LAE4342 Reflection

Before I start, I just wanna say I’m gonna miss this class. You all were awesome people.

  • What did you learn about yourself as a writer?

I learned that you should just write. Keep writing no matter what. You can even draw pictures along with your writing to create a little book. There was a quote I was gonna put here but I can’t find it. It’s not the exact quote I was looking for, but it’s pretty close to it.

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  • What did you learn about digital writing or being a member of a digital writing community?

Digital writing is a great way to publish, collaborate and share your own writing. There’s so many great resources out there that can enable students to do this. Part of the reason why I like blogging is because we can share 30+ blogs on one page. We can provide feedback and even repost to a bigger audience. I can even see my students blogging outside of what’s required for an assignment. Giving them the choice for free write on their blogs can be a great way to jump start their interest in blogging.

  • What lessons can you take to your classroom or share with future teachers about integrating blogging into instruction?

Like I said in the previous question, I would definitely consider using blogging in my classroom. I might even consider vlogging occasionally. It allows students to use their creativity in their writing. They can add visual and auditory elements to supplement their writing.

  • Challenges?

I didn’t really have any challenges. I enjoyed blogging. I thought the free writes were a great idea to get students engaged. Even the ones where we had to respond to particular posts were very thought provoking. Maybe the one small challenge that I had was commenting on my accountiblity partner’s post. She always posted after me so it was difficult to remind myself to comment on her’s.

  • Successes?

I can not emphasize enough how much I enjoyed the free writes. I was really proud of the post I did for my anthology (The Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Review). I started a travel blog for the theme parks and it was great practice for my future posts.

Reflecting on The Digital Writing Workshop by Troy Hicks

I chose to read the Digital Writing Workshop by Troy Hicks for my book review. This book demonstrates how to utilize technology in the classroom and effectively integrate it into the writing process. Hicks showcases a plethora of tools to use in the classroom including wikis, prezis, blogs, google docs, video editing software, social media, etc. Many students are already familiar with this technology outside of school. Teachers might as well help their students use it productively in their classrooms.

Hicks uses the five elements of traditional writing (Choice, Conferring, Author’s Craft, Publishing and Assessment) and adds a digital twist to them. Hicks teaches us that we can effectively use technology throughout all five elements. I think the most important element for students is publishing their work. Many students like to share their work with their friends. Troy provides insight as to how and which tools can be used for collaborative writing and publishing. Collaborative writing is especially emphasized when using technology in class. Collaborative writing is basically a “think, pair, share” without ever having to leave your desk. (For example, I love when my teacher pulls up GoogleDocs online and you can see every student add their own ideas on the screen. It’s pretty chaotic when they’re all typing at once. But you can see in real-time what students are adding and editing.)

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. It was very organized and easy to read. (I even paired this book with my essential question for Dr. Olcese’s class.) It gave me new insight on how to use technology in the classroom. I’m eager to use technology in my class because not only is it fun for the students, but it also encourages creativity, collaboration, and enhances the learning process for all students.

Blabberize!

I found this really cool tool called Blabberize.com. If you’ve ever sent out a JibJab card during the holidays, it’s pretty similar to this. (Except they don’t do cool dances with catchy Christmas music in the background. Also, did I mention it’s FREE?) Basically, you can upload any image, outline the mouth, record your voice and then have it talk back to you! Pretty cool, huh?

I made a Marie Antoinette blabber to demonstrate this.

http://blabberize.com/view/id/1501606

I think this would be a fun project for any class, not just history.
If I were to use this in an ELA class, I’d have students choose a character from a book they’ve read, write a script and have their character recite it using the student’s voice. For example, they could write a small script about what the character was thinking when certain events happened within the story.

Pokémon Go’s Halloween Event!

Today is the start of Pokémon Go’s Halloween Event!

Pokémon Go celebrates Halloween.

