Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Project #13


EDM 310 has opened my eyes to a new world of communicating and technology. I could try to explain how helpful and resourceful this class is, but I don't think it would do it justice. Simply put, I think everyone should have the opportunity to take this class no matter what their major may be.

As we were assigned various time consuming group projects, I became worried that all the individuals in my group would never be all together at the same time. We all have very busy hectic schedules with other classes, work, and some with children. However, we easily pulled it together. Thank You Dr. Strange for opening the doors to communication via all types of technology.

With the help of text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Email, and Google Docs my group was able to communicate and share ideas and our progress effectively. It was a collaboration of all these tools being used effectively and efficiently that enabled enabled all our projects to come together smoothly.

A specific example was Project #15, a SmartBoard Activity. Fortunately, all group members were present on filming day. After filming, we emailed each other the video edits and made a Google Presentation to start video and activity with. In the end, we were able to successfully create a SmartBoard Activity. After taking EDM 310 and learning about all the technology and communication tools available, I feel that I am literate in the 21st century and would be lost without them.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Final Report on PLN

Road Map

I have enjoyed making my PLN. I think it will always be a work in progress as I will always be meeting new people and finding new tools to add to it. I used Symbaloo to make my PLN, a good choice I think. This website was helpful and easy to use when creating my PLN. My PLN is slowly growing and coming together to be even more helpful to me. My webmix started out with a few tiles like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, but has now grown to include tiles like YouTube, Pinterest, Google Docs, Blogger, Delicious, and much more! I would say that I can't wait to see the finished project but I don't think that is possible. As I said before, I think my PLN should be never ending. I will always add more sources and people as I see fit in my education and career.

Blog Post #13

To be a 21st century learner

A Vision of Students Today by Michael Wesch

This video drives home many of the problems in university classrooms today. The video starts with a boring and out-dated classroom; Mr. Wesch points out that students don't learn what they should be just sitting at a desk and MAYBE listening to the professor lecture. I think most teachers of the 21st century are not equipped to teach and engage the students of the 21st century. Most teachers expect students to come to class and pay attention to a boring lesson and then pass a test. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE. Students have so much other stuff going on with all their classes, homework, work, studying, blogging, Facebook, texting, and talking on the phone that the last thing they want to do is pay attention to a boring lecture given by a monotone professor. Story of my life. Considering that most students are lacking sleep from trying to fit everything in, this only makes them want to nap in class.

Simply stated, students are professional multitaskers. Teachers should step up to the plate and operate on the same level the students do. I think students are so used to a fast paced world that maybe we can't absorb all the information given to us in a boring, lecture style fashion. We need to learn the same way we function everyday, multitasking and fast paced. $100+ textbooks should become a thing of the past, we hardly ever open them. It is baffling to me why teachers are still using chalk boards! Technology is the way to go!

21st Century Educator

How Will You Teach Me In The 21st Century?

This was an amazing video by a graduate student at Full Sail University! In Mr. Wesch's video we saw the student's point of view, now in this video we see what the teacher should do. They were great to watch together. This graduate student has a list of things she thinks is necessary to teach in the 21st century. The list includes using technology, communicating effectively, understanding the impact of media, interacting in a global economy, collaborating, and exploring individual creativity. All of these things are extremely important to master in the 21st century.

This video inspired to think on what I want to teach my future students so that they are successful in the 21st century. I thought about so many things that seem important, but I want to take a different approach from the standard chapter to chapter World History lessons. I want my students to know what it means to be literate in the 21st century and to understand and appreciate the technology that will be available to them compared to classrooms years ago. I want my students to be able to communicate with other students from all over world. I want them to blog, interact, Skype effectively and positively, and know how and where to find reliable information using technology like the internet safely. I want my students to experience the best education possible. I want them to experience communicating via Skype with someone across the world to learn about their culture. Simply I want them to experience the type of education not available to us when we were in elementary school. I would like to create a video centered around my students. I want to show their struggles, their improvements, and their success throughout the year.

Exemplar Of Students' Work With Video by Myles Webb

First I want to say Carlton is an amazing little boy! I loved his enthusiasm and joy about life even though he is legally blind. I think that could teach a lot of people to be thankful for what they have.

I think Mr. Webb is advocating the use of technology, specifically videoing. I think he is promoting the use of videoing and other technology in schools. It is clear that Mr. Webb is passionate about what he does and genuinely cares for his (and others teacher's) students. Overall I think he simply wanted his students to be familiar with technology and put it to use.

C4T #4

Classroom in the Cloud, a blog by John Mikulski.

Homework Humor

The first post I read on Mr. Mikulski's blog was Should Teachers Assign Homework?. In this post he talks about Mr. John Spencer's(yes, the same one who wrote the pencil cartoon)views on homework. In Mr. Spencer's opinion, homework is the main assignment where cheating occurs, therefore don't assign any. However Mr. Mikulski doesn't agree with this practice. He says homework IS needed as summative assessment and as a way for holding students accountable and teaching them responsibility. Mr. Mikulski points out that there should be higher standards than just making the students responsible for showing up to class. He agrees that too often teachers handout easy crosswords and word finds which is unacceptable, but thought provoking and meaningful homework is necessary.

Comment #1

I loved this post by Mr. Mikulski! I 100% agree with him. Although I know Mr. Spencer to be respectable man, I simply cannot understand why he would feel this way about assigning homework. I agree that thought provoking and stimulating homework SHOULD be assigned to students. It takes more than just lecturing on a topic during class time to help them understand. Of course no one likes homework, but it's a part of learning and life. I feel that homework does instill the value responsibility in students and hold them accountable for succeeding.

Reputation Management

The second post I read on Mr. Mikulski's blog was Managing Your Online Footprint. In this post Mr. Mikulski talks about an online conference he participated in using Google Hangouts. They discussed a topic he feels very strongly about-how students use the internet. He says that even though students spend up to 11 hours per day on the interest they still don't understand that what they put on there now will affect them in the future. Google never forgets, it is there forever. For example he describes an 18 year old kid who posts pictures of him playing beer pong to his Flickr account. Now fast forward 10 years that same kid has graduated from law school and did exceedingly well on the bar exam. Future employers or clients will always see the picture of him playing beer pong and the picture of him in his cap and gown right next to each other on an image search engine. Mr. Mikulski points out that kids do stupid stuff, that's part of growing up. The problem is that the pictures of the stupid stuff are saved forever.

