Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Flat Classroom Project

Wow.  What can I say?  I just finished judging videos for the Flat Classroom Project 10-3b a couple days ago.  It was quite an experience.  Before being a judge of the videos I participated as an expert advisor for the group called How the World Wide Web Has Changed the World.  I had difficulty figuring out how to get approved so I would be able to join in the discussion.  When I was able to post in the discussion section of their page I never got any responses.  The students on this project really seemed to have a good grasp on what they were doing.  I did notice a few minor things that could have been changed and I noted that to the students.  I honestly felt a bit lost or unneeded during my time as an expert advisor.  If I were going to do that again I would like to be there right when they start instead of coming in after they have already started.
After my time as an expert advisor was up I signed up to be a judge of the students final videos.  I was signed up to judge videos from a different group than the group I was an expert advisor for.  This group was PLEs and Social Networking.  PLEs stand for Personal Learning Environments.  Out of the two roles I participated as I have to say I enjoyed the judging the best.  Each student had to sign up to make a final video that was between 1 and 5 minutes in length on their topic.  Their videos had other requirements as well.  There were about 5 different categories for videos under each team.  This allowed for the students videos to be more varied.  When the videos are looked at as a group it really gives a great end to their topic.

This was such a great learning experience and I would recommend this to anyone with even the slightest interest.  My only suggestion is that it is very important to be involved from the vary beginning of the project.  This way as an advisor you will be able to hopefully be more useful.  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Second Life Tour

Recently I have been exploring the vast virtual world of Second Life.  Second Life is a virtual world with that has something for practically everyone.  I must admit that Second Life does not interest me very much.  There is a lot of benefits of using Second Life and it can be a great way to communicate and collaborate with others.

I was challenged to see how I could incorporate this into education.  Seeing as I am an elementary education major I found it to be difficult to find things that worked for elementary school students.  I decided that I could use Second Life as a way to introduce different places in the world to the students.  These locations in Second Life seemed like a great way for the students to get these experiences and see replicas of the different locations. 

Cologne Cathedral
This is a 3D replica of the Cologne Cathedral.  The Cologne Cathedral is a famous roman catholic church in Cologne, Germany.  They started building it in 1248 and completed it in 1880.  With this 3D replica you are able to walk around and see how it looks outside and in.

St. Louis Arch
This replica of the St. Louis Arch allows you to go underneath the base of the arch.  Down there you are able to learn about St. Louis and also get the chance to see the view atop the virtual St. Louis Arch.  The St. Louis Arch is a monument that represents the westward expansion of the United States.  It was completed in 1965.

Replica of Great Wall
This is a replica of the Great Wall of China.  You are able to walk around this small replica of the Great Wall of China.  It is one of the new 7 wonders of the world.  They started building the wall sometime between 200-206 BC and finished in the 1460s.

Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel is where the pope resides.  It was built between 1473 and 1481.  The Sistine Chapel is also known for the famous painted ceiling.  Michelangelo painted the ceiling between 1508 and 1512.  Walk around and check out this replica that even has the paintings.

St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is a famous cathedral in London.  At one time this was the tallest building in London.  This is a replica of the cathedral that allows you to walk around and see the inside of this famous building.

The Villa Capra “La Rotunda”
This is a replica of the Villa Capra “La Rotunda.”  It is located just outside Vicenza, Italy.  This is a marvelous house.  The World Heritage Site now conserves it.  You are able to look around the house and visit the surrounding area in second life.

Africa Hot Air Balloon Tour
This is a virtual area in second life that shows the different aspects of the African wilderness.  It is really cool to see all the different landscapes and animals.  The hot air balloon tour is free and is a great way tool to explore Africa.

Natural History Museum of Vienna
This is a replica of the Natural History Museum of Vienna.  It was built between 1872 and 1891.  It is located in Austria.  The Natural History Museum of Vienna is one of the most known museums in the world.  In this replica they have included the real exhibits as well.

  Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is located in San Francisco, California.  It crosses the opening of the San Francisco Bay.  This is considered to be one of the new world wonders.  This replica allows you to experience what it would be like to cross the real Golden Gate Bridge.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The World is Flat

Recently I have had the opportunity to read and watch Thomas Friedman talk about his thoughts on why the world is flat. I think that the world being flat makes it a more level playing field for people and countries than ever before. People are able to easily communicate with other people from all over the world. People are also able to connect to the internet through their smart-phones. I see this changing everyday life by allowing people to constantly be able to communicate with each other.  We can collaborate with each other at different times of the day and different areas in the world.  I think educating your students on how to fully embrace and engage these technologies that have made the world flat is an extremely important task.  You can learn so much from other people and that can be incorporated into education through programs such as the Flat Classroom Project.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Creating a classroom Podcast has many different benefits. Podcasts can be used to share your classroom experiences online with parents. The podcasts can be a hands on group project that goes on throughout the year. Podcast's can help students share field trips, and other moments with parents. Parents or relatives can subscribe to the podcast and download the podcast for free to their home computers or ipods. Its a way for the students to present to their parents what they have learned. Podcast's give students an oppertunity to share what they learn and also a way to take pride in there education. Podcasts can also be used as a tutoring method for students that need extra help. They can download educational Podcasts.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Looking to the Future

President Obama was on the Today Show this morning and had a half hour interview about the state of education in our country. So I just thought I would post the video for those of you who may have not been able to catch it this morning.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

WoW: The Possibilities of Education

One of the blogs I follow is edurealms.  Edurealms is a blog by Lucas Gillispie.  He is doing some very creative things with incorporating gaming into education.  I saw this video posted on his blog and just had to share it.  The woman in this video is Jane McGonigal.  Her mission is to solve real world problems through online games.  

How do you think this approach can be applied to education?