Sunday, May 6, 2012

Final Reflection: Blog Post #14

Project # 13

group collaborating with puzzleMy group collaborated using e-mail, Google docs, and text messaging. For project 15 and 16 we communicated ideas and plans this way. When it was time for Project 16 we created a blank document and we all added ideas as well as a plan for the project. We then used this to form our script as well as final plans for the video.
This was easier for us to communicate then meeting in person because we all had different schedules. It was hard for us to find a time that we could all meet together. This way we could all do our share of the work when we had extra time. It was an easy and convenient way for us to get everything we needed to do on time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Blog Post #13

no technology
For this week's post we were assigned to go an e-media fast. We were to not use and electronic communication or entertainment devices for a full 24 hours. I knew when I began the fast that this was going to be hard, but it turned out to be harder than I even imagined. It makes you realize how much of our lives involve these things and it is not until it is taken away that we realize it. One thing that made it hard was that I could not communicate with friends or even classmates for school work. I live at home with my parents so we have a land line which came in handy at times. I also watch TV or surf the internet for entertainment so I found myself reading or looking over my textbooks and school work more. Then however I ran in to the issue of a lot of my school work being online which made it even harder. My sister helped me by keeping me accountable and not letting me use any tool that would mess up the assignment. This  assignment has helped me to realize how much these tools have become a part of not only society but my life as well. We depend on things such as cellphones, computers, and televisions to deliver important news as well as communicate with the world. These tools have become a major part of every thing that we do and this can be beneficial to an educator when used in the right way.

In my classroom students will be very use to media and having it a part of their everyday lives. In order to engage them and keep up with growing technologies I will need to utilize these resources for the students benefit. I can give them some ways that they can use these technologies in an educational and beneficial way. This is something that is going to continue to be a part of all of our lives so why not use it to our advantage rather then just pushing it to the side.

C4T Summary #4

The blog that I was assigned to comment on this month is The Tempered Radical by Bill Ferriter who teaches 6th grade language arts in North Carolina. The first post I commented on was titled Are Kids really Motivated By Technology. In his post he discusses technology and its place in the 21st century classroom. I really enjoyed the blog post and he raised a great thought provoking question with the quote posted below.
picture with the quote Asking kids to be motivated by technology is a lot like asking them to be motivated by their shoes and socks. It's hard to be motivated by something you use every day without giving it a second thought. -Sean Crevier
With this quote he really makes you think about technology and its place in the 21st century classroom. I commented and discussed my thoughts on this quote and technology in the classroom. I went on to say throughout my time in EDM 310 we have studied this topic quite a bit. I have found, that in my opinion there should be a balance between traditional classroom style and the use of technology. These are both very useful tools and I feel that they can be utilized most effectively when used together. We as teachers must be there to guide and educate the students. Technology can be used to engage the students in some various activities. Overall I believe there are positive and negative aspects of both methods. In order to be most effective we must have a balance of the positive elements found in both. I told him that I would be commenting again on another one of his posts in the coming weeks. Then that I would be summarizing the posts as well as my comments on my class blog and provided the link.

no teachers
Why I Never Recommend Teaching as a Profession is the last post that I commented on this week. In his post he discusses how legislators are making decisions just to please people and not taking in to consideration the teachers or especially the students. This is making teaching not a profession that he would recommend to anyone. Lawmakers are making it hard and not desirable even though teaching is such a rewarding profession. I found the post very insightful and sadly it is true that teaching is not a profession that is respected. He was spot on with the problem in our education system today. It should never be about test scores, but about true learning and growth in the students. The legislators’ only concern is appealing to the public and they do not truly see the harm they are doing to educators as well as the students who are the future generation. I liked and agreed with where he said that we are living in a world where legislators’ primary motivation is not to create learning environments that kids deserve but ones they think will look good and get them reelected. Until they realize the effects of their actions this will never change and education systems will not become any better. I once again told him that I had enjoyed the posts and would be summarizing them in my blog. This post was very interesting and I feel that is something we all need to be aware of as future educators. We need to work to correct the problems so that we can be the voice for our schools and students.

Final report on PLN: Project #10 Part 2

Since our first report on our Personal Learning network I have added several resources. I haven't really used it yet in a practical way other then building it but I know this could change. Once I become an educator or even in future classes I feel that this could be a useful tool. If I find a site that could be useful to me in the future I will add it so I will always know where to find it. In the future I can come here to get assistance with whatever I may need to research or learn about it. This tool if used efficiently, could make a great asset to my career. I just hope that I will find the time to make it a part of my job and learning network. 
Some of the resources I added were other's teachers blogs as well as different websites to make presentations, polls, or other activities to engage students.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts - Special Post #12A

We were given an additional blog post this week. The assignment is to answer some questions related to creativity, curiosity and education that we discussed in class last week.

The first question is do schools in the United States systematically destroy (or inhibit) the development of curiosity and/or creativity in students? Yes I believe that in some ways schools do inhibit creativity. Teachers sometimes have lots of restrictions put on what they have to do and their lessons are already planned out minute by minute. When you take away the ability for the teacher to be creative in the classroom you also take away the student's. When everything becomes about standardized tests and scores students become consumed with right answers. This kills the creativity and students want take the risk of thinking outside of the box. This is a major downfall in our education system today.

child with magnifying glass: word curiosity
The second question asked is can a curriculum be developed that increases the curiosity of students? If so, what would be the key components of such a curriculum? A curriculum that can spark curiosity in students is something can be developed. We as Educators must have lessons that are intriguing and ask questions in an interesting way. If the lessons are boring and straight from the textbook the kids will not be engaged or want to lean more. We need interactive activities that get the students thinking.

Next we were asked can a curriculum be developed that increases the creativity of students? If so, what would be the key components of such a curriculum? Creativity is something that is needed for in the curriculum. There are many ways that we can increase our students creativity through curriculum. Like we talked about for curiosity we need interactive activities that really get the students to think. We need to make sure that we allow for the students to freely answer and not stress so much about right and wrong. The questions that we ask during discussion need to be open ended and allow room for the students to think and be creative. Even different activities need to be more open ended as well.