Comment #2

This was a great post by Mr. Mikulski! It brings awareness to a trending problem. Children should be more aware of the consequences of posting revealing pictures online. They should know that those pictures will stay with them forever. I know that when I apply for a teaching job the principal will probably do a Google search on me. Luckily, I have never posted embarrassing pictures online that could prevent me from getting the job. I think as teachers we want to incorporate technology and the internet into our classrooms but it is important to teach our students proper internet safety.

I read several blog posts by Mr. Mikulski and I have to his blog has been my favorite by far. Keep up the good work by Mr. Mikulski!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blog Post #12

To Blog or Not to Blog

Watch the video Benefits of Educational Blogging by Kathleen Morris and and Kelly Jordan at Leopold Primary School. Yes, this video is a tad lengthy coming in at 15 minutes, but I know you can do it. Discuss the advantages of technology/blogging that you see or hear in this video. How does this benefit the student and the teacher? Do you agree with this? Will you use any of this in your classroom? Write two or more paragraphs following the guidelines in Writing a Quality Blog Post.

Next read the article Technology Integration for Elementary Schools by Grace Rubenstein. It is about Forest Lake Elementary School in South Carolina and how one teacher is using technology in her classroom. Summarize the tips/tools Mrs. Williams provides. Will you follow these guidelines in your classroom or do you have different ideas? What do you like about this? How does this benefit the students? Write two or more paragraphs following the guidelines in Writing a Quality Blog Post.

Benefits of Educational Blogging

Benefits of Blogging

I thoroughly enjoyed this video! To start, I want to point out the first clip of this video; a quote by John Dewy. He says, "If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow." What inspirational words to live by. I believe it and it motivates everyday to do my best to ensure that I am technology literate so I can provide my students with an outstanding education. I must admit, I was overwhelmed with excitement and moved by the clips that showed the students' sentences about why they like blogging. I probably have watched this video about 10 times now, it gets better every time. To say that I like it is not enough.

Blogging has numerous advantages in the classroom and is beneficial to each individual student as well. Blogging builds confidence, improves literacy skills, teaches appropriate online behaviors, provides global connections, and build a sense of classroom community. This video actually taught me a new word, transliteracy. It is the ability to read, write, and interact across a range of digital and print platforms. Students bring this to life when they blog; they are able to interact with their "blogging buddies" from all over the world. In the 21st century people considered illiterate are those who can only read and write across traditional platforms. I want to see this disappear; as educators we can do this by starting early and incorporating technology in our elementary classrooms.

I can and will most definitely incorporate blogging into my classroom, as well as any other technology readily available to me. This brings me to another quote from Tanya Byron. She says, "The technology itself is not transformative. It's the school, the pedagogy, that is transformative." I want to transform my students into technology literate individuals of the 21st century, it will be the only way for them survive in the future. I strive to use blogging and all other technology to provide my students with the best education possible.

Technology Integration for Elementary Schools

The technology revolution was slow to start in elementary schools but has now taken off. Ms. Paulette Williams from Forest Lake Elementary School in South Carolina has a few great tips on successfully integrating technology in your classroom.

First, she says to start with the standards. You should only use technology when it enhances your lesson. Second, give your students hands on tools. Smart boards, clickers, cameras, and iPods are a great way to do this. Next, she says to maintain the same rigor as in pen and paper projects. Students should always know what is expected of them. Fourth, allow students to interact with peers far away. Webcams allow connections to be made from anywhere and students are able to learn about people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Then Ms. Williams says to slowly give students more independence. Show them what to do and how to do it several times then let them work it out on their own. They can figure it out. Next, you should always know where your students are doing their online research. You should have a preset list of acceptable sites for them to choose from. Finally, just relax and have a back up plan.

I will be sure to take Ms. Williams tips into consideration when preparing my classroom. I think she hit it right on. All of these tips allow for technology to be beneficial for the students and allow for class time to run smoothly for the teacher. From all the useful tips and advice I have been reading, I can hopefully have at up to date technology classroom and brilliant students to fill it.

Side Note

I just want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this blog post assignment. It actually made me think about a lesson. It was great practice for the future.

Progress Report on Final Project

Hard Work

Luckily, I am happy to say that I am in an amazing group of future educators. We work well together as a team which has really benefited us while working on our final project as it is very time consuming. With that being said, so far our iBook is coming along slowly, but it is coming. We are a very detail oriented group which means we spend a little extra time ensuring that everything is perfect; this is causing us to move slowly, but it will be worth it in the end. I'd say that right now we have about 40% of our iBook completed but we are steadily adding to it daily. Our group chose a encyclopedia theme for the iBook. Without giving away too many details, it will include 'all the words you didn't know before EDM 310' and reflections from each group member's blog. I am very excited to see the end result reflecting all our hard work!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blog Post #11

Kid with Computer

Little Kids, Big Potential

What an amazing first grade class! Ms. Cassidy is doing remarkable things with technology in her classroom. She is using the internet to connect with her students, and to help them connect with people all over the world. With her class webpage, her students are able to choose activities that will help them improve whatever skill they may need to work on. Her students are leaning how to create their own blogs and wikis; it's obvious that they are very smart and interested. I can see how beneficial technology in the classroom can be. Before taking EDM 310 I didn't know anything about wikis, podcasts, and blogs; now I love it. I think I could incorporate all of these techniques into my classroom. Ms. Cassidy's video showed me all that I can do with technology. I hope my classroom is equipped with computers and smart boards so that my students are able to participate in interactive activities, blogs, and wikis like Ms. Cassidy's class. I want to instill in my students the importance of positivity not only in the classroom but with their blogs, commenting, webpages, etc. I am excited to see what my future students can accomplish when given the proper materials. I can't wait!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blog Post #10

Papermate vs. Ticonderoga

Part 1

Papermate vs. Ticonderoga.

