Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blog Post #13

Brian Crosby- Back to the Future

Mr. Crosby is an elementary school teacher who teaches to at risk children. Many of the children in his classroom do not know basic information such as: what city they live in, what country they live in, or even their home address. However, with Mr. Crosby's help not only will they learn that information, but they will be exposed to teaching and learning like they have never seen. In Mr. Crosby's classroom he has a laptop per student and they use it for almost all of their activities. Not only do his students use laptops, but they each have their own blog (sound familiar?). They conduct science experiments in the classroom and then conduct their own. After they have conducted their experiment and videoed it, they must then write about the experiment. So just in this one assignment alone, these students are learning science and language arts without even cracking a book. Mr. Crosby wants to take these kids who are "in the box" thinkers and take them out of that box.

One of the coolest experiments that Mr. Crosby spoke about, is when the students, with the help of local college students, sent a balloon to outer space. They attached a camera to the balloon and were able to get some amazing pictures of the earth from outer space. After the balloon returned to earth, Mr. Crosby had his students write a story as if they were the balloon. Here, he hits on language arts again. They were also able to make a wiki page about the balloon and design trading cards with the images from its journey. Along with the balloon, students were told to make high hope notes. These were notes about what they hoped they could accomplish in the future, and what they hoped the world would be like in the future. Through the use of their blog, the students were able to get other peoples high hopes from around the world as well. Everyone's high hopes were sent up with the balloon, which I think is a really awesome idea. Just from this one experiment, Mr. Crosby's students were able do many activities that were encouraging them to learn without making them even realize it. You know, it's amazing how fun learning can be when you can actually interact with what you are studying.

My dad always says that the best way to learn something is to do it, not just read about it. You can read all you want about changing oil in a vehicle, but until you get under it and make a few mistakes, you will never truly learn how to change oil properly. Mr. Crosby has made his learning hands on and I'm sure his students appreciate him for it. They may not conduct an experiment perfect the first time, but that is what learning is about. He doesn't believe a kid should be taught, but rather, they should be empowered to learn. Welcome to 21st century learning, kids. Now, go and learn!

A Vision of Students Today

Caveman teaching children

This is one of many videos made by Michael Wesch. In this video, he shows that in a classroom today, class sizes are too large and outdated. Universities, for the most part, teach students in the same manner that they have been teaching for the last 200 years. It shows that many of the students who bring computers to class are not even using it for educational purposes while in the classroom. Rather, students are searching Facebook or some other social networking site instead of paying attention. Another point that was brought forth was that many students pay for expensive books but never even have to crack them. That may be because the teacher likes for the students just to take notes, or because the student feels it is unnecessary to read for the class. Either way, whether its the student's prerogative or the teacher's not to use the book, it is a complete waste of money.

I can very much relate to the students point of view. We are in the 21st century, yet education is still in the 19th century. I'm not saying that students do not learn anymore, because we do. If the professors and teachers at universities really want to run an excellent university, then get rid of this old teaching style. Bring technology into the classroom and stop being so afraid of it. If students had interactive lessons on their laptops that can be used in class, then maybe the students would be more interested in learning. As Mr. Crosby said in the earlier video, teachers teach kids how to be taught in this old way of teaching. Instead of teaching kids how to be taught, teachers should empower kids to learn. In other words, teachers need to adapt to the students and get on their level and really interact with the students. This might sound like a childish type of teaching, but it is the best form of teaching. Would you rather read a book on how to change oil in a vehicle, or learn by actually getting under the car and changing that oil?

I feel that universities are terrified of technology in the classroom. Lecture halls can seat up to 200 people and that is perfectly fine with the administration. Class sizes need to be smaller if universities really want to make sure that their education really "hits home." In a lecture hall, students are being taught "burp-back" information and will leave that hall really learning nothing. It is time for universities to flip the classroom and make the students empowered to learn.

Project #16- Group Awesome

C4T #4

Post 1
Picture of Textbook RebellionI was assigned to read Mary Worrell's blog, See Mary Teach, for my C4T #4 assignments. Ms. Worrell is an American teacher in the Netherlands. In her most recent blog post, Embracing the grey area, Ms. Worrell discusses many grey areas that she has recently encountered through writing her Middle Years Programme (MYP) curriculum. In her first year, Ms. Worrell was excited about being given the opportunity to write her own Language Arts and Technology curriculum without state mandated standards to follow. She decided not to order any textbooks which shifted her focus to online short stories and her sister school's library. Ms. Worrell quickly learned that she made a huge mistake! She found the process exhausting, rather than enjoyable, like she thought. She didn't have any guidelines to follow and spent more time researching than she had hoped. In her second year, Ms. Worrell decided to order textbooks, which she thought she would dread, but it turned out that it was one of the best decisions that she could make. Ms. Worrell discovered how to effectively use textbooks in the classroom... using textbooks as a teacher's guide. The textbooks saved Ms. Worrell a lot of time and allowed her to create more effective lessons for her students. It also made her fall back in love with teaching.
In my comment for Ms. Worrell, I agreed that there are many grey areas in education. Teachers in the United States have come to rely on textbooks as their main instruction. I agreed with Ms. Worrell in that textbooks can be extremely effective tools in our classroom if they are used correctly. I believe that textbooks should be a guide to our instruction, not our means of instruction. I can't imagine teaching without having a textbook to go off of to get reliable information to incorporate into my lessons. Textbooks and technology should be used together to create effective instruction in our classrooms.

Post 2
Ms. Worrell did not have any new posts after my original comment, so I went to one of her previous posts that caught my attention. Experimenting with gifs was posted on July 25. In her post, Ms. Worrell shares about the opportunity she had in one of her graduate level classes to create a GIF that explains the feelings she had during her summer semester. The feelings included nervousness, freaking out, confidence, and accomplishment. Please follow the link attached to each feeling to see the GIF that Ms. Worrell and her classmates created for their class. Be sure to let the GIF fully load before you watch it.
In my comment for Ms. Worrell, I shared how much I enjoyed watching the GIFs that were posted. I would like to learn how to make a GIF, but she failed to share how she created them. I asked her what website she used to create her GIF because I am interested in creating one for my blog. I googled free GIF generators, but I never found one that I really liked. I thanked her for sharing her GIFs on her website.

Final Report on PLN

My Symbaloo Page

My Personal Learning Network has become one of the most useful tools I've had in this class. I plan on being a teacher as well as a football coach. So along with the usual educational sites, I have other sites that relate to football. Also, I have my social networking sites at the top which help me to connect with other people who are in the profession already. It's been an easy way to navigate around the web and not taking up space on my bookmark toolbar at the top of my webpage. I plan on using this long past this class and would suggest you using it as well. Just go to to sign up for an account. It's free and you will not regret it!

