Saturday, May 4, 2013

Blog Post #15 - Final Reflection

Part One: My Future Classroom (Reread and Resorted)
  After rereading my first blog post about the type of classroom I would have for my 5th grade class I see now that I did not really have a clear picture of my teaching styles or what technology I would use. I would keep the notion of giving my students a syllabus at the beginning of the semester but I would also have them all go to the computer lab to set up a Google account so that I can also send them the syllabus through Google Docs. But I would also set up a class website where they are to post different homework, listen to the class lesson or read new information I sent out to the class. I want to keep using different teaching methods (observation, direct, guest speaker, field trips) but add in more technology such as Skype in The Classroom and Blogger. I want them to become more acquainted with different ways to communicate with others as well as how to find safe, reliable sources of information for research.
  I know that while my main goal was to teach the lessons that needed to be taught for the grade I also see that manners and responsibly was also very important in the first blog post which I wish to keep pushing. What good are the skills to be a leader or the drive to learn if the student has no respect for others or themselves? This attitude will echo in their projects and homework so I want to show them post or comments done by people who held a professional attitude and could communicate with respect to their audience and those who did not. I would have them compare these people at the begging of the year and then again at the end. What did they notice that they didn't before? Which person were they most like at the beginning of the year? The end? What has changed? Basically I would create my own version of Blog Post #15 for my own students so that they can have their own self evaluation and personal reflection. It helped me a lot and I wish to pass this feeling of accomplishment and a joy that where you are headed is now not as scary as it was before.

Part Two: Video Reflection of The Me At the Beginning and End of This Semester 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Project #13

  In doing Project #15 and #16 we used several different types of technology to not only stay in touch and make sure that what we were doing was right but to also communicate different ideas. We used Google + twice to make sure that the dates for our meets and recording times were correct and to go over what we each were to write in the Google Documents. It was a lot of fun because while we were talking we could also change up the Document at the same time so that we did not forget or miss anything that was crucial. We also used texting and the flip cameras to show off ideas and record parts we might want in the videos. The iMovie was were each were created and finished and, even though it took awhile because we wanted them to be right, we loved staying connected and getting it done together.

C4K - Part 3

Week One: Alex P.
  Alex P. wrote his post about his home state of Nebraska. He talks about the monkey, alligator and lion exhibits in the Healy Dourly Zoo as well as the Koolaid museum and the Great Plains landscapes. He also seems very proud when he writes that Nebraska made the BT Sandwhich and that the state bird is the meadowlark. I told him about my own home state of Alabama. I talked about how much I love the fact that we are apart of the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, that the sand is as white and soft as sugar and that no matter where you go you in the state you always find miles of lush greenery. I told him that we are know as the "Heart of Dixie" and that our state bird is the Yellowhammer. I told him that I liked what we wrote about Nebraska and that one day I hope I could see it too.

Week Two:
  Charlotte wrote her post about camping with her friends, exploring Warrnambool, her cousin's baptism and eating chocolate eggs from the Easter Bunny over the Easter Holiday. She talked about exploring around the campsite with her friends, how happy she was that Eric brought a stove for eggs, bacon and even pancakes one morning and her landmark for the Easter Bunny. She made a little signs for the Easter Bunny to know where they were so that he could find them and from her "we would explode by the end of eating it all!" comment I say he found them and left plenty of goodies. I told her that it sounded like she had a lot of fun over the Holiday and that I was glad to hear that she could spend it with her family. I said that all weekend long I was helping my parents get different dishes ready and on Sunday we spent all day at my Aunt's home with my entire family. During the big Easter Egg hunt the Golden Egg, a special one the parents make that can hold anything plus some money, was hidden by throwing it in the river and several of my cousins jumped in to get it. Everyone was wet, full of Easter goodies and happy to be together. I told her that I found it very funny and touching that even though we are miles apart we spend the holiday in the same manner: with our family. I also said that I hoped that she will keep writing and that she had very good grammar/writing skills.

Week Three:
  Jayden wrote his blog about his Easter weekend camping in Stieglitz and Easter egg hunting with his family. Thanks to help from his mom his was able to collect half a bag of Easter eggs and even got to play with his friend Luke. Later on they went camping where not only did he have his own tent but he went to sleep with the sounds of the water moving in the creek right beside their campsite. You do not need to read "it was a lot of fun" to see that he very much enjoyed his holiday weekend. I told him that I went Easter Egg hunting too over the holiday but since I was helping my baby niece find them I did get any but was happy to hear that he too enjoyed it. I also said that from he and others in his class have told of their camping trips it sounds like I need to go and to bring an extra tent encase one leaks like his brother's. I ended saying that I was glad that he is writing this blog and when I compared his first post to his current one I could see that he was getting better. I told him good luck with his writing and that I couldn't wait to hear more.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Teacher Comments - Part 4

My Comment to John Spencer's Adventures in Pencil Integration Blog
Subject: Remember Pencil Quests?
  In this latest post Mr. John Spencer talks about a Pencil Quest that one of his sophomore teachers created and how different it was from what other teachers at that time were doing. It was a very simple game: follow your map to each site where a page is waiting, there you will answer the questions and go to the next site. When they began the game a "crazy part" took over because all of the kids, even though you were using a pencil and you could not follow a different map, were having fun. This teacher was teaching the same subject as others but did so in a way that made it exciting because he was not strapping them down to a desk but engaging them in the subject. Mr. John Spencer says that when he thinks back on those quests he gets a little embarrassed but at the same time you can feel his pride in his teacher for being a "Pioneer" for his generation of teachers. He ends by saying that even though his students love the concepts of their projects, blogs and pen pals he wonders when they look back what they will see as "quaint" like he did with the Pencil Quest.

  I told Mr. John Spencer that I too was proud of those teachers who were "different" in terms of their teaching styles because those were the ones that, while the lesson might have been simple or short, engraved it deeper than others. In my sophomore year of high school I moved during Christmas and had the chance to see two very different teachers, one from New York City and the other from Alabama, teach the same lesson of math. The first stayed with the concepts of the book, taught each lesson in order and we did lots, lots of worksheets over the weeks. But in Alabama the first day our teacher can in, wrote all the formulas on the board from the chapters and started singing on her guitar. The songs were simple because instead of saying the formulas we were singing them but even after all these years I still remember those songs. I told him that I wanted to be more like her, him and his teacher because they were different and students want more and do more than they might have in another teacher's room. I ending saying that I hope when it is my time that I never settle for what others are doing but instead show my students to keep moving forward and thanks him for all that he has done.

My Comment to John Spencer's Adventures in Pencil Integration Blog
Subject: The Con Academy 
  In this post Mr. John Spencer wrote about, in a very unusual and entertaining manner, the Khan Academy and their way of "flipping" a classroom. In this sense the class is divide into those who get the material, those who do not and those who wish to push further into the subject. They chose what worksheets they will do for class, how many and to "work at his or her level independently" of the teacher. When Mr. John Spencer was introduced to the man from this academy he did not like it because, while yes it would keep the students busy  it gave them too much freedom in what got done for the class and at what level. Mostly it was a stack of worksheets meant to keep the students free of any time that they would either be listing to the teacher or not doing any work. Mr. John Spencer found this pointless but the principal chose the Academy over the warnings and concerns of  a seasoned teacher. He ends saying that while the "con academy" was a free gift so was the Trojan Horse.

