Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blog Post 15

Project 13

Report on Collaboration
gmail and sms logo


For project 15 and 16, my group used both email and text messaging as a way of communication. For me personally, I liked text messaging, because I was able to get an instant response the majority of the time. Using the tools made it easy to collaborate on our project. We all had different schedules, so being able to plan out what we were going to do using text and email made our meeting day go very smoothly. I hope to expand my use of different tools for collaboration in the future.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Final PLN Report

My PLN is basically the same as it was when I last posted a progress report on it. I have added a few new blogs that I am trying to follow; I am also following a few more people on Twitter. I hope to find more time to read the blogs I am following at the end of this semester. I feel like I spent so much time reading the assigned blog posts for edm310, that I didn't have a lot of free time to read and follow any extra. I have enjoyed creating my PLN and I look forward to expanding it.
Symbaloo PLN

Friday, November 30, 2012

Project 16

C4T 4

people at a fruit marketThis month I was assigned to Jennifer Brokofsky blog, Learning Out Loud. She wrote a great post entitled, Using the Picture World Inductive Model to Connect Math to the Real World. Her post had a great idea of using photographs from real world settings to relate math to the real world. The Picture World Inductive Model is used everyday for Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. Mrs. Brokofsky believes it can also be used for math. I happen to agree with her. Math is all around us everyday, you just have to look at it from the right perspective. For example, in this photo that Mrs. Brokofsky used in her post, count number sequence, find patterns, and estimate quantities. I also suggested that students can make their own number sentences from the items in the photograph. For example, There are six people at the market. One person is leaving. How many are left? This is a great way to get little minds thinking about math in everyday settings.

C4K November Summary

C4K 8

This week for my C4K I was assigned to Kaitlyn's Courageous Blog. Kaitlyn is a student in Mr. Hagedorn's 5th grade history class. The class recently learned about the Hopi Indians in social studies. Kaitlyn wrote an interesting post about what you would do if you were a Hopi.

young Hopi girlIf you were a Hopi child you would wear what adults your same gender wore. Girls wore black cotton dresses that went over their right shoulder and boys wore some sort of kilt. They enjoyed playing games and made darts out of corncobs and feather. They grew many types of corn so, their diets mainly consisted of corn or anything they could make form cornmeal.

In my comment to Kaitlyn, I introduced myself as a student from The University of South Alabama. I told her I enjoyed the interesting information she gave about the Hopi. I also let her know that I thought is was neat that they made their own darts out of feathers and corncobs. I thought she did a very nice job on her post.

C4K 9

I just finished reading Ivan's Eulogy by Joseph from Mr. Spicer's fifth grade class in Chicago. Joseph wrote a fantastic eulogy for Ivan the gorilla. I let Joseph know what a wonderful job he had done. I also told him I wasn't sure who Ivan was so, I had to do some research. Here is what I found.
Ivan the gorilla

Ivan was captured in Africa in 1964. Ivan was lost in shipment and ended up living with a family that owned a pet store until he got to big to handle. For the next 27 years Ivan was locked in a concrete cage on display at a mall in Tacoma. Ivan was eventually moved to the Atlanta zoo where he lived happily for the next 18 years until his death in August of 2012.

C4K 10

I was assigned to read Patrick's blog from Ms. Martin's 10 th grade class at Baldwin County H.S. Patrick wrote a reflection about a book he read. He said he found the book interesting and felt he could relate the book to his school. In my comment I told him I was glad he found book the interesting, but I would have liked to have known the name of the book and possibly something a little more specific about the book. I also told him that I just started blogging this year and I have found the more I write, the more confidant I am.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Blog Post 13

1) Back to the Future

Brian Crosby is a teacher at Agnes Risley Elementary School in Sparks, Nevada. He teaches fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. His class consists of low poverty, second language learners. With the use of technology, Mr. Crosby is able to introduce his students to the world. All of his students have their own blogs and they have also made their own Wiki's.

Brain Crosby's Back to the Future Lecture
In his video, Mr. Crosby talks about an experiment he did with his class. They built a balloon and sent it up over a hundred thousand feet. Through this experiment they were able to include, Science, History, and Language Arts. They were also able to share their experience via the internet on their blogs. Mr. Crosby was able to combine technology with what could have been a very boring curriculum and get his students to think outside the box. Not only did they read about the history of balloons and how they work, but they were able to make one and have a one of a kind experience that would not have been available with out the use of technology and a caring teacher like Mr. Crosby.

2) A Vision of Students Today

This video was a powerful message of what really goes on in a University classroom. The majority of students that actually show up to class rarely do any of the assignments. Some students go into a lifetime of debt to attend collage and never show up to class. I could really relate to a lot of the messages in this video. One point in particular that really aggravates me is spending money on textbooks that I never use. I have spent over $200 on a book to find out I only need the CD that comes with the book or an activation code. Now I'm stuck with the book because its useless to anyone else without the CD or the code.

 laptop
I can't imagine that any teacher is happy about the useless wast of time and money that gets poured into higher education. Most teachers that I have talked to find it just as unfair as I do. Why, because they went through the same thing. I feel with so much technology at our fingertips money shouldn't be wasted on useless books. I believe that as an educator when you make learning more enjoyable and more affordable it's possible that you will see an increase in attendance. Students of today are tomorrows  teachers, doctors, nurses, and surgeons; if they are not showing up for class or retaining any information that is being taught to them, do we really want to put our lives in their hands? I know I don't!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Progress Report for Project 16

I have been in contact with my group through email and text messaging about our final project. We chose to make a movie and we are planning to meet next week to make our movie.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blog Post 12

funbrain title
For this assignment go to Funbrain.com. This is a safe and fun educational website that can be used during school or at home by students. You need to go to this website and find at least two different games that you could use in your classroom to help reinforce lessons that have been taught. List these games and give a brief description of how they can be helpful in your classroom. At the bottom of this site, there is also a Teacher Resources link with some useful information. Check it out. Explore and have fun!

For my first game I picked Math Baseball. With this game you can choose addition, subtraction, division, or multiplication. You can also pick any level from easy to super brain. The student will be given a math problem and if they answer correctly, they will get a hit. FUNBRAIN will decide if the hit is a single, double, triple, or home run based on the difficulty of the problem. If the answer is wrong, they will get an out. The game is over after three outs. This game will help reinforce basic math skills that are being taught and you can pick the skill based on the grade level or lesson being taught.

The second game I picked was Spellaroo. Spellaroo is a spelling game that gives you a sentence with two or more words underlined, depending on the difficulty level. You have to click on the word that is misspelled. When you get twenty correct you move on to the next level. I think this would be a helpful game for any student that is having trouble with spelling.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Blog Post 11

1) Little Kids...Big Potential

Ms.Cassidy's class using the internet
I am always amazed when I see kids at such a young age mastering technology. Ms. Cassidy's first grade class gave us a small peek into their classroom in this video. They are learning how to blog, make wiki pages, and use the internet effectively. Ms. Cassidy is also teaching them how to comment on blogs. One child said that you should not say mean things, only leave nice comments. The children talked about how they get comments from other people on their blog. They really seem to enjoy the idea of other people getting to see the work they have done.

2) Skype Interview

Ms.Cassidy skyping with Dr. Strange
Dr. Strange set up a Skype interview during one of his classes in the Spring of 2010. During the Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy, Dr. Strange asked her about using technology with her students and about how receptive and supportive her principles and co-workers were to the technology she was introducing to her students. Ms. Cassidy said that although not everyone had been completely supportive, no one has ever tried to stop her. Ms. Cassidy mentioned that not using technology handicaps your students and yourself.

When I first started this class (EDM310) I would have never imagined children blogging. Once I started exploring the world of blogging and technology my perspective began to change. I see it as a way to learn and interact with others from around the world. I have said from the beginning of my college journey that I wanted to teach first grade. I wondered if it would be possible for first graders to learn and benefit from the blogging world. Thanks to Ms. Cassidy I now have a new perspective on blogging in the first grade. I have definitely been inspired by what Ms. Cassidy is doing with her students. To sum up a comment from Ms. Cassidy in her interview with Dr. Strange, why write on paper for one to see when they can write on a blog for the world to see.

I'm sure I will encounter fellow teachers and principals along the way that may not be as open or perceptive to the idea of using a blog in the class room. I hope that I will have an opportunity to share with them some of the blogs and videos that we have seen this semester and possibly change their minds. I think most people are scared of things they don't know and Ms. Cassidy's class would be a perfect example to show how blogging and other technology can be useful in the classroom.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

C4T 3

C4T 3 Post 1

For my C4T, I was assigned to Jeff Delp's blog Molehills Out of Mountains. His Post was entitled, Staying Passionate about you Passions. He began by talking about a trip he made with his daughter to the Arizona Natural History Museum. Watching her explore and learn with no agenda reminded him of how his younger brother would take an interest in different topics when they were growing up. He said his dedication to each topic would last anywhere from several weeks to a few months.

passion sign
A few weeks prior to to his museum trip he read a post by Dean Shareski, that was entitled Stop Following your Passions...A celebration of work. Dean's post got Jeff to thinking about his passion and weather or not he was pursing them or just leaving them on the "back burner". Jeff mentioned in his post that, "My work is one of my passions, but sometimes I just want it to be my job".

This post got me to thinking about my kids and their passions. It also made me think about my own passions. In my comment to Jeff I shared with him that my children change their interests regularly. I have noticed that when they think they have learned all there is to know about what ever they a pursuing at the moment or, they get board, that is when they tend to move on to something new. I told Jeff that my own passion was teaching. I think like my kids, as educators, if we get to a place where we think we have learned all there is to know or get board with repeating the same thing over and over again we too will loose our passion. As educators, if we are not passionate about teaching, how can expect our students to be passionate about learning?

C4T 3 Post 2

students presenting their work to an authentic audience
Upon returning to Jeff Delp's blog, he had just written a new post entitled, How Authentic is Your Students’ Audience? . His school  just hosted their second annual showcase event. This is an event where the students get to share their learning experiences with their parents and other members of the community. As Jeff walked around campus he observed student demonstrating the technology they learned and they were sharing about topics that were important to them. They were presenting their learning to an authentic audience. Finally he asked the question, "How do you provide students at your school with an authentic audience?"

As a mother of two I explained, my children's school doesn't offer an opportunity to come and see what they are learning. They have an open house at the beginning of the year, but it is more of a meet and greet. Sure, I give them praise when they bring work home and showcase it on the refrigerator, but I think it would be wonderful to have other people that they don't know  commenting on their work and giving them praise. Even as adults we love to get a pat on the back, children need to know that what they are doing is important and having an authentic audience is a great way to give them the praise and motivation they need.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Special Assignment

A world where grades will be left behind

Google VP and professor Sebastian Thrun As USA Today celebrates their 30th anniversary, they interviewed several visionaries to get their view on the future. In this particular article, A world where grades will be left behind, Sebastian Thrun gives his insight on the future of education. Thrun, is a vice president at Google and a Stanford research professor. After teaching a free online course for artificial-intelligence, Thurn decided he could no longer teach in a traditional classroom setting. He created an online education system called Udacity. Sebastian Thurn has a vision for education that will be free via internet and will operate like a video game. There will be no grades and everyone will learn at their own pace.

The first question that comes to mind is, how is this education system going to be offered for free? Someone has to be responsible for designing these online classes and I'm sure they are not going to offer their time free of charge. As we all know technology changes rapidly, someone will need to be working behind the scene to make sure the courses are always up to date. There are entirely to many costs involved to offer this kind of education for free.

Another concern is, not everyone is self-motivated. I see so many students in all of my classes that are failing because they simply don't show up for class or they don't do the work. These people are paying for their education and if that isn't enough to motivate them, what's going to motivate them if they have nothing to lose? Don't get me wrong, I personally love online classes, but I don't see how they can be offered for free nor do I see how they can be free of time restrictions.

