Innovation in Education

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Photo CC- By Web 20 Classroom

I believe I have been innovative as a learner this semester, well I hope I have been. I try to think of new ideas, learn with other people, take in other people’s ideas, and I don’t let obstacles get in the way.

Two fantastic articles about innovation as an educator are called The Unlearning Curve and The Mindset of an Innovator. The first article explains the interesting and somewhat confusing concept of “unlearning.” The second is a quick article basically giving different statements of being an innovator.

My favorite statement from The Mindset of an Innovator is “I recognize that there are obstacles in education, but as an innovator, I will focus on what is possible today and where I can push to lead towards tomorrow.”

My favorite quote from The Unlearning Curve is “We need to unlearn the premise that we know more than our kids, because in many cases, they can now be our teachers as well.”

There are countless other fantastic quotes to keep in mind but for some reason this one stuck with me and made me relate back to it. I highly recommend checking these two articles out, they truly are a great read!

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Photo CC- By Kqed

To me innovation in learning can look like a lot of things. It can be thinking of the best possible way to go about working on something, making ways to jump across obstacles, using the beneficial tools around you to get the job done, and building upon what you already know but not limiting yourself to it.

This semester I have unlearned quite a few things, and not only the information on tests I have already taken. I have unlearned that school work isn’t only paper and pencil essays. I’ve unlearned that there is only one correct way of adding. I’ve unlearned that procrastination means more free time. There are many other things I could say but these are just the few that pop into my head.

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Photo CC- By PersonalBranding

There are several things I think I need to unlearn before coming a teacher. I need to unlearn that there isn’t one way or even the best way to learn. I need to unlearn that I’m always right, I’m sure my kids will prove me wrong quite a few times. I need to unlearn that tests are the best way of assessing. I need to unlearn that adults are more responsible than kids. I need to unlearn that everyone learns at the same speeds.

We need to be more adapt to change especially when it comes to teaching. We also need to be innovators and teach innovation. The world around is forever changing, we shouldn’t just sit back and watch we should change with it.

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Photo CC- By ibtimes

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Classroom Metaphor

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Photo CC- By PhotoBucket

I want my classroom to be like an ice cream parlor

Check out my digital story here!

I’ll admit it took me  a while to come up with an idea on how to share my metaphor with everyone. Well it even took me a while to come up with a metaphor! When I finally came up with one relating to my favorite dessert I spent quite a while thinking on how to share it but I did end up with something which you can look at above!

First I wrote my thoughts on several different pieces of paper. Then I took pictures of each page and uploaded them into my computer. Then I used Adobe Spark to put the pictures together in a slide and add music to them. It took a while to I am pretty happy with the result.

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Photo CC- By turbosquid

I hope you enjoy and I hope all of your digital stories are coming together as well!

 

Independent Learning Project Reflection

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Photo CC- By Taylor Geisler

I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed every second of my Independent Learning Project. Just a review my project was over bible journalling, I would read a few verses a couple times a week and spend an hour or so creating a design to go along with the verse I wanted to journal about. It was very easy to get caught up in the journalling and it was hard to put down somedays. I found myself journalling most Sunday mornings while eating breakfast and listening to music. It was a nice way of getting away from all the hustle and bustle of school and homework and just relax for a couple hours each week.

Through my project I learned that it is A LOT easier to work on something if I actually like the project or find it meaningful. I found myself procrastinating my other homework and putting bible journalling first on my to do list each week. It never actually felt like work either, it just felt like a fun relaxing activity not something I had to turn in and hope for a good grade on. There was no pressure to make the absolute best or perfect, instead I just did what came to mind, it only matter what I thought about it not what others thought. The designs represent my feelings towards that specific verse and brought me closer to the words and God not closer to an A in the class.

I will admit somedays I felt like doing nothing, including bible journalling. It was overall easy to motivate myself to work on it but not every single week. I think everyone has those days where they just don’t feel like working on anything no matter what the task is well I had those days too. I’d manage to get myself up and start reading and thinking of an idea for a design and in the end I would enjoying my  time working on it.

The best part of the project for me was finding new verses I never actually thought about twice but ended up becoming one of my new favorites. I loved the freedom that came with the project itself, getting to decide what to do, when to it, and how to do it was a nice change for once. I plan on continuing my bible journalling, there are so many different ideas that I can use and I can’t wait to see where it takes me not only in the actual work but with my religious relationships.

