Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Journal 4: "Join the Flock" and "Enhance Your Twitter Experience"

Journal #4: “Join the Flock” and “Enhance Your Twitter Experience” (NETS 5)

Join the Flock:
Ferguson, H. (2010). Join the flock. Learning and Leading with Technology, 37(8),12-14, Retrieved from

Summary: This article, written by a middle school history teacher, outlines how to join Twitter and several tips about how to get involved in it. She discusses this as an important aspect to creating a PLN (Personal Learning Network) which can give you a great deal of information if you know how to use it. She then continues to inform the reader about the basics to learning how to access information, including following people, viewing and participating in lists/discussions, and sharing your own knowledge via retweeting posts. Also, she encourages users to post their own tweets and in order to get the information to the largest amount of people, to also include hashtags that you know have a decent following. She is informative and encouraging that this is a useful tool that is easy to master.

Q1: How can I see myself using this information to expand my PLN and actively use Twitter to stay informed?
A1: I need to start with following more people who have similar interests to mine and making sure to retweet posts that I find particularly interesting or doing research of my own to tweet. The author provided some of her favorite people that she follows on Twitter, so if I start to follow some of them, I might find more people that I have similar interests to.

Enhance Your Twitter Experience:
Miller, S. M. (2010). Enhance your twitter experience . Learning and Leading with Technology, 37(8), 14-17. Retrieved from

Summary: In this article, the author provides ways to manage your Twitter account once you have established the main foundational aspects that were discussed in the “Join the Flock” article. She discusses programs like TweetDeck and HootSuite, which allow you to use all the functions of Twitter, such as replies, retweets, tweets, etc, but also allows you to pay attention to certain streams that particularly interest you. She also outlines the importance of using bookmarking sites to make sure that you can save articles and resources that you find interesting so that you are able to tweet them at a later time.

Q1: How would using a program like TweetDeck or HootSuite help me to expand my PLN?
A1: The main thing that these programs can help me with is managing my different interests that I will explore through Twitter. I can make sure to have a stream for certain hashtags that I would like to be updated on as well as other lists and certain followers. I see myself using this tool to also add some of the other aspects of my PLN in order to have just one place to go for information.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Journal 3: Upside Down and Inside Out

Journal #3: Upside Down and Inside Out: Flip Your Classroom to Improve Student Learning.(NETS 2 and 3)

Fulton, K. (2012). Upside down and inside out: Flip your classroom to improve student learning. Learning and leading with Technology, 39(8), 12-14. Retrieved from

Summary: This article outlines a new idea of a “flipped” classroom and discusses some of the ways it has worked well and some of the problems that teachers, students and parents have encountered in it’s early stages. Math teachers at Byron High School in Minnesota adopted this alternative way to present curriculum without the need for expensive textbooks. The idea is that teachers in each subject area work together to create videos for students to watch at home and reserve class time for collaborative practice on problems. It has proved to be very successful so far for the teachers at Byron High School who have adopted it. They have seen increases of 5-10% in proficiencies in different math classes at their school. This is promising and has inspired other teachers in other areas of the school to also use this approach.

Q1: Do I see this “flipped classroom” idea working in my own math class as a teacher?
A1: I can definitely see myself using this technique in my own classroom in the future. Although I do not necessarily see myself using it as the sole method of instruction, I see the benefit in using this approach sometimes, when I think that the students could use more time, help and collaboration in class to work problems rather than listening to a lecture during class and practicing problems at home. I love that this provides an interactive class dynamic, not only between the students and teacher, but also between students.

Q2: What do I see being the strengths and weaknesses of this approach from my point of view as a former student in math classes?
A2: When I was in high school, I was part of a peer tutoring program in which I helped fellow students. Through this I saw the benefit of peer collaboration and I think that is one of the main strengths of this idea. Allowing students to collaborate and work together in class with teacher facilitation seems like a great way to ensure that students learn to work together, while also benefiting from teacher instruction at home. The main concern that I do see, which was addressed in the article, is that not everyone has a computer at home. I think this could be something that could be solved by the collaboration that happens in class. As a teacher, I can suggest that, if possible, students can watch the lesson videos together, encouraging students who have access to a computer at home to allow others to watch with them. Otherwise, I would make sure that school computers or public library computers would be available to view the lessons.

