Distributed Cognition Part 1

My mentor teacher was able to beautifully present an introduction of a new topic of “theme” to 4th grade students by using YouTube videos. I thought this was an amazing use of technology and very relatable to students because most of them have been using YouTube since before their first birthdays. This is a great way to grasp Martin’s concept of connection. It is important to connect lessons to your students’ everyday tasks and life lessons to prove why it will be important later on in life. Things we learn in the primary years set us up for today’s everyday success even though students have a hard time learning at the time they are learning it, why it may be useful. The lesson started with the videos, she didn’t even introduce the lesson until after the first video, Tom and Jerry. I love that she used this example first because Tom and Jerry doesn’t even have sound so it was up to students to really focus in on the video and ask themselves “why are we watching this?” Upon the videos ending, my mentor teacher asked her 4th graders, what does the director of this video want us to know? I loved that she asked this particular question because later on in the week she provided an exit slip for students to fill out a definition for theme. The answer she was looking for was “universal theme is a lesson that an author hides in a story to teach the reader a lesson. It is not a one word subject but a sentence or phrase about a subject A theme can be identified by looking at how a character changed during the story and what they learned” obviously after learning much more about theme from the rest of the week’s lesson, and using the guided words: universal theme, subject, author, hidden message and lesson. I love that she introduced the definition through her own words though before expecting the students to come up with it. After the students gave answers for why they though they watched the video she then said “this is what we call theme”. After this initial introduction we then watched two additional videos to support our definition of theme and add on more to our class answer. After the initial video’s introduction, and after collaborating as a class to come up with a definition for theme, we then created a K,W,L chart to align the next few lessons in a way that we are gearing all assignments towards what our students would like to learn more about theme. By using Martin’s concept of collaboration students are able to pull on the strengths of their peers in order to come up brilliant ideas and get all of their questions answered.

Digital Story Grade w/ Rubric

Digital Story Assessment Tool

CriteriaDoes Not Meet (1)Approaching (3)Meeting (5)
Assignment CriteriaAssignment does not meet the 4 min requirement or even closeAssignment meets the 4 min requirement but with some information that may or may not be quality Assignment meets or exceeds 4 min requirement but doesn’t go on and on, and gives all quality information
Originality, Voice & CreativityStory does not get your attention and you aren’t able to make out the wordsStory is told with a clear voice and shows some sort creativity and planningStory is understood by any audience, shows creativity and thought and easy to hear over sound
Flow, Organization & PacingStory does not flowStory flows mainly but can use some reorganizationStory shows no flaw in the flow or organization 
Presentation & PerformancePresentation is not college level Parts of the presentation show college level expertiseStory is college performance level
Media ApplicationStory does not show proper use of mediaStory shows the student has a concept of media but may or may not have applied it correctlyStory shows proper use of media

After examining all components of my digital story and rubric I was able to come up with a fair grade.

Assignment Criteria: 5 meets beautiful time

Originality, Voice and Creativity: 4 loved the creativity, some parts of the story it seems the words were doubled, would have rerecorded or made sure those parts flowed better

Flow, Organization & Pacing: 5

Presentation & Performance: 4 I would have liked to see more videos along with the pictures that were present just to represent more variation.

Media Application: 5

Digital Assessment Tool (Updated)

Digital Story Assessment Tool

CriteriaDoes Not MeetApproachingMeeting
Assignment CriteriaAssignment does not meet the 4 min requirement or even closeAssignment meets the 4 min requirement but with some information that may or may not be quality Assignment meets or exceeds 4 min requirement but doesn’t go on and on, and gives all quality information
Originality, Voice & CreativityStory does not get your attention and you aren’t able to make out the wordsStory is told with a clear voice and shows some sort creativity and planningStory is understood by any audience, shows creativity and thought and easy to hear over sound
Flow, Organization & PacingStory does not flowStory flows mainly but can use some reorganizationStory shows no flaw in the flow or organization 
Presentation & PerformancePresentation is not college level Parts of the presentation show college level expertiseStory is college performance level
Media ApplicationStory does not show proper use of mediaStory shows the student has a concept of media but may or may not have applied it correctlyStory shows proper use of media