The last point I want to make concerns his "famous" quote he told at a Digital-Life-Design conference. Thurn said, "I feel like there's a red pill and a blue pill", "And you can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture your 20 students. But I've taken the red pill, and I've seen Wonderland." Alice in Wonderland wasn't exactly a fairy tale. Alice was meet with many hardships, at times it was more like a nightmare. Please correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Alice spend most of her time trying to get back home? Maybe Thurn should stay away from the pills.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

C4K October Sumarry

C4K 3

For my third C4K, I commented on kkrysztofowicz's blog from Mr. Wirth's fourth grade class at Union Pleasant Elementary in Hamburg, N.Y.The blog post was titled, A Story About a Puma. It was about a puma that sat on a mountain watching people with beards, mustaches, and suitcases. One day it watched aliens, birds, dogs, cats, and other animals. At the end of the story I found out it was only a dream.I told kkrysztofowicz that I was glad I was a girl without a mustache or a beard. I also told him that he must have a very active imagination and I enjoyed reading about his dream.

C4K 4

This week I was assigned to a post titled, Blogging to Learn. This post came from a student in Mike Gwaltney's 11 grade US History Research Seminar class. This student had a very informative, well written post about her new experience with blogging. Like me, she found blogging to be very confusing to begin with, but the more she uses it the more comfortable she becomes. She talked about how she sees blogging as a way to form a partnership with and learn from fellow classmates. She sees blogging as a way to connect with people from around the world ,but worries about the lack of face to face communication that is missing when blogging. She also wrote about the importance of keeping students up to date with technology and he sees blogging as the classroom of the future.

Blogging InspirationI first introduced myself as a student from EDM310 at The University of Alabama. I shared with her that through this class I was introduced to blogging for the first time also. I also agreed with her about the lack of face to face communication but shared with her the possibilities of sharing with people from around the world through blogging. In closing my comment to her, I told her that I couldn't wait to see where blogging takes us in the future. I also told her that it looked like she was on the right track and told her to keep up the good work.

C4K 5

This week I was assigned to Migproscoper in Mrs. Middleton's 6 grade class in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. This student introduced herself as Joob Job. She talked about her dance experience. She has been taking tap and hip hop for three years. She also enjoy's hockey and has scored 74 goals in two seasons. Her hobbies include, riding her bike and playing Call of Duty.

shadow of three kids doing hip hopI started off by introducing myself as a student from The University of South Alabama in The United States. I told her I enjoyed getting to know a little bit about her. I explained to her that I knew little about hockey, but I was sure that 74 goals in two seasons was pretty good accomplishment that she should be proud of. I told her that I enjoyed watching dance,but never took it. I asked her which was her favorite, tap or hip hop. I told her my favorite is hip hop. I ended by letting her know that I enjoyed getting to know her and I hoped to her back from her soon.

C4K 6

This week I was assigned to Ruthie from Mrs. Peterson's English 7 Blog.Ruthie wrote a heartbreaking post about how much she missed her sister. You see, her sister is a senior in high school and is busy preparing for college. Even though Ruthie's sister still lives under the same roof with her, she feels like she never sees her. Ruthie wanted advice on how she could spend sometime with her sister.

I told Ruthie that I knew exactly how she and her sister feel. I explained to her that I was not only a college student myself, but I am the mother of two boys. It is hard to balance college and family and all the stresses that can mount up, not only on the student but the whole family. I suggested that Ruthie get her parents permission and kidnap her sister for the afternoon. Even if it is only to the back yard for a picnic. I suggested she set the rules; no phones, no books, and no computers!
sisters having a picnic in the park

Ruthie's post was very well written. I love how she let her readers into her personal life. I hope she can reconnect with her sister and maintain a close relationship.

C4K 7 Special Edition

St. Patrick's Cathedral
This week I was assigned to read Dr. Vitulli and Dr. Santoli's post entitled 3. And Even More St. Patrick's: St. Patrick's Cathedral from their blog, Vitulli & Santoli: Eyes on Ireland. This was a wonderful post full of amazing photo's of Christ Church Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral. There was also some great information about how the construction of St. Patrick's Cathedral began in 1192. Throughout the years many of the decorations from St. Patrick's were vandalized or went missing. Thanks to the Guiness family, the Cathedral was eventually restored and is still open for tourists and worship services today.

In my comment to Dr. Vitulli and Dr. Santoli, I answered some questions that were asked throughout the blog post. I also thanked them for the photos and wished them both a safe trip home.

Blog Post 10

1) I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga.

a cartoon mocking
After looking at this cartoon from John T. Spencer's blog, Adventures in Pencil Integration, I was a little lost. I had no idea what it meant. So, I went to his blog and read the comments to see if I could find my answer. Sure enough, the last comment was from Mr. Spencer himself explaining that is was a mock of "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" commercials. Again, I was still lost. Thanks to DVR, I don't watch a lot of commercials. Luckily for me I went to YouTube and found this video of "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" commercials. Now, finally I get it. I Guess I was having a PC kind of day (slow). The cartoon is comparing a PC to a papermate pencil, they are cheap, but if they are always breaking, what good are they? The cartoon is also comparing the Ticonderoga brand pencil to a Mac. It is a better quality and lasts longer. Personally, I prefer Ticonderoga pencils, and I'm beginning to strongly dislike my PC. I just wish a Mac was as affordable as a Ticonderoga pencil. Oh well, we can always dream!

2) Why Where Your Kids Playing Games?

John Spencer's post, Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?, is about a teacher that gets called into the principals office because he was caught playing games with his students in the classroom. The teacher tries to explain that they were not just playing a game, they were drawing, reading, and learning. The principal is only concerned with the students passing a memorization test and wants the teacher to focus on memorization skills.

Personally, I believe that students are more likely to actually learn material when they have hand  on experiences. Playing learning games and participating in activities will increase the likelihood of students not only learning , but retaining the information. Often, information that is only memorized, goes into our short term memory and is soon forgotten.