C4K: The Month of November

C4K #7- Special Edition
The blog I was assigned to was made by Dr. Paige Vitulli and Dr. Susan Santoli and they kept us, students at the University of South Alabama, updated on their trip to Ireland. Unfortunately, I was given their very first post to comment on and all it said was: "We have created this Blog to share our journey through Ireland in October."

Here's the comment I left Dr. Vitulli and Dr. Santoli:

Hi, my name is Michael Morris and I am a student in EDM 310 at USA. I think it is really great that you took the time to blog about your trip to Ireland. I'm sure that you learned a lot about the country and I hope that you had a great time. Thanks for blogging to keep everyone in the College of Education updated on your trip!

C4K #8
I was assigned to comment on Laycee R's blog for this C4K. Her most recent post was a short one about a book she read called "The Witch of Blackbird Pond". She explained the plot of the book in which a girl moves from Barbados to the United States to live with her Puritan aunt and uncle. She said she thought the book was "just ok." Expert analysis right there folks!

Anyways, here's the comment I left Laycee:

Hey Laycee! The book you are talking about, “The Witch of Blackbird Pond”, sounds really interesting. What made it just okay? Was it written in a boring style? The plot that you described sounds like it would be a good book. Comment back!

P.S. Your blog is really good. keep up with it more if you can!

She actually commented back, which I was very excited about. Here is what she wrote:

Well I don’t really like to read about the Salem Witch Trials. Also it never got to the point. It was a long book!

I commented back to her but have yet to see the comment approved. Apparently Laycee hasn't checked in on her blog in a few weeks. Nevertheless, this is what I wrote:

Oh! I didn’t realize it was about the Salem Witch Trials. Over time I've actually become more and more interested in that time period. Those people were crazy back then! Also, I know what you mean about a book never getting to the point. It sounds like every book I was ever assigned to read for class. Hope all is going well and I’m sorry that it took so long to get back to you!

C4K #9
This blog was probably one of my favorites to comment on all semester. The blog was made by Charlie who is in an IB World History class at Robertsdale High School. He was assigned a blog post and his prompt was:

World War II. Possibly one of the most deadly battles in the history of the world. Could it have been even more deadly (or fun for the soldiers) to have lightsabers? If there was this type of technology back then, this is what the war would've been like…….

Northwestern Football Player Holding Lightsaber

So, I totally love this teacher. Charlie went on to analyze the war and how it would have changed with the use of lightsabers. He concluded that with the use of lightsabers the war would have had the same, or possibly more, amount of deaths. I recommend reading this post, it was fantastic. 

Here's the comment I left Charlie:

I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. First off, I love the prompt you were assigned! It makes for a great post. I like how you even brought up how Jewish people would be able to defend themselves. They could even form somewhat of an “underground army” to try and overthrow the concentration camps. It is an interesting thought, sadly it didn’t happen. I’ll be sure to keep checking in on this blog and I hope to see more interesting posts! Keep up the good work!

P.S. What other kind of movies do you like? You seem to know a good bit about Star Wars. I have hope in your generation! Haha.

Sadly, he didn't comment back.

C4K #10
I was assigned to comment on Ms. Nelson and Ms. Yim's blog that they created for Daphne East Elementary 4th grade. The post that I commented on was a slideshow presentation that they made about a recent "Fun Run" that they have annually at the elementary school.

Here is the comment I left them:

I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I thought that the pictures you posted were wonderful! The kids looked like they had a great time. What does the fun run help raise money for?

Sadly, they didn't comment back.

Project #13

In Project #15 we collaborated as a group using Google Drive and Skype  Specifically on Google Drive we used the Google Docs feature the most because it made it the easiest way to share information quickly. We also exchanged countless text and calls from each other on a near daily basis. We worked very hard on this project and this video is from only one exchange that we had. This was a great project, but at times I absolutely wanted to pull my hair out. Thankfully though, I had a great group of people to work with and I made it through it!

Project # 15 Group Awesome

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Progress Report on Final Project

South Alabama 50 Years Logo
My group and I have been working on our final project and we still have much work to do, but we work very well together. We chose to partake in the 50 years contest and we are enjoying ourselves. We have decided how we are going to set our video up for the best way to get the point of the video to the audience. I do not want to give anything away, so I am going to leave you with this. Group Awesome has great ideas and we are using those ideas to make a great video!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Blog Post #12

QR Codes in the Classroom
  1. View Karen Ogen's QR Codes and Ideas for Using Them in the Classroom Presentation. Ms. Ogen created this presentation for the Reading Council of South Carolina to show educators how to use QR codes in the media center and with literacy. The presentation has been updated to include examples of using QR codes with all curriculum areas. 
  2. Pick 1 idea from the presentation for your area of specialty to create in Google Drive and embed to your blog.
  3. Send Ms. Ogen (@karenogen) a thank you Tweet. Include #edm310 in the Tweet so I will see it. 

Now Do It!
I am specializing in history, so I chose to do the QR Calendar from Slide 16 using Google Spreadsheet.
  • Put QR codes on a calendar to make an interactive "this day in history" calendar

Scan the QR codes with your smartphone to view what happened on that day in history. 
If you do not have a QR code reader app on your smartphone:
If you do not have a smartphone, download QuickMark for your PC or Mac

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Blog Post #11

I was in shock when I watched the Little Kids... Big Potential video by Ms. Cassidy's first grade class in Moose Jaw, Canada. These students have so much knowledge about the technology they are using in the video. I enjoyed watching the video of Dr. Strange interviewing Ms. Cassidy in 2010. I know that the technology has progressed so much since the interview and I would love to see how she is incorporating new technology in her classroom. I love how Ms. Cassidy is using technology in her classroom. It is a great way for parents to see progress and see examples of their students work. Ms. Cassidy is doing a great job protecting her students' identities through only using first names and not matching pictures with the names of the students. I also think that she is practicing ethically through getting parent/guardian consent before allowing them to post on their blogs. I love that Ms. Cassidy is allowing her students to write on a blog and learn how to write for an audience. This is a concept that many students do not grasp until late in their education. This gives the students a purpose for writing because the students can see that there are people from all over the world reading and responding to their blog posts. Ms. Cassidy also uses Skype to interact with other classrooms all over the world. In her interview, Ms. Cassidy discussed using Skype to do Reader's Theater with a 1st grade classroom in Gadsden, Alabama. This helps the students see where they are academically compared to other students in different territories and countries. I think that it will be good, in my classroom, to meet my students' interests through their assignments. I could give a project assignment that allows them to choose which kind of technology they want to use for their assignment based on their personal interests.

Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and Google LogosIn high school, I like the idea of posting information about assignments to a class blog and/or sending a text message to all students to inform them of a change in due date or reminder about an assignment. Facebook/Twitter is also a great way to communicate with students who are caught up in the current technology. Ms. Cassidy suggested that the students create a separate Facebook/Twitter account to be used for school and it would be wise for the teachers to do the same. I had a teacher that used Facebook to communicate when I was in high school and I found it effective and a great way to communicate with her and other classmates about an assignment. I would like to incorporate Skype into my high school class to conduct interviews and help prepare students for the real world. This would be great education on communicating with adults in job/college interviews that they will have in the near future. I would also encourage my students to follow professionals on Twitter in the field that they plan to go into as an adult. This would broaden their PLN and give them references for future jobs.

