Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Final Reflection

I came into EDM310 nervous about my lack of technology and the work required for the class. I have only had one other computer class and that was a Word and typing class in high school. I was very impressed by the amount of time and concern that the instructors and assistants put into each student. Everyone working in the EDM class and lab made the class much more manageable. I am excited about the things that I learned during the course. Creating and learning how to blog was the most meaningful and I believe lasting thing that I learned throughout the class. I learned some incredible things from other blogs that I read that will greatly help me in the classroom.
This class showed me the advantages of using technology in the classroom and how it is changing education. The elementary, middle and high school that I went to are not technology advanced. The most technology that is used in a classroom are overhead projectors. I admit that coming into EDM310 I was a little closed minded about technology in the classroom because of my lack of accessibility to it in schools. I did not see how they could be used to better a students education. This class showed me the importance of using technology as well as gotten me excited to use it in my classroom. I believe that this class has prepared me with the tools that I need to use technology to better my students' education.
I would tell a student who is entering EDM310 to come into the class with an open mind and to take advantage of the lab hours. I would definitely encourage them to follow Mr. Spencer's blog. I know that I have talked about him many times in the past, but I really like following his blog. My mom is an administrator at a school in Mobile and I have introduced her to his blog. I have also had her watch some of the videos such as the "Questions to Live by" video so that she can share them with her teachers. I would also advise new students to take their time with their post and comments. I got more out of the videos or readings when I had a lot of time to dedicate to them. This really is a great class and more students should take advantages of the benefits that it allows.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Comments4Classmates 12

Alana Carpenter
Hi Alana, I enjoyed listening to your interview discussion. I agree that all teachers should be technologically literate. Granted some will be more literate than other, but everyone should be to some degree. You all have some good ideas and viewpoints. It was evident in your interview that you are learning a lot from EDM310.

Shoronda Charles
Great video! I love Smartboards and I have played with the Notebook before and I thought it was a lot of fun. I like that your video was about different tools you can use with the Smartboard and did not concentrate on just one. I enjoyed watching your video.

Pauline Brown
I was also impressed with the Roamin' with the Ancient Romans podcast. It was very informative and fun to listen. The benefits of podcasting in the classroom are incredible and I am looking forward to using them in the classroom. I was very surprised as well by the 100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study better. I hope that you are able to incorporate podcasts and iPods in your classroom.

Summative Project

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Vocaroo


This is my PLN but I still have some blogs to add. I was so impressed with Mr. Spencer's blogs when I was assigned to comment on his blog that I contacting him for some of his favorite blogs. I will soon add the blogs that he recommended me to read.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blog Post #13

The videos produced by Ms. Hagler's class were very well done. I think that the videos were a great way for the students to understand an express their feelings about the oil spill. I thought that the students did an excellent job with their editing and choosing their music. All three videos were very impressive. I loved the voice of the "oil spill" in Mean Oil Spill. Prayer has been a huge part of peoples' lives during the oil spill and I think it was important that they showed that in their video Just Pray. I think it is really important that Ms. Hagler gave her students the opportunity to create their videos. I am very impressed by the amount of media coverage that the videos and the class were given. They worked very hard and deserved the recognition. It is evident that Ms. Hagler believes that technology in the classroom is necessary for learning.

Blog Post #12

What I've Learned Part 2
I really like and appreciate the fact that Mr. McClung so easily admits where he has messed up and what he has had to learn. After reading what he has posted after his second year, I can see that he had to rely on some of the lessons that he learned his first. During this past year, Mr. McClung had to take what he learned about the importance of communication and apply it. Because he had already learned the importance of communication, he was able to communicate and stand up for the things that were important. He was also able to communicate with the school moms who helped him throughout the year.
After Mr. McClung's first year, he posted to never stop learning. It is evident in his second year post that he has not stopped learning. McClung had to learn new subject matter, teaching styles as well as how to engage older students. It was not immediate, Mr. McClung was able to learn what he needed in order to be a good teacher.
I feel like Mr. McClung's lesson on the Path Lest Traveled is a mix between is lessons How to Read the Crowd and Be Flexible. He had to take both of those lessons from year one in order to create the atmosphere and discussions for his class.
I believe that Mr. McClung has learned a lot throughout his two years of teaching. He is open to new things and he is not okay with being a teacher who simply lectures. Mr. McClung is continuously learning and builds on what he has learned year to year.

I had never seen Fablab before, but I think it is really neat and a great tool for classrooms. It can help demonstrate shapes and allow students to learn and understand geometry. It can be very difficult to understand dimensions, area and volume using a 2 dimensional pictures, but by being able to create shapes with the Fablab students are constructing what they are learning. By the students having an actual shape that they can hold, the teacher can better explain the concepts of volume, area and space.
I would love to teach and demonstrate shapes by using the Fablab in my classroom. I know that it is probably not possible to have the fabricator;however, I think that printing the shapes out onto regular paper can be just as resourceful. Instead of the fabricator cutting out the shapes, the students would have to cut the shapes out by hand.

Print Fabricate
Creating Unique Shapes & Custom Shapes
Imagine. Design. Create. Construct.
Making Shapes with a Hole

Saturday, July 17, 2010


The students made a video telling about Halogens. To tell about halogens, the students had sock puppets for every member of the Halogen Family. The video was fun to watch and was extremely informative about the 5 different halogens. The students included the name and placement of each halogen on the Periodic Table as well as their atomic number. The students also talked about their different uses. The video was a great way to teach science and more fun than sitting in a class listening to a teacher read them to you.


I commented on John Spencer's blog Tom Johnson's Adventures in Pencil Integration. Every post that I read was thought provoking and eye-opening and I encourage everyone to read his posts. The first post that I read was the human cost. It was a very intriguing post that pointed out the everything has a con a cost. Every good thing that is done as an improvement will have one small glitch. We have to decide if it is worth the cost.
His second post was Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home. I think that every educator and administrator should read this post. It is a dialog between two educators debating whether or not students should take pencils home because the research showed that inner city students should not. The post deals with one person who cuts out tools that research says is bad and the other person takes that research and properly shows parents and students how to use the tool effectively.
The third post those aren't the tools you'll use in the real world is another post that I think should be required for all educators. This post included a teacher who let students used the paper and such that was right for them, while at the same time his wife did not think it was appropriate for them not to use the same kind. She felt that the wide-ruled paper was not preparing them for the real world. I believe that this post will be eye-opening to anyone.
As I sure you can tell, I have been very impressed and inspired by Mr. Spencer's blog posts. I have enjoyed reading and commenting on his posts and I intend to continue to follow his blog.

Blog Post #11

Ms. Cassidy's Class
I was very impressed with Ms. Cassidy's video and the amount of technology that she uses in the classroom. You could tell just by the video that the students loved blogging and learned a lot from their blogs. It was obvious that they were learning grammar and writing etiquette at a young age. Her students seemed to be excelling in the class and wanted to do better on their own. I believe that there motivation to learn and do better comes from their independence and hands-on-experience in the classroom.
One technique that I would like to use in the classroom would be the use of NintendoDS. Children play on DSs all of the time and to provide them an opportunity to learn educational games on theirs' is amazing. Also, incorporating what they like and use daily into the classroom is such a good way to get the students' attention. The problems that I foresee with using Nintendos in the classroom here are accessibility and administration. The majority of schools in Mobile County are Title 1 schools and I know that it is not possible to expect every student to have a NintendoDS. Many students can not afford them and with all of the cutbacks in education the schools would not be able to provide them. Another problem is administration. Even if the students did have access to the Nintendos the schools would not most likely not allow them to be used in class. Administration is more focused on test scores and students sitting in their desk all day to learn;and we all have seen how well that is working out for them. They are not willing to allow students or teachers to experiment with new learning styles or ideas. Ms. Cassidy's classroom seemed extremely productive and very beneficial to the students;however, I feel that it would not be excepted here. After I graduate, I do not plan to stay in Alabama long and I hope to teach in a school that is more open to technology, such as Ms. Cassidy's, in the classroom.