After spending some time looking around John Spencer's blog, Adventures in Pencil Interrogation, I also decided to include his post entitled, Are Pencils Making Us Narcissistic? in my post. In this post, Tom's principal warns him that using pen pal networks may make the students narcissistic. Tom argues that, "self-centeredness is a social and psychological rather than a technological issue". Tom also suggests to his principal that they should get rid of the school mirrors if narcissism is a concern.  The fact is,  students need to be taught how to correctly use technology so that it is not all about them. They need to learn how to use technology in a manner that helps others and not just as a way to "toot their own horn" on social networks. John writes in the last sentence of his post, "The issue isn't the technology we use, but the tone of voice that matters". This is such a profound statement. People often fear technology, but the fact is, it doesn't matter what technology you are using, but the manner in which you choose to use it.

3) Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

Dr. Scott McLeod is one of the nation’s leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues. He is also serving as the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8 in Iowa. Dr McLeod has has received many national awards for his technology leadership work.

I completely agree with Dr. McLeod's position in his post entitled, Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?. If we are not teaching our kids this technology they will be left behind, because somewhere someone is teaching them this stuff.  I mentioned in my comment to Dr. McLeod that cheating, bullying, and porn have been around long before technology and will continue to exist with or without it. We can not use these excuses to keep our children from advancing. We have to teach them how to use technology correctly so they can move forward with the rest of the world.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blog Post 9

What I Learned This Year - Volume 4

Joe McClung began his teaching career in the fall of 2009. At the end of each year he writes a reflection post on his blog. He reflects on the lessons he has learned as a teacher. His end of the year reflection for 2011-2012 was different from the posts he had written in the previous years. Joe McClung's fourth end of the year reflection was entitled, What I Learned This Year - Volume 4 .

He begins by discussing how he struggled to define himself as a teacher. He worries about how his peers view him as an educator. After worrying for the majority of the school year over this matter, Mr. McClung finally comes to the realization that he can not be concerned with how his peers view him. The most important thing to consider is, are the students having fun, and are they learning.

I think it is human nature to worry about how our peers view us. No matter how hard we try, it is impossible to please everybody. As educators our worry should not be weather or not our fellow teachers like us. That doesn't define who we are or how well we are doing our job. What does matter is the kids; are they learning, are they enjoying what they are doing? If we can answer yes to those questions, then we should have no doubt weather or not we are doing a good job.

Next, Mr. McClung talks about challenging yourself. After three years of being at the same school and teaching the same subjects, he worries that he is loosing his creativity because he continues to revert to his old lesson plans. He goes on to say that this has taught him a lesson that when we become to comfortable, we can become lazy. Mr. McClung accepted an offer to teach a different subject and a different grade for the following school year.

I think it easy for us to get stuck in a monotonous routine. We can easily loose our creativity by repeating the same thing day after day and year after year. If we are board with the lessons we are presenting, how can we expect our students to stay engaged? If we don't get an opportunity to change grade levels like Mr. McClung, we must force ourselves to come up with new lessons so our students don't suffer.

What I've Learned This Year (2008 2009)

t-shirt that say's I survived my first year teaching
For the next part of this assignment I chose to read Joe McClung's first reflective blog post, What I've Learned This Year . Mr. McClung points out some interesting things that he learned in his first year of teaching. I think these are some important lessons to keep in mind when entering your first year of teaching. The First lesson was, How to read the crowd. Mr. McClung pointed out that he was so concerned with how his superiors saw him, that he wasn't focusing on how he was delivering his lessons to his students. The most important part of being an educator is getting through to your students. I think your superiors will respect you and see your abilities as long as you concentrate on the student and not worry about the way others are viewing you.

The next lesson he outlined was, be flexible. Mr. McClung admits that in the beginning of the school year he was concerned with presenting the "perfect" lesson. As a teacher you have to be in control, but you can not always control the way the lesson will go. Teaching is kind of like a play; it's a live performance, and while you may have a script, it's not always going to go the way you planned. And that's okay! We are learning too, and when something doesn't work, change it.

Third, communicate. It's important to build relationships with your coworker. Just as we are learning to collaborate in edm310, it's important to continue that practice when we enter the teaching field. We can learn new things from our fellow teachers as long as we open up the lines of communication.

The fourth lesson from Mr. McClung's post was, be reasonable. Teachers begin the year with high expectations for their students, and while it is important to have certain expectations from your students, you have to remember they are children. Keep your expectations responsible and when they fail to meet them, pick them up and help get them back on track.

Fifth, don't be afraid of technology. Technology shouldn't be something we fear. We should embrace it, use it, and learn from it. As a society we are often afraid of the unknown. Among adults, technology is one of those unknowns we tend to fear. It is important to remember that our students fear a world where technology doesn't exist. If we are using technology in our classroom, then we have created an environment that is friendly and familiar to our students.

Sixth, listen to your students. Mr. McClung gives an example of an answer he received from an end of the year survey he gave his students. When asked, "I know my teacher cares about me as a person when he", the student answered, " Listens to what I say". So many adults don't listen to what children say; they are really missing out too. Often children have significant things to say, and too many adults tune children out. Even if it's not very meaningful to us, it means something to them or they wouldn't say it. It's important for children to know somebody cares enough about them to listen to what they have to say.

Lastly...never stop learning. This could also possibly be the most important lesson. One thing that really stuck out to me that Mr. McClung said here was, "We work in a learning environment, so why not soak up as much as you can? We owe it to our students". We are educators and we should lead by example. Our students will be more open to continuing their learning experience if they see us continuing ours. We should never get to a point where we think we have learned all there is to know. We live in a world where technology and information is changing daily. There is always something new to learn or something we can expand on.

