Monday, December 3, 2012

Project # 13

During the making of our video for project 16, my group used Skype to discuss ideas outside of class. We met in the lab to work on our video. Skype was helpful because we could elaborate on what we were talking about just like we can in person. My group members were Rachel Beaugez and Hillary Hayes. We all did our part to make the video the best that we could to fulfill the assignment.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Movie Project # 16

Smartboard Project #2

C4T # 4

For my fourth C4T, I commented on Brian Bennett's blog, "Educator, Learner: Trying to Lead By Example". The first entry I read was posted on November 5, 2012, and is about altering the school schedule for all ages to prepare them better for college and professional life. Bennett says that flexible blocks of time where students can choose when to come to class would be best. Like picking your schedule for college classes and working a 9-5 job, this schedule would be more realistic. I commented and said I have never thought about this before, but to a degree I think it makes sense. I think it's interesting and could better prepare our students for their future.
The second post I read is more recent and is about students' apathy about education in general. The unthoughtful response of "I don't know" has taken over Bennett's classroom and it troubles him. I commented and said that it is difficult to motivate students who don't really try and I wish there was some way this could be changed. I agree with him that giving the answer to a student who won't even attempt to discover the answer on his or her own is only making matters worse.

Final Progress Report on PLN

As I stated in my last progress report, my PLN is compiled of a series of links on my Symbaloo account.

C4K November

C4K Assignments from November
Brandon L. from Mrs. Mrseliskar's class wrote a story about an assassin and poison bullets. I commented and said that I found it very interesting and suspenseful and I hope he keeps up the good blogging.
Kate P. from Mrs. Cornetti's class wrote about Marie Antoinette and events from her life. I commented and said that it was interesting to me because I am not very familiar with Marie Antoinette.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Progress Report for Final Project

I am in a group with Rachel Beaugez and Hillary Hayes. Hillary made an outline of topics to discuss in our video about surviving EDM310. I have written the script for our ten-minute movie, and we are practicing and filming this week. Rachel will be the primary speaker, so the roles are very equally divided. We have parts divided up, and everything is going well. We should be done early.

Blog Assignment # 13

On Michael Wesch's "A Vision of Students Today"
In this video, problems with the traditional classroom are brought to light. Many students that attend large universities typically attend classes that include hundreds of other students. This reduces the likelihood of an instructor knowing a student's name. Many instructors require their students to read 40 to 50 pages for each class, which depending on the subject of their other classes, is nearly impossible to complete in their tight schedules. Many students; however, are guilty of bringing their laptops to class for use of social networking sites rather than note taking purposes.
There is a debate brought up at the end of the video about whether or not writing on the chalk/white board is effective. This is interesting to me because I've always benefited from a visual aid. It helps me keep up with my note taking if I get behind. Although, with technology like projectors and Powerpoints, Smartboards and Elmo projectors, etc, it is almost unnecessary to have a chalk board anymore.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blog Assignment # 12

I think a good idea for a blog assignment would be to write about how your classroom would be (how it would be organized, what your class rules would be, and why you choose it to be this way). If there are any teachers in your life that have influenced you, write about how they did that, how old you were, and why you think it had such an affect on you. Look for pictures to illustrate what you're describing. Be detailed, and be sure to incorporate how you would or would not use technology in your classroom. Also include how you would conduct your classroom (would you do warm up questions, play games, have pop quizzes, etc.) along with what age group you will be working with, and what subject if applicable.

My Classroom
As I've mentioned before, my mother teaches the fourth grade. I have always admired the way she arranges her desks differently every year, but there is one way that I particularly like. It's a square of desks where everyone faces each other. This is good in uniting your class and giving everyone an equally good view of what's going on. I would like to have this arrangement with a one-desk-length gap where I could walk in and out of the center, and potentially lecture in the middle. I choose the format of a square rather than a circle because that would have a tendency to get messed up. As much as I'd like to think that the desks won't move, they will. They always find a way to scoot around a least a little, as I have found from my experience in a classroom. I found a lot of good classroom organization and decorating ideas from this search in Google images.


My class rules would be three very simple ideas: 1) respect your classmates and teacher 2) try your best in everything that you do and 3) don't be afraid to ask questions. Although these may seem trivial, most of the major things will most likely be covered in the school rules and therefore are not necessary to bring up about my personal classroom.

I have had three teachers in the past that severely influenced me and made me want to become and educator in the first place. That is, aside from my relatives that have inspired me in this way as well. My fourth grade teacher taught me a lot about trying my best and how to write a structured essay. My tenth and twelfth grade English teachers taught me about appreciating literature, doing my best in school and in other areas of life, and expressing myself. If it hadn't been for my tenth grade English teacher, I don't know how or when I'd have realized how important it is to put forth your best effort in school and get good grades. Up until that point, I did as little as possible just to get by. Every once and a while I am still guilty of this, but for the most part and I am very dedicated and serious about my education. These people are a large part of why I want to be a teacher. I want to have an impact on my students' lives like my teachers had an impact on me. I want to help someone realize their full potential, to help them discover how important your academic life is, to help them appreciate reading and writing like I do.


