Saturday, April 30, 2011

Final Project # 16

Final PLN Report

This is a screen shot of my PLN.  I have added many links that I use on a common basis.  Although it is not full this is something I will be able to continuously add to.  I think this is a great tool for everyone but especially teachers.  I gives you the most important links right at your fingertips no matter where you are.  I have links to websites, as well as to blogs on my PLN.  I know that this is a tool I will use often in my future not only as an education student, but also as a teacher.  

Friday, April 29, 2011


For this final C4T I was assigned to Kim Cofino who's blog can be found here.  Kim is a teacher at an oversas school.  She was teaching in Japan on March 11 when the tsunami and earthquake hit and devistated the area.  The first (and only) post that I posted on was dealing with this.  She was explaining how she had contacted people from her school and people she knew directly after the disaster.  Kim was able to use technology such as Twitter to check on others as well as to let everyone know she was okay.  Kim and her husband left the country soon after the disaster and are currently in Singapore.  Kim has not posted again since this post.  I think that she has a great attitude about the situation she had been faced with.

Blog Assignment #14-Special Assignment

I honestly am not very sure why I did not grasp this metaphor.  I do not think it was a very obvious metaphor.  I guess, had I been thinking about the context of this class while reading it, it may have been much more obvious to me.  I was just reading the article and taking it as it came across though. 

I have never before had a problem understanding metaphors.  After being given this assignment I was much more aware of all of the metaphors I heard on a daily basis.  One I commonly heard is "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."  One I have realized I use quite often is "give me a ballpark."  I am constantly saying this in reference to needing a time frame for something.  One I have heard quite often lately, with the end of the semester being so near, is "burning the candle at both ends"  There were others I heard since recieving this assignment, but this were the most common.

I think that it is important for us to make sure that our students understand what we mean when we are using metaphors.  I don't think this is something that can really be taught fully in a lesson setting.  It is something that is being continuously learned.  If you have never heard a specific metaphor before it will take more time to understand.  I think that, as educators, it is important that when using metaphors we ask afterwards, "What do I mean by that?"  If students do not know what you are trying to get across to them it is necessary to explain this in detail.

I think there are many reasons to use metaphors.  One reason is to say something that may not always be appropriate in a more appropriate way.  For example, although it is still not nice, it is nicer to say "not the brightest crayon in the box," than to say some one is dumb.  Another reason is to add depth to our conversations.  This adds an interesting level to conversations.

Friday, April 22, 2011

C4K Summary - Posts 7, 8, 9 and 10

I think that these last C4K assignments were definitely my favorite.  I like how there were two weeks dedicated to two great classroom blogs. 
For C4K #7 I was assigned to read a post on the trail of tears class discussion video on Mr. McCLung's World.  Since I am a history major this assignment appealed to me.  I really like how Mr. McClung uses many different types of media on his website.  I think that, if I decided to have a classroom blog, this would be how I would use it.  In this particular post Mr. McClung had set up a video camera to record a class discussion.  It was obvious that the topic had already been introduced.  The students knew what they were talking about and they seemed very passionate about their views on the topic.  My favorite part of the video was when one student made the comment to the effect of "The Indians weren't contributing to society so they didn't deserve anything." A second studend responded to the effect of "Well what do you do to contribute to society."  I thought it was really cool that the students were so into the discussion.  I also like how Mr. McClung guided the discussion but let the students do the majority of the speaking.

For C4K #8 we were again directed to Mr. McClung's world.  We were told to go more in depth in the category in which our first assignment was posted.  I though this was really interesting.  Again I was able to see multiple types of media put to use. Mr. McClung links every posting to at least one category (even if that category is uncategorized) so that you can see all information that is similar to the post you are looking at if you want to.

For C4K #9 we were introduced to Ms. Yollis' 3rd grade classroom blog.  I was really surprised by the quality writing on this blog.  The writing you see on this blog is not just done by Ms. Yollis but by her students.  They are very impressive for 3rd grade students.  This month is Family Blogging Month so we were assigned to comment on this section.  I think that is is amazing how the families participate in the blog.  I kept seeing parents commenting on every post.  I think that this is a great way to keep parents involved with their kids.  Ms. Yollis uses her blog as a writing and reading tool which I think is a great application of a blog.  When her students write on the blog everything they write has to be quality marerial or it will not be posted.  I think that this is great because she is using this to teach them to write correctly and effectively.  Ms. Yollis also required that any comments left by others are considered quality comments.  This means that she will not approve any comments with spelling or grammatical errors.  I think this is also great because it sets the right example for her students.