I sat in front of my computer for two days pondering this cartoon; eventually I came to a conclusion. I think the Papermate symbolizes the outdated way of learning with pencil and paper. It is a cheaper route but not as efficient and is of less quality. The Ticonderoga represents the new way of learning with technology and the many tools it provides us with. Learning/teaching with technology costs more upfront, but is well worth it in the end. Technology presents a more efficient, more engaging and interactive, and overall better way to learn and teach.

Part 2

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games? By John Spencer

In this post, I think Mr. Spencer is describing the difference in opinions about technology/games in the classroom. Some people think it is nonsense to play educational games and use technology as an educational resource. Well, I think these people are close minded, they should be open to any option that encourages students to learn. Mr. Spencer says that the games are advanced simulations which can be used to teach the children how to use a particular skill in everyday life. This is much like how doctors and soldiers practice. I see no reason for parents or administrators to complain about this.

Another great blog post from Mr. Spencer is Avoid Social Networking. In this post Mr. Spencer
pokes fun at the people who think interaction between students and teachers outside of school is unacceptable. I do not agree with these people. If a student has a question, they should be able to contact their teacher by any means including social networking sites. It would be ridiculous for a teacher to avoid a student at the grocery store or have to resign from coaching a city team to avoid his/her students. Communication between students and teachers should be encouraged.

Part 4

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please? By Scott Mcleod

I definitely agree with the point Mr. Mcleod is trying to make. There are plenty of teachers, administrators, and parents who shield their students/children from technology in the classroom or for the purposes of learning. I do not agree with these actions. When I was elementary school, I can remember my mom buying me educational computer games to help with spelling, typing, and math; I also had many of the leap frog learning activities and consoles. I think it was a positive thing for me, and it could be for other students as well. Teachers and schools that embrace technology in the classroom are setting their students up for success. End of story. Children should be allowed to create, explore, and share their thoughts and ideas with their classmates and teachers. What if they are the next Mozart or Einstein?

Who is Scott Mcleod? I'm not sure if I can write a short description and cover everything! Scott Mcleod is an expert on K-12 school technology leadership issues. He is also the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8 in Iowa. From what I have read, he is currently on leave from his position as Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Mcleod is also the founding director for UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), which is the nation's only academic center for the technology needs of administrators. Dr. Mcleod had named a Leader in Learning by the cable industry, an Emerging Leader by Phi Delta Kappa International, and one of the National School Board Association's 20 To Watch.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Blog Post #9

Good Teacher

What I've Learned This Year (2008-09) By Joe McClung

In this post Mr. McClung sums up his first year of teaching. Like any new teacher, he didn't know exactly what to expect. Over the year though, I learned a lot about being a teacher.

Mr. McClung says that throughout college and his internship he thought it was all about the teacher. He was so worried about what other teachers and administrators thought of him, that he didn't put his audience first in his lessons. However, I have had a totally different experience in my college career. My professors have drilled to me that the student comes first, and to have student centered lessons. Quoting Mr. McClung, "In order to be effective you have to be able to let your audience drive your instruction."

Mr. McClung also says that we must remember that things aren't always going to go the way you planned. He says that he tried way to hard to control everything and have it done his way. I'm sure this will prove to be the hardest thing for me. My OCD is always in overdrive. I like to have things done the right way the first time. I guess this will take some getting used to. You can't expect every lesson to go smoothly like you planned. You are working with children. They may need to spend extra time on certain concepts that you didn't plan for.

Next, Mr. McClung says to talk things out. Communication is the best way to resolve any work place issue. I hope we all know this by now. I agree with Mr. McClung that communication is one the hardest skills to master, but it is important to do so. Communication helps build relationships with your students and other teachers. Also, he states that we should be aware of the expectations we set. Keep in mind that you are working with children and don't be quick to scold them when they fail to meet an expectation. Just keep encouraging them to do their best and try again.

Always listen to what your students have to say. Mr. McClung says that you may be only one who does. He thinks that teachers do not know enough about their students. You should take interest in their lives, earn their respect, and build relationships. Lastly, Mr. McClung says to never stop learning. If we expect our students to learn, then we owe it to them to learn as well. I agree with everything Mr. McClung talks about in this post. It has inspired me and given me ideas on how to approach my student teaching and one day, my own classroom.

What I've Learned This Year (2009-10) By Joe McClung

In this post, Mr. McClung reflects on his second year of teaching and the many firsts that came along with it.

Mr. McClung says that we must learn to adapt to our students. He had a first hand experience with this concept this year when he changed schools. He had to learn to leave his sixth grade mentality behind and get on board with his new eighth grade class. I agree, no two classes will be alike, especially when it comes to different grades. Older students need to be given more independence and responsibility.

We see a reoccurring topic here, don't consume yourself with expectations for your class. Let it play out. Mr. McClung finds this to be true when he teaches history. He learned to not expect any certain outcome out of his class discussions. Instead, he guided his students into independent thinkers. I definitely agree, you never want to hand your students the answer to anything. History should be a subject that promotes a class discussion with no one right answer.

Mr. McClung says the best piece of advice he can give to a first year teacher is to find your school mom. Like Mr. McClung, I am a huge momma's baby. This advice I take to heart. The next topic Mr. McClung talks about, I think, is the most important. Be passionate about what you are teaching. You may not love every single lesson topic, but you have to sell it to your students.

Don't be a control freak. Mr. McClung says that while it is important to have control in your classroom, don't go overboard by trying to control every little detail and try to do too much. Give your students more responsibility and tasks and rely on them to help you with some things. They actually enjoy it. Mr. McClung says one important thing to remember is scope and sequence. You should spend a fair amount of time on each subject, not just your favorite.

