Thursday, December 6, 2012

Project #13

my group
Final Report on Collaboration

Collaborative tools played a key role in our group's functioning for Project #15, which was the second part of the SMARTboard project. For this portion of the project we were not allowed to meet in person so my two group members and I used the tools Dr. Strange gave us to communicate with each other. Claire Langham, Jenna Barnes, and I focused in on using Google Docs, Google Presentation, Skype, and group texts. Google Docs is by far my favorite collaborative tool. I just love that you can keep up with the work that each other has done, and help each other out at the same time. Through this, we were able to add to our work and edit it while never seeing each other face to face. The collaborative tools that Dr. Strange has shown us has completely changed the way I will do group projects in the future, and I'm so thankful to him for that! I truly will miss this class, and all of the great friends I made in it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blog Assignment #13

Back to the Future

Back to the future poster
"Back to the Future," is a video made by an elementary school teacher named Brian Crosby. I really enjoyed this video, and I think thats partially due to my new appreciation for technology because of EDM310. Mr. Crosby uses technology in his classroom to help his students become more interactive. I love what Mr. Crosby did with his classroom. He didn't just teach his class, he let them teach themselves too. My favorite part of the video was the balloon experiment. I love that he incorporated so many subjects around this one topic. I thought this was such a cool experiment, so I can't even imagine how excited his class was! They got to see a giant balloon get filled with helium, and then watch it take off with a camera. The students were able to watch it in real time with Google maps, and then they blogged about it. Mr. Crosby turned learning something that may have been boring for some students into something that is fun for everyone.

Another thing I really liked about the video was all of the different experiments. I remember looking so forward to Science class when we would have experiments. The only problem was that it rarely happened. Making the classroom an interactive place where students look forward to going can enhance the learning experience dramatically. Mr. Crosby's video gave me so many ideas that I want to implement in my classroom one day. It's so inspirational how much passion he has for his students, and what he does.

A Vision of Students Today

student holding up sign
The video, "A Vision of Students Today" by Michael Wesch, is about an average student's feelings about college. A document was made in Google Docs that was sent out asking the students what it's like being a student today. There were 367 edits made to the document by the time they were finished. College is so expensive, most students start off their careers in so much debt. Students don't get one on one time with professors either. I think three out of my five teachers know my name, but that is because I try to make it a point for them to know me, so I don't get lost in the crowd. Students are also spending so much money on text books that are sometimes never needed in classes. I could completely relate to almost every cue card that was held up in the video. Especially the one that said, "I will be $20,000 in debt after I graduate", this will most definitely be true for me.

From a teacher and a student perspective technology is key to success in the classroom. Teachers should use the free tools that are available online to try and get students more involved. The more interaction students have with stuff that is considered "cool" the higher chances we as educators will have engaging with them. I think the main point of this video is that through technology students can be way more engaged and more passionate about going to class. Filling in as many people as possible into a room to watch one teacher at the front is crazy. Why not use technology, and make the classroom a more interactive place?

Project #3 C4T #4

Post #1

elephant and three men
For C4T #4 I was assigned to Justin Tarte's blog titled, "Life of an Educator". Mr. Tarte is the Director of Curriculum and Personnel in the Union R-XI School District in Union, Missouri. Before he had that job he was an assistant principal at Poplar Bluff Junior High School in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and before that he taught German at Seckman High School in the Fox C-6 School District in Arnold, Missouri. The first post of Mr. Tarte's that I commented on was called, "A Powerful Lesson in Leadership." In this post, Mr. Tarte tells a story about three blind men that happen to meet each other. One of the blind men says that he heard elephants are very strange animals, which sparks up all of the mens interest in wanting to feel one. A merchant just happens to be walking by, and overhears the conversation. He tells them that he will let them feel one part of his elephant, one at a time. Each blind man got his turn, and then returned to the others. None of them said a word until they all felt the elephant. After the merchant was gone, the three blind men each discussed what they felt. All of their descriptions of the elephant were completely different, because they felt different parts of it. This then brings up Mr. Tarte's question, how can anyone describe the total units of something until they have learned every part?

I wrote back to Mr. Tarte, and told him that if you only have a limited perspective on a subject then your line of thinking is limited to only what you know. Since each one of the blind men touched different parts of the elephant, then each of their views are going to be different. If three foreigners came to the United States, and one went to Texas, one went to New York, and one went to Los Angeles, then they would all have a different perspective of what the United States is like.

Post #2

For post #2 I commented on Mr. Tarte's blog post titled, "A New Essential Curriculum." Mr. Tarte starts off his post by asking if we think students feel like they enter school in morning as a simulation of the 1990s, and then leave at the end of the day in the 21st century. Mr. Tarte then directs us to watch a video that he posted, Rigorous Curriculum Design. This video is about Larry Ainsworth discussing why he wrote the book and seminar Rigorous Curriculum Design. In the video, Ainsworth says the curriculum being used in the classroom hasn't been updated in years, and it is crucial that we change this. He also says that the curriculum needs to be relevant to our rapidly growing environment. I believe he means that society is constantly evolving, and the curriculum we teach our kids should as well.
Brain Hemispheres
The next thing on Mr. Tarte's blog post is a second video called, "Education and the Changing World of Work." This video is about the left and right hemispheres of the brain. In the video, it says that for years the workforce has generally been geared to "left hemisphere" workers. As of lately, research is showing a shift to people using their "right hemisphere" more. The video then discusses how the majority of children that have been "left hemisphere" thinkers is now moving towards "right hemisphere thinkers", and that maybe we need to update our SAT and ACT tests to be directed more towards the new age.