  I commented saying that I understood that he did not like a system that valued the "busy work" of students who might simply be working below their grade/skill level to make it easier on then over the teachings of a real teacher. I told him how every time I had to do it it felt as if the teacher did not care about us and just wanted us to be quite. I said that I liked it when I had the textbook on-line because I could easily look up information and still study if I had to leave my backpack at home while on a trip but I needed a teacher more. They are the reason why a child wants to learn or not and sending them to a school where they are asked "how much work would you like to do for your grade?" and not "I see that you can do better" makes them question if trying is worth it. I told him that I was sorry that the principal did not listen to him but maybe because he wrote this article that others will see it and begin to really question is this version of flipping a class is good or not for the students. 

Blog Post #14

I.) Summary of Teacher Knows if You Have Done the E-Reading by David Streitfeld 
  At this moment in Texas A&M several professors are creating an on-line E-Reading system after realizing that not only were their students not doing the readings they needed to do for class but that a good portion of them have never even opened their books. Thanks to the program the teachers and professors can look over and see if the students are actually reading the book to see if they need to change. Does what the program say mean that I need to make the class harder? Easier? Should I speed up or slow down? It tells them this as well as giving an early alert in case one or more students look like they are going to fail based on their scores on-line. Now the professors can alter the teaching lesson to keep everyone on track while watching over the ones who are in the red zone; this helps a lot for freshmen because a bad G.P.A. can take years to fix. Some students did not like the program at first because of "big brother" watching them at then again later because of either bugs in the system or being recorded opening the book only once when it as opened many times that day. These and other problems will be taken care of and hopefully the drop rate at the college will begin to decrease thanks to the program and its professors.

II.) Thoughts On the Article if I was a Teacher
  I like this because I can see if my students are actually reading the book, why or why not and if I need to slow down/speed up in class. If they understand the subject in class but no one is opening their books I can ask if they do not understand the chapters and contact the publishers to tell them this so that they can make betters ones in the future. This would also help me see which students are trying hard to keep up with the class but are falling behind or if someone is doing  nothing for the class in terms of grades too. If at the end I see that Amy has been working hard all year and is only a few points away I have proof that she has earned a chance to get the points but if Johnny does nothing and his parents ask why I failed him I also have proof. It is also a way to hold the students accountable for their own reading and preparing for the exams by showing that they have all that they need, other than the notes they take in class, on the website.

III.) Thoughts On the Article if I was a Student 
  I think that I would like it since everything was on-line (being green is very important to me) and everything I needed would be on one page making it so that I would not have to keep searching again and again for a term that might be different from what is said in the subject. I can prove that I have been doing the work and reading the chapters just as we would be told to do for homework in case I need a few more points to get to the next letter grade. It would also have a list of what I need to do for the week, be able to see what I have done/need to do and research information on projects. The only thing that I do not like is that if I write notes in class then I get points taken off and if I find a mistake the book will not be fixed right away which means that others will learn a false fact.

IV.) Questions to Ask a Teacher of The Class That is Described in the Article 
  1.) How do you know that the students are really reading the book and not just clicking on the chapters?
  2.) What do you do if your students show you and/or see that parts of the chapter/book are wrong?Do you call the publisher? Can you get a new book?
  3.) Is it possible to add quizzes to their reading on-line?
  4.) If the students scan in their notes from class will they still how a low score?

V.) Questions to Ask the Students in the Class of a Teacher That is Described in the Article 
  1.) Is it easier to read the book if it is a textbook or on-line?
  2.) What do you do if what the teacher teaches is not the same as what is shown in the book?
  3.) Do you like the teacher knowing if you have done the reading or not?
  4.) If there was one thing about this program you could change what would it be?

VI.) Comment 
  I would like this system because everything would be on-line, no paper trail that could get lost and I can monitor if my students are doing their work or not. I can also place the class into two parts: the on-line reading and a class blog. The on-line reading would help keep them on track, like a Checklist, so that they knew what is due when and what to do if they have questions. It can tell me if someone is falling behind or if I can speed up the class; being able to alert me if someone is going to fail is a plus too. The class blog would also have them apply what they have read, project ideas that they might want to do in class and to show that they are really listening/getting what I am teaching. I can assign them reading then have them write about what they have been doing in the class to their blog and try to apply it to a read-world event or idea. With this I cam help reach more students by monitoring their progress and their communication on all levels. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Personal Learning Network (PLN) - Final Report

   After spending several weekends trying to find the right system of organizing my items, web pages, blogs, etc. I finally decided on Symbaloo l and I love it! It has brought much of my stress levels down knowing that everything I need is on one page. I can easily separate my social life into four parts: school, work, play and news/important items. For school I have the school website, blogger, a document where I have listed different professors' and teachers' blogs, Twitter and Pinterest. For work I have their website, the work scheduled and contact information on my coworkers. For play lately it has been placed right beside my school section because from YouTube, iMovies and The Last Lecture they have begun to over lap where what I was doing last year merely for fun I am now doing it also to learn. For news/important items it holds my Gmail, Facebook, links to Linkedin and Amazon where I check any message I might have or items that might be for sale. It has helped me a great deal because now I do not have to write down something I want to keep an eye on for my future classroom or look through one web page after another trying to find which email I used. Everything is in one place that I control and can keep adding to for years to come.

Project #15 - Smart Board Part 2

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog Post #13

Part One: Mr. Brain Cosby's Back to the Future
  In Mr. Cosby's video was incredible because here is a teacher who is not only using different types of technology to teach the school's requirements but he is also impeding other subjects as well. Instead of teaching only from the book and giving out quizes to measure if they are learning he has then film the projects or examples done in class, embed them on their blogs and write about what is going on in the video. In that one sentence it shows that they are learning how to listen to instructions so that the project goes right, how to share what they have learn to others and how to put what they have seen/learned into words. BUT HE DOES NOT STOP THERE! Later on with the ballon and flight parts of their lesson he showed them the history of ballons, how they have changed over the years and after they released their own large ballon called "High Hope" High Altitude Ballon in to the sky they wrote about what it would be like if they were the ballon. His students even took it a step further and asked every blog they could find to sent them their "high hopes" to put in the ballon and they received so many from all over the world that they burned a disk of them and put them along side their own hopes. At the beginning of school most of them did not even know where they lived or their own address BUT now he has motivated them to keep going, he gave them the tools to learn on their own and to connect to others. I loved most the parts where they worked on their communication skills to teach other teachers/students in different parts of the world how to do the projects they have done in the class and how they connected Celeste via Skype so that she could be apart of the class. He has proven that if a child learns where education is done in a "meaningful and motivational context" instead of one where learning is in fact memorization for an exam then anything can be possible for them. I aimer someone who starts off with children who not very little and by the end of the year turn them into children who are becoming more of the person they wish to be when they grow up by giving them the means to learn and connect to others.

