19 July 2017

Article Review - Using Digital Assessments in the Classroom


The article “Emotions Experienced by Students Taking Online and Classroom Quizzes” discusses the advantages and disadvantages of giving students assessments online. It specifically addresses how a group of undergraduate students felt taking different types of assessments. First, the author mentions that there are many benefits to giving assessments online, especially the idea of students taking control of their own environment. In many situations students can control their own environment. There are many disadvantages though as well. Some people question how secure tests can be and if the technology is available (at school or home). As digital assessments have become increasingly popular more studies have been done, but there still is not a lot of information about the correlation between digital assessments and emotions. From studies that have been completed, the authors mentioned that “When educators first started using computers for testing, computer anxiety (anxiety produced from being unfamiliar with using a computer) had small effects on students’ performance, but these effects seem to have largely dissipated with a general increase in familiarity with using computers.” It seems in most studies there is not a large discrepancy between paper and digital, but more studies need to be done in order to best meet students’ needs.
This article was extremely interesting to me, especially because so many assessments are done online. In my classroom students cannot adjust their environment as much, because they are on desktops. I could, however, have the students use the math online component at home to take quizzes. Some students may not have the technology available at home and there could be parents or siblings helping those students. In the classroom though, like with PARCC, I feel like students do become anxious especially because of how much pressure is put on them and the things they hear. This is something that needs to be changed! Hopefully as students AND teachers become more familiar with online testing everyone will become more comfortable.

Stowell, J. R., Allan, W. D., & Teoro, S. M. (2012). Emotions Experienced by Students Taking Online and Classroom Quizzes. Journal Of Educational Computing Research, 47(1), 93-106.

Multimedia Lesson Plan - Online Assessment

Online Assessment for Multimedia Lesson Plan
Intended Audience
3rd Grade Students

Learning Objectives

  • The student will be able to describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events
  • The student will be able to distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
  • The student will be able to explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)
Rationale
In 3rd grade students have to be able to describe characters and how their points of view are different. They also have to be able to distinguish how their own point of view is different than that of the characters. I used the picture book Voices in the Park to help students understand this concept. There are 4 different characters that all see the same park in very different ways. First the class would have discussed point of view. Then listened to the book first, then read the real text together. After that the class would do a matching activity that was shown on the screencast. I chose Google Forms to setup a quiz that the students would take. There are 6 multiple choice questions. Then last question is a short answer question that I would grade later. The students would receive immediate feedback on the multiple choice section. The questions test both knowledge about point of view, and applying that knowledge to the story. This grade would be used in conjunction with the activity from the screencast.

18 July 2017

Multimedia Lesson Plan - Screencasting



Screencasting for Multimedia Lesson Plan





Intended Audience
3rd Grade Students

Learning Objectives

  • The student will be able to describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events
  • The student will be able to distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
  • The student will be able to explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)
Rationale
In 3rd grade students have to be able to describe characters and how their points of view are different. They also have to be able to distinguish how their own point of view is different than that of the characters. I used the picture book Voices in the Park to help students understand this concept. There are 4 different characters that all see the same park in very different ways. During the podcast students listened to the story. Then I would have read the book together with the students. The screencast is used as modeling for group work the students would do to show they can explain point of view. I modeled matching characters and setting, then modeled an example of filling in the chart. By doing this with the students they were able to see what I was doing, as well as heard my thinking. When they go to fill in the charts, they will be able to re-listen to what I was modeling and see what I did as an example. Using the screen casting, as well as interactive features of Explain Everything will be a huge help in the classroom.


Article Review - Using Screencasting in the Classroom

In the article “Instructional Screencast: A Research Conceptual Framework” the authors discuss using screencasts as an instructional tool and how effective it can be. The main focus when looking at screencasting as an instructional tool is making sure to take into account the different learning styles of students in a class and how that tool will be a benefit to them. The authors recognize the effectiveness of screencasting as an instructional tool inside the classroom, but does explain that there are limitations. Screencasting uses working memory including the visual and verbal channel. Only a limited amount of information can be kept inside the working memory at one time. Because of this, screencasting may not work for all students. Some students may become too distracted by having visual, text, and audio all in the same place at the same time. The author emphasizes the fact that teachers have to know their students’ learning styles before any instruction to best reach their students.
Planning in a regular classroom setting without the inclusion of technology is difficult, but adding in technology helps reach more students. As teachers, we do have to make sure, just like the classroom environment we do not overload the students. We also have to make sure that the technology we use does not take away from the learning we want the students to accomplish. As teachers, regardless of if we are using technology or not, we need to be aware of all of our students learning styles, especially for those students that struggle so they do not fall farther and farther behind. 

Abdul Razak, M. R., & Mohamad Ali, A. Z. (2016). Instructional Screencast: A Research Conceptual Framework. Turkish Online Journal Of Distance Education, 17(2), 74-87.

