Friday, April 30, 2010

EDIM 508- Developing the Respectful and Ethical mind via Google Earth

Service is the rent we pay for living on this planet.” – Marion Wright Edelman

As global citizens, it is critical that our students develop ethical and respectful minds. Gardner states, "respect is equally important at the workplace and in civil society."(pg 116) With this in mind, this Google Earth Virtual Field trip seeks the whet the appetite for global stewardship in our middle school student.  Through a cross continental journey to countries that have needs and meeting real individuals who served to help their fellow global neighbors, this project hopes to have every middle school student impacted by this experience will develop a heightened sense of global empathy and improved global competency.  In short, on this journey, students will meet several Peace Corps volunteers, understand how each served in his assignment, and appreciate the value in the art of serving others.  

This project embodies the "Four  Ms"  mentioned by Gardner ("signposts toward the achievement of good work")  (Gardner pg. 148-149)
1. Mission- This project specifically tries to achieve the enduring understanding that within this world, there are places and people with great needs.  It would benefit all if we did our part to help others to improve their quality of life.

2. Models- Through this project, students are provided with models of service.  Multimedia was used to show them real people, positive individuals who "embodied good work" to serve others. 

3. Mirror test-individual version- Through the final assessment, an open ended question at the end of the journey, the student is asked if he can envision himself as a peace corps volunteer.  It also calls for further reflection, asking him where and how would he serve as a volunteer.

4. Mirror test-professional responsibility-This project seeks to call every student who participates into the spirit of collective global social responsibility to oneself and others.

It is my hope that we can use this virtual field trip as a preliminary lesson prior to the launch of our district's Journeys in Film pilot project.  It would benefit our students greatly if they can witness first hand the lasting impact of global community service through web 2.0 and multimedia.

Gardner, H. (2007). Five minds for the future. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

EDIM 508 - An Educational Blog Worth Following
Since 2007, Richard Byrne managed to bring his blog, Free Technology for Teachers, to the forefront of many educators' minds- 19,000+ to be approximate.  His resourceful, busy blog has a prominent RSS feed spot on the Ning I use to keep school-based technology coordinators abreast of current and future trends in educational technology and various free resources in information communications and collaboration technologies. This blog served as the catalyst that encouraged me to start a professional learning resource blog for teachers and coordinators in the City of Newark. 

I specifically love the way he introduces the free tool and specifically provides tangible, practical applications of each tool in the classroom.  It is the model I use when I post to my blog.

His blog posts definitely encourage the development of the Five Minds as summarized by Howard Gardner:
-Disciplined - As a Social Studies teacher, he provides many tools and resources to help teachers who teach the "scholarly discipline", history
-Synthesizing- I have personally used a  resource he shared on his blog, Yudu to help a school create online e-books and magazines with second graders who authored and illustrated stories about nutrition and making healthy choices.  Upon creating these books, one can embed them onto blogs or websites.  He also has a slide share that speaks on connecting the disciplines with web tools.
-Creating- Mr. Byrnes shows teachers how to map global learning and the arts by referring to  Imagine as a teacher, taking your students on a virtual field trip to help them make connections to the world through locating the origins of a piece of art or artist. is a resource Mr. Byrnes exposed us to through his blog, this site helps us nurture the respectful mind by providing a virtual chat centered around web content.  Students can collaboratively work together to analyze and assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of websites.  Its a great way to promote media literacy.
-Ethical-"Everyone Does it ... Lessons in Internet Ethics" is an awesome post from this blog.  This post provides teachers with various ways and opportunities to expose students to conversations and experiences centered around ethical practices and decision-making.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

EDIM 508 - Web Resources that Encourage Respectful and Ethical Minds

According to Julene Reed, “Tomorrow’s citizens must be global communicators, must be able to participate successfully in project-based activities, and must have collaborative skills.”Global competency and education are certainly essential tools for the 21st century learner. With these sentiments in mind, I can think of some really nice web resources that encourage purposeful and relevant collaborative experiences with students that would foster and encourage the respectful and ethical minds described in Howard Gardner's book:.

Adobe Youth Voices-

Using multimedia software to engage and encourage our middle level-high school students to tell their digital stories, Adobe Youth Voices, empowers students to "create with purpose" with the hopes of encouraging stewardship and community activism. This website provides educators with wonderful resources that will help them plan, shape and implement engaging projects that integrate the use of dynamic multimedia software.

