Teaching, Learning, Growing

25 January 2016
    Hello my name is Gareth Karpel and I am creating this blog to create a log of my journey on becoming a Special Education teacher.  Ever since my teenage years I have always found myself helping others around me to understand things and their environment.  This is how my life has gone and when it came to college I originally started going for psychology and in my last year of school for my undergraduate I felt a pull toward education.  So being the smart guy that I am I of course made that change and found myself starting all over again from the bottom.  Now I am in my last years of my current undergraduate program for Special Education and I am looking forward to teaching and growing.  I hope that if you are reading this it can help you in some way whatever that way may be, and lets take this journey together.

5 February 2016
    Looking into technology and how it can be used in a classroom I find myself attracted toward the smart board.  What interests me the most is how versatile it can be and how you can even create your own programs to be used on the smart board for your class.  This tool allows for creating of lesson plans and various activities which can keep your students engaged instead of just zoning out staring at you while you talk.  Above all else why would you not incorporate similar technology everyone is using today especially children.  I am including a link to the SMART board website as it goes into more depth about its uses.  http://education.smarttech.com/

20 February 2016
    In education there are many ways students learn some making more of an impact then others, yet we seem to continually over look the value of the arts in education.  Especially when it comes to special education.  Modern classroom teaching is very linear and straight forward however with alot of students who are special needs a more broad and open approach is needed, especially if it embraces creative thinking and expression.  In my plan for exceptional student class we continually come back to using art as a way of helping special needs students in both learning and showing that they have an understanding of what they are taught.  So why is it that we seem to decrease the value in the arts as a form of education?  Why does it seem as if the teacher in the classroom is the last one higher ups will listen too?  If the arts has been shown to bring great improvement for these students why is it not incorporated more into the classroom?  I found a few articles that talk about the arts and its impact on education they are: Why Arts Education Is Crucial, and Who's Doing It Best
Everyday Arts for Special Education

29 February 2016
    Technology has for better or for worse made its way into education and the classroom.  I say for better or for worse because I have met people on both sides of the spectrum who believe that it has done wonders and those people who believe that it has hindered education.  However, this post isn't about that, no what I want to cover today deals with a educational technology model known as SAMR or Substitution Augmentation Modification and Redefinition.  With its introduction into the classroom teachers have a valuable opportunity to take any lesson and enhance it through the same technologies.  SAMR is a four phase model as follows.
  1. Phase 1: Substitution.  This means that the technology acts as a substitute with no significant change as in asking your students to write a paper and all that is done is switching the paper for a computer based document.
  2. Phase 2: Augmentation.  This means that the same paper is done on a google document where other classmates can leave feedback and notes.
  3. Phase 3: Modification.  This takes the same paper and now it becomes a blog post.  This involve research online leaving feedback on notes used for blog post from other students as well as publishing it to a wide audience.
  4. Phase 4: Redefinition. The essay is no longer even an essay and is a multi-media package where not only has the student created a blog post, where others can leave feedback, the student has created a video about the content, a podcast talking about the content, and doing research by connecting with experts through video conferencing.

So let's say I wanted my students to write an essay on George Washington.  Through phase one I would simply have them create a word document and either email it to me or print it off and hand it in.  The second phase would require them to create a google document and have at least 2 fellow students leave feedback on that same document.  If I approached with phase three not only would they create a google document but then the student would need to take that same document and through additional research create a blog post online for other people around the world to see.  In phase four I would have them reach out to experts in the subject and refine there blog post.  As well as making a video about it and a podcast, all of which would be accessible by others around the world.  I feel that this is the best way to integrate technology as it allows the student to create something that they can call their own.  It will allow the students to connect to the information on a much deeper level as well as enhance their skills and abilities with technology and education.  I hope that this post has helped give you a more in-depth look into how technology can not only enhance but help redefine education.

14 March 2016

Hello! My name is MaryJane Karpel and I am a full time college student at Augusta University. I am switching from my chemistry major concentration pre-med to a degree in Business Administration and Management. I made the decision that I wanted to go to college while I was in High school. At the time I wanted to be a officer in the navy and a obstetrics and gynecologist Doctor. I tried going through the pre-med track but didn't do well in biology at all which makes my chances in medical school slim. Although it was hard and it ate away at me. I felt that I wasn't trying hard enough but after retaking biology 1107 twice and finally making into biology 1108 I got back my confidence only to have it crushed when I was 7 points away from getting the grade I needed. I hated that I couldn't make it past the introductory biology to get into my higher classes but that led me to consider other career options as well as schooling. I considered teaching because I taught Naval science year 1 students when I was in NJROTC in High school for 3 years. I enjoyed it but didn't feel as though that was all I wanted to do. I decided that the best option for me would be in business, because I do my current part time job so well as a front desk clerk/ night auditor clerk at the Baymont Inn and Suites. I would love to my in my managers position and eventually surpass her to own my own business. I learned a lot while trying to choose what I wanted but I feel the most important thing was not to be so hard on myself. If you just take a minute and appreciate the work you have done rather than focus and dwell on your mistakes then you will be more productive, successful, and happy! I'm glad I had this opportunity to tell you all about my experience and plans for furture education. I hope you all achieve and can be happy with your future!

