Sunday, May 1, 2011

Final Report on PLN

Symbaloo logo

My PLN has been very helpful to me this semester. Everything that I need is neatly organized on one webpage. It couldn't be any easier. Although we were required to create a PLN, I will probably continue to use this even after this class is over. I love that I can continually add to it as I need to. This is a great tool and is very useful to me.

Special Metaphor Assignment (Blog Post #14)

a pencil holding a computer

I understood the metaphor because of the argument of the dangers of computers, especially the internet. Some people believe that computers are dangerous because of the things that you can access on the internet. Just because there are some "dangers" doesn't mean that you should negate all the wonderful uses that DO exist with computers. This is why I understood the metaphor. The same was true for the pencils in that metaphor. I think as educators, we should frequently use metaphors. By comparing things, it helps put things into a different perspective and can help enlighten someone who never viewed something in that way.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Comments for Teachers

A mouse pointing to the word 'blog' TITLE=

I was assigned to Greta Sandler's blog for the past two weeks. She is an EDU teacher. She is very supportive of the uses of blogs and technology in her classroom. She believes that through blogging and social media, they can help improve education. Blogging opens the opportunity for opened conversation. Different people can put in their opinions and knowledge and enlighten others through their ideas and beliefs. Great Sandler seems to have an awesome grasp on the powers and usefulness of technology.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blog Assignment 13

ALEX logo

    ALEX is the Alabama Learning Exchange. It is an online tool that allows access to many different awesome educational materials available. When you visit this website, you will be able to view courses of studies, different web links, view lesson plans, create your own lesson plans, and so much more! You can create your own personal workspace. By creating your own ALEX account, you can store and submit your lesson plan online. ALEX is a tool that replaces huge binders full of lesson plans. Everything you need can be organized and stored into one neat personal learning network. ALEX offers many helpful tools such as ideas for lesson plans and specifies by subject matter and grade levels.
    As a future "new teacher" I can see myself absolutely using ALEX to help me with things such as lesson plans. It is easy for a very experienced teacher to quickly come up with lesson plans and activities. As a new teacher, I see this as being harder with less experience. ALEX can help me organize all of my work and explore web links that are relevant to my lesson. Tools such as ALEX are so incredibly helpful and available, so why not take advantage of them?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Comments For Kids

Students on the school bus

We were assigned different posts on Mr. McClung's blog. I was assigned
"Just Like Riding a Bike"
He talks about how he had a student teacher for 6 weeks. This allowed him a lot of time off. He was initially excited to get some work done and have some time off. He goes on to say how much he missed his class and was anxious to get back to them. I loved this post. It is so obvious how much he cares about his students and wants to be there for them. I hope that I am a teacher like this one day! It is so important to truly care about your class. It is healthy for you and your students to get along and appreciate each other. When this occurs, optimum learning can take place! Mr. McClung seems to be an excellent teacher and I have learned quite a bit about his teaching methods.

For this comment, I was assigned Kiana from Ms. Pike's class in Sydney, Australia. Her blog was about Earth hour. This is once a year and for an hour, the whole community turns off everything electronic: phones, computers, televisions, etc. I thought this was such an awesome idea! I wish we had something like this. For an hour the world could just slow down. I think this is something we need to look into! It's only an hour, once a year, I think people could handle that.

For this comment for kids, we were assigned to Ms. Yollis's class blog. We were to explore her class blog and note how she involved the parents, students, and family members. She did an excellent job with this! She incorporated all of her students and spotlighted them for different things. This makes the student  feel special and important. The parents can access the page and see what is going on in the classroom. Tools like this are so helpful for the teachers and the parents!

I read Hannah's blog from Ms. Yollis's third grade class. Hannah is one of three girls who has earned a blog because of things like having a good attitude, being responsible, posting great comments, etc. The post that I read was about her and her sister, Leila. They take turns every year donating their hair to make wigs for children who need wigs. This is such an awesome thing! I am currently growing my hair out for this purpose as well. It was so encouraging to see these students do this! I also think that Ms. Yollis is doing an awesome job in her classroom! I love the fact that the blog is a privilege.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Progress Report on Final Project

University of South Alabama logo

For my final project, I am in a group with Cherish Hamner and Miles Bubbett. We have met a couple times and we have come up with several ideas for our final project. Our ideas include working with children in the inner city, PLNs and creating websites and blogs, problems at South and providing solutions, etc. We will decide on what we are doing very soon and are continuously thinking of ideas!

