Saturday, December 10, 2011

Blog Post # 14

Rabbit coming out of a box saying box of tricks

Jose Picardo's Long List of Resources For Teachers

Wow that just blew my mind. I can't believe all of the different things that are out there. I'm not sure why because I realize there is a bunch of helpful tools out there, but when they are brought to light and are able to see what they can be applied to it is pretty amazing. The tool "Gliffy" I thought would be great for work if you have to do presentations. Icing on the cake always helps out. I thought "Mahara" was one that would be ideal for a class forum such as EDM310. I liked that everything is right there for your students to get set up. Really convenient. I also liked "Survey Monkey" because I remember when I was in high school a math teacher I had always liked us to do surveys because we could compare a lot of different stats. I like doing surveys but all we had was a notepad and pen. This would have been a little more professional and would have peaked my interest a lot more in what I was doing. That list had so many other good programs that I would have to do a full on report to express the valuableness of all the tools listed. This just shows me that the wealth of support to teachers out there is truly great. If every teacher invested as much time in providing these type of quality resources to their students they would be magnifying the amount of potential and production in the class room. Great stuff for your own personal use as well.

Top 10 Tips

The top three tips that Jose Picardo gave, in my eyes and not in any particular order, is using pod casts, using blogs, and using teleconference tools such as Skype. Blogs are a good way to lay out plans for the students and having them figuring out how to navigate throughout them. They are also a good place for your students to interact within the class by providing projects and their personal thoughts in a social class forum. Blogs are also good for publishing pod casts on that can be used as such a great tool to disperse information from student to class as well as teacher to student. For example, if a student is sick they can get on the class blog and look up a pod cast with the days assignments, what happened that day, and what will be going on the next day. It reduces parents having to take time out of their day to go in and pick up any assignments because it is available on the internet. The last of my three is using Skype for communication purposes. I've just now this semester started using it for my own personal use and I think it's great. You can extend your horizons of communication with outside classrooms. I really like the concept of this because social media can be so impersonal now. With this tool students can actually see facial expressions of whoever they are talking to.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blog Post #13

My Teacher is An App
The article starts off talking describing how this kid that is enrolled in online school navigates his day of learning outside of a traditional school learning. The article gives examples of different states utilizing online learning services for various reasons. One advantage of online schooling that was expressed in one account was that it allows the individual to excel in more advanced levels then that in a classroom of 20 some students where they all are taught the same material at the same pace at the same time. Another advantage is statistics have shown that tax dollars that go toward traditional schools can be cut in half using online services because it cuts out salaries and other materials that contribute to budget problems that are currently at hand. Standardized testing results have shown to go down with students that are in online schools. Another concern that goes along with that is that students miss out on social interaction skills that they would gain by going to a school with other kids.

My biggest thing that I thought of after reading this article is why can't anyone make a compromise between two things for the better good? Obviously there is some good that comes from online classes. It offers kids with gifted abilities in areas to excel to a higher level and it allows teachers to be able to concentrate with the students instead of grading and lesson plans because the program already takes care of those things for them. I think it's also important that kids get the social interaction with other kids for developing social skills for their professional future. I just don't think you can completely eliminate public school systems and the teachers that are in there. I'm not looking at it strictly from an educational standpoint either but from an economical one as well. If you take jobs away to help out with a budget then you are not solving a problem but essentially disguising it in a different form. You have to be willing to implement a hybrid style of program in order to move ahead. If we can do it with cars then we can do it with education.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Final Project Progress Report

Nikita Ladner, Devon Weaver, and I have decided that we will put together a video consisting of, in our opinion, the top five elements that will enlighten and inform future students on how to be successful in EDM 310. The roles of Nikita and Devon will be demonstrate how to perform all assigned tasks efficiently, correctly, and promptly. While I will demonstrate procrastination at its best and where it will land you if you choose to take that path.  The hope and aim of our video is to mitigate the amount of students that fall victim to falling behind in this class.

Blog Post # 12

Blue people in a connected network

If I were to assign something to the class I would give the students a semester long pen pal assignment using either Facebook, Twitter, or Skype. I would coordinate with multiple universities that would be willing to participate and offer these options for them to select from. They could find their own as well as long as they could complete the assignment. It would be ideal for it to be someone from a different state so that the integrity of the assignment would remain intact and the student would genuinely be establishing a relationship with someone else. Whether it be another student or teacher, they would choose this person themselves and would be required to have an additional blog post that they would have the freedom to write what they like about their pen pal. Basicly a weekly status report on what they are like in or out of the class. What their major is, how their university differs in student culture, school traditions, class sizes, etc. The idea is to expand to a different part of the country or world so they could grasp the idea of what life is like outside of Mobile, AL. I know we already do this in our C4C and C4K assignments but it would be under their own volition in hopes that they would put more stock and effort into the assignment. A second reason is so they could hopefully expand their social network that they could utilize for the rest of their professional life. Their would be a summary project in conclusion on the progress the student made as far as how they utilized their social network with their pen pal, what they learned from their pen pal and things they did to improve the quality of this project, and what they would do differently or keep the same throughout the semester.  

