Monday, April 15, 2013

Podcasting in the Classroom


              Podcasting is very important to educators and learners in today's world.  Podcasting is a type of digital media that can be accessed with the use of a computer or any online device.  It is a series of episodes of the radio, a video, and PDF.  For this particular module this week, I have chosen to view the "ESL Pod" Podcast.  In this website, there are many podcasts and transcripts for English as a Second Language learners.  I chose to listen to this particular podcast because I am studying in school to become an English as a Second Language teacher, and this podcast website interests me the most from the others.  I selected the podcast episode, English Cafe 393  from this ESL podcasting website.  During this episode, the speaker discusses about a series on famous American movies.  For a specific example of how he discusses he movie, he would talk about the movie, "The Manchurian Candidate" and described the movie to his listeners as a "thriller".  After saying the word thriller, he would then spell the word slowly for the listener and then describe what the term means.  He did this method of teaching English words and told the story of the movie in great detail.  I thought this method of a lesson would be great for ESL leaners because it is engaging to the listener, new vocabulary learning occurs, and this use of podcasting is a great way to include a digital tool in the classroom. I also think it is interesting and great that this podcast can be accessed through the use of iTunes too.  The use of podcasting is very interesting and important to be as a learner and a future ESL educator.  I will most likely be using podcasting in my future classroom with ESL teaching!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Other Projects Available Through the ePals Program

         The ePals site is a great resource for educators and it is a global community where learners connect.  On this site, an educator can find a classroom, join a project, start a project, teaching resources, and learning centers. Some projects that I found interesting though the ePals program, include: Global Citizens, Science, and Smithsonian on ePals.  These projects were interesting to me because I enjoy learning about the world and science, everything that surrounds us in the world we live in today!  With the Global Citizens project, there are a few resources that are helpful to educators to use in the classroom.  These resources under this project include: articles, activities, games and quizzes, videos, discussions, and galleries.  I especially enjoyed viewing the "videos" section because it discusses important global issues or important days that we should know about.  This section really caught my attention.  Also, to use in the classroom with this project, students and educators can collaborate together to play the games on the site and quizzes that have to do with the project of Global Citizens.
       The Science project and Smithsonian on ePals are also very interesting to me because they involve the same resources of: articles, activities, games and quizzes, videos, discussions, and galleries like the other project but in a different way and about a different topics of Science and Smithsonian exhibit information.  I am very interested in learning about Science and History, and I hope to engage my students in many of these subjects' activities in the classroom.  These projects is a great way to use it's resources in the classroom with students.  There is also an online field trip section on the Smithsonian project that is very interesting to view.  There are great engaging activities and important information that helps an educator guide their lessons in a powerful way!

Monday, April 1, 2013

My Photo Story Creation!


      I have created a photo story creation about a trip to London, England. Here is a link to my photo story about London, England: My Photo Story I will most likely be using this technology tool of creating a photo story in my classroom when I am an educator.  I would like to use this creative tool because it is fun and interactive for students to create a story and make a movie out of it with words to add to each picture.  In my example of a trip to London, England I chose to use the template of a scrapbook as my movie montage.  I want the audience to feel as if they are taking a tour to London, England for the first time by viewing this video.  I hope my students in my classroom someday will be as creative and can work in groups with their classmates to create stories based on any content material that they are learning during that particular school year/curriculum.  It is a great way to engage students in their learning. This tool would be a fun project for the students to work in the classroom and outside of the classroom!  I think this tool is great for children and educators to use for education.

