Friday, December 10, 2010

C4T #3 Summary Post

My C4T#3, Michael Kaechele-concrete artist turned middle school technology teacher, posted about the effect that the book the Alchemist had on him.  He posed the question, "do we leave enough room for pursuing dreams and passions within the school atmosphere?" He said the school systems are too busy trying to meet standards and cover the curriculum to leave any room for this.  He enjoyed the book because it reminded him of a favorite memoir of his The Education of a Wandering Man, and the fact that they both learned the same way-through life experiences, not through a book.  He then asked How can we create a climate that encourages students to dream and pursue passions rather than "interfere with their education?"
I then told him that I think the fact that school sometimes gets in the way of people pursuing their dreams, is one of the biggest problems with our school system. Many of my family members (who are teachers) warned me about the fact someone like me wouldn't do well in an environment where there is no freedom. Although it may be difficult, I plan on trying to fit in as much freedom, adventure, and creativity into my "lesson" as possible. What else are students there for anyway? The quadratic formula is great, if you're in a profession that uses it on a daily basis. But I think that life lessons, and the motivation to continue learning, and curiosity for life will better prepare the student for the future.
In his post Real Reform Goes Backwards, Michael blogs about the fact how ridiculous it is that most people's idea of "fixing the problem" in the public school system is to hire big wigs, that don't even care about the students, to come in and weed out all the bad teachers, so they can hire new teachers who will work for lower wages.  He said on top of that their bright idea is to just put the student in the proper machine (program) and out they pop at the end- educated (able to pass standardized tests).  He thinks real reform starts by going backwards to a "classic" liberal arts education.  Students should have a relationship with their teachers, not with bubbling in sheets.  They should learn by asking questions, and life itself should be a learning journey.  They need to be learning how to solve real life problems and how to think critically.  "Students should engage in real questions and work for real solutions. We should use hammers, nails, wood, computers, dirt, flowers, paper, cell phones, microscopes, cameras, and animals. Students should perform labs where the teacher does not know the answer. Students should study current events and then research the history to understand why things are as they are now. Students should use math to calculate solutions to world poverty, lack of clean water, and adequate food."  Teachers shouldn't recite a book in front of the class, they should learn with them, guide them.
I said I completely agree! Standardized testing is not the answer! I've actually been contemplating the all semester-what is the best way to weed out the bad teachers? I'd like to think that they are all good, but I was just in the public school system a few years ago and I can only name about 4 out of the 30 I had that were decent teachers. The biggest problem I had when I got to college was the fact that there were no multiple choice tests. I went to a liberal arts school and they stressed the importance of critical thinking every single day in ever single class. You reminded me of a video of Sir Ken Robinson's I watched not too long ago, he said the fact that students are taught in batches is ridiculous. Is the most important thing I should have in common with my educational peers be my date of manufacturing?  
"Students should engage in real questions and work for real solutions...... Students should use math to calculate solutions to world poverty, lack of clean water, and adequate food. "  I
 have never thought about it like this, but its brilliant. It's so simple I don't see how we haven't implemented it yet. People talk about making a difference, well if our students would learn something more than an equation and how to plug n some numbers and chug out a solution and then bubble in the correct answer, we might actually be able to make a difference. My biggest goal is to motivate my students to be inquisitive. Hopefully I will be able to fulfill this goal to the best of my ability. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Summary Post C4K #3-7

Maurice from Pt England School wrote about his having to miss out on cross country due to the fact that it was raining.  I told him that i, too, was very involved in my cross country program when i was in high school.  His writing has really improved and this just goes to show me how beneficial writing on blogs is to elementary students.
Kate from Ms. Millers class blogged about the gold game.  She and her classmates were to imagine that gold was first found in their hometown and they had to buy wheelbarrows, shovels, and other gold mining tools for their hunt on the playground.  I told her that I wish that my teacher had used a cool game like this with us.  It sounds like a lot of fun.  I also asked her if they had to sift through the sand, and that I looked forward to hearing more about her game.
Brendan posted about a problem he was having with his best friend telling all of his secrets.  I told him that some people don't tell secrets in order to hurt others, it's just their personality.  I advised him to talk to his friend and tell him that it bothered him, and if he continued to tell then he wasn't his friend.  This post made me realize that I will sometimes be a situation where what i will say will matter in someone else's life, i just hope that i have the wisdom to say the right thing.
Ethan blogged about his grandmother who lived in omaha, nebraska.  He said that she lives near his aunt and uncle and that she is really nice.  He also said that she works at a museum.  I told him that i used to want to work in a museum, and suggested that he watch the movie "night at the museum" if he has not already done so.   
vents inside USS Alabama
This student took a photograph of a vent inside of the USS Alabama, but she was having a hard time naming it.   I took an interest in this reader because I had the same photography teacher, actually I was in her teacher's first batch of students. Many people had suggestions, but I told her that flow or wave would be best because of it being on the water.   

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Final PLN

I am currently using Symbaloo to keep up with my PLN.  I also like Evernote, which I plan on using in the future.  As far as History goes, I follow HowStupidBlog, Blog4History, and USHistoryBlog.  I plan to search out for blogs specifically focused on the points in history that I am most interested in, such as colonial,But at this point in time, I want to stay focused on a variety of blogs.  I also use my mentor, William Donald as a key element in my PLN, he has helped shaped who I am today and is one of the major reasons I have decided to teach history.  My grandmother Virginia Bryant, a retired history teacher of 35 years, is also a part of my PLN, she not only helps shape my thoughts about the classroom, she insights a hint of inspiration about history each and every day-something I too, hope to be capable of with my students.