I know that I will face many challenges when incorporating technology into the classroom. Not all students will be able to work on the computer every day in a high school classroom. I can't expect all of my students to own a laptop, iPhone, and/or iPad. I know that it will be years before the school system provides technology for all students to use without having to visit the school computer lab. So, I know that I will be able to assign online assignments, but I will have to give my students plenty of time to complete the assignment in case they need to visit a library to get access to a computer. I can request to get a set of computers for my classroom, but I know that it would be unlikely with all the budget cuts in education. Another problem that I may face in the classroom is a website, such as Blogger, Facebook and Twitter, being blocked by the school system on all computers to keep students on track with their classwork. In order to have access to these websites, I would need a password to override the websites, which I could obtain through the school system after showing them what I intend to use the websites for in my classroom. I could enter the password onto all of my computers to allow access to these sites in my classroom.

I think that taking Ms. Cassidy's approaches in my History class will make learning much more interactive and enjoyable for the students. I always dreaded having to write a paper for class, but writing a blog post would give the students a reason to post. They would do their best work knowing that they have an audience from around the world reading their assignment. They can incorporate pictures, videos, and links into their paper. Students at the high school level would also benefit from using technology because it improves their typing skills, interview skills, and communication skills. There is so many ways that students and teachers can benefit from using technology in the classroom.

C4K Summary for Month of October

C4K #3
Ella The Egg
I was assigned to comment on Sammy's blog for C4K #3. She wrote a nice short story about Ella the Egg. Ella and her friend Sammy Shake went on an adventure and Ella slipped and fell off the edge of a cliff, but managed to hang on to the edge. Sammy was able to help pull Ella back up on the trail. It was a really cute story and a great picture to go with it.

Here's the comment I left Sammy:

That was a great story! I loved the part where you wrote “She would have certainly been scrambled.” Haha! Make sure to keep up with your writing. I hope you do make this in to a series because I’m sure it will get a lot of readers.

Michael Morris

C4K #4
For my fourth C4K, I was assigned to comment on Lisa's blog. Lisa said she was new to blogging, but it was obvious she was not new to writing. She wrote a very well written post about how blogging and social media can connect people with each other throughout the world. She said that she had a foreign exchange student that came to her school, and it was very interesting learning about that students culture.

Here's the comment I left Lisa:

Very nice post! You bring up a very good point about how not all people have exchange students come to their school, because that’s how it was at my school. Being globally connected is an awesome idea and doing it by blogging and using social media can really bring our worlds closer together. Keep up with the posts! You’re off to a great start!

Michael Morris

C4K #5
I was assigned to comment on Kailin's blog for my fifth C4K assignment. Kailin wrote a short poem which she titled "Kailin's Poem." 
Once there was a froggy that sat up on log
he cheered for the other team and had no sense at all
he fell into the water and bumped his little head
and when he got back up this is what he said

go go go go you mighty rebbles fight
fight fight fight you mighty rebbles win
win win win you mighty rebbles go fight
win until the very end.
She also said that she got the idea for this poem from one of the softball cheers that she does.

Here's the comment I left Kailin:

Kailin, you did a great job on your poem! It was very creative and humorous. I agree with what Mr. Capps said about punctuation, but I think it is a great poem nonetheless. What other kind of sports do you like to play? Do they have any cheers like this one? Keep up the good work!

(This comment was never approved and so is not shown on her blog. I do not know why.)

C4K #6
For my sixth C4K, I was assigned to comment on Ehtan's blog. Ethan is from Alberta, Canada and was assigned to make a glog by his teacher. He created his about the foothills region, which is located in Southwest Alberta.

Here's the comment I left Ethan:

Hey Ethan! My name is Michael Morris and I'm from Mobile, Alabama in the United States. I currently attend the University of South Alabama and I was assigned to your blog. You did an awesome job on your glog that you created. Glogs are really neat and a great way to organize material. What website did you use to create your glog? I'm familiar with the glogster website. Keep up the good work!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

C4T #3

Post 1
Image of WritePadI was assigned to Liz Davis's blog, The Power of Educational Technology, for the C4T #3 assignment. I commented on her most recent post, iPad Ideas for October 17, 2012. In her post, Ms. Davis shared two apps/websites that teachers and students can use in the classroom. The first idea was the app WritePad. WritePad is an app that allows students to take notes or write papers on the iPad in their own handwriting that will be translated into typed text as they write. The app syncs to Dropbox and Google Drive, making the document viewable from any computer and by any person of which the document is shared. The second idea was a website, is an online grading website that works well on the iPad. It allows teachers to post grades from the iPad and access them anywhere, anytime, as long as there is internet access. 
In my comment for Ms. Davis, I mentioned my blog post on the iSchool Initiative. In that post, I mentioned how I was unsure how to incorporate the iPad into a classroom and keep emphasis on handwriting and the writing process. Ms. Davis's post showed me an app, WritePad, that can be used in the classroom to keep handwriting present. Students would still be required to use the writing process to be sure that the app correctly translated their writing to a typed document. Their handwriting must be readable for the app to translate their writing to a typed document. I could view their final work through Google Drive and post grades to a website and be able to access their work and grades from any device with internet access. The only downside to the WritePad app is the cost, $9.99, which could get pricey to download on each student's iPad.

Post 2
Liz Davis's most recent blog post, Technology is NOT just a tool, was posted on November 4, 2012. In her post, Ms. Davis shared about a recent [fabulous] conference that she attended where the Key Note speaker referred to technology as just a tool. Obviously, by the title of her post, Ms. Davis disagrees with the statement. Technology tools are used not only to impact teaching and learning, but as a status symbol and political statement (mac vs. pc). The technology we use says more about us and our schools than we may realize and we need to be sure that we are sending the right message.
In my comment for Ms. Davis, I agreed that technology is not just a tool. I know that I am judged every day because of the type of phone I use. I am aware of the judgment and it affects my life. Each day, before I get out of my car, I make sure that I tuck my iPhone cord into my middle console. Why do I do this? I do this to avoid the possibility of my car being broken into because someone sees my iPhone cord. I am aware that people may think I am wealthy because I have an iPhone and break into my car hoping to find something nice. The truth is... I am a broke college student with a full time job. Just like my iPhone makes a statement about me, the technology we use in our classrooms makes a statement about our school and school system. While technology is a tool we use in our classrooms, it shouldn't be just a tool... it should be a way of teaching. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Special Blog Assignment

Cartoon saying that technology is the next wave of school reformThe USA Today article, A world where grades will get left behind, discusses changes that should be made in the very outdated education system. The education system in the United States has not used advances in technology for its benefit. Sebastian Thrun and his education company, Udacity, are working on a free online higher education program with star professors from around the world.  Dr. Thrun and his team aren't the only people working towards a revolution in the education system. Dr. Thrun's friend, Sal Kahn, is another educator that has promoted revolutionizing education through inspiring teachers across the nation to "flip" the classroom, a method created by Dr. Lodge McCammon. Schools across the United States are beginning to change their curriculum to allow students to learn through interaction. For example, Charter schools in Chicago and New York have created a curriculum built around game-playing, making learning more fun for the students because they are involved in the learning process. Education is slowly moving forward and beginning to create an individualized education system with no "one size fits all" education. Students won't be forced to master information by a deadline and can learn at their own pace. Instruction in the future will be free, other than fees that will promote the learning process. Dr. Thrun has a vision of the future that just as film changed the entertainment business, the Internet will revolutionize education.

