Sunday, June 9, 2013

Blog Assignment #4

21st Century Learning and Communication Tools

As a future elementary teacher, the tool I would use in the classroom is YouTube EDU. YouTube EDU is a similar site to YouTube, but it is for learners and educators. As YouTube EDU calls it, it is a “global video classroom.”
Image of YouTube EDU

It gives students the chance to find short lessons on material they might have missed or do not understand well. It also gives educators the ability to teach without having to be physically there. This also is related to flipping the classroom. I do not like the idea of flipping the classroom because I believe that kids will not learn that way due to the fact that I believe kids will not take the time out of their day to do the work. In a way it is pretty similar to having homework, which no kid is happy with. But, I like the idea of teaching without having to be physically there. Imagine a child who is hospitalized for whatever reason and cannot attend school. Videos of the lesson will allow the student to be able to learn and keep up with school work at home. One way I would incorporate YouTube EDU into the classroom is by creating videos. I think that a good project would be to have the students group up to learn a specific topic and help them create a video to post on YouTube. I believe that this is a fun way to teach the students and help them learn the material. It teaches students how to work in a group and how to work with others. I chose YouTube EDU because I believe this is a good way to help keep students interested. I think that most elementary students are very visual learners and this would help them in the process. You might ask, “What if the students do not want to watch the video?” I would say, If I were to show a video in class, I would make sure that it is fun, entertaining, and interesting. I know that sometimes educational videos can be extremely boring, so it is my duty to pick the ones I know they will watch.
Image of Video Can Engage Students

Kaitlyn Parker
When I begin teaching elementary education with my second grade students I want to utilize technology to keep them interested and engaged, as to maximize their learning. I found two learning tools I would love to use in my classroom to occupy my SMART board. The first tool is the SMART table collaborative learning center. This interactive table lets students work in groups and use visuals, auditory, and physical elements to learn. The table is multi-touch and multi-user which means that more than one student can use it at the same time. Students can use this to help each other learn material and also learn good teamwork skills.

The second tool I found that would be useful in my 21st century classroom is a SMART response interactive response system . This is a wireless handheld device or clicker that students can each have at their desks. It has large, easy to understand buttons for the young minds I will be teaching and is great for all reading levels. Teachers can ask a question on their SMART board and have students choose an answer on their clickers and teachers will receive instant feedback. This allows them to see if all students are engaged in the lesson and to also see where the class is having trouble understanding material. This is also a much more quick and efficient way of evaluating students than giving problems via paper and pencil and then the teacher having to grade the problems and tally up the results that the SMART response interactive response system can give in seconds. I hope to be able to utilize one or both of these learning tools in my classroom in the future so my students can learn and be more engaged in the lessons. I think this is a fun and exciting way to get students interested in the lessons and interacting in the classroom.

Kabrina Harris
Wikispace is a great collaborative site that can be used by students and teachers. Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit web page content using any web browser. The site allows people to view others work and edit it. This tool reminds me a lot of Google drive. Teachers can give assignments to students and allow them to work on it as a group outside of the classroom. I would use wiki in my class for the purpose of group research projects. I would expect my students to do their own research and share it with their group through wikis. If a group member sees a mistake in someone’s work they could edit it. The benefits I would expect from using wikis are my students will learn to effectively collaborate with each other and edit others work. I chose wikis because its a great collaborate tool that could be used by anyone at anytime. Wiki also promotes group work.

Haley Torries
While there are numerous 21st century Learning and communicating tools, I decided to focus on WebMD and Blackboard.

WebMD is one of the more popular websites in the medical industry due to the ease of finding the resources located there. All the information on this site can be reached in these categories; A-Z, Drugs and Treatments, Women, Men, Children's Health, News & Blogs and Message Boards. The information found on this site is well-research and comprehensive. Anyone is able to search for what causes certain symptoms or how to treat any disease a person might have. The Message Board allows visitors to discuss remedies and information they have learned from doctors all over the world. I will be able to use this in my classroom to help students learn about different types of diseases. I believe it is important for students to understand that there are many different diseases in the world. They also need to understand that some illnesses can be prevented by good health care; such as lung and heart diseases. Some illnesses people are born with. WebMD can give students an awareness of the daily lives people with these diseases live with. Children with a better understanding of these diseases are less likely to bully. This will help the students lead healthier lifestyles.

Educators from around the world are using Blackboard to reach students in personalized, new ways. Blackboard keeps the educator's up to date and involved with different techniques on how to keep students interested. This is a great resource for teachers to use whenever they want to consult the whole class about an update on course materials, calendar changes, ect. Grades can also be posted on this site. Blackboard has e-text. Students can also use voice narrative of the text if desired. It has interactive, reinforcing activities, like matching games, etc. This helps the students enjoy learning. This would be a great tool for me to use in my future classroom.


  1. I like the idea of using YouTube Edu, however, it wouldn't have been my first choice for a technology tool. Children can only stay engaged in a video for so long. Also, if a flipped classroom is flipped correctly, students will learn better than the pencil/paper/textbook/worksheet method. There are a TON of iPad, computer, and SMARTBoard games for every subject, age range, and interest for students. Independent iPad time does require some monitoring, just like independent worksheet time, but it allows students to practice specific skills while having fun and staying motivated to keep learning!

    YouTube Edu would be great to use during a transition time. For example, when your class gets in from PE and it's now science time, you could use YouTube Edu to wind them down and transition their minds to science.

  2. I like the idea of YouTube Edu. I do agree many people are visual learners and could benefit from watching educational videos. The videos may be able to clear up difficult concepts and connect to students in a way a teacher can not.

  3. YouTube Edu would be a good way to find educational video to supply the students with a different view on a difficult subject. As long as the videos are not too long, I believe the students will stay intrigued.

  4. I have never heard of YouTube Edu before. As a future educator I think that the site could be very useful in the classroom. YouTube edu offers tons of different videos that the class could use to see different views on the same subject.

  5. Another option, which is not blocked in most schools, is Vimeo.

    Flipping has been found to be very useful in many places. I would not make a decision unless I tried it out. You might be surprised and learn something about your students that you thought you knew but were wrong about. Keep your mind open!