Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Final Report on PLN

I have added and taken away several different sites from my PLN so that it is beneficial to me and allows me to access my favorite websites quickly. I set Symbaloo as the home-screen on my computer and it makes life so much easier. First of all, I have the websites that are just for me, or just for fun. These sites are: Ebay, Pandora, Craigslist, Amazon and Flickr. I have a few news sites such as CNN and I also kept a few of the original suggestions for Symbaloo because I think they are interesting. These sites are: Sports, Diet & Fitness, Games and Toys, Shopping, Gadgets, Weather, and Route. Throughout the semester I added blogs of teachers that I read or assignments we had in class. I like that Symbaloo lets me keep track of these sites and organize them on one neat homepage. These sites include: Mr. McClung's World, Bits n' Bytes, TechIntersect, Lifelong Learners, and The Scholastic Scribe. Then there are websites bookmarked because I believe they will help me as a future teacher, sites such as ACCESS, ALEX, Edutopia (a base site for students and teachers to share info), Scholastic, Everyday Math Resources (an online lesson planning site for teachers), and Alabama Virtual Library. There are video sites like YouTube and also ones made for teachers like TeacherTube and SchoolTube. I have also included websites that I have enjoyed using in this class and that I think will be helpful to incorporate technology into my own classroom. These sites are: Wordle, Timetoast, Delicious, and Dropbox. Links that I will use both for personal and professional use include Twitter, Skype, GMail and Facebook. Lastly, I have pages that help me with EDM 310, such as: my personal blog, EDM310 class blog, my Google Checklist, South Alabama's homepage, and Google Docs. Oh, and my Google search is in the center screen, because let's be honest, I use Google more than anything else! That sums up my PLN, thanks EDM 310 for teaching me how to use this tool successfully!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

C4K #7, #8, #9, #10

For this Comments 4 Kids I was assigned to Mr. McClung's blog post titled Trail of Tears. The post is a video of the his class debating about if the removal of Native Americans from their land was wrong or necessary. Mr. McClung draws a spectrum on the board and has each student raise their hand and tell what their views are and where they would fall on the spectrum (to the right or left). I left Mr. McClung a comment telling him that his class seemed like they like to debate, which made his lesson really interesting! I also told him that I appreciated the visual illustration he used with the spectrum to help students grasp the idea they were discussing. I look forward to following Mr. McClung's classroom to get ideas for my future class.
painting of Indians walking the Trail of Tears
My #8 Comments for Kids was on a student in Adelaide, Australia named Amelia. In this post Amelia talks about how she has recently moved to a new house and is trying to get use to it. I told Amelia that I also switched houses when I was around her age. I let her know that as unfamiliar as her surroundings may seem in the beginning, it's really exciting getting use to a new bedroom and it sounds like she'll love it. She seems like a good kid and I liked reading through her blog.
little kids pulling wagon with house and teddy bear on it
For my ninth Comments 4 Kids post, we were assigned as a class to take an in-depth look at Mrs. Yollis' Class Blog. Mrs. Yollis is a third grade teacher in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. She recently received her Master's Degree in Integrating Technology in the Classroom, and it's clear through her class blog, she knows what she's doing. She uses her blog as a go-to for parents and students. Her students learn in her class how to comment and talk to other people online. They learn to use proper grammar, spark conversations, and get to know other bloggers. Mrs. Yollis is also very effective in getting not only parents, but families involved in her class blog. She encourages her students to encourage their family members to read when they are writing and leave comments with their thoughts. She also leaves post the tell readers what assignments her students are working on and how this relates to their school work. This is an excellent way to spread the word of what these 3rd graders are doing in the classroom. Mrs. Yollis is obviously very passionate about what she does and I think this rubs off on her students. In the videos her students make, it's clear that they are excited about their work, and excited to learn. She's done an excellent job in her blog and has definitely set the bar on what I will work towards in my future classroom.
How to blog written on a blackboard for students
For last Comments for Kids I was assigned to a student in Mrs. Yollis' class, Hannah, who is the owner of the blog Hannah's Hacienda. I commented on Hannah's post about an Iranian holiday her family celebrates called Seezdeh-Bedar. Hannah truly did an excellent job describing the holiday and the meaning behind it. She tells readers that this celebration is done on the 13th day after the Iranian New Year to celebrate the passing of the 13th(an unlucky number). Her family and community spend the day having a picnic in the park. She explains that at the end of the day they toss yellowed lentils into a stream to ward away sickness. Hannah also posted pictures of her and her friends playing together at the park during Seezdeh-Bedar. I let Hannah know that she did a great job and I enjoyed looking at the pictures. I commented that I had never heard of this holiday before and I enjoyed learning about her culture. This is a picture that Hannah posted to her blog showing Iranian families celebrating Seezdeh-Bedar.
Iranian families enjoying a picnic

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blog Post #14: Special Assignment

Cartoon using a metaphor
1. There are a couple of different reasons that I think so many students missed the metaphor in Tom Johnson's post. I think that it's very easy to take words or statements too literally sometimes. When you don't actually hear someone say something, you may not be able to interpret the humor or sarcasm behind their statement. I think this was also one of the first times we read a post like this. We just weren't looking for the message in the passage. It's kind of like missing the punch line in a joke, sometimes you're just not expecting it and don't catch on quick enough.
2. I hear metaphors every single day, I think we just really don't pay attention to them unless we're looking for them. Here's some that I encountered:
- "Put your money where your mouth is"
- "My mouth is on fire!"
- "He's not the brightest crayon in the box"
- "He was a monster today!"
- "Don't be a baby"
- "Older than the hills"
- "It a jungle out there"
3. As educators we need to teach students that not EVERYTHING has a literal meaning. Look for the pun, the metaphor, the humor, behind what you read and learn. Some passages aren't always as they seem up front. We need to teach our students to how to interpret what they read to the message the author is trying to send. We should also help them understand how metaphors relate to their lives and how they can be properly used.
4. We use metaphors to add color to our writing and our language. Metaphors help us describe how we are feeling by comparing it to something else. We use metaphors for the same reason we use adjectives. They help us describe, relate, and define our thoughts.

Final Project Progress Report

four people joining four puzzle pieces

My partner for this project will be Hillary Rolin. We have a few different ideas and will be meeting next week to finalize our plans and discuss when we will be recording. We will have the finished masterpiece posted to both of our blogs and to YouTube no later than May 1st.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blog Post #13

ALEX logo
For this blog assignment I will be review two programs provided to Alabama teachers. The first is ALEX, an online resource provided to teachers which stands for Alabama Learning EXchange. The slogan for the ALEX website is "Quality for Every Facet of Learning" and this is what the ALEX Team strives to live up to. The website describes ALEX as a project funded by the Alabama Department of Education focused on providing educators with tools from other teachers and resources to help them succeed.
ALEX has several different sections of the website that are easy for teachers to navigate through. It provides a link to search through specific courses of study that allows a teacher to narrow down what they are looking for or get ideas from a particular area. It also provides hundreds of lesson plans in every grade and subject that have been created by National Board Certified Teachers. This is an excellent resources that links teachers together, making lesson planning easy. ALEX also offers interactive resources such as podcasts to spread information online. It provides a large selection of links to other webpages that may aid teachers in there lesson preparation.
I feel like ALEX would be a very helpful tool as a future educator. There website states that it is a "work in progress" and "will continue to improve and expand". ALEX is a great idea, but I do think there are more aspects that can be added to aid teachers in lesson ideas and plans. I think that podcasts are a good start, but I would like to see videos and links to blogs added in. I can honestly say I definitely plan in my teaching career.

