Archive from February, 2013

Week 6 Reflection Blog Post: To Flip or Not to Flip

Is transferring lectures to video and having students view the videos outside of class so they can spend class time working on worksheets and writing papers the true nature of flipping a classroom?  Given the limited scope of the definition I would say no.

Flipping a class is an extremely intriguing concept and I found the assigned materials quite interesting.  Obviously, appealing factors include the increased time for differentiation, student’s active involvement (collaboration), and ability to reach higher orders of critical thinking.  In addition to the material provided in this lesson there is a plethora of information, resources, and support networks available to assist in implementing a flipped classroom.  I was quite impressed with Mrs. Garcia’s 7th grade Pre Algebra site.  Watching a few of her instructional videos it quickly became obvious that a student could easily review the video numerous times to secure concepts they may not readily grasp.  I believe this to be a good pedagogy for many of the reasons stated previously.    What I like most is the ability to provide instant feedback and the avoidance of homework frustration.  Additionally, this construct will allow time to revisit concepts for specific students or groups as required.  I also believe this to be an effective approach to teaching and learning as it allows more time for interactive activities where the students can “do” rather than sitting in a receive mode.

I spent some time thinking about how this could be implemented into my current 3rd grade classroom.  I conducted a web search to locate other 3rd grades classes that have been successfully flipped and stumble onto some videos worth sharing.  The video link below is a You Tube video presented by a teacher who has been teaching math 8th grade for the past 5 years.  She flipped two years ago.  She does an awesome job of describing how she benefits from extensive differentiation time. If you are interest the link is provided below.

At the end of her video it directs you to

This site is particularly interesting as it discusses flipping a classroom with a focus on Bloom’s Taxonomy.  Dr. Lodge McCammon show a grid that he refers to as the  FIZZ professional development framework.  The grid shows Bloom’s taxonomy on the vertical axis beginning with the lower order thinking skills increasing to the higher order thinking skills.  Above creating, they add publishing as and additional higher order thinking skill.  Along the horizontal axis they indicate learning styles.  The goal is to develop your video lessons incorporating as many learning styles as possible while also addressing the elements of Bloom’s taxonomy.  I see this as a tool that would be extremely valuable in developing effective videos.

How can this approach be implemented effectively in my classroom?  Although I am a big fan we have some obstacles to overcome.  First of all, the third grade team at King George Elementary school is structured where each teacher teaches multiple subjects. Approximately 5% to 10% of my current students do not have a computer at home.  As noted by Katie Gimbar in the video above, she has students without electronic media replay capability in her classroom and has devised a workaround.  Her solution is to have them use school computers at lunch or other opportune times during the day.  Worst case, they can do it at the beginning of the session along with anyone else who did not review the lesson.  She knows who did not do the video lesson because she requires them to take some notes and write a few example problems.  She checks the notes prior to beginning the planned activities.  Using Katie’s proven strategy I believe I could overcome this hurdle.  Another very interesting point she makes in her Penn State session is that for the video to have the full effect it must be produced by the classroom teacher.  Some of her 8th fellow math teachers tried using her videos but the success was marginal.  In the video Katie discusses the teacher, student, parent, connection to her videos and the difficulty connecting to something like a Kahn video that has voice only.  If you have time these videos are worth watching.  I believe flipping is a very proactive approach and I would like to implement it in one of my subjects and if successful flip additional classes.

McCammon, L. Life is too short. Stop repeating yourself. Flip your classroom!.  Retrieved from

Gimbar, K.  Katie Gimbar’s Flipped Classroom – Penn State Skype Session. .  Retrieved from

Gimbar, K.  Why I flipped my classroom. .  Retrieved from

Week 5 Reflection Blog Post: Creating a Video

This past week I spent a great deal of time updating my professional website and can begin to see it all coming together.  I still have quite a bit of work to do on consolidating and aligning the data flow but the six modules making up the personal learning network will enhance my ability to effectively network.  Most of these tools are new to me so I think it may be taking longer than normal to get them up and running but as I said earlier I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

For my music video I decided to create a math lesson for my 3rd grade class focused on weight measurements.  Interestingly, I spent more time laying out the structure of the video than I did producing it.  I was quite pleased with the end result given this was my first video production.  I am planning to try it out on my class within the next week or so and I will let you know how it goes.  I was very concerned with the visual content and the timing.  I wanted the video to be quick enough that the students would not wonder but slow enough to allow them to read the entire screen.  For that reason, I minimize the words per page and adjusted the timing accordingly.  What I liked was the ease of production as Animoto was more intuitive than I was expecting.  I think the more you work with this video technology the more efficient and creative you will become.  The fact the video is rather short and intended to stimulate the class makes it easy to apply across all the classes I teach.  I believe using this technology at the beginning of a lesson will be an attention grabber and get the students ready to go.