Project 12

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Project 10

PLN Progress Report

I chose Symbaloo to create my PLN. I have added our EDM310 class blog along with my blog to my PLN. I have also added some blogs I have grown to enjoy. I think it will take an adjusting period to get used to using my PLN but I look forward to learning from it and I plan on adding more sites as I find them. I have included a screen shot of my PLN on Symbaloo.
screen shot of Rachael Gordon's PLN

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blog Post 8

1) This is How We Dream

open laptopIn This is How We Dream Part 1, Richard E. Miller discuses the incremental changes in writing with multimedia. Mr. Miller stated that we are experiencing the greatest change in human communication, in human history. Mr. Miller is primarily talking about books and news articles, but the way we communicate on a daily basis has also changed drastically. I remember when leaving your house for the day meant not communicating with anyone that was not in the car with you. Now you can stay connected with the world all from a device that can fit in the palm of your hand.

Additionally, Mr. Miller discusses the ability to research right from the web. Before all of the advancements with the internet you could spend hours at the library looking up books and going through the pages searching for valuable information. Now, you can do all the research you need right from your own computer. Mr. Miller stated that a print document will eventually make its way to the trash, but a web document will be available forever. Within a matter of seconds anyone can find any information they need right from their own home. People can collaborate using networking, text, image, video, and sound. With all of these advancements, the way we read, write, and learn has changed drastically.

Finally, in part 2 of This is How we Dream, Mr. Miller discusses the fundamental changes that are involved in writing with multimedia. Mr. Miller said, "ideas don't belong to us individually, but they belong to us as a culture". I thought this was a profound statement simply because, what good is an idea or knowledge if we keep it to ourselves and do not share it with the world. We, as educators are responsible for sharing our ideas and knowledge. Otherwise, we can not and will not grow. It's up to us to publish our ideas to the web so that it will be available to the world. We can easily compose with the web to produce different versions of information that already exists and make it appealing to a different audience.


2) Carly's Post

I think Carly's blog post 12 was exactly what Richard Miller was disusing in his video's This is How We Dream. Carly's assignment idea was to have her students create a YouTube play list that contained video's that would help and inspire them as teachers. Carly not only used text in her post, but she used video's to help get her message across. I think this is precisely what Mr. Miller had in mind when he disused the changes in communication. Carly did a fabulous job with her assignment and I think she has a very good understanding of how to mix text, image, video, and sound.

3)EDM 310 Videos

book cover for edm310 for dummiesI loved The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies. The Chipper Series is a great example of what can happen in life if we try to take short cuts or find an easy way out. Chipper started off on the wrong foot by not keeping up with her assignments and she lost control once she got behind. EDM310 for Dummies is a great example of what it can feel like if you do not know what's going on and get behind. Everything can become overwhelming if you procrastinate and let everything pile up on you. The moral of these videos is, don't procrastinate and do your research so you will know what's going on. Additionally, if I had the opportunity to create or participate in a video for EDM310, I would probably want to make one on creating a podcast and utilizing the green screen. Now that I have done it, it doesn't seem so bad, but going into it I have to admit I was terrified.


4)Learn to Change, Change to Learn

I couldn't agree more with the points made in the video Learn to Change, Change to Learn. Schools and classrooms need to change the way they are teaching children. The video mentioned that students have a more stimulating environment outside of school. The reason for this is because many school systems have banned the use of networking and other technology in the classroom. Students today are not going to respond to the same methods that used to work ten years or even five years ago.

Teachers also need to be equipped with the tools and connections to teach their students to make global connections. Teachers and students are still working within a system that is mostly concerned with standardized testing; when in fact,in the 21 century they need to be concerned with how to find information, how to validate it, communicate it, collaborate it, and problem solve with it. If students are not being stimulated in the class room they are going to tune out and they will be forever lost. We have to change the way students are being taught in the classroom.

5) Scavenger Hunt 2.0

discovery education tools1) I choose edmodo for my tool that is similar to Twitter and Facebook. I think it would be more beneficial in my classroom because I can post assignments and due dates. I could also send and receive messages from my students and parents. There is also a place in the library to use Google Docs.

2) After watching this presentation, I would have to say that Prezi was used to create it. This program has the absolute best deal possible for students and teachers. It can be yours for the very low and wonderful price of...FREE! That is right, I said free. Now you can turn those boring slide show presentations in to an eye popping attention grabber.

3)For the last part of my scavenger hunt, I created this poll using Polleverywhere.com

Friday, October 19, 2012

Project 9b

For my Prezi, I converted a Power Point that my ten year old son made for an assignment this year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

C4T 2

C4T 2 Post 1

For this assignment I was assigned to Jabiz Raisdana's blog, Intrepid Teacher. His post was titled What It Might Be- Authentic Student Blogging. I found this to be a very helpful post not only as a future educator but as a current student. Jabiz began his post by outlining some important questions he asked himself when he began blogging seven years ago. One of my favorite questions he asked was, "What if we tell our students that writing helps us learn how to think?" As a student I would have to completely agree. For me writing does not come naturally, so I really do have to think about everything I say. The more I write, the easier it becomes.

He goes on to say, "The best way to mentor others is to do yourself. If you want to create a student blogging environment you HAVE TO blog yourself. Write, read, immerse yourself in the blogosphere and play". We can't have the "do as I say, not as I do" mindset. In order for us to teach our students to blog effectively, we need to be blogging effectively. Jabiz also discusses the importance of allowing students the freedom to explore and post on their own so they can develop a trust and feel safe to open up. He compares social networking to digital playgrounds. A place were you can experiment, play, and learn. Blogging in the classroom is the middle ground where students can process what they have learned.

In my comment to Jabiz, I told him how helpful his post was to me because I am new to blogging. I also told him it felt more like a jungle than a playground to me. I went on to tell him that I hope I can take everything I learn here, and teach my future students. I invited him to come and see my summary post of my visits to his blog and welcomed any advise he had for me.

C4T 2 Post 2

Upon returning to Jabiz Raisdana's blog, Intrepid Teacher, I found a very interesting idea for collaborative writing in his post Everything Means A Lot To Me . This idea grew from a conversation on Twitter between Jabiz and three others. They began by one person suggesting several different photos. Another person then chose the photo and added a writing prompt, to which another wrote a short text. Finally Jabiz's job was to digitize the text. It was very interesting to see how another's text had played out in Jabiz's head. He also suggested after the process was completed, have everyone switch roles.