For C4K #10 we were again sent to Ms. Yollis' blog.  This time we were assigned a particular child to comment to.  I was assigned to Grace.  Grace recently wrote a blog about her Bunny.  Her Bunny is now her "mascot."  She has had Bunny for 9 years-she got him when she was born.  She had pictures on her blog post of Bunny dancing and playing the piano.  I thought that the quality of her post-and the inclusion of pictures- was great.  The first comment left on this post was by Grace's mother.  Grace had mentioned in her post that she had gotten another Bunny just like the original and she was Bunny's sister.  In her comment Grace's mother shared the story of how she got this second Bunny after her father turned around after they were an hour into a trip to visit family because a 2 year old Grace had forgotten Bunny.  I thought it was great that her mother shared this in her comment.  I shared with Grace how great I thought her post, and her classroom blog were.

Blog Post 13

When I first read the instructions for this post I had no idea what ALEX was. I did some research on the website and found some very useful information. ALEX is a website for teachers. It has many different topics of interest on it.

This website gives you information about the standards that teachers are expected to teach their students in different subjects. There are lesson plans available in many different subjects. There are links to other websites that may be useful to teachers, or in our case, future teachers. There are many handy tools available on this website!

I am certain that this website be quite useful to me during my time as a teacher. It is full of ideas and resources that will be available anywhere I have an internet connection! I believe the lesson plans will be very helpful to give me ideas to use in my classroom.

The Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, Students Statewide (ACCESS) is another amazing tool. This program allows students to participate in online classes that may not be offered at their school. This gives students the opportunity to receive Advanced Diplomas from school who may not otherwise have the resources to offer and Advanced Program. These courses can be offered as a web-based class or as a video conference. The web based class is similar to the online classes that you find at Universities. The video conference is delivered by a teacher and the student is able to watch.

Through ACCESS students are not only able to get Advanced Diplomas; they are also able to take Dual Enrollment and AP classes. These classes allow students to get college credit if they make a qualifying grade. The coursework in these classes are generally more on a college level.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Book Trailer-Project #15

Progress on Final Project

I have started to make progress on my project.  I have one other member in my group at this time but we are trying to get another member in our group.  We are going to come up with an idea this week and begin our work on the project.

Blog Assignment #12

Here are the instructions for my blog post:
1.  View the WKRG article found here.
2.  Then view the Social Media Policy proposed by the Mobile County Public School Board here.
3.  Write a blog post on what ways you feel you could use social networks in an approprite way in your classroom.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Project #14

Special Assignment- Mr. McClung's World

1.  From what I have read about Mr. McClung on his blog he is a man with many varied interests.  I think that this shows through the way his blog is constructed.  He uses many different types of media throughout his blog.  Some posts are written, some are audio, some are video.  Because he knows that one thing does not appeal to or work for everyone he uses these multiple forms of communication so that all students and the audience of their blog can learn from it. 
2.  I think that Mr. McClung is a great educator.  He realizes that "notes, lectures and homework everynight" does not work for everyone.  I think that this realization is very important for every educator to realize.  You have to be able to teach to all students with all learning styles.  I think that the ability, and willingness, to do this is what makes a great educator. 
3.  The first rule Mr. McClung lists is "Follow Directions Quickly."  I don't know why Mr. McClung made this his first rule, but I do know that if I had made this my first rule it would be because I have worked hard to make assignments and to plan out what we will be doing in class but if directions are not followed we will not get the results needed to learn what we need to learn.  I think that this is also important because when the students follow directions this shows respect for the teacher.
4.  The first requirement under "Everyone Needs" is a daily planner.  I think that this is very important because students have to be responsible for their assignments.  A daily planner allows the students keep track of what is do and be organized which will lead to repsonsibility. 
5.  I think that Mr. McClung's penalties for being late are very similar to Dr. Strange's penalties for being late.  If you are late you only have the ability to get a B.  For everyday you are late the highest grade you can recieve lowes by a letter grade.  In Dr. Strange's class you are also penalized for late work.  The way I understand it is is not the exact same way as Mr. McClung penalizes his students but your grade will suffer and you will not pass the class if this becomes habitual. 
6.  Mr. McClung hope that through his blog he will be able to power technological education in his classroom.  This is very important.  It is also the best way for him to communicate with students, parents and others when they are not in the classroom.  If I choose to use a classroom blog I will use in in the same way.  I will use this as my main form of communication with my students and parents.  I will use it in this way because I think that it is often hard for parents to contact teachers because their schedules do not go together. 
7.  I really like that Mr. McClung has a link to The Daily Show with Jon Daily.  I think that this gives students a fun link.  Many of the students are possibly watching this show.  It is a very holarious interpretation of the news.  I think that it is great that Mr. McClung uses this fun link in his classroom.  I think this could be used to incorporate current events in the classroom in a fun way.  I think it made his list because it is a different kind of look at the news-the traditional approach is not appealing to students.
The second link I visited was From The Basement.  This is a site with many different muical artists who are not very widely known.  I think that this is a very interesting choice.  From Mr. McClung's post about himself we know that he is very interested in music.  I think the reason this post is here is to allow his students to better know himself.  I think it could be used as a link between students and teachers.
8.  I think that Mr. McClung's rules for Internet Safety are very in depth and cover everything needed.  I think it was a great idea for him to create a class e-mail the students could use on public posts sot hat they were not giving out their own e-mail address.  It is obvious that Mr. McClung really cares about the safety of his students.
9.   I was assigned to look at the Trail of Tears Class Discussion.  This was filed under Arkansas History.  Under this category I found many very interesting things.  I found that there are mostly videos under the Arkansas History category.  Mr. McClung has videos not only of class discussions, but also of individual students explaining certain topics.  I think that this is a great way to show that a student has mastered a topic.  If the student can explain something to you IN THEIR OWN WORDS I think it shows that they know the necessary infomation on that topic. 
10.  What I like most about Mr. McClung's post, that I feel would be useful, is the multiple pages.  I like how he has links to his different pages such as rules and useful links.  I feel like this is something that is necessary for a classroom blog because you are always going to want students to be able to refer back to other important things without searching around for it.  I am sure this is something that could be done with Blogger but I am not sure how to do it myself.
11.  I think that Mr. McClung's blog is very useful for multiple types of people.  I think that it is useful to his students because it allows them to look back as a review.  It is also a good source for students who have missed class.  If you have missed a day you are able to check the blog and keep up with what was covered in class.  I think it is a good resource for parents as well.  Parents are able to keep up with what their students are learning and how they are learning it on a daily basis.  I think this is a great way to keep parents involved in their children's lives.  It allows them to have a conversation starter.  I also think the blog is great for education students.  In field experience when we are required to teach those first few times I think this would be a great place to get ideas of fun, exciting, educational ways to introduce topics.
12.  Although Mr. McClung's blog is a Class blog he does most of the posting.  Students are involved in the making of the posts but I feel as if this blog is more of a this is what we are doing than a place for the students to blog.  I did see that he had a page where students could do this but it has not been posted to by the students recently and is not the main part of this blog.  Other blogs I have visited the students are the ones posting.  This is the main difference I saw.
13.  Mr. McClung's World is a blog that has so much depth to it is very time consuming to view it in depth.  I think that it is something that should be bookmarked to come back to as a reference.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Blog Post #11