Journal 2: School 2.0 Reflection Tool

(NETS 5) I looked at the fifth NETS-T Module, Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership. The standard that I chose to investigate was number three, "I regularly evaluate and reflect on current research and apply promising practices for suing existing and emerging tools and resources in support of students learning." The reason that I chose this standard was because the resources looked interesting and this is something that I would really like to make sure I do when I have a classroom of my own. I think it is important to be aware of the tools and new things that are available, however it is also important to be critical of these new ideas in order to make sure they are right for the circumstances. Something I found in the resources for this standard was a blog called Digital Education. This seemed like the perfect resource for this standard because it is something that outlines current events in technical aspects of education. Specifically I noticed it is a discussion of the latest tools, which provides both positive and negative feedback through their discussion and people's comments. It showed me that blogs can be a great resource in critical analysis of educational technology tools. For example, in one blog post, the author talked about popular videos for math education, the Khan Academy. It discussed a video critique of these popular videos and provided links to them so that I could view them and decide for myself. If I was using the Khan Academy videos to support my lectures, in certain cases, this would help me decide if flaws that were pointed out to me might be presenting concerns in student understanding. Overall, I think this was a great resource to help me understand how to make sure that I am regularly researching and evaluating new tools in order to incorporate some that are appropriate for my classroom.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Journal 1: 100 things that make me happy :)

1. Family
2. Friends
3. Traveling
4. Teaching
5. Learning
6. Exercising 
7. My dog
8. My boyfriend
9. My job
10. The beach
11. Watching movies
12. Watching TV
13. Relaxing
14. Ice cream
15. Davis, CA
16. San Diego, CA
17. Reading
18. My big couch
19. My room
20. My bed
21. Pictures
22. Navigation on my phone
23. Visiting friends
24. Trying new things
25. Christmas
26. Other holidays
27. Disneyland
28. Food
29. Wine
30. BBQs
31. Watching the stars
32. Jacuzzis
33. Reading//tanning by the pool
34. Riding horses
35. Babysitting
36. Running
37. Shopping
38. Singing loudly and terribly (especially while driving)
39. Music
40. Especially country music
41. Especially Taylor Swift
42. An evening walk
43. Watching the sunset
44. Playing lacrosse
45. Going to sports games
46. Little things
47. Going to concerts
48. Naps
49. Picnic Day
50. Yellow
51. The Olympics
52. Seeing other people happy
53. Helping people
54. Tea in the winter
55. Sitting by a fire
56. A good night's sleep
57. Getting my nails done
58. Animated movies
59. Getting dressed up
60. Fireworks
61. Boats
62. Hiking (especially by the beach)
63. Checking off things in my planner
64. Reminiscing about high school
65. Going out to breakfast
66. Acai bowls
67. Catching up with friends
68. Going to the park with my brother
69. Watching old movies with my sister
70. Pi Phi 
71. The swap meet
72. Coffee
73. Nutella
74. Pizza Port
75. Coffee  
76. Breakfast for dinner
77. Visiting old neighbors
78. Inspiring quotes
79. Decorating
80. Meeting new people
81. Getting an A 
82. Understanding concepts
83. Especially in math 
84. Getting my hair cut
85. A lazy sunday
86. Skipping rocks 
87. Surprises (most of the time)
88. Feeling good about myself
89. Reminiscing about my trip to Europe last summer
90. Flowers
91. Funny stories
92. Looking for shells on the beach
93. Pretending I can dance
94. Outdoor furniture
95. Trying to remember how to play the piano
96. Having new ideas
97. Intellectual conversations
98. Playing minesweeper
99. Watching funny youtube videos
100. The number 100 :)