. I could have my students take notes on their iPads. Moreover, with an app called audio note, students can take notes while recording the teacher lecturing. The app synchronizes to the note taking and when they click on a word it audio plays back what the teacher was talking about. To me, that is amazing. It is so easy to write things done and easily forget why you wrote that down when you get home. Also, through educreations students can create mini-lessons and teach them to each other for practice. Students can also create word clouds, do collaborations through google docs or wikis, etc. There are tons of apps and great things for students to use phones/iPads/tablets in the classrooms. However, I do see a big downfall. First, students being able to access anything on the web is dangerous. They could get into things that are inappropriate. Of course, with limitations and other restrictions schools can prevent that. Also, texting and other usage could be a problem, but that is also an issue with phones not being allowed in the classroom or at school. In the end, I think there are many benefits of students having cellphones/iPads/tablets in the classroom, but at the same time schools can limit their access to the internet.
This week was an eye opener for me because I really didn’t know too much about the Copyright Law and Creative Commons. After, the videos and the reading for the week, I understand how important it is to be aware of copyrighted work. Also, I learned that I am pretty sure a lot of my teachers, previous professors, and other teachers I have observed have broken copyright law in the classroom. Now that I know copyright law and understand the consequences of it, I feel encouraged to be a lot more creative. I feel like if I am more creative in the classroom then I won’t have to worry about breaking copyright law. I am not really sure on the future of intellectual property. I think more and more people are copyrighting their work; therefore, not many people are going to steal copyrighted work. However, I do feel like the copyrighting laws might become more strict because of the access to technology. Since technology is more accessible than ever before, it makes stealing off the internet much easier. As a result, I feel like owners of copyrighted work are going to be more aware of where they are posting their work, and who might be taking it. As for impact in the classroom, I think more educators are going to be careful of what they are using in the classroom. Since there is so much information on the internet, it makes it much more accessible to take a copyrighted piece of work often without realizing. I feel like this would impact the classroom because there is more access than ever before. This goes hand in hand with social networking and collaborative tools because people can post their works or other things that is there intellectual property and others can easily steal it. Of course, with the great use of technology there are some tools that people can use so that no one takes their work. For example, I have seen some websites where you are unable to download their stuff or save to your computer because it is copyrighted. To me, that is really cool and interesting way for people to protect their work. As a result, I feel like their are a lot of pros and cons on the impact of copyrighted work in education. I am not too sure on the direction and the impact it will have in the future, but I am curious to see how it does affect the education world.
This week I researched a tool called the Hemingway App. It is a educational tool that helps students (and anyone who uses it) improve their writing. It is a very simple tool to use. First, you must enter in your piece of writing. However, it can only accept a few paragraphs at one time, so if you have multiple paragraphs you will have to submit them in sections. Once you submit your writing, Hemingway will analyze it and give you a report on your writing. It will tell you many things such as the grade level of your work, how many sentences irrelevant, how many words need rephrasing, etc. The Hemingway goal is to make everyone’s writing “bold and clear.” It is a wonderful tool especially in the world of education. It can reinforce and instill many writing techniques into students at any age.
If I had to make a prediction about the Hemingway App, I would say it will boom in the world of education. It is a valuable tool that should be placed in school especially since its free and no membership is required. Personally, I feel a lot of students and non-students struggle with writing, and sometimes people don’t have the money or resources to get the required help needed. Even though Hemingway doesn’t analyze if sentences are fragments, run-ons, and doesn’t check correct tense usage, it is very helpful to those who struggle with making their writings bold and clear. It may gain these features in the future especially since Hemingway is extremely new. Also, they are working on a desktop version which will have many features, so I believe this will be very beneficial to the world of education. I believe it will positively impact many students and educators especially since it is free and very accessible to parents from home. As of right now, I really don’t see any pitfalls besides that it doesn’t check for fragments and run-ons which I think would be wonderful and helpful to many. In the end, I really believe Hemingway is a fascinating tool that I will be using and recommending to many friends and family.