Archive for the ‘IDNT 501’ Category

IDNT Mini Projects Week #2

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

This week’s mini projects continued to be helpful, and efficient ways to use technology. These technologies once again would be very easy to adapt for students’ use for different projects and assignments. For my mini projects this week I chose the timeline by Time Toast and the Google Trek. As far as the mini projects offered this week I thought that both of these would have good use in a social studies classroom.

Time Toast Timelines present material in a concise and clear way and allow for extra information to be linked. I like how you can choose multiple presentation styles. This would be a classic social studies classroom activity with a spin on it. This would be a great way once again for students to review dates for exams and see visually how one event leads to another. I do not always think that dates need to be obsessed over in a history classroom, but for the important dates I think that a Time Toast timeline would be a great way for students to learn.

For a while now I have thought that Google was going to take over the world and I think that Google Trek is further evidence of that. As a future educator, I love Google and all of the helpful products that they offer. Google Trek would be a great way for students to map out things. Or to create their own interpretation of something that they have learned in class. It would be VERY helpful for a geography unit and for when we are talking about current events. I know that some people despise Google, but I am so thankful for its helpfulness as an educator.

These mini projects have been very helpful and have opened my eyes to so many more technologies that I can use in my classroom. I think that the mini-projects is a great title for it since so many of these projects take such a short time to produce. I will be putting these to use in my future classroom.

IDNT 501 Mini Projects Week 1

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

In recent weeks I have developed a comfort with the technology that we have been using. I am more confident when going to use a new technology. This week’s mini projects gave us an opportunity to explore several different technologies. They were all applicable for the classroom as teachers, they were also able to be used by our students to complete projects for themselves. I chose the Voki and the Wordle this week since I think that they would be helpful on a class website as well as for students to study and review.

The Voki is a great example of a telecollaborative activity. Students would be able to put their voice to material and then share it with their classmates and other students. I also like the idea of using the Voki on a class website to give instructions and introduce students to material. I would love to have a page on a US History 11 class website that had different Vokis for the different presidents. I think that students would have a lot of fun creating them and it would make for an easy way to submit the projects. I think that the strengths of telecollaborative activities are summed up well in Coffman’s book, “the telecollaborative activity facilitates active student participation from all students, regardless of location. In addition, it is meaningful and allows for hands-on participation and engagement from all students”(Coffman, 2013. p. 115).

I appreciated the Wordle activity because of its use in the analysis of different texts. As a social studies teacher, I will often be showing my students various documents. It will be hard at times to communicate some of the documents but Wordle will help students pull out various main ideas since it emphasizes words with high word counts. I also like that it makes a visual for students since I think that it would be helpful for students with different learning styles. Students that are visual learners would be able to remember text better if they were viewing Wordles throughout the course of learning new material.

These different mini projects help expose us to a variety of technologies and help us learn more about how we can involve our students in the classroom. I am excited to explore more in the coming weeks and add to my knowledge of technology in the classroom.

Coffman, T. (2013). Using Inquiry in the Classroom. (2 ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Education.

INDT Week 7

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

This week’s use of the Wallwisher technology might be my favorite thus far. In minutes I was able to create a discussion board which can be found here and have friends, family, and classmates post about a topic that I have been thinking about a lot lately, homeschooling. I think that this tool would have great usage in my future classroom as a forum about different topics for students to discuss or just as a place to answer students questions. I chose to have my posts come up in a stream as opposed to stickies because I wanted something more symmetrical and orderly.

Not only could I set up walls for my future classroom but I think it would be a great way for students to set up their own walls and projects to be able to gain feedback from their classmates and the general public. I liked that there were options to change the privacy settings as well as the ability to moderate different comments. Sometimes technology can be overwhelming as I have mentioned in previous reflections but this was so easy to use and practical as well! I also think that because it is so easy to use that it provides an amount of efficiency that not all technology offers.

Students will retain much more of what they discover on their own to what they will learn from a teacher lecturing for hours. “As with any inquiry-oriented activity, your goal as the teacher is to engage your students with a ‘big idea’ question and then let them discover workable answers”(Coffman, 2013. p. 104). Through these types of walls and other telecollaborative activities students are able to engage with each other and the material more actively.

