Monday, March 28, 2011

Virtual Schools By, Jacqueline

Online classrooms or virtual schools are popping up all over the country. When searching for examples to use in this project I found dozens of schools that have started using online classrooms. These classrooms found more in upper level learning such as college and high school but now there are virtual classrooms for elementary levels to middle school. Here are sources I used to research virtual schools:

"Wagering on the Web: Vegas Schools Go Virtual." Edutopia. Web. 28 Mar 2011.

This video from edutopia presents how Vegas schools went from regular classrooms to virtual ones. One of the most compelling features that are presented in this video is that students and teachers both stated that there is more communication in a virtual school than in a regular classroom. The reason behind this is that the student has more control over their learning. An example used in the video was that if a student has a question they could send a quick e-mail to a teacher instead of waiting for their turn for the teacher’s attention in a regular classroom. Also in this students are able to make their questions more specific and have the answers in front of them saved in an e-mail form. The video showed perspectives from students and teachers. The students described some of the major advantages to online school, which include: flexibility, time management, more teacher interaction, and the ability to connect with other students. The teachers that presented their online classrooms agreed with the students especially on flexibility. Teaching can now be done at home or in any distance away from the students. Teachers are also able to connect with other teachers and create an even larger online classroom. The only disadvantage that was presented in the video was students need to be self-motivating. Some students can easily fall behind if they don’t keep up on assignments. Teachers are not physically in a room with the students to push them in their assignments. So virtual schools are not for every student but those who take on this new way of learning find many more benefits.

This video presented information from two different perspectives, which allows the viewer to look at the issue from different standpoints. The information came directly from the students are teachers who use this kind of learning. Although I found this video useful and reliable I think that there was not enough presented about some of the other disadvantages of online learning. I personally struggle with online learning because I like to have a teacher face to face who can see the student’s reactions when presented with new material. Online learning is a generally new trend and I think it will only get bigger as time goes on so this video is up to date and a good resource on this topic.

"Georgia Virtual School." Georgia Virtual School. N.p., 28 03 2011. Web. 28 Mar 2011. .

The website is an actual virtual school. The home page to this website opens by sharing information through three groups of people: students, parents and educators. The Georgia virtual school allows students to take an assessment to see if an online class is suited from them. It offers classes for any students in the grade levels of 9 though 12. It also carries over 100 class offerings to any student whether they are already enrolled in a public school or even home schooled. It also offers educators ways to get involved or offer subject content to any of the classes. A nice feature to this virtual school is that it has a virtual guidance center. The virtual guidance center helps students navigate or overcome any problem they may experience on their online learning. This feature may help some students with any anxiety they may have on taking online classes. The Georgia Virtual School states that flexibility may be a reason that students may want to join their school. Classes can be scheduled inside of a normal school day or outside normal hours.

This website is a good example of an online school. It offers many different resources for anyone involved in a student’s education. This example is a great part of researching this topic. It is a reliable source and The Georgia Virtual School is credited and a useful resource to students looking into online schools. The website is friendly and easy to find classes and more information about their school.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Online Predators

When choosing a topic for this assignment, I was immediately drawn toward the topic of online predators. Working with middle school students and having family members that are young and naive to the World Wide Web, it is important to become proactive in the fight against online predators. After researching through countless amounts of journals, newspapers, websites, and online videos, I came across this website provided by the Crimes Against Children's Research Center that gave some very startling statistics.

  • 1 in 5 teenagers in the United States who regularly log on to the Internet say that they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the web

  • 25% of children have been exposed to unwanted pornographic material online

  • 75% of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services

  • Only approximately 25% of children who encountered a sexual approach or solicitation told a parent or adult

  • 77% of the targets for online predators were age 14 or older

  • Another 22% were users ages 10 to 13

If you thought the statistics were startling, wait until you watch this video in which Dateline NBC's host Chris Hanson catches an online predator in the act.

After reading the facts, and watching this video first hand, now its time to become proactive and informed on how to protect your children and families from online predators. According to a website published by the Microsoft Corporation, the number one prevention technique on protecting your children from online predators is to simply talk to your children about the dangers lurking inside the world wide web. The Microsoft Corporation also suggest that parents use parental control software, keep the Internet connected computer in a common location in the household such as a dining room or den area, never download images from an unknown source, use email filters, choose a gender-neutral screen name that does not use sexually suggestive word or reveal personal information, and lastly to tell an adult immediately if anything happens online that makes anyone feel uncomfortable or frightened.

