I found this interview to be very interesting.I picked out two main topics that I found interesting in Ms. Browns' interview; pre-service teachers and budget. As far as pre-service teachers go, she says that they are not quite aware of the possibilites technology presents us with these days. Here I would have to agree with her. I thought about my every day use of techenology which lets face it, borders on excessive; I'm constantly checking emails or tweets, friends send me papers to edit, teachers send out homework assignments. We are constantly connected. And I must admit I've never really considered what this means for a classroom up until now. We could be connecting with classrooms (students and teachers) across the globe, sharring lesson plans, techniques, conversation about controversal issues-- points of view. People from different cultures collaborating to give students the best possible education is where I'm heading with this. Teachers from China could helps students from the US or Astralia understand concepts that might have previously been out of reach. Looking at anything from a different point of view we all know is valuable and can help teach compassion and understanding. The possibilities and lessons are endless! I'm excited by these thoughts and their implications for future classrooms. Now as far as budget goes, this is a question on everyones mind. How much will this cost us? Connecting to other parts of the globe could be costly right? Wrong! As Ms. Brown points out in her interview, its a matter of determination. We have many resources at our disposal such as skype and oovoo. These sites provide free ways to commmunicate from anywhere. What would we need? Internet connection, and proper equipment (computers, projectors, ect.). Right now theres a whole technological movement in classrooms to get them updates and outfitted with such devices. Most classrooms these days have computers and at least some type of projectors. More and more we are seeing smart boards enter the classroom. Now I know that not all schools are privileged enough to have such technology, but even companies such as Apple are making movements to donate what they can to classrooms. I've seen schools with iPad initiatives allowing every student to have access to iPads. So cost at this point, with the education of our students so valued by people everywhere, is redundant. Its no longer a question we have to ask. What the bigger question we need to ask is how do we help our students live up to such potential, and how do we get our teachers to start thinking outside the classroom. Because lets face it, some of the most valuable learning we do comes from outside those four walls.
Observer editorial: The government, in rewriting the schools syllabus, has a chance to make ours a nation truly in tune with the 21st century (Teaching technology: we need a digital revolution in the classroom http://t.co/T3VUoUi5...
This article while a little harsh in my opinion, provides a good point in refernece to technology and teachers. Some teachers do not understand how to use technology. As a student first hand, I will tell you it is very frustrating to watch a teacher struggle with the technology they are trying to use to teach a lesson. Students have the advantage of growing up with the technology. So to them the answer or how to use it, is fairly obvious. Many teachers do use their students as resources to help out with technology, which is a good idea. However technology is constantly evolving. Students fall behind quickly without proper exposure to the new versions of programs, such as word or power point. And teachers sometimes struggle with learning these new technological developments. And without knowledge of how these new developments work, it makes it harder to support a global classroom. So this leaves the question, how do we as teachers stay up to date with new technological advances? And to what extent? Of course not every new step forward may entirely benefit a classroom. How do we differentiate between what is important and what is not? Perhaps there should be a rubric-like document that helps teachers determine whether or not a particular technological aspect is relevant to the classroom. Which in turn could help teachers and students alike focus on tuning those skills. We could also hold classes for everyone which would allow more technologically savy people to help the technologically challenged. In today's world knowledge of technology and how it works is crutial. It will not only help open up our classrooms to greater possibilities by opening communication with people around the world, but it will help our students as they enter a technologically advanced world.
Some more useful tools for global classrooms are posted here. These seem to be a little more student oriented in that they seem more secure and made for younger students. These allow teachers to connect to other classrooms to share projects, communicate, hold conferences and forums. And they are all free. thats what is most amazing about these sites. THey are on the internet to connect people for free. No charge. The cost of connecting with people everywhere has been a concern.
Here is yet another tool used for global communications. This I've seen in action. The students that I've observed using this application have only been sharing it with their teacher and peers. I have watched students create projects; inserting pictures, text, citations. It's a great applications. Then they plug in their iPads to the projector. So I'm currious as to how they can share their creations with people globally. Maybe embedding code into a web page. That's the only question that applications like these leave me with. However tech savy I feel I am, I always have questions. But perhaps even some of the students that I see using these apps know and I just haven't had a chance to mess around with the application and maybe it's easier than it seems.
