Learning Log – Online Classes
July 23, 2011, 1:45 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

This was my first experience with an online class.  I entered the class not knowing what to expect.  I had heard different things about online classes.  Some people talked about how easy they are while others said they were more difficult than traditional classes.

It took me a while to adjust to this online format.  I have become so accustomed to attending class once or twice a week and completing whatever the assignments are in my free time.  The format of this class taught me quite a bit about time management.  Without the set times to attend class, I had to allot time throughout the weeks to “attend class” in the discussion forum as well as complete the numerous assignments.  This became easier and easier as the class progressed.  I began to realize the amount of time necessary to actively participate and complete quality work. 

I have come to enjoy the discussion forum set-up.  It allows us, as students, to learn from each other.  As opposed to a traditional classroom discussion, students have time to think through their comments and responses before posting.  The students from this class have many different levels of experience and are working or planning to work all around our schools.  The sharing of ideas amongst this wide variety of students can only help us all grow.  We all have the common goal of delivering the best education possible to our students.  The content of this class as well as the way it is set up can help us all get a little bit closer to achieving that goal.


Learning Log – Rubrics
July 23, 2011, 1:27 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

Rubrics are a wonderful tool for assessing student work.  They allow us to list what is required to receive a certain score.  They let our students know the level of performance expected for the different levels of quality (on a number (1-4) or grade (D-A) scale).  Students can see exactly what is required of them to receive an A or a 4.  It is a great way for students to be able to check their own work before turning in an assignment. 

Quality rubrics also protect us as teachers.  It gives us the power to justify the grade we assign to our students.  If a parent complains about a student grade and the teacher has a quality rubric that they have followed throughout the grading process, the rubric is all the proof they need.

As a future PE teacher, I will be using rubrics frequently.  I saw them used quite a bit in my practicum this past semester.  Rubrics were used for skill assessment.  Students were given scores of 1 through 4 depending on their performance on the particular skill.  Skills were broken down into key points.   The number and quality of key points performed by the student corresponded with the numeric value they received.  Students were shown the rubric in advance and were given reminders of the key points the teacher was looking for.

Learning Log – Designing and Delivering Digital Experiences
July 23, 2011, 12:31 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to come up with ideas for this final assignment.  With all of the technology we have learned about this summer, the opportunities were numerous.  Being able to apply what we learned about the technology to create an assignment we could actually use in our classes was a great experience.  After all, that’s one of the main purposes of this course, isn’t it?  Now that we have the knowledge of all of this technology, it is up to us to use it and come up with way to creatively transfer that knowledge to our students.

I chose Skype for this project because of its worldwide reach.  I also think the video conferencing will provide a memorable learning experience for my students.  Having an actual one-on-one video conference with a student from another country is much more memorable than an email, instant messaging, or a phone call. 

I realize there will be some difficulties with my project.  The toughest part will be finding partners for my students to Skype with.  My plan is to make connections with PE teachers from other countries through SIGs, Twitter, and blogs.  Once these connections are made, the next difficult task is to set up times for all of my students to Skype with their partners while keeping in mind the time differences between our countries.  There is also the potential for difficulties if the other country is non-English speaking.  While these are some very real difficulties, once these connections are made I could see having this as a yearly assignment that would be easier and easier to complete each year.

This assignment definitely addressed AASL standard 1, which states: “Candidates design and implement instruction that engages students’ interests and develops their ability to inquire, think critically, gain and share knowledge.”  Students interests are engaged by allowing them to select the topic that interests them most.  Inquiring, thinking critically, gaining and sharing knowledge are all parts of the assignment I created and should take place during the student’s Skype conferences.

The assignment also addresses AASL indicator 3.3, which states: “Candidates demonstrate their ability to design and adapt relevant learning experiences that engage students in authentic learning through the use of digital tools and resources.”  The learning experience I designed engages students in authentic learning through the use of Skype.

Learning Log – Wikis
July 22, 2011, 10:43 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized

This wiki was created by the Lenzie Academy PE department.  The wiki has links to specific classes.  Once you get to the class pages, there are links for activities and information on the human body.  Following these links will lead to powerpoints on the numerous activities as well as links to some resources, tactics, and drills for certain activities.  The wiki also has links to several different blogs created for the different PE classes and sports teams of the academy.  This wiki is being used for collaboration amongst the members of the PE staff at the academy.  It is a place where they can post information and resources on all of the activities they are planning to cover for their specific classes.  Giving students and their parents access to this wiki will give them an awareness of what activities will be covered.  Allowing them to access the powerpoints on these activities in advance will better prepare them when the lessons on that activity come around.

This wiki is for the PE department at REMS, a Canadian middle school.  The wiki has a calendar of events and news/notes section.  While the calendar of events is currently blank the news/notes has a reminder posted to students and a link to an article for parents on choosing proper running shoes for their child.  The wiki also has links to their code for fair play, creating your own food plan, physical activity guide, and rules for games.  This PE department wiki was created as a part of the school’s wiki.  There are wikis for each grade and specials within the school.  The wiki seems to be used more for getting out information to students and parents.  I like the idea of posting reminders to students and  posting links to articles that parents can find helpful.  I am all for anything that gets parents more involved in their child’s education.  Posting this information on the wiki will hopefully lead to these topics not having to be covered in class, leading to more time for instruction and learning.

