Monthly Archives: March 2013

PLN Activity 6


I found this blog post by Lisa Nielsen really insightful because she brought up a controversial topic: Race to the Top. Nielsen stated that the whole design behind the policies put into place are hurting our children’s ability to be innovative. If you’re unfamiliar with the components of Race to the Top, click here for more information. Basically, the key goals/policies within it are:

  • Development of rigorous standards and better assessments
  • Adoption of better data systems to provide schools, teachers, and parents with information about student progress
  • Support for teachers and school leaders to become more effective
  • Increased emphasis and resources for the rigorous interventions needed to turn around the lowest-performing schools

While these all seem to be rather tangible goals, I think Nielsen brings forth an imperative argument. As she mentions, Common Core Standards are already hindering both students and teachers ability to be creative and innovative in the classroom. While these standards aim to set a universal design for each classroom, it’s unreasonable to assume that every classroom is the same.

Aside from that, the education system doesn’t need more assessments because assessments don’t initiate change. What the classrooms need is flexibility and room for creativity. Teachers should be provided with more tools and technology to carry out lessons. Students should be exposed to new technology in education so that they may be more productive and innovative.

So, now it’s your turn. How do you feel about the policies that are outlined in Race to the Top?

PART 3 (Twitter Portion)

I have retweeted three posts that I found valuable. Here they are!

I felt that this tweet embodied what our SPED 312 class is all about: finding ways to use technology to our greatest advantage in the classroom. I think that as times are changing and we are moving forward with innovations, technology should be integrated more frequently in the classroom. Teachers just need to become educated on their uses, first.

I thought it was really neat how Vicki had her students create their own webpages (kind of what i’m doing!) The earlier you education children on the variety of uses the internet has, the better. I think it’s great she’s introducing her students to such a challenging task, and it will be extremely beneficial for them to know in the years to come!

Well put. It seems like the minute something new and hip comes out (the flip cell phone), something better is already in the making (a touchscreen cell phone.) The technological products and tools we are using today will change, but that certainly doesn’t mean we will ever stop creating, playing, and utilizing them.


PLN Activity 5


Part One | Ignite!

Ignite is a wonderful and highly interactive tool you can make presentations with. It is unique because you can not only record audio, but also film the computer screen at the same time! This makes it easy to explain how-tos, abstract concepts, and endless other ideas. In my Ignite video, I chose to talk about a topic I hold near and dear to my heart: my family. Although I did have some issues with the recording tool, I managed to fill up most of the 5 minute time constraint.

Part Two | Twitter

Vicki Davis shared an interesting article about all of the ways the Internet and Social Media has changed our world. The article provides a graphic representation of the different information/tools that are available thanks to the Internet. It also discusses how the Internet has caused “huge shifts in ideologies and an ongoing rethink in how we absorb and process information.”

Okle Miller shared a link to MacinVIA, a website that provides access to ebooks and online databases. What I liked about this tweet was that with the advancement in technology, powerful resources like books are becoming more and more available. Ebooks are efficient because they can provide you with a 30 pound textbook that is completely weightless, and you can access it anywhere there’s Internet.

Steven W. Anderson copied a link to a very informative article regarding all of the resources for digital learning. Some of the resources it highlights are research/curation, ebooks/reading, common core lesson plans, tools for teaching, and unique apps for the iPad that can aid in teaching lessons.