Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blog Post #14 Final Reflection

Project #13

Google Docs

For our project 15 and 16, our group The Grey Wardens (which consisted of Emily Russell, Jay Shiver, and myself) utilized Gmail, Tumblr, Skype, and Google Docs. Personally, I liked Gmail and Google Docs the most. Gmail because it is the more traditional way as well as it is the easiest to get in contact with people. You can just send and email and know that eventually the recipient will see it. However, other things like Skype you would have to schedule a time where everyone can meet and it just becomes hectic. Also, with Google Docs the whole cooperative aspect of these assignments were a lot simpler. We could all make work on the assignments as a team without having to worry about trying to meet up and always having someone carry around a flash drive that could get lost. All we had to do was log on. I've actually grown quite fond of Google Docs and use it in my other classes as well.

Final Project #16

Tumblr Logo

Using the website Tumblr, we, The Grey Wardens (Emily Russell, Jay Shiver, and Rodney Patrick) have built a PLN that any teacher or student can turn to for ideas and tools they can use in the classroom, and we have done it in a way that attempts the kind of writing with multimedia project that Richard Miller talked about in This is How We Dream.

The Grey Wardens Final Project

To see the posts of individual members of the group, each post is marked with the name of the person who submitted it, and tagged with their name as well. There are links in the sidebar, as well, that will allow you to easily navigate through our individual posts.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Final PLN Report

Like I stated in my first PLN, the teachers I have commented from my C4T have become a major part of my personal learning network. They provide great insight on what we have forward to in our very own classroom. As well as insight, they also give great advice on what we could expect. Therefore adding them to my PLN was a must.

Not only do I include my C4T as a part of my PLN. I've also included some of the sites and tools that we have used in our class. I feel as though we were given these tools in class for a reason. I'm sure that if they would not be valuable for benefit, why would we be told to use them. We may not understand now, but I am sure that when we get our very own classroom we will be able to utilize every tool.

C4T #4

Hooking Them In Is An Art Form
This past two weeks, I was assigned to follow the blog of Heidi Siwak and comment on some of her post. The first post is entitled Hooking Them In Is An Art Form. In the post, she talks about how that week her students were studying the history of New France. Needless to say, the students were not very interested in the assignment. So instead of talking about that assignment she moved a forward and talked about the 1970s and the October Crisis. After switching to the new topic, the students were a lot more interested in this new topic. In my comment, I told her that I definitely agree what she was saying. Students really do have to be into their topics in order to really want to learn. It helps them learn easier and be more intuitive in their assignments.

The second post I commented on is Goodbye Mike Harris!. It was a basically Heidi Siwak describing her trip to the Ontario Public Supervisory Official's Association. She took 4 students to present in the conference. It seemed like a very informative trip for educators. In my comment, I told her that it appears this conference is a very good place to go for educators to get views and other insight from other educators.

Blog Post #13

Engage in E-Media Fast
Iphone 4s

For this assignment, we were assigned to go for 24 consecutive hours without using any type of electronic device.. We were not allowed to use cell phones, watch tv, or any electronic device that utilizes electricity or batteries as a power source. Needless to say this was a very hard task. I failed miserably. Without using these electronic devices, minutes felt like hours and hours felt like days. After three attempts, I went about 6 hours before I finally caved into the compelling need to use my cellphone. For those hours I was in complete and total misery. It also didn't help that my phone was over filling with text messages and "tweets" from Twitter. I would have turned it off completely but I left it on in the case of an emergency. Also, seeing my friends using their devices and checking Facebook was simply torture. Finally, my greatest enemy for this assignment was the television. It was painful having to sit there and just stare at my blank TV screen all day. It was as if I was staring into this deep dark abyss of nothingness. I cannot even explain the horrible feeling. From this assignment I learned that I rely a lot on technology usage. It consumes a huge majority of my day and it is a very important factor. I would imagine that the students in my future classroom will have this same feeling. Especially when it comes to sending text messages during class time. I expect this will be very troublesome to deal with. However, being able to understand how the students feel may make it a little easier.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

C4K Summary April

In the beginning of this month, our class took part in the World Blog Challenge. This means that for three weeks straight I was assigned to watch and comment on the blog of a student in Australia named Angie. The first of Angie's post that I commented on was her post entitled April Fools!. In this post, she describes her love of April Fool's Day. She says that part she loves the most is making people laugh and that it is the beginning of another month. In my comment on her post, I told her that I guess it is pretty safe to say April Fool's day is one of her most favorite days of the year and that people usually celebrate that day here in Alabama. I also asked her what are some other days of the year she enjoy. The second post I read by her was Easter!. In this post, Angie gives readers her interpretation of the story about Jesus Christ and how he arose from the dead. Once again Angie did a great job on her post. I made sure to tell her in my comments. Not only did she give her perspective, but she also did research to back up what she had to say. The final post I commented on was actually a post where she thanked me and a fellow EDM 310 student, Natasha Sprinkle for reading and commenting on her blog. Not only did she thank me but she also sent me an email thanking me and asking me questions as well. This is actually the first time that a student actually responded to my comments on their page. I would like to thank Angie and ask that everyone please check out her blog from time to time. She is really smart and a great write. Here is a link to her blog. Angie's Blog.
The second student I was assigned to comment on is a student named Tucker. This was actually a video of Tucker reading the words "Rules", "Responsibilities",and "Relationships". Not only did he read the words, he gave his very own definitions and examples of the words. In my comment, I applauded Tucker on his comprehension of the words and reading them. I suggest that everyone take a look at this video. It's really inspiring.