Part Two: Mr. Paul Anderson's Blended Learning Cycle 
 Mr. Anderson uses a teaching strategy he calls a "Blended Learning Cycle" that he calls "Quivers". This cycle is in two parts. The first uses the classroom, the web and all mobile devices to teach by connecting the students to others in the world who might be teachers, professors or just other kids who want to learn too. The second is in the five parts that many science teachers use in their own classes and each part starts with "E". The first is Engage where he might ask questions to get the students thinking both in terms that they already know and in a way where they have to think outside the box. The second is Explore where he shows different places they can go to to get answers or to ask their own questions. The third is Explain where he explains the answer. The four is Expand where they build on what they already know and think about the answer in different forms or scenarios. The fifth and final part is Evaluate where they have to think over and over what they learned and how it apply to the topic at hand and in their own lives. To remember this he calls it "Quivers": QU - question, I - investigation/inquiry, V - video, E - elaboration, R - review and S - summary quiz. Here he gives them a problem or question where they first think about what the answer could be only by looking at it and working together. They then investigate by not only using the web but also videos that he makes for them so that they can keep checking to see if what they are doing/thinking is right. They then elaborate and review their findings, what was right/wrong and most importantly why. He ask them one-on-one about the topic and until he knows that they understand it they cannot move to the quiz. I love his strategy because he is having them think in terms of facts from the book as well as how they can physically find the answers from projects and how to explain it in words. My favorite part is where he does not allow a student who does not understand the material well to take the quiz at the end of the sections because he know that they do not know and tries to find ways to explain the subject further. When they were going over Natural Selection he could have played a video or read from the book but by creating a project where they were the "birds" and having them time themselves to see how long it took to pick up the beans if they were big/small with a "beek" that was long/short he made it more about learning for fun than for an exam. I am saving his videos on my YouTube account so that when I begin teaching I can go back to him and remember tips or tools to keep teaching my students.

Project #16 - Progress Report

PROJECT #16 - Progress Report
Our group decided to go with option B

For our group Introduction we will all be sitting in chairs, when giving advice to future EDM 310 students, current EDM 310 students, and outsiders that are trying  to understand what EDM 310 is all about! We will explain why we are making this video, going into depth about why we encourage students to stick with the class, who it will be helping and how it will help future educators, and last wish those taking the class the best of luck! We have been using Google+, Google Doc and Google Doc Instant Message to discuss what we are all going to talk about. So far, so good. There are a couple of things that we need to come to an agreement on but for the most part everything is running along smoothly! Starting on Monday our group will be meeting at 2 pm so that we can start videoing ourselves for the project. However, this week we are working on finishing our project 15 so that way we will be on time with project 16 and will have it posted hopefully by next Thursday.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Blog Post #12

Possible Blog: Post
   It is never good for a student to get any form of editing or help from only one person or group because it limits them to a handful of thoughts and opinions. If a child is only around those who see the world in terms of A then they will begin to see the world the same and will not know how to function with or speak to those who see it in terms of B. As a teacher you need to find a way to connect your students to others in the community or the world so prevent this. Skype is one of the most popular ways to accomplish this action because it links others together in a way that allows all to learn and grow from each other. 
   For this week I want you to look into the Skype in the Classroom and poke around to see what you can find. Think of a classroom activity, after school time or even a field trip where this can be used and write it out. Keep in mind the area, subject or grade you want to teach while writing and have it connect.

Possible Blog: Answer
   I am currently coming to the University of South Alabama to be a librarian and I want to use Skype in the Classroom in two forms to help the students. The first is an after school tutoring program where the students are joined with another school somewhere in the same time zone for help in different subjects. For example, if a child is having problems adding fractions then everyone from both sides will be placed in the same room where they will help each other. Maybe a student from the other school can share a trick they learned or one person from either side can write a problem out on the boards and everyone work together to solve it. This way everyone is learning together and they are making connections with other students. The second form where I would use Skype in the Classroom is for story times for the younger children. Each week a librarian, teacher or even a parent will read a story to both sides and then they will discus what they learned or found interesting about the book. If there is a part that someone from one side did not understand then have someone from the other side stand up and explain it to them; this will help in listening, making connections and communicating with others. While the main parts from both will be education, speaking and working together there is another that many times a teacher might forget to teach: using your manners. Before either project begins I would first have the teachers explain why it is so important to use their manners, how to speak to someone who needs help without being disrespectful and why learning how to work with others will help them later in life. If I were allowed to use this in my school I know that within a few years that those students will leave with a better view of how to treat others, how to communicate when they need help or are helping someone and that learning something new can be fun. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Teacher Comments - Part 3

My Comment to Dr. John Strange's "Dr. John Strange's Strange Thoughts" Blog
Subject: How the World Helps Me Teach Pre-Service Teachers - In Less Than 24 Hours! 
  Dr. Strange wrote about when one of his students last year left a comment on a teacher's blog asking how their post that the student said was full of "flutter" and "opinions" was going to help him be a better teacher. The student then left a comment on his own blog about what he left on the teacher's blog but then stated that he did not understand how this was going to help him. He was asking anyone out in the world who found his blog if they could explain the importance of this class and what the benefits of reading and writing on the blogs was going to help him. In less than twenty-four hours he was given comments by sixteen people from New Zealand, Canada, American and all but three were either teachers, administrators or IT directors. They explained why in their own terms and using their own experiences to say that what he is learning is important not only as a teacher but as a person who is getting prepared for a world that is changing everyday. They all worked to help the student understand why they needed to stay in the class and Dr. Strange was very happy that it was other bloggers, others who were connected by technology, who showed the purpose of his class and now he uses this to help others understand too.

  I commented saying that of all of the assignments we have done for the class the blogs by teachers have helped me the most because they are presenting what they have learned over the years so that others can learn and not repeat them to other students. They are full first-hand knowledge by those who are on the "front lines" and live everyday what we are getting read for; we need their help. When I had to do a paper on the Gulf War I asked my Dad because I knew that someone who was there would have more to say and that the information would be more creditable than what I could get from a book. That is what the purpose of commenting on the teacher's blogs: to get us to see what is coming, what we need to do to get ready, skills that we should begin to master and projects that the have found taught better than only from a book. We all want to be "good" teachers but in order to do that we need to see the real world and then start working on what is coming.

My Comment to Dr. John Strange's "Dr. John Strange's Strange Thoughts" Blog
  Dr. Strange discusses what it took for him to be certified by the SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and School) which is the regional accrediting system that gives teachers and professors the "OK" to teach their subject. The process in theory is very simple: print out all that proves you are qualified to teach your subject and, if the SACS approves, you can teach it. However for Dr. Strange all that he had to do to be approved was as far as "simple" could get. First the policy for giving proof that a professor is qualified to teach their subject has not been in place for many years and he was given the news to get all of his paperwork to his chairman within one week. He was told on December 3rd so needless to say he was in a frenzy getting ALL of the paperwork he could get but that is when the next "bump" happened. When he sent everything in he was then told that it was rejected because it "summarized activities and lacked specifics such as dates and places of speeches, etc." so he had to write and rewrite again. It was not until he finally obtained a copy of the requirements by the SACS was he able to send in the final version of his qualifications. It was "13 pages long, contain[ed] 4,261 words, and is highly specific" and for the second time it was rejected. FINALLY, after he and others worked over 2,000 pages of material did he send it in again. This 5 1/2 inch high stack of paper was finally approved....but with a twist. Everything he wrote needed to be in a .pdf document. Anyone who has taken his EDM310 class knows that it is "Green" meaning that everything is online so it made him very upset that fist he had to print it all out to them and second he could not simply e-mail it so that the SACS was not wasting paper. So after he and several secretaries rushed to complete the latest demands of the SACS he concluded five parts by both the University and SACS need to fix in order for this fiasco not to happen again:
1. The SACS places a great burden on the University to gather all the information needed to approve a professor. If they were to explain, clearly and in a manner that everyone will understand, what they need then the process would be easier to begin and end.
2. The University waited too long to request the information from the professors making the task an impossible challenge at best. If the SACS stated that they were going to be approving the professors in my University one week before they came I would all that I could but I would also explain the unnecessary burden they are placing on us. And if I knew that they were coming, regardless if it is next term or next year, I would inform the professors early so that they can get all of their materials in on time.
3.) The SACS needs to state what they want from what they need in terms of material from a professor to state their qualification. If the class is about technology it is "absurd" to state that everything must first be in print and then in a . pdf document.
4.) It seems odd that after teaching the same course for 25 years the SACS is now looking into his works and education to see if he is qualified to teach; to me this seems to be the perfect example of the bureaucratic problems that plague the school systems.
5.) The SACS policy states that a professor must show the degree they received to teach their subject but, as in Dr. Strange's case, that degree might show nothing to do with their current field  His Ph.D from Princeton might state that he is approved to teach political science even though he is teaching more so in terms of teaching in the classroom with technology.