Kathy Cassidy
I was very surprised at the level to which these first grade students were able to use the computers in the classroom.  I think that the way they used wikispaces is something I could incoorporate into my classroom.  I like the way they pose a question and then they have other people share their ideas with them.  I think that a common problem in classrooms is that the only ideas available are those IN the classroom.  This brings in ideas from outsiders, possibly people all over the world.  One problem I could see occuring from the use of wikispaces in this way, especially in the secondary setting, which is where I will be teaching,would be other studetns making inappropriate comments as their answer to the question.  Students at this age think that this is very humorous.  I am sure there is a way where comments have to be approved before they are published to the class wikispace. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

C4T #3

I was assigned to Scott Elias' blog. The first post I read was on a new program Mr. Elias is implementing in his school. I thought this program seemed very interesting. It is in the beginning stages at this point so there is a group of 7 teacher volunteers participating. As a part of the program they are going around, as a group, to each others classrooms and evaluating the teacher teaching. I think this is a great idea. It allows teachers to get feedback from their mentors rather than just their supervisors. It also allows the teachers who are observing to gain new knowledge.
The second post (and only post that had been posted since the first post) was one I considered to be housekeeping. It had nothing to do with education but on how Mr. Elias uses his macbook for organization. It was lost upon me because I don't have a Mac.

Blog Post 10

An Open Letter to Educators
I really agree with Morgan in her feelings about education.  I often feel as though Professors feel as if they are the only ones in the classroom with any knowledge on any subject.  I feel as if they give assignments that are not meant to educate us but to give us a grade.

 I really don't think that the education system here is not meant to educate in the most successful way.  We assign a grade based on what educators think is best.  We give assignments based on what educators think is best.  We don't ever think about the students and what is best for them. 

It seems as if Morgan's experiences and feelings are very similar to mine.  She doesn't feel as if she is being truly educated.  I think that EDM -although I don't always like all of the assignments- is taking a step in the right direction.  It allows students to express themselves and grades on the process as well as the product.

Don't Let the Kids Take Home the Pencils
I love the message in this post.  So often educators must find something to blame low test scores and situations on.  Mr. Johnson finds a solution to these "problems" rather than focusing on them.  As educators we shouldn't be focusing on the problem-we especially shouldn't be using it as an excuse-we should be deciding how we are going to solve these problems. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

C4K #4-#6 Summary

C4K #4
I was assigned to Samson's Blog.  Samson is a student at Pt. England in New Zealand.  He is a year 7 student.  When I visited this blog I noticed there is only one post here.  It simply stated, in one sentence, who he was and what class he was in.  It was posted last week.  I am not sure if they just started these blogs, but I commented asking Samson why his posts were not more frequent.  I wanted to know this to know how students feel about blogging and what may hold them back.

