Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Game of Thrones, Oh How I Love Thee

So I've decided to make this post to somewhat promote my new favorite show on television, HBO's Game of Thrones.  Pretty much Game of Thrones is a medieval fantasy type show with a wide variety of characters and many different plots going on.  The show is based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin.  I'm guilty of not having read the source material, which I hear is excellent, but I'm going to change that this summer when I actually have time to devote to several 600+ page novels.  Anyways the show is really fantastic and I highly recommend for fans of genre.  Be warned, it is on HBO so of course it does have its fair share of "bad" language and nudity, but that really shouldn't shy anyone away from the awesome show since we're all adults here haha.  I just really like that according to fans of the books the show does a great job of staying true to the source material, which at often times is rare (The Walking Dead :( ).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The End of the Blog

First off I would just like to say that my overall experience with blogging was a very positive one. I learned about the interests, ideas and beliefs of my peers as well as about myself. It is a great way to share ideas, interact with others, think and  learn. You can blog about anything and you can read a blog about anything. I think the most important lesson I've learned is that everyone has a voice and you just don't have to physically speak out loud for it to be heard! You can blog. However, I'm not going to say that I'm going to miss the fear of forgetting to do my blog every week and what I was possibly going to blog about. With that being said, it was a great and memorable experience but it's time to put my keyboard to rest, at least for this class.

Helpful Tips on Reducing Stress

It's that time of year again, the end of the semester. A time when we kick ourselves for letting that procrastination sneak up on us resulting in lock ins at the library pulling all nighters and drinking endless amounts of coffee and energy drinks. Here's a few helpful tips to help us keep that end of the semester stress at a minimum. Tip 1-Get away from the stress! Take some you time, go for a walk. a drive, anything to give your mind a break. Tip 2-Take a few minutes and do absolutely nothing, don't check your email, don't check your phone, just sit and relax. Tip 3-Spend 15-20 minutes doing something fun. Watch some YouTube videos, read a magazine, play a video game, call up a family member or friend to chat. Tip 4-Get some exercise. Go for a jog, a bike ride, play a game of basketball with friends or try a new class at the gym. Tip 5-Attend a sporting event or watch one on TV at a friends house or a Sport's Bar and Grill. Relax and enjoy your time away. Tip 6-Make a list of everything you have to get done and write it all down. It helps you get things done, keeps you on task and helps you feel accomplished! Best of Luck!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Graduate Programs: Online or In the Classroom

My girlfriend is currently looking at furthering her education by going for her graduate degree in Social Work. She has decided on Edinboro University's advanced standing program online. She felt that it would be easier for her to work full time and  still go to school by going online. Originally when she first started looking at programs she was torn between going to an actual classroom or going online. She had asked several people there opinions including two of her former professors. Her professors were against pursuing her degree online and told her it would better educationally for her to go to a classroom. Her current supervisor at her job received his Master's online in Psychology and said that he has never had anyone ever ask where he received his degree from or what his GPA was just that if he had the degree. He said he was even picked to get a job over someone who went to the classroom for the same degree. He said that it may not necessarily matter where you received your degree as long as you have the degree and the necessary experience.  My girlfriend will start classes in the summer and I know she will do great regardless of where the actual learning (online or in the classroom) will take place.

Educational Gaming Online

I was curious to see what type of educational websites were out there to help older students learn or review various lessons or concepts outside the classroom. One of the websites I found was MarcoPolo, a site that offers a number of educational games and tools. They have games such as Comic Creator, Printing Press and Literary Graffiti. Each game is linked to one lesson plan. Another site is PowerProofreading. It lets you review grammar concepts in a variety of ways such as letters, emails, scripts, etc. If you can't find any sites you like there is a site called Hot Potatoes which allows you to create your own puzzle or games using their free software. I'm not sure if students would use these sites outside the classroom without being told to do so but these websites could be really helpful to students who go to online charter schools.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

University YouTube Channels

I'm sure some of you are aware of this, but I just stumbled upon a list of YouTube channels set up by some very prestigious universities.  A lot of these channels are full of interesting lectures that could be a great compliment or teaching tool in the classroom.  Besides that, that are very interesting to listen to.
MIT - Course Playlist
Stanford - Course Playlist
Yale - Course Playlist
Harvard - Course Playlist
The Open University Course Playlist

Three Ring

I happened upon this app called Three Ring, which seems like it could be a really interesting tool as a future teacher.  Basically, the app lets you take a screenshot of something and then lets you save these pictures into different folders and whatnot on the app itself.  It may be an easier way to save students work perhaps?Three Ring

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Artist's Walk

I was looking up the benefits of taking students outside for class and came across an idea known as the Artist's Walk. It was created by a teacher in Ontario. For the past couple of years she has taken her 8th grade  students on a walk every Friday morning. In order to engage her students she created a narrative guide for their walk. She chose 5 specific spots, a tree, school field,an area with rocks, top of a hill and a stream. For each stop, she collected some of her own reflections as well as those of poets, artists and others who have written about that characteristic. Afterwards she had students write and talk about their experience. Many students stated that they were able to notice things they never took time to notice before. She even had students create their own versions of the Artist's Walk. Some used the stopping points and found songs that applied to them and were able to relate this aspect to their lives in general. Other's were able to speak of the fact that nature can inspire writing and creativity. I think this idea is pretty powerful and can really open up the eyes of our students and take them out of their element. I wouldn't mind using this idea in a classroom one day.

Procrastination:Early Intervention

Procrastination. Most of us do it at some point in our lives. We can procrastinate going to an appointment, paying our bills or most importantly doing our work. We make up countless excuses of why we can't sit down and write a paper for class. I'll do it tomorrow before class, it won't take long, we tell ourselves. This paper is going to take forever, I'll work on it this weekend. In the time period it takes to reason with ourselves of why we should put off doing our work, the paper could have been researched, written and handed in. As a future educator and procrastinator myself, I think it's important that we intervene early when it comes to our students. I'm not saying we are going to stop our students from procrastinating. I'm just saying that we should teach students ways to avoid procrastination and reward and encourage that behavior. For example, when I'm having my English class write a paper I might give them time in class to work on it. I might also set deadlines for different parts of the paper. This gives them a head start and breaks the paper down into smaller chunks.  I might also try and use a reward system and motivate students to get things done. Maybe I'd give a couple extra  points to people who turned assignments in early. Another thing I might do is after a big project or paper was turned in, I might have a class where we just watched a movie and had a snack as a reward for getting things done and doing something fun and mentally relaxing. The point is that we should motivate and encourage our students to be and do better but also remember that we were in their shoes once.