Project #15

The University of South Alabama's Jaguar

Miles Bubbett and I submitted a video into the First Gift USA contest. We did a video in which Miles recorded what we wanted to say and we illustrated his words. We sped up the drawing process so that as we drew, it kept up with his words. The video will be posted if and when it is approved.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Assignment

A teacher pointing to his classroom

1. From his class blog, Mr. McClung seems to absolutely put his students first. He also seems extremely passionate about his job and takes it very seriously.
2. As an educator, he seems to be a very creative and "hands-on" teacher. I love how he tied to "Prosser's Gabriel" song into his lesson. Things like this, kids can relate to!
3. His rules are short, few, and to the point. Rules like this keep order in the classroom. They may seem strict but the strictest teachers I've had, caused me to respect them more. Order in the classroom and respect from your students are crucial in a classroom.
4. Day Planner is the first thing that every students needs in Mr. McClung's class. I think this is first because education is key in success! This also is a way for students to learn to become organized.
5. I think that Dr. Strange's penalties for late homework are similar to that of Mr. McClung's. If our work is late, this opens up the possibility for receiving an "F" in the course. A "D" will be received if we are consistently late with our assignments. Mr. McClung's is similar. The later it is, the more points will be deducted.
6. I love the way Mr. MrClung has set up his classroom. I love his attitude about teaching as well. I hope my passion for teaching never burns out! He seems to have a high energy and engaging way of teaching.  I love that! I love his nontraditional views on homework. His goal is for students to learn and enjoy it! Their focus should not be on just trying to get the homework done, but grasping the material! I want this to be the same in my classroom.
7. The two links that I chose were The Arkansas Runner and The Lightening Explorer.
The Arkansas Runner is a webpage that has many of the road races that are available in Arkansas. This is such a cool concept! I was very impressed with it and I hope we have something like that for Mobile! It's an awesome way to keep up with the races that are available around you and the races that are coming up.
The Lightening Explorer was also very cool! It showed the lightening that was happening across the U.S. I'm not sure why he chose this, other than the fact that it is a very awesome tool! Why not stay informed of the weather that is coming your way?!
8. His internet rules were great! I wouldn't add or subtract any of them! I think teachers are often scared to create class blogs because of the dangers of the internet. This brings back up the pencil metaphor. You can't be scared of the few negatives that come with the internet compared to the so many positives it has to offer! I think his rules were safe and he can easily monitor his class's blog.
9. I was assigned his "What I've Learned This Year" post. It was awesome! As a new teacher he has already learned so much. I love that part that emphasized the importance of realizing nothing will go exactly as planned and your resilience as a teacher is crucial! He also mentioned that kids aren't perfect and shouldn't be held to perfect students! Lastly, he explained how we may not understand everything about technology, but it is important that we at least give it a shot! You are capable of so much more than you may realize!
10. So far, my encounter with Blogger has been positive. I do love his "Song of the Week" through Grooveshark. I don't know if this is a capability of Blogger but I do love how songs are often incorporated into his lessons. This is a great way for students to grasp the concept that he is trying to get across to them. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be much that Blogger can't also do.
11. Mr. McClung's blog is useful to everyone in that it is accessible to everyone, it is informative, and it is entertaining! It is accessible to everyone yet the safety of his students is not compromised! It is informative in that it shows what they are doing that week, homework and assignments are posted for students and parents to see, his class rules are available. The little bio about himself is also helpful to new students entering his class and for the parents of these students. His posts like what he has learned through teaching and his classroom concepts are helpful to students like me because they are a picture of what a great teacher does and expects in his classroom. It helps us learn from the things he has experienced in his classroom.
12. His students seem more mature and engaged in the classroom than other eighth graders. Their spelling and blog posts are very well written. I think the difference has everything to do with the teacher. Mr. McClung "gets it". He teaches and seems to have complete control of his classroom. He realizes his students aren't perfect, so when a mistake is made, he corrects it and explains why it its wrong. He seems to have patience! So many of my teachers have lacked this and it is such a difference when you do get a great teacher with patience and passion!
13. No more comments for me other than that he seems right on key with what he's doing in his class. I would love to be a teacher like this one day.

Blog Assignment 12

Children jumping rope

A blog assignment that I would have like to have completed would have been something along the lines of this:

In one to two paragraphs please explain what grade or grade level you would like to teach, why you want to teach at this level, and what subject you would like to focus on (if it's anything besides elementary education). Also include who or what inspired you to go into the field of education.

I would have enjoyed this project early on in the semester because it would have allowed me to connect with students who are headed into the same area as me. Comments for Classmates was completely helpful in this as well, but a blog post like this would have allowed better understanding of what my peers planned to do with their lives.