So what does that mean for all you Pokémon trainers out there? It means you’re gonna get bombarded with ghost-type Pokémon from now until November 1st. And keeping with the Halloween tradition, you’ll also receive double candy for every Pokemon you catch, as well as double candy for your “buddy” Pokemon.

This morning, iTechPost released an article stating that among the ghost-types, a plethora of other dark Pokemon have significantly higher spawn rates as well. Among these Pokemon are the illusive Shellder and Cloyster which have previously had a spawn rate of close to 0%.

Some people believe that the event is a way to get people back to playing the Pokemon Go app. According to The Guardian, the number of players has dropped from 50 million to only 30 million! They claim that this event is trying to entice players back.

As for us loyal players, the Halloween event is more than enough incentive to keep on playing!

 

Tech Exploration Response

1. Well I thought I was a digital native. I spend nearly half a day on some type of social media platform. However, looking at the “Wordle”, I could only recognize a few words such as Weebly, Periscope and vlog. I’ve only used Weebly for school so I’m a little familiar with it but I don’t use it on a day to day basis. As for Periscope, I’ve only heard of it through the news when people try to livestream stupid stunts or crimes. I do, however, actively follow vlogs on youtube. I’ve even attempted to create my own to no avail. I spend most of my time on Facebook, YouTube and occassionally tumblr. I do have an active presence across social media. Sometimes I sign up for sites like Weebly and only use them when required. I’m probably connected to well over 50 social media channels, but only use three at best.

2. I really like Screencast-O-Matic. Back in the day, I used to use a similar program called HyperCam. I’d use it to teach my parents and other older relatives how to use the computer. I was also a big fan of making AMVs (animated music videos) so I’d take clips of anime using the HyperCam and put it through editing software to make these videos. Although the latter isn’t really a productive means to use the Screencast-O-Matic, I’d definitely use it to make online tutorials. It’s easy for students to watch a video on their own and try to replicate what they see on screen. It’s definitely an easier way than going around the class and observing/correcting each student on their laptops.

3. First off, I love goodreads. It’s a great site for not only students and teachers, but for independent readers as well. I’m a proud member since 2012. I like this site because it allows you to keep track of what you’ve read, what you’d like to read and even creates a digital bookmark in your current book. You can also get recommendations and enter in contests from publishers to get free books! (One time, I actually won one of those books so it actually works!) But like my other social media profiles, I don’t keep up with this site like I should. I only visit it when I’ve read a particularly good book that I want to recommend to others. As for the memegenerator, that’s a bad idea in the making. You don’t want to give kids the power to create memes. That’ll distract the whole class for days on end. Nanowrimo.org is a good resource. I’ve taken their writing challenge every November. On their facebook page, sometimes they’ll provide you with inspiration and prompts to get you writing. You can also get feedback from other writers. I also love the idea of wattpad. I’ve never heard of it but I’d like to try it someday. It looks like a platform similar to fanfiction.net.

4. That’s a lot of learning tools. Surprisingly, I’ve heard of many of these sites. Google is especially notorious for providing free educational services. I’ve used and seen many of these tools during my time in the teaching academy. My favorite tool on the list is Google Docs/Drive. First of all, its completely free. Second, there’s so much you can do with it! During our second internship seminar, someone demonstrated all the difference things you can do from adding comments, highlighting, group editing, etc.

5. It would be helpful if I knew more of these teaching platforms. I think all of these platforms provide some type of useful service for students. However, it’s important for teachers to remember which sites could be used appropriately and how easy it is for students to use them. For example, you wouldn’t give a first grader an assignment through googledocs. They’re not quite at that point where they can edit and share their work. I do believe that sites that are more interactive and visual would be a great resource for younger students.

6. I think all of these sites and resources could prove useful in the classroom. I’d like to integrate as many as I can into my lesson plan. Technology keeps students engaged in the content. I’m going to bookmark this page so that I can explore some more of these tools. Before I decide on which tool to use, I would have to assess which one would work best with my lesson plan.

 

 

What is ASMR?

