Thursday, December 13, 2012

Flipped Classroom: 5 Strategies to Flip & Engage

    Another wonderful blog of a tech savvy teacher, Catlin Tucker.
I am reading more and more about flipping the classroom phenomenon. This blog post of Catlin Tucker reflects my thinking and my approach to teaching: engage students in collaborative work around the content via gdocs, other collaborative tools and projects and make the work they do meaningful and experience rewarding. I observed this myself many times. When, for example, teacher candidates work on their jigsaw group projects on Native American Tribes via gdocs presentations or on prezi, they explore resources, in a way compete to find more information and other digital resources to make their presentation effective and educational. And they work outside classroom, meeting on google docs space.  I need to share my own strategies of the pedagogy of engagement.

Free Technology for Teachers: A Short Guide to Copyright for Educators

If you see this blog, subscribe to it. Richard Byrne shares his experience with Web 2.0 technology and give useful advice in how to use it. In the post below he provides a short guide on copyright for educators. A very useful and important topic! Read it for yourself:
Free Technology for Teachers: A Short Guide to Copyright for Educators:

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Digital Storytelling with Pinnacle Studio for iPad | iPad with Wes

I was browsing the Internet for something else when I came across this post of Wesley Fryer. I have been experimenting with my iPad and playing with its applications for my Social Studies methods class.  I used Socrative for a quick feedback or pop up quizzes, or Exit Ticket assessments in the end of the class. I take pictures and videos during the fieldwork hours, and used QR code for treasure hunts, and Explain Everything for creating a story about teacher candidates' teaching experience. In the post below, Wesley shares his discovery of Pinnacle Studio for storytelling.  I will explore it during the winter break and will try it out during the spring semester. Enjoy reading the post of Wes Fryer:
Digital Storytelling with Pinnacle Studio for iPad | iPad with Wes

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Must Have Poster about 21st Century Skills

I agree with the author of the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning Blog, Med Kharbach, his poster should find place on the walls of each classroom: It is a good reminder of what skills teachers need to focus on when teaching their lessons in different subjects.

Great iPad Tips for Teachers

I am excited to see more and more blog posts about using iPads in the classrooms. I even opend a page on Scoop.It and on Pinterst about iPad in the classrooms.
This is an interesting blog post about a few tips for teachers.

Great iPad Tips for Teachers:

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An Unexpected Invitation

I got a call yesterday evening from one of my global friends from the Ukraine, a professor from the Ukrainian Pedagogical University, Dr. Tatyana Zubenko. We collaborated in the International Snowblog project  in 2010 and then she took classes with IT4ALL on Moodle afterwords. She is a very tech-savvy professor. Tatyana invited me to participate in the International webinar-conference "Pedagogical Education as a Condition of the Sustainable Development of the Society: Technological Aspects." It was a great feeling to participate in something that was arranged for the first time. The provost of the University greeted the participants and I was the first to present. I was sharing my experience with the Global Collaborative Projects and the technologies used to support collaboration and student engagement. It was difficult for me to speak Russian after 12 years speaking only English  as far as the Web 2.0 terms is concerned. I am used to discuss these topics in English.
Here is the link to my presentation: Global Collaborative Projects: What, How and Why.

conferenceipo | Конференция:

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Blogging about Teaching with Common Core Standards

Remember this Blog!

I love the "Free Technology for Teachers" blog by Richard Byrde. He always is ahead of everybody with the new findings on the technology tools for teachers. His new post is about the Google Search and the corresponding Common Core standards. While he was preparing for a seminar for teachers in the Rockingham County public schools district, in North Carolina,  he selected the Google Search tools and aligned them with the CC standards.

Free Technology for Teachers: Google Search and Common Core Standards:

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What is Geography? - Learn to Teach with National Geographic

Ask yourself "What is Geography" and then check your answers with the interactive game on National Geographic site:

What is Geography? - National Geographic Education:

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Geography Awareness Week - National Geographic Education

It is interesting that I am getting the technology integration information on the topics that we discuss in my Methods of social studies class right when I need it!

We started exploring the ways of engaging students in learning about the Earth and environment through geography.
Here you are National Geographic announced a week of November 11-17 a Global Geography Awareness  Week! Besides reading about teaching geography from our course textbook, my teacher candidates can see what other teachers from all over the world do in their geography classrooms.

Geography Awareness Week - National Geographic Education:

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Project-Based Learning: Resources for Parents | Edutopia

A wonderful post on Edutopia about engaging parents in the life of their children and in the school community! Working with parents is one of the weakest aspects in the college teacher-training. Teacher candidates need to be exposed to these topics more often in the courses and in the fieldwork placements.