I completely agreed that the curriculum needs to be updated. Just like I said above about what the main point of the first video was, If the world is constantly evolving we need to be constantly evolving our education as well. To be honest, it took me a long time to figure out what to say back to Mr. Tarte about the second video. I took in so much information from his post, and I just didn't know where to start. After, a lot of thought I told him that I didn't know much about the research being done about the change in the brain hemispheres, but if that is the case than standardized testing should be updated with it. I've always felt that standardized forms of testing were more geared towards linear problems than to any kind of artistic thinking outside of the box problems. I believe if our society is switching over to the "right hemisphere" way of thinking, than maybe our teaching should as well.

Final Report on PLN

This is my final report about my PLN in EDM310. My PLN has been extremely useful for me throughout this semester. I have all of my most used websites in one place, and can access them all with just one click. This is especially helpful for me, because I have a strong need to be organized! I also love it, because having all of the websites I use in one place was also a reminder for me to view them at least once a day. When I first started using my PLN I didn't really know what I was doing, and to be honest I wasn't using it very often. Now that I know so much about it, and I am using it daily, I have found it to be very resourceful. A few of the sites that I have added to my PLN are the EDM310 class blog, Sakai, blogger, and twitter. I'm certain that I will continue to use my PLN throughout my schooling, teaching, and I'll be having my students use it as well!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Progress Report on the Final Project

I'm so excited to be writing this post, because that means we can all finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! For the final project #16, my group and I will be creating a ten through fifteen minute movie on how to survive EDM310. My group member consist of: Claire Langham, Jenna Barnes, and myself. We have all thrown around some ideas, but have not started filming it yet. We plan on starting our project next week, and staying ahead of the game. We plan to incorporate different things we've learned about technology this semester into our video. We're all very anxious to finish this project, as we all hope it will be very informative for future EDM310 students.
edm310 for dummies

C4K November Summary (Final Post)

C4K #8

book, The Foxman
For blog post #8 I was assigned to comment on Carl D's blog. Carl is a student in Mr. Boylen's 8th grade class in Los Angeles, California. The blog post I chose to write about was called, "The Foxman." This post was based around a book that Carl read by Gary Paulsen. Carl proceeded to write in the blog about how much he enjoyed the book, because it was based off of being in the wilderness. I responded to Carl, and told him that I also have read a Gary Paulsen book called, Hatchet. I went on to tell Carl that I read the book when I was around his age per an assignment for a Literature class I was in. I also told him that when he was finished reading The Foxman that he should read Hatchet, because I thought he would really enjoy it.

C4K #9

october word
For C4K #9 I commented on Ashley L's blog. The blog post that I commented on was titled, "October Reflection." The post was about all of the activities that her class did during the month of October. Ashley's favorite thing that her class did that month was have a "monster bash". She said that during the bash they played games, ate a lot of candy, and made some Halloween crafts. She also said that after the bash they all got to write a creative story. Ashley wrote about a girl and a dog going to see a spooky movie with ghosts in it. During the month they also read a book that she really enjoy called, The One and Only Ivan. Ashley said that after her teacher finished reading her class the book, they all got to use iPads and write to each other about what they thought about the book. I started off my comment back to Ashley by telling her how much I enjoyed her blog post. I then told her how vivid she is in her writing, and they is a true talent that not a lot of people have. I then told her that October was always one of my favorite months during school too, and that the Halloween parties we had were always so much fun! I ended my comment back by telling her to continue blogging all throughout her schooling, because it's such a great way to stay connected with other students, and that it can help her become an even more creative writer.

C4K #10

cover of book called Speak
For C4K #10, then final C4K, I was assigned to comment on Erica Kelly's blog. Erica is a student in Ms. Martin's tenth grade class at Baldwin County High School. Her blog post that I commented on was titled, "Reflection," and it was dedicated to a book she read called Speak. The blog post wasn't very long, but she did get her point across about how much she loved the book. I had to do some research on this post, because I was not familiar with the book. After a quick google search, I found out the novel is by Laurie Halse Anderson (who is also the author of The Scarlett Letter). It's a young adult novel about rape, recovery, and confession. I was a bit weary about a tenth grader reading a book that has anything to do with rape, because that could possibly be extremely graphic. As I read into more about the book, I found out the main premise behind the book is about the victim expressing her voice through the art she produces in a teacher's classroom. I would have to read this book before making any firm judgments on it, but above all it's great that Ms. Martin's class is reading!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blog Assignment #12

For blog assignment number twelve, we were told to come up with our own assignment. This blog assignment took a lot longer to begin than any of the others. I couldn't think of the direction I wanted to take it, because my major, Elementary Education, covers a broad array of topics. After thinking about many different concepts, I finally decided on one that I believe will be the most beneficial. Using technology in the classroom is something I have been saying I want to do since blog post number two. Internet safety is something that is vital to cover when you're dealing with children using the Internet. So for this assignment, I will be teaching different approaches on how to be safe online.

When addressing Internet safety with students, a few things need to be taken into consideration. One, the transfer of handling "real life" situations to virtual ones. This is something that needs to be taught, it is not automatic knowledge for children. Second, while most "Stranger Danger" programs teach that strangers are scary, and want to hurt or abduct children, online occurrences are completely different. Not all strangers seem dangerous. Lastly, in "real life" students can walk or run away from a potential threat. In an online environment, the danger is inside a student's environment, and hard to escape without the necessary skills for handling these situations.

