Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blog Assignment #7

screen shot of Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange

Erin Crane, Lance Wilkinson, and Wesley Etheridge:
In the 21st century, more professionals in the field of education are seeing the impact Project Based Learning can have on the educational process. According to Anthony Capps in his discussions with Dr. Strange, Project Based Learning can reach its apex when the students authentically receive the project. This authenticity can be achieved by capturing student interest.

In the video discussion, Mr. Capps encouraged Project Based Learning through an assignment for his 3rd Grade students to write a letter to Congressman Joe Bonner. What is most interesting, as well as unconventional, is that Mr. Capps encouraged the students to peer edit each others’ writing and then choose themselves which eight were the best. This is collaboration at its finest because it was the students selecting which letters were the best and not the teacher. There seems to be something very Democratic about Project Based Learning.

Project Based Learning also exercises practical ACCRS and Common Core standards. In their letters to Joe Bonner, Mr. Capps’ students were actually practicing extremely relevant reading and writing skills.

Mr. Capps also encouraged the use of Icurio due to its mass amount of content. In addition, Icurio is a search engine for a mass amount of Filtered Media. This makes Icurio an ideal safe engine for students to use. Icurio is perfect to be in used in conjunction with Project Based Learning because it provides a safe place for students to research and gather material for their projects. Discover Education works very much in the same way, but focuses on digital mediums of learning rather than research.

Overall, the video discussions between Mr. Capps and Dr. Strange prove that students desire an interactive learning environment. More so, when teachers give students an interactive environment, the students become more involved than ever. An interactive and engaging learning environment starts with interactivity, Project Based Learning, and an availability of the tools necessary to achieve these new methods of Education such as Icurio and Discovery Ed.

Erin Crane: "Strange List of Tips For Teachers"
In the video, The Anthony-Strange Tips for Teachers, Anthony Capps and Dr. John Strange gave tips for beginning teachers to remember.  Anthony, a former EDM 310 student and well respected third grade teacher, and Dr. Strange imparted six “tips of wisdom” (as I like to call it) upon those who watched the video.  The list consisted of:
  1. Be interested in learning.
  2. Be ready to put in the hard work.
  3. Be flexible with the way you teach.
  4. Always start with a goal.
  5. Engage your students 100% of the time.
  6. Reflect,revise, share, and work with an audience.

A couple of these seemed like common sense advice, but it hit me that I hadn’t really thought of it.  I have always been a believer in the “you get as much effort as you put in” method so I understood the hard work tip.  The first piece of advice given, be interested in learning, put me at ease.  I’ve always had a fear of not remembering or knowing enough information to teach my students, but I realize I will have to teach myself new curriculum every day.  History is something that doesn’t change, but at the same time is constantly changing.  Everyday a new event will happen that I can compare to a past event in history, hence, “history repeats itself”.  As I get older I also realize my students may also start teaching me things, which is fine, it means they’re learning!  Another tip I liked was to be flexible with the way you teach.  I realize every class is different from the next, and some things I use in one I won’t be able to use in the others.  Having a plan set out is great, but I need to learn to be flexible to roll with whatever happens.  We may get on a topic the kids have a lot of questions about, and I won’t cover the rest of my lesson plans for the day.  I’ll have to make that up at some point in the week.  Flexibility is a great word for teachers to remember, as well as the tips given to us in this video.

Lance Wilkinson: “Don’t Teach Technology, Use It”
The video conversation between Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange “Don’t Teach Technology, Use It” focuses on the opinion that students should be familiarized and learn to apply technology through Project Based Learning. This belief is founded on the fact that technology will become immensely more prevalent during our future students’ lives, therefore technology should be a medium of the learning process.

According to Mr. Capps, technology is advantageous to learning because it is clean and sharable. A huge part of education, as well as technology is sharing. Therefore it would make sense that the two be combined. Technology also excites students and makes educational material seem more relevant to their daily lives.

By applying technology to Project Based Learning, students not only learn the material, but also become more familiar with technology through the project. Implementing technology into the classroom through Project Based Learning also teaches students problem solving skills. In addition, technology should be implemented gradually to familiarize students with technological mediums in order to build week by week on technological familiarity.

The main thesis of the video rests on having students engage in Project Based Learning by applying technology, rather than merely teaching technological applications to students. In this way students can apply what they’ve learned in the project’s subject and familiarize themselves with technology in an interactive and engaging learning process.

Wesley Etheridge: “Additional Thought About Lessons”
In the video, Additional Thoughts About Lesson, Anthony Capps explains that a lesson is 4 layers thick. The first "layer" of developing a lesson is thinking about how the lesson fits into your plan in terms of the entire year. This requires deciding if you are going to cover all of your content standards, and then writing out a curriculum map that ensures all of the standards are covered during the course of the year. The next layer is the unit. According to Anthony Capps it is vital that the unit is planned in a cohesive manor that ensures each unit sets up the next. This assures that you don't force students to learn everything about one particular unit in one day. Rather than forcing students to learn everything in a short amount of time, you plan a certain point in time where the students should be able to master the outcome. The third layer, so to speak, is planning your week. This entails having a goal for each week, and asking yourself what will you do each day to achieve that goal at weeks end. The fourth and final layer is the daily plan. The daily plan is how you engage students on a daily basis. Anthony says you start with a hook that gets the students engaged and then by the end of the day you use something to actually measure what they have discovered. You then take those measurements to plan your next day. Anthony Capps is clear to point out that it doesn't matter which layer you start with, but all four layers are equally important in having a successful lesson.

In this short video I learned a lot about a lesson. I agree with Anthony that all four layers are important, but the part that grabbed my attention the most was his comment on the importance of having a hook that engages students on the daily level. I would love to hear him discuss examples of hooks in the future with Dr. Strange.  


  1. Well done!! I really enjoyed reading it. I didn't see any mistakes! Good job!

  2. This comment only applies to your individual portion of the blog post.

    Very good! I just have some grammar advice. When you're going to type a list after a sentence, such as, "The list consisted of:", that leading part needs to be a complete sentence in itself. So, it should say something like, "The list consisted of the following:", and then you list your items!