I found Mr. McClung next topic to be very helpful advice. Don't lose sight of what's important. You should set aside any issues you may have with administrators or co-workers and focus on your students. They are what's most important. I guess Mr. McClung and I think alike, the sentence of this post quotes my sentence for our My Sentence project, "I am a work in progress."

Thank You Mr. McClung for your words of wisdom!

Keep Calm

Thursday, June 28, 2012

C4T #3

Passion For Teaching

At The Teacher's Desk.

This blog is a collaboration of several teachers' thoughts and ideas.

Tablets Are Great For Reflections By William Chamberlain

Mr. Chamberlain stated that he bought iPad and Apple TV for his classroom earlier in the year to benefit his students. He thinks it will be a good way for students to share what they are learning. I agree! Next, he bought a Nexus 7(tablet) for his students to record their reflections on his class everyday. Then his students can upload their reflections to a tumblr blog Mr. Chamberlain created. What a great idea!

Comment #1

I think Mr. Chamberlain is on to something. I think it is an awesome idea to have the students record their daily reflections of his class. By uploading them to his blog Mr. Chamberlain and his students are able to understand each other and how they feel about the class. This will also allow Mr. Chamberlain to see what(if) he needs to focus on more. Kuddos for Mr. Chamberlain for incorporating the iPad and Apple TV into his lessons. Allowing his students to use will definitely help them share with the class what they have learned

They Don't Love Your Subject (and That Is Okay!) By William Chamberlain

In this post Mr. Chamberlain comes to the conclusion that not every student will love and the same passion for your favorite subject. It is your favorite for reason. That subject is quite possibly one of the main reasons why you became a teacher in the first place. You should teach that subject with the passion you feel for it, but don't get upset if your students don't feel that same way. It is okay, and maybe better, for them to feel that way. Mr. Chamberlain says that our students should be allowed the freedom to explore what they are passionate about. Quoting Mr. Chamberlain, "We need to love our students enough to let them not share our passion."

Comment #2

Again, I definitely agree with what Mr. Chamberlain is getting at in this post. I wish more teachers had his outlook when I was in grade school. Teachers should never try to force their students to love a subject. It will only push them further away from that subject. Students should explore all subjects and see what strikes them. They should allowed to find their passion.

Project #14

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blog Post #8

Apps For Teacher

This Is How We Dream

In Richard Miller's This Is How We Dream, he is trying to open our eyes to what has already changed and what is changing around us.I went ahead and watched the whole video of both parts so that I could really understand what Mr. Miller was explaining.+ I agree that this change is good, but that doesn't mean that books have to totally replaced. I love to find a good book and get lost in it. Mr. Miller says we are living in the greatest change of human communication. He couldn't be more right. Today, more people communicate through email, text, instant messaging, blogs, and social media sites. We are moving away from pencil and paper into a technology based world.

To accommodate this new learning environment, Mr. Miller says we need inspiring teachers and spaces that foster collaborative learning. Mr. Miller also says that we need to invent a way/space for this learning to take place because there is not one readily available. I believe that teachers can gain the tools and knowledge to educate students the way Mr. Miller wants if given a chance. It is something that everybody must get accustomed to. Hopefully, one day schools all over will be able to create the type of environments Mr. Miller describes.

To be honest, this was not one of the best videos I have watched in EDM. I found it hard to keep up and fully understand everything. That being said, I did learn a few interesting things. I think Mr. Miller's "dream" is sure to happen in the near future. Technology is advancing everyday. When we put the right motivated people together, they are sure to produce an extraordinary learning environment and inspiring teachers to fill it.

Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12

At first glance I thought, "oh my gosh this girl loves to write, she must be an English major." Turns out she is :) To give Carly a little praise she is an AMAZING writer. Even though it was a simple blog post, it was interesting and found myself wanting to do her assignment just for the heck of it! What an awesome idea.

I think Carly hits it right on the head. After reading this, I better understand what Mr. Miller was saying. By putting together a playlist of the videos she described, you are writing you own book, if you will. This is writing with multimedia. Instead of using words in a textbook, it is audiovisual and entertaining to others. Thanks Carly for helping me understand!

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

I agree that the change starts with the teachers. Teachers must have to tools and access to communicate with other teachers from all over the world. They can exchange ideas and help support one another. Then, they can help their students go global and reach out to other students and teachers from across the world. I also agree that standardized tests should be a thing of the past. One of the teachers in this video said that "the jobs that our students will have do not require a right answer vending machine approach." This reminded me of a previous video we watched that said the jobs that our students are going to have don't exist yet. We need to educate to that. We need to teach our students how to find information, validate information, communicate with it, and utilize it. It is not about teaching to a test. With this new wave of education teachers and schools can produce brave, genius students. Welcome to the NEW 21st Century!

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

1) Locate a tool that is similar to Twitter/Facebook and provides a social platform for students and teachers.

I found Edmodo and made an account as a teacher. Edmodo actually looks a lot like Facebook. With this site I can create groups for each of my classes. The students can join and stay up to date on all assignments and any classroom news. I can create a library of links for students to view that will assist them with homework and for extra help if needed. Edmodo also allows me to connect with other teachers to find out what they are doing in their classrooms. We can communicate ideas to each other and offer support.

4) Find a tool that you have never used before.

I found Puzzle Maker. This tool allows you to make several kinds of puzzles to help you students. Finally, some fun in learning. Some of the different puzzles include: Math Squares, Cryptograms, and Crosswords. These puzzles can help students with their math and vocabulary skills, not to mention they will hopefully enjoy doing it.

5) Find a tool to create a poll anytime, anywhere.

My poll can be found at Poll Everywhere

EDM 310 Is Different

I loved the EDM310 for Dummies video! I would create tutorial videos for everything that I didn't understand at first in this class. I can help future EDM310 students with their intellectual journey, and hopefully help them better understand their assignments. Also, I think a fun video be to have every classmate share one piece of advice for EDM310 and provide that for future students as well.