The assignment I have come up with is directed to elementary age students. With younger and younger students spending more time on the internet, it is crucial that we teach them how to protect themselves online. Most students know how to handle "Stranger Danger" face-to-face situations, but facing them online is a totally different subject.

internet safety
Internet Safety Assignment:

1. Watch the Video, "Internet Safety."

2. Click on the "Hard Quiz" button at the bottom right of the screen, or click here "Quiz."
-Choose Online Quiz, DO NOT choose Paper Quiz.

3. Click on the "Activity" button at the bottom of the page, or click here, "Activity," and write down 10 SAFE websites.

4. Write in your blog post about Internet safety, and explain why it's important to be safe on the Internet.
-Questions to think about: What is a stranger? What do I do if a stranger contacts me online? What kind of things are okay to tell a stranger? What kind of things are not okay to tell a stranger?

Use proper sentence structure, and try to use correct punctuation. Write one paragraph or more. Tell me everything you learned about being safe on the internet!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Blog Assignment #11

students blogging
The video,"Little Kids Big Potential," is about a first grade class in Moose Jaw, Canada. The teacher of this class, Ms. Cassidy, uses numerous forms of technology to help teach her class. These forms include blogs, a classroom webpage, wikis, videos, Skype and Nintendo DS to share, collaborate and learn in their classroom. The blogs really help the students with their writing skills. They can see what they're writing, and it helps them pronounce different words. It's also a fun way for them to interact with family members when they comment on their blogs. Family members can also stay updated on the students artwork, because it is posted on their blogs. Webpages make learning tools for the students a lot easier. Students can simply click a picture, and it will take them to what they're trying to learn about. Ms. Cassidy's students also use Wikis to learn about different topics such as traditions and rituals from people all around the world. Videos were used for the students to put into their blog, and show how they're learning different things. The students can use Skype to communicate with students in different places. The students even got to communicate with experts in different fields they're learning about through Skype. The nintendo DS helped the students share, and solve problems. I was impressed seeing such young children interact with technology that I just started interacting with as a college student. Having technology in the classroom is definitely something I am going to push for!

Skype interview
Dr. Strange and Ms. Cassidy had a skype interview with each other to discuss the technology she uses in her classroom. In the video, Ms. Cassidy says she started using technology because she was given five computers in her classroom. The main thing Ms. Cassidy answered that I had questions about was students privacy. While the internet is an incredible thing, it can also be a dangerous thing if proper precautions are not taken. Ms. Cassidy says that she protects her students by keeping their last names private. Her students are only allowed to put their first names beside their work, and they all know not to put their last. She also doesn't allow a name to be beside a picture, and she requires parental consent before a students work can be posted. I personally love the idea of students blogging about their work. It gives family members the freedom of viewing their child's work on a daily basis without having to go to the school.

After watching the Skype interview and Ms. Cassidy's class video, I can really picture the way having technology in the classroom would go. I've always known I want technology to be present, but I never realized how much I would want my students to blog until now. Another thing that I know I will want to do after watching the videos is Skype. I think Skype is such an awesome learning tool that could really benefit students. Skype can change a boring everyday routine to something students are excited about. I think it would be really neat for my future students to be able to Skype with other classes, and to talk to experts in the skills we're studying.

Project #3 C4T #3

Post #1

For C4T #3 I was assigned to John T. Spencer who shares a blog with Chad Segerston. Mr. Spencer is a sixth-grade ELL teacher, who has written five books. The first post of Mr. Spencers that I commented on was titled, "How to Fix Education in 5 Easy Steps". Mr. Spencer's post indicated that steps need to be taken to improve our education system. He then listed five steps that he thought would help improve our system. I told him that I liked the idea of taking a few steps at a time, and I thought it was a great idea. The step that he listed that jumped out to me the most was the step that said "empowering great leaders." I told him that without a top down change in the educational system, comprehensive reform cannot happen. administrators need to be involved in the process and should communicate with teachers and parents to come up with the best course of action for educating today's students. Without administrators support, systemwide reforms will be impossible, and students will be forced to suffer the consequences of actions taken by the decision makers of an educational system that will have failed them.

Post #2

creative dreaming
Post number two was about Mr. Spencer's struggle on when to give students immediate feedback or to withhold the information for a while. The blog post was titled, "Is Timely Feedback Always a Good Idea?" Mr. Spencer said on most "skills" that he teacher, such as mathematics, he gives immediate feedback, while most "concepts" he teaches he struggles with trying to wait or give it then. I told Mr. Spencer that I agreed with giving immediate feedback for "skills". I said if we don't, then I would be afraid that the student would possibly end up confusing themselves even more, get overly frustrated, and ultimately give-up. Then I told him with "concepts" such as creative writing, we need to wait to give feedback. When creativity exercises come into play I think students need their space to be as creative as they can be. If we interfere with that then we could stop their creativity from reaching its highest potential. I then gave Mr. Spencer as example about dreams. I said when we're suddenly awaken from a really good dream, no matter how hard we try we can't get back into that place of utter bliss. The place where the world we were in was so vivid, and real. We're blocked, and it's just impossible to get back to exactly where we were in the dream. To me, this is just like creative writing. If a thought is interrupted than it's almost impossible to get back to where you were going with the story.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

C4K October Summary

C4K #3

dancing penguin
For C4K #3 I was assigned to a student in 4th grade named, Marbei. Marbei is a very creative writer who really does enjoy blogging. In the post that I commented on Marbei wrote a very vivid story about a penguin named Donald. Donald loved to dance, but all of the kids at his school made fun of him because he was a boy. Donald didn't let the other penguins get him down, and he kept dancing. At the end of the story, we find out that the other boy penguins that were making fun of him ended up being dancers too. The moral of Marbei's story was to never give up, and always follow your dreams. I wrote back to Marbei and told him how great him blog post was. I told him how creative of a writer he is, and said to never give up on writing. I also told him how important the moral of his story was, and that it's something everyone needs to remember in their lives.