Friday, July 16, 2010


My C4K post was more the teacher summarizing their week;however, I was able to get a lot from it. Each week Mr. McClung posts Lesson Learned which consists of the 3 main things that the students learned that week. This week Mr. McClung had the students help him decide what to include. I enjoyed reading what was included in the Lessons Learned. A of the lessons few were: don't make the Pope angry, Nutrisystem = lunchables for grownups, don't climb a tree that you do not plan to fall out of, don't go shopping cart jousting, and Silver Dollar City is where the creeps hang out. There were more listed, but those are some of my favorite. The students also created a Wordle that included all of their Lessons Learned. Lesson Two for the week was titled RAZalert = Fail. This was just a short summary of an alert system at the University of Arkansas called RAZalert that texts or calls students to inform them of bad weather. Lesson Two told about how the system sent a false alarm and the lesson that was learned by the class was that "apparently RAZalert likes false alarms".
I like the idea of a Lesson Learned post. Lesson One in particular allowed Mr. McClung's students to review and remember what they learned throughout the week. I think it is a fun and easy way to keep people updated on what is being taught in the classroom.

Blog Post #10

A Seventh Grader's PLE
I really like her PLE done from Symbaloo. I was very impressed with how organized she could make her PLE by using Symbaloo.com. After watching her video I decided to model my PLN after her PLE. I have created a page on Symbaloo that allows me to have all of the blogs and websites that I follow. I love the idea of her PLE and can see how beneficial it can be. I will most likely create PLEs such as the one that she did for my classes that require extra research.

Two Questions That Can Change Your Life
This was another inspiring video for me. The people in the video all did extraordinary things and their sentence reflected that. I want an extraordinary sentence to define me. The second question "Was I Better Today than Yesterday?" is crucial for fulfilling your sentence. I feel a person will never truly be better at anything unless they reflect on their behavior and determine whether or not they are improving. I hope that one day I have a truly amazing sentence, but for now, my sentence to live by is: I want to help ,someone that I do not know, everyday.

Blog Post #9

Morgan Bayda
I have experienced some of the same issues as Morgan Bayda doing my college education. I have been in far too many classes that consist of me just sitting in a lecture for hours a week and not knowing half of what was being "taught" and that was okay. I could still make a good grade in the class by copying down the power points. I have gone through a class for an entire semester, made a good grade, but never truly learned anything. I went to class, memorized my notes, took the test, and then forgot everything that I had memorized for the test. As I compare my classes that I have taken throughout my four years in college, I notice that the classes that I excelled in and still remember what was taught are the ones that were not quiet. I truly learned in the classes that involved discussion and students' opinions and not the classes that only the professor talked and shared his or her ideas.
I have learned more in EDM310 than most of my other classes because it is not a lecture class where we "learn" by listening to the professor. We learn things by trying them for ourselves and creating everything on our own. The internet has so much to offer and to teach that it should really be taken advantage of in schools. Students can access information and resources that will teach them more than just sitting in the lecture hall.

All teachers in Alabama have to go by the Alabama Course of Study. The website ALEX provides an easy way for teachers to access the ALCOS for each subject according to grade level. ALEX states the objectives for each subject as well as provides examples for the objectives. The website also has lesson plans and a link to different websites listed beside each ALCOS objective as a guideline for teachers. ALEX also has a place called "Web Links". Web Links provides teachers with hundreds of different websites for every subject. The websites range from research articles, to lesson plans, to interactive learning for the students. Not only does ALEX provide access to websites for the core subjects in a classroom, but it also includes websites for Character Education, Online Projects, and Library Media. There are also websites available for students to access. One of the websites that is available for students is one that the students can email with grammar questions.
Alex also allows teachers to access thousands of lesson plans through its website. When I clicked on "Lesson Plans" from the homepage, a new page opened that allowed me to check the box beside any subject ranging from English to Drivers Education. I could also click on the grade level that I wanted and hundreds of lesson plans were available for me. You can also search lesson plans by Title, Author, or School. ALEX also has an area available on the website where teachers can search the ALCOS, web links or lesson plans by typing in the title or keyword.
ALEX also includes an Personal Workspace for teachers. Teachers can log in to ALEX and have a web page that allows them to save and share lesson plans as well as other teachers' pages. The Professional Learning section of ALEX provides teachers with access to professional development opportunities, strategies in the classroom, learning tools etc. ALEX also provides access to different educational podcasts for the classroom.