I believe that it is a necessity for every teacher to be technologically literate. I intend to use tools like a Smart board, Elmo, clickers, iPhone or iPad apps, personal computers, the internet, etc. I believe that it is important to introduce kids to all sorts of technology at an early age. Although I am in secondary education, I still believe in incorporating technology into my classroom not only to introduce students to it but to get them used to working with it and using it to do assignments.

As for how I would conduct my classroom, I am a firm believer in group discussion. I think that having it count for 10% of a grade is a great way to require them to talk about things they have read or learned about in my class. Discussion always brings new things to the table that some students think about that others did not. My twelfth grade English teacher that I mentioned earlier did this by checking off a student each class for participating. You had to speak each class to get full credit. I think a lot of the things that I get from class are from my peers, that's why I think this is a good way to teach. Also, warm up questions are always a good way to keep track of whether or not students are doing the required reading and things like that.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Special Blog Assignment

On USA Today's article, "A world where grades will be left behind"
I read Mary Beth Marklein's article called "A World Where Grades Will Be Left Behind", about Sebastian Thrun.
Thrun is a Stanford research professor who created Udacity, an online educational resource that is free, individualized, and for anyone. Thrun focuses on the more abstract elements of higher education, and offers programs from beginner to advanced level. Sal Kahn's idea of "flipping the classroom" is brought up in this article, which I have written about previously. Thrun is asked in an interview if he thinks this type of education will take over and eliminate the form of higher education we are accustomed to. He references film versus live theatre and basically says that although it might become more common, it will not replace traditional pencil, paper, and classroom education. I am excited to learn about this opportunity of taking free classes online with thousands of other eager students, but I agree with the theory that it will not eliminate traditional education techniques. I support any technological advancement, especially for the use of teaching.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Blog Assignment # 11

On Ms. Kathy Cassidy's First Grade Class
I watched a video about technology in a first grade classroom, made by Ms. Cassidy, their teacher. In this video, her students describe how they use blogs and wikis, and learn decision making and sharing skills from playing games on their Nintendo DS's.I think this looks like a very effective way to introduce students to technology at an early age. The kids seem to understand what they're learning and how to use the tools they've been given. I like the way Ms. Cassidy's classroom says "graduating class of 2025" on the door. That's a very optimistic way to look at the first grade, and it gives the students something to look forward to. When I was in the first grade, I don't think I even knew why I went to school or that I would ever be done. It's nice to see this perspective on such a young age group.
On Dr. Strange's Skype Conversation with Ms. Cassidy
In Ms. Cassidy's Skype session with Dr. Strange and a few EDM310 students, many topics are discussed. First of all, Dr. Strange brought up his usual poll to see what percentage of EDM310 students believe that teachers should be technologically literate, in which about 5% say no. Ms. Cassidy discusses how important it is to keep up with technology because the way kids were taught years ago (20, 10, even 5) is not the way they should be taught today. As new technology is made available, we should be using it in our classrooms and introducing our students to it as soon as possible. Ms. Cassidy's class blogs regularly, and EDM310 students (among others)comment on their posts. It is exciting for first graders to see that over 100 people have viewed their blog post.
There is also a discussion about Twitter, which Ms. Cassidy says students classify as an "old people's Facebook". She suggests education students should follow other prospective teachers for advice rather than experienced teachers, because they would be going through more of the same thing. This is a valid point.
If I used Ms. Cassidy's methods in my classroom, I think I would benefit, as would my students. My students would be more prepared to deal with technology in the future and even in their professional career, as I aim to become a high school English teacher. Some problems I might run into are lack of resources in the classroom, my students' lack of resources at home, and discrepancies about whether or not my students should be spending so much time on the internet in class. Overall, I think it would be a positive attribute to my class though. As long as I had cooperative administrators like Ms. Cassidy, I believe I would succeed using these methods. I definitely want to use blogging in my class, although I don't think my age level would benefit from Nintendo DS games.

C4T # 3

I commented on Ben Jones' blog on The first post I read was about our personal lives and mood influencing the way we act at work or school. Mr. Jones has funny pictures and videos in all of his posts, which makes them more entertaining. I commented and said that I liked his quote "having a bad day, stay home or stay quiet." It is ridiculous when you take out your personal problems on coworkers or classmates, and we should have more control over the way we act.
The second post I commented on was about teaching from the negative versus the positive. So many teachers and other leaders focus on mistakes people make and what is wrong or needs to be fixed. More people should praise students for their good work instead of getting angry about their bad work in front of the class. He had a funny video of Darth Vader to get his message across.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Blog Assignment # 10