Project-Based Learning: Resources for Parents | Edutopia

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What To Do If Your School Bans Useful Websites | MindShift

Very often I hear from my students, teacher candidates, that in the schools where they have their fieldwork or student teacher experience some websites are blocked. Most often, YouTube. On October 3 was a Banned Websites Awareness Day. Belo is the Mind Shift blog post about what to do if some useful educational websites are banned by school.

Out task nowadays is to teach students to be responsible global citizens, learn to differentiate valid from poor taste or not accurate websites.  Beginning teacher need to be open-minded to the change in social networking and technology integration in their classrooms. This websites gives good pieces of advice how to go about the issue.

What To Do If Your School Bans Useful Websites | MindShift:

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

History Engine: Tools for Collaborative Education and Research | Explore

Wow, a new historical site and tool, History Engine!

Today's teachers are empowered with so many reliable tools to use in their Social Studies classrooms to make their lesson authentic and global. This new tool allows students to explore the history of the American life using the timeline and the stories created by other students. I think it is very powerful!
Here is a Teacher Guide to learn how to use this interactive tool.

History Engine: Tools for Collaborative Education and Research | Explore:

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1940 U.S. Census Release | Federal Census Data

A great site for the Social Studies methods class to travel through times and places and learn about the history and view the interactive data (infographics) of the American Family. Check it out!

1940 U.S. Census Release | Federal Census Data:

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Shocking News! PC Sales Slump As Kids Say No to Computers | Wired Business |

Shocking but expected news! PC are not as popular nowadays in comparison with MAC computers, iPads, etc. Kids dictate the consumer market...

PC Sales Slump As Kids Say No to Computers | Wired Business |

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Monday, October 8, 2012

It Is Not About the Gadgets - Why Every Teacher Should Have to Integrate Tech Into Their Classroom

An interesting view on the integration of technology in teaching.  I wold like to discuss these points with my Teaching with Technology class.

It Is Not About the Gadgets - Why Every Teacher Should Have to Integrate Tech Into Their Classroom:

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Triptico - A Tool for Imaginative, Innovative Teachers

Triptico's desktop app contains over twenty interactive, fully-customisable resources for you to use in your classroom... and it's completely free!

I checked it out an found this site helpful for designing interactive lessons, using all suggested  tools with the Smart Board.
I am excited to try it out in my class. I will report later how it will go.

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

History Education in a World of Information Surplus | Democratizing Knowledge

The TED was created to promote innovation, technology, development. Ideas worth spreading is a true inspirational slogan of the TED community. The most interesting, forward thinking people are invited to present 20 min talks on the hot topics of today's changing word.
This presentation of the Social Studies teacher, Diana Laufenberg, reflects my views on teaching and learning:

History Education in a World of Information Surplus | Democratizing Knowledge:

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32 Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher in the Classroom

From my favorite series of gdocs presentations:

32 Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher in the Classroom

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bloom’s Taxonomy in Digital Interpretations

All years of me teaching the Methods of Teaching courses I gave an assignment to teacher candidates to create devices explaining their understanding of Bloom's taxonomy. There were quite a few interesting and creative ways expressing the meaning of the learning objectives' taxonomy of Bloom. Some students used an image of stairs, or a rainbow, or a pizza menue, etc. That was an unusual ways of them explain what Bloom's taxonomy means to them and how they will explain it to the parents in their classes or colleagues.

Bloom's taxonomy had some variations throughout the years, too. I follow Kelly Tenkely's blog posts from <iLearn Technology » where she shares her blooming peacock images:

 These are the levels of the original Bloom's taxonomy with the verbs for teaching objectives.

Below is the flower of the Bloom's taxonomy levels aligned with the digital tools and sites that can students help to express themselves on each level of the taxonomy. In her article Kelly adds the links to all the digital tools  she added to the levels of Bloom's Taxonomy flower.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st Century

KWL chart is an overused graphic organizer in schools.  I have been promoting KWHL chart that encourages students or learners to explain how they will go about finding what they want to learn. I have come across this article that offered a new version of the chart aligned with the demands of the 21st century learning --- KWHLAQ chart. Read the blog clicking on the link below to learn about the new style!

- Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st Century:

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

5 Great Sites for Student Stories' Animation

I get notifications from the different sites that I liked or subscribed to. Today I got an interesting tip ---- five great sites for animation. These sites allow for students to easily animate their stories.  We could have used these sites for the commercials in my Social Studies Methods class when the "companies" were selecting the tools for their ads in BizMovie Project. Oh well, next time! I need to explore these sites more. May be I can offer a workshop at the Literacy conference.
Here is the link to the post:
5 Great Sites for Student Animation:

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills

How to create learning environment for instilling life long learning skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration, often referred to as 21st century skills. Read more aout this in the following article.

Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills:

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Sweden’s Newest School System Has No Classrooms | Edudemic

What school would you like to teach at? Do you have any dreams?
Read the article from Edudemic and may be you find some of your dreams implemented in Sweden School System...
Sweden’s Newest School System Has No Classrooms | Edudemic:

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Connected classrooms and teachers

In today's world we are all connected, we can exchange ideas, share our experience and concerns almost every minute. We are connected through so many ways, networks, media and devices.

Read about  and join the initiatives started by Youtube:

Twitter / milasunshine: YouTube Launches ‘American ...:

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cool Text-To-Speech Trick Tips from Tim Holt Think

I now own a MAC and cannot stop being wowed how muh you can do for empowering learning and teaching. I came across this blog post of Tim Holt about text-to-speech trick on Mac. I followed Tim's directions and it worked!
Read and tried it yourself!
Cool Text-To-Speech Trick - Holt Think: Ed, Creativity, Tech, Administration:

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Give UP Lecturing, Engage Students in Meaningful Projects with technology

This is my logo in my courses. I prefer engaging teacher candidates in the activities and projects that better them as people and provided experience in participating in meaningful events that they will use later in their own classrooms. That's what this article is about. Read it for yourself. | © 2010-2011 edtech digest.:

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Technology Bits Bytes & Nibbles | Another cool Thinglink example! Multiple Intelligences apps

Somebody has just shared with me on Plurk a resource for iPads -- iPad Applications for MultipleIntelligences. Fascinating. Schools now buy iPads and teachers can design activities to tailor them to all 9 intelligences. I am excited about this:
Technology Bits Bytes & Nibbles | Another cool Thinglink example! Multiple Intelligences apps:

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Top10 |

Top10 |  I heard about this site from my tech friends and decided to use it in my Social Studies and Teaching with Technology classes. I am curious to see what teacher candidates from these classes will think about and learn from this experience.

After I explored the site, I found out that first a teacher creates his/her account/register at TweenTribune Classroom, instantly receives a confirmation letter from TweenTribune with a temporary password.
Then s/he adds his/her students' names and TweenTribune generates students' names and passwords. The teacher will have to copy those and give out to his/her students.

The next step will be to assign students stories to read and write comments on them using the usernames and passwords provided by the teacher. Comments will be posted after the teacher approval.

I am planning to use this website when we discuss the methods of teaching history, aspects of working with the authentic materials in Social Studies classrooms.
That's what this site looks like:

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I love my Baba Mila because... by Aliyah Smirnova :: bookr ::pimpampum

it was fun creating a book with Aliyah on bookr, flickr's new toy

We can use this book on Aliyah's 5th Birthday on September 23d.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hello and Good Bye, RIO + 20

It was an incredible trip to Rio de Janeiro in June (12 through 24). My husband and I were delegates of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable development. Michael was with the group of Ramapo colleagues and students attending the sessions on environmental issues and I was representing the KDP headquarters on the issues of "Education for Sustainable development." I was attending the sessions and workshops pertaining to the topics of education, youth and environment, and the role of teachers in designing and implementing the Education for Sustainable development curriculum. I was absorbing the information at the sessions and with the help of my mobile devices (iPad and iPhone) I was immediately posting the fragments on Facebook, Youtube or twitter. Here is my Rio + 20 FB(Facebook)album with some of the pictures. I was impressed with the opening speech of a 12y.o girl from Dubai, Khekhashan Basu, at one of the sessions on education and sustainable world: (See the continuation and more videos on milasunshine channel). Here is a fragment of the opening speech of the chair of the session, called "Children as Agents of Change": I have learned about so many projects and programs that are implemented world-wide. When I was sitting at the session and discussing ideas with the delegates, I was thinking of my social studies methods class and what I can do to engage teacher candidates in some of them, to make them more environmentally conscious.

Friday, April 6, 2012

TESOL Highlights

Friday, March 30, fieldwork observations from 11:15 till 1:20. My Social Studies undergraduate students, groups 1 & 2 were giving their last lessons of their mini-unit plans in the 4th and 2nd grades. I was pleased with their creative ideas and the use of our course projects implemented in the fieldwork. I will discuss this more later but now... I was in a hurry to leave. Nellie and I wrote a proposal for the TESOL conference and we got a conformation later back in December, I think:
Dear EV Fair Presenter, Congratulations! Your proposal has been accepted for the Computer-Aided Language Learning Interest Section (CALL-IS) Electronic Village Fairs at TESOL in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 28-31, 2011.... We have attached a copy of the EV Fairs schedule to this message. Please check the date and time of your presentation in the schedule..
Our workshop was scheduled on Saturday and we were leaving Goshen, NY at the rush hour.
It took us 4 hours to get to Philadelphia. I met Nellie in the lobby. She came the night before and had already participated in a panel session.

