Mrs. Yollis is an example of an extraordinary teacher who uses her and her students' experiences and knowledge to showcase to the world how wonderful the art of using technology in the classroom can be as it benefits all parties involved! She invites and involves the parents, other classrooms and students and the general public into her students' world to see something amazing, on a daily basis. The driving force is the success of her students, and with enthusiasm and detailed guidance, they soar with obvious confidence, independence, and well-earned, well-documented learning at the helm.
As I explored the blog, I took notes, jotting down the benefits of each component, as I saw and watched the videos, looked at pictures, and clicked on the links. There is a multitude of resources that Mrs. Yollis has carefully compiled where she encourages students to look, listen and learn, and take responsibility for their own learning. She has posted detailed tutorials explaining the use and development of computer language, dialogue production, and electronic manipulation. Many of these skills meet state standards, and the students themselves have participated in making videos, teaching their classmates on the benefits of technology by using non-examples and etiquette to further ready their writing and storytelling for publication on their blog. "How To Capture Good Digital Images" actually was generated by a student, where she was able to share her mastery of a skill to benefit her classmates!
The concept of monitoring time zones of their friends around the world lends itself to many applications in the classroom. They explored lunch and recess in other countries, which really show the differences and similarities of life, allowing students to use prior knowledge or experiences to learn about the lives of others in various schools and countries. The video on California; shared facts about its population, history, leaders, wildlife and places, and encouraged those watching to leave comments or questions. One class used the green screen effect to show and tell about local places in their community; what a clever way to get others involved in your students community and explore and share places close to home!
In her welcoming video, Mrs. Yollis mentioned her wonderful trip to Hawaii, and piqued her new students' curiosity by putting some great and quite informative video footage from her trip on the class blog. This brings her experiences to the classroom first hand, and allows the students to relish in her excitement by proxy, as she will use hers and her students' enthusiasm to learn in depth about the ocean and its many offerings in science. She definitely succeeds in making learning fun, and works very hard to make sure that her students are engaged and participating in the teaching process.
I copied into my PLN every website, resource, link and idea that this extraordinary teacher had to offer. Her class blog is one to frequent and model, rich in every kind of helpful component of effective teaching. According to her class blog, "Blogging is....Learning, Reading, and Writing", and the students benefit. As their confidence is raised, they become aware of global consciousness, independence, and the direction of their own learning. The number of visitors their class blog has seen proves that as students become aware of the world around them, so does the world become aware of these 21st century learners! I can only hope that EDM 310 can aspire to raise that much interest in our class's learning!