Sunday, February 26, 2012


Link to my podcast: Metzler's podcast

What challenges and potential benefits can you see in utilizing podcasting technology in the classroom? Although we often use podcasts to convey information to our students, what are the benefits of having students develop their own podcasts? How can you incorporate the concept of long term student podcasting in your curriculum (students recording a series of podcasts over the course of a semester)?

Physics is an especially difficult subject to use podcasts in, due to the fact that so much of physics is explanation and creation of diagrams to accompany wording. I believe this would be more useful for students if I was, for example, creating a "book on tape" for some of my students who were struggling readers or using it as instructions for my students on something.

Students, I believe, could benefit from creating podcasts as a way of reminding themselves of specific notes within units. If students created one at the conclusion of each unit of work, they could reference them when final exam time came along. That, along with their notes, could be an excellent study guide. This long term podcasting could also be useful to the teacher in determining what the students know and don't know at the conclusion of a unit in addition to their exam.

Digital Storytelling

Link to Digital Storytelling: Metzler's Digital Storytelling Example

Discuss the benefits and challenges that you anticipate from integrating video into your classroom. How can you best leverage this content to provide your students with enhanced learning opportunities? Do you use existing sources for high quality, relevant materials for your curricular area? If so, list the top two and briefly critique each resource. How can you integrate these resources into your curriculum in a meaningful way for your students?

I currently use video in my classroom as a way of providing information to my students, instead of doing a blanket lecture during class time. I sometimes feel this lecture style is non-beneficial to my students and know that the class time could be used more wisely (group discussions, lab work, carousel problems, etc.).

I also create videos in order to discuss the problem solving process for many of the different types of math problems as I have discovered this is a difficulty for my students. Since they are able to view the videos and listen to the explanation multiple times, it assists them in solving problems for their homework.

Every once in a while, I have my students watch a video on "Brightstorm," which is a group of professors doing videos on Math and Science. They are very thorough and cover a wide range of topics. Generally, I try to steer clear of Khan Academy because I've found that he does not necessarily explain the difficult physics concepts as in depth. I do know that my students sometimes use his knowledge and video base though.

I believe I had incorporated digital storytelling into my curriculum in a meaningful way. Students have started taking the videos seriously when they realize that information presented in the video will not be presented in the class. Of course, if there is a question about the video, that is discussed, but the overall information is left to the video.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Diigo Account Experience

Describe your experience in setting up your Diigo account. How could you use this with students? Co-workers? Parents?

Setting up my Diigo account was relatively simple. The only problem that persisted was the addition of students to the group. Diigo would not let me upload the file that was downloaded from portal as a means of importing the students. It continually told me that it was not accepting the .csx file format at that time.

With students, I could use this group as a means of giving them resources which would be useful to them in their studies. If my students each had a blog, I could store the addresses to the students blogs on the Diigo so that each of the students had easy access to everyone else's blog in order to make comments or ask questions. I see no other uses for my Diigo account with students other than that.

For co-workers, this Diigo could be a wonderful place to put resources that would be useful in whatever we were talking about. We could store resources for students or resources for writing curriculum, test writing, etc.

For parents, the Diigo account could be a place where information for helping students succeed could be placed. Additionally, I could place my own personal blog with information on classroom happenings or information on resources that would assist them in helping their child understand material.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Reflective Writing Into An Everyday Curriculum

The following has been stated: "Incorporating reflective writing into curriculum can help students develop an awareness of metacognition."

I have been asked to reflect upon the following questions: "What value is there in having students blog on a regular basis. How can you have students develop a blog to be used as an electronic portfolio?"

RSS Feed: John's RSS Feed

Personally, I do agree that reflection is necessary for students to develop an in depth understanding of curriculum and of learning in general. Writing about their ideas has additionally helped me have a more in depth discussion with students on what they're doing in class in order to be successful (studying techniques, homework assignments on time, etc.), as well how their confidence level lies going into or coming out of a quiz or test.

While this is extremely powerful, I do not see myself being able to use reflective writing, at least from a feedback and grading standpoint, as an efficient and effective tool. I believe the amount of time necessary to read and provide feedback on a large number of student blogs would be difficult to reach.

As far as students using a blog as an electronic portfolio, I believe there are a number of other online applications where students would be able to store portfolio information in a much more efficient manner. I believe the idea of an electronic portfolio is a good one, just not in blog format.