Coffman, T. (2013). Using Inquiry in the Classroom. (2 ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Education.

INDT Week 6: To Flip or Not to Flip

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

More than anything else Flipping of classrooms reminds me of home educating students. As I watched the videos and descriptions of the methods used, I could not help but think of my own education growing up as a homeschooled student. The idea of constant application and the use of videos as lectures has become a popular movement among homeschoolers in the last two decades. I think that there is a lot of positives in the pedagogy of flipping a classroom including real world application, multi-student participation as well as opportunities for students to use a variety of different learning styles throughout their time in the classroom.

I think that some of the difficulties that flipping a classroom could present are classroom management, preparation time for teachers, and the transition from a tradition classroom to a flipped classroom. If videos from websites like Khan Academy are used I think that that would help teachers in preparation time therefore giving them more time to interact with their students and differentiate classroom time, etc. One of the other difficulties that I think a flipped classroom presents is the lack of preparation that it gives students for being in a college classroom. I think that it prepares them for the real world, but not necessarily for a lecture style college class.

I do not think that flipped classroom just consists of students watching lectures outside of class and doing worksheets during class. I think that class needs to be an interactive time in a flipped classroom. A time where students are applying knowledge to projects, discussions, and debates, a time when they can express themselves and demonstrate their understanding of the knowledge gained from lectures outside of class.

I think that this pedagogy still has some kinks that it needs to work out, especially for some classrooms. But I do appreciate its desire to make a more dynamic learning experiences for students and its use of technology in the classroom.

IDNT Week 5

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Using videos in the classroom is a great way to engage students in the curriculum. By using videos it peaks interest and is an efficient way to introduce new material. It can be difficult to find a video that uses the same “voice” that one might want to use the with the curriculum though which is why sites like Animoto are so beneficial. I found that by using Animoto I could add my own unique ideas and spin on the content that I was trying to introduce to my students. Through the use of music, words, and visuals one has more of an opportunity to serve various learning styles and use technology efficiently in the classroom.

I think that videos can be used all of the time in the classroom, from introducing new material, to reiterating a point, to reviewing for a test, by using videos educators are able to present material in a succinct way to hopefully help students remember it more effectively. Animoto and other similar sites could be used for student presentations as well. By giving students the option of creating a video, teachers give them an opportunity to express themselves in more unique ways.

Animoto was not only easy to use, its tools helped convey the message more easily and it provides educators with various tools to aid them in presenting material. I am excited to use Animoto again and recommend it to other educators.

IDNT Week 4

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

This week is teaching me a lot about how much I still have to learn as a teacher, and how important it is to constantly be learning new things. I have always claimed to be a “life-long learner” and this week made sure that I was definitely learning new things. Oftentimes as teachers we are going to be stretched in new ways as we try to learn about the latest technology or techniques in teaching. I feel that it is important for us to learn how to do these things so that we can set our students up for success. Learning new things can be frustrating(as a teacher or as a student). As a student sometimes one comes up against a wall in learning. A place where you are not sure where to turn. It is in those moments that I know as a student I have to step back from the situation, take a deep breath, and look at the concept a different way. This is not always easy to do but I know for a fact that dealing with this over the last week will help me aid my students in the future.

As a teacher when students are learning new things we need to keep in mind that every student is not going to understand everything on the first try. They might not even understand everything on the fifth try and patience is extremely important. To be able to effectively use technology in the classroom with my students I know that I need to become more and more familiar with it so that I can provide support and input for them as I ask them to do projects and use technology in the classroom. Dr. Coffman was an encouragement in this since she helped me and gave me the needed support that I needed to be able to accomplish the assignments that I needed to do. I hope that I can provide my future students with similar support in my classroom.

IDNT Week 3 Copyright

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

After a couple of frustrating searches I finally grasped what I needed to do with this assignment. I think that it was important for us to learn how to do this because as content area teachers we are often going to want to put together power points, assignments, and information for our students that contains images from the web. Prior to this assignment I did not know all of the different types of licenses for images on the web, I also was very thankful to discover Google Advanced Image Search because it so clearly allows you to be able to search for the types of images you are looking for, for your projects. I did most of my searches on google since I am most familiar with the interface. I searched “Building in Washington, DC, but then it did take me a little while to find an image that was listed under Public Domain. The following image is the one that I found that was listed under public domain. It is nice to know that it is free to use and that I do not have to worry about searching out the author, etc.

