Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Assignment #15

What Can We Learn From These Conversations With Anthony Capps?

After watching the conversations between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps, I have learned a couple things. The first thing I learned is that until you use something, you will not know everything it does. While watching the iCurio and Discovery Ed conversations, there were many features of both sites that Dr. Strange did not know about.

After actually hearing someone explain the features of both, I have a better understanding of them. When we first did our blog post on either iCurio or Discovery Ed, I only knew what the site itself said. I actually looked at both before choosing one. There are some really nice features of both.

On iCurio, the content that students are allowed to access has been filtered for educational use. It allows students to search the information they need without being able to access the bad sites. Students can search videos, audios, and images that are related to the ACCRS or other state standards. Another neat feature of iCurio is that it has online storage for students and teachers. It allows students to learn organizational skills. They can make folders and, save and delete material as needed. Another great feature is that the information that students save can be accessed at anytime. They do not have to worry about losing information.

Discovery Education is a site that offers videos and interactive textbooks. It is good for enhancing text during a lesson. It helps students understand as they read text. Students can look up anything in science or social studies. I think both of these sites are great. I do not think that I would choose one over the other. They both provide different kind content and I think they go well together.

I also watched the conversation between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps on “Tips For Teachers.” In this video they discuss some things that you should do to be a great educator. The first one is to be a learner. Part of being a teacher is learning. You need to learn how to teach a class. In school you learn how to teach a class but you will not know how to teach one until you start teaching. I think teaching in itself is a learning process. The second tip is being flexible. You should be able to change your plans if needed. You decided your class will do research but the internet is down. How do you work around these issues? At the daycare, I also need to be flexible. The children have play time outside at a certain time everyday, but when it rains unexpectedly or is going to rain, we have to change our schedule or find other things to keep the kids entertained. I think being flexible is something all teachers need to be able to do because anything can happen at any moment. The third tip is that teaching is hard work, but it can be rewarding. Finding books, games, or anything that you think your students will enjoy is hard work. I think you should always think about your students and being able to see your students improve is a great reward. Tip number 4 is to start with a goal. Everyone needs a goal. If you do not have one, where are you going? A goal is your destination. How are you going to get there. In school, standards are the students goals. They are also your goals to get the students to meet standards. The fifth tip is to engage your students 100%. You need to be able to keep them motivated, interested, and curious in learning. I think this is the hardest part. Finding ways to keep them interested and wanting to learn on their own can be difficult. I think that I believe it is hard because I do not have any experience in it. I do not have enough practice. The last tip was to give the students something to work for. Tell them they have to present it. Show them to have pride in their work. Let them reflect on the project they have done. These were all great tips. It gives me a lot of insight on what to expect when I begin teaching.
Image of Teacher Tip #15, "Teaching should be full if ideas, not stuffed with facts."

Haley Torries - Don't Teach It, Use It
Dr. John Strange hosted an interview with Mr. Anthony Capps in July of 2013. Mr. Capps is a third grade teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary. He previously was a lab professional at the University of South Alabama in the EDM310 program. During the interview of iCurio, Mr. Capps explains the ways iCurio is useful in the classroom. What is iCurio and how do you use it? The iCurio program is a digital curriculum that gives teachers flexibility to develop lessons that meet their students individual needs. This program helps students K-12 improve their achievements. The curriculum aligns with state and Common CORE standards. Students can go into iCurio and search through texts, audios and videos on the internet for educational purposes. There are over 330,000 digital resources on iCurio that are safe for children. Storage space is provided for teachers and their students to store information that they find valuable in iCurio. This tool helps teach virtual organization to students. There is a directional feature setup for historical purposes. This allows the students to put keywords in the search engine and get only results dealing with that subject. The iCurio program was developed to help disabled children as well. If the child is unable to read the materials, then iCurio reads the materials to them.

