Sunday, April 29, 2012

We are all more than labels!

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Society has a way of labeling people. I'm sure you've heard some of these labels in school, like the "jocks", "geeks" or worse. More than anything, these labels are a set of expectations, and are always harmful. Hiding behind these labels are some amazing talents and interests. In our lesson, we are going to talk about how everyone is more than a label.

For Wednesday (at 1:00!), please complete the following:

  1. Visit, and read Tyler's story
  2. After you have read Tyler's story, watch his video (It may download the video, which is fine, just watch it!)
  3. After you watch Tyler's video, think about what stuck out to you. Tyler does not let his cerebral palsy get in the way of doing what he loves. Think about some things that you love to do that others might not expect. Be sure to write these down so you remember!
  4. Once you have some ideas written down, write a script of how you might explain this to a listener. Try to find some photos or videos of these things, or record a video or voice over of yourself explaining this. Try to do as many of these as possible. 
On Wednesday, you and your group will be working together to create your own movie sharing what makes you unique, and more than any label. You will need to work together to create smooth transitions from each individual story to the next.

What to bring on Wednesday:
  1. Your script. (Required)
  2. Digital photos and/or videos (Required, but you can choose how many you wish to bring and use in the final product)
  3. Voice over of your script (Optional, but recommended. The computers in class are not the best for recording voice)
We will be discussing iMovie on Wednesday, and watching this video by John. If you would like to refer to it while working on your movie in class, you can pull it up to watch here!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Helping Homeless Veterans

Sheltering Our Homeless Veterans

Some American military veterans are experiencing many hardships since returning home from their tours of duty. Many are without jobs, struggling to find food, and are homeless. Our group’s goal is to inform everyone of the challenges our heroes are facing day-to-day. Please watch the video clips of Dave, a Vietnam veteran, and Joe , a veteran of the war in the Middle East, to hear their stories.
The bright side to all of these struggles is that there are many wonderful programs to help our heroes, like Dave and Joe. We would like you to review at least 3 of these websites that explain various programs that are out there to help veterans:

~Opportunities to return to employment
  1. Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program (HVSEP)

~Safe housing
  1. Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program
  2. HUD-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) Program
  3. Acquired Property Sales for Homeless Providers Program
  4. Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program

~Health care
  1. VA’s Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program
  2. Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups)

~Mental health services
  1. Veteran Justice Outreach
  2. The Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans Program
  3. The Readjustment Counseling Service’s Vet Center Programs

           ~How technology is helping
  1. Project REACH (Real-Time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless)

Now that you are a little more knowledgeable on this tough topic, we would like everyone to bring a picture pertaining to American patriotism, the military, or the homeless. Bring this picture to class either saved on your laptop or to a flash drive. We will be using this picture in our class lesson, if you do not have this file with you on Thursday you will lose RWLD and Project points.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You Choose the News

Attribution Some rights reserved by NS Newsflash

 Have you ever thought about how difficult it would be to learn about current events if most of the news sources were too challenging for you to understand?

It is going to be your task, as 10th graders, to find a way to engage a 3rd grade class in current events.

To help you prepare for your task please:

1. Look through the below websites and read a few news articles.

2. Watch this Jing Video which explains how to use the web 2.0 tool Blabberize.

3. Listen to this podcast, created by a 3rd grade class, to help you get re-aquatinted with the cognitive level of elementary students. You don't need to listen to the whole thing, you can skip around and listen to different segments, you just need to listen to about 5 minutes in total.

4. Choose one of news articles that you read which you think would be relevant to 3rd graders. Then print out and complete this current events form.

Complete by Tuesday, April 24th

Friday, April 13, 2012

Boundless Playgrounds

Please complete this RWLD for class on Thursday, April 17th.

Think back to elementary school, I know this was a long time ago, and recall your childhood playground. Was everyone allowed to play on it, was this playground handicap accessible, could someone in a wheelchair get around on the playground, would this playground be a good environment for special needs children to play?

Please watch this video to help you gain an understanding of how important this matter is.

We think that this is a serious issue because not many schools are making an effort to create a playground accessible to all. We want you to use your research skills and find or take a picture of a local playground and post it to this document for the class to see.

After reflecting on your playground, it’s time for you to explore this website and watch this video on playground safety. Be prepared to discuss your playground and if it would follow the NPPS regulations during class.

During class on Thursday, we will be using google sketchup to create a boundless playground. Please go to this link to download google sketchup to your laptop. It should only take a few minutes to download and it's free. Please watch these introductory videos on Google SketchUp and become familiar with Goolge SketchUp.