C4K #5
I was assigned to Ms. Jenny She.  Unfortunately I was late posting my comment for the first time.  I did not have a number by my name to count down, but I just read the most recent post and posted on it.  It was a video made by Lomio-Lee.  He is a student in ms. Jenny She's class.  This is the way she uses her blog.  She had a student make a video every week about what they did during the weekend.  Lomio Lee went to a rugby game and really enjoyed it. 

I read a blog made by Year 4/5 students in Taurange, N.Z.  I really like how interactive the class has made this blog.  There are things to watch, read, and listen to.  The post I was assigned to was a type of powerpoint that focused on what respect was and what it looked like in practice.  I really like the way this is used.  I think that this is a great opportunity to teach character education in a unique way.

Blog Post # 9

For this assignment we read Mr. Mc Clung's post "What I've Learned This Year."  This was his own personal reflection on what he learned throughout his first year of teaching.  I really enjoyed reading this post.  I feel like as teachers (and future teachers) we often forget these very fundamental ideas.  I really liked what he said about being flexible.  Mr. McClung said that in his own intership he would strive to write the perfect lesson-but that perfect lesson is unreachable because inevitably something will go wrong, or a student will ask you a great question which will lead you off topic.  As long as the students are learning though this lesson is as perfect as it gets.  I think what he said about being reasonable is also very important.  I think that as teachers we often want more than what our students are able to give them.  I even see this in college.  We must remember that these students are still kids-they need to be able to spend some of their free time on things other than school work.  And our class is not the only class that they have.  I think that this is where the communication issue comes in.  We need to, not only communicate clearly with our students what is expected of them, but we should also communicate with other teachers.  Teachers almost never colaborate on projects.  It is so easy to combine multiple subjects into one project but teachers don't work together to create these projects.  We must communicate with those we work with in order to make not only the best work environment for ourselves, but also the best learning environment for our students. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blog Assignment #8

google images
This is How We Dream-Parts 1 and 2
I think This is How We Dream brought up a good point: How often do we actually write with pen and paper? It's not often.  I know personally I take notes on my computer during class.  When I have a question about something I rarely look for it in a book, I look online.  We don't write papers anymore, we are expected to type them and turn them in.  There is rarely an instance that we actually use pen and paper anymore.

Typically we see children learn to write with pen and paper in the elementary setting.  This is still something that is used in the early school years, but even as students enter middle and high school they are expected to begin to type their papers and present everything in a professional manner-not with pen and paper.  That means that we need to prepare students for this from an early age.

I believe that is is still important to have good handwriting and to know how to do this in the proper way.  I also believe that we should begin teaching our students as early as possible how to type and to write using multimedia outlets.  The same grammatical rules apply so this could easily be used in a language arts setting.  If we introduce this at an early age we will not have to deal with unprepared students when they reach that higher level.

The Chipper Series & EDM 310 for Dummies
I really enjoyed these two videos.  I think the EDM 310 is something that should be created.  This class is a class like none other and when you sign up for the class there is no way you can possibly be prepared for everything that will be required for you.  I think you should include this as the first blog post for those who do not watch it early on. 
If I was creating a video for EDM 310 I would make a Do's and Don'ts video.  I would include tips like DO read the class blog daily.  And DON'T get behind-you WON'T catch up.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
I think this video brought up a good point-one that has been brought up many times in this class- students can learn through other means than the teacher.  The video points out the excessively stimulating environment students live in in todays world.  The environment that they experience outside of school is much more stimulating than the school environment.  This is partialy due to the fact that we have banned the things that are so stimulating to them outside of school, such as social networks and cell phones, within the schools.  These things are sources of learning that, as teachers, we should be trying to capitalize on in some way.  But, as I have said before, I am not necessarily a supporter of completely relying on these types of sources. 

RSAnimate-The Secret Powers of Time and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
I really thought these videos were entertaining.  They were interesting to watch and they also showed an important message.  The Secret Powers of Time proposes there are six different ways we look at time.  We either look at the past and focus on regret or focus on "the good ole days".  If we are looking at the present times then we either believe we are stuck where we are or we just don't see any point on planning the future.  Those that are focused on the future feel a drive to make them better. 

The second video was equally interesting-it proposed the idea that when a certain amount of cognitive skill is involved in a process rewards do not work.  This shocked me.  I think these two videos and the ideas they propse are linked to the current trends in education.  People are not motivated to succeed.  The types of incentives we are using the motivate these students are no longer working.  We have got to have the students motivating themselves instead of us motivating them.  This motivation must come from within.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Project #11

Project #10-PLN

My Personal Learning Network is something I am beginning to work on.  I have started using blogger to post and share my ideas about many different ideas.  I have also begun to explore the use of Twitter.  During my time in EDM I have also begun to discover the many uses of applications available through Google such as sharing documents.  I have made some connections this semester with current teachers and future teachers.  I will continue to explore these outlets and make more connections. 

