Friday, March 30, 2012

Networked Classrooms

What are the advantages or disadvantages of a networked classroom?

 I think some of the biggest advantages are how connected the students are to school by being networked.  You definitely get a lot of collaboration with your students when you have a networked classroom so that is another great advantage.  You almost always stay connected to not only your students but their parents as well when your class is networked.  I think the biggest benefits of a networked classroom are the collaboration and level of communication that you get.  I also agree with Richardson and Mancabelli that network classrooms are “transparent, learning centered, accessible, supportive of problem and driven by authentic assessment.” I do not think there are many disadvantages of a networked classroom, but I think the biggest one is getting all of your students to go along with this.  Also I think for it to be the most successful students need to have access to many forms of technology and internet.  Depending on your school you could have many students who do not have technology or internet at home and a networked classroom would be virtually impossible.  The following website was a good website that gave some advantages and disadvantages of using social networking in your classroom that I thought was interesting.

How can you slowly transition your classroom to become a networked classroom?
I think the biggest way to transition your classroom to become a networked classroom is by getting your students and parents involved as much as possible.  I feel that getting your students and parents informed as much as possible as to a networked classroom and seeing the benefits that it can have to their children is the biggest step.  After getting both the students and parents on board then you would need to familiarize them with some of the technology you would be using with their children.  After getting them familiarized with everything then the last step would be implementing everything.

How could a networked classroom address the diverse needs of all learners (sped, gifted, ESOL, etc.)?

Having a networked classroom helps meets the diversity of all learners because you can use this classroom to teach towards each students strengths.  Using a networked classroom can be beneficial to special education because you can post videos on your teaching so they can review concepts when they get home.  You can have chat rooms so you can help them with their homework when they get home.  You can have step by step directions for their homework.  You could even do Skype chats with them.  As far as gifted students you could have them help setup the networked classroom.  You could have them design a class website and be moderators.  The things are endless on how you can meet the diverse learning styles of your students and that is why I absolutely love technology.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tweet Tweet

To start please follow me on twitter @esum24.  I was always curious about twitter before I took this class.  A few of my friends had it and always tried to get me to sign up.  I never did because I was never really new what twitter was or did.  So I signed up for it.  Now that I've signed up for it and use it I understand while people like it so much.  It makes finding information on things that interest you extremely quick.  You can also get peoples input on things that you may tweet quickly as well. 

I'm so glad that I started using twitter.  By following other special education teachers, education websites and journals I am now able to get ideas for school all the time.  I've already found a website that heatherie73 tweeted earlier in the week.  It was the do nothing for 2 minutes website.  I really liked this and will be using it within the next few weeks.  I think this is an extremely useful website for any teacher who has students that are getting ready to start MAP testing.  Those students get extremely stressed at all the testing things that we throw at them daily.  I think something like that website can help get our students to be less stressed.

The book gave me lots of good ideas on how to integrate twitter in the classroom.  I like how Solomon and Schrum say how we can use twitter as a tool to help remind students about homework, and field trips.  One advantage of doing this is that students or teachers do not have to supply their phone numbers.  I am so happy that I have read more about twitter and am now using it.  I never saw how twitter could be used as such a good teaching and informative tool.  I look forward on continuing my tweeting! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chapter 1-3 Reflection

After reading Chapter 1 in the Personal Learning Network book I feel, like the authors, that technology plays such a vital role to us.  There are so many things you can do with technology that can help aid in teaching.  Richardson and Mancabeli state that Google is trying to scan and digitize every book in the universe (Richardson and Mancaabeli 16).  This would be awesome if this happens.  As of now we have an almost endless supply of information at our fingertips.  If this comes true there are so many sources and books that we can easily pull up from the internet to share with our students.  I also believe that because of the importance of technology we as teachers do need to rethink how our students learn like Richardson and Mancabeli state.  The only thing that scares me is when they say that if we have” access to the internet we have over 2 billion potential teachers” (pg 18).  The only reason that I say this is because it almost makes it sound like most teachers will teach from the internet.  But I believe they meant with the internet we have so much more people that can help us.
I liked reading Chapter 2.  I knew a little bit about networks before reading this book.  But after reading it gave me a lot more information.  The things that I have used for networking have been facebook and discussion boards.  After reading about twitter I am thinking about signing up for a twitter account.  I never did it before because most of the people I know use it to share mundane details about their everyday lives that have no relevance to me.  After reading about twitter I would like to use twitter to connect with other teachers to help share ideas with one another.  The following website is a website I found that you can use to help connect with other teachers via twitter ( I like how Richardson and Mancabeli say that once you start having lots of networking they start to seep into each other.  Having a few of them I can definitely see how they interact with each other.  I use links that I have saved in my delicious account all the time on my facebook page and vice versa.  The bottom line is the effectiveness of these networks depends on how you use them.

I have always believed that computers are a huge part of our lives and are important to our students as well.  With networking we can impact and aid our students learning.  I feel that one of the most important parts of networking a classroom is the feeling of collaboration you can get.  By using this in your classroom you can take collaboration far beyond the classroom.  I always just assumed students could collaborate at home.  I never thought about continuing it into the summer time like Richardson and Mancabelli.  I can’t wait to use things like Skype in my classroom to network with my students and to use it to have them network with others. I have already found a good resource to use with Skype located at I really enjoyed this chapter because it gave me all kinds of ideas to use in my classroom when I get the chance.  I think the most powerful thing that Richardson and Mancabelli said came in chapter 3 when they said, “It starts with you (pg 81).  The  bottom line is that it is one thing to talk and say how good these things are and it is one thing to actually implement these things and that is why the bottom line is that it comes down to us as teachers.