Archive for » February, 2013 «

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013 | Author:

This is a wonderful concept and something I would like to try once I get inside the classroom.  Providing students with the flexibility to take the classroom anywhere opens so many doors.  Looking at it from an English teachers perspective this could be very useful when it comes to teaching grammar lessons.  The students can watch the “lecture” portion on their time, and the following class the warm-up activity for the first 10-20 minutes of class can be dedicated to putting into practice what they learned the night before. It would also be a useful tool when introducing students to new vocabulary terms in pieces of literature they are reading. However, it does worries me that some students may not be motivated to watch the lectures on their own, but I guess that leaves it up to the teacher to make the videos entertaining and short enough to make the students want to watch them.

I also enjoyed reading the article “The Flipped Classroom Revealed” in The Daily Riff because it pointed out some of the characteristics that appeared in a successful “flipped” classroom environment.  The common theme throughout all of the characteristics was based on the students’ focus and drive.  Discussions were led by the students and typically reached higher orders of critical thinking.  The students were able to collaborate seamlessly with one another on various topics and interest, and in turn were able to relate what they were learning to real-world scenarios.  The students challenged each other, took ownership of the material, and led one another in discussions without prompting from the teacher.  It was apparent that students in the successful flipped learning environment were becoming active listeners, who were actively engaged in problem solving and critical thinking that went beyond the scope of the course and beyond the core curriculum.

These students had become genuinely interested in what they were learning and in turn they wanted to fully understand how, when and where to apply their new knowledge.  These are the types of students I want in my classroom, so if I need to “flip” it around in order to find these students I don’t see any problem in at least trying it out.  Besides kids today are so attached to their handheld devices that I’m sure they would love to go home and tell their parents they “have to use the internet” to do their homework.  I realize there is still the possibility of students not having access to a computer or streaming device at home, but they can always take advantage of other resources such as the local library, school library, or work with a friend to complete the online lectures.  Where there is a will there is a way, and I believe that part of this flipped classroom environment is putting the student in control of whether or not they will come to class ready to work or not.



Bennet, B., Gudenrath, A., Kern, J., & McIntosh, P.  (2012).  The flipped class revealed.  The Daily Riff.  Retrieved from

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Friday, February 15th, 2013 | Author:


My drama review animoto take a look

This is an incredible tool for use in the classroom, my favorite so far in this class!  I decided to take a PowerPoint I created on drama (for a practicum class I was in) and the results were worlds away from my PowerPoint.  This format truly takes the viewer on a journey and I believe a lot of that has to do with being able to add sound to the presentation of information.  I wish I had known about this tool sooner because it would have been a much less “painful” approach for the students in the classroom.  The movement, pictures, and words moving all over the screen should keep the attention of the majority of the students, and if all of those aspects are working together the student should be able to walk away with a solid foundation for the teacher to start building upon.

I also thought it was great that took my 10 minute PowerPoint and cut it down into 2.5 minutes.  The character limit is brilliant in that it really forces the creator to simplify and get to the point.  However, for the amount of time I took searching for images, it was disappointing that the video clip was only 2.5 minutes long.  Even though it can be quite time consuming it will not deter me from utilizing this took.  I feel that this format is something today’s students can connect to because it is keeps moving, gets the point across quickly, utilizes tons of color, incorporates music, and can be personalized.

As a quick summary I have also included 2 lists.  One for my favorite features and the other for my not so favorite features:

Favorite features:

-The great selection of music

-The decent selection of photos

-Ease of use

-The character limits

-Availability of websites to import information from

-Ability to import personal photos


-Theme options

-The utter beauty of the final product

-The video changes a bit with each playback

Not so favorite features:

-Where is the auto-save feature?  My computer decided to run into technical difficulties and I lost all of my work!

-After adding text and hitting enter, why do I need to “escape” from that screen?  I believe it should automatically return to the slide interface.

-No pictures of people.

-Text options limited (Where are the size and color?)

In other news for this week….

Twitter.  I’m not sure I’m going to like it.  I don’t have great cell reception at my house and I feel like twitter is a tool that most people use on their phones for “on the go” quick blogging.  I actually have to log on my home computer to use it most of the time.  I find this a bit annoying, just another browser I have to open.

Linked in is something I have been a member of for quite a few years now.  I feel it will be a great help when I complete this Masters program.


