A Class of Over 1000 Students

Imagine being the teacher of over 1000 students all in the same class. Yes, it sounds a bit crazy. Yet, it’s possible today in the technology driven world. Melody and I have started taking this FREE online class from Stanford University, more of a learning experiment on my end. It’s called designing a new learning environment. I blogged about it here. At first, I was intrigued by the idea of offering “free” education. You know that economic theory how they say there’s no such thing as a “free lunch”. Well, I wanted to see what a free online class from Stanford would be like.

The hardest thing so far is keeping on top of my deadlines for assignments! They don’t really send us reminders about assignments, so you need to be on top of it. Well, this class is obviously not my number one priority right now, and I’ve found myself in a panic when I realize my assignment is due in the next 17 hours. Good thing I’m in a different time zone, it helps me a little bit. So far, the time commitment has been reasonable and I’ve been reflecting and learning already. There are short video clips of lectures we watch, weekly assignments, and a final group project. It has been interesting seeing how this whole online class thing works. It’s weird not really being graded and assessed on every assignment especially by the teacher. Our assignment we just submitted will be “graded” by my peers. I’m think of posting some of my assignments as a blog post as well.

I wonder if this is the direction education will take in the future, where there’s no physical classroom, but being connected to your teacher and classmates through the Internet and various technology driven learning platforms. I’m not sure if I’m ready to let go of my notebooks and pencils. I’m not sure if I’m ready to let go of giving my students high fives. I’m not sure if I’m ready for the change that will come.

Have you taken any online classes before? If so, what has that experience been like?

A snapshot of our video lecture!

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TEDEd YouTube Channel

I have always talked about what a huge fan I am of TED talks… I feel so behind. I had no idea there was a youtube channel devoted to educational TED talks until I was reading Jee Young’s latest blog post!

I just watched this talk on taking GOOD and BAD out of our vocabulary. You need to watch it, show it to your upper elementary students (heck, I might even show it to my kinders!) and tie it in with a lesson on how to add more descriptive adjectives into our writing.

Integrating technology into the classroom is vital in today’s world. Working at a school that doesn’t have laptops to check out, or iPads to use, doesn’t mean I can’t include technology into my lessons. These great videos are a good way to start.

What are some ways you integrated technology? Have you used one of these TED videos in your lessons?

Google Summit in Singapore

This weekend, I attended a google apps for education summit held by my school here in Singapore. It was pretty nice to have it hosted at my school campus! There were people from various schools in Asia here for the conference, plus a lot of amazing google presenters. Here are a few fun videos shown at our first keynote by Suan Yeo and some important nuggets of information from the workshops.




Two funny follow ups to that…

One of the workshops I attended was called Harnessing the Power of Youtube by Patrick Green, who is our middle school technology coordinator. Here is his link for the presentation:

Harnessing the Power of Youtube

He goes through the steps of how to create your own youtube channel and making your own youtube playlist! It was a really helpful and useful session. I really liked that he gave us time in the workshop to actually do some of the things he said.  So I updated my youtube channel profile and started subscribing to a few different educational youtube sites! Take a look:

Ms Kim’s Youtube Channel

One of the best ideas I heard today was using google forms as a way of assessing students. You can use them for short start-up/do now questions, and get the instant feedback. You can also use them for quizes and exit slips! I’m definitely going to try that with my students.

Learn with us by following the twitter #gafesummit and/or checking out the google summit’s resources pages. I have a few more technology related blog posts in my head to write this week! Stay tuned for more from the summit.

What are some ways you use google apps in your classroom?

Students Teaching Students

For the final project in our landforms unit, I have my fifth grade students teach our book buddies class (Melody’s 2nd grade class) about volcanoes. The students are expected to teach the second graders what they learned about volcanoes. This is fun to see them take on the role of a teacher. Not only do they realize how hard it is, but it helps them make sure they really learned and understood what we studied.

One of the requirements for this project is that they integrate technology. In the past, I used to require them to make a power point or use a specific type of technology. However, something our I.T. specialist has encouraged me to do is to leave it more open, so the students can choose how they will use technology. So for this project, I let them decide how to incorporate technology.  Many of them created I-movies, Powerpoint, Glogster, and used  iPads. The students also have to create an assessment to see if the students learned what they taught. For the first day, my students went in to teach about volcanoes, and the next day they will give them the quiz!  The final part of the project is to erupt volcanoes with them.