C4K #4

C4K #4 was from a student named, Sarah, at an all girls school. Her blog was based out of an AP Government and Politics class. Sarah's post was about her struggle with online classes, and her coping with not being face-to-face with a teacher. In the end, she does step out of the box, and become at ease with her online classes. I wrote Sarah back, and told her that I could completely relate with the anxiety she was having. I told her that online classes make you think on your own, because you don't have the capability of waiting on someone else to raise their hand and ask the question. I then told her that I was glad she didn't give up on the class, because in the end once you complete a course you struggled with then it will be so much more rewarding. Sarah actually wrote me back, which I was very pleased about. She graciously thanked me, and told me she agreed that online classes do make her contribute more of her own thoughts. She ended by telling me she was so glad to hear that she wasn't the only one that struggled with it in the beginning.

C4K #5

role model sign
C4K #5 was from a student that attends North Petherton Primary School named, Oscar. Oscar wrote his blog post about role models. This post was a bit difficult for me to respond to, because his whole post consisted of one sentence. In the post, he said that his role model was Mo Farah, and he then asked "who is your role model?" I must admit, I did have to do a google search to find out who Mo Farah is. After a quick google search, I found out that he is a track Olympian. I responded to Oscar by telling him Mo Farrah did a great job at the Olympics, and that having a role model such as as olympian is a great choice. I then told him about my role model, which is my grandfather. I ended my response by telling him to continue blogging, and to keep up the good work!

C4K #6

C4K #6 was from a student named, Cole. Cole's blog post was about Elephants. In the post, he wrote about different descriptive features of an elephant. The last thing he said about elephants was that some of them live in Africa. The last comment made my response a lot easier. I told him that he was right about some of them living in Africa, and that I was going to Africa Summer 2013 for a month long safari. I also asked Cole if he was a fan of elephants, because he was an Alabama football fan. Even though Cole didn't respond to me, I have a feeling that since he is from Birmingham, he likes elephants because he is an Alabama fan!

C4K #7 Special Edition

From the blog, Vitulli and Santoli: Eyes on Ireland, I commented on the post called, "Strolling Down Merrion Road in Dublin." In this post, Dr. Vitulli and Dr. Santoli had just arrived to Dublin, and were struggling with some jet-lag. Luckily, as soon as they got to their hotel they caught their second wind, and began exploring. The began by exploring around their "neighborhood" where the U.S. Embassy is located. After that, they ate some pureed soup, before heading back out to explore. They then visited the Book of Kels at Trinity College, and then went by the National Gallery. I responded to them by saying that no matter where I travel to, or how jet-lagged I am, I always manage to catch my second wind when we land. I then told them that it looked like they were having such a wonderful time. I also told them about the Safari I'm going on in Africa next summer, and that almost every dinner we will be eating pureed soup that they make for us in the bush. I ended my response by wishing them safe travels, and hope they keep enjoying their incredible trip!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Special Blog Assignment

In honor of USA TODAY's 30th anniversary, they interviewed some of the greatest visionaries to talk about the world of tomorrow. Mary Beth Marklein wrote the article, "A World Where Grades Will be Left Behind," to discuss a particular version of education where it is free, and anyone can attend. In this type of learning, education is turned into a place of utter bliss. No one is late for school, failure isn't even a word used, and lesson plans mimic the fun you have while playing a video game. Sebastian Thrun, a research professor at Stanford and a Google Vice President, was one of the visionaries interviewed for this article. Thrun taught a free online artificial-intelligence course that consisted of more than 160,000 students. After teaching this course, he realized he could no longer teach in a traditional classroom, and he then founded an education company called Udacity.

graduation cap and a laptop
Udacity is a free online based type of education that has various courses, and are taught by professors all throughout the world. Sebastian Thrun compares his journey from the classroom at Stanford to Udacity through two pills. He says, "I feel like there's a red pill and a blue pill, and you can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture your 20 students. But I've taken the red pill, and I've seen Wonderland." Technology has made so many leaps over the years that it has allowed us to personalize the way we teach from a computer. Thrun's friend, Sal Kahn is continuously inspiring more classrooms to "flip". Flipping a classroom consists of students watching videos at home, and then coming to the classroom during the day to do their homework. The goal in this process is to make school affordable so more students can attend. Thrun says that his schooling system won't consist of grades, and that students will work on a particular skill until they master it. Students won't be charged to be instructed, but they will be charged to take exams and certifications.