MAGPI (Mid-Atlantic Gigapop in Philadelphia for Internet2)

MAGPI provides ample resources for an international network of K-12 educators, experts and students who participate in real-time, global experiences and projects via interactive video exchanges. In short, MAGPI serves as an ITV  “dating service” for educators, experts and students, providing the bridge that links educational vision, concepts and lesson plan objectives to hundreds of unique rich, authentic and compelling virtual experiences. Here are two examples of inquiry-based projects sponsored by MAGPI:

Arts and Humanities- Culture Convergence: Religion in Taiwan
Students in Taiwan provide a live presentation to American students to enlighten them about their culture and religious beliefs. The goal is to provide students with cultures that transcend beyond the boundaries of the western world.

Mathematics - International Math Challenge (grades 3-5)
Taking on the role of teacher, students are challenged to teach there global peers math games. This is a fun way to have a cultural exchange through learning math.

PeaceCorps World Wise Schools

This website brings the Peace Corps experience to life for both educators and students. One can't help but become empathetic toward others and excited about providing some level of service to a community that transcends beyond the backyard. Through this website you can:
-Connect to Peace Corps Volunteers via Correspondence
-Invite Peace Corps Volunteers to make a classroom visit
-Engage students through a plethora of lesson plans that link to true stories, folk tales, and letters from Peace Corps Volunteers
- Discover what is like to be a Peace Corps Volunteer, via Podcast, Video, Slide Show or by Playing the Interactive Peace Corps Challenge Game

Thursday, April 15, 2010

EDIM 508 - Glogster and the Creative Mind

As a resource teacher coordinator, my focus is on professional development for technology coordinators and teachers.  Last year, while attending NECC in Washington DC, I was exposed to Glogster.  I immediately shared it with my technology coordinators.  In addition, I posted glogster on this same blog months ago.  My next step perhaps will be working with technology coordinators and classroom teachers to produce a large catelogue of glogs that can be used as learning center activities that are in alignment to our district's curriculum and instructional initiatives.  These glogs can be embedded on a district eBoard that can be shared as a resource by every school in the district. 

My next model glog will focus on cybersafety and the ethical use of online technology.  This will address our state's core curriculum technology standard (Cummulative Progress Indicator #8.1.8.D.1)-"Model appropriate online behaviors related to cyber safety, cyber bullying, cyber security, and cyber ethics.".   This glog can be used as a preparation tool for our grade 8 technology proficiency assessment.  This will also facilitate an opportunity to talk to our students and encourage them to use ethics and care when navigating the waves of the internet.

After numerous school walk-throughs (by external consultants, state and district officials), schools were cited for lack of technology use in the classroom.  Teachers use the technology in the lab, few are comfortable using the instructional computers as learning centers for students. Having these great resources available on hand, will enable teachers to have something to use immediately in their classroom technology learning centers.  The glogs will also serve as models for teachers to use when they are looking to create their own glogs for their students to use in the classroom.

As we work to get teachers comfortable with using these glogs, we can start asking them how can they see their students producing and creating glogs instructionally within the courses they teach?  During center creativity sessions, we can focus on and highlight some student-created glogs to show teachers that students too, can use this awesome tool.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

EDIM 508 - Web 2.0 Platforms that Support the Digital Artist

If you have a student who is a digital artist, Aviary is the site that will give your student an opportunity to create and share and edit the various media types such as: images, audio, or vector graphics. Students can use this tool within or outside of the classroom to create media to enhance their learning across many aspects of the curriculum. (

Students can also use Splashup to edit and enhance, re-touch, and edit multiple digital photographs.  This tool has the potential to create really, attractive, professional graphic design. (

One cannot forget Google Sketchup.  Students can create three dimensional models with this web 2.0 tool.  I have observed classrooms (Architects in Training)  that have used Sketchup to create 3-D virtual scaled models of their classroom layout. (

Here are some curricular examples of how students can use Aviary,  Splashup, or Sketchup:

Language Arts: Students can create a book jackets or magazine covers of a novel or an author they are currently studying.  Google Sketchup can be used to create the set of a scene for a play.

Science: Students can create a graphical representation of a scientific system he/she is currently studying.  These digitally design images can be used as classroom learning posters.(i.e. A student can create a poster demonstrating his/her knowledge of the water cycle or the digestive system).  Sketchup can give future engineers early exposure to CAD-design concepts.