Progress Report on Final Project

Man with goggles

Our group, The Grey Wardens, are just getting started on our project. We've been communicating mostly through email and Skype text chat, since not everyone in the group has a webcam to use. We've also used Delicious, the a bookmarking website, to share information with each other that we find on the internet about our topic.

We've also used Goggles, an app that you simply drag to your bookmarks bar. When you click it, you can write on the page, and anyone else who has the Goggles app will be able to click it and see the writing other people have left for them. So we've used Goggles to point out interesting stuff on the websites we share with each other.

Blog Post #12

Math App

Earlier in this semester we were assigned to look for an iPad app that would could use to help students with reading. An assignment I would have assigned is similar to that particular assignment. However, instead of find a reading app, I think that we should look for an app that fits our particular teaching field, (i.e. elementary education, English, Math, etc.) The steps would be as followed.
1) Go to the Apple in Education webpage.
2) Find an app that can be used in your expected field of teaching.
3) Write a brief summary on how you can use this app in your very own classroom.

An app I found that could be useful in my classroom is called Algebra Touch. This app allows students to learn how to perform algebra equations in an interactive way. It also gives step by step instructions in how to solve each equation. This way it will be easier to learn how to do simple equations an also learn independently. This method would also show that technology can be integrated into the class room without being harmful. This would actually help students.

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thought-Special Post #12A

In our last class meeting, we had a discussion about curiosity and creativity. During class, our professor, Dr. John Strange, challenged us with a series of questions based on this topic. The questions were:

1. Do schools in the United States systematically destroy (or inhibit) the development of curiosity and/or creativity in students? If yes, why does that happen? If no, how do you counter the argument of Sir Ken Robinson that schools do undermine the development of creativity in students?

2. Can a curriculum be developed that increases the curiosity of students? If so, what would be the key components of such a curriculum?

3. Can a curriculum be developed that increases the creativity of students? If so, what would be the key components of such a curriculum?

4. Can a teacher's actions increase the curiosity of students? If so, what would be those actions?

5. Can a teacher's actions increase the creativity of students? If so, what would be those actions?

6. What would help you become more creative? What role would teachers and/or schools have in that process?

7. What would help you become more curious? What role would teachers and/or schools have in that process?

In my opinion, schools in the United States do inhibit the development of curiosity and creativity in students. I do not blame specific educators for this. I think that the higher authorities of the education system inhibit these ideas. They primarily focus on test scores and results in order to evaluate how a school is doing. This method really only need students to briefly memorize information and repeat it back for an easy grade. They really won't have to learn anything. There is a curriculum, however, that can be used to increase the curiosity of students. One key component that this curriculum would need to have is topics and assignments that captures students attention and makes them eager to learn. If students are excited about what they are learning, they will be increasingly curious to learn more. Not only can a curriculum be developed to increase curiosity, it can also increase creativity. In order to do this, the curriculum would need to allow student to think outside of the box. Not only will this peak students curiosity, it also will get students more involved in the curriculum. This could also result in better grades and actually learning material better as well. Teachers also have the ability to increase students curiosity. In order to do so, it goes back to what I said about the curriculum increasing curiosity. If teachers challenge students with material that captures their attention then their curiosity is going to peak as well. As well, teachers can increase students creativity. They have to challenge students to use their minds and think outside the box. To help me be more creative and curious, I would have to use my mind more. By being challenged to do more creative things I could be more creative. Also, in order to be more curious, I would have to more interested in the topics. The role of a teacher would be as a challenger. Helping students get more into what they are learning but not doing it for them. The role of a students would be the person being challenged. To learn from being shown the direction but not having the work done for them. Instead, they learn from doing it on their own.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Post #11

Little Kids...Big Potential
Source:Students in Mrs. Cassidy's Class

Little Kids...Big Potential is a video by Kathy Cassidy and the students in her classroom showing how they use technology in their everyday learning. The students use blogs, Nintendo DS systems, skype, and other tools that you would normally think would be harmful to the learning environment. This shows that technology in the classroom can actually be a good thing. The students said that their vocabulary, reading, and writing all improved with writing blog posts alone. Also, they are able to receive input from people all over the world who want to help them grow intellectually. The students also love being able to use these tools.

Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy
Kathy Cassidy, John Strange, and EDM 310 students.

Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy is an interview with my professor, Dr. John Strange, and Kathy Cassidy. A first grade teacher in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. This interview is primarily focused on how Ms. Cassidy uses technology in her classroom. She feels like technology in the classroom is a great thing to have. She uses it as a direct portfolio to her students work. Parents can easily see how their kids are doing in class and not have to always schedule appointments to meet her. Also, the students are highly involved in doing their work because of the technology. One key statement she made is that technology is constantly growing and not changing nor going away. Educators have to get on board with this concept and try to master these tools. They can use them in order make the learning process more enjoyable. One of her techniques is maybe have a class blog and also have my students have student blogs. I plan on teaching math and I know that it can be one of the more difficult classes. Saying that, having those blogs could allow students to communicate with each other and with me for extra help. Also, I could post assignments and solutions on the class blogs. As well, I could maybe also post study guides, class syllabus, and other things. Benefits of these approaches are that it could make the learning process for students and educators alike so much easier. Students would have a direct link to the teacher at all times.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blog Post #10

Do You Teach or Do You Educate?
Do You Teach or Do You Educate?

This week I watched a video called Do You Teach or Do You Educate? It was a very insightful video. The video described a teacher as someone who basically shows or explains information and basically gives facts. However, an educator is a mentor and an adviser. Someone who helps students in every way they possibly can. This video really opened my mind to the differences of being a teacher and being an educator. The comparison between the two is definitely debatable.