We will also be using components to help create our boundless playground. Please watch this instructional video on how to find and use components in Google SketchUp.

Come to class ready to create a Boundless Playground. Think outside the box to help create the playground of a special needs child’s dream.

Here is how you post your google SketchUp to your blog.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kind Words Change Lives

Picture from Flicker:
Can you think of a time when someone used their kind words and it turned your whole day around? I am sure many of you are aware of the positive effects this simple act can have. Now we want you to think about what it would be like to have no idea when your last breath could be. Unfortunately, this is the reality of 2000 children in US every single year who are diagnosed with Leukemia. Please read this webpage about Leukemia and what it means for a child to have cancer.

Now, we would like you to listen to this podcast by Dr. Robert K. Stuart. In this podcast he defines Leukemia in depth. After listening to this video, we want you to think about what it would be like to live with this cancer.

The  next two videos are true life stories of people who have survived Leukemia. Their struggles are nearly unbearable to imagine, but their survival is an inspiration for anyone who hears their story.

If you're interested in hearing more stories about kids with cancer, visit this website and read all about their struggle and their new lives! 

Often times we hear that money is the best way to help cancer patients. We say that isn't true. Words of encouragement are just as effective, if not more, to get them through their struggle. Be kind. Change lives. Give your words.

The Movie Community - PBL Example 2011

Literature is essentially one big discussion.  It's all about people talking about books, movies and ideas, and now that the internet has become so accessible to everyone, that discussion has continued and thrived.  Think about the sites you visit on a daily basis.  How many of those have a "movies" tab tucked away up in the corner next to "Sports" and "News."  iTunes has a whole category of podcasts devoted to movies. And you can be a part of this discussion.

Take a minute to check out a few ways that movies are being talked about on-line:

Visit a few of these links and read a little about your favorite movies being dissected's 6 Famous Movies with Mind-Blowing Hidden Meanings and 6 Insane Fan Theories that Actually Make Great Movies Better
Ain't It Cool News
 Fatboy Roberts' Movie Blog
or go to IMDB and check out the forums for your favorite movies.
(Really, just Googling "movie Blogs" will bring you to a bunch of great writers writing about awesome movies.)
or check out some Podcasts on iTunes.  They're free and many of them are done by your favorite comedians and actors.  Including Doug Benson, Kevin Smith, etc.

Now that you've gotten acquainted with this sort of movie talk, its time for you to join the discussion yourself.  First, in our own little community before you strike out into the world-at-large.

Join our Class Group on Edmodo

Our class code is udplyy (Libby's the Teacher)

Next watch one of the short films at  They're just a few cool little movies that won't take up much of your time and are pretty fun to watch.
You can watch any of them, but We'd rather you'd watch one of these four so that there will enough of each one of you to talk about the movies in class and online.

The Descendant (Horror, action)
Foolishly Seeking True Love (Comedy, Romance)
On Time (Fantasy-ish, Philosophy)
Piano Man (Crime Drama)

Answer the Poll on Edmodo so we know what you watched, and post some comments in the discussion groups.
For more fun, watch the movies at these eight o'clock tonight (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) night with your class mates and talk about them in real time at riiight here.

I'll be posting a video of a commentary of the Descendant  tonight, so if you need some ideas or want to see how it's done by a pro, sort of (Alex).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Breakfast Inventions - PBL Example 2011

Have you ever woken up late one morning, scrambled to get ready, and did not have enough time to make a healthy breakfast? We are going to give you the opportunity to build an invention that will make breakfast in a snap and is also healthy for you. We think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should not be skipped or filled with a pop tart. We hope you will help us make the perfect breakfast invention that will solve all the breakfast problems.

Before class on Tuesday, we would like you to read the article What a Cracking Invention. This article will help you think of some ideas for you invention. Read through the article and make sure you take a look at the pictures for inspiration and the video at the bottom. The video shows how the invention works. That invention is a great one but we will not have you make one that big.

Another thing we would like you do before class is to watch this Chitty Chitty Bang Bang video for more inspiration. It is a childhood favorite of ours and we think you will enjoy seeing another breakfast invention in action. It will give you more inspiration and is fun to watch.

We would also like you to take a look at our Google Sketch-Up Informational video. This is the program we want you to use when designing your breakfast invention. Our video gives an overview of the basic of Google Sketch-Up and will help you in making your invention.

