Sunday, November 16, 2014

Developing Classroom Web Sites for 21st Century Learning

Lennifer Tingen, Lauren Philbeck, and Lori B. Holcombo, (Winter 2011) Developing Classroom Web Sites for 21st Century Learning. ProQuest Education Journals, 47, 2; pg 88-90

Article Review

“Classroom Web sites have the potential to support and enhance student learning by targeting 21st century skills, such as collaboration among teachers, students, parents, and other teachers, media literacy, and interpersonal and self-directional skills, as well as thinking and problem-solving skills” (88).   Teachers are setting up classroom web site to engage students in their own learning and preparing students in ways that they maybe using technology in the future.   The article on Developing Classroom Web Sites for 21st Century Learning by Jennifer Tingen, Lauren Philbeck, and Lori B. Holcomb is an examination on how 100 teachers set-up their own classroom web sites throughout a 5 year time period.  There were some different requirements that the teachers needed to have to be in the 100-teachers website study.  The article looked at how classroom websites could have a positive impact on students learning.  Lastly, were there any websites  in this study that met the requirement for the students in the 21st century skills?

For teachers to be involved in the study, they needed to meet the three requirements.  The first requirement is that the website needed to be developed by a K-12 educator with a currently active site for more then 5 years.  The second requirement is that teachers needed to display the core elements.  The core elements are classroom overview, parent’s page, link to homework, and daily schedule.  The third thing on the classroom website was that it needed to contain three instructional activities.  Teachers classroom websites were reviewed over a 5 year time period to see how they are performing and improving the website. 

Classroom websites can have a positive impact on student learning if developed correctly. When students are working on classroom project having a website allows for students to collaborative with everyone involved.  If students are in need of some assistance it allows for students to have easy access to communicate with their teacher for help.  Websites are another tool to keep students engaged on course material or allow for future practice on skills learned throughout the day. Students show ownership by posting their work on the website for parents to see what they are doing in the classroom.  When teachers include web tools such as blogs, vokis, and podcasts it engages students on the course material. Websites can have a positive impact on students if established correctly.   

When classroom websites were reviewed, they checked to see if they were aligned with the 21st century skills and how educators can support 21st century skills within their classroom websites.  As the study examined the classroom websites they noticed that elementary websites are better at engaging students then upper grade levels.  However, only 25 out of 100 were meeting the exemplary classroom websites.  Most websites failed in meeting requirements for the study.  Two main factors in why websites failed was due to the fact the teachers were self taught on setting up their classroom websites.  Finding information on the website was difficult to locate especially in assignment submission.  The sites they used to display and layout their websites limited their access usage.  Districts ended up purchasing web-editing software, which helped teachers. Even talking with other teachers creating their own site, they still needed more support.  Second reason was that their website did not align with the 21st century goals and objective.  Teachers spent a lot of time keeping up with posting new items and the design but lacked the ability to enhance the learning beyond the classroom.      

“Websites can have a positive impact on students learning if they are aligned with 21st century skills and usage of web tools they can enhance communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking” (90).

Check the rubric below from the article to see how your own website is aligning up. 

Sample Tools/Resources
21st Century Skill
1. Use and integrate web 2.0 tools that support collaboration and interaction both within and outside of the classroom
Google Docs, Wikis, Blogs, Etherpad, Webspiration, communityWalk
Learning and Innovation Skills: Communication and Collaboration
2. Provide a venue for students to display coursework and projects.
Jing, VoiceThread, Prezi
Life and Career Skills
3. Support creativity and active learning through authentic academic experiences.
Fizz, Icue, Google Maps, ToonDoo
Learning and Innovation Skills
4. Engage students with the real world data, tools, and experts they will encounter in college, on the job, and life.
National archives online database, Microsoft office (word, excel, PowerPoint, letterpop)
Learning and Innovation Skills: Critical thinking and problem solving
5. Model ethical practices, especially as they relate to digital literacy.
Diigo, Trailfire, Great Book Stories
Information Media and Technology Skills


Making a website is something I have considered.  When I student taught, a coworker did monthly newsletters to be attached to the grade level classroom newsletter and I thought what a great idea to develop for the parents to see what is going on in the physical education setting.  Now that technology makes websites easier to develop that idea seems more obtainable.  By reading this article it provided me with more direction than I had considered to make sure my website includes to make my website fit the requirements for a 21st Century learner according to this author.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Article Review Integrating Social Media Into the Classroom Curriculum

Paige Abe & Nickolas A. Jordan, (March-April 2013) Integrating Social Media Into the Classroom Curriculum. American College Personnel Association and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 16-20, DOI: 10.1002/abc.21107

Integrating Social Media Into the Classroom Curriculum

Article Review

  This article written by Paige Abe and Nickolas A. Jordan on Integrating Social Media Into the Classroom Curriculum was a combination of a lot of different researchers on the topic in the perspective of college professors using technology through their lessons.  In this article they spoke on how students are already distracted in their classes because instead of taking notes they are on a variety of social network sites.  Why not use what the students enjoy doing in the classrooms to engage students by using Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.  Yet, there are still some concerns with using social networks into the lecture setting.  This is the way of the future so classroom teacher who are getting on board are noticing a great improvement to level of student participation, which then relates to student learning.