Access banner
ACCESS stands for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide. ACCESS is distant learning website that was created in 2004 and approved by Governor Bob Riley. The goal of ACCESS is to provide additional courses to Alabama students, regardless of what high school they attend. For example, if a student wanted to take AP Calculus and it wasn't offered at his or her school, he or she would be able to use ACCESS through distant learning and video-conferencing to enroll in this course. ACCESS also offers remedial courses for students who need extra help in areas their home school can not provide.
The website gives viewers an overview of the program. It also serves as the homepage for students and educators to log on and participate in these courses. The website includes links such as: Technical support, announcements, and a list of the Courses offered. On the home page students and parents are instructed to see a school counselor to enroll in these courses.
Before researching this page, I had no idea a site like this was available. I graduated high school in 2005 and I was frequently frustrated that I was unable to take AP courses due to my high school not offering them. I ended up having to take night courses at the community college while I was in school in order to have college credit before I graduated. This seems like an excellent program, and a great way to expand much needed courses to Alabama schools.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Comments 4 Teachers #4

For this C4T I was assigned to Ann Carnevale's blog Bits 'n Bytes. Ann is an Instructional Technology Specialist who created this blog as a way of sharing information with elementary school teachers in Plainville, CT. Ann's recent post was filed under her tab "Website Wednesday". In these types of posts she shares with readers useful websites she's found. In her most recent post on March 16th she lists three main points. She tells us about Mathwire, which is a website created by a retired math teacher in which she shares lesson plans and templates with fellow teachers. She also talks about 10 websites For Reading Children's Stories Online. This is a list of websites that can do things such as read stories aloud to children online. Lastly she gives readers tools that can help them explain the Tsunami in Japan to their students. These tools include: Understanding the Japan Earthquake and Devastation in Japan. I let her know that I appreciate her doing the research for this list and her blog will certainly be helpful to me in my future teacher career.

Border for Bits 'n Bytes Website

For my second post from Ann's blog, I looked back at older posts because there was not a more current one. The last post was from February 18th titled YouTube in the Primary Classroom. In this post Mrs. Carnevale shares with her fellow teachers several YouTube videos that may benefit young elementary aged students. Some of my favorites are When Two Vowels Go Walking and Come to the Carpet. I think it's great that Ann is willing to share this collection of helpful links with other educators. I definitely plan on using some of these links or ones similar to it in my classroom. I thanked her for sharing them and told her I would be bookmarking them for future use.

Blog Post #12

I have to start by saying: I LOVE GOOGLE, so that my make me slightly biased in creating this assignment. Not only do I have an Andriod phone, but Google services pretty much get me through my day, even before EDM 310. I think that a good blog post would be a more in depth look at Google. This is an assignment that I would give at the beginning of the semester so that students can begin to truly grasp the diversity of resources that Google has to offer. Here's my assignment:

I want you to dive deep into the world of Google. Google is much more than just a search engine. It is an expansive collection of services that we will be learning about and using in EDM 310. Google offers tools that can help you bring technology to life in your classroom. Begin by reading these posts:

Services You Had No Idea Google Offered and Free Technology for Teachers.

For your post, choose three Google services you've found that will help you to incorporate technology into your future classroom. Write a minimum of 3 paragraphs on the services you've found and what you've learned about Google through your research for this post.

Kissing computer with Google on

My example:
Through my research I have found so many Google tools that are useful in my everyday life. What I deem as the most beneficial tool would have to be Google calendar. I use Google calendar for everything! I have several different types of calendars that I view and share. This feature allows me to easily view by school and work schedules separately or together. I'm also able to share schedules with my husband and co-workers so that they will have up to date information instantly to their computers and smartphones. It really does keep me organized and make my life easier. Google calendar will help me in my classroom by giving my students planned schedules that they and their parents can easily view.
Another feature I frequently use would be Google talk. Google talk allows me to communicate easily with friends and group members from my phone or a computer. It is another free service offered, so I'm not charged a texting fee. I think this will be a good tool for the classroom because it will allow me to stay available to my students or their parents.
Lastly, I love Google Earth. I've seen Google Earth before this class but I'd never really spent time using it before. Google Earth will be so easy to teach students how to use. It opens doors and allows you to look at places that were never available to me growing up. Instead of telling students about the world, you can show them. I think it's amazing that all these services are free. My future students will definitely know what Google is and be using it daily.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Project #14: Teach Somebody

I taught my husband Tim how to make Easy Chicken Pot Pie.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blog Post #11

children sitting at computers

In this blog we looked into Ms. Cassidy's classroom. Ms. Cassidy is a first grade teacher in Canada that absorbs her students with technology. I enjoyed watching the video she made of her classroom showing viewers how her children are using technology daily. It really is incredible. What I found most helpful was the interview of the teacher. Ms. Cassidy breaks down for us what her kids are learning and how she successfully incorporates technology into their lives. She explains that technology is not something that kids, even 6 year olds, shy away from, or don't know how to use. She says that they enjoy not having to "power down" when they come into the classroom. They are allowed to learn freely with computers, blogs, and video games. I thought that was an interesting point, because it does seem like kids have to turn their technology driven minds off when they enter today's traditional classrooms.
One question that really hit home for me was when Dr. Strange said that some of his students do not feel like they will need technology as much because they are going to be elementary school teachers. As much as I support technology literate teachers, I can't lie and say that I didn't also feel this way. I guess I honestly didn't realize that kids this young can efficiently use technology and learn so much from it. I too want to teach first grade and it's amazing what these young kids are doing and how it is helping them grow. This video was certainly a wake up call for that way of thinking.
I also really like how Ms. Cassidy uses blogs with her students. This obviously isn't the first time we've watched blogs being used in the classroom, but as I said, I relate the most to this classroom because this is the age I want to teach. Her video made me think about the classroom I am currently observing in an elementary school. Every morning when the children come into the room they are required to sit down, be quiet, and write for 20 minutes in their journals. The differences in the attitudes between what Ms. Cassidy's students do in their blog and what the students I observe in my classroom is black and white. Ms. Cassidy mentions in her interview that by giving her students an audience they try harder, learn more, and are overall more excited about their writing. I wish the students that I observe were exposed to technology in this way.
As I stated earlier, Ms. Cassidy's classroom really opened my eyes to how an elementary classroom can use technology. I want to incorporate everything she uses into my classroom. I want to give my students their own blogs and excite them about writing and getting comments on their posts. I want to have a classroom website that can serve as a hub of information for parents, students, and other teachers. I want to teach them how to use wiki and ask questions to the rest of the world. I'm glad I had the opportunity to watch this video and interview, because it truly changed my mindset.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Special Assignment: Mr. McClung

Mr. McClung's World

In response to Dr. Strange's questions in our Special Assignment:
1. Mr. McClung is clearly passionate about technology, and finds incredible ways to implement that in his classroom. He uses his blog to share assignments, schedules, and instructions with students, parents, and teachers; but he does much more than that. He uses his blog to share with the world anything and everything he finds interesting, from music to news to fundraising.
2. He is clearly a very interactive, energetic, hands-on teacher. You can see that is the videos of his lesson as well as his blog. He makes himself available to his students and is driven by their success.
3. Rules one through five in Mr. McClung's list are pretty standard for any teacher. He goes into detail describing procedures to be used in the class, which I found very interesting. Some of them are a modification of an old elementary teacher's trick (clap twice if you can hear me), but the ones I really liked are that teach-ok and the gestures. He tests his students in real world ways to put what they know to practical use.
4. The first item under syllabus was a daily planner. It's important for students to learn how to stay organized and on time with their assignments. That's a lesson that will help them for the rest of their lives.
5. I would say that Mr. McClung's penalties for being late are similar to Dr. Strange's. In EDM 310, if you do your assignments on time, you'll probably be a hard worker and make a good grade. If you're late with most assignments but complete them, then you will probably make a B or C in both Mr. McClung's class and EDM 310. If you fail to do your assignments, you don't deserve to pass.
6. Mr. McClung wants to use his blog as a tool for resources and schedules for parents and students to view. He does a great job with it and I also want to implement a blog like this when I am a teacher. This would have been an amazing resource if my teachers had done this when I was in school.
7. The first link that I viewed was It is a site that lets viewers bring up any topic they choose and debate it. The goal is to try to convince other people to share your views. This could be a helpful tool for students because it would teacher them how to defend their ideas. The site also allows you to post evidence in an attempt to persuade other's opinion. This would teach students to research and be able to prove their case in order to make an argument. The second site I viewed was the Plagiarism Checker. This is a site that is provided by the University of Maryland. It is free and allows to teachers to simply copy and paste a students homework to see if it has been plagiarized. This is also something the teachers could share with students so that they can check themselves and make sure that haven't accidentally copied someone else. I will definitely be using this when I'm a teacher!
8. When you are incorporating technology into the classroom it is important to have guidelines set out to protect students. Mr. McClung did a great job laying down an adequate list to keep students safe. I really liked his idea of using a generic email address so that students are never at the risk of giving out their personal information.
9. The catagory that I reviewed for this assignment was Ark (Arkansas)History. The post I found most interesting was a recent video clip of different students. Mr. McClung assigned them to write down why they were proud to be from Arkansas. He then video taped a few selected students reading their response. One student said he was proud that Wal-Mart was founded in Arkansas, I didn't know that! At the bottom Mr. McClung lists that reasons that he loves his home state, he sure does sound proud of it!
10. I really like how Mr. McClung separates his posts into topics and then has a drop down box to select each topic. I know blogger can do something similar to this, and if I create a personal blog or a class blog this is definitely something I would try to add. It makes his blog look much more organized and makes searching for easy.
11. His blog is a hub of information conveniently located in one place. As I said before, he keeps it organized, shares assignments and schedules, and posts his personal findings. It must be incredibly useful for students and parents.
12. Mr. McClung's blogs is one of the most elaborate blogs I have seen. He is involved in several different areas at school, including teaching multiple subjects as well as coaching. He blog lets him put everything every student of his needs in one spot. I think that his understanding of technology as well as his passion to incorporate it into the classroom are the causes of this.
13. The only comment I can think to add is KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK MR. McCLUNG!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blog Post #10

For this post I was assigned to read a blog by Morgan Bayda and her post titled An Open Letter to Educators. In the post Morgan links a video by Dan Brown and his message to educators. In Dan's "sermon" he talks about how the availability of information has become drastically different from what it use to be, now it's FREE! He tells us that institutionalized education has not grasped this idea yet and if something doesn't change, the world will leave the institution behind. He points out that this will happen because we won't need the this type of institutionalized learning anymore. He goes on to say how he dropped out of school because his "schooling was interfering with his education". While this seems drastic, I can certainly understand his views and frustration with today's universities.
I can relate to what Morgan has to say about Dan's video. She comments that sometimes she also feels cheated with the standardized type of learning, and as every student has felt, struggles to stay awake in the boring lectures. I've also had similar experiences the new types of learning that Morgan describes. She talks about how her Ed Computer class (the equivalent of EDM 310 it seems) encourages her to learn in all new ways. That class, like ours, incorporates blogs, twitter, PLN, and many more tools out there to better prepare students for the future.
The internet and it's capabilities open up a world full of access to students. Today's teachers need to learn how to mold this into a revolutionized experience for students. EDM 310 is like no other class I have taken. It puts the student in the driver's seat and allows up to explore and learn with no boundaries. This type of class is what the future of education is becoming, and I'm glad I've been able to personally have this experience.
blackboard reading education equals future

Comment 4 Teachers #3

For this assignment I was assigned to a blog titled TechIntersect by Bill Genereux. Mr. Genereux is an assistant professor at Kansas State University at Salina specializing in digital media and web development. His post on March 18th is titled "Turn Obstacles into Inspiration". In it he shares with viewers a video (posted below) by a company called BigThink. The video is about an artist named Chuck Close that has a disability known as face blindness. This impaired him to recognize faces in the three dimensional form. Instead of suffering with his disability he used it to create beautiful portraits and share with the world what he saw through his eyes. Mr. Genereux posted this quote from Napoleon Hill "Every adversity contains within it the seed of an equal or greater benefit." What an excellent way to look at the world. This is a message we should be instilling in our students. We need to teach our students how to turn the qualities that make them different into the qualities that make them successful.

The second post that I read by Mr. Genereux is titled Risks of Hidden Metadata. Mr. Genereux posted a news clip by NBC News which discusses geotagging photos with smartphones. The story is meant to warn and scare parents about the unknown capabilities of their phones. It shows a reporter taking pictures of her daughter with an iPhone. Then it illustrates how a stalker could look these photos up online and view exactly where the picture was taken and what locations the child is frequently located at. When you listen to the news clip you can't helped but be concerned with the possibilities it is describing. However, I completely agree with Mr. Genereux's point of view. In his post he describes how there have always been ways to look up the locations of children, whether it be phone-books, newspapers, or school listings. He states, "If someone wanted to find and hurt specific kids before we ever had computers, they were able to do it. But because this technology is powerful, new, and we don’t fully understand it, it gives us the heebie jeebies."
I have a lot of personal experience with smartphones from working with AT&T and I'll be the first to say that people frequently purchase and play with technology they don't understand. However, I don't think that geotagging is a pedophiles new best friend. A predator would have to choose a specific child from thousands available out of the crowd. And let's be honest, if a predator was set on stalking a specific child, it could be done with or without geotagged photos. Like Bill Genereux pointed out, it is certainly something to be aware of, but possibly not as concerning as some media leads us to believe. It's a better idea to monitor our child's behavior and pay close attention to their activities online.
same girl on a computer with the quote to keep kids safe online

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

C4K #4, #5, & #6

For my fourth comments for kids I was assigned to Starford from the PT England school. Starford is a nine year old in Year 6 at the school. His recent blog post was about the February 24th New Zealand earthquake. I was surprised to learn about this tragic event from him and even more surprised that I had not heard about it before now. Starford tells us that it was claimed to be "New Zealand's Darkest Day" with over 300 people missing after the quake. I let him know that he did a very good job giving his readers details about the tragedy and to keep up the good work on his blog. Below is a picture from the earthquake that Starford shared on his blog.
collapsed building caused by an earthquake in New Zealand

For this comments for kids I commented on Tokorima at the Pt England School. Tokorima is a 11 year old, year seven student in Room 21, Mrs Lagitupu's class. In the recent post that I commented on, Tokorima tells us his goals for this school year. He says that his reading has really approved and that he is scoring higher than his grade level in this area. He wants to improve his writing skills and learn how to take what he's thinking and summarize it better in his own words. I told him that I enjoyed reading his blog. I let him know that he should continue to work on both his reading and his writing, because they typically go hand in hand. I enjoyed reading his blog, he seems like an interested young boy, excited about the new school year.

In my sixth comments for kids I was assigned to Thomas in Mrs. Phares' fourth period class. The students was instructed to write a post about bullying at school. Thomas says that bullying is a big problem at his school and that he doesn't think his teachers are very aware of the issue. I encouraged Thomas to find someone who will listen, rather it's another teacher, counselor, or principal. Thomas said that he has a friend right now that gets bullied. I told him to stand up to that bully together and let an adult know what is going on. It's always discouraging for me to read a post like this. I wish some kids would learn from their families how to be nice to other children and treat each other how they want to be treated.
bullying stops here sign

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blog Post #9

What I've Learned This Year by Mr. McClung
cartoon of first year teacher with a crazy classroom

This is a post done in 2009 by a teacher finishing up his first year teaching, Mr. McClung. Mr. McClung shares with us his experiences, his do's and don't, and helpful tips he's picked up along the way. He begins by telling teachers or future educators that we must learn how to read our crowd. He describes how concerned he was with his presentations that he wasn't focusing on what his students were learning and understanding. He also warns teachers to be flexible, that there's no such thing as a perfect lesson and not to be upset if things don't go as planned. Mr. McClung points out the importance of communication with other teachers and parents. He says "Communication is the best medicine" and it is the way to build rapport with other educators. In this writing he also tells us to be reasonable about our expectations of students and listen to what they have to say. He warns us that they are not perfect, and neither are we. He describes that technology is important in the classroom and not to shy away from it. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, Mr. McClung tells us to never stop learning. We need to be examples for our students and have a passion for new information and experiences.
As a future teacher, I am grateful to read blogs of educators like Mr. McClung. He gives such good advice to upcoming educators! I love seeing teachers share there knowledge and experiences with us. It's amazing the benefits of technology and blogging. The upcoming generation of teachers has access to opinions and lessons from other teachers at the click of a button. By writing posts like this, teacher's like Mr. McClung give us a ton of insight on what to expect when we have a classroom of our own. I plan on following his blog and several other teachers' blogs for advice when I start my career. So thank you for sharing Mr. McClung, it was extremely helpful!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Project #11

3 responses Summary
How many pennies are in a quarter?
5 0 0%
10 0 0%
20 0 0%
25 3 100%
If you have 2 dimes and 3 pennies, how much money do you have?
13 cents 1 33%
23 cents 2 67%
5 cents 0 0%
10 cents 0 0%
Sarah has 30 cents. What types of coins mights she have?
Three dimes 3 100%
Three pennies 0 0%
One quarter and five pennies 3 100%
Four nickles 0 0%
People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.
Johnny needs 75 cents to buy a drink. What type of coins will give him 75 cents?
Seven dimes and one nickel 3 100%
Three quarters 3 100%
Five nickels and three pennies 0 0%
Two quarters and three nickels 0 0%
People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.
Katie has 2 quarters, 3 dimes, and 1 nickel.
50 cents 0 0%
71 cents 1 33%
81 cents 1 33%
85 cents 1 33%
How many nickels are in a quarter?
5 3 100%
2 0 0%
6 0 0%
10 0 0%
Jenny has 48 cents in her pocket. What types of coins may she have?
Four nickels and eight pennies 0 0%
One quarter, two dimes, and three pennies 2 67%
Four dimes and eight pennies 3 100%
Two quarters, one nickel, three pennies 0 0%
People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.
If your teacher gives you 2 quarters, 3 dimes, and 6 pennies how much money will you have?
35 cents 0 0%
90 cents 0 0%
11 cents 0 0%
86 cents 2 67%
Sarah found 16 pennies and 3 dimes on the floor. How much money does she have?
46 cents 2 67%
16 cents 0 0%
30 cents 0 0%
19 cents 0 0%
After this lesson on coins, how hard do you think it is to count change?
Not hard at all
Very hard
1 -
Not hard at all
3 100%
2 0 0%
3 0 0%
4 0 0%
5 -
Very hard
0 0%

I received three responses to the form that I submitted on my "Counting Money" lesson. This lesson was directed towards 1st graders so my partner and I decided to simplify it by only working with coins and not dollar bills. In our lesson we presented a variety of problems to have the children think about money in different applicable ways. On our form we tried to use the same types of problems so that it would be easier for them to answer.
I was a little surprised with the results of my form. Some of the answers were not correct and I felt like this was not a difficult lesson. I think this could be from one of two problems. The first problem may be the way our problems were worded. I tried to make the answers to the problems a little tricky so that the students would have to take time to think about them. Maybe I made them too tricky? I think my second problem is that this survey was given to college students who are use to counting money being second nature and maybe they did not take the time to read instructions and consider each answer. Either way, I think if I make a real lesson like this I will not make the answers quite so tricky.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Blog Post #8

This is How We Dream

This is a two part short video by an English professor teaching at Rutgers University. The professor's name is Richard Miller and he uses these videos to illustrate the movement into technology in the literature world. Mr. Miller begins his presentation by emphasizing the fact that "we are living in the greatest change in human communication in human history". Right away I was forced to think about how the classroom and education field is evolving because of the increasing accessibility to the internet.
Mr. Miller points out in the video how almost every aspect of the literature field has begun to change. Where we use to write with pen and paper and get our resources in a library, we now can do all of the above from the wireless access of a laptop. It really is remarkable how quickly the building blocks for authors: books, libraries, paper, are now becoming ways of the past as we move into the technology age. He points out the new ease of collaboration with the use of the internet. I think that is something that my generation takes for granted, and should do more often. We can learn and share together by using technology and collaborating with one another. One of my favorite quotes that he said was, "We as educators must be in the business of sharing information freely."
In part two of the video series I was caused to think about the future of writing, and what I will be teaching my own students to use to record and express. We are lucky to have so many resources available to us and to be able to, as he calls it, compose. I can really appreciate how he describes that the work of students and authors is not simply going to be a word processing document, but by using the internet to create presentations that are beautiful, and stimulating, to readers using both auditory and visual illustrations. These videos helped me to think about and realize that I want to teach my students how to use the capabilities of multimedia to write and express themselves.
words from a book cut into pieces