On John T. Spencer's Cartoon
To me, this cartoon is about how it's not important what you use to write or express your opinions, but how you go about doing so. No matter how much money you spend on your pencil, it does no good if you don't know how to use it properly. That's my understanding of this comic.
On John T. Spencer's Blog Posts
Mr. Spencer wrote a blog post about a teacher's meeting with a principal. He talks about how he played this game with his students to get them thinking about a certain subject and to get their creative juices flowing. The principal was angry that he had allowed his students to play a game because it is "not learning". But in the end, the solution to the problem is to play a game. But by calling it something else, he pacifies the angry principal. Some administrators, teachers, and parents, are not up to the idea of using abstract methods like playing collaborative games because they believe it to be a waste of time. But there are always situations where students will gain a better understanding of the material through a hands-on activity like a game.
I also read another one of Mr. Spencer's posts about parents. Spencer gives an example of a letter from a parent. The mother is upset that her child, Billy, is being spellchecked by the teacher. If Billy misspells anything, the word is underlined in red and he is asked to correct it by looking up the proper spelling in a dictionary. The mother claims that this will make her son lazy and make him rely on someone else to tell him a word is spelled incorrectly. This of course is absurd, because this form of spellcheck improves a child's knowledge of how to spell words. To make matters worse, the mother's argument is that she never had spellcheck and she writes "real good". She also misspells several words in the letter itself.
On Scott McLeod's Blog Post
Scott McLeod wrote a post about integrating technology in the modern classroom. It's a satirical piece called "Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?". He talks about all of the tools we have available in education like computers and the internet, and how none of this is safe to trust our children with. If we deprived students of technology, they would be unprepared to further their education, and eventually their career. This post is funny because it is about adults that are afraid to expose their children to modern technology. There are positives and negatives of all aspects of education, but technology is wonderful if used in a helpful and proactive way. I admire Dr. McLeod for writing this, and I agree that students who work with technology will be a step ahead of those that do not. Scott McLeod is "widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues." He is the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8 in Iowa, and he is on leave from a different position at the University of Kentucky.

Project # 14: Smartboard Part One

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

C4K for October

On mfliegz28's blog post
This student is in an AP Government class, and he wrote about the importance of voting. He is very passionate about being able to express his opinion, and is excited to be able to vote in the presidential election for the first time. His post is entitled "There's Still A Point". I can completely relate to him in this post because today's youth has become so apathetic about political opinion and the act of expressing it.
On Anna's blog post
Anna is a 7th grade student that wrote a blog post about the characterization of Ponyboy in The Outsiders. I think she did a very good job organizing her post and properly identifying Ponyboy's mannerisms. I commented and told her that I love that book and that she is doing a good job with her blog.
On "October in Ireland"
I was assigned to read this post based on the title. It just said that they were going on a trip to Ireland and that there would be posts throughout the month of October. I read some of the posts from October and commented on this post. It looks like they are having a good time and learning a lot.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

PLN Summary # 1

I have been working on putting together my Personal Learning Network, which consists of people I can contact, websites and tools I can use, among other things I can do for help in my teaching career. I started by creating an account on Symbaloo. I can organize the links into categories using a color coded system. I have just barely gotten started, but I think by the s of the semester I will have a very helpful system of keeping up with all of the resources I will need in the future.

Project # 12: Book Trailer

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blog Assignment # 9

On Joe McClung's Blog Posts
Joe McClung writes his blogs on "At The Teacher's Desk". I read Volumes one and four of Mr. McClung's reflective blog posts that he writes at the end of every school year he teaches. In Volume One, written after the 2008-2009 school year, McClung talks about the lessons he's learned from his class his and experience in his year of teaching. Some of the tips he has are as follows:
1) Don't focus on evaluations to be made by your superiors more than your class.
2) Spend just as much time checking for student comprehension as you do focusing on the delivery of content.
3) "No lesson is perfect. The lesson you teach and the one you plan are always different."
4) Don't beat yourself up over your mistakes or lessons/activities that didn't go well
5) "Communication is the best medicine." Listen to your students and constantly treat your teaching career like the learning experience it is.
6) Don't have unrealistic expectations for your students.
7) Don't be afraid of technology.
As I was reading this, it occurred to me that this is extremely good advice for first year teachers, and while most of us know these are very good advice, some of us will make the very same mistakes. The first few years of teaching never honestly reflect your teaching style or methods, because you're just getting started. It is terrifying to enter a new chapter of your life by finally becoming a professional after countless years of training. I both look forward to and dread this day. But it comforts me that most students pursuing the same career feel similarly.

In Volume Four, Mr. McClung has three main tips after the 2011-2012 school year:
1) Don't focus on what your peers think about your teaching.
2) Don't get lazy in your teachers, or your lessons will "start to suck"
3) Don't let your students resent school- make your class interesting and interactive.
I discovered after reading this that not only do teachers constantly learn, but they grow. Mr. McClung's lessons have changed immensely. These are all good pieces of advice. I think that writing a reflective blog like this is a healthy way to document the things you've learned from experience and fish for feedback and potential professional advice from peers. While worrying what your peers think is not a good thing to constantly dwell over, getting advice from them is never a bad idea. Whether you take that advice should be decided depending on what it is, however.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blog Assignment # 8