Project -16

Summary Post C4K November and 12/5

Brennan, from Ms. Cassidy's 1st grade Class, said that he and his dog played together. I told him I love dogs, and asked him what was his dog's name? Mine are named Brinkley and BB. He is doing very well, with his blogging. I may have to concentrate on his words a little and read them over again but, I can definitely tell his writing is improving!

Raegan from Miss Byrne's class received a visit from Rachel Joy Scott who was an 11th grade student at the Columbine high school during the shooting. Rachel's Challenge was held at Wolsely high school on Wednesday December 1st. She challenged them to befriend new kids, kids with disabilities, kids who are put down and eliminate prejudice- give people at least 3 chances before judging. She challenged them to start their own Chain Reaction. I could take these challenges by being kind and taking them and doing them to become a better person. I told her that This is a very important lesson to learn, and I’m glad that she has already taken steps toward Rachel’s Challenge. Rachel made a difference in her life, so now she can do the same. My friend from school just had a “Bully Free” week. Everyone really enjoyed it and started to think about their actions before they bullied anyone. I liked her post, and encouraged her to keep blogging! She even thanked me for commenting on her blog.

Benjamin from Ms. Millars class made a Kerpoof about the planets. He also created mnuemonic device in order to remember the order of the planets. His class had just studied nmuemonic device and he decided he would put it to good use. I told him that I still use them in order to study for some tests in college, such as the ones where I am required to memorize long lists of countries or chemicals. I was very impressed by his Kerpoof! He used this program and made a somewhat of a comic strip.

Logan from Ms. Huebner's class made a blog post about his researcf for his skype interview on Christopher Columbus. He informed his readers that Columbus discovered and evaded America four times. His arrival also introduced diseases that the Indians were not immune to. He even told me something I didn't know, People disagreed on where he was buried. I asked him if he loved learning new facts, and told him that just because the history books say things, doesn’t mean they are true, you should always research yourself, and it looks like you are pretty good at it! I did not know that people disagreed on where he was buried, but thanked him for the information.

Yasmine posted about a trip with her family in Tunisia. She went parasailing, and rode horses, jet skis, and banana boats. Her picture was not on her blog for us to see so I googled Tunisia, and I have to say it is breathtaking. I told her with all of the pictures that she took and all the memories that she made with her family that she will always have that special time with her family in such a beautiful place.

Summary Post C4T Teacher -4

fish in a fish bowl

I thouroughly enjoyed The Fischbowl, perhaps more so than any other blog I have read this year.
His post, We See This as the Future of Higher Education, was originally posted on his blog for his algebra class. He wanted to prove to them that he is preparing them for their futures by incorporating technology into the classroom. If carried out properly, online classes, or better yet, hybrid classes, hold a bright future for education. In order for it to be successful, students must take an active role in their learning by doing the readings beforehand, communicating with the teacher, and communicationg and giving feedback to other students. I told him that he is doing a great job of preparing them with these learning tools, because I cannot survive in college without a computer (and it has nothing to do with Office). I never thought that I would need a computer class for math, but it has turned out to be the most helpful class I have ever taken. I can get immediate feedback when the program tells me I'm doing the problem wrong, and if I can't figure out how to do it on my own, then I can always email my teacher aide or teacher. I knwo that all professors give out their emails, but I feel like it is more promoted in a class where we are using comuters all the time, therefore I actually feel more connected and comfortable with emailing the teacher.

A Quarter is More Than Just a Fraction was also posted on his class blog. Just like we think globally by communicating with teachers and students all over the world, he asked his students to think more globally by helping out a company cakked Kiva. Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. He lent $25 to an entrepeneur, then bought two $25 gift cards and sent them to his friends and encouraged them to send it to someone they thought would benefit from it, and two $25 gift cards to two more of their friends. He wanted to start somewhat of a Kiva pay it forward. So he then challenged his students to bring a quarter to class everyday that they met, until the end of the school year which would equal to $2.50, and he would match the proceeds up to one hundred dollars. THey could bring more, bring less, it did not matter. Many of his colleagues said that he would never be able to collect any because teenagers will not donate anything, unless there is something in it for them. I told him that it is nice to know that someone is making a difference. I'm sure he can prove them wrong about the teenagers only wanting to give if they recieve something in return. I have faith in the fact that all people are good and want to help, for the most part. Did you know that people who make less than 20,000 are more likely to give than those who make more than that? He reminded me of the fact that no matter how hard I think times are, there is always someone out there who needs more help than me.
I have a feeling that I will continue to read The Fischbowl long after this class ends.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Additional Assignment 3