I agree with this type of educational system. I believe I'm in one very similar to it with EDM310. We have no grades, everything is online, no paper in or out, and there is no huge fee. I honestly think this article would have been a complete eye-opener to me if it wasn't for EDM310. Having no pens or paper in a class must be hard for some people to understand, but if they would stay open to the idea then they would have a whole new outlook. Technology is an amazing thing, and I firmly believe we should keep evolving with it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blog Assignment #10

Papermate or Ticonderoga
cartoon of a papermate and a ticonderoga

This cartoon from the blog, "Adventures in Pencil Integration,"by John T Spencer, was fairly easy for me to understand. The papermate tends to try and spend less money on objects despite the poor quality of it. A ticonderoga will spend the extra money if it's good quality. I personally am a ticonderoga. I'll spend the extra money on something if I know it will last me a long time. Basically, this cartoon is saying if you are a papermate then you're the type of person that tries to save money, but will end up spending more in the long run because of faulty equipment. If you're a ticonderoga then you will spend the extra money to get good quality. Mr. Spencer commented on his blog about the cartoon saying, "it's a mock of a Mac and a PC," well, I have a Mac so it confirms my argument that I'm a ticonderoga.

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?
"Why Were Your Kids Playing Games," by John T. Spencer is a post of a conversation between a teacher and a principal. The post starts off by the principal telling the teacher they need to talk. It's easy to tell that the principal is a stickler for rules, because he won't even shut the door for their conversation because of his "open door policy". The principal goes on to condemn the teacher for what he calls "playing games instead of teaching".

"The game" that the principal accuses the teacher of playing with his students consists of the students reading a scenario and then writing our their solutions in a descriptive way. The principal is so against games because of a hangman game that went poorly in 1985. The main point the principal isn't grasping in this conversation is that the students were engaged, and learning.

I believe this principal is way over the top. Having educational games in a classroom is a good idea. It keeps the students involved, and eager to participate. Students learning is the whole point, and to me it doesn't matter how that is done as long as its tactful.

Spelling Checker
The post I chose to read was, "Spelling Checker," by John T. Spencer. This post started off with Mr. Spencer telling us about a letter that was sent to him by a students mother. The mother was upset with Mr. Spencer's "spelling checker program" he uses to correct misspelled words. I completely disagree with this mothers complaint, and completely agree with Mr. Spencer's method. He underlines the misspelled words so the student knows what they have done wrong, and then gives them a dictionary to use as a learning tool, by making the student look up the word.

Students shouldn't be given every answer. They should have to put in some effort, and learn on their own. The complaining mother wants her child to be babied, and Mr. Spencer refused. Mr. Spencer responded to the mother by sending her a graph of the decrease in spelling errors due to his system. I will definitely be implementing a system similar to Mr. Spencer's system in my classroom. The best way for a child to learn is on their own with only the guidance of a teacher.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff Please?
"Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please," by Scott Mcleod is a great example of being stuck in your ways. Mr. Mcleod is being sarcastic saying not to teach your kids technology. The principal from "Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff" reminds me a lot of this post, because the principal also refuses to change his views on certain subjects. I completely disagree with not evolving with the world. Technology is only growing, and if teachers aren't growing with it then they are doing a disservice for their students.

Project #11 Short Movie

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blog Assignment #9

End of School Year Reflection 2008-2009
When Mr. McClung wrote his blog, "What I've Learned This Year (2008-09)," he was a first year elementary teacher. His blog post is definitely a wonderful "go to" post for any new educator. The first main thing Mr. McClung learned was, "how to read a crowd". He said the most important thing is to make your lessons student centered. Mr. McClung also said that in the beginning he worried about how he was being assessed, but then realized it's more about the students comprehending what you're teaching. The second thing Mr. McClung learned was to "be flexible". By this, he means that things aren't always going to go as planned, and if you end up getting steered away from your lesson, it's okay! Ultimately, being flexible is still getting the main point across that you're trying to teach even if it doesn't go the way you planned for it to. Third, he explained the importance of communication. I believe communication is the key to success, and having good communication between students and teachers is vital.

stay positive

The fourth main thing Mr. McClung learned was to "be reasonable". By this, he means not to have expectations so high that they can't be met. Setting the bar high to challenge students is a good thing, but when the bar is impossibly high for them to meet it can lead to disappointment. "Don't be afraid of technology" is the fifth thing Mr. McClung learned. This sections main point is to not to be afraid of technology! Technology is constantly becoming more advanced, and we as educators should keep up with the times and give our students the best that there is. The last two topics Mr. McClung points out are the most important to me. They are, "listen to your students," and "never stop learning". Listening to your students is vital for so many reasons. One reason is that if you listen to them, and show them you respect them then they will respect you. We owe it to our students to never stop learning, and to be the best teachers we can be.

Mr. McClung made so many points in this that could be very helpful for a beginner educator. I know whenever I begin teaching I will definitely look back on his posts as references. The main topic Mr. McClung pointed out that I know I'll have to work on is reading a crowd. Having fellow educators judging my every move at first is going to be nerve-racking. I'm just going to have to get over it, and realize that I'm there for the students, and not for the teachers.

End of School Year Reflection 2011-2012

stay true to yourself paint splatter
For the second part of this assignment I read Mr. McClung's post, "What I Learned This Year- Volume 4 (2011-12)". This post was Mr. McClung's fourth year of reflection. For this reflection only two themes stuck out to him. The first theme was about finding out how his fellow teachers viewed him as an educator. Before this year Mr. McClung never worried about what anyone thought about him except for his students. For some reason, which he is unsure of, his thoughts were wrapped around what other teachers thought about his teaching strategies. By the end of the year Mr. McClung was finally able to cope with his anxiety of what others thought about him. Him came to the realization that as long as he is true to himself, and his students are happy, then it doesn't matter what others think of him.