Social Studies/Current Events: Students can use the audio editing component of  Aviary to create a first person podcast account of a prominent person or event in history.  Students can use Aviary create a "radio show" to keep fellow school mates abreast of current issues and trending topics. (i.e. Census 2010: The Importance of Being Counted).  Google Sketch-up will enable students to create virtual diarhamas. 

Math: Students can create classroom posters to visually demonstrate mnemonics, logarithms or math concepts/vocabulary frequently used in his/her classroom using images and graphics (i.e. FOIL- First Outer Inner Last or the Lattice Method of Multiplication).  Students can also create music via Aviary to reinforce a math skill (i.e. multiplication hip-hop), Students can use Sketchup to explore three dimensional shapes and scaling in math.

These tools are free of charge; the only necessary tools are a computer, the internet, and a creative mind.  The three tools mentioned above will provide students and teachers a platform that will allow them to thrive in our current society where "creativity is sought after, cultivated, and praised." (Gardner pg. 77)

Gardner, H. (2007). Five minds for the future. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

EDIM 508 Developing the creating mind via Monster Exchange

Since 1995, the Monster Exchange (, has empowered over 200,000 elementary students (grades K-8) to create and exchange twin monsters via descriptive writing and drawings (digital or any other medium).  How cool is that?

Reading, writing and creativity form a bond as students draw their monsters, write detailed, descriptions of their monsters and exchange the description of the monster with a peer.  The peer then draws the monster based on the description and shares with the author his/her creation.  If the monster matches the original monster drawing then, voila! The reader was able to interpret the writers description beautifully.  If not, the original artist/author can reflect upon his/her work to revise and edit the writing to ensure an accurate interpretation.  Or the reader can determine if he/she comprehended the description.  Students scan and /or upload both the original and redrawn monsters to see if they are a matching set.  The pictures can be seen in a monster gallery for review and peer feedback.  This program promotes and encourages global monster exchanges.

Creativity is definitely evident in this project website and  resource. If you are looking to go beyond the conventional crayons and paper, you can use Microsoft Paint, Tux Paint ( ), Kidspiration or sketchfu ( ) to create the monster digitally for exchange.

Participating in this project definitely typifies the "realization of creativity" (Gardner pg. 80) per Csikszentmihalyi's description of three autonomous elements interacting together to invoke the existence of creativity:
1.  The individual who has mastered some discipline (i.e. The student writer who has mastered descriptive, detailed writing)
2.  The cultural domain in which the indvidual is working (i.e. Utilizing the Monster Exchange website to upload descriptive writing and  original artistic work.)
3.  The social field - the opportunity to perform (i.e. Peers creating the twin monster per the description, feedback from participants) (Gardner pg. 80-81)

Gardner, H. (2007). Five minds for the future. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Friday, April 2, 2010

EDIM 508 - Reflections Place Value Center Activity

The media infused presentation I created is intended to give second grade students a variety of audio/visual and interactive experiences to enhance the understanding of whole number place value to the hundreds place. This PowerPoint presentation can be used in part for a whole group model demonstration or it can be used as an independent student learning center activity in class or at home. Students can follow the activities in sequence at their own pace and take an assessment at the end to evaluate their understanding.

This presentation helps foster the development of the disciplined mind because it gives children ample opportunities to "approach the topic in a variety of ways", most of the video scenarios were authentic, problem based, and require the students to think about a solution to resolve an issue (i.e. grouping lollipops in tens and hundreds to count two and three digit quantities) and it set up an opportunity for students to demonstrate a "performance of understanding" (Gardner pg. 33-34).  The final activity requires the students to take on the role of a game show contestant to compete against the computer or a classmate to demonstrate his/her understanding of place value.    In the multimedia presentation created, the students are given six diverse activities and interactive experiences to "study deeply, over a significant amount of time, using a variety of examples and modes of analysis" (Gardner pg. 33).

This multimedia presentation center also helps to foster the development of the synthesizing mind through taking an interdisciplinary approach to understanding place value by making connections through problem-solving, narrative, fairy tail, music, and connecting math to the real world.  This activity modeled "the ability to knit together information from disparate sources [Discovery Education Website] into a coherent whole" (Gardner pg. 46).  This project reflected the components of synthesis- a goal  (description of the learning objective and curriculum content standard) , a starting point (directions to guide both teacher and student), a selection of approach ( a sequence of activities), and an opportunity for feedback from its end user (evaluation/assessment). (Gardner pg. 51-52).  Students are especially engaged by the powerful use of image, audio and video in this multimedia presentation.


Gardner, H. (2007). Five minds for the future. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.