Access to Technology

The people in the school who are in charge of the technology are the library media specialists. They  are always available to assist students or teachers but anything outside of their realm would have to go outside of the school and to the school district. The school district houses the IT team that oversees the technology and learning for students and teachers. The technology that is most prevalent is their individual chrome book laptops. These computers are used in the day to day learning process of these students all day long. Whether for school work, homework, classwork, test preparation or typing up assignments. Other classroom technologies that were present were projectors, an apple TV, and smart boards (math classrooms specifically). Every class uses Google Classroom where the teacher uploads assignments, grades, due dates and announcements. All of these technologies are free to students and teachers unless they break their laptops, then there is a fee to repair or replace it. The firewall that blocks access to certain websites and applications is pretty strict. Even the wordpress website was blocked which was really a shocker to me. My mentor teacher explained that it’s set up that way for many reasons, most obvious, but mainly to cover their backs as educators. There is so much out there on the internet and by giving out laptops it is important to be able to block any and everything even slightly inappropriate coming from a school computer. She also stated that in order to get a website unblocked herself, it would have to go through the IT department which is at the school board, so she very rarely petitions any of the sites. She says “if it’s blocked, i’m sure it’s blocked for a reason”. The firewall can’t be passed unless contacting the tech department through email. I was able to speak with my mentor teacher who also had two paraprofessionals in the classroom with her at the time and she invited the librarian up for her to help answer any questions she could as well. Upon reading her the questions she said “I know just who to call”. She said the media specialist works as the liaison between the IT department and the teachers and students. The librarian definitely had a lot more information than my mentor teacher and the paraprofessionals but mainly because the teachers said they just don’t mess with the technology of it all, one of the paraprofessionals, Kayla, said “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”, when pertaining to getting sites unblocked through the IT department.

Classroom Technology Use (Students & Teachers)

Upon observing the students in the 8th grade English classroom, the technology that is most prevalent is their individual chrome book laptops. These computers are used in the day to day learning process of these students all day long. Whether for school work, homework, classwork, test preparation or typing up assignments. Other classroom technologies that were present were projectors, an apple TV, and smart boards (math classrooms specifically). Every class uses Google Classroom where the teacher uploads assignments, grades, due dates and announcements. Some applications to go along with Google classroom are: Kahoot, www.activelylearn.com (testprep), www.commonlit.com, www.peardeck.com, www.newsela.com (support for classes, current events and test prep.) www.kimiape.com (gives teachers the opportunity to annotate on the board), google slides very prevalent (used almost every single day), www.edpuzzle.com (used in social studies), aleks (for math), and  www.goguardian.com (which allows teachers to see what students are doing on their computer screens & close out tabs for them if they aren’t on task). Teachers allow students to use their cell phones only sometimes, seeing that it’s hard to monitor and make sure they are staying on task. One app that students use often in class is Kahoot because it informs the teacher if the student is logged on and actually participating. Technology though, my mentor teacher described, still sometimes impedes the conditions that make student learning possible. Unfortunately, a lot of students have a hard time staying on task. Students surf on Youtube when the time isn’t appropriate, listen to music, or play games which all pose as a huge distraction to turning in student work.

So far I have been able to witness a test preparation quiz with multiple choice answers and questions previously generated by the teacher on Kahoot. Upon the students logging in to the portal students are able to guess the answers with the other students in the room. After the allotted time runs out students are able to see if they got the correct answer. At the end of all of the questions the website generates a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner depending on the results of their correct answers. I loved this for a test preparation idea because students are forced to at least read the questions that may be coming up on the test, jog their memories of the things they are learning, or the text they are reading or learning about, and they are able to be involved in a friendly contest. This along with the use of google docs/google slides in my mentor classroom are both things that I will be taking into my own classroom. My mentor teacher uses google slides in a beautiful way to help students get their ideas on paper (in this case the google document). With this being an English class, students are always having a hard time taking their thoughts and being able to type them into paragraph form. My mentor teacher, Carrie, enters each of her students’ Google Docs and she is able to generate questions to help with the flow of the students’ paragraphs. It is her hope that when students answer the questions in order they can replace her questions with their responses then causing the paragraph to flow and contain all parts of the question.  I believe that this is an amazing way for the teacher to dive into the students’ thoughts and learning and also a great way to use technology between a student and teacher.