     When I graduate I hope to teach physical education at the high school level. I am currently doing my observation hours at Westlawn Elementary. I love this age group but I think I would enjoy the higher grade level. My desire is to educate older students on how to keep their bodies healthy and active! This is  started even at the elementary level, but the students don't always seem to understand the importance of this until they get older. At the high school level, the students will be preparing for college. With college comes poor sleeping and eating habits, and often weight gain is associated with these things. Stress also causes weight gain. If I can help them with their eating habits and physical activities, I can help decrease or eliminate the chance of too much weight gain in college. It seems to be downhill once a college student begins to gain excess weight. They keep getting older and less active when things like school or activities come up that they would rather be doing. From there, your metabolism slows if you do not maintain a healthy one and weight gain is inevitable. Students as the high school level can understand these consequences and are close to the college age to where they can relate to what I will be teaching. I also would love to coach soccer at the high school level. I think the best way to go about doing this is to already have a physical education job with a high school.
     The person that inspired me to go into the education field was my first grade teacher, Mrs. Martin. I went to Mary B. Austin for elementary school and she was my teacher! The way she set up her classroom and truly cared about us, is hard to explain unless you were actually a part of her class! Her teaching, for the majority, was hands on. We did things like wear our pajamas on the 100th day of school. We were learning about traveling and she set up the classroom seats like we were on an airplane and served us pretzels. We dressed like tacky tourists that day. I will never forget activities like that! Although I don't want to teach at the elementary level, she made me realize what an impact I could have on my classroom one day, and also what a big responsibility you have as a teacher! I will never forget her and if I am 1/3 of the teacher she was, I will feel like an accomplished teacher.

How to Execute the Perfect PB&J

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blog Assignment 11

A student typing on the computer

In the video by Ms. Cassidy's class, I was truly impressed! These kids are only first graders and they can already blog and navigate on the internet! In my own classroom, I think that the blogging is an excellent idea! They can connect with other students and experts around the world to heighten their learning experience. Blogging also will only improve their spelling and writing techniques! Sure, there will be mistakes, they're only in first grade! Constantly writing and correcting and reading other students' blogs will help them learn so much! Not to mention, they're computer skills and typing skills will be much more advanced than other students who don't have access to such a hands on computer learning experience! I also would use Skype in my classroom. Before this class I never realized the full potential of Skype! You can connect with anyone worldwide! That's mind blowing! The kids will learn other cultures as well as teach others about their culture! Since they are first graders, it is important to keep them focused and engaged during lesson plans. What better way to do this than through Skype and/or blogging! I would probably face some parents who aren't at ease with things like video cameras in the classroom or access to the internet. To help this, at the school's Open House, I would introduce the technology that I would be using, show them their student's blogs, and show them that they have full access to their student's blog. I think informing them and guiding them through the amazing benefits of these tools, they will be more comfortable with their children in my classroom. I think that Ms. Cassidy is an awesome teacher and her students seem to be learning and enjoying her class so much! They seem like very bright students and I can't help but think that technology has contributed to what they can do at this young age.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Comments for Teachers
This week I was assigned to a woman named Kim Cofino. From reading her blog, she has an incredible story to tell! The first time her and her husband had to just get up and leave their home was during the protests in Bangkok, Thailand. They were living in the middle of the protest area. Now, she and her husband have had to move again! They had to leave their home which was in Yokohoma, Japan and move to Singapore because of the recent earthquake. In her blog she shows no bitterness. She sees their situation as a blessing that they are alive and well! I think it would be hard for me to have the same attitude! Her story was a brutal wake up call to me. My life is not that bad! I need to realize what I have been blessed with. Mrs. Cofino is such an inspiration! One part of her blog that I really enjoyed was the way technology helped save her life during the earthquake. Because the phone lines were down, she used gmail to contact her husband at work. Twitter and the internet were here sources to the news. She used skype to contact with friends and family to let them know they were ok. Her story is incredible and if you haven't read it, you need to! This is a real life story of how technology truly was a key part in her experience.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blog Assignment 10

Students gathered around a computer

Morgan Bayda posted this video and I learned some awesome things watching it!

This video that was posted on Morgan Bayda's wall was about how education has changed and is continuing to change so much! Education used to be completely institutionalized. If you wanted to be "educated" you went to college. If you couldn't pay for it, then you simply weren't educated! You missed out because you couldn't afford it! Universities was the main source of all information and information was limited to the ones who attended college. The internet has completely changed this! Education is now free! Not only speaking in monetary terms, but is also liberated! Students are wasting their time and money in classrooms in which they only learn facts. They are tested on these facts and how many of them they can actually memorize. This isn't learning! Students are also wasting money on books they never even open because all that they need to know can be found online! This is such a good video of how technology is changing our world for the better! It's also cheaper this way! This video was very helpful and simply explained the way things are evolving.

This post by Mr. Spencer was a very humorous way of describing the way students use the tools we give them.

