Sunday, May 8, 2011

Final Reflection Video

This is my Final Reflection Video. I'm sad to say goodbye to EDM310, but I'm looking forward to the road ahead. This was such a great class and I'll never forget the lessons I learned from it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Final Project

Here it is!! This is our final project. Brandon, Brittni, and I worked so hard on our documentary. I'm so pleased with how it turned out and I was so privileged to work with these two wonderful people for our projects. Thanks guys for a great semester!

Now Showing:
The USA Show Choir - A Documentary

Monday, May 2, 2011

Final Project Trailer

Unfortunately, we are having some technical difficulties with our footage. My group created this movie trailer to hold you offer until we work out the kinks in our footage. I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

C4T#4 Summary Post

In my opinion, this chart accurately depicts Project Based Learning, which Tyler Rice is learning about and discussing.

For C4T #4, I was assigned to Tyler Rice. He is a science teacher at a high school on a major Indian Reservation in Washington. The two posts that I read were about PBL, Project Based Learning. Project Based Learning is an instructional approach that increases student motivation and interest. Tyler is very ardent about Project Based Learning. He is trying to use it to better his school, but his posts are serving to inspire others to learn about the concepts included in Project Based Learning. I am one of the people he has inspired. I admire him for continuing to learn. His willingness to learn, even when he is a teacher, will improve his school. Also, he has inspired me to make sure I use Project Based Learning in my classroom.

Blog Post #1: PBL Challenge-Balancing Content vs. Project
In Mr. Rice's first post, he talks about his school's struggle to balance content and the project. The method they currently use, causes the instructors to be involved so much that they are more of the conductors of the project than the students are. The end result may not fully represent what the student or students have learned. Adopting the PBL method will motivate students and allow the balance between content and project to exist. The assignment has to be challenging, engaging, and relevant to the student. This method also allows for a lot of review. The students' peers or teacher could review what they have. With PBL, students will be doing thorough research and creating quality projects.

In my response, I told Mr. Rice that I enjoyed his post. I agreed that PBL sounds like a great method for the classroom. In his post, he had given an example project that his students did. I told him that the project sounded so interesting and I wish I could have done one like that in my class.

Blog Post #2: What We're Learning About Project Based Learning
In this post, Mr. Rice tells readers that his school has had much success with PBL. He tells readers that when teachers assign projects they must incorporate one out of three criteria he lists. They are:

  • a significant and relevant (to students) problem for students to investigate and create a solution for;
  • a clear role for students to play in a situation or simulation that causes them to think like an expert;
  • significant student choice about how to attack a project
He also talks about the importance of having an audience for the project presentation. Students tend to be more motivated when they have an audience. One of the most important things to include in a project is feedback. Having review sessions with peers, teachers, or themselves will help students create quality work. He asked his audience for their thoughts.

In my response, I offered my thoughts on his post as a student. Obviously, I couldn't respond as a teacher. Maybe my insight could help in the future. I agreed that the list of criteria is important to a project. If the project follows that criteria and has an audience, students tend to make work they are very proud of. They are more motivated to make a project that is the best it can possibly be. I told Mr. Rice about a group project I had had in middle school that reminded me of the projects his school strives for. We had to build a city with any materials we chose. We could create the buildings and services provided in the city. When the project was turned in, we would present it to the class. I feel that this project could be classified as PBL because we had to research cities and services, be creative, and present the finished product to the class.

Project 10: PLN

This is my PLN. I used symbaloo and I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

So here is my PLN in all it's glory. It took a long time to create this, but I couldn't be more pleased. Since I didn't write a progress report earlier in the semester, this post will serve as the story of my journey. When I started, I felt confused. I wasn't sure how I would finish or be able to fill the whole screen. Boy, was I wrong. It wasn't that hard getting into the project once I figured out what I was doing. I had more resources to put on my PLN then I thought. I even color-coded them after arranging each application a certain way.

All of the websites or applications that had to do with my college education had a red background and were put into the top left corner. The last of these was my EDM310 blog. This served as a transition into the blogs I discovered through this class. I put them in the top center of the screen. Three of them are colored green because I see myself checking them in my future career. The three blogs are Justin Tarte's Life of an Educator, Mr. McClung's World, and the EDM310 Alumni Blog. These were not the only blogs present on my PLN. I put Mr. McClung's post, What I Learned This Year, in brown. It is in brown because it was an extremely important post to me. I see myself looking at it now and in the future.

All of the items in blue are either social networking sites that can be used as tools, the websites I use for my email, or video sites that I can use personally or professionally. On the right side of my PLN, I have all tools or websites I can use for my classroom. Here are a few examples: Discovery Kids, National Geographic, BrainPop, FunBrain, and schooltube. All of the applications are either pink, green, or orange. Some of them are white, but that is because I couldn't change the colors. Pink applications are websites that I can pull stuff from to use in my classroom, whether it be videos or articles. Orange applications can be used by both myself and the children. Green applications are ways to connect with other teachers and share things to use in our classrooms. Three of the applications on the right side are game websites. Coincidentally, they were all white, even though I wanted them to be orange. These applications will be used by the kids whether in school or at home. They have fun educational games that foster an interest in learning.

On the left side of the screen, I have tools that I will use. I have things such as Wordle, Picasa, Glogster, Blogger, and Google Search. I can use these for my future classroom, my current education, or personal reasons.

Overall, I'm very pleased with my PLN. When I was done, I searched for other educational Webmixes. Having a PLN with Symbaloo is very helpful because not only do I have my own PLN, but I can look at other educator's PLNs.

Special Metaphor Assignment (Blog Post #14)

Here are a few examples of common metaphors. We may not realize it, but we use metaphors a lot when we speak.

1. When I read Tom Johnson's post, I realized there was more than what appeared on the surface. It couldn't really be about pencils. Besides seeing the pencils as computers or technology, I saw other hidden meanings. I kind of even created a metaphor in my blog post by saying teachers need to give students a little bit of the reigns when it comes to their education. I think I was able to see past the surface because of the excellent schooling I have had in the past. I have had some really amazing English teachers that strived to make their students the best they can be. Students learned that metaphors were important to writing. We also learned that you may have to look closer into what you're reading to see a metaphor. That is why I think some people in class didn't see the metaphor. A lot of students just want to read something straight forward and only see the literal meaning on the surface. It's not ignorance, it's just they don't realize. I've been looking at other people's post about missing the metaphor and they all seem to say it wasn't taught well in their school. I can see their point. When I started taking my math class for elementary teachers, I saw how flawed the education system can be. Students weren't getting a good foundation in math, so that when they got to the much harder levels they felt it was almost impossible to perform well. I think this can be said for all other subjects. The students that missed this metaphor probably weren't taught to look deeper into what they read or they were taught so quickly that everything was forgotten. Another explanation could be: burp back teaching. Oh no! They might have had to learn about them so quickly and then only had a few questions on their next test. By the time it was all over they had forgotten it all and moved on to the next topic in class.

2. I have encountered a lot of metaphors that I appear on the image I chose for this post. I have heard people referred to as chickens, guardian angels, and class clowns. I have even heard life and a friend's emotions being compared to a roller coaster. I hope that people who may miss metaphors are starting to realize how much they're used everyday.