C4T #2

I was assigned to Stven Anderson.  His blog can be found at  I found his opinion on matters very interesting.  His first post that I read was about the revolt in Egypt and how it applies to the classroom.  He said that we should be using social media in the classroom in an effective way and creating a revolution in Education in the same way that we saw done in Egypt. (I would like to clarify here that he is not suggesting a violent revolution but a change in the way we use social media.)  I hqave mixed feelings about social networks in the classroom.  I do agree with Mr. Anderson that there are many very effective ways to use social media.  I am however also aware of students and their use of social media.  They do not use it to just make connections or to learn, they use it to gossip and find out what is going on over the weekend.  This leads me to the second post of Mr. Anderson's that I read and posted to.  This second post was about the way people are now using social networks as a veil of annonymity.  People say things on the internet they would never even think of saying outloud to someone.  This is one of the negatives of social media.  One of my favorite parts of this post was the rules a friend of his had prebiously posted and he copied here on his blog.  They were as follows:
What do we tell kids about comments on blogs, online articles, Facebook status updates?
  2. If you disagree, you can do so without attacking another person’s character.
  3. If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t type it online.
  4. Remember, there are human beings on the other end.
  5. Remember, you are also a human being.
  6. Rule #1 is really all you need.
I think that this is something all users of social media need to read and apply.  I know that in our own area of Mobile there have been some issues with students bringing weapons to school to settle fights started on Facebook.  Too many people are using these outlets in a negative way.  Overall I really agree with Mr. Anderson's posts and that social media, if used in the correct way, can be a tool but people must apply the rules!

C4K #3

Unfortunately I forgot to post my C4K post last week.  I was assigned to sb 2011 in Mr. Wolf's class.  This student is a student here in Birmingham.  I like that Mr. Wolfe's students do not use their names for their blogs.  I think this is a very good idea for privacy reasons.  This student uses this blog to post about books he or she has read.  I think this is a great way to introduce blogs and to use literature with them. 

Blog Post Assignment #7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Randy Pausch gave a lecture at MIT after being diagnosed with cancer. As is customary at MIT, when a professor is about to leave the University he or she gives a "Last Lecture", unfortunately this was actually Randy Pausch's last lecture ever.   In this lecture he tells about how to reach your childhood dreams. Here I will discuss some of the techniques he uses in his teaching.

Randy Pausch's main focus is hands on learning. His ALICE project is totally hands on. He teaches his students by letting them learn from experience. I believe that hands on teaching is the best kind of teaching.  Students can have a visual and kinesthetic representation of what the lesson is about.   You can tell students anything a million times and they may memorize it well enough to pass a test but if they can show you how they have mastered the concept you know they really understand it.

Another focus of Randy Pausch is to push his students to be better. In his lecture he tells about how when he first started the program and the students did much better on a project than they ever expected. He told them "That was good. But I know you can be better." He did this because he didn't know what they were capable of so he didn't know where to set the bar. Because of his lack of knowledge he continued to move the bar higher and higher. By telling them this he showed them they could do better.

He also believes in critiquing his students. He told a story from when he was playing football as a younger child and his football coach had been very hard on him. Another coach came up to him and told him that critiques are a great compliment because when someone stops critiquing you it means they have given up on you. When someone cares enough to critique you it means that they care and they still believe in you. As teachers we should constantly be critiquing our students.  We need to be telling them what they can improve on and making them better people and preparing them to make them to make an impact on the world, not just to pass the test and move onto the next class. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Project 9b- Instructional Timetoast Timeline

Blog Post Assignment #6

Notworked Student
The Networked Student-By Wendy Drexler
This veideo was very intriguing.  It truly made me question, "What will be my role as a "teacher" in the coming years?"  I do see this change coming but I honeslty think that, in this area, we are not nearly as close to this revelation as other parts of the country and world may be.  We are just now really getting to where technology is used widely in every classroom with the addition of SmartBoards in the classrooms-but many classrooms do not even have Smart Boards yet.  I do think that we are going to eventually head in the directon of the student in this video but I do not foresee it being in the immediate future.  When this does happen, however, my role will be greatly changed.  I won't be needed to teach my students this information.  I will simply be needed to teach them how to find it on their own.  By teaching them this skill they can learn anything. 

A Seventh Grader's PLN
I was very impressed by this PLN and the way it was implemented into the classroom.  I like that this gave me a visual idea of how to use this PLN in a classroom.  I honestly think that, at this point, her PLN is a whole lot better than mine.  But this did motivate me to continue to work on my own PLN so that I can reach the level she did-one day.  I also really like what she said about what this freedom does for her.  She mentioned that she could be using this time to get on facebook but because her teacher has put so much trust in her she feels the need to be responsible and do her work at this time.  I think that it helps that she actually has something interesting to share with the entire world to show for her work instead of a report she will turn into her teacher or possibly share with the class.  I am very intrigued by this type of learning.

