Sunday, October 14, 2012

Podcast Project #8

Our group name is Not The First 10 and the members are myself, Barclay Thompson, and Brooklyn Rowland.

Blog Post #7

Wendy Drexler: The Networked Student

Why does the networked student even need a teacher? This question was posed at the end of the video on student networking. It is a very good question because the video made several valid points. The "student" in the video has a class that meets three days a week and twice online. His teacher does not lecture and he does not have a book. So, how does this student do his work? Simple, he connects to other students through various online forums such as blogs and forums and delicious. He also uses things like iTunes U, where he can download podcasts and listen to them on his iPod. The student is, quite literally, learning as he walks to class.

So, why does the student need a teacher if he can do all of this on his own? Well, someone has to be there to show him the way, to hand him his arsenal of supplies and send him on his way. So the teacher doesn't lecture in class? That's fine. Personally, I find lecturing to be quite boring at times. If a teacher does not attempt to liven the material up, of course the students will get bored. However, if you give them other opportunities to learn in a different way, suddenly everything becomes real. They can connect with other students just like the way Vicki Davis' students did. The networked student needs a teacher to show them the way. You can have all of the information you need at your fingertips but if you do not know how to use it, what good will it do?

A 7th Graders Personal Learning Environment

I really liked her Symbaloo and PLE. It is refreshing to see someone using these tools to such an extent. It furthers her education in the sense that she can find something that relates back to her science class, save it, and share it with her classmates. I feel like all students should be able to do this. In my PLE, I also use Symbaloo because it is incredibly easy to organize the various links and things. I can make the tiles different colors and it is incredibly easy to go back to my C4K or C4T assignments.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blog Post 3

Image of book for Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time.

Peer Editing and Peer Editing with Perfection

When it comes to peer review, I have decided that approaching the problems headfirst and just outlining them in a comment is the best way to go about it. So long as you don’t completely bash the classmates writing, constructive criticism in a comment is the best way to go. I believe the Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes video called this person a mean Margaret. Being sure to compliment the writing and how things flow is an absolute must and would help them take things not quite as personal. If you approach the person in a comment in a polite manner and keep the attitude out of your critique, then there is no problem with leaving a comment. If the person would like to continue on with the conversation, moving to e-mail would benefit in that sense.

I find things like this are a good resource to have, not just for this class but all classes. I’ve found as I move along in my History classes and reach the higher levels, peer editing is an incredibly valuable resource. Being able to collaborate with people in my class, even if their papers are on a different topic, is nice. It’s always best to have another set of eyes looking over your paper. Someone else can always find something you did not see before. As educators I’m sure we will be approached by our students and fellow educators for help in this aspect as well.

Technology in Special Education

I really like the fact that one of our posts focuses on technology and special education, because I don’t think this aspect of education can be forgotten as we move forward. Last Fall I took my Special Education class and the professor required us to go out into a facility used for special needs children. I chose Learning Tree and was able to witness first-hand technology and special education. There were several children there that did not speak but were able to communicate with an iPad. It really is something to watch the student with a teacher and being to learn just like another other student, all because of technology.

In my classroom, I would do the same. One of the things we talked about last year was how special education students are kept in separate classrooms, away from everyone else. They are essentially kept from receiving the same education other kids receive. I strongly believe that if we have technology such as an iPad app that will allow a non-speaking child to speak and learn, they should be granted the same education as well. I believe progress in special needs should be granted the same allowance as progress in regular classrooms.

iPad and Autism

Being that I am in a Social Sciences/History concentration of education, I automatically went right to the History and Geography section. I found World Book – This Day in History. In it you select a day and it gives you photos, illustrations, music and speeches from that day. I believe this is one way to really make History come alive not just for special needs children but for all students in the subject. It’s one thing to read a transcript of the Emancipation Proclamation; it is a completely different thing to hear it. I believe this app could be used for a special education student to be able to learn and grasp the subject, as well as stay focused.

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts

The first thing I noticed about this video was that it was posted in 2009. If she can do all of this, connecting her students to the world and teaching them to think outside of the box, then it should be more than possible now. There are so many new advances and apps being developed that it would seem silly not to use it. Vicki Davis shows exactly how to implement all of the technology we are learning about in EDM 310 in an everyday classroom.

Learning is a community challenge. I would have loved for the opportunity to teach the class or learn from a fellow student. Sometimes things are just different coming from a peer. Group projects, when effective, can prove extremely useful for students. When all members of the group are willing to collaborate and learn together, everyone benefits. This applies to how Vicki Davis says that her students taught each other Terraform. In a classroom with technology, there are some cases you rely on the knowledge of others. That is what I like the most of the Digiteen effort. You really do learn with others not just in your state or country, but from around the world.