You know that relaxed feeling you get during a haircut? Or when you let the people in Sephora do your makeup? If you feel super relaxed during this process to the point when you want to fall asleep, you probably experience ASMR. Or maybe you feel a slight tingly sensation starting at your scalp and moving down your spine, giving you goosebumps. That’s also ASMR.

So what is ASMR? It stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. As The Washington Post describes it, “it’s a pleasurable tingling that begins in the head and scalp, shimmies down the spine and relaxes the entire body.” Wikipedia even compares it to “to a mild electrical current”.

ASMR is a self-treatment that can be used for insomnia, anxiety, depression, etc. And there’s also a variety of triggers that can cause this sensation.ASMR University provides an indepth analysis on the responses and stimuli. Basically, it can be caused by tactile/touch (massage, hair combing, etc), visual (slow hand movements) or audio stimuli (whispering, fire crackling, ocean waves, wind blowing etc). The response can either be physical (slight tingly feeling) or psychological (peacefulness, restfulness, contentment).

ASMRtists, experts who can produce this effect, usually spend a great amount of time on YouTube perfecting their craft. They spend ample amounts of money on equipment such as cameras, lights and especially microphones. Some spend thousands of dollars in order to buy microphones that can create binaural sounds. Binaural sounds are noises that can be heard from ear to ear, and they are best heard while wearing headphones.

My favorite ASMRtist is Olivia Kissper. She usually includes both visual and auditory stimuli in her videos. She also gets exceptionally creative in delivering her videos by creating role plays and inspirational dialogue. In addition, she labels most of her videos by what they’re intended to treat. They range from help with insomnia and anxiety, to fun role plays that will relax you. If you’re new to ASMR, I suggest playing the videos just before you go to bed and have an open mind to the benefits of it.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Review

I’m an avid lover of all things Disney. Halloween is also my favorite time of the year. Combine those two things, and what do you get? Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! This has been my second year going to this specially ticketed event so I’ll give you a few pointers if you’re planning on going with friends or family.

First off, the event technically starts at 7 pm. However, you’re allowed early admission at 4 pm. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT. I paid $55 for a cast member ticket (tickets normally range from $72-95) For any amount, you’re getting about 8 hours in the park for less than a value day ticket in Magic Kingdom. You’re also getting all the special shows, fireworks, events and candy that come with your MNSSHP ticket.

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The entertainment is certainly one of a kind of Walt Disney World, but it’s got nothing compared to the special events during MNSSHP. There’s constantly a show happening around Cinderella’s Castle throughout the night. The festivities begin at 8 pm with Mickey’s Boo to You Parade. During this parade, the Headless Horseman rides out to begin the procession followed by your favorite Disney characters in their Halloween costumes. You’ll see characters that aren’t normally in the parade such as Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz (Vanellope even has a special float that fills the park with sweet candy scents!). Among these characters are some truly spooky ones such as the Haunted Mansion’s gravediggers and many more!

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Following the parade is the Hocus Pocus Villian Spelltacular! The Sanderson sisters from the hit 1993 movie “Hocus Pocus” take the stage and band together with the Disney villians to run amuck in Magic Kingdom. This show is filled with lights, music and scary good fun!

Lastly, don’t forget the Hallowishes fireworks show! It’s similar to the regular Wishes show, but with a creepy twist.

Special tidbits to know before you go!

  • This is the ONE time of the year that Jack and Sally are available for pictures and autographs. They are located across from Sleepy Hallow. Be sure to get there early. The line can become well over an hour!
  • Other character photo ops such as Cinderella and Aurora can be as little as a 5 min  wait! Ride times are also shortened! (Expect Haunted Mansion to be a little more crowded because of the Halloween theme. But the other rides only had a wait time of 10-20 min. Even the new Seven Dwarves Mine Train was only a 20 min wait!)
  • Be sure to bring extra money for exclusive merchandise and snacks that can only be purchased at the event.