We had a nice reunion dinner and discussed how we will run our workshop the next day.
Here is a link to our Presentation "Pedagogy of Collective Intelligence: Promoting Authentic Learning With Moodle for teachers (M4T) on IT4ALL"
It was a great success. We had a lot of interested people in using Moodle for teaching.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Projects in the Social Studies Methods class

This year I added a new project to the course. It is a Book Trailer on one of the books for social studies reading. Teacher candidates were assigned to select a book connected to the Unit plan theme or to one of the grade level concepts and create a book trailer on it. There are a lot of resources, tutorials, presentations and youtube examples with book trailers designed by the authors of the books, teachers and students. Here is one of the presentations, Rock with Book Trailers I shared with my students. I am curious what will they come up with, what programs will they use? I recommended Animoto, MovieMaker, Photostory3, iMovie (Mac), Voicethread.

Test Your Geography Knowledge- USA

Test Your Geography Knowledge- USA:

this test has 50 questions and it is interactive. Using it regularly in class can develop students' understanding and knowledge of the states and their capitals. Try it out!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What country has the best education in the World?

View this youtube video and make your own conclusion.

A new Valuable Bookmarking Tool:

I joined with the Topic "Liberating Students' Learning With Web 2.0."
and joined other educators' Scoop.It resources on the topics of the 21st century learning and teaching. I recommend teachers to keep current with new technologies via this site!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Opening Classroom Doors to the World

I found the blog and a wiki site of the Epic Romeo and Juliet Project. It illustrates how a teacher, Nicholas Provenzano prepares his students for the global world and develops their 21st century skills. He a high school English teacher trying new and innovative ways to connect his students to the world and literature around them. He is always looking for fun projects to collaborate on with different teachers. In this project, he connected two classrooms from two U.S. states via blogging and a wiki site to collaborate on the design and the performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet play and share the process of staging it via his wiki site, his students' blogs, photos, and videos. Read what a student wrote about the end of the project in the final post Romeo and Juliet Essay. Visit the Nerdy Teacher blog yourself and read more stories about innovative teaching in the 21 century classroom.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

TWW: Life Beyond the Lecture Blog and a New Professional Connection

As always during the school breaks I sign up for different webinars to learn new things about teaching with technology. This winter break I signed up for a seminar about Voicethread, a wonderful program that allows you creating interactive learning teaching events and staying connected with the learners. I have been using Voicethread for a long time for my online and F2F classes and for my global projects at IT4ALL, International Writing Exchange or Moodle for Teachers. I enjoy using it because it combines the innovative pedagogy and the tools of the 21st century learners through audio, video, and written responses.
I signed up for a webinar Integrating VoiceThread into Your Campus-Wide Teaching ToolKit on January 12th at 3:00PM EST. My computer crashed right at the moment I was about to join the webinar. I missed it. When I got back in, I immediately contacted the website in regards of the recordings. That's how I met Michelle Pacansky-Brock. We were e-mailing each other back and forth. Michelle recommended to visit the VT website and view the previous webinars and also share the link to her Blog, Teaching Without Walls: Life Beyond the Lecture (Resources, tips, best practices and more for innovations in college teaching and learning.). I viewed a couple of webinars and was amazed at how similar our views are about pedagogy and the use of technology in teaching. Michelle was s a full-time art history professor at Sierra College (she taught a Art Appreciation course!) from 2002 to 2009 and now she is a doctorate student specializing in teaching instructors how to build community online with social media; and she is a learning consultant for VoiceThread.
Here is one of my VT lessons. I created it for my Methods class on Collaborative Learning.
I also used VoiceThread for running a global CT Netcity Project with Israel, China and Russia in 2009. I am excited to learn more about the tips and tricks of using VT in teaching and may be inspire my colleagues at MSMC to add it to our Teaching ToolKits college-wide.

A New Moodle Book: Moodle 2.0 Course Conversion

I am in the process of reading and reviewing a new book about Moodle titled "Moodle 2.0 Course Conversion: Beginner's Guide. A Complete Guide to Successful Learning using Moodle 2.0." It is written by Ian Wild, and will be published by PacktPub.
I am interested what the author has to say to what hhad been already written by William Rice in his book "Moodle 1.9 Teaching Techniques." it sounds intriguing, and promising. The author promises to enlighten the educators how to convert their courses to the new upgraded Learning Management platform. To be continued!