This was a very entertaining post. Instead of finding a solution to the problem, we are all too often focused on the actual problem. This gets us nowhere! We can only guide them as much as possible and hope that they use the tools we give them in the most beneficial way. However, if they want to play hangman, that's not in our control! Kids are constantly learning and, believe it or not, kids can teach themselves a thing or two! The same goes with computers and students. We cannot go home with the students and make sure they don't play any online games or visit any "uneducational" websites but we can't keep them from such a useful tool just because of our fears! This was such a lesson to me as a future educator! I hope I keep this lesson in mind as I start my own classroom.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Skype Interview

This is an interview with Jarrod Robinson. He teaches physical education and outdoor education in Australia.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Comments For Kids

The New Zealand flag flying!

The first student's blog that I visited belonged to Reina. She is in year 8 at Pt. England School in Auckland, NZ. She is in Mr. Mike Harris's Room 19. She loves her family and it takes precedence in her life. She doesn't get to see her extended family much but she loves when they visit!

The second blog that I visited was a class from Tauranga, NZ. I read their fifth post. I love this post. It was describing what makes a great post. It was mainly about making sure that a teacher proofreads a post before the student publishes it. This post was heavily focused on the safety of the students. This is priority. They made it clear about how important it is to keep things like your last name and number private

Blog Assignment 9

Smiling teacher with her smiling class

Mr. McClung's "What I've Learned This Year"

I really enjoyed Mr. McClung's post. He raised some very important points and has seemed to learn so much in just one year of teaching. I loved the part when he was talking about lesson plans not going your way all the time. I can only imagine that things would not always go as planned during the school day. A great teacher is not one that makes sure that everything goes exactly as planned, but is there to improvise and roll with the changes in their plans. Mr. McClung seems to really be there for his students. I love that he realizes that they are just kids and you can't expect them to absolutely perfect. As educators, we are there to help the students learn. If something is not understood by a child, that is our job to step in and do all we can for our students! I completely agree with the fact that we should be good listeners. So many children at school don't have anyone who listens to them at home. It is vital for me to be there for my students! We never know what a difference we are making in a child's life just by being there for them. Lastly, I loved his part about technology. He said it very well the way he explained that it may not come naturally to understand all there is to know about computers, etc. but it is important for us to at least try! Technology is steadily improving and we have no option but to at least give it a shot! I really enjoyed reading his post!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blog Assignment 8

this elderly woman is attempting to navigate on a laptop computer
  In these videos by Richard Miller: This Is How We Dream, Dr. Miller made some great points! These videos emphasized the importance of using the resources we have available to us. Our possibilities truly are limitless!
     We now can communicate instantly, globally. Our workspace is the desktop on our computers. We compose not only text, but also images, film, and sound. Now, even newspapers have live footage online. We are constantly confronting new kinds of material! The only restrictions we have are the ones we place on ourselves! This should be a wake up call to all of us! Especially those who think they just simply aren't capable of learning all of this new technology!
     The beginning of this class, I thought I was going to struggle in this class. This class does require a lot of dedication, but I am capable of learning and doing these things! This video is a great example of a "how to" guide. I may not be completely capable to write with multimedia, but I'm working on it! I think that the students that I have in my classroom in the next few years will absolutely be capable of writing with multimedia! Students these days know so much about the current technology. This is a great motivator for me to continue learning so that I am able to not only keep up with technology, but to also be able to teach my students.

The Chipper Series and EDM 310 for Dummies
     These videos were so funny! While it was hard to take them seriously, they both had great messages! I loved that The Chipper Series was a taste of what procrastination and laziness can lead to! Chipper ended up back in school when she could have just done it right the first time! In EDM 310 for Dummies, it was a portrayal of how most kids feel when they first sign up for EDM. It's overwhelming! I had to take one thing at at a time and go from there! The tutorials are so helpful and so are my classmates!
     If I were to create or help create a video, I think I would like for it to be similar to these videos. A tutorial or a way to explain something in an easier way. Exaggerating things is one way to get students to realize that things aren't that bad and everyone else is feeling the same way!

Learn to Change, Change to Learn!
Times are changing! We can't just refuse to accept these changes! This video was very helpful and raised many great points!! Technology is constantly improving and we will have to make appropriate adjustments to these improvements!

The Secret Powers of Time
Drive: The Surprising Truths About What Motivate Us
These videos were about perception. How we as humans are all very different. The way we look at situations and scenarios differ from person to person. We are either future oriented people, past oriented people, or present Hedonistic people. Your culture and time zone determines what motivates you because of the different values in different parts of our country and world. The more future oriented you are, the more likely you are to resist temptation! Don't let students sit and listen to a lecture for too long, engage them! Students need to be kept involved in the lesson in order to keep their attention and actually teach them something! Interaction is a huge part in a successful classroom! Let your students be creative! There were some awesome points in these videos that I hope to apply to my students!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SmartBoard Presentation