  After reading this post I stated that I was very grateful that, even though both the SACS and the University made the process very difficult, he kept going to prove that he had what it took to teach. As much as I despised  even hated this class at the beginning I know see why it is so important because it is not about how to make movies or blogs but instead about changing how we tackle a challenge. The reason for the class is to show that problems that we had with our own education system when we were children and what we can do to change it for our own students. What if my classroom was given a new set of computers or a SmartBoard? Before this class I would have used it to play games or to show PowerPoint. I would not know any other way to use it but now I cannot give such an excuse. We have been shown many, many different ways to use what both our students and we know to teach them and different levels that will help them now and later. A child learns to type, then to blog, then to comment on other blogs and by the time they enter college not only has their confidence in their writing skills improved but they now know where to go to ask questions to those who know the field. In my parent's time they looked in a book, we looked on Google but now this generation can go everywhere. Thanks to Dr. Strange we can now go into the classroom showing how to get this information.

C4K - Part 2

Week One: Alex
Alex wrote about how different her life would be if we did not have the First Amendment. She talks about how she could treat others who were of a different race than her "unfairly" and that nothing would stop it. I said that I agreed because the First Amendment has given us so much freedom to live the lives that we want instead of being under a Kings' thumb. I told her that even today I still do not understand how a person could justify their hateful actions towards them simply because they saw the person as different. America was created to be a safe haven for all who wanted to live their own lives in freedom and thanks to the First Amendment that is what we are today. I also told her that I liked her Book/Movie Review she did on the Three Stooges because both my dad and I still watch them and I was happy to find someone else who liked them too. I hoped that she keeps writing because I could tell from her other post that she has a lot to say and that doing so on her blog was a perfect first step.

Week Two: Kyla
Kyla wrote about how much she liked the new tablets her classmates and she have to use in the classroom but that there were many thing that she also did not like. She finds it confusing when the tablet messes up, "everything" is blocked and they are limited to what they can do on them. Because of this when she goes home all she does is place it in the charger. She states "what's the point of having these tablets if we can't do anything with them at home" as the reason why she does not like them. I told her that I understood because when computers first into my classroom all we were allowed to do on them was type or do research. I was mad too until the teacher explained that we first needed to be taught how to be responsible with the computers before we could move on; once I got that I listened better so to know what to do. When we learned about typing, looking up research, how to start the computer and showed that we would take care of the computer she allowed us to finally play game on it. I told her that I knew she wanted to do more but that these baby steps she is taking are needed so that she can be able to do more later. You cannot run until you learn to crawl.

Week Three: Kaycee
Kaycee wrote her post about the history behind the Easter Eggs in that they are a celebration of new life and that the giving of Easter Eggs has been going on for hundreds of years. I told her how the egg represents the Easter Story. The the hard shell is the tomb that held Jesus and, just as an egg will with time, when it broke it have way to a new life. I also told her how there are some cultures use paints or dyes to decorate the eggs while others use candle wax or sew fake eggs covered in decoration. I have seen these and all of them are very beautiful  I was glad that she wanted to learn more about the history of the Easter Egg because many see an everyday item and think nothing of why we have it or where it came from. I hoped that she would keep looking for history with other events and share them with us again.

Week Four: Ryan
Ryan wrote his post on himself. He lives in Farmersburg, Iowa with a population of about 300 and jokes saying that "if u blink while driving through it you will miss it". Farmersburg is about twenty miles from the Mississippi so he goes to the river a lot. He loves being outdoors hunting, fishing or target shooting with his family. Even during the winter he is still outside wither snowmobiling or ice fishing. I told him that I loved in Satsuma, Alabama which is about the same size as his own town and that sister and dad were the ones who loved hunting. I liked going to Steel Creek instead were I can read, fish or ride on an inner-tube. In my spare time I enjoy swimming, reading, writing stories and rock-wall climbing. I told him that if he wanted to try it that he should not look down when at the top; no one told me but while it was scary it was also very fun.

Blog Post #11

Technology in the Today's Classroom 
 Ms.Cassidy is a first grade teacher in Canada who is using technology in terms of blogs, wikis, videos and even the Nitendo DS games to help teach her students. In her first YouTube video titled First Graders in Ms.Cassidy's Class the students talk about what they have learned in her class and what they do with the technology. I loved the part where the students are talking about how you are to comment on another's page and what you can/cannot do so to not "be mean". It shows that what Ms.Cassidy is teaching is not only how to make a video or play a game but that they are learning how and why they are using this technology  With the blogs two students said that their writing was getting better because they kept using their blogs and you can tell that when others comment on their blog that it made them want to keep writing more. One part that I want to use in my classroom is the DS games because, while most might see them as a waste of time, over the years I have seen why they are very important. While babysitting one afternoon one of the boys showed me a game on his DS that he loved and in it you had to spell any item that would help the hero get to the end. Like if he was at a cliff, the boy needed to spell "rope" correctly so that the hero could keep going. Over time I saw that his spelling  and reading were getting better because of the game and I want my own students to see that they can both learn and have fun. In the second video titled Skype Interview with Ms.Cassidy talks about how she started using technology in her classroom, why she using Twitter and Skype, what other teachers in her school think about what she is doing and most importantly why those in EDM310 need to keep learning. In the past knowing how to type or make a PowerPoint was all that someone needed to know but today, as Ms.Cassidy and her students have shown, you need much more if you want to keep up and thrive. It was sad though to hear that there were many teachers in her school who did not want to change their teaching styles simply because they have been using it for so long and did not want to learn. She keeps going in spite of what others say or do and her students will not only be more prepared for the real world but will also see learning a new system or program as something to enjoy and not fear. I hope that I can inspire my own students to love all that technology can do for them in the coming years too. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blog Post #10

