Wow! I think made it…

I few weeks ago, I was watching a screencast tutorial about external hard drives and wondered how they did it. They were clearly not videotaping the screen from a separate source, but I thought it was a much more complex process. This class has been a whirlwind of reading, writing, creating, posting, editing, and learning. I have made youtube tutorials, read about education in technology, and watched videos about using technology in collaborative and project based learning. This class taught me what technology the world today needs in its education system.

I learned how we can use technology to engage students, not just by using it as educators, but by allowing and encouraging our students to use it as well. People use technology everyday, and sometimes we do not fully understand or appreciate all of the things it does for us. For example, 10 years ago, students were not allowed to bring cellphones to school. Education is catching onto technology, just slowly.

Technology is an ever changing landscape in which the users and creators work off of each other and remain innovative to developed and create new systems for today’s society. This makes it hard for educators to keep up and teach using the latest systems. The Tool Cool Duel we did was very eye opening. People found technology used by teachers, by students, by the class as a whole, the opportunities were endless.

After all of these eye opening and enriching experiences with technology my one fear remains. What happens to the students without access to this technology? I understand that it is a work in progress and people are working tirelessly to close this gap. However, this is happening here and now. What can we do as educators to teach the best of technology to those without it?


Technology in the Classroom by Gabgorrilla

Pages Doc into a Word Doc by Chelsea Rohrbach

My WebQuest



Copyright Laws

Copyright laws are so complex. Most people do not fully understand if they are violating copyright laws or not. Most of the time people will simply assume they are in violation of a copyright law and either do not care, have rectified the situation and paid the appropriate parties, or have taken the proper actions to verify that what they are doing falls under fair use. Fair use involves using works for education, news reporting, commenting, or parody. Even then, the laws of fair use are strict and minimize the new creators use.

A while back I learned that if a parody of the work is created, the creator of the new piece does not violate the copyright laws. I.e. Spaceballs as a comedic parody of Star Wars. I also knew that teachers may use parts of work for educational purposes.

This being said, I had no idea how little an educator is permitted to use before infringing on copyright law. I did not know that teacher can only use 10% of a work, or only a chapter of a book. Educators can only use 250 words from a poem, and may only copy the same work nine times in a semester. Visit and scroll down to the “Guidelines For Educators” section for more information.

Finally, how can we talk about Copyright without discussing the “Happy Birthday To You” song? For years, Warner Brothers has received up to $2 million worth of royalties, yearly, for the song. As of just last year, “Happy Birthday To You” has been ruled public works. Now people may use the birthday song without the needing to pay Warner Brothers. See for the complete article.

Copyright and Fair Use Animation by Common Sense Media


Copyright: Forever Less One Day by CGP Grey

Technology Revolution, Social Media, and Education

In today’s world, news is instantaneous, friends can hang out and chat in the comfort of their own homes, and anyone can learn how to crimp CAT6 cable in their PJs. All of these are examples of the current technology revolution. I use social media in my personal life, to keep in contact with those I do not see often due to distances. According to Clay Shirky, the internet is a landscape that takes the long distance communication we get from telephones and the group audience we get from television and put it in one place. In no other time in human history has communication been so global or so instant.

As our world becomes more and more technologically advanced, the more the educational system needs to be able to implement this technology into the classroom. This is something that educators have known and understood for sometime. However, one of the hardest parts is understanding where education can live and participate in this world. The most important part of education understanding how to fit into this world of social media, is to understand that there is a social area and a “geeking out” space. Unfortunately, there is not enough awareness around the geeking out area for students, teachers, and parents, to fully take advantage. Teachers should promote participating in fan-fiction, or watching, commenting on, and creating youtube videos. These type of education social media uses will get students to participate, grow, and engage with content, as well as other students. The sooner as we understand that value can be found in the internet, and exploit that, the sooner we can have the students learn and connect in the same way their world works.


Social Media and Education by tassiwante TV

Note this video was created by French speakers. Here is the vocabulary needed: Jeunes=Youth, Société=Society, École=school.