This is a great video. By addressing social-emotional needs we can open students up to learning new content.In order for students to be college and career oriented, we need to focuss on the 5 social and emotional developments; Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision-Making. Self awareness is a particularly rough area of development. Students are typically still in this mindset of "everything is all about me". By working with students to be aware of their own space, aware of how they impact others and how they impact their community, we can teach students and help them grow into understanding that the world doesn't revolve around them and that what they do effects people other than themselves. Self managemenet is all about managing themselves and their feelings, motivating themselves to do bigger and better things.This can give students with emotional issues such as anger management tools to deal with these problems in a less stressfull way. Social awareness comes in the form of service projects and just understanding that people everywhere have similar experiences to us.Relationship skills allow students to develope meaningful relationships with people to help support their goals as well as teach them to be compassionate with other peoples goals as well as how to resolve conflict and work with those that we may not get along with. Finally responsible decision making teaches students to be responsible for themselves, make good choices and know that those choices impact us and those around us. By supporting these life skills, we can help them become good, productive citizens. This also helps students find themselves and their place in their learning environment. This is important to help students not only feel worth while of having a good life, but to also see that they can help people and help the world. It's a great way to help students learn to deal with real life issues as well as develop into human beings and realizing that they have an effect on the world.
The Greater Good Science Center's inaugural summer institute last week drew some 60 teachers and administrators eager to explore the science and practice of social-emotional learning.
Mindfulness, empathy and resilience were just some of the topics unpacked at UC Berkeley last week as teachers, administrators, counselors and other pre-K-through-12th-grade professionals came together for a six-day workshop exploring social-emotional learning in the classroom.
Organized by the campus’s Greater Good Science Center — which researches the neuroscience, psychology and sociology of well-being — the inaugural Summer Institute for Educators welcomed some 60 education professionals from California, across the nation and countries including Argentina, Australia, China and India.
This article reviews a workshop for educators to learn how to incooperate social and emotional elarning in their classrooms. A strong focus in this article is that "there is a very strong relationship between social-emotional learning and cognitive development and performance" . I think that this is a crutial idea that needs to be addressed in c lass rooms. If we fail to acknowledgethat there is a connection between social-emotional learning and cognitive development and performance, it good negatively impact our students capability to learn. Students must feel that they are safe and can trust the environment they are in or they will be unable to connect and learn what we want them to. Students are distracted by any inequillibrium that they feel whether its a sense of discomfort or not understanding a certain concept. They then are focused on setting things straight and finding a spot of equilibrium. Once they are able to find such a place they can focus on other things. As teachers we can help them to find equilibrium by creating a safe and comfortable environment. We can also create a feelings that we as adults are trust worthy and are willing to help them with any discomfort or uneasiness. Through these programs teachers can learn different techniques to incooperate in their classrooms to help the students feel at ease. I think that the fact that we as educators and as a society are acknowledging that students learn more than just the content is the most important piece. Education has in the past ingored this important fact, but it is becoming more and more apparent. Maybe they didn't actively ignore this aspect of schools and educations, but it wasn't actively supported. Now that emotional and social learning is being actively supported, students' development will greately benefit from such programs.
Marc Brackett never liked school. “I was always bored,” he says, “and I never felt like any of my teachers really cared. I can’t think of anybody that made me feel inspired.”...
At a time of contentious debate over how to reform schools to make teachers more effective and students more successful, “social emotional learning” may be a key part of the solution. An outgrowth of the emotional intelligence framework, popularized by Daniel Goleman, SEL teaches children how to identify and manage emotions and interactions. One of the central considerations of an evolved EQ—as proponents call an “emotional quotient”—is promoting empathy, a critical and often neglected quality in our increasingly interconnected, multicultural world.
This particular article talks about students who partake in the RULER program. It disucssess how the program can have a positive effect on students. In particular I'm interested in the teacher who had students kicking and hitting her because they were so emotionally disturbed. Part of this project has made me scared at the aspect of being left alone with pre-adolescent children. As a teacher I wonder what you do in order to prevent this or how you can avoid being in these situations. Obviously implementing such a program would help. Being aware of students' feelings just seems crutial to me. And maybe this teacher wasn't particularly open to her students, and possibly failed to create a safe environment without the guidance of RULER. I hope to never be put in such a situation but it's hard to predict. You could be in a school one day that is great and your students are wonderful and attentive, and the next have completely different kids. Kids are unpredicatble, and this is why it's so mportant to be aware of what is going on with them and why they act a certain way and help them nevigate their negative feelings without hurting themselves or others.