Cooperative Podcast

Summary of Responses

Here is a link to My Summary of Responses.

SmartBoard Presentation

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blog Post #8

"What I've Learned This Year"
I found Mr. McClung's blog to be very helpful to future teachers. He was not afraid to admit to the mistakes that he has made as an educator in order to help other educators avoid similar mistakes. I have had teachers who have made the same common mistakes that Mr. McClung has made. I feel like many teachers, just like Mr. McClung, forget far too often to make the students in their classroom that center of their lesson plans. The students are the reason that teachers are in the classroom. Flexibility is another mistake that is very easy to make. Teachers begin the school year knowing exactly what needs to be done and how much time is allowed. I have had teachers not teach a lesson in detail or not work with the students until they understood because there was not enough time. Not all lessons are going to workout as expected and teachers need to be flexible and not so focused on what they had planned. I completely agree with Mr. McClung about the importance of communication. Teachers need to work to build communication between other teachers at their school as well as their students.
I really like how Mr. McClung worded his paragraph about technology in the classroom. Many teachers are afraid to use technology and when they try and do not succeed right away they quit. I like that he acknowledged the hesitance that people have with technology and the encouragement that he gives to continue to work with it. Listening to the students in your classroom is another necessity that is often overlooked. I believe that teachers do need to get to know their students in order to teach them. Students are more receptive to teachers who show that they care about each of their students and his or her needs. I feel that "never stop learning" is the key to either be a wonderful teacher or a mediocre teacher. Teachers need to continue learning new and creative ways to teach their students. I feel that in the future Mr. McClung's blog post will help me to be aware of how and who I am teaching to in the classroom.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Civil War Time Line

Blog Post #7

I found Randy Pausch's speech incredible and inspiring. Honestly, I was not looking forward to watching the video because it was an hour long, but I found myself intrigued throughout the entire video. I can not imagine knowing that I have only a few months to live and still being that motivated and at peace with life. I loved his style and techniques of teaching. When he started talking about the class that be began I noticed a few teaching techniques that he used that I thought were great. As he went continued talking about that class, it was obvious that the teaching techniques he used were working.
One way of teaching that he mentioned I really liked. When he began talking about the class that he started and telling the students that they have to work in a group to create something great, he did not give them guidelines. He only gave them two things that they could not use and he allowed them to be creative and decide what they wanted to create and how they wanted to create it. It was evident from his story that his students excelled with the little directions that they were given. The students were not limited on what they could create which allowed them to liberty to produce a new, fascinating project.
I also really liked that after his students blew him away with what they had created he responded to them by saying "you can do better". I believe it is important to encourage students' work, but it is also important not to make them complacent in the performance. By telling a student that he or she could do better you are encouraging them to work harder and dig deeper to create something that may even surprise them.
I am very much a believer in students being involved in what they are learning. I think that students should be hands on when it comes to everything that they are being taught. That is exactly what Dr. Pausch did throughout his career of teaching. He allowed the students to teach themselves how to build virtual realities. He did not stand in front of the classroom while the students took notes about how to build one, they actually did it.
I believe that this video will inspire anyone who watches it. I have never heard someone speak about having goals and trying to reach them like he did. I was absolutely inspired by watching it and it is by far my favorite video we have watching so far.

Comments 4 Kids 2

Scribes from Room 11 are learning to write reports. The post that I read is about mice. The students did an excellent job on including features and characteristics of mice. They included what they look like, what they like to eat and where they like to live. It is evident that they are understanding how to right reports.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Comments 3 Teachers

Miss She's blog was very inspiring to read. She does not blog that often, but she puts a lot of thought into what she does post. The first post that I commented on was a video that she had found. It was about the environment and waste disposal. It was very interesting and I encourage people to watch it. The second and third post of her that I read pertained more to education and teaching. Her second post was about Task Boards that she has in her classroom. I would like to take the ideas that she uses with her Task Board to implement into my classroom. In her third post she talked about Twitter and the great advantages that it has in the classroom. She discussed how she has so many resources because of Twitter. She sounds like a great teacher with a great classroom.

Comments 4 Kids

I would like to encourage other students to look at K2M's Blog. The have a Wordle posted that the class created about winter. I explored the site and went to the "Meet K2M" page. They have all of the students in the class and a fact about them. Their blog is very cute. I also like how they leave a question about winter on their blog.

Blog Post #6

This Is How We Dream
I thought that Dr. Miller did an excellent job with his videos. I thought that it was necessary for him to begin my talking about how we all dream of one day having a job that requires us to use books. I found it a little humerus in his video when he talked about the book that he has written about learning and how it is no longer being printed you can now purchase it for less than a dollar on Amazon.com. I like how he did not video himself, but showed video of different ways to use the internet to connect people and resources.
Dr. Miller made great points about the importance and access of teachers sharing information by use of the internet. I really like that he admitted that he knew there would be some complications and that he did not know how it would begin to work to the extent he was talking about. Books and reading are quickly changing. I think that with Kindle Readers and the iPad the number of books and the necessity of books is only going to decline. I have been flying every couple of months for the past year or so. Every flight that I am on multiple people on the plane have Kindles or iPads that they use to read books. I know that Dr. Miller was referring more towards newspapers, reference books and texts books, but I have been thinking a lot lately about the decline in the amount of leisure books I have seen.
I do not believe that I am ready to write with multimedia to the extent that Dr. Miller described. I feel confident in many areas of online research and sharing ideas; however, I do not think that I would be able to survive if that were my only means of writing. I am sure that with more understanding and help then I would be able to exceed. I hope that by the time writing solely with multimedia that I will be able to as well as teach my students.

The Networked Student
I do not know if I am prepared to be a teacher of a networked student. I think that this is a great idea and can work very well. I believe that it is teaching students at an earlier age how to find an implement great research that is available to them. I am curious as to what the students would do the 3 days that they are in the classroom. Do they talk about the research or lectures that they have found? Or does the teacher teach?
The question "why does the networked student even need a teacher?" really caught my attention because I had been wondering that same question earlier in the video. Once the video explained the teacher is there to help the students know where to find good research and to guide them more than just teach them I was better able to understand the teacher's role. Many students, especially middle school students, would not always know where to or how to ask for the information that they need. It can also very difficult at time to decipher between true research and fact and opinions.
I can definitely see the benefits of networked students. When I came to college I slowly realized that I had never been taught how to fully research something. As helpful and amazing as Google is, it does not always show you everything you need and it does not teach you what to do with the information that it gives you; however, the networked student is taught early on the proper ways and places to find good research. I love that iTunesU is incorporated into the learning process as well. I am very interested to see the outcome of the networked student.

Michael Wesch
I could relate to a lot of what Dr. Wesch said. It is evident that media has changed the way that people interact and communicate. I have also come to realize that through the use of media, people are becoming more socially connected yet they are not becoming more social. For example, I do no longer have facebook; however, when I did I stayed very connected and in touch with a lot of my friends. Now that I have deleted facebook, I can not recall the last time I talked to most of them. I also think about how many conversations I have with people through texting, but I can not remember the last time we spoke on the phone.
It is amazing to me how Youtube and other forms of media have created their own communities. It was evident in Dr. Wesch's video that people are more open and honest about themselves and their opinions on Youtube and to a webcam than they are having a conversation with someone. I know that I am more comfortable using text messaging, email and facebook to express my opinions than verbalizing them to someone.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blog Post #5

Critiques of Smartboards
I do not agree with Michael Staton's Why Smartboards are a Dumb Initiative. When I observed last semester the teacher I was observing had a Smartboard that she used multiple times a day. When she taught lessons on the Smartboard her students were able to interact with the lesson. For example, when the students were learning money she had a program that allowed the students to drag money on the board to create different ways to make up a certain amount of money. The students loved it. Students today love technology and allowing them to use and learn with technology in the classroom really gets their attention. Also, I do not think that his argument that Smartboards do not make lesson plan any easily or lighten a teachers workload should be strongly considered. I do not understand how you can expect teachers to do less work while students learn more. It is hard for me to understand where he is coming from when he has never had a Smartboard in his classroom.
As much as I love Smartboards, I do not believe that they make education better. I believe they it is a tool for teachers to take advantage of with programs and activities that help to teach. I understand how a Smartboard can be just an expensive whiteboard; however, if a teacher wants, then he or she can make a lesson more intriguing and interactive for the students. Teachers should be trained on use to use Smartboards. In Bill Ferriter's blog Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards he said something that really bothered me. He said "Sure, my students thought it was nifty, but it didn’t make teaching my required curriculum any easier". The students obviously liked the Smartboard, but he sounds to me that he does not see the need in Smartboards because he did not make his job any easier. Is it supposed to? I have never heard a teacher say that the Smartboard is supposed to make their job easier. It is supposed to engage and help teach the students in a new way.
James Tubbs about Smartboards I think describes the purpose of the Smartboard very well. In his blog ,How the Smartboard Has Changed My Teaching, he said "...That's the purpose of the Smartboard--it gets kids out of their seats to manipulate the objects on the screen". It allows students to interact and take more of an interest in what they are learning. I really enjoyed reading about how he used his Smartboard to change the way that he taught. His blog is http://misterteacher.blogspot.com/2008/03/how-smartboard-has-changed-my-teaching.html.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Post #4

I really enjoyed watching and learning about the benefits of podcasting. I have made one podcast before, but I have never considered the benefits of making a podcast in a classroom. I especially liked the benefits that is.gd/2cd2l listed. The majority of my mom's family are teachers and have grown up hearing all about teaching and classrooms. From talking to my family and other teachers that I have learned that one of a teachers' biggest dilemma is make up work for students who are absent. Having a podcast of a lecture that is available to the students is perfect for a student who missed a lecture. It is also ideal for students who need to hear a lecture more than once or for a student who needs to hear a concept one more time. Podcasts allow students to have more responsibility in the work that they missed.
Students are more likely to understand and retain information and concepts that they take a part in in the classroom. For instance, most of things that I remember from elementary, middle and high school I remember because I had to do research, a paper or a project on the information. I believe that having students involved in making a podcast will help them to understand and remember the concept they are discussing in their podcast. I thought that the podcast "Roamin' with the Ancient Romans" done by Eagles Nest Radio was fantastic. The involvement of the students and the way that the music kept you engaged. It was evident in the podcast that the students put in a lot of hard work into the podcast and that they were proud of their work.
Practicalprincipals.net was very inspiring and encouraging for me. I was very impressed with how principals from different states have gotten together to make podcasts to help each other and other teachers. A lot of times schools and teachers know about technologies or strategies that other areas do not yet know about. By teachers or principals podcasting or blogging new information that they have learned will allow other teachers and principals to access this new information that they have yet to hear about. Podcasts allow for teachers gain new ideas for the classroom.
I like the different subjects and options that epnweb.org/index.php?openpod=16 gives on their site. There are podcasts for every different subject and each subject has different categories in which you can choose. There are podcasts that are beneficial for teachers and parents as well as for students. There are a lot of podcasts that teachers could assign students to listen to that relate to a specific subject or concept being taught in class.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blog Post #3

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
I think that Scott McLeod did an excellent job portraying the outlook of technology of so many adults; as well as tying in the importance of teaching technology to students. It is important to monitor younger students but keeping them away from the technology is only going to hurt them. Yes, there are some negatives on and about the internet, but can you not find a negative to any great thing? Students should be taught how to use the technology that they will soon be required to use for future jobs, universities, etc. Considering that Scott McLeod is the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education I believe that he has great credibility in regards to arguments concerning the needs and importance of technology.