The Chipper Series and EDM310 For Dummies are both hilarious. They both helped me at the beginning of the semester to take some stress out of EDM310, while realizing how important it is to stay on track in this class. I would definitely say the message behind The Chipper Series is you can't put off the inevitable with EDM310. If I want to pass this class, I have to be on time, and I have to be self motivated. EDM310 For Dummies portrays the stress that hits students in the face when you enter this class. But luckily for us, in the end it shows that by following the assignments and using some imagination, this class can be pretty fun. As far as what videos I'd like to create, I'd like to see, or help make more videos that are based towards elementary students. When we watched A Vision of Students Today at the end I saw that there was a version of this video with elementary students portraying the same message, but in terms of a younger generation.
I think it would be interesting to make a video involving elementary students and show how technology can be put to use in younger groups.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
I definitely agree with the points that are brought out in this video. Too many teachers and school systems today shy away from technology, unwilling to explore the idea of what our education system needs to move forward. It seems like it is such a slow process of getting this idea widely accepted, I mean, this video was made 3 years ago! It made me appreciate the statements in this video even more when the credits ran and the viewers saw that the people contributing are dominant members of education. This video made me think of the quote "Be the change you wish to see in the world", because that's what I want for my teaching career. I want to help the next generations step up their learning styles and collaborate together.

The Secret Powers of Time
This is a video by Professor Philip Zimbardo that illustrates how time affects our culture and society. He uses drawings and examples of how almost everything humans are driven by, learning, success, families, are involved around the way they emphasis or don't emphasis time. I think an important key to take from this video as a future teacher is the fact that are schooling has not caught up to the speed of our culture. Children in America require constant stimulation to be entertained, they need to be active, not passive. Schools need to become more up to date with our fast paced society.
Drive:The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
This video is by Daniel Pink about what motivates us to work and achieve things. I have to say, I was surprised by the points that he makes. He uses several studies to show that people can to some extent be motivated by money, but that is not our driving factor. In fact, the more money that was used to be a motivation, the worse people did. He explains that this is because it was all about the money. People like to be self driven and self motivated. We don't like to be forced to be creative, that's just not how it works. This video should help future teachers gain a little more insight into how students learn. Let them drive themselves and give them some leeway to let their creativity out.
creative soup

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Project #11

This video is about a minute too long but I thought that my dogs in the background made it priceless and I had to use it. They wanted to be in the movie too!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Comment 4 Teachers #2

The latest teacher blog I read is by Mrs. Scribe titled The Scholastic Scribe. This is the blog of a witty Washington, D.C. teacher and her trials in the classroom. In a humorous but sad recent post she called "Your Taxpayer's Dollars at Work" she tells of the hassle of trying to get a window fixed in her classroom. She tells an unfortunate tale of having to wait seven years for a broken window to be replaced, only to be told she needs to file more paperwork. Here a picture of the window she waits year after year to be repaired.
broken handle from post
I read back through a couple of months of the author's posts and was very entertained. She is a journalism teacher with a great sense of humor. In the majority of her blog she shares funny photos and stories with her students. My favorite post of her's was from a few years ago, if you'd like a laugh you should read A Room With a View. She's definitely a good story teller and puts a funny light on her teaching trials.

In Mrs. Scribe's latest post she tells her readers about a former student of hers. She describes his time in high school and his involvement in both football and her yearbook staff. It's obvious that Mrs. Scribe's really thought highly of this student and his accomplishments while she taught him. She goes on to say that instead of choosing the NFL, her former student chose to teach a special education class. He recently came to her for advice on fixing up his classroom. She seems very proud of him and I let her know that it must be very encouraging as an educator to see students reach their goals. I really enjoyed her final remark on this former student, she says, "He planted a seed, and I'm helping it grow". Below I've posted the photo of her student that she shared on her blog.
Mrs. Scribe's former student on the football field

Project #10

My PLN is my work in progress. Throughout this semester I have been adding links to it that I find myself frequently using in order to make my web browsing easier and more time efficient. Google has pretty much become the center of my life, especially in regards to EDM 310. I use Google docs in my job as a tracker for my sales, as well as for just about every assignment in EDM 310. I'm increasingly getting more comfortable with Twitter, Timetoast, and Dropbox. My PLN is really becoming useful and I look forward to expanding it for the rest of the semester. I believe this is going to be a very easy way to help students stay organized in their internet use.

Blog Post #7

Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture
Randy Pausch giving his final lecture

First of all I have to say I agree with Dr. Strange, this lecture was most certainly worth the time. In the start of his speech, Randy Pausch tells the audience that he is a cancer patient diagnosed with only a few months to live. He acts out this lecture as a way of saying his final words, and attempting to leave a meaningful message behind to his family, students, and colleagues. He carries himself in such a positive way, that viewers can't help but be intrigued by him, and want to see more of what he has to say.
In the first third of his lecture he tells us his childhood dreams and how he accomplished them. He gives us a remarkable tale of all the dreams and goals he achieved through his career, some of which seem like they happened out of shear luck. With each goal that he overcomes, he shows us that there were obstacles, or "brick walls", in the way that weren't there to stop him, but simply to make him prove what his dreams were worth to him. This is such an eye opening part of his speech. He says in the end that if you live your life right, the dreams will come to you. What a lesson that is!
The most important part that future educators should take out of his lecture is possibly his teaching styles and the ways he lead his students. He was so driven by innovation that he had his students creating and designing work that had never even been thought of. He focused on project and group based learning to spark excitement and create a fun learning environment. I liked his word for it, "edutainment". It's obvious from the videos that his students were having an amazing time in his class, but it's also obvious that he was truly pushing them to their full potential, maybe without them even realizing it. I'm sure the majority of his students look back on his classes and remember him as not only the class they learned so much it, but the class they had so much fun in.
I truly hope that I can learn to teach and instruct like Dr. Pausch did. He saw the fun and entertainment in everything he did, even in his final months. He taught his students that the world is there playground, and they can do anything with it they desire as long as they have a little motivation. He really seemed like a remarkable educator and I think his last lecture is something I will keep in mind in my future classroom.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Comments 4 Kids #1, #2, & #3

My first comments4kids assignment was on Jonathan R.'s blog in Ms. Naugle's class. Jonathan is a fourth grade student in New Orleans, LA. In his recent post he created a math word problem for his blog. He then posted a visual picture to help his readers answer his question. I answered Jonathan's question and encouraged him to share it with his classmates. I told him that he did a very good job illustrating his problem. Below is the photo that Jonathan shared in his blog:
breaks down gallon, quart, pint and cup units
My second comment was on another student in Ms. Naugle's class, Dairon D.'s blog. Dairon's post is about benchmark fractions. Dairon gives us a math word problem illustrated with pizza slices. He also goes on to add an additional photo showing us how benchmark fractions can be broken down. I let Dairon know that he did a really good job and I really liked the pictures he added to his blog. I told him to keep up the good work! This is the photo Dairon posted with the question
What is the fraction of pieces shaded?
a picture of a pizza cut in four pieces with three of the four pieces shaded out
The last student I was assigned for this section is a little girl in a classroom in New Zealand. This is a "year 5" class of 8 and 9 year old's. This school just returned on the 7th of this month from what we would consider "summer break". Because of that they have just moved up in classes and the student I was assigned to, Mya, has only done one post showing a picture of herself as an introduction. I think it is really amazing what this school is doing with blogging, emailing, and Google Docs. I let Mya know that I checked out her blog from last year out and encouraged her to keep up the good work this school year.