The fourth question is can a teacher's actions increase the curiosity of students? If so, what would be those actions?  Yes I think that teachers can increase students curiosity. Some of these actions would be by asking them questions that spark their curiosity. They can make the lessons intriguing and inviting. This causes the students to be curious and excited about what they are learning in the classroom. The teacher can also give the students some information about a subject encouraging them discover more on their own. If they present the ideas in an exciting way the students will be more engaged in the mystery and discovering more about the topic.

Then we were asked, can a teacher's actions increase the creativity of students? If so, what would be those actions? Creativity is something that teachers actions can increase in theor students. The teacher can stimulate their minds by encouraging them to think outside of the box. They can ask questions as well as give assignments that give them a chance to discover new ideas. The less concentration you put on having the right answers and everything being black and white the more creative students will become. Students need to be challenged to come up with their own ideas and think creatively. We do not need to hold them back by making them only study and learn certain curriculum.

quote poster:Creativity takes courage.- Henri Matisse
The sixth question is what would help you become more creative? What role would teachers and/or schools have in that process? I think that being open to new ideas and not trying to stick to a specific plan could help me to be more creative. I will need to consult fellow teachers to broaden my ideas for the classroom as well as let them inspire me to create some of my own ideas. Sometimes schools can have a positive role in this process by encouraging teachers to come up with new and exciting methods for the classroom. However, schools can also play a negative role when to many restrictions are put on the teacher and they are only allowed to teach what has been given to them in a certain way. If they give me a plan to follow that is plain and not exciting it will restrain me from being creative in my classroom. 

The last question is what would help you become more curious? What role would teachers and/or schools have in that process? One thing that would help me to be more curious would be to research and not be afraid of finding new methods for teaching. As an Educator we should always continue learning in order to be successful in the classroom. If I lose the desire to become better and find new ways of teaching then i will become stagnant in my career. Curiosity is a vital tool in helping us become the best teachers and guides that we can be for our students.

C4K Summary April

kids around a globe

For the first three weeks of April I participated in the world blogging challenge. I commented on  a different post every week on the same student's blog. Her name is Jillian and she is a 7th grader from Canada. I really enjoyed reading her posts as well as commenting. The only thing was that she only had three posts and had not posted in a while. She did not respond to any of my comments or post anything new so we didn't really get to correspond.

The first post I commented on was titled 7 Random Facts About Me. In her post she listed some things about herself such as hobbies or things that she likes and dislikes. In my comment to her I told her who I was and that I would be corresponding with her over the next few weeks. I told her that I loved reading some of the random facts about her and found that we had quite a few things in common. I agreed that I hated spiders, snakes, and waking up in the mornings as well. I am definitely more of a late night person. We both have one sister, but I am an identical twin. She really loves horses and I like them as well and have one at my house. I then asked her a few questions which are as follows: so do you have any horses? What are some things you like to do while hanging out with friends? I told Jillian that I would love to hear back from her

The second post I commented on was titled We Love Pink Shirt Day. This post was about how her school had participated in pink shirt day to raise awareness and support kids that are being bullying. She explains how this day started because a kid from Novia Scotia wore a pink shirt to school and was picked on by classmates. Some of the older kids did not like this so they decided to do something about it. The next day they all wore pink shirts to school to show their support of the other student. They wanted to make everyone aware of why bullying is wrong and so that is how the Pink Shirt Day began. I commented on her post and let her know that I thought it was awesome that she and her school had joined the cause to help raise awareness about such an important issue. The story of the boy and the pink shirt is really inspiring and really shows us how one act of kindness can mean so much and make a big impact. I love where in her post she said, “We should care everyday, but this is a day set aside to bring extra awareness.” This is so true and a great attitude to have about bullying. I also agreed when she stated it is something that we should care about and be cautious of everyday. I then gave her a suggestion for her next post. It was that she could come up with an idea for her, her class, or maybe even her whole school to do something specific to raise awareness for another important issue. It could be just a simple small thing if she wanted. I encouraged her to think about something that is really important to her and that shes feel strongly about. I encouraged her to keep on writing and stated that I had enjoyed the post.

The third post that I commented on was titled I'm Finally Here. This post was her first one and she just staed how excited she was to be blogging. It is something that she had been looking forward to for a while and couldn't wait to get started. Connecting and having conversations with others from around the world is something she believes will be inspiring and exciting. I told her that I had really enjoyed reading her blog posts over the last few weeks. It is great to know that she is excited about blogging and making it a part of her learning experience. I completely agree that is great to connect and talk with students from other schools and countries. We can learn so much and be inspired by others from around the world. I encouraged her to continue blogging and making posts. I let her know that I would be posting a summary of what I had read and commented on her blog in the upcoming weeks as well as supplying her with a link.

For the last week in April I commented on a student from Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand. His name is Billy and his post was a video  profile about himself. I commented and told him that I liked the video and enjoyed listening to him. He stated in the video that he had a dog so in the comment I asked him what kind it was. It was really great to watch his video as he talked about himself and his family.

Blog Post #12

For this post we were assigned to create our own blog post. We are suppose to research and come up with an assignment Dr. Strange should have assigned for us in our area of specificity. I am an elementary education major so there are many differnt tools that can be used to teach the various subjects to children. While searching for what to write about for my post I came across this really cool wiki titled Cool Tools for Schools. I began searching through the different resources and found some great tools that I had never seen before,  but would be very useful in the classroom. I came across this one website that enables you to make interactive quizzes for your students. Quiz Revolution is free and easy to use.You can add pictures as well as feedback for each question. Dr. Strange could assign all students to visit this website and make a quiz for their students using their area of specificity. It should focus on the subject they are planning to teach in their future classroom. The quiz must be a minimum of five questions. When finished they must add a link to their quiz inside their blog. Another part to the assignment would be that the students must also search the wiki Cool Tools For Schools and find one tool that they feel could be useful in their future classroom. They should explain in one paragraph some ways that they would utilize the resource. This would be a great asset to the assignment because this wiki has so many different useful sources for teachers to use. This way the students would have many various answers.
quiz revolution banner

1) I went to Quiz Revolution and created a math quiz for second graders. The quiz can be found at this link QuizRevolution- Addition Problems.