3. We need to teach students how important metaphors are. To help them grasp the concept better, we have to provide fun activities. Depending on their age, we can read fun colorful books that have metaphors in them. We can assign a class project, where even the teacher participates. Each person participating gets a medium sized piece of poster board. We would split the poster board in half by drawing a line in the middle with a marker. Then on one half, write the word metaphor and the definition. On the other half, write an example of a metaphor and illustrate it. This could be a fun activity for them. I'm sure if you searched in the right places you could find plenty of lessons or activities that involve metaphors. We can even do what Dr. Strange asked of us. Tell students to keep a log of metaphors they hear. Then, they can tell their class the favorite one they heard. This could lead to a great class discussion.

4. I believe we use metaphors because it adds color to our dialogue. They also broaden our way of thinking. We don't just see something one anymore. Also, we can clearly picture what we're thinking or reading about. I found an example of a metaphor online. It was "time is a river". Like I first said, this phrase would add color to our dialogue. Instead of saying time is really long, we compare it to a long winding river. Second, this metaphor broadens our way of thinking. We don't just see time as time and the river as the river. We don't see time as just being really long, either. We see the river of time with people swimming in it. Some let the river take them slowly to their destination, the end. Some people may be swimming quicker to end and others may be fighting against the currents to go their past. Do you see how that one little statement caused all of that thought and vision? Last, the metaphor gave us a way to view something that may have otherwise been difficult to see. When you think about time, what do you see? You may have just said a river or some other metaphor in your mind. Slow down, you're a few steps ahead! Pretend there isn't any metaphors. You can't measure or view time. Yeah, you can see a clock, but time is more a concept then a thing. Now introduce metaphors, you now have a way to clearly see that concept that you couldn't see before.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Project 14: Teach Someone Something

I have been fighting with my computer and Google Docs for a few weeks. If you go back and notice, my original project 14 didn't show up and neither did another post. Google Docs also deleted my project and kept deleting the work I did to fix it. I finally gave up and recorded a new project. The idea behind my project was to teach my mom, other current teachers, and future teachers how to create a classroom blog. My mom was sick from a bug going around through her school, so unfortunately I couldn't record myself teaching her. With this video, my mom and other teachers could view this.

Project 15: Book Trailer Slowed Down

I decided to slow down my initial book trailer because the words went off of the screen a little too fast. Since book trailers are designed with younger children as the audience, teachers have to remember that it may be difficult for students to keep up with words that disappear fast.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

C4K #7, 8, 9, and 10 Summary

I thought this picture fit perfectly for Comments 4 Kids because of the big C4K next to the young boy on a computer.
C4K #7: Tres Cosas Jueves
For my seventh comment for kids, I was assigned to the blog post, Tres Cosas Jueves, in Mr. McClung's World. According to the post, students were taking a break from their normal lessons to learn about a current event. Their current event was a debate about a newly passed bill taking place in Wisconsin. Accompanying the paragraph about their current event lesson was a CNN video about the debate. I told the class that I thought it was great they were learning about current events. I talked about how important I thought current events were. They shouldn't let their learning experience stop at school! Searching for and reading about current events at home is actually a lot of fun.

C4K #8: Charlotte T.
Next, I was assigned to Charlotte. Her class had just performed a dance to "Rockin' Around the Clock" in a school event. She had so much fun learning all the dance moves. She described the dance moves and their costumes. I checked the class blog to watch the video of their performance. They looked so great! They danced great and they all looked so nice in their 50's costumes. I was sure to tell Charlotte how great they did. I also told her that I could relate to her story. When I was in eighth grade, we had a few weeks to learn a special dance to show our whole school. It was a lot of fun!

C4K #9: Mrs. Yollis' Class Blog
When looking through Mrs. Yollis' Class Blog, I saw so many excellent posts. I commented on the blog post about the book the class was reading, Ramona Quimby, Age 8. I liked reading this post because it reminded me of my love for reading by myself and in a classroom. Reading a book in class was always the high point of my school day. In this particular blog post, they talked about chapter 3 of the story. Chapter three is about a fad in Ramona's school. At the end of the post, I was asked if I knew about a fad when I was growing up. I told Mrs. Yollis' class about the Pokemon fad that was present in my elementary school. Coincidentally, Pokemon has become very popular again. I told the class how great the entire blog and individual blog post was. Also, I talked about how I really enjoyed reading. I told them how reading in class was one of my favorite things about school.

C4K #10: Hannah
For my last comment, I was assigned to Hannah. In her blog post she talked about a really interesting Iranian celebration, Seezdah-Bedar. I had never heard of this celebration before, so I really enjoyed reading her post. She included pictures from her fun day at the park and a painting that depicts Seezdah-Bedar. Seezdah-Bedar is celebrated thirteen days after the Persian New Year. Basically, families get to spend all day out in the sun at parks or any other outdoor setting. The children play together, while the adults play cards or talk. They also got to eat a lot of good food and deserts. A big tradition that takes place during Seezdah-Bedar is the throwing of Sabzeh, sprouted wheat or lentils, into a flowing stream. Traditionally, it is thrown at the end of the picnic. They throw this into the flowing stream because it symbolizes sickness and problems. Doesn't this sound like such an amazing celebration? Hannah made her blog post very interactive by asking questions at the end. She asked if readers had heard of or celebrated Seezdah-Bedar, what they think of her tradition, and if readers have a tradition of their own that takes place outside. I told Hannah how great her post was. I had never heard of Seezdah-Bedar, but it sounded so interesting. I told her that Easter is a holiday that many people spend outside. My family would often have a picnic lunch with a bunch of people. The adults would spend time together, while the children searched for eggs or played together. 

Blog Assignment 13

I thought that both of these websites were valuable teaching tools, so I chose a picture that described or mentioned teaching tools.

ALEX, Alabama Learning Exchange, is a useful website for teachers. When you visit the page, you view a little introduction where what seems to be sun expands and shines in front of the word ALEX. You could think of it as a symbol of the resources you'll find when visiting ALEX. It's going to sound cheesy, but it's like ALEX is the light that will bring effective tools to improve your classroom. After viewing the introduction, visitors are brought to the home page with eight links. A visitor's clickable options are as follows: "Courses of Study", "Web Links", "Lesson Plans", "Search", "Personal Workspace", "Professional Learning", "Podcast Treasury", and "ALEXville". No matter which option you click, you will be provided with countless helpful resources.

Basically, ALEX is a website where teachers share lesson plans or other learning materials that they have used in their classroom before, found on the internet or in their school, or created on ALEX. Clicking on "Personal Workspace" allows teachers to create lesson plans and other learning materials to share. "Courses of Study" allows you to search through shared files by subject and grade level. "Lesson Plans" allows you to search only for shared lesson plans by subject and grade level. "Web Links" acts as a portal to beneficial web resources for teachers, administration, and students on other websites. "Podcast Treasury" provides podcasts published by teachers and organizations, such as the Exploreum. "Professional Learning" contains valuable information on grant opportunities, ALEX training opportunities, professional development opportunities, and how to best use internet tools in your classroom. They even had a section about Google, which we already know is very valuable. "Search" is a way for teachers to search through the entire ALEX database. Last, but not least, "ALEXville" is a type of professional learning community. It has news on local educational projects, news provided by ALEXville, and what seems to be a type of forum style community for teachers to join.

When I first started browsing ALEX, I was very impressed. I knew immediately that this would be a tool essential to my first few years of teaching. Also, it acted as a great conversation starter with my mom. I told her about our assignment and she discussed ALEX with me. She told me how beneficial it was to her in the beginning. The only reason she hasn't visited it in a while is because she is in her "groove". She told me that once some teachers have been teaching for a few years, they tend to start using the same learning materials. They slightly modify them each year, but they have a set plan. She isn't saying she'll never use ALEX again, but as of now she has a set plan. When she needs something new, she'll visit ALEX and search elsewhere. Like my mother, I definitely see myself using ALEX my first few years. I can even share it with people who are unaware of this beneficial site.

