MIDL321: Big Ideas for (a) building partnerships among teachers, students, and parents; and (b) creating hybrid border spaces for transformative border spaces for transformative learning

Please list 3-5 big ideas from each of the following papers, that you can incorporate into your classroom:
a. Ntuli and Kyel-Blankson’s Planning, Designing, and Implementing Effective Interactive Portfolios in the Primary Grades: Suggestions for Forming Partnerships among Teachers, Students, and Parents
b. Machado’s chapter Opening Young Minds and Hearts: Employing Technology Infused Critical Pedagogy in Hybrid Border Spaces.


8 thoughts on “MIDL321: Big Ideas for (a) building partnerships among teachers, students, and parents; and (b) creating hybrid border spaces for transformative border spaces for transformative learning

  1. a( 1-pg 135. Most teachers overlook e-portfolios because they are focused too much on the yearly testing. With e-portfolio’s the students, parents, and teachers can track the student’s progress from month to month. This helps the teachers know what each individual needs help with. It also allows students to engage in reflective thinking so they know what areas that they need to work on as well.
    2-On page 136, table 8.1 shows a variety of different material that can be added into each student’s e-portfolio. Some of this material includes science experiments, journals, completed checklists, and artwork done by the student. By including this material in each student’s e-portfolio, you are showing the growth and knowledge of each individual.
    3-pg 136. Setting up an e-portfolio for each student, will allow the parents to be involved with the learning of their children. This will also help the teachers and parents connect over the students/children’s work. By involving the parents, the teacher must share many tips with them on how to monitor the e-portfolio. The parents should also teach their children how to monitor their own e-portfolio so they can see their work and growth as well.

    B) 1-pg 87. International Education and Resource Network (IEARN) is a website that is used in classrooms to connect the students with other individuals who have a different background. As teachers, you can have your students use this website for a small lesson or for a big project. This website is interactive and students can upload their projects for other individuals to see. This allows all students from various countries to connect.
    2-pg 91. I believe the way Skype is used to connect a class from Ghana and a classroom from Australia is extremely interesting and beneficial to the students. I believe this is beneficial for all students because it allows them to interact with another culture one on one. It also allows the students to share the differences and similarities between each classroom. This experience will help the students better understand the other culture.
    3.-pg 93. I believe the way that the two teachers used voicethread to communicate was interesting. They waited until both countries were around two different holidays so they could share the differences and similarities between them. This allowed each classroom to hear the description of the the other cultures holiday. This broadened the knowledge of each student and it allowed for more intellectual conversation.

  2. A)
    1. On pages 133-134, there is an interaction between a teacher and student. They are talking about the student’s E-portfolio. On page 134, the author states, “A portfolio is ‘a purposeful collection of evidence of a child’s learning collected over time that demonstrates a child’s efforts, progress, or achievement’ (McAfee et al. 2004, p.52)”. I really liked this quote because it went along so well with the interaction that was described above. I think that portfolios are awesome and are the best way to track a students work through the school year. Having an electronic portfolio is amazing because students can access it at any time, they won’t lose it, and parents are able to see them whenever they want to. E-portfolios are also a great way to have communication between teachers and parents.
    2. On page 138, there is an example of the types of questions to ask your students about their portfolio. It is important for students to recognize their improvements so that as teachers, we can make sure that they are encouraged and motivated to continue improving. It is also important to know what the students think of their work. By knowing what the student is most proud of or what they thought was hard is good feedback for the teacher and it makes the student feel important.
    3. Also on page 38, there is a list of the five audiences for young children’s portfolio. This is important to know because it is important for the teacher to know who is looking at the portfolio. Since so many people will be looking at the portfolios it is important to make the portfolio easy to use. Some people are not great at technology, so the teacher needs to be sure that the students,parents, teachers, and program evaluators are able to figure out how to use the portfolio. If they are unable to figure out how to use the portfolio, what’s the point in even having one?