Voice Threads By My Fellow Classmates


         I have viewed two of my classmates' voice threads as if I were their student in their classroom.  I viewed the following voice threads: Erin Puntoriero's Voice Thread on: Mexico and Ying Li's Voice Thread on: Princesses.  I thought all of my classmates did a great job on their voice thread, but these two stood out to me the most.  I really liked the way Erin compiled her voice thread together in a very helpful and organized manner.  Her instructions and the media (video and photo use) helped her students navigate and participate fully in this assignment.  I think this is a wonderful way to incorporate the use of voice thread technology into the classroom and the topic Erin chose was great to discuss.  I also think that an educator can make and fulfill the learning objectives that come with this voice thread assignment with their students, and Erin did a great job and doing so.  I believe that the appropriate age group for this voice thread assignment about Mexico would be for middle school-aged students or higher grades.  The other voice thread I enjoyed viewing and acting as a student in her classroom is with Ying's voice thread about princesses.  I think this voice thread was clear with the instructions she gave and very informative about how to use voice thread for the first time.  I think this topic would be great for younger students in a classroom, elementary aged students (grades K-2), just because it was very simple with the idea of disney princesses.  Overall, I think Ying and Erin did a well-done job on both of their voice threads and they will both be useful in the classroom someday!

Monday, March 25, 2013

An example of digital storytelling

       I have created an example of digital storytelling by calling my digital story: Colorful Seasons by Kayla Douglas For the learning objectives that could be met, by using this tool, students will be able to use digital technology through making a story using technology tools.  With the use of the computer and being creative with making up their own stories, students will be able to independently or collaboratively make a story using their imagination and sharing it with other classmates.  If I were to use this technology tool in my own classroom, the objectives for the students would be: Students will be able to actively participate using digital technology tools to create a story.  Students will be able to use other resources to help them create their digital story by using a book they have read in class or by using their own pictures from home, by using "family" as a topic of choice.  I would most likely leave the topic up to the students, or take a vote on what we would create our digital stories based on and narrow the choices to a common theme or topic.

Let's Explore Digital Storytelling

   Photo from flickr  

       Digital storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories.  A great resource website that describes digital storytelling is called, The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling.  This site has helped me learn more about digital storytelling and why it is useful in education.  I also encountered digital storytelling in my undergraduate classes in an education technology class that I took.  According to the resource website, "other terms used to describe this practice, such as digital documentaries , computer-based narratives, digital essays, electronic memoirs, interactive storytelling, etc." are helpful to new educators who are willing to learn about digital storytelling and using it in the classroom.  From a personal point of view, I really enjoyed working on a digital storytelling project with a partner in my undergraduate classes at SUNY Cortland and it helped us share a story to students in a technological and innovative way.  Digital storytelling is a great interactive tool to use as an educational resource because it connects educators with their students in a new digital way with storytelling and keeping up with technology.
        Most of the digital stories last anywhere from two minutes to ten minutes in length of time.  This particular resource, The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling is an excellent source of information for educators because it also includes educational materials such as: lesson plans, evaluation and assessment, copyright and educational fair use, digital storytelling workshop resources, and digital storytelling E-books.  I wanted to explore these resources myself, so I viewed each one and they led to me to some informational links that would help with my teaching.  They were very useful guides to help use digital storytelling in the classroom in different ways!  I really enjoyed using this resource website and I will most likely be using this source in my classroom with my students in the future.  It is important that we keep up with technology in the classrooms everyday and connect with our students in a digital manner.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Curfew

      Serious games are important to know and understand when it comes to L2 learning.  The definition of serious games is they they are games that are simulations of real-world events or processes designed for the purpose of solving a problem.  They are also known as "games for change".  I chose to view and play the game called, The Curfew.  I personally played this game once, and I tried to access the entire game.  It is really interactive and neat to play.  I enjoyed trying to solve the mystery of the main part of the game.  Each person in the game had their own story to tell, which was really interesting.  My language learning objectives for this game would be important to use in the classroom.  These objectives would include the following: The student will be able to access the internet at their home computer or a computer outside of the classroom.  They will listen and click on the various prompts on the site of this game and carefully pay attention to the games' rules and objective to solve it.  The student will be able to earn points for their hard work throughout the game and are able to save the game and go back to it at a later time, if they do not finish the mission.  In order to assess these learning objectives, it is important for me as the educator to assign the students to play these serious games, choose a game and if they are able to write up a one-page reflection about the game.  The reflection can include their thoughts/feelings about the game and this is a great way to assess the learning objectives that were mentioned above.  It is very important to consider if the student found the game to fun and engaging.  Personally, I really enjoyed playing this game and it was very interesting how it involves the player throughout the entire game and it felt very real.