Project #12

Project #11

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Project #9b

Blog Post #7

Networked Student

The Networked Student

Wendy Drexler's video The Networked Student was both entertaining and informative. I learned what it means to be a networked student, which I think every student should be. It is a great idea. Eliminating textbooks helps everybody. It's "going green," which helps our environment and you don't have to lug around heavy textbooks. I think it would be great to have a teacher that practices connectivism and hardly ever lectures. My teacher, Dr. Strange, and his EDM 310 class are great models for this type of learning.

Creating a personal learning network and reaching out to others via blogs or other communication sites is a great way to strengthen your knowledge on a topic. I think it is helpful to create your own blog to express your views and ideas on a topic. ItunesU is a wonderful thing! I think it amazing that it gives you access to lectures by professors at universities from anywhere. Connecting to people all over the world to discuss different things and learn from each other is a powerful thing.

Although you have all this information available to you, I think it is good that it doesn't eliminate the role of a teacher. Having a teacher to provide you with guidance is a must. Overall, this video showed me the positives and importance of being a networked student. I think all schools should participate in connectivism and this type of networked learning.

Project #10 Progress Report

Personal Learning Network

My Personal Learning Network

I chose to use Symbaloo to create my PLN. So far it has been a slow process. I am still trying to figure the website and tools, and how to use everything it offers. I created my account and webmix, and I have somewhat started organizing my tiles. I am organizing/separating social media sites, search engines/tools, News apps, etc. Although it is taking me some time, I am interested and enjoying learning how to create the perfect PLN for me. So for every tile or website that I have searched for is available. It is fun adding the tiles to my webmix and creating a better PLN. I can't wait to fully understand and figure everything out!

C4T #2

Comment #1

I enjoyed reading Hadley Ferguson's post The Joy and Wonder of an Edcamp on her blog Middle School Matrix. She describes an edcamp where teachers gather to learn new things and improve their teaching skills. The amazing thing about this edcamp is that the teachers don't go for re-certification or to get an award, they simply go for the joy of learning and growing as an educator. It is great how much these teachers care. I am inspired by these teachers' dedication to never stop learning and improving themselves for their students. I can't wait to be able to participate in programs like this!

I told Mrs. Ferguson how amazing an edcamp sounds. It is wonderful how eager these teachers are to learn more and improve. I hope when I become a teacher I can find an edcamp or something similar. This was more inspiration to become the best teacher I can be.

Comment #2

Given the opportunity, I also read another one of Mrs. Ferguson's post entitled The Challenge of April. In this posts she talks about how challenging April CAN be and discouraged you CAN get, but don't. Don't give up she says. April brings about mixed feelings. It is almost the end of the year and you probably think you'll never get to achieve all the things you hoped for in that school year. You hope that you helped you students and provided them with the guidance they need to succeed. I really enjoyed reading this post!

I commented on Mrs. Ferguson's post saying that as an upcoming teacher, I find it helpful to read testimonials like hers. The fact that she uses Twitter and Pinterest as resources is awesome. I definitely agree with her; April also makes me feel like I will never get everything done. However, her post gave a little insight; don't get discouraged and give, do the best you can.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blog Post #6


Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture was a long one(I should have taken my ADHD meds first), but well worth watching. He was an amazing man with amazing ideas. I'll be honest, I was in tears by the end of his lecture. It's so empowering.

I find myself running short on time to complete this assignment(partly because I waited til the last day) because I was so interested in Mr. Pausch and his life that I googled him and somehow managed to spend the next 2 hours reading articles, posts, and even a blog actually written by him tracking his progress with cancer. I couldn't stop, I wanted to know more. I feel like a big nerd now, but everything that he represents is so intriguing. Until this moment I was(secretly)unsure if I was in the right place, if teaching is what I am meant to do. This put to rest any doubt I may have. I only dream of being a monumental educator like Mr. Pausch.

Things I Learned From Mr. Pausch To Use In My Classroom:
(this may sound a little choppy, but it's flying out of my head so fast I can't organize it)

It's all about fundamentals. If you don't get the fundamentals down, nothing else will work. These should and will take the lead role in my classroom. Never give up. If you feel like someone is pushing you to hard, thank them. When you mess up and no one says anything to you, they gave up. I vow right now to never give up on any student that walks through the door of my classroom. I owe it to them to provide them with the best education I possibly can. Have enthusiasm. I want to be the kind of teacher that makes kids excited to come to school. Leadership is a skill too, own it.

It's not what you say, it's how you say it. This is something I've heard from my mom time and time again, and I get it of course, but it never really made sense until now. You should always be aware of what you are saying. There is a good way and a bad way to say everything. To the parents, let your kids paint their walls if they want to. I hope to have my students create an ongoing art project where they can paint a wall in my classroom. I want them to express their creativity and how they feel. Have fun, there is no other way to exist. You have to decide if you're a Tigger or an Eeyore. Mr. Pausch and I are both Tiggers, we choose to have fun!

Quotes From Lecture To Remember:

-"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted."

-"Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things."

-"How can I enable childhood dreams?"

-"Don't bail; the best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap."

-"Luck is where preparation meets opportunity."

Project #8

Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Blog Post #5

Teaching With Technology

The iSchool Initiative

Travis Allen has made 2 incredible videos. He made the first one, The iSchool Initiative, when he was 17 as a high school senior in Georgia. In this video he presents a new "smart" way to teach and learn, all done through an iTouch. We know that school is expensive. When you add up all the costs of the things students need like calculators, books, agendas, backpacks, and put that with the things needed to maintain a classroom like ink cartridges, maps, paper, and projectors, it ends up costing the student a lot of money. Travis points out that if we were to move to iSchool, which is about $150 per student, on the iTouch, it would save each student about $600.

iSchool is an innovative new way to teach and learn. Picture a classroom with no paper going in or out, no books, and no pencils. iSchool incorporates app that are already available to you on the iTouch. Let's explore some of these apps. Email allows students, teachers, and parents send and receive assignments and track due dates. World Wiki can replace all maps and globes, and formulae provides students with all math and science formulas normally found in a textbook. The app recorder allows you to record lectures and lessons, and Notes lets let you take notes of course. Both of these allow you to listen to or read lessons later on or send them to a classmate. Classics allows you access library, school, or books of any kind. Simply select the chapter and start reading. Other helpful apps include chemical touch, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Presidents, Star Walk, graphing and scientific calculators, calendar, and iHomework. All this could produce huge savings for students and schools.

