Thursday, April 28, 2011

Special Assignment: Metaphors

In my response to Tom Johnson's post, I did not specifically point out that he was not literally talking about pencils, but instead about technology. However, I understood that he was not actually talking about pencils. I felt it was rather obvious that he was talking about a much bigger picture. I may not have understood that it was just about technology and computers but that is the thing with metaphors: they are not specific. Metaphors allow you to use a little bit of your imagination to decipher what is really being discussed. So to answer the question, "Why do you think others in the class missed the metaphor?", I would have to draw your attention back to Sir Ken Robinson's video we had to watch. I think metaphors greatly involve using a little bit of your imagination so that you do not take the statement literally. Sir Ken Robinson pointed out that the education system has greatly taken away the imagination of the students today. Perhaps this has something to do with the reason so many missed the metaphor?

My encountered metaphors:
  • "It's supposed to rain cats and dogs this week!"
  • "Break a leg!"
  • "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
  • "He's giving her the cold shoulder."
  • "The ball is in her court."
  • "She's as blind as a bat."
  • "I have a bone to pick with you."
  • "You're as busy as a bee."
  • "You bit off more than you can chew, Brittany!"
  • "I have bigger fish to fry."
  • "Well, I'm going to get out of your hair."
People use metaphors everyday, whether they realize it or not. As educators, we can point those metaphors, and their meanings, out to them. After helping them to interpret the meaning of common metaphors, we can then introduce them to more complex ones.

We use metaphors for different reasons. I feel one reason we use them is to portray a message in a more lighthearted way. For example, instead of saying, "I want to leave." we can say it a little nicer by saying, "Well, I am going to get out of your hair."

    Project 16

    This was a collaborative project by Brittany Hamilton and Kelsey Robinson.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Final Report on PLN

    symbaloo web page image

    Since my last report on my PLN, I have added five new links.

    • Alabama Virtual Library: I chose to add this link because it seems very useful. It can be used as a research tool for personal use or classroom use. I can advise my students to use this website in appropriate situations.
    • ALEX: I chose to add a link to the Alabama Learning Exchange because after our assignment for this website I decided that it would be very useful to have this site right at my fingertips. I know I will use this site when I begin teaching.
    • Mr. Bill Genereux, Ms. Angela Maiers, and Mr. McClung's World: I added links to the listed people's blogs. At some point during this semester I was assigned to read/post something about/on their blogs and I was either really impressed, really moved, or really motivated by all of them. Since my required visits to their blog, I have since returned to read their latest updates and what not and I know I will continue to visit!

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Comments for Kids 3

    C4K 7:
    This assignment was not actually a child's blog. Instead, I was assigned a specific post made on Mr. McClung's blog. This post was titled "Lessons Learned: Fat Cat Teachers". In this post, he linked a video from The Daily Show where they were discussing the debate that has been going on in Wisconsin. They are going through budget cuts and they have decided to cut back state employees and state education. The budget cuts for education include 8 million dollars from the Wisconsin School system over the next two years. Mr. McClung then talks about how he is reminded daily, by Fox News, that teachers are "pretty much worthless and a $50,000 salary is basically highway robbery for teachers in the state of Wisconsin".

    In my response, I told Mr. McClung that I cannot help but be annoyed everytime I hear about cuts in the public school systems. The people in the the linked video that he shared should really think about what they are saying. They act like teachers are no big deal and that they do not deserve to be paid as “much” as they do. However, at the same time, politicians want to complain about our economy. Well, without teachers and educators, our nation has no future. We, educators/teachers, and the students that come in our classrooms, are the future of our nation and I think that makes us pretty important.

    C4K 8:

    For this assignment, my student's name was Connor. Connor is a sixth or seventh grade student in Ms. Thompson's class in Adelaide, Australia. This is his first blog and he started it on March 16. His most recent post was on March 24, 2011, and he discussed the numerous natural disasters that have been occurring recently. He pointed out that there has been five in the last three months.

    I responded and told him that it was really unfortunate for all the people suffering from the loss of loved ones and damages. I also told him that I am taking a geography class and we are learning all about earthquakes and tsunamis.

    C4K 9:
    This comments for kids assignment is similar to the comment for kids assignment 7. This is not actually a child's blog; instead, it is Mrs. Yollis's Classroom Blog. Mrs. Yollis is currently in her twenty-fourth year of teaching. She states on her blog that she has recently finished a Master's Degree in Integrating Technology in the Classroom. "I always seek out new ways to improve my teaching skills and advance the quality of education at my school." Sounds like a great teacher to me! She is teaching third grade but has taught fifth grade as well. There are twenty-two students in her class, eleven girls and eleven boys.

    As instructed for this assignment, I visited all her tabs and links. One of her tabs, that I already had bookmarked from the beginning of the semester, I have found very useful and that is her "Learn HTML Code!" Under this tab, she gives very clear instructions on how add italics to your text, bold your text, add a "button" to take you to a link, and shapes (♥,♔,♦). All of these things can be useful to new bloggers who would like to spice up a comment or post. Another useful link for new bloggers would be her "Video: How to Comment" tab. Under this tab she provides a video that shows you step-by-step how to leave a comment on a post from her blog.

