Learning about Technology through Feedly and Tweets!

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2015/03/8-good-youtube-channels-for-teachers.html

This week on Feebly, I looked into a blog post that was titled “8 Good Youtube Channels for Teachers.” The videos from the post had to do with general education, for teachers who worked in a grammar, middle, or high school. I decided to look at this post because I am constantly on YouTube listening to music, but I never realized there was an enormous amount of channels geared towards teaching teachers. I also wanted to watch a couple of the featured videos on the channels the article mentioned. I’ll talk about the 3 channels that stood out to me.

The first channel I looked at was the “Big Think” channel. Big Think is the leading source of expert-driven, actionable, educational content. The channel has thousands of videos featuring experts such as Bill Clinton or Bill Nye (that science guy). The channel aims to help teachers explore the big ideas and core skills that define knowledge in the 21st century. Here is a video from the Big Think channel that you might find interesting (and ironic). 

The next channel that interested me was the “American Museum of Natural History” channel. It is founded by the museum, which was founded in 1869. The channel interprets and disseminated information about human cultures, the natural world and the universe. The channel, which features its exhibits in their videos, is renowned for its exhibitions and scientific collections, which serve as a “field guide to the entire planet and present a panorama of the world’s cultures.”

The last channel that was mentioned in the article was “TED Talks.” A channel I have recently discovered and have gotten addicted to. TED Talks shares the best ideas from the TED Conference with the world, for free. The variety of topics talked about is unfathomable. You could watch a video about the autistic mind and then see a link to a TED talk on beat boxing, and so on. The TED Talk I watched while writing this blog was titled “David Blaine: How I held my breath for 17 min.”

The first tweet I looked at had a link to an interview with Steve Wheeler, a professor at Plymouth University, about new technologies in the classroom. Firstly, Wheeler says he loves smartphones because they’re breaking down the classroom walls. He encourages his students to use them to interact with people who are beyond the classroom. Wheeler mentions using twitter to contact experts in the field who sometimes answers his students’ question while he is teaching a lesson. Wheeler is also a big fan of blogging (more Irony), he says the ability to share content and gain an audience for your work is very exciting because students are raising their game. He brings up the point that before when students wrote something, it was for one person. With a blog, the audience can be 1, 100, 1,000, 1,000,000,000 people. Students will pay more attention to how the reference their work and think more critically because their arguments must stand up against scrutiny and challenge.

Lastly, when Wheeler was asked what he thought the learning landscape will look like in 10-20 years, he said it’s impossible to predict what it will look like in 5 years, but he does have a guess. He says learning will be more game-based, both inside and outside traditional learning environments. He also says technology will become more wearable.

The next tweet I looked at had a link to an article titled “Tablets and Toddlers: How much is Too Much?” This article by Vicki Davis talks about an article by Patti Wollman Summers, a 30-year educator with experience in early childhood education. The main takeaway from this article is to take caution when using digital devices with toddlers. She cautions parents to use iPads, Smartphones, and tablets wisely. Summers called toddlers these days “DigiTods.” Summers feels that all children can use digital devices, using age appropriate apps and for a limited times. She recommends limiting use to 15 minutes at a time and not before bedtime. Some fo the apps she recommends includes “The Wheels on the Bus” app, the “It’s a Small World After All” app, and the “Kids Tapping Zoo” app.

The last tweet I looked at was about Nancie Atwell, the winner of the Global Teacher Prize (this was blowing up the educational twitter feed). She has taught English for forty years. She has a “writing-reading workshop” teaching style. She has her students choose the topics they want to write about as well as the books they want to read.” Nancie says, “Because they decide, they engage.” Nancie’s students read an average of 40 books every year.

Nancie is an innovator in the field of education. Nancie and her colleagues experiment with new ways of teaching and publish and present their finding widely. Nancie intends to donate the entire $1 million Global Teacher Prize to the Center for Teaching and Learning. She also intends to create a fund dedicated to keeping the libraries in her students’ classrooms stocked with the latest and best literature for her voracious readers.

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