Monday, December 3, 2012

Blog Post #15

Final Reflection

Project #13

Post Report on Collaboration
My group, Late Summer Birthdays, mostly used Skype in finishing Projects #15 and #16. We discussed and delegated which person would be responsible for which task for each project. Laura(LJ) Allen was responsible for creating the scripts for the projects. We also used her computer to record our projects and she took them home and edited them. Rachel Beaugez was given more lines in each project in return for having less outside work. We worked very well together and finished our work on time.
HillaryLaura (LJ)Rachel

Friday, November 30, 2012

Project #16, Option B

Project #15

Final Report on PLN



For my final PLN I cut down the number of resources significantly. I wanted to display the resources I used most often or found most helpful. On my last PLN assignment my main goal was just to take up space and fill up the Symbaloo squares. Also on my last assignment I had to modify the height and width because my PLN was so large. In doing that, it caused my PLN to have scroll bars and I wasn't a huge fan of that. I didn't feel it looked professional. Now that I have cut down on the number of resources my PLN fits perfectly on my blog homepage. I also feel it more accurately displays the sources I used to help me throughout the semester. My most helpful tool throughout the semester was probably the list of students from previous semesters. If I ever got confused about an assignment I would just find a reliable student from one of the past semesters and see how they completed the assignment in question. The tool that I was most excited to learn this semester was Prezi. I felt like Prezis stood out as an educational tool. They're like an upgrade from PowerPoint, and I know I personally hate PowerPoint. I even sent my brother a copy of my Prezi presentation because he works with the marketing department of KRAFT and he's now learning how to create his own to present his pitches to the company. Overall, though my PLN is smaller than it was originally was, I feel it is more helpful and resourceful.

C4K Summary for November

Andrea J.'s Blog Post on November 1, 2012.
New Mexico
Andrea's Blog Post
Andrea's J.'s post was all about the weekend she got to spend with her family. Her father had been out of town for a month and he showed up unannounced, surprising everyone. He then told his family he was taking the next four days off of work and they were taking a family road trip to New Mexico. Andrea and her sister were very excited. After driving the entire first day, Andrea and her family stopped in a town in New Mexico to stay for the night. Andrea said the town was "obsessed with aliens". She said there were aliens everywhere she looked. After enjoying the hotel pool and hot tub, Andrea and her family hit the road once again. After a few hours of driving they finally arrived at their final destination. They rented out a cabin for the entire weekend. They enjoyed hiking, and grilling, and sitting in the hot tub that changed colors. Andrea loved her spontaneous weekend with her family.

You can read all of Mr. Boylen's students' blogs by clicking here.

Rachel M's Blog Post on November 1, 2012.
October Reflections

Rachel's Blog

Rachel's most recent blog post was about what she did with her class during the month of October. She and her classmates wrote scary stories. Her's was about a little girl that finds an amulet and then discovers that someone, or something, is after her. Rachel said they also did a variety of science experiments following the theme of Halloween. They made "ghost poop, farts, eggs, vampire veins, and monster foam." She went into the most detail about the vampire veins. She said there are two ingredients you need to know so you can make "vampire veins" at home: water, and Vampire Goo. I thought that was hilarious! I'm sure Wal-Mart stays fully stocked with Vampire Goo. I commented back to Rachel saying how impressed I was with her writing ability. I'm not sure what grade this child is in, but she writes better than a lot of the students in this class. I also, very briefly, told her about a scary story I wrote when I was in fifth grade about an alien abduction. Overall, Rachel seemed like a very intelligent little girl and I was impressed by her work. If I were her teacher, I would have given her an A for her post.

To read all of Mr. Spicer's students' blog posts, please click here.

Candace Stewart's Blog Post on November 16, 2012.
Reflection

Candace Stewart

In Candace's most recent blog post she discusses her thoughts on the book she just finished reading entitled, Speak. She said it was a very intriguing read and she learned a lot from it. She said it taught her many things. She learned that you never know what's going on in someone's life until they tell you, and people actually care about other people's thoughts and feelings. I was glad to hear that she really enjoyed the book. I've only seen the movie, but it's one of my all time favorites. It really does have a powerful message. I'm glad to see that she actually got something out of it and I told her so in the comment I left on her blog post.

To read Candace's full blog, please click here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Last C4T

C4T#4 - Post #1: The Principal's Principles
Smarter Balanced Assessments, change for the better?

John Bernia's lastest blog post was on November 5, 2012. He wrote about his recent staff meeting where they discussed the Smarter Balanced Assessments. At the beginning of the meeting they discussed the skills they want the children to be able to preform by the Spring semester of 2015.

The Goals of the Students

Then the meeting dove into a discussion about what they, as teachers, could do to help the students reach this goal.

Teachers Aid

I thought this post showed a great organization of the thought process of a teacher. What do I want my students to achieve? Okay, now what do I need to do to be able to assist them in reaching those goals? I also took notice that the teacher's "To-Do" list was a bit longer than that of the students'. As a student you're focused on your own workload and never stop to think of what the teacher is having to do to help you with your studies. This post really put a lot in perspective for me. Which is strange because at first glance, this post would seem to hold a lot of relevance to the average college student. But that's just me. This post really got my wheels turning. I also saved it so I could go back into my records and review the list Mr. Bernia came up with.

C4T#4 - Post #2: The Principal's Principles

Well, I never fully grasped the idea of C4Ts. I completed them and I understand the reason for the assignment, but I could never understand the layout I suppose. I understand this is a horrible example as far as a final assignment goes, and I'm pretty sure none of my C4Ts were completed correctly. And I apologize. But, I attempted them and I did my best.