ACCESS Distance Learning
ACCESS, an acronym for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide, is a learning initiative created by Bob Riley's Task Force on Distance Learning on November 1, 2004. This learning initiative is available to all Alabama public high school students. As stated on the website, Access provides "equal access to high quality instruction, an infrastructure that delivers quality learning opportunities, and greater equity for all Alabama public high school students through 21st century technology".

In the "Courses" section, the website offers information on graduation exams, Advanced Placement exams, and instructions for online courses. In the "Educators" section, administrators, teachers, and counselors can find ways to expand their school's course offerings and teach for ACCESS. ACCESS's "Resources" section has links to test prep, homework help, and other resources like ALEX. The "Student" section provides information for students and parents about the ACCESS program, exams, and courses.

To be honest, it took me a lot longer to figure out ACCESS compared to ALEX. I knew that I was looking at a tool for teachers, but I was also looking at a resource for students and parents. Some of the information is still being worked on, according to the website, but what is already there is quite valuable. I also thought it was wonderful that ACCESS contained information on ISTE, something I was introduced to by Beth Still.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blog Assignment 12

It's Your Choice! As cheesy as the picture is, I thought it fit with the theme of this assignment.

Choose Your Own Assignment

For those of you who have read my recent C4T Summary, my assignment will sound very familiar. The teacher I was previously assigned to was Justin Tarte. His blog is called Life of an Educator. Justin's blog was very inspirational. His words moved me and caused me to read more of his posts. Not only can he be an inspiration to current and future teachers, but he provides such valuable resources and highlights other useful blogs. I intend to visit Justin's blog often. I am an Educational Blogger... was a particular post that stood out to me and will also be apart of my assignment.
In Justin's post, he talks about his introduction to blogging and he talks about how important blogging has been to him. He lists all the ways that blogging has changed his life. My assignment is to list or write 1-2 paragraphs about how blogging has changed your life and how it can change your career. It's easier for Justin to talk about blogging pertaining to his career because he actually gets to do it, but students should already be able to see how it will change their future career by the assignments they have been completing. I think this assignment would be great for the middle or end of the semester. I think I speak for a majority of the students when I say, we didn't know just how much we would get from this class. We knew what blogging was and some of us might have even blogged before, but we didn't know the potential of these technological tools for our future classroom. If you were to assign this towards the middle of the semester it would be after the first few assignments. At this point students would have started realizing how powerful the technological tools were. If you were to assign it towards the end, then students could complete this assignment with full knowledge of everything in this class. It could really show what they learned. You could even broaden the topic. Instead of blogging, someone could talk about Google Docs or Twitter.
For my completion of this assignment, I will list how blogging has changed my life and will change my future career.

Even though I was just recently introduced to blogging, it has made such an impact in my life. Here is how:

  • I have found a way to interact with some of my peers.
  • I have met so many knowledgable teachers, that have inspired and taught me.
  • As I blog more, I will hopefully inspire future teachers or other people around the world. 
  • I feel that blogging has helped me improve my writing skills and find my true writing style.
  • My blogging has started to make an impact on others. 
  • I have helped my mother and her classroom by teaching her about classroom blogging. 
  • A classroom blog would help my future students improve their writing skills.
  • Classroom blogging would allow my classroom to connect with other classrooms around the world.
  • I could find thousands of creative projects for my classroom from teachers who share ideas on their blogs.
  • My students could learn life lessons, such as respect and positive statements, from writing quality comments.
  • Blogging could be a creative outlet for my students and myself.

Project 15: Book Trailer

Final Project Progress Report

Since we are not done with our project yet, we thought an Under Construction sign would be fitting.

The group for our final project is Brandon Caten, Brittni Sasser, and myself. We will be creating an original documentary about the USA Show Choir's perfomance at St. Elmo Elementary School. Brandon, as director of the USA Show Choir, was asked to help coordinate a performance at a PTA meeting. The Show Choir, including Brandon, will be singing and dancing to two very inspirational songs. Brittni and I will be recording their practices and interviewing Brandon, some students from Show Choir, and Anthony Capps. We will combine the footage we have with the footage of the actual performance to make a very interesting documentary. We chose this for our project because this will make a great impact on the children at the event. I know they will be so inspired by what they see. The USA Show Choir has already started practicing for this exciting event. In their practices, we have found ways to incorporate technology. It's so great that we are already using some things that we learned from this class.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Assignment: Mr. McClung's World

Blog Assignment 11

This School Supplies list that includes a Nintendo DS shows how technology is being incorporated into schools more and more.

I love how Ms. Cassidy incorporates technology into the classroom. Honestly, I would like to use technology in every way she does. Through her classroom video and other assignments from EDM 310, I have seen the benefits that come from the bits of technology she uses. The first thing that I would like to include in my class is blogging. As many of the children said, it helps them write better. In my ideal classroom, I would have a class blog website. It would include my blog and an individual blog page for each student. The children's parents and the rest of the community could see all the great things that we are doing in my classroom. For example, when I was in elementary school we were required to buy a composition book to put a daily journal entry in. The entry was either discussing a topic of the teacher's choice or free writing. We would have to include an illustration. Since I will be introducing blogging to the classroom, my students can basically do what I did in my composition book using their blog.

I don't see myself running into a lot of problems. Right now, I could only think of two. There could be those days, like Sunday for me, where technology just fails. For example, computers could freeze or all of the projects you created could disappear. Moments like these could be teaching moments for the children. I could teach patience and a positive attitude until the problem is fixed. Also, I could teach children sharing. When the student is having a difficult problem with their computer, they can share with another student. This would be called cooperative learning. The only other problem that could possibly arise is cheating. There is an easy solution to this, that Ms. Cassidy talked about in her Skype interview. It is up to the teacher to ask for the content in a different way each year. I could assign the same video to watch, book to read, etc. I just have to ask my questions in different ways or ask for different things.

As I stated earlier, I see the techniques Ms. Cassidy uses to be very beneficial to her classroom. For this reason, I think it would be beneficial to my classroom. I already discussed this a bit, but blogging helps children write better. I expect students to work hard, but I don't expect them to be perfect. Blogging allows children to get positive feedback. Their parents, peers, or I could say how they could have written the sentence better (ie: grammar or spelling mistakes). The techniques Ms. Cassidy uses also teach valuable life skills, like sharing, communication, and collaboration. I had a DS and Nintendogs when I was little, but I never thought that they could be used as a learning tool. I would love to incorporate the games children love, like Ms. Cassidy did. They had to work together to make their puppy happy, but they also had to share the DS system in their groups. Another tool that used communication and collaboration skills was their wiki. I feel like I could go on for days about how great all of these tools are. I must say I learned about a lot of things that I could incorporate into my classroom.

Project 14: Teach Someone Something

Sunday, April 3, 2011

C4T#3 Summary Post

Instead of Shakespeare's well know line To be or not to be, this photo shows teachers hesitation with blogging by having him say to blog or not to blog?

     The teacher I was assigned to was Justin Tarte. He is a high school teacher in Missouri. Mr. Tarte is very passionate about his job and anyone can see that in what he writes. One of the blog posts I commented on affected me as much as Mr. McClung's, "What I've Learned This Year". I was so glad that I was assigned to Mr. Tarte and I can't wait to read more of his posts in the future.