This wiki was created for a college badminton course.  The wiki includes photos of the students in action and has an embedded YouTube video of badminton.  Links include a participation agreement, the syllabus, and a class assignment.  The assignment was to choose an aspect of badminton and create a link on this wiki to share what was learned about that aspect.  There are many links that lead to the wiki pages created by the students.  This wiki does a fantastic job of not only getting all of the information out about the course but also having the students contribute.  Students are learning to use the technology of the wiki while also getting a better understanding of their aspect of badminton.  This collaboration between the instructor and the students is what wikis are all about.

Learning Log – Voicethread
July 12, 2011, 2:37 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

This was my first experience using Voicethread.  I found it to be a rather easy tool to use.  Reading “An Educator’s Guide to Voicethread” in advance to actually getting started was very helpful.  I was impressed with the options for selecting images.  Instead of just having the option to upload images from your computer or search online, there were publicly available Flickr images as well as images from the New York Library.  I was also impressed with the variety of media that could be utilized.  Voicethreads can include images, video, and documents as well.  Comments can be made in a variety of ways too.  Text, audio, and video can all be used to make comments. 

Voicethread is a great tool for sharing slide shows with others and receiving their feedback.  Feedback is left in the form of comments, and only those with permission can post comments.  This collaborationallows users to take advantage of getting many different points of view. 

Voicethread has helped me address AASL Indicator 1.4, which states: “Candidates demonstrate how to collaborate with other teachers to plan and implement instruction of the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and state student curriculum standards.”  By making my Voicethread available to my classmates, they can view it and post comments as we collaborate toward planning and implementing instruction of these standards.

Social and Collaborative Media
July 12, 2011, 1:31 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

Link to my Voicethread:

Voicethread is a great tool for creating a slideshow of images, videos, and documents.  Those that have been given permission can post comments on the slides via text, audio, and video.  It is a great way to share your work with others and get their insight via their comments.

My Voicethread covers Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.  Facebook is a social networking site with millions of users.  Facebook could be used in an instructional setting as a creative way for teachers to send out messages or assignments.  A Facebook post is a quick and easy alternative to a mass email.  YouTube is a video sharing website.  There are millions of videos covering almost any subject you can think off.  Adding a YouTube video to a lecture will mix things up a bit and help get the message across to a wide array of diverse learners.  Twitter is a social networking and microblogging site.  Teachers can follow organizations in their specific field of study and get easy access to industry newsletters and research articles.  These can then be easily tweeted along to their followers, possibly students or teachers.

Learning Log – “Goodreads”
July 11, 2011, 1:23 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

Link to my Goodreads bookshelf:

The bookshelf I created is for the activity of running.  While I will probably not dedicate a unit specifically to running, running plays a role in all units in Physical Education.  Many PE classes utilize running as a daily warmup activity.  Running plays a major role in two of the units we spend a large amount of time covering, fitness and track & field.  The bookshelf contains books for all ages of runners.  I created the bookshelf for myself and other PE teachers to have a list of books on running, with most of the focus being on youth running.  While the bookshelf was created for PE teachers, parents and students could benefit from visiting the list as well.  Parents and their children can visit the bookshelf and check out the books on their own time.  This will give the students a little extra knowledge on what is being covered in our units.  It will also alert the parents to some of the key activities we are covering.  In an ideal world, parents and students would both check out the books and decide to do some running together in their free time.

Goodreads is a great site for putting together shelves of books you have read, are reading, or want to read.  The first thing I thought of when I visited the site was creating shelves for certain units we will be covering.  The shelves could be visited by fellow PE teachers, parents, and students.  The books on these shelves should help the PE teachers gain more knowledge on the topic.  They should also help students learn more about the activities and alert the parents to what is being covered in our classes.  It would be fantastic if I covered a unit in class and the student enjoyed that unit, decided to visited the Goodreads bookshelf for that unit, and read some of the books to learn more about the unit outside of class.  Hopefully they would share this with their parents and the parents could visit the bookshelf as well.  Ideally, the whole family starts reading the books and what started as a unit in PE class becomes an activity the whole family enjoys.

Goodreads gives you the option to join groups and have friends.  By joining these groups and having friends on the site, you get updates as they read new books, rate them, and review them.  This would be great if you were in a group of teachers that teach the same subject as you.  If someone in that group reads a great new book on your subject, you will be aware of this and can check the book out yourself.  By joining groups of people with similar interests and having friends on the site, you will likely have a certain amount of respect for their opinion.  If they say the new book is a good one, you are likely to believe them and want to check that book out.  It takes a lot of the guesswork out of trying to find a good book.  It also saves a lot of time wasted reading poor books.