As a future educator, I want to do more than just teach my students. I want my students to learn their materials, but also I want to have an influence on their lives. I want my students to feel like that what I teach them in my class they will keep with them the rest of their lives. I plan on doing this by getting students involved into our lessons. Also, I plan on building a healthy student-teacher relationship with students so they will feel comfortable to come to me as an educator whenever help is needed.

Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home

This post is entitled Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home by Tom Spencer. It is a very humorous post reenacting a (possibly fictional)conversation between Mr. Spencer and the academic specialist at his school. The specialist barges into Mr. Spencer's office and urges him to stop allowing his students to take home pencils. He says that research shows that students or more likely to score lower test scores and are more like to play games like hangman than to actually use them to be beneficial to their education. Mr. Spencer argues that although he understands the research, he does not particularly agree with it. Mr. Spencer feels that students often only use the pencils as entertainment tools because they come from a place where the mentality is that the primary use for the pencils is entertainment. He argues that the pencils can be used for learning if given the chance and used correctly. He doesn't hold his students accountable for wanting to use the pencils solely for entertainment. That is why he tries to find projects to keep the students interested. He also said that students playing games and going on the pen pal networks may not be a bad idea because there could be learning happening that they don't know about about. After reading this post, I could not help but wonder if maybe the pencils could be a metaphor for technological tools like a laptop or an iPad. It seems like the specialist could have been arguing that maybe students should not be able to take these things home because they can not be monitored and would more than likely use them for something they are not suppose to. Also, students could play games on them instead of actually doing assignments and other things. Lastly, pen pal networks could be another way of saying social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Mr. Spencer could be arguing that technology should be given a chance and could be very beneficial. If students are given projects that keep them interested and focused, then they will not stray off into doing other things like play games. Even if they do play games or get on social networking sites, it does not mean learning is not taking place.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Post #9

At The Teacher's Desk
Stay Positive

For this assignment, I was required to read two post by Mr. Joe McClung on his blog At The Teacher's Desk. His post are generally about what he learned at the each year. So far he has just concluded his third year of teaching therefore he has three posts about his experience. I decided it would probably be best to read the first post about what he learned after his first year. Also, I thought it would be best to read his most recent post to see how what he has learned so far. His first post was written on May 27, 2009 and is entitled What I Learned This Year. Seeing as this was Mr. McClung's first year, it is safe to say he learned a lot. I was extremely fascinated in reading this post. It was very insightful and gave me a positive outlook into my future as an educator. One piece of advice he offered is to remember that lessons are not just about teaching students but also for them to comprehend it. Remember to always make sure students comprehend what they are learning. Secondly, he said to be flexible everything is not going to always be perfect. Therefore, always be prepared for things to go wrong and handle it with a smile. Thirdly, communication is key. Communicating with fellow educators can help you become an even better educator. Other teachers can show you tools and tricks that they use and you can do the same. Lastly, never stop learning. It's never too late to change your way of learning, thinking, or style.
The second post I read is also entitled What I Learned This Year. It was written on June 23,2011. Once again this was a very insightful post. This time the advice he offered was don't expect others to be as excited about change as you are. Some people are going to be opposed to your ideas. Just remember do to embody your way of teaching and not allow others to influence you. Second piece of advice, don't be afraid of to be an outsider. It is okay to become more connected with your students than fellow teachers at times. Remember, it is the student who shall benefit from what they learn from you and building a great relationship with them is vital.

Project #14 Smartboard Presentation

C4K Summary Post March

The student blog post I commented on for the month of March was The Wasp's Nest by a student named Dylan. This post was a short story about a wasp who was flying through the grass on a nice and sunny day. However, suddenly the wasp realize that he had gotten lost and landed on a piece of grass stranded and alone. All of a sudden, an angry snail scurried up the string of grass yelling at the wasp. It screamed "What are you doing on MY piece of grass?" This scared James and he was able to fly back home to his nest in the trees where his mom was waiting. After reading Dylan's story, I realize that he has a very creative mind and probably enjoys writing. If he continues to put his creativity to work in this way, it could become something he may want to pursue in the future.

C4T Summary #3

The Spicy Learning Blog
Spicy Learning Blog

This week I was assigned to comment on The Spicy Learning Blog by Royan Lee. The first post I commented on is entitled Join us at #Nxnei. It is a flyer and information about an upcoming convention in June about technology, media, and the new trends in society. The main goal of this convention is to bring together educators and discuss the use of social media and online tools in school. Although this was simply a flyer, there were a lot of good details that I was able to capture that I included in my comment. One idea was that students these days are digital learners. They now have the capability to use such small powerful tools like cellphones and iPads in order to quickly find answers and even work collaboratively with other students.
The second post I commented on Mike Stories. In the post, Lee explains how his family uses "stream-of-consciousness" oral stories to help console his son from time to time. Mike Stories are a series of stories about his son whose name is not in fact Mike. The call the character Mike in order to help keep the illusion and in order to boost creativity from his son. In my comment, I applauded Lee for this idea. Lee said that he has seen an improvement in his kids vocabulary, understanding in narrative, and oral speaking skills. I added that this tool could also be effective in boosting creativity and imagination. This could be very useful in the classroom and getting students excited about learning.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Project #11 Short Movie

Blog Post #8

This Is How We Dream
This is how we dream

This Is How We dream by Dr. Richard Miller is a series of two lectures that talks about how collaboration between humanities and sciences and the ideal way of learning. In the beginning of his lecture, Dr. Miller focuses of the incremental change from paper learning, such as books, magazine articles, etc., to digital and online text. He goes into detail of how all the different usages of how tools, such as the internet, makes life and learning easier. One example that he included in his lecture is a personal one to prove that it really is a great tool to take advantage of. His example was that he was once asked to write an article about Virginia Tech for the one year anniversary after the famous massacre. He was able to write his whole article without even stepping foot into a library for research. After his article was printed, it made its way from the publishers to his fellow professors to the trash. However, a his work remained forever online as an online text copy.
In the second half of his lecture, he talked about the ideal learning process. In his ideal learning process, Dr. Miller said that there had to be ideas and creativity. I agree with him in this statement because without a combination of both of these, how can the learning process be more than just teaching students while they burp back answers? How can we make learning interesting? We need inspiring teachers to help motivate and want students to be interested in learning. We also need inspiring spaces so that students walk into a classroom and not just see four walls and some posters. The spaces should make students crawl out of their skins with eagerness to learn.
This is a very inspiring video to watch. At first, I was a little confused on what exactly this video was talking about. However, after continuing to watch it, I had a better understanding of it. Dr. Miller said that a lot of the resources that we need for the ideal learning process has not yet been created. However, until it has it is up to educators to do the best they can to make it an enjoyable process for students and teachers alike. I really enjoyed these this lecture and recommend others to watch it.

Blog Post #12

Blog Post #12 by Carly Pugh was an assignment she had to do for her EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. Her assignment was to create her own original assignment she felt her professor should have assigned that the he may use in a later class. Her assignment was actually a very interesting one. She thought that the students should create a YouTube playlist of videos that described the following:
1). describe the kind of teacher you would like to be
2).show ways you can motivate your students
3). offer tips on classroom management.
4). offer tutorials on programs you have learned about in this class that you like so much you would like to use (podcast, iPods, PLN's, etc.)
5). are on topics related to your field of study; for example, if you are going to be an English Teacher, include videos about Shakespeare, poetry, novels, things of that nature.
6). describe what a good teacher is and what a bad teacher is
7). ways to improve modern education as we know it
8). have been used in other blog posts from this semester. It could be a video you had to write about or one posted on the blog of a fellow classmate, teacher, or classroom's blog.
9). center around creativity.
10). advocate challenging, motivating, encouraging, and supporting students (but still maintaining professionalism)

In my opinion, her post closely identifies with the ideas that Dr. Richard Miller mentioned in his lecture The is How We Dream in the fact that it shows some of the many ways technology could be used. In this way students would be able to describe their ideas with a list of videos and share them with their fellow students and the world. Doing this, their work is now open so that others may comment on their work offering ideas and other criticism to help them improve their work and even their ideas. This is how technology can be used as a tool for collaboration without students even being in the same room. Carly's assignment was very interesting and probably a lot fun to do.

The Chipper Series and EDM 310 for Dummies

EDM 310 for Dummies and The Chipper Series are vote very humorous videos about the EDM 310 class. The message I received from the videos is that this class is difficult because it's not a simple "burp back class." Dr. Strange pointed us in the direction. However, it is up to us to complete the journey of the learning process. We have to teach ourselves if we want to be successful. A video I think I would like to participate in would be one that show what tools are learned in EDM 310 and how they can be used in the education world.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

Learn to Change, Change to Learn is a very insightful video. In the video, the speaker makes a statement saying education is different. It also says that some kids learn more from multimedia resources that they do from school. This isn't necessarily a bad thing because teachers are not going to know everything. However, teachers would be able to find the answers with the internet very quickly. We should lead by example. Encourage students to do their own research online. It's not all about what is learned inside the classroom. It is also about what is learned outside the classroom.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

On the website Discovery Education
there are many useful tools for teachers and students alike. One such tool is Animoto. It is a tool designed for creating presentations and, when used correctly, can be very powerful. It comes in three prices ranges. The lite version is free. The plus version is $30 per year or $5 per month. The pro version is $249 per year or $39 per month. Although the prices may appear to be kinda steep, this tool offers a vast variety of ideas and usages.
Another way Animoto can be used is for its video features. One feature that it has is easy sharing. Animoto can quickly upload videos to sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and twitter. Another feature is that it has the ability to incorporate music into videos making them more enjoyable. Also, videos can be viewed in high definition giving them a greater impact. Animoto has many more features that can be used making it an even more powerful tool.
Another tool I found on the Discovery Education website was It is a social website for students and teachers. I found this as a healthy way for students and teachers to keep in contact outside the classrooms and also work on assignments. One way I could use this in my classroom is to have online homework and quizzes done and submitted to this site. That way I could quickly examine and provide students feedback and also answer any questions or clear misunderstandings in a short amount of time.

Project #12 Book Trailer

Friday, March 16, 2012

Project #9a Timetoast

Project #10 PLN

PLN Progress

When I first began this class, I had no idea what a Personal Learning Network, or PLN, was. Now I have somewhat of a better understanding of what it is. It is a network of tools and people that I can ask for help throughout my learning process. So far my PLN is going great. I use tools such as twitter to help my PLN grow and to connect with other people. I really look forward into seeing how much my PLN expands by the end of this semester and throughout my career as an educator.

C4T Summary #2

For this Comments for Teachers (C4T), I was assigned to read posts on the blog Life of an Educator by Justin Tarte. The first post I read was 10 ways to be a great teacher. This post was a remake of an earlier post entitled 10 ways to be a terrible teacher by Vicki Davis. In his post, he list 10 essential ways to be a great and successful teacher. He made very excellent points in this post. The one that really stood at the most to me is that "Great teachers will always value the relationships with their students over everything else. Great teachers know that when the students know you care and know you are there to help, there is nothing that can't be done or accomplished..." In my comment, I told him how much I agreed with that statement because if there is not a valued relationship between students and teachers, students will not be motivated to do much. More than likely the students will try to only do the bare minimum. Students are not the only ones who have to learn. Teachers are learning as well and without a healthy relationship between students and teachers, we will not be able to learn from them.

The second post I viewed was Make A Kid Smile. Once again, this is an excellent post dealing with student teacher relationships. In this post, he talks about this program they have instituted at his school where they reward students for a variety of achievements such as academic improvement, going above and beyond, or even just all around good citizenship. This is a very good program because students being rewarded may feel the need to do better in order to continue to be rewarded. Other students may also feel the need to do better so they can be rewarded as well. In my comment, I agreed with Mr. Tarte and also expressed my view on this idea. I agreed with him and explained my opinion that students who only receive negative reinforcement or nothing at all for the work they achieve may only do the bare minimum required to get by. However, if students receive more positive reinforcement they may become more eager and motivated to achieve. I would like to thank Justin Tarte for his post and recommend everyone to view his blog. It is very resourceful and insightful for people who want to become an educator.

Blog Post #7

The Networked Student
Images from the Networked Student

The video The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler is a very insightful video. This video talks about a student who is building a network of tools and people he can use to strengthen his learning process. He starts by using tools to help find credible source to put into his network such as Google scholar. After building a knowledge base, he starts his own blog which is open to viewers all over the world to bring in their own views. Using this plus other tools and people, he now has an extended network of experts and professional to help him through his learning process. The best part is that he will be able to share his organization of knowledge to the rest of the world.

After viewing this video, I was amaze at all the different tools that can be used to culminate a large network to help build the learning process. I had no idea that simple things, such as skype and twitter, can be used to build a network. Using these tools, I can communicate to people all over the world to get his or her expertise on certain topics. One key statement made in the video that I personally liked is when the narrator said it never hurts to ask. That is very true. Most people are very willing and happy to share their ideas if they are simply just asked. I believe that it is very important to build a network of connections and after viewing this video it is very simple to do.

In the video, the narrator asked "Why does the networked student even need a teacher?" Basically,the teacher was not there to quiz and test the student on material, she was needed for guidance. She showed the student how to use networking tools to the best of that they can be used. She also showed him how to connect to other people and how to interact. However, she was not there to do the work for the student. She pointed the student in the right direction to begin the journey. However, it was up to the student to finish.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment or (PLN)
Picture of a PLE

This video of A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment is very interesting. I learned a lot of things after watching it. She has organized it in a way that is very easy understand and straightforward. Also, I was a bit confused on exactly what a personal learning network is. However, after seeing her PLN I now understand better on what it is. It is the tools and people that you use to help progress through the learning process. This video is very informative and I plan on using it as a reference in order to help build my very own PLN.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blog Post #6

Randy Pausch The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
Pausch the Last Lecture

Randy Pausch's last lecture, Achieving Your Childhood Dream, was a really inspirational video. He was born October 23, 1960 in Baltimore, MD. After college, he became a professor at Carnegie Mellon University where is also obtained his Ph.D. He started off his lecture discussing his cancer and how he was only given three to six months of good health. However, he would not allow this news to discourage him. He felt that he could not change anything but he could still live his life the best he could.

He talked about some of his own childhood dreams. Some of which included working for NASA and even Disney. However, neither of his childhood dreams came to surface. In his lecture he also mentioned these things called "brick walls." He said that brick walls let us know how badly we want things. After hearing that in his lecture, I really had to think about that statement. It is very true, especially when pertaining to me. If an obstacle comes into my way and blocks me from reaching my goals, I would fight to reach them if I really wanted it. If it was not something I really wanted, I would just let it stay blocked by the "brick wall" in my life.

Another thing that was emphasized by Pausch is helping others. He also said that when helping others you should have fun as well. I also agree with this statement. If you are able to enjoy helping others, then you would want to do it more often. This also works parallel to teaching. In my opinion, the majority of a career is the relationship between educators and students. This includes them helping each other to learn. Students will not be the only ones learning. As an educator we have to learn as well which is why we have to help the students and they have to help us. If we enjoy helping each other, then it would make the experience even more worthwhile and students more eager to learn.

At the end of the lecture, Pausch stated that this lecture was not for the audience. This lecture was for his kids. This video taught me a lot of lessons that I hope I could use in my classroom one day. I would encourage anyone and everyone who is wants to be an educator to watch this lecture. Yes, it is a lengthy video but every second is worth watching. Dr. Pausch passed away on July 25, 2008 from pancreatic cancer leaving behind a legacy that will last forever.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog Post #5

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?
Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?

Dr. Scott McLeod Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He is also the founding director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education. This foundation is commonly called CASTlE and it is the only academic center designed for technology needs of school administrators. He is also considered by many to be one of the nation’s leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issue. He is also creator of a wildly popular video series called "Did You Know? (Shift Happens."

In his post Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please? Dr. McLeod appears to be asking parents to stop teaching the kids anything technologically related. However, after continuing to read his post it becomes clear that he is saying everything sarcastically. I found his method of delivering his point of view very interesting. He basically believes that by sheltering kids from technology because of the risks that may arise is hindering them and give other kids an upper hand. I must agree with Dr. McLeod because technology is only advancing with time. Instead of trying to block kids from reaching technology, we should embrace it and utilizes the many tools that come with it in order to motivate them to learn.

The iSchool Initiative
iSchool initiative

In the video The iSchool Initiative a high school senior named Travis Allen believes he may have found the solution to major cuts in the education system. His solution is mobile learning. He argues that by switching over to mobile learning that we can save students a minimum of $600 per student. Using mobile learning, there would be no longer need for paper, pencils, expensive machines, etc. Also, students will be able to control assignments through email.