Blog Post 1: Let's Make A Difference
In this post Mr. Tarte lists ten ways a teacher make a difference in their school and classroom. The list consists of things that a teacher can do without being held back in any way. Mr. Tarte realizes that many people are hesitant about blogging and using Twitter because of certain situations. This is why he created a list that no matter what situation you are in you can make a difference. I found the list so inspirational. It included such things as "Praise a student for demonstrating an act of courage or high character to another student" and "Say 'hello' to as many students as possible and ask them how they are doing".
I replied by saying that this was a great list that anyone could perform. We must remember that every little thing we do counts. Students will often look up to their teacher like they look up to their parents. We need to show that we care and respect them by doing things on this list. We can also create great relationships with coworkers by some of the things on Mr. Tarte's list.

Blog Post 2: I am an Educational Blogger...
This was another great post by Mr. Tarte. In this post he discussed his introduction to blogging and the benefits he has attained thus far. His list is very similar to mine. To summarize his list, I would say educational blogging causes a teacher to inspire another teacher, improve their classroom, and become the best teacher they want to be. I hope to be a teacher like Mr. Tarte one day. His words have inspired me and caused me to reflect.
I told him that in my comment. I want to be in the shoes of the teachers' I have met in this class. They inspire each and everyone of the students in EDM 310 and so many others around the world. I hope to one day be like that. Maybe Dr. Strange will even assign my blog post to one of his students and I'll inspire this student just like Mr. Tarte has inspired me. I also told Mr. Tarte about my experience with blogging. At first, I was curious of what I would gain from blogging. I never expected this. I have enjoyed it so much and it has made me learn a lot.

I chose the picture for my blog because it is sometimes a struggle for teachers to start blogging. They are very hesitant because they are unaware of the benefits. 

Blog Assignment 10

An Open Letter To Educators
     Morgan's blog post on Dan Brown's video was very interesting. Also, it was very thought provoking and caused me to form three different comparisons. I compared Morgan's experience to mine, Morgan's experience to Dan's experience, and my experience to Dan's. After analyzing the comparisons I made, I realized that my experience and thoughts were very similar to Morgan's. 
    As Morgan puts it, I often feel cheated in our educational system. Like I said in my comment, I didn't fully realize this feeling of being cheated until setting foot in Dr. Strange's class. It's like the feeling was always there, but never fully present until Dr. Strange showed us what we have been enduring. I compare it to some kind of trance we are put into by the "institutionalized" school. Dr. Strange woke me up from that trance.
    Another thing Morgan and I agree on is the fact that we wouldn't resort to the extremes that Dan did. I see that some parts of our education system are flawed, but I would never fully give up on it. Yes, these flaws are hurting our education but not all teachers are like that. I promise! The teachers I "meet" everyday in this class are living proof. Dr. Strange is living proof! You have to look close, but the teachers are there. These teachers that are so unlike the "past teachers" are lighting the spark in the next generation of new teachers or leaders. The new generation is going to step out and never make a student feel the need to do what Dan did. I feel so strongly about this. I will never allow it to go that far. 
     Honestly, this class is showing me how to become a better teacher because it is showing me the best way to educate. There is no memorizing to simply forget, there is just learning. I love it and I know so many other students love it. 

Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home
     This blog post was really enjoyable to read. It was also different compared to what I've been reading. I liked finding the meaning hidden in the dialogue. Even though these two educators were faced with a peculiar problem, there argument in there discussion is so important to our careers. We need to engage students. By interesting them, we give them a little bit of the reigns. In my opinion, giving the children a little bit of the reigns is a good thing. The students know we are the educator and they are the student, but the reigns symbolizes them wanting to actively participate in what will shape their future. Students accepting the "reigns" will often find ways of learning on their own, without even realizing it. In this age, doing different things often results in a learning experience. 

I thought a picture of pencils would fit perfectly with my paragraph on Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blog Assignment 9

This is the cover of an advice book for first year teachers.

"An important decision I made this year is stay positive". This thought, contained in the picture for Mr. McClung's blog post, is just one of the many things I learned while reading What I've Learned This Year. In this blog post, Mr. McClung talks about his learning experience during his first year of teaching. Mr. McClung seems to imply, that teaching is not everything we think it will be when we're still in college. Even though we learned a lot in college, we will continue to learn our first year and beyond. Mr. McClung discusses seven key points that new teachers should learn.

  1. From their experiences in college, education majors may develop a mindset of impressing superiors and fellow teachers. This can cause first year teachers to forget that their audience isn't the latter, but a room full of children. Not only is their an age difference in the two audiences, but there is also a comprehension difference. Lessons needed to be designed for an audience of children. Teachers need to remember that their main goal is for the students to understand. We must build our lessons around the students. Also, they must play a big part in the lesson. Meaning, students should be able to tell their teachers if they need something explained again or slower.
  2. Teachers can't be preoccupied with making everything perfect. It is very unlikely to have a perfect lesson that goes exactly the way a teacher has planned. Lesson plans can change because students need more explanation or practice. Another reason lesson plans can change is because of some mistake on the teacher's part. Teachers can't let themselves feel bad about any mistakes. They must smile, maybe even laugh at themselves, and then keep on going. 
  3. Communication is key to any job, but especially teaching. Teachers should practice this important skill with their students and their fellow teachers. In regards to fellow teachers, communication shouldn't only be used when there is some form of conflict. Communication is an effective way of building great relationships with fellow teachers.
  4. Teachers should have high expectations for their students, but they should never forget to be reasonable. Again, a teacher should be worried about their superiors or their fellow teachers. They should be concerned with their students. Teachers must remember that children aren't perfect and can make mistakes often. Some children will live up to the standards or expectations that teachers set, but for those that don't teachers should never falter to encourage them. 
  5. Teachers shouldn't be afraid of new technology. They should embrace it as a technological tool for their classroom. To use it in the classroom, teachers must be willing to learn how to use this technology.
  6. Besides communication, listening is another useful and effective skill. Listening strengthens respect and the student/teacher relationship. Listening to students shows that the teacher truly cares about the students' lives. 
  7. Since teachers want their students to learn, they should be open to learning themselves. It's never too late to learn. If teachers let themselves learn, they could find something that is really beneficial for their students.
I could not get enough of this blog post. Like I told Mr. McClung, I'm keeping this blog post close to my heart forever. I will even read it the night before my first day of work. This post is so important and I think that every new teacher should read it. It sure helped me, so I know it would be extremely beneficial to others.
I think that all of the key points discussed in Mr. McClung's post can be connected. I feel like (if I hadn't read this post) before starting work I would feel that everything had to be perfect. That is a big problem I already have. I get so focused, ahead of time, on making everything perfect that I end up getting too swept up in things. This just creates a huge, cluttered mess that is far from perfect. I think a new teacher's focus should shift from perfection to educating students as best you can. I don't mean just taking a lax approach, as that sentence may make it sound. Teachers need to take their thirst for learning and transfer it to their students. I feel like I have said that so many times, so I'm sorry for the case of deja vu. I just feel strongly about it. My thoughts are becoming one cluttered mess in my mind, so to save readers from getting so lost I'm going to list my thoughts.