What Role Does Social Media Have in Education by Compass Learning


Kahoot!, other than being fun to say, is an online preview, review, and assessment tool. It is creative, interactive, and fun. Students work as a team, or individually, to answer questions projected on their device. Once answered, the students get to see what the answer is, how many others thought the answer was the same as theirs, and the most up to date rankings. The highest scoring students are ranked after each round to keep the competition going. Each student can also see their rank on their device. The students create ‘nicknames’ and can use any name they choose to sign in. This allows for anonymity, if the student, and or teacher, wishes. There are pre-made quizzes. However, you can also custom make your own, add music, even fun videos during the sign-in process.

The only disadvantage to Kahoot! is the need for technology. Each student or team participating requires their own device (smartphone, tablet, or computer) to play on. The teacher will also need the proper technology to project the questions, so all students can read and answer them. I believe, as with most tech tools, Kahoot! may very well not be around in 10 years. It could be taken over, revamped, or trashed for a “newer better version”.

Technology changes so quickly. For example, one year I bought an external hard drive. They very next year, my friend bought an external hard drive that was half the size and had twice the capacity. The tools that appear to stand the test of time are that of social media. However, I remember the days of MySpace. Did you know it is still around? It is, but how many people are users of MySpace today? Not many. So, although some of these tools may still be in existence in 10 years, it is unlikely they will be as frequently used due to the fact that they feel and sound outdated.


“Gamify Your Class” by Time Smith


“How To Kahoot!”by Tech In 2


Cumulus Clouds Over Jamaica by by Keith Pomakis CC 2.5.jpg

Cumulus Clouds Over Jamaica by by Keith Pomakis CC 2.5

The internet has connected us like never before. We can email and gchat with friends and coworkers. We can share documents and collaborate on projects with someone across the ocean. With all this technology something called cloudware has been created. Cloudware is a way to save and back up applications on a server without a using up space on your computer’s hard drive. Cloudware also allows you to access your work anywhere you might be, as long as you have internet or a data provider service.

As someone who uses google docs constantly, cloudware helps keep schedules aligned, tasks together, and partner editing capabilities all in one place. In schools, I believe that teachers could use google docs to work together to discuss lesson plans and ideas for a standard. Google docs could also be used by students who are asked to work on a project together. They can meet and plan in class and work on the same assignment in their own homes. Teachers could also use SnagIt to do a Flipped classroom model.

When flipping a classroom, the students learn the material at home, through reading or a video, then come to class the next day to practice what they learned with classmates and teacher support. All of this is, of course, assuming that students will all have internet access and a computer to use at their house. Unfortunately this is not the reality for all students. The beauty of cloudware is that is accessible anywhere, you can work with a variety of people from all over the world. The problem is, it is only possible for those who have the means to access the software.

What is CloudWare
CloudWare Explainer Video

Project-Based Learning

"Demonstraing Activity-Based Learning in the Classroom" by Jebs Rötzsch licenced under CC BY-SA 3.0.jpg“Demonstraing Activity-Based Learning in the Classroom” by Jebs Rötzsch licenced under CC BY-SA 3.0

Going to school in the early 1990’s was fairly repetitive. Most of the work was memorization and tests. We did projects, which were fun. However, they were rare, and usually done independently. In classrooms today, learning can usually be seen as this same basic method of memorizing facts and being tested on them. I am aware that some classrooms and schools have recently made a change. However, it is still happening. This can become a real problem for these students later. This method of memorizing and testing will not help the students of today learn to solve problems and innovate. These two skills are essential in the world outside of school. Project-Based Learning, or PBL, better equips students by having them work on projects, communicate, collaborate with others, and innovate.

I understand why Project-Based Learning does not appeal to everyone. Some people believe they learn best through memorization. Others may think it will be hard to plan a lesson around PBL, because the timeline would be set by the students progress rather than the teachers plan of what the students should learn next. I like a timeline and prefer to stick to a plan. However, as a kinesthetic and visual learner, I really like the idea of PBL. PBL allows the students to become fully immersed in their projects and, in a way, teach themselves. They will better retain the information because they are learning, creating, and teaching at the same time. Not only would students be learning the content, but they will also be learning important life skills. They will learn how to work with others and how to communicate with different people using multiple methods, because not everyone communicates the same way.

