Blog 19: The Digital Divide

I believe this is one topic we rather skimmed over in class.  Because of all the new stuff we had to learn, the issue was pushed to the back of my mind, but not too far back, though. I consider myself low-tech in that I don’t have an iPhone or wireless connection at home, nor can I afford them.  I always wondered if the students we were going to teach would all have access to the internet for the flipped lessons and blogging assignments.

According to this article, only 3% of students from low-income families have internet access at home, and their schools’ internet services are limited as well.  Even in higher-income families, only 50% have home access. Many public libraries that have computers and free internet access are closing down due to lack of funding. So students without internet access rely on businesses that offer free access such as McDonald’s and Starbucks.

What it all boils down to is that technology is just another tool for teaching.  At the heart of it, a teacher is the one that has to reach the students to inspire them to discover the world, try something new, and venture out into uncharted frontiers. It us up to teachers to find out the needs of their students, help them define their goals, and lead them on the path to (dare I say it?) fulfillment.

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Blog 18: Social Learning Tool — SoundCloud


a simple presentation of something that is really simple to use

I’m leaving the bells and whistles to soundcloud itself!


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Blog 17: about Mobile learning explained visually via Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning is a blog written by Med Kharbach, who seems to like graphics, as many of his blogs feature them.  This blog (Mobile Learning Explained Visually) certainly uses drawings, graphs, icons, and trademarks.  The graphic for the main content of the blog, Are We Wired for Mobile Learning is full of information but presented in a trivia-like method.  It made me think of a storyboard for a presentation all laid out on one big sheet of paper.  Is this how digital natives think?  For me, there was too much information presented rather disjointedly. Is Mr. Kharbach preaching to his choir of digital natives? Then, he’s not reaching the audience that the topic should reach.  Older adults, especially teachers who are reluctant to move on with technology may be put off by the plain-ness of the piece.  Although the infographic is pretty to look at, it seems to be unfinished.  I was looking for it to be “put together” so that I could say, “Hey, I need to get on that.”

The main source of this “article” was VOXY.  So was it a veiled advertisement?


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Blog 16: Unit Grid and Lesson Plans

CFPalanca_554_final unit plan

CFPalanca_Lesson Plan 1_554

CFPalanca_Lesson Plan 2_554

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Blog 15: Brain Rules

Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist, has put together 12 facts (which he calls rules) about how the brain works.  Most of the rules are not new: exercise makes your brain work better; a stressed brain doesn’t work well; we don’t pay attention to boring things.  These are things we figured out in high school, when we had to sit in classrooms listening to teachers who couldn’t interest us with their lessons.  Moreover, Dr. Medina has done the research that shows that listening to music while studying actually helps us remember things!

The website is one big advertisement for Dr. Medina’s books.  It is chockfull of videos, many featuring Dr. Medina, who loves his work and waxes enthusiastic about his discoveries.

It is worth going through the 12 rules and thinking, “I knew that!” or “Hmm, that could work.”  Applying his brain rules to the classroom would not be too difficult.  Getting the students up and moving around, working together, and learning in ways that interest them are all part of best teaching practices.  If we get to know our students and involve them in the development of the lesson plans, the light bulbs in our heads will glow brighter, and we’ll all be happy!


brain light

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Flipped lesson

Because it’s more  fun to make these than to write about them…

This is for a preK class, with help from their parents or significant elders.

Getting the class to come up with actions/motions for the song in sequence would show how much they comprehend. (Assessment, preK style.)

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Podcast: Bug-eating Plants

Podcast for pre-K to Grade 3 students.

Assessment activity: What do you think a pitcher plant looks like? Draw one (or a million) with the bugs that they might like to eat.

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