Saturday, July 30, 2011

Technology Podcast

Below is a link to a podcast I made for my class Understanding the Impact of Technology.  I interviewed three students about their technology use at school and at home.  Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a national organization, is an advocate for teaching our students 21st century readiness skills by infusing the three R’s and the four C’s which will help the U.S. Education System to keep up globally.  One of the first things I noticed about this site is the plethora of information it contains.  The site is a great resource for those who want to know about 21st Century Skills, for school districts wanting to incorporate these skills into their curriculum, and for schools already working on becoming a school that engages in 21st century skills.   
We have been discussing and implementing 21st century skills at my school for the past couple of years.  Gradually we have all been working together to become a school that is teaching 21st century skills.  After looking through this web site, I realize that becoming a 21st Century School is much more that I had realized.  The information helped me to see that we have already been teaching some of the skills that our students need but it has also helped me to see what else we need to be teaching our students.  This will be a very helpful resource as we continue developing our 21st century curriculum. 
I was pleased to see that not only is the organization working with professionals and educators but they are working with the government and some major businesses too.  It is fantastic to see some major corporations like Dell Computer, Apple Computer, AOL, Cisco, and Microsoft all partnering to help improve United States education. 
As you here more and more about the necessity of teaching 21st century skills in the classroom, I was disappointed to find that only sixteen states have developed a technology plan and standards.  Unfortunately, the state of Missouri where I live is not one of them.  I hope to see that list grow, especially as more states look at adopting nationwide standards. 
As I read and learn more about 21st Century Skills I see that as an educator I must step up to the plate and make sure that I am incorporating technology and higher-order thinking skills into my daily curriculum.  Incorporating 21st century skills is a necessity for my students’ future.  Critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication are four C’s that my students will be learning along with the three R’s they are already learning!          
Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.). A report and mile guide for 21st century skills. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved from
Trilling, B. (n.d.) The Partnership for 21st Century Skills – Home. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills – Home. Retrieved July 20, 2011, from

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blogs in the Classroom

I am somewhat familiar with using blogs in the classroom already.  I teach third grade and last year was my first year to have a classroom blog.  However, as I am learning more about blogs, I did not use it to its fullest potential.  I mainly used it to keep family and friends updated on certain happenings in the classroom.  I would also post special projects (for example Power Points) and pictures.  Each week, I would have two students write down on an index card what they would like to share on our blog.  I would then type in what they wrote, have them read what I typed, and okay it or add more before I posted it.  This was my first experience with blogs so I plan to improve upon the use of it this coming year.  I plan to keep up the classroom blog but want to turn more of the responsibility over to my students.

I also plan to have a blog for each of my students.  I will use the blogs for their journal prompt responses that we do each week.  I hope this will motivate my students to produce quality answers instead of writing down brief and inadequate answers.  This will also be an easy way for me to comment and respond to their responses.  I will also require them to read and respond to a certain number of their classmates’ posts.  I hope that by opening this up to parents that they will also participate in responding to several of the students' posts.  Eventually, I want to expand the use of the blogs for their writing too.  By using the blogs for the journal prompts and their writing, it will give my students an authentic audience and the interaction will give them a purpose as they write.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I am currently working on my master's degree in "Integrating Technology into the Classroom" through Walden University.  Through the courses in the program I hope to learn how to effectively use technology in my third grade classroom.  I am privileged to be part of a school that is blessed with a lot of technology and I am excited to learn how to use these resources to engage, encourage, and motivate my students. 

Last year was my first year to use a classroom blog with my students to keep parents and friends updated on our classroom happenings.  I plan to improve the use of the classroom blog and want to venture to using individual student blogs for journals and/or writing workshop.

My third grade classroom blog: