Learning Goals


I have a lot to learn in this class, here are two goals that I would love to meet by the end of the class.

1. Utilize my PLN and understand what all it is able to do. (This is my first time hearing about it)

2. I want to feel comfortable using web 2.0 tools, and be able to use them with my students with hopes they become more engaged in class.

3. Learn how to blog!

I am very excited about this class and can not wait to get started.


Blog #6


This week our school started the GA milestones. I have stated several times I am a special education teacher. This week has had to be one of the most frustrating weeks I have ever had as a teacher. My students all have the testing accommodation to being read to on the test. This year the stated said all read to students have to take the test online to eliminate the human reader. I understand the reasoning behind it with all the cheating that could happen, but as a teacher who would never cheat to see her students struggle even more because they have to take a test on the computer and type their responses and have other things to distract them like all the tools the computer has for them to use. It really has made me think about Diana Laufenberg’s TED talk video. I really liked where she said one correct answer is not the way to show students are learning. My students learned this year, but they were not able to express themselves in a way that they could get that across. (or so it seemed by the looks on their face while testing and lack of focus) My students could benefit from the experiential learning. Would it be on the same level as others? No, but could the teachers pose to them a question and allow them to figure out the answer with research and talking to others in the community absolutely. I think that the reason we still have a school where students come even though they have the information at their fingertips where ever they go is so we can guide them to higher level of thinking. I 100% agree with Laufenberg’s video of allowing them to fail. This has been brought up in other ways to holding on so tight to the classroom. Teachers have to allow students to have control of the classroom. Teachers have to allow students to figure it out on their own. Teacher need to pose the question that makes the student want to learn more and they have such a desire they take that learning outside of the classroom. I believe the more responsibility we give student the more responsible they become. All students do not learn the same way, so why do we test them all the same way. Inquiry learning is when students are given real life situations and they themselves find the answer. Teachers are there to encourage and foster the learning, but allow their students to fail and teach the students it is okay. Most people stumble upon a great idea by accident.

My mini-lessons will be directed to middle school age students. I want to keep my special education students in mind while I plan these lessons. I want to make sure they would be able to accomplish these lessons. Finding authentic tasks will probably be the hardest thing for me to do. I have to think like a 14 year old. What I thought as a 13 year old without technology is not how 13 year olds think now. I want to create a task that the students can relate to and not struggle to much but just enough where they have to research and try different things to get the correct answer. I will also have to make sure it is something they have some prior knowledge in. I want to give them just enough they want to learn more. They love technology and I want them to use technology in a way they can impress others and take it with them. I want them to be so engrossed in their assignment that when the bell rings they say how fast class went. I do believe I have my task cut out for me, but I thing I can create mini-lessons that my students will want to take ownership of the lesson and make it their own creation.new


Blog Post #5

I have learned so much in this class so far. The three goals that I said I wanted to meet at the end of the class were:

1. Utilize my PLN and understand what all it is able to do. I would have to say that I have learned a lot about a PLN.

  • I would not consider myself an expert about it, but I can remember the name of it without looking it up. I also know what it is supposed to contain. I will say I have not mastered the goal because I am still learning more about it every week. As a special education teacher and all the goals that I set for my students for me I would say I am making progress for this goal.

2. I want to feel comfortable using web 2.0 tools, and be able to use them with my students with hopes they become more engaged in class.

  • I have started using certain tools in my classes that I teach now, so I have become much more comfortable with them. There are so many tools out there, but I am not as scared to play around with the sites.

3. Learn how to blog!

  • I would not call myself a professional blogger by any means, but I am starting to like posting how I feel at first I was a little worried I was putting my thoughts out there for the world to see!

In the article, Even Geniuses Work Hard by Carol S. Dweck it says“I believe that meaningful work can also teach students to love challenges, to enjoy effort, to be resilient, and to value their own improvement. In other words, we can design and present learning tasks in a way that helps students develop a growth mindset, which leads to not just short-term achievement but also long-term success.” I really like this statement because our main goal as educators is to help our students become life-long learners not just to help them simply remember information to pass a test. I believe if we teach our students it is okay to be challenged they will step up to the plate and have long-term success and if you get the student engaged they will enjoy the learning process.

Letting Go

I first have to say letting go is too close to Let it go and now I have the song stuck in my head!

I really enjoyed reading Grant Wiggins, Teaching means Letting Go. I have struggled with hovering and spoon feeding my special education students that when it is time for them to work without any assistance they act like they have never even seen the math problem. I get frustrated and I am the only one to blame for this. I have to create this type of learning environment where they feel safe to make mistakes. My students are so worried that they will fail they get frustrated and shut down. I really like the statement made by Wiggins that by high school , problem based learning, Socratic seminars, and independent research ought to be the norm and not the exception. I do believe this ties in with the Webinar by Chris Lehman that a lot of people think that teachers main job is to get them ready for the work force.  Our job is to get them ready to be productive citizens and how many jobs do you know that the job world is identical to what you learned out of a book and classroom. Every situation is different and if we are not teaching children to be independent thinkers and give them the skills they need to solve problems on their own we have failed our students even though we might have taught our standards and met the objectives that have been set for us. I have really enjoyed this weeks topics and it has made me think of how to do things different next year with my students.


Reflective Searching

Before looking at the different techniques and tools in this week’s assignments. I would have said I am a great searcher. I usually can find what I am looking for. After looking at the different tools I realize I am the old lady searcher when I’m not an old lady. It took me longer to find things before utilizing the tools. I really liked where I can use the image tool in Google to look up books I might not know the name of by knowing what the cover resembles. In Beth’s Blog Content Curation Primers it says, Content Curation is not about collecting links or being an information pack rat, it is more about putting them into a context with organization, annotation, and presentation.  I love pinterest, but I do not always look very closely before I pin things so I end up with a lot of pins I do not really want. Using the curation tools I looked at this week should help me narrow down what I want and to place it in its proper spot.  I do not believe I would call my self a member of the Google Generation, but that will be my goal before this class is through. According to How Teens do Research, AP and NWP teachers say internet and digital search tools had a mostly positive impact on their students’ research habits, but 87% are easily distracted generation with short attention spans and 64% do more to distract students than to help them academically. I would say the only thing I probably have in common with a teen search pattern is that I am easily distracted.


Coming from someone like myself that does not experiment with technology looking at the resources this week has been fun. I really enjoyed the Oxford English Birthday Word. My word based on my birthday was Chill pill. I probably will need to take one by the time this class is over. I love the idea of technology, but I have to be honest I am a bit intimidated by it. Another of the resources was about PLN (which honestly I’m still not sure what it is) and twitter. I have a twitter account and I follow some people, but I have not used it for myself. When I look at what all I can learn from it I am excited. The other two resources were more for blogs. I thought they were both easy to navigate and I did not feel that scared playing with it. I believe this class will help me us the technology that I have always wanted to use just never made myself sit down and figure out. When I signed up for the class I had no idea what it was about and really until this first week I haven’t thought about it. I  just signed up for the classes I was advised to take. My goal is to be that person in my building that people will come to and ask questions about how to integrate technology in the classroom. Let the fun begin!!