The second theme that stuck out to Mr. McClung about his school year was about challenging yourself. This year was the third consecutive year that he taught the same subject at the same school. Mr. McClung was becoming dependent on old lesson plans, and felt his creativity vanishing. He pointed out that he was not being challenged so therefore his students weren't being challenged. Mr. McClung said his "goal as educator is to do everything I can to ensure that students enjoy class and not resent school as I did as a child". This is something that I will strive to do every day in my classroom. If a student doesn't enjoy the class they're in then there is no way they will pay attention. I want to challenge my students daily, and change up their routine. If the same thing is done day after day then anyone would get bored, especially children. My goal is to have my classroom be a place where my students are excited to go and learn, not a place they dread.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Project #10 PLN

screen shot of my PLN

I have recently created my PLN, and I'm having a major love/hate relationship with it! I absolutely love it, because I'm such a neat freak. It helps me get all of my websites in order, and its very easily accessible. The only reasons that I have any ill willed feelings towards it is because I'm spending hours on organizing it when I could be doing other things! The PLN I chose to use is Symbaloo, and I'm very happy with my choice. So far I have added a ton of websites, and I have logged into my websites through Symbaloo to get them activated. I'm also in the process of putting the websites that I've added into categories to make them even more easier to use. Symbaloo is something that I will definitely be using outside of EDM310.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Project #3 C4T #2

C4T #2 Comment 1
For C4T #2 I was assigned to John Burk. His blog is titled "Quantum Progress". Mr. Burk is a physics and math teacher at boarding school in Delaware. He is a fairly active blogger so finding a post wasn't a difficult task. For post number I chose, "Exploring Parametrics with Ships in the Night". In this post, Mr. Burk talks about the parametrics of the possibility of two ships hitting each other. He gave his class a rather lengthy ten page worksheet to figure out if the ships would collide or miss. At the end of his post he talks about his students truly understanding the problem, and this is where his question comes in to play, "If a student can calculate a set of parametric equations to model the position of the boat, but doesn’t know what a parameter is, is that ok?"

two ships colliding
I started off my comment back to Mr. Burk by introducing myself, and letting him know that I was commenting on his post per an assignment for EDM310. I then gave him the links to our class blog, my blog, and my twitter. I told Mr. Burk that I believed knowing the vocabulary is just as important as understanding the concept. I also told him that not only does knowing the vocabulary help the student to differentiate concepts, but it may help solve the problem you have been facing with the students struggling in presenting their data. Luckily, Mr Burk responded back to me and told me he completely agreed, but he wasn't sure if students being able to define what a parametric equation is as an essential skill if they can solve problems with them in the appropriate context.

C4T #2 Comment 2
For comment number two on, "Quantum Progress," I posted on, "My Colleague Finds a Mistake in Feynman". This post was based upon a video Mr. Burk watched by Richard Feynman. He sent the video to a colleague of his whom told him Mr. Feynman had it all wrong. Mr. Feynman suggests that the oxygen generated during photosynthesis is the product of a splitting apart of carbon and oxygen in carbon dioxide. When in fact, all the oxygen produced by photosynthesis is generated by the splitting of water to make H+ e- and O2, says Mr Burk's colleague. This interaction generated Mr. Burk's thoughts on the damage of one teacher teaching several subjects.

In my comment back to Mr. Burk, I told him since most science teachers specialize in whatever subject it is that they teach, it makes sense that a specialist in one area would call out a specialist in another area on specific information that pertains to their expertise. I then said that having a single teacher for all subjects would hurt the overall quality of education that students receive now. It seems that teachers would teach with a “jack of all trades, master of none” mentality. I ended my comment by saying I thought that the current system is our best option right now, with a focus towards specialization.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blog Assignment #8

Richard Miller: This is How We Dream
the word dream
"This Is How We Dream" is a fascinating look into how multimedia will be used for educational purposes in the future. With technology constantly improving on a second by second basis, it is nearly impossible for anyone to keep up. Dr. Miller has done a fantastic job of presenting the different ways that academic research has changed over the years, pointing out that doing legitimate research no longer requires setting foot in a library.

Some of the examples that Dr. Miller used to demonstrate the advancements in multimedia were very impressive. His project about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that he talked about and showed video of was a good example of where education could be headed. The project not only used text as a means of presenting information, but also interactive videos that keep readers interested and involved. Projects such as this can be a great educational tool for teachers.

At this point, I cannot say that I am 100% ready to write with multimedia myself. After a few more hours of practice with it, I should be able to complete an assignment on a beginner level. Learning these skills takes time and practice, but it is worth it to learn the skills I will need to become an effective teacher. I have no doubt that my students will someday be able to use this same multimedia and far more advanced programs not yet dreamed up to do even more elaborate projects than we have thought of yet. The evolution of technology is constant, and we as teachers must try our best to stay ahead of the curve.

Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12
"Carly Pugh" is a former student of EDM310, and she created a multimedia playlist as part of an assignment. In her assignment, she said that every student was to pick ten YouTube videos based off of the ten topics that she gives. This is such a creative way to carry out Miller's idea on multimedia She did an amazing job on her blog post, and set the bar very high for incoming students. I found out through Carly's blog that we get to create our own assignment towards the end of the semester, and I'm so excited!

