Monday, March 5, 2012

Journal #4 - If You Give a Kid a Video Camera (NETS 1 & 2)

Campbell, L. (2012). If you give a kid a video camera. Learning and Leading with Technology, February, 30-33. Retrieved from


When kids are given technology, they seem to run with it. They suddenly become interested in it and want to become better and more creative. This is the starting approach this article takes, and encourages us to adopt new technologies as teachers that could benefit our kids. We must ask the question: how does technology deepen the students' understanding of the content? What are advantages and disadvantages in using the tool? And what role will the device have? Once these questions are answered, find a creative way to use video in your classroom to teach the content. She then details different ways in which you can use videos to help out in the classroom, and details ways in which video can help with math, science, and social studies. Video is beyond subject-matter learning, it is about creativity and learning in a problem-solving way. An example is during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, grade school children made videos of possible solutions and posted them on YouTube. This is an instance in which science was fun for the kids, and they were forced to be creative and think of the problem at hand to form a solution.


1. At what point does the video become a distraction and hurt their learning experience?

I feel that children will more often then not play around with things like video cameras more so then use them for constructive purposes. I don't necessarily agree this is a good use of technology in the classroom. It can be used responsibly, but the students should be monitored to some degree to make sure they are actually using it for a constructive purpose. We all have fun making silly videos about trivial things, but the real task at hand is using the video camera to enhance our kids' learning.

2. How do you implement these techniques of learning in classrooms in low income areas?

This idea seems very progressive and using technology has positive impacts on learning, but for some schools it just isn't possible due to budget problems. The beauty of using video in the classroom is that it only really requires a single camera and a single computer. Both of these items could be added to the classroom very easily, and there are options for buying cheap computers for teachers. There shouldn't be any budgetary issues in setting this up in the classroom.

Journal #3 - Infographics More than Words Can Say (NETS 1 & 2)

Krauss, J. (2012). Infographics more than words can say. Learning and Leading with Technology, February, 10-15. Retrieved from


Infographics are another way to encourage students to interpret, analyze, and create. The traditional method in teaching seems to be focused only on a student's ability to read and write, and is less focused on their abilities to think a problem through. She gives an example of a project that would have her students pretend to work for the Utah tourism bureau and to design a promotional poster to convince people to visit Utah for skiing. It not only encourages creativity, but it also encourages problem-solving and a higher level of thinking then just reading and writing what they think. A middle-school class is instructed to observe the livability in their town. They are sent around town to observe things that could be improved such as broken sidewalks and bike lanes that are blocked by trash cans and cars. It is through this collection of data that they can draw conclusions in order to solve the problems. And the last example is a 12th grade class in Philadelphia, who are to learn about the functioning of the US government executive branch. They make requests based on the Freedom of Information Act, and "apply" for student financial aid and a green card. They are hands-on with the experience and create pictorial representations of the process.


1. It seems there would be a lot of controversy surrounding this method of teaching. How do you convince the parents and administrators that this is the best way to teach?

I don't really have an exact answer to this question, but I would think that you show the process to them first-hand and let them draw a conclusion about it. If you just try to cram a new way of teaching down their throats, then you will be met with resistance.

2. The infographics in this article were very busy and hard to follow, how could we make sure our students can follow along?

We need to take a step back when we are creating infographics. Come back at a later day and see if they still make sense to us. If we have a hard time drawing information from the infographics, then our students for sure will as well. More isn't always better, and making something complex just for complexity sake is not a good practice.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Journal #2 - Join the Flock / Enhance Your Twitter Experience (NETS 3 & 5)

1. Ferguson, H. (2010). Join the flock. Learning and leading with technology, June/July, 13-14. Retrieved from


This article discusses the benefits on getting started with Twitter. She discusses how we as educators can learn from each other through the use of Twitter. She addresses issues in a chronological order which takes us from setting up an account, to learning to listen to others, to even putting our own ideas out there and sharing links with others. She describes what it means to follow and to be followed, as well as how to use hashtags. Overall I think she does a great job at introducing Twitter as a tool to us as teachers. We can learn a lot through its use, and we can really get what we need from it.


Would Twitter be an effective way to reach other teachers outside of our own personal network?


I believe Twitter would be a great way to reach teachers beyond your own school, or even district. It would allow for the larger spread of ideas, and it would allow new ideas to reach areas they may not have before. I feel things could become stagnant being in the same area for too long, and this allows a breath of fresh air when it is needed.

2. McClintock Miller , S. (2010). Enhance your twitter experience. Learning and leading with technology, June/July, 15-17. Retrieved from

This article is all about tools you can use to enhance your Twitter experience and make it easier to use. She recommends the use of TweetDeck, as it allows you to sort different kinds of tweets in columns. She believes that Twitter is effective for teachers and students, and it allows both access tho useful resources that otherwise would not be used. When on Twitter, she recommends that you be strategic with your time. Most of your time should be spent sharing your ideas and tools, while the smaller amount of time should be chatting a responding to other tweets. But in the end it is most important to build your PLN and make connections with others on Twitter.


How would we find tools like TweetDeck if it weren't for articles like this?


We can find cool and helpful tools by reading the Twitter feeds or actively searching on the internet for them. There are many other places that offer helpful tools, you just have to search for them. Once you find a tool you like to use and you think helps make your life easier, share a link of it on Twitter!