I must admit that Mr. Allen makes a very compelling argument. Education is one of the main things being put aside these days. Teachers are being cut and schools are losing funding. Using this new method, it could be possible to save the education system. Schools would no longer have to pay for books and other things. Also, it would be easy to monitor students and their assignments through certain programs and tools. I found this video to be very powerful and enlightening. I suggest anyone who would like to learn more about mobile learning to view this video and also some of his other videos.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
Virtual director leading the virtual choir

After viewing the video Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir, I was astounded of how beautifully everything came together. The most amazing thing is that these people never even met or performed together before. It shows how vast the use of the internet can be and also the many capabilities it has. Technology is a wonderful thing. When used to its full advantage, there is no limit of what can be done.

Teaching in the 21st Century
What does it mean to teach in the 1st Century

In the video, Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts and formatted into a movie by Dr. John Strange, Mr. Roberts explains that teaching is not just about stating facts in front of a classroom. By doing this we are just saying things to our students in repetition and hoping that eventually it will stick. However, in doing so the students will soon one day forget. We should encourage students to use outside resources to help then learn. There are many ways that students can get extra information on material being learned other than from hearing them from the teachers. This could be from using Google to research things or even using social media to learn from each other. We should encourage students to use the full advantages of what is available to them.

Reading Rockets
Reading Rocket Loge

After reviewing the site, Reading Rockets I found that this site is very useful not only for teachers, but for students, principals, librarians, as well as other professions. As a teacher, I found that the section dedicated to classroom strategy is a very useful source. It covers topics such as vocabulary, phonetics, and comprehension as well as other topics. It also has a chart that allows the teacher to monitor a students progress as they go through each step of the processes. This is a very helpful section to utilizes when helping students learn.

Another portion of this site I found that I could utilizes as a teacher is the section for struggling readers. In this section, they have a part for helping teachers target the problem and also a part for tutoring. In the "Target the Problem" section, it breaks down what the problem may be into sections, such as vocabulary, comprehension, etc. This helps to really "hone in" on the actual problem itself. Also this allows the student to practice specifics things. In the "Tutoring" section, it shows how the teacher, and even parents should approach trying to help build the students reading fundamentals. It also provides articles that teachers and parents can read to handle certain situations like if a student gets a bad grade or how to help struggling readers.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blog Post #4

Langwitches Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting

The first podcast I listened to was Langwitches Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting. It is a collection of recordings from 2nd Graders telling the story of Purim. Although the students were able to get an understanding of how to use the tools that were needed to complete this project, the true purpose of the assignment was for the students grasp writing a script, listening, comprehension, collaboration, speaking skills, and fluency in the language of Hebrew. After listening to the podcast, I am astounded by how fluent the students were able to execute the language. It is as if the students were native speakers. I am not able to speak the language at all but it is easy to see that the rate at how these students were speaking was impeccable.

Langwitches - Podcasting with 1st Grade
Students working with a computer

Langwitches - Podcasting with 1st Grade is a podcast of a 1st grade class telling the story Vacation Under the Volcano by Mary Pope Osborne. This podcast is interesting because it allowed the students to read and learn a story in a different way. The students were able to become more involved with the story. I believe that by doing this, the students were able to gain a better understanding of the story. I could also tell that the students enjoyed this project and were very enthusiastic about it. Using podcast the students were more excited about reading and learning.

Langwitches 1st Graders Create Their Own Read Along Book
Teacher recording the script for the story with students

In Langwitches 1st Graders Create Their Own Read Along Book, the students are once again retelling the story Vacation Under the Volcano by Mary Pope Osborne. However, these are not the same students. These students are the new first grade students in the class. This time the teacher was so excited about how well the previous students did that she had gotten a head start on the project. This podcast was better than the previous. I am assuming that is because the people who were in charged in editing and recording had experience from last years recording. Overall, the students were once again enthused and excited about the story. I believe that allowing the students to do these podcast allowed helped the students to be more involved.

Project #6 This Is My Sentence

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Project #5

C4T #1

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?
Hand holding a jar of pencils

This post by John T. Spencer on his blog, Adventures in Pencil Integration covers a scene between a teacher and his principal after the teacher is accused of playing games with his students instead of teaching. However, this really was not the case. The teacher was actually performing a simulation with his students where they were working in where they were making pictures. Hearing this only upsets the principal even more. He feels that the students should focus solely on rote memorization skills and algorithm packets. The teacher comes up with his on solution after hearing this and instead begins a simulation with his students where they create an algorithm factory and integrate it into their Conflict-Oriented Reading and Writing Project (a.k.a the Factory Game).
In my comment on this blog post, I applauded Mr. Spencer on his ability to really capture on tactics that should be used in today's education. I believe that students are able to understand certain concepts easier by being active in the learning process. A simulation is a very good way to help students be more active and hands-on. Also in my comment, I included how Dr. Strange commonly uses the phrase "burp back" to explain the difference between memorizing and learning. It is easy for a students to be taught something, have them memorize it, and let them burp it back on a test. However, they will soon forget it. With a more hands-on approach, like the simulations used in this blog post, students can not only learn the material but they can also understand it and be able to use it on their own.