Feb 10, 2013 - Instructional Technologies    Comments Off on Information Literacy and Creativity

Information Literacy and Creativity

The scratch effort was quite interesting.  Not having a programming background I spent some time researching scratch and reviewing numerous examples.  When looking at the code of some of the programs it became obvious I need to search out simple programs that would be somewhat easier to follow.  I actually found a scratch program that walked you through the steps of elementary scratch programming.  My biggest challenge was establishing an understanding of the flow and relationship between the available programming tools.  I decided to focus on the requirements of creating something involving images, sound and animation with two sprites and 10 lines of code each.  I must admit, I was more focused on learning the tool than I was with the outcome of my first effort.  Even with limiting my focus to the basic requirements, I found this task to take much, much, longer than expected.  I believe it is mostly due to dealing with it for the first time.  The more you use it the easier it will become and you will quickly be able to code more complex programs.  My take away with this tool would be that although I found it difficult, I believe our students today would find it quite intuitive.  I would like to expose my third grade class to this program to see how far they could go with developing a simple program.  Once these two classes are over, I would like to develop a simple code for my students and let them explore modifications.

In addition to the scratch program I found this week to present some very useful tools relative to the personal learning network.  I spent quite a bit of time getting up to speed on reader and establishing some rather nice feeds.  I was discussing reader with my husband, who is an engineer and considers himself tech savvy, but low and behold he was unaware of reader.  After I enlightened, him he quickly asked if it could import search results from something like Craigslist.  We took a quick scan on the web and found you can RSS the Craigslist searches right into your reader page.

INDT 501- Copyrights



Week 3 Reflection Blog Post – Copyright

capital at night

Capital at  Night

Stratton, Jeanne. 20110703_4164_edited-1.jpg. July 2011. Pics4Learning. 1 Feb 2013

After reviewing the multiple sites, I favored the pics4learning as it was quite easy to navigate and appeared to have good search capabilities.  I decided to look for a famous building in Washington DC so I started out by using the regular search with the key words “Washington DC building” and the listing was quite extensive showing multiple famous buildings.  I then decided I wanted to specifically search for the capital building and did so using the advanced search.  In the advance search I listed “Capital building” and “Washington DC”.  The advanced search returned numerous images of the capital building and I was quite taken by the capital building at night.

The image is free to use by students and teachers as outlined in the “image use” section of the pics4learning (2013) webpage provided below:

The Pics4Learning collection is intended to provide copyright friendly images for use by students and teachers in an educational setting. The original photographers of each image retain the copyright to these images and have graciously allowed their use in this collection. The images may not be sold as an image collection or partial image collection. Images in the Pics4Learning collection may be used by teachers and students in print, multimedia, and video productions. These could include, but are not limited to, school projects, contests, web pages, and fund raising activities for the express purpose of improving student educational opportunities.

As indicated above, Jeanne Stratton, the photographer, retained the copyrights to the image but has granted pics4learning permission to share the image with teachers and students on their website.

As a teacher I believe it is critical to ensure our student know and understand the requirements for using images found on the internet because it is something easily overlooked or not even considered by many of our digital natives.  Many students are under the impression that if it is on the web it is up for grabs. As teachers we can begin to expose the students by ensuring we incorporate proper citations in all of our classroom examples and exercises.  According to Coffman, citing sources is an effective way to model good internet behavior in your classroom (p. 78).  This assignment did spark my interest in copyright so I did a little side research to gain a better understanding.  According to Copyright (2013), copyrights are automatic and do not require the author to file special paperwork although registration is required to enforce the rights.   Once something is created the author has immediate copyrights.  As such, it would appear that if an image found on the web does not clearly indicate it can be used, that image falls under copyright protection and cannot be used.

Learning this information is especially important in elementary schools. Students need to know proper etiquette when using search engines.  As part of internet safety during the school year, our Instructional Technology Liaison provides a lesson in which each student participates in understanding the safety requirements as well as copyright laws when utilizing the internet. Also, each child must sign an Acceptable Use Policy form stating they will follow the school guidelines.


Coffman, T., (2013).  Using inquiry in the classroom.  Lanham, MD, Rowman & Littlefield Education

Copyright, United States Copyright  Office, (2013).  Retrieved from

Pics4Learning, (2013).  Retrieved from