I agree that the education system needs to change, but that isn't going to happen without a change in legislation. Currently, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 places too much emphasis on standardized tests. How does testing students who haven't had time to master the skills tested ensure that all children have a "fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging State academic achievement standards and State academic assessments?" The emphasis on testing seems very unfair to the students, especially slow learners and students with severe test anxiety. I can only imagine an education system that focuses on individual students rather than an entire group of students. Online and blended education is the only way that we can emphasize individuality in education. I would prefer blended courses over completely online courses because I benefit from face-to-face meetings. This would allow me to be introduced to topics through online lectures and attend class for interactive learning. I do, however, believe that there needs to be some deadline for the course. Retention will be encouraged and will not be frowned upon if the majority of the students are spending more time in the course to master skills that they were not able to master. I'm afraid that if there is no deadline that students will spend years trying to master a skill that they are just not going to get. This would cause a social issue if the majority of their peers are moving on and certain students stay behind for too many years. Social interaction is necessary and students who are on a much higher or lower maturity level than their classmates can become problematic in both social and academic success. I am all for implementing technology into the education system, but I don't think that doing away with grades is the way to go.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blog Post #10

Papermate Pencil vs. Ticonderoga Pencil
While looking at this cartoon, it reminded me of the Mac commercials that were busy airing on TV a few years ago. You can watch those commercials here. The "Papermate" in this case represents the PC and the "Ticonderoga" represents the Mac. The problem with "Papermates" is that they break easier and are not made to last for a long time. At least, that is what we are led to believe. After reading this article, I do not believe that there is a significant difference in the two. In my opinion, it depends on how you decide to use the two and how you take care of them. I did a little more research and stumbled across this article which lists 8 reasons why a Mac is better than a PC. It seems that in this day and age people are supposed to be on one side of the fence or the other. I personally own an HP desktop and have absolutely no problems with it. No I cannot do everything a Mac can, but I don't feel like I'm missing out. I do own an iPhone though, and it's not because I'm team Mac, but because when I was due for an upgrade it was more bang for the buck. If I was forced to buy the iPhone without an upgrade however, I would probably not own one. So, is the "Papermate" the way to go, or is the "Ticonderoga" the way to go? Whichever you choose, treat them right, and they should last as long as you want them to.

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?
In this blog post by Mr. John T. Spencer, he makes a point through his dialogue with his principal that playing games in the classroom can be very helpful for students to learn. The principal argues that playing games in the classroom does not help the students learn, but he is certainly wrong. Mr. Spencer argues that by combining learning into games that students would be better at learning and memorizing the information. Dr. Strange says he wants to eliminate "burp-back" education in which students memorize and "burp-back" the correct answer and then forget. Well, what better way to eliminate this type of teaching than by having students interact with the material they are learning.  

After reading Mr. Spencer's post, "Why were your kids playing games?", I was extremely confused. After about 30 minutes of clicking through different posts, reading post after post and trying to figure out what the heck he was actually writing about, I hit an "a-ha" moment. I finally got it, he wasn't talking about pencils (which I originally thought he was) but he was talking about computers! Duh! Gosh, I can't believe it was so far over my head! In order to actually "get" his writing, I began searching all over his blog. I went from his context page, to his conflict page, and all the way back to his very first post from January of 2010.In this post, he is having a conversation with Mr. Brown talking about the integration of pencils into the classroom that is filled with "slates and chalk". It is obvious now that pencils are actually computers, and "slates and chalk" are the paper and pencils. Mr. Spencer has a great writing style, and once you get used to it he is very entertaining.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
In this blog post, by Dr. Scott McLeod, he comes across as very humorous and fun. He writes a nice poem about the push back to integrating technology into the classroom that many are facing. Many people (mainly the older people who are "set in their ways") don't believe in integrating technology into the classroom. They are, in fact, afraid that students will cause more trouble than good. Older people are actually becoming scared that the younger generation knows more about technology than they do and resent it. Just like in Mr. Spencer's blog, which is based in the 1800's, change is scary to the older generation. Change, however, is not a bad thing. Teaching, traveling, and shopping are constantly progressing and need to be embraced by society rather than pushed away. If we were to push away new technology: you wouldn't be reading this blog, traveling in airplanes or automobiles, and you certainly would not be shopping for cheaper textbooks online. Teaching is not just about teaching students information, but showing the information and how to use it to the best of their abilities. When we reach this point in our society, we will finally have eliminated "burp-back" education.

Who is Dr. Scott McLeod?
Scott Mcleod is considered a expert on K-12 school technology leadership. He is the founder of CASTLE or the Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education. He is also the author of What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologues and Social Media.

Project #11 Green Screen

Project #14

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Project #12 Book Trailer

Project #10

So far my PLN (Personal Learning Network) is coming along pretty good. I have chosen to use Symbaloo to help me organize my PLN. I have many applications to help with presentations and social networks. I have included different tools that I use on a daily basis and a few that I will use more when I begin my teaching career. I still have much more to add. My PLN will provide me with much help in my future in school and after. My PLN will be very helpful in my future college career and even after I graduate and begin my career as a teacher. 

Screenshot of My Symbaloo Page

Blog Post #9

What I've Learned This Year (2008-2009) by Mr. McClung
An important decision I made this year is "Stay positive"
First things first, Mr. McClung seems to be an awesome teacher. He seems like a teacher that I would love to have when I was in school. In this blog post, Mr. McClung has finished up his first year of teaching and hits on some of the major points that he has taken away from that first year. He tells us, the readers, that not only does a teacher just teach the material, but the teacher also learns as well. He gets into the "meat" of his post by telling us what all he has learned from this year. A few stuck out to me and will be very valuable when I begin my teaching career.
He says to make sure to learn to read the audience. A lot of times in education, the teacher is more worried about the delivery of the information, and impressing superiors; but, one important thing to remember is that the lesson needs to be student centered. This is a great point. It seems so simple, but can totally change the classroom. When students are the center of your lesson plan, and not the delivery of the information, you will have a great classroom that is willing to learn.
Another point that Mr. McClung brings up is to be flexible. He says there are many times that as a teacher his lesson plans were "perfect," but he needed to remember that the students he is working with are not always perfect. At the beginning of the school year, Mr. McClung said that he was trying to control things too much, but at the end of the year learned to kind of "go with the flow." He realized that he couldn't control everything and needed to adapt to a situation whether than try to push through it. This is the part of the post where I said in my head "well, duh!" This seems so simple, but definitely something that I need to remember throughout my teaching career. Not only do teachers teach the students, but the students help to teach the teachers. We, as teachers, must remember to listen to our students. Sometimes we may be the only ones that listen to them. In order to build a healthy student-teacher relationship, there must be a respect between the two. The best way to build that respect is by listening to what the student's say and vice-versa.

