MIDL321 The Flat Classroom, Productivity Applications and Social Networks

Read Peter’s chapter 3 The Flat Classroom Project and Solomon and Schrum’s chapter 3 on Podcasts and Vodcasts, chapter 4 on Productivity Applications and chapter 5 on Social Networks. Pick two ideas that appealed to you. Describe how you will use them to engage your students one or more of the 4 C’s.

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14 thoughts on “MIDL321 The Flat Classroom, Productivity Applications and Social Networks

  1. We are now on the brink of new digital paradigm. Our learners these days are technology inclined. Hence, in this world of digital technology, the teachers must be abreast and goes with the trend on massively online tools. Students tend to learn more and fast when it is technology aided or engaging with it. In the books that I’ve read the 2 ideas that appealed to me are:

    a. Productivity applications specifically using Google Docs in the Class. In the Philippines, though we heard of it most of the time but it is not common especially in our school. We have internet access in the school so I believe it’s high time for us to elevate our way of teaching through maximizing the technology that we have. Though not as recent as we have here in the US. Students love to explore on their gadgets so this Google Docs is appropriate for them. It has the complete features that can be used in the class of different subjects. It has spreadsheets, word processing and presentation tool. We can use this tool for a variety of activities that we have in the class. For instance, in science, using google docs we can enhance student’s creativity by enhancing their skills on applications of science concepts by creating presentations. It could either they do it in groups or individually. Through this tool, we can also promote and encourage collaboration in the development of their projects and papers. In science, students can also create simplified contents of what they understand with their classmates and can get feedback right away. They can interpret through graphs, information organizer, concept maps and etc. They can do brainstorming about contents and create application activities showcasing their learnings.

    b. Flat Classroom Project. This appealed to me because this is very interesting! It is a transformation of learning through global collaboration. I may be quite ambitious for this in our school but anyway dreams are free. Since learners are computer savvy I know they will get excited collaborating students across the globe. Here, they can learn and travel other countries while they are in the class. Using Web 2.0 tools students will learn and develop new and unique skills like solving problems. By communicating other students in other parts of the world at the same time collaborate with them on how to work on it. This also fosters innovative thinking. We know very well that our students are more engage in Web 2.0 applications and they love to socialize in social media. They love to scribble on digital tools. They love to communicate and they are very creative in sharing information and ideas, for they enjoy social interactions. With this, we cultivate the minds of our learners by creating linkages through collaboration and creating bridges making it very near with just in their fingertips.

  2. The 21st century is the era pf digital-age world. Therefore teachers and administrators should not ban the use of the technology tools and devices in classroom. We should shift from the traditional ways of teaching that are boring to the new instructional technologies that engage and motivate students in a more favorable and propice environment for learning for enhancing the 4Cs. In my classroom I intend to use and promote the use of the podcasts and the social network Facebook because many students have cellphones, then the question is how to make those devices in the hands of the students useful in interactive classrooms.
    1. Podcasts: First, I will tech the students about the use of podcasts and podcasts and then divide the class in groups of 4. Then, before each lesson I will upload the guidelines of the topic with some questions and ask students to download them, listen to them and answer the questions for the next lesson and then send them to me as podcasts. In this regard, I will foster the notion of teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, communication and above this activity will hone their creativity. Then I invite them to uploads all their podcasts to the platform of the school. They will have a larger audience and they will be able to exchange with other students from other countries and other cultures and discuss topical issues. They will also increase their knowledge by downloading podcasts of different topics of their interest.
    2. Facebook: It is obvious that Facebook has reached all the parts of the world even the most remote village in the world. In my country Facebook is the most popular social network and almost 70% of the students have a Facebook account and whether we like it on not, students use Facebook in our classroom. Therefore we have to turn it into a useful tool in the classroom. Last year I created a Facebook page of my 12th Grade and invited all the 12th grade students to join it, then those who did not have smartphones, very few of them, ere paired with one classmate. On this platform I posted some content lesson, some writing topics and then I asked students to write essays and submit it, they sometimes submitted presentations (group work) and then students were asked to comment. These activities first allowed me to teach them techniques of writing and second the students showed their creative, collaboration, communication skills and above all their critical thinking through the comments and reaction and I just acted as a moderator and coach. This platform also was very useful for informing students about the extra curriculum activities events and the assignments.