I think this a great a idea to cut costs and improve education. If everyone got on board, iSchool could be a revolutionary tool. I had no idea that all these apps existed. I plan to start using them to better my education now. Hopefully, in the near future more schools will embrace the iSchool Initiative. For more information on iSchool check out Travis Allen's second video ZeitgeistYoungMind's Entry.

Virtual Choir

Everyone stop what you are doing right now and go watch Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir. Now realize that these people have never met and this was put together entirely through the internet. Now I bet you're in awe. I know I certainly am. It is amazing the things internet allows you to do. You can communicate and produce videos(or anything really) like this with people from all over the world without leaving your desk. The technology we have today is so powerful, and just think, it is improving everyday!

Teaching in the 21st Century

Kevin Roberts' video, Teaching 21st Century Students, was definitely an attention grabber. Roberts says teachers are no longer the source of information, but the filter. I think in many ways this is coming true. He says that students can find whatever they want whenever they by means of the internet and it's various sites. Roberts thinks teachers should show their students how to handle and use the information they find from other sources. We should focus on providing our students with the skills they need.

I agree with Roberts. Times are changing and school is not like how it used to be. Teachers need to evolve with the technology. As teachers, our role should be to provide skills and knowledge on how to utilize the information students are acquiring from other sources. Technology is a wonderful thing. We should take advantage of what it has to offer. Technology and the internet can ENGAGE the students with interactive lessons and materials for homework and projects. As a 21st century teacher, I am going to do my best to incorporate all aspects of technology into my lessons, it can only benefit my students. Think of the possibilities.

Flipped Classrooms

Katie Gimbar posted a great video about flipping her classroom, Why I Flipped My Classroom. I think flipping your classroom is a great idea! I would absolutely use this method of teaching. It allows your students to move at their own pace but still be able to help every single one of them as needed. In Flipping the Classroom by Dr. Lodge McCammon, he points out that there is too much lecturing going on in the classroom. He says this is inefficient, not engaging, and a one shot deal. However, when you flip your classroom and have lectures online, it allows your students to view them as many times as needed and post questions. The students work at their own pace, and more time is spent applying concepts in the classroom rather than lecturing on them.

Project #9a

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blog Post #4

Tell The World

Podcast Collection

Judy Scharf's article Podcast Collection offered a lot of helpful information on creating your own podcast. First, what is a podcast? A podcast is a radio style talk show that may include music. You can access it through an MP3 player or an iPod from iTunes or a podcast hosting service. Podcasts can provide information about any topic to be shared with millions of people over the internet.

Mrs. Scharf also lists several tips to succeed when creating your own podcast. Of course first you should make yourself very familiar and comfortable with the software you will be using. Next, you should give your students a choice of topics and let them choose who they want to work with. Third, provide each group with examples of other podcasts to listen to for ideas. Finally, include a list of criteria for research and allow plenty of time to complete the project. Keep in mind that it will probably take longer than you expected.

After all of that is completed you a sure to have several podcasts that you should present to the principal and other school faculty. I will be sure to keep these tips and tricks in mind when helping my future students create a podcasts. I plan to have a class blog to post the podcasts so that parents and other people can see the progress in our classroom.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom

Joe Dale starts his video, The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom, by saying that podcasting is an effective way of interacting with students outside of the traditional classroom. Mr. Dale offers several benefits of podcasting that I will briefly discuss. Podcasting allows for differentiation in the classroom. You can record a lesson and students can play it back and listen to it. This is helpful because if you're like me you don't always catch everything your teacher says the first time. Students can also write the scripts and act out the podcast which encourages creativity and innovation.

One very helpful benefit to podcasts is that you can listen to them anytime and anywhere. For instance, if you miss class because you are sick you can easily stay on track with class by listening to the podcast lessons. This way you won't fall behind. It is very easy for a teacher to upload a podcast to a website or blog for parents and students to listen to and generate responses. Students in Mr. Harry Dell's class at L. Douglas Wilder Middle School say they enjoy the podcasts for many reasons. A few of these reasons include: it is exciting and they love the sound effects of their stories, and because it is fun keeps the attention they learn more.

Podcasts allows for project based learning and encourages students to use their higher order thinking skills which is what teacher strive for. Also, it is an opportunity for parents to communicate, be more involved, and know what is going in their child's classroom. I will definitely introduce podcasting in my classroom when I become a teacher. It seems like a great tool to get students motivated and more involved.

Podcating with First Grade

I found the post Podcasting with First Grade on the Langwitches Blog to be very interesting. It discusses how to get children involved and what motivates them. According to the post, the students are "enthusiastic and eager to record their own voices to get them into other people's computers and iPods." Come on, who wouldn't? It kind of makes you a mini celebrity, right? Children love that kind of attention.

This post describes the students' involvement while making a podcast of the book they were reading at that time. After reading each chapter the students discussed what was happening. Their teacher then typed up their questions and answers and the students used this as a script to record their podcast. The teacher said that many students took a real liking to editing their podcasts and became quite picky about making sure it was perfect. Also, it helped the shy and reserved students to come out of their shell and interact with the other students.

The teacher said she could see a huge improvement in the students' confidence levels and voice expression as they got further in the book. When they were done, the students couldn't wait to the finished project. As a plus, podcasts help to improve skills like listening, speaking, storytelling, comprehension, technology, and oral fluency. I found this post inspiring and gave me many ideas on how to incorporate podcasting into my future classroom. I can't wait to try it out!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

C4T #1

Comment #1

In Diane Dahl's post "Positivity: An Important Component of Brain-Based Teaching," she emphasizes the importance of projecting positivity and optimism in your classroom. I agree this is a highly effective way to reach out and encourage your students. When students are engaged in a positive learning environment their ability to learn increases. Mrs. Dahl said that at the beginning of the year 12 of her 21 students were below their reading level. Now, after using BrainSMART, none of them are behind! How awesome is that! It is amazing how powerful a little positivity and optimism can be!