On a side note I have to share an app I found when looking through bible journalling sites. This app is called Sprinkle of Jesus, I’m sure some of you have already heard of it but I suggest you check it out, I absolutely love it. Here is the link to the website: Sprinkle of Jesus which tell you more about it but it is also in the app store (which I use) called “Sprinkle of Jesus.” It has sermons, articles, reminders, general information and so much more. My favorite part is the daily notifications. These notifications aren’t your normal ones, they give fantastic advice on relationships, reminders to stay focused on God, and just nice quotes. Here are a couple notifications I have received:

Photo CC- By Taylor Geisler

In my future classroom I would like to incorporate independent learning in my classroom. I think it would be great for midterm projects, final projects, chapter projects or anything really. It is a great way to get the students excited and involved in their own work. Anything to get the students excited about school is worth it in my opinion.

New Creative Tools

I love creating posters, business cards, presentations, pretty much anything on fun sites. After reading a couple articles I think I found my new favorite site to create all these things! I’ve already spent more time than I should on the site exploring and looking for cool fun things to create.

In an article called Tech Review: Online Creation Tools: Piktograph and Canva the author, Karen Jensen, wrote about a couple new sites she found that she absolutely fell in love with. The one that I found most helpful and loved like I mentioned before is called Canva. It is a site that lets you create pretty much anything you will ever need/want to create from business cards to thank you letters to a blog graphic. You can either select a template which they have thousands to choose from or if you are feeling adventurous you can start from scratch using several different tools and elements on site. It has several different templates for any kind of style you are wanting, girly, kidish, manly, etc. You can edit and control whatever you need to make it look just the way you want it to look.

I created a couple different things using this site. The first thing was a simple business card front

Here is my creation (I am totally in love with it by the way):

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First I choose a template I liked for the business card (let me tell you that is easier said than done, there were too many cute templates to choose from), changed the name to my name and messed with the font size and background color and pattern. Then I decided I needed to add something else to make it look more like a business card, therefore I added the center template that says “Middle Math teacher.” I plan on making all my business cards on here from now on!

The second item I created was a poster about my Independent Learning Project, which is bible journalling.

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It is a simple poster including the verse I most enjoyed while bible journalling. First I found a template to start on messed with the text a little and changed it to what I wanted to say. I added a couple lines of text as well.

Canva is incredibly user friendly, even for this not so techy girl. I guarantee it has 90% of whatever you need and for the most it is completely free as long as you know how to use the tools in the correct way.

I plan on using this tool to create presentations, posters, and anything else I might need in the classroom. I think it would also be a great activity for the students to do in class, maybe have them make a poster of the information they are learning using this site.

I think presenting information in these visual/graphic styles is very valuable. They catch people’s attention and make them stop and look at the poster and information instead of just walking by. It creates something fun to look at for the students instead of something that has a white background with black text. I could see this site as well as others being very beneficial in the classroom.

I highly recommend checking Canva out!

Digital Stories

It can be very difficult to try to find new and exciting things to do in class especially ones that are creative and get the kids interested in the lesson. Podcasts and digital stories is one of the best ways to defeat this rut. They create so many different activities, lesson plans, and general conversation in any classroom.

Here are a couple websites to check out if you are interested and what to find out more about podcasts and digital stories:

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Photo CC- By Millereccles

The benefits of using podcasts and digital stories in the classroom are endless. First and foremost it provides a great way of getting the students interested in the lesson. That may be one of the hardest things to do as a teacher but students seem to automatically be drawn to these two things. They promote critical thinking and creativity in the students, which helps achieve the Common Core standards. Organization and planning is must for both the students and the teachers, which these two things help develop. They encourage deep conversations in the classroom that may be otherwise difficult to develop.

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Photo CC- By Taruam

Of course with everything there is always disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage for incorporating podcasts and digital stories is the amount of class time it takes up. Depending on what the teacher chooses these could occupy multiple class days. Time is can be a hard to come by but when it comes to lessons that get the students excited and wanting to come to class, it is worth the time it takes away.

Of course you don’t just have to listen to podcasts and digital stories you could create your own in class. For example in my 5th grade science class we made a short podcast about the weather for a specific state. It may have not been much but I remember that being one of my favorite projects in school. Putting students in groups and having them create their own short video about a topic of choice would be a great activity for any grade and for any subject. It would be a hands on activity which many students learn best at and it would something that gets kids working together instead of just doing homework by themselves all the time. After a while everyone needs change and podcasts and digital stories is one way to get change.

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Photo CC- By Grade Slam

I was surprised with the amount of people who listened to the popular podcasts called “Serial”. I myself have never heard of it but after reading the explanation of it I can understand why it would be so popular not only with adults but with students. Everyone seems to be interested in murder mystery and since “Serial” took place in a high school setting the students could possibly relate a little to the series.

Overall I see podcasts and digital stories as a fantastic tool to incorporate in the classroom, whether you are just listening or creating your own. I would highly recommend looking into these for your classroom!

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Photo CC-SchoolTechnology

Final TDC

Can’t believe I’m already done with the 30 days of The Daily Create. It was definitely more fun that I thought it would be and I thought I did get more creative each week, well at least I tried to get more creative.

I think this would be a great thing to try and incorporate into each classroom. Not necessary a 30 day trial but once in a while have the students do an activity or TDC that would get their creative juices moving. It would be a great way to take a break from the lesson and do an activity that would refocus the student’s attention.

Anyways here is my last batch of TDC:

Monday: #tdc1758 Trick? Treat? Design an Unlike Candy

Tuesday: #tdc1759 The world needs more superheros. Create your own

Wednesday: #tdc1760 Walking GIF

Thursday: #tdc1761 More pumpkin! Create a new pumpkin spice monstrosity

Friday: #tdc1762 On the Road from Findochty to lyesgarth

Saturday: #tdc1763 The Lemon Poem

Sunday: #tdc1764 Sidewalk crack art

Monday: #tdc1765 Bigfoot is missing

Tuesday: #tdc1766 Make a still life with red items

 

Overall I think this was a great experience. I feel as if I have a better understanding for more technology and how to create different things. Going into this new 30 day challenge I thought it would be very frustrating which I was basing on the first couple days of the challenge. Throughout the next few days I felt more comfortable with each new assignment and it took less time than it did the day before.

I would recommend taking a look at the site which I’ve linked here. It is a great way to try out something new even for just a short amount of time. Believe me when I say it will just fly by! Hope you all had a great time working on your TDC every day as I did.

 

ILP | Weekly Progress

This week I managed to fit in a couple bible journal entries in. I tried a new method this week, I have had a couple rolls of Washi tape and decided to try and put them to use. The two entries I did this week I incorporated some Washi tape and I absolutely love it! I actually ordered more Washi tape on Monday that I cannot wait to put into use!

Here are my two entries for the week:

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Photo CC- By Taylor Geisler

This verse I found a couple years ago and ever since it has been my favorite. I absolutely love this verse, it seems to apply to just about every situation I have. There is a lot of different versions of this verse but everyone I have come across to hasn’t beat this one out. I just love the way it flows, it brings me so much comfort in tough situations when I just feel like giving up.

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Photo CC- By Taylor Geisler

This verse as well brings me comfort in times where I am freaking out over usually the silliest of things. There are times where I feel completely overwhelmed and fear that I might not get everything done or do my best in everything. It is always comforting knowing that God is with me and is there to protect me in everything I do. Life can be scary especially when you have no idea what you truly want to do with my future, but God is always there to get you through whatever you are worried about.

Last week I wrote about marking each of the books in my bible with Washi tape, which I found from an article of Pinterest. Here is the link to that article. My new Washi tape just got in this afternoon, which is perfect timing actually. I have a long drive ahead of me tomorrow and I plan on putting this new tape to use.

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Photo CC- By Taylor Geisler

That is my progress for the week. I can’t believe we are almost done with our Indpendent Learning Project, time truly has flown by. I hope you are all having fun with your projects as well!

Our Relationship with Technology and Internet

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Photo CC- By TitanTime

The internet and technology really is taking over our world. Everywhere we look we see someone using technology such as one their phone, laptop, tablet, or anything else. I am guilty of pulling my phone out at a restaurant is the conversation isn’t working or whenever I am waiting for something to happen. I realize I do need to learn when is a good and bad time to take out my devices.

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Photo CC- By SecureEdgeNetworks

The TED talk and two articles we read and watched were great for this topic, they made you stop and think about technology and what effects it has on our lives.

In the TED talk, Paul cleansed himself of the internet for a full year. He said it did have positives and negatives to go along with it. The one thing that stood out to me was his sister saying he was more emotional available. I never think of how my usage of technology effects people’s thoughts about me and our relationship. The internet really does take our attention and distract us from more important things like having deep conversations with friends and family. We have to keep in mind however that leaving the internet won’t fix your problems, they will still be there but it will give you time to work on them.

Here is a link to the TED talk: Quitting the Internet for One Year

If quitting the internet intrigues you but you aren’t quite ready to do it for a whole year I would suggest taking a look at the this article: What Happens When Teens Try to Disconnect from Technology for Three Days. This was a shorter amount of time but still causes great effects on you and your feelings and thoughts toward technology.

If you are like me and don’t really want to quit the internet all together but wouldn’t mind cutting down on your usage I would check out this article: Simplify the Internet. It provides wonderful and helpful tips on cutting down on the internet. I think everyone should take a look at this article because it wouldn’t hurt anyone to spend a little less time looking at their phone screens and little more time having conversations with loved ones.

Personally I do feel like I use technology mindfully. I do not post very often, actually the most I have ever posted on social media is for this class. I know I could stop checking in on all of social media apps as often as I do and I plan on working on that. However when I am working on homework, in class, at family dinner, my phone is tucked away and turned on silent or at least vibrate because I know that is the wrong time to be catching up.

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Photo CC- By Northeastern

Everyone should be more attentive when it comes to family and family gatherings. Time flies by and we should treasure the moments we spend with them rather than sitting there in the corner never taking our eyes of our screens. Being more attentive when it comes to school work and friends is never a bad idea either.

We should stop multitasking when it comes to very important things and when we have a great amount of time to complete both. If we are always multitasking we will miss out on all of the little moments that make things special and worth our attention. We are truly present when our full attention is on the situation at hand, when we aren’t distracted by anything insignificant.

For myself the TED talk and readings made be realize I don’t always have to try and keep up with social media. I can put my phone down when I think something is of importance. But I don’t need to give up on internet and technology all together, maybe in time I will try it one day but for now I just plan on cutting back some.

Week 3 of TDC

 

Day 21 of The Daily Create is officially over so that means only 10 more daily creates to go. Time has truly flown by very quickly, seems like the days fly by faster and faster each day. I’ve had so much fun designing each daily create, I never know what is going to pop each day when I open the website up.

These week’s creates were pretty interesting and I feel like I spent more time than usual on each create. The websites wouldn’t always cooperate with me which was a part of it, but the assignments were a little difficult as well, mainly just a couple of them but time does add up.

Here’s my creations for the week:

Monday: #tdc1751 Streetview an interesting spot in the world you may never visit

This sculpture has always intrigued me, I’d love to go visit someday. Hopefully that someday is soon!

Tuesday: #tdc1752 A GIF Trip to the Moon

Monday is OVER!…. But it is still Tuesday. I get this feeling every week. Still can’t decide if it is a good feeling or bad feeling.

Wednesday: #tdc1753 Illustrate a Storyspark in five photos

This one was definitely the most frustrating out of all the daily creates this week. It took me FOREVER to find a StorySpark I actually liked then trying to illustrate took me a while as well, but in the end I was okay with the final product. It’s not one of my favorites but it works!

Thursday: #tdc1754 Activating Fleming College

I really enjoyed this daily create, it was probably my favorite for the week! Active learning is a popular subject for education majors so I enjoyed talking about this. Plus how adorable is a dog wearing glasses?

Friday: #tdc1755 Finish a story started by @MagicRealismBot

The story is…

I finished it like this….

This one sure made me use m imagination and creativity! I loved reading what everyone else came up with too.

Saturday: #tdc1756 Create something that communicates the positive contributions of clowns

Okay if you haven’t been able to tell by now I am a complete dog lover… even if dogs are mixed with one thing I have always been scared of.

Sunday: #tdc1757 Illustrate a Word That Lacks an English Translation

Personally I think this word should be used all the time.

That’s if for this week. Hope you all enjoyed my funky creations are enjoying working with your own each day! Soon it’ll be over with and time to go home for Christmas break which seems unimaginable really, but better watch out because it is coming soon!

Hope you all had a great weekend and are ready for this next week!

ILP | week progress

It feels like I haven’t blogged about my Independent Learning Progress in forever. I haven’t work on it as much as I would have liked to but I did manage to get in a couple sessions of reading and journalling. I actually found a couple of ideas I want to do but I imagine one of them in particular will be VERY time consuming. I can’t wait to start them and I will include a link down below of one of the ideas I found.

Here is the few entries I’ve done since last time I blogged about my progress:

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Photo CC- By Taylor Geisler

I tried to make this one pretty colorful, because once I again I am drawn to the black and white designs with a pop of color here and there but I am actually happy with how this one turned out.

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Photo CC- By Taylor Geisler

This is my new favorite entry so far! Not sure why it is sideways but a little head turning never hurt anyone.

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Photo CC- By Taylor Geisler

I saw this design on a piece of artwork in my local bible store and absolutely loved it. I really like how simple it is and how it stands out.

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Photo CC- By Taylor Geisler

This is the latest one I have done which was inspired by a rock on Pinterest. This quote was very relevant to this week, I have felt overwhelmed every single day but I am very glad that the weekend is finally here!

Next week I would like to spend some of my time I’ve allotted to my ILP on an idea I found on Pinterest. It was a blog that explained how to mark all the books in the bible to make them easier to find. You can check out the blog here. What she did was use washi tape to signify the start of each book. She put the washi tape on the ends of the pages. I can’t wait to get started on it but I know it will take me quite a bit, but it will be worth it in the end seeing all the colors and designs every time I look at my bible.

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Photo CC- By Rachel Teodoro

I hope to find more projects like this that make my bible more exciting and fun!

Anyway I hope you all are enjoying your time spent on each of your projects and see a great amount of progress.

Have a great weekend!