Monday, September 29, 2014



    Twitter is new to me because I have never used twitter before. Twitter is also familiar to me because I have the Chinese version of twitter—weibo, which is almost the same with the twitter. I join the twitterchat #Edtechchat on Monday evening. I was at lost at the beginning even if I have read the guidance what is a twitterchat. The Edtechchat is a chat group organized by some educators, with a lot of twitter users who are interested in educational technology participating in it. This evening, we talked about the PLN (personal leaning network) experience like how connected educators help you in school and what is the most important one in PLN. I am thrilled by so many resources they share on the chat. I keep clicking on the “favorite” button to collect these useful resources for me. I am also glad that I was well welcomed by those chat members from education field and I joined in their question and reply pattern to discuss. The one hour chatting experience is awesome. Just as one of them said to me, we need to fasten the seatbelt for the 21C connected educators magic bus to start an exciting journey!
    Definitely this kind of twitterchat could be a good form of professional development for me. Firstly, twitter is a great place for sharing resources. I can easily click on the link I am interested in or just post the link I want to share. I can even retweet others’ resources to enhance the spread. Secondly, twitterchat provides us a platform to meet all kinds of people online. You can chat with those well-known educators or experts in the field you are interested in. And you don’t need to take the money and time to meet them; they can give you advice online and help you. Most importantly, also what I get inspired by tonight chat, is that I can make a lot of friends from the twitterchat. What a great thing it is to have friends with the same interest. Even in the one hour chat, I have more than 10 friends in education field. As a potential teacher, chatting with them can help me in my professional development, which will be motivation for me to join them in the future!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


    I was surprised to see that there are so many interesting projects available on ePals, especially for those kids who are in their primary or high school. The Junior Folklorist Challenge, a project in which students can join to display the culture in their community. Participants can choose any form of displaying the traditions they know. This is a super significant way to protect the traditional culture. More importantly, it provides a stage for students to share their videos online. I am also glad to see that there are a lot of Chinese students participating in these activities and they are connected with the world through the four-week folklorist process. Another project in2books, which matches the students with adult eMentors, is also an interesting project in US. Students read books and share ideas about important issues with eMentors via online letters. This project combines adult mentors, motivating curriculum and technology to help students develop reading, writing and communication skills. This reminds me of the interesting notion by John Seely Brown in Siemens’s article Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age, “the internet leverages the small efforts of many with the large efforts of few,” which gives an example of elementary school students do better in a mentor program than they do their own parents or teachers.

    However, these online resources are not only beneficial for students. Teachers can have multimedia resources and get inspired from these activities to improve their classroom teaching. According to NYLearns standard, these activities meet the standard-ESL2 language for literary response and expression, and standard- ESL4 language for social interaction. In my future class, I would use the feature of connecting the students with the outside world, inspired by the site ePals. My class would be interesting and relaxing. Textbook and teacher are not the only resources for them to learn. I will encourage my students to go outside of the class to learn. Online resources provide such a good opportunity, which can be one of my objectives in the future. 

Flipped Learning Network

    Flipped learning is a totally new notion to me. I have never heard about it before this module. I am very curious about the new item, so I signed up for the site of flipped learning network to explore it. It is a learning community for educators using flipped learning. They can share their videos, discuss topics related to teaching in the forums, and have different members in different groups. Flipped learning is like learning online by watching videos, discussing and solving problems in a more personalized and interactive way, rather than by traditional lecture. In one word, flipped learning network is communication platform for educators using flipped learning.

    I might have flipped teaching opportunity this October. This social network site could be very useful for me. I am excited that I have signed up for a site that I will use it in the future!

A learner is like a river

    A learner is like a river. It does not independently exist. It usually has stream and brook around it to keep it moving. A person can be an individual, having his or her own opinion, personality and style. But a learner cannot live without others. The learning process is growing fast and never ceases, just like the keep-moving river. When a learner learns, he or she cannot just live on their own knowledge; they have to learn from others, explore the information from outside, and connect with others to keep them updated. Just as mentioned in the video The Network is the Learning, “What we know today is not as important as our ability to continue to stay current.” It doesn’t matter how large the river is, how faster it moves. What matters is that the river keeps moving all the time, with the brooks and streams feeding into it. The ability to stay moving and interact with others really matters. It is the connections that help learners grow. Siemens mentions in Connectivism: A learning Theory for theDigital Age that “The connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing.” Coincidentally, the video also says the “The way we are connecting to other individuals is largely responsible for our ability to stay current in the field.” It seems that learners are growing with others together, and it’s a mutual process.

