My Fellow Bloggers…

In case there are some of you reading who I do not know or are not from my Ed Media Apps class, myself along with many other students have all been blogging while working on other technology projects. As such I’ve been reading through my fellow classmates blogs, and while many times we have chosen to talk about similar topics many had interesting posts that were very intriguing to me.

Sara Middledorf’s blog had a post about using the TPack model which broke down the model pretty well. She compared not being in the center of the model to not baking cookies with enough chocolate chips. It’s a silly comparison but it makes sense. Incorporating all the types of knowledge into teaching is like leaving out some of the goodness. Sure you still get a cookie, but you could have a much better cookie with more chips.

Morgan Leverington’s blog was also one I enjoyed reading. She also wrote about about flipped classroom but wrote about different tools than me. The “Explain Everything” app that she brought up seems really cool and I would love to use something like that. She also brought up TEDEd which is a great resource to use as well!

Stephanie Walrack’s blog is another great blog to check out. All of her content is pretty great and her guest blog posts are pretty awesome too. My favorite post she made was about Maker Spaces and how she did one using the green screen. I wish I had been able to host a Maker Space this year like she did!

I highly encourage you to go check out each of these blogs and give them a read. no doubt they will have other blog suggestions for you to explore as well! Hearing everyone’s ideas and thoughts about different tools, education resources, and teaching styles is really cool.


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A flipped classroom is, in short, a style of class that involves students learning at home and doing work in the classroom. This way instead of students struggling to do homework when the teacher is not around to ask questions the students is able to ask right away and not be confused about their work. It’s a pretty  cool concept but there’s a lot that needs to be done before a classroom attempting to flip can be fully successful.

Simple tools like Powerpoint aren’t effective enough to use in a flipped classroom. Students don’t want to sit at home and click through some slides, they would probably pay very little attention if they even open it. So a flipped classroom requires something a bit more engaging or at the very least more interesting. Using a tool like Screencastify to record yourself teaching a lesson is super quick and adds more to the at home lesson. While it’s still a bit dull for your students to watch a video of you teaching the information on the Powerpoint it at least allows you to teach more information and show students other things. Additionally you could use the tool to record yourself working through some math problems, to show examples of grammatical errors and explain them, or balance chemical reactions. Screencastify allows you to upload the recording directly to Google Drive too, which means its easy to share with students. It’s a simple tool but something like this is necessary to teach students while they are at home.

Simply recording your screen isn’t always enough though. Utilizing a documents camera or a camera and tripod to get more into the “ninty-gritty” with your students is important. With a document camera you can take notes along with your students, walk through difficult problems with them, or point out areas in the textbook that are important. Being able to record yourself with a camera and tripod, or even just a webcam lets you talk directly to your students. You could have a projector behind you or be demonstrating something important. As a science teacher you could hold up a model of a brain and point to the structures, show examples of chemical reactions, or even just wear a funky lab outfit to make things more entertaining. While a lot of these could be done with online tools you’d want to mix things up. If you want your students to go home each night and learn your lesson then you have to keep them engaged, they won’t do that if you screencast every time or only use the document camera.

The SAMR Model

I’ve learned a lot about the SAMR model this year in my Educational Media Applications course. It’s a great model that breaks down usage of technology in education and attempts to increase the usefulness of technology in lesson plans.


The model itself is really pretty simple. Each level of the SAMR model represents a level of change to the education. Substitution being the lowest level and Redefinition being the highest or best level. The model is split in half because it’s at the midway point that technology is really allowing for a change in the education. When coming up with lesson plan ideas this model has always been in the back of my mind.


The above model shows several ideas on how to take existing classroom procedures like taking notes and improving them with technology. Even a simple task like note taking can be improved up to the redefinition level. A power point presentation fits somewhere around the Augmentation level, but one can reach the Redefinition level with collaborative programs like google slides, interactive presentation, and more. There are so many tools that can be used to improve lessons. Many times teachers believe that they can simply use technology as a substitute and it is improving their teachings when it is really not doing much at all. At the Augmentation level there are improvements being made to the quality of learning but once the Modification stage is accomplished the quality of learning has improved quite a bit.


As a avid Coffee drinker this model by Jonathan Brubaker really helped me understand the model more. The irony of this  model is that I actually found it while I was drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte. So I was able to think more clearly, think about how different the flavor is from a black coffee. More importantly I thought about how much better it was. If technology changing a lesson can make a lesson that much better than I’m going to work my hardest to modify or redefine every lesson I’m able to teach.