Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blog Post #8

21st Century Learning and Communicating Tools

By: Briann Smith

As I have started my journey to become a teacher I have learned quite a lot of information. One of the new things that I have learned about is the Common Core Standards. What are Common Core Standards, you ask?  The Common Core Standards are a set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics. These standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful by providing clear goals for student learning. As I have continued to learn about the standards and the criteria that go along with them, I have wondered how teachers will incorporate them effectively in their classrooms. I have also thought about how teachers can adequately keep up with all of the standards and make sure that all of their students are actually learning them. As I was researching 21st century learning and communicating tools I came across the online learning and communicating website, Mastery Connect.

Mastery Connect is an amazing online tool for teachers. This online tool allows teachers to participate in a learning community. They can set up a personal learning network and public profile for free. The site also includes a news feed, that keeps the teachers up to date with the latest things in education and it includes the activities of the other teachers that they follow.  It is overflowing with tools and resources for teachers. It is also built around the Common Core Standards. The website has convenient State and Common Core Standard links. This allows for teachers to focus on teaching and assessing the core standards. 

Mastery Connect includes the following resources and tools:
  • Curriculum  Maps - Mix and match standard sets, create custom standards, and easily drag and drop standards into any sequence.
  • MasteryTracker  - shows current student understanding relative to Common Core and/or state standards.
  • Free Common Core App - all of the standards in one convenient app, that can be downloaded by educators and parents. Get it on iOS, Windows, and Android. 
  • Integrated Standards and Resources  - Easily view resources and content tied to both state and Common Core standards.
  • Standards based Student Reports- Intergrated standards-based reports provide real-time information about mastery to students and parents.
  • Class, school, and district level reporting tools - This makes  it easy for teachers and administrators to compare and collaborate data driven by common assessments and compare that data to benchmark  level data.
  • Gradebook/ SIS Export - Automatically export scores to ANY gradebook or Student Information System.
  • GRADECAM™ Bubble Sheet  Scanning - Scan plain paper bubble sheets right from your web or document camera and grade instantly!
Mastery Connect also has a creation and sharing center for Common Core assessments as well. This saves the teachers time and allows them to share assessments of any curriculum type including multiple choice, open-answer, rubrics, writing and oral assessments. The teachers can discuss and collaborate using the discussion tools. Teachers can download and modify teacher created resources for their own personal classroom use. Another great tool that Mastery Connect has is Resource Tools. Resource Tools includes interactive boards where teachers can pin and re-pin to their boards.They can create a collection of pins for any subject based on the documents,videos, and websites that they come across.The pin tool also allows teachers to pin resources according to the Common Core Standards.

Mastery Connect is a great tool that I would definitely use when I become a teacher. I would use it to create my Personal Learning Network to collaborate and communicate with other teachers. The Mastery Connect tool would also benefit me for the Common Core Standards. I would track my students progress and knowledge of assessments that correspond with the standards. The GradeCam Bubble sheet would also be beneficial to me as a teacher, it would help me to scan and grade my student’s papers quickly. I would expect great things from this tool with all of its amazing qualities. I am sure that I could connect with teachers nationwide and share and collaborate with them on Common core based assignments and lesson plans. I would also expect all of the apps and grading software to work smoothly and efficiently. The reason why I chose this resource tool and liked it so much was because it really focused on the Common Core Standards. I have never seen a online resource like Mastery Connect that provides teachers with the resources and support system that’s foundation is the Common Core Standards. It allows teachers to use the  support and expertise of fellow teachers. Overall Mastery Connect is a great tool for teachers and I will absolutely use this as a resource when I become a teacher!

By: Heather Smith

What is Voki?

  • Voki is a FREE service that lets you:
  • Create customized avatars (talking characters)
  • Add voice to your Voki avatars.
  • Customize Avatars to look like historical figures, cartoons, animals,and even yourself!
  • Post your Voki to any blog, website, or profile.
  • Take advantage of Voki's learning resources.

    What is Voki Classroom?
    A classroom management system for Voki
  • Students do not need to sign up!
  • Add and manage your Classes & Students!
  • Control students’ privacy settings!
  • Lesson pages automatically created!
  • Customized appearance & instructions!
  • Get unlimited email support!