Here I found an (outdated, but stil relevant) blog post about collaboration tools. This particular post has links for a webinar (since passed) for STEM educators. I find this an interesting tool for teachers showing, that not only does global classroms benefit students, but teachers as well. Collaborating with fellow educators can help expand our ideas on lesson plans, what techniques to use, how to get through to students who may not be understanding our current teaching techniques, ect. Now as far as collaboration tools are concerned, there is a great list. Students can have access to these sites for free (some come with a premium edition for added benefits such as security) but for the most part are safe. Google Docs would be the tool I am most familiar with on this list. As far as my experieces are concerned, Google Docs has presented groups with the opportunities to work together without being in the same room. When working on papers or projects everyone is able to add to the discussion. It helps college students (at least) with workingaround their busy schedules. In my experiences, my fellow group members and I have very different schedules between work, classes, and social events. Not everyone is available at the same time. Collaborating on a site such as Google Docs is valuable in that it is available 24/7 so no matter what time it is one can edit or add to the discussion. The list also includes programs allowing students and teachers to communicate throughout the lesson, which is useful if you have shy or timid students who may not feel comfortable communicating infront of the whole class. The other benefit to consider is the ability for students to share their work when it is completed, with the rest of the class. Projecting it on a board or even making it accessable on a database (such as canvas) for other students could help save on resources such as paper or ink, which in turn with cut down on costs for such resources. Finally we must consider what this means for students who are unable to attend classes because of geographical issues (such as missing a bus or having no way to get to school, as well as inclement weather) . Having acess to such tools would allow students who can't, for what ever reason, make it to school. They would be able to tune in and observe the class and even add to the conversation from their home (as long as they have a computer or something of the sort at home). It could potentially help students who are motivated to do so from falling behind in class because they missed school one day.
Here we have an example of how global learning will benefit students. By allowing students to "compete" amongst eachother, you allow them to have a motivation to learn something other then simply for a grade. Then the students will be able to share their work between eachother and hopefully in the end recieve a prize. of course we can't always give prizes, but there is a certain amount of pride that students will take in their work. By doing so, and being able to share their work with students who are in the same situation as them they will not only be able to sypathize with the efforts that the other students are making (because they themselves are experiencing similar issues), but they will also encourage eachother by showing how they are exploring their learnings. Allowing students to interact with eachother and share the progress they made is one of the biggest positives about global classrooms. If this is done, students can then share how they became so successful and will be able to share those techniques.
Schools can sign up to lessons on ‘Exploring Oceans’, delivered via Skype by the MSC team throughout November 2013.
By teaming up with Skype in the classroom, a free global network of 71,000 teachers from 235 countries and territories, the MSC will deliver lessons throughout November covering six key themes; from Habitats and Ecosystems to Sustainability and the Future of our Oceans to schools around the world.
Inspiring and important environmental messages
The MSC's Adele Fash commented on the special Skype lessons: "Exploring Oceans Month is a fantastic opportunity to inspire children around the globe about the wonderful world of marine animals and of course to help them understand the importance of considering our impact as humans on the environment."
Schools can register their interest in a particular lesson or find out more at the MSC Skype in the classroom page. Places will be offered on a ‘first come - first served’ basis and only 3 schools will be able to participate for each lesson.
The Skype lessons tie into the MSC’s own Fish and Kids programme. Visit the site for excellent free teaching resources (http://www.fishandkids.org/).
Erin Larcey's insight:
This post is another great example of how students can benefit from the global classroom. People from 234 countries came together and tuned into a lesson on oceans around the world.Students from different parts of the world will have different views on issues such as environmental issues. Students will benefit from these differing views. They will provide eachother with information that they weren't aware of or just didn't take into consideration when coming up with their own views. This will also help students become more well rounded and help them begin to think outside of just their own views. Finally, this will help the students sympathize with students in different situations.
Three organizations illustrate how technology tools can blaze a path to deeper relationships and broader horizons. Educurious combines project-based learning, technology, and connections with real-world experts. Expert professionals serve as mentors to help guide students through projects using video and other online collaboration tools. Global Nomads Group deploys interactive videoconferencing, webcasting, social networking, gaming, and participatory filmmaking to facilitate collaborative projects among classrooms in the U.S. and abroad. The organization designs semester and year-long virtual exchange programs between students in North America and their peers in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South East Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. In a similar vein, the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) facilitates projects worldwide, enabling students and teachers to design and participate in global projects as part of their regular classroom and afterschool programs.