Project 2 - Wordle

Picture of words used for my first blow post.
This is my wordle and I really like it! Mostly because the biggest words also happen to be the most important words to me.

Blog Post 2

picture of paint pallet and music notes symbolizing creativity

Did You Know 3.0 by John Strange

“India has more K-12 Honors Students than ALL of the K-12 students in the United States.” This statement, taken with the fact that India does have a higher population, is still shocking. I did really like this video though, because it is tailored towards our class and the things we read and deal with. This video got the point across that we are always doing something with technology. It is forever at our fingertips. Even I’ve become more aware of the amount of time I spend on Google or on other class related websites. It’s interesting to see.

I did take time to watch the original. I feel this time around there were several things I did not catch. For instance “it is estimated that a week’s worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.” This just seems so shocking to me. Granted, things did travel by word of mouth as opposed to being able to hop on a computer and Google something. However, because we are so connected at any given moment, there is no excuse to be living in your own world. We should know what is going on around the world or even in just our community.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

The more I watch this video, the more it really begins to bothers me. It shows just how behind education really is in a technological standpoint. If other fields can make these advances, then why did it take so long for education to catch up? It shouldn’t be like that. If anything, we should have been the forerunners in this advance. The children we educate will become the doctors and lawyers and officer workers that Mr. Winkle witnesses using technology. Shouldn’t their first taste of technology come in a classroom where they can learn and grow?

As much as the video bothers me, it also slightly intrigues me. Here you have this little character that awakens from a slumber and sees how different his world has become. There are computers and breathing machines and telephones; nothing he knows to be normal. How many Mr. Winkle’s existed when technology first began advancing? I think educators who chose not to use technology in the classroom could be called a Mr. Winkle as well. Why make your students suffer because you just don’t want to learn?

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

“My contention is that all kids have tremendous talent and we squander them pretty ruthlessly.” “My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.” These are two of my favorite quotes from the Ken Robinson talk on creativity. One thing that he does very well is mixing the humor with the seriousness of his talk. I especially loved the bit where he talks about Shakespeare being in someone’s English class. He then goes on to say that there is a hierarchy within every single public education system in the world. First are math and Science, then humanities, and finally the arts. He doesn’t just target the European or American education systems; he targets all of them. In his view, it is designed for people to be steered into the subjects that will be useful as opposed to the subjects like arts. Robinson says that intelligence goes hand in hand with creativity.

I enjoyed this talk as much as I did the first time around, mostly because he is so adamant about the use of creativity in the classroom. The best part of the talk is when he talks about the dancer, Jillian. Back then, she is taken to a dance school and sees people just like her, who have to move to think. Nowadays, just as Robinson said, she would have been put on medication and told to calm down. This rings so incredibly true, because instead of finding creative outlets for overactive children, we instead have them tested for ADD or ADHD or some other learning disorder when, in reality, the student could just be bored. A medication isn’t always the answer, especially in the case of a classroom. If people just took the time to figure out students, instead of jumping to a conclusion, students would be so much more better off.
A Day Made of Glass 2

Firstly, I’m sure something like this would scare Mr. Winkle as much as a normal desktop computer would or a machine that kept people alive. In fact, I felt a bit like Mr. Winkle while watching this video. Is something like this even possible? Could we have this technology at our disposal in the next fifty years? Maybe even less? Just imagining the possibilities for a classroom with this sort of integrated system excites me. This should be the direction our education system is moving, if only because we can as a whole benefit from it exponentially. Something like this, with the glass tablets and wall-to-wall touchscreen, gives the words ‘hands-on’ an entirely new meaning.

The medical portion of the video was just as neat. Mostly because you can be in one location and a specialist halfway around the world can help you solve something. This sort of thing could be so beneficial to everyone, not just certain countries or people. Also, everything was incredibly energy efficient. Even the elementary school shown had an energy usage graph on the wall. I think that would make people stop and think about their carbon footprint and the way they help to shape the world.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blog Post 1

Hello again!

Since it is plainly obvious on my blog, I'm just going to go ahead and point out that this is my second time around in EDM 310. Not because I didn't pass or dropped the course or any of the above. I'm taking this class again to improve my grade, because the grade I received is not me and I can do better; I know I can do better. So here we are once again and I'm ready to learn the new things this course has to offer.

About me

I was born in Houston, Texas on June 16, 1990. My dad is a building supervisor for UPS and in January following Hurricane Katrina, he was transferred first to Gulfport and then to Pascagoula, Mississippi. When the school year ended, our lives were packed up and shipped 500 miles to the east. For the first two years, it was just me and my parents so this led to a very strong bond between the three of us. After finishing high school in d'Iberville, I applied and was accepted to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Mississippi was not the place for me and even though I feel this still rings true today, I am back home. Being isolated away from my family, even for a semester, was not for me. So following the end of my first semester as a freshmen, I transferred to University of South Alabama. It could not have been a better fit.