    Voki for Education_Ad

    What’s with the Name?

    Voki is a combination of the words “vox” and “Loki”.
  • “Vox” is the Latin term for voice.
  • Loki is a Norse god from Norse mythology. Loki is a trickster who has the ability to change his shape. Fitting name since Voki gives students and teachers the ability to change the character’s appearance and add a voice!

    Heather’s Thoughts:
    I could use Voki when teaching by taking advantage of the cartoonistic features that kids love, by searching for and creating customized lesson plans, and by keeping the interest of my students through this 21st century tool. I expect that first graders will absolutely love this tool. It motivates students to participate, improves comprehension, introduces technology to students, and most importantly, it inspires them! I chose this tool because I believe it is very beneficial and will be useful in the classroom. I also believe that my students will love watching and creating using Voki. 

  • Glogster
    By:Amanda Weller

    Creativity is Learning

    As I researched 21st century learning and communicating tools I came across an online learning tool called Glogster, also known as “Glog.” With Glogster you can do the following:
  • Engage your students
  • Inspire curiosity
  • Excite learners
  • Connect Everything
    Glogster is a social network that allows users to create free interactive posters. “Glog,” is short for “graphics blog,” which is an interactive multimedia image. Glogster looks very similar to a poster, however readers can interact with the given content. Glogster provides an online environment to design and create interactive posters. When creating a Glogster you can insert:
  • Text
  • Images
  • Photos
  • Audio
  • Videos
  • Special effects
    The posters can be shared with other users on the site and it can also be embedded in other sources. You can integrate dynamic multi-sensory resources into traditionally text-oriented tasks.
  • Glogster was first launched in 2009
  • Glogster allows teachers and students to use glogs as instructional aids

    I found a wonderful example of a well organized Glogster.

  • Click here for a link that will take you to Traci Blazosky's Glogster

    This is Traci Blazosky’s Glogster for her first grade class. I found this Glogster to be an amazing source for her students! Traci’s Glogster was organized by:
  • A video of her introducing you to her Glogster
  • A chalkboard that you can click to view the daily schedule
  • Another chalkboard for special schedules
  • Weekly news and homework

    Traci’s Glogster also listed her email for contact purposes. You can scan through and click each individual session to see what Glogster is all about!

  • My Source:

    By: Lisa Smith

    Founded in 1999, BrainPOP® creates animated, curricular content that engages students, supports educators, and bolsters achievement. Their award-winning online educational resources include BrainPOP Jr.®(K-3), BrainPOP, BrainPOP Español™ , and, for English language learners, BrainPOP ESL™. BrainPOP is also home to GameUp®,
    a free educational games portal for the classroom.
    In traditional, blended, and "flipped" learning settings, BrainPOP supports individual, team, and whole-class learning. At school and in informal learning environments, our characters help introduce new topics and illustrate complex concepts. The Mixer™tool lets users tailor their assessments to meet all students' needs. A great fit for mobile learning and BYOD classrooms, BrainPOP’s educational apps have been downloaded millions of times and lauded in countless reviews.
    All of their resources are fully supported by BrainPOP Educators, free teacher community. The content is mapped to the Common Core, aligned to academic standards, and searchable with our online Standards Tool. BrainPOP is easy to use, with no downloading, installation, or special hardware required.
    BrainPOP was conceived by Avraham Kadar, M.D., an immunologist and pediatrician, as a creative way to explain difficult concepts to his young patients.

    Lisa’s Thoughts: This tool could be used in grades k-6. It is a great way for students to study while learning in the process. This site is very engaging and can be used in multiple subjects. It’s almost like a “one stop shop” in education. I chose BrainPop because I know that kids already enjoy playing games and with BrainPop, learning is made into a game. The site is fun and will keep the student engaged. The benefit that I have found in using BrainPop would be higher grades because students will study and learn the material while playing on this site.

    1 comment:

    1. I've never heard of Mastery Connect. It looks like a valuable resource. Brain Pop is also very popular in school. The students seem to enjoy it!