    I am glad that I am also one of the learners in the information age where I can get easy access to various resources to help me learn. And learning from outside, or that kind of connection is no longer limited to the people around us. We can make use of the rich online resources to keep us connected in a very convenient way. A river can be a closed pond if it has no connection with the outside, a learner could be backward and obsolete if he is not involved in the interactive learning process. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Diigo and Pinterest

    The only bookmark I used to use is the favorite icon on the browser. I just click on the button and save all the websites I need. Next time when I want to use them, I spend several seconds finding them from the long list of my favorite websites. I have ever tried to use the Evernote, but it’s too complicated. So I gave up, I still keep using the easy but disorganized favorite websites button.
    This time I get to know these two great tools to mark those I like and I need! Its diigo and Pinterest! I can use either tags or boards to categorize those bookmarks. Another significant advantage of these two social bookmarking tools is that it provides social network where you can share your resources with others. I can follow others and they can follow me too. Sharing makes the difference! I can also message them on these two websites.
    For diigo, it’s my first time to use this tool. I can write brief descriptions for those I want to mark and I can comment on others’ marks and save them. I can also have multiple tags to categorize the marks, which can help me find the websites easily. These features allow me to dig out a lot of useful information I need.

    For Pinterest, I have used it but I am not familiar with it. Pinterest is like a visual feast. When you are attracted by some beautiful pictures, you can open the link followed by the picture. Browsing the Pinterst is totally fun. You don’t need to read lots of words, but just seeing the pictures to find what you want. You can see what others have shared and save them.

    Personally I prefer to use Pinterest for those fashionable bookmarks like celebrities and clothes, because pictures will make them more attractive. I would use diigo for academic bookmarks because the multiple tags are really useful for me to find the information I need. Fortunately I can get suggestions for related articles from both of these two tools. My online life would be greatly enriched by them!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Technology and Teaching

    I was impressed a lot by two videos about technology and education from YouTube. Both of them are presented with statistics and pictures, without any commentary, but they are persuasive.
    In the Social Media Revolution 2011 video, I was amazed by the statistics that social media has such huge impact on people’s life. I cannot imagine that people rely so much on YouTube, Face book, and Wikipedia according to the statistics in the video. It seems like that almost all the people are involved in the revolution of social media and technology. As a future teacher, it’s time for us to keep pace with the ever-changing information age. Education is no longer traditionally teaching and learning in class. It should combine education with technology. I feel stressful because I, myself have to know the social media well to be a teacher in the future. I know my future class should be, and will be an interesting and creative one. I am confident that my future students are young and energetic enough to make a class closely associated with technology and information. As a teacher, I am not only learning to be a traditionally qualified teacher, but also a teacher who is not behindhand.

    I also like the video A Vision of 21st Century Teachers. I like the idea “who dares to teach must never cease to learn” by John Cotton Dana. A teacher uses online research sources, sets up class websites, and various online tools to help students in the 21st century. Just as mentioned in the video, it’s not just about technology itself; it’s about connecting the students, teachers and the world community together. I feel that being a teacher is not an easy job. A teacher is playing the dual role all the time, both the teacher and the student. No wonder John has it that “who dares to teach”. A teacher is indeed a challenging job.

    I sank in thought about how to be a future teacher after watching these two videos…

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Blog Post 1

    There is no denying that nowadays online tools are becoming more and more popular in language learning. Having students get access to the Internet can not only facilitate the communication between students and teachers, but also broaden students’ mind as they are exposed to a larger platform which Internet provided. As an ESL teacher in the future, I will definitely encourage my students to use Internet to explore their language learning process.

    The first use of blog I will get my students exposed to is to expand students’ access to relevant materials by incorporating links, as mentioned in Blogging in Language Learning. We can insert photos, videos, and links with any kind of materials in the blog. Students can get access to them only by clicking on them. They can get versatile information and are no longer limited to the knowledge taught in classroom. For example, when students are required to learn a new unit about weather, I can put all the useful links on the blog like English for Kids ESL Kids Lessons Weather,which can meet the performance indicator from New York State standards ESL: English as a Second Language that they can develop and use skills and strategies appropriate to their level of English proficiency to collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written and electronically produced texts.

    The second use of blog for my future students is that they can express themselves freely on blog. Everyone can get a voice and they can be excited with seeing others’ comment and replying them, as mentioned in Blogging in Language Learning. Students don’t need to worry that they would miss the chance to speak out in class. Personally, I have to acknowledge that I feel good when I get comments from my friends or when I replay them because I feel I get others’ attention. Definitely blog gives students larger and freer space to interact with others, which can improve their social abilities. New York State standards ESL: English as a Second Language states that Students learning English as a second language will use English to interact with others in social and classroom situations. They will develop and use skills and strategies appropriate to their level of English proficiency to communicate effectively with regard to audience, purpose and setting. Blog can fully meet their needs.