I have two older brothers. Chris is the oldest and moved to Mississippi roughly a year after we did. In February of this past year, he was transferred up to Kansas City, Missouri for a job. Andrew is the middle child and moved a year or so after Chris. He is actually looking at moving back to Houston in October. It was recently announced that in January my parents will be moving back as well. That is going to prove interesting.

As for what I enjoy doing, well, at the top of that list is sleeping. I also love, believe it or not, working as I now work at a bowling alley. It is exciting to be learning new things within the bowling alley and really loving the environment you are in. I've always been really passionate about History and thoroughly enjoy sharing that passion with others. This is why I chose the field of education. If you truly love the subject and can present it in such a way, it can come alive and students can benefit immensely.

Randy Pausch on Time Management

What is interesting to me about this lecture is that the second time around watching it, being in a different mindset, has forced me to look at the entire video differently. When he begins talking about the to-do list, he tells you to ask why are you doing it. Why is this particular aspect on your to-do list? He also makes a very valid point within the same breath. No, someone is not going to take you for not completing a task on the list. However, are you going to fail in some other aspect for not fulfilling it? Just like in an economics class, what is going to be the opportunity cost if you don't do it? "Doing the right things adequately is better than doing the wrong things beautifully." This quote makes a lot of sense when you break it down, because it is almost like the quality v. quantity argument. You could have a hundred things on your to-do list and you could just check them off one by one and at the end of the day, you have a conglomeration of completed tasks that may or may not help you. However, if you do the right things in the right manner, it will make all the difference in the world. All in all, I really have enjoyed watching this lecture a second time around. Dr. Pausch is a brilliant speaker who unfortunately passed away in July 2008 from pancreatic cancer. He delivered his last lecture in September 2007.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Final Project 16

For this project, Brandon, Whitney and myself tackled Wikipedia, blogging, and podcasts in an educational setting. We went with advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as our own opinion.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Blog Post 14

Green box with rabbit and the words Technology and Education, box of tricks.

Box of Tricks is the blog of Jose Picardo, who is the head of head of Modern Foreign Languages at Nottingham High School. Mr. Picardo's tips are use streaming video, because there is a wide variety of videos out there about any subject. Use music, because you can relate it to your students in any way, shape, or form. Use teleconferencing tools such as Skype; I think with Mr. Picardo's classes, because they are foreign languages, this would be a great idea! Especially if you could get them to speak with native language speakers. Create your own interactive exercises using websites; learn how to use your whiteboard (I'm guessing he meant SMART Board) more effectively. These go hand in hand in my opinion, because you can do so much with a SMART Board. Create your own podcasts using Garageband and Audacity. Along with that, create blogs and wikis to display your student's work. If you going to spend great deals of time on teaching how to use these tools, why not showcase them on a blog? We saw this first hand in all of our C4K assignments. Use social networks like Facebook. He says it is controversial, but nowadays groups are closed and it is a perfectly viable way to connect with students. Lastly, he says to use internet tools, because there are loads out there and it just takes time to find them and lastly, make the most of your students gadgets like phones and iPods.

What I really enjoyed about the video was that Mr. Picardo geared the tips in his video towards students. He knows that students like music and tells you to use it in your lessons. I like that he gears his lessons towards students, which should happen anyway. However, he is using things that students already have familiarity with. I would definitely use Facebook with my students and have podcasts that they can listen to on their iPods. All in all, I really enjoyed this video.

C4T #4 Summary

TechIntersect: The intersection of science, art, and technology

For this month's C4T, I was assigned the blog of Bill Genereux. I really like this blog and am grateful for the opportunity to read through some of the posts. The first post I commented on was titled Taking Risks While Teaching which was a really awesome post. Mr. Genereux was talking about how some of the oldest teachers will tell you things like, not to let the students see you smile before Christmas and don't ask a question you don't know the answer to. He quickly began to argue against the latter, saying that just because we don't know the answer to things, doesn't mean we shouldn't go outside of our comfort zone. Why can't you discover the answer as student and teacher? I instantly thought of the class motto for EDM 310, because that is what it reminded me. What do we do if we don't know the answer? We go and find out. I especially like Mr. Genereux has no fear when it comes to teaching. He is teaching a programming course with nothing but an interest in games and a rudimentary understanding of programming. I like that about him, because he is not afraid of the fact that he may not have all of the answers. Instead he said that there is the book and then an endless stream of sources online.