We would like you to download Google Sketch-Up to your laptops and bring them to class, if you have them. Please check out and test Google Sketch-Up before you come to class on Tuesday. You will be designing your breakfast invention on Google Sketch-Up in class on Tuesday so we want you to know how to work it before class and to think of some ideas for your invention.

Make sure that you join the Breakfast Invention Wiki as this will be a way to collaborate with your group and show us your inventions. Please join the wiki by midnight April 16th.

In class on Tuesday, you will be working in groups of up to 5 people in designing a breakfast invention that will make breakfast fast and healthy. After you design it, you will be making the invention using household items. We will go into more depth with what you will be making and how long you'll have to make it on Tuesday.

Hope you all have a great weekend and make sure you get started on all you need to do before Tuesday. See you all then! :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Podcasting Resources (Audacity)

Pamela L.Image via Wikipedia
We had the opportunity to create podcasts using Garageband in our class. This wasn't too difficult and you were able to create a first-time podcast which had
1) Intro Music,
2) Preview,
3) Bumper Music,
4) Main Story,
5) Bumper Music,
6) Related Story,
7) Bumper Music,
8) Summation and Preview for Next Time, and
9) Outro Music.

Now it is your turn to create a podcast of your own. Identify the topic that you want to cover.

Podcasting in Windows
Unfortunately, Garageband doesn't work with Windows. There is another program that you can use. It is called Audacity.

  1. Download Audacity. (You will have to go to the SourceForge website to download it.)
  2. Download the Lame MP3 encoder. (You MUST have this to create MP3 files.)
  3. Install them on your computer. Audacity and Lame have to be installed separately.
  4. You may also want to get some background music. Depending upon what you have.
  5. Watch this video on how to create a podcast using Audacity. (4:30)
  6. Write your scripts/plans.
  7. Record your segments.
  8. Mix the music with your recordings.
  9. Save it as a MP3 file.
  10. Upload to Podbean.
  11. Post the link to your podcast in the Podcast dropbox.
Remember that the Key is in the planning.
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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Global Education

Global Education is HERE!!

We have the tools to communicate with our neighbors who live down the street, across the state, across the nation and around the world. We live in the digital world where the world is "flattening."  
Until the end of the semester, you will be involved in the Flat Classroom Project as advisors and judges.  This is a program that is based on the work of Thomas Friedman.  It is described in his "The World is Flat" book.

Watch Friedman's Lecture: To get the necessary background, you could read his 400-page book (and you really should do that over Winter Vacation), but you can get the idea by watching Thomas Friedman's 75-minute lecture at MIT on "The World is Flat."   Pay attention to what he says about the Flatteners and how they have changed the world.  These flatteners are the basis of the Flat Classroom Project.

The Flat Classroom Project was originated by Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay. They are high school business teacher.  Vicki teaches in Camilla, Georgia, USA and Julie Lindsay teaches at an international school in Bejing, China.  The story is an interesting one.  Please read their article call the Flat Classroom in Learning and Leading Through Technology.  Yes, this is a 2007 article and things have changed a good deal since then, but it shows the premise for the program.

Flat Classroom Conferences
Every 2 years, the FCP group likes to get together to talk and share their FCP experiences. This is an opportunity for teachers and students from around the world to meet and learn from each other.

The first conference was based upon the question of "What happens if we empower students with the ability to design an educational project that will address a global social issue and allow them access to any and all community online networking tools?"

Here is a video that covers the first Flat Classroom Conference:

Flat Classroom Conference in Qatar, 2009

Flat Classroom Conference in Bejing, Feb 25-27, 2011

Dr Z and Ms. KZ traveled with 8 UNI IT graduate students to Beijing, China to participate in the 2011 Flat Classroom Conference. They gave a presentation on Instructional Design as well as worked as facilitators for the program strands where teachers from around the world will be developing International Flat Classroom curriculum.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How Integrated is Integrated?

Technology integration in the classroom is not a simple thing to understand. Does PowerPoint count as technology integration?  How about going to local merchants and video recording them to create an overview of Main Street?  What about using technology to send a Thank You card?  How do you rank it?  Is one better than the other?

This is an ongoing question that needs to be considered by teachers, technology integration specialists, and administrators.

What we need is a yardstick of some sort to measure the various levels of integration.  Fortunately, the Florida Department of Education created the Technology Integration Matrix. This is a table that cross references five levels of technology integration with 5 levels of characteristics of meaningful learning environments.