Digital Story Assessment Tool

CriteriaDoes Not MeetApproachingMeeting
Assignment CriteriaAssignment does not meet the 4 min requirement or even closeAssignment meets the 4 min requirement but with some information that may or may not be quality Assignment meets or exceeds 4 min requirement but doesn’t go on and on, and gives all quality information
Originality, Voice & CreativityStory does not get your attention and you aren’t able to make out the wordsStory is told with a clear voice and shows some sort creativity and planningStory is understood by any audience, is extremely creative and easy to hear over sound
Flow, Organization & PacingStory does not flowStory flows mainly but can use some reorganizationStory flows beautifully and is organized
Presentation & PerformancePresentation is not college level Parts of the presentation show college level expertiseStory is college performance level
Media ApplicationStory does not show proper use of mediaStory shows the student has a concept of media but may or may not have applied it correctlyStory shows proper use of media

Digital Story Assessment Tool

CriteriaDoes Not MeetApproachingMeeting
Assignment CriteriaAssignment does not meet the 4 min requirement or even closeAssignment meets the 4 min requirement but with some information that may or may not be quality Assignment meets or exceeds 4 min requirement but doesn’t go on and on, and gives all quality information
Originality, Voice & CreativityStory does not get your attention and you aren’t able to make out the wordsStory is told with a clear voice and shows some sort creativity and planningStory is understood by any audience, shows creativity and thought and easy to hear over sound
Flow, Organization & PacingStory does not flowStory flows mainly but can use some reorganizationStory shows no flaw in the flow or organization 
Presentation & PerformancePresentation is not college level Parts of the presentation show college level expertiseStory is college performance level
Media ApplicationStory does not show proper use of mediaStory shows the student has a concept of media but may or may not have applied it correctlyStory shows proper use of media
Updated Rubric

Digital Storyboard Script

Full Script

1- “Hey All, My Name is Taylor Williams and my digital story will be about visual learning and visual representations, whether through diagrams, pictures, paraphrasing, color coded notes, flashcards, book annotating or anything other than technology. I’d like to say I’m very old-school, if I see strategies that work, I will use them forever. I don’t like to work harder if I don’t have to. My hope is that after watching this video you may be able to adopt some of the same study strategies if your looking for new ones, or add onto some of the same old strategies that are already working for you.”

2- “This diagram is huge not only because it’s teaching you how to make your own, when note taking, but because it speaks volumes about different types of learners. Some of you may have a hard time identifying which type of learner you may be, or if you may have traits like myself, from both categories. This diagram shows both characteristics of visual and kinesthetic learners. I knew from the very beginning of going to school that I was mostly a visual learner and I worked best by doing: examples, pictures, charts, projects, etc. I also love this picture because it shows a lot of tactics that I myself use through graduate school and will talk about through this digital story. The arrow coming from the boy who represents our visual learner shows that he uses colors, pictures and structures, which are all things that I learn with and through. Another great example is shown in the arrow coming from the girl. She is our kinesthetic learner, she highlights and marks things off with check marks which are some of the same tactics that I use for studying as well. This picture really does a great job of bringing it all together.”

3- “When you’re a visual learner like myself, you learn best when information is presented visually through images and graphs. We learn by reading or seeing pictures. We understand and remember things by sight. We can picture what we are learning in our head. We like to see what we are learning. Kinesthetic learners learn best when they can interact with their learning environment. Kinesthetic learning takes place when students have hands-on experiences. We can read or listen to instructions, but the real, deep learning occurs via the process of doing something yourself. When you can learn with these two tactics together, you are setting yourself up for success in the real world.” 