  Teachers who incorporated social media into their teaching found that it was allowing everyone to have a voice.  Students were becoming more engaged because they no longer could just sit in the back of the classroom and check their own social media.  Teachers were using twitter to aid in student participation on what was being discussed in class.  Doing this, the stress was lowered for some students who didn’t feel as comfortable sharing out their viewpoints.  Having students answer questions through tweets,  allowed students to also use the posting to help study for tests. It provided students exposure to an expert in the field of study who may not have lived locally through the tool Skype.  By using Skype, it saved a lot of money too, instead of flying, housing, and cost of food to get that person to present on a topic for the class.  By using social media it improved students learning because tools used in the classroom meet the students in their own territory and students felt comfortable.

  Social media in the classroom still needs to have a time and a place.  Although most students know how to use a variety of different social media site, some don’t.  Teachers can’t assume that all students born in this era know technology.   Teachers are going to need to teach how to use the different tools in the educational setting.  When using these tools, in order to get stronger conversation, students need to be provided modeling on what an educational conversation dialogue looks like.  How students use the sites with friends compared to education classroom is very different.  Teachers need to lay the groundwork first in order to get great conversations on social media sites.  Teachers and students aren’t all thrilled to use some social media sites because they want to keep what they post with friends separate from postings in the classroom.  Lastly, students still need in class conversation because students are missing out on nonverbal aspects of communication.  Social media still can’t be the end all. 

  This is the way of the future.  Students are using more and more social media so teachers need to find what best interests the student.  Social media can be one of the many ways that we engage the students of the future.  This study found that social media tools such as, youtube, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. can have a great impact in the classroom learning.  With that comes the rapidly developing social media that once teachers figure technology out a new trend will spring up.  Teachers need to stay up to date and find ways to enhance the current curriculum before it goes out of date.        


     It’s great that social media is finding a way in education.  I wish my professors in college had used more of the social media into the classroom, especially since we were all given a computer.  I could remember many times searching the web when professors where lecturing for hour and how better in tune I would be in the lecture if students could blog or post on lecture. I would be playing college soccer in another town and miss class.  If I could have been able to skype in to class or use a professional blog with classmates to catch up on what I missed would have been very helpful.  Yes, we need to provide students guide lines with consequences if not used appropriate because no matter the age social media can easily get miss used.  We still need in class dialog because I do feel that social media has lead to a lot of misinterpretation of content.  If teachers are using social media to enhance students learning then I truly believe everyone wins!    

Article Review Video Podcasting in Physical Education

Kellie A. Shumack & Erin Reilly (January 2011) Video Podcasting in Physical Education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 82:1, 39-43, DOI: 10.1080/07303084.2011.10598560

Video Podcasting in Physical Education

    Depending on anyone’s technology savvy skills, they can add video podcasting to any physical education program to help foster the learning in variety of ways to their students.  This article by Kellie Shumack and Erin Reilly on “Video Podcasting in Physical Education” explains what actually is video podcasting, tips to creating a successful podcast, and why it could be beneficial for your students. Don’t get intimidated if this is something new.  Just take it step by step and podcasting might just amaze one with an exciting new technology skill we all might want to integrate into the physical education program. 

   What exactly is video podcasting?  Podcasting is an audio presentation that can be transported to any playing device.  Another term used is “vodcast” that using both video and audio to explain your thoughts to students.  If a teacher wants to follow other people who have created Podcasts or vodcasts on variety of subjects, they can be easily search in either; ITunes, podcast pickle, or podcast alley.  If one chooses to subscribe then topics of your choice will automatically be downloading when any new episode comes out. Podcast or vodcast is becoming more frequency used in education.

  Teachers are starting to use podcast to allow students to self learn, students to go back into a lecture to review for test, and if absent to check up in class.  In physical education, teachers have found great use for podcast to supplement instruction.  Students can review skills outside of class, seeing others perform the skill to then visualize themselves performing that skill, get instruction out quicker to provide more movement time in class, review dance lesson skills, and to provide a variety of level of skills for your students.  To make sure your podcast is top-notch you should have a clear plan, outline or scrip, and if using video in your podcast it should already be edited.  Once created the creator could finalize the file to be able to be seen by 3rd party.  Lastly, make sure you have software that will help make your perfect podcast. 