Sir Ken Robinson

Let me just start out by saying that I very much enjoy reading about creative thinkers like Sir Ken Robinson.  Well I don't have much experience with the College of Education besides EDM 310.  I do believe that creativity is hindered in schools, but I feel that I have had somewhat of a chance to use it in EDM310.  Because of standardized testing, I don't think that there is much that I can do to change anything.  There just isn't any educational freedom in k-12 classrooms.  The teachers are forced to teach so much in order for the students to pass the standardized tests.  The U.S. needs to do away with standardized testing and find a better way to "test" their students and teachers alike.  I feel like I need to wake up to the material set before
me.  Correction, I feel like I need to be awakened by the interactions I have in my classroom.  So as teachers, we need to make education more exciting than iPhones, Wiis, etc. If we need to bring technology in the classroom to do so then be it.  One of my favorite things that he pointed out was the fact that students are taught in "batches" formed by grouping together children based on their date of manufacturing.  If a student excels above the rest of his or her classmates, then there should be no reason that the school system keep that student going on a much slower pace of learning than their mind can handle...we need to find a way to make sure children are performing at THEIR full potential (and not the full potential we have envisioned for them) by challenging them individually, if we must.  Creativity is for the most part hindered in school.  These whole "the answers are in black and white" and "theres only one possible answer" things are just ridiculous.  Life is never in black and white, and there are always multiple solutions, but in life you must have the skills to find the best possible solution.  Once we change our educational paradigm we will be able to prepare our students for the future.  As far as the slide show goes, I love the presentation.  I would enjoy being the artist on a project like this.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blog Post 10

An open letter to educators

Dan Brown

I also have had similar experiences as Morgan and Dan.  Sitting in a class, jotting down facts that are being spit out at us, and trying to stay awake as we stare at the power point in front of us.  The classes I enjoy the most are the ones where we are allowed to go off on a tangent on one specific idea and talk about it for hours.  The teacher who can carry on a CONVERSATION with the students for hours without the students even realizing that class had already ended.  I've had fact-spitting teachers before, and sure they ensured my passing of the grad exams, but thats because the grad exams, ACT, SAT and all other standardized testing involve straight facts-which is a huge problem in itself.  College professors have much more leeway, but as far as k-12 teachers are concerned, they have no choice but to be fact spitters.  They are graded on how well their students do on standardized MULTIPLE CHOICE tests.  So, teachers may have time to add in a little imagination and critical thinking, but for the most part, k-12 education will remain fact-based until our education system as a whole changes. I really dont understand how everything has evolved in our world except for one of the most important things, education. I doubt that my future employer will give me a multiple choice test before hiring me, so why is our world of education so obsessed with facts? My employers will want to know that I can successfully communicate my ideas and motivate others to question and discuss theories, ideas, etc. This is why I also appreciate my EDM 310 class because it allows me too look behind the useless surface of facts and to analyze the ideas behind the figures. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blog Post 9

"What I've Learned This Year" by Mr. McClung

stay positive

Mr. McClung points out seven lessons that he has learned in his first year of teaching that focus on his relation with the students, other teachers, and his style of teaching.  Seven lessons, that not only I, a future educator, can benefit from, but also those teachers who have been in their classrooms for years-the ones that are set in their ways.  I have a feeling that I will have a problem with overcoming the disappointment that follows when my lesson doesn't go as planned.  But then again, do I really want it to? No, I don't.  I want to get off topic.  I want my students to interrupt me and ask questions frequently.  I want my classroom to be a conversational setting not a lecture.  I just hope that I don't get caught up in the planning of it all, and forget what's really important.  I want to develop a learning relationship with my students, and in order to do so,  must understand them listen, to them.  And most of all I want to be reasonable with my expectations.  Many of my family members who are in the field of education say that my expectations of my experience on and with the students are too high.   Well, I would rather keep them too high than too low.  Which is why I will struggle with this point also.  I need to keep in mind that I am not dealing with adults, and mistakes happen, because everyone is human.  Once I start teaching, if I feel myself drifting and forgetting what is important, I'll look back at this post to remind myself.

Blog Post 8

Richard Miller: This is how we dream

This technique of using multimedia to learn, is very beneficial.  Where else could you look to find pictures, sound bytes, video, and text? no where.  With multimedia learning, creative possibilities are endless.  Like Dr. Miller said, this technique allows you to experience the subject. His outlook on how to use the internet as a learning tool with the rest of the world is amazing. He said that educators must be in the business of sharing ideas, freely.  I completely agree.  EDM 310 would be non-existent if this was not being practiced. I don't want to learn how to be a good teacher by reading books published years ago, I want to learn from the teachers and professors that are learning something new everyday, today!   Information is always being updated, reviewed, and shared. And it is ours for the taking.  A limitless amount of knowledge is out there just for us. We now have the power to add to it, improve it, and release it to the world once again. Wow. He talked about a program that searched the internet for blogs, news sites, etc. and takes all of this information and puts it together instantaneously so you could find out the mood of the world's population for today.  That is amazing.  There's no other word to describe it.  But besides that, he emphasizes the importance of sharing innovative ideas.  He's right.  It's the only way we will all be able to move forward.

EDM for dummies and The Chipper series

Quite entertaining.  I also saw that I had a problem in this class with procrastination and the self-motivated learning.  I was actually thinking about this the other day when I passed an elementary school on my way to class.  If I have a "crisis" during the week, I may not go to class, just turn my homework in online and plan to get the notes later.  But when I get to the real world this just won't be acceptable.  Especially since I plan on being an educator, I will have at least 25 students waiting on me every morning, whether my life is busy or not.  I just think it's crazy that (hopefully) within the next few years, the success of 20 people will be in my hands every single day.  With out my attendance (physically, mentally, and emotionally), the students will not succeed and that is my job-on top of the fact that I will get fired.   I have been "over"procrastinating the past two weeks, and when I saw that elementary school parking lot full of teachers cars, I decided that I had to put a stop to it if I ever wanted to be successful in my career. Just like I plan on showing up for school on time every day, I plan on actually being EARLY with my posts.  I understand that this is something that I should have known for sometime now, and I did.  I just simply re-evaluated the situation and saw that I was slipping and that obviously wasn't working for me so now I plan to get back in the game.