The iSchool Initiative
This video was a very interesting outlook on how the fix the problems of budget cuts and larger classrooms. I have an iPhone and I use on a regular basis for emial, looking up information, directions, and many other things; however, I do not think it should be used in a classroom. I think that technology in the classroom is great and the Scott McLeod was absolutely correct about the advancement of technology; however, I think that iSchool goes a little too far. Technology should be in schools, but not to the extent of the iSchool. I agree with Travis Allen about the convenience and benefits of students and parents being able to look up assignment due dates, grades, lunch menus and such, but there are already programs that do that. My boyfriend's mom works at an elementary school in Georgia. At that school, teachers have to update students grades and attendance each day. On test days, teachers have to have that test grade uploaded for the parents to see by the end of the day.
One question that I have about the iSchool is what will happen to schools? If teachers can email students all of the assignments and notes and students can access all of the books on the iSchool, what is the point of even going to school? Why should it matter if class sizes continuously grow? And how would you integrate iSchool into schools? I do not know how possible it would be for iSchool to work considering how many teachers are already technology illiterate.

The Lost Generation
I liked this video. I especially liked how it was setup to say the exact opposite once it was reversed. I really like the technique she used and the points that she made. She really brought out brought out many peoples' views. For instance, when she talked about how our generation is dealing with problems in the world that we did not create and can not fix. Many people believe that; however, many people also believe when she reversed it and said that we can fix the world that we are given. I loved her ideas and the way that she expressed them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Post #2

A Vision of Students Today
I think that this video perfectly exemplifies my college experience. This is my fourth semester at South but before I attended South I was at Auburn for two and half years. While I was at Auburn I took core classes such as English, History, Biology, Sociology, Ethics etc. All of my History, Biology and Sociology classes were huge! All of my History classes had anywhere from 150 students to 200 and Biology had well over 200. In at least ten of my classes at Auburn, most likely more, the professors did not know any ones name. Just like in Michael Wesch's video students brought computers to class with zero intention of note taking and some students only showed up on test days. Just like students in the video, I too have bought hundreds of dollars worth of books for class that I have never used.
My experience at South has been a little different, but that is mostly due to the fact that I am now in classes pertaining to my major. I have found that more, but not all, teachers do know students names and the classes are a lot smaller. On a less positive note, I have already bought 3 or 4 books at South that I never opened.
Sadly, the video was completely true when it showed the chalk board that said "follow along". Teachers today are still standing in front of a classroom at a chalkboard or projector screen while the students are following the teachers' lead. Students are being told and fed what they need to learn instead of doing some of the work for themselves. I think that this video is great and shows a lot of flaws in the education system today.

It's Not about the Technology
I like how Kelly Hines views technology. I agree that it is incredible and can make learning and students much more advanced; however, there has to be a good teacher to demonstrate and know how to correctly use the technology. I think that Smartboards are amazing and are great in classrooms. I have seen some Elementary teachers do incredible things with them and teaching there students; however, I have seen some teachers, who are not fully trained or knowledgeable, miss an incredible opportunity. Those teachers simply use the Smartboard as a projector. The teachers are wasting, in my opinion, one of the greatest advantages in a classroom.
I completely agree when Kelly Hines says: "Teachers who want to be truly succesful must be voracious and self-motivated in their pursuit of evoloving understanding." Great teachers are great because they care and strive to be a great teacher. They continuously seek to understand their students and what they are teaching them. As helpful as technology is in the classroom, I also agree that the technology does not make a teacher great; however, it can give a teacher the tools.

The Fischbowl
Many teachers who have been teaching for a while have found a system that works for them and the students learn from as well. It is good to have routines and tentative systems; however, teachers have to be willing to make adjustments. Teachers can not form a system to use year after year that does not consist of editing or altering. For instance, teachers who have developed a "flawless" system have evidently been teaching for quite awhile. It is good to have teachers who have been teaching for many years; however, more times than not those are the teachers who do not evolve into the understanding and learning that students need today. They do not become familiar with technology that would greatly help students. They simply continue on with what they know.
As a stated previously, I do not believe it is technology that makes a teacher great; however, teachers need to teach what their students need to know. Students today are graduating and going into colleges or workplaces that requires that they know or are familiar with technology. I like how Fisch said that "Don’t forget, those Kindergartners that started school in the last month or so are the Class of 2020 – we need that 2020 Vision". Teachers and administration have to take into consideration who they are teaching. They are teaching children who will have to know technology and how to use it in order to get a job one day. It is understandable that many teachers do not know how to use or understand technology; however, they should still have to be taught and not just say "I am no good with technology" of "I don't understand".