For my second C4T, I commented on the post titled Unemployable Generation. This post actually fascinated me, because it is being noted that people who have gone longer without being employed have a higher chance of not finding a job, than those who are moving from one job to another. Then Mr. Genereux talked about how some of the 20 year-old students he advises tell him that they have never held a job, full-time or part-time. I found this shocking, as did Mr. Genereux. Then I politely replied that I was in both categories. I had my first job at the age of eighteen, but I have also held this job all throughout college while having a full course load. This was my favorite part of the post: "I realize there is a difference between enrolling in a course and holding down a job, but character is character. You can’t turn it on for work and turn it off for school. It doesn’t work that way." I think this speaks volumes, because these students aren't getting the same valuable lessons until later in life, when they aren't likely to take it as seriously. No matter what, I think eventually these students will have the real world experience they need. However, in this day and age, they really cannot afford to lose out on it.

C4K 9, 10, 10 Summary Post

Three kids on playing on a laptop

C4K #9
For the first November C4K, I was assigned the blog Mr. McClung's World and the post I commented on was about Ben Folds. Ben Folds is a songwriter and the lead singer of the group Ben Folds Five. Mr. McClung had a song posted called Philogosphy. The song lyrics have a really deep meaning behind, especially when he says "my philosophy keeps me walking when I'm falling down." I said that when you apply that to teaching, it's really hopeful. I really enjoyed this song and blog.

C4K #10
For the second C4K, I was assigned Mrs. Yollis' blog, which I really loved exploring and looking around. I commented on day 304 of the 365 Project she is doing for the blog. The post was about a game called Wari in Ghana. We know it in the United States as mancala. The object of the game is to get the most stones into your mancala. I loved this post, because I played it with my friends and brothers when we were younger. It was a good way to keep us entertained on rainy days and we weren't destructive while playing. I liked being able to see something that I recognized in a blog post.

C4K #11
For the final C4K of the semester I was assigned to Sesalina's blog. Sesalina is in Year 6 at Pt England in Auckland, NZ. I commented on her post about Mars. This was a very fun blog post to read as she described how we were looking for new place to live and so we journeyed to Mars. She accurately describes the journey, with the moving and shaking of the ship and even how Earth would look from Mars. I really loved how she said she would school, sleeping, and her friends. She sounds just like me!

Final report on PLN

Image of PLN

Here is a look at my final PLN. It has expanded greatly since the first PLN summary we had to do. Now it contains more articles and videos that I have liked, as well as link to all the C4T blogs I had to comment on. The blue squares are all of my C4K assignments. It will be interesting to see where these blogs are a year from today. Even next year I will be expanding on my PLN and adding to it, maybe taking things away from it. As a teacher it would be good to always have resources that you can go to if you need ideas or questions answered. I really like the PLN I have established this semester.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blog Post 13 - Option 2

Virtual school

To be completely honest, the article My Teacher Is An App scared me a little bit. I rather doubt that was the writer's intention, but reading about the online schooling did manage to freak me out a little bit. The article discussed, in great detail, the positives and negatives of online schooling. While in some cases, standardized test scores were well below the average and the drop-out rate was higher than with traditional schooling. On the other hand, it was a great tool for students who progress faster and do not have the means of attending a school that can suit them without holding them back. The best case was with the mother who had a kindergartner that could already would and would be challenged in his classroom, because he'd be helping the other children to read. She opted for online schooling and the child is excelling now. Then you have the case of the child at the beginning, who got bored easily and opted to wait until he felt like doing his homework to work on it. Just like with every scenario, there is an upside and downside; the challenge is finding a happy medium.

I can see the benefits of online schooling, really I can. It's cheaper, saves resources, and parents are more in tune with what their child is learning. All of these things were discussed in the iSchool Initiative video we watched for Blog Post 5. It really is a fantastic idea, however, I do not support the idea of fully online learning. Maybe it is just me, but being on a computer all day actually hurts my head and eventually, I get bored. Also, you have to take into account that some kids will wait until the last possible second to get things done. In my opinion, no real learning is going on with them just breezing through the assignments and what they need to read/listen to. Also, it would also take a great amount of discipline to be able to sit in front of a computer and only think about school work or that lecture you didn't bother to listen to the day before, but really need to do so. I think for online learning to be completely successful, it needs to be both in the classroom and online. That's what we are essentially learning now, isn't it? Call me old-fashioned, but I like the feel of the classroom setting and everything that comes with it. However, I do know that change is inevitable and eventually, the education system will be altered. This not only will happen, but it has to if we want our children to be successful. While I may not like online classes for myself as a student, (because I know how easy they are to forget about) sometimes it is better for people to learn that way. Just because we do not like something, doesn't mean we should deny other people from learning in a way they are comfortable with.

Project 15 - SMARTBoard Instruction Part 2

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blog Post 12

Black and white saying Be creative

As we are nearing the final weeks of this class, we have all had our fair share of problems with various things. Maybe your problem was with figuring out your blog with the various posting, the editing HTML, or even with the ALT and TITLE modifiers. Maybe you fought with your Timetoast the first time you were asked to create one. Or maybe your problem was with anything Google related. Not all of us can be tech-savvy, but as we are nearing the end, we have solved all of our various problems, whether it was asking an assistant or e-mailing Dr. Strange, we got to the answer.

But don't you wish there had been a quick tutorial? Maybe a short 30-second video for when you completely blanked on how to do an ALT or TITLE modifier or even a little video on how to work the various screen capture programs. I know this class is about finding the answer and not having someone show you everything. However, we all have a brain lapse. A momentary panic when you go "AHHH! I don't know what I'm doing!" So, I think the blog post that should've been this semester would be to take an aspect of the class you struggled with and create a video, showcasing your mastery of this aspect.

Different things you can use are:
1. Adding pictures to your blog
2. ALT and TITLE modifiers
3. Anything Google related
4. Timetoast
5. Screen capture
6. C4K, C4T
7. Wordle
8. Anything else you want

I think this should be a blog post because the video could be used to show a first timer how to get through something that might be a little tricky at first. It could also show that the person has mastered something they struggled with all semester. For me, it would be the ALT and TITLE modifiers, because they were always giving me trouble.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mrs. Yollis' Classroom blog

Young boy with laptop in a classroom

I really love Mrs. Yollis' blog as it differs drastically from other blogs that we've looked at and commented on, both student and educator alike. One of the things I looked at was finding out just who Mrs. Yollis was and I love that she said she was a lifelong learner. This is what we have been told from the beginning, that we must be willing to be learners our entire life. It's also amazing that so many people are in tune to her blog. This idea of technology in the classroom is spreading, as it very well should. This blog is used on a daily basis and connects students, parents, and visitors alike. She posts videos for days like Veteran's Day, making her third graders very in tune to the outside world. I applaud Mrs. Yollis and her blog; it makes me want to do it myself.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Final Project 16 Progress Report

The Green team has a few main ideas to work with

1. Talk to teachers we know about opinion of tech in classroom
a. Smartboards
b. Twitter
c. Blogs
d. Internet in general
e. Podcasts
2. How to survive EDM 310 (LAST)
3. Compare and contrast the pros and cons of tech in classrooms with the opinion of the intentions of the company that designed the product
a. Smartboards
b. Podcasts
c. Educational websites/ Wikipedia/ Youtube/ forums
d. Blogs
e. Timetoast
4. Doodling in classrooms
5. Mainstream movies in classroom that might not be completely accurate should they be shown in classrooms

Number three is the most probable project for us. No matter which topic we choose we each plan on choosing one topic and doing research so in the final project we can each present our findings.

The Green Team consists of Brandon Hasting, Whitney Watson, and myself.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Blog Post 11

Little Kids...Big Potential

Little Kids...Big Potential and Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy
For starters, when I first watched the video about the first graders, I actually had to stop and go back to make sure I had read everything correctly. The video is aptly titled, because they are little kids with big potential! If first graders can learn this technology, then people should not be afraid to give it a try, because anyone can learn; they just have to be willing to do it. With that being said, the biggest impediment with trying this in a class with such young students is facing resistance from the parents as well as safety concerns. Ms. Cassidy answered this very well, because it is just a matter of making sure they know where they can and cannot go. It's also a trust concern, trusting them to listen to your advice and understand.

One thing I really like is, obviously, the blogging. I can see the pros in using a blog so students can complete assignments or even projects. It would also be a great way to make sure homework is actually being done at home. However, there is the possibility that some students may not have access to a computer or internet connection. I believe that once a parent is on board and can see the benefits, they will do anything in their power to help their child succeed. I also really liked the wikispaces idea she had, with getting group collaboration from around the globe. Technology doesn't have to foster singular education, but rather teamwork and group participation.

C4K 5, 6, 7, 8 Summary Post

Blogging:With the right stage and the right voice there's no limit to the size of your audience

C4K #5
For this C4K, I was assigned the Little Voices, Little Scholars blog of Mrs. Jenny She. The post I commented on was that of a little boy named Angelo, who was talking about the All Blacks Rugby team. I told him that I had no idea what rugby was, but his video had made me want to find out about it. I also congratulated him on how descriptive his sentences were. I really like being able to see what other kids in classrooms around the world are doing and this was really interesting.

C4K #6
The second C4K was the blog of a Year 3 class at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand. I commented on a post about Khaia making two animations, which considering I cannot make animations, I found really cool. She even included sound effects as well as her explaining the animations. I said that her animations went along perfectly with everything and even though the videos were short, there was a lot said.

C4K #7
For this C4K I was assigned the blog of Noel and I cannot remember what class he belongs to as I have lost that link. Not only that, but my comment seems to have disappeared from or not been accepted by his blog. Anyway, I read his short story about a toy that walks at night. While there were some grammar issues, the story was very descriptive and I really did enjoy reading it. While doing so, I could actually picture my younger cousins being overdramatic and telling this story to someone in the family.

C4K #8
For the final October C4K I was assigned the blog of a year 6 class at Pt England School. The post I commented on was by a girl explaining the rules of a game she had been taught called Maui and Matau. While I didn't understand the meaning of the words, she did a great job of explaining it to someone who really had no idea what she was talking about. It even seemed like it would be fun for younger children to play and I told her this.

Blog Post 10

to educate

Do You Teach or Do You Educate?
How do I intend to educate and not teach? For starters, I will give my students tools and guide them in ways to properly use them. For example, how to effectively use the Internet to further their education, as opposed to using it for Facebook, video games, and music. It seems like it would be really easy to slam a worksheet down in front of the student and tell them “go.” Anyone can stand in front of a classroom and read a from lecture notes. Instead of just lecturing, I would make it a conversation with my students and actually foster discussing ideas and show them how to properly disagree instead of saying “you are wrong and I am right.”
More than anything, I wouldn’t have them bound by everyday ways of learning. Books, pencils, and paper have worked up until now, but take it further and expand. Show them what awaits them if they just look for it. Yes, I would educate my students in History, but I would also expect them to show me something as well. There is a quote that reads “If you aren’t learning something every day, you are going backwards.” It isn’t just about a teacher educating her/his students, but rather the students showing the educator that they can learn and educate as well.

Don’t Let Them Take Pencils Home
This post intrigued me, as well as infuriated me at the same time. It was nothing on Mr. Johnson’s part, but rather how he hit the nail directly on the head. The reason students cannot take “pencils” home? Because they lower test scores. Ah yes, because everything must revolve around those test scores. It’s rather sad that education has come to that. However, I digress. Mr. Johnson presented a very interesting few on taking home pencils, which I am guessing he is substituting for computers in this post. One of the biggest things I have a problem with, is the generalization that the only thing students in low-income schools can benefit from are standardized tests. In my Education in a Diverse Society class last semester, we learned that viewpoints like this cheat low-income students out of a proper education. If you want to implement technology in all classrooms across the spectrum, then they cannot be left out. I like how Mr. Johnson approached that. He is, in a way, not only teaching the students but their parents as well. Not only that, but he does not restrict them to certain things and hold them accountable. Instead, he trusts them to work on the projects he provides. These students are learning, but in a different sense and for the first time they are open to the same learning other students receive.

Blog Post 9

At the Teacher's Desk: An experiment in professional learning, collaboration, and sharing of ideas

What I’ve Learned This Year (2008-2009)
I really loved what Mr. McClung had to say in the first What I Learned post. I chose it specifically because it was his first year of teaching and wanted to see how he made it through. Mr. McClung said that we must be flexible and even without being a teacher I have already learned that lesson time and time again. It is one people must use even in their daily lives, because nothing ever goes to according to plan. There is always that one bump that can set off a chain of events a mile long. I loved how he said that we must listen to our students, because their education isn’t about us, it is about them. You need to understand them in order to properly teach them and know they will learn. Lastly, I had to laugh at his comment that we should be afraid of technology like it’s “a bad horror film and computer are trying to take over the world.” He’s right, because that is about how afraid teachers are of technology, when they should really just embrace it.

What I’ve Learned This Year (2010-2011)
“Don’t expect other to be as excited about change as you are.” This is a powerful statement and this was my favorite section. Mr. McClung basically said not to the teachers who were once full of fire and have now joined the darkside get you down. Even if you are the only one excited about trying out a new approach, do not worry. There are those teachers who will say that something will not work, even with evidence pointed right in their faces. Just because they believe the idea to be a foolish one, hang onto your own excitement and passion for things. This also led into his discussion about being an outsider. Basically Mr. McClung said that instead of trying to impress your colleagues and fit in with them, be an outsider and be with your students. You are there to teach them, so why should you care about not fitting in with the rest of the teachers? Lastly, I loved what Mr. McClung said about touching the keyboard. The job I currently hold, I help train new employees and that is the one I am told to never do, is touch the keyboard. Instead of jumping to their rescue, let them problem solve and get to the solution themselves. In the end, students gain more and will remember how they got to that solution.

Blog Post 8

Learn. Engage. Change.