World's top 50 social network icons

Project # 14 Skype Interview

Blog Post # 11

Kids using a computer

Little Kids....Big Potential
Ms. Cassidy's class blew my mind on all the different ways they use technology in the kids day to day learning. A Nintendo DS? I didn't know they had math and other learning programs available on them. The only time I saw anything close like that in grade school was when a teacher was taking a classmates gameboy away until the end of the day. I guess video games won't just rot your brain out after all. I myself just started using Skype this semester and I'm disappointed that I just now have because it's a great way to communicate with family and friends across the country. These kids are impressive that they realize what they are talking about and you can tell that they do because there is no hitch in their voice from reading a script while they are explaining what they are doing in class. I think Skype is by far in my opinion the most valuable technique and tool because you can expand the classroom to any place on the planet. I would utilize this as much as possible because you can show real life examples and allow your class to ask questions to people who are professionals in the topic you are currently on. You can also use it at any grade level as we all have been shown through this video and our own experiences. Quite an impressive feat when you think about the age difference. 

The only thing that I could see as a distraction is students not using the learning tools the way they were intended and that falls on the shoulders of the teacher monitoring the activity properly. Kids are willing to learn if you show them the proper ways to conduct and exercise and explain the reason. If you just give them a video game divice and say "Have fun" then an opportunity is squandered. In the movie "Spiderman" Peter Parker's uncle Ben said "With great power comes great responsibility". Utilize the gift of technology in a productive manner and watch the good things that can come from it. 

Blog Post # 10

education and puzzle pieces illuminated

Do You Teach Or Do You Educate
I guess you don't really consider that there is a difference between teaching and educating. I got into teaching because I feel that it is a profession that I will always enjoy doing and there is always a chance to grow and learn yourself. I enjoy being around people and I believe that being around youth keeps you young as well. Generations are always evolving and can teach you new things along the way. You also have the privilege of showing them something new that they didn't know before either. The trick is and our job is to make sure that they retain that knowledge not just temporarily memorize it to get a grade.

I think my best way I can think of educating someone is through reinforcement. Comparing this to when I played basketball in high school is a great example as far as applying my method. We didn't just go out and play the games because we would have got killed. We had to practice our plays over and over again. We didn't just learn them one day and then hope we remembered it on game day. We went through skill building workouts day after day until we got it right... and then we did it some more. I feel you have to revisit what you went over by taking out the time of the class necessary. I know you can't sacrifice the other materials that need to be learned but I feel you have to reinforce information so it isn't forgotten. I also think that you have to recognize the students who regularly participate and the ones that don't. Don't let the kid who raises there hand every time get the others through the period. Ask every student and figure out where they are weakest and ask them every class period particular questions. Eventually they are going to be able to tell you the answer be for you ask the question. They'll never be able to forget it. I couldn't spell spaghetti in 7th grade. My teacher use to randomly ask me how to spell it during class and I would have to give my answer. I eventually could spell it and I developed my own way to remember how to spell it. I know it's only one word but I believe this method is a successful one and can be applied in any learning environment.

Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!
I believe the argument that Tom Johnson was trying to make was that technology is a good thing and that it is a helpful tool that needs to be shown by the parents. He was talking about computers to be specific and the advantages of kids being introduced to advanced learning methods. I like the sarcasm used by using the most basic school utensil as a diabolical culprit of low test scores. When they were talking about the physical harm of pencils it seemed to me that it was an over the top example of how education could be painful outside of the realm of head aches. The title itself grabs your attention because you're not really sure where the content of what you are about to read may take you. I feel that through sarcasm he is mocking those who are afraid to take the time to help children learn outside of the school. As if they are confined to the classroom to expand their minds because their education needs to be regulated by an institution. 

Blog Post # 9

Mr. McClung school teacher

Mr. McClung
I chose to read and comment on Mr. McClung's first two years because I wanted to stay in order just to see where he went from being a rookie to someone who's seen the ropes. My impression that I get from him is that he is a driven person that truly cares about improving young people's learning experience.

At the end of his first year he has up at the beginning of his summary "Stay Positive". So simple but why can't we remember to practice that? He then talks about how he went from standing up in front of a group and his approach being about him in charge to going with the flow more or less. Be flexible. If you have a plan in your head and it comes out different don't try to steer it back to what you originally wanted. It's coming out that way for a reason so improvise and go with it. Nobody is perfect and if a bar is set too high for either you or your class then the end product of the class will ultimately fail. Communicate with your peers and your students. Feedback from that communication will make your students better and yourself. Better those around you and don't be afraid of new ways to convey what you are teaching. Utilize technology and embrace methods outside of the box. If we stop learning then you hinder your ability to provide and optimal learning environment for your class. Don't be that teacher!

The summary from the close of his second year in Arkansas really displays his growth as an educator. His progress points are more matured and in depth compared to his first year. They don't seem as obvious, meaning there was some serious digging that he had to do internally to seek what he did to make himself better in his profession. He had to adapt his approach because he taught an older group of kids his second year. The mentality of which he had to use was more mature and is methods needed to match the student. There was a higher demand to think outside the box to keep his lessons from becoming stagnent. He also realized that he didn't want his kids to be giving an exact answer that was expected. Instead he wanted to promote individuality and free thinking. Letting the students give an answer in their own opinion, not making things up, to express what they came away from a topic from their point of view. He also allowed himself to be taken under the wing of a more experienced co worker. Setting pride aside and finding a comfort from what McClung referred to as "school mom" to help bounce issues that he was having off of to help him get back on track. The best advice that I came away with from either of these readings can apply to any profession out there is to CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR! I personally hated every teacher I ever had that seemed to get off on proving me wrong in a class because they had an arrogant nature. Nobody is going to want to listen to someone like that. Students are like a shopping cart when you first walk into the store because it's empty. As you check off the items on the list going up and down the isle the cart begins to fill up. By the time you get to the check out line there is a full cart and it is ready to be unloaded for those goods to be put to their particular use. Don't betray the trust that your students have in you because each one of those individuals have a promising ability to be unveiled someday.