    B) 1. At the bottom of page 79, there is a discussion about the lack of diversity in the United Stats’ schools. I think that this is very important because it’s true. In my experience in schools, I cannot really remember being exposed to many different diversities and I think it’s awful. As teachers, I think it is our job to make sure that our students are exposed to different cultures, whether we have diverse students or not.
    2. On page 81, there is discussion on different technologies that teachers have access to in schools today. I think technology is a great resource to have in the classroom, especially for lessons concerning diversity. In this part of the book, it is suggested that “education professionals and caregivers can transport young learners to different parts of the world where they can experience first-hand the cultures and traditions they read about in books”. We are very fortunate to have access to such advanced technology and this is a great idea on how to use this technology.
    3. On page 91, there is an example about using Skype to talk to other students and teachers across the world. The example talks about one class in Ghana talking to another class in Australia. The two teachers found a meeting time that worked for both of their schedules and allowed the students to Skype and interact during class. They asked each other questions, gave each other tours, and followed up with the students the next day through email. I thought that this example was amazing and would love to do something similar to this in my classroom someday!

  3. A.
    1. The dialogue between the teacher and student at the beginning of the chapter was an excellent way to show the importance and usefulness of e-portfolios. It was portrayed as a perfect scenario that could arise when e-portfolios are used correctly.
    2. The accessibility is discussed on page 134-135 which brings up many important ideas. It is very important that the work that is collected is able to be seen and reflected upon so that growth can occur. By having the students work available at any time progress can be easily noticed and praised (and who doesn’t like praise?)
    3. The table on page 136 is a very helpful resource for all teachers. The portfolio can only be as good as the material that is put in it. The material must be able to show growth when looked at against other things. This table is a great resource for storing important artifacts.
    4. The entry page on page 138 is a great way to tie the students ideas and thoughts into their portfolio. It is a way to show that they know what is being added and why it is being added. This could make portfolios so much meaningful for everyone.
    1. The statistics at the bottom of page 78 astonished me. In western Pa it is hard to see this increase but it is a realization that I must come to. I have been sheltered in my hometown and must understand that the make-up of the United States is changing before our very eyes.
    2. The paragraph about our founding fathers is amazing. I never thought about how they would have impacted the classroom environment and what they would have wanted in a classroom. The focus on lectures and convergent thinking is the way that we have been teaching for years, the future is one of hands on divergent thinking which will bring on a new level of intelligent citizens.
    3. The Skype interaction described on pages 91-92 is an awesome way to provide a culturally rich classroom environment using technology. The idea and collaboration between the teachers makes for a great cultural learning experience for the children.

  4. A.
    1. On page 133 the conversation between the teacher and the student shows how beneficial an E-portfolio can be to students and parents. I think it is a very good idea to include an E-portfolio in your classroom so that parents and students can track their academic progress.

    2. On page 143 they mention how VoiceThread is a cloud application that allows users to
    upload images, videos, documents, and presentations. “VoiceThread also allows users to have conversations and make comments using any mix of text, a microphone, a webcam, a telephone, or uploaded audio file” This would be a great way to upload student work to an E-portfolio and also to allow students to comment on their work.

    3. On page 137 the quote, “Research in the last decade found that portfolios in early childhood education were developed for three purposes: for assessing ongoing child development, for program assessment, and for demonstrating to parents what children are able to do.” is a very important quote for all teachers to remember. portfolios that we use in the future should meet these three parts of criteria if we want to get the most out of E-portfolios.

    1. On page 79 I liked how school in present day was compared to students grandfathers. I think that it is very important to remember how much time is spent listening to lectures and writing notes. Classrooms should be a mixture of lecture, hand on activities, and several other things to keep students learning in different ways.

    2. On page 81, it is explained that inexpensive technology and a tablet with a high speed connection can take students to new worlds that they would not be able to explore before. It is explained how students are able to explore new cultures with tablets. This is a good idea to keep in mind. We can now teach students about different cultures with a tablet rather than a textbook. Teaching with a tablet is also more efficient and effective than having students read about the cultures.

    3. On page 83 their is a quote that reads, “Technology is not just a choice anymore; it is a necessity, primarily because it is impossible to teach children everything they need to know through the written word alone.” I think it is important to remember that technology has become a necessity rather than a choice when we are teaching in the classroom. Technology will help relate to the students who are on their IPhones and IPads all day. It is also a more interactive way to teach students than a book.

  5. A1) I don’t know very much about e-portfolios but I think this chapter brought me a good understanding of their purpose. I think it would be extremely useful to use in the classroom. As the author says, “E-portfolios enhance the ability for teacher, parents, and students to reflect, share, and assess progress over time.” An important point in that students can show what they are able to do in many different ways. The portfolio can hold all types of media, links, and feedback. If possible, I would try to incorporate these in my classroom. It’s a great way for students, parents, and teachers to track progress.