Become familiar with this chart and the various activities. This should take at least an hour. Here is a suggestion for learning about this matrix:

  1. Begin by learning about each of the measurement criteria. Start with the Levels of Technology.  Click on the box labeled Entry. It will take you to another page that will define Entry and then explain how the Student/Teacher/Environment are structured in relation to each of the Learning Environment characteristics.  Read through these to get the idea about what Entry level technology integration means in these differing situations.  There are some short videos dealing with different subject areas in the right column. Watch a few of those.
  2. Review the various levels in the Characteristics of the Learning Environment section.  Use the same procedure. Click on Active. Read how it is characterized by Student/Teacher/Environment in each of the Technology Integration levels. Watch the videos at the bottom.
  3. Return to the matrix and try to identify the various forms of technology-integrated teaching we observed or discussed at the Iowa R&D School. 
  4. Consider learning experiences you have observed in your classes at UNI or in-field observations and try to identify where they land in the chart.
Review this because we will discuss this in class on Thursday.

Thank You Cards:

It is important to express your gratitude about being allowed to have an experience as we had at IRDS. I have selected VoiceThread as a tool we could use express our gratitude.
If you haven't used VoiceThread, it is a website where you can post a picture, video, or document and then have others comment on it. Dr. Z has created a couple of VoiceThread sites and would like you to add your commentary. 

The unique capability about VoiceThread is that it allows you to respond using text, audio or video.   Please follow these steps to learn about VT and then contribute to the VT page.  (BTW, we will know who didn't do their homework by looking for those missing on the VTs.)
  1. Watch this video on how to add your contribution to the VT page.  You will have to register for an account at the beginning and then you can share your ideas.   Using VoiceThread for Thank You Notes.
  2. Visit the VoiceThread site for Mrs. Breitbach and leave your thank you.
  3. Visit the VoiceThread site for Mrs. Hanna and leave your thank you.
  4. Now that you have used VoiceThread, watch this video that tells you more about it.
I look forward to our discussions on Thursday.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Project-Based Learning

When we have so many students who are active learners, it doesn't make sense to create a learning environment that is based upon introspective, individualized learning.  It is much more challenging for students to be given problems or projects or challenges to address and solve.
What is your preference?

Read through the Edutopia Project-Based Learning module. This is something that we will be doing next week and it is important for you to know the background.

Once you have an idea about the concept of PBL, it is useful to look at various projects that students have done.  Review these two articles by Eeva Reader: The PBL Launch Pad, Worthwhile Projects for High School Students  (parts 1 and 2)
Look to see what they are doing at High Tech High.

Spend some time thinking about what you would do in your classroom. These are limited to high school.  What can you find about using PBL at the elementary level?  Jot down some notes about what you would do.

Get ready to learn, do and create some Project-Based Learning activities.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Getting Oriented

Attribution Some rights reserved by Nad

Welcome to the Classroom Computer Applications RWLD. 

This is where you will find additional Readings, Watchings, Listenings and Doings to augment the course book.

Before we begin, however, It would be interesting to find out your learning style and technological prowess. I know that you probably did this in your Ed Tech and Design class, but it would be interesting to see if anything has changed over the years.

Begin by completing the ILS questionnaire below and then entering your personal information into the following surveys.

Surveys to Complete:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Create a Constitution

How will you rewrite the constitution in Egypt?  
   You will be split up into four groups and each group will have a political party and your group will function as this party. Your group is to represent what your party wants changed in the Government. On the Resource page you will find what each party is and where to find some information. You should also consult other sources for information.
    Next, based on your party, you will help design a new Constitution. Your only view point will be from the one party and not your personal view point. Then, once you have figured out what you would like to include for your demands, the whole class will get together, as a country, and make up one Constitution.
    Remember you are to go into the whole group using the ideas of the party you were assigned and as a class work together to compile a Constitution to help get in place the demands of your
constituents. Please refer to the wiki page to find links to information about what is being demanded by the people and how their Government is responding. Remember to add yourself to the wiki page!

Group 1- Muslim Brotherhood - Freudian Slip
Group 2- National Democratic Party- No Names 
Group 3- National Progressive Unionist Party- Fredrick the Moose  
Group 4- Egypt Arab Socialist Party- Short and Sticky
Your group will need to make a concept map.  You will be using this site Mindmeister to create your group concept map. After you are done with your map please make a screen capture and post it to the wiki page for this project under your page. Each group has their own page. When we meet for class, on Wednesday, your group will need to tell the rest of the class what you found out about your platforms. That way the whole class will understand you position.

Your screen shot will be due on Wednesday by 10am to earn your full points. If it is turned in after 12(noon) you will receive no points for this part of the project.
How to Use Mindmeister- Jing Video