Smartboard Debate

student using smartboard

So each week I have read something that has changed my mind about a particular subject.  The past few weeks I have been trying to figure out what I think is most important in the classroom, enthusiasm or technology.  Both can motivate students to learn, just in different ways.  Although I'm still on the fence about smartboards, I believe that they can effectively bring these two things together IF the teacher is well trained.  Cathie pointed out the fact that they increase motivation and engagement.  I asked my younger brother about the Smartboards in his classroom, and he said "they're really cool, they have lots of games and stuff."  But they rarely use them.  I said "so, basically they use them just like overhead projectors," he defensively stated "I said they were cool, OKAY."  He may think they're cool, but he said they don't play any educational games, students don't go up to the smart boards,  and they don't explore the web.  The teacher stands there and touches the screen and talks.  It may have my brother's attention because it's big and shiny, but unless the teacher effectively uses the interactive white board, it is a big waste of time and money for the education system. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Additional Assignment 2

Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education

Sugata Mitra with the children he taught

     First of all, I see the correlation between areas with educationally unsuccessful schools and teachers who refuse to work there.  Teachers refuse to work in places in which they are needed most.  What I don't see, is the reason for this.  Don't teachers become teachers in order to make a difference?  So why would you actively seek out jobs at schools who have an ample amount of good teachers and impressive schools?  Obviously those schools are on their way to improving scores and more importantly, education, without the help of you.  My idea of making a difference is actually making a difference, not simply being acknowledged because my school does well.   So when that day finally comes, when I start applying for jobs, I am going to actively seek out lower income schools, with low scores, and students that don't seem to care.  Because it is there where I can make a difference.  Maybe the problem is that the teachers don't care, so it is the responsibility of the new teachers to breathe life into the staff, and let them know that they can make a difference, that they don't need to give up. Maybe the students don't have enough of a support system at home, which only means that teachers need to (professionally) fill that void, and be the encouragement that all students need in order to succeed.  You might say I've watched Freedom Writers one too many times, but I guess I'll find out on my own, if my theories prove to be true.
     "If children have interest, then education happens".  Which is exactly why the term "busy work" should be banned from every classroom in the world.  Busy work is for teachers who have given up.  For teachers who no longer have the drive to actually do their job.  When you approach education like it is exciting, captivating, and life-changing, then so will your students.  Granted when you are too enthusiastic, some students will write you off as the loon.  But there will always be students there just because they are forced to be there, but that is besides the point.  The point is that if you are interested in the subject, then maybe, just maybe your enthusiasm will rub off on them.  This goes hand in hand with the idea of "The Grandmother", "The Encourager", or my personal favorite, "The Cheerleader".  Showing students that you are amazed by how much they know, and proud of everything they do, and just cheering them on in everything that they do-can do wonders.  I have always hated English with a passion, but my 9th grade English teacher (probably the best teacher ever) made me love English.  She was very enthusiastic, and made every student believe that they could succeed.  Which is why I will always believe that this is the  best approach to teaching.
     So, can students teach themselves if motivated?  Yes.  Can anyone who is not motivated to learn, learn? Yes.  But imagine how much more they will learn with the teacher there cheering them on, guiding them, while still giving them enough freedom to learn on their on.  What conditions are necessary for kids to teach themselves? The only NECESSARY conditions are the tools needed to learn.  Like in the video, the only thing that was needed was a computer with online capabilities.  Those students did not feel like they were learning.  They were having fun.  They were exploring.  Much like in Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, these students were experiencing a head-fake.  They thought they were just having fun, learning was what they actually achieved.  What roles do computers and internet access play in the process?  Well, just let me ask you this question.  As much as everyone says they love to read, how many average school-aged children are going to pick up a book, just for the fun of it? A few. How many are going to be intrigued by the capabilities of a computer? By the internet? Well let's just say a few more.  Now with its intrigue set aside, the mere possibilities of the internet outweigh the capabilities of a book.  This is a fact that I shouldn't have to argue.  Now that the student has free reign to the internet, imagine what will happen when the students are faced with a problem, a question?  This is just that guiding light that will help them get from point A to point B.  Now once they get to point B the student should be allowed to keep exploring.  Explore, never research.  Entertainment, never assignment.  How do you motivate someone to learn?  I don't mean to harp on this, but motivation is all in the teacher's approach, the teacher's attitude.  The teacher should approach anything as if it is an activity rather than an assignment.  In most cases the teacher should be the cheerleader, but I also believe it is the teacher's job to adjust to each and every student accordingly.  Some students will perceive the exuberant "cheerleader" as annoying.  My approach to these students would be the "I bet you can't".  I do not think that this approach would work with the majority of students, but I believe it would do wonders for the rest.  Anytime I was told I did not have the ability to achieve something, I wanted to work that much harder, just to prove that I could.  And in the process I learned.  My "stubborness" was my motivation, I just accidentally learned on the path to proving myself worthy. When do I teach myself? I teach myself when I am interested.  If I am interested in a subject I will google it for hours.  If you put a workbook in front of me, then I am going to throw it to the side until I am forced to do it.   
     So I might have gotten off on my motivation soap box but basically, technology's capabilities are endless.  Pair these capabilities with motivation and the possibilities are endless.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