My Response to John T. Spencer's Cartoon I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga on his blog Adventures in Pencil Integration
  In this picture you are shown two people, with unique names and with different descriptions about themselves but what you see is not the real meaning. Papermate is a popular brand of pencils that are so ordinary and common that most people in the U.S. have used them during their education years. It is shown as a middle age man in a suit and tie most likely showing its long age in sell pencils. Ticonderoga is a brand of pencils as well but they are vastly more expensive than Papermate even though when you compare them they are made of the exact same material. This pencil is shown as a young man wearing clothes much like a teenager or college student might wear too. Here you have two pencils that each do the same tasks as the other but one cost more because of its brand; this is not about pencils. I believe that Mr. John T. Spencer is trying to explain is that a teacher does not always need the latest item or program to teach but that sometimes the most effective way to teach is the simplest. Papermate and Ticonderoga both do the same functions and in the cartoon he is saying that the "hipster" teacher will buy the more expensive item to stay up-to-date when it is not needed. Yes, I love a SmartBoard and I see how a class blog will help my students build up not only their communication and writing skills but also their self esteem in putting their works out into the world but I see that there are some task that do not call for a computer. Need to get them working on math problems? Write out some worksheets. Want to link Literature and Art together? Have them draw a picture and write its story. I think what Mr. John T. Spencer is saying is that not everything needs smoke and mirrors to get the message across and as teachers we need to know where to draw the line so that we do not waste time and money on items that will do the same task as ones that are cheaper. I know that there are some subjects where technology will do more than I can for my students but I also know that sometimes all they need is a pencil and paper to learn. I see the benefits of both of these "pencils" and I know that when it comes time for me to teach that I will understand which will be best for each assignment and which I can save for another day.

My Response to John T. Spencer's Why Were Your Kids Playing Games? on his blog Adventures in Pencil Integration
  In this dialogue between a teacher and principal, you see that the principal want the students to be taught in the terms that they will be tested on only, while the teacher wants to do more. He explains that they were not "playing games," but instead were creating real-world solutions to varies scenarios. They were having to think on multiple levels, for different outcomes and be able to back up their reasons for their actions just like they will have to do in the real world. The principal wanted to teach what was going to be on the state exams and nothing more. This is what Professor Strange calls the "burp back" method, where children are only taught what is on the final exams and how ever much a child "burps back" on the paper is their grade. This is only about memorization for one exam and nothing else. I remember an event from high school where in history we had to made a project about the civil war and I was paired with one of the smartest kids in the class. While working, I saw that he could state dates, important facts and people but when I asked questions like "how do you think this would had effected us today if the war happened when Columbus found America?" I found out that he did not understand the subject pass the exam paper. He could tell you anything about the subject if it was in the text book but did not understand the subject itself; he could not think outside of what he knew or connect the dots to other subjects. He was the perfect example of  a "burp back" student. In Mr. John T. Spencer's post he is trying to explain that we cannot teach ABC when a student is young and then wonder why they cannot think in terms of XYZ when they are adults. By using what a student already knows, like games or songs, and twisting them into a way that they are learning new skill while sharpening old ones, you are changing how they think. He even showed a way that the teacher in the dialogue could follow the rules placed by the principal, while still teaching in the method that he wanted: he connected the state reading and writing requirements into a project called the "Factory Game." I never want to be the teacher who only taught what was required and not once inspired my students to dream and think in new ways. I will not be a "burp back" teacher.

My Response to Scott McLeod's Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please? post on his blog dangerously ! irrelevant
  In this post, Mr. Scott McLeod is, in a creative way, stating the same excuses that many give as to why both they and their children are not "tech savvy  in today's world. Common remarks I heard from other adults in my family when I started this class are listed here like twitter being a "bunch of crap" and that if you give a kid a computer that they will not use it for school but find porn instead. I see technology as a loaded gun: this can both help and hurt both them and others so I need to teach them how to use it properly. First, I would not simply hand it over to them, expecting them to know common sense of how to use it and then getting angry if they never use it to help themselves. The first thing that I would do is talk about every bad or wrong thing that this gun or "technology" can do and show them how to spot warning signs of a predator. I would explain that the same tools used to help can also hurt, but that by learning more they can spot these dangers and be able to maneuver better and be responsible. Next, I would explain that there are different types of "technology" that you can use and each type has a specific way of getting the information out to their audience. I would explain that there are many different ways to hit their goal for the communication, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Blogger. In order to know which to use they need to practice in a safe, adult controlled environment where they can learn new skills and see where they are comfortable. If they can only use a BB gun or "find videos on YouTube about a class subject" then they need to stay there until they feel more comfortable but that they need to still keep learning. At the end of the post after he says "don't do any of it please" he states "really/ 'cause i'm doing all of it with my kids/ can't wait to see who has a leg up in a decade or two/ can you?". I think that what Mr. Scott McLeod was trying to explain is that the world is changing at a much faster rate that it has before and to not allow your child to be a part of it because you do not see its value will do more harm than good. He is asking us to stop using excuses as to why we do not want to be connected and instead learn how because soon what we are trying to figure out today will become second nature to our children sooner than we think.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blog Post #9

My Responds to Mr. Joe McClung's What I've Learned This Year (2008-09) 
  In Mr. McClung's blog post he shares all that he has learn in his first year as an elementary teacher. While some of the concepts are very simple, such as communicating with your students and being flexible with what happens in the classroom, the weight they have in a students' life is greater than what they seem. He starts out saying that many teachers do not make their lessons "student centered" and do not know "How to Read the Crowd" meaning that they think in terms of what needs to be taught but not if the students are getting it or not. Yes, having the skills to speak in public is a wonderful talent that everyone should work at but if hearing your voice is the only way you teach then the students will loose focus. Communicate is a two way street where you need to learn as much as you can about your students because as a teacher we may be the only person in a student's life who listens to them as if they are a person and not a waste of time. He also talks about being reasonable with our expectations of them because we set back everything in their lives when we raise the bar too high and scold them if it is not met. Remember: we are "dealing with children" and to expect perfection from them I believe is both heartless and cruel. He goes on to explain that technology has become a part of our lives and to give up trying to use it simple because you might find it difficult is not right. I have seen classrooms from complete opposite sides of the world be linked by technology and the children are better for it; we need to keep using what our students know to teach them or we might loose them instead. Finally, he simply states that we are to never stop learning. What is the point in asking your students to think differently than they did yesterday or find a new way to complete a task if we are not willing to do the same? I am very grateful for Mr. McClung for giving these lessons to others so that when we start to teach, maybe this time we do not make as many mistakes and keep sharing what we learned.