Discovery Education
Dr. John Strange continued an interview with Mr. Anthony Capps in July of 2013. Discussed in this interview was Discovery Education. Mr. Capps shared with Dr. Strange how he uses Discovery Education in his classroom and how Discovery Education works with Project Based Learning. Discovery Education is a digital media program that brings the world into the classroom and gives students a chance to see new people, places, and events. It is aligned to state standards and custom curriculum can be used. Discovery Education links a visual with the text to help children store information more efficiently. Most knowledge that is needed for research in the science and social studies fields can be found on Discovery Education. Educational videos supply the students with a full description of each subject on Discovery Education. Students use Discovery Education for searching topics while the teacher can use it to compare with the text they are teaching.

Mr. Anthony Capps was interviewed by Dr. John Strange in July of 2013 on the subject of Don't Teach Tech - Use It. Mr. Capps shares with Dr. Strange why it is important for teachers not to teach technology, but allow their students to use technology. Dr. Strange asked, “Do you teach technology or do you create a situation that technology can be used in?” Mr. Capps stated that he allows children to use technology, which is natural for them. Children enjoy using technology to learn or improve their learning experience. Technology should be taught with your curriculum. Whenever a child is out of the classroom, they are constantly around technology. So a classroom without technology would be boring. Mr. Capps introduces technologies one at a time to allow students to become acquainted to the program. He keeps it in the curriculum to allow the students to continue to review the technology. Mr. Capps stated, "Never teach technology, just introduce it smartly." Make sure you always introduce the technology first, therefore, when your students ask you questions about the technology, you understand the questions they are asking. You might not always know the answers to the questions your students have about technology. When a question is asked that you don't know, then work with the students to find the answer. The most important concept about learning is to always ask questions.

Kaitlyn Parker - Additional Thoughts About Lessons
In the icurio video with Anthony and Dr. Strange, they discussed icurio and how Anthony uses it with his third grade students. Anthony mentioned many different reasons why icurio is helpful in the classroom. One reason that stuck out to me is how students can create folders and drop files into the folders to organize their information . After they drop the files into the folders it is automatically saved for them. This is helpful when students have to go to lunch or recess and are not finished with the assignment they are working on. Another reason that Anthony mentioned that caught my attention was the fact that icurio can read information aloud to a student. This is helpful for students learning to read or disabled students. Icurio is like an online search engine that is moderated and controlled for students. This makes the inappropriate garbage unable to be searched or seen on icurio. This is especially important in an elementary classroom.

In the video about Discovery Ed Anthony and Dr. Strange discuss Discovery Ed and how it can be used for project based learning. Anthony uses Discovery Ed to help students see and hear what they have been learning in class. They can search for the topic they are looking for such as plants or bears and the students can see pictures and hear audio to learn more information about that topic.

In the video Additonal Thoughts About Lessons Anthony explains what he believes a lesson is made up of. He explains that a lesson is four layers thick. The first layer of a lesson is a year. In a year you will you cover your standards. The second layer of a lesson is a unit. A unit is how you are going to organize and teach your information to your students in a organized and well prepared way. The next layer of a lesson is the week. The week is how you are going to divide your week so that every day you can get your information taught and everything done. The fourth and final layer of a lesson is the daily. The daily lesson is just as important as the other three layers and plans. This is how you will deliver to your students. Each daily lesson needs a hook to keep your students engaged. These are the four components to make a lesson. All of these have to be done before you complete on lesson.

I have learned from these conversations with Anthony Capps that there are many different ways for students to search for information. I also learned that their are several ways to keep students away from inappropriate material when searching for information and that the information can be moderated so it is safe for students eyes. I think this is very important for children; especially in a classroom setting. Students should be able to search for the information they need without seeing inappropriate sites or ads popping up on their screens. I plan to try out both icurio and Discovery Ed in my classroom and see how they work for my students.


  1. Good job summarizing these videos! Anthony is a wonderful teacher!

  2. I especially like your Tip #15 (image)! I endorse Elizabeth's comment.