Monday, August 9, 2010

EDIM508 Reflection on Third Grade Virtual Field Trip: A Tour of 3rd Grade Reading

My Virtual Field Trip using Google Earth is an ongoing project. The purpose of using Google Earth for this trip is to give third grade students in my class the opportunity to learn about the geography and cultures in various countries of the world. Google Earth provides a way to integrate technology into lessons and expose young students to the use of a new tool.
The third grade reading anthologies used by our district have many stories from places around the world. This is an ideal scenario for using Google Earth with the students.

Instructional 3rd Grade PA Standards:
7.1.3.A.: Identify how basic geographic tools are used to organize and interpret information about people, places, and environment.
7.1.3.B.: Identify and locate places and regions as defined by physical and human features.
1.9.3.A.: Use media and technology resources for directed and independent learning activities.
1.9.3.B.: Understand media as a source of information and entertainment.

Instructional Goals:
Students will integrate the discipline of reading with geography and technology.
Students will learn to use Google Earth and understand its relevance while learning about new places around the world.
Students will develop a respect and appreciation for different cultures around the world.

The trip begins in the town of the students’ school. An image of a bus is located in front of the school. As students read stories from various countries and cultures, Google Earth can develop additional geographical, historical, and wildlife information, points of interest, and an appreciation of these places. Videos, video segments, links to related websites, and assignments are included in the tours. The assignments address inventions from other countries, language barriers, immigration, and appreciation of other cultures.

The first trip is to China, land of the story The Mulan Legend. In China the students will visit Beijing, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, a free market, and the Giant Panda Sanctuary.

The second trip is to Russia, home of the grandparents of the author Patricia Polacco who wrote The Keeping Quilt. Here students will be introduced to Catherine the Great and explore her palace. Photographs of Siberian tigers and Russian nesting dolls can be seen here.

The next trip will bring students back to the United States to El Barrio which is Spanish Harlem in New York City where the story Grandma’s Records takes place. Then story was written by Eric Velasquez who is a son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents. In the near future would like to create a trip on Google Earth to Puerto Rico and expose the students to the music there.

After reading The Talking Cloth by Rhonda Mitchell, students will travel to Ghana. Here students will watch a video about life in Ghana and complete an assignment about the interests of Ghana. At Rhonda Mitchell exposes students to cultural art. This site will be included at a later date.

The last trip of the year has not been created, yet. The trip will continue to New Mexico where the story Dancing Rainbows by Evelyn Clarke Mott takes place. The life of some Native Americans will be visited here.

Howard Gardner states “The task for educators becomes clear: if we are to fashion persons who respect differences, we need to provide models and offer lessons that encourage a sympathetic stance. Models set by teachers constitute a crucial starting point.” (p. 110, Gardner) I feel that this Google Earth project for third graders provides an excellent opportunity to model positive connections and appreciation for all cultures and for the students to begin to develop their awareness and appreciation of the likenesses and differences of various cultures.

Gardner, Howard. Five Minds for the Future. Boston, Massachusetts. Harvard Business School Press. 2007. Print.

Here is my Third Grade Virtual Field Trip: A Tour of 3rd Grade Reading

Sunday, August 8, 2010

EDIM508 Week 7: Places Online That Will Contribute to My Professional Growth

The Discovery Educational Network (DEN)hosts many educational blogs across the U.S. which are worth the time to explore. The blogs are written by numerous leaders of educational technology.I plan on reading blogs and posts in the DEN for my professional growth. It a very resourceful place to visit. There is so much in the DEN that it can be overwhelming. If I set a time every week to explore as much as I can within a timeframe, I'm sure that I will have expanded my knowledge on the use of digital technology for educational purposes. It will also increase my Professional Learning Network (PLN).

While exploring the DEN, I found an awesome site which I will continue to follow for my professional growth Angela Maiers is a leader in 21st century education. Being an advocate for the use of technology in education, she conducts workshops and training sessions on 21st Century Learning, critical thinking, reading, and communication. On her site, which she continually updates, Angela posts parts of her presentations along with slides. Examples of a few are: Passion Driven Learning, Question Asking: An Essential 21st Century Skill, Professional Learning Networks. Links to the Top 100 Language Blogs and the Top 100 Edublogs are on her site. She posts her favorite videos and books which she recommends. She has even published a book Classroom Habitudes. On her site, comments which include more links to more resources can be found. I feel that her web site is the path to my future. I, also, follow her on Twitter where she daily shares videos, new innovations with technology, and effective educational practices. Angela Maiers is an inspiration!

Monday, August 2, 2010

EDIM508 Unit 6 Using Digital Media to Develop a Student's Respectful Mind

Julene Reed states that students "must be able to work with people from all parts of the world." By going on virtual field trips online and visiting web sites set up for students to see how people around the world live, thrive, their sense of community, the beauty of their land, and the problems they face, students can be exposed to diversity and likenesses around the world. This will prepare them for their futures of collaborating around the world to solve local, community, state, national,or world problems for the benefit of the planet, whether through business, environmental institutions, education, manufacturing, or the arts.

Our school's 3rd grade reading anthology stories travel to many places around the world. A few stories follow up by providing a short social studies lesson about the region of the world in which the story was written, but many don't. The stories lend themselves to the possibility of learning more about parts of the world. Exposing young students to various cultures is a way for them to develop a respectful mind. (Gardner, p. 103-125)

Here is an example: One of the stories is about a child living in Ghana. On the web site students can connect to this site . Here students can see photographs taken by 4 students living in different countries in Africa, one being Ghana. The African students describe what their schools are like and what they do after school. The site also has a spot for students to listen to a thumb piano and play a thumb piano online, a video showing and giving directions for making a mask, and a Swahili folktale.

Connecting with students from another coutry around the world would be wonderful experience. Art, stories, photographs, and daily routines could be shared. On the web site My Wonderful World, classes can set up epals. Here is a list of possible epals that can be established from teachers in Ghana .

I'm looking forward to sharing this possibility with my co-teachers in 3rd grade. If not Ghana, another country would be fine. This is a great opportunity for children to begin to communicate globally and to develop positive relationships outside of their community. While establishing global communities in school, students can practice using Howard Gardner's respectful mind.(Gardner, p. 103-125.)

Reed, Julene. Global Collaboration and Learning. 2010.
Gardner, Howard. Five Minds for the Future. Boston, Massachusetts. Harvard Business School Press. 2007. Print