    A2) I like the guided reflective statement template for students on page 138. It is an excellent tool to help students learn to reflect on their work and succinctly summarize their thoughts. There are only a few lines for the student to write their thoughts so they have to really consider what they think it the most important take-away from their activity/project/lesson.

    A3) Another aspect of the e-portfolios that I like is the parent involvement that occurs when these are used. It’s a crucial step that teachers and parents be closely collaborating in order to form an effective and meaningful portfolio. PArents do not always help create the portfolio but if the teacher initiates an invitation and the parents accept, often much more can come of the project.

    B1) There was a part in this chapter that talked about the importance of acculturation and that really struck a chord with me. The definition given for acculturation was this, “…the process whereby groups who come into contact with each other engage in an exchange of cultural patterns; both groups are altered, without losing the characteristics that make them unique.” I know we talk about multicultural education and diversity quite often but this definition I think shed a bit more light for me on what it should be. If we as teachers are correctly addressing diversity in our classrooms, it will show by the way that all students and the teacher are changed, and yet retain their uniqueness.

    B2) The part about textbooks not including diversity definitely got my attention. I never realized how very Eurocentric most of our textbooks are until I recently started reading a book that points it all out. AT first glance, the books do seem to include diversity but as the author states, we have “a history of many colors but one idea, culturally diverse yet intellectually static.” Our most focused “heroes and heroines” are dominant and white. This is why is is so critically important to supplement your curriculum with other sources, such as historical fiction or biographies. Students deserve to know that the people who changed our country (for better or worse) were not all just high and mighty, faultless, white people.

    B3) An idea that came up in this chapter was one concerning using online resources to connect students who live all over the world. I mentioned this in my post about the Voice Threads, but I really like the idea of teaching culture and collaboration through a shared assignment with two (or more) groups in different regions. Students can collaborate on just a lesson or maybe a really big project. It doesn’t matter, what matters is that while they are learning content, they are also learning about culture and people.

  6. P. 134. “A portfolio is “a purposeful collection of evidence of a child’s learning collected over time that demonstrates a child’s efforts, progress, or achievement.” I think portfolios are one of the best ways to have the students complete their work I think it allows them to have more ownership over their works and therefore it is better work from the students.
    P. 91: “New types of media make it possible for children to reach across continents to connect with children in another state or another country with ease.” I think that have the ability to look at other schools systems through technology is wonderful and is something that I would want to use in my classroom. Especially through skype and other emails and pen pals. This could help students learn other cultures first hand.
    p. 79: “Schools in the U.S. are frozen in time. Children spend a great deal of classroom time, much as their grandparents did, listening to lectures, scribbling notes, completing worksheets, and taking tests.” I think that this is true but I can see that the times are changing with the welcoming and implication of technology in the classroom the times are slowly changing and teachers are changing the methods in which they are teaching their students.

  7. 1a. I thought the dialogue in the beginning of the chapter was very powerful. It is really important for students to have confidence in their progress. Parents are more likely going to give them that praise if they can regularly keep track of how the students are doing and are able to witness their growth. In opposition, if a student is doing poorly, the parents will be able to monitor that, too. This will alleviate some of the pressure teachers feel when it comes to keeping the students on track. Parents will be able to question their students and push them to do better. They can discipline and help them see the importance in completing assignments.
    2a. On page 137, the chapter starts to talk more about how e-portfolios can be used for students to reflect on their own progress. I think as teachers, we get caught up in the importance of the tests that the students are required to take. In reality, the tests do not matter as much as the individual progress of the students. When students are able to physically go back and look at their first writing and compare it to their final writing, their confidence will shoot up because they can see that they improved. Isn’t that what teaching is all about?
    3a. Finally on page 142, the chapter talks about teachers giving feedback on students’ e-portfolios. Students, like any human being, are more motivated to do something when they receive something for their actions. Students will get tired of doing something if they are not given feedback for their actions. Yes, it is great to get praise from parents, but students could receive that praise by taking out the trash or doing the dishes. However, when the teacher responds to their work, then the students will be more likely to keep up with their portfolios.
    1b. The reflection in the beginning of this chapter broke my heart. Not only with what the little girl said, but with the reaction of her grandparents. How could such a little girl be able to feel that way, I always thought children loved and accepted everyone. This means that her home life is filled with hatred. As a teacher, I will have classrooms filled with diverse students, but I often forget that I will also have students that are not accepting of the diversity that fills the room. It is my job to open up those little hearts and show them how amazing diversity is. How it can make you a smarter and widen your knowledge of the world.
    2b. On page 85, it says “children are testing their theories about how things work by collecting data, they tirelessly try out different actions on the world and watch to see what happens.” Unfortunately, as a middle school teacher,you are getting students that have already collected enough data to form an opinion about something. However, middle school is a time when students are willing to change their views on things if you give them a good enough reason to want to switch views. That is why it is important to give them a lot of exposure to diversity, technology, literature, and several other things. The one topic that can be integrated into everything is diversity.
    3b. On page 92 it says “simple questions can lead to discussions that can promote cultural awareness.” That is really impacting for me. I often forget the beauty in a question and how far a simple question can go. The answers that people give to those questions can literally change someone’s life or at least how they view something.

