Me? Obsessed?

The Strength of Weak Ties: Me? Obsessed? by David Jakes

Reviewed on September 26, 2009

A. Since 1977 when the author David Jake graduated  high school he says that he hasn’t seen very much change inside the classroom and he is now a biology teacher. Mr. Jake believes that today’s schools need a face lift to help our new generation of learners. We have the technology so let’s use it inside the schools. Mr. Jake states that he would like to see the space become more conducive to learning. A type of learning space that allows for flexibility. Students would have more comfortable furniture, common areas where students can use their electronic devices with a wireless network, and more large spaces where students and teachers can do some informal learning.  Today’s classrooms need to change to meet the needs of this new generation of learners with a more relaxed environment.

B.  1. It is also my belief that the concept of learning space is one of the most neglected concepts of school design.

      2. I’ll be focusing my passion for developing learning spaces on:

Flexible spaces that can be reconfigured to meet the need of the learners. One size fits all needs to go away. Non-traditional spaces, such as commons areas, where students can take advantage of their electronic devices and our open wireless network. Private student spaces where collaboration can occur, spaces for quiet reflection and collaboration. Large open spaces in our library where kids and teachers can push and pull different resources to design their own space, given the immediate need. Digital spaces where teachers can work, where students can interact, that support the physical space and extend it, to help students master the complex skills of connecting, creating, and learning in a digital context. Opportunities for the support of informal learning, that enable students to pursue their interests, their own learning, but within the context of the traditional learning space, i.e. schools and supported by adults.

    3. “Space can have a powerful impact on learning; we cannot overlook space in our attempts to accomplish goals” (Chism, 2006)

C. I totally agree with everything that David Jake says. My school district does a program called CCC that involves us making our classroom more inviting for the students. We have to have curtains, rugs, lamps, fragrances, and etc. I can see firsthand that this kind of environment really helps the students relax because it helps me relax more. I love the ideas that David Jake has about more up to date technology uses within the school systems, but I think it may be awhile before some schools every get anything like that because of the cost. With the budget cuts in place. I really wish I could replace my old hard desks with some more comfortable furniture.

D. I did not see any bias or faulty reasoning in this article. The author uses factual information and personal experience in the article.


“Student Blogging Guidelines”

Student Blogging Guidelines by Kim Cofino

Reviewed on September 19, 2009

1. The main idea of this article is about a middle school teacher named Kim Cofino working together with other teachers at her school in creating a blog for all of the middle school students. Every student has a blog and is allowed to blog but the students have to use the guidelines that Kim Cofino and the other teachers created. The teachers created these guidelines to help prompt deeper dialogue from the students before they hit publish. The student blogging guidelines consist of 10 guidelines followed by a question to remind them that this is published to the public and you are representing the school. The guidelines that were created are applicable from elementary up to high school. While teaching about blogging they also taught about internet safety that will last them for a life time. They also created comment blogging guidelines as well. Kim Cofino states that she saw a huge improvement in her students thought process. What a wonderful way to teach students to think!


     1. Given that the elementary students created these guidelines after a series of thoughtful lessons and meaningful class discussions, we see these them as prompts for deeper dialogue across classes, not simply a list of rules to follow.

     2. I’m so impressed with the depth of thought shown by our elementary students! Being able to start this conversation with our middle school teachers using resources developed by 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students, clearly demonstrates that even our younger students really do understand both the power and the responsibilities of communicating to a global audience.

     3. Once again, I’m reassured that elementary school is the place to begin this kind of dialogue so that we can provide a solid foundation for 21st century learning that students can continue to build upon year after year.

3. I loved this blog. This summer I took a class and we had to blog a lot. At first I didn’t like it, but by the end I enjoyed it a lot. I understood why the professor had made us do it. I was able to post questions, comments, and personal opinons on there without feeling restricted as long as I felt it was related to the content and I had a good point. I agree with Kim Cofino that 3rd grade it a good grade to start having students blog about their learning and communicating with each other. Plus it’s a quick informal assessment for the teacher and a way for the teacher to communicate with the students. Plus parents can access their childs blog and see what they are learning about. I promised myself this summer I would create a blog for my three science classes and allow my students to use them and to teach them internet safety. This blog has given me my second inspiration to finally put it into action. I have heard first hand how much it improves the thought process. I really like how after the guideline they added a question for the student to think about as well and the blogging comment guidelines as well. I am going to send Kim Cofino a message asking for permission to use her guidelines and to cite her. I enjoyed this blog very much.

4. I did not see any bias in this article. The author uses factual information and personal experience in the article.

“What Did You Create Today?”