My Responds to Mr. Joe McClung's What I Learned This Year - Volume 4 (2011-12)
  In this blog post Mr. McClung is in his fourth year of teaching and I was very proud to see that within the first few sentences he states that he did not learn but two points over the past year. I was happy to see that he has changed over the years and pray that one day I too only have a handful of lessons I learned in one year because it means that I did more things right than wrong. The first point he talks about is not worrying about what your other fellow teachers think about your teaching methods. He states that as a teacher your main goal is the students and if they are having fun learning in your classroom. Will wondering if the math teacher likes your history quizzes make your students learn it better or will concentrating on only your students make them better? He explains that we need to focus on our students and not if the other teachers like us or not. The second point is that we need to challenge ourselves and not become so comfortable with where we are or what we are doing to the point that we begin to begin to not care anymore. He talks about how after he was teaching for a while he began to get into a routine where he would reuse old lesson plans and loose his creativity. He was saved when he was asked to teach another level of history and was forced to learn new material and rethink his lessons. This stopped him from being like his old teachers who did not made school enjoyable because he reached the point where he could do the same lessons over and over or begin to keep challenging himself on what he could do differently and he chose the latter. He decided that he would keep thinking of ways to help his students learn and I believe that it is this teachers, the ones who change their methods and lessons again and again over the years trying to find new ways to teach, that no the most good for their students by never settling for less.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blog Post #8

  Richard Miller is showing a truth in today's world that many either do not like or do not see: how we interact and communicate is changing faster and on more levels now than in any time of history. In our parent's generation, when they were doing research or finding an answer, they went to the library and looked for hours only to spend even more time writing their findings down, but now it is different. Today, we can listen to lectures by professors from the top universities in the world, watch videos on every subject imaginable and be able to talk to experts, each from diffident parts of the world, at the same time. The time of only getting your information from the newspapers or having a small portion of your community see your work is over. Richard Miller explains that we live in a world that is changing how we gather information and present our ideas to others and as educators we need to use it.
  He did an article for Academe on the one year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting and he wanted to link the violence in the country to the way that government officials voted on what was called the "Bush Doctrine." This was the phrase many used to describe the foreign policy principles of President George W. Bush. Not once did he step in a library or open a book to create his work. Soon, it was in the magazine. What he said next though, I knew, but did not really understand until now: if it was only in the magazine it would be heard and then most likely thrown away but since it was also on their website it is here forever. This is an "incremental" change, meaning that instead of finding information in one means you can now find it all over, which now allows others to "shar[e] knowledge infinitely." Another change is being able to communicate with devices like Skype or Google+ to create documents that use text, pictures, videos or sounds and present them in both print and visual/sound documents. By utilizing all these new tools, children who are learning the information you are presenting can also see how you presented it and use these tools to explain the subject to someone else. A "fundamental" change is the vase works, updated information and the concept that we can "share ideas freely." Today, we are no longer limited to the four walls of the classroom but instead we can connect our students to the world by means that have never been seen before and it is this change, this rush of information, that makes learning so important.
  Just the other day I hear about two teachers, both have taught Literature for decades,  speaking about how neither one of them likes how the world is changing today. They want the old days where if you had a question you asked the teacher and the library was your only place to find resources. They still teach the same way, they use nothing from this century to help their students and it sounds like they do not even want to learn how to change. I remember many teachers like these who, while the other classes were learning how to type or find articles online, they only taught how to write with a pencil and paper and said that the library was the only "credible" source of information. We were learning the right way to write and that we could learn how to "play on the computer" on our own time; it was because of teachers like that, many students did not want to come to school. I saw my parents use a computer everyday and they showed how valuable it is for them and their business.  I do not want to be the teacher that does not use what is here to help my students, so I will follow Richard Miller's advice and keep learning. I want my students to leave knowing how to present their ideas to a world where the only limits we see are "the ones we place on ourselves."

2.) Responds to Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12
  In Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12 she explains the kind of teacher she wants to be for her students, why and how she wants to inspire them to do/be more, activities she has already begun to plan out for them and the kind of people she wants them to become. Here is a young woman who held onto her love of reading, writing and never staying still for life into a passion to teach other children this same joy. She has already begun to collect videos for her YouTube playlist and have linked them to lessons about being yourself, holding onto their creativity and looking for ways to change both their own and their peer's perspectives of others. I loved how she wants to create a classroom that is entertaining and want her students to actually enjoy their works by "reach[ing] them on levels they know and understand". She is not using technology to show videos and Power Points then forcing a book down their throats and wondering why they do not like reading or writing. She is using it as a tool to bring them into the world of Literature must like Richard Miller wants teachers in today's world to do and I am proud to have her example. I had only one teacher like Carly in college: he taught a class about the concept of physics and biology with superheros. He would show all the information about a hero to his students and have then, in scientific terms, how and why they could do what they did. It made many students want to learn more about the sciences and I believe that if there are more people like Carly succeed in becoming teachers then the world will make another great change for the better.

3.) Responds to The Clipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies
  Of the two videos I think that the EDM310 for Dummies shows the importance of the class in terms that it teaches time management  how to build your Personal Learning Network and the different ways to correctly include technology into the classroom. The Clipper Series sums up what might happen to a good portion of students who are not taught to look, learn or think on their own. Everyone told Clipper she was great, gave her awards instead of having her earn them and when she reached her last step before the real world she blamed everyone else but herself for failing. If I could take this same concept I would do a video when I would pick a group of freshmen students in high school, a group of freshmen in college and follow them for a year. I would ask them about their views on world topics, how their classes are going, what they have planned for the next few years and what they think of using technology in their classrooms. After a year I would show the high school students the college videos and the college students the high school videos and have them meet together. I would ask them what about the other group stuck out the most, did they say/doing things that you did not understand and is there something about them you want to do too. This way the high school students can see that college is not about drinking or playing hooky from class but as a means to prepare yourself for the real world. And the college students can see how much they have changed since high school as a way to encourage them to stay in school and keep going. I have always believed that when we see both the past and the future we are able to make better decisions about our lives because we are learning from our mistakes while preparing for a better day.

4.) Learn to Change, Change to Learn 
  After watching the video I am so delighted that the way I was taught in the past will never be seen by my own children because I want them to be connected to the world around them and to have the confidence to make their own mark. When texting first started I would watch these same two boys in my class text back and forth even when the teacher was talking to them and not once were they caught or did their grades fall.I finally asked them how they did this and their answer was simple: they worked. First they learned how to text, then how to do it while talking to someone and then finally they learned how to have multiple conversations with their friends through text while listening to the class lesson. It was amazing that they had done so much and they could so this because they learned to adapt. No one looked at the wheel and said "walking's better" and no one thought of penicillin and said "why not just give them some tea instead". Over time we kept changing and evolving how we learn, live, communicate and think and now we have entered a time where even the makings of the stars have been answered. My favorite part was at the end when the professor said that these times are "the death of education but the dawn of learning" because it is true. Today we have the means to use Apps to help locate constellations, games about math or reading, movie discussions on world topics or even social media sites to take us further than we even have before.

5.) Scavenger Hunt 2.0
Item #3 Make Beliefs Comix

Item #4 Photo Peach
  Here you can create slide shows like Power Point that have photos, music and quizzes on them to either help with the lesson or present to others what the students did for the day. With this you can start a class going over the main points, use photos or music to present it in a more upbeat manner and then have a quick quiz to see if you need to stay on the subject longer or if you can move on. This slideshow can also be embedded on blogs which the students can see ahead of time which will help make subject, especially the harder parts of history or math, easier to follow. If they can see what they are about to learn and actually enjoy it then they will want to keep learning and after a while have them create their owns to show on the class Blog. This way not only is the teacher showing them how it is to be done and presenting it in as a entertainment for learning but this way they can begin to get their thoughts and ideas out into the world in a safe environment  Now we can communicate with other students and teachers and see how others are learning, different ways to use the program and even start making their own Personal Learning Network.

