Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Final Project


Brooke and I completed our final project together so here is our video we hope you enjoy


Thank you
Jen Falk
"Teach long and prosper"- Star Trek

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Internet is making us..............?

Is the internet making us smart or stupid?

In my opinion the internet is making us smarter. There are so many applications the internet has to offer that can increase our knowledge. There is unlimited amount of information on a wide variety of topics. The internet has helped me answer movie questions (come on you all know you can't think of the actor's name so you go to IMDB), solved chemistry problems, pinned recipes, home decor and wedding ideas. The internet is expanding our PLN to reach the ends of the world. We are no longer stuck in a school staff room. We can now expand it across the world and get expert opinions brought into the classroom by a click or keystroke.  Students are no longer limited to the teachers opinion or the textbook information. Instead there is a whole world of information.

I have read the article by Nicholas Carr and contemplated his opinion. He compares the people who use digital media and lap tops in a classroom to those who do not. The research behind the theory has these students complete tests. However, in education we are learning that tests may not be the best measure of student success. Those these students may have scored lower on the tests who is to say they didn't comprehend the information. A test is only one form of assessment. I think it is bias to base a theory on one form of assessment. We are taught in education to provide many forms of assessment and bring in differentiated instruction. The same should be said for these studies. I disagree with the fact the internet is holding back our potential. I believe it is helping us in creating a collaborative learning environment. If someone posts a question or idea online it could be answered or create a ripple effect of useful information. Yes, some sites are useless and unreliable but in order to better out educational system we must incorporate technology.

Thank you

Jen Falk
"Teach long and prosper"- Star Trek


WOW is all I can say to every groups powerful presentation. I am so excited to have all of my classmates in my PLN. I know they will generate new ideas, resources and valuable information that will help me in my career.

As the presentations were under way I was pondering my feelings on the good the bad and the ugly of the internet. I believe there are many good aspects the the internet but there are also some bad and some super ugly. However, I think it is our job as educators to guide students in their internet journey. We need to educate them on their responsibilities. My goal as a teacher is to have every student in my class make a positive contribution to the internet. This could be through a blog post, a presentation on slide share or a website. I believe in this parable "give a man a fish he eats for a day but teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime". I think it works the same way with the internet. If we just show them a positive aspect of the internet they will forget it but if we teach them digital responsibility they will have a lifetime of knowledge.
Picture link
Another topic I was pondering during the presentation was on citing resources. I think I need to go back to all my PowerPoints and cite my pictures. Before I took this class I was to lazy to link the my pictures or I just didn't really understand why. Now I understand why, if it was my picture that was being used I would want credit for it. The same goes with what I have taken off the internet. How can I expect my students to cite their resources if I will not do the same. Therefore, I need to change my slides and reinforce the message of giving credit where credit is due. This will help my students in the future and teach them digital responsibility.


Jen Falk
"Teach long and prosper"-Star Trek

The Futuristic Approach

Picture link
When I look into the future I see BYOD being a major part of educational system. Most people won't let go of their cell phone, it has become permanent body appendage. Therefore, most of our students will have their cell phones or 3G devices with them at all times. If they have them why not make use of them. Educate the students on how to use them as a tool in the classroom and not a distraction.

If we do not implement technology into the classroom we are going back in time. In today's world more people would rather work on a computer to complete assignments then with a pen and paper. As educators we must move with the times and adjust our teaching styles to fit with the times. However, we need to know why we are implementing technology into the classroom. This is a big issue because many people know to implement the technology (such as videos, classroom websites, blog and PLN) but they don't know why. To me the why is about connecting with students and providing unlimited resources/ information at their fingertips. As a science teacher I may not know all the information or be able to answer the obscure questions students may ask. Technology allows us to answer the question as a class and work collaboratively. I believe that technology will also help those students who are struggling and need extra help. I found this video and I love the fact that technology helps this sick boy attend school and participate in class

Technology can play a major role in our educational system. However, we must educate students on digital literacy and the responsibilities that come with using technology.


