Monday, April 30, 2012

Project #13 - Report on Collaboration

My group, Team Confused, consists of myself, Erika Conn, Jessica Bonner, and Alex Mayfield. We decided to use Google Docs to collaborate for our final project #16. Each one of us picked a different color and every time we had and idea or wanted to share something about our project, we would write it on the document and our other group members would get notified and could go on there and read it and then respond.

I really liked using Google Docs. It was so easy to communicate without ever meeting face-to-face. It was also so much easier to have our whole on-going conversation in one place instead of multiple emails. I will definitely use this application in the future!

screenshot of my group's Google Doc collaboration

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blog Assignment 13

E-Media Fast
no technology
This week's blog post was to not use any electronic entertainment or communication devices for 24 consecutive hours. These devices included: television, video records or players, computers, tablets, notepads, video cameras, audio recorders, iPads, iPods, iPhones, or any other cell phones, and no phones other than land lines. This assignment was the hardest one to accomplish by far. I depend highly on technology for almost everything I do. However, I didn't realize just how dependent I was on all of these things on a daily basis until I couldn't use them for a whole day. I use my computer for almost every assignment that I do for my classes, and I listen to the radio everyday while driving. The hardest device for me to give up was definitely my phone. I rely heavily on it. Everything I need and do is on my iPhone, from emails, text messages, internet to my calendar with everything that I have to do for that day. I hated having to use our one land line phone at my house to contact anyone if I needed to get in touch with them; texting is so much easier.

I now realize how much I take all of this technology for granted, and how much easier it makes things for me. I definitely plan on using technology forever. It is so much harder to get around our society with zero technology.

Final Report on PLN

Throughout the semester, I have been constantly adding to my PLN (Personal Learning Network). Every time I visit a site that I find interesting or helpful, I add that tile to my webmix. The tiles along the bottom, located in the middle pertain to teaching sites and sites that I plan to use in my classroom. The tiles on the bottom left are related to math, which is the subject I am going to teach. The tiles on the bottom right are not related to my career, but are shopping sites. Then, on the top right, are different types of google tools; in the middle are the basic things, like weather and a calendar. Next, the top left is places to stay up-to-date on the latest news. Lastly, the middle left is where one will find all of my social networking tools. As you can see, I have added a lot to my PLN, and I plan to keep adding more.

my personal learning network

Project #15 Smartboard Instruction Part 2

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

C4T #4

Tyler Rice
Mr. Rice is a science teacher at a rural public high school in Washington located on a major Indian Reservation. He feels strongly about technology integration, inquiry, research-based instructional practices, innovation, and most of all, teaching kids.

Post #1
report card and envelope
This week, I read Mr. Rice's post titled, "Meaningful Grading". It described how he doesn't like the standard way that teachers have graded forever. He has started a new grading technique for his classes in which he doesn't grade every assignment and homework that his students complete. Rather, at the completion of each project his students do, he has them self assess the quality of their work and the level of standard attainment. The self assessment includes a reflection on the project, a rubric, and a meeting between Mr. Rice and the student. His students also get involved in their own learning by setting learning goals through negotiations with him. All of this will increase the participation and the care of each student.

I told Mr. Rice how similar his grading strategy is to the EDM310 class I am in. We do not get grades for every project, activity, or blog post we complete. Rather, we self evaluate ourselves twice within the semester, and then come to an agreement with Dr. Strange as to what grade we deserve. I like this idea because I think it gives students a sense of freedom, where they are making more decisions on their own. Having more freedom gives students a sense of self-determination to where they want to succeed and do well.

Post #2
school books, with a side note that says, 'in-depth education'
Mr. Rice's post this week was called, "Depth or Breadth? Yes, Please!", which was about the debate, depth vs. breadth in education. He said that teachers' do not have to choose between depth or breadth in their classrooms. Students should be able to experience both contents to the fullest. In his 9th grade class, Mr. Rice's students studied the issue of salmon and dams along the Columbia River for six weeks. They were able to cover many science concepts by staying on this topic for a number of weeks. He said that the answer to this debate is not only depth or breadth, rather it's "asking kids to wrestle with complex, messy, challenging, real world topics." To do this, the students will need to develop a real understanding of the contents and apply it in a meaningful and memorable way.

I thought that this was an interesting post. I, too, feel that one shouldn't have to choose either breadth or depth when teaching their students. Why can't students experience both? I thought that Mr. Rice, being able to cover the issue of salmon and dams for six weeks was incredible. His students had the opportunity to experience depth, while also having breadth because he covered a lot of different science concepts in these weeks.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts - Special Post #12A

Creativity and Curiosity
We were given an additional blog post this week that pertained to questions that Dr. Strange had asked us in class last week that related to creativity, curiosity, and education.
'creativity written on a chalkboard

The first question was, "Do schools in the United States systematically destroy (or inhibit) the development of curiosity and/or creativity in students?" I do believe that schools destroy the development of curiosity and creativity in students. Students are only being tested on standardized tests that they are given at least every semester. Teachers are so stressed with trying to get all of the information to the students in time for the next test, so they don't have time to let students show their creativity or curiosity. Standardized tests only have one right answer, thus preventing students from showing their imagination.

The second question was, "Can a curriculum be developed that increases the curiosity of students? If so, what would be the key components of such a curriculum?" I do think that a curriculum could be developed that increases the curiosity of students. I think that of course, we need to get rid of standardized testing, but that will be a hard one to do. We could, however, encourage students to get more involved in the class and make our class more comforting so that students are not afraid to speak up and share their opinions. Also, to increase their imagination, we need to allow students to brainstorm in order to form their own thoughts and answers to questions.
child painting with her hands in class
The next question said, "Can a teacher's actions increase the curiosity of students? If so, what would be those actions?" I think that teachers can definitely increase the curiosity of students. Especially in early grade levels, students look up to and admire their teachers, so they take almost everything their teachers' say as gold. We need to help mold our students to think and form their own opinions, and to use their imagination how they want. I don't want my students to only soak in what I tell them, but to also make their own assumptions.

Lastly, question four asked, "What would help you become more curious and/or creative? What role would teachers and/or schools have in that process?" In order to become more curious and creative, I need to not be afraid to try new things and to be afraid of rejection for my ideas. If I cannot do these things, then how am I suppose to expect my students to? We need to supply opportunities so that our students can show their creativity more at school. This means, providing more activities and projects that the students have more of a say in. We could even allow our students to make up some assignments on their own.

Progress Report on Final Project

I am part of the group, "Team Confused," which consists of myself, Erika Conn, Jessica Bonner, and Alex Mayfield. For our final project, we are going to create a video focusing on how to survive EDM 310. We are still discussing what all we are going to actually cover, but we know that we will include the following so far:

(1)  Time management
(2)  Read the class blog DAILY
(3)  Submit all work ON TIME
(4)  Constantly update your Personal Learning Network (PLN)
(5)  Take advantage of the lab and the lab assistants! You get a lot of work done, and people are there to help you.

We are continuing to increase the list as we think of more things to add; for example, we hope to incorporate Dr. Strange into our video somewhere.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blog Assignment 12

My Assignment
This week, we were suppose to come up with our own assignment that Dr. Strange should have assigned for us to do in our own specialty. I remembered the website, Web 2.0 that has many different kinds of tools that can be useful in classrooms. I found Dabbleboard, which is an online collaboration application that is centered around whiteboards. Since I am a math major, I drew area formulas used in geometry. It was pretty simple and fun to draw out all of the shapes and write the formulas beside the corresponding shapes. There is also a great video that gives a tour of how to work and navigate Dabbleboard.

Here is what I drew on my whiteboard:
For the assignment in EDM 310, if I were Dr. Strange, I would have all students make a Dabbleboard that relates to their field of study, and that could be used in a classroom setting. After making their whiteboard, each student should write at least one paragraph explaining Dabbleboard and if they liked it or not. They should state if this is something that they could see themselves using as future educators.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

C4K Summary for April

C4K #7
Over the next three weeks, I will have the privilege of commenting on a twelve year old's blog, Jane K., from the United States. Her interest are sports and P.E. Her blog that I commented on this week was title "My Avatar", and she described what her avatar looked like. It wore a green shirt because green is her favorite color, with white shorts. Her hair was also in a ponytail because that's typically how she wears it. She also had angel wings because ever since she was little, she has always wanted to fly like Superman. 

I think that I got to learn a lot about Jane just by her avatar. I was able to get a picture in my head of what I think she looks like. I told her that I also wear my hair in a ponytail a lot too just because it's the easiest thing for me when I don't have much time to get ready. I think that, like her, many people have wished to have wings so that they could fly around like the superhero everyone loves.  I looked at a few of her other blogs as well, and I think that she is doing well so far in the Blogging Challenge.

C4K #8

For the Blogging Challenge this week, Jane wrote about the "Invisible Children", and how compassionate she felt about the cause. For the past 25 years, children have been abducted and made to fight in the war in Central Africa. She described how fast the children can be abducted: "one minute laughing with their friends, and the next, walking through a forest with a gun." She wants to help and told everyone that they could help by donating. She gave links to the videos and also to the Invisible Children blog. She finished her post by saying, shouldn't all kids in Africa be happy?

I told her that I was so glad that she wrote about Kony 2012. This is something that I actually have an interest in and feel very compassionate about. When I heard about this about a month ago, I immediately watched the video and I was deeply touched. I said that I thought a change needed to be made because yes, all kids should be as happy in Africa as we are here in America.

C4K #9
This last week of participating in the Blogging Challenge, I read Jane's post called "One Thing About Me". She said that she had a lot of great qualities, but the one that stood out the most to her was her hyperness. She's very active and extremely loud, most of the time. She said that after people have been around her, they either have more energy or are more tired. Jane thinks that people that have more energy are more fun to be around.

I told Jane that I love that her favorite quality about herself is her hyperness. Being energetic and happy as a kid is so important. I know that she brings her family and friends so much joy, and that she is the person that everyone wants around when they are having a bad day because she is sure to put a smile on their face.

C4K #10
I had the privilege of commenting on a first grader named Chloe's blog this week. She is a student in Ms. Kathy Cassidy's class in Canada. Her post was actually a video called, "Rules, Relationships, and Responsibilities". She explained each one and gave examples of each. She said that one of her responsibilities was to not tear her shorts. Then, she described a relationship with one of her friends, and then told us some of the rules she has to follow. She said that at school, she isn't allowed to get on the ice or the big hill.
teacher writing 'classroom rules' on the board

I shared some of my "rules, relationships, and responsibilities" with her in my comment. I told her that I have a responsibility to be at work on time and to attend my classes so that I will pass my tests. Then I told her that I have many relationships that mean a lot to me. Lastly, I told her that we all have rules we have to follow, one of them being that we aren't suppose to cheat at school. I said that we have a lot in common because we both share these three R's. Her video was very good!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Blog Assignment 11

First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's class and Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy
Ms. Cassidy, a first grade teacher in Canada, made a video with her students called, "Little Kids...Big Potential", in which they illustrated how they use technology to learn in their classroom. They used blogs, Wikis, Skype, Nintendo DS, a classroom webpage, and videos to share, collaborate, and learn. It was incredible to see how much these kids know about technology at only the age of six. I'm sure they could probably teach me a few things about computers and the internet.
children gathered around a computer in class

Dr. Strange and his class also skyped with Ms. Cassidy and asked her questions about her teaching strategies. She gave some great tips that we should follow as future educators. She explained how she has become such a supporter of Twitter, and how it has helped her connect with so many people all around the world. She also expressed how important a Personal Learning Network is to our careers. They allow us to find information and to talk to, and stay connected with, educators everywhere. Another tip she gave us was to start using technology with something that we enjoy doing. If we like to write, then we should blog; if we like pictures, we should use Flickr, and so on.

I think Ms. Cassidy's approach to the use of technology in the classroom is brilliant! Allowing students to use technology, which they are so comfortable with now-a-days, and to have more freedom in assignments will make them enjoy school more; hence, they will learn more because they are actually enjoying it. I like that her class used videos, such as Skype, to learn because they could have face-to-face conversations with other students and teachers from all around the world.
girl writing on board in front of her classmates, illustrating the use of technology
The technique that I would be most likely to implement in my classroom is blogging. I think that students can do so much with this powerful tool. They can blog about what they learned that week, ask questions to have other classmates answer, and can stay connected with so many other students. An impediment that I'm sure I'm going to have with my classes is the students getting on websites that are not educational. I will have to have strict rules for this and consequences that will result if they do not follow my rules.

There will also be many benefits to adopting some of Ms. Cassidy's teaching strategies. My students will probably be more willing to come to class to learn because they actually like using technology. They will have more freedom in the way they complete their assignments, thus increasing self-determination, which will make them strive to succeed. Ms. Cassidy's ways of teaching are great, and I will definitely be implementing some of them into my own techniques.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Blog Assignment 10

Do You Teach or Do You Educate?
This video, made for teachers at Foothill College Krauss Center for Innovation in Los Altos, CA., deciphers between what makes an individual a teacher versus an educator. It starts off by asking, "are you a  teacher?", and then gives many different versions of the definition 'teach'. Then, it asks, "or are you an educator?". Many inspirational words begin to pop up describing what an educator is. These sound so much better than the negative definitions of 'teach'. Educators are more than just teachers who are there to show and explain how to do something. To be an educator, one must be a mentor, a guide, an advisor, support, and much more. Educators are there to advise and show the way to their students. They also give intellectual, moral, and social instructions.
scrabble pieces that spell the word 'educate' sitting on a blackboard

I do intend to educate rather than just teach my students. I became an education major because I truly want to make an impact in someone's life. I want to train students for the future in order to better our society. Today's students are not really learning anything at school because they have so many standardized tests that they are forced to take. So, rather than actually learning, they are simply memorizing only the material that is going to be on the next quarterly standardized test. However, once the tests have been completed, all of the material that the students crammed in their heads is now history, gone like they had never learned it.

I want this to change! I want students in my classroom actually learning and taking in what they observe and participate in themselves. I want my students to be active learners rather than passive. I think that the best way to learn something is by actually doing the task yourself. So, my students will be discovering many things on their own by actually doing them, instead of being spoon fed every step.

Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!
stack of pencils laying on graph paper
In this blog post, Gertrude, with a prestigious sounding title: the School Curriculum Instructional Interventionist Academic Specialist, tells Mr. Johnson that he cannot continue to let his students take home pencils and paper. She says that an article has proven that students from low income neighborhoods have lower standardized test scores when they are allowed to take home paper and pencils because they use the pencils for entertainment purposes rather than learning. Mr. Johnson told her that he wants to change how his students see pencils and show them how they are really suppose to be used.

He started a parent pencil program, where the parents actually learn the skills that are being taught to the students. He explained ways that pencils can be used for learning to both the parents and the students. Gertrude said that the students are probably at home playing 'stupid' games like hangman or something with their pencils instead of learning. Mr. Johnson told her that he doesn't discourage them from playing hangman or other games and activities because regardless of if they can see it or not, the children are actually learning in some way.

I am definitely on Mr. Johnson's side of this argument. Who has ever thought that students taking home pencils and paper would be problematic?? I think that Mr. Johnson is using pencils as a metaphor for technology, really. Students often see computers, Ipods, and other media tools as sources for entertainment, but they can really be used for so much more. Computers are becoming so important in regards to class assignments and projects. Almost everything that a student has to do for school will involve the computer at least once before the assignment is complete.
 chalkboard with
Part of our job as educators is to show students how technology can actually help them learn, while also being entertaining. Learning doesn't have to be boring; it should be fun! So, why not incorporate it with things that students love (technology)? School should not be about standardized testing and competing for what school has the best scores. It should be more about who has the best instructions and applications to go out and face the real world. We are training students to function and to make an impact in our future society, not for who can memorize and bubble in the best on the next standardized test.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Assignment 9

Mr. McClung's Reflection Posts
Mr. Joe McClung is a fairly new teacher who has only been teaching for four years. After his first year of teaching in Noel, Missouri, he decided that he would write a blog post reflecting on his adventures, accomplishments, and learnings.
Mr. McClung sits in the back of his classroom and observes his students

At The Teacher's Desk - What I've Learned This Year (2008-09)
The first post I read was from Mr. McClung's very first year of teaching in Noel, Missouri. He shared all that he learned from his first year. He explained how we should read our crowd, and that we shouldn't have the mindset that it is all about the teacher. If we are so worried about what our administrators will think, we will lose touch with the audience that we are trying to relay our lesson to. We should lead a student-centered classroom where the most important aspect of teaching shines through: checking for student comprehension. He says that "in order to be effective, you have to be willing to let your audience drive your instruction."

We have to learn to be flexible. Teachers like to have 'perfect' lessons planned, but only seldom does perfection result because the lesson we teach and the one we plan are always going to be different. We can't control what is going to happen in our classroom to alter our lesson plans, but we can control how we handle the changes. We have to learn to not let the lack of perfection bother us and to just go with the flow, no matter how hard that may be.

Mr. McClung tells us that we need to be reasonable. Our students are not going to reach every goal that we have made for them, but we can't beat them up for it. We need to always be encouraging and to give them support so that they won't be afraid to answer questions or come to us for guidance.

We don't need to be afraid of technology, but rather embrace it. Mr. McClung says that technology is essential to living in our "microwave" society of today. We shouldn't become overwhelmed with it and want to give up all at once. It takes time to master, but once we do, it will be well worth the headache that we went through. The last advice that he gave us was to never stop learning. We should always want to get better and grow as professional educators.

I really learned a lot from Mr. McClung's first blog post. I only hope that I can come away with that much knowledge and understanding after only my first year of teaching. I know that the first couple of years are going to be challenging and I am going to want to give up numerous times, but Mr. McClung has helped remind me that I will not be in this alone and that the price will be well worth it when my students leave my class well prepared for what lies ahead of them in the future.

At The Teacher's Desk - What I've Learned This Year (2010-2011)
The second post I read was a reflection of Mr. McClung's third year of teaching. There were a lot of firsts for him this year. It was his first year to teach at the same school for more than a year, he experienced being a head coach, coached cross-country, and taught computer applications. All of these firsts led to many valuable experiences that he was able to learn from.

He says that we should know who our boss is. We shouldn't worry too much about trying to please everyone on a daily basis because it becomes very easy to get wrapped up in what people think of us. This one is hard for me because I have always been a people pleaser; I hate for anyone to be upset with me. If we try to please everyone, the people that matter the most will get left out, our students. Mr. McClung also states that we need to leave behind what is going on in our professional and personal lives in order to give our students our complete attention and the education experience that they deserve.
a chalkboard that reads 'lessons learned'

We shouldn't expect others to be as excited about change as we are, and we can't be afraid to be an outsider. Sometimes being optimistic can create barriers in the teaching profession because some teachers don't like change and therefore, are not willing to give new ideas a chance. Mr. McClung tells us that we cannot let others down our excitement and joy that we get from teaching or anything else in life. You can't let others steer you away from what you enjoy about teaching; never let your light burn out. He also says that in order to stay true to ourselves and to not fall in line with the rest of the crowd, we cannot be afraid of being called an outsider. It's better, and more beneficial to be an outsider and to focus on our students rather than seeking approval from other teachers.

The last thing that Mr. McClung left us with is to not get comfortable. He says that our biggest fear as teachers should be becoming comfortable. In order to not become too comfortable as the years pass by and we gain teaching experience, we need to alter our lesson plans and how we teach. We should add new things into our agenda that we've never done or taught before. We should always want to keep moving our professional careers forward and to be active in education, willing to be 'movers and shakers' and ready for the changes needed in our schools.

Not only does Mr. McClung offer great advice about teaching, he also gives advice about life in general. We have to be willing to put everything else in our lives aside when we are in our classrooms teaching our students because they should always be our number one priority. Mr. McClung has made me even more eager to start teaching so that I can start sharing advice with future educators after me, and to begin to have an impact in students' lives.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

C4K Summary for March

C4K logo

C4K #6
I commented on a post titled "On Saturday by Jude", which was by a young boy named Jude who attends Bradford Schools. His post was about a saturday that he spent with his father. He said that they went to an exhibition on legos, but the only tickets they could buy for that day were for 4:20 pm. So, he told us everything that he and his father did to pass the time before they could go play with the legos. They went and bought him new school shoes, went and ate at a cafe, and even stopped to buy his mother flowers and chocolates for Mother's Day. Finally, it was 4:15 and they went inside the lego exhibition and built houses that were under construction, and had a blast!

I told him that a lego exhibition sounds like so much fun. When we were younger, my brother use to play with legos all the time and I always tried to play with him, but of course he hated that. I also told him that it was so sweet that he and his father bought his mother flowers and chocolates for Mother's Day because we all need to show our appreciation for our mothers.

C4T #3

Jabiz Raisdana - Intrepid Teacher
This "Intrepid Teacher" is a writer, musician, filmmaker, photographer, and everything else rolled into one. He loves exploring the internet and finding new and interesting things to share with his students, co-workers, and network friends. Raisdana also states that he is an intensive storyteller, and he has a story to tell and share with all of us, and we can start reading the story by following his trail that has been left all over the internet.

Post #1
copyright logo with diagonal line going through it
In this post called, "Copy Wrong", Jabiz Raisdana expressed his frustrations with EMI and Youtube. His tenth grade class was assigned a project based on the the film The Wall by Pink Floyd. They were suppose to make a video for the project and either make up their own song or use songs from the video, and most of the students chose to use songs that were already provided because of the lack of time. However, when the students uploaded their videos to YouTube, the videos were blocked because the songs were copyrighted. Raisdana was frustrated because of this and sought to find a solution. His students were not trying to make money off of these videos or songs in no way; they were only using them for educational purposes.

I told Raisdana that I am studying to be a math teacher and that I found his post to be interesting because even though I am going to be teaching math, I still want my students to use technology. I am going to assign them projects that require the use of the internet. Reading his post and seeing everything he had to go through just to get the videos viewable on YouTube, has prepared me for some of the things I may encounter when I begin teaching. I thanked him for sharing his frustrations with us.

Post #2
"Give a Kid a Blog" is all about just what it sounds like. This week, Jabiz Raisdana discussed how he thought that children, grades K-10, should have blogs so that they can share their work and projects with the world, instead of just throwing them in the trash when they are done presenting them. He said that blogs would help students learn how to be just as independent online as they are off. Blogs would allow for students to present and talk to peers face-to-face, while also creating permanent portfolios of their online work. He says that these skills are what people mean when they talk about 21st century skills.
a kid is sitting down, on a laptop, with the word

In my comment, I said that the EDM 310 class I am taking now is all about technology. We each have our own class blog where we write at least one blog post every week, along with projects and activities that we do and then post to our blog. I love the fact that what I do and produce is being shared, not just with my classmates, but the whole world. I said that it would be a good idea if all students would try blogging. That way, all of their projects that they work so hard on are not lost, but are around forever.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Blog Assignment 8

This Is How We Dream by Richard Miller
Both of these videos, parts 1 and 2, by Richard Miller of Rutgers University are phenomenal! He describes how writing with multi-media can show how to change from a reading/writing culture to a listening/watching culture, and still have students contribute to what they are listening to and watching. Students can now write a whole research paper without ever even stepping foot into a library because they now have all the resources they need and many more right on their computers and the internet. They can find whatever information they need to support their thesis, and can also find websites to libraries not only in their town, but all over the word to help contribute to their paper. These library websites are capable of suppling books and articles on the web, so that students can find what they need easier and faster. Using multi-media, students would also be able to work on their assignments at any time, anywhere because one can access the internet from any computer that is available to them. Using the internet also allows for someones work to be shared to billions of people all around the world. Multimedia can be such a powerful tool!
all things multimedia

I think that using multimedia to better enhance one's education is a great idea. I feel that so many of us students are already using so much multimedia today. I rely on my computer almost 100 percent to get my assignments done. When I do not have my computer with me, I almost feel helpless and I can barely get anything accomplished for my classes. The EDM310 class we are taking now, heavily revolves around the use of technology, so everything we do for this class requires a computer and the internet. Writing with multi-media is something that I think most people would welcome, with very few people having regrets.