Comment #2

Mrs. Dahl also comments on the use of anchor charts in her classroom. I completely agree with her that your classroom walls should be useful to students, not just cute decorations. Involving the students in the production of charts helps them to understand the thoughts and intent behind each one. These charts come in handy when the students need a little help. If they are stuck, they can simple refer to one of the charts for help. Also, because they helped make the charts, they can easily understand them.

Check out Mrs. Dahl's blog. It is very interesting and she has some wonderful ideas!
For the Love of Teaching

Project # 5

Friday, June 8, 2012

Blog Post #3

Part 1

Punctuation Saves Lives

Peer Editing

What is Peer Editing? is a brief, but clear and helpful guide to what can be a tricky task, peer editing. So what is peer editing? It means working with someone your own age to help improve, revise, and edit his or writing. Sounds easy, right? Well, I find peer editing to be difficult because I don't want to be rude or hurt his or her feelings. However, if you follow the tips given in What is Peer Editing? you are sure to provide your classmate with helpful advice.

There are 3 things to remember when peer editing. The first step is complimenting. You should always start your peer edit with compliments and remember to stay positive. The second step is to make suggestions. You should give the writer specific ideas about how to make their writing better. These suggestions should include ideas about word choice, details, organization, sentences, and the topic. Your final step is making corrections. You should make corrections on punctuation, grammar, sentences, and spelling. If all of this is done correctly, you will have successfully peer edited a classmates work. For more information on peer editing you should check out the Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial. This is wonderful slideshow with great tools and advice for peer editing.

Another great and quite funny video to watch is Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes. This video describes common mistakes and behaviors when peer editing. You should watch it to ensure that you don't accidentally fall into any of these categories. For a plus, it will give you good laugh as well. Finally, remember not be a Picky Paula, Whatever William, Social Sammy, Jean the Generalizer, Mean Margaret, Loud Larry, Pushy Paula, Off-task Oliver, Speedy Sandy, or Defensive Dave!

Part 2

Technology in Special Education

Wow! What an amazing video by Lacy Cook! Her Technology in Special Education video proves just how important technology is in classrooms, especially those of special needs children. It is truly heart breaking knowing that there are children all over the world that are not provided with the resources they need to receive a proper education. In Mrs. Cook's classroom, laptops gave students without a voice a way to speak. That is a gift in itself. These laptops also help children with difficulty writing. It is easier for them to type their assignments than to write them. This helps them complete their assignments more efficiently.

With help from other technology like smart boards and ipods, it is easier to keep the attention of students. I have never seen technology make such an impact on someone's life. It is truly a facilitator of student participation. Mrs. Cook says that with technology her students are interested and eager to work. One of her students, Sean, has trouble reading small print. His laptop has a program called Zoom Text that enlarges the text so he can easily read it. Simple things like that make life and learning easier for these students. One day, I hope that I can bring technology into my classroom and make it as useful for my students as it is for Mrs. Cook's class.

How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism

How the iPad Works with Academic for Autism is a very inspiring video. Inspired by what I saw in this video I searched for an app that I could use in my classroom one day for a special needs child. I found the app Read&Write: Letters, Sounds, and Combinations. This app can be used to help students with their recognition and pronunciation of letters. When touched, each letter has an illustration that makes the sound of the letter. This can help students with a speech problem. Also, this app allows you to practice tracing the letter to increase memory retention and develop fine motor skills.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Amazing is all I have I have to say about this video by Vicki Davis. Before I go any further, everyone needs to take a moment and watch Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts. As I watched this video and others on technology in the classroom, I find myself getting gittery and excited. Mrs. Davis is truly an innovative teacher. I agree with her theory that every child can learn when given other options than just pencil and paper. She challenges her students everyday to learn something new. When using a new term most teachers would just automatically tell the definition or what it means/how to do it, instead Mrs. Davis simply uses the new term and her students research on their own the definition. I believe this encourages self confidence and makes children eager to learn.

Mrs. Davis is teaching her students to become self sufficient thinkers. She lets her students figure things out for themselves and teach it to her and their classmates. This is empowering to students. Seeing teachers like this really motivates to become the best teacher I can be. I hope that one day I work in a school with the equipment and technology that will allow to run a classroom like this. I want to use to technology to encourage my students the way Mrs. Davis. Like I said earlier, I was honestly getting excited when I watched this video. I can not wait for my day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blog Post #2

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

In Dr. Strange's video, Did You Know? 3.0-A John Strange 2012 Version, he emphasizes on the advancements that will be made in the upcoming years. Some of the statistics were a little shocking to me, for example the 25% of India's population with the highest IQs outnumbers the entire American population. He also says by 2025 there will be more English-speaking Chinese people than native English speakers. Personally, I feel that this is a little pathetic. As Americans, we should be proud of who we are and have a desire to learn more and do more.

We live in a world that relies on technology to get through the day everyday. Dr. Strange says that about 1,393,519 searches are made on Google every minute, as well as 11,453,577 texts being sent every minute also. On top of that, technology is advancing every single day. The video also says that according to the U.S. Department of Labor the top jobs 10 tens years from now do not exist yet! As hard as that is to imagine, I definitely believe it. As future teachers, we need to learn how to teach and prepare our students for these jobs. Did You Know? 3.0-A John Strange 2012 Version proved to be an eye opening video to me. Before I didn't realize exactly how advanced technology is becoming, but now I understand how amazing it is and the importance of preparing ourselves and our students for it.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle Wakes by Mathew Needleman is a very interesting video about a man who awakes after sleeping for 100 years. He is very confused about the technology and devices that are surrounding him. So what exactly has changed in the last 100 years? The easiest and most common answer would probably be everything! However, I want to narrow in on this answer. The video starts with Mr. Winkle finding his way to an office building, surprised and maybe a little scared of everything he sees and hears. In offices today we have the most advanced computers that money can buy, accompanied by the latest printers, copiers, fax machines, telephones, cameras, and smart boards. All this technology allows people from all over the world to easily communicate with each other.