Jen Falk
"Teach long and prosper"-Star Trek

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

As one of our tech task we were asked to follow an Edublogger. This was a challenge for me because there are so many different ones out there. I wanted to find one that fit my style. I was scrolling though the Edublogger list when I found it. The title of the blog is Stump the Teacher by John Stumpenhorst. After I read his about me page I immediately knew this was the one I would write about

"I am a 6th grade Language Arts and Social Science teacher in suburban Chicago, IL. In addition, I am a basketball coach, computer club advisor, and aspiring Jedi."

He had me at aspiring Jedi! I love Star Wars and Star Trek and knew he would have some great posts. Check out this video he posts on his about me page

 It was awesome that he got his students involved in making the video and the Jedi tricks were spectacular.

Stuff he does
  • He has the class tweet in their discussions and then posts these tweets to his blog
  • He has video tutorials on Google Docs/ Twitter/ Blogging/ Crazy talk and many other forms of technology teachers can use
  • He has many presentations on slide share about building a PLN
  • He has a resource page that is dripping with knowledge

Why to follow him
He is not just blogging about what he is doing but his thoughts on world issues, education, gun control, PLN's and Star Wars. His blog encourages change within the class room and shows how to avoid the dark side of the force


Jen Falk
"Teach long and prosper"-Star Trek

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Spider Web of Courses

During Thursday's presentation I learned a lot about online courses. I learned why they are used, how they are used and how to use the Blackboard program. I have taken many online courses for my Undergraduate degree because of sports. It allowed me to complete my course work online while on road trips. Most of the online classes I took were biology or upper division writing courses. I found them pretty easy and it helped that my fellow teammates were in the same online classes. We would often have road trip study sessions and listen to lectures (The buses we took had WiFi). The assessments for the biology courses were tests taken at the University. Therefore, I would make my test date and go and complete it at the University. The Professors were always available for help and made time to answer my questions online or in person. I have had a very positive experience taking online classes. However, I could not imagine taking math, physics or chemistry online. I am very visual learner and I need the kinethestic interaction in order to achieve success.

Online courses are a great way to offer classes that:
  • May not be available (Either too little interest in school or course was never offered)
  • The students may be away most of the year (Due to sports, music, illness, etc)
  • Do not do well in a classroom setting
I think online classes are a great opportunity for students. However, I do agree with what Brooke said in class that we are losing teaching jobs. Many classes can be offered through ITV which means that there are less jobs. This is a concern for me because I am looking to get a job this fall but the market is shrinking drastically. In the divisions I am looking to work in they are big enough that no classes are offered via ITV. However, in smaller rural divisions there may be only 1 Physics, Chemistry or History job for that whole division. Before there may have been 5 or 6 jobs available. With less and less teachers retiring and more online classes our jobs may be in jeopardy.

I love that they showed us how to get free access to Blackboard. I have never used the program before but I am now registered and ordered all the science and math courses. I am very excited to use it as a resource. It will also be a good resource for when I have to create a sub plan because they can complete one of the lesson online.

Thank you

Jen Falk
"Teach long and prosper"- Star Trek

Thursday, February 21, 2013

This is InfoCrazy

What is it?
Infographics are data visualization tools. They give a visual representation of stats, data, signs, maps and charts. They catch your eye right away and provide boring information in a new and different way. They provide easy to read illustrations that help make the data easier to understand.

Classroom Use
I love this for an option on a class project. I was just making my respiratory outline and put in a project for respiratory disease. I am going to give them the option to make an infographic on their disease. This is great for an information poster and it is very easy to make and follow. Most teachers just have one option to make a boring old poster. I have options for glogster and now infographics (as well as other options). These allow for differentiated learning in the classroom and allows for different forms of assessment.

Retrieved from: http://biology-forums.com/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=8465
Retrieved from: http://visual.ly/acidity
I loved these infographics because they fit my science needs and I know where I can use them. These are visually appealing and provide the correct information.

My Infographic
I created my own Infrographic. However it is not based on anything related to technology or science. Instead I picked Star Trek and Star Wars (Some what science). I also used google fight to collect some data and then made the two fight it out.
Click here to see: http://infogr.am/Star-wars-vs-Star-T/

You should also view this Infographic on the same subject and it is fantastic.
Click here for link: 
The person did an awesome job and went very in depth. I want to live up to this and I hope to make infographics a part of my classroom.
Thank you

Jen Falk
"Teach long and prosper"- Star Trek