This article focuses on the networking and the benefits that this would give students. "As Michael Golden, CEO of Educurious, put it, “we are the product of our networks.” ". This says it all. Students who really had no perspectives or oportunities to progress far in life are now pesented with geting in touch with people of importances and can make connections that could inspire them and encourage them to pursue a future. Finally these social networking sites and connections could make certain tools like Rosseta stone obsolete. This could in the end save schools money on using such tools and providing students with hands on learning experience.
As Summer Advantage USA has grown to increasingly diverse communities, including rural communities in Colorado and Indiana, my eyes have been opened to the unique challenges that face our rural communities across the nation.
Erin Larcey's insight:
Global classrooms could highly benefit people in such area's like the ones hat are described in this article. Sites such as Skype could assist these students in connecting with a better education. If there could be an initiative that allows students to have access to computers or iPads and internet we could easily get these students connected with other schools to participate and close the achievement gap. This will also allow students who are located in isolated areas to expand their horizons and understandings of the world around them. The exposure that this would give isolated students would be extremely beneficial to everyone involved.
I think communication is so key in a classroom. Without communication nothing would happen! Students would be closed off to learning, students wouldn't know what was expected of them, it would be a disaster. The steps that this article references are very beneficial. Modeling a positive conversation would show students what you as a teacher are expecting from them. There would be less confusion. Second, we want to encourage physical cues. If we allow students to simply talk at us how do they know that they are on the right track or not? By giving feedback as they respond, we will help them in building self confidence and a positive sense of self. Third, we want to make it known that negative comments are not put up with. Again this goes towards a feeling of safety and comfort withint a classroom. Next we want to make sure that we are asking open ended questions. If we don't ask such questions students wont have the opportunity to expand and explore their understanding. any further. The rest of the class wouldn't be able to support the conversation either. Fifth we need to support expressing thoughts even when students are unsure. Too many students will answer with " I don't know". Their confidence needs to be built and by building students' confidence we can support a positive sense of self. Sixth, allow chats amongst students and teachers. By doing so, we can create positive relationships between teachers and students. Seventh is to keep eye contact, which goes back to responding to physical cues, in that eye contact will keep students involvled and show that you are interested. Finally we want to encourage turn taking. Without turn taking, students would be talking over eachother, and yelling. Our classrooms would be choas. So by taking turns, we can also support positive student relationships, and again that feeling of safety.
These elements are all important in providing students with positive expereinces in schools. But what most important is that these steps will help support students in social and emotional learning. Students will obviously learn the content that teachers are teaching, but they will also be learning how to communicate effectively and efficiently. They will develope life skills and understanding and compassion.
In my previous post about social and emotional learning, I discussed the importance of creating a safe and comfortable environment. In this article the author picks out four elemts of strong teacher-student relationships. These elements will help teachers open their classroom and help students feel at ease in their classrooms. The first element the author talks about is communication. I am a HUGE believer in communication. I like the thought of students having a say in what goes on in the classroom as well as teachers being clear about expectations. Of course there's more to be communicated in a classroom, but these are things to start with to make a positive environment in the classroom. The second element is an emotionally safe learning space. This is important as well. If students feel that they are going to be ridiculed in a class they wilol refuse to participate an it will be very uncomfortable for everyone involved. Feeling that the students can share openly will assist in creating a safe environment. Third the author talked about mutual respect, trust and feedback. This I think teachers really underestimate as an element in their classroom. Some teachers simply expect their students to respect them. However, in order to get respect you must also give it. But with mutual respect this opens up opportunities for trust (which is important so that students feel that they wont be made fun of or uncomfortable in general) and therefore feedback. Feedback, is important between teachers and students. If something isn't working for students a teacher wants to be able to know, as well as trust that the students aren't taking advantage of the teacher. And as a student you learn from feedback, and you want to be able to trust your teacher is giving you useful and relevant information. Finally, the author addresses the element of true equity. This is again a large issue in classrooms. If you speak to students, they will tell you which teachers have favorites, and knowing that they aren't a favorite and therefore wont try as hard, because why should they? If they aren't a favorite they feel they wont do well and wont put in as much effort. They might even feel hopeless. So equity is super important, and feeling that they have a fighting chance is what will help them put in the adequate amount of effort in order to do well in school.
So taking these elements into effect, we can make our students comfortable in our classrooms and create a safe learning environmnet as well as give students a chance to be open and have their teachers be open with them. These are all of the important things present in a successful classroom.
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