What Did You Create Today by Will Richardson

Reviewed on September 11, 2009

1. This blog written by Will Richardson focuses on the importance of making everyday at school more than just content. Students needs to try and get the most out of school they can. They need to get more inspired to want to make change in the world and help everyone. Mr. Richardson feels that students need to want to discuss their days because they have enjoyed learning. Mr. Richardson writes from his hearth his thoughts and hopes that his children’s experiences at their new school will be more than what they experienced last year. Mr. Richardson feels that schools today have gotten into the same routine of homework and state testing scores. Are these really the things that matter or is there more to school that just what you learn that’s content material. Mr. Richardson hopes that his children have an impact on others in an positive and civic way.

2. 1. School was something that rarely sparked a conversation about learning.

     2. What I’m most hopeful for, however, is that their stories about school will change.

     3. To that end, I’ve been coming up with a mental list of the types of questions I’m hoping they might answer:

What did you make today that was meaningful?

What did you learn about the world?

Who are you working with?

What surprised you?

3. I personally agree with what Mr. Richardson is saying about our schools. I have been saying it the whole time but no one was listening. Students learn so much more than just content knowledge everyday at school. We as teachers are modeling good civic responsibility and need to help our students learn more civic responsibility. We don’t grade our students on what kind of impact they may have had on another student, but we grade them with numbers that label them for the rest of their lifes. I really liked the questions from the article and hope to use some of them during my community circle time at school. I would really enjoy hearing what my students done today, how they helped someone, and what’s something they learned. I don’t think we let our students do enough talking to express themselves. My hope is to allow my students to talk more and hear what they have to say.

4. I did not find any bias in this article.  I agree with all of the comments and opinions of Mr. Richardson.

Bloom’s Taxonomy Blooms Digitally

Bloom’s Taxonomy Blooms Digitally by Andrew Churches

Reviewed on August 26, 2009

  1. The main idea of this article is to show how the new Bloom’s Taxonomy can integrate technology into the classroom and into the lives of our students. Andrew Churches did a wonderful job of listing examples of what technologies teachers can use to help their students use high order thinking skills. Andrew Churches goes through each of the six thinking skills gives a brief description of what that skill means and then bullets digital additions and their explanations.
  2. 1. In the 1990’s, a former student of Bloom, Lorin Anderson, revised Bloom’s Taxonomy and published this- Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy in 2001. Key to this is the use of verbs rather than nouns for each of the categories and a rearrangement of the sequence within the taxonomy.

       2.Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy follows the thinking process. You can not understand a concept if you do not first remember it, similarly you can not apply knowledge and concepts if you do not understand them.

     3.Under the first skill: Remembering- This element of the taxonomy does infer the retrieval of material. This is a key element given the growth in knowledge and information.Example: Searching or “Googling”

3. Personally I really enjoyed reading this article. While reading it I wanted to cry because I started to think about to all of the different lessons and activities that I have used in the past that used technology. I looked those activities up on the new Bloom’s Taxonomy to see under what skill level had I been challenging my students and to my surprise I had let my students down. I know I didn’t know this then, but now I am aware of it and going to make changes. I printed out the article so that when I am creating my lesson plans and want to integrate technology I will first check to make sure that it uses higher order thinking skills. This was an easy read article and very informative.

4. I did not see any bias or faulty reasoning in the article. I though the author used facts and good examples that supported his purpose of showing how technology can be used with the Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy to help student achieve high order thinking skills.

Through My Students’ Eyes Review

Through my Students’ Eyes: by Cheryl Oakes         

Reviewed on August 20, 2009

A. The main idea of this article is to show what it is like learning using technology through student’s eyes. It shows how much fun and interesting using computers and technology can be if used in the classroom as a learning resource.

B. 1. Before you even read the article they tell you to read it through the lenses of a student. 2. The entire article shows you how students can learn technology slowly. They can learn one program really good a year and then progress to something else a little more challenging. 3. At the end of the article you truly get a sense of how older students feel about teachers that are not using technology in their classrooms.

C. This article makes me sad and feels bad about not using enough technology in my classroom. I always though my students enjoyed working with technology but I guess I never took the time to truly think about their feelings and how they felt while they were learning. I am definitely going to use more technology in my classroom this year and allow my students to take charge in the technology world in my classroom. They can become the teacher and will I be the students. I know they can teach me a couple of new things about technology.

D. The only bias I saw in this article was it only shows the upsides of technology. It never showed any of its flaws or the problems it can cause or that can occur with it.

My Very First Post

I am in Education 5313 and we are creating a blog tonight and very EXCITED about learning how to use this in my classroom.