Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Stepping It Up with Project Based Learning

Global Digital Citizen Foundation




In some of my past blogs I have spent a lot of time giving you a detailed outlook of Project Based Learning. I am now returning to give you some more specific details of the benefits and the importance of incorporating Google Applications when using PBLS. 



My goal for this posting is to pursued you and teach you the importance of integrating Google applications into your Project Based Curriculum. 

Project Based Learning is giving students more control of their learning, and giving teachers more useful sources for assessment. 



Project Based does not mean students will be completing a project. There may be some project aspects to the process, but mainly students will be going through the 8 essentials of PBL that I have spoken about in my previous PBL blog posting.

What we do want to accomplish with Project Based learning is the incorporation of google applications and tools as a voice and choice of students learning.

Why should our students use Google Applications?

-The great thing about using google apps for integrating PBL’s is that you are keeping your students content and engagement relevant to their everyday lives. Part of using PBLS means providing students with voice and choice and in depth inquiry to a problem based driving question. By using google apps you are giving students an opportunity to make learning apart of their everyday life and eventually get them to understand the content and take ownership of their projects.

Working smarter not harder! Google Applications
The possibilities are Endless:
-Using google hangouts for face to face connections.
-e-mail for teacher/student communication as well as google chat for instant feedback.
-Google docs. for student collaboration
-Blogger for publication as well as sites and you-tube.
-Calendar for parent/ teacher communications.

Inquiry Tools
21st Century Skills

Google dictionary and Image dictionary
Personal and social responsibility. (Blogs and social media)Blogger.com
Search lesson plans
Planning, critical thinking, reasoning, and creativity. (google calendar)
strong communication skills. (Google hang outs, chats, and Google drive)
Google scholar (search for peer edited articles.)
Cross Cultural understanding
You Tube
Visualizing and decision making
Google earth and Google books
Knowing how and why to use technology.

Appropriate tool usage

A video to give you an idea of how it looks to use Google applications for Project Based Learning. 


My Pedagogical Thinking, and can be yours too...
By using google apps and PBLs I am creating a pedagogy that is relevant to my students. If I am incorporating all of the 8 essentials to PBL and using google technologies than I am stating that my method of teaching is centered around my students learning styles. I am keeping my students engaged in learning by making learning apart of their world, and in turn keeping their education relevant and meaningful.

I hope I have given you ample reasons to not only start using Project Based lessons in your curriculum but to also give students the reins to their education with Google Applications. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reflect

Visuals in my life...
If you remember about three month ago I did a post about the visuals in my life, and how they impact my life. Well here I am again telling you in a reflective way about the visuals in my life. This semester I have realized just how much visuals impact me as a woman, and in realizing this I have become a very passionate person when it comes to preserving your self-esteem, and building your confidence.

So my reflection on the visuals in my life is based on this video:


While there are millions of adds everyday telling us to be better, faster, stronger, skinnier, prettier, more confident, and brilliant, you don't have to try so hard!  

So the visuals in my life now have more meaning to me...instead of picking up a magazine with a skinny model on it and thinking "God, I wish I had her abs", I now try and think to myself she worked hard for that body, and if I want I can work hard, and not obsess on how others view me. I look in the mirror and feel confident about the women I am, not feel like I need to change based on what the model looks like.


Because this image...
Fasiontimes.com

Is just as beautiful as this...

Because this is what really happens...





Monday, December 15, 2014

Gamification

Changing your perspective on the world of Gaming


So many people (myself included) at times have such negative perceptions of the gaming world. Well if you have just watched the video I posted about how gaming is shaping the creativity in our youth than I hope that your perspective has changed in the last 12 minutes. In my opinion creativity is something that can'not necessarily be taught, but can be inspired, and the world of gaming is the perfect place for that creativity to be inspired.

Creativity is dying, and along with that so is innovation. Yes, there are very brilliant minds out there, but the innovation that lies behind the creative mind is often too many times ignored. So before you tell your students or even your child or significant other to stop playing those stupid games...Stop and think to yourself without creativity we would not have innovation, and without innovation we would still be back in a world of dial up internet, not seeing relatives till the holidays (skype), and waiting much to long for a cup of coffee, when really you just want one cup (Keurig).



So what are you waiting for? Go, get innovating! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

First Time Felon

When I sat down to watch the movie First Time Felon this afternoon, I had no idea that I would feel the way I felt when the movie was over. This movie is not only about a felon who needs to suffer the consequences, but it is also about a man who strives to change his ways in world that is not always willing to help those willing to change. 



My favorite quote in the movie is "It is not our job to straighten you out, it's yours...It is your responsibility." Even though this quote was incredibly appropriate for the situation of a felon, I found it powerful in the since that we are all responsible for straightening our own lives out. No matter what we do in life it is still up to us to be the change we want in life.