     This was a very fun project! I loved learning more about SmartBoard. I don't know if I'll ever learn all there is to know about this product, but it certainly is fun experimenting with! I also love the group that I worked with. I love group projects even more since this class. Everyone contributes to the work and one person doesn't carry the burden of doing all the work. This was also a realistic picture of being in a classroom. This is the first project that we've had an audience. It was a bit nerve racking at first but ended up being a complete blast! Since we had to teach this lesson, it was a small taste of what we, as future educators, will experience. This project was both practical and helpful!
     If I were to change anything about our presentation, I would simply practice my section of the lesson more thoroughly and be completely familiar with the information. This would calm my nerves and help me express the most important points to my students. I loved the animation and games that my group had. This was a big contributor to our presentation. Had it been an actual classroom of third graders, I believe we would've held their undivided attention the entire time.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Short Movie Project #11

This was a very interesting project! I didn't really understand it's point entirely, at first. Once I completed reading the story, I had an AHA! moment. This is a great way to read children's books to children who are far away. For a parent who is often away on business, for example, the parent can read a book to the child every night as if they were really there with them. There are so many good uses that video podcasts can do! I never realized their potential until I took this class! This is such an amazing tool!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blog Assignment 7


     Randy Pausch's lecture on Achieving Your Childhood Dreams was absolutely incredible. He was hilarious and his lecture was so easy to watch and listen to! It was quite obvious that he loved his job and he took it very seriously. Amazing things were done by him while he was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.
     Professor Pausch believed in group projects. He did not teach out of a book. The students were given a project every semester and this was their assignment for that semester. They always worked in groups and every several weeks they switched up their group members. I love this concept! The students get to know each other and learn to work with others as a team. Not only is this important for the assignment, but it is such a life lesson! I love this aspect of EDM because I have gotten to know people in this class and truly work as a team
     I also loved the fact that the students had an opportunity to choose what their projects were about. This benefits both the professor and the student. Through this method, the students can choose a subject that interests them and will enjoy the assignment more. The professor doesn't have to worry about assigning many different assignments to each group of students. Professor Pausch seemed so engaged in his students' work. It is very encouraging as a student to have a professor that cares about you and your work. I loved when Professor Pausch said that when people drive you hard, that is when they care about you. This is a sign that they want you to be better. When you are doing a bad job and no one points it out to you, that is when they have given up on you.
     Professor Pausch stresses that he always set the bar higher and higher for his students. He pushed students to do better. He believed it was a disservice to students to set the bar just anywhere. When you continually set goals for your students, they only will get better. Professor Pausch seemed to stress and practice this in his classroom. I've experienced this first hand in EDM. Many projects that I glance at, I think I'll never be able to complete it or do the required task. I attempt it anyways, and I am able to figure it out with the help of my instructors and peers. If I had never tried, I would not know how to do half of what I am capable of now.
     This video was such an encouragement to me! The fact that he was dying when he did this lecture and he was still having a great time! I want to live my life similarly! Life is short and I need to enjoy every minute of it! The three points that I want to remain in my life are to never lose the childlike wonder, help others, and continue to have fun! His whole point of his lecture was not about how to achieve your dreams, but how to live your life! I feel sure that this lecture and it's lessons will stick with me for quites sometime. What a path he left for others to follow!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

PLN Project

I have started my PLN project and I love it so far! I chose to use Symbaloo. I have all of the websites that I frequently use on here. This is so helpful! Instead of having several different internet pages open, I can access everything in one place. Even though this was a required project, I am sure that I will continue using this even after this class is over. It is so useful to me! I not only have my emails and blog website, but I also have things that interest me. I have links to my favorite fitness websites, my online banking, etc. This is a very useful tool and I would recommend this to anyone! I look forward to continue adding to this.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Comments for Teachers #2

For the past two weeks I have been reading Dr. Kelly Hines's posts. They are incredible! For the the first week her post was about interacting as a group instead of as individuals. I have learned a great deal about groups through blogging. In the beginning I was a bit skeptical that I would get anything out of blogging, but I have! I have learned a ton about my peers and a lot about technology! Peer reviews are very helpful in classes like this. They help me to understand different points of views and thought processes. This has really helped me out!
In her second post that I read, she addressed a lecture that she listened to. Part of her post mentioned how it is imperative that you get to know your students. I couldn't agree more. As a future educator, I will be better equipped to handle tough situations and encourage the students in their own individual ways. This not only makes the children realize they are important, but gives me a better connection with them! Getting to know my students gives me a respect for each individual child and they will have a better respect for me! I have very much enjoyed reading these posts and I will continue to read her blog. This is a link to her blog.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blog Assignment 6

