Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Explore


I remember in high school when my teachers would set up a TV or computer with the eagle's nest live camera so we could watch during class, hoping that we could see the eggs hatch and watch the little baby eagles get bigger.  This was one of my favorite things, and encouraged everyone's love of nature.  Naturally, when I stumbled upon this website, I couldn't believe it!

Explore.org has so many live footage options for buffalos, sharks, lions, dogs, fish, rainforests, and deserts.   I clicked on every single live feed just to see how they were set up and if the animals were in sight.  My favorite live cam is linked below, and I couldn't even look away- it's an X Ray cam!  When I was watching just now, it showed X-Ray techs doing an X-Ray on a tiger.  Seriously, I would have loved this website as a first graders. And a junior high-er.  And now.

X-ray-cam

This website could be used for units on types on animals or different parts of the world- or simply something to show in the background for students who might thrive with a little more action.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A real life, down to Earth, teaching blog.

Okay.  I know, I know, as education students at a prestigious teaching college, we need to be visiting websites that really stretch our brain and help us expand our knowledge on teaching.  We are strongly encouraged to seek out resources that are certified and critically acclaimed and all that jazz.  We get it.

Fast-forward five years down the road.  Everyone who is sitting in this class will be five years older, will hopefully be teaching at a school, and will have twenty-two little human lives to enlighten from 8-3.  We will be faced with parent teacher conferences, bloody noses, and will be struggling to explain how math works.  We will be organizing classrooms and chugging coffee, and will probably need a little bit of humor in our lives. That's where this blog comes in.

This blog, Love, Teach, is written by an English teacher. She has been blogging about the hilarious things that happen to her in the classroom since 2010, and I cannot stop reading.  She confesses the things that she has done wrong in the past, and shares the funny drawings that her students make of her.  Although she changes the names of the students- and I haven't even found out her real name yet- she has a way of pulling the reader in and writing as if she is sharing a funny story with her friends over a glass of wine.

There are no charts or graphs or genius teaching ideas.  But, I believe that there is great value in being able to laugh at yourself, and being able to share that humor with people who need it.  And I can guarantee that in a few years, a pee-your-pants kind of laughter will be very welcome!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

PLN

At the very beginning of the semester, Dr. Z had us sketch out on paper our very first Personal Learning Network, or PLN.  If you look very closely, you can see that this first draft of my PLN is dated August 31.  

This PLN shows the ways that we connect with others, which is important both as an education student, and will also be important down the road as a teacher.  



Pinterest

Pinterest.  My go-to time killer for recipes, workouts, and pictures of puppies wearing hats.  Who would have though that Pinterest would also have so many great ideas for college, the classroom, and future education ideas?! You really can find anything on Pinterest.  I love the options that Pinterest offers; for example, you can view pins that you friends have pinned, or you can go to the 'everything' category and view literally everything that anyone on this site has pinned. Of course, you can create you own pin boards that friends can see, or you can create a secret board- this really comes in handy if you don't want to flood everyone else's page with similar pins.  

My field experience teacher said that she uses this app constantly for finding new ideas for her classroom and fun ways to keep her students involved and excited about first grade.  I've been adding more and more ideas to my pin boards, so now there is a good mix of educational tips and Golden Retrievers.  





LYNDA

I actually heard of Lynda about four years ago in a previous course.  Lynda offers so many different how-to's and tutorials on various technological subjects and also different software and programs.  Character animation, Photoshop, Product Design, and Visual Affects are just a few of the tutorials that Lynda offers.  




Blooms

I have Pinterest to thank for the discovery of this next website- Blooms is both a website and an app that connects teachers and parents.  A teacher can send reminders on field trips and due dates, and can recap what they did that day in the classroom.  They can send specific parents notifications about a student's progress or behavior, and can even do private messaging.  The coolest thing about this app to me is that an educator can send and upload photos from the day to share with the parents.  I really love this idea because obviously a teacher cannot upload pictures like this to Facebook or Twitter due to privacy reasons.  This is a great way to give parents a glimpse into the day through an app, without sharing with the whole world.  I love the idea of this app, and cannot wait to try it! 

Twitter

One of the biggest ways that we keep in touch with our peers and learn about what is going on in today's world is Twitter.  This is one of the quickest ways to get your daily dose of news, as well as keep up with your friend's lives.  Along with that, you can follow great education sites, which allows you to be constantly informed and learning new information.



Teaching Blog Addict

Yet another great teaching tool that I stumbled upon while on Pinterest  :)
The Teaching Blog Addict is not really what I would call a blog in itself...  it has links to what seems like every teaching blog out there, and is organized by grade or subject.  I really feel like this would be useful because you can get SO much information about so many different topics- all in one website!



YouTube
This is another tool that can be used to expand your knowledge on education- or it can lead down a rabbit hole and before you know it, you are watching baby animals going down a slide. Either way, YouTube is an awesome resource for teaching. Much like Pinterest, you can find ANYTHING on YouTube.  Educators can view videos on how to organize a classroom, songs about the multiplication tables, and even vlogs.  I've used The Learning Station videos in my first grade field experience classroom, and they have been a great resource so far!



Instagram

Good old Instagram.  My personal favorite form a social media, this is always the first thing I check when I open up my phone.  How convenient that my most-used app can also double as a way to connect with my fellow education majors and future teachers!  I know that all of you most likely already understand the benefits of the #hashtag, but I never thought to find my peers and learn things about both my university and my major through hashtags.  Although it may not seem like a very serious or professional way to connect- Instagram is really great for networking!




Zoom

One of the tools that proved to be very useful in this course is Zoom.  This allows you to work on projects, talk with professors, and collaborate- all using the video feature on your computer!  For group projects, we were able to meet via Zoom, and could even do it from the comfort of our own homes.  Although I didn't think to take a screenshot during an actual Zoom session- we did log in to take this really great and photogenic screenshot during class! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Bloomz- Teacher Parent Communications App

As someone who is only in my first-ever field experience at an elementary school, I don't know much about teaching.   The first grade teacher that I am shadowing has done a really great job at answering my strange questions about the life of a teacher.  "When do you pee?!" "How much wine do you consume every Friday!?" and "How do you learn every kid's name!?" These are just a few questions that she has graciously answered without laughing to my face.  However, one of the best things that she has been showing me is how important it is to keep parents in the loop on what is going on in her classroom.

How can one teacher possibly keep every parent of twenty two children updated!? 

One great option that I have found online is Bloomz. Bloomz is an award winning app that first caught my eye on Pinterest; it is a way for teachers and parents to stay connected and stay on the same page.  

I personally haven't created a Bloomz account, and my field experience teacher doesn't either; although she has heard of it.  This all-encompassing app allows teachers to send updates on the day, reminders to parents about deadlines, and share photos.  It can coordinate times and dates for conferences, offers secure and private messaging, and can track a student's behavior.

This sounds like a great idea to me- however, I don't know how much this would actually be used in the classroom.  Some people prefer text or email, and some people simply are opposed to change.  Check out the link to the Bloomz site below and see how you like it!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Welcome!

My name is Anna Johnson, and this is my first time blogging.
I live in Cedar Falls with my Air Force husband, Jack, and our Labradoodle and Great Pyrenees.  We love indulging in Mexican food, using power tools, cheering on the Tennessee Vols, and going out with our friends and family.
I have been introduced to Blogger through my InsTech course at UNI.   This blog will be dedicated to all things relating to the topic of education.  I have a lot to learn, and am excited for you to follow along- hopefully you will learn something as well!