On "This is How We Dream"
This is a video in two parts that consists of a speech by Dr. Kenneth G. Miller at Rutgers University. Dr. Miller describes how reading and education has changed over the years, going from pencil and paper to primarily virtual writing and reading. Many people rarely set foot in a library anymore for this reason. Rather than checking out or borrowing material from libraries and depriving others from using those resources, "knowledge can be shared infinitely".
Miller is discussing the importance of collaboration and creativity in education. Creating projects that have textual, visual, and auditory elements is a much more interesting and extensive way to share your research on a particular topic. Through tools like Google Drive, students can work on projects like these together without ever having to meet in person. I think this is a great teaching method, and it relates back to The Networked Student Model that Wendy Drexler composed.
Miller talks about the kind of material that is instantly updated and accurate, there for your immediate viewing. iTunes U has a plethora of recorded lectures available to download, and is a good source of information as well. Miller's "dream" is that one day students will be able to compose projects using entirely digital composing material rather than word processors. He also talks about composition using the web itself, presenting the information produced by news cites, blogs, etc. It creates an emotional profile of the world. I find this fascinating and foreign to me.
On Carly Pugh's Post
Carly Pugh wrote a blog post about an assignment she believes would be beneficial in EDM 310. She provided many links to illustrate what she wanted to do. She created a playlist of videos on YouTube that depict how she will want her classroom to be run, and how her teaching style will be. This relates to Dr. Miller's dream of writing with Multimedia, because she describes all of this without using a word processor or even text at all. It is clear what Carly's ideals are for her students' education through the videos she chose.
On "EDM 310 For Dummies" and the Chipper video
These student-made videos are informative and original. I would be interested in making a video about successful blog posts. The EDM 310 For Dummies video is beneficial to current students because it provides a phone number and a website where you can purchase the book. This includes directions on how to do ALT and TITLE modifiers, embed videos in your blog, etc. Chipper taught us the lesson that working towards a goal in higher education without slacking or procrastinating will get you far.
On "Learn to Change, Change to Learn"
This video was primarily about teaching style and how technology is important in the classroom. Things like televisions, computers and laptops, smartboards, Elmo projectors, and things of that nature are starting to be implemented in our classrooms, but the speakers of this video believe that cell phones, social networking, emailing, blogging, etc. should be as well. This year in elementary schools, "bring your own technology" was set into motion, as I have mentioned in previous posts. Students are now allowed to have electronic devices like cell phones, iPods, tablets, gameboys, etc. to use for educational purposes. There are, of course, kids that will take advantage of this by playing games or texting their friends on these devices. But it is worth the risk of a few abusing the policy to let the others benefit from using technology in the classroom.
Web 2.0 Scavenger Hunt
I created a comic strip about this class, just for kicks. The website was fun and easy to use. I was unable to find out how to post a picture of it or embed it in this post, but you can follow the link to it here.
I found a video tool called, where you can create visually stunning videos out of photos or video clips. It's really easy to use and fun to do. There are many video templates available for use, like fireworks, that you can add clips or pictures to in order to personalize it and make it your own.
Edmodo is a social network for teachers and students. It's set up much like Facebook. You can create a group as a teacher and distribute the group code to your students. You can connect with others on Edmodo at your school, and view other profiles of teachers and students. You can have a calendar of classroom events, and post and review grades in each of your classes or groups.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

C4T # 2

I read Angela M. Rand's blog, My Mind Gap. She is a pursuing her Ph.D. in Design Technology. The first post I read was about PhDChat, a website where you can chat with other people pursuing this degree and ask questions, gather information, and so on. She also discusses Twitter and how it has become such a wonderful tool for not only social networking but research. I left a comment about how I'd never heard of this website for obvious reasons, but that it sounds extremely helpful. I also mentioned how Twitter is helpful to me as well, and it would be good research as long as you could ensure the credibility of the source.
The second post I read was about writer's block and confidence. She talks about the importance of editing and how even though she knows she can write well, she gets nervous and freezes up. I left a comment and told her I have the same problem with writing and also with taking tests.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blog Assignment # 7

On "The Networked Student" by Wendy Drexler
It is interesting to learn how a student can succeed in a class that meets in person and online, has no textbook, and a teacher that rarely lectures.For decades, we have been taught that school is a place where students sit in desks and listen to a teacher speak in front of the class for hours. But this isn't necessarily the only way to teach. Drexler says students can teach themselves by doing their own research for accredited websites, using direct communication with experts in an area, and using RSS (or really simple syndication).
At one point in the video the question is posed: "why does a networked student even need a teacher?". The answer is this: the teacher is there for guidance, and to help the student get started and understand. Also, there is obviously specific information the teacher wants his or her students to learn and get out of the class. Without a teacher, students could get on the wrong track or mistake inaccurate information for a reliable source. This could lead to publication of incorrect information on a blog or social network, making the student look bad.
My first reaction to this was very negative. This is due to the fact, as I said before, that we are accustomed to the typical teacher-in-front-of-the-class scenario. But I think student networking is a wonderful idea. It teaches students to do their own research, have informed opinions, and make connections with people in or out of their area of expertise. I think I could be a networked teacher with more exposure to the idea. I believe it is a more efficient way of teaching students to be able to seek information and do good research on their own.
On A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment
This video depicts a seventh grade student's PLE. She is able to keep up with all of the resources she uses to do research, along with projects and other assignments, on one page. She has organized these links into a section for school and a section for home (including her Facebook account, email, etc.) I like to keep the websites and online tools I use for school in a bookmark list that's titled appropriately.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blog Assignment # 6

On Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
In this lecture, entitled "Achieving Your Childhood Dreams", is about how to lead your life, and was intended as a lesson for Pausch's children. Pausch is big into "head fakes", in other words he likes to make you think the you're learning about something in order to teach you about something else entirely. This method of teaching is interesting to me. I believe it could be useful in my classroom, because indirectly teaching kids a valuable lesson without them even having to know they're being tricked- that's genius. It's like that Chef Boyardee ravioli commercial, where the mom knows there's a full serving of vegetables in it and the kid does not. Kids can learn important life skills and information through lessons like the one Pausch teaches us in this lecture.
"Brick walls are there to stop people who don't want things badly enough." Pausch says that brick walls can block your way to any goal; you just have to want it badly enough to knock that wall down and get past it. I think this is an inspiring way to present obstacles that could potentially keep you from achieving a goal. Many children get discouraged when they repeatedly fail, it's called learned helplessness. They get to the point where they don't even want to try anymore. When I was in gradeschool, I struggled with math. I would get upset when I made anything below an A, and it happened a lot in this subject. I think if someone had presented math to me like a brick wall in the way of my "A", I would've felt a lot better about it.
Pausch hits on two very important subjects especially: loyalty is a two way street, and you will need help sometimes. It is vitally important to build relationships with people. Telling the truth, being earnest, apologizing for your mistakes, and focusing on others as well as yourself are all good ways to place your trust in someone, and to make sure someone has your back. I don't think it would be a bad idea to show part of this lecture to my students, and use some of Pausch's advice to teach them the valuable lessons he teaches in this video.
One of the most unique aspects of Pausch's lectures is that he always uses random quotes to support what he's talking about. For example, "Don't complain, just work harder." and "Be good at something; it makes you valuable." Quotes are always a good way to support and reinforce what you're lecturing about. It proves that there are people who agree with you. I intend to incorporate using quotes into my teaching. Bringing humor into a serious lesson can help convey your message as well. The quote "Don't bail: the best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap." is a wonderful example. Comic relief is important in teaching life lessons to children because they get bored, and most likely they don't think what you're saying is important. Randy Pausch's methods are great for all age groups.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

C4K for September

Chris's Blog Post
The student I was assigned to comment on this week was Chris in Buenos Aires. He posted an amusing video of a goalie getting hit in the head with a soccer ball. He said he thought it was funny and wanted to share it to give other people a laugh. I left a comment tell him that I enjoyed the video and to keep up the good work.
Vaifoa's Blog Post
This week I was assigned to a student that hadn't posted recently, so I chose to comment on Vaifoa's blog post from Port England School. She wrote a story called "Zach and Alex's Adventure". It was very entertaining, and she included pictures as well. The blog says she's a year 5 student, which I'm assuming means she's in second or third grade. In my comment, I told her I liked the story and the clip art and that she did a great job describing the plot.
Austin's Blog Post
I was assigned to Austin this week, who is a ninth grade student who lives in Canada. He wrote a post about the Quality of Life. he includes the five things that determine your quality of life, and the 11 indicators that go along with them. He described his quality of life as well. Other than a few grammar mistakes, I thought it was a decent post. I left him a comment that said how I enjoyed reading it, it was very well organized, and the bold words made it easy to find focus points. I also reminded him to proofread his work since he missed a few things.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blog Assignment # 5

On Travis Allen's iSchool Initiative
As a senior in high school, Travis Allen made a YouTube video about utilizing technology in the classroom to save money and natural resources. He later formed the iSchool Initiative and a group of 25 students at his university to travel the world and inform teachers, parents, and students about the future of education. Through many already existing applications on iPhones and iPads, students and teachers can gain access to any book or textbook without the expensive print copies and hardback covers. Parents can also view grades through applications like these just by having access to a phone or a computer. I think it is much more economical and environmental to get rid of the pencils and paper and take advantage of the technology available to us today.
Technology not only entices children and is more fun than pencil and paper, but it is a useful skill they can use throughout their lives. If we continue to teach like we have in decades past, and Mr. Winkle would still be comfortable coming into to our classrooms, then why do we have this technology? We have made use of it in daily life, by using cell phones, tablets, computers, GPS systems, etc. We use technology to order pizza or buy movie tickets, so why not use it to teach our children? I "liked" the iSchool Initiative on Facebook, and I fully support it. I recommend you do the same, because why wouldn't we want to better educate our children with technology that we have access to?
On Jennifer Chamber's Post and The Virtual Choir
Eric Whitacre conducted a virtual choir made up of singers who have never met or performed together and posted it on YouTube. This is extremely interesting and amazing to watch. It's a very unique way to make use of the internet and technology like computers and video-editing programs.
On "Teaching in the 21st Century: The John Strange Version"
Kevin Roberts, the original creator of this video, believes that teaching is changing because kids today get most of their information from the internet. Teachers are becoming more of a "filter" of this information to try to help students differentiate the good and bad information. For example, you can learn things from Wikipedia that are completely incorrect because anyone is allowed to edit the information on that website. It is also necessary to focus more on lifeskills than straight facts. Children need to be better prepared for things they will have to figure out on their own in everyday life. Teaching is changing, and I think this will affect me as an educator because it will determine the style and expression of how I teach.
On Flipping the Classroom
In this video, Katie, an 8th grade math teacher in North Carolina, explains why she flipped her classroom. So what is flipping the classroom? Rather than lecturing 90% of class time and applying the skills you've taught 10% of the time, it's just the reverse of that. This prevents you from having to repeat yourself and enables the students that are either ahead or behind your instruction to succeed and be adequately challenged or caught up. Katie uses videos on her class website that students are allowed to pause, rewind, or fast forward and watch as many times as they like. This let's them become familiar with the material before class so they can apply the skills taught and ask any questions that arise from that application. They can also post their questions on the website for their peers or teacher to answer prior to class. I think this sounds like a very efficient method in teaching students to apply skills, especially in a subject like math or science. I will remember this when I start my classroom, and I believe it is a wonderful method to use. I may not use it every day, but for lessons I believe will need to be repeated otherwise I would love to use this approach. I will definitely have a school website and I think videos of lectures is a great idea, as long as it isn't taken advantage of by students who never come to class. For more information about flipping the classroom visit this website.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Project # 5 Presentation