Blog Post # 8

This is How We Dream Part 1
Before I began watching this video I was trying to take a guess as to what it would be about. I figured it would be about how we actually dream during sleep but wasn't sure what the intended lesson would be for us to come away with. Soon after hitting the play button I realized that it wasn't what's going inside our heads when we sleep but where our future of literature is going and the possibilities of integrating video, audio, and text together to project a message or lesson to another individual. Richard Miller also stated that because of the extensive wealth of information that the internet provides for us that it is possible to complete a document without going into a research center to complete an assignment.

This is How We Dream Part 2
The second segment of Richard Miller's presentation seemed to revolve around the vessels in which information is made possible for us to view. Miller mentions itunes U as a way for individuals to view documents from all over the world and to share stories visually.  Miller states "The limits and the restrictions are largely ones we place on ourselves." I thought that was the best quote of the entire video because it simply states that the opportunities are there for the taking, we just have to reach out and take hold of them. Miller also explained that the web is a great way of composing in a way that has never been done before and is an amazing way to hurl ourselves into an expansion of our culture that we have never experienced before.

Miller's message is an empowering one for everyone. He's not just giving us the hope and promise of what is to come but to go out and start now before we miss out on anymore. It was interesting to hear this coming from someone that is the head of an english department. Anytime I have ever had an english class we always had our noses buried in a book or reading magazine articles. Miller is actually encouraging composing with videos off the internet and expanding our language through video and audio. It's an amazing concept and a innovative way of passing information along.

Carly's Post
I thought the way she did her project was on the right track to what Richard Miller was trying to portray. In my mind I thought there would be more videos playing at all times while she read what she wanted to say like he did. However, I realize that would have been just plane old mimicking what he did.

The way she attached links to the key words or phrases that put emphasis into the video that she was describing. The actual videos she used were good too. They made me think. Some seemed to make me feel guilty because I don't quite reach the expectations of the message that was being sent in my own life at times. This technique is effective because you see a word or words that are highlighted and recognize it because you've seen it before many times. It seems to make people take for granted what they are reading and even worse for those who are not as strong of readers to completely zone out and miss the message. The videos keep the message fresh for the reader and allows them to think more about what is being said instead of getting to the end of the reading.

The Chipper Series and EDM 310 For Dummies
These two videos compliment each other in the messages that they portray. One is showing you the effects of getting behind and the other shows the stresses of the class even when you are getting caught up. I myself got behind and I would be willing to bet that I looked exactly like that. There's a denial phase because of your own self pity because of the work load, but you know this up front from the first day of class. Even when you are ahead the class can be overwhelming. If this class was easy then everyone would do it. Stay positive and keep on task because you will hate yourself a lot less in the long run. The Chipper series shows us what can happen when you don't do your work. Just do it, if you need help there is the lab and even a help hot line. We are not just thrown to the wolves we just are not being spoon fed so ask for help when needed. EDM 310 for Dummies was a comical way showing us what everyone goes through. Familiarize yourself with the listed programs in the movie until you are comfortable with them. Make it apart of your daily routine so that you stay on top.

Videos that I would like to make would be portraying someone that got behind in EDM 310. It is a regret that I have had to come to terms with myself and it is not a easy bite to choke down. I would not wish the work load to try and make up on anyone because it will effect other parts of your life whether it be school, work, or your own personal sanity. Nobody wants to be around a blood shot eyed grinch because they didn't do their school work. My gift to future students would be to heed the warnings that are given and do a documentary in the life of a procrastinator. Not being familiar with certain programs, forgetting how to take a screen shot, inserting links, or figuring out twitter can be remedied by asking for help. Telling yourself "Oh it's only a blog post and a C4C assignment left to do. I'll do it this weekend" will get you behind before you know it. Set aside the time to do it and stick to it and you will have a minimal level of stress throughout the semester.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
I agree with what everyone in the video because each generation changes. Look at the past, this really shouldn't be a hard concept for people to grasp. Do we do things the same way back in the 50's than we do now? Off course not because the world would have blown right past us. If we want to hand cuff our school systems from the technology that we thrive on then lets just subside to a third world way of life and rub sticks together in a grass hut. How was education ranked on the lowest level by the department of commerce? Seriously, coal mining was higher (not to slap that profession in the face by any means). Do priorities even matter anymore? Traditionalists need to be removed from educational institutions if they are too blind to see that change is good. Really what that says to me is that they are scared of what they don't understand and they are too afraid  to step out of their comfort zone to better the future. The individuals in this movie made great points and I hope that it made an impact on everyone who viewed it to make a difference for the better.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

C4T Summary #2

Earth surrounded by a hands holding hands

Teaching Favorites
The first post was about a forum that the group was creating to be a worldwide resource channel among teachers. They were currently asking for their "favorites" as teachers to help promote other classroom learning environments. Anything from teaching tools, exercises, games, books, etc. They were going to gather all the information submitted and publish it for the teachers who frequented the site to pick and choose from any of he items that caught their eye. I thought this was pretty neat and effective as well because it takes the teachers outside of their own box. An American teacher can take an idea from an Australian classroom and apply it affectively and also introduces other cultures to the students other than their own. It allows a new way to learn and a new way to teach if you take the time to research it.