PLN Project

I am currently using Symbaloo to keep up with my PLN.  I also like Evernote, which I plan on using in the future.  As far as History goes, I follow HowStupidBlog, Blog4History, and USHistoryBlog.  I plan to search out for blogs specifically focused on the points in history that I am most interested in, such as colonial,But at this point in time, I want to stay focused on a variety of blogs.
Scott Elias is a principal who has a blog called Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?.  His recent posts touched on the subject of meeting just to meet.  He said there is no reason to meet every week just to meet.  If there is no change then why sit in a room just to say you did. With just a few of these tips you can achieve the successful meeting.
  1. Schedule a 22 minute meeting
  2. Have a goal based agenda
  3. Send required readings 3 days beforehand 
  4. Start on time 
  5. Stand up 
  6. No laptops, but presenters and note takes
  7. No phones, no exceptions
  8. Focus! Note off topic comments
  9. Send notes ASAP

Timetoast Project

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Podcast Project

Blog Post 7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Wow! I am amazed at how upbeat this man is.  It's inspiring. As soon as he introduced thebig elephant in the room, I paused the video, and googled him.  He wasn't lying.  Not that I thought he was, but I just wanted to know how much longer he lived since he said the doctors gave him roughly five more months to live (even though he was in amazing physical shape). This healthy looking, upbeat guy, with a very positive outlook on life, passed away six months later.  Ya know, it's always those who have six months to live, or those who have had a debilitating disease since they were five, that inspire the rest of us to do something with the lives that we are blessed to have.  They don't sit around and feel sorry for themselves.  We (healthy people) do that for them.  The ones that are blessed enough not to have an expiration date, are the ones that do nothing with our lives because we assume that we have forever to do so.  
He had the opportunity to learn so much at such a young age.  His football coach kept riding him for messing up all practice.  And I too, feel like sometimes, teachers or parents just won't get off my back.  You want to just scream, "Hey, why don't you ever focus on him or her because they never do what they're supposed to!" But like the coach said, it is a good thing when they ride you for doing wrong, because when they stop all together, that just means they have given up on you.  I plan to ride my students' backs for as long as I can.  I do not plan on giving up on any of them.  And Enthusiam.  Enthusiam, enthusiasm, enthusiasm.  If I could teach my students only one thing it would be enthusiasm.  For your subject, for your current project, for your education, for your life.
The Brick Wall.  I love his idea of the brick wall. I, along with everyone else in the world, have encountered many brick walls in my life.  And with many of the brick walls I have encountered I have simply walked away.   This just showed me, that obviously, I didn't want it enough, so obviously I was not meant to do it.  But with some things in my life, not only have I passed the brick walls set before me, I have gone on to more brick walls and surpassed them also. It was comical to see his reaction to the fact that his students had surpassed his expectations at the beginning of the semester.  He did do the right thing.  Because telling them that they have already surpassed his expectations would have been an injustice to them.  I think students need to know that they are going in the right direction but if all you do is praise them, they will never want to go any further.  It is amazing that a project he assigned in his class evolved into this campus-wide event that everyone lined up to see.  The impact that he had on his students and the campus is just incredible.  This could never be done in a desk with a book and a pencil.  He gave his students limitless possibilities and from that the teacher became the student and they were both able to learn together.  He had a lot of pride in the masters program he was over.  He emphasized the reason that it was so successful was because they had so much freedom.  It was a project-based curriculum, where there were many field trips, hands-on learning, and no reporting to the deans.  Is obvious why it was so successful.  It was exciting.  Who gets excited about a book?   No one.  Who gets excited about a field trip? Everyone.  I hope my class will be similar to this.  OHHH! And the self-reflective bar graphs. Wow. That is just awesome.  I wonder, if there was a bar graph that showed how easy I was to work with, would I be at the top or the bottom?  This whole head-fake thing is also very important. We've learned through this method since we were in little league.  We thought we were simply learning how to    hit a ball, but we were really learning values like perseverance and character.  Learning not to throw the bat down when you got so pissed off because you couldn't hit the ball.  You just kept trying until you could.  So while learning how to hit, throw, and catch a ball, you actually learned many values that you had no idea you were actually learning.  When I teach my students, I want them not only to learn that they must learn the material, but that they must continuously be involved in their learning, and they must be responsible for their learning.  His legacy is learning something hard while having fun. Well I would say that is something worth being proud of.  His parents could be the best teachers ever, especially when it came down to the little things  like letting his imagination run wild by letting him paint his room.  He really is a salesman of education.  And a pretty darn good one.  I want to Be a Tigger! I want to Have Fun! I want to use this in my classroom to headfake my students.  I want their excitement to boil over.  I want them to have so much fun that they have no idea that they are learning anything at all.

Blog Post 6

1. The Networked Student

This is very overwhelming.  I thought that I could handle being teacher, but I am glad I have a few more years to prepare myself to be the guide of so many impressionable students, and more importantly, future leaders to this world of educational networking.  But by then, there will be so much more to take in.  Like the video said the networks these students use as a part of their PLNs are continuously expanding.  I know one thing is for sure, without this EDM310 class I would be completely lost in this world of educational networking.  

2. A 7th grader's Personal Learning Environment

I see many and very few differences in our  PLNs at the same time.  I use the same sites she uses.  I try and search for new ways to learn on my own.  But my PLN may not necessarily have the same information.  I am still in the process of trying to wrap my head around this whole new world, but I think I am starting to understand it a little bit more everyday.  I appreciate the fact that the idea of learning is now in a way self-motivated and endless and ever-changing, but now I have to use this to my advantage.  It is not a one-stop-shop, it is a continual process.  So while I may be overwhelmed with the abundance of information out there at this point in time, I look forward to using it to my advantage and learning for the rest of my life.

3. The Machine is Changing Us

I love this movement from indifference to involvement.  No longer are we using the machine or technological mediums to for just pleasure. We are now using them to make a difference, to be heard.  I enjoyed his research on the evolution of whatever.  We now have the ability to research anything possible throughout the internet.  His comparison between his class, that was obviously disengaged, and the audience of the American Idol audition was hilarious.  But once his class began actively researching the evolution of whatever, and the medium Youtube, and how people now interact with each other, they got involved and became excited.  I hope that I can use this in my classroom to engage with my students and excite them by relating the material to things that are relevant to them.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Summary C4K 1

Austin from Dr. Chamberlain's class reminds me a lot of myself actually.  In his about me section he revealed tat his parents are very involved in his school, he was awarded the tiger of the year, and he has consecutively made the AB Honor Roll.  He recognized his faults in his Manifesto, which were also much like mine.  Problems concentrating, not goofing off, and time management.  I let Austin know that he had a bright future ahead of him, It is great that he recognized his faults now so that he will know what he needs to work on in order to improve and to move forward.  I also let him know that obviously he is a pretty amazing student if he continuously makes Honor Roll and was named the Tiger of the year.  I hope that I will continue to learn more about this amazing student with a bright future.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blog Post 5

I have heard of podcasts before, but I have never really known the many ways it could be used for educational purposes.  It makes sense for us to teach our students through technology since thats what they are most familiar with.  The most beneficial part of podcasts would have to be the fact that students who are ill, have access to information that would otherwise be unattainable.  I have never been one to stay home from school, even when I was sick.  I know that if I would have had it going through school, it would have definitely gotten used.  I've had an iPod for a few years now, but I had no idea how I could use it to help me study.  I am just in awe over how many study-aid programs are out there.  I had heard of a few, but for the most part, I knew nothing about any of them.  I just wish there was a way for students to learn about these programs so they could be put to use.  Oh wait, there is.  As soon as teachers start educating their students about these study-aid programs   they will be able to use them in their everyday lives.  The podcasts from Eagles' Nest Radio  & Class Blog are amazing.  I wish that I had had a chance to do something like this.  It was very obvious that the students were very enthusiastic about their parts in the podcasts.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Additional Assignment 1

In Google Squared, I searched Disney Pixar Movies, Teen Shopping Stores and USA Universities.  In WolframAlpha, I  searched for how many hairs were in the human head (90,000 to 150,000), and how many stars were visible to the human eye (7×10^22).  Google squared is a great tool to compare certain items.  If it fits in a category, then you can find it on Google squared. WolframAlpha can be a wonderful tool for those searching for statistical, scientific, or computational values.  Although, one should not expect to find opinions, just facts-which is great if using it to find information to back up your research paper.  I have never heard of Google squared or WolframAlpha before.  But I am ecstatic about both of them! On top of the fact that I can find educational facts, I now have two sites that can help me answer the 999 off-the-wall questions I have every day.  Once I watched the video and researched the populations of India, China, and the U.S., I realized that although China and India is presented to be a smarter and more literate country, they also have a larger population.  If 100% of U.S. citizens could read and only 30% of Indian citizens could read, then they would still have a greater number of literate people than the U.S.  With that said, there is somewhat of a stigma when it comes to the competency of American students.  It is rare to hear that U.S. students scored better than students from other countries.  Stupid in America talks about how Belgian students scored much higher on the same test, than American students. How smart are American High School students? from the blog, Under the Lobster Scope, stated "only one in four Oklahoma public high school students can name the first President of the United States, only 43% of students knew which ocean was on the east coast of the US. And only 27% knew what the two houses of Congress were." Study compares American students with other countries', an article from NY Times, said "The bad news is that students in Singapore and several other Asian countries significantly outperform American students, even those in high-achieving states like Massachusetts, the study found."  Those are just a few examples of those who believe that we are not as smart as the rest of the world.  Statistics of populations, test scores, school curriculum, etc. should all be taken in to account when looking at this argument.  There is still the possibility all of these articles have inflated the truth and left out valuable facts that wouldn't support there argument.  I honestly believe that something  must be wrong or it wouldn't be an issue.  I can't speak for the rest of the country, or even the rest of my school system, but I can say that my high school experience was a joke.  I made A's all through out high school without even looking at a book.  Many foreign exchange students laughed at our curriculum and said we were all stupid if we couldn't make A's, let alone pass.  So I do believe that we are behind to an extent, but it just might be a little exaggerated.

When reading the food for thought article, I was amazed.  I am not sure if my grandmother could use one, but the fact that an illiterate six year old can use it just shows that pretty much anyone can use technology now.  It's no longer enough to know how to use technology, now we are to the point that everyone must understand technology and use it as a tool for the "bigger picture".

Blog Post 4

1. Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?

Dr. Mcleod's satirical outlook wasn't very far from the truth.  His attempt to over exaggerate the views of anti-technology educators, in my opinion, failed.  As crazy as it sounds, teachers do still view basic uses of technology (such as cell phones) as useless, or even in some cases "evil".  Technology is not there to corrupt the minds of our students but to expose them to educational possibilities otherwise unattainable.  Keeping our children away from technology won't keep them "safe", unless your idea of safe, is ensuring the fact that they will be educationally crippled forever- not only in their careers, but also in their day to day lives.  The use of blogs and communicating with students outside of their classroom allows them to hear opinions of students from all over the world.  Students will have the opportunity to see points of view that might not have been discussed inside the classroom, and bring them back to the classroom for the rest of the students to learn from.   