Smart Board Pros versus Cons
It was very difficult for me to find a review of the SmartBoard that did not go along with the negative view of the posts we were assigned to read.  I googled, changed my search and googled again.  Finally I found this blog post.  The author of this post (who is not names)  has an opinion that is completely opposite of Michael Staton or Bill Ferriter.  Where Staton and Ferriter both think that SMART Boards are glorified dry erase boards and a waste of money.  The Author of the College Education blog I found addresses this idea as a problem but says that when used to their full potential instead of as a projector they are very effective teaching materials. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Project 8-Poscast

Project 9a-Individual Timetoast Timeline

Blog Assignment #5

This is a picture of an orange RSS feed symbol wearing headphones
I first visited the Eagles Nest website.  Here I listened to a podcast done by 3rd graders.  I was thoroughly impressed.  The podcast I listened to was about Roman times.  I thought it was very informational.  I was really impressed with the clarity the students presented this material with.

Next I visited the EPN Website.  This stands for Education Podcast Network.  I could see where this website would be so valuable for teachers using podcasts.  You can really find anything here.  There are links to all types of podcasts that can be used in the classroom.  It is very well organized and I think it would be really helpful to teachers. 

The third and last website I visited was the Judy Scharf Podcast Collection.  This collection is powered by Curriki website.  Judy Scharf had a collection of all types of podcasts here.  She also has information on how to create your own podcast. I see many similarities between the EPN and Just Scharf's collection on the subject of usefullness.  I think this website goes one step farther by giving newbies information on how to create your own podcast.

Comments for Kids #2

I was assigned to Mary's Blog.  She is a student in Miss Helen Kings Year 4 and 5 class.  She is in room 13 at Pt. England School in New Zealand.  I was really impressed with her blogpost.  She was posting about her excitement over getting a new netbook the next day.  I was very impressed with the fact that she even had a photo on her post.  It looked as if she may have created this picture in a program such as paint.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

This is a picture of a computer cord wrapped around an apple
Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
Dr. Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor at Iowa State.  He is the Director of Center for the Advance Study of Technology Leadership in Education.  This is a group that is an advocate for the technology needs for school administrators.  He is also one of the co-creators of the Did You Know? (Shift Happens) video.

Being a very sarcastic person myself I loved the sarcasm used here by Scott McLeod.  When you first begin to read this post you can't help but to wonder if he is being serious.  I thought to myself "Is he really against all technology in the classroom?"  When you get to the end his intentions are clear: he is letting people know that his students, who are being taught about technology, will be far ahead of those students who are not being taught how to use technology.  I agree with him.  Students who have been taught how to use technology from a very young age will definitely have a leg up in life.  I know personally that students who have to learn this later in life have a harder time with it.  I know that being just a few years older than most other college students has put me at a disadvantage technology wise because they are able to use the technology required for this class with much more ease. 

The iSchool Initiative
In the iSchool Initiative video this high school senior from Georgia argues that having a school based on apple's iTouch would solve many of education's problems today.  He argues that we could cut many costs by simply providing each student with an iTouch and the approprite apps.  Teachers, who have so much more than they ever have before on their plates because of budget cuts and standardized tests, would have one place where everything could be consolidated. 

Apps exploring geography, the presidents and many other subjects would replace powerpoints and posters.  A graphing calculator app would replace the requirement for all students to have a graphing calculator and lessen the cost at the same time.  Students could even have access to textbooks on the iTouch.  There is an app for everything.

I have mixed feelings about his post.  I do agree that this could cut costs and help teachers but I am not sure I am convinced it is what is best.  Not all students are technologically savy.  Should we adapt one way of teaching that leaves these students out.  I think that I am in between on this topic.  I think that the iTouch (or now the iPad) could be used very effectively in some ways for some students.  I think that more of a mixed media type of teaching would be more effective because it would apply to all students.

The Lost Generation
This video was very powerful.  The first reading was terrifying.  Unfortunately though it is where our generation is headed.  Families no longer sit down and have dinner.  Parents don't take the time to ask their students "How was your day?" or "What did your learn today?"  If this is true of this generation I can only imagine the furture for my children and their children. 

I am much more a fan of the second reading.  We can turn things around.  If we start a change now it will take hold.  We can change the norm and send the message that the direction we are currently heading is not acceptable.  We hold the power and the future is in our hands but we have to make a conscious effort to make a change.

Visual Choir
This is amazing.  I would have never even thought this is something that could have been done.  These 185 people, who had never before met came together to make something beautiful because of the internet.  This just goes to show how many ways the internet can be used.  It can bring together people from all different parts of the country or parts of the world.  It has so much power that we can't imagine.  This video amazed me.