  • Teachers can't focus on perfection. They have to focus on their students' comprehension of the material. 
  • Growing up, we have always been told not to worry about what others think. I feel this applies to our future teaching careers. I am not saying disregard the thoughts of your principal or rudely ignore the opinions of fellow teachers. I mean don't build your teaching around the latter. Don't worry about impressing people of your age, worry about delivering this material in a way that your students fully understand it. I believe this thought of mine is a combination of first and second key point.
  • Communication and listening gets you so far. Both of these life skills can fix conflict and built or strengthen important relationships in your future. When we start our teaching career, we will depend on our use of these skills to create united teaching staff that can overcome any conflict. We will also use these skills to develop a respecting and friendly student-teacher relationship. For some teachers, they want their students to fear them. This establishes the idea that the teacher has total power and shouldn't be disobeyed. This isn't the type of teacher I want to be. I want to have respect going from both ends. I respect my students and in turn they respect me. They will follow the rules not because of fear, but because they respect me and want to do the right thing. They won't only see me as their teacher or a person of authority, but someone who really cares about their life. I feel that effective use of communication and listening will establish the classroom I see in my dreams. Of course, I'm not picturing or focusing on perfection.
  • Another thing I want to touch on is technology. Mr. McClung is right. We shouldn't fear technology! I feel EDM 310 has put on the right path to technological literacy. I don't want to become someone of an older generation who has no idea what is going on technology wise. I also don't want to be that person that fears learning about new technology. It's a fact: teachers should want to learn. This means we can't shy away from technology, like some do. This is hypocritical. EDM 310 has shown me the potential of the current technology for classrooms. I fully intend to use everything I can, but I can only imagine what new technology could be invented in the years ahead of me. I'm going to want to learn to use it, just as I want to learn to use the technology of today. All teachers should feel this way.
Overall, this was a very thought provoking post for me. I feel like I could write so much more about what I read. I'm going to keep the message in this post close to my heart for the rest of my life, especially as I prepare for my classroom.

C4K #4,5, and 6 Summary

I found this picture on Google images. It's a girl with her back to the audience, facing a computer. It appears she is typing a blog or some other thing that involves talking about herself. Two other children are on the other side of the picture facing her.

C4K #4: Alexander
The fourth children's blog post I read was Alexander's post introducing himself. After reading it, I knew a few fun facts about him. His favorite dinner food is chicken and he likes to eat apples for lunch. He likes to play games and garden. I love his attitude on life. Reading his post, as well as the others, just reminds me why I want to work with children. I was pleasantly surprised to see him respond to my comment.

In my comment, I told Alexander that I liked to eat chicken for dinner, too. He had mentioned that he liked to make food, so I asked him what kind of food he liked to make. I told him that I liked to garden, like he did. I just wish I could make my plants live longer than they do. I told him maybe he could give me some good tips on how to make my garden survive longer.

C4K #5: Aneisha
I read all of Aneisha's blog posts and she seems to be a really great writer. Her descriptions paint vivid pictures of what she is writing about. In the post I read, she described her experience at a game she went to with her family during holiday. From what I read it seemed to be like touch football. I could be wrong though. After the game, her and her aunt ate peaches on the way home.

I told Aneisha that she wrote a great post and it sounded like she had a lot of fun. I wish I could have seen the game. I bet it would have been interesting and really fun to watch. She made the peaches sound so good. I told her that I like to eat peaches and other kinds of fruit. Her blog was so interesting and I'm sure as she continues to blog it will get even better!

C4K #6: Isiah
The topic of Isiah's blog post was very important and something that future teachers could possibly face: bullying. Isiah realized that bullying takes place in a lot of settings. He talked about how bad it was and some means to stopping or preventing it. He thinks that if someone witnesses bullying they should stop it or find an adult to stop it. He has such an optimistic view, one that I hope comes true. He believes that bullying will stop if everyone tries to stop it. I completely agree with him.

I told Isiah that his post was great and he has the right attitude on bullying. I agreed that bullying was wrong and hoped that he didn't have to deal with bullying. Like I said earlier, I agree with Isiah's idea of everyone stopping bullying.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Importance of Google Docs

Before taking EDM 310, I didn't know anything about Google Docs. I'm so glad that it is the main thing we use in this class. I have learned how convenient and easy it is use for all aspects of my life, especially other classes. In my Math 201 class, each student must teach a mini lecture one day in the semester. Normally, I would make a presentation using the software on my MacBook Pro, but I didn't know if my teacher or I could convert it to a readable file for her computer. I didn't want anything to go wrong and I really wanted to play around with the Presentation feature on Google Docs again. I thought it would be cool to share my finished product. Some of the information isn't lengthy because I just put basic notes on the slides and then talked a majority of the time. The project was really fun and made me feel like a teacher. I got to choose worksheets and examples for the class. I think the presentation I made with Google Docs was a great accompaniment.

Updated Google Presentation

After posting my original presentation, I realized that there were a few spelling errors I missed and some of the facts presented had changed. It's funny how things change so quickly. Both my dad and I got a new job, so I changed the presentation to reflect that and any spelling changes. So without further ado, here is my updated Google Presentation.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blog Assignment 8

We need to use technology, like presented in the picture to help children retain knowledge. Here is an good example: a boy taking a quiz on his computer.

This is How We Dream Part 1 and 2
This was a really great video. I loved the visual accompaniments. For me, this put everything that Richard Miller was saying into perspective. Miller's thoughts, presented in this video were thought inspiring. I saw the change in our workspace that he presented in the beginning of the video. You grow up with books, any publications or contributions you make to society will be books. Libraries and paper were our confined workplace. We could only work where we have the materials to do so. This has all changed with the invention of things such as Google Docs, where you're workplace is wherever you are. The one restriction is you need a computer. In this age, I don't think you need to worry much about computer shortages. Like Miller stated, "Now, our workplace is the desktop". He later stated, "We don't have to step one foot in the library".
The title of the video confused me at first. "This is How We Dream?" That was my exact thought process. I wasn't sure if this was going to be a video with a psychological aspect, which wouldn't have exactly fit the class. These dreams, that Miller is presenting, are the openminded people of society's dreams for our technological future. We already see such great changes being made with the new technological tools presented to us. Even with these, we haven't seen technology's full potential in our classroom. I agree with Miller when he says we don't have the proper resources to do what he sees in our future. We can't do what we will be able to do, after becoming more openminded, in the future. This thought is blowing my mind and I can't possibly put what I'm thinking into a sentence that makes sense. Please forgive me if you can't follow what I'm saying. The resources we need are inspirational teachers and places to foster our creativity. As future teachers, we need to become these inspirational teachers that Miller says we need to be.
I have to say that at this second I am not ready to write with multimedia. I am somewhat prepared, but there are so many technological tools that I haven't been introduced to or learned how to use. I think once I get done with EDM 310, I will be closer to the goal that Miller has established in my heart, but the rest is up to me to find. I have to want this, I do want this. My yearn for this future he speaks of will reach my students, then they will be able to do incredible things. This is my promise.

The Chipper Series and EDM 310 for Dummies
When class first started, I watched these videos. They were so cute, yet so true. It was also kind of eye opening. At the beginning of the class, I said I would never become Chipper, but I'm starting to see that if I don't fix what I've done I will become her. Although, I wouldn't do what she ends up doing. EDM310 for Dummies was funny and I think if that book was to become real, it would help a lot of people.
As for video ideas, I think it would be cool to make updated versions of these videos. We could also make more videos that show how to master this class and what could happen to you if you don't perform like your supposed to do. For example, we could do a video of that school scenario Dr. Strange talked about on the first day of class.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
It is very beneficial to watch this video. I'm so glad that Christie Odom suggested it. It raises such great arguments for us, future teachers. I was a little surprised to see that education ranked 55th in the US Department of Commerce's study. I say "a little" because we see that classrooms are basic "pen and paper" learning environments. Only in the recent past have we seen a slight change. After being in this class for a while, the fact that education ranked so low isn't much of a surprise. The "little" surprise comes from the fact that we are below such things as coal mining.
As I was watching the video, I made a list of all of the statements that stood out to me. Without looking at the list, I remember three things:

  • "A turned off device is a turned off child."
  • We need to connect students to opportunities.
  • Learning isn't just memorizing.
For the last two points, I don't remember the exact quotes, but the message stood out to me. The speakers in the video recognize that technology is a big part of student's lives now. We learn best with technology, so forcing us to turn off the things that could help us sets restrictions that shut us down. This turns students off to learning. Another point is connecting students to opportunities. Teachers can't just set restrictions by prohibiting the use of technology. Restrictions are set for students because they are restricted to the classroom. To fight this restriction, teachers need to take students outside of the classroom for field experience. They also need to open doors for students. For example, a student is particularly knowledgeable in science and interested in engineering. A teacher could find someone for  the student to talk to. The last point should have stuck out to everyone in EDM310. Learning is not "burp back". It's also not memorizing. After hearing that point, I heard Dr. Strange's voice in my head. My mind traveled back in time to his presentation of "burp back" teaching, probably because I was volunteered for the demonstration.

The Secret Powers of Time and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates You
Both of these videos were very interesting and aesthetically pleasing. I enjoyed the little whiteboard cartoons being drawn on the screen as the lecture was playing. They helped hammer the points into my mind. I also showed the videos to other people, who really enjoyed them.

The Secret Powers of Time is a lecture by Philip Zambardo. He talks about six time zones. At first, I thought he was going to say the time zones, that we all know. Really, he was talking about the two past, present, and future time zones.

  • Past Positive
  • Past Negative
  • Present Hedonistic
  • Present Fatalist
  • Future Oriented
  • Future Transcendent
Past Positive and Negative are the easiest to time zones to define. A person either is nostalgic, Past Positive, or regretful and happy with the past, Past Negative. A lot of people are classified as Present Hedonistic. These people are interested in immediate pleasure and avoiding pain. People classified as Present Fatalistic believe that their future already has a fate. There is no need to plan. Usually, they believe that their future is fated for the worst. Future Oriented people are planners and goal makers. While, people classified as Future Transcendent believe true life begins after death.

 The title of Dan Pink's video was very true. The results of the experiment presented were surprising, at least to me. When challenges require mechanical skill to be completed, rewards such as money make people perform better. When challenges require cognitive skills, money doesn't work. We can picture this scenario in a classroom, replacing money with another incentive comparable to money. When teachers challenge students to use cognitive skills, we need to step aside and let them command what is done. They need to be in charge. Teachers give the instruction, the raw knowledge needed to perform, but then step aside to let the students take the wheel.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Project 13: SmartBoard Instruction

This is the video of our for the Smartboard Project. I think we did a really great job. We worked well together and helped each other master the technology needed for this project. I'm so proud of our final product and I enjoyed the time we spent preparing for this project. With the experiences we had, I think we are really prepared to use the Smartboard in our classrooms.

After looking over the results of the survey, this is what we found.

  • Our presentation was rated 9.2 out of 10 when it came to being helpful.
  • Our audience enjoyed seeing how we put the SmartBoard into action with our material. They also enjoyed the subject matter of our project.
  • Our audience members felt that they had learned something new and/or useful by the end of the presentation.
  • The SmartBoard was rated 9 out of 10 for usefulness in their future classroom.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

C4K #1,2, and 3 Summary

This a computer with the caption Comments 4 Kids. It was made for another blog, but I thought it was so fitting that I borrowed the idea.

C4K #1: Alexis
On February 6, 2011, I had the pleasure of reading Alexis C.'s blog post. She is in Ms. Naugle's 5th period math class. Alexis' post was on angles. While geometry was never my best subject, she discussed angles, which I could actually keep up with. What I thought was so great was after she explained each type of angle thoroughly, she added an illustration of all of the angles she had discussed. This could really help someone who is more a visual learner understand better. It also attracts more attention to her post. Overall, I was very impressed with her post. I even told her that when I commented on her post.

I told her that she had made it very easy for her classmates to understand angles through her definition and illustration. I also told her that I really enjoyed reading her post. I really can't wait to read another one. I like to watch young children grow in knowledge and then be excited to share it.

C4K #2: Subika
I have really developed a soft spot for Subika, as well as the other children. She is in Mr. St. Pierre's class. Subika's post was about her love for poetry. She loves poetry so much that she even wants to become a poet. She talked about more of her dreams. In the future, she would love to be a lawyer, reporter, and author. She reminded me of myself when I was younger. I think we could all relate to her. She has such a great love for the world and literature. Also, she is so excited to have her own career and make a difference in the world. She continued on to reveal a little bit about herself. She loves to help others, especially with poetry. She sounds like such a sweet girl!

I told her that I enjoyed reading her blog post. I told her that she sounded like such a nice person and she made really good career choices. I told her about how I like to read and write. I asked her if she had a favorite poet or author. I also asked if she had written anything herself.

C4K #3: Zyrin
Zyrin is very new to blogging. His blog looks great! He is in Mr. Chris Marks' 5th grade class at Pt England School. His first blog post is a picture of himself. He looks like such a great kid.
For my comment, I told him that I was happy to meet him and looking forward to reading his future blog posts. I also asked him a few questions. I asked him if he was excited to blog, what his favorite subject was, and what he liked to do for fun. I can't wait to see what he does with his blog!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Black History Month Project

After a few hours of work in the lab, my trailer is complete! I'm so excited about the final product. Due to the late delivery of my book, my trailer could not be used in Anthony's project. It is very unfortunate because I wanted to "be a part of history", as Dr. Strange put it. I would have also liked to say that my project was one of many great projects that established change in a classroom. I saw some of the other trailers and I think everyone did a fantastic job. I really could go on and on about this project. It was so much fun and I learned so much. Thank you Dr. Strange, for the projects you assign, and Anthony, for this wonderful opportunity you thought of.

Without further ado, here is the final product!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Project 9: Timetoast Timeline

Hey everyone! I found a small typo in one of the events, so I decided to revise and repost the timeline. I don't know why I missed such a silly mistake because I looked over it so many times. Oh well, nobody is perfect!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Sentence Movie

     After much thought and a few technical difficulties, I got my video to successfully post on my blog. It was really difficult to narrow down all of my thoughts into just one sentence. I had quite a few other sentences, but as I thought about this sentence more I saw the power behind it. My sentence was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's statement, "Be the change you want to see in the world." In the my future career and even now, I want to inspire people to be the best they can be. I want to help myself and others make a difference in this world. To accomplish this, I have to start with myself. I have to go through these wonderful classes offered at the university to know what I need to know. I have to go through life experiences and classes like EDM 310 to put this knowledge to work and be the best I can be. Only then, can I truly help others and the world. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog Assignment 3

This picture of a teacher and two of her students using a computer shows an example of technology in the classroom.

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

I would say this movie represents my college experience pretty well. It isn't 100% accurate, but it is very close. After observing fellow students, I believe that it is an accurate depiction for most students. The picture we get from the video is one that most college students see through their whole college career, a huge auditorium. The chairs and walls are pretty worn down and the distance from the front of the room sometimes seems like miles. The distance and technology helps distractions take over the students. Technology can better our learning, but we need to learn to use it to help us. Most students, as depicted in the video, get on Facebook or other entertaining websites during class. They are simply using technology for their enjoyment and not to further their learning. This is the one difference between the students in the video and me. I no longer make the mistakes that a lot of naive students make because I've seen the consequences.