Wendy Drexler: The Networked Student
     I really enjoyed watching this video. It was very helpful and very organized. I gain a far better understanding of how useful networking and the internet can be. I never thought about all of the ways we as students can learn outside of the textbook. Many believe that the textbook is a boundary for the class and it can only be used for that subject. A part that really seemed helpful to me was the part that mentioned podcasts. I am learning so much about podcasts and all of their uses. I never thought to listen to podcasts from elite professors from other schools. This is an amazing tool.
     I also love what blog posts contribute to the learning process. This peer interaction provides students with the opportunity to voice their opinions. This opens the door for reinforced opinions from others and also debate. When students voice their views, others can learn. One student may take an approach on a topic and enlighten another student by pointing out something that the first student may have never processed. I have experienced this first hand through my EDM310 class. While first skeptical about blogs, I have learned a great deal about how useful they can be.
    This video emphasizes the need for teachers even with the use of technology. Teachers offer guidance and teach how to build a network. They teach how to communicate properly and how to respectfully ask for help from experts. Teachers also help organize information. I liked this part of the video because unlike other videos, it proved that there is still a need for teachers. Teachers definitely need to stay in touch with current technology in order to reach their full potentials as teachers in the 21st century.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment
     This student's PLE was similar to my PLN. She decides on what to work on next on most of her assignments, especially her science class. This is similar to my PLN because as soon as I get caught up on my EDM work, there is always a new project on which I can begin to work. She is in contact with experts in order to help her research be as thorough and accurate as possible. I am also in contact with educators across the country. This is helpful because it helps me to learn through people who have dealt hands on with all the things I am currently learning. Peer reviews are also a part of her PLE. This is prominent in EDM310. My peers voice their opinions about my ideas. This process allows me to see different points of views from people my own age. This student's PLE is very similar to my PLN. She seems very organized and is using the technology available to her to it's full potential.

Critiques of SMARTboards
     The argument against SMARTboards is that they don't do anything that another gadget can't do. They are just expensive machines, not necessarily impressive machines. SMARTboards don't make teaching curriculum any easier. With a basic computer and online tools, the same lessons can be created just as easily if a SMARTboard was used.
    However, SMARTboards have given some teachers a foot into the technological world that they wouldn't have otherwise been introduced to. Many teachers who didn't use any technology in their classrooms, began using SMARTboards. This cause students to become more engaged and their teaching changed.

Timetoast Timeline-Mia Hamm

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Comments for Kids #1

The first student's blog that I read was named Tyra. She and I shared many same interests. We had many music and movie interests in common. She loves the song Bohemian Rhapsody and I love Queen too! She also loves the movie Rocky Horror Picture Show. I love that movie too!

The second student's blog that I visited was Sosaia from Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. Miss Helen King is his teacher. They are in grades 4-5. Sosaia posted about learning to play baseball. He seemed to have enjoyed learning the game. He likes rugby. That is a game that I'd like to learn more about!

The third student's blog that I read was from Mr. Wolfe's class. I couldn't find out much information about this student, but their blog was interesting. They were to say how they would feel if the king were coming into their kitchen if they were the cook. This student said they would be nervous and would probably not get much cleaning done without freaking out a little bit! The student never said what they would cook for the king.

I never heard back from any of the students but I enjoyed reading their blogs. I hope they have gotten a chance to look at my blogs too. This is one aspect of blogging that I really enjoy. I like learning about other cultures and classes around the world.

Project 8


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blog Assignment 5

Eagle Nest Radio
I loved this! This was an amazing podcast. I ended up learning a lot about Rome in this short podcast! These third graders did an awesome job with their podcast. This showed how podcasts can be used as study tools for kids. By making podcasts students are forced to learn material in order to make their presentations and they also become more computer savvy.
The Education Podcast Network
I like the idea of The Education Podcast Network. It's goal is to bring all the podcast programming into one place. This will simplify things and be especially helpful to teachers who are looking for materials that they can teach with. They will also gain a better understanding about teaching in the 21st century. I think this will benefit a wide range of teachers from every subject and grade level.
Judy Scharf
Her post was especially helpful because she was very thorough. She first explained what a podcast was. She then continued to include helpful hints of how to go about creating your own podcast. The time scheduling was very helpful and easy to understand. This is a very useful tool. It gave me a way better understanding of what a podcast is and how it can be used.

Timetoast Timeline-Individual

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
    Scott Mcleod is an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration Program at Iowa State University. He is the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). CASTLE is America's only academic center committed to the technology needs of school administrators.
    I love the angle that Mr. Mcleod took in this post. When I first started reading, I found myself becoming very defensive. At first, I figured he was one of the anti-technology extremists who believes our education system should use as little technology as possible. I was so wrong! By the end of his post, I was almost smiling, I realizing how sarcastic he was. By approaching this issue in this way, it makes people realize that technology is not all bad and there are absolutely great benefits that come with improved technology. He also made it clear that, like most things, there are negative aspects of technology. However, the negatives don't need to overshadow all of the positive benefits that come from technology.