4-“The first step when indulging in this type of learning is making sure you have all the right materials. This part of the process can be very exciting and in the end always rewarding. It is important to make sure to color code all of your classes and make sure to have enough pen, marker and highlighter colors to last you the semester, another very essential supply to pick up is flashcards. Whether just white or colored, these also always make for good learning and studying.”

5-“The next step in this learning process is the preparation for learning. It is crucial to make sure to have all of the required text and additional books to support your learning. Books were developed many many years ago and have been used to teach all of our professors everything they know. Once upon a time, I know this may sound crazy, but computers and internet access weren’t available for students. All references were found right here in the library, or even sometimes at the bookstores, used and new. One of my very favorite book stores to stop by and see if I can find supporting text for lessons or even just small tasks, and parenting especially, is Half Priced Books in Golden Gate, where you can literally find something about any and all topics, the prices and availability are phenomenal and is what keeps me coming back.”

6- “There are many different study tactics that come with visual learning when it comes to note taking and note preparation for assignments, projects and papers. The real reason for the colors is so that you can easily find what you need when you go back to look at, use or study your notes.” 

7- “The next representation that I will show is book annotating. By annotating any text you are making sure that you understand what you read during and after you read what you read. That is a big struggle with using books that we all face. Sometimes our mind wanders off, we begin thinking about other things or just simply reading just to get through the reading. Book annotations allow us to really learn from and through the books. In these examples, you’ll see different ways to annotate text including use of highlighter tabs, highlighting, note cards and post it notes.”

8- “This example shows the use of one highlighter and one pen to highlight important information and underline things we don’t understand or may need clarity on.”

9- “When using some of these strategies you are guaranteed to see a jump in your grades. Some of the strategies shown and represented in this digital story really cause a student to fully indulge in their learning. Other strategies are picture note taking, the use of graphs and diagrams to show understanding and making an appealing study area. Book annotating in itself can cause grades to increase almost 30%. Thank you so much for watching my digital story and I hope you are just as excited as me to go revamp your study area, reading nook, and hit the store and start supplies shopping to show off your new visual learning expertise.”  

10- “I hope you enjoyed learning about some of my most favorite learning styles. It is my hope that some of these strategies you will one day take into your own classrooms and use throughout your own learning.”

Digital Storyboard

My first slides will be my introduction slides, of course. After quickly showing my digital design cover page it will quickly transition into my own 7 learning style diagram. Instead of high school it would say graduate school. Each cloud on my visual representation would be Books, Note Taking, Having Appropriate Materials or something along those lines.. My music choice will be something upbeat to get other students just as excited about learning and note taking and performing well on tests, assignments, etc. If not a song then a sound that will immediately get all of the attention of everyone in the room, possibly a school bell. 

“Hey All, My Name is Taylor Williams and my digital story will be about visual learning and visual representations, whether through diagrams, pictures, paraphrasing, color coded notes, flashcards, book annotating or anything other than technology. I’d like to say I’m very old-school, if I see strategies that work, I will use them forever. I don’t like to work harder if I don’t have to. My hope is that after watching this video you may be able to adopt some of the same study strategies if you’re looking for new ones, or add onto some of the same old strategies that are already working for you.”

I really love this picture because it shows a visual representation of how people learn. This would likely be the exact picture that I use in my digital story. Some people don’t know what type of learner they are, I knew from the very beginning I was a visual learner and I worked best by doing (hands on-kinesthetic): examples, pictures, charts, etc. I also love this picture because it shows a lot of tactics that I actually use and will talk about in this digital story. The arrow coming from the boy shows a visual learner, and he states he uses colors to represent this, which is one of the same strategies I use. Another example, is coming from the girl, shows that she is a kinesthetic learner, she highlights and marks things off (), which are some of the same tactics that I use for studying as well. This picture really brings it all together. The music would be a little bit turned down at this point so that students can really take this all in. I’d still keep the upbeat music though to keep everyone’s attention because after this diagram the slides may lose excitement. It is my hope to keep everyone’s engagement through the picture choice, music choice, and of course, my jokes. 