The one thing I would change/add to this video is the time statistics the students show. Sometimes, I get far less sleep than 7 hours a night and I find myself studying more than 3 hours a day. I have to! One statement really hit home for me: I'm a multitask-er. I have to be. This is so true of me and other college students. Right now, I think most college students don't know anyway to juggle all the work that they have without multitasking. We would drown if we didn't.

"It's Not About the Technology" By: Kelly Hines

Kelly Hines' "It's Not About the Technology" was a truthful argument that technology isn't what is going to save our classrooms. The technological tools installed in classrooms would be nothing without innovative teachers to use them in the best way they can. The combination of a good teacher and technology works wonders in the classroom. Teachers can't just rely on technology. They have to become the best teacher they can be and then use technology as a tool to help children learn.

Included in Kelly's post is a list of things that teachers must know to truly impact their children. In this list she made quite a few significant points that I want to reflect on.

1. Teachers must be learners.
Once we graduate college and start our job, learning isn't over. As teachers, we must be open to thought of always learning. We're in a time where technology and other things are improving. New things are coming out that we couldn't have imagined would exist when we were younger. When we become teachers we need to stay on top of all of the new things. These new things, what ever they may be, could be vital tools for our classroom. Not only do we have to keep learning about new things, but we have to constantly stay on top of teaching our children. Perhaps, we could learn a better way to help students understand a concept of a math problem or any other problems they have in school.
2. Learning and Teaching are not the same thing.
Part of being a great teacher is knowing the difference between the two words learning and teaching. As I went through school, I always heard certain children saying that they didn't learn a thing. Yes, this student could have been a trouble maker or just someone who is slow to learn, but perhaps the teacher could have learned a new angle to try with this student. Maybe he/she could have gotten through to the student just by trying a little harder. I'm not saying the teacher didn't try at all because I know that I learned a lot from most of my teachers, but teachers of the future are going to have to learn to break through to all of their students. Like Kelly said, "If an object does not move, no matter how much force has been applied, no work has been done". We can teach something, but we need to help our students truly learn it.
3. Technology is useless without good teaching.
This is vital for everyone to know. We can't just install a Smart Board into a classroom and think all of the problems are solved. The Smart Board isn't going to start talking and magically make all the students learn. Nor is it going to help students learn if there isn't a teacher using it to effectively teach students. This point kind of connects to the first point. As teachers, we must learn about the technology, find an innovative way to use it in the classroom, and effectively teach students. We have to want and train to be a good teacher to become one. When we have become the type of teacher that is needed, technology will only continue to help our classrooms.
4. Be a 21st Century Teacher without the technology.
It is better to be a great teacher and have minimal to no technology, then to have amazing technological tools that you aren't using in the way you should. A 21st century teacher has to be smart, creative, and willing to learn. We have to strategize on how to reach out to every student in ever class we ever have. When we have become what a 21st century teacher, we should use technology for all of the benefits it has.

Karl Fisch: Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

Even though Karl claims that this post was kind of a rant, he made some really good points. During some parts of his post, I was reminded of Kelly Hines' post. This post also made me think and reflect on the things that Dr. Strange has already taught me through these assignments. As extreme as his ending statement may seem to be, I believe it is correct.

I think Karl made the perfect analogy. Many years ago reading and writing was to people as technology is to us now. If a teacher didn't know how to read or write, then I would say they wouldn't have a job. I think if teachers don't learn to be technologically literate, they soon won't have jobs either. I have observed the changes that have taken place at my mother's school. First, they got a whole new school building. This building, compared to the old Booth Elementary, was state of the art. For example, my mom went from a portable to a huge classroom with automatic lights and three computers for class use. She has her own closet and sink area. She has a ton of shelving space and even a window. I know having a window sounds like a small change, but if you had seen her first portable you would understand my excitement. Now after this wonderful new school building, the school is slowly getting technological tools to help students in their career and teachers more effectively teach their students. In the past year, the school has provided my mom with her own personal laptop and a Smart Board. It may not sound like a lot, but she had to learn to use the laptop and all of the applications that the school is going to use on there. Also, she learned about the Smart Board. Her learning didn't stop at the workshops. She would bring books home about the Smart Board and I see her working on her computer all of the time. My point is, schools are going to improve and technology is going to be introduced more and more. Teachers need to embrace it and learn it or they won't have the effective tools needed to help their students or they'll be lost in their job. I've witnessed first hand teachers that don't understand the technology given to them. There are some out their that don't know how to use it or don't wish to learn. My fear is we will never break through to them and they could lose their job.

To teach children to use the technology for their future. We must be technological literate. As suggested in Kelly Hines' post, we must be learners, too!

Gary Hayes Social Media Count

This isn't the first time I have seen the Social Media Count. Before school had started, I was exploring the EDM 310 Class Blog and saw it. I was astounded. I knew that people used technology, but I just never really thought about it like it's presented in the Social Media Count. Right now, someone is buying an IPad or getting a Twitter. It's not even one person that is doing those things. As I type these very words, hundreds of people are doing that and other things with technology. Looking and the Social Media Count is a perfect closing to Blog Assignment 3. It puts everything I just read and watched into perspective. It kind of ties everything together because it causes me to think, then I reflect on what everything I have done for this assignment, and then I start making connections.

This count is proof that technology is growing, more people are using it. Since it is growing so quickly, we need to become technologically literate teachers like Karl Fisch suggests. Part of becoming technologically literate is learning. Like Kelly Hines' said, teachers have to be learners too. She also makes it clear that we must become great teachers that use technology. We can't just depend on it. Technology can be used to further education or distract us. This was shown in the video, "A Vision of Students Today". In class, a lot of students use technology to distract themselves.

Besides helping me form connections, the Social Media Count has made me think about my future career. People are using so much technology at this very minute right now. I could approach technology several different ways. I can say that I could use a student's love for technology to help them grasp a concept in a subject they don't understand. Technology could help me break through to every student. I could also say that since people are using so much technology right now and it seems like little time is passing, different forms of technology could start being created at an astounding rate. I need to remember to stay technologically literate and to be a learner. I want to learn to use this technology to effectively teach my students.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

C4T#1 Beth Still

This is the logo for ISTE11.

For the first C4T assignment, I was assigned to Beth Still. I really enjoyed reading her first two posts. She introduced me to ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education.

ISTE11 Newbie Project
By: Beth Still

In this blog post, Beth tells readers about her Newbie Project that she started in 2009. Beth had such a wonderful experience at ISTE, that she decided she would pick a different educator new to ISTE every year and start fundraising efforts for this person to attend ISTE. She asks for donations to help this "newbie" reach the goal. Most donations come from individual readers, while the rest comes from corporate sponsors. Throughout the course of her project she has run into some criticism. People don't fully believe in the power of her network. They also question sending an administrator, George Couros to ISTE11. She proves the critics who doubt her power wrong because she is "a teacher in rural western Nebraska" and she is "able to raise over $1500 in a matter of weeks using Twitter". In regards to sending George she states, "I cannot emphasize enough that I really believe in George and his ability to have a positive impact on education. He is a role model for both teachers and administrators. He is passionate about sharing, learning, teaching, and communicating and I believe he deserves the opportunity to attend ISTE".

