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