“This diagram is huge not only because it’s teaching you how to make your own, when note taking, but because it speaks volumes about different types of learners. Some of you may have a hard time identifying which type of learner you may be, or if you may have traits like myself, from both categories. This diagram shows both characteristics of visual and kinesthetic learners. I knew from the very beginning of going to school that I was mostly a visual learner and I worked best by doing: examples, pictures, charts, projects, etc. I also love this picture because it shows a lot of tactics that I myself use through graduate school and will talk about through digital story. The arrow coming from the boy who represents our visual learner shows that he uses colors, pictures and structures, which are all things that I learn with and through. Another great example is shown in the arrow coming from the girl. She is our kinesthetic learner, she highlights and marks things off with check marks which are some of the same tactics that I use for studying as well. This picture really does a great job of bringing it all together.”

This slide will go quickly. I love that it’s straight to the point and simple and this picture offers different learners a different perspective just with this graphic, using the images with the words. 

“When you’re a visual learner like myself, you learn best when information is presented visually through images and graphs. We learn by reading or seeing pictures. We understand and remember things by sight. We can picture what we are learning in our head. We like to see what we are learning. Kinesthetic learners learn best when they can interact with their learning environment. Kinesthetic learning takes place when students have a hands-on experience. We can read or listen to instructions, but the real, deep learning occurs via the process of doing something yourself. When you can learn with these two tactics together, you are setting yourself up for success in the real world.” 

As previously mentioned in the diagram with the two students, colors are huge, highlighters,  markers and pens are also essential in this learning process. I wouldn’t use this exact picture because it looks like this is the sales associate actually doing inventory in this one, but when searching for a picture similar a lot of the people shopping were children, and this learning style is shown to adults so I want to make my pictures as relatable as possible. I may even use a video clip or picture of myself. When this picture shows the music will change to “Just Throw it in the Bag” by Fabulous. Although I’m not encouraging spending a bunch of money on school supplies, the right supplies are always essential in visual and kinesthetic learning.

“The first step when indulging in this type of learning is making sure you have all the right materials. This part of the process can be very exciting and in the end always rewarding. It is important to make sure to color code all of your classes and make sure to have enough pen, marker and highlighter colors to last you the semester, another very essential supply to pick up is flashcards. Whether just white or colored, these also always make for good learning and studying.”

This is an additional picture that I will show with these same words, I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent some of the items that would be appropriate for purchase. Different colors are crucial for learning in this process.

This is an additional picture that I will show with these same words, I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent some of the items that would be appropriate for purchase. Different colors are crucial for learning in this process.

After the “Throw it in the Bag” song, I think a sound would be appropriate for the next few slides so that students can really indulge into the learning process. The sound would be school related and just faintly playing in the background of my narration. This picture would represent the shift of technology. Instead of a simple Google search or guided academic journal find, this student is in the library picking out books. In my actual digital story I’d like to have a picture or video clip of myself picking out books regarding a certain topic in the library. 

“The next step in this learning process is the preparation for learning. It is crucial to make sure to have all of the required text and additional books to support your learning. Books were developed many many years ago and have been used to teach all of our professors everything they know. Once upon a time, I know this may sound crazy, but computers and internet access weren’t available for students. All references were found right here in the library, or even sometimes at the bookstores, used and new. One of my very favorite book stores to stop by and see if I can find supporting text for lessons or even just small tasks, and parenting especially, is Half Priced Books in Golden Gate, where you can literally find something about any and all topics, the prices and availability are phenomenal and is what keeps me coming back.”

This is an additional picture that I will show with these same words, I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent the used book store that I actually shop at and have been shopping at for years.