The iSchool Initiative
    This high school senior is proposing a virtually online school. All books, notes, and assignments will be accesses on an iTouch-like device called the iSchool. This will allow students to access everything without any pen and paper, and everything will be completed and submitted through the iSchool. Although there are many pros to his idea, such as financial benefits for students and environmental benefits, I am hesitant to be in support of this product.
    I believe that teachers, physical books, and written homework is part of the definition of a school. I value these things and I think there are some things in our educational system that needs to remain the same! I feel that relationships can be so easily lost to technology. There is something to be said for children who go into a classroom with a physical teacher and pull out their textbooks and a pencil and paper. There are definitely incredible positive things happening with technology that certainly benefits our educational system, but I believe when it comes to the classroom, certain things need to remain untouched. Technology also has it's 'glitches'. If a student is trying to turn something in electronically and his or her iSchool glitches, then what happens to that student's grade? A handwritten paper can be turned in on time and will never be lost in cyberspace. I believe that unforeseen problems would arise if the iSchool is adopted into the school system. It is a great idea, but I think it is a bit drastic.

The Lost Generation
    I loved this video! It made some very important points in a very unique way. The part about her celebrating her divorce and that work was more important than family, really stood out to me. I think this caught my attention because these things are already happening all over our nation and world. The divorce rate is scary and with that comes lost values and broken promises. Many people also choose work over family, and unless people slow down and realize what is really important, our generation will be completely and totally different than the way things are today.
    The way this video was executed and was awesome! I never expected it to replay in the reverse and have the reverse meaning as it did the first time through. I've never seen anything like this and I really enjoyed this video.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir- 'Lux Aurumque'
    This video was absolutely incredible. Once I realized that these were all people performing over the internet, it blew me away. This is an excellent example of the incredible things that technology can do. I couldn't take my eyes off of the screen. It was amazing to watch and to try to fathom! This was an awesome performance!

Teaching in the 21st Century!
    Teachers are filters in the 21st century. 'To teach' in today's world, means to guide. With all of this technology available, teachers have a huge responsibility. They must guide students and show them how to use these resources that are available today in a healthy, educational, and responsible way. There are great advantages to the technology available to us. With the right guidance and teaching, these resources can be used in wonderful ways in the classroom. Teachers play an important role in this process and can show students how to use these resources.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Project #5

Blog Assignment 3

The teacher is helping the students navigate on the computer

Michael Wesch:
    This video of A Vision of Students Today, I believed was a fairly accurate portrayal of the average college student. The parts that seemed to match my experiences would be the part that mentioned buying very expensive books and never opening them. For me, that wasn't because I was lazy and chose to not open it, it was because my teacher didn't teach from the book. Several times I have regretted buying the book for a class where the book was not even necessary! That is frustrating to me. Juggling school and work has also been part of my college experience. Time management is something that I had to learn quickly. Work and school is difficult, but can be done. The pages of emails I send is definitely more than the pages of paper that I write.
    My experience has been slightly different from this video. I hardly ever have time to sit and watch T.V. I usually don't spend three hours a day studying, I do usually complete school work for about three hours a day, while working an average of thirty hours a week. If I were to add anything to make this a more accurate portrayal of my college experience so far, I would calculate the hours spent at work and on school work and then see how many hours are left for free time. There certainly isn't much time left for extracurricular activities!

It's Not About The Technology
    I really enjoyed reading Ms. Hines's post. She raised some very important points. One point that really struck me as true was when she talked about teachers being learners. This is so true! Teachers must stay up-to-date on many aspects. Times are always changing. What a teacher learned ten years ago and what is being taught in the classroom now, could be very different from each other. Teachers must continue to learn. This is important, not only for the newest curriculum available, but also necessary in order to relate with the students. To be able to connect with your students, you would have to be aware of what is happening in our world today
    Another point that I loved was when Ms. Hines mentioned that learning and teaching aren't the same thing. This is sometimes hard to understand, but once you experience it, you can see the obvious difference. I've had teachers that have just stood up and taught a lesson and then I've had teachers that I've actually learned from. I believe in trying different methods of teaching until the student actually learns the material. All children are different and they all learn in their own way! As a future educator, my desire is to teach so that children learn!

Karl Fisch: Is It Okay To Be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
    I really liked the way Karl Fisch approached the technology issue. I feel like so often people are extreme on this issue and either want strictly old school ways of teaching with pen and paper alone, or want robots in the classroom. I think that Mr. Fisch was right when he said people shouldn't use the excuse of being technologically illiterate. I know for me, it often takes me longer on the computer compared to computer savvy people, but I'm constantly learning! It is not an option to sit back and refuse to learn new things!
    This also goes along with Ms. Hines's post when she said that teachers must be learners. They must continue to learn and keep up with our changing world. This is absolutely mandatory in order to connet with your students.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count
    These numbers are incredible and almost hard to believe! For my professional career as a teacher, it is definitely one more reason to stay in touch with today's current technological offers. Things will only become more technologically advanced and it is important to master what is available to us now. This way when new things are offered, I will be ready to learn instead of playing "catch up" with things that were invented five years ago. Learning new things is not always an easy process, but it's necessary.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