    Her "Time Zones of Friends" tab is just something interesting to see. Under this tab she provides a clock with the time zone of some of her classes blogging friends. "Learn About California" is a tab that provides of a video that provides interesting facts about their state, California, and the suburb in Los Angeles, California, which is where they live. The last tab that they have is titled, "Learn How to Shoot Great Digital Images!" Under this tab they provide an instructional video on how to take great digital images.

    I was also instructed to comment, specifically, on Mrs. Yollis's post from Wednesday, April 6, 2011. The title of this post is "Quality Commenting During Family Blogging Month!" She talks about how April is family blogging month in her class and that everyone is working on writing quality comments. She has embedded a few examples of "quality comments" from family members of her students. This is such a great way to get the parents and family involved with their student's class.

    In my response to them, I told them that I really enjoyed visiting their blog. I also told them that after going through there blog, I was even more certain that I want to have a class blog for my students when I start teaching!

    C4K 10:
    For Comments for Kids 10, I was assigned a student named Gracie. Gracie is a third grade student in Mrs. Yollis' class. In Gracie's blog post, she talked about her new mascot named Bunny. Bunny is 9 years old, just like Gracie. She tells us that she got Bunny when she was born as a gift from her aunt. When she was older, she got another bunny and it is now Bunny's sister. Bunny is Gracie's favorite stuffed animal. Bunny is also quite talented!! Bunny likes to dance, play the piano, and play Hide and Go Seek. Gracie says that Bunny always hides in small places that no one can find! At the end of her post, she asks three questions:
    1. Do you have a favorite stuffed animal?
    2. Have you ever had a mascot before?
    3. Do you take your stuffed animal anywhere?
    I told her that my favorite stuffed animal was the cow I got from my parents when I was younger. I used to take her everywhere with me! I, also, told Gracie that she was doing a great job with her blog and to keep up the good work.
    bunny playing the piano
    Bunny playing the piano.

    Blog Assignment 13

    " We continually strive to make these pages universally accessible. Therefore, we minimize the use of graphics, with the exception of links provided by content partners, and also utilize mouse-overs for ease of use by all visitors. Suggestions for increasing the accessibility of these pages are welcome. "
     (Alabama Learning Exchange)

    ALEX homepage

    For those of you who are unfamiliar with ALEX, it is a project of the Alabama Department of Education and is designed to share many types of educational material and information through a one-stop resource for educators, parents, and students. Most of the provided resources are linked to the Alabama Courses of Study by National Board Certified Teachers. ALEX is continuously improving and expanding based on the input from its viewers. On the website, you can communicate with other professionals through Listervs, find lesson plans, follow links that will bring quality learning your students, and much more.

    When you go to the ALEX  website, it will automatically take you to its homepage. Once you are at the homepage you are presented with eight different link options:
    1. Courses of Study
    2. Web Links
    3. Lesson Plans
    4. Search
    5. Personal Workspace
    6. Professional Learning
    7. Podcast Treasury
    8. ALEXivlle
    When you go to Courses of Study, you are presented with different subjects to choose from: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Arts Education, Career/Technical Education, Driver and Traffic Safety Education, Health Education, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Languages, Physical Education, Technology Education, and Other Courses of Study. Once you pick the subject you want, it takes you to a new page that breaks the subject down into categories and grade levels. For example, I picked Mathematics. It is broken down into categories such as Algebra 1, Geometry, Precalculus, etc. Upon choosing the grade level and category I want, it takes me to lesson plans for my selection. The lesson plans also include example problems.

    The next link option that I explored was the Web Links.When clicked on, it takes you to a page where your options are: Teacher Web Resources, Administrator Web Resources, Student Web Resources, Search for a Web Resource, Recommend a Web Resource, and Report Broke Links. Each section contains links to websites that would be useful for the specified user (teacher, administrator, and student). Under the link Lesson Plans, you have the option of creating your own lesson plan, searching for an ALEX lesson plan by author, title, or school, or finding a lesson plan by subject.The Search link allows you to search the ALEX/Thinkfinity database. You can search for keywords and/or narrow your search by choosing a specific category. The fifth link option is the Personal Workspace link.Once clicking on this link, the next step is to create a login. Establishing an ALEX account allows you to create a personal workspace where you can submit and store lesson plans and teacher web pages.

    The next option is the Professional Learning link. Here, you can learn more about ALEX and Thinkfinity training opportunities, view their past presentations, and search for grants. You can also visit some of the provided Alabama Department of Education Program Websites to find professional development opportunities, teaching and learning tools, the latest news, best practices, and more. In addition to the previous, you can also look at pages to find tips, tricks, and tutorials on a variety of technology tools. When clicking on the Podcast Treasury link, you are provided with a large variety of podcasts on every subject you can think of. The last link will take you to ALEXville. In ALEXville, you have several different links to visit. Visit the areas to communicate with colleagues, keep up with the latest ALEX news and follow various ALEX Professional Learning Communities.

    In my opinion, ALEX would be a very useful website for all teachers. It provides you with a large variety of useful resources, lesson plans, and other information. When I begin teaching, I will probably use many of the things the ALEX website has to offer. Using this website will allow teachers to improve the education that they are providing to their students.

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Comments for Teachers 4

    For this Comments 4 Teachