Monthly Archives: July 2013

Wikispaces: Creating a Space to Learn

As my final project for my Learning Technologies class, I created a wikispace as a container for a class project on influential Supreme Court Cases. I created a pre-reading survey on google forms, a final essay on google docs, a diigo list, and a video on animoto. I also designed rubrics and checklists for my students to follow and know my expectations for their completed work.

What I really enjoyed about this project is how creative I could be in making assignments. My goal was try and create as many different types of assignments as I could so that every learning style could be addressed. My other goal was to create an environment where the students become the teachers. They are set with the task of compiling information about different court cases and must use their group page as a way to present all of the information. Ultimately, I would want the students to figure out for themselves how these court cases might affect them directly.

I really like the formatting of wikispaces. I like that I can change the purpose of the wikispace and how it looks. For my assignment, I chose to make the wikispace look like a webpage so that the students are presenting the information in a way that is professional and contributes to the learning of their peers and whoever else looks at it. The other reason why wikispaces are so great for displaying student work is that it gives students their own voice. I want my future students to be comfortable and confident that they are contributing something of value to the world. Finally, parents are able to view the wikispaces that their children are members of for class. That way, parents are increasing their involvement in the academic lives of their children.


VoiceThread: Instagram as a Learning Tool

Teaching, Learning, & Professional Development with Instagram 

I chose to do my research project for SLM on Instagram as a teaching, learning, and professional development tool. I found that the scale does not tip either way in terms of pros and cons. It may be a while until the pros do indeed outweigh the cons in terms of Instagram being a feasible option for use as an educational tool.


Mixbook: Making Learning Personal and Creative

Mixbook: Cultural Autobiography

As part of a larger project for my Learning Technologies class, I chose to use the Web 2.0 tool, Mixbook. I chose to create what can either be used as an anticipation set or an extension activity for a sixth grade history unit on world culture. I decided to incorporate elements of Maryland Teacher Technology Standard 2.B, “Use technology to communicate information in a variety of formats.” The indicators of MTTS 2.B that Mixbook can definitely play to state that teachers can “use productivity tools to publish information,” and “create, manipulate, and display text and graphics effectively.” The Common Core standard that aligns with MTTS 2.B and its indicators is CCR Anchor Standard #6: “Use technology including the internet to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.” The indicators most salient for creating a project using Mixbook are, “integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest,” as well as “use technology responsibly to enhance learning, collaboration, and communication.” 

I chose to demonstrate the features and uses of Mixbook by creating a cultural autobiography, a project that I did in SOC 508 during the spring 2013 semester. As an educator, I would use this as an example for my students to follow when creating their own cultural autobiographies. The reason why I chose to create this project is two-fold; firstly, students in the sixth grade are expected to examine the implications of culture on how peoples and nations interact with each other. Secondly, students have to demonstrate and understanding as to how American culture and other cultural influences (school, home, religion) have shaped them. Therefore, a cultural autobiography, in which students look inward at how generations of seen and unseen cultural systems have shaped them, can enhance their learning and make it personal. Secondly, using Mixbook to share each student’s cultural story will emphasize multiculturalism in the classroom. We can use this project to point out our differences, understand how historical events have shaped each persons individual culture, and then reflect on what that means for us as a single classroom unit. An alternative to this would be for students to create a story about a person from another time and/or country and explain how culture has influenced that person’s way of thinking and living.