  3. Based on the reading, the first idea that appeals to me is Podcast. Podcast is an audio netcast that can be streamed or saved for later use. As a language teacher, I would definitely give it a try because podcast will allow me to integrate technology in a classroom, both online and offline. It will be easier for me to do continuation of my lesson and I will spend less time to find similar materials. Following a certain topic on podcast allows my students to look forward to the next episode of podcast and this will motivate them for the next lesson. It also allows my students to be a producer of their own knowledge. In a second language classroom setting, it is important for students to listen to native speakers’ authentic speech so that they get the ideas of the intonation and pronunciation of the spoken language. By using podcast, students will be exposed to at least near native style of English language. Not only it is easy to download or streamed live, teacher can save this downloaded audio that can be used later on. In the four Cs, students applies Critical thinking, communication and Creativity. Before producing their own podcast, students will have to prepare their own script so as to make the recording smooth and clear. This involves a lot of critical thinking because students now feel that they are responsible of their own product thus become very responsible for their learning. Other than that, students definitely learn about communication skills. They can use it to create dialogue, to reply a certain topic in their own podcast. Finally, using podcast allows students to be creative by having their own style in recording their own podcast. On the other hand, podcast offers a great opportunity and platform for teachers to develop their professionalism by joining teacher’s podcast.

    Secondly, I think social networking is a good learning platform to impart and share knowledge to a wider audience. As we all know, learning is rather social and by engaging students with social networking in the classroom, it will excite and motivate students more to participate actively in a lesson. Interestingly, educators can control their audience, depending on their target. Although initially many educators are skeptical of using social networking, this is gradually changing as educators start to see its potential in expanding their classroom into a global classroom. Nings is one example of social networking sites that appeals to my observation. I learned that the first part of establishing and using Nings in my classroom would be to come up with a groundrules. Nings can be used to integrate the four Cs. Teachers can collaborate with other educators on the same field to share their students’ curricular experience and this is one way of effective communication in sharing ideas. Students will become more responsible in deciding their content and this will make them think critically . Social networking offers the opportunity for both educators and students to be creative in teaching and learning process.

    1. 1. Podcast really appealed to me. I have followed a couple of podcast personally and benefit from them a lot but it never occurs to me that it can be integrated in my lesson. What I would really like to work on is to have my students to work on a podcast project. I have a burning question corner in my class where students post their questions and I will either address those questions during lesson (if it is content related) or as a treat at the end of the day to talk about their interest (as conveyed in their burning questions). I would really like to start a project where students pick a question from the “burning question” corner, do their research and start working on a script where they will produce a podcast addressing that chosen question. This will develop their critical thinking skill (if the question is challenging enough that require them to come up with an answer), creativity (they will have freedom to choose how they are going to present their finding), collaboration (they will work as a group to produce the podcast) and communication (they will need to develop communication skill to help them achieve a shared goal of producing that podcast). My goal is to have each group of the students upload a podcast per semester, so by the end of the school year, a class would have uploaded at least 12 podcast on 12 interesting science topics. I have an average of 6 groups in each of my class.

      As a teacher, I would also like to start producing my own podcast giving students an alternative to paper-based science notes. I would like to record a summary of each topic highlighting the big ideas, reminding students of our goals for each topic and a “red-flag, watch out!” of misconception alerts! I am excited and I wish to be able to learn more about how to create a podcast and I can’t wait to try it out.