Item #5 Poll Everywhere

Teacher Comments - Part 2

My Comment to Mrs. Kathy Cassidy's "Primary Preoccupation" Blog
Subject: The Use and Abuse of Technology in the Classroom
  Mrs. Cassidy explains that simply having computers in the classroom will not make your students read better, understand the material, or even listen if they are not used correctly. Computers are a teaching tool that can help bring the world to a student to help them learn on a level that will continue to follow them long after school is finished. She also states that it should also not be used when the same task is accomplished with paper like writing math problems or drawing a picture. One example she used was programs that read the books out loud while highlighting the words so that the students can see the words and hear their sounds as they read along. She states that students should also be given the choice to use what they have learned or already know so that they can see the pros and cons themselves and begin to grow for the better. 

  In my post, in regards to her blog, I stated that I agreed with her point that if a child is not shown how to be responsible with technology, then we are harming both our students and our future. I said that the proverb "give a man a fish he'll eat for a day but teach a man to fish he'll eat for life" should be used with technology as a standard of teaching. Too many times I see peers view computers as a means of gaming and entertainment and they wonder why they find essays and projects so difficult. It is because they do not know how to use what they already know. I told her how after my Mom showed me how to use Google Drive so that all of my group members could work on a paper together while never seeing each other. I was shocked that I knew so little about an item I use everyday. Now I know where the best places to find information are, how to present my findings correctly, and why I need to show credit to my sources. I was very glad that someone finally listed the reason why we need to show students how to be responsible with technology as well as the consequences that come if teachers do nothing. 

Subject: How Can I Get Followers for My Classroom Twitter Account?
  Mrs. Cassidy talks about how teachers can use Twitter to help their classroom, how they can begin to set it up and the best ways to get others to follow your class. She talks about how after creating their classroom Twitter account, her students are asked to read out loud their favorite comments, what they liked about what they had read and how they think they could make it better. By starting this Twitter account, her students were able to see students from France using the same language that they were learning and over time, as stated in their video posted below, they began to read better. She also states that following parents or friends on Twitter is not the best idea since many times people use Twitter to complain about others or make rude comments. In the video, the students are excited about using Twitter, learning more about how to use it, the people they have met and that their reading skills are improving. 

  In my post, in regards to her blog, I told Mrs. Cassidy I agreed that even a social media site could be used to further a child's education. I said that I liked how she gave control over the Twitter account to her students which gave them pride in their work, while still making sure that they were safe by making sure anyone they wanted to follow was safe. I hoped that other teachers would use her post as an example to do the same for their own students. I also said that I loved how the students were learning French and she showed them a French Twitter account by students their own age. It gave a real world connection to what they were learning. I told her when I was learning Italian in New York City that I loved going to Little Italy because the more I studied the more I could understand as I walked through the streets. I believe that what Little Italy did for me her French Twitter account will do the same for her students. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blog Post #7

This is a picture of the book 'The Last Lecture'
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch 
  In this, his most famous lecture, Professor Pausch talks about why it is so important for us, even as adults, to fight to make our dreams a reality while still helping others achieve their dreams too. And he did this while only having a few short months to live. Not once was he sad or in denial of what was to come but instead summed up why he was there in this one sentence: "We cannot change the cards we are dealt just how we play the game". Of his lecture I found three parts that I want to use both in my own life and in my own classroom. The first is his story about how Coach Graham rode him hard during practice one day telling him over and over and over what he was doing wrong, making him to it again and not once did he stop. Afterwards another coach came up to him and said that what Coach Graham did was good because if no one is telling you what you are doing wrong anymore it means that they have given up on you. He meant that all day long Coach Graham was telling him that he was not giving up on making him better. I want to use this in my own classroom because I want to create a place where when a students' mistakes are shown they say "okay, show me how to fix it" and not "why should I care?" This can also be linked to his teaching that brick walls are a good part of our lives because they allow us to "prove how badly we want" it and that these challenges help to make us better. When many see a wall in front of their dream most leave, some try and give up but only a small few work together to get over it to prove that they wanted it bad enough that they fought to get it. I also want to show others through my own actions that even when a dream is hard you still need to try because whether you fail or succeed you will be placed where you need to be at that time. Professor Pausch learned this when he was not hired as a Disney Imagineer but later helped to create the technology they used in their Aladdin-Magic Carpet Ride and helped them on other projects for the next ten years; this shows that even when you fail you need to keep going because you do not know if that dream is really dead.
  The second part that I want to use with my students is where he talks about how his friend Tommy made his dream of working on the next Star Trek movies come true with hard work and that he wanted to see if this drive to achieve could be replicated. He did a project where groups of his undergrad students would do whatever they wanted as a project by using Virtual Reality but when they came back after two weeks their work was better than he ever imagined. When he asked what should he do next he was told to tell them that while what they did was good, they could do better because when you set the bar you set a goal that when it is met many will stop trying. So the students kept working and at the end of the year they presented everything to the school but before they could the Dean polled who was in the audience. Every department was present. Soon it became a yearly event where the students could experiences what it felt like to show a work that made others happy and excited. I want to help my students find this joy while teaching them about leadership, bonding and to push themselves to be better than what you are now. I hated it when a teacher always said "good job" whether you did a little or a lot of work but the teacher who kept saying "do better" I learned to respected. Not because they pushed others to be better but because it helped us learn what we needed to do to make our dreams and goals a reality by asking us to take just one more step.
  The last part that I want to include in my classroom is the concept of hidden teaching where he said that he was the Mad Hatter to his "Alice". Alice is a program that teaches children how to make movies and games. What the children did not know is that while they were playing on their computers they had been tricked to learn a complex system of programming. He has used this all of his life and shows a link between those in authority and the chances of the ones under them having a dream come true. He talks about how his parents helped children in other countries go to school and that they taught him to keep helping others too. He talks later about being taught by his bosses and students to work better with others, to use what others enjoyed to teach them what they do not like and to tell others to have fun no matter what is going on in their lives. This is very visible in his "loyalty is a two-way street" part when he vouched for his friend Dennis to the Dean because he believed in him and years later Dennis is carrying on Alice even after Professor Pausch is gone. He gave Dennis his loyalty because he believed and trusted in him which helped Dennis learned to trust in himself and now he is doing wonders all around the world. By giving his trust to one he has helped to change the world for the better.
  In conclusion, I learn that my actions or inaction can alter how a child sees themselves and if they will fight for their futures. I need to work harder to help those around me and to fight with them so that they can do the same for others. If ever someone wondered if the phrase "phase it forward" was true then they should look at those touched by what Professor Pausch has done. With The Last Lecture he shows that you need to listen to others, use what you are being told, teach what you have learned and keep going even when you have reached the bar. But his "head fakes" that this lecture was about living your life and to teach his children one more time was by far the best example of the type of person you want to be at your own "Last Lecture".