Shrugging Shoulders

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blog Post #13

Back to the Future
Back to the Future
This video was a seminar by Brian Crosby about how he incorporated technology into his classroom. First of all, the majority of Mr. Crosby's classroom was made up of students whose second language was English. That in itself is a challenge. Also, a vast majority of his classroom were completely inept to their surroundings. He brings in the subject that these students are so unaware because they have been taught on a narrowed curriculum which only hinders the students. A narrowed curriculum only brings the student down and brings down their level of creativity. In Mr. Crosby's class each student is required to have a blog. They record everything they do. Then the students embed their videos onto their blogs. Mr. Crosby also required his students to set goals. The goals they set were not just for themselves, but for their community, their school, and their country. He asked them what their "High Hopes" were. He then conducted a hot air balloon experiment with his students. The kids then recorded and posted all of their progress with this experiment. Their progress brought in attention from all around the globe. Many people from other countries wrote to students what their own "High Hopes" were. Then the students and Mr. Crosby constructed their own hot air balloon and flew it into the atmosphere until it exploded from the atmospheric pressure. Inside the balloon, the places all the recorded hopes they had encountered. An experiment like that empowered the students to learn on their own. It also helped break the language barrier because so many students had to learn how to interpret written and spoken word English. Mr. Crosby even had a student brought into his class via Skype because she had leukemia and she was treated as if she were a normal day-to-day student.

Mr. Crosby's classroom was very inspirational to me. His balloon experiment created a higher sense of confidence in the children and an overall sense of importance. It showed what kind of an impact an ordinary sixth grade classroom can make. With each assignment we are given in this class I more clearly see the importance of blogs in the classroom. With a classroom dynamic like Mr. Crosby's the possibilities are endless.

A Vision of Students
A Vision of Students
This video very clearly illustrated every thought of every college student ever. It covered topics ranging from professors never learning your name to spending thousands of dollars on textbooks deemed important but are never used.

The assignment very clearly stated not to view this video from a students prospective, but to view it from the prospective of teachers or University presidents. In that case, I'd feel very poorly about my performance as an educator and a leader. It's one thing for a student to pay for a class and never show up, that's their decision. But assigning material that is irrelevant to their field of study or not adapting to today's lifestyle is a problem for the administration. In continuance of the example of the student choosing not to come to class, let's ask the question, why? Why is this student ignoring a class that he or she paid a lot of money to be enrolled into? Is it because they are lazy? Most, I'm sure would assume so. Maybe it's because the instructor never covers any relevant material. Maybe they never teach. It is possible that the instructor is not giving quality information. As said in the video, college students are multitaskers because they have to be. They have to make sure the time they spend is productive. As an educator you cannot waste a student's time, just as much as they are expected not to waste yours. Instructors and educational leaders need to be thinking of the needs of the student. Sadly, this is almost never the case when dealing with a University. It's always about money. That's why textbooks are so expensive. That's why you cannot graduate from a college or university without taking at least 36 hours first. It's all about money.

This video just very clearly shows the expectations a college student has, but are never achieved. It also clearly shows the things expected from a college student that are not realistic. There are only 24 hours in a day. One person can only do so much.

Progress Report on Project #16

Final Project Progress Report

Project 16 Option B

My group and I have chosen to participate in Option B of Project #16. We have already had two group meetings. In those meetings we discussed and delegated the responsibilities each group member is responsible for. I was responsible for creating a list of possible topics and situations to discuss and portray in our video. Laura Allen was responsible for creating a "script" for our video. We have chosen to make our video into a bundle of satirical skits. Rachel Beaguez was given more lines in the script than LJ and I because there was no more work to be done to the script or outline. We are all working together well. We have good communication and we all have the same goals in mind for the project.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blog Post #12

Hillary's Blog Assignment
For my assignment, I chose to center it around Pinterest. Pinterset is a website that accumulates every kind of blog, arts and craft, recipe, DIY project, lesson plan, etc. all onto one website. With this assignment I want the student to imagine running their own classroom for a day. What would you need? Anything you can think of can be found on Pinterest.

For this assignment I would like the student to:
1.) Find a lesson plan corresponding with the subject you wish to teach
2.) Find an activity that correlates with your lesson plan
3.) Find a picture to represent your lesson
4.) Find a book related to your chosen topic that you could assign to your students

My Assignment Example:
1.) Propaganda and World War II
I chose this lesson plan because it brings in a big part of WWII. It, not only, incorporates propaganda from the United States, but it also uses examples from the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The website this lesson plan is from also gives a detailed description about the lesson plan and makes sure the sources are credible.

2.) WWII Video Quiz
I chose this activity because I believe it is important to watch movies and film in history classes. You cannot learn and retain history by simply reading from a text book. The quiz gets the students thinking about what they're watching. It also helps them make sure they understand what is going on.

3.)
World War II

4.) I chose this book because it is for learners who are just starting to learn about World War II. Since I am planning on being a secondary teacher I felt this was an appropriate difficulty for that age group.
Second World War

Friday, November 9, 2012

Blog Post #11

Little Kids...Big Potential

Little Kids, Big Potential

Ms. Cassidy mention seven different types of technology that she uses in her classroom:

(1.)Kids writting on blogs.
Using blogs in the classroom allows the students to get instant feedback on their work. It also allows them to watch their spelling skills improve. It also allows them to keep an online portfolio of their work.
(2.)Learning how to safely use the internet
Ms. Cassidy has only allowed her children to put their first names on their blogs to ensure the safety of their indentities.
(3.)Class webpage
The class webpage in Ms. Cassidy's class offers multiple links so students have the chance to learn at home or in their free time. On this web page, they can also choose which program they would like to work with instead of being told which one to do.(4.)Wikis
Using Wikis in the classroom allows the students to post questions online and have them answered by people around the world.
(5.)Videos
The use of videos gives the children a broader sense of creativity. Making videos offers a multitude of options for assignments. They also learn how to post the videos they on the internet and embed them onto their blogs. They learn how to embed videos to their blogs
(6.)Skype
Skype allows Ms. Cassidy's classroom to visually communicate with other classrooms around the country.
(7.)Nintendo DS
The Nintendo allows to children to work with a device they are very familiar and comfortable with so it hardly feels like work. This allows them to play video games that are education so they can learn and have fun at the same time.

Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy

Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy

Dr. Strange's interview with Ms. Cassidy covered many topics. How long has she been using technology in the classroom? How did she come across the idea? Do the parents and the students like it? And so on and so on.

I do agree with a lot of the methods that Ms. Cassidy is using. I am still a little hesitant about Wikis because I still do not fully understand them. I also do not know how I feel about using a Nintendo DS in the classroom. I feel that could take a sense of authority in the classroom, but I could be looking too far into it. I do, however, think that's a great tool for them to be able to take home and teach themselves with. I have made a complete 180 when it comes to blogs in the clasroom. At the beginning of the semester, I thought blogs were a waste of time. Now, I can see the progress I've made throughout the semester. Incorporating blogs into a classroom of younger students could benefit them even more. It turns into a portfolio of their work, just like Ms. Cassidy's children said. Students could go to their blog and review lessons they have already finished. They can read over past posts and even see how much their spelling and grammar has improved. It also helps keep students organized. I know when I was in school looking at some of the other kids' binders made my head hurt. Learning organizational skills in school is very important. All in all, I liked the way Ms. Cassidy runs her classroom. I plan on incorporating some of the aspects of her classroom into my own one day.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Special Blog Assignment

A World Where Grades Will be Left Behind
This entire article is based around revolutionizing education. "A single class might enroll tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of students, but "there will be no more one-size-fits-all," Thrun says. "Education will respond to you." Grades will no longer exist. Sebastian Thrun describes grades as the "the failure of the education system". In this type of education system students will learn at their own pace and take as much time as they need to master a certain skill. Thrun taught an online artificial-intelligence class with over 160,000 students. The aim of this type of system is to make online education cheap, and as affordable as a cell phone bill. "Instruction will be free, but related services might involve a fee. Among those are certification and exams, which will be conducted separately from the learning process." Thrun explains that his aim is not to take over traditional education. He explains it with such that traditional education is to theatre as online education is to film. Film did not end the theatre. Film replicated theatre into its own being and made it available for a wider audience, which is his aim for revolutionizing education.


I thought this article was very intriguing. I love the idea of revolutionizing education and making it into something more relatable to students. Learning in a brick-and-mortar environment was dreadful. The prospect of teaching, and learning how to teach, in a game-based manner is something I would be greatly interested in doing. On the other side, I have taken an online class or two and it is easy to get lost in the shuffle and get behind. But I suppose if it is done in the right way it could be effective. I think an online course, like this article suggests, centered on group projects would be most effective. It gets students interacting with other students. I know in my online class I almost never talked to anyone else taking the same course. I had no one other than the professor to contact; and online professors are very hard to get in touch with. This article also suggests having multiple professors from around the globe. I would take a course like that. I would love the opportunity to learn from a professor 100,000 miles away. The prospects of an idea such as this are endless.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

C4K Summary for October

Social Butterfly's Post on September 11, 2012.
Sharon's Blog Post
I left a comment for a little girl named Sharon. She's in the seventh grade and lives in Canada. In her post she never exactly says her name. She goes by the alias "Social Butterfly". Her post was a summary of herself. She goes into short detail of her likes and passions. She loves music and in her spare time likes singing, dancing, and babysitting. She also mention briefly that she likes snakes! From that, I took that she is a very adventurous little girl.

I commented back to "Social Butterfly" and told her that I shared her love of music. I even gave her the names of a few, appropriate, bands and artists I like right now. I also told her that she was a braver woman than I for her love of snakes.

To read Sharon's blog yourself, please click here.

Wills' Blog Post on September 17, 2012
Wills' Blog Post

Wills more recent blog post was just a picture of his paintball gun he bought. So, I decided to comment on the post he made minutes before that one because it had more content in it. This post was a basic questionnaire Wills filled out. It asked question like "What's your favorite..." and so on and so forth. Wills added in this post that his favorite television show was Prison Break. I thought that show to be a little mature for a child his age; but, I commented on his post saying that I enjoyed the show as well. Also in his post he put that his favorite subject in school was lunch. I found that to be quite amusing. I would have put the same thing if I were still his age.

You can read Wills' blog yourself by clicking here.

Vitulli & Santoli: Eyes on Ireland
The Meeting on the Turret Stairs
I was originally assigned to post about the fourth post above #1, but alas, there were not enough posts. So, I counted the fourth down and struck this.

The Meeting on the Turret Stairs

This particular blog post is an elaboration by Ms. Vitulli about a stunning watercolor painting. She said she first discovered the painting the gift shop of the National Gallery of Ireland. Having immediately fallen in love with the painting, she buys numerous objects displaying the painting. She then becomes puzzled because she does not remember seeing the original painting in the gallery. So she and Dr. Santoli ask about the painting. It turns out that the painting is so old and fragile due to the state of the watercolor that it is only displayed an hour a day, three days a week. Vitulli and Santoli are blown away. They then plan to return to the galley and view the painting during one of its hour slots. The ladies then decide to turn this into a learning opportunity. They post this assignment:

assignment

Being an art enthusiast and a hopeful history teacher, I thought this was a great assignment. It requires the students to research the painting to find background information and it also triggers their creative skills. What do you think is going to happen? What do you think already happened? What do you think they are doing? What is your interpretation of this painting? If you created this painting yourself, how does the story actually happen? Assignments like this aid in instilling appreciation of the arts. It also helps solidify history. They can see the workmanship that was put into it so long ago and makes them think more deeply about the work.

To read this blog yourself, please click here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blog Post #10

I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga.
I reviewed Mr. Spencer's cartoon and read the comments left by everyone else. At first glace I wasn't sure how to take the picture. After reading over the comments, I found one left by Mr. Spencer that explained it. It's a mock of the old "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials. That makes complete sense to me. It's saying that Papermate is the more economical choice, like the PC. In being more economical, it is not necessarily the most dependable choice. The Ticonderoga is the equivalent to the Mac. Stereotypical "hipsters" are the ones that spend outrageous amounts of money on Macs and Apple products.
Papermate/Ticonderoga"
Why were your kids playing games?
Mr. Steven's post was quite the comical one. He is called into the principal's office to have a serious discussion. He is interrogated about his student's playing "games" during class. Mr. Steven's explains to the principal that he was using advanced simulation as his teaching technique that day. He then tells his principal that doctors use simulation to learn how to operate. His principal then rants about how his school isn't a hospital and that Mr. Steven's needs to adhere to the slate-based learning method. He is also told that he needs to focus more on his students' memorization skills so they can pass a test. His principal then recommends that he use worksheets and algorithm packets to help his students. Mr. Stevens then finds his solution, "we'll create an algorithm factory and integrate it into our Conflict-Oriented Reading and Writing Project (a.k.a. The Factory Game)."

I thought this was hilarious! It sounds exactly like something I would do if I were a teacher and someone told me I needed to take the fun out of my curriculum. A principal should never tell his teachers to take games out of learning. Students will never learn anything if they aren't engaged in what they are doing. I think Mr. Steven's stubbornness as a teacher might get him into a bit of trouble, but it will certainly benefit his students more. Kudos to him for standing up for himself.

Remember Pencil Quests?
Mr. Stevens reflects on his junior year and how one of his teachers took them on a "Pencil Quest". They ran from site to site reading pages and pages of material. Each site we predetermined on a map. The teacher described this quest as a "moving textbook" and the conflict driving the quest was to finish it. Stevens says he and his fellow classmates loved the quest. He also mentions that this was his first recollection of a teacher doing something differently: integrating excitement into the classroom. He says even now, his own students look forward to pencil quests, plogs, and pen pal letters.

I believe Mr. Stevens is trying to point out that pencils are still relevant in today's society. In a day when everything is "going green" or becoming paperless children still become excited about the written word. I guess he's trying to say that technology isn't everything and we shouldn't entirely throw out old techniques of learning. I do like the idea of "plogs". It could potentially become something that students or their parents hold on for years.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

Don't teach your kids this stuff

In Mr. McLeod's post he tells parents and teachers to avoid teaching their children how to use computers, write online, and anything of the sort. He goes on to mimic simple-minded thoughts saying the internet is evil. At the end McLeod says he wants everyone else to avoid teaching their children these things because he is teaching these skills to his kids and he wants to see who has the advantage later on. His post is completely sarcastic.

He's saying that students that are taught computer skills correctly are going to have the greater advantage later on. He's mocking the thoughts of parents and school board members who believe that the internet is nothing but "evil" and "a bunch of crap". I thought Mr. McLeod's take on the subject was executed in an interesting way and I enjoyed it immensely. I agree with him completely that the internet should be taught to students. Students need to be taught how to effectively utilize their resources. For instance, almost everything I know about the internet I taught myself. I grew up using AIM Instant Messenger which taught me how to type. In middle school I had a Myspace. Myspace taught me a little about html and embedding information onto a social network. I would have learned more in a school setting. In this class we are taught how to utilize the information not only to benefit our future careers, but to benefit the education of the students we will one day teach.

Scott McLeod appears so passionate about using technology in the classroom because that's what he's literally centered his life around. This man has received numerous awards for his work involving technology leadership, according to his About Me. He is also a man of many important titles. His work of introducing technology into the school systems is never-ending. He is dedicating his career to helping schools move into the 21st century. He also blogs regularly. You can read his blogs yourself by clicking here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Project #10

I created my virtual PLN using Symbaloo.com. I'm considering this a "work-in-progress" right now. I'm sure by the end of the semester I am going to discover new tools and new contacts to add. Using Symbaloo made this project much easier than I was anticipating. It's a good way to organize your thoughts and tools into one location. Symbaloo also allows your to share your tools with others over the internet. The only issue with it that I've experienced so far is that it only gives you one size option. The original size was entirely too large so I cut the pixel size in half manually. In doing that, my project now has scroll bars. Hopefully I figure out a way to fix this before the final project.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blog Post #9

Mr. McClung

Volume 1.
Volume 1
In Mr. McClung's first section he states, "In order to be effective you have to be able to let your audience drive your instruction." Lectures should be students centered. As an educator, you should be less worried about what your superiors think of you and more worried about the comprehension of your students.

In his next section he stresses, "NO LESSON IS EVER PERFECT. THE LESSON YOU TEACH AND THE ONE YOU PLAN ARE ALWAYS DIFFERENT." No lesson will ever go perfectly. You have to learn to work around the kinks and just work with the situation.

His third point is to learn how to communicate. Communication is the best medicine for any situation. Learn how to communicate with your fellow teachers as well as your students.

Mr. McClung's fourth point of discussion is about being reasonable as an educator. Do not get upset if your students do not live up to your exact expectations. Remember that you are working with children. They are just as imperfect as you are.

The fifth point of McClung's post is about technology. Some adults and teachers believe technology to be equivalent to the plague. Technology in the classroom should be embraced. You're not going to learn computer skills over night, and shouldn't expect to. You just have to continue to put in the effort.

The sixth very important topic McClung brings up is listening to your students. He uses a great example from his classroom where a student wrote in that he knew his teacher cared about him because he was listened to. One should take interest in the lives of their students. That helps build a stronger sense of respect between teacher and student.

The last idea brought up in the post is to never stop learning. Educators work in a learning environment and should soak up every ounce of it they can. Adapt your methods, lesson plans, thinking, and style in any way that could possibly help your students.

In conclusion, Mr. McClung focuses on 7 main points to remember as a first-time-teacher:
1.)Learn how to read the crowd
2.)Be flexible
3.)Communicate
4.)Be reasonable
5.)Don't be afraid of technology
6.)Listen to your students
7.)Never stop learning

I thought this was an absolutely fantastic idea! However, I would've done it differently. I would blog about the school year as the year went on. That way I could reflect on each situation specifically instead of trying to recall the school year after it has already passed. I loved Mr. McClung's posts though. They were very insightful and made me think about how I would need to conduct myself and my classroom.

Volume 4.
Volume 4
In Mr. McClung's first paragraph he goes into short detail about his thoughts on pleasing your co-workers. He feels that worrying about how you are perceived by your peers should be the last thought on one's mind. His main priority is always "are the kids having fun?" He says he needs to stay true to himself and who he is as a teacher and not worry so much about his peers.

His second paragraph is all about not getting comfortable with where you are. He says he noticed himself getting lazy. He used old lesson plans. He could feel himself becoming less of a teacher. Your teaching methods are going to start to "suck", as he puts it, when you become comfortable. He then got offered to teach a different course at a different grade level which changed things up for him. He said that could not have come a better time. The change gives him the opportunity to develop new lesson plans and learn new material. It's a challenge, but in the end it's worth it.

I thought this blog was very helpful. The idea of making your thoughts through the year more concrete so you can go back and reflect and improve for the next year is brilliant. I hope I remember this blog when I get my first class room so I can attempt to do the same. I never took the time to think that the teachers I've had over the years took something out of it as well. As students we all have experiences, but I've never stopped to think that the teachers experience things as well. Is that self-centered, or what? Really though, when I was in grade school I guess I always assumed teachers had a routine and never strayed or took anything away from the school year. This blog showed me a new perspective.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blog Post #8

Richard Miller: This is How We Dream
In Richard Miller's videos he discusses, what he believes to be, the "greatest change in human communication and in human history." The way we communicate today is very different than the way people communicated 50 years ago, or even 100 years ago. We can now communicate globally in an instant. We no longer have to work or conduct research with a paper and a pencil. We just need our laptops. The need for books is decreasing as well. Virtual books allow information to be spread to the masses rather than one at a time. Sharing information is now becoming infinite. And there is now a possibility for visual, auditory, and virtual documents rather than just printed information.

Richard Miller Videos

In the second part of Richard Miller's videos he discusses many different areas of virtual information. Virtual information allows for instant updates. He also mentions that "ideas don't belong to us individually; they belong to us as a culture." He believes educators should share ideas freely. He foreshadows to a time when students will not compose using word processors. He says publications should now pay more attention to the visual and auditory experience rather than just the information itself. Virtual ideas are spread throughout more rapidly than printed ideas.

Then Miller mentions a new and upcoming mode of composing: composition using the web directly. This method includes using the web as your processor instead of the alphabet or images. This work was discovered and performed by Jonathon Harris. Harris wanted to present the affect of the globe. He used aggregations of the web to produce visualizations from blogs around the world. This then determined the profile of the world moment by moment. This method allows for instant information.

Miller's videos opened my eyes to new and upcoming forms of information processing. The possibility of maybe one day being able to conduct research by using the web itself interested me greatly. What I took away from his videos was that virtual information is more useful and, should be, more entertaining than printed information or documents. As a hopeful educator I should be thinking about the ways communication and processing is changing and I should adapt accordingly. An educator's teaching environment changes when technology changes. And as an educator, you should be able to teach your students how to use the new forms of communications. I remember taking computer classes in high school. I also remember working on computers in kindergarten. We used the old Macintosh computers that probably couldn't fit five of the songs off my iPod on its hard drive. In that ten year span from kindergarten to high school the technology changed rapidly. If technology continues to change at that pace we have to be able to keep up for the sake of our students.

Miller did have a few points that I did not agree with. The idea that "ideas don't belong to us individually, they belong to us as a culture" is nonsense to me. If that were the case, then electricity wouldn't have been discovered by Benjamin Franklin. The colonies would've founded it. If ideas were just thrown together in a socialistic pool no one would ever get credit for anything. Another point I did not agree with was the idea that publications should put just as much emphasis on the visual and auditory aspects of a virtual document to "make it beautiful" (2:50 Part Two). A work does not need to be "beautiful" to be compelling. State your facts in a compelling way and there won't be a need for smoke and mirrors. But those two little insignificant remarks were all I had an issue with. The rest I found to be very informative and interesting.

Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12
I thought Carly's post was a great example of combining everything we've learned in Dr. Strange's class. I will also add that I was overwhelmingly relieved to figure out that I did not have to actually carry out her assignment. But her idea of using YouTube as a medium for education is a great idea. Practically every student in every grade knows what YouTube is and has used it before. Her idea is modern and even lets the student put a personal touch on their finished product. It offers creativity, thought, and computer skills. It is an exact model of Miller's idea of composing with multi-media. Kudos to Carly for a job well done!

Carly Pugh Blog Post #12

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies
The Chipper Series
The main message behind the The Chipper Series was to help students realize the importance of an education. Chipper overreacts to Dr. Strange's curriculum and doesn't understand his teaching methods so she drops out of school. She then opens up her own school and unknowingly uses the same basic premise as her teaching method: hands-on learning with technology. In the long run, Chipper realizes the importance of an education and goes back to school after waiting tables and picking up trash. No one wants to be a "Chipper". Get your degree while you're in school now and don't slack off.

EDM310 for Dummies
This video wanted to relate to other EDM310 students. They wanted to show a sense of "you're not alone" in this hectic class we're participating in. Just making time in your schedule to attend to all of the assignments each week is hard enough. It's easy to become overwhelmed. This video took a comical approach at showing that this class is worth the work. You learn new and interesting ideas on how to construct your future classroom. You virtually meet and interact with people, educators, and other students around the world. This video was a good representation of what you're feeling when you're currently taking the course and the beneficial outcome once you've finished.

The Video I Would Assign or Create
Ever since I edited the podcast video on the Mac in the Lab, I've been recording and taking pictures of everything. I downloaded the iMovie app onto my phone and I've already created two little movies on my own. You can see one of the videos below.

To incorporate this into a normal classroom setting, iMovie could be used at the beginning of the year, or semester, as the "introduce yourself" assignment. I know every year in grade school I was forced to fill out a bland questionnaire about my hobbies and interests. Even in this class, our first blog post was to write about ourselves. I'm sure this was just to get eased into the blogging environment; but, an alternate assignment could be made out of that: the option to create a movie about you and your life. It offers a wide range of options. You could make a slideshow. You could dramatically demonstrate important parts of your life. It would more clearly portray someone's personality and it offers a more creative option.

Learn to Change. Change to Learn.
Learning to Change
This video discusses the fact that the education system is not utilizing the technological resources to the extent it should be. "The US Department of Commerce ranked fifty-five industry sectors by their level of IT intensiveness. Education was ranked number 55, the lowest, below coal mining." Schools today are based on administration, control, and order. Schools are places where students are required to turn off any technological device. Those devices allow for a multitude of communication opportunities. "Every turned off device is a turned off student." This video stresses the importance of bridging the gap between students using the internet and educators using the internet to teach and instruct students. The jobs students are going to be applying for are not going to call for the "right answer, vending machine" approach." Those jobs are going to require artistic skills, understanding, and teamwork. They are not going to be asked to regurgitate information. They are going to be asked to find information, use information, and to solve problems with that information.

I agree with everything in this video. I know my high school experience taught me extremely little although I did very well. This was due to the fact that almost every class was based around doing worksheets and looking up, and copying definitions out of a textbook. I would never run my classroom the way I was taught in high school. I plan on being a secondary teacher. Teenagers are brutal, and most of all, lazy. You have to teach in a way that will relate to those students or you're never going to grab their attention. For me, that is a big deal. I want to be able to teach them something and have them retain it. If that means my job becomes a little more difficult, so be it. You have to incorporate subjects you know they enjoy into something you know they may struggle with. Have students communicate through Twitter or Facebook and find images of the subject off of Instagram. Have students look up projects off of Pinterest that relate to the subject. Allow them to use social networks in the classroom. Allow them to use technology and apply that to their school work.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

3.) I created my own comic using Make Beliefs Comix.

Internet Explorer?!

4.) Animoto is a video tool that can be used by teachers to create elaborate presentations for their classroom. The heart of Animoto is its cinematic technology. This system organizes and analyzes all of your music, photos, and images together to create your presentation all by itself. Animoto is also available as an App so you can take the tool where ever you need it on your mobile device.

5.)I created a poll using Create a Poll.


To watch the tutorial for Web 2.0 yourself, please click here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

C4K Summary for September

jacmor954's Blog Post on January 7, 2012.
Blog Post by jacmor954
In jacmor954's blog post he wrote a short story about a boy named Tim. Tim was surprised by his parents with a trip to the lake. When he arrived at the lake he saw a big zipline and Tim got scared. His sister called him a "scaredy cat" so Tim decided he had to conquer his fear. Eventually, Tim went down the zipline and realized it wasn't as bad as he thought it was going to.

I loved this little boy's story! I used to write short stories when I was in fifth grade. It's so refreshing to read stories written by children. The psychological part of me wants to analyze the story and dive deeper. It's great the little boy writes the ending so the main character accomplishes a goal! I love that! I was so impressed. I commented back telling him I hoped to read more of his short stories; but, seeing the post date is so far back my hopes are not high. I was genuinely taken back with this though. I love children's imaginations.

To read jacmor954's blog yourself, please click here.

Clara Beau's Blog Post on October 2, 2012.
Clara Beau Post
Judging by the first picture on this girl's blog post, I know she has a sense of humor and I like her already. She's a junior in high school and her entire post was about her problem with procrastination. As you read through it though, it doesn't sound like she has a problem with procrastination at all! She is staying ahead of her work, finishing everything on time. She's probably performing better in high school than I did. I waited until the last minute to do everything. I commented on her post saying how funny I thought she was and how much I enjoyed reading her blog. I also commented that I hope she gets her school work all together like she wants. I intend to keep up with her blog. I really enjoyed it. She seems quite entertaining.

To read Clara's blog yourself, please click here.

Blog Post #7

Why Does the Networked Student Even Need a Teacher?
The Networked Student
The connectivism video we watched shines a light on a new type of teaching. The teaching method discussed in this video is similar to what we are doing in Dr. Strange's class. Within this method the teacher is simply an instructor that guides the student along their own path of learning. There is no text book. The student gains tools to utilize by making connections with his classmates. He builds his own network of information and shares it through blogs with his classmates. With this teaching method the student becomes more self-reliant and more interactive with his peers. He learns to navigate and search through the information on the internet more accurately.

The video brings up the question, "If a student is becoming so self-sufficient in the classroom, why is a teacher even necessary?" The educator becomes the guiding hand that shows the student how to build his network. The teacher offers assistance when the student becomes stuck or lost. The teacher helps the student differentiate between reliable information and propaganda. The teacher also helps the student organize his thoughts and information so he can better understand what he is learning. More or less, the teacher is there for support and guidance. I am beginning to believe this is a more effective approach to teaching.

Honestly, when I first heard about Dr. Strange's class I thought it was going to be a complete waste of my time. As I move through the assignments and watch the videos and read the material that is being assigned to me, I am starting to see why he runs his class the way he does. His classroom is a good example of how "connectivism" works. I have learned more about my future profession through this class than any course I have taken so far in my college career. I am learning how to express my thoughts more clearly than I did when I took English Composition as a freshman. The point of this rambling is that you don't need a text book to learn. You don't need a teacher standing over you. All you need is to be given the right tools and guided in the right direction and let yourself discover the rest. The networked student can learn far more than a textbook student because they are not being taught just to regurgitate information. I am moving through this course on my own, with some help from my peers, and I'm retaining the information.

A Seventh Grade Student's PLE
A Seventh Grader's PLE
This littler girl walks us through her personal learning environment to show us how her seventh grade paperless science class is conducted day-to-day. She uses a personal page to organize all of her educational information and social networking cites. It is very similar to how we conduct business in Dr. Strange's class. We organize all of our thoughts and opinions through Blogger. To access our class assignments, we have to go through our class blog just like the little girl in the video. I am growing more and more partial to this type of learning environment. I feel I have learned, and retained, more about my field of study through this type of learning than I have with any other class. The students in that seventh grade class will benefit greatly from that PLE. Whether or not I would be able to manage a classroom with this type of style is still up in the air.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Blog Post #6

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Randy Pausch was once told, "You're such a good salesman. You should be selling something worthwhile, like education." And that's exactly what he did.

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture was very inspiring. You're getting to witness a man discuss the high points of his entire life and have him tell you what he took from his experiences and what he thinks you should take away from your own life. His lecture was not just to teach you how to help someone else acheive their dreams, but to help you realize what you should do to better your own life while achieving your own dreams at the same time. He also pushed that, "Most of what we learn, we learn indirectly." He used the term "head-fake" method.

Pausch talked, for a bit, about his time at Carnegie-Mellon and how he conducted his classroom. For his graduate program he didn't use a single text book. It was completely project based. On the first project he assigned to his students, they completely astonished him and he wanted to give them all A's. But, Pausch being the skillful genius that he is, told his students, "That was pretty good, but I know you all can do better." That statement alone pushed his students further and further and their achievements were boundless. That is the staple of a great professor.

It was also required in this course for all projects to be theatrically presented in front of the class. Each project lasted two weeks with 4 members in a group and the group members would change for each project. I thought this was a great method to teaching a difficult subject. It got the students involved with their classmates and taught how to work well with others. At the end of each project the students would poll their classmates on their experience with working with them. At the end of the term a chart was presented with the data taken from over the semester. The students then saw a physical representation on their ability to work with others. I thought this was brilliant! It held students accountable for their participation, progress, and interactions throughout the course. Getting accurate feedback on something like working in a group environment makes the students more self-reflective and helps them know they should consider readjusting their actions. The program ended up becoming a campus-wide event and would eventually sell out. Pausch said this gives the students a chance to experience what it feels like to make other people excited and make them happy.

Pausch had four main points of advice on how to live your life:
1.) Be good at something because it makes you valuable.
2.) Work hard at everything you do.
3.) Find the best in everyone you meet no matter how long it may take to find.
4.) Be prepared because luck is where preparation meets opportunity.
Most of all, Pausch wanted his audience to take away that if you lead your life in the right way then karma will take care of itself and the dreams will come to you. He wanted his audience to take away that they shouldn't strive just for being great educators, they should also strive to be great people as well. He stressed on showing gratitude and having perseverance. To me, Pausch seems like a real modern-day saint and I am pleased to have watched his last lecture.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blog Post #5

Travis Allen Aspiring to Revolutionize Education
The iSchool Initiative
The first video we were assigned to watch, which you can view from here, was made by a high school senior named Travis Allen. His idea was to revolutionize American education by making everything accessible via Apple technology. One of his main points of concern were easy access to teachers, students, and parents. Another one of his main concerns was the carbon footprint of America and the benefit of going paperless in our education system.

Travis Allen iSchool Initiative
In this video, Travis Allen discusses his progress of the iSchool Initiative over the last three years. He has had tremendous feedback as well as many followers join his cause. He now travels the country with his group of 25 other students attending Kennesaw State University inspiring students to join the revolution of mobile learning.

Even before seeing Travis Allen's videos I always assumed one day schools everywhere would eventually convert to paperless. It is almost inevitable. Mr. Allen even pointed out the monetary savings that would come to the public education systems if the programs were to go mobile. I agree with him completely on his argument that it is smarter for schools to switch to an Apple based system. However, the factor that is always an issue is money. Some, if not most, of the schools in America do not have the appropriate amount of funding to allow all students access to such technology. It is also not realistic to think that every household can afford iPads, tablets, and iPhones that would allow to the kind of interaction in the classroom Mr. Allen strives for. So although I agree with his aspirations, I do not think that Travis Allen's dream of a mobile school system is completely plausible; at least, not yet.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
Virtual Choir
Eric Whitacre takes music to another level in his video using collaborative technology to incorporate 185 different voices and 243 different tracks over the span of 12 different countries. The main idea behind Whitacre's video is very simple. Multiple individuals send in their track submissions and once all the tracks are received they are edited together into one video. I cannot even imagine the time it took for someone to edit together 285 different tracks and have all of them harmonize into one. Someone is incredibly talented.

Teaching in the 21st Century
Teaching in the 21st Century
In this video Kevin Roberts brings up the question "What does it mean to teach in the 21st century?" With the changing technological advancements of today, teachers should adapt their teaching methods to match the growing technological skills of the generations to come. Students today can access any information at anytime where ever they want. They can access information from a multitude of devices ranging from cell phones to tablets. With the numerous places to find information, teachers today have to be the filter and show them how to adequately search the internet and find reliable sources. Being in school right now, learning how to be an educator in the next few years brings with it multiple challenges. Educators today have to be knowledgable of growing technology so they can adapt and more adequately teach the upcoming generations with more up-to-date information and techniques.

Flipping a Classroom
Flipping a Classroom
An educator named Katie Gimbar made a video explaining why she rearranged the dynamic of her classroom. She started out with her classroom set in the traditional manner with the center based around the day-to-day lessons. In this video she emphasizes that the way her classroom used to be set up did not adequately meet all of the needs of her students. She had some students that were ahead of the other students and were becoming bored by the unchallenging content taught in class. She had students that were up to par with what she was teaching and she also had students that were falling behind and causing the class to fall behind as well. Gimbar eventually changed, or "flipped", the dynamic of her classroom to be centered through the internet. She posted all of her lectures, assignments, and projects online through handouts and videos. In doing this, the students can access what the need when they need it. They can also rewind, rewatch, and pause the content when they need to. Her "flipped classroom" benefits the students by convenience and also benefits her by allowing more time to discuss the needed topics in class.

I really like Gimbar's idea of flipping the classroom to be more accessible online. My only qualm with it, however, is that not all of the students may get online and download lectures and assignments. Some students may not even have enough access to the internet. If a student fails to check online lectures or online assignments they may fall farther behind than they would have had Gimbar kept her classroom the way it was. I do love the idea though. It makes the grade school experience more equivalent to the college academic experience and may even help prepare students for college more efficiently.

My Sentence Video

Monday, September 24, 2012

C4K Summary for August

Male's Blog Post on September 17, 2012
Male's Blog Post
I was assigned to leave a comment for a student from Buenos Aires named Male. In the first blog post I read that was left by Male he exclaimed his excitement for his new Justin Bieber CD. There were smiley faces everywhere and he pronounced his love for Justin Bieber's music. It was quite adorable and I hope I get a response from him.

To read Male's blog yourself, please click here.

Laita's Blog Post on September 22, 2012
Laita's Blog Post
In Laita's blog post she posted a picture of her favorite painting. She said she enjoyed the painting because "the rich and shiny sun [reflects] off the water creating a outstanding picture." I posted a comment back to Laita telling her that I, too, shared a passion for art. I also asked her if she had a favorite artist and if she had any other pieces of work that she enjoyed.

To view Laita's blog yourself, please click here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

C4T

Comments for Teachers
Post by William Chamberlain on September 4, 2012.
At the Teacher's Desk
At the Teacher's Desk

Chamberlain's post was a video of one of his students, Stephanie, working her way through a mathematical equation. While she is working on her problem Chamberlain begins asking her questions such as, "Where did you get that number, what does H stand for?" This seems to throw the student off her quilter a bit. After a moment of slight embarrassment, Stephanie recovers and she flies through her math problem dictating what she is doing while she is doing it.

I thought this was a great example of teaching. Chamberlain challenged his student and did not hold her hand throughout her equation. He pushed her to figure it out on her own. He also asked questions throughout her thought process to deepen what she had learned.

9th - 12th Grade Search Lesson
Post by Jeff Utecht on September 11, 2012.
9th - 12th Grade Search Lesson
Thinking Stick

Utecht's post was mostly a lesson plan for high school students. This lesson plan covered how to adequately search for information using a search engine on the internet. Its main focus was the narrow the search by date and how to do so. It instructed students to play with the date range tool and to see how much relevant data they could find to their subjects. It also instructed students to watch three internet videos that he provided the links to.

I replied to Jeff's post saying what a useful skill he is teaching his students. When some of his students make it to college they will realize how important it is to be able to sift through information on the internet for research papers.

C4T #2 - Post #1: October 2, 2012
Apparently, I posted this slightly too early. I initially posted it two weeks ago. I was assigned Mr. Utecht again and he had no new posts. I did, however notice that another student in Mr. Strange's EDM310 class commented on the same post I did. This student's name was Keiko Ito. They raved about Mr. Utecht's post. They said that they "can not use technology tools, including Google well" and they learned how to narrow down their research by using the instructions in Mr. Utecht's post. I found this to be quite intriguing. The material being taught to 9th-12th graders is still relevant to college students. It just made me think that, just possibly, maybe not everything I was taught in high school was a complete waste of my time. Simple tools like learning to navigate a search engine properly are more valuable than one would think. I'm glad that teachers like Mr. Utecht are teaching young students skills that will benefit them in their later years.

C4T #2 - Post #2: October 15, 2012.
Again, I was assigned to Mr. Utecht's blog.
Mr. Utecht's Blog Post
Utecht's blog begins with him saying he's sitting in his hotel room in Ethiopia! He's been traveling and experiencing all the changes that are happening throughout Ethiopia right now. He goes into great detail that Ethiopia is on the fast track to a growing economy. He quotes some of their fiscal progress as well as their progress with construction. Then he hits a major topic: the internet. Ethiopia is in the growing stage. With that, people begin to crave the internet. And with the growing demand for internet, connections have been cut or lost, and bandwidth has slowed down. Lord knows, there's never been an individual to complain that their internet was running too quickly; so, Ethiopia is in the process of expanding their bandwidth, even with its continued growth over the recent years. China and Thailand also experienced this issue when they began growing. It's part of wiring a country. It takes time. Utecht then transfers into a discussion about a few news articles he read while in Ethiopia. Right now, Africa has the youngest population in the world. If that trend continues, in 2040 the population will reach one billion. That will also make it the largest in the world. This links in education and the internet. If all of the young students in Africa have access to online classes over the internet, what does that mean for the future of Africa once its population becomes more educated? Utecht excites in the possibilities.

I commented back to Mr. Utecht raving on and on about what a breath of fresh air it is to have gotten to read his post. It's not often in America you see positive stories about a country such as Ethiopia. If you've read any of my "About me" or my first blog post, you know I have an, almost unhealthy, obsession with all-things-Africa. It was like Dr. Strange assigned this post specifically for me. I loved it.

C4T#3 - Post #1: Jenny's Learning Journey

Jenny's Learning Journey
Miss Jenny She's post was all about the introduction of iPads into her classroom. She said she has been using them for literary and mathematical instruction. She said her students have taken very well to the change and some are even asking for more time on the iPads for good behavior. I commented back telling her what a great idea this was and that I would like to hear back from her and get further detail about the integration. Since I hope to use iPads and related technology in my classroom I was pleased to see that her students adapted so well to the idea. I believe the use of technology gets the minds of student's more involved than filling out a worksheet.

If you would like to read Miss Jenny's blog yourself, please click here.

C4T#3 - Post #2: Jenny's Learning Journey

Apparently, I am having trouble comprehending C4T assignments; but, I continue to read and post as am I told. This time I decided to re-read Miss Jenny's post about using iPads in the classroom. I wanted to think about this more deeply and think about ways I could incorporate this technology in my own classroom. I am aspiring to be a secondary special education teacher. My initial thought when using iPads in the classroom was improved motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Are there apps available specifically for educating special needs children? After a little research I found a website dedicated to special needs educational applications. This is entirely too helpful! The potential lesson plans that could be developed from this website alone are endless. I'm very glad I researched further and found this website. I have it saved on my computer for future use. I know I hardly stayed on topic with this assignment; but, Miss Jenny's blog post got the ball rolling for my small research in finding the website that could potentially help me later on in my career.

Blog Post #4

Listening, Comprhension, and Podcasting
Reading, comprehension, and podcasting
This article illustrated the use of creating podcasts with students in order to teach another language. It focused more on the function of the podcast rather than the steps it took to create it. In this classroom, the podcast was created, manipulated, edited, and finished by the students. SmartBoards were used in the editing process, which I thought was brilliant because it brought upon more physical cooperation from the kids.

I thoroughly enjoyed this article. I found it intriguing that the teachers chose a podcast as their mode of teaching a second language. They did not take a traditional reading, writing, and repeating approach as most foreign language teachers choose. I also liked how the teachers purposefully mixed up the sentences of their students' recordings so they would have to go back and edit them correctly. That makes the students think more deeply about their project and get more involved.

Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
Benefits of podcasting in the Classroom
This video focuses on how incorporating podcasts is beneficiary to students because it offers differentiation, focuses project based learning, and can get the students more involved. Podcasting can also benefit students that become sick and have to miss school. Podcasts allow students to download assignments, lectures, and information directly from the internet. Not only is podcasting beneficial to students, but it is also great for parents because it allows them to take a look into what is going on in the classroom.

I found this video to be helpful in that it let me see how versatile using podcasts in the classroom could be. I've never used or even listened to a podcast before starting this assignment. After reading the first article, I assumed podcasts were strictly auditory. After watching this video I saw that podcasts can be made into videos as well. That offers more versatility within the classroom. The prospect of making short videos with my classroom is exciting because it will be more entertaining for my future students and keep them interested.

Podcasting with First Graders
Podcasting with First Graders
This article was written by a first grade teacher. She writes about how she incorporated podcasting with her kids. After reading a short story with her students she had them act as if they were interviewing the main characters. The students took turns acting out each part. Some students opted out of acting and chose to stay behind the scenes to edit. The teacher goes on to say that this activity really brought out the confidence in her students and unified them as a class.

I enjoyed this article immensely. In this article the teacher wrote which skills that this project helped her students with. The list was quite lengthy! That is what gets me excited. This one project got her students so excited and involved, and it worked on so many different skill sets. From technological interaction to oral fluency, this project really covered everything. I absolutely loved it.