      2. I would like to implement Google Doc in my science class as well. Currently, each of my class is given 2 periods in the science lab every other week. I am planning to pre-create one google doc per group and share it with each group members. That way students could all work on the same document at the same time and they could continue it at home if they have computers available at home. I do have the challenge of having a good number of students not having computer and internet readily available at home but currently, my school is working on setting up a students’ access center where computer with internet connections will be available for their use. Besides, I am also planning to set up a classroom folder where my lesson materials will be available for all to access. My biggest goal is to equip my students so that they are comfortable using google doc for further collaboration with US students. Through my field experience in ILEP, I have connection to Indiana Area High School and I look forward to see collaboration between my students and theirs.

  4. Technology is such a wonderful tool to use now in the classroom. I plan to be an elementary school teacher so technology has been slowly getting more and more involved in the younger classrooms. With my experience of teaching at a preschool we use SMART boards and ipads daily. The children seem to really benefit from the technology because they are more excited to learn instead of using pencil and paper. For example, we were learning about wild animals that could be seen at the zoo. We watched live podcasts of different animal exhibits from different zoo’s. The podcasts were so exciting for the children and it was a wonderful way to encourage different types of learning, reasoning, critical thinking, and we were able to apply the 4’cs to our class discussion. We also used this same activity when we were learning about ocean animals because we used another zoo website and looked at all the different sea animal podcasts. The children were able to collaborate together about the similarities and differences of living in a zoo compared to the wild. Another great aspect about technology is using facebook or blogging to learn how to teach. I follow many different teaching associated groups on facebook which allows me to collaborate with teachers around the world and give plus receive different teaching experiences and lessons. Facebook also allows another way for me to be involved with the surrounding community and also a way for parents to have a form of communication with me. Facebook is a source that is now used for networking and with teaching it is critical to network with parents, community, and other teachers to succeed.

  5. “Thousands of educational opportunities exist for professional development, and it is best to consider them in two different ways. First, educators tend to be lifelong learners. They value learning and continually improve themselves in current events, in global issues, and in just learning about the world in which we live. They are also responsible for staying current in their learning areas.” (Solomon and Schrum, 2010)

    This is one idea that struck me after reading the assigned topics. Nowadays, teachers act like students because they continually study to improve themselves, not for their own benefit but for their students’ benefit. The vast resources of materials in the net to improve one’s self quench the thirst and satiate the hunger of educators who resort to the net for professional development. Being a lifelong learner who value education, I think it is important for teachers to be abreast of the new technology and web tools that will catch learners’ attention and interest. Using these educational web resources will engage learners into active and purposeful learning. Despite the availability of materials and resources, the teacher’s strategy in using these is still a big factor in the success of the teaching and learning process.

    For me, I will use these tools (social networking, skype, ning classroom, etc.) to make my students collaborate with students from other places. Of course communication and creativity in expressing their ideas will also be involved in the process. This will also promote critical thinking skills if students are given the right guidance and directions. The role of teachers are very much critical in the use of these tools in the classroom.

    The next idea that struck me was the accessibility of education, as exemplified in the Flat Classroom Project. It is just amazing that classrooms can now be interconnected and linked around the globe. Distance and time really don’t matter now, and indeed, in the future there will be no child left behind. When I go back to my school, I will make everyone aware of this reality. Sometimes, there are children who can’t go to school because of the distance barrier or they can’t travel because of physical incapacity. Also, some of my fellow teachers can’t go to school for their graduate studies because of time barrier, hence I will make them aware of the distance education available in our country. I, myself, was also a product of distance education and I can say that time and distance really don’t matter in education for as long as you are willing to embrace technology in education.

  6. Having read the assigned chapters I was wonder struck by the scope of technology, educator can take advantage.Really the world of technology is immense and immense is its manifestations for teachers to make use of it in their class room. It does not matter whether you are working in a high tech world or low tech world the scope of incorporating technology in class rooms is always there for a resourceful teacher. In fact the reading of the web.2.0 was an eye opener for me, I never imagined the things we use so often in our day to day ventures have educational aspect too in them. For example the G mail account that I have, is so full of resources that it can be exploited in imparting education to students in our countries. These tools that come free with just creating an account with google have huge educational potentials. These can be best utilized by teachers in their respective fields. First idea that had a sway on me is the use of google tools and their use in class room. I think the reading has given me a new view to approach these tools in a more like educational instruments. I am quite impressed by their scope of use as instruments of learning and definitely their impact on my students and fellow teachers. I intend to make most of these tools in my teaching scenarios.