2) The tool that I found that would be useful in my classroom is the website ZooBurst. This is free and lets you easily create a 3-D pop-up book. Teachers can set up an account and have their students make their own book using stories they have created. This can be used in the classroom to help with the students writing as well as English. It is an exciting way to engage students in the writing process. When they are finished they will be able to view their classmates work. These can be posted in a blog for others to see including the kids parents. This could be a very useful tool in the classroom.

Progress Report on Final Project

work in progress sign
Our group as decided on our idea for project # 16. We will portray how some of the tools and concepts we have learned in EDM 310 can be used effectively in the classroom. Each of us will pick a tool or concept to demonstrate. We will each be a the teacher in one scene while the fellow group members will be the students. Instruction and discussion will take place about how this can be utilized successfully in the classroom. The smart board is one tool that we have chosen to use to teach and show the lessons.  This is just the beginning of our project and we are continuing to find new ideas as well as work out everything.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Post #11

Skype symbol
Skype Interview
The interview with Kathy Cassidy was very interesting and helpful. I think it is great that EDM 310 students got to talk with her about her classroom and their use of technology. Technology is a vital tool that she uses in her first grade classroom. Her students use blogging, skype, and other programs to communicate with people from around the world. As an Educator she believes that having knowledge of and utilizing technology is something that is vital to success. Technology is something that is here to stay. It is always changing and becoming more advanced and we need to continue learning about it in addition to teaching it to our students. As educators we need to be technological literate and up to date on new technologies. Having knowledge of the newest methods of technology is what is needed to be technology literate. The use of blogging in the classroom gives students an audience which can be very valuable to them. The kids love using these tools in the classroom and are very excited and engaged in the lessons. Parents also have easy everyday access to what their child is learning and their progress.

first grade blog banner
One technique that I would consider using in my classroom would be the making of videos. I looked around her blog some after listening to the interview and saw where her class would make videos about what they had learned and then posted them online. Ms. Cassidy even had other classes from around the world make their own videos that were similar or make a video of questions for her class. In response to this they would answer the questions in video format and send it back to them. This is a really cool way to get the students involved in discussing what they are learning. This helps them to really take in and gain a better understanding of the lesson. In the interview, she also discussed having a class blog with links to educational games for the children. I love this idea and think it could be a very useful tool for the children. They can also use it at home to practice what they are learning inside the classroom. One thing you might encounter problems with would be internet safety concerns. She covers this topic by stating that it is the job of the teacher to educate the students on the safety of the internet. This is something that they will also need in the future so we can start this process by teaching them now.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blog Post #10

the word educate on blurred page

Do you Teach or Do you Educate?
This video does a great job of showing the difference between being an educator and a teacher. It shows the importance of educating students and making an impact. It is not just about teaching facts to students but really impacting students futures through empowerment, enlightenment, and inspiration. I want to be a teacher that guides students and encourages them along the way. I do not want to just teach them information, give tests, and then be done. I truly want to help them learn and grow. It is not about test scores, but about what the students take away from the class.
They need to be prepared for the future. My students will be encouraged to think creatively and always strive for the best. As their guide I want to help them in anyway possible. They should know that they can achieve anything with hard work and determination. I want to be their guide and mentor throughout the learning process. It will be a positive learning community where questions are always welcome as well as encouraged. We should learn from each other collectively and work together to continue to be more successful.

Don't Let Them Take The Pencils Home!
In this post a story is told to portray a specific message. In the story, the school curriculum specialist comes in to the classroom and tells the teacher the students should not take home pencils and paper anymore. Test scores are lower and they believe this is the cause of the problem. The teacher says that this is not so and explains to her how pencils are effective tools and his plans to teach the proper use. Her complaint is that they will just play games with them, which she sees as pointless. He points out that those games could actually teach them something. Learning could be taking place that may not be seen from the outside.

One of the main points that I think he is trying to make is that we as educators should not be afraid of what the children will do with technology as well as their own creativity. We need to encourage them to engage their minds rather than just focusing on memorizing facts. Even if they play games like hangman we can use it to teach skills and information in an exciting way. Most anything can be used to teach we just need to be open to new methods. New technology is also something that needs to be embraced rather than discouraged.

It also shows the importance that gets placed on test scores rather than the students' education. It should be about helping the student to learn and be successful rather than having high test scores. A bubble sheet with questions is not a measure of real learning. Schools also tend to say "your" to the teacher when referring to the students' scores. This is not an accurate statement considering how the students are the ones being tested not the teacher. This is an example of how they have taken the student completely out of the equation. When in reality it should be all about their success in the first place.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Post #9

notes from a first year teacher image

What I've Learned this Year (2008-2009)
This post is about Mr. McClung's first year of teaching and what he has learned. Going in to teaching he did not know everything to expect but throughout his first year he learned a lot. The first thing he discusses is the importance of reading the crowd. As teachers we do not need to be consumed with our teaching as being about us or those above us. We need to stay focused on making lessons about the students and helping them learn because that is the main goal. I completely agree with this idea. Teachers tend to get wrapped up in required material and impressing those people above them rather than making their lessons in regards to the true audience, the students. Some other points he brings up are the need to be flexible as well as reasonable. Lessons and activities aren't always going to go as perfectly planned, but that doesn't mean they are not successful. It is all about working to fix the mistakes and always improving. We also must be reasonable in our expectations of students. Sometimes we tend to set the bar too high and it can be discouraging for a student if they fall short. We must be an encouragement for our students in helping them to succeed.

Communication is also a key tool when working with coworkers as well as students. I completely agree that this is a vital tool as a Educator. We must learn how to effectively communicate if we want to be successful. He goes on to list the last few things as don't be afraid of technology, listen to your students, and never stop learning. Technology is something that we as Educators need to know how to effectively use if we want to engage our students and be apart of the new generation. This can help us tremendously in the classroom. Listening to a child is very important. Children want someone to listen and show interest in them. This builds a relationship of respect which assists in your success as an Educator. Learning is something we as Educators should never stop doing. There are new methods and resources that we can discover everyday. In order to do the best job we must strive to be the best by continuing to learn. Overall, his post was great and I really enjoyed reading about his first year. It gave me some great insight in what to expect and helped me to learn and grow as a future teacher. These are some things that I will keep in mind for when I have a classroom of my own.