In my comment I introduced myself to Beth. I told her about how recently I had become so passionate about teaching and learning to be the best teacher that I could be. This passion increased with the more I learned. I told her that she had taught me something. She had introduced me to ISTE and made me interested in finding out more about it. I admire her for starting the project and helping teachers and administrators attend such a beneficial conference. As the saying goes, she is being the change she wants to see in this world. She is actively taking part in a positive change for education.

So What is ISTE?
By: Beth Still

I went a little backwards due to some confusion on my part, but I'm glad that I did. I found more information about ISTE. Beth paints a clear picture of what ISTE is. She even talks about her first experience with ISTE and what led her there. ISTE stands for International Society for Technology in Education. It was founded in 1979. Beth wanted to find more ways to incorporate technology into her classroom. Her principal suggested that she attend a conference outside of her area. After much exploring, Beth found ISTE. She saw that it was held in San Antonio, the city she grew up in. This made her even more excited to attend. The rest of Beth's post explains the benefits she sees members of ISTE receive. She tells readers that through ISTE she has acquired an abundance of resources that will help her with technology in the classroom.

In my comment, I told her how I had once again enjoyed hearing about her experience. She had mentioned in one of her posts about getting to meet certain teachers face to face at conferences just like this. I pictured myself attending ISTE, eager as always. It would be so awesome to meet these amazing educators that I follow on Twitter or that I will continue to meet through this class. Beth has inspired me to look up more information about ISTE and even look at the resources she provided in her post.

Project 5: Google Presentation

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blog Assignment 2

This is an image of students using mac books in their classroom. This is just some of the technological tools that students need now and in the future to benefit their learning.

1. Did You Know? 3.0
This video was so interesting and a little scary to me. It was really fascinating to see the differences in technology through the years. The video further proved to me that technology is very important in the classroom. To me its important for two reasons. The first reason is that it will further the students learning.

The second reason plays on the first reason. The video stated that we need technology for the problems and job opportunities that are going to appear that we never imagined. The world is growing. With technology, students will be prepared to fix problems that may appear in the future. Also, the technology skills they acquire could help them with a new job or even help create a new job that didn't exist. The video blew my mind and kind of made me nervous for the future. I'm nervous about the unknown. So much has happened in the years, things that we never really thought could happen. History is going to repeat itself. Things are going to happen in the future that will surprise us. My job is to educate and prepare children, our future leaders.

2. Mr. Winkle Wakes
Mr. Winkle Wakes was not what I had expected it to be. Before watching the video, I wasn't sure what I was in for except a small cartoon man. Mr. Winkle Wakes is a humorous story about Rip Van Winkle waking up after one hundred years. He feels uncomfortable in the technologically advanced business building and hospital. Unaware of the good technology can do, he feels at home in a boring, basic classroom.

After watching this video, I realized that I could compare myself to Mr. Winkle. No, I didn't just wake up from a one hundred year "nap". However, I did have my eyes opened to technology in classrooms. My whole life, I have seen the benefits of technology in business and hospitals. The only technology I have known in school is the 30-minute computer class I was fortunate to have once a week. When I was in elementary school, I loved that one day that I got to go to computer class. What Mr. Winkle needs to realized and what I have realized is that school doesn't have to be the way we have always known it. Not only will technology help students academically, but it will also help the bored, sluggish kids that we see in the vide enjoy learning! They will be excited to go to school and have a will to learn.

3. Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
Ken Robinson has become an inspiration to me because of his message. Simply put, Ken Robinson believes in children. He sees the importance of creativity and their imagination. He also notices that schools tend to discourage the creativity of children, while strongly emphasizing the importance of strict schooling. I agree whole-heartedly with Ken Robinson.

I believe, that as a future educator I can't discourage my future children from using their imagination and creativity in the classroom. I know that along with incorporating technology in my classroom, I need to use my imagination and the imagination of my students to make their learning experience the best it can be. I need to help them develop their talents more, rather than discourage them. I don't want to be the teacher angered by the girl drawing God or a teacher that just writes a student off as someone with ADHD. I will play on their personal strengths and help them to come over their weaknesses.

4. Cecelia Gault Interviews Sir Ken Robinson
First of all, I am so impressed with Cecelia. She seems to be such a smart girl and she carries herself so well. When I was her age, I probably would have been so intimidated interviewing a man like Ken Robinson. I wish to have students like Cecelia in my classroom.

Again, Ken Robinson interests me with his important information. This video brings me back to the points I made when talking about Ken Robinson's talk about creativity. Cecelia found a way to show her talents. I am going to help my students show theirs. I am going to incorporate the lessons I learn from this class, especially, as well as my other classes into my future classroom.

5. Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis presents two points that I think are very important. The first one is that only certain students will learn when school is broken down to just pencil and paper. I completely agree with this. This point reminds me of the argument for creativity by Ken Robinson. Only certain children will be able to learn in the basic format of schooling. Most students today are going to need technology and creativity to further themselves in their academic career. Like Ken suggested, Vicki pays attention to each student's particular talents and helps them learn through their talents.

The other important point to me was that new teachers make the mistake of thinking that they must know everything before they can teach their students. I connect with this thought because I have felt so overwhelmed about my future career. I did think that I had to know everything to effectively teach my students. When Vicki said that I had a sigh of relief. I think that its cool that she lets her students show her things that she didn't even know. She gives them basic training in technology, teaching them somethings and then letting them take the reigns. I am going to do this when I become a teacher.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Project 2: Wordle

This is my Wordle image made from my first blog post. I really enjoyed creating this image and then playing around with the color. I decided on the color scheme of orange, red, and pink to go with my blog background.

This is my Wordle image made from my first blog post. I really enjoyed creating this image and then playing around with the color. I hope you like it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blog Assignment 1

Hi everyone! My name is Alexa Howie and I am an Elementary Education major at the University of South Alabama. Although I currently live in Mobile, I have not always resided here. I was born in New York. Yes, I know what you're thinking: Yankee! A lot of my friends pick on me about my birthplace. You are probably also wondering why I moved to the south. Well, while I was a child my dad was in the Coast Guard. This meant that my family moved around quite a lot. Some of the places I've lived are lost in my childhood memories, but the places I do remember vividly are Maryland, Ohio, and "Sweet Home" Alabama! With that said, I have lived in Mobile the longest and my dad has long since retired. I'm here to stay!

Family and friends have always been important to me. My parents are my heroes and often inspire me to do certain things in my life. For example, I never would have thought about being a teacher without my mom's motivation. She is a fifth grade teacher at Booth Elementary. She also went to the University of South Alabama. She told me so many great things about the College of Education and let me visit her classroom. Through the experiences she gave me, I realized that I really wanted to be a teacher. She has encouraged me and offered all the help she can give ever since. Overall, I would say my friends and family are a wonderful support system and I have so much fun with them.

I love to have fun and stay occupied. I like to read, run, write, learn, watch tv and movies, play games, create things, take road trips, doodle, spend time with friends and family, and so much more. I love animals! I have a dog named Dixie. She can be a little crazy sometimes, but I love her cute little face.

I am very excited to be a teacher. I'm striving to be like my mom. She is a wonderful teacher, and I'm not just saying that because she is my mom. She challenges her children to be the best they can be. By the end of the year, she has helped her students reach their potential. I can tell that her students truly respect her and love her almost like she was their mother. I hope that I can inspire my children and make them the best they need to be. I've learned so many interesting things from the classes I'm in that I have become very passionate about teaching. My MA 201 course has shown me that math education in elementary schools need to be encouraged more. EDM 310 has also shown me that the technology of today can do so much for my future students in the classroom. I am going to take everything that I learn in this next semester and use it for the rest of my life.

Practice Post

My first post.