10 Points on Pencils
This second post by John T. Spencer is a letter written to the superintendent about his concerns with Mr. Spencer's classroom and his students use of pencils. In the letter, Mr. Spencer addresses the superintendent concerns in an organized way by making a list of ten things. One topic that was addressed is pencil. He addresses this concern by saying that although pencil predators are real, most abuse happen in-person by close social interaction. One quote I really liked from this post is that "the power of the pencil is a nuance, the paradox, the gray area" He's saying that students have the chance to learn in a personalized way and at the same time be able to erase and move toward formative assessment.
In my comment of this post,I explained that I really like the statements that were being made in this letter. Honestly, I found them to be quite humorous in a sense of sarcasm. It really grasped how authoritative figures in the education field overreact to students and their capabilities to use such a simple object like a pencil. I also applauded Mr. Spencer on how he explained that the problems that causes such fear in this authoritative figures are much bigger than the students and pencils themselves. I really find Mr. Spencer's Blog very insightful and recommend it to everyone who would like to see more of his views on education.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Blog Post #3

Peer Editing
A slide showing the three rules of peer editing

After viewingWhat is Peer Editing? , Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial, and Writing Peer Review Top 10 MistakesI learned how to help fellow students edit their work the correct way. The correct way to help someone edit there work includes complimenting the work they have done so far, offering suggestions to help make their work better, and helping correct mistakes that may have been made. The incorrect way to would be to basically point out every little thing that may have done wrong. In order for someone to understand the errors they have made, they should be approached in a careful manner. Some people are easily offended and become very defensive of their capabilities. Others switch to a more offensive state of mind and attack the person who is trying to help with the editing by challenge that persons own intellect. Saying this, when asked if I would offer suggestions publicly (via blog) or privately (via email, etc.), I would have to answer with it depends on what the suggestions are about. If I am making suggestions about minor mistakes then I would be fine with making suggestions publicly. However, if the suggestions are major then I would more than likely make them privately because I know that it can sometimes be embarrassing.

Technology in Special Education
Lacey Cook's Special Education Class

The video, Technology in Special Education by Lacey Cook is a documentary of her showing how much technology has helped her and her students. In her video, she shows how technology has made it easier for her to communicate with her students. Also, we can see that students are more eager to learn as well. She gives some of her students individual interviews asking them questions like "What do you think about computers?" Each student had nothing but positive say about how computers makes it easier to be involved in the classroom.
This video really shows how technology has changed the way special education is taught. I remember when I was younger, there were maybe four special needs children assigned to a teacher at one time. This was due to the fact that each one had their own individual ways that they had to be taught. However, by incorporating technology into the classroom, it makes it easier for each student to have their individual needs met. This allows for teachers to be able to tend to more students at a time. If I were to be over a special education classroom, I would probably apply similar uses of computers to my students as Ms. Cook did. Her method seemed to be very effective and popular with her students.

How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism
Braden using the iPad to help learn

How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism is a youtube video uploaded by that shows how the use of an iPad has changed the way an eight year old boy named Braden learns. Before his parents bought the iPad, they never really saw motivation from Braden to learn. The iPad provides an instant feedback whenever Braden touches an object on the screen. He simply provides his answer first and then listens to the feedback of the iPad for correctness. He uses apps such as Toddler Counting and My First Words to help him develop his ability to count and to also speak and see words.
After browsing apps that I could use to help special needs children, I came across an app I thought would be very useful called Intro to Letters by Montessorium. Although this app cost $4.99, I think that the results that could come from its use far outweighs the cost. Intro to Letters is an app that helps teach letters to kids. It teaches them how to trace, read, and record letter sounds and names. By allowing students to trace and right letters, this would help them be able to recognize and remember this letters upon sight. By allowing students to read and record letter names, students will be able to recognize letters and words by sound and be able to speak those letters and words themselves.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count
Gary Hayes's Social Media Count

After viewing the data that has been collected by Gary Hayes Social Media Count, it is astounding to see what all takes place on the internet in such a small amount of time. This data shows that people are constantly using social medias and other internet resources repeatedly. It's mind boggling to just sit here and think about how much we as people rely on the internet. The internet is an essential tool for everyday life without us even realizing it. It allows us to communicate and to gather information constantly in ways that weren't available before.
Since things are changing constantly with the use of technology, I feel that future educators will have to work even harder to acquire a steady job. Although, technology can be an educators best friend, it can also be our worse enemy. In order to excel in the education field, I believe that the educator should be technologically savvy. To accommodate the forever changing world of technology we as educators also have to be eager to learn and practice the new technology as it becomes available. Lastly, we as educators need to realized that we will never stop learning so BUCKLE UP AND ENJOY THE RIDE!

A Vision of Students Today
Quote by Marshall McLuhan

The video Vision of Students Today is a very insightful video into the minds of average college students. It really captures what students go through and how they view college. I see these exact same problems going on here at the University of South Alabama. I see people bring their laptops to class and spend more time on social media sites instead of following along with the professor. I can closely relate this video. They also show how students feel as if they are learning things that pertain to what they will have to use in their future. They also feel as though they are not learning things that can help with deal with thing like economic crisis and war. My favorite quote is that "I did not create these problems, but they are my problems."
From an educator's point of view, one might say that students do not really understand how valuable every piece of detail they are being taught truly is. Students may feel as though what they are learning now will never be used in their future, but what if it really is needed? What will they say when the time comes for them to use a tool that they ignored because they felt like it was not important? An educator might say that they would not teach a student some material that they would not need. It is not about what is important and is not important to learn. It is about the bigger picture. To obtain a flexible, well-rounded education with some foundation and not just focus on the important things.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blog Post #2

Did You Know? 3.0- A John Strange 2012 Version
Did You Know? Title

The video Did You Know? 3.0- A John Strange 2012 is a video by John Strange based on Did You Know? 3.0 by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod. This video presents a series of statistics on topics pertaining to technology such as the percentage of students who live in a home where a computer is accessible and the percentage of students who own a cellphone. Not only does the video present the data, it also compares it to other periods of times to show how the percentages have evolved over time. Also, to eliminate some variables that could be questioned in the data the video presented, it also compared statistics from minorities, such as African Americans. The data shows that over time, technology has become more and more accessible and used more by people even at an early age.
As time continues to progress, technology is increasingly becoming an necessity. The video stated that the top 10 jobs of 2022 are not even in existence yet and will be controlled by technology that has not yet been created. With this phenomena, the video poses a very interesting question, "Are you ready to be an educator?" After viewing all the statistics and posed with that question, it really made me think. I realized that in order to be a good educator, I have to have the ability to instill in others what I have learned. However, to be a great educator, I have to be able to instill in others what I have learned, but also be eager to learn even more as well. In order to be able to truly educate, I will need to be able to utilize the current technology at the time. Thus, I will need to be an eager learner.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
Mr. Winkle using a computer