What I Learned This Year (2010-2011)
This post is about his third year teaching. He starts off by saying that we need to stay focused on pleasing the students rather than the adults. The kids are the reason we became teachers in the first place and we need to remember that. This is an idea than he discusses in his first post as well. The repeat of this shows the importance of this and how it is something we need to make sure to focus on. Just as others we tend to get caught up in the idea of making everyone else happy when the students happiness should be where we center our attention. Excitement for his job and new ideas and resources is something that is a part of Joe's personality. He is optimistic and tries to make the most of every new opportunity. This year he realized that there are always going to be those who have lost their passion and excitement for their job, but that is not something you should let effect you. Optimism is something that is contiguous and I feel that this is something kids notice. They are going to be a lot more interested and excited about the lesson and classwork if the teacher is as well.

smiley faceamong sad faces=being different
Next, he says that it is okay to be an outsider. He would rather hang out and get to know his kids and have their approval rather than impressing his fellow coworkers. In his mind, being different is a good thing and is something that he takes pride in. Another thing is that we should never take over the student's work and do it for them. We should encourage and guide them, but they must master the skill on their own. If we do it for them they will never learn how to do it right. Lastly, he says we do not need to become comfortable as teachers. We always need to be pushing ourselves out of the normal routine to learn and take on more. Our careers need to be moving forward and not stagnant if we want to continue to be successful. I would agree with him that teaching is not a comfortable career and it challenges you. If we want our children to be challenged in their learning process and to continue trying new things we as Educators need to as well.
Both posts were great and I really enjoyed reading about what he learned his first year as well as his third. His blog is one that would be a very helpful addition to my PLN.

C4K Summary-March

fish in bowl

The student I commented on for this post was Klaudia who is apart of Class 12's Blog. Her blog post was a story about a day in the life of their classroom  fish, Flapper. In the story she wrote through the fish's point of view which was very creative and really made it come to life. She used great details and made it very exciting to read. I told her that she did a wonderful job and how I knew that Flapper would be a great addition to their class. I loved getting a chance to read her story that she had worked on. It is great to be apart of the kid's classroom work and seeing what they are doing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

C4T Summary #3

This month I was assigned to comment on Mr. Chase's blog Autodizactic. The first post that I read and commented on was about the New York City teacher scores and how they could be used in a positive way. It gave me a lot of insight into the issue of the scoring of NY teachers. The teachers were made with the way the scores were taken and they felt they were not accurate. He talks about how if teachers want to see a change made they need to research and produce a better process for scoring and then teach it to those who produce them. The teachers need to have a forum to discuss and understand their scores and the things that need to be worked on and addressed. Instead of complaining about the process they need to take charge and fix it, then utilize it to help them become more successful educators. I agree with what he said needs to be done. The only way to fix the issue is if they take the innovative to do something about it themselves. The reality is if they don't do it no one else will. 

teacher with students

The second post that I commented on was a question raised by an article from Tech presidents about the progress of an Expert Labs project.  Mr. Chase asks the question, "What’s the barrier between Government agencies and civic engagement via social media?” This project is designed to help encourage government agencies to connect with the public through the use of social networks. In order to understand the question fully and get the background on the topic I read the original post by Tech President. It discusses the way that expert labs have tried to implement this program over the past two years. It explains some of the difficulties behind the project and why it has had little success. In his post, he quotes some of the statements given by expert lab and why they believe success has been limited. His post is very thought provoking and I liked the question he asked about the topic. It really made me think and I was very interested to learn more about the project.

The questions being asked and to whom they are being asked has not been as much of a focus by the agencies throughout the project. They really need to work together as a whole agency to produce these questions that truly represent what is being done and what the public would be interested in discussing. They also need to be better about seeking out those in the public who are willing to give knowledgeable and well thought out opinions on the various subjects. There are plenty of people who have researched and would love to help engage in discussions with these agencies. The agencies, as well as the public, need to be more intentional about engaging through social media. These are some of the thoughts that I got out of his post as well as the original article and the things I discussed in my comment.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Post #8

This is How We Dream
In the videos, Part 1 and Part 2 Richard Miller, a professor from Rutgers University, discusses multimedia and how it is changing what we write and the way its published. This video is a really interesting take on multimedia and really describes how it is changing and being utilized more. He goes over all of the different ways that it has been integrated in to our writing and how technology has made it more possible.

 collaborating with others through technology image
The days of researching in libraries and only being able to find information through the page of books long out of print, is a thing of the past. The web has made all of this information accessible right through your computer. It has helped everything to be freely available to everyone. Collaboration and making documents in to visual and engaging products is also a part of this technology. He discusses the principle that we as educators should be promoters of the fact that all ideas belong to everyone as a culture. No idea belongs to one person alone and we can all work together to build upon these ideas. In the future we need to utilize inspiring teachers and spaces to continue to develop technology and maximize its use in the classroom. Even the use of composing with the web itself  is a fascinating concept that is not far from within our minds reach.

I feel that I am prepared to write using multimedia. This class has helped me to develop my knowledge and skills in this area. Technology is constantly changing and there will always be new concepts and resources to  to discover. Even as an Educator the learning process continues and there are new things to learn about all the time. Teaching my students this concept is a an important lesson. This is a tool they will need to have to be successful in the future. If they have already began the learning process it is still important to constantly teach them new concepts. This is something that my students will know and utilize in their assignments. It has become a major part of the learning and schooling process.

Carly's Blog Post
The assignment she was given was to create her own blog post. She did a great and creative job. I loved her idea of creating a playlist with useful resources as a future educator. She also talked about writing why she wanted to be come a teacher and what her philosophies as a teacher are. The videos portray these ideas in a visual way and give many resources that she can utilize. She did a great job utilizing Dr. Millers idea of multimedia writing. She used the Internet to research her topic and used videos to illustrate her ideas. Her ideas are published online and freely accessed by others as well. This is a great example of multimedia writing.