Blog Post #6

The Networked Student
a picture of students connected around a globe
This is a short movie that was created by a group of high school students in Ms. Wendy Drexler's class. Ms. Drexler is currently a professor at the University of Florida. She specializes in education technology and seems very passionate about coming up with solutions to incorporate technology into K-12 classrooms. Ms. Drexler does this using the theory of connectivism, which is a belief that learning is facilitated through technology by tying together many social networks and databases. In this video, her students summarize how to achieve just that.
The speaker uses a very basic cartoon approach to show how students can be linked through various networks and then use those networks to reach out to people they would have previously had no way to communicate with. The video also lists several helpful websites that students can use to enhance their PNL, such as Delicious and Google Scholar. This is an excellent illustration on how students' learning can be enhanced by correctly using technology. As a current online student, I can most certainly appreciate the information provided in this video. It is an excellent demonstration on just how connected and involved we can be with other teachers and classmates.
As a future educator, I think the most important part of the video was our purpose as teachers. It shows that teachers are no longer responsible for simply imputing information into our students and hope they can output it in the same form. When I graduate, I plan to teach first or second grade. That being said I do not think that this amount of online time will be spent in my classroom because of the age of my students. However, I do believe that it will be my job to prepare my students for this type of learning. The internet is an ever-increasing part of our lives. Students as young as first grade need to know how to properly use it, and what simple tools like Google can be used for. I think teachers today underestimate the ability of very young children to understand connectivism. I believe if we properly show children of this age how technology is helpful, and start them on their paths of a creating a learning network, it will excite them for what tomorrow holds.

A 7th Grader's PLE

Wow! I think this is one of my favorite assigned videos so far! This student has really got it down, and it's so refreshing to hear a student's point of view. It seems like most the videos we watch in EDM310 are about exceptional teachers and the ways the make technology useful. It was very encouraging to watch this video because it shows what students at this age are capable of! She's made a great PLN, and shows that she is capable of linking everything she's learned into a variety of projects. When I saw that this was going to be a demonstration of 7th grader's PLN, before I watched the video, I thought it would be much more basic, I was wrong! Although, I use almost all of the same websites and applications in my PLN, I really appreciated how she organized it and think I can take some tips from her! She did a great job!
pencil being crossed out

The Use of Smartboards in the Classroom
The two articles we were assigned Why Smartboards Are a Dumb Initiative and Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards point out the disadvantages of Smartboards in a classroom setting. I can't help but start off by saying that I totally disagree. I currently observe a few times a week in a fourth grade classroom. Although, I don't agree with all the ways that the teacher instructs her students, she's got her Smartboard lesson plans down pat. Her students are excited the minute the board is turned on, and let's keep in mind, it's February, they've had this board since August, so it's not a "new gadget" anymore. Just last week I watched her teach a lesson on long division on the board. A couple of students were assigned different color markers to use. The lesson would automatically generate a problem based on the specs that the teacher chose. The first student would then come up to solve it. If his/her partners thought the solver made an error, they would help their classmate in a different color while teaching them where they went wrong (aren't we always told the best way to learn is to teach?). Once everyone in the group agreed the problem was done correctly, they would write their answer in the answer spot on the Smartboard and it would automatically tell them if it was wrong or right. I'm telling you, these kids jump out of their seats at the hopes of "playing" with the Smartboard! I'm positive my generation never got that excited about writing on a transparency. Some of the points in these articles made me laugh out loud. For example, when Michael Staton said, "Or, you could take a picture of the whiteboard with a camera.". Are you kidding me?! Not to be rude, but this is a self-professed "Innovative Teacher" giving us the solution of taking a picture of white board instead of using the up to date technology available on a Smartboard. That is better HOW? The only point I could possibly see viable in their arguments are the issue on cost. I read all the way through their articles and thought, I bet these are the same arguments teachers had 10+ years ago at the thought of bringing computers in the classroom. The same arguments could be used: "Can't we put to the money to better use?" "They're too expensive and need too much training!" "The library can do the same thing!". The fact of the matter is (in my opinion), Smartboards help excite students and they create new ways of learning through technology. Can you really put a price on that? The video I've posted below is an example of a teacher using a Smartboard in a elementary setting...try doing that with a white board or transparency...

Project #8: Podcast

Is Facebook Beneficial In the Classroom?

My group and I choose this topic because we felt it was both relevant and currently controversial around Mobile County. Please feel free to share your opinion with us! Enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Timetoast Instuctional Project #9b

C.S. Lewis: Author Extraordinaire

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Timetoast Individual Project #9a

The History of Erin Holton

Blog Post #5

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom

This is a podcast created by Joe Dale that demonstrates ways to use podcasting in the classroom. Mr. Dale is a middle school teacher and he shows several ways that he has incorporated this form of technology into his classroom. The vodcast that he created was extremely helpful to me and I plan to use this way of teaching in my classroom. He demonstrates how teachers could use a podcast to aid students who were too sick to come into school, I wish my teachers used this when I was in school! He also showed examples of students creating their own podcast to help them become involved and learn. What a great idea! I believe students learn SO much more from project based learning. Mr. Dale is not only engaging his students, but he is teaching them to use tools that will help them through the rest of their schooling. Through the several examples that he used he gave me something to think about when I record my own podcast this week.

blogger icon connected to headphones

100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better

As I've said in my earlier posts, I own an iPad and use it daily, so I really appreciated this list! It never ceases to amaze me all the different ways to use technology. I'd never even thought about podcasting in the classroom until I started EDM 310. This list gives examples of a variety of apps available on the app store that use podcasting. Some examples are GoogleGet, which keeps you up to date with current news, Spanish to Go, which teaches you Spanish though a podcast (how cool is that?!), and Brainquest, an educational based game for kids. It's fascinating all the different apps that are created with podcasts and available to help teach children.
This list also has a tutorials section. This was most beneficial for my upcoming podcast project. The website provides a variety of links that demonstrates how to create a podcast and how to use it to benefit students in the classroom. I think this is a list I will have to bookmark and go back to when I'm looking for different ways to use my iPad or to use podcasting in the teaching.

several ipods put together to form a heart
Podcast Collection

This is a lesson plan that Judy Scharf, a teacher in New York, has put together on how to teach using podcasts. Judy first gives a detailed explanation on what a podcast and the benefits on using them in the classroom. She encourages teachers, saying "Give podcasting a try; you may be the inspiration for your students’ successful careers!". Judy really goes into depth in this post. She breaks down complete lesson guide, lists possible topics to use, and iTunes files on how to use podcast. She even includes an example grading scale, rubric, and examples of excellent podcasts. She has obviously done an extensive amount of research on the subject and I think it's amazing the she is willing to share this with other educators. The tutorials she posted will definitely help me in creating my own podcast and her grading scale will be a huge benefit in my own classroom.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

This Is My Sentence

This is the picture I made to go along with my video. I attempted to add it in the video but it was a mirrored image, so I decided to just share on my blog.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog Post #4

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

This is a blog called Dangerously Irrelevant by Scott McLeod, who is a professor at Iowa State University. Mr. McLeod is a leader in promoting technology in the classroom, as well as a co-producer of the Did You Know? video posted in my first blog. He is also the director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). All that being said, he knows his stuff when it comes to how to efficiently use technology in schools.
In his post in August 2009, he writes a poem sarcastically emphasizing the lack of technology in classrooms. He points out all the fears that some parents and teachers have about the internet and how this causes them to attempt to shut their students away from it. He lists several ways technology can be used but in a sarcastic tone says "block it all, lock it down, keep it out".
I have to say, I agree with Scott! Teachers and parents tend to use fear as a motivating factor or an excuse to keep technology away from students. We need to be focusing on teaching our kids how to correctly use the internet and then show them all it can do!