Mr. Mcleod is the director of  CASTLE which is a group that focuses on the technological needs of educators.  He has won many awards for his efforts to use technology in the learning atmosphere.  Hopefully more institutions will begin putting an emphasis on the use of technology in (and out) the classroom.

The video made by the Georgia high schooler was promising.  He  showed how the iTouch could be used in replacement of paper, pencils, and books.  Maps, charts, etc. will all be on the iTouch which will lower the costs schools will need to spend in the classroom.  The application I found that I would benefit from the most was the Homework App.  EDM 310 is the first class in which I have had the opportunity to keep track of my homework and deadlines online.  This video reminded me of the first blogger teacher I was assigned to, The Thinking Chick.  Dr Galloway recently read an article that discussed what education will be like in 10 years.  The article predicted that paper, pens, and books will be nonexistent, and that learning will begin to take place outside of the classroom.  The iSchool is just proof that we are already able make this happen.

Such a simple message. Such a big impact.  With technology we can make a difference, and we will. Technology will not be the corruption of mankind.  It will not ruin our lives, or make us believe that technology, money and work are more important than family.  What technology will do, is help us change the future. With technology we will be able to make an impact, just like it was used to do so in this video.

If throughout my blog, I have not gotten point (with technology anything is possible) across, then watch this video.  I am not a musically inclined person, so singing along with someone would be difficult.  I'm sure getting  multiple people to sing together is difficult.  Directing an entire choir, while in different parts of the world, to sing together is impossible! Or so you would think.  It is possible to manage an entire choir with out even being face-to-face with them.  Through technology something as difficult as directing a choir has been made possible.  I am looking forward to seeing how else we will use the internet to our advantage in the future.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Project 5 Google Presentation

Blog Post 3

A Vision of Students Today

This video just proves the point that with technology not only can you have more learning tools, but also you can reach a varied audience. Most of the students in the video spent more of their life using their technological gadgets and spending time outside of the classroom.  This is how I spend most of my time, along with all of my friends.  If students spend the majority of their time outside the classroom, and using technology, then isn't this the way that we should teach them.  Many pupils have problems understanding concepts that are written in black and white right there on the board.  If we move the learning outside of the classroom and use technology to get the message across, then students would understand what their professors are talking about, instead of spending the majority of the class period on Facebook.
Teachers MUST continue their learning.  This doesn't mean learning a new technique, every time the class is issued a new book.  Teachers must be aggressive in their learning, in order to be truly successful educators.  Teachers should never say, "I don't know why they don't get it, I've taught it a hundred times". Do you know what I would say to that teacher? "How many different ways did you approach it?" If students don't understand the concept the first ninety nine times they were taught, what makes you think they will get it on the hundredth time?  Everyone learns differently.  It is the teachers job to get through to their students, no matter how they learn, or how many approaches the teacher must take in order for the student to understand.  The student who has learned to concentrate on learning rather than grades is the students who will go far in life.  
It is most definitely not acceptable for a teacher to be technologically illiterate.  Some teachers still don't allow students to have laptops in class (even though this is preparing them for their careers). How many jobs do you know that prefer a handwritten proposal as opposed to a typed one? But that's beside the point.  When STI came out, teachers were outraged because they were forced to take roll and post grades online.  This was their idea of technology taking over.  I don't know if I have ever had a teacher who knew the possibilities out there for students and teachers alike, if only they were to embrace technology. On top of the fact that they need to embrace it, they need to actively seek out new ways to use it.  When I was a freshman in high school, I might have known my way around AIM, Myspace and Wikipedia, but I had no idea of the ways I could use technology for my benefit or how it could enrich my learning experience.  If the teachers don't know how to use technology as a useful learning tool, then students will never have the opportunity to learn about it or use it.
It is amazing to know how much technology has and is impacting our lives at this very moment, yet some teachers still won't use it for their benefit.  All of these sites and tools are there for them to use, but either they have no idea it's out there (because they have refused to be a perpetual learner, actively searching for useful teaching tools), or they simply don't think that their students will benefit any more from technology, than they will from sitting at a desk and watching their teachers write on a blackboard.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Project 3 C4T-1 Summary

I have recently read a few posts from Daneah Galloway's blog The Thinking Chick.  First of all let me just start out by saying that it is refreshing to know that here are many teachers out there that aren't anti-technology and are open to the possibilities we have when we embrace technology.  

Daneah recently read "21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020."  She reflected on how far we have come in such a short time.  She couldn't believe that VCRs have become outdated, when just 10 years ago the idea of playing DVDs instead of tapes was insane.  She also thought the fact that land lines are becoming a thing of the past is amazing.  I thoroughly enjoyed her reflection on "21 Things...", and how she longed for these things to become obsolete before 2020. Paper, desks, schools (or at least our idea of them today) are all believed to be outdated within the next 10 years.  

I couldn't have agreed more with Ms. Galloway.  At first I thought the idea of paper, desks, and schools being outdated within the next ten years was absurd.   Once I read "21 Things...", I was convinced that the only way for us to truly teach our children, was to get rid of those things.  The article stated that schools will be nothing more than a "homebase", where students and teachers will meet before they go into the community to learn by experience.  The idea of learning through experience is finally overshadowing the practice of learning through repetition. Once teaching techniques move away from the archaic ways of memorizing and reciting, we will be able to finally teach skills, not facts.