How Can 10,000 Youngsters Solve The Problems of The World?
This was an interesting concept that was thought up and I am curious as to how the results come out when they finish gathering the data. The concept was to see if the children of the world would be able to come up with solutions to serious problems in the world today. The basis of this is that adults think one way and children think another. I'm wondering if it's because children have a simpilar way of processing a solution and do not over think certain variables that may or may not effect a certain problem? There is an ITU event that is apart of the United Nations that will meet from the 24-27 of this month. Research collected from young people from ages 8-18 concerning world problems will be presented as a third party voice to bring a different entity to the room and clear some of the stale air with the breath of a fresh one. Should be interesting as to how their research will be perceived on a world stage.

Project # 10 My PLN

website logos configured in boxes

I really need to get over my pesamistic attitude when it comes to learning new things in the technological realm of the world. I'm usually up for a challenge of something new but learning how to do things on the computer has never been my strong suit. After I realized what a PLN is and dabbled in it for a little bit and I wanted to know how haven't ever had one before. This is awesome how everything that I use on a daily basis is all right here in a centralized location. I can now see the benefits of how useful this can be in my personal life so I can only imagine benefits of this tool in the classroom setting as well. I will be making this apart of my everyday life without question.

Project 9b Timeline

Project # 11

Blog Post # 7

Randy Pausch getting jersey signed by pro football player

When I first read the description of the assignment I thought "Crap, this is way too long". During the video "Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams", I sat there with my notepad watching this I found myself glued to what Dr. Pausch had to say. I had set my notepad down and listened to what he was saying instead of jotting down notes so I could get started with this particular assignment. He had three points to what he had to talk about in his lecture: having dreams, helping others realize their own dreams, and lessons learned. He elaborated on each of these in detail and you really got to learn a lot about his life. He talked about head fakes and asked at the end of the lecture if anyone had figured them out. The first head fake Dr. Pausch said was "It's not how to achieve your dreams but how to lead your life". If you look back on what he was saying on his dreams growing up and realizing them as an adult he was really giving an outline of some of the events in his life and how he got there. No matter what profession someone has, if you go through life always striving toward what you want things will work out for you. The second head fake Pausch said was "This talk was not for you, it was for my kids". The end of the video you could sense how emotional it was becoming. When Dr. Pausch said what the second head fake was it really made sense. If you look back it was like a biography of his own life and his accomplishments for them to refer back to and be able to see what he did and who he was. They will always have that and have something to remember him by.

Having your own dreams is an important aspect no matter what stage in your life because it gives us a reason to live and things to strive for. The one point that he made that I think was the most important to his first point of the lecture was when he talked about fundamentals. If you can't perform the basic components of something then how can you achieve the more complex parts. A lesson that he learned in high school that he carried with him his entire life was in football from one of his assistant coaches. He said "When you're screwing up and nobody is saying anything to you anymore, that means that they gave up on you". If you are doing something incorrectly you won't be able to see that unless someone is there to help you correct it. That's getting the fundamentals down and making them second nature so that higher level tasks can be concentrated on without distraction.

Helping others achieve their goals and dreams in life is a great idea and concept that gives people a warm and fuzzy feeling similar to what people experience during Christmas or similar type of holiday seasons. Thinking about it and actually making it happen are two very different things. The program ETC that Dr. Pausch spear headed helped students learn without  actually realizing that they were learning. Pausch explained "Make them think they are learning something else...they are learning to program but they think they are making movies and video games."I think that's the best way to learn. It's like birth because everyone wants the baby just without the labor pains. So if you can help large amounts of people get an education painlessly then they are going to be that much more pumped about who and where they are and will in turn pay it forward to the next group of people.

Reflection is a word that comes to mind when Dr. Pausch brought up his third part of his lecture of lessons learned. What have you accomplished at the end of the day and what can you take away from it? One of Dr. Pausch's examples of looking at something and making it better through experience. He talked about a lesson he learned from one of his students Dr. Keller that introduced computer software to middle school students. She looked at the program "Alice" and wanted to take it from a collegiate level and incorporate it into a more fundamental level. Dr. Pausch said how learned from a lot of his boss's as well and gave a lot of praise to them for their advice. You can get a life lesson from many forms of people. The thing about it is that you can keep looking back and be like "wow, thats what they meant"and the next day get another reaction similar to that from the same source about something else. It almost seems mysterious because you can get a lesson learned at any given time. They come from the people in your life whether it be a teacher, parent, child, or friend which is are the best sources a person can learn from because they are familiar to you and allows you to be more open minded.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blog Post # 6

blue light with computer wires

Networked Student

After watching the video by Wendy Drexler I realized that being a teacher isn't just telling someone knowledge and going on to the next subject. It's so much more than cramming something that your students didn't know before. By giving the young people in your class the direction to help themselves learn and let them expand in their own learning style is much more effective and rewarding than empressing a certain style that isn't as fluent as their own may be. It also gives the students as individuals the ability to explore other students and professionals work to add to their learning from outside of the classroom.