With all this in mind I leave you with two questions. Doesn’t Project-Based Learning sound fun? What student would not want to come to school knowing that they get to create, work with their friends, and invent that day?


Project-Based Learning: Explained by Buck Institute for Education

Student Driven Education

“If children have interest, then education happens,” these words were said by Sugata Mitra during one of his Ted Talks on child driven education. Mitra is a professor of Educational Technology and Communication in England, and has given many lectures on technology, children, and student focused education. Mitra is most well known for his Hole in the Wall experiment. This experiment shows that if children have the interest and the information, they can learn anything.

In Mitra’s Ted Talk called “Child-Driven Education” he discusses the places “good teacher’s won’t go” and the fact that it “is where they are needed the most.” This is a sad, but true, fact about our world today. As much as we know about the world, and as much as we are globalized, there are still huge gaps in education, and the educational system. Charles Leadbeater, an English political advisor, talks about education in first world countries and what they model after, Finland, and compares it to education in slums from around the world. He touches upon Mitra’s Hole in the Wall project and calls it “the most radical experiment” in education.

Through their talks, Mitra and Leadbeater focus on the idea that classrooms today need to be more student centered and student focused. This means that we would not be pushing knowledge onto the students, but rather having the students ask questions and learn what they feel they need and want to learn. This is very different then the model we currently have set up in the United States. There are national and state standards. Teachers are expected to meet these standards and have their students meet them as well. With these standards we will continue to push students into school rather than having them gravitate towards it. In a society where standards are so highly regarded and are the keystone of our educational system, how can we do this?  How can we recreate a system so that it will teach students what society feels they need to know and have school student centered in such a way that they, essentially, teach themselves?


Sugata Mitra’s “Child Driven Education”


Charles Leadbeater’s “Education Innovation in the Slums”

The World As We Know It

According to Thomas Friedman, the world is becoming flat. This means that the world, as we know it, is shrinking.  This is due to the globalization of the individual, through technological advances. It can be seen through many facets of life, from individual twitters and business software to education. One of the most influential observations of technology in education was Sugata Mitra’s Hole In the Wall experiment. Mitra placed a computer, in a hole in the wall, in a slum in India. He made it so only children could access it, and gave them no instructions on how to use it. Once the children learned how to use the computer, he added a molecular biology program to the computer, and the children learned that too. He proved that children can teach themselves, that they are self-motivated, and if left to their own devices they will learn, grow, and succeed. This has been shown time and time again. From a hole in the wall in India, to José López’s classroom in Mexico, this strategy of allowing students to collaborate with one another and teach themselves has worked.

Globalization has changed the face of education, and the impact of technology in schools can be seen everywhere. Teachers today have computers and tablets in their classrooms. They can use their cell phones to check on students’ questions. It can also allow children to access information anywhere anytime. With all of this technology, a teacher can use a Flip Classroom model. Having the students watch the lesson at home, several times if need be, and then practice it the next day with fellow students and the teacher. We have also learned, through globalization, that the way we communicate with the world and each other is not, necessarily, the way we are teaching our students how to interact and communicate. This understanding is changing the landscape of education from lectures and note taking, to one of multiple intelligences and student collaboration.

Education, as we know it today, was originally designed and set up during the Industrial Revolution, and therefore, still has some of those values influencing it today. Slowly, we have learned that education must change as the world changes. Using these old methods, in today’s world, will not work. Our world is becoming more technologically advanced and more globalized. Teaching children in rows of desks without stimuli or discussion when they live in a world of iPads®, smart phones, and Netflix® is not logical. We cannot expect the children of today to learn this way. As a teacher it is important to remain flexible and open to new teaching strategies, to be aware of the world around us, and to adapt our teaching to fit the world we live in.

Thomas Friedman discusses his book The World is Flat:


Sugata Mitra’s Ted Talk:


Sir Ken Robinson on education today: