Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Merit Pay: Friend or Foe?

President Obama has suggested merit pay for teachers. To weigh in on this situation, check this Vblob, Is Merit Pay the Right Way to Go?, which is a combination video and blog, and post to the Vblog itself as well as here. Feel free to copy and paste what you post on the Vblog here, or if you don't want to post to the Vblog, at least after listening to the video and reading some of the blog posts, share your comments by posting to our course blog. You can also let us know what you think of aVblog versus a regular blog. Do you think a Vblog would work well as a teaching tool, for instance. Why or why not? Have you seen other Vblogs? Okay, now you have several options for posting a comment: views on merit pay, views on a Vblog versus a standard blog, and Vblogs in teaching. After viewing the Vblog and posting a comment, you might want to check the HotChalk site further for teacher resources in general. Here is the link to the Vblog, or feel free to use the embedded link above.


Remember to post a comment on the course blog regarding any of the above questions.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jeopardy for Review

I am sending along an lesson plan and article to review that a teacher wrote explaining her procedure and purpose for using a PowerPoint Jeopardy game to help students review course material. She claims that the use of the game helped students improve their performance and understanding of course concepts significantly compared to students in former classes who did use the review method. You will notice how she arranged the lesson plan with the students creating the game, truly creating a constructivist approach to education. Check out her plan, and let us know what you think. As some of you consider your own teaching, how can using PowerPoint to create games, Jeopardy or other games, be used to make learning interactive, participatory, and hands-on, appealing to a variety of learning styles? Here is the link to the article: http://oncourseworkshop.com/Learning043.htm

Saturday, March 7, 2009

6th Graders Blog and Wiki

Using the link below this post, check out the first page of a blog created for 6th graders. In addition to the class blog, you will notice that all students have after their posts, a link to their own blogs. Check the main page, see the tabs to access other information, read some of the students' blogs on the class's main blog, and connect to a few of the students' own blogs to get a sense of how this project is working. The class project was featured in a story in The New York Times, under another blog called Lesson Plans. I am posting both the URL to get to the class's blog as well as a link to the New York Times story. Take some time to explore the potential of blogging for our students grades K-12. A former SJC student demonstrated one day at a workshop how her 3rd graders in a local Hartford elementary school were also using blogging, primarily as a way to post their creative writing stories. Think about how you might use blogging in your own teachings, for students to create a collaborative one, for you to create one for your students to read, or for students in your class to go to get information and ideas related to what they are learning in your classroom.

Here is the link to the class blog:


Here is the link to the Times article with an excerpt from the teacher:

https://webmail.sjc.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://lessonplans.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/29/telling-the-raven/Excerpt:September 29, 2008, 9:00 PMTelling the RavenBy DOUG NOONFor each of the past three years, my students have published their writing on our Tell the Raven Web site. It is a writing space where we share our ideas with one another, and with other interested people around the world. Traditionally, school teachers have been the primary audience for student writing. But now, Web publishing software offers us a platform from which we can tell our stories toanyone who cares to pay attention.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


In the event you don’t know about TeacherTube, be sure to check it out. The authors of the site write: “Our goal is to provide an online community for sharing instructional videos. We seek to fill a need for a more educationally focused, safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners. It is a site to provide anytime, anywhere professional development with teachers teaching teachers. As well, it is a site where teachers can post videos designed for students to view in order to learn a concept or skill.”

The site explains: “TeacherTube was the idea of Jason Smith, a 14-year veteran educator. Jason has been a teacher, coach, campus administrator and district administrator in public schools. He asked the question, "Why can't teachers, students, and schools utilize the power of the read/write web for learning?" To overcome barriers, he decided to just create a site and get started trying to help. He turned to his brother, Adam, who is a younger, digital native, with technical skills. Adam used his skills to develop the site and found a web host. Soon, Jason's wife, Jodie, joined the team to start populating the site with videos and help improve the communication. She too has 14 years of experience in education as a classroom teacher, campus technology integrator, and district curriculum coordinator.”

TeacherTube claims among its benefits the following:
Upload, tag and share videos worldwide
Upload support files to attach educational activities, assessments, lesson plans, notes…
Browse hundreds of videos uploaded by community members
Find, join and create video groups to connect with people who have similar interests

Schools generally sanction the use of the site, and as the authors note: “TeacherTube staff review flagged sites and will remove any inappropriate posts. With more collegial commentary and discussion through messaging and responses, the quality of this resource will only increase.”

Please check the site for more details: http://www.teachertube.com/ and let us know if you find the site useful and if so, how.

Image: site logo