There are many different learning styles that people have. Some individuals can read through a chapter one time and have everything they need to know about the topic, whereas some may have to go back and reread it multiple times to have an understanding. It can be difficult to identify which students are which and to tailor a single classroom's environment to all of them. Letting the students take the technology that is out there today and learn the same information that the rest of the class is but in their own way is in my opinion more effective. So why have a teacher? To provide guidance and answers for questions that still may not be clear to an unexperienced individual. As a teacher we are the expert of the subject matter and we are the ones molding future experts of whichever craft they so choose.

The perfect example of why a classroom that learns through networks yet still needs a teacher is our class that we are in now, EDM310. We all have questions as we explore on further into the world of technology and familiarize ourselves with the various programs, websites, etc. We have a teacher who provides us with a vessel and we are the drivers. We are all traveling at our own speeds and at our own route, like a road trip. Some of us may go straight through on a direct line from point "A" to point "B" and some of us may get distracted and take a detour. When we get lost on our trip (learning experience) we look at a map, GPS, or call On Star (Dr. Strange). We put in the effort to get the reward and as a teacher we give them something much more gratifying then a grade. They have the schematics of problem solving and can now  navigate for themselves on how to get from where they were to where they are now. I'm not prepared to teach a networked class right now but I am starting to gain the tools to be able to effectively do so one day.

Welcome To My PLE

I have to say this before I begin the relevant part of what I'm going to comment on about "A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (or PLN)". I'm jealous of how much more experience kids now get in their education then I did growing up. I would have loved going to school if I would have had the learning curriculum that this particular 7th grader had. With that being said I feel that I do have this type of learning environment in EDM310. There are two comparisons that I would like make in order to convey my complete point. The first comparison is between a class like EDM310 and the rest of the courses I'm in this semester. We are given a syllabus on the first day to let us know what is expected of us. We show up to class listen to a lecture, study some before an exam, and hope for the best. We are just going from station to station and going through the motions. EDM310 is like a living syllabus where we are given what we need to do but actually have to actually elaborate on what we are doing a discover further.

The 7th grader in the video has a similar environment to ours in EDM310 but that is for her to enjoy the entire learning year. I have a fraction of that for one semester then go back to the traditional learning environment. She is years ahead of me as far as gaining learning concepts that will help her significantly when she arrives at the academic level that I am now. My only hope is that as she progresses into a collegiate education environment that the university that she attends will also progress and transform it's way that education is provided to their students.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

C4T # 2

I got to read up on a website called which was pretty interesting. The post I read about was for teachers to send in their "favorites". This could be anything from their favorite subject, topic, teaching tool, method of teaching, ball point pen, etc. I think this is great to see that there are forums that fellow teachers can extend out to new teachers or even experienced teachers to help make their efforts more effective. The children in the classroom also get a chance to benefit because they are able to have more things thrown at them to keep them engaged in their studies. Websites like this prevent classroom subjects from becoming stagnant. I'm actually really excited to read over the contributions that some of these teachers are going to have to offer when they are published early next month. I'm an idea guy and I thrive off of other peoples ideas. Brainstorming is great and this is a very large brainstorm network. There is also consulting advice offered on this site if needing more than an idea type of services are required. It's really a great tool and look forward to becoming more familiar with the individuals contributing to the success of education on this site.

Blog Post # 5

Don't Teach Your Kids This. Please?

Dr. Scott McLeod is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky and the founding director for the Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). He also was the co-creator for a popular video series called Did You Know? (Shift Happens). I had to read through this reading a few times to formulate what I really got out of it because it was like a 12-6 curve ball at first glance. The format of the post was all on the lefts side and sidetracked me a little from what the message was. Then I got through it a second time and asked myself why we would want to shelter youngsters from this information when we have been shown how useful it can be in class via you tube videos, blog posts, and other articles throughout this semester?

To me it seems that there needs to be certain supervision when getting these kids started. I think that this was a more sarcastic approach to get parents thinking about the things kids will be missing out on and the set backs they will have when they are our age and in college for the first time. I may be wrong but after watching a few of Dr. McLeod's "Did You Know" videos, he has a unique way of getting his message across to his audience. If I'm on the same page then I agree with his approach because it explains all the positives throughout and then says that's what he's doing. I'm not sure why he chose this method to deliver it but it is a interesting way to open eyes at the least. 

iSchool Initiative

Travis Allen came up with a very unique way to save money and expand our learning ability as a nation. We would be saving on school supplies, books, paper, pencils, and other materials that strict school budgets can't meet. Through the itouch device everything that a class room would use and need would be provided on the phone. Teachers, students, and even parents would be able to view assignments and complete them via the internet. Money is also being saved for the parents because extra materials such as calculators are included on the itouch. Interactive calenders and notebooks are available to keep students on track and on the same page with the class.

I think it's a great idea and excellent initiative to propose such a plan and I hope one day we will have that type of class room environment across the country. I'm always skeptical of how the flow of money in this country however. I think there are a lot of jobs that would be lost in not only the education field but also the different industries that provide school supplies. I think a gradual transition over time and an eventual switch would be the most effective approach. There would have to be some way for schools to be able to afford itouch's for the students and stay within their budget for that scenario to work. It will be interesting to see if this method is able to be implemented and if so how it works. 

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

I personally had zero interest in this. I think it is neat that people are able to put compositions like this together. I don't know enough about this sort of thing to really give an opinion on what pros and cons this type of use of the internet has to offer. I do know that I don't think I would ever use the internet in this type of fashion. I had a hard time paying attention to this but I may be able to use this clip if I'm ever having a hard time falling asleep. I think that in the musical realm this would be a great way to share different forms of music.  It is impressive in its own respect I just don't see the use in it.