C4T # 1

About Allanah King's Blog Post on The Horizon Report
Alannah King has a blog on EDU Blogs entitled "Life Is Not A Race To Be First Finished". In one of her most recent posts, King discusses the 2012 K-12 Horizon Report. The Horizon Report is a group of educational leaders from different parts of the world that set goals and try to foresee what education will be like in the near future. King is a member of their advisory board. In her post, King discusses "key trends" of changes in teaching that will be beneficial for both the teacher and the student. For example, students should be given access to a computer and the internet at all times. Online and hybrid learning, along with collaboration, are a good way to get students actively involved with technology. In the next 5 years, the Horizon Report states that students will be working with cloud and tablet computing, mobile phones and apps, collaborative environments, game-based learning, natural user interfaces, and more.
I believe that the Horizon Report is right on track, and that the use of technology is important to incorporate in young children's education. Portable electronic devices used as study tools are a good idea to make sure busy students have time for their schoolwork as well. There will soon be new advanced forms of technology that are beyond our wildest dreams. We need to prepare ourselves and our students for the wonderful tools that await us in the future.
About Allanah King's Blog Post on "Any Questions"
After reading a second blog post by Allanah King, I am now informed of a website that allows you to chat live with a librarian to help you find the answer to any question. It prevents you from ending up on an unreliable website like Wikipedia, and teaches you the valuable skill of learning to better navigate a website. This is a great tool for teachers and students alike, and is much better than simply google searching for more information. As Miss King puts it: google can "lead you to dark places on the internet." This is a very interesting program I had never heard of before and I intend to check it out the next time I need to do research and find more information on a specific topic.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blog Assignment # 4

What I Learned from Langwitches
Teaching students to write their own blogs and comment on other students' blogs is a wonderful way to introduce technology as an educational tool, and teach the skills that students need to use it efficiently. There is an organization of four schools across the globe that collaborate in teaching how to blog, called "quadblogging".
They comment on and read each other's blogs. Using computer programs and apps help kids apply the skills they are learning. Younger children are particularly interested in Garage Band because moving, editing dead space and glitches, and things like that are fun and make students proud of their finished product.
While a first grade teacher was absent for an extended amount of time, another teacher stepped in to run the class. She had the students read a book and record their own "read-along audiobook" of the text being read aloud. This is similar to a podcast, like you can create or purchase on Itunes. Podcasts are designed to enable non-media individuals to express their opinion or get information out via the internet. Joe Dale says that "podcasting is an effective way to interact with students outside of the traditional classroom."
Students, especially those third grade and younger, are thrilled when they have an audience. When people comment on their podcasts, they become more proud of the work they have done. Positive reinforcement is vital in the classroom. The way they see it (according to Langwitches) they are putting their voices "into other people's computers at iPods." There are seven steps a successful podcast: 1- be familiar with the program you're using, 2- give students a choice in their topic, 3- give students a choice on who to work with, 4- give examples of podcasts before the assignment, 5- give students a good amount of time to complete the project, and 6- invite an audience (like the principal) to listen to their podcasts when they're done. These steps were provided by Judy Scharf on Curriki.
Third grade students in a video on Langwitches describe the importance of Avatars and what they are. They basically say that avatars are representative of yourself minus your physical appearance. They are symbolic of what you are like on the inside, and you can use them as learning tools in the classroom.
Flat Stanley is a fun activity for elementary aged kids. My mother, a fourth grade teacher at Walker Elementary in Northport, does this with her kids. I have taken pictures with Flat Stanley myself. This is fun for the students because the paper Flat Stanley gets to travel to different places, and when he gets back to the classroom the kids know he's been there. Langwitches has students do a podcast about Flat Stanley as well, they created flat versions of themselves on the smart board and started mailing them around instead.
As for podcasting, I have learned that there is more than one computer program for recording podcasts (i.e. Garageband as well as iTunes). It is important to speak clearly and to edit out any mistakes or "dead space". Your audience is the most vital factor of creating a podcast, because stating your opinion is useless if it isn't heard. You can use podcasts as study tools or lessons as well. The information provided by Ms. Silvia Talisano of Langwitches and Joe Dale have helped me better understand what a podcast is and how to successfully make one.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blog Assignment # 3

Peer Editing
According to the video, "What is Peer Editing?", there are three important steps in editing a classmate's work. Step one is compliments, because it is necessary to stay positive in order to make the student feel good about their assignment. Then suggestions, whether it's about word choice, detail, organization, sentences, or topic. Third and lastly, make corrections. Be specific about punctuation, grammar, and spelling errors. Decide whether or not it is appropriate to do publicly or privately; you do not want to embarrass your classmate. The things to remember are to stay positive, be specific, and complete the three steps with each peer review. The slideshow, "Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial", pretty much includes the same information in the above video.
In "Writing Peer Review Top Ten Mistakes", there are actually eleven mistakes made, which I found interesting. They are: being picky, apathetic, distracted, generalized, mean, loud, pushy, off-task, speedy, or defensive. It is important to remember to take peer reviews on your own work seriously, and to be clear and kind when reviewing another's work. Peer review is very helpful if done correctly. By following the advice of these videos, one can learn how to properly critique a classmate's work without being rude or overcritical. It is also relevant to know how to react to another's criticism of your work, by correcting any mistakes and considering changing things based on their view of what you wrote.
Special Education and Technology
Disabled Child Using Technology
Ms. Lacey Cook, a special education teacher at Campbell Collegiate, implements technology in her classroom to benefit her students. Some of her students cannot talk on their own. They used to use a laminated page with the letters of the alphabet on it. They would point to letters to form words and communicate with their teacher. But now, they use laptops to type what they want to say. Not only does this help the students that lack the ability to speak on their own, but it gets them more interested in their work and excited to complete their assignments.
Ms. Cook also has a student that needs someone to read aloud to him to understand a book during silent reading. He used to have to go into the hall with an assistant, but now he uses an ipod touch and is allowed to stay in the classroom with his fellow students. Technology is a wonderful teaching tool for the disabled because it assists them and allows them to communicate and participate in classwork.
Education Apps For Special Needs Kids
The Itunes Store offers many educational apps for Ipad, Iphone, and Ipod Touch. Based on this video, the Ipad makes learning more exciting and motivates special needs children to learn to read, write, count, etc. One app that I found interesting is called Alphabytes, and uses four basic activities to help kids learn to read and write. They can go through the letters of the alphabet and look at pictures for something that starts with that letter (e.g. E for Elephant), trace the letters and learn to write them, spell basic words, and match letters with pictures of things that start with that letter.
I think this app could be used for kids of all kinds of disabilities to engage in reading and writing. Many kids get discouraged when they mess up or don't catch onto something quickly with just a pencil and paper. But with an Ipad, Iphone, or Ipod Touch, children have fun learning because it's like a game. Using the touch screen is fun and much more exciting than writing on notebook paper or pointing to letters on a laminated page.
Your Students Can Teach You, Too!
Vicki Davis is a teacher in Georgia who likes to use technology in her classroom. She says that you don't have to know everything before you teach it because students are excited to figure out some things for themselves. Davis calls hers self a "teacherprenuer". She instructs her students about new technology and uses a wide variety of terms, which she expects them to look up if they don't know to broaden their vocabulary.
Davis and another teacher, Julie Lindsay, founded Digi Teen, a website used by teachers and students around the world to teach collaboration and digital citizenship. Davis also uses Google Docs for groupwork in her classroom. Her students learn about using avatars in a virtual online program in this video. Edutopia is a useful website that supplies teachers with many useful educational tools.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Blog Assignment # 2

On Did You Know 3.0- The John Strange Version 2012
John Strange made his own version of "Did You Know? 3.0", originally by Fisch, McLeod, and Brenman. It explained how fast technology is advancing and how information is so quickly outdating itself. There were a lot of little-known facts in this video. Although I am familiar with the fact that Asia is rapidly growing in size and intelligence in comparison with the United States, I was unaware of the extent. It is alarming to find out that there are more honors students in India than there are students here. As for the amount of English-speaking Chinese outnumbering native English-speakers in the rest of the world, I had no idea. I guess that is the point of "Did You Know?". All of the facts in this video are fascinating, and I liked the personalized feel of the EDM 310 version. Getting to know not only most of the facts in the original version, but facts about students in EDM 310 was interesting to me. For instance, that on average, students send about 95 texts per day, which takes an hour and sixteen minutes (Strange).
On Did You Know 3.0-The Original Version
I also watched the original version of Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod's, and there were some things not mentioned in the John Strange version that appealed to me as well. For example,"by 2013, a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computational capabilities of the human brain"(Fisch, McLeod, Brenman). Strange's version was more directed toward educators. Another amusing fact was that there are five times as many words in the English language today that there were in Shakespeare's time (Fisch, McLeod, Brenman).
Wordle of Technology
About "Mr. Winkle Wakes"
Mr. Winkle is a popular tall tale about a man that sleeps for a hundred years. In this video, he awakes and is taken to a hospital, where he sees technology that is unfamiliar to him. He later walks down the street and comes to a school. He is relieved to find that education is just as it was before he went to sleep. This is terrifying because children is modern schools should have access to higher technology and not just sit in a classroom and take notes on a lecture. Mr. Winkle notices a computer like the ones in the hospital in the back of the room, but it isn't being used. This makes you think about today's education. My mother teaches fourth grade, and this year teachers in her school are using Ipads to help integrate technology into their curriculum. "Bring your own technology" is designed so that students may bring to class things like smartphones, tablets, and computers to help them learn. This is a positive thing as long as it is not taken advantage of and/or used for something other than a learning tool.
Education has come a long way from a hundred years ago, and that should be evident in our classrooms. Students should be able to use modern technology to help learn and understand material, rather than listening to a lecture and memorizing information only to forget it once the exam has passed. Mr. Winkle has opened educators' eyes and proven that advancement in teaching approaches and the use of technology is necessary to benefit students and give them the maximum level of education possible.
About Ken Robinson's TED Speech on Creativity in Schools
Ted Robinson is a creativity expert with an interest in education. He argues that everyone is interested in education, whether it be from a student or a teacher standpoint. Children are educated based on academic standards, with hardly any focus on creativity or artistic ability. Although academics are important, there are many professions (i.e. dancing, singing, acting, band, etc.) that require a focus on the arts. TED is a non profit organization that is focused on conferences that spread ideas "worth spreading". Robinson gave this speech in February 2006. He gives the example of Gillian Lynne, the choreographer of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. She struggled in school due to the fact that she couldn't sit still, symptoms of which were most likely ADHD. Ken Robinson notes that some people would have just prescribed her with medication to help her pay attention rather than taking her to audition for ballet school.
When students are young, they are told they can grow up to become whatever they want to be. But as they grow older, they are steered more in the direction of practical careers like education, medicine, or communications. Some students do not live up to their creative potential because they end up in the wrong field for fear of not being able to succeed. I think Robinson has a very good point and I agree with him completely that students should be able to focus not only on academic aspects of their education, but creative as well.
Response to "A Day Made of Glass 2"

The technology in this video is fascinating to me. The fact that glass can contain the computer technology that a tablet, computer, or smartphone does is astounding. Not only is it interesting to know that so much can fit into such a thin object, but sharing with other glass through the tablet is a really neat idea. When the little girl in the video's alarm goes off, her window becomes transparent to let the sunlight in, and she's able to pick out her outfit on her closet door. It is not surprising that technology has advanced this far, and that our children will be so much more in sync with things as complex as this. It is exciting that one day I might be teaching with these magnificent tools. Corning is the corporation responsible for creating these glass tablets and other tools.
With this information and technology displayed, it is clear that Mr. Winkle's perception of the modern-day classroom is not entirely accurate. However, technology is slowly becoming readily available and has not made it to the point shown in the glass video. A majority of the schools in the United States have a long way to go before they can afford to purchase such technologically advanced teaching tools. On the other hand, most schools have acquired some form of new technology, such as smartboards and elmo projectors, etc.
Mr. Winkle would be very intimidated if he were to walk into the school in "A Day Made of Glass 2", but the rest of us I think would be relieved to know that a lot has changed over the course of a hundred years. Students are not forced to sit in a classroom and listen to an obscenely long lecture with no breaks or group activities. With the "bring your own technology" idea circulating in Alabama's county schools this year, students will be allowed to take notes on tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blog Assignment # 1

About Laura Allen:
This is my first semester at South. I am a junior, and I transferred from Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa. I go by L.J. but my full name is Laura Jean. I have a sister that lives in New York City, and I lived with her this past summer for six weeks. I am very interested in musical theatre, and I have participated in both community theatre and school theatre since I was seven years old.
I decided to come to USA because I regretted not moving away for college; the education program here is excellent, not to mention the campus is beautiful. My mother is a fourth grade teacher, and my aunt and uncle are both secondary history teachers. I am inspired by them, and also my A.P. English teacher in high school, Mrs. Rhonda Brinyark. I want to impact high school kids the way some of my teachers impacted me, and motivate them to set goals and get good grades.
I am very passionate about community service. I love helping people in any way that I can. When someone is pulled over on the side of the road, I always stop to see if they need help. If high school children are standing in a parking lot with buckets trying to raise money for their school club, I always try to contribute. Things like that just make me feel good. I love to sing and dance, and I'm always looking to try something new. I also love animals, collect skeleton keys, and like to travel. I've been to London and Paris, and wish to someday go to Greece and Ireland.
About Randy Pausch's Lecture on Time Management:
Randy Pausch has some interesting ideas for time management that I have never thought of before. For example, he says that you should always have a plan for every day, every week, every semester, etc. He states that "failing to plan is planning to fail", but I don't always think about planning out what exactly I have to do each day in order to ensure that I get it all done. I am, however, a firm believer in to-do lists. When I know I have a lot going on, I tend to write it down in my notebook with the date on it, so I can check things off as I complete them. Pausch suggests that questions should be asked when setting goals and priorities (i.e. "why am I doing this?” "What is the goal?” and "what will happen if I don't do it?"). This is a good way to decide what is most important in your schedule. He also makes a valid point that it's not doing things right that is most important, but doing the right things, which is also about prioritizing.
About Randy Pausch:
Based on my research, Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, was married with three children, and had terminal pancreatic cancer. He gave his "last lecture" in 2007 when he only had months to live, which was later made into a popular book.
About Penn State University's Time Management Lessons/Exercises
Penn State made some suggestions ,about time management and study planning, that were very helpful to me. For instance, it was mentioned that you should not study where you sleep, to keep from getting tired or sleepy during study time. This is one of the most common mistakes I make. I tend to fall asleep book in hand before finishing my work or studying. Another good idea of theirs is to record yourself reading your notes so they can play during any free time or while exercising. This would be extremely helpful for me because I spend a lot of time walking to and from class, and this would give me an opportunity to make use of that time. Some obvious but good advice that is also brought up is to learn to say no, and to try and fit one more task into your schedule before you go to sleep. This helps to cut down on things you have to do the following day.