What I Learned This Year- Volume 4 (2011-2012) by Mr. McClung
The very first thing that struck me about Mr. McClung after reading this post is that he has definitely grown as a teacher from year one to year four. He only hit on two major points in this post, but they were great points that he made.
The first point that he brought up was he as a teacher was struggling to find his identity with his peers. It was something that he never thought of before as a teacher, and it really messed him up as a teacher. It took him most of the school year to realize that he needed to stop worrying about what his peers thought about him. School is about the students, not peers, and Mr. McClung forgot that over the course of the year. The major point he is hitting on though, is that he forgot the reason he got to where he was as a teacher by following one rule: are the kids having fun? Mr. McClung, I'm sure, is not the only teacher to fall into this trap. I'm sure it is something that I will face whenever I get a teaching job and I need to remember that the focus does not need to be on my peers, but on my students.
Another point that he brought up in this post is that we, as teachers, need to challenge ourselves. He said that he had been teaching the same subject for the last three years, and had started relying on old lesson plans. This was a problem for Mr. McClung because it took away his creativity because of the ease of access to an already created lesson plan. A new opportunity came up for him to teach a new subject and he took that opportunity. He said he knows that it will be hard work, but it is a challenge he is willing to accept. The way you grow as a person is by overcoming challenges and Mr. McClung realized that. This lesson is the greatest of them all, in my opinion, because in order to improve as a teacher you must learn how to constantly grow and overcome different challenges.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blog Post #8

Student Success: Learn, Engage, Change

This is How We Dream (Parts 1 and 2)
In these videos, Dr. Richard E. Miller, of Rutgers University, talks about how writing in the academy and our culture has changed. He says that this is the greatest change in human communication in human history. We now have the opportunity to communicate with each other instantly and globally. Dr. Miller states that we need to be engaged in the work of literacy now. He said that he grew up in a house filled with books, he wanted a career that involved working with books, and the end result was-a book. It was a print based document that was put in libraries, but now, like many other academic works, has ended up out of print and digitized.

We carry our laptops and use word processing instead of notebook paper. Our desk is now our work space. What has become possible with the use of our computers is that: we now can not only research our University libraries, but we have access to any library in the world located on the internet. Dr. Miller had the opportunity to write about the shootings at Virginia Tech, and he wrote his whole piece without stepping foot into a library. This speaks volumes of how much we have access to on the Internet. It is now possible to collaborate using technology. We not only have to use text, but we also can use images and/or video. Another change, is that we can now collaborate using different network technology and can compose with, not just text, images, video, or whatever else you find on the internet.

Dr. Miller states, that we are working in this digital environment right now. He show us how iTunes U is a great site to use for academic lectures and different kinds of information. He says that ideas do not belong to us individually, but as a culture, and we as educators must be in the business to share ideas freely. Not only can we look at the information given on the Internet, but we can get behind it and go further into research and see how it is put together. This way we can put alternative information together and share it globally. Sometimes this may be presented as a challenge, however Dr. Miller states: “The largest restriction we put is on ourselves”.

Comments for Carly
Carly's post and comments show readers that a teaching philosophy, or philosophy for any career, is extremely important. The only thing that is more important than the philosophy is the way that the teacher carries it out in his/her classroom each and every day. Creativity was an aspect that Carly included in her philosophy and her blog post clearly showed ways that she could carry out her philosophy to inspire her students to be creative with their assignments in her classroom. This desire for creativity shows exactly what Dr. Miller was searching for in his videos, linked in the section above. Carly showed ways to be creative through technology in her post, where the students' hard work on posters, papers, and /or science experiments don't just end up in a landfill, rather can be found through technology decades after the project was assigned. Carly did a great job incorporating Dr. Miller's views of the future classroom in her blog post.

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies
The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies are both videos that encourage students to fight procrastination and get things done. This is an issue that I often struggle with on a daily basis. I work full-time and I go to school full-time, so I often struggle with time management. Every Sunday is spent doing homework and every Sunday I tell myself that I am going to get ahead on school work, but it hasn't gotten me anywhere. Here I am, another Sunday, spending my day working on school work and getting distracted by the urge to watch football (which is why nothing gets done on Saturday). I know that I am not the only person who struggles with procrastination and time management, so I can show these videos, and others, in my classroom to fight the urge to wait until the last minute to do assignments. I also really like the idea of previous students sending messages of encouragement to future students with tips on how to succeed in the class.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
Learn to Change, Change to Learn is a video about how schools need to change. Education received the lowest ranking on the Department of Commerce's IT intensiveness list in 2008. This shows how education desperately needs to change and integrate more technology in the classroom. Schools in Mobile County are slowly beginning to integrate more technology into the classrooms. We live in an era where students would rather carry on a conversation through SMS messages and social programs, like Facebook and Twitter. I have learned that education, along with many other things, swing on a pendulum. Currently, our education system had a big emphasis on Reading and Math, both which are assessed through Standardized Testing. 
 Unfortunately, I do not think that the pendulum will swing away from standardized tests, which are an inaccurate way to assess students' knowledge because of all the pressure placed on them through administrators, parents, and school staff. The focus on standardized tests take away from teachers having time in the day to teach our students how to use new technology and show their knowledge through projects. The legislators making the laws for education need to have more education on effective teaching and change the education system to where students can really learn and show that they have learned through the use of technology.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0
I went to Discovery Education's WEB 2.0 for 2012 website and used links to create the following:

3 - Find a tool to make-your-own Comic strip. Create a comic. Post a picture of it in your blog.

5 - Find a tool to create a poll anywhere and at anytime. Create your first poll and post it here.

C4T #2

Post 1
Image of materials donated for canned food driveI was assigned to Ms. Lara's Blog for the 2nd C4T assignment. I commented on her blog post Reaching out into the Community, even in 4-K that was posted on February 7, 2012. The post discussed ways in which students in her 4-K class could give back to the community. She suggested holding a food or clothing drive for the class so the students can learn to give to the community at a young age. Young children can also choose a toy that they don't play with anymore to give to the community. Judging by the picture, the food drive held in her class over the 2011 holiday season was very successful.
In my comment, I agreed with the importance of giving back to the community. I told her that I have a 4-year-old niece who would benefit from this lesson. She, along with many 4-year-olds, have toys that they have grown out of and don't play with anymore. I suggested that we could ask her to choose one or two toys each month that don't get played with to give to a child who doesn't have many toys. Thinking about it now, Toy Story 3 could be a good, age appropriate video to show the class on donating toys. The toys can be donated to a day care or donated to a child who would play with the toys and take good care of them. I'm glad that Ms. Lara used her 4-K class to reach out the community and shared their success on her blog.

Post 2
Ms. Lara did not have any new posts on her blog since I commented for post 1. I scrolled down to a post that was used to thank EDM310 students, like myself, who have been commenting on her blog posts. Ms. Lara was an EDM310 student at South Alabama and said that she felt honored that Dr. Strange would choose her blog as a blog to be used for the C4T assignments.
In my comment, I told Ms. Lara that I am glad that she is using the information taught in the class in her preschool classroom. I can see how she uses her blog to keep parents and the community involved in her preschool classroom. I wrote that I would also feel honored if in the future my blog (that I will use to keep my students, their parents, and the community involved in the class) is chosen by Dr. Strange to be used as a blog for the C4T assignment. Her blog was a great example of how I can use blogging in my classroom.

Project #9b Prezi

Sunday, October 14, 2012

C4K Summary for the Month of September

C4K #1
For my first C4K I posted a comment for Juanma. In his post, he posted one of his favorite videos titled Crazy Frog- Underwater. I commented on the post and told him that I thought the video and music were great, and that I also liked the part where the robots were dancing. I then asked him what other types of music that he liked but he did not reply.
Screenshot of Crazy Frog-Underwater video

C4K #2
For my second C4K, I posted a comment for Atze, which is pronounced  ahh-ts-uh. In his post he posted a picture of family artifacts that he had to do for class. He had a picture of his great Grandma’s old pill box, his Pake Atze’s Trumpet, his Gramps Hat, and the Plaatz. I commented on his post and said that I thought the picture was really cool, and I asked if he thought the trumpet still worked. I also asked him where he got his revolving map from on his blog. He commented back and said that he thinks the trumpet still works even though he doesn't know how to play it. He also said that he got the revolving map off of and that his future posts he would like to make would be about video games or sports.
Screenshot from Atze's blog

Blog Post #7

The Networked Student By: Wendy Drexler
Diagram of a Networked Student
In this video, by Wendy Drexler, she gives us a glimpse of what education could be like in the very near future. In some cases, however, this is what the class is like, especially this EDM310 course. What exactly is a "networked student" though? First things first, lets break down what networking is and then we'll bring it all together in the end. Networking is when an individual links themselves to other individuals in some way. They could link themselves for different reasons, whether it be because they share common interests or for a service that they could use at a later date. In the video, they show a student in the 21st century whose teacher believes in the theory of connectivism. The teacher in this 21st century students class did not require the students to have a textbook and she rarely lectured. The teacher encouraged her students to make connections with others who could strengthen the learning process.
  • Connectivism- When learning occurs as part of a social network of many diverse connections and ties. 
Networking can connect any student with almost any information at any time. A student can simply subscribe to a persons blog by using a RSS reader and access the information immediately. Blogs are usually opinionated, but their can be some great information found in them. Students can also download educational podcasts to mp3 players or even download full books using iTunes. This type of learning seems very useful as a student, but the question is: does this eliminate the use of a teacher from the classroom? My answer to that is short and simple: it does not.

The 21st century teacher encourages students to develop their network of learning and acts as a tool to help the students develop that network. Information many find on the internet can be very useful, but most of the time there is a ton of "junk" that you have to wade through to get there. The teachers job in the 21st century classroom is to teach the students how to get through that "junk" and to gather the correct information. I believe, and I think the video reflects it, that if a person teaches themselves how to do something they will never forget it. The whole concept of this classroom is to eliminate "burp-back information" and when the students teach themselves they are eliminating that.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (PLE)
This short video is by a 7th grader who has created her personal learning environment. Remember that 21st century student that I was talking about earlier, well this is him/her. The student in the video has used many different resources to create her PLE between the use of blogs, skype, google,  her science class's blog, and much more.

My PLN (Personal Learning Network) and her PLE are very different, but I did get some great ideas from her. She has everything stored under one app called symbaloo which is like a virtual corkboard where all of her favorite websites/blogs can be found. Everything she needs access to is just one click away. My PLN right now is just an assortment of tabs at the top of my browser which can make it difficult to find exactly what I am looking for. It is a little embarrassing that a 7th grader is more organized than me, but I have no doubt that the more I work on my PLN the better and more organized it will be!

Screenshot of 7th grader's video titled "Welcome to My PLE!"

Project #8

Friday, October 5, 2012

Blog Post #6

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

The Last Lecture Book CoverDr. Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon professor, gives this last lecture after finding out that he is suffering from pancreatic cancer and is has 3-6 months to live. If you have not seen the video, I highly recommend that you watch it because it is such an inspirational video. The lecture received so much attention on YouTube, that Dr. Pausch co-authored a novel with the same theme of the lecture, titled The Last Lecture, that became a New York Times best-seller. He talks about his childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others, and how we can achieve our childhood dreams and/or enable the dreams of others. As a teacher, I can use these lessons in enabling the dreams of all of my students, one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching. One of  my high school history teachers, Coach Donald, inspired me to become a history teacher, so I hope that I can have the same impact on my future students. 

As Randy Pausch discussed his dream of playing in the NFL, which didn't happen, he mentioned "head fake" teachings. My dreams are to teach history and coach football and baseball, so this section really stuck out to me. Coaches teach fundamentals of football and it is all about the fundamentals and techniques. He told a story about one of his football coaches, Coach Setliff,  who taught them the power of enthusiasm by placing each player in a position that was completely the wrong position for them (placing all the short players in the receiver position) for one play. That one play gave Dr. Pausch the opportunity to succeed on the football field because the single play confused the opposing players. However, the teaching technique that I gained the most from in section of the video was the head fake, or learning through indirect experiences. Parents sign their children up for sports hoping that they will learn through their indirect experiences. The children, through their head fake learning, are taught  teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership and perseverance. As a coach, I hope that my players will come out more with the head fake knowledge than the knowledge of plays and proper techniques.

Walt Disney Imagineering LogoAfter discussing his football dreams, Dr. Pausch shifted focus to his dream of becoming a Disney Imagineer. He talked about meeting with two men: a Dean at the University of Virginia and Gene Block. He shared his dreams of taking a sabbatical and working with the Jon Snoddy and the Disney Imagineer team on an Aladdin Virtual Reality project. When he asked the Dean if he thought the sabbatical was a good idea, he responded saying "I have no idea if this is a good idea". When he asked Gene Block if the sabbatical was a good idea, he responded saying "Well, if you're asking me if it is a good idea, I don't have very much information. All I know is that one of my star faculty members is in my office and he's really excited, so tell me more". Both the Dean and Gene Block had the same response, "I don't know," but Gene Block's was said in a much better way. How can I use this knowledge in my classroom? Well, when I have a student who comes up to me and discusses his/her dreams, I should show interest in their dreams. If I don't know the answer to my students' questions, I should respond the way that Gene Block responded to Dr. Pausch. Because of Gene Block's positive response, Dr. Pausch was able to follow his dream of working with the Aladdin VR project. After the successful project, Dr. Pausch was offered his dream job of a Disney Imagineer, but he happily turned it down and became a professor.

Dr. Pausch then talked about how to help others achieve their dreams. As teachers, we have a big impact in encouraging students to achieve their goals, even if their goal is unrealistic. Dr. Pausch told a story about one of his student's goals: to help create Star Wars movies. Dr. Pausch thought to himself that they probably won't make other Star Wars movies, but he did not tell the student what he thought about his unrealistic goal, but encouraged him to follow his dreams. Dr. Pausch, then, wanted to help other students with the dream of building virtual worlds. His college-level class taught students how to come up with creative ideas while working in a group with three other people. The students weren't graded on the project itself, but how the group worked together as a whole. Although I won't be teaching any virtual reality classes, I love the idea of not grading students on the actual project, but rather how they worked together with their assigned group. I believe that this goes back to head fake learning. Dr. Pausch wanted all of his students to succeed in their assignment, but was more concerned with their ability to work well with others. While the students were focused on creating a virtual reality, Dr. Pausch was focused on watching them work together with their classmates. Dr. Pausch taught the virtual reality course for about a decade.

Dr. Pausch wearing "mad hatter" hatDr. Pausch and Don Marinelli created the Entertainment Technology Center, a master's program at Carnegie Mellon. The two were given full reins over this degree program and completely broke the norm of traditional education. Dr. Pausch and Dr. Marianelli created an entirely project based program at the University. They had the view that this was a master's level program and the students were educated enough to not be asked to read for their degree. There were no textbooks and no lectures; it was an entirely hands-on and field trip based degree program. The program has 5 written agreements promising to hire students because of their enrollment in the Carnegie Mellon ETC program. Again, Dr. Pausch uses the head fake teaching strategy in these master's-level students. The students think that they are learning how make movies and video games, but they are really learning how to program. Dr. Pausch, like the Mad Hatter, used the head fake strategy throughout his entire teaching career. It has obviously been a successful strategy, so it is a strategy that I will most certainly use in my history classroom by allowing students to learn something difficult through doing fun projects and activities. 

In the last section of his lecture, Dr. Pausch shares his lessons learned, which I can apply in my classroom. The first lesson is the role of parents, mentors, and students. These people all have a role in our lives because we learn from them all. I have learned from my parents, my mentors/professors, my friends, and I hope that I will have the opportunity to learn from my students in my class. This is, yet again, another example of Dr. Pausch's head fake theory. We, the teachers, are under the impression that we are only teaching from the students. We are head faked because we not only teach our students, but we learn from them. I will learn from my students and I will encourage them to learn from the same people: their parents, their mentors/professors, their friends, and any other people that will walk into their lives. 
The second lesson is to decide if you are a Tigger or an Eeyore. I will be a Tigger in my classroom and encourage all of my students to be Tiggers. I will encourage them to follow their dreams and never lose hope. The third lesson is never lose child-like wonder. This is important in the classroom as we are encouraging our students to go for their highest goals. We must have the child-like belief in them that they can do anything that they have ever dreamed of doing. The fourth lesson is to help others. It is obvious how I can use this lesson in my classroom. This is a lesson that I must teach by example by focusing on my students and ways that I can help them. I must also encourage them to help others through the examples that I set for them. The fifth lesson is loyalty is a two way street. We must be loyal to our students and expect them to be loyal to us. A classroom without trust and loyalty is a classroom where there will not be much progress. We must learn from each other, trust each other, help each other, and encourage each other to reach our dreams. The last lesson in the lecture is to get people to help you. We can not achieve our goals if we do not ask for help. This is another way that I will have to teach by example in my classroom. I can not expect my students to come to me for help if I do not ask for help myself. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blog Post #5

The iSchool Initiative
After watching this video, made by Travis Allen, I am thoroughly impressed by this young man's "go-getter" attitude. He saw a classroom that needed to be re-vamped and created a way to make it happen. He points out that America has an education problem and even says his high school is experiencing the effects of it with:  massive budget cuts, teachers are being let go, and class sizes are getting larger. Mr. Allen has a solution; he wants to introduce technology into the classroom by using the iPod Touch. He shows the many benefits of using the iPod Touch such as: no need for papers, notebooks, copiers, or even pencils. He explains that there are many apps you can use to help the students not only learn, but interact with education. He also shows that the use of the iPod Touch would help with the budget crisis. This video was made in 2009 and the first thing I thought of when watching this was "Why would he rather use an iPod Touch instead of the iPad?" I honestly don't have the answer to that, unless it's because of the price. I still believe, however, that he this is a great idea and whether it is an iPod Touch or an iPad he is going in the right direction.

iSchool Initiative Logo
Also, another video of Travis Allen's I watched was this one. This video was made in 2011, about two years after his first video, and shows where he is now. He has now formed the iSchool Initiative and even has a team of about 25 students who travel the country "inspiring schools to embrace mobile learning." I must say, I am shocked that a 17 year-old, now 20 year-old (at the time of this video), has taken a simple idea and created a whole initiative. He has been recognized by CNN, The Huffington Post, and San Francisco Chronicle; keep in mind that Mr. Allen went to high school in Georgia and now has popular newspapers and outlets talking about his initiative!

All of these things are great ideas, but I do feel that there are some oversights with this initiative. I feel he does not take into account that writing is a very important part of growing as a student and person. Yes, there are more computers and iPads than ever in the classroom right now, but one thing I do not see changing in the near future is the use of standardized testing. When a student applies for college, they have to take a standardized test. Whether it's the ACT or SAT, colleges are starting to require their students to take the writing portion of those tests. How will a student be able to write effectively if they learned how to type before they could even write? Would a student feel comfortable picking up a pencil and be able to put their thoughts together on paper within a time limit? In my opinion, papers that you have to write in class are much more difficult than papers you type with the use of a laptop or iPad.

Another problem I have with the aforementioned video is that he says you can easily take notes on the iPod Touch using the notes feature. One problem that I have experienced with that, is that trying to type quickly enough to take notes on a touch screen can be very difficult. If all the students had to take their notes that way, then wouldn't it slow down how fast a teacher could cover information? And if that's the case, the teacher would more than likely just share their notes vie email. If they did that, then wouldn't a student never learn actually how to take notes? I think that this initiative is a great idea and I am glad to see that it is growing across the nation. However, I think we need to blend it into the education system and not make it the only part of the education system. When a pencil meets paper, or when fingers meet the keyboard, magic happens. And if we don't teach both, then the students we teach will not be very well-rounded.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
Just wow. Please make sure to watch this video because it is pretty darn awesome. The fact that 185 people can come together, virtually, and sing any song is just amazing to me. It really shows how, with the use of the internet, this world of our's is now becoming even closer and tight knit. Not only is technology in the classroom changing how teachers teach and students learn, but technology in the world is changing how people communicate and share their experiences in their daily life with each other.