Project #9 - PLN

This is a cartton strip involving a mother, her daughter and her daughter's progress report. First slide: mom says 'This is a terrible progress report young lady'. Second slide: mom says 'it makes me really worried about your final grades this semester'. Last slide: daughter says 'hmm...I guess that's the difference between you and me, I'm an optimist'.
My Personal Learning Network
  My Personal Learning Network has been a challenge because I do not know what is the best means to keep everything I have learned and the names/blogs of people who can help me in an organize manner. My method of keeping records before this class has been simply writing them down on paper but now I have been debating over using SymbalooNetvibes or Delicious as my main place to store everything once I have left college. I want one place that holds everything I need or that I have found so that I can have the blogs, names and websites that have helped me to forward as a student. So far my PLN consist of three parts. The first is the usual collection of Pintrest, Youtube, Facebook, Blogger and Twitter where I have learned more about the different ways I can use them as well as how to add my own parts. The second are the blogs of the teachers I have commented on in the past as well as the students from elementary, middle or high school. I like looking back on their first post and see how far they have come and I want to keep encouraging them to post more and more. Who knows, maybe reading a student blog and giving them advice to make it better might become a part of my weekend routine. The last part of my PLN was shocking but after our recent podcast, working night and day making sure that all was right, I can now add myself to the list. I did not know that I could follow directions, find videos on solving our problems or figure out C when I learned A and B. After this class is finish and I begin to look towards my future I want to keep adding on to my network so that when a student asks how to be organize I can use it as an example not simply to teach but as a first step. If I have learn anything in this class it is that where you start, if you keep going, will not be were you end.

P.S. Thanks to this class I was able to post my very first video on Youttube and I have loved it so much that I want to keep adding more during the summer. I have decided to add videos or voice overs of me reading popular books read in middle and high school. In them after I have read one or two chapters I will discuss its meaning, the history of the time the book was written, its author and why their works have become so popular over the years. If you have any advice on this please leave a comment. Thank you.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

C4K Blogs - Part One

Here is a picture of a William Shakespear in modern pajamas, looking at a computer, about to click a mouse while thinking 'To blog or not to blog. That is the question'.

Week One: Hanna
Hanna wrote her post about the historical fiction book called An Acquaintance with Darkness by Anna Rinaldi that she was reading. She stated that even though she was only half way through with the book that she was already in love with it and could not wait to finished it. I told her that I was very happy that I had found someone else who loved books too and that she should hold on to that love all throughout her life. She will be amazed how a love to read can change everything. The only part I would have changed on her blog is that I wanted her to write more: why did she like it, what were her favorite parts and so on. I wanted to leave some suggested reading but feared that they might be for an older grade level so I hope that she will read this blog and think about reading these too:
If I Should Die Before I Wake by Han Nolan
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Week Two:
Matt titled his post "Banned Super Size Soda" where he stated that there is no reason why schools should have super size carbonated drinks. One can contains 360 calories and 100 grams of sugar and that drinking these can help lead a child closer to obesity. I stated that I agreed with him and that in my own high school we had mostly water, juice or Gatorade and that there were only one or two that had a small amount of carbonated drinks. I asked him that if he was the principle of the school what other changes would he make beside banning super size sodas like having healthy and delicious school lunches and P.E. I also asked that if he were an obese child who wanted to change what other help could you need from those around you. I hope that his school do take those drinks out; it might be that one time a child chose something healthy that helped to change their lives for the better.

Week Three:
Paula titled her post "Perimeter" where she explains using a picture of a rectangle, its measured sides, what a perimeter is and how to find the perimeter. I told her that I liked how she used a picture and not just words/numbers to explain what she was doing and that I was happy to find someone who loved math too. I also included that next time she should write out on the side what she is doing and how she got her answer. This way when others see her blog they can follow along and learn how to solve the problem. I liked her post and hope she makes more.

Week Four:
Amy titled her post "Hegemony" which means a controlling or dominating influence over another. Here she explains her hurt over teachers and other Christians who judge and look down on her when they see that she is not the same as them; that she believes differently than others. She also states that she should "be able to express [her] beliefs without being belittled or judged." I was very shocked and hurt that she had been so mistreated and told her that she should never feel like this when speaking her mind. I told her about my days in an all girls Catholic school in New York and that even though my classmates believed differently then me they where not different. I remember many lunch periods spent asking each other questions, seeing our similarities/differences and even laughing at the thought that to an outsider what we each do might seem funny. We all had a different belief but we respected each other enough to work, learn and grow together and I hope that Amy can find such people too. I also told her to ignore those who talk about her or try to force their beliefs on her because if they were really there to help her then they would not wish to harm her and that she will be in my prayers.

Podcast Project #8

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blog Post #6

This is a picture of a page from a dictionary with the world future circled.
1.) Wendy Drexler's Video The Network Students 
   Wendy Drexler's video is about how a student in the 21st century can learn better, meaning that they are not bound everyday by textbooks and lectures, when they use all forms of technology properly. Here it shows a young high school student who is learning much more than in a traditional classroom setting because he is using different forms of communication, finding valuable research information and knowing how to share/comment to the world. He is shown that he had the tools to do these and more the whole time but that he did not know how to use them. This video is how the teacher in the 21st century will need to change and adapt to our continuing flow of information in order for their students to be ready for a world that no one even knows will look like in five years. Before, a teacher used books, field trips or pictures to teach and what they learn they could not share will those around them and this was the existent of their requirements. Now technology has condenses our world so small every person can share their thoughts or opinions on any subject and present this to the world for others to read it, comment or use in their own discussions. Teachers are not alone in their classrooms anymore because now they can be linked to others across the world or see a event happening in real time and use it in their classrooms to show that something as everyday as a cell phone can do wondrous things.
   The program shown in the video is much like the class set up in EDM 310 and I love that there are others who want to us this in their own schools. No one comes home from school and talks about how great their teaches' three hour long lecture on rocks was but instead they talk about how they talked to, who did what and the latest news. So why not combine this two and show how they can use what they already have to find answers. Where are the Monarch Butterflies today in their migration? Show how you can use maps and interviews to find them or even track them to see if they will be coming near you. How do I change a flat tire? Show how to find the company website for instructions, where to find the right tools and what you need to do after the tire is fixed. What would it mean if all of the people in South America were to learn English this year? Show accredited websites to compare the number of English speakers today, how much it would increase should this happen and what changes might happen as a result. Each of these can be used to show where to go to find the right information, comparing it or explore it further by first showing how to find this information. Teachers of the 21st century must understand that the hunger to know why is in every student but the skills to find the answers are what they need to learn. 
   At the very end the viewer is asked "why does the networked students even need a teacher?" and I was happy to see that our answers were the same: to teach. I did not know how to use Twitter, how to compare information from the internet or even how to correctly comment on another's blog until Professor Strange taught me. I knew how to use the computer and he showed me how to push those boundaries by learning new skills and sharpening old ones. When classes like the one shown in the video are made they must be run by someone who is willing to see where a student is, show where they need to be by the time they leave the classroom and the patience to explain again and again what they are doing. Our first day we were told to set up an e-mail address but there were those who did not know how to do it and they were helped. We then had to make a blog and even two months later we can look and see what we are doing wrong or can do differently but even after all of this the main goal of both this class and the video is being accomplished: we want to learn more and are using what we have gained from the class to do it. 

   I am very glad that this system of learning is being used in classrooms today because it helps to teach much more. Here you are in charged of not merely when to do an assignment but also how to do it and present it. In this short video I saw a student learn about time management, how to use the internet to find her answers, what she needs to do to correctly site her sources and how she wants to present these for peer review while still learning science. She also seemed very excited about how her class is set up because she said that it does not feel like she is doing homework but instead she is having fun. When compared to my own it shows that I need to expand it more and to find a similar way to organize my searches and findings. I also want to look into the Glogs so that I can have multiple blogs about different subjects at the same time. I believe that since she is using these skills so young she will continue to learn from them and by the time she keeps to college she will be ready because she will know where to go and what to do in order to succeed.