Tools required to making a podcast –
  • Computer capable to run Windows Movie Maker, Garage Band, Windows live Movie Maker
  • Microphone
    •  Must newer computer come with a microphone – or purchase an external microphone from $6 to couple of hundred dollars.
  • Screencast.com or ITunes

   Through using podcast or vodcast teachers have found more time to help assist students in the skills.  Using these tech tools have also enhanced the knowledge learned in class and a fun way for students to learn.  These tools have been found to provide another way to motivate, excite, and encourage students learning.


   I have listened to many different physical educators podcast but I have never thought of doing my own because I truly didn’t know how to create one until I actually did a fun first podcast.   At a conference, a physical education teacher showed how used podcast with QR’s to enhance the station work.  In the station there were 3 different skill levels that student would scan the QR code that would direct the individual student to a different skill level for practice.  The best part is that it was all students’ choices on what they wanted to practice.  It was mind blowing how simple yet, exciting for students because they aren’t told but guided with skills needed to practice.  I believe for myself I just need more practice using podcasts.  I know my students can bloom even more if implemented correctly.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pedagogical Uses of Technology in Physical Education

Susana Juniu, (Nov/Dec 2011) Pedagogical Uses of Technology in Physical Education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 82, 9; ProQuest Pg. 41-49

Pedagogical Uses of Technology in Physical Education


The buzz in the education field is technology, technology, and can someone teach me how to use that technology?  Have you been hearing that in your college courses or those of you who have student teachers, have they been asking you many questions on technology? Susana Juniu wrote this article called, “Pedagogical Uses of Technology in Physical Education.” The focus of this article is to provide a guide to student teachers in physical education.  He gives an honest view of what actually has been happening during the student teachers experiences.  First, it examined the environment of a Wellness classroom.  Next the article scanned a lesson and showed strategies to put technology lesson objectives to address the specific goal for physical education. Lastly, she strongly encourages student teachers and all teachers to get better at the pedagogic teaching strategies with which continual education is key. The overall goal is to get student teachers in physical education prepared for the future with using tech tools.  The cooperating teacher plays a big role in providing the learning for their student teachers to use tech tools in their lessons.  That way the future teacher feels comfortable using technology throughout their teaching career and will hopefully use more of it for the student benefit. 

In this day and age all teachers no matter what level you are at are expected to be experts in the usage of technology tools.  Using technology in the PE setting can have added challenges.  Physical education classrooms are not set-up the same as grade level classrooms.  PE classes are normally in a big gymnasium or outside. It is important to train student teachers to find technology tools that are able to be integrated into those environments to support the pedagogical strategies.  During students teaching experiences, they need to practice the skills using technology in the PE setting. That way the student teacher is working on what will be similar to the expectations they will have later in their teaching practice. What the author found is that technology was not being effectively infused into the student teaching experience. 

The author suggests that to have technology make a difference, “Choose your technology to aid your teaching, rather then designing your lesson to fit the available technology.”  When choosing a tech tool first you need to look at your instructional approaches, learning outcomes, and goals of the lesson.  Second look at the needs of your students; content being taught, and contextual variables. Then go to your tech closet and pick the right tool to aid in your teaching. Not the other way around. 

There was an example layout of how a physical education teacher used heart-rate monitors to support their pedagogical strategies. How they used the 5 basic steps for planning the lesson.
1)   Instructional Problem: Essential Questions
2)   Analysis of Context
3)   Pedagogical Decisions
4)   Learning Activities and Implementation
5)   Assessment
When using technology in any setting it isn’t guaranteed that it will ensure the quality of education.  What will make quality education is the design of the educational experiences that will promote the learning.  It is important for teachers of all abilities to learn how to use technology.  No matter your expertise on technology it is always important to continue taking educational classes to improve your lesson.    


This article looks at how we are helping our student teachers and making sure they are ready for the world of technology.  PE is no longer just sports and games but the use of tech tools to show a students physical progression.   I believe the author and this article that most student teachers are not being taught to use technology in their PE lessons.   My coworker has had several student teachers in the past couple of years.  Only 1 out of the 5 has felt comfortable incorporating technology into the PE lessons.  I feel that it has to come from the cooperating teacher and their own ability in technology.  If a teacher doesn’t feel comfortable then they also don’t teach their student teacher to use tech tools in the PE setting.  Those teacher who don’t feel comfortable using technology need to spend they own time learning, taking district tech classes, and attending different conferences that show strategies to encompass technology into your lessons.  This is especially important if they take on the responsibility of having a student teacher.  I know for myself using technology more and more into the physical education classroom has made my teaching smoother.  That is by trial and error, along with observing other PE teachers who use technology.  I have been able to see what has worked for them and try to put that into my setting.  The benefit of using technology I have noticed is the additional student motivation, exercising more, and excitement level raised to whole new level.  This article is totally right.  A teacher needs to first figure out their specific goal to the lesson and then sees if a tech tool will assist them in that lesson.