Friday, June 15, 2012

Blog Post #5

iSchool Initiative Logo

The iSchool Initiative
Travis Allen is a pioneer for breaking barriers for schools suffering from budget cuts. When Travis Allen was a senior in high school he produced a video titled The iSchool Initiative. With so many schools around the country suffering without the funds to provide for students our country needs a break through idea and Travis Allen has the perfect idea.
The device that students would use on a day-to-day basis is similar to an iPod Touch. It is small, light weight, and fits into the palm of your hand. With this device it allows students to stay organized and prevents other problems. Is there a need for backpacks and heavy textbooks? Once the iSchool is created all of the textbooks will be in an app stored into their device.On this handy device students can access apps to help them with art, history, science, math, and much more. Also, they have the ability to communicate to their teachers. Through apps like iHomework students can view all of their subjects in one place given by their teachers. In the iHomework app students can also view homework assignments, test dates, and projects. The notes application allows the students to write notes given during class and allows them to go green. The app for emailing allows students, teachers, and parents to stay in touch at all times. These are just a few apps available that are available now students can use in the classroom. With this in place there in no need for textbooks, backpacks, copiers, paper, and other expensive items that have been taken due to budget cuts.
This is a wonderful and exciting device that I would love to see happen in the near future. When I begin my teaching career I would love to step into the field with this device to be used by my students, their parents, and myself! This is a great way to solve the problem for not having money for necessities in the classroom.

Virtual Orchestra
Have you ever seen Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir? This video is amazing and a must see in my opinion. Mr. Whitacre had the idea to record a song using people from all over the world. Yes, this has probably been done before, but has it ever been done without ever meeting everyone in person? Mr. Whitacre and 185 people preformed the song "Lux Aurumque" without ever meeting or practicing in person. Somehow Mr. Whitacre recorded everyone singing and led this large group to form an ensemble that sang beautifully. I do not understand how it was done, but I do know that this project takes technology to a new level!

Graph showing results of a 21st century room.

What does it mean to teach in the 21st century?
Has the question ever popped into your head? Have you ever wondered what it means to teach in the 21st century? It means think outside the box and go beyond the expectations as a teacher. We are told to teach the curriculum provided by the school, but what would happen if we went beyond the curriculum? Our students would become prepared for their futures and know how to succeed in life. We need to engage our students and teach our students how to find information using the sources. What are the resources? The resources are all found in technology. Where do you go to find information? I usually browse the web searching for the answers I need to solve my problem.
The Prezi presentation Teaching in the 21st Century gives an insight of tools we should use to be a teacher making a positive difference in our students lives. When I become an educator I will strive to use all forms of technology in my classroom with the goal of making my students problem solvers. If they do not know the answer I want to teach them ways to find the answer. Not just because the textbook says the answer I want the students to research the information. Just like in life when we are wanting to know an answer we go find the information. I will use search engines in my classroom such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger,and Wikipedia to show my students the correct way to find valuable information. If educators are not showing our future leaders problem solving techniques who will?

Description of a Flipped Classroom

Flipping the Classroom
Flipping the Classroom is a new way of using technology to allow more classroom involvement. Dr. Lodge McCammon has thought out a new way to engage our students. Too many times students listen to a lecture and they either feel overwhelmed because they do not understand the concept or bored because they have already grasp the concept and ready to move forward. If teachers make videos that students can watch at home to learn the concepts then when they come to class the next day they are prepared to practice the concepts with classmates and the teacher.
This idea could definitely work in the classroom. Of course, some thoughts will have to be changed for each grade level, but I could see this working in any grade level all the way down to first grade and possibly kindergarten. Children our living in the 21st century years, and I think we sometimes underestimate their abilities with technology. I will be "Flipping" my classroom!


  1. Hi Makenzie!
    I too thought that Travis Allen's iSchool initiative was a great idea. I loved his concern for teacher budget cuts. Like any other new idea however, I am not sure if it will 100 percent correct this "educational problem" he refers too. I am not sure if I agree with a total 100 percent iSchool education.

    The virtual orchestra was amazing and really proves how advanced the technology is today!

    The article on flipping the classroom was inspiring. I like how it focuses on the application and not just the lecture. It is exactly what we will need to "TEACH IN THE 21ST CENTURY"! You had some great points!

  2. Makenzie,
    You make some great points, but I would like to see you write more of your reaction to the posts/videos. For example, when talking about Travis Allen's iSchool Initiative video, it is less necessary to talk about the apps and the usefulness of the iPod platform, and more useful to alert your reader as to why you may be behind it. I would have liked to have found more of your opinion and how this was relevant to your personal experience and goals.
    I like that in discussing Teaching in the 21st century, you advocated teaching your students to be problem solvers. This is important since our generation will be leaving a lot of problems behind for them and things like project based education will give them a head start, rather than theoretical knowledge.
    Keep up the good work and keep thinking of ways to be the best teacher that you can be!