Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sample Podcast

My week #5 assignment for my class is to produce a podcast using Audacity and Podcastmachine. I have to interview three students about their exposure to technology and include them in my podcast. This is my test podcast.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a web site devoted to advancing 21st century skills into education.

After looking at the site I was glad to see an educational vision that includes technology and wants to help school districts make changes to prepare students for the 21st Century workforce. The site included state initiatives and my home state, Wisconsin was present. I learned that Wisconsin has developed standards for technology that will help guide teachers to prepare students. It is not surprising that lack of funding is what is holding these standards from being more utilized and this surprised me. I ask myself this question why do we not invest more into education, especially the skills that will make the American workforce more competitive? If not, what are the consequences? I think the issue of preparing students with 21st Century skills has to become a priority and the information on this site is a great resource.

I think this site is just a starting point for educators. However, if this ideal picks up steam (which I think will), all educators are going to have to question themselves, am I providing my students with the necessary skills? Many educators are going to have learn technology and learn that they are going to have to learn from their student's technological skills. It is constructivism with teachers who are not the primary source of knowledge but learners too.

This ideal will not only benefit our students, but benefit our country's economy and hopefully allow America to continue to exist as a superpower. I hope my state and district embrace this site's ideas as soon as possible because my student's success depends upon it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

In my classroom

There are many reasons I would use a blog in my classroom. I am a sixth-grade language arts and social studies teacher at Reedsville Elementary School in Reedsville, WI and the use of blogs in education is very beneficial. The most important reason I see for blogging in the classroom is learning how to write in a context that will be used by my students their entire lives. It is true that the technology and blogs may evolve into bigger and better things but the blogging we are currently doing in sixth-grade will be a great foundation for my students. They will learn what is the appropriate way to use blogs and what is not. Many of my students who do not like writing using a pencil and paper prefer using blogs and this totally enhances the lessons because it reaches more students. It also forces students to critically think and represent themselves on a level that anyone can see. They are very careful when posting and this builds proofreading skills.

For a social studies lesson, I would pose open-ended questions about current events, such as health care reform, that force my students to take a side and defend their opinions. They would be given rubrics that would grade them on the following categories: content knowledge, length (at least one paragraph), rationale and supporting details, conventions (spelling, grammar, and punctuation), and participation (they would post one original response and respond to two of their peers posts. Before going to the computer lab, I might brainstorm some ideas on the whiteboard, citing some of the advantages and disadvantages of health care reform so my students have a starting point. Remember, we watch and discuss current events daily using CNN Student News and national health care has been a hot topic recently. My students are informed about this issue and the ability to blog will show everyone their knowledge.

Blogs banned -- Response

Author: Sue Waters
@Craig, that is a really hard one. I know some have written blogs posts and got edubloggers around the World to explain the benefits of blogging which have then been used to successfully allow blogging.

Is it a District policy or school policy? Would it help if we gave you links of good examples to show them?

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Blogs are banned at my school, Reedsville Elementary.

Unfortunately, the administration at my school not see that blogs are a great educational tool that my students use on a daily basis outside of school.

I think that my students would benefit from using blogs in school, not only educationally, but they would also learn acceptable ways to use blogs (under my supervision).

How can I get my school to change this policy? That is the question.