Resource for new teachers

Many of us will be graduating soon and will be working as new teachers in the K-12 setting. One individual that I think that new teachers should rely on for assistance is Shannon Holden. Follow him on twitter or check out his website.  He believes that students should have fun in their learning.  The reason why he resonates with me is the usage of a “flipagram”, similar to vine,  incorporating videos in lesson plans.  Some samples here. He has great resources for new teachers and offers free help.   I found his website very helpful. He will be offering a free webinar soon about the best 10 applications that teachers need to know in order to help their students learn. Besides offering recess time to play, I believe that teachers should provide more “fun play” using technology for students to learn. A great example of this is the Tabletop movie making that we got a chance to review.   All students learn differently and as teachers we should definitely considered all methods of delivery. Schools should provide Ipads for students too. As a parent, I think I will reach out to the elementary school that my kids attend to see if they are interested in having a demonstration of the Tabletop. I am going to see if I can also volunteer and be more involved. Teachers, what else can parents do to support the work that you do?


Successful Vine!

Creating this Vine was so much fun for me. I was about to give up after uploading the personal video to Vimeo and trying to use Amara for subtitles. Glad that I had help from Jane and fellow classmates to keep on trying. It felt like a collaborative effort to make this vine a success. This weekly play really stretched me to the max because I wanted so badly to add a text or subtitle, “how I survived grad school”. Honestly I am not even sure how the fire eating guy got in the video. I was cropping and clicking. After it was already uploaded it was too late to remove it.

First vine ever!

My first video and it took me forever to get it up.  Decided to use Vimeo which is great because it’s free. Thought it would be easy to add subtitles but it looks like I need to install Amara (free) which is another app that is suppose to work seamlessly. Created an account for Amara and going to Settings>Advanced and launching the Editor. Typed in subtitles, synced/reviewed it but my Review and Complete button is grayed out. Having issues and stuck here. Googled any help videos and cannot locate any. Right now, just got the video up. See below.  Will continue working on the subtitle and maybe adding music. This video describes how I will feel after the Winter quarter is completed.

My video


How to work with traumatized students

Read the story.  “Trauma-Sensitive Schools: Learning Communities Transforming Children’s Lives, K–5 ” by Susan Craig looks like a great book for teachers. I believe that if teachers know their students and connect with them the chances of them succeeding are higher. Craig offers valuable research and helpful information why students might be struggling due to their background.  I like that her perspective is from a teacher and not a mental health counselor. It looks like a great resource for principals to train their staff on how to help students succeed by using a trauma sensitive approach.

This book looks  interesting to me because I come in contact with students that are traumatized. It affects their attendance at school and impacts their health.   I worked in a college setting. I have students that are recent immigrants or involved in an abusive relationship.  Everyday I hear their sad stories and connect them with school resources such as counseling. I am looking forward to reading this book so I can better serve them.

Using Twitter and Facebook to save $

I admit I am pretty frugal. Being a student and having a family with 3 kids I am always buying things on sale or finding ways to save money.  I have utilized Craigslist for furniture and used appliance. I have the Entertainment and Chinook coupon books. I subscribed to Thrifty Mom and Queen Bee. Yes, I am one those people that do line up for Black Friday deals too. I was also fortunate to win a scholarship for my tuition last quarter. It’s easy to get discounts by using Groupon and Living Social too. I liked to use them before the expired date to get the best value.  This weekend, we happened to be in Las Vegas and finding a deal is essential because being on vacation is expensive. The only way I could afford coming here is using my miles to purchase the airplane tickets. For hotel, I took the Hilton Grande vacation presentation so I can get the $158 for a 4 days/3 night stay. My husband wanted to go to a club and listened to some music, cover charge was $35 a person. That was too expensive for me. I went online, liked the club on Facebook and followed one of the promoters. Via twitter, I messaged him and he got me on the guest list for free.   Even though I try to get the best deal on everything,  it was still pricey. I appreciate having Twitter and social media as another resource to find ways to save money. If you know other ways to save $$$, please let me know. Thanks!

Networks are important to me!

I really enjoyed belonging in different and many social networks. I think it is because of my personality. The thing about me is that I hate being alone and also I hate standing still.  At work I am constantly chatting with coworkers and students. It is important for me be in a network and connect to others. At home, I am addicted to Facebook. I found Rheingold’s chapter 5 about using Facebook  very helpful especially the part about accepting a friend request. You want to set privacy settings,  review what you want them to see and also to set boundaries.  It makes me want to review my profile picture and posting pictures of my kids since it will be available on the internet. Facebook is both good and bad. The bad is that I spend too much of my time on it. The good is that it has enable me to connect with family, friends and also interact with them using the instant messaging. Other networks that are of valued to me are parenting groups and other networks that shared my hobbies and interests.



Thoughts on the Dream Act

I was fortunate a year ago to hear about a student’s experience as an undocumented student at UW. She was so fearful of being deported that she was having anxiety and panic attacks. She was able to get help by joining a secret support group for undocumented students just like her. This club is not a sanctioned or official student club is called the Purple Group. It provides a safe space at the college for her so she did not feel alone. She is able to connect and share with others her struggles of being undocumented. More about the Purple Group here.

It was really eye opening to also read about this in Zimmerman’s article, Document Dreams. Reading the stories of the undocumented individuals gave me insight about the power of Facebook to help. In one example, Naelley was facing deportation after being stopped for a traffic infraction. She was released after her supporters and friends used Facebook and blogs to gather support, resulting in her being released. I know a few of undocumented students at my college experiencing the same struggles too. In the counseling department that I worked in, we try to connect them with on campus and off campus community resources of food and housing. Since these students have a hard time getting a job, they have less money and resources. The Dream Act gives a lot of our undocumented students hope for a better life.

Dream act




Getting the .Gif

Going to try and upload an animated .gif without going stir crazy.  This should be fun, right? My tech savvy kids are in school and can’t help me so I am on my own. Googled it. Hmm. One result seems to have good instructions. Instructions here  if  you are using WordPress. Still looks hard to me.   Hoping to be get lucky and do it in a few easy steps.  Wow, I think that worked. Does it look ok?

This is what I imagine my life would look like after getting my Masters in Ed.


Transmedia Storytelling

I think transmedia storytelling is a great concept to deliver information and also to be used by teachers to teach their students. Everyone has different learning styles and this type of approach is visual, engaging and interactive. I like the case study sample given of the story of The Three Little Pigs utilizing, Twitter, via a blog, Facebook, games, podcasts, emails, videos and Youtube to portray each of the characters. It really makes learning more fun. When I was in high school, I really struggled with understanding Shakespeare plays. Remember CliffsNotes study guides? Had to buy them for each Shakespeare play in order to understand it.  Teachers could develop a transmedia version for Romeo and Juliet! I like the fact that it could be story based and you can use different forms of media to transfer the information. Even a huge company like Kimberly-Clark is using transmedia storytelling to provide cultural awareness training for its employees. See video.

The use of transmedia storytelling can also be cost effective too for companies since there is no classroom needed or travel involved. I think it is a very important platform/resource for teachers and companies.