Monday, March 30, 2009

Stanford Podcast

I recently watched a video podcast made by Stanford University. The podcast was titled "Growth" vs "Fixed" Mindsets in Learning. At first there was some debate over each mindset, then they decided to teach children the growth mindset in an educational setting. The first half of the students went through an eight session workshop studying work skills and personality skills. The second half of the students only received study skills. They said the study skills were great and they thought they would be motivating, but the end result was not good what so ever. This was because they had no personal motivation to put their studies into practice.

The group of students with work skills and personality skills did exceptionally well. They were taught with the Growth mindset method. "Your brain is like a muscle, it gets stronger when it is used." Their connections increased over time and their intellectual skills grew as well. They are now doing research to see if race car drivers can benefit from the growth mindset.

I believe this type of growth mindset needs to be used in every classroom. A student can be taught anything, but they will not learn it unless they can use it themselves and see it in practice. It is completely true that your brain gets stronger if you use it. I want my students to understand this.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Video Podcasts

For this assignment I was asked to watch video podcasts on iTunes. The video podcast that I found to watch was titled Super Why Episode 102 - Hansel and Gretel by PBS Kids. In this episode they talk about reading. Cartoon characters are used and are designed to attract young elementary level children. There is a main character named Wyatt and he travels through a bookcase to find different activities to do. He goes on picnics with his friends who are different fairytale characters.

Wyatt calls super readers when there is a problem and they meet in the book club. I can see where a type of video podcast like this can be useful in the classroom. This type of video can be very interesting to elementary age children. It is full of bright colors and allows the child to become a part of the video. The characters talk to the viewer, not just among themselves. I think this video is a great way to help children with reading.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

iTunes Podcasts

This was my first time actually exploring what else is on iTunes besides music. I found the podcasts to be pretty interesting, some more than others. The first podcast I listened to was the smart board lesson. This podcast was about how smart boards can be incorporated into the classroom, and the different things teachers can do with smart boards. I can actually relate to this podcast because in eighth grade my classroom had a smart board. We all thought it was really cool that our teacher was teaching us using the smart board. We had fun with it in the classroom and it gave us a new, fun way to learn. Of course our smart board was nothing like they are today. Students can now listen to podcasts via the smart board. They are able to stop, rewind, and pause the material as needed. The students also seem to be more engaged in their learning when they get to use this kind of technology.

The second podcast I listened to was Kidcast. In this podcast I learned about ways to keep students active while listening to podcasts. Some of the tips included creating an outline for students to follow, and having some sort of question or quiz at the end of the podcast. I think this is a great idea because if students are only listening to a podcast their minds can wonder away from the information. If they have a reason to stay on task, such as a quiz after, it makes it easier for them to pay attention. I know this would work for me now.

The last podcasts helped me to better understand how to create effective podcasts. Each of the podcasts focused on technology and how to use things such as facebook, blogs, computer applications, etc. in your podcasts. I think that podcasts can be very effective in the classroom. I also believe that if they are conducted in the right ways that the students can gain much needed confidence for the future. It is a good idea to prepare your students with podcasts, making them create some of their own, so in the future it will not be a new topic for them. They will know how podcasts work and what is needed to make them effective.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Podcast Reviews

The first podcast I listened to was Lessons from Life: The Last Lecture of Randy Pausch. I think there are a few things that could have made this lecture better. The information was given very fast. Maybe speaking slower would have made the information come across a little more clear. I know they were probably a bit nervous, but it also sounded as if they did not practice it before hand. Practicing does not mean having to memorize your page word for word, but knowing most of it can help eliminate some of the “uh & um” spots.

The second podcast I listened to was Blogging – Podcast #2 (#1 of Ms. Averitt’s Class). The speakers in this podcast speak very clear and slow. This gave me time to comprehend what was being talked about. I liked how they gave the background information on blogs for people who are not that familiar with them. The only thing I noticed was that it sounded like they were reading the information straight from the paper. I will try to make mine a little more personable.