The iSchool Initiative

This video is right up my alley! As I was watching this I kept thinking, I wish they had made this after the iPad came out, because I use my iPad DAILY in school! So I went to the website to see what they thought about Apple's newest product and it seems the creators of the iSchool Initiative share my enthusiasm for it. Apple's iPad platform literally takes everything I normally would have carried in a book bag and puts it into a one and a half pound, incredibly slim device. It's amazing!
The creators of this initiative dared to explore the possibility of a school operating solely on this system. Just think of the applications we could use if every student had access to an iPad or iTouch and we could connect to each other. I've saved over $300 (that's over half what the iPad cost) in the last two semesters on textbooks alone! And that's not to mention calculators, notepads, and flashcards! For those of you who think it would too difficult to read a textbook on an iPad, I took a screenshot of one of my books.
a textbook page displayed on an ipad
It looks just like a normal textbook page doesn't it? Using this application, I can easily flip from one book to the other and zoom in and out to get better views of photos. I can also highlight, bookmark, and post "sticky notes" on the pages. I hope that more students, and especially teachers, start to take ideas like the iSchool Initiative seriously. The possibilities are endless!

The Lost Generation

Wow! What an interesting concept for a YouTube video. In less than two minutes the creators take you from feeling sicken by what the future holds to feeling inspired to create change. I really loved how it was put it together, definitely unexpected. It makes you think about the issues that surround us. I've realized in the last couple of years that I was raised differently from the majority of the people I know, including my husband. My parents made sure that my siblings and I sat down to dinner together every night, worked hard to earn our spending money, and attended church on Sundays. Unfortunately a large part of my generation did not have similar childhoods. This video points out that too often we forget what's important, we expect handouts, or we think money is the cure to all problems. I appreciate how technology was used here to put our minds in prospective.

dollar bill that says in Greed We Trust

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

I have never seen anything like this! That is a truly beautiful performance and it is unreal that these are singers who have never even met each other! This was so creative! They used technology to unite this choir and bring their voices together. The emotions in the faces of the performers really makes it special. I can't imagine that this would have been easy but I want to see more work done like this!

Teaching in the 21st Century

I really liked the points that this video brings up. As future educators, we need to consider that our jobs are going to be very different from the teachers we knew as students. With so many ways to use technology in the classroom, we need to be constant lifelong learners. We need to be able to teach students in a modernized way, using the internet to our benefit. I really liked the quote "Students do not need to be ENTERTAINED they need to be ENGAGED". Teachers who oppose the use of technology seem to think that arguments for incorporating it in classrooms is about letting students play with their "toys". This is not the case at all! New devices are constantly being created that allow students to connect and create and whole new ways. It is the responsibility of educators to teach students how use technology in their day to day lives.

student telling teacher by using a chalkboard he's using outdated technology

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Comments 4 Teachers #1

The first blog I read and commented on is by Mathew Needleman titled Creating Lifelong Learners. Mathew's recent blog is called "More Comprehension Resources" and it is an overview of various reading resources he has been experimenting with on his students. He is a teacher in Los Angeles and is attempting to raise the low test scores in his school. In his blog he lists a variety of strategies he has tried to complete this task and what his opinion is on each strategy. He explains that he has a group of 2-12 students anywhere from 20-60 minutes. That being said, he describes the reason various activities were ineffective for him due to lack of time. In what he calls "plan B", he explains how he has begun to use for free comprehension passages. Mathew seems to find these worksheets easy to use because they are just one page, which allows him time to work out problems with the students and then to allow them to try problems on their own. He's primary using these worksheets for lower level learning. He says that for higher level thinking he has found the Mind Benders books effective. These are logic and puzzle books that are read aloud to students and allow them to think through and solve verbal passages. I commented to Mathew that I appreciated him sharing his successes and failures on what he's using in his classroom. I also said that I look forward to trying the techniques he's used in "plan B" when I have my own students who need help with reading. When I have my own classroom I think it will be very beneficially to use blogs of fellow teachers to learn different ways to help my students learn.
Play, Learn, and Grow together!
The second post that I read by Mathew is titled "Increase Reading Fluency with Fluency Timer". As I stated earlier, Mathew is a teacher in California that is helping diagnosed students reading problems and work to increase their test scores. In the most recent blog Mathew shares with us that he has created a software for a fluency timer. This software is used to record students reading into a computer, time it, then allow the students to play back the recording in order to hear their mistakes. Mathew has found that his students will generally hear themselves and then have a desire to repeat this process in order to fix passages they may have made mistakes on. Mathew states that this software has "made reading fluency into a game so that it’s no longer tedious to practice". He has created a website in order to share this program with other teachers. It is an app that is available from iTunes for $6.99 and seems like a great investment!
I let Mathew know through my comment that I thought his idea was incredible! I told him it is a very interesting concept and that I'm sure several teachers are going to benefit from his idea. I plan to read his blog in the future and try out some of the ways he's made reading fun for his students.
Two students holding a timer to illustrate Mr. Needleman's fluency timer

Blog Post #3

A Vision Of Students Today
This is a YouTube video posted by students from Kansas State University. The beginning of my college experience was similar to the answers that these students gave. Right out of high school, I was more interested in what was new on Twitter and Facebook then what was going on in my history class. Like most of my friends, I spent several hours watching TV, talking on my phone, or browsing the web. I spent about one third or less of my day going to class and studying. I took a few years off school after my sophomore year and since then my mindset has changed. I now have a full time job and I pay for school with my own money. I make sure that I go to class everyday and I try to focus on everything the teacher says, no matter how boring I may find it. I think there is a huge difference in what students are willing to work for when their own money is on the line. A possible suggestion for this video would be the percentage of students on scholarship or using outside funding to go to college.
I feel like the question this video is asking is WHY? Why are college students more interested in technology then the paying attention in an old fashioned classroom. I'm now 23 years old, and in my opinion I come from a generation ABSORBED in technology. We love the internet, we love social media websites, and we've spent a hundred more hours Googling a question rather than using a dictionary or encyclopedia. Schools should be spending time and resources learning how to evolve with my generation's way of learning. We are technology capable, so let's use it to our advantage. Incorporate technology into an everyday class and I believe students would wake up, they'd be interested, and they'd be able to relate and learn.
picture of twitter bird and other social networks

It's Not About Technology
This is a post written by Kelly Hines on her opinions about technology and today's teachers. Kelly starts off by writing in the first paragraph that "learning in the 21st century is not about the technology". When I first read this I thought, wait a minute... isn't this what EDM310 is about? OF COURSE learning in this century should be about technology! But as I read on the author breaks down what she means in a logical explanation.
Kelly suggests that there are many steps that teachers must grasp before they can use technology to their advantage. She explains that teachers must have a desire to learn new things and be innovated in their classrooms. She also describes the teachers should see each lesson from a students point of view, and find ways to make learning possible for them. I really agreed with her relation between innovated teachers and technology. If you don't have an innovated teacher, trying to improve them with technology is pointless. Kelly made several good view points in her post and I think in the end most readers would agree, it's not as much about technology as it is about innovation.