  8. [A]
    1) As with all aspects of education, frequent collaboration/partnership with parents is essential. Page 136 of the text emphasizes the role parents must have in an early childhood student’s e-Portfolios. In middle school, students will likely be more capable to set up their own portfolio. However, parents should still be included in the ongoing development of their child’s work. By accessing their child’s e-Portfolio, parents are able to monitor and understand what it is their child is learning, and how they are progressing throughout the school year. Throughout pages 139-140, the text touches on how e-Portfolios foster interaction among numerous entities (see Fig. 8.2: Electronic portfolio interactions). In my opinion, parent interaction with the portfolio itself, and with the teacher through it, lays a more stress-free foundation for in-person conferences. When meeting in-person, both parties will have had prior communication and understand what the student has been doing in school.
    2) With e-Portfolios, students gain experience in reflecting on their learning. As they gradually add to their portfolio, they display their progress/development. They take ownership in their work, as well as partake in self-assessment. Students are able to see where improvement can still be made. They can also express in detail what the project meant to them, if they enjoyed it, and how it was beneficial to their learning. (Pages 137-139)
    3) For e-Portfolios to be efficiently utilized and maintained, the teacher must be organized. It is the teacher’s job to set objectives, understanding exactly what they expect from his/her students. After this is determined, the teacher needs to decide on an evaluation strategy. In other words, how will he/she conclude that the set objectives are met, and to what degree? The students should be provided with a rubric/checklist, in order to understand how they can create a well-developed e-Portfolio. Table 8.4 (page 143) displays some of these “principles” in a concise manner.
    4) There are two approaches that can be taken when implementing e-Portfolios: a student-managed approach or an assessment-driven approach. I like the idea of using the student-managed one, as it creates a way for students to be intentional about their work. While they produce materials and display their skills, they are aware that others will be able to view it. Thus, they may be more inclined to put in their best effort. They are also encouraged, then, to think about the concepts of purpose and audience. (Page 144)

    1) In the diverse society we live in today, teachers have a responsibility to raise global awareness. The text discusses how some educators have greatly taken advantage of their available technology to make such exposure possible. The International Education and Resource Network (IEARN) is a tool that enables students to collaborate with those in other countries on an array of learning endeavors. In the process, they discover more of their own and foreign cultures. There are an array of other Web 2.0 tools, as well, that can “create hybrid border spaces.” Table 5.1 in the text greatly details some of these resources. Two that most interest me are “virtual field trips” and Glogster. (Pages 87-88)
    2) The text stresses the “4 Cs” as vital skills in today’s “interconnected world.” That is, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity must be consistently implemented in the classroom. As I read about these necessities, the aspect of creativity in the classroom stuck with me most. I greatly agree with the statement, “The challenge lies, not in cultivating creativity…but in preventing the creativity loss that unimaginative curricula could perpetuate” (page 85). Children are naturally imaginative, and educators must not repress that.
    3) Educators must communicate with caregivers to explain the value of multicultural awareness. Then, in partnership with families, educators can create an environment where interaction with people/places beyond the school walls is possible. As a teacher works to ensure privacy and authenticity, the fostering a “hybrid border space” can truly be an engaging experience. The text provided numerous vignettes of those who have succeeded in doing this. For example, becoming pen pals/blogging with distant classes, when done in a safe and organized manner, can be well-accomplished. (Pages 93-96)

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