EDM310 is Different
The video, "The Chipper Series," is about a student named Chipper. Chipper is not happy about the class, EDM310, and confronts Dr. Strange about the way it's being run. Chipper complains about the deadlines, and is unhappy that she has to teach herself. In the end, Chipper decides to drop out of school to go to a pilot school. The pilot school also did not work out for Chipper so she then decided to become a teacher. Teaching ended up not being Chippers forte` either, because as we saw in the beginning Chipper has an issue with timelines. After trying to find her her way in life with other job opportunities, Chipper finally realizes that hard work is the key to success. The main message in the video is to not give up just because something is hard. The video ends by showing us how beneficial it is to stick with things when you commit to them, and not to just give up because its overwhelming.

asking if EDM310 has you down
"EDM for Dummies," is video made by former EDM310 students. The video starts off with two girls being extremely frustrated about the class. The girls then buy the book, EDM310 for Dummies, and they start understanding how to do their assignments better. The main message in this video is that even though EDM310 can be very overwhelming, with the proper tools and planning it can be accomplished.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
"Learn to Change, Change to Learn," is a video about the importance of technology in the classroom. I completely agree with everything in this video. The world is constantly evolving, and this video is encouraging educators to keep up with the changes. Keeping students involved in the classroom is a huge task. If students are using technologically advanced equipment as learning tools instead of worksheets and textbooks, then I believe they will have a far better chance of being engaged in the material. We as educators are responsible for giving our students the best educational experience possible.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0
1."" is a social networking website designed for teachers and students to be able to connect with one another online. It allows teachers to post grades and field questions from students, while allowing students access to tools such as calendars, syllabi, and assignments. Although I have never used edmodo in a teaching role, it seems like a great tool for teachers to use as a supplement to a class website or as the main website for a class. Not only will it be useful for teachers to direct students to the website for any questions they may have or to implement an online quiz, but it will also be a great tool for students to make use of, always knowing how to find out when assignments are due and having easy access to their teacher.

2. This presentation was created using a tool called "prezi." Prezi is a presentation tool that is similar to other slideshow programs with different transitions from slide to slide, including zooming and rotating. Prezi is a free program, but many of the best features of the program are only available to paying customers. Subscriptions vary from $4.92/month for the “Enjoy” package, which gets you 500MB storage space and premium support, to $13.25/month for the “Pro” package, which bumps up the storage space to 2GB and allows users to edit prezi presentations offline. They have a special deal for students and teachers which allows them to use the “Enjoy” package free of charge and pay only $4.92/month for the “Pro” package. It is great that prezi gives such a great deal to students and teachers, so that they may use the program without having to worry about its cost.

3. I made a comic strip at "Make Beliefs Comix."
a comic strip

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog Assignment #7

The Networked Student
Web on a student networking
Wendy Drexler's, ""The Networked Student," is an amazing video that shows some of the things that technology can do. The video is about Mrs. Drexler's actual high school class. They go to school three days a week, and are online for two. In the video, the students are being taught a lot of the same things we're doing in EDM310. The type of learning these students are experiencing are called, connectivism. Connectivism is learning from social connections and ties. is The network is a learning tool students can use as opposed to listening to endless lectures. The students read other blogs, comment on them, and create their own blog just like we do. They also use websites like Delicious and Google Scholar.

In the video the question, "why do we even need a teacher?" arises. I can answer that question very easily. Teachers are so much more than just a person to stand there and lecture. Teachers are role models, mentors, counselors, and many more things. Being a "networked student" does help you become a more efficient learner on your own, but a teacher is still there to guide students, and help them with any problems that may occur.

This video is very informative, it shows different ways networking can enhance learning. Networking allows students to broaden their learning experience by connecting them with other students all over the world. It shows similar things to what we are learning in EDM310, and I also believe this is what all teaching will be like in the future.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment
PLE letters
In the video, "A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment," a 7th grade student is learning in a way that coincides with EDM310. The first thing that I noticed is that she is extremely organized, and seems very intelligent for a 7th grader. Like her, we're using google docs for assignments. This type of learning gives students freedom, while keeping them grounded with timelines. Even thought I have not yet set up my PLN, I plan to use Symbaloo just like she did!

Project #8 Podcast

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blog Assignment #6

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Randy Pausch at his last lecture
In the video, “Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” Randy Paush immediately caught my attention when he said, “If you had one lecture to give, what would it be?” In the lecture, Pausch discusses his own childhood dreams, how you can enable the dreams of others, and how you can achieve your own dreams. This was Pausch’s last lecture, because he was given just a few months left to live due to numerous tumors on his liver. Despite his health going downhill, he was in an incredible mood. It truly was inspiring to watch him make the best of his situation, and still have a great passion for life. For this lecture, Pausch used PowerPoint, props, and pictures from his life to help illustrate particular points.
The first portion of Pausch’s lecture was dedicated to his childhood dreams. His dreams were to experience zero gravity, play in the NFL, have an article in the World Book Encyclopedia, being Captain Kirk, be the guy that wins stuffed animals at the fair, and become a Disney Imagineer. Out of this portion of the lecture, the point that I gravitated towards was when he talked about the concept of the “head fake.” The “head fake” is indirect learning, what Pausch stresses is so important. Before EDM310 I never thought much about indirect learning. Dr. Strange, like Randy Pausch, both emphasize giving assignments, and making students step out of the box to figure them out with minimal guidance. After taking EDM310, I can truly see how important indirect learning is, and it’s definitely something I will be enforcing in my classroom.