28 March 2016

In modern society we have made many strides technologically ever moving forward at faster and faster paces.  Some of this technology is finding its way into classrooms across the US in the form of smart boards, tablets, as well as 3D printing.  While still in its infancy 3D printing has begun to show everyone around that the only limit to its capabilities is our own imagination.  When looking at this technology one may ask how it can be incorporated and add to the already complex classroom.  Well the answer lies in the 3D printer itself.  With a 3D printer a teacher maybe able to create objects for the class to examine as well as allow the students themselves to develop tools and items that can be used for research and exploration.  Here is an article that talks about how it can be used in the classroom, 3D Printing in the Classroom .  This device is an opportunity for students to learn and develop those critical thinking skills which they will need when they are leaving school and going off into the world.  The possibilities are indeed endless when it comes to technology such as this.  The ability to integrate it into the classroom could open doors for students as they begin to explore and learn from both successes and failures.  Remember technology is not to be feared but embraced and used to advance us all.  In closing here is a video you might find interesting showing a first grade classroom using items from 3d printing, First Grade 3D Printing .

9 April 2016
Alright so I have been talking to a few people lately and it would seem that the one topic everyone keeps coming back to is the flipped classroom.  For those who may not understand a flipped classroom is where the students are allowed to take knowledge they have gathered on a subject and present it in one format or another for others to view and learn from.  This type of teaching has shown that the students gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the knowledge while applying it to their own environment, which has also shown to be a way for students to retain more of what they learned.  So I decided to set out and find a few tools that may help if your goal is to have a flipped classroom.
1. Youtube
In our social app saturated society there is no short fall of ways to connect with people through an app or an online source.  Youtube is one of those such programs and has shown itself to withstand the test of time when it comes to technology.  With Youtube your students can record their own video covering whatever their topic of choice is and instantly publish it to the internet where others can come and view.  Not only would this allow your students to present on an open platform it would allow other students and schools to use those same videos when presenting to their own classes.  Also this would allow people to leave a video feedback allowing the students to refine their presentation.
Youtube is free and here is a link for those who are not sure on how to use it.  How to use Youtube
2. Twitter
Just as Youtube has shown itself to be long lived so too has Twitter.  This program would allow your students to hold twitter discussions on a given topic, which could be done either during or after school.  This would also allow the teacher the ability to offer input while allowing the student the freedom of relaying what they know.  Again this is a tool that can allow students to connect with various people from around the world, as well as other schools and teachers.  Twitter offers the students a written platform to collaborate with others as well as develop a peer network.
Twitter is also a free to use program and here is a link telling you how to get set up.  How to get setup on Twitter
I hope that this has given you a starting point as you learn to develop your own tech savey flipped classroom.  Remember technology wont find you unless you are looking for it.

27 April 2016
In today's technologically saturated society there are many people out there sharing their views and ideas and publishing them for all to read.  I think that this gives us one of our most valuable tools to use and as such I will turn to three separate blogs that have taught me things.  Here is my list and description of the top three things learned from my fellow bloggers.
1)  Fellow Blogger Brianna Cofer offers up an non-education majors point of view.  I find her to be of great insight as her evaluation of items and situations covers that unique point of view that is needed.  In her blog titled "Things That Make Me Go Hmmmm...." she talks about how violence is playing more and more of an impact when it comes to education.  I agree with her on her view that if children don't feel safe in school how can they learn.  Make sure you check her blog out here Brianna Cofer
2)  My next Blogger of choice for the top three is Ashley Crews.  What I took away from Ashley is her ability to create a way to flip a classroom without having an understanding of what it takes.  I liked how she gave a clear definition which helped me to really understand where she was going with her post.  Her comment of "
flexible Environment, allowing students a range of times to turn in assignments or being able to change the times because of additions or misunderstandings of the assignment. Having a flexible schedule makes an easier work space for both students and teachers"  really helped me to understand that education really is flexible and that my job as a teacher can be made easier by being flexible.  Make sure to check out Ashley Crews
3) my final Blogger for my top 3 list is LaStacia Johnson.  I have the privilege of having classes with this wonderful person and really believe that she brings some big things when it comes to education.  In her blog titled "Thing That Make You Go Hmmm..." she talks about a schools ability to integrate a students culture is key.  She states "
The historical and cultural issues involving families and communities should studied by teachers. Also teachers should learn about the humanistic issues involving families and communities' which I think truly hits the nail on the head.  Make sure you check out LaStacia Johnson

Well that concludes my list of top three blogs, in closing I want you  all to think about other blogs and ask yourself what about them interests you and what is one of the things you have learned from reading them.  I look forward to reading more and sharing in the future.