This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2
Dr. Miller brought up some very interesting points in these videos and one can definitely tell that he is adamant about gearing our education system towards a technology front. This is important, because if we don’t do this, then what is the point of this class? It’s kind of amazing to sit back and watch how we are all so incredibly connected. Someone in California can listen to a lecture done by a professor in New York, so long as they have an internet connection. However, Dr. Miller does know that this will take time, because all students do not have access to internet or event their own computer.
I agree with what Dr. Miller said, because learning like this should take place. We should want this for our children and students, so they will know the highest potential they can achieve. Why would we teach our kids to only reach for second best, when we can teach them to reach for the world? Even if some publications only make it to being $0.59, at least they can reach one person. They can make a difference to one person or student.
Lastly, I believe that once I am finished with my class at South, I will be ready to teach in this new and developing education system. Sure it will be hard, but there is nothing easy about education and you do not go into it believing it will be. You go in knowing it will be hard, but my future students will be able to do this. They will be able to learn like this and will have every available piece of technology that I can give them or give them access to.

Carly Pugh’s Blog Post 12
I think this is a terrific idea, not just from the perspective of an English teacher either. History teachers could have so much fun with something like this. It would be one way to really make the lesson come alive and just like Carly wants her students to love Mr. Darcy and Tom Sawyer as much as she does, I would want mine to appreciate the things old Presidents and even everyday people have done for our country. This really would be a fantastic idea and I am inspired to make my own playlist following her guidelines. I believe that Carly came very close to what Dr. Miller laid out. She clearly understands how to take technology and use it to her full advantage. Also, this is something that would be widely available for other teachers and even students to use.

Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies
With the Chipper Series, it was very creative and I had to laugh at ‘Chipper’ and her ideas, especially the one about redefining procrastination. She goes through all of these crazy ideas and finally comes to the realization that school is for learning, not receiving an easy education and sent out into the world. Clearly we are being told we shouldn’t procrastinate, because being late with assignments is being late, end of discussion. We can procrastinate all we want, but in the end we need to on time with everything. We are not in this class to be taught, because it is up to us to learn. We are being pointed in the right direction and we go from there.
I really loved the EDM310 for Dummies video. As my roommate can tell you, sometimes I feel just like those students in the video. This class can drive you mad, but in the end all of the hard work you put into it, the countless hours fighting with things, and going through links because you forgot what C4K blogs you commented on are all worth it in the end. I would personally love to show people that the work pays off. That you come out on the other side with a grade and tons of knowledge to show what you have done and achieved is all worth it.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
“Education was ranked number fifty-five, below coal mining.” Okay, if those opening lines didn’t get to anyone, then clearly you are in the wrong field, because that is scary. These are obviously very bright educators, because all of them are saying that classrooms today need to change. I especially liked the comment by one of the ladies who said “If I could redesign a classroom of today, it would not be just brick and mortar.” I think that is amazing, because you have people who want to see that change and want it to happened, well it needs to happen. One of the gentlemen said it perfectly “They have a vast amount of knowledge, but do they know how to use it?” Or something along those lines, the point is still made. Students nowadays are growing up in a technology-geared world and we need to use that to our advantage.

Blog Post 6


The Networked Student
Wendy Drexler has a terrific idea with the Connectivism movie. She is showing how connected you can become just by searching the web. You can literally create your own learning environment and that is what it is so fascinating. Instead of spending hours on the Internet doing something that will not benefit you; you can be studying and learning, not just from your professors, but from other people around the globe. The information is out there, it’s just a matter of finding it.
Ideas like this put the learning in the hands of the students. Not only does it make them responsible, but it also shows them that with the right amount of guiding, what they can find. They could even take it one step further and begin learning things on their own. Before you know, they are spending hours learning. It’s just a matter of a nudge in the right direction. With the right amount of guidance from their teachers, the twenty-first student can be recreated everywhere, within middle schools, high schools, and most definitely in universities.

A 7th Grader’s Personal Learning Environment (PLN)
This seventh grader’s PLN is rather impressive and she made a very good point. With everything being online, there is a lot of temptation to just go and do something else like Facebook or Twitter. I think that can also show how responsible an individual is, because the temptation is there, but the person is choosing to ignore it, instead going for something educational. The seventh grader just goes to show how successful technology in the classroom can be. I’m curious as to what the note-taking thing she was using it. It looks rather interesting and like another way to create a PLN or expand on yours. My PLN is coming along, rather slowly, but it is getting there as I am adding things more and more.