C4T Comments for Teachers-Project #3

For the past two weeks, I have been keeping up with Mr. Miguel Guhlin's blog. A lot of his posts consisted of the growing concern of teachers losing their jobs due to budget cuts in state funding for schools. I have learned a great deal about what a real concern this is, not only in Texas but throughout the United States. Teachers everywhere are being displaced or let go because of the loss in state funding. This is heartbreaking to me and a problem that needs to be repaired! In the end, the students suffer the most and schools are faced with making impossible decisions of what programs and teachers need to be cut. I have very much enjoyed reading Mr. Guhlin's blog and will continue to keep up with his posts.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Blog Assignment 2

Two precious children from the YMCA. A small reminder to never forget a child's creativity

Did You Know 3.0
    Technology has had a huge impact on the United States just over the last few years. The statistics shown in this video are unbelievable! A part that especially stood out to me was the IQ of children in India compared to the children in the United States. What can we as future educators do to help change this? It definitely has motivated me to be an even better teacher and has given me a desire to challenge my students  and to let them see their true potential.
    The fact that computers in the next few years will do things that humans can not even think about doing is hard to imagine. This is such an eye opener for me. This is definitely a huge reason as to why everyone should strive to keep up with technology as much as possible. Things are technologically progressing at an alarming rate and we can choose to try and keep up or be left behind. It is exciting to see what the technical future holds.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
    This video portrayed both the positive and negative effects of technology. Technology has absolutely changed our world for the better. One of the places that the positive effects are most obvious is in hospitals. We have machines that can keep people alive by breathing for them. That is a priceless machine! X-Rays reveal what is going on inside of our bodies. This type of technology was not even fathomable in the past.
    As many positive technological advancements as we have made, there are negative effects. Because of technology, people's social skills are worsening. It is becoming harder and harder to have personal and honest relationships when you can just shoot someone a text message or an e-mail. In the school system there are things that should remain the same. A physical teacher should never be replaced by a computer teaching the class. There are definitely great things that are happening with technology, we just simply must be careful about realizing what can not be substituted by technology such as values and relationships.

Ken Robinson-Creativity
    Ken Robinson made some very interesting and important points. He defines creativity as the process of having original ideas that have values. Ken Robinson said, "if you're not prepared to be wrong, you will never be original." That quote stuck out to me because children are so often concerned about getting the "right answer" that they don't explore other possibilities or options. Children must be able to express themselves in their own creative and unique ways. Every child is different and so are their minds! Hindering a child's creativity can ultimately cripple their potential.
    Academic inflation is becoming a concern in our society. The whole education system is geared towards universities. The problem now is that even those with degrees still can not find jobs because everyone has a degree these days. In order to find a job, you must have a higher degree than the next guy. We must change the fundamental principles in which children are taught. We need to take their creativity and let them make something of it!

Cecilia Gault
    I was very impressed with Cecilia Gault. She was very in control of the situation. She did a far better job than I could have ever done. Her questions were mature and well worded. She showed great intelligence by just asking a few questions. I want my children to have as good as an education as Cecilia  Gault and for them to compose themselves the way she did. To do this, students need to realize their talent and potential and know what they are interested in and pursue it.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
    I have great respect for this teacher and I think she is doing wonderful things in her classroom! I love the fact that she has the students teach the class on some days. This forces her students to actually learn the material and not just memorize it. Another thing I like about her is the fact that she learns as she teaches and also learns from her students.
    The students seemed to really enjoy her class and were proud of the work they completed and their accomplishments. This was very encouraging to me! She is definitely using technology to better her students. She is an excellent example of the positive effects of technological advances in the classroom.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blog Assignment 1

    I was born in Mobile, AL.  I graduated from Murphy High School. After high school, I attended Jacksonville State University where my major was elementary education. After completing my sophomore year at Jacksonville State, I decided I wanted to move back home. I began attending South Alabama in the fall of 2010. This is my second semester at South. My major is now physical education. I want to be in the education field because I want to help children know what they are capable of and encourage and influence them in any way that I can.
   I come from a huge family. I am one of six children in my family. I have a twin sister, three older sisters, and a younger brother. Family is very important to me and we are all very close. When we get together there is never a boring moment!
   I am currently working at Cleveland the Florist. Whenever I'm not in class, I'm usually at work. For the most part, I love it! Since my free time is limited, I must workout in the mornings. My workouts are usually a long run or a spin class. Any extra free time that I have, I spend it outside! I love being outdoors and being active. I love the beach, surfing, kayaking, biking, running, pretty much anything outside!

Practice Post

My first post