Mr. Winkle Wakes by Mathew Needleman is a short video about a man named Mr. Winkle who slumbers for 100 years and awakes in a world filled with technology that he doesn't recognize. He sees computers printing documents and pictures, machines keeping people alive in hospital by breathing life into them, and business men and women talking and viewing each other from opposite sides of the world. This new world was very strange to Mr. Winkle an made him very uncomfortable. He ventured this new world to discover that these new technology was everywhere. However, he was finally able to find one place that everything was exactly how he remembered it. This place was a school where students filled desk and were lectured all day by teachers. A place where technology really was not present with the exception of one old, worn out computer.
What I take from this video is that the world is becoming increasingly more technologically savvy. However, the places that we are suppose to learn how to use these new technologies in order to be able to function in society are either not really allowing these lessons to be taught or are not technologically savvy themselves. Some may argue that students really don't need to know how to be able to use computers, but to be honest the world functions today mostly off computers. There is a software for almost any task that needs to be completed. However, if students aren't taught how to use these tools effectively, how will they be able to function?

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
Sir Ken Robinson giving his lecture

In Sir Ken Robison: The Importance of Creativity, he speaks about how schools are really killing creativity. When it comes to education, creativity is extremely important. It shows students individuality and also helps students grow by allowing them to discover who they are and who they want to be as they grow older. Without creativity, students would have a hard time of actually learning material because things would be lifeless. Creativity helps catches the attention of students and helps peak their interest into wanting to learn more and participate more.
One example of how I see creativity slowly being killed in schools is the slow removal of the arts in school. The arts include band, choir, drawing, etc. Classes like these are really one of the biggest ways that students are able to express themselves and discover their passions. I agree with Sir Ken Robinson that schools does take away creativity. However, creativity in school is what should be expressed the most.

A Vision for 21st Century Learning
student presenting to the class

In the video, A Vision for 21st Century Learning, the creator argues that in order to prepare students for the modern world, technology has to be integrated into schools. Students passively learn in class by memorizing facts but do they truly learn and understand the material. By integrating technology with lessons, students will have to the ability to utilize hands-on learning and learn in ways that were never before accessible. I agree with the basis of this video because almost every aspect of society is somehow tied to technology in some form. If students are deprived from being able to use these tools, when they get older a lot of things that most people are capable of doing with computers will be a total shock to them. Unfortunately, they will always be one step behind because of some thing that was out of their control.

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis helping one of her students

In the video, Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts, we get an inside look on the teaching strategy that a Georgia teacher named Vicki Davis has developed with the help of her students. She uses tools such as blogs to help her students learn but also teach her new things she had no clue about. Another key use to her method of blogs is that it also connects her students with students around the world. By integrating technology, not only do students learn what she teaches them but they also learn how to do things for themselves.
I like Vicki Davis's methods of educating her students. After view this video, it appears as if her students also appreciate her style. They learn how to utilize tools that most adults are not even capable of doing themselves and also work collaboratively with each other. As time continues to progress, it is essential that students be able to use it. With this type of teaching style, students will not need to worry about being technologically savvy.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blog Post 1

About Me

Hello, my name is Rodney Patrick and I am a student in EDM310 at the Univeristy of South Alabama. I am from Saraland, Al which is about 20 minutes north of the University. I currently major in Mathematics/Secondary Education. I hope to be able to teach at the high school level however, I am not opposed to teaching at a middle school. As a future educator, it is my personal belief to go where ever I am needed the most.

I graduated from Satsuma High School in 2010. While in high school I participated in the marching band, concert band, jazz band, and pep band. Needless to say music plays a big role in my life. I am a peaceful person so I can just sit alone for hours and just listen to music. Aside from muscic, I also enjoy spending time socializing with friends and family. My family really puts emphasis on the "importance of family" idea so often times I can be found grabbing lunch, playing games and activities such as phase 10 or badminton, or just conversating with any of my family members.

Randy Pausch on Time Management

Randy Pausch was an assistant and associate professor at the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science who later also became associate professesor of Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2008, Pausch passed away as a result of complications due to pancreatic cancer that he had been diagnosed with in 2006. He became a hit on YouTube when his inspirational lectures began being posted on the popular site.
His most recent lecture, titled Randy Pausch on Time Management focused primarily on how to better manage time by using tools such as "To Do" list and how to effectively use them. Dr. Pausch also gave valuable advice on how to handle daily tasks and to accomplish goals. From his lecture, I learned that order in to help manage time and plans is to first actually have a plan and that I am not bound to just one plan . It is fine if decide that I want to change my plans, but it is impossible to do so without actually first having one. Secondly, in order to effectively accomplish daily tasks and goals, it is probably best to begin with the dirtiest of the task and work my way up to easier goals. Finally, I learned that I should plan tasks in levels. For example, I should plan on the tasks I have to accomplish for today, then the tasks for by the end of the week, then the end of the semester and so forth. Dr. Pausch said that "it's better to do the right thing adequately than the wrong thing beautifully." In my opinion, this is a powerful statement that should be use whenever anyone is trying to effenciently manage time. I recommend that anyone who would like to learn how to better manage time watch his lecture. He provides very good advice on how to effectively manage time and plan goals. To view his lecture simply click on Randy Pausch on Time Management.