Annotate Bibliography Online Predators - Child Safety - Microsoft Protect." Online Predators - Child Safety - Microsoft Protect. Web. 27 Mar. 2011.

Online Child Predator Statistics." SentryPC - Parental Control Software. Web. 27 Mar. 2011.

YouTube - Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Web. 27 Mar. 2011.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blogs, WIkis, and SmartBoard websites


The purpose of this website is to share information, documents, and files with paresnts and students. Hold duscussions online, outside of class, report grades online to students or their parents, keep in touch wit hprivate messages.SchoolRack is a free online tool that makes it easy to publish and personalize a useful teacher website, without any software. They have created the tools to make it easy for you to post homework online, class notes, pictures.It could be used so much in the classroom. Some more examples are student and parent collaboration, discussion boards, the students are able to subscribe to different teachers blogs, allow the students to submit assignments on it, and private messaging. I would use this in my classroom! I think it is so important to be proactive in your students' lives and having a place online for them to come to outside of the classroom shows them you truly care.


The purpose of Pikiwiki is allowing someone to create an instant webpage without any software. PikiWiki enables users to create with a variety of media ("Piki", as in "pictures") and is built from the ground up to support rich collaboration ("Wiki" as in the popular software concept for editable websites). However, PikiWiki is different than a traditional, structured Wiki in that it neither requires nor uses any special markup language. PikiWiki is not intended as a replacement for traditional Wikis, but rather represents a new way for casual, quick and easy collaboration, especially when multiple forms of media are involved, not just text. This could be used in the classroom by having students create webpages describing their selves or a hobby they enjoy. When working on ancestory the students could create a webpage about their ancesorty. I would use this in the classroom because outside of the classroom technology is used so much so showing them in the classroom how to use it will help them.


The purpose of dotty dots is to put text in and it writes the word using colorful dots! This could be used in the classroom during language arts and phonics activities. A lot of students do not think words are fun but showing them something like this defiantely makes it fun! I would use it in the classroom because I want to help my students enjoying learning and see that learning can be fun!

The difference between a blog and wiki is a blog is a sort of online journal. It is updated daily or weekly or whenever the author desires. A wiki is a platform that is meant for anyone to update in real time. A blog is owned by an individual whereas wiki is being updated by many people around the world

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blogs, Wikis and SmartBoards in Education

I found a great website on blogs about SMART boards. They give ideas and websites that you can incorporate with the SMART boards. They also have a lot of links to websites which is nice. They give game and lesson plan ideas. A very awesome blog website for teachers who have a SMART board! This website can help teachers find lesson plans and lesson plan ideas to use in the classroom. I would use that website and save it in the bookmarks because for example the one blog had a website you could click on and it was a website full of already premade interactive lessons that you could use on the SMART board.
The PikiWiki is a website that allows you to upload videos and photos on to a webpage and you can add blogs and etc. I like the fact that uploading a picture is just simply dragging the picture to the webpage, it’s that easy. I think that PikiWiki could be used in the classroom by having the children make a PikiWiki page about a research project because it allows the students to be creative and would be fun for them instead of just typing up a paper. I would use PikiWiki in the classroom like I said for research projects to make assignments interesting and fun for the students.

The SmartBoard interactive tools was interactive games that students would be able to use on a SmartBoard while allowing students to be creative. There was a online piano keyboard that is interactive that would be great for teaching music. I would use a lot of those tools in the classroom especially if a lesson plan got done early and you have a couple spare minutes to allow the children to take turns on the SmartBoard.
Blogs are an online journal that allows users to subscribe and communicate with other uses by commenting on the blogs. Wiki’s are more of a website used to get and gather information and being able to add to the Wiki if you have additional information.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Having fun, BUT still Learning

This website was so cool to me. It allows the teacher to use the smartboard to educate students in a vast amount of subjects, by playing games. I believe that every now and then you have to be able to have fun with students to keep their attention. This website seems to be good for a change once in a while.