    Second ally I am struck with the scope of social media as tool of learning and expanding your self professionally. Generally the social media is used for personal connection in our set up by people. But is has also a scope of educational importance. Our students are also in habit of using it for their social bonding. As a teacher I have been enlightened about exploiting this media for educational insstructions and flipped class rooms. It will also provide me an opportunity to exploit the students tendency for social networks for educational purposes.
    I am also influenced by the use of podcasts and video casts as tools of learning. One thing good about them is that you have plentiful of them available online and one can create ones, own . They can also be used for offline in low technology scenario.

    Similarly the Flat Class room project can be exploited to expose your students to global scenario. In this age of quick communication the concept of Flat Class room provides opportunity to students to broaden their horizons. I think by using all the above tools and many more resources the four Cs can be effectively developed among students by a resourceful teacher. I feel inspired to do so.

  7. Nobody can deny that the 21st century is a typical digital era where everybody is highly interested in using different technological tools and devices. Education, as well, is taking its respected part in the domain. Students are certainly into gadgets and therefore teachers must show some flexibility and acceptance towards the use of technology inside their classrooms; it is no more an option, it is seemingly a must to reach understanding, communication, and creativity. The traditional classrooms are no more tempting for our students and are no more spaces where we can effectively enhance the 4Cs. Thus, shifting from that traditional environment to an actively engaging one necessitates the use of technology.

    1. Podcasts:
    Podcast is an audio net cast that can obviously be saved for later use. As a teacher of English, I always feel that I should give a try to anything that might be useful and practical for my whole teaching/ learning processes and podcast is assuredly one thing that I will be trying after going back home. It is a practical tool that might mark my career with a sense of achievement and improvement. Podcast are helpful since they are time-saving; I will spend less time looking for the same materials next time I am willing to teach the same lesson for different students, and using a podcast is certainly a way to continue my job; a lesson or unit, in a more systematic and organized way. As far as my students are concerned, I do believe that their use of podcast is a chance to enhance the 4Cs; students will collaborate, think critically, communicate and create while using podcasts. Before, while and after using their podcasts students will put into practices the main 4Cs to come up with their final product.

    2. Social Networking sites:
    Social networking sites, mainly Facebook, are extremely well-spread in the world nowadays. We live in a Facebook phase where almost all of our students have an active Facebook account. They spend hours and hours online without feeling bored or tired. As a teacher, I also use Facebook for some educational purposes. I have created back home a Facebook page to share different lessons with my students, to remind them of their assignments, and to also give them some homework to do. I also use my Facebook page to inform my students of my sick leaves, changes in the schedule, or to inform them about any sudden and unplanned activity. Facebook can be efficiently used for teaching/ learning purposes and can turn to be a very useful one. What is really striking and surprising about Facebook is that it is an amazingly rapid tool to spread news and information between students, and I am personally doing my best to make use of it to the reach ultimate positive outcomes.

  8. The unfettered development of information and communication technologies is a fact that has greatly affected contemporary societies. We live in an era in which a series of technological devices are part of everyday life. Obviously, it’s a reality that the environment educational is obliged to consider it.

    Most of the time, learning involves interactions, activities, questions, exercises, but sometimes the teacher only has to present information during an oral presentation, a lecture … The podcasting can then Allow the teacher to save time in class since students will be able to view this information on their computer at home. Also, the teacher will thus have a little more time in class to answer the questions of the students.
    The use of the word podcast is rather recent, however, in a very short time it has become very popular in the Internet field. I believe that Learners of a language class will be able to use the podcast in Oral comprehension sessions and oral production to develop these skills. Similarly, they would be autonomous and motivated by getting rid of the domination of the teacher.