Teaching in the 21st Century
To teach means something completely different in the 21st century than it has in any century before.  As the video said we are no longer the main source of information for our students.  They can find out anything they want (whether it is something we want them to find out or not) whenever they want to.  They no longer need us as a source of information.  They need us to teach them skills. 

They need to know how to survive in this ever changing world.  They need to know how to decide if the information they have gathered is reliable.  They need to use the constantly changing technology to best help them.  They don't need us to inform them, they need us to teach them.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Google Presentation Project #5

Comments for Teachers Post 1

I was assigned to the blog "At the Teacher's Desk."  This blog has many contributers but both of the posts I responded to were posted by wmchamberlin.  The first post was entitled "Trying a New Spin on Current Events".  It was about current events and taking a new approach at teaching them.  Being a future history teacher this really intrigued me.  Mr. Chamberlin talked about a class he is currently teaching on Current Events.  He discussed how he is teaching them to be critical of their sources and to compare sources.  With all the media available to us in today's world we must be critical of the source of our information.  There are so many contrastng reports on many current events because of the political views of the reporter reporting the story or of the media outlet it is coming from.  Mr. Chamberlin is pointing out to his students how so much of our information comes from the large media oulets (such as the major television networks) that students often do not know how to find other sources.  He is putting a focus on the smaller media outlets such as local reporters as well as international sources. I really agree with Mr. Chamerlin that this is an essential skill to be teaching to students living in today's world.

The second post I responded to was also posted by Mr. Chamberlin.  It discussed, again, a different approach to teaching.  It was entitled "Can we Adopt a Master/Apprentice Approach to Learning?"  I was very interested in what he had to say here.  He discussed the history of the Master/Apprentice Approach.  This appraoch is very different from what is happening in the classroom today.  It puts a person who has mastered a skill and a person or small group of people who are looking to master this skill together.  The Master is able to extend his knowledge to the Apprentice.  In return for the Master teaching the Apprentice these skills the Apprentice works for the Master.  If this approch was applied to the classroom there would be less students assigned to each teacher.  The Master (teacher) would be teaching by example.  It is much more of a hands on approach than many approaches used in today's classrooms.  I am very intrigued by the questions that Mr. Chamberlin posts in this blog and I encourage everyone to keep up with this blog.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Blog Assignment 3

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

I thought that this video was very powerful.  It described the life of the "normal college student" though.  Not everyone fits into this profile.  I feel like, although I could relate to a lot of things in the video,  it fails to accurately describe many of the aspects of mine, and other non-traditional students, lives.  I spend a lot of money on books I may not even use, and every year my debt grows. 

Unlike traditional students I didn't have all of the technological help that the average student did in high school.  Students in today's college setting have been on facebook since they were in high school, they know all about twitter and have a lot of experience on a computer.  I am not this student.  I took one computer class in high school and didn't learn too much from it.  Computers were not as much of a part of the classroom then as they are now. 

Overall I think this describes the traditional college student well.  It does not take into account how much difficult college can be for the non-tradional students.  In today's world many students have children.  Many students are working full time jobs to make ends meet instead of working a part time job for a little extra money.

It's Not About the Technology

This post was one I really enjoyed.  Although I do think that we need to use technology in the classroom I do not think it is the most important thing.  I think it is important because our students are going to be completely immersed in it outside of the classroom.  We should give them what training we can within the classroom to best prepare them for the world outside of the classroom.

I agree with Kelly Hines that technology is not the most important thing.  It is very important to focus on what we are teaching and what the students are learning.  I like how she said that no matter what we do as teachers if the students do not learn no teaching has been done.  I really agree that as teachers we need to focus on the learning of our students.  We need to make sure we are teaching them in the best way possible no matter what way that is. 

Karl Fisch:  Is It Okay to be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

This post was very interesting.  I do think it is a bit extreme but I see the basis of what he is saying.  As I have stated before I am not the most technologically literate person.  I am just not someone who is interested in this.  I do however realize it is a knowledge I will need to have in the classroom.  So this is one side of my belief: technology is not the most important thing in the classroom although it plays a large part.

The other side of my belief is in agreement with Karl Fisch-to some degree.  I think that is is unacceptable to be completely technologically illiterate or be closed to the idea of learning.  Even though I am not completely interested in technology I am willing to learn.  I think that the teachers who have the attitude that it is okay to never learn about technology is unacceptable. 

Gary Hayes Social Media Counter

This social media counter was astounding to me.  I was shocked at how fast the numbers were changing.  I thought it was very interesting to see how quickly the numbers changed and how different things were changing at a different rate.  I noticed the slowest number was the number of iPads sold.  The numbers dealing with facebook were the fastest changing numbers. 
I think this is something that will greatly change and have an effect in my classroom.  By the time I enter the classroom there will be even more numbers to keep track of.  The numbers will change even more quickly.  Even the iPad number will be changing at a much faster rate.  I think that this is something that we, as future teachers, need to keep in mind.  Our students will be plugged in to more and more social networks and technological advancements than any other generation. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blog Assignment 2

Did You Know? 3.0
This movie completely shocked me.  I found it very interesting though.  I think that it is presented in a way that really makes you think.  You can't help but to take a step back and think "If things have changed that fast in my lifetime, what is going to happen in the lives of my children and future students?" The information leaves me with many different feelings.