I would like to think that I am prepared for multimedia because, like I said earlier, I already use technology so much that I think this would only help my success even more. I also think that my students will be able to use this, probably even better than I will. Students these days use the internet for almost everything they do, and tend to be so tech savvy. By the time I begin to teach, the children will be so use to using multimedia that it will just come natural to them. So, let's embrace multimedia and writing with multi-media!

Blog Post #12 by Carly Pugh
Carly's post for her blog post #12 is suppose to be about making an assignment that is so good and creative that Dr. Strange should have made them do it themselves, or that he will possibly have his students do in the future. Her assignment that she made up is for everyone to make their own YouTube playlist that will describe their philosophies as a teacher. The playlist with videos should include things like: describe the kind of teacher you would like to be, offer tips on classroom management, find topics related to your field of study, and much more. She asked that the students include at least five of the topics she listed and a minimum of ten videos. Then, everyone should explain how these things that they have chosen contribute to their teacher philosophy and how they can use these in their teaching environment.
YouTube playlist logo

I think that a YouTube playlist is a great idea. Having a playlist would allow us to put all of the videos that we think are interesting into one place for fast and convenient access. These videos and topics would be useful for us in the beginning of our careers to serve as guidance, but they can also help us at any time in our careers and can give us fun and creative ideas for activities and projects that we can do with our students. I will have a YouTube playlist very soon! :)

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies
a green background with The Chipper Series written on it
The Chipper Series is about one of Dr. Strange's past students, named Chipper, who dropped out of school because she didn't want to have to learn. She told Dr. Strange that she wanted him to teach her so that she didn't have to learn. After quitting school, she had numerous jobs that she eventually got fired from. She then decided to start her own school called Timeline Pilot School, where the students could take a course for however long or short they wanted to and could show up for the class when they wanted. Needless to say, this school didn't last very long before it was shut down. Chipper finally had a mental cleansing after this where she learned the value of education, and decided that she wanted to go back to school. This time, she was determined to go to school everyday, do all of her assignments, and not procrastinate. She was ready to get the most out of her education experience.

In the video, EDM310 for Dummies, students illustrate their frustrations for their class, EDM310. They were going crazy over the assignments and projects that were due because they didn't understand or know how to do any of them. Then, finally, they came across a book titled EDM310 for Dummies. This book had everything one needs to know about this course, from every blog post assignment and project to how to operate all of the websites that were required. After these students started reading this book and looking to it for guidance, they actually started to really enjoy the class and all of the projects.
a book cover called EDM310 for Dummies

Before I even started this course and a few weeks into it, I was terrified and overwhelmed with everything that was required for us to do. So, I can definitely relate to these two videos. However, as the weeks progressed and I started to get the hang of things, I began to like it. I know that this course will have such a tremendous impact on my teaching career and how I incorporate technology and run things in my classroom.

Thinking about a video that I would like to create or participate in, I think I would want to reflect on the things that we have learned thus far in this class. We could be in a classroom setting, where we are teaching and using our past assignments to educate our students. A project like this would illustrate just how useful this class can be to our future careers.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
This video is basically attacking schooling as we think of it today. There was a poll taken of 55 industry sectors that were ranked by their level of IT intensiveness and education came in last at number 55, below coal mining. In one way, this is mind-boggling, but in another, I can totally see this. Everything around us is adapting and welcoming technology except for schools, which should be one of the top places that uses technology frequently. The guys in this video say that the new 21st century set of literacies are not how well you remember information, but rather, do you know how to find information, problem-solve, how to validate info, synthesize, collaborate, and communicate.
the word 'learn' spelt out with a computer mouse coming out of it

The idea of education is dying, but the idea of learning is just beginning. This video is so powerful and points out so many fascinating arguments. Students need to be taught and trained in a way that will prepare them for their future jobs, not the next test they will be taking. Standardized tests do nothing to help a student train for the future, they only cram information into their heads until the test is taken and then everything is forgotten. This shouldn't be how education is. It is our job as future educators to realize what it is that students need to learn, and the use of technology will help us out tremendously.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0
Web 2.0 is just fascinating! There are so many tools available for teachers and students for free or of very little cost and the tools are so broad. These tools allow one to collaborate, edit, and share content online. This will definitely be a site that I visit frequently when I begin teaching.

(1)  Edmodo looks almost identical to Facebook. It is a place where a teacher can turn his or her classroom into a community. Teachers can communicate with their students and parents, post grades, post assignments and tests, make calendars with upcoming events, and produce polls that students can take. I love this site and will be using it for my classroom. I've already made an account. :)

(2)  PhotoPeach is a fun video tool that would be great for teachers and students to use. One can combine images, music, and text into a presentation. It is pretty simple and students can have a great presentation ready within minutes. Teachers can use this as a way to have collaborative group work because there is a quiz feature that allows multiple-choice questions to be on all or some of the slides in the slideshow. There are so many possibilities with PhotoPeach.

(3)  Poll Everywhere is a website where people can make polls and respond to them using their mobile devices. It makes it easy to gather live responses from just about anywhere: conferences, presentations, classrooms, radio, tv, and print. It can also help people raise money by letting them pledge via text. I found this site to be fun! I could find a lot of use out of polls in my math classes, by making questions into a poll and having my students use mobile devises to answer.

Here's my first poll that I made:

Project #11 Short Movie

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blog Assignment 7

The Networked Student
This video by Wendy Drexler describes the 21st century student. This student has a PLN (Personal Learning Network), which holds all of their favorite websites and blogs. The 21st century student uses Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube, and much more to learn and stay connected with the world around him or her. I think that having a PLN and using technology makes students more diverse and well-rounded and will benefit them in the future regardless of what career they may choose.
little colorful shaped people holding hands around the earth

The video brings up the question, "why does the networked student even need a teacher?" For the networked student, the teacher is still a vital part of their academic success. The teacher is the one who shows them this world of PLN and how to navigate it. He or she shows them how to build the network and how to take advantage of the opportunities the network brings. The teacher offers them guidance, shows them how to communicate properly, and helps them organize the mountain of information they find. His or her goal for the students is that when they leave this class, they will maintaing their learning network and use it to navigate their future and help solve the world's problems.

I would like to say that I am ready for the networked student, but I really don't know if I am or not. I think that I am pretty up-to-date with technology and I know how to operate most of it. However, we know that our future students are going to understand technology and know things that we didn't even know existed. This means that we, teachers, have a big obstacle to tackle because we are going to have to make sure that we always stay VERY knowledgeable of the latest technology so that we can really benefit our students and be that navigator that they need us to be.

A 7th Grader's PLE (or PLN)
a student surrounded by his PLE
This 7th grader blew me away with her personal learning environment and how much she knew about it. I am just getting started with mine and still figuring everything out, but I hope to grasp it and find it as useful as she does. Like her, I also used Symbaloo to develop my PLN. Mine has a little bit of everything on it right now, ranging from education to shopping. I do plan on creating more networks as I grow and find more interesting and helpful sites. I know that my networks will never be complete and I will always be adding to them because I am always going to be learning and exploring new things.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Project #10 PLN Part 1

Developing my Personal Learning Network
In the development of my PLN, I chose to use Symbaloo. It was very organized and simple to get started. It even gave me suggestions on some possible webmixes that I may want to use. I did, actually, pick a good bit from the suggestions to add to my homepage. I am just so fascinated with PLN because I really had no idea that something as great and beneficial as this existed. 

For now, this is my only PLN so it has a little bit of everything on it. However, I plan to continue my journey and explore even more and eventually have many PLN's. When I begin to teach, I am going to share this with my students as well because I think that this is something that everyone can find use out of. Thanks Dr. Strange!

screenshot of my PLN

Project #9b 1901-1955 History of Mathematics Timetoast

Sunday, March 4, 2012

C4T #2

Caren Carrillo
Caren Carrillo is a history teacher who tries to incorporate technology into her teachings. She maintains a blog, which she keeps pretty up-to-date, with educational posts and things that happen in classrooms.
Day of the Dead colorful skeleton face

Post #1
The post that I read was titled,"A Little Seasonal Classroom Humor". Caren found a chain of emails between a teacher and the teacher's students' parents regarding the Day of the Dead celebration that her and her students were going to participate in at school. She would send out an email about what they were going to do for the celebration and then a parent (or parents) would email her back complaining about it or saying that it went against their beliefs or something. These emails continued to go back and forth for a while until Mrs. Carrillo sent one last email saying that she will be unemployed as of the upcoming Monday, and that the Day of the Dead celebration will always be a remembrance to her.

This was a funny, but kind of embarrassing story. I mean, I felt a little ashamed for the teacher. In my comment, I said that times have changed, and teachers can't get away with as much as they use to could when it comes to teaching some things. I think that the teacher should have never decided to participate in this day knowing that her students have different beliefs. Reading this post definitely opened my eyes to the fact that I am really going to have to think about the activities I want to do with my students before I actually go along with them and inform their parents.

Post #2
In this post, Awkward Classroom Silence, Mrs. Carrillo discussed how she use to be so afraid of classroom silence with her students. She thought that maybe she wasn't explaining the material well enough so her students didn't know how to answer. Then, someone gave her some advise: "do not be afraid of silence." Most of the time when students are silent, they are just afraid to speak in fear of answering the question wrong. She said that students wait like they are sitting on the sidelines for someone else to answer.
children raising their hands in class
This post helped me a lot because even though I am not a teacher yet,  I know that I will have to battle the "awkward silence" in my classroom. Many students already feel uncomfortable in a math class, but I want to ensure them that we want some wrong answers in order to help those who will never speak up. Chances are that another student will have the same question as the student who was brave enough to break the silence.

Blog Assignment 6

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Randy Pausch giving his
Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University where he taught computer science and human-computer interaction. The video that I watched of his was "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams". Sadly, Pausch died not long after this video was made due to complications from pancreatic cancer at the young age of 47. "The Last Lecture" was originally made for his children, but it has reached millions of more people. I thoroughly enjoyed all 1 hour and 16 minutes of it! Randy Pausch was an excellent speaker and did a phenomenal job of keeping his audience engaged. I have previously watched a little of this same video and his video on time management, and I still find both of them to be fascinating every time I watch them.

Even though Pausch filmed this video after he was told he had pancreatic cancer and only had a few months to live, one would have never known that from seeing how he acted and how much energy he had. He said that he was determined to have fun every day that he had left, and I think that is exactly what he did. He began the lecture by stressing how important it is for children to dream and to fulfill those dreams. So, he shared the dreams that he had as a child and how he accomplished them. For example, he wanted to experience zero gravity so, he was giving the opportunity to go to NASA and get in a machine that allowed you to experience 25-30 seconds of no gravity. This is just one example of the many dreams he had, but wanting to be a Disney Imagineer was his hardest and most sought after dream of them all.

Pausch had such an amazing outlook on life that anyone could ever wish to have. When I become an educator, I hope to have at least half of the perspective that he had on life. I want to show my students how important and crucial it is to dream and to never give up on their dreams. One of my favorite things from his lecture was when he was talking about the "brick wall". He said that brick walls aren't there to keep people out, but to remind them of just how much they want something. Brick walls are just obstacles that we each have to face and overcome in order to get what we really desire. If we hit a brick wall and give up, then we didn't really want that something in the first place. This was really good to me because I have never thought of brick walls that way before, but I will always remember this and remind my students of it every time they want to give up. Giving up will not be tolerated in my classroom.
the word dream spelt out

Pausch gave great advise to students on how to achieve their personal goals and careers. Pausch taught a class for about ten years where his students had to each make their own virtual tour or world. They had about five projects each semester that he gave them two weeks per project to complete. He was so blown away after the first assignment that he didn't know what to tell them in order to make them strive to work harder on the next one. So, he decided to tell them that their projects were good, but he knew that they could do even better. That is exactly what his students needed to hear because every two weeks, they would make projects that were even beyond Randy Pausch's imagination. Even though I am going to be a math teacher, I want to assign fun and creative things to my students that will help and encourage them to learn more than I thought they ever could. I believe that every student has the capacity to learn no matter what background or disabilities they may have, and I will strive to use technology and fun ideas to help my students get the best education possible.

No matter who you are, this video will inspire anyone. It makes one want to dream big dreams with the confirmation that they WILL achieve them. As a teacher, I will use things from this lecture and from Pausch, in general, to educate my students. Everyone can find something interesting from "The Last Lecture" that will show them how to dream the impossible and make it a reality.

Monday, February 27, 2012

C4K Summary for February

c4k is written in pastel curly letters with a little cartoon boy sitting beside it on a computer

C4K #1
This week, I wrote on a fifth grade girl's blog named Asena. She attends Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand, and is in Mrs. Barks class. They just got back to school from the holidays, so she wrote about going to the beach with her family. She said it was so much fun! They had a barbecue and played volleyball and tag together. She also mentioned in her info part of her blog that her favorite subject in school is math.

I commented and told her that  I am studying to be a math teacher. I also told her that the beach is my absolute favorite place to go, and it seemed like she had a lot of fun over her break.

I also wrote on the 6th grade student, Lauren's video about the customary system. She really surprised me in how much she knew and how much she could do on the computer. I love that she was so creative and went above and beyond what her assignment asked of her to prove that she understood what she had been taught.

C4K #2
This week, I wrote on a fourth grade student's blog from Leopard Primary located in Victoria, Australia. Her name was Kayla, and she blogged about her eleven year old dog named Shari. She posted a video of Shari along with questions for anyone to answer if they commented on her post.

I told her that she really seemed to love and care for Shari, and that I use to have a dog named Fred up until about three years ago when he died. I told her that it was a hard time for my family and I when he passed away. Now, I would love to get a new puppy, but finding time to care for it is my main concern for not getting one right now. I told her that I loved her blog and to keep up the good.

C4K #3
This week, I read Amy's blog. She is a fifth grade student from British Colombia, Canada in Krissy Eppele's class. Amy is very creative and has a wonderful imagination. She wrote a story that had an unexpected ending. She was able to keep my attention throughout the whole story, and I was very impressed by it.

In my comment, I complimented her great imagination and creativity. I told her that she was very descriptive, which helped me get a feel of the scene and characters in the story. I really enjoyed reading her story, and I hope she continues to write and express her ideas.

C4K #4
I had the privilege of writing on a blog titled, Epic Dude this week. The post that I commented on was called "Domo Animate". The student talked about how he visited the Domo website and has already made four Domo videos. His favorite video that he has made is called "Domo, the Legendary Cop". Two more that he has are called " The 2012 Domo Olympics" and "A Very Domo Christmas".

Just by reading his simple post, I can tell that he is really creative and has a good grasp on technology and the internet. I told him that it was very impressive that he has already made four videos. I also told him that I will be checking out the videos that he has made thus far.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog Assignment 5

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
ban of all things dealing with technology
Dr. Scott McLeod works at the University of Kentucky, where he is an educator. In this post, he is very sarcastic and says that all aspects of the internet and technology, in general, are bad and will not benefit children. He later states that his children do use technology and everything it has to offer, and because of this, he says that his kids will be a "leg up" because they actually do use technology. So, the children that do use technology will have an even bigger advantage over the children that do not.

I really liked Dr. McLeod's post. He is trying to grab the attention of adults and show them just how important technology really is. Student's need to be exposed to all technology and everything there is to offer. I agree with Dr. McLeod in that technology is such a big part of our society today, and the kids who do not jump on the technology bandwagon are only going to suffer in their future careers.

Travis Allen: iSchool Initiative
Travis Allen is the founder and leader of iSchool Initiative. It consists of a team of 24 people in which they travel around to promote the use of mobile learning through the iTouch. Adopting this initiative would allow for education to be less expensive and more efficient. Students wouldn't have to purchase physical books, pencils, paper, etc. anymore because everything that they would need would be at the tip of their fingers with the iTouch.

Travis was only 17 when he made his first YouTube video, where he proposed the idea of the iSchool Initiative. I think this is a great idea. It would allow for students to be able to afford more, and the parents' of the students could keep up-to-date with their children more easily as well. We use so much technology everyday, so incorporating this into students' learnings would be wonderful.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
I thought this video was very powerful and really neat. It demonstrates just how much we can do with technology today. This choir consisted of 185 people from all around the world who had never met before, but still came together to perform a beautiful piece. Something as big and extravagant as this was able to come alive all because of the use of technology. I really like this use of the internet; it just shows that what we can do with the internet is endless.

Teaching in the 21st Century
Kevin Roberts' video describes where education is headed for the present and the future. He said that teachers are losing the importance that they use to have. They are now more of a filter for students because their students have so many more resources at their fingertips than ever before. Now, students can log onto Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Google and many more sites to get all of  the information they need and much more.