For Dummies Book Symbol
Student Videos
The Chipper Series and EDM 310 for Dummies were both very creative and useful videos. The video about chipper shows the importance of self learning and being motivated which are the ultimate goals for success. When you procrastinate or give up easily it leads to nothing but disappointment and failure. We have to give it our all and teach ourselves the skills needed in order to become successful educators. The video about EDM310 for dummies stresses the need and value in tutorials that show you how to use different websites and social media. We need to learn how to accurately use technology in order to be effective educators. These videos were great and I really enjoyed them. They really helped me to stimulate some of my own ides about future projects. One idea would be to create a video that is set up like a game show. You could ask the children questions and then have them interact and give you the answers. This would be a great tool to help in studying for tests that are coming up. It would entertain and engage the students.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
This video was really insightful and it gives some great thoughts on what needs to be changed in our Education system today. It made some great points about some aspects that we should consider in our schools. We need to focus on enrichment and build a learning community to help the children grow and be prepared for the future. As teachers we need to connect globally with other teachers and build a learning community to lead the way for our students. Technology is becoming more advanced and in order to assist students with their success in the future we need to maximize the utilization of this in their schooling. Its not about just teaching facts to be memorized for a test. We want them to learn how to understand context, synthesize ideas, communicate and collaborate on information, and use problem solving skills. Connecting them to all of this and different opportunities is the ultimate preparation for their success in the future. I do however believe that it is still the job of the teacher to teach the students and be their guide. Technology is an important tool, but could never replace a teacher all together.

Scavenger Hunt Banner
Scavenger Hunt 2.0 
1) The social network, Edmodo is similar to Facebook and Twitter. This site is designed to help students and parents stay connected with teachers. I could use this to post assignments, special dates, and even announcements. It would allow me to have an easy way to communicate with parents about their child's progress. The parents can be a part of what their child is learning and know what is happening in the classroom. I can also poll students and teachers for information to help make my class and website more successful.
2) The presentation was most likely created using Prezi. This is a free program and can make an ordinary presentation become exciting. It makes it more visual and appealing to the audience. For students and teachers they offer a special deal of only $59/ year for the EDU Pro version. This is a great resource that can be utilized in the classroom.
3) I used the tool Poll Everywhere to create a poll that anyone can vote on at any time. There is even a code where you can text in a response using a mobile device. This is a really cool site and it is free to use.

Create your own sms poll at Poll Everywhere

Friday, March 9, 2012

Blog Post # 7

people networking
The Networked Student
The web and the use of all the different resources are so important in helping us learn about various topics. The internet has become a main source for research and and learning. This is such a vital tool that can be used in the classroom in a variety of ways. The internet is also easily accessible and you can find the information you need within minutes at the click of a button. This is changing the way we do so many things in our society.

The video we watched is about how to use networking effectively and how students can build their own personal learning network. This is a very valuable lesson for students to learn and utilize in their learning process. They need to know how to find valuable resources such as websites, articles, and other's blogs. The student in the video uses the internet and things such as mp3 players to connect with others around the world to increase his knowledge of the topic he is researching. This connects him with some of the best professors from around the world and their ideas and opinions on different subjects.

Teachers are very valuable in the classroom and can not be replaced. In the video they discuss several ways that the teacher helps the student in their process. It is made clear that without the teacher, the student's creation of a PLN from the video would not be as successful . She was a major part of guiding him through the process and helping him determine what was useful and factual information. Although technology is continuing to increase, the need for teachers will never decrease. The teacher and student relationship is a vital part of the students learning process. The teacher wants the student to learn about the technology so he can become successful in the 21st century.

wordle about PLN
A 7th graders Personal Learning Environment
In this video, a 7th grade student talks about her Personal Learning Network. She has set it up to include personal and school resources. She is very knowledgeable about the different ways to use her PLN and really enjoys using it for her school work. Technology being a major part of her school work is something that she really likes. It makes it a lot more engaging, helps her be a self learner, and gives her greater responsibilities. I hope that my PLN can become as in depth and useful to me as it is to her. I want to continue to grow my network and make it beneficial to me as a future educator.

Project #10 PLN Part 1

I have started on the process of building my Personal Learning Network. I already have found lots of great resources that I can use to broaden my knowledge of teaching strategies as well as technology. I included some social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. I also included Youtube, Randy Pausch's Lecture, and the blog from the teacher I was assigned to comment on in C4T number one. This is a great way to organize websites and resources that I will need as a future educator. I will continue to develop my PLN with other resources that I come across in this class. Below is a picture of what I have created so far.

C4T Summary #2

The teacher's blog that I commented on this month was Dorothy Burt from Auckland, New Zealand. She is the current facilitator of of the Manaiakalani Cluster of schools and is based at Pt England School. The first blog post I commented on was Got a blog? Make a book! It was about making a book out of a blog. This is a very useful tool and makes a great gift as well and I really enjoyed reading her post about it. I have never even considered this as an option or knew it was available. One thought that came to mind would be that it could be useful for students with class blogs that would like to print them as a keepsake. I also agreed with her on the importance of using text and multimedia as well as videos. These help reinforce the post and give easier access to the information. The blending of all these components together makes a very successful blog post. This post had wonderful ideas and resources and it is great for teachers or anyone else to utilize.

Students on Netbooks

The second blog post I commented on by Dorothy was Student Reflections.It was about her students feedback on the Netbooks they had been given for school work. The children stated that they loved it and would never want to go back to just pen and paper. They help to engage and interest the students in their work. The main thing most of the students agreed on was that they now felt their writing had purpose because they have an audience. When just writing in a notebook no one will ever read it or be able to comment and give feedback. This just reinforces the importance of technology integration in to the classroom. She has successfully made this a part of their everyday learning experience and it was wonderful to read about it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blog Post #6

Randy Pausch Lecturing

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
This lecture is titled his last because shortly before this he was given only three to six months to live. Randy had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had several tumors. One of the first things he talks about is how this is something he can't change so he must just deal with it. His outlook on life is a very positive one and he does not let any of this effect him and what he wants to accomplish in the time he has left. It is inspiring how well he has accepted and embraced is unfortunate circumstances. 