Teaching in the 21st Century

There is a sense of a constant push being created in the beginning of the videos of importance of expanding the way we relay information from ourselves to others. Excuses will always be made no matter what we try to pass on to someone else. Give someone a cell phone for 10 minutes and I bet that individual will be able to pull up an answer for any question you can think of. Technology is amazing and its potential is so great that we can't even begin to think where to start and how it should be applied. 

I watched the video all the way through and then picked through it a second time to rethink a few points of the video that made a lot of sense to me. One of the best points that was made is that students don't need to be entertained but that they need to be involved. We are not going to be baby sitters we are going to be teachers. I for one am not going to sit up in front of the class and hope that some kid will get what I'm saying and I'm not good at juggling so it is up to me to figure out how to get my class to learn. Learning can be fun if involvement is applied because otherwise you are just fighting the sandman the whole time. 

Project # 8

Project #9

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Project #6 "This is My Sentence"

Blog Post # 4

cell signal with headphones on

I decided to start off my readings with the "Eagles' Nest Radio & Class Blog" because it was stated that these were exceptionally done by 3rd graders. We have already been given guidelines to follow when writing our own blogs that youngsters also use so it seemed appropriate. When I was listening to these podcast's that these kids did I thought about my elementary school days. These kids have such an advantage compared to my education. We read out loud paragraph by paragraph taking turns when learning about a certain unit and it was extremely boring. The benefits from podcast's that teachers have today is they are able to get the students involved in activities other than just taking turns reading from a book. They can be creative and express what they learned in a fun way. The way this class got to learn about the Romans was a lot more interesting then when I learned about them. The background music that each kid had when presenting their segment caught your attention as you transition to the next child's topic. I also realized that not only can this be shared with kids in the class but also with kids anywhere in the world via the internet. It's very exciting to see this being practiced and how useful it is. I wonder what else will follow this teaching technique.

The second recommended piece of information in my preparation for making a podcast was "The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom" by Joe Dale. As most of the readings or videos that we watch, facts and statistics were provided for us to put things in perspective and to help support the point they are trying to make. The facts are always interesting, for instance I did not realize that I was a "millenial". The most interesting positive about podcast's was the advantage they have for students that can't make it to class due to sickness. The young girl Emily in the video could not make it to class for a test review due to illness, but thanks to her teachers podcast she was able to stay up to date and the rest of the class did not have to be exposed to the illness that Emily had. This is great because this can reduce the amount absences in school due to sickness. Granted kids will always miss class, but the spread of illness in the classroom that would affect other kids can be controlled.

 My third selection of the choices provided for us was " Judy Scharf Podcast Collection". I chose this because I figured I could use all the suggestions I could get seeing as how I have never actually made my own podcast yet. The You Tube video "How To Create Your Own Podcast" was eye opening and I will be using this as a reference when I finally make my own podcast. Judy provided an abundance of information from topics to project formats for when we have our own students. I didn't know that podcast's could be as time consuming as they are. I wonder if Dr. Strange followed tip number six from Judy's list for us? The best aspect of podcast's being used in the classroom is that they are a inexpensive way to educate others. I love that because school budgets are very limited and when we are given a tool that we can be effective with that doesn't take away from projects that we actually need funding we will have it available. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

C4T # 1

The teacher I was assigned to follow was Nancy Hniedziejko. Over the past two weeks I have been able to read about her classes and her interactions in them. The first week she talked about her experience in a beginner quilting class that she had been taking. She described how the rest of her class seemed to be getting the hang of the techniques but she had struggles. Nancy did not want to be the only one who was having a hard time so she opted to tough it out instead of ask for help. Through her frustrations she had made a connection between teacher and student. In this case she was the student and was able to apply her struggles in the class room to her profession as a teacher and some of the children that she has that may have similar problems.

In the second week I read a previous post on how she had one idea turn into two ideas without even planning it. She asked her students write about what they would like to be when they grow up and how they would contribute back to society. She ended up evolving their papers into actual humanitarian projects that taught her kids the meaning and importance of giving back.

I enjoyed both of these posts because they both shared a common theme, and that theme is that she seems to steer herself into a successful outcome without ever intending it to. I sense that Nancy is very intuitive in her life's events and always seems to pick the important lesson from each one to help improve the learning quality of others as well as her own. It's great to read accounts like this that contain such valuable information for myself down the road but also for right now. It goes to show that if you don't keep an eye on the moment it will pass you by before you have a chance to soak up all it has to offer.

Project 5

Blog Post #3


My C4C Learning Experience 
I have done peer critics in past classes throughout my schooling but I have never been faced with an option to publish it in a public forum. I thought about it for a while because it was new alternative for me and I wanted to handle it the same way I hope someone would when critiquing me. I decided to send the critique through their email where it would be left to be viewed between the two of us. It seemed like a more personal type of approach and also a respectful one more importantly. I don't know this individual personally so I felt this might establish a trust barrier allow whatever I had to say be more inviting and open minded on their end. I myself have pretty tough skin, however not everyone is me. With that being said I would be embarrassed and for lack of better words "pissed off" at someone if they completely ripped me in front of everyone to see on the internet. After reflection on this exercise I've concluded that critiquing is a form of helping someone just as much as helping them lift something heavy. You can ask them politely if they need a hand or you can say "step aside and watch how it's done". They may have gotten their task done but they won't turn to you for help or even help you if you need it down the road. "Do to others as you would have them do to you"- Luke 6:31.