I like how Roberts thoroughly distinguished the differences between entertainment and engagement. He stated that people use entertainment to get their mind off of problems, while they use engagement to solve problems. Engagement should be fun and exciting; it makes for people to actually have to be involved and that is a great thing! I think that Roberts is point-on with his position on the changes in teaching. It will affect me as a teacher because I will have to stay very up-to-date with technology to be able to keep up with my students and to give them the best education opportunity that I possible can.

Reading Rockets
The Reading Rockets motto is: "teaching kids to read and helping those who struggle". It is a pretty amazing website dedicated to the success of children, regarding reading. It offers apps to help students who are struggling with comprehension, which is normal for children. It also offers effective ways to help students understand and care about what they are reading or have read. The site also gives information to get kids even more help, and also tells us reasons for why some students struggle with reading. A reason could be that they have received poor instructions on how to go about reading. If this (or something similar) is found to be the case early on, many times the problem can be resolved or even prevented.

This website will definitely be beneficial for me when I do become a teacher. Even though I am going to teach math, reading will still be a huge part. I will be able to find out how to teach my children with reading disabilities more effectively with this incredible site. It has a library that is there to provide teachers with strategies to accommodate their students in areas where they need help the most, and also how to use these strategies most efficiently. I really learned a lot from the Reading Rockets site!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blog Assignment 4

children podcasting in a classroom
Ms. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano is a teacher who is very devoted to technology and podcasting. She and her students make podcasts based on books that they read in class, and the students love doing it. They get so excited and want to be a part of it. They even change their voices and their fluency and pitch. In the podcasts, the students are storytelling and interviewing each other. It is very evident that they really enjoy doing this, and it helps to ensure that all students are being active in the classroom.

Ms. Tolisano proves that children are never too young to use technology and be creative. She is teaching her students great skills that will help them succeed in the future. Technology isn't going anywhere, so it is good to get students using it as early and as much as possible. She offers great ideas for the classroom that I want to try out someday.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
Joe Dale is a strong believer of podcasting in the classroom. He points out great facts about podcasting: it allows students to be more project-based learners, and it also allows them to use their higher order thinking skills as referred to in Bloom's Taxonomy. Students today are so use to using technology everyday, so they are more willing to learn and listen when they can use technology in the classroom. Podcasting helps promote creativity and innovation as well.

Too, it becomes very useful for students who are absent, but still need to keep up with their daily assignments and class lectures. This also allows parents to be more interactive in their students academics because they can now listen and see through the podcasts.

Judy Scharf's Podcast Collection
Judy Scharf's blog gives us all of the information we could ever dream of and more for podcasting. She starts off by defining podcasting as "a 'radio-stye' talk show"; she says it's a mix between an iPod and broadcasting. Judy provides links to getting started, tips to succeed, a time schedule for podcasting, examples of some podcasts, and even suggestions for topics. There is much more that I didn't mention, including a rubric, on her site.
This blog is definitely one that I will use in my future as an educator. It will help to get students wanting to participate and be involved. Students who already use podcasting in school love it and like sharing what they have learned with others. Like Judy has suggested, I'm going to give podcasting a try in my classroom, and be the "inspiration for my students' successful careers." This site will also be helpful for me in making my own podcast for the class I am currently taking, EDM 310.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blog Assignment 3

Technology in Special Education
This video is about how Ms. Cook uses technology to help her special education class find learning easier and more enjoyable. It really demonstrates just how much technology can help someone excel in their academics. One of her students use to have to have someone read to him outside in the hallway, but now, thanks to an ipod, he can listen to someone read him the story in his classroom where his other classmates are. Another one of her students can't speak well, so he can now type what he wants to say into his computer. She also has a student who can't see or write well. He has a program on his computer that magnifies the writing so that he can see it more easily, and the computer is also easier for him to write on. Technology has enabled Ms. Cook's class to be able to turn their assignments in on time, whereas they use to be late, and it helps them do it twice as fast. It has really made a tremendous impact in her classroom.

Technology has changed the way special needs students are taught in many of ways. They can now feel like other students in their classes because technology allows them to complete their assignments more quickly. They can also participate in projects and discussions now because they can use computers to say what they are thinking and feeling. I am eager to learn more about special education programs for my future students. I want them to be able to complete their math assignments with ease.

Educational Apps
After watching the video about the little boy with autism who uses the ipad to learn and visiting the apple website, I found an app called math bingo. I think this game would be both fun and educational. Students are given addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems and then once they figure out the problem, they look to see if they have it on their bingo cards. They collect bingo bugs for points and then get prizes. This game would allow all students to participate and strengthen their math skills.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count
Wow! Gary's Social Media Count is a real eye opener. The chart really puts into perspective just how important and much used technology has become today. There is an insane number of Youtube videos that are being watched every second, along with tweets on Twitter and iPhone apps being downloaded. Hours uploaded onto Youtube and new memberships on LinkedIn are the two lowest categories on the social media count, but they are still bringing in a lot of numbers every second or so.

Seeing this count means a lot to me as a future educator. I know that I am really going to have to stay up to date with technology so that I don't fall behind. This has also shown me the importance of technology regarding our society today; those astounding numbers show that a ton of people use technology for all sorts of things. I am going to try to incorporate and use technology in my classroom as much as possible.

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today
 This video , by Micael Wesch was made at Kansas State University with the help of 200 students. It summarized the characteristics of students today. From their goals they want to reach to the kinds of experiences they will meet in their lives, they are all expressed in this powerful video. Students illustrated that they pay hundreds of dollars every semester for books that they will never open and they are assigned pages to read, but never read them. I, as a student myself, do get frustrated by the fact that we are suppose to buy all of these books for our classes, and most of the time, the most expensive book we buy is the one that we never use.
four students are sitting at a classroom table, all using laptops.

The students in the video showed that the majority of their time is spent either texting, eating, sleeping, or using technology in some kind of way. They do all of these more than they focus on their school work. We need to work technology into learning and into the classroom more. Technology is becoming a part of our everyday lives rather we like it or not. So, we need to embrace it and teach our students with it because technology is what they understand. They would probably be more interested in learning the material if technology was used too, because that is what they have become accustomed to.