     

  • If you’re not up to spending extra money on specialty sweets, check out the 13 Trick or Treat stations located throughout the park! They give you your own trick or treat bags, and cast members will literally fill the bags to the top.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to dress up and have fun! This is the one time of the year when adults can dress up in the parks. Take advantage of it and dress up as your favorite Disney character. (Or dress up as whoever you want to!)

About Me

My name is Chelsea Fleming. I am an English Language Arts major at the University of Central Florida.

I moved to Florida about three years ago from Buffalo, NY where I had spent my entire life. I went to West Seneca East High School and from there I went to Erie Community College. I had many teachers that influenced my love of reading and writing. In high school, my teachers nourished my love of writing, and in college, it flourished when I produced my first published short story.

My favorite kind of stories are fantasies and mysteries. I also love reading comic books (and Japanese manga).

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Reading an anthology of Batman comics (1930s-70s) with my cat.

How can Close Reading be taught through Technology?

How can close reading be taught through technology?

Hicks, T. (n.d.). Actually Achieving Close Reading With Digital Tools.

Retrieved June 06, 2016, from http://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/literacy/close-reading-digital-tools/

 

This article explains that although many teens own computers, phones or tablets, they don’t use these digital devices for reading. In fact, only 7% of students read using technology. The article goes on to list a number of different strategies students can use with technology to enhance their close reading. For example, students can take snapshots of the text and use software such as snagit or skitch to annotate directly onto their screens. Students can also share their findings through social networking and follow blogs about books or subjects that interest them for further reading.

It is important to note that there are multiple ways for students to use technology with close reading. Many people believe that close reading can only be taught through a physical book. This article goes through so many ways that students can take notes, annotate, and share their research through technology.

 

L, C. (2015, August 24). 5 Strategies for Teaching Close Reading with Tech.

Retrieved June 06, 2016, from https://www.graphite.org/blog/5-strategies-for-teaching-close-reading-with-tech#/5-strategies-for-teaching-close-reading-with-tech

 

This article goes through many of the same strategies as the first article such as annotating and writing in the margins, however it uses different digital tools to do it. This article states that you can use GoogleDocs, Read and Write for Google (a google extension) and another app called Actively Learn which uses annotation tools and large margins for notes. It also says that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has close reading apps for secondary grades. Not only does this article provide a variety of digital tools for students to use, it also lists other techniques for close reading such as modeling, annotating, taking notes, collaborating, and close reading across curriculums.

Close reading is a useful skill that can be applied across subjects and used in a variety of ways. There are a plethora of apps and tools that can help students achieve effective close reading. I think it is important for teachers to not only use traditional methods of close reading (such as modeling and collaboration with peers) but to incorporate technology with these methods.

Letter Regarding Tech in the Classroom

To Whom it May Concern,

Technology is an essential part in any classroom. Today’s students are surrounded by technological devices everyday, whether they are in school or out of school. Digital devices such as laptops, tablets, SmartBoards, smartphones, etc. can be used to enhance the learning experience in the classroom. As teachers, it is our responsibility to ensure that students use technology safely and to its most productive potential.

In my classroom, students must first be aware of the dangers and risks of using technology. Not everything on the internet can be censored. They should be vigilant in using safe search websites. They should also know how important it is to keep their information private. Many children do not know how fast things can spread on the internet. They may also be unaware of how long something can stay on the internet. Once posted, it is nearly impossible to delete. Safety is the number one priority for students in the classroom.

Complete integration of technology into the classroom is inevitable. As 21st century learners, we can only advance further into the digital realm. There are a plethora of devices and software that can help facilitate learning effectively in the classroom. Teachers must consider which programs could best be used with each lesson plan. When choosing software ease of use, content, and student engagement should be brought into consideration.

Effective integration of technology is a great way to enhance the learning experience. However, students and teachers should be vigilant in how it is used in the classroom. Thy must be aware of the risks it may pose and how to best use it to its most effective degree. By following these points, technology can have a fun, effective place in the classroom.