It's Not About Technology
Kelly Hines' article really hit home with me because I'm not the most up to date on technology. I obviously know what a mac, Iphone, and the internet are (I'm not a caveman). I don't however know all the capabilities and advantages to those things are yet. As I get closer to being a teacher I'm starting to realize that I'm going to need to integrate these more and more into my daily routines. This quote by Hines is great and completely sums up the point that I am trying to make, "When we put innovative tools in the hands of innovative teachers, amazing things can happen. If you put these tools in the hands of teachers who are not willing to innovate, money has been wasted." The time where every classroom is technologically proficient hasn't quite come yet but the process has started and it is up to us to get ourselves prepared for when that day is here.

This transitional period of "purgatory" that some schools are in as they wait for their technological update cannot be wasted.  Has anyone ever heard the phrase "You learn something new everyday"? Of course we have and I'm sure that most of us have even used it. As a teacher we must learn from those who we teach to better the generations of students that will follow them to make their education experience better. We are not going into a profession that has an assembly line of kids where they are put together the same as the day before. Think about this. How did a classroom function before computers and movie projectors? Be observant and creative in the absence of virtual technology and customize a tailored suit of knowledge for each student under your care.

Is It Okay To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
Throughout the reading Fisch seemed to be on a rant about the subject of technologically illiterate teachers. It seemed more personal that it maybe should have. However, I can see where he is coming from as an individual that can get heated up about something I'm passionate about as well. Maybe he could have sat back and cooled down before he started writing, but would the message he wanted to get across been as effective? People should be held accountable for what they do or don't do. If you have a couple of staff members that don't do anything why keep them on and pay them for nothing? I agree with Fisch when he said the principle should be accountable for having inadequate teachers in their school. It is their job to make sure that the best education is being delivered. If that's the case then it just seems like the motions are just being gone through so that a pay check can be collected.

The paragraph where he talked about us living in exponential times really made a lot of sense and got me thinking about what he was saying on a bigger picture. If it's harder for people whom are technologically illiterate to progressively get jobs and be successful from year to year in this country then where do we stand on the worlds stage? If our country is getting less and less people to be effective in our technological realm then how competitive are we going to be as world power as time goes on. If we don't invest wisely then we may find ourselves in a position we don't want to be in.

Social Media Count
Every time I see one of these counters I think of it as a stop watch that got turned on, set down, and left to run until it runs out of digits. I think it's crazy that this is how big the internet is and how much faster it becomes on a constant basis. I can't even wrap my head around the small details that actually are behind the numbers.

This goes to show that a significant amount of people are turning to the internet to spend their time and so we should all follow suit. Not because it seems to be the thing to do but because it is becoming essential that we are able to connect with those we teach and learn from on the same level. Apples and oranges are two different fruits and will never equate. If we all bring oranges and oranges to the table of trade then we can all agree on what we are seeing and talking about.

A Vision of Students Today
This was a unique video displaying its message through facts that were taken from a survey. The facts that were brought to light were interesting and easy to relate to because we are going through the same things as they are. I check my facebook and twitter accounts in class because what is being taught that particular class isn't catching my interest. We pay all this money to get a piece of paper to make less than what we are going to have to pay back in loans. All the points that were made were comforting to know that we are all in this together.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Project # 2

jumbled words

Blog Post #2

what do you know with large question mark

Did You Know 3.0?

This completely blew me away on how fast things become out of date. This was the most informative 4 minutes and 56 seconds on not only technological statistics, but also where we stand in our progress with other countries.This video explains to viewers that technology is growing at a rapid rate and it isn't waiting for anyone or anything. It outlines facts including the United States and a few other countries on there progress keeping up with technological advances.

In the first thirty seconds the video points out that 25% of the population has India's highest IQ's which outweighs the entire number of people in the United States. As mentioned before, the rate of how fast technology is growing is illustrated by how jobs that were not in demand 6 years prior are in the top ten of jobs sought after today. I truly believe this was an eye opener for me and hopefully everyone else that has watched this clip. The world is advancing and if people are not willing to step up and ride the wave then they are going to find themselves in a quality of life that is lower than they would desire.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Throughout "Mr. Winkle Wakes" the narration describes various industries and how much they have developed dramatically over time. Then the main character comes to a school and recognizes everything as it once was before he fell asleep for 100 years. The primary point that is being made is that technology is advancing at professional levels and needs to be maintained at the same standard in the novice learning levels.

Like anything else with structure a solid base is the key to success. The same applies in school systems today which is what the main point that is being delivered. School systems remain handcuffed and deprived from the same flow of technological advances like video teleconferences and international communication systems. If these improvements don't become paramount then those fields will only remain mediocre.

Ken Robinson Says School Kills Creativity
picture of a man

The introduction of the presentation that Sir Ken Robinson gave he illustrates the ability that children have to be fearless in both action and answer in their daily tasks. It's amazing how we were all that way at one time and yet we have no recollection of this. He uses humor to deliver his message throughout the lecture which helps bring the atmosphere down from adulthood to time of adolescence. The example he used of the little girl  drawing the picture of God made me think of how I use to explain things. I wonder when I gained this sense of embarrassment that drives me to sensor my work.