This is an additional picture that I will show with these same words, I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent the used book store that I actually shop at and have been shopping at for years. I really like the setup of this picture. It looks extremely inviting and the quote on the wall sets it all off, it reads “we believe books should fill our lives, not our land”.

These are additional pictures that I will show with these same words, I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent the importance of textbooks and supporting text and just making sure you have all of the necessary material to set yourself up for success. It’s possible again that I may swap out these pictures with videos of myself or actual pictures of the books that I took out regarding a certain topic or for a certain assignment.

This is the stoplight method for studying. It is important to gain many different note taking skills when you’re a visual learner so my digital story will include a few. During these slides the same sound will be playing as from the library scene. It would be turned down low so that students can hear me explaining this tactic of note taking being explained. The picture slide will go slowly so that students can read and gain an understanding themselves rather than just listening to my narration. This tactic is one of the easier ones to achieve because even if you don’t have green, yellow and red colors you can still achieve this with just three different writing utensils, for example one pencil, one pen and a highlighter .

“There are many different study tactics that come with visual learning when it comes to note taking and note preparation for assignments, projects and papers. This example is the stoplight method for studying. The real reason for the colors is so that you can easily find what you need when you go back to look at, use or study your notes.” 

This is an additional picture that I will show with these same words, I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent one of the many different ways to note take with different colored pens and outlined notes.

This is an additional picture that I will show with these same words, I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent one of the many different ways to note take with different colored pens and outlined notes.

This is an additional picture that I will show with these same words, I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent one of the many different ways to note take with different colored pens and outlined notes.

This is a perfect example of book annotating. The use of flashcards and post it tabs are a great representation of the use of supplies. This student is very indulged in her learning and you can tell simply from looking at this image. I will continue the same sound through these pictures, monotone behind my narration.

“The next representation that I will show is book annotating. By annotating any text you are making sure that you understand what you read during and after you read what you read. That is a big struggle with using books that we all face. Sometimes our mind wanders off, we begin thinking about other things or just simply reading just to get through the reading. Book annotations allow us to really learn from and through the books. In these examples, you’ll see different ways to annotate text including use of highlighter tabs, highlighting, note cards and post it notes.”

This is an additional picture that I will show with these same words. I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent one of the many different ways to annotate books. In addition I will add on a simple sentence about the use or non-use of highlighters, pens, markers, colored pencils or other utensils.

“This example shows the use of one highlighter and one pen to highlight important information and underline things we don’t understand or may need clarity on.”

This is an additional picture that I will show with these same words, I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent one of the many different ways to note take with different colored pens and outlined notes.

This is an additional picture that I will show with these same words. I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent one of the many different ways to annotate books. 

This is an additional picture that I will show with these same words. I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent one of the many different ways to annotate books. 

This is the last and very great depiction of book annotation  that I will show with these same words. I plan to make it quicker than some of the other slides, it’ll just represent one of the many different ways to annotate books

This picture is an indication of the report card and grades of a student who is as indulged in their learning as I am. When you really go hard in every lesson, every reading and every assignment it shows. When I show this picture we will be back to our upbeat tempo music. It would act as a celebration, the great grades and the ending of the slideshow. This will precede one other final slide which is just a “The End” slide and thanking people for watching and hoping they gained something to take away.

“When using some of these strategies you are guaranteed to see a jump in your grades. Some of the strategies shown and represented in this digital story really cause a student to fully indulge in their learning. Other strategies are picture note taking, the use of graphs and diagrams to show understanding and making an appealing study area. Book annotating in itself can cause grades to increase almost 30%. Thank you so much for watching my digital story and I hope you are just as excited as me to go revamp your study area, reading nook, and hit the store and start supplies shopping to show off your new visual learning expertise.”  

This is my ending slide. 

“I hope you enjoyed learning about some of my most favorite learning styles. It is my hope that some of these strategies you will one day take into your own classrooms and use throughout your own learning.”