Friday, October 5, 2012

C4K September Summary

C4K #1
For C4K #1 I was assigned to comment on Shalom at Point England School's blog post titled, ”Re-Crafting.” Shalom started off his post with a paragraph that another girl in his class named, Aldora, wrote. After Aldora’s paragraph, Shalom rewrote the paragraph wording some sentences differently, and making grammatical corrections where he saw fit.

I commented on Shalom’s post, and praised him for his excellent ability of editing papers. I told him that having the skill of editing would help him tremendously throughout his schooling. I ended my comment by encouraging him to keep up the good work!

C4K #2
For C4K #2 I was assigned to a student named, Sisilia, also at Point England School. The blog post I commented on was titled, "Weekend Camp," and it was about a weekend she spent at camp. I was very impressed with how detailed she was describing her weekend. She started off by talking about the weather, and then went on to talk about her friends being on the bus that took them to camp. Sicilia ended her post by talking about about how excited she was to have her friends in cabins next to hers, and how they all met up and ate hotdogs.

I commented on Sisilia's post, and told her that I admired her positive outlook on life. I told her that a lot of people would have let the rainy weather get them down, and I was happy to see that she didn't. I went on to tell her that I was so glad that she had a wonderful time at camp, and that I was excited to read more of her blog posts.

Project #9 Timetoast

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blog Assignment #5

iSchool Initiative
Travis Allen created the video, “iSchool Initiative,” when he was a seventeen year old high school student. Travis attended a financially troubled public school where teachers were being fired, and classes were getting larger. Because of this, he wanted to convert the use of pencils, paper, and books to iPod Touch devices in order to save money.
Ipod Touch

After Travis explains his plan in the video, he then goes on to give us supporting facts. He tells us about different applications that are beneficial to not only students, but teachers and parents as well. Two apps that really stood out to me were the calendar and notes. The calendar app, can let your teachers post due dates for assignments and tests. The notes app, lets you take notes and allows the teacher to send them to you. Travis definitely got my vote for switching to iPod Touches. It allows student and teachers to be more interactive, which can help students be the best they can be.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
"Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir," is absolutely amazing! It's so serene yet completely incredible. If someone ever tells me the internet is a waste of time again, I'll be sure to show them this video. Eric Whitacre's choir consists of one hundred and eight-five people that have never met. Even though they have never met they all harmoniously played Lux Aurumque. The choir sounds so beautiful, and I'm so delighted that I was able to hear it!
Eric Whitacre's virtual choir

Teaching in the 21st Century
The video, "Teaching in the 21st Century," by Kevin Roberts (Dr. Strange Version), made me think about who the real educators are, teachers or the internet? The video points out that the internet is where everyone goes to find answers to their questions. I think teachers are vital for so many reasons. Teachers aren't just teachers, they're counselors, motivators, and role models. Teachers and technology are two things that need to go together. Teachers should always use the best technology available in the classroom.

Flipped Classroom
flipped classroom
The videos "Why I Flipped My Classroom," "Dr. Lodge McCammon;s FIZZ-Flipping the Classroom," and "Flipping the Classroom-4th Grade STEM," are all about flipping the classroom to benefit the students. Flipping the classroom steers away from lecturing students day after day. It's an innovative way to keep students engaged in whats going on. It also helps students that don't catch on as quickly get extra practice, while helping students that catch on very quickly not get bored. Flipping the classroom is definitely something I'm interested in doing in my own classroom one day.

My Sentence Video

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Project #3 C4T #1

C4T #1 Comment 1
I was assigned to Jerrod W. Kruse for my first C4T assignment. His blog is titled, Teaching as a Dynamic Activity. Mr. Kruse is a teacher, writer, editor, and researcher. It wasn’t hard to find a post on Mr. Kruse’s blog, because he posts fairly often. I chose the most recent post, as I was told to do, which was titled,“Technological Momentum.” Mr. Kruse based this post around a book he was reading by David Nye called, “Technology Matters.” This post discussed momentum in technology, and that once something is in place it is hard to change it. Mr. Kruse was trying to make us aware of this so we’re careful about what technologies we allow to develop momentum.

I left comment number one after Mr. Kruse’s post. I started off by introducing myself, and letting him know I was commenting on his blog per a school assignment. I went on to tell him I was a student at University of South Alabama, and that I was going to be summarizing our interactions in my own blog. I then told Mr. Kruse he could view my blog, my class blog, and my twitter and left him links to each. Mr. Kruse’s post was very interesting to me. The first thing I thought of while reading his post was PowerPoints. I told him that we have technology far greater than PowerPoints, but somewhere along the line it became the norm for educators to read straight off of them.
bored watching PowerPoint

C4T #2 Comment 2
For comment number two on Teaching as a Dynamic Activity, I posted on "A Natural Solution.” This post was a more detailed continuation of a post he made earlier the same day. Mr. Kruse was reading a book by Rachel Carson titled, “Silent Spring.” “Silent Spring” is about the harmful affects of fertilizer and pesticides to the Earth. Mr. Kruse compared this book to what standardized testing, overly scripted curriculum, and forced technology are doing to students’ minds.

In my comment back to Mr. Kruse, I told him that I agreed with his premise, but I don't think that technology should be left out of the educational process. I believe that the most advanced technology available should be used. Although, I do agree that standardized testing and overly scripted curriculum are not benefiting students the way they are believed to be. I'm hoping to get a response back from Mr. Kruse, because I'm eager to hear what he thinks.