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.