In response to this post I told Jabiz how for me personally, I could sit for hours and come up with nothing if I am only given a topic to write about. However, I think the picture tells its own story and it depends on the individual as to what that story is. I think students collaborating on a project like this could  help them create a more expressive interpretation. I also wondered if you switched roles and used the same photo, would that affect the mood of the interpretation?
man sitting on wall with writing promt, Whatis he thinking

I have also included the photo with the writing prompt and here is the link to the digital story that was created.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog Post 7

1) The Networked Student

The Networked Student picture of a network of peopleWendy Drexler: The Networked Student was a very interesting video. The video was prepared by Wendy Drexler's high school students and was inspired by connectivism. Connectivism is based on learning thorough social networks of many diverse networks and ties. I love that students are learning from the internet because they can find more up to date information. Textbooks can very quickly become out of date and with the cost of textbooks I feel that most children are learning from material that is obsolete.

Learning in the 21st century is not the same as it used to be and teaching in the 21st century cannot stay the same either. The video mentioned that the tools are not as important as the connections made possible by them. You can have a classroom full of computers, but if no one knows how to use them properly they are useless. Sure, every child in the 21st century knows how to get online, but they need a teacher to show them how to use the web to research and take advantage of every opportunity available.

Furthermore, students need to be taught how to distinguish facts from idiocy when they are online. There are so many sites that appear to be fact, but often they are merrily an opinion and not always an educated one. The teacher's role is also to help the students when they get stuck. Learning in the 21st century allows the students more freedom to work on their own, but it is important for them to know the teacher is still there to help them and guide them when necessary.

2) PLN

While watching A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (or PLN) I thought a lot about what we are doing in EDM310. It is very similar in the fact that we have a list of assignments and while we do not have the option not to do them, we choose when we do them (as long as it's before the due date). It was exciting to see how well organized and engaged this 7th grade student was. It was interesting to hear her say that even though she has the freedom to choose when and how to do her work she also feels the responsibility to get it done. I would presume that because she actually enjoys what she is doing, she is more inclined to do her work and take pride in what she has accomplished. However, I do think it takes a self-motivated individual to work and succeed in this type of environment.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blog Post 6

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Randy PauschAfter watching Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, I honestly wasn't sure exactly what the lesson in this video was. After pondering over it for a couple of days I still wasn't clear. I decided I needed to watch the video again. After watching the video for the second time I realized the whole video was a "head fake" but, not the "head fake" Randy Pausch mentions in the end. Randy Pausch describes a "head fake" as information we learn indirectly. We learn best when we don't even realize we are learning. I think the reason for this is because we are more open minded when we think we are being entertained and not educated. I hope I can adapt the "head fake" method in my classroom so my students will become educated while being entertained and engaged.

The next lesson I took away from the video was, perseverance. Randy Pausch said, "Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things". All too often, when people hit a "brick wall" they call it quits and walk away from their dreams or goals. Some one with enough perseverance will find a way through any "brick wall". As educators it is our job to make sure all students succeed. Sometimes you may encounter a student that doesn't care, your "brick wall". Our job as educators is to find a way to get through to that student to make sure he/she never gives up. We have to help them develop perseverance.

Something else Randy Pausch mentioned was the importance of self reflection. I believe self reflection is important because, when we can look at ourselves and see the areas where we have grown and also see what we can improve on, then we can and will succeed. We need to teach our students took look at their work and see where they went wrong and how it could have been better. This will help them long after they graduate.

Here is some more advice from Randy Pausch that I felt was worth mentioning; learn from our students, have fun, never loose our child-like wonder, help others, and never give up.

Randy Pausch wants us to believe that the "head fake" in his last lecture was, "How to lead your life". I think it was about the legacy of his life.

Friday, October 5, 2012

C4K September Summary

For my first C4K I was assigned to Jennifer in Ms. King's 5th grade class in Auckland, N.Z. Jennifer had written a 50 word story about Richard Whitehead winning the gold medal in this year's Paralympics. Jennifer's story talked about how happy Richard Whitehead was after winning his race. I explained to Jennifer that I was form The University of South Alabama in The united States. I asked Jennifer if she knew that Richard Whitehead had broken the world record when he won his gold medal in this year's Olympics. Jennifer also had a nice picture of him waving Great Britain's flag so; I thought I would share it.

For my second C4K, I was assigned to Shirquera form Mr. Mark's Class 15 at PT England School in Auckland, N.Z. Shirquera's post was about a day her class went outside and pretended to be in the Paralympics. Shirquera described the different parts of their relay race. It sounded like Shirquera had a lot of fun running around and cheering on her team. I told her that I was from The University of South Alabama in The United States. I told her that it sounded like she and her classmates had a lot of fun and I was sure she had done a great job.

Project 9a - TimeToast

TimeToast Timeline

The Mayflower's Voyage

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blog Post 5

1) Travis Allen

Travis Allen has some valid points in his video The iSchool Initiative. With the public school system always being  short on funds and constantly doing budget cuts; The iSchool seems like a great solution to the problem. Using The iSchool system would save not only the school board money but, it would also save parents money. Teachers already have to enter assignments into a computer to be able to print them out so, why not just email the assignment to each student? You have just saved paper, ink, and a tree. The student can then complete the assignment and turn it in through email.

In the video Travis Allen's ZeitgeistYoungMinds entry (Mobile Learning) iSchool Initiative, Larry Jacobs said, "Travis Allen is the Mark Zuckerberg of education." I would absolutely agree with him. Travis Allen knows where the future of education is going and I hope he can lead us there. Our world is not the same paper and pencil world that it used to be. We need to start teaching our children how to learn and live in this new technical world .But, we can't forget that children still need to know how to use a pencil and paper.