Blogs, Wikis, and SmartBoards in Education

1. Blog. Go to your Class Blog - the Blogging Page. Search the Links to Blogs and Blog-creation sites.
I found this blogging site through our class blog website, The purpose of this website created by Kim Cofino, is to provide an inquiry-based and constructive classroom that allows students to grow and build their skills of technology in and out of the classroom. Kim’s blog allows students and classrooms to connect with each other across the world. Not only does Kim’s blog provide information regarding education, but she also spends time blogging about her personal experiences at conferences and talking with educators around the world.
This website could be used in education in several different ways. This is a great resource for teacher to use in communicating with other educators across the globe, but also to review what other educators are doing in their classrooms. There is also a projects portion of the website that separates projects and presentations by grade levels. This portion of the site is fabulous! For example, I chose the kindergarten grade level that took me to a site that focuses on telling time with clocks. Not only is the site interactive, but it is also illustrated to keep the attention of these students.
As for using this blog in my personal classroom, I find that this would be a great resource to have at my fingertips on a daily basis. The projects and presentation portion of this site would be beneficial for social networking with other educators and classrooms using other sites such as Skype, digital video sharing, Voice Thread, wikis, and blogs.

2. Wiki - Look at Wiki sites recommended by your Wiki expert group. (Pikiwiki, Wikipedia, PBWiki, etc.)
There are many purposes to the Pikiwiki website, but the main purpose is to provide an interactive, public sharing website that allows its users to build web pages that include information, pictures, videos, and much more. Pikiwiki users have used the site to scrapbook events and celebrations; create flyers, newsletters, and living yearbooks.
Pikiwiki could be a great resource in education for educators to document happenings in their classrooms. Teachers could document an entire year of events and activities on just one simple web page. They could also share videos with other classrooms no matter where they are located. If taught correctly, teachers could also implement Pikiwiki into their curriculum by teaching their students to develop online portfolios, newsletters, and other interactive pages.
As a teacher, I believe that using Pikiwiki in the classroom would be effective, possibly even more effective and resourceful than a classroom blog. Pikiwiki, and sites similar, allow students to work independently and creatively while learning to navigate through different forms of technology.

3. SmartBoard Interactive Online Tools - In class, go to the SmartBoard and search the site, "Cool Tools for Interactive Whiteboards."
After searching and interacting with several different Whiteboard websites, I came across a website that allows students to perform a virtual hip replacement. I found this to be very interesting because my grandfather just had an actual hip replacement. Besides being interested in completing this activity myself, I thought that the website not only was interactive with the process, but also asked questions while completing the process which promoted learning and comprehension.
This website is made to be used in the classroom with either Smartboards or computers. I was able to complete the activity by using my laptop and working independently. This site would be a great addition to a lesson being taught in a science or health class. Aside for the textbook or lecture, this website would allow the students to interact and visualize the process of a hip replacement firsthand.
“Cool tools for interactive Whiteboards,” is a website that I feel every teacher should be exposed to. This site, and others similar to it, allows teachers to provide their students with technology and interactive activities that promote hands on learning.

What differences did you find between a Wiki and a Blog?
The differences I have found between a Wiki and a blog is that while both are interactive and promote inquiry-based learning environments, wikis look to be easier to navigate through and would be used more successfully in projects and assignments dealing with videos, pictures, and data rather than writing assignments.

Blogs, Wikis, and SmartBoards

An education blog I found is called Borderland. This blog is written by a teacher named Doug. The blog talks a lot about the struggles in teaching and teaching news. This site could be used by teachers as a resource to find out what is going on in the teaching community. I have booked marked this blog so I can look at it every now and then.

I really like the wiki site I really like how it is set up to share photos, and it is like an online scrapbook. Teachers could use this site as a virtual newsletter for parents to keep them updated with what is going on in the classroom. In addition, teachers can upload pictures of class activities. I would defiantly use this site for a newsletter. It is much easier for parents to log onto the pikiwiki site to see a newsletter, then to count on the newsletter coming home safely. Also doing a newsletter on pikiwiki lets the teacher updated it more often then a traditional newsletter would be..

My favorite website that I found about smart boards was . This site had interactive whiteboard tools, activities, and even notebook layouts for lessons. I would certainly use this website. It has links to other sites with tools for almost any subject. Teachers could use this in the classroom by looking for tools that they could use in their curriculum.

The difference between wikis and blogs are that wikis have multiple authors and editors. Blogs are written by one person, while other people can read and comment on the posts.