Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The English Companion is designed to help English Teachers and even has specific forums that teachers can join, such as teaching writing, new teachers, and journalism, to name a few. Because I have an invested interest in Creative Writing and hope to teach this subject one day, I joined the Creative Writing Forum. When I perused this social network, I found a teacher wanted to motivate her students to write by providing them with opportunities to become published. She was unsure of how to do this, and many members offered some great advice on sites and publishing grups/companies that she could use for her students. I thought this would be a great idea as students who are proud of their work would want to share it with others.
In the future, I could use the English Companion if I did have any questions regarding how to teach a certain component of the English Curriculum, how to motivate students, and even how to make a boring topic more interesting. With thousands of members and hundred belonging to each specific group, I will be sure to receive at least some help!
Visit Ning and explore a social network that might interest you:
-Or- Visit the English Companion and see how helpful it might be for you!
Monday, March 15, 2010
To read George Siemens' article "Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age," follow this link - http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm
His videos can also be found below:
The Changing Nature of Knowledge
The Conflict of Learning Theories with Human Nature
The Impact of Social Media on Learning
The Network is the Learning
Thursday, March 11, 2010
1. Basic Communication With Students and Parents: Being able to communicate with both students and parents is an important responsibility of the teacher. Through creating a blog that reaches out to both audiences at once, the teacher has made the first step in accomplishing this goal. A blog with the intent in communication would be something as basic as providing a brief entry each day reviewing with both students and parents the content that was reviewed and anything special that might have happened that day. This would allow for the parents to see what was going on in the classroom and would also allow the students to ask any questions about the material covered as well as post comments on what they liked or even didn't like about the material. Homework, upcoming tests, and other important information could also be posted. This way students would have a nice review, and parents would be kept in the loop!
2. Interactive Student Portfolios: In many classes, students are expected to collect pieces of work and compile such pieces into a comprehensive portfolio which shows their ongoing growth and achievement. Through the use of blogs, students could post all of their assignments online for the teacher to observe as well as for other students to read and comment on. For example, in a Language Arts class, students could post their best poems and short stories on their blog for other students in the class to see. The students, as well as the teacher, could then offer suggestions, make positive comments, and ask questions about the works. The student author of the blog would then respond to the students and teacher by making changes to the work and posting it again. This would allow the student as well as the teacher to view the effort and progression of each piece of work.
3. Additional Help: Many students may not understand a concept but are simply too shy or unsure of how to ask for help. A teacher could create a blog that would provide additional help and activities to ensure that students truly understand concepts from class. Such a blog could include a review of material, vocabulary words with definitions, tricks/nemonic devices to remember material, or quizzes. The teacher could also provide links to web sites that may explain the material differently or in simplier terms, provide a game or activity to test the student's knowledge, or even provide some sort of visual for the student, such as a youtube video explaining the doppler effect. In additional, students could post questions or even answer each other's questions, thus encouraging not only additional help but communication from teacher to student and from student to student.