Next, he talks about his various childhood dreams and how they have helped him today, even those that were never achieved. One thing that he learned from playing football was that the fundamentals are the most important. You must master these before anything else can successfully be achieved. As a future educator this is something that is very applicable in the classroom. Students must know the basics before they can apply the lessons to their everyday life or move on to tougher material. Fundamentals are a major part of a child's schooling and learning process. Teachers are teaching them the basic skills they will need in the future. One thing that he also mentioned that really stuck out to me was that most of what we learn, we learn indirectly. This is so true and we can see it in our students everyday. They learn how to socialize and interact with other children and various other things that may not necessarily be in the curriculum. Randy also gives the uses the example of brick walls. Brick walls are there to show us how much we want something, and we must tear them down to achieve our goals.

One course that he taught at the university was Building Virtual Worlds. Students were randomly chosen for this class and were to produce five projects throughout the semester. When they turned in the first one after just two weeks, he was amazed at their accomplishments. He received advice from a colleague who told him to tell the students that they did a great job but he still knew they could do better. This would encourage them to continue to strive to make the projects even better. This concept is something that all educators should think about using. Pushing children to do their best and continue to improve is very important. We should never allow them to stop learning and improving. Children will surprise themselves on how much they are capable of when they are given the opportunity to be creative.

Learning is Fun
Near the end of the lecture he talks about how learning should be fun. Kids can have fun while learning something very hard by the use of technology. This will keep them engaged and they will begin to learn hard things and not even realize it. Technology is something that is a vital tool that can be used in the classroom. Even since this lecture was held technology as advanced even more. We as educators should be up to date with the changes and keep technology integrated in to the learning environment. He says be a Tigger and not an Eeyore. In other words, be positive and happy, rather than negative and depressing. As teachers we need to be just as excited and engaged in the learning process as the students. If we are not then how can we ever expect the children to be.

I really enjoyed watching the lecture. Randy is really witty and made some great points. His positive outlook on life and how he has lived to his fullest potential is inspiring. The lecture could be very helpful for future educators, parents, or anyone who wants to help people fulfill their dreams or better themselves. I would definitely recommend the video and Dr. Strange was right in saying that it was well worth the time. 

C4K Summary #1

Comments for kids poster

C4K #1
The first blog I commented on was Tristan in Mr. Chamberlain's class. His post was about his thoughts on other peoples's blog posts. The links were provided to those blogs as well for the reader to reference. First, he discusses how he thinks that is an essential skill to use both oral presentation and published writing. It is something he sees as being very applicable in any learning situation. Next, he talks about technology's role in the learning process. He says that technology can help people to connect with what they are learning on a greater scale. Teachers in his opinion should not be afraid of technology, but take advantage of the vital tool it can be in the classroom.

C4K #2
Kelly from Mrs. Yollis's class is the blog that I commented on next. She is a third grader living in a suburb of Los Angles, California. Her post was about her visit to her brother at USC. She talks about the different things they visited and how one day she wants to attend there as well. The pictures and details were great and it really helped the reader to learn a lot about her brother and their relationship. Her favorite place was the library and she loves to read. She asked her readers if they had any siblings or if they attended a University. After I commented on her post she wrote back to me asking questions about myself and the university I attend. This allowed us to correspond with each other which I really enjoyed.

C4K #3
This week I commented on Mrs. Adair's class blog. Her latest post is one where she asked her students about Valentines Day and how they celebrate. It is has become a big holiday in the U.S and she wants the children to realize and consider this fact. There is a picture of a candy jar posted within the blog and she asks for an estimation of how many candies are inside. She gives some clues to the number and her students comment with their estimations. This is helping their thinking skills by making the estimate as well as having them think about why it has become such a big part of our culture. The students are part of the blogging process as well as contributors. It was a very creative activity.

C4K #4
I commented on a post on The Writing Room blog by Mrs. Guild's class in Tottenham, London. The students read Cinderella in class and were assigned to make their own versions. The student's blog post that I commented on wrote a story about a Koala named Cocoa. The story was the first chapter of the five they were assigned to write. It is a great start to their story and is very creative spin on the original. The story of Cinderella was really being transformed, especially by the choice to use animals.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog Post #5

Scott McLeod
Dr. Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky and is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). In his blog post Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?, he discusses the reasons why people don't want kids to learn about technology and why they are wrong. I agree that technology is a vital tool that children need for success in the future. It is becoming a large part of our society and that will only increase. The integration of technology into the classroom as enhanced the learning process as well as prepared the children for the future. It has allowed them to connect with other students and learn from others around the world. We must, however, teach our children the positive and negatives things about the internet to help them stay on track .It is our responsibility to equip them with the knowledge and resources to utilize technology in a beneficial and positive way.

iPod touch
Travis Allen and the iSchool Initiative
Travis Allen founded the iSchool Initiative with the vision of revolutionizing the education system today. In the first video he presents the idea for his program that he developed in High School, while the second video was made later on after his initiative had been put into action. He and a team of other students are working to spread their idea of using iPod's in school as the main tool for books, notes, grades and other various things. They travel the country encouraging schools to become apart of the initiative. Their mission is to cut down on costs for the education system and help the environment in the process. This initiative as even gone international and many schools have signed on to be apart of the change in education and the technology of the future.
I think that they have a good idea which can be appealing to many school systems as well as parents. If implemented correctly it could be very effective in helping the education system. This process however would need to be completely funded by the schools because there are lots of students who would not be able to afford them. If used incorrectly I feel like this could take a way from the student teacher relationship that is also a vital part of the learning environment. This is a good idea and if it can integrated successfully into the classroom I can see it becoming a major part of the education of the future.

Virtual Choir Poster
Virtual Choir
A choir of 185 people from around the world are conducted by Eric Whitacre and sing Lux Aurumque. These people have never met or performed together before. By the use of technology and the internet all these voices are brought together to produce a beautiful piece of music. This shows the value and endless capabilities of technology. There are so many new and exciting things being done today using technology. Though there a some negatives, there are way more positive things that are possible. Technology is ever changing and becoming more integrated into society and we can chose to embrace it by using it for wonderful things such as this video.

Teaching in the 21st Century
In this video, Kevin Roberts is discussing what it means to teach in the 21st century. Today information and facts are much more accessible to student through websites such as Google, Wikipedia, and various blogs. They can find anything at anytime. This has made the teacher to be more of a filter rather than the main source of knowledge. Teachers need to teach skills and the application of them. Learning how to effectively use resources like Google is also important. We need to engage to the students rather then entertain them. It as about having them use their own creativity to learn and apply the facts and content.