17 July 2017

Article Review - Using Podcasts in the Classroom


The article titled “The Power of Podcasting: Perspectives on Pedagogy” the authors discuss the benefits of using podcasts in the classroom in two specific types of ways. Those ways are using it for lectures, or instructional purposes, and the other is using it as feedback from instructor to student. For instructional purposes, podcasts benefit students in many different ways. The authors list some of the benefits as being able to listen at home or “on the go”, creating notes at one’s own pace, and being able to repeat the podcasts to clarify or fill in gaps. The article discusses that using podcasts for feedback is more effective than just using written feedback, especially when used together with the written feedback. There were studies done and students reported that they had the most positive experience when they received both written and audio feedback.  
This article was very interesting to me, especially in reference to the feedback portion. I do not have to give a ton of feedback, but when I do on papers, I dread it. I think giving audio feedback makes giving feedback a lot easier. I could happily fill out a rubric, and then give audio feedback about why I graded the student the way I did. I also think in a third grade classroom that has stations, using podcasts gives the teacher some freedom to focus more on guided reading groups versus answering constant questions. It also gives a ton of opportunities for adaptations. Every year there seems to be a few students that are so far below reading level they cannot read the content required to complete assignments. By providing these students with audio clips, they can listen to the content and then still answer questions or complete assignments.  Overall using audio in the classroom seems like a simple way that does not take a lot of work, to enhance the classroom instruction and feedback.

Palenque, S. M. (2016). The Power of Podcasting: Perspectives on Pedagogy. Journal Of Instructional Research, 54-7. 

Multimedia Lesson Plan - Podcast



Podcast for Multimedia Lesson Plan


Intended Audience
3rd Grade Students

Learning Objectives

  • The student will be able to describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events
  • The student will be able to distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
  • The student will be able to explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)
Rationale
In 3rd grade students have to be able to describe characters and how their points of view are different. They also have to be able to distinguish how their own point of view is different than that of the characters. I used the picture book Voices in the Park to help students understand this concept. There are 4 different characters that all see the same park in very different ways. Having students listen to an audio recording of the text first allows the students to focus on the voices. Also, having this audio recording available for students allows them to go back and listen to the story later if they are working on an assignment and need to re-listen to the story. It also would allow for students with lower reading levels to work on the skill of comparing the characters without someone there to read the story for them.


 

29 June 2017

Exploring Technology Tools in the Classroom - An Article Review 3rd Edition


The article titled “Incorporating Digital Tools to Support the Writing Process” focuses on two classrooms that use technology to create more authentic writing opportunities that will hopefully motivate their students. Both classrooms had students with some sort of special education needs.
In the first classroom the teachers used Skype and a Wireless Keyboard. The wireless keyboard provided the students and the teacher with more mobility. The teacher was able to move around the room with her students as they researched to become more engaged with them. The students were working on writing expository texts. For their final paper they had to write about if they wanted a class pet. The class discussed the topic together, follow by researching animals they wanted. Then, without having the ability to take her kids to a pet store, the teacher decided to Skype with a PetSmart employee. The employee was able to answer questions for the students while they recorded answers. When the interview was over the students asked to create a FAQs flyer for the store. They continued their research and eventually developed a flier for the store. Then they shared the file on Skype with the employee to get feedback.
The second classroom used Popplet and Book Creator. The students were working on recount writing where the students write about past personal events. The teacher first used Popplet to model her brainstorming. The created the plan and left the plan up on the board for students to see. Once students had come up with plans including a variety of pictures, vocabulary, labels, etc. they partnered up to share plans. Then they began using Book Creator to write their stories. They were able to draw and use pictures, as well as write their text. Once the books were finished the teacher was able to share the books among the whole class on their iPads so all students could read the stories during independent time.
Although both classrooms included students with special needs, these are all apps and tools that would benefit any classroom greatly. Writing is always a huge struggle, especially in third grade when there is a huge, dramatic jump from basic paragraph writing to multiple paragraph writing and researching. Once Common Core Standards came into play, it seemed like writing became mostly geared toward expository types of writing. This is the type of writing most students will do over their educational career. It is very hard to get students invested in their writing and realize how important writing will be as they continue through school. I also think it is important they see how writing is used. I never thought about using Skype as a research tool, especially with the lack of money to go on field trips. I personally have never used Popplet or Book Creator, but the idea of using a tool to electronically brainstorm sounds like a huge benefit. It allows students to easily move ideas around and revise their thoughts. I also love the idea of Book Creator so all students and I am assuming parents will be able to easily see end products once students are finished. Overall all of the ideas given in the article really seem to authentic, and extremely motivating ideas that would help students with writing.
 
Saulsburry, R., Kilpatrick, J., Wolbers, K. A., & Dostal, H. (2015). Getting Students Excited about Learning: Incorporating Digital Tools to Support the Writing Process. Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education, 16, 30-34. doi:EJ1064118