My "favorite" scene in the movie is also my least favorite scene in the movie because it shows how unwilling we as a society are sometimes at giving people a chance to be the change in their life. Even when this man is at his last resort and tries to just be himself and express his desire to change, this women still refused him a job, when she clearly had one to give him.
I'm not saying that it should be easy for a criminal to receive a job, because there are some criminals that deserved jail time, and should have to suffer those consequences. On the other hand I feel that it is very rare when a person fresh out jail/boot-camp desires a fresh start and wants to stick to it.

This movie taught me that in life everyone makes a few wrong decisions...what changes your life is if you get caught making that bad choice. I feel that there needs to be more programs set up for felons that are re-entering the work world, and I do agree that it does depend a lot on the what the crime was, but I don't think that should change the opportunity that one deserves to make it right.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Wag The Dog

Wag the dog...More like chase the tail. 

I recently watched the movie Wag The Dog. I was slightly amused, but more so I was disturbed that life could very much be like this in the political world. To catch you up for those of you who haven't seen it (considering it came out in 1997) watch this trailer of the film.

While you are watching think and ask yourself, could this happen in today's society? Or is it already happening? 



What a film right? Now could the President pull off a real war in today's' society? I really don't believe so, considering all of the social media we have, but I do believe that because of social media things similar to this could happen. Think about the millions of stories we hear when its voting season...do we have any clue if half of them are real? or are they just trying to distract us from the truth?
This made me think of Ebola...Yes Ebola is and was a very scary outbreak, but have you ever thought that maybe with how big the story got they were really trying to hide something else? Who knows, it could be possible.
I encourage you to watch this film. Even though it is an older film its shines light on how visuals play such a huge role in how we as society react to what we hear. Nobody starts to overreact until there is a film made, a photo posted, or a video uploaded whether it is a positive or negative reaction...Nobody reacts until they see it with their own eyes.

Here is another clip as I leave you...It's an older post but it just proves to us that there are people that believe that there is propaganda and that there is always a hidden message behind the story they are selling on TV.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Crash

I recently watched the movie Crash and I was amazed about how relevant this subject is still today and its been almost 10 years since it came out. We cross paths with people everyday, probably the same people. Do we notice them? I walk the same path almost everyday to my classes, and after a while I do start to notice the familiar face, the girl that always has her nose in her phone, the guy that holds the door open almost every morning as we walk in. But what I don't think about is how we are related in many ways. This movie Crash opened my eyes to the fact that no matter where we are in life, the paths we cross are in some way familiar to many of the same people.

There are so many interesting scenes in the movie but the one that stuck out to me the most was the scene with the cops pulling over the African American couple, and when the couple does everything they are told to do the cop proceeds to use force, and molest the women. While watching this scene I was disgusted by the content and really by the fact that the cop was in reality racial profiling.

Here is the scene if you would like to watch...Be advised this movie is rated R


What happened in this scene and all throughout this move was thought provoking, disturbing, and still very true for today. This movie made me think of the show What would you do? and I found a clip that I believe is relevant to this movie. 




So What would you do? Isn't it time we came together and put a stop to this? 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ethics And The Media


This week in my Visual Literacy class we watched the first 5 minutes of the documentary America The Beautiful. Catchy title right? Wait until you hear the remarks that men, and women make towards other women, and themselves.

Please watch the trailer of this film, I promise you it will change your perception of women in the media, and how you as a women yourself can change that perception.


"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any" -Alice Walker

We as women have a choice...Please chose to not be just another number, be BOLD, be in POWER!

As I watched this documentary the first thought that came into my mind was about all the little girls and teens that think that this is really how the world has to be. Children are the targets of these adds whether you think so or not. They see how "skinny" and "beautiful" the models are and want to be JUST like them. The reason I put the words skinny and beautiful in quotations is because as we all know, and if you watch the documentary you get to see that how these women look on screen or on a magazine cover is makeup, lighting, and Photoshop. This is all true of course you are trying to become a model, in that case as you hear in the trailer "your health is not an option" or better "if you want to focus on your health go to college." I was heart broken by these statements. Being healthy should be considered beautiful.

Another shocking part of the film is when a reporter is asking a man in office about what the downfall is when you have a women in office...his reply is "you mean besides the PMS and the mood swings?" and when another reporter asks Sara Palin if her breasts are real or not...are these the questions we should be asking about women in power? Absolutely not, and better yet if it were a man would they be asked those questions? Just think about that for a moment. The thing is we as Americans complain every second we get about who is in power and what they are doing wrong, but when we get the chance to ask them hard questions we ask about plastic surgery, and whether or not PMS effects there decision making skills. I mean COME ON!


Women Deserve More!


Please change how this distorted view of women in the media is being portrayed. Stand up, and be the change that we as women deserve. Please do this so that what is shown in this next video can be changed, and women can begin to feel good about themselves and their body image.