I agree that this is the direction Education is going. As teachers our responsibility is to help them learn about technology and the effective way to use it. We need to continue to learn effective of ways of teaching students how to apply what they learn and engage them in the thought process. One thing that he said that stood out to me was, "tools provide temptation but are not the source of negative behavior." We often tend to think that technology can be the source of distractions, when in reality those will be there no matter what. This is not an excuse to hold back the advancement of technology in the classroom. As a future educator this will effect the way I teach and the content I focus on in the classroom. It will be more about the application of various skills, rather then just facts and information.

kids spell out literacy
Reading Rockets
This website provides lots of information and resources to help teachers as well as parents. There is a whole section with several different resources for first-year teachers. Statistics say that many teachers don't come back after their first year and these are some valuable tools to get you started and help you along the way. This I feel will help me to learn from my experiences and become the best teacher. It also shows you how to be effective in the classroom and not get discouraged.

There is also a section on how to create a literacy rich classroom. This includes strategies, materials, and plans for effective integration into the classroom. It helps guide you in making literacy an important part of your students learning process which will help them to be more successful. This helps teachers to gain knowledge from others ideas about effective teaching methods in the classroom. Learning from each others experiences as Educators can be a vital part of a teachers success in their own classroom.

Project #9a Individual Timeline

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blog Post #4

Langwitches Blog
In her blog, Ms. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, discusses the podcasts she makes with younger elementary students. In her post Podcasting with First Grade she specifically talks about a first grade class she worked with to create a podcast on the chapter book they were reading. They read through the book while brainstorming for questions they might ask the main characters in an interview. The teacher used these questions and responses to finalize the script. Then the students would take turns recording their voices for the podcast.

The students really enjoyed helping make the script as well as recording their voices. This taught them more about technology, as well as increasing their reading, writing, and comprehension skills. Even the shy students really became vocal in the podcasts. It gave the students self confidence and they learned about voice acting and oral speaking.

students making a podcast

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
Joe Dale discusses the benefits that podcasts have in the classroom. In his video, he talks about the various benefits and gives some examples. Most students today have grown up with technology and this is a new and relevant way to help the students become more excited about learning.  It uses visuals to enhance the learning experience. When students are absent it allows them to have quick and easy access to in class lectures that they have missed. The students say that it really makes them think and learning is more fun. This is a very effective tool in the classroom. The students have the opportunity for more project based learning. This also gives the parents more communication and the ability to hear what there child is learning.

The one thing I really found interesting was that he said podcasting uses the highest level of blooms taxonomy. The children must use in depth thinking skills while producing these podcast. I have learned about blooms taxonomy in my other class and I love how this tied right in to the same concepts. The skills that they use will help them to progress their thinking process and help them in the future.

podcast on ipod
Judy Scharf's Podcast Collection
The post Podcast Collection defines what a podcast is and its main uses. She talks about podcasts in the classroom and some of the beneficial reasons for them. This post includes in depth instructions on how to make a podcast. It gives many different materials and worksheets for making podcasts with your students. A few of the materials are a time schedule for creating a podcast, ideas for podcast projects, and suggestions for researching your topics. These are wonderful ideas about the integration of podcasts into classes. It is a helpful source for all teachers looking to make this technology a part of their classroom. This will also help me in the making of my own podcasts for this class, as well as ones I will produce in the future.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Project #5 Google Presentation

C4T Summary #1

Review: Raising the Standards Through Chapter Books: The C.I.A. Approach
In this blog post, Diane Dahl a teacher from Texas reviews a book by Sarah Collinge. The title of the book is Raising the Standards Through Chapter Books: The C.I.A. Approach. The book uses the C.I.A approach which stands for Collect, Interpret, and Apply. It has steps for introducing the approach in your classroom and how to use chapter books to effectively teach thinking skills. Ms. Dahl believes that this approach will lead to greater achievement and can help advance students thinking skills. She suggests this book as a great resource for integrating the approach into your own classroom. I really enjoyed reading about the book and her thoughts on how chapter books are a great way to develop critical thinking. This is a great suggestion of a book that will assist teachers in integrating chapter books into the class which will help the students to be more successful. 

reading activity in classroom

Teach Thinking Skills to Increase Learning in Class and Life
In this blog post, Ms. Dahl discusses her first day of school and the frustration she experienced because her students lacked the basic skills needed for learning. She decided that before she taught them anything else she needed to teach them the skills that are required to learn efficiently. Previously, in a BRAINSmart class she had learned a about curriculum, Thinking for Reading by Dr. Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers, which she realized would be the perfect thing to try with her students. Two days a week for five weeks they learned about the ten different skills. There was a story, discussion points and coloring pages that went along for each one. The skills and concepts became a part of the class daily and she could slowly start to see changes throughout all of the students. This is a process and the skills take a little while but she knows that they will have a positive impact on each and every student for their life, as well as in the classroom now.

I love how she saw the need of basic learning skills in the classroom and took the initiative to step in and change it. She took what she had learned from others and applied it in the classroom. I feel it is very important for teachers to build a learning community such as this and to help each other discover effective methods for teaching. This curriculum would be a tremendous asset for any class. It is clear from the video and the stories of her students' responses that it had a major impact on them. I think that these skills are vital for the students to learn and will help with their success in the future.

Blog Post #3

student with iPAD

Technology in Special Education
Ms. Cook is a wonderful educator, it takes a special person to be able to teach special needs students. She understands their needs and has a desire to learn and inform others about effective teaching methods for children with special needs. Technology she believes is important in helping encourage student participation. Many of her students have diasabilities that effect their verbal and physical abilities. Technology has opened up a whole new avenue of helping them learn in an exciting and faster way. It keeps their attention while allowing them to do things they may not be able to do on their own. The teacher can build relationships and connections with the students. Communication and learning is a easier and more successful process. Her vision for the students is that they can continue to learn about the value of technology and all of the new ones so that they can use their knowledge to assist them in the future.

This video really helped me to realize and think about the importance of technology in the special education classroom. Technology can be effective as well with other students who may have learning disabilities. In my future classroom I can fully integrate the technology into the classroom to help the children learn along with the other students. They can be apart of the class as well group work with the communication opportunities that this technology brings.