The Thinking Chick Also blogged about her Facebook workshop with children at her school.  She taught them about the dangers of Facebook, privacy on the internet and cyber-bullying.  Her students were shocked at the amount of people who had lost their jobs, been evicted from their apartments, and rejected by universities because of information they had put on the internet and Facebook.  She went on to tell her students that she was in no way against Facebook. Ms. Galloway told them about a teacher who started a Facebook group concerned with the banning of plastic bags in Thailand.  His group grew to over 7,000 members and because of the public awareness the group had created, over 1,000 people attended his rally. She posted a paper that one of her students had written.  The paper was then tweeted by her husband, and re-tweeted by others, and before she knew it, she had teachers all over the world asking for permission to share her story in class.  She proved that one can get their message out to the masses if they use it for networking with people all over the world.

People need to know how dangerous Facebook can be, but more importantly, people need to know how amazing Facebook can be.  Thousands of statuses, notes, events, comments, posts and videos are viewed everyday. If people use the resources that are readily available to them, they will have the potential to make an impact not only on our hometown, high school, or college networks, but also on the entire human race. We now have the power to send a public message to anyone on earth-free of charge!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Blog Post 2

1.  Did You Know? 3.0
It is amazing to know that "we are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist". I can't even begin to imagine the fact that the information that I will learn in college will be outdated within three years of my graduation. I think that this shows us how critically important it is for us to constantly be looking for new ways to use technology for our advantage.  Not only will we be able to better prepare our students for their future careers, but also technology will be our way of connecting with our student.  I have basically had the same experience in a class room for my entire educational career, but hopefully by the time I become a teacher, the world of education will be ready fro the change that it has needed for some time now.The change that has been taking place in all aspects of life besides education.

2.  Mr. Winkle Wakes
I can't believe that until recently I did not even see how much the schools have been left behind. The whole world has changed while schools are still set in their archaic methods.  The only way to move improve is to move forward, and that is the one thing that the schools have not done.  Technology can teach us much more than a book with a few hundred pages.  When my mom was in high school, algebra was her last math credit she needed in order to graduate.  Just a few years ago, when I was in high school, algebra was the first math class I took.  So the world of education is changing in the way that they are getting information to students at a younger age, but just imagine the possibilities if they would incorporate technology into the learning atmosphere.

3.  The Importance of Creativity
I could not agree with Ken Robinson more. The standardized tests in America are ruining our schools. Our teachers are teaching to the tests and that is it. My grandmother was a gifted teacher for 35 years. She had the freedom to teach about astronauts and Egyptian rituals by letting her students attend NASA space camps and mummify chickens.  Lectures will never surpass the possibilities we can have when we educate through experience and technology. I wish that all teachers had the freedom and drive to do the same. I have loved art and dance for many years but I quit dance early on in high school because it was supposed to look better on my college applications to have extra math and science classes above and beyond what was required. Because I was always wanting to take more honors classes in order to improve my GPA, I never had the chance to take an art class. Once schools put more of an emphasis on arts of all kinds, our future leaders will not only have the ability to do things unimaginable, but they will also have the creativity that will allow them to surpass anything that their math and science classes have taught them. Without creativity and imagination, our technology would not be where it is today; but just imagine how far we could go if our creative tendencies were able to flourish in schools instead of ceasing to exist. People may say you are very talented, but you should be a doctor.  I think that the purpose of educators is to motivate students to pursue their dreams no matter what they may be.

4.  Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts 
You can only do so much with pencil and paper, you can only get through to so many students when you use these tools.  It is a relief to know that I don't need to know everything before I teach it.  Once I think about it, it makes sense. If a teacher knows everything, they are simply going to spurt out facts to the student. If the teacher gives the students just a tid bit information, it gives them the opportunity to learn together.  When students have the opportunity to contribute to their own learning experience, only then will they truly benefit from their educational experiences.

Friday, August 27, 2010

blog post 1

I have lived in Bayou La Batre, Alabama for all of my life. For those of you who may not be familiar with Bayou La Batre, it was featured in the movie Forrest Gump and is the “Seafood Capital of Alabama”. Although USA was not my first choice, it was definitely the best education offered for a fraction of the cost. Painting, decorating cakes, scrap booking, and basically any other creative outlets are my passions in life. I enjoy exhilarating activities such as bungee jumping and skydiving. I never want to live the same day over again, so I make sure that each is new and exciting. I want my students to feed off my enthusiasm for life so that they too, will see every day as if it is a new adventure. My family is my support system. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by people that no matter how big or small a dream, they are always there to encourage me to fulfill it. As a teacher I will make it my responsibility to motivate every student to follow his or her dream what ever they may be. History was always my weakness in high school, just because I just found the memorizing and recalling facts method to be so dull that I lost interest in class altogether. This was true all through high school until my senior history teacher took our class on a journey. Instead of hearing about how Jefferson governed Virginia during 1779 and 1780, I had the opportunity to experience it when I went to colonial Williamsburg. Instead of reading about the concentration camps in Europe, I was able to experience it through the eyes of Paula Wajcman at the Holocaust Museum. My goal is to make history come alive for students. I want to inspire students to travel, explore and discover the all that history has to offer. Traveling would have to be my number one passion in life. Since my current position in life is a college student working two part time jobs and still living at home, traveling is not as accessible as I wish it would be. As of right now, I am saving up to go to Alaska in September of 2012 (best month of the best year for solar activity) because I have always wanted to see Aurora Borealis (northern lights). Until then I'll just be taking on one day at a time and conquering each adventure as it comes.