2) Virtual Choir

I am speechless after watching Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque' . Jennifer Chambers said it best in her post, "just amazing!" To think, you can take 185 people that have never meet before and put together a performance like that; all because of this little thing we call the Internet. We really do have the world at our fingertips.We can reach out to anywhere in the world and learn anything we want. We just have to be willing. The question is, are we?

3) Teaching in the 21st Century

In Teaching in the 21st Century (John Strange version), Roberts is trying to communicate that even though students can get all there answers from the Internet, they still need someone to teach them how to use the information. I believe students still need to be taught the basic curriculum, they need to know how to write with a pen and pencil; they need to know how to write in cursive so they can sign there name. I certainty don't agree that the roll of the teacher in the students life is becoming obsolete, If anything I think the roll of the teacher is growing. There is more information to be taught than ever before. As educators it is our job to make sure today's students become resourceful and productive members of society. They need to know that Twitter and Facebook are not only about telling everyone what you had for lunch. I hope as an educator, I can teach my students how to use all the information and resources that are available to them.

4) Flipped Classroom

computer doing a flip
Why I Flipped My Classroom was not what I thought it was going to be. I'm not sure what I was expecting but, it is a very interesting approach. I like the idea because of my own personal experiences with my own children. Most of their homework (especially math) doesn't seem to be a review of work done in the classroom that day but, work that has only been lectured. As a parent I would much rather my child watch a 10 minute lecture video for homework and then be able to do the work in class. This way, if they have a question their teacher can answer it correctly. I also see how it can help  students to take better notes. Not all children write or understand at the same level so, having the option to pause or rewind the lecture would be a huge benefit for some students that process information a little slower. Katie Gimbar also did a great job answering questions and solving problems in her FAQ video Flipped Classroom - FAQ. I would love to be able to use this method in my classroom because, I feel it would allow more time for one on one help with the children that are having trouble understanding the material.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Blog Post 4

1) Langwitches 1st Graders Create Own Read Along Book

After reading Langwithes blog post about how her 1st graders created a read along book, I thought about how time consuming it must have been to get the students to say their lines and then edit it all together. Once I listened to the audio file, I was amazed at what a wonderful job these 1st graders did! I think it was a great way to get all the children involved in reading the book.

This could be a great way to do a podcast for our group project. I like the idea of having an interviewer ask the rest of the group their opinions about the book and the script could be on slides for the listener / reader to follow along.

2) The Beneļ¬ts of Podcasting in the Classroom by Joe Dale

I enjoyed reading and watching Joe Dale's post about podcasting. I found it to be very informative. I like the idea of using podcasting in the classroom because, not only does it give children who miss class the opportunity to go back and hear the lecture but, it also gives parents the opportunity to hear what goes on in the classroom. As a parent, my children often come home wanting help with homework; when I try to explain what they need to do I hear, "that's not the way the teacher said do it!" If a pod cast of the lecture was available, it would be easy for them to go back and listen to their teachers instructions again. Often times, the way I would do it, is not the way the teacher wants it done. Not that my way is wrong, it is just different.  Joe Dale's video, Podcasting In The Classroom did a great job of explaining podcasting and why it is important.

3) Judy Scharf Podcast Collection

This was the most informative site for me. This post contained tips for a successful podcast and there were also downloadable handouts on creating and uploading a podcast. The YouTube video link How To Create A Podcast, using Audacity was also very informative. After everything I have read and watched, I think Audacity will be the best choice for me to use to make my podcast.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Project 5 - Google Presentation

C4T 1

For my first C4T assignment, I was assigned to Henrietta Miller's blog, Classroom Chronicles. In her post she discussed an email she received inviting her to join the Adobe Education Leadership program. Mrs. Miller was very transparent about her lack of expertise when it comes to the many Adobe Programs. With that she also stressed her willingness to learn.She added that this was a great reminder to her that she is a life-long learner as well as her students.

In my comment to Mrs.Miller I told her how encouraging it was to know that even with years of experience she is still learning new things as well. I think as educators we need to commit to being life-long learners so our students will always have the most current education in our fast changing world.

When I returned to Henrietta Miller's blog, Classroom Chronicles, I was excited to see that she had just returned from the Adobe Education Leadership Summit. Mrs. Miller discovered that Adobe produces software that not only encourages creativity but also helps develop creativity. Adobe has products that are available for computers and for the iPad. Adobe has developed an online resource called  Adobe Education Exchange. It is free to sign up and it is a great space for teachers from around the world to share and learn from one another. It is full of great lesson plan ideas that can be incorporated into your classroom.

I told Mrs.Miller that I was thankful that she shared her summit experience on her blog. I have already signed up for my free Adobe Education Exchange account and have discovered several lesson plan ideas I hope to use in my classroom one day.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blog Post 3

1) Peer Editing

Peer editing is a hard thing to do because sometime people have a tendency to take things very personal and they are offended by your remarks. Personally I never thought of editing as complimenting ones work as suggested in What is Peer Editing? and Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial. I really like the idea of starting off with a compliment because it will more than likely make your peer feel more comfortable and be more open to your suggestions. Suggestions should come after your compliments and make sure you are specific with your suggestions as well. The final step from the videos is making corrections on punctuation, grammar, sentence structure and spelling.

Possibly some of the best advice came from the video Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes. What a talented group of fourth and fifth graders. As the editor, we can edit without being mean or pushy like Mean Margret and Pushy Patty in the video. It is also important when on the receiving end of the review to take the advice given and try to improve your work so you don't end up like whatever William. Most importantly don't take it personally. Peer editing is not meant to be a personal attack but, a useful tool to help each other succeed.

2) Technology for Special Education

The video, Technology in Special Education is a wonderful example of how technology can be used in the classroom. When most people think of using technology in the class room, they don't think of special needs children. This video was a great example of how computers can make life and learning easier for children and adults with special needs. For the students that cannot hold a pen or pencil, they can type there work on a keyboard. This also frees the teacher up because there is no longer a need to stand over the student while he/she point to letters on a piece of paper.