Blog Post 5

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

Don’t Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?
According to his about me page, Dr. Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also founded CASTLE or the Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education. Dr. McLeod is also a co-creator of the series Did You Know? which we had the opportunity of watching for one of our first blog posts. Dr. McLeod is a strong proponent of technology in the classroom, as evidenced with his post Don’t Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?
This post was a very interesting read and by reading the comments, I am shocked to see that some people just did not grasp his sarcasm. Why would we be told to read something that goes against everything that we are learning? Or did they even read his About Me? Dr. McLeod did have a very valid point, because some people do believe that nothing good can from the internet. However, it is not just for illegally downloading music, playing video games, and “hooking up with predators.” The Internet, when used correctly, can be a place where great learning takes place. You can connect with people in other countries. How many people really think when they wake up in the morning they could talk to someone in Australia? I think when put in the right hands, the Internet can be an excellent tool for use in the classroom. We can prepare our students for things greater than themselves.

The iSchool Initiative
This video was very interesting to watch. Travis Allen shows that even the youngest person can make a difference, just by believing in themselves. It is clear that he loves the idea of technology in the classroom. He said that having something like the iSchool Initiative in schools could cut costs from about $600 to just $150 per student. I think given our current economic situation this is something that should be considered and why isn’t it already happening? The hardest part is getting those teachers onboard, who still believe in writing on the dry erase board and using transparencies, overhead projectors, and other things in their classroom will get a student to learn. Nothing against these methods, but clearly Education isn’t keeping pace with the technology advances and students are suffering.
However, from what I could gather in the video, every student would have their own iPad or something akin to it. I think, especially with some younger students, this leaves the iPads open to any and all destruction. Also, I think this would take time. As mentioned above, Educators and Administrators are stuck in their ways. Then there are parents who would have to get on board, because some students do still have parents like the ones Dr. McLeod talks about in his blog post. These are simple fixes and it really only takes a change of attitude. The iSchool Initiative is a brilliant idea and I’d love to see it at work for myself.

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
This was amazing! There are literally no other words for the creativity behind what he did. Watching this, you really want to just sit there and say that it’s impossible and cannot be done. How can 185 people who have never met all sing the same song and be put together by this guy? The answer: YouTube. This just goes to show any non-believers that the Internet can do amazing things, hands down, no questions asked.

Teaching in the 21st Century
One of the things that stuck out to me while watching this video is Roberts emphasis on engagement. Your goal as a teacher is not to entertain the students with “new toys” as he put it, but rather to engage them, because this is how they are being engaged nowadays. This is how they see things, with technology in their hands as opposed to pencil and paper. I believe that Roberts sees teaching changing in the same way that Travis Allen. Both of them understand that in order for students to continue be successful, something has got to give. Roberts pointed out that yes, students have access to everything they want to know on the web. They know how to find what they are looking for with a few keystrokes and the enter button. However, what they do not know is how to apply what they have learned, how to take this knowledge and build on it. This is something that teachers who are technologically literate know how to do and pass onto their students. I believe that Roberts made a very good point with this video, that teaching is changing and this is how we keep up.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

C4T #3 Summary

What Now? What Next? So What?

For C4T #3 I was assigned the blog at . The person who runs the blog teaches Year 3 in Hamilton, New Zealand. He also runs a class blog and is a supporter of a PLE and the idea of technology in the classroom. Looking through some of his posts, its great to see how people outside of colleges love the idea of technology to further their student's education. Both of the comments I posted are still awaiting approval, so I'm not entirely sure he has seen them yet.

The first post I commented on was originally posted on April 27th, 2011 as the earliest one I could find was on camp for the school he teaches at. This post talked about QR codes as an app you can find on smart phones. Basically, you can turn the image of a somebody's mouth into a QR code that can be read using a smart phone. When you scan the code, you hear what they have recorded. He even included a video on how to do this. I thought this idea was really intriguing, especially viewing it from a History perspective. It could really make the subject come alive for students. While it would be quite difficult to do this on a large scale of a classroom, because you'd have to make sure there was access to a QR scanner, the idea is still a great. I would love to try something like this in a classroom I teach in and who knows, by the time I graduate it may be completely feasible.

The second post I commented on, I actually went a little further back to find and I chose it because the idea is so fascinating to me! Now this post was over a year old, but when I went digging, I found that it was still completely relevant to today. In the post, he talked about how the Internet as a whole had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last year. I found another article that said it had been nominated again for this year. First, I thought this was a little ridiculous. The internet, really? The thing I use to get on Facebook and keep track of classes? However, it really has done a lot for us. Not only does it connect people in ways they never thought possible. Why shouldn't the Internet win? Not only that, but the blogger made a good point. This is not only for the Internet, but for the people as whole, because people have made the Internet what it is.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Project 9b - Instructional TimeToast

This TimeToast is on the biggest battles of the Civil War. The links for pictures are included in the TimeToast itself and all of the information was found here.