Gary's Social Media Count
These rate are unbelievable. It is one thing to know that millions of people have a facebook and twitter account or text message; however, it is another thing to watch the numbers rise. The statistics make me think about how technology is going to be in two years when I begin teaching. It is going to be so much more advanced then and so much more apart of everyone's' lives. I believe that technology is going to have to be a huge part of an academic curriculum and a classroom.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Post #1

Did You Know 3.0?
Karl Fisch's presentation was very informative and really made me think about technology and it's rapid growth. I know that technology is constantly growing and changing at an unbelievable pace, but I never realized just how quickly that pace is. It is amazing that a student's knowledge and work with technology is outdated before that student finishing his fourth year of a four year school technology program. Myspace and facebook are both extremely popular websites; however, it puts the size into perspective knowing that if Myspace were a country it was be the fifth largest. By comparing the amount of years that tv, radio, ipods and facebook took to reach 50 million people, it showed how quickly technology is becoming more and more of a necessity for everyones lives.
I found many of Fisch's statistics shocking. I know that education in America is not as good or as progressive as many other countries; however, the statistics about the number of honor students in India compared to the population of students in America is unfathomable. I also found the statistic regarding China and the English language shocking. Fisch's statistics on education in other countries reinforces how behind America is falling when compared to India and China.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
Mr. Winkle Wakes was, to me, exactly how technology and education truly are. Technology is progressing at a rate that is impossible for people to keep up, while schools have not made much of a change at all. I believe it is safe to say that almost all businesses are like what Mr. Winkle saw. Many use Skype as part of their communication with other businesses in other countries and all have the internet and email. As true as it was about Mr. Winkle's office, it was sadly just as true about many schools being the same. A lot of schools and classrooms have one computer in the room that is rarely used, if at all, by the students.
Students are very up to date on technology and base a lot of their lives around it. They see facebook, twitter, text messaging, etc as their means of communication. For most students, the majority of their time is spent using some type of technology. That is what students know and are interested in using. Schools today need to integrate education and technology. Students learn better when they are interested in the material. By integrating the technology that students are familiar with with their academics, the students will take more of an interest in what they are learning.

The Importance of Creativity
I completely agree with Ken Robinson's idea on The Importance of Creativity. Not all children learn the same or are interested in the same thing; therefore, children should not all be expected to progress the same academically. Some students are more visual and hands on learners than other students in the class; but, because of many of the academic programs schools adopt, those students are not reaching their full potential in the classroom. Sadly, a lot of teachers stand in front of their class and just teach the lesson. The students may have a worksheet to complete or a related assignment, but in many cases the students are not involved in the lesson. There is no discussion and no chance for the student to find things out for his or herself. The students are being taught what they should know with minimal creativity.
Schools are becoming more and more focused on standardized tests forcing the teachers to have to cut out subjects such as art and music which leaves the students few opportunities to use their creativity. Students are being taught what they need to know to get a good grade on the tests that reflect the quality of their teacher. Many students never reach or even know of their potential in school because they do not have the subjects such as music or art in which they would excel. Schools are focusing on the here and now and not the future. More and more jobs today demand creative thinking that students are not given the opportunity to discover in school. If students' creativity is not practiced when they are younger, they will lack in creative thinking later in life.

Harness Your Students Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis is doing an extraordinary thing in her classroom. She is able to take a rural classroom in a rural community and connect them to the rest of the world. She has a classroom that actually allows her students to use creativity and independent thought. She introduces them to technology that they would not otherwise use. I like that she introduces and depends on the students creativity to do well in the class.
One thing that I really like about her class is that she allows students to find information and answers for themselves. If she uses terms the students do not know, the students Google the term or concept instead of her telling simply them. I also like that the students have the access to communicate and research with students around the world. It allows the students to gain research done by other students their age in different countries. This allows the students to depend more on themselves and helps build their confidence.