I know that there are children who often have to leave the class room during testing because they need someone to read the questions to them. Using a computer program that could read the question to them would allow them to stay with their class. I think the new technology that is available has defiantly made learning easier and more effective for special needs students and teachers.

3) Educational Apps

It is amazing to see how a simple app can help someone with special needs learn things they couldn't understand before. I enjoyed watching Branden in the video How the iPad Works for Autism work with his dad on his math, reading, and writing skills. I went to Apple.Education Apps.com and it didn't take me very long to find an app that I fell in love with. It's the ALS Dictionary app. It has 5,200 different signs in it. It is the most complete ASL video dictionary with multiple word signs. It also shows time, money, and has many more features.

Personally I don't know sign language, but it is something I have wanted to learn for a while now. I think this would be a very helpful app to use in the class room because you would be able to communicate with a student that was def and/or mute. The other students would also be able to communicate with them as well. Last year my ten year old son had a little girl in his class room that did not speak. She was very fortunate that there was another student in the class room that knew sign language and was able to help her communicate. If this app had been available in the class room it would have allowed the teacher and the other children the opportunity to communicate more easily with this her.
a woman signing the word internet

4) Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

I enjoyed watching Vicki Davis' class in the video Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts. Vickie Davis is a teacher in South Georgia that has her students connecting with other students from around the world. Mrs. Davis teachers her students how to use new software and also how to collaborate effectively with one another. I really like her point that if you are only teaching children how to use a pencil and paper, you are only teaching certain types of students to succeed.

This video was very informative and I really like the idea of students being able to work with other students from around the world. I also noticed the students in her room helping each other. It is nice to see students working together and not always sitting in silence listening to a lecture.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Blog Post 2

Futuristic Brain1) Did you know 3.0

I was completely astonished after watching Did you Know? 3.0 - A John Strange 2012 Version and the original version Did you Know 3.0 by Karl Fisch and Scott Mcleod. It was very disheartening to see how far behind the United States is compared to China and India. Both videos were full of interesting data. From the videos I learned that there are more honor students in India than there are students in the United States; and there are 18 million Chinese that speak English and if all the people in China that are currently "learners" of the English language actually learn it, by 2025 the Chinese will out number the amount of native English speakers in the rest of the world.

The worst part of this information is that 93% of all 8-18 year olds had computers in their home 2 years ago and I am pretty sure that percentage is higher now. The video also stated that there are more than one million Google searches per minute. So, with all the technology and information we have at our finger tips, why is the United States so far behind? Did you know? I sure didn't.

2)Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle Wakes by Mathew Needleman was about an old man that wakes up after sleeping for a hundred years. When he walks into an office building he sees many things he has never seen before like computer and printers. He observes people in video conferences with people from other parts of the world. Disturbed and feeling a little sick he goes to a hospital to find machines that are keeping people alive. He sees nurses and doctors looking at ex-rays of peoples bones. With the hospital not making him feel any better he travels to a school and finds that everything is just as he remembered it 100 years ago.

It is very disturbing that in most schools this is true. Children are being taught the same way they were taught a hundred years ago. This needs to change! Our children need to learn how to use the technology that exists today so they will be prepared to learn how to use new technologies that will exist in their future.

3)Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity


I really enjoyed watching Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity. Robinson addressed the lack of creativity that exists in the public school system. Not only in the United States, but around the world creativity is at the bottom of the list. Our school system doesn't allow children to use their creativity and as they grow up they lose all the natural creativity they were born with. For me the one thing Robinson said that really stuck with me was, "If your not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original"(5:42).

The point being, if we don't allow kids to be creative they will grow up to be adults that are scared to try new things. The Education system needs to spend as much time on our children's creativity as it does on math, reading, and writing.

4)A Day Made of Glass

I really enjoyed watching A Day Made of Glass 2. When I think of glass, I don't think about tablets, walls, and tables. Seeing the technologies that will be available in the future with glass was pretty amazing. I love the idea of the students being able to see what was on the board right on their own desk. If Mr. Winkle had walked into this video, he probably would have had a stroke.

We have already come a very long way with technology in our schools, from chalkboards to whiteboards and now smart boards; we are changing the way we teach our children but we have a long way to go. My seven year old watched A Day Made of Glass 2, when he saw the school he said, "I want to go to that school." Our children are so tech savvy that we can't continue educ
ation the way it was taught a hundred years ago. We have to evolve our education system to keep our kids interested.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blog Post 1

My Life
My name is Rachael Gordon and I was born and raised in Semmes, Alabama and it is where I still call home. I am 32 years young;I have been married to my amazing husband, Tim for eleven years. We have two very active little boys, Timothy who is ten and Matthew is seven.
Most of our free time is spent at the ballpark with our boys. They both play baseball in the spring and Timothy plays football in the fall, this will be his seventh year playing for the Semmes Colts. Matthew tried football but he did not like the helmet and pads, if he could play without them he would be happy. He decided to try soccer this year and I really hope he doesn't try to tackle anyone. When we are not at the ballpark we enjoy just hanging out around the house with family.
This is my first semester at South. I attended Faulkner State Community College for two years because the tuition there is so much cheaper. The majority of my classes at Faulkner were online so being at South has been a bit of a change for me. I am seeking a degree in Elementary Education. Around four years ago I began working part time at a local pre-school. With in a few months I found myself teaching one of the K-3 classes and that's when I realized what I wanted to do with my life.I love being around children and noting is sweeter than seeing their little face light up with delight when they have learned something new and accomplished something for the first time. I am looking forward to my time at South and I hope my degree will help make a better future for my family and hopefully I can make a difference in the lives of other children along the way.

Randy Pausch
I have never heard of Randy Pausch before watching his video for this assignment. I liked his idea of balancing your time just like you balance your money.It made me think of a check book, you always make sure to pay the important bills first and then you can play with the money you have left over. You should do the same with your time by prioritizing whats on your to do list with the most important things being done first and saving the extras for last.I agree with his statement,"failing to plan is planning to fail." if you don't have a plan in life your are setting your self up for failure.