One of the groups came up with a fun board game!


Here’s a link to one of the glogster’s they created!

http://www.glogster.com/glog/6ln37kntlmlruq3b9iahla0

Bulletin Boards!

In a previous post I shared how I created a blog to incorporate technology into my science lesson. In another post I showed a simple way to make a booklet. Now I am going to show you what I did with the pictures we printed from that blog, and the booklets we made from those pictures.

I created a bulletin to show the parents our hard work!

The thought of bulletin boards can be overwhelming. I know of teachers who choose to simply add pictures as the weeks go by on to their bulletin board, and of teachers who change it ALL THE TIME (I admire you). I like to pick certain points throughout the year and stick with the designs that are simple, but parents like. That way I have done the bulletin before  (in the previous years), so I know what I works, and what I need!

You can also take the same idea, and create a totally different design. My bulletin board was focused on the students looking at clouds, and my teaching partner made her board into the water cycle:

What are some bulletin board designs that you love?

Blogging for Beginners: KORCOS edition!

Friday was an exciting day. Jee Young and I were able to present at KORCOS on Blogging for Beginners! Like many presentations involving technology, we had a few minor glitches that made me regret not packing an extra pack of tissue paper in my purse (for the sweat), but overall it went really well. The workshop was packed with teachers ready to learn, and blogs were created!

We covered what is in our Blogging for Beginners tab here on our two apples a day page, as well as gave a step by step process for creating a simple wordpress.com (our platform of choice) blog. These steps are on the KORCOS wiki page.

A few questions that were asked:

Why do you use wordpress?

I have noticed that blogger pages through gmail tend to have problems in Korea. There are times when the page is only in Korean, even if my computer is set to English settings. Also…I have had blogs through both platforms, and I just like wordpress better, I feel that it is very user friendly.

Can you make your blog private?

Of course you can! If you have a wordpress blog, the privacy setting is under the settings tab on the left side of the page when you are at your dashboard. (I believe you can make any blog private through most platforms).

How often do you blog personally?

To be honest, when you first start blogging- it is important to blog often! Jee Young and I take turns throughout the week, and usually take a day or two off on the weekends. My personal blog has suffered a bit due to my graduate class, and this awesome new site, but if you recall from Jee Young’s recent post, she is blogging EVERY DAY. Crazy woman.

There were many more questions… but a lot of them were specific to the person, or I don’t remember them. If you have questions feel free to write a comment (WE LOVE COMMENTS).

I don’t know why no one told me my name tag was twisted backwards^^.

Jee Young also presented on Read Alouds… she may share pictures and her experience from that later (I haven’t actually talked to her about it yet, hehe!)

What are some great professional development conferences that you go to? What are some awesome workshops you’ve been to, or have presented at?

Remember, sharing is caring!

Connecting Classrooms through Skype

It all started with a simple comment on a blog. Recently, I started reading a blog of another international school teacher’s blog in Saudi Arabia through the two writing teachers slice of life challenge on Tuesdays. I found out that she was also a fifth grade teacher. I left her a comment, asking if she would be interested in collaborating with our class. After a few e-mails, we decided to create a google document where we would write questions for each other. So we had our first Skype session this afternoon (morning for them).

It was great as my students learned about their life, culture and school in Saudi Arabia. We also shared about our lives in Korea and our school. I think one of the funniest parts was when we taught them some words in Korean (hello, teacher & student) and when they repeated it, my students did the Korean “oooooooh” in unison. They were so impressed by their good pronunciation! Towards the end of our Skype session, one of my students asked me if we could ask them what book they are doing for their read aloud. We didn’t have a chance to ask them, but it seems like it could be a good topic to discuss the next time we Skype with them!

Here are some more resources for finding global collaboration opportunities!

Skype in the classroom

Epals global community

ilearn

The Global Read Aloud

Global Collaboration Project

Earth, as Seen by Astronauts Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Harrison Schmitt from Apollo 17

Connecting to the world through Skype!