Apps for Special Education
I came across an app called Eddy's Number Party which helps children match, count, and lots more. It would help the children by giving them a visual and interactive tool that can allow them to have fun while learning. This application uses colorful graphics and a story line to help the children to learn math skills. Also it can help the children learn application for real life as they count the balloons and other things at the party.
I really like the idea of using iPads and other technology to help special needs children. Children learn better with hands on material. Using theses applications can be effective in keeping these childrens' attention while giving them the extra practice and assistance that they require. In the video we watched How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism we could see how the dad used this technology to help his child learn words and numbers at his own pace. The application was interactive which also helps him to learn better.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count
social media sites
When I watched this it really amazed me and put things in to perspective. I don't think we realize how much technology and especially social media has become such a large part of our society. We live in a generation where technology is changing every day and as educators we need to be up to date on all of it in order to better relate to and teach our students. We need to take advantage of the technology and help prepare our students for their future as it will become a major part of their lives.

In my professional career as a teacher technology can be a very important tool in educating children. It can keep their interest while providing the essential skills they will need in the future. Technology is something that everyday becomes a bigger part of our lives and is constantly changing. When children grow up they will need to know about them to succeed in school and future careers. It can also benefit me by learning from fellow educators about effective teaching methods and create a positive learning community.

college lecture

A Vision of Students Today
In this video it shows the thoughts of students and the lack of technology in classrooms. The statistics and facts show that students spend more time on Facebook, email, and other forms of technology rather than on schoolwork. Students become bored by just sitting and listening to a lecture. With college class sizes averaging around 100 people they become far too large for a personal learning experience and some students don't even bother to come. Class becomes boring so students find themselves not paying attention and doing on other things on their computer rather than note taking.
We are a technology driven society and by utilizing this effectively in the classroom students will be more engaged in the lesson. Schools need to look at the needs of their students and work to fill those. Hundreds of dollars are spent on books and thousands on school tuition. We should use this to make the learning experience more of an effective one by helping them prepare the future, which will most definitely include technology.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blog Post #2


Did you Know?
In Did you know 3.0 John Strange 2012 Version, the viewer is presented with some really hard facts, and it asks the question, "Are you ready to be an Educator?" This question really makes you consider the tools we still need to learn, to fully prepare us to be in charge of a classroom. It compares the intelligence of citizens in other countries with those of the United States, and shows some very stark contrasts between them. It shines a light on the areas that the U.S. education system needs to improve. For example, statistics predict that in China, over the next twenty or so years, there will be more Chinese speaking English, than native English speakers in the world.

While watching and discovering some of the different facts I found it to be very revealing. When it presented the statistics of students with cellphones, computers, and the amount of SMS messages sent by each, it was really very interesting, but yet not surprising. Our culture has become consumed with technology and the need to keep up with the latest trend. Having knowledge of these various technologies will be a vital part of success in the classroom.

Mr Winkle Waves
Mr Winkle Waves is a video about Rip Van Winkle who woke up from sleep after a 100 years. As he explores, he realizes things have changed drastically over the last century. The first place he visits is a office building where there are printers, computers, and various different modern technologies.  All of this becomes too much and he becomes ill. He then must take a trip to the hospital, where he encounters even more technology. He cannot believe that technology is so advanced, they even have machines to keep people alive and breathing. Lastly, he visits the school where and is pleasantly surprised to discover nothing has changed. The teachers still lecture, while the machines he encountered earlier collected dust. Though many things had changed, the classroom remained the same.

This video depicts how technology is used in some schools today. Teachers need to use the resources that are available to them and help the students learn. These technologies will become a part of their everyday lives as they continue to expand and become more integrated into our daily lives. It is important for their future success to learn about and use technology effectively . As children get older, technology will only become more influential and integral part of their daily lives.

Child's Creativity

The Importance Of Creativity
 In Ken Robinson's video, Importance of Creativity, he discusses our children, their creativity, and how schools have destroyed it. We place the more importance on math and literature, than the arts. This can cause many children to never realize their talents. Education has become about studying only so one can be accepted into a university. He suggests that we need to radically rethink our definition of intelligence, and the fundamental principles of our education system. The gift of human imagination is special and we need to see the value in our children, and their creative capacities, to prepare them for the future.

I really enjoyed this video and agree with Ken Robinson on his views about creativity in the education system. We are suppressing the children and holding them back from all the wonderful things they are capable of achieving.  The one thing that really got my attention was, "If your not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original." He goes on to talk about how children have no fear of being wrong, so they are more creative and think outside of the box. As they get older, and go out into the business world, this fear becomes a part of their lives. This fear can hold people back, preventing them from reaching their full capacity. The idea of academic inflation also really stuck out to me. Students become so focused on getting through school, in pursuit of a higher education, that they do not value and absorb what they are taught before that.

A Vision for 21st Century Learning
In the video, A Vision for 21st Century Learning, an idea is presented for a "21st century" classroom, that is completely run by technology. Their goal is to prevent children from just learning facts and memorizing information, but to really comprehend it and learn how to apply it pratically. Using technology, such as virtual 3-D video games for world history, they want to help students become more interested in their work. Also, believe it is important for students to play a more active role in learning for themselves. The students would become empowered by teaching themselves, while the teacher would be like a mentor.

I think they present some good ideas to integrate technology into the classroom, however, I believe it is still a necessity for the teacher to be in full control.  Children do well with hands on learning, which is where these types of technology can be a wonderful tool, but ultimately teachers are something that cannot be replaced. In my opinion, the personal impact teachers have on their students is something that technology could never imitate.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
The video, Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts, is about a teacher, in south Georgia, who is using technology to teach her kids and connect them with the outside world. They learn about avatars, blogging, work together to make collaborative reports, and so many other things. She allows them to learn most things for themselves, which she believes empowers them. Although they are from a small rural town, they have been able to connect with people from around the world. Using this technology is a way to prepare them for the future, as technology continues to become more advanced.

I enjoyed seeing seeing how she uses technology in her classroom and how the students were able to learn and explore for themselves. A hands on learning approach can always be very successful in helping students learn effectively. They also tend to see it as more enjoyable rather than just boring assignments that are required.