Next in the video, Mr. Winkle visits the hospital because he is feeling sick and overwhelmed by all the technology, but it does him no good. Hospitals are just as advanced as major companies, if not more. Today hospitals have machines with the ability to keep people alive, for example ventilators pump air into a patients lungs to breathe for them. Also, hospitals are equipped with special lasers and x-ray machines for surgery and diagnosing.

Finally, Mr. Winkle makes his way to a local school. He felt comfortable and more at home here because it was familiar to him. Nothing had changed from what he remembered about school. The teachers would lecture all day while the students would sit at their desks and take notes. He did see a computer at the school, but it was covered in dust from lack of use. The video concludes with basically saying no matter how much time has passed, some things will always remain the same.

However, I disagree with this outlook. Many schools today are migrating to advanced computers, smart boards, and a more technology enhanced way of teaching; and why shouldn't they? Schools need to be just has advanced has hospitals and office buildings. After all, the students in these schools will grow up to work in these office buildings and hospitals. They should be familiar with the technology they come in contact with. We are moving towards a green society. Less paper, more computers is the way to go. Technology is all around us. It is best for schools to adapt to it and embrace it.

The Importance of Creativity

"If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original." This quote comes from Sir Ken Robinson's speech The Importance of Creativity, and I think it is one to live by. Sir Robinson says we should not be scared of being wrong. Schools and companies imply that mistakes are the worst things you can do, but this is wrong. If you don't make mistakes how will you get better? How will you learn what works and what doesn't? In Sir Robinson's speech he emphasizes that all children are born artists, but as we grow older we are educated out of it. Unfortunately, this is sad and true. Music and the arts are at the bottom of the list in schools. Maths, sciences, and English come first, because we are told that that is what matters. We are told that you will never be a musician or artist so you don't need those classes.

It may be true that not everyone is cut out to be a musician or artist but that doesn't warrant cutting those classes. The arts are an outlet, for so many things or problems, for so many people. People with creative, artistic ability should be allowed to grow and develop in a way beneficial for them, not given medicine and told to calm down. I feel this statement from Sir Robinson really sums it up. I think everyone should embrace the ideas of Sir Robinson and TEDS and celebrate the gift of human imagination and use this gift wisely!

Classroom Disruption

The video Classroom Disruption addresses 2 very different classroom environments. If given the choice, I would much rather take the first class shown at Oakland Christian School for many reasons. To name a few major reasons: the teacher was highly upbeat and positive, updated computers for every student, interactive lessons which excite students to learn, lessons and presentations shown on smart boards, and the use of social media sites for links to articles so students can be exposed to more. Also the teacher was immediately able to help students when they needed, he actually cared about their success in his class, and the teacher provided engaging activities for his class. All of these reasons equal up to a positive environment to learn, which I feel any student would be happy to be apart of.

I have taken classes that represent both the learning environments seen in this video. Unfortunately, most of the classes I have had imitated what I saw from the second classroom at Blunder High. I wish in high school I had the opportunity to take more classes from a technologically advanced stand point. There are many differences in the teachers teaching techniques. The teacher at Oakland Christian School was positive and upbeat, he had a structured business like attire, he used interactive lessons, showed lectures and presentations on a smart board, he used social media sites to engage students, he was able to help students when they needed it, and he genuinely cared about his students success. On the other hand, the teacher at Blunder High had very low energy, he used outdated materials, supported his lectures with boring charts and graphs, he didn't know the correct names of his students, he didn't help his students when they were confused, and he had a very unorganized, thrown together attire.

The students at Oakland Christian School were motivated to learn by engaging interactive activities and assignments. They learned through practice and hands on learning. However, the students at Blunder High were only told to memorize what they had seen. This only allows them to spit it back out on tests, if they learned anything at all, but then they don't retain any information given to them. I aspire to be like the teacher at Oakland Christian School. I want to provide my students with a fun, interactive learning environment that really motivates them to do their best. To achieve this goal I need to be familiar with the best technology available so that I can properly teach my students how to succeed in the advanced society waiting for them when they graduate. I can do this by enrolling in more classes like EDM 310, that will help me to learn how to incorporate technology in my lessons to prepare my students.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blog Post #1

Alabama Football

A Bit About Me

My name is Ashley Brooke Earnest, I was born in Montgomery, AL on August 22, 1991 and lived in Greenville, AL for the first 9 years of my life. Then I moved to Gulf Shores, AL with my family where I graduated high school, and currently I live in Mobile, AL to attend South Alabama. I have one of the greatest, most loving families that includes my dad, Philip, my mom, Donna, and my little sister, Taylor. I don't know what I would do without them! My family is obsessed with Alabama football and country music. ROLL TIDE! When it is not football season I also enjoy boating, fishing, going to the beach and pool, working out, and hanging out with my friends.
I chose to attend South Alabama because it was close to home yet just far enough away to be on my own. Also, South Alabama has a great Elementary Education Program which is my major of course. I was inspired to choose Elementary Education as my major because of my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Whittle, and my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Danford. That may sound silly but they were the most loving and caring teachers I have ever had. I hope that one day I can impact someone's life the way they did mine.
As for my passions, well I'm passionate about animals. All animals, they just have a special place in my heart(except for lizards and frogs). On a totally different hand, I am a great cook and baker. I love to make a mess in the kitchen. Also, I love Spanish and have taken a few classes on it. I am very interested in getting a Alternative Masters in ESL, but first I have to find the patience to learn it like I should.

Time Management

I learned a few things from Randy Pausch lecture on Time Management. First, Americans are very good at dealing with money but not so good in dealing with their time; however, time and money go hand in hand. Second, I learned you should ask yourself "Why am I doing this," "What is the goal," and "What will happen if I don't do it?" Third, "it is better to do the right things adequately than the wrong things beautifully," says Mr. Pausch. Also he says that "good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement." This means you learn from your mistakes.