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Thursday, February 07th, 2013 | Author:

Scratch Pic

My scratch link:

I spent so much time on this “Scratch Website” this week, I am going to focus my blog on that and answer the questions posed by Dr. Coffman.

What types of problems did you have to solve to create your program?

What problems didn’t I encounter?  I had to go about making 2 full video shorts because in the first one I couldn’t figure out how to get my sprite to reappear back on the page, and then I couldn’t figure out how to save it properly.  I don’t feel that this website is as intuitive as I’d like it to be.  I found myself constantly going back to the tutorials to “see how to do” whatever it was I was trying to accomplish.  It was extremely frustrating to spend so much time on something that looked so childish and mediocre.  Even looking through the site at some of the other projects people posted, I was not impressed by the majority of them.

How did you approach designing your program? Did you sit down and think about what you wanted and what you would need to build your program?

I first sat down (after watching several tutorials) and started playing around with the different features.  I played around with the different sections and then decided to make something simple because I realized this is something that would drive me crazy because I am a bit of a perfectionist.

What are your take-a-ways?

As a perfectionist this type of program is no good.  I could spend at least a week trying to perfect a video in scratch, and still not get “it right”.  If I did suggest this tool to my students I would tell them not to over think or overdo it, but to view it as a fun little resource to restate a main point (whether it is in game, video, or some other format).

I don’t like that I can’t export the videos and I can only paste a link.  I would much rather be able to past in my video somewhere rather than include a like to it.

My favorite moment, however, was when my 6 year old watched my scratch and told me it was for babies and that babies could do this.  I was tempted to let her play around with it, but unfortunately it was her bedtime.  I don’t doubt that she would find this much easier to navigate than myself.  Maybe if we find some extra time one day I’ll sit her down and show her how to use it, and before long she’ll be telling me how it really works.  This made me wonder what secondary students might really think about this tool.

How will this aid in your teaching?

I don’t see this aiding in my own teaching, but I think it would be a great tool to offer up to students.  Personally it is not something that worked for me, but if my students want to use it and it works for them, then by all means I won’t be the one to stop them.

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Sunday, February 03rd, 2013 | Author:

“Cross-Eyed Finger-Eating Cat”

When I looked at the three image search options for this week’s blog post, I realized how lucky I am because I could have pulled ALL of them from my own hard drive.  I have two cats that are constantly cracking me up, a plethora of photos and artifacts in my home from my husband’s trip to Egypt, and also an uncountable number of pictures of monuments from my many visits to the D.C. Metro area.  Alas, the assignment was not to pull pictures of my own, but to find an image that someone else had produced.  I chose to search for a cat image via google and found the included image of the cross-eyed finger-eating cat.

Here are the image search strategies I used:

-Open Google advanced image search
-Used the search phrase “amusing cat”
-Selected Image Size “medium”
-Selected “filter explicit results” in Safe Search option
-Selected “JPG files” under image type
-Selected “free to use or share” under usage rights
-Kept all other options as default selections
-Selected image and dragged and dropped it onto my desktop
-Clicked on image and copied the link it originated from:
-Clicked on the link provided on the webpage ( with the privacy policies that stated in layman’s terms that the privacy policy was: You are free to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work; You are free to Remix — to adapt the work.

The image I choose is protected by a creative commons copyright witch encourages me to share it and use it for my own interests, at least that’s what I gathered in the video we watched this week (  I also went to the blog this photo originated from and the creative commons copyright terms were those that I noted above.

I want to be a good role model in the classroom and this includes following proper copyright procedures.  I do not want my students to end up in court or paying heavy fines because they took away misinformation regarding proper copyright etiquette in my classroom based on my actions.  I believe that actions speak louder than words, so if I back up all of my presentations and materials with copyright information, it will not only show the students that I take the time to do this but also provide them with an example of a citation.

I will take the time to teach this important skill to my students, as digital natives, with so much information at their fingertips, I doubt they even think about who owns what they are re-posting and tweeting all over the internet.  At the rate information moves through cyber-space it is hard to keep track of who owns what, but I want my students to at least make an attempt at avoiding theft of someone else’s hard work.


Nika. (2008, November 23). Lost in the supermarket: Dear Jabari [Photo]. Retrieved from

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