It makes me excited to be living in a time where students have such abilities and opportunities.  But it also makes me very nervous.  I am not a computer person.  They just don't really interest me.  I can do what I have to do but how is this going to effect my classroom?  My students will no doubt know more about computers than I will.  And this knowledge will grow with every class that comes through.  This video left me with many different feelings but I really enjoyed it and the information it presented. 

Mr. Winkle Wakes
Mr. Winkle Wakes really hit home with me.  Everything around us has changed, not just over the last 100 years, but in our own lifetimes.  I remember it being a really big deal when all of a sudden everyone had to have the internet.  I also remember bag phones and the huge brick cell phones.  Just in my lifetime, the last 25 years, everything technological has changed.

This video posts a very good question, with never asking it at all: Why have we not changed the way we teach?  Teachers do not use everything available to them.  I think the reason for this is so many people have a "This is how I did it" attitude.   This is how they were taught and they turned out just fine so why should they change it?  It has worked in their classroom for so many years and it will continue to be the way they teach no matter what.  I think this links to a fear of the unknown.  But as teachers we have to be lifelong learners and learn with our students in order to best serve them.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity.
Sir Ken Robinson's main point in this video was the idea of creativity in schools.  Or more the lack of creativity allowed in schools.  I had never taken the chance to step back and look at it but after being exposed to this video I can't disagree with what he says.  What he said about the main task of education being to produce college professors is an idea that seems true.  At an early age we teach children Reading, English, Math and when there is time we fit in Social Studies and Science.  There is time for library and computer lab built in one day a week but it is very rare for these young students to be exposed formally to any type of arts.

As students get older they have more of an option as to what they take.  They are able to chose elective classes but again it is rare they are given the opportunity to chose a creative path.  Most electives are foreign languages and home ec or some kind of wood shop.  Only at larger schools are students given the opportunity to pursue any path they desire.  We are sending the message to our students that if you are smart at the core subjects that is what is important.  It doesn't matter if you can draw, paint, sing or dance.  That is not what is important in the world.  This is a message we need to stop now.  We should be telling students no matter what you are good at, that is what is important.

Celcilia Gault
I really enjoyed the interview and short article done by Cecilia Gault.  She brought up a very good point- we are not preparing our students to be successful in this world they are living in.  We see the defecit between students in other countries and students here is the United States and what are we doing about it? We are cutting education budgets more and more each year.  This is not fair to students.  We are setting them up to fail.  They will not be able to compete unless something changes dramatically.

I also enjoyed the interview she conducted.  I liked Sir Ken Robinson's idea of the three myths of creativity.  It is so true, as I mentioned above, that we do not push for creativity in schools.  I personally think that this is getting even more true as standardized tests become more and more integral in the classroom.  As teachers we have to find some way to allow our students to be exposed to the arts and technology and to send the message to them that it is important to be creative and to express yourself in what you are good at-not what you are told is important.

Vicki Davis
Before watching this video I was curious as to the best way to use the technologies we learn about in this class in my own classroom.  This video gave me a perspective on what it would look like in practice.  I am from a small, rural town.  The fact that she is from the same type of area gave me even more confidence that this can be done.  She has such great teaching qualities. 

I think the most important thing is that she has taught her students how to find things out for themselves.  Yes, a teacher's job is to teach.  But this is one of the most important things you can teach your students.  Especially in the world we live in now.  If they know how to use the technologies that are provided to them in order to discover the answer to questions they have they will be able to find the answer to anything.  She is teaching her students how to survive after they leave her classroom.  I admire Davis' teaching style and hope that once I enter the classroom I will be the same type teacher.

Wordle- Project 2

World Image made from words of first post

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blog Assignment 1

My name is Jacob Webb.  I am from Citronelle, Alabama.  I love sports.  I am a huge fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide.  I am also a huge fan of the Atlanta Braves. I have previously coached baseball and football at Fruitdale High School.  I’m 25 years old.  I have an older brother and an older sister.  I also have an adorable niece named Dylan Grace.  I also have a girlfriend named Amber who is an Elementary Education major here at South. 
 I am now the head coach of the Junior Varsity Softball Team and assistant coach of the Varsity Softball Team at Leroy High School.  I chose to go into education because it will give me a chance to bring together my love of sports and history while giving me the opportunity to help young people.  I am also a full-time student here at South Alabama. I went to Faulkner for a year before transferring to South this past fall. I chose South because it is close to home. I would like to attend graduate school and become a high school principal.