Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Week 2 Article Review

Web 2.0 in the Elementary Classroom: Portraits of Possibilities by William Kist

This article introduced some great Web 2.0 resources that can be utilized in across all grade levels in the elementary setting. The first teacher discussed how they utilize blogging in the first grade classroom for students to reflect on their weekend, restate learning, and pose questions. The students enjoyed writing their blogs and reading their peers. It is an opportunity for the students who may not be as vocal in the classroom to contribute.

Another teacher discussed the benefits of using Twitter in the classroom. The class would send out tweets throughout the day to keep parents up to date on their activities. If the parents are following, they do not have to ask the question “How was your day?” because they will be updated. The teacher even incorporated digital citizenship discussions into the experience.

The article also had piece from a teacher in New Zealand who utilizes web resources to stay up to date and to educate himself. The class uses Skype to feel more connected with the world and to help with research. The class used Photobooth to record video of 2D puppet shows they created after researching an animal habitat. 

I felt like some pieces of Web 2.0 resources mentioned in this article can be linked to my classroom. Blogging has a place in all classrooms but the technology access must be available because not all students can word-process at the same speed. I also enjoyed reading about how Twitter was used within an early elementary classroom. Creating a class twitter account or encouraging parents to follow me and then providing updates throughout the day is a great way to communicate. The only part of the article I disagreed with was that these types of classroom environments are only achievable for schools that have plenty of access to technology. With early childhood students, I feel like they would all need to be working on the blogging at the same time so that the teacher can monitor and help with questions. My biggest takeaway is a quote from the article. “The media used is not important; the attitude of the teacher is.” Teachers need to make an effort to try and go in with a positive attitude to have a truly successful experience.

Kist, William. (2010). Web 2.0 in the Elementary Classroom: Portraits of Possibilities. Retrieved from

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week 2 Ted Talk: Wii Remote Hack for Educators

This Ted Talk presentation was about the many uses (hacks) that the first generation Wii remote can provide. By simply purchasing a Wii remote ($40) and an infrared sensor to place on a pen ($10 at Radio Shack), you can make was is projected on a screen or wall an interactive whiteboard for around $50. The sensor even allows you to make multiple touches at once so you can alter or spin the images on the screen. While this hack may not apply to most schools it will prove to be particularly useful for teachers in schools that do not have the budget for interactive whiteboards such as SMARTboards or Promethean boards. Wii's have been around awhile and if you were to ask around you could probably get your hands on a remote for free. I could see this hack used in staff meetings for presenters to make notes while presenting. We always use a projector for our meetings so the uses is pretty limited but with this device you would be capable of much more. Johnny Lee, the researcher behind this is truly brilliant and solved a big problem that a lot of school districts face for a fraction of the cost.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

EDUC 552 Multimedia Authoring Week 1

My name is Ryan Oetken. I teach fifth grade for Ralston Public Schools. This year will be my seventh year teaching. I have taught fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh grades. I received my undergraduate degree in elementary and special education from the University of South Dakota. I am married to my wife, Angie, and we have a one-year-old daughter named Ella. We also have a dog named Lola. They both keep up busy and entertained. In addition to being a parent, husband, teacher, and dog owner, I also coach boys' basketball and girls' soccer at Ralston Middle School.

When it comes to technology I am definitely a Mac person. I always had a PC growing up and in my previous school but when I came to Ralston three years ago, I became familiar with Macs. I also have had iPhones in the past and purchased an iPad Mini last Christmas. In my classroom I use a SMARTboard for instruction. I also use the schools Macbook and Chromebook computers for student to access websites to supplement learning. I use a lot of different websites that my students are unfamiliar with before arriving in fifth grade. I also use Skype and Google Hangouts to to Mystery Skype sessions with classes around the world. When it comes to Microsoft Office, my district computer currently has Office 2011 loaded on it.

I decided to pursue a master's degree to further my education and develop new knowledge to utilize in my classroom. I plan use what I have learned in my coursework in my classroom as well as with my colleagues to educate them on new trends in education. Education is always evolving so it is important for me to evolve as well.