Saturday, March 26, 2011

CED 525 - Week 3

This week we needed to read The use of advance organizers in the learning and retention of meaningful verbal material

I thought that this article used too much scientific jargon. It was too wordy and I lost sight of the main point of the article when I was reading it. I needed to go back and read it several times to really understand the results of the author's research. The main points that I drew from the article were that advanced organizers help students by providing them with the proper anchorage of their vocabulary words and concepts. They also help student recognize and use the relationships between their their vocabulary and concepts. I do agree with these concepts and I currently use advanced organizers in my classroom. I hope to incorporate more advanced organizers into my lessons and I plan on using some of the advanced organizer resources that we learned about this week.

We also needed to view the Maps Alive! podcast.

The third assignment was to compare and contrast three of the following advanced organizer resources:
I reviewed, Webspiration, and MindMeister.
I thought that this was the most basic of the three advanced organizers tools that I reviewed. It was very easy to use and you can create an organizer without an account. The bubbles in your organizer can be modified. You can change the color, text, location, and connections to other bubbles.

Webspiration offers all of the same features as and a majority of the features from MindMesiter. The bubbles in your organizer can be modified. You can change the color, text, location, and connections to other bubbles. You can also add comments/notes, hyperlinks, and images. It also offered a couple of additional features that aide with the creation of the organizer such as: outline view (a flow chart view of your organizer), rapid fire (an auto-run button that creates new bubbles and links when you hit enter), and arrange (a button that automatically reorganizes bubbles). Webspiration also allows you to share and collaborate much like MindMeister. Another additional features is an option that allows you to choose the type of organizer you can make (diagrams, outlines, or starter docs).

MindMesiter offered all of the same features as and most of the features of Webspiration. The bubbles in your organizer can be modified. You can change the color, text, location, and connections to other bubbles. You can also add editor notes, hyperlinks, icons/images, and attachments. My favorite feature is that the bubbles are expandable. This meaning that you can show or hide additional information. MindMeister also allows you to share and collaborate.

The last thing we needed to do was post a personal reflection regarding the main topics from this week (Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers; Nonlinguistic Representation; Summarizing and Notetaking).

Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers 
I can think of a time that I asked students to use graphic organizers and I was not pleased with the results. Why did it not go well?

I use a graphic organizer every time I teach about matter. We discuss pure substances, elements, compounds, mixtures, suspensions, heterogenous mixtures, solutions, homogenous mixtures, and colloids. We discuss their relationships and we use linking words to connect the terms. The students seem to get it when we fill it out, but they always have trouble explaining the relationships when it they have to answer questions on the test. They are not connecting how the graphic organizer can be used to answer other questions.

Nonlinguistic Representation 
What kinds of technologies can I use to help students experience a nonlinguistic representation of the classroom material?

As a science teacher, I use Nonlinguistic Representation all the time. The labs that we do allow the students to expereince concepts through visual imagery, kinesthetic or whole-body modes, and auditory experiences. In the future I hope to use technology to also provide Nonlinguistic Representation. Lab simulations from sites like would be a great example.

Summarizing and Note Taking
What is the purpose of asking students to learn proper note taking?

I think that it is important to talk about taking proper notes and demonstrate an effective method at the beginning of a class. This will help students know what you expect from them and it will help guide their learning. It also makes for a more efficient classroom.

I had a student that used a basic version of the Cornell note taking style. After he completed the course I kept his notebook and I now use his notes to help my low-level learners. This works quite well because the Cornell note taking style separates the vocabulary words on one side and their definition on another. It allows the students to see things in a clear and organized fashion. It is also great for studying because the students can fold the paper in half and quiz themselves on the vocabulary terms and their definitions. We are now encourage all of our students in my team taught class to use the Cornell note taking style. It has really caught on and the students seem to like it.


  1. You seem to have had a lot of luck with the Cornell system. I have never used it, but it might be a good addition to some of the classes that I teach. Do you have any recommendations from when you have presented the system itself to new students? What are the parts of it that have caused people the most problems?

  2. I didn't look at Webspiration, but it sounds like it would be better to work with than the three I looked at. Seeing the organizer in a different view or reorganizing it could be very advantageous for kids. Also making creation easier is a big plus! And I haven't used the Cornell method of note taking, but it sounds like something I should look into to introduce it to students.

    P.S. Love the new look!

  3. If Clay Shirky is correct in his assumption that people of the world have approximately one trillion hours per year to contribute to the phenomena that he calls “cognitive surplus,” and in order for this cognitive surplus to work there must be intrinsic motivation that drives participation, then I believe it will be ordinary people, not governments or corporations that use technology to solve some of the most-pressing issues of our time. With tools like social networking, people who live thousands of miles apart, but who share common concerns and intrinsic motivations will be able to collaborate without the interference of capitalism and the lure of financial motivation to come up with ways to combat world hunger, slow down or reverse the effects of climate change and help curb the spread of certain infectious diseases.