I feel that it is important as educators for us to be able to use these skills in the classroom since we want our students to be able to use similar search skills as well as to teach them not to plagiarize. Solomon and Schrum write, “In creating digital stories, students often include images created by others that are stored online”(Solomon & Schrum, 2011. p. 107) If my students are going to be using images stored online I want to make sure that they know how to filter through the results they will receive and to know how and if they can use specific images. I have always been a stickler about plagiarism, so I value the fact that we learned how to even properly give credit to authors of images and not just written works. I think that this tool will be extremely practical for me to use in my future classroom.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2011). Web 2.0 how-to for educators. Eugene, OR: Intl Society for Technology in educ.DC Architecture

IDNT Blog #2

Monday, January 28th, 2013


I am a social studies endorsement candidate so I love my content. I want my students to enjoy the content but I also realize that it is my job to teach them other things as well. In reviewing the readings this week as well as the article I saw a major emphasis on problem solving and creating, things that I do not always associate with my content area. But I also saw a emphasis on interdisciplinary learning which I think can be extremely valuable in a social studies classroom. Greg Toppo writes, “While kids may enjoy working together on projects, for instance, the amount of knowledge they get often ends up being shallow. Furthermore, he says, research shows that many teachers find it difficult to actually teach children to think creatively or collaborate. In the end, they rarely get better at the very skills that P21 advocates”(Toppo, 2009). So is the answer to teach content or 21st century skills? Here are my thoughts regarding the websites.

Points of View

Each website that we encountered this week had a slightly different view. The website on the 21st century pedagogy as well as the site on the Framework for the 21st century skills focused on a very kinesthetic, problem solving type of learning. Whereas the common core website really wanted to make sure all of the areas of the curriculum were covered. The 21st century skills hold to the point of view that students must be able to compete in the global market for jobs and that with practical and creating knowledge they will be able to do that. On the other hand the common core takes a much more classical view of education in realizing that interdisciplinary studies are necessary for students to see the whole picture. The 21st century does maintain that interdisciplinary studies are important but probably not as much so as the core curriculum site does.

My Subject Area: Social Studies

As a social studies content area teacher I had difficulties pointing out my subject area on a few of the websites, especially the one on the framework for 21st century learning. It would not be as difficult to insert it into the pedagogy for 21st century learning, but at the same time the 21st century learning tends to be more focused on problem solving, creating knowledge, etc. For Social Studies to hold its ground in the 21st century pedagogy social studies teachers must make social studies accessible to our students by giving them real world examples and parallels. It is not only important for us to teach history and government but to prepare and give our students the necessary tools to become well-informed citizens. Some of the areas of the 21st century pedagogy are media literacy, team skills, and interdisciplinary studies; it is in these categories that social studies classes can take a stand and help prepare students with these skills.

How can I teach my subject better?

The core curriculum website was probably the one that I was the most impressed with since I am partial to a very interdisciplinary method of teaching. I also liked their focus on content since as a social studies endorsement candidate I have so much content that I must get across. This website helped with making the content more accessible by relating it to other subjects. The 21st century pedagogy website challenged me to think of skills that my students will need to learn to be successful citizens. By coming up with a skill set and teaching it to my students that will create a schema by which they can learn my content and apply it to their lives. Finally, the 21st century framework website makes emphasis on the learning environment which challenges me as an educator to make sure that the environment in which my students are learning is not distracting but conducive to learning and problem solving.


In my opinion the core curriculum and the 21st century skills must go hand in hand, especially because I am a social studies teacher. I want to make sure that my students know content, but I also want to make sure they can apply that content and that they are not just learning it for rote memorization’s sake. Through effective use of current technologies students in my class will use project based learning and team skills to work through the content that will shape their views as citizens.

Toppo, G. (2009, March 05). What to learn: ‘core knowledge’ or ’21st-century skills’?. . Retrieved from