    Social media, or more precisely, Facebook, Instagram, are essential tools of communication. Whether or not we value their influence, we can’t ignore the fact that hundreds of millions of users connect to them each day to send messages, organize events, maintain their personal profile or inquire. In an educational context where the learning space is sought to be extended beyond the walls of the classroom, social media are the means of choice for learning, collaborating and produce productions, anywhere and at any time. They enable the teacher to diversify his methods of disseminating content and assessment; They also give students the opportunity to develop communication skills and essential skills such as professionalism, respect for intellectual property by using simple and accessible tools.

  9. Technology is such a wonderful tool to use now in the classroom. I plan to be an elementary school teacher so technology has been slowly getting more and more involved in the younger classrooms. With my experience of teaching at a preschool we use SMART boards and iPad daily. The children seem to really benefit from the technology because they are more excited to learn instead of using pencil and paper. For example, we were learning about wild animals that could be seen at the zoo. We watched live podcasts of different animal exhibits from different zoo’s. The podcasts were so exciting for the children and it was a wonderful way to encourage different types of learning, reasoning, critical thinking, and we were able to apply the 4’cs to our class discussion. We also used this same activity when we were learning about ocean animals because we used another zoo website and looked at all the different sea animal podcasts. The children could collaborate about the similarities and differences of living in a zoo compared to the wild. Another great aspect about technology is using Facebook or blogging to learn how to teach. I follow many different teaching associated groups on Facebook which allows me to collaborate with teachers around the world and give plus receive different teaching experiences and lessons. Facebook also allows another way for me to be involved with the surrounding community and a way for parents to have a form of communication with me. Facebook is a source that is now used for networking and with teaching it is critical to network with parents, community, and other teachers to succeed.
    An idea that struck me was the accessibility of education, as exemplified in the Flat Classroom Project. It is just amazing that classrooms can now be interconnected and linked around the globe. Distance and time really don’t matter now, and indeed, in the future there will be no child left behind. When I go back to my school, I will make everyone aware of this reality. Sometimes, there are children who can’t go to school because of the distance barrier or they can’t travel because of physical incapacity. Also, some of my fellow teachers can’t go to school for their graduate studies because of time barrier, hence I will make them aware of the distance education available in our country. I, myself, was also a product of distance education and I can say that time and distance really don’t matter in education for as long as you are willing to embrace technology in education.

  10. Social networking sites, mainly Facebook, are extremely well-spread in the world nowadays. We live in a Facebook phase where almost all our students have an active Facebook account. They spend hours and hours online without feeling bored or tired. As a future teacher, I also plan to use Facebook for some educational purposes. I will create a Facebook page to share different lessons with my students, to remind them of their assignments, and to also give them some homework to do. Facebook can be efficiently used for teaching and learning purposes and can turn to be a very useful one. What is really striking and surprising about Facebook is that it is an amazingly rapid tool to spread news and information between students, and I am personally doing my best to make use of it to the reach ultimate positive outcomes.
    Technology is such a wonderful tool to use now in the classroom. Children seem to really benefit from the use of technology because they are more excited to learn instead of using pencil and paper. Podcasts are so exciting for the children of all grades, and it is a wonderful way to encourage different types of learning, reasoning, critical thinking, and we are able to apply the 4’cs to our class discussions.

  11. I am really thrilled with how much technology is being integrated into the everyday classroom. I can remember being in elementary school and having the projector with the clear paper being projected onto the board and then we would get to write onto the projector with a white board marker and be so excited our work was being projected. Now we have technology like SMART boards that have opened the door to the 4 Cs even more. One piece of technology that I think can really integrate the 4 Cs is Google Docs. Students can work on one document all together on separate computers and it will update in real time. I think a great way to utilize this technology would be to assign the class into groups. Each group will create a PowerPoint presentation on a certain number of chapters from whatever novel we were reading in class. Students can divide and conquer and still keep each other accountable for the overall group work. I think Twitter is another new up and coming form of technology being used in schools. Teachers are making accounts for students to follow and will Tweet out homework assignments for the students to keep track of. They can even create polls to see how students are responding to their lessons.

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