Teaching in the 21st Century
In Kevin Roberts video, Teaching in the 21st Century, he shows many ideas about what teaching will be like in the future and the role that technology will play in it. I admit, I was a bit overloaded with information after watching this video, but the one major point that I took out of watching was that: teachers are no longer the main source of information anymore and we, as educators, must adapt to that. Teaching in this environment, students have many different ways to obtain information, and it is our job to be their "filter." A student can learn many different things these days inside and outside of the classroom using tools such as Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, iPods, Twitter, and much more. I believe that Roberts hits the nail on the head with this stance and I also believe that teachers need to evolve with this technology. We need change from just giving information, to now helping students learn how to use that information to the fullest.

Another note, this video has awesome music. Major props. :)

Flipping the Classroom
Flip Your Classroom
The concept of "flipping the classroom" was started by Dr. Lodge McCammon as seen in this video. Flipping the classroom concentrates on the art of applying lessons rather than lecturing. The problem with classrooms today is that teachers spend about 90% of their time lecturing and teaching students and only about 10% of their time is actually used for applying that information. If you were to ask any adult who their favorite teacher was in high school you will probably get an answer telling you how the teacher inspired them to learn. For instance, I want to be a teacher because of my high school history teacher. He made things about a lot more than just information in the book. He took that information and put it to life and made it more of a story than just the regular stinky dates and events. By making things into a story, the students were more interactive and he managed to take his lecturing time and turn it into and application time. The point of flipping the classroom is to inspire kids to learn and to be able to use 90% of the time in the classroom helping the students to apply the information rather than just giving it.

I must admit, it is a really cool concept and I'm sure as the years go on more and more kinks will be worked out. The problem a school, or teacher, would face using this way of teaching is that maybe the technology needed to use it is that maybe the students do not have the means to access the information needed. I do think, however, that this technology will be available to all students eventually. I most definitely plan on using this style of teaching when I get a classroom of my own. I am very excited about this type of teaching because it is a completely different experience for the students and I believe will really help the students learn in a completely new way. This style of teaching, in my opinion, would stop "burp-back" education once and for all. I'm positive Dr. Strange would be overjoyed if that does happen.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Project #5 Presentation

C4T #1

Post #1 - September 9, 2012 - Roald Dahl's Birthday
Roald Dahl Day LogoI was assigned to Kelly Hines' blog, In the Trenches, for the C4T assignment. In her September 9th post, she talked about Roald Dahl's Birthday. If you are not aware, Roald Dahl is a wonderful author of books such as Matilda, The Twits, and James and the Giant Peach. We often hear of Dr. Seuss day but never hear about Roald Dahl Day, celebrated on his birthday, September 13. Both are great authors and offer great reading for young and old alike. Roald Dahl's books entice reluctant readers, are great for read-aloud books, and bring parents and children together through reading great heartwarming and quirky stories.
In my comment on Ms. Hines' post, I agreed with her that Roald Dahl needed his own day just like Dr. Seuss because they are both great authors. They both effectively capture a reader's interest and imagination. Hopefully, Roald Dahl Day will soon have the same popularity as Dr. Seuss Day in elementary schools across the nation.

Post #2 - September 15, 2012 - Non-Fiction Graphic Organizers
Kelly Hines shared a wonderful graphic organizer resource in her September 15th post. She teaches 5th grade students and uses these graphic organizers, from the Center of Urban Education, to assist them in comprehending non-fiction texts. Ms. Hines mentioned using the graphic organizers not only for reading, but for videos on United Streaming. This allows the struggling readers to learn the comprehension strategies before applying them to difficult non-fiction texts. She loves these graphic organizers because they are simple and be drawn on notebook paper by elementary school students.
In my comment on Ms. Hines' post, I thanked her for sharing the resource with her blog followers. Although I will not be teaching elementary school, I noted how I could use the graphic organizers in my History classes. My students will not be learning the comprehension strategies, but using their previous education to assist them in comprehending the history textbook and any other texts assigned to them. I know this is a great resource because they are simple and allow the students to draw their own graphic organizer, or download it and insert text, saving the teachers' paper and copies, and possibly going completely green though the advancements in technology.

Blog Post #4

Podcast Logo

Langwitches - Flat Stanley Podcast

This first podcast was from a first grade class that just finished reading "Flat Stanley" by Jim Brown. The class then made their very own Flat Stanley's and sent them to friends and family around the country and received stories and images back. After the students saw the world-wide success of this podcast they decided to make their own.
Flat StanleyThe students and teacher both brainstormed about a story line so that they could all be a part of the new podcast. The students were then assigned homework. The students had to pick a destination and then borrow a book from the library and research that place. After they researched the destination, together with their parents they read the book and wrote a short script. The script had to include: the location, the way that they got there, what they did when they got there, and of course how they got back home.
  • The location (City, State, Country, and/or Continent)
  • How did they get there (transportation)?
  • What did they do at that location?
  • How did they get back home?
I would definitely recommend listening to this podcast. It was a great idea by the teacher and of course hearing first graders read is really cute. Go listen to it here!

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom by Joe Dale
Podcasting is a very effective way of interacting with students outside of the traditional classroom. In this video commentated by Doug Saunders, posted on this blog by Joe Dale, he touches on some great ways to use podcasting and the benefits of it. Mr. Saunders tells us how podcasting is beneficial to "Millenials," which are considered babies born after 1980. These students have not experienced, essentially, any part of their life without technology. Podcasting teaches students higher order thinking skills and develops a more in-depth learning experience. Podcasts can also be beneficial to students who are forced to miss school for being sick, or other reasons. The student could download any lecture from their teacher in a podcast form and listen to the lecture. Students could learn at home and in bed, while eating a bowl of tomato soup! 

Judy Scharf Podcast Collection
Ms. Scharf's first post on her blog is titled What is a Podcast?. It is a cross between a "broadcast" and "iPod." It is a radio-style talk show and can be downloaded using iTunes or any other podcast hosting service. Podcasts can cover many different information from humorous to educational. It is very easy to do your own podcasting. All that it requires is a microphone, a computer (which you obviously have), and software, which can be easily downloaded for free. If you have any questions on how to create a podcast I recommend you watch this short 4:00 video on how to get started. 

Also, one other note. I work a full-time job and during the day I spend probably up to 4 hours listening to different podcasts. They are really a great listen and once you start listening to a podcast that you find you like, you'll be hooked. I promise. Take a visit to the iTunes Store and get started!