Is It Okay To Be a Technology Illiterate Teacher?
cartoon of a computer and teacher asking each other, can't you do anything right?
Karl Fisch really hits the nail on the head with this post! He brought up points in his blog that I think others are too afraid to say. As I've said in my earlier posts, I work in a field surrounded by technology. I create sales solutions for customers in cell phones, internet, and television services. The most frustrating thing in my job is dealing with customers that a.) know nothing about the devices they purchase b.) refuse to learn and c.) make the comment "I've just never been good with all this technology stuff". The other day I had a 30 year old woman come in with a list of numbers written down for us to program into her cell phone address book. When I tried to demonstrate how this was done, she said "Can you just do it for me? I'll just bring it into the store when I have new numbers to enter." WHAT?! As a sales representative all I can do is enter her numbers and shake my head. You can't help those who refuse to help themselves. Sadly enough this attitude is obviously carried over into our education systems.
I really appreciated how Mr. Fisch compared the use of technology today to the ability to read and write in the 20th century. That's an eye opener isn't it? Technology is the way of the future, period. There's no longer wiggle room to put it off, or refuse to learn. Educators of today need to be learners/teachers/doers/leaders. I really liked one of his concluding thoughts "You need to demonstrate continual learning, lifelong learning – for your students, or you will continue to teach your students how to be successful in an age that no longer exists." I think this sums it up. As future teachers we need to be prepared to teach them for tomorrow, and how to learn to teach themselves.

Gary's Social Media Count

I posted this to my blog because I like to see it as a constant reminder of how rapidly technology is growing (look at the number of texts that are sent each day!). As a future educator this means I have to be ready for anything. Teachers have to be an example for students in ways to mold technology into our everyday lives. If we're not giving students the opportunity to discover for their own where will they be when they leave the classroom? I know when I was in middle school, blogging (not that I even knew what blogging was then) was never something I thought would be a college assignment!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blog Post #2

Did You Know 3.0

I love this video! I was first exposed to it a year ago in a college classroom. An economics teacher at UAB first showed the Did You Know 1.0 video to my classroom and then showed us this one. The differences in the two videos are unreal. I remember right after I watched this I went straight home and showed it to my husband, who didn't understand why I was so impressed. I think the reason I was so excited to first see it is because it truly hit home to me with my job at the time. I was working at Best Buy to pay for school and I had been there 4 years. In my time there I watched as VHS tapes and VCRs became non existent, the Motorola Razor went from our best phone to our most basic phone, and our media department was completely reworked to reduce the CD section by 60% and make room for more "digital music and devices". It is truly amazing to me how quickly technology moves.

Erin Holton activating a new iPhone while working at Best Buy

This video opens your eyes to several advances going on around us. When I first watched this it seemed unreal to me that a computer could exceed the computing capabilities of a human brain, and now guess what? The Watson computer is going to be on Jeopardy! That being said, I think the most important message for us to take as teachers is that we have to train our students to put learning above all else. If the majority of what we teach them is irrelevant by the time they are in the work force what good have we done? We must direct them to develop a love of learning, that is something that will truly be invaluable.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

This video brings up a point that I have always found fascinating. Why, as everything else in our world is advancing, are some school systems downright refusing to stay up to date with technology? As I stated earlier, I have worked with technology for a long time, my current job being an AT&T representative. At work I'm around technology all day long, learning what's new and how it works. But in a classroom, the minute I pull my iPad out of my purse to read a textbook, a teacher generally looks at me like I speak another language. And maybe I do? I understand the benefits of technology and know that being technology literate gives me unlimited possibilities!
This video shows that we have come up with so many advances, rather it's in the workplace or in the hospitals. I hope that as my generation moves into the workplace as new educators we can reform and update our classrooms. I want to be able to teach my students ways to use electronics and the internet to their benefits. If a business can have a video conference with associates across the world, why can't my third graders video chat with children and teachers around the world? It's incredibly exciting what our future holds.

Cartoon illustrating a student joking about how books are the way of the past

The Importance of Creativity

What an excellent speaker Ken Robinson is! He brought up so many points that I've never even begun to think about, but completely agree with. For example, his illustration of the fearlessness in children is a concept I've never viewed from his prospective. It's true though isn't it? Children seem to have an answer for everything, and if they don't they will at least try. As college students, not only do we fear being asked a direct question, but if we don't know the answer we will shy away with out even an honest attempt. What happened along the way? This video showed me that, as a future teacher, I want to be responsible for celebrating the creativity and fearlessness in my students, not reprimanding them for it.
Towards the end when he described the dancer that would have been diagnosed with ADHD in today's world really caused me to think. How many times does a child get told to "be quiet", "stop fidgeting", "stop doodling", before we drain them of creativity? The quote "We don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it", is true and tragic at the same time. This speech really was an eye opener. I plan to put his ideas to use in my own classroom one day.

Cecelia Gault

I read through this article and was shocked when I got down to the video to see it was written by such a little girl. She brings up several points that make her sound much wiser than her age. The points she made about the US at the start of her article were shocking. I guess I'm ignorant to statistics but I never realized the dropout rate in the US is 25%! That's one out of every four! Our statistics compared to Finland were really sad. We as future teachers need to learn how to encourage students in learning and creativity from the first day they enter a classroom!
The site that this interview is posted on is really interesting. What a neat concept, to allow the students to be the reporters. It's obvious in Cecelia that her creativity is flourishing! She asked excellent questions and put together a very good piece. I want to allow my students to learn in ways that encourage their creativity and spark their interests, like this site is doing.

children playing different activities

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

I wish they had a class like this when I was a teenager! Vicki Davis really is taking technology to the next level. It was very interesting the projects that she has her students working on and so encouraging to see how they are putting technology to use! It is such a different concept to allow your students to teach the class. They seem to learn so much more by doing it themselves and then presenting their findings.
I really liked her comment that we must help students "learn how to learn". That's an idea that I believe most teachers never take into consideration. It seems like the typical teacher focuses on feeding you the material and then let you repeat it back to them. How does that help us in the future? We need to take Vicki's approach. If a student can use technology to find ways to discover and learn, that will last them a lifetime!

an ironic picture of a teacher pointing to the word App on a traditional blackboard