So what is the right way? Obviously there are facts that tell us what right and what is wrong. These things don't exactly apply to us in the choices of our lives though.What I personally gained from this is that there are opportunities that come to all of us throughout the course of our lives and it is how we take advantage of them when they come that matters. We need to recognize them without hesitation (like the childhood versions of ourselves would have) and take full advantage of them.

Cecilia Gualt on Education

There is quite a difference between the United States school drop out rate (25%) compared to Finland (1%) who leads the world academically in the subjects reading, science, and math. This is all while having shorter school days. Robinson stresses that technology is not being used to its fullest capacity in subjects and its potential is being wasted. It is unacceptable that we are that behind in academics. We all claim that we are the best nation on this planet but if we do not change our standards in the classroom we may not be able to say that in the future.

Gault also spoke with David Livermore who is a senior researcher and the Cultural Intelligence Center who feels that the one element of education that is missing is the scholastic relationship between the child and the parent. Livermore also expresses a sociological necessity in learning about other cultures so we can understand and appreciate our own. As I stated in the previous paragraph we need to change some habits in our school system. Taking a page out of another country's book might be the beginning step that we need to take.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

I completely agreed with the tailoring how a class is taught so that each student has a chance to get something out of it. I can relate to this because I have been that student that was left behind in certain classes. Students need direction at times to get started. There is more than one way to skin a cat. However, if only one way is shown to someone but it doesn't make sense then there isn't going to be much progress out of that person.

This video made me think of the learning format of EDM310. Everyone learns in different ways and speeds but we are forced to learn in order to survive! We have help at our disposal but it is us that needs to gain the knowledge in our own unique way. It's thinking outside the box sometimes that helps us get through problem solving.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wordle Project # 2

large group of words describing me

Who I am and where I've been

Well this is my first ever blog post so hopefully I don't disappoint or bore anyone too much and I promise I'll get better with time. I originally grew up in a small farm community in the town of Oregon, IL. I am twenty five years of age and also the eldest sibling out of five. I have a mom named Leanne and a dad named Casper (yes, like the ghost) and two brothers and two sisters whom all are still living up in Illinois. I ran cross country, track, and played basketball in high school and won all state honors multiple years in track. I still stay active in sports by playing softball, basketball, kickball, and I'm currently training for the "Mens Health Urbanathalon" in Chicago, IL in mid October. I’m also an outdoor activist and enjoy participating in activities such as hunting, fishing, and camping when I have the time to. However, as active as I can be I'm also very good at kicking back and operating a television remote and napping. Other things outside of sports that I do are "people watch" and I discovered this by accident. I would find myself complaining about something someone did, didn't do, what they wore or said, etc. I'm sure that makes me sound like a creep or a judgmental person but they are completely subconscious observations at the time. Most of the time it is funny stuff that people do. An example is when they sing with chorography involved while waiting at a red light. I also have a low tolerance for individuals with lack of common sense. I try to stay fairly patient because I know the frustration can go both ways I'm sure with certain things for me but after awhile I just cut my losses. 

In the spring of 2004 I graduated high school and enlisted into the United States Army and spent basic training at Ft. Jackson outside of Columbia, SC. Just a side note but contrary to what people may believe about basic training, it was one of the most fun experiences I've ever had. I was then sent to my first duty station in Wurzburg, Germany. I spent three years in Germany and was able to see multiple countries such as Italy, France, Czech Republic, Hungry, Spain, Ireland, Austria, and the Netherlands just to name a few that I was able to visit. My next duty station was at Ft. Riley in Manhattan, KS. I was deployed to Iraq shortly after arriving in KS where I spent 15 wonderful months. Yea right. Although as bad as Iraq was, we had to do about two weeks of training in Kuwait before we arrived in Iraq and that place is honestly the most miserable place on the planet. The sun seems like it is ten feet away from your head and is following you around like a lost puppy. As much as I may complain about the climate I did learn a lot about the culture and about myself and I'm glad I had the opportunity to be a part of it. 

The Army is actually why I chose to attend school at the University of South Alabama. I say that because my roommate in Iraq is from Baton Rouge, LA and his girlfriend at the time was in grad school at USA. She said we should come spend a week in Mobile to see what we thought of the campus and the area and to seriously consider going to school here. I fell in love with everything about the school, the city, and all the other nearby attractions such as the beaches, New Orleans, Pensacola, and of course Baton Rouge. Yes I have become a huge LSU tigers fan over the years! My original major when I began attending school at south was occupational therapy but after researching the type of work I would be doing I felt that career path was not for me. I chose to switch to health education because it offers a chance to help kids become more aware health and fitness. I enjoy helping someone learn something new whether it is through my knowledge or my advice through personal experiences. Becoming a teacher also allows the opportunity to be a coach one day which is something I have done in the past and very much enjoy doing.

Dr. Randy Pausch on Time Management

In the short video on Dr. Pausch's lecture on time management, he explains the importance of having a game plan from the moment you wake up. Dr. Pausch mentioned writing down goals or the tasks that need to be completed for the day, week, month, or even the year to eliminate failure. He gave advice on how to accomplish these objectives such as starting with the worst or most difficult task first. An additional tip was to break each task down into smaller steps so that the list won't feel as overwhelming. 

This is the first time I have seen or heard of Dr. Pausch but I will take away some helpful strategies that I will be able to apply to EDM 310 this semester. I was pretty stressed the first week trying to get a grasp on all the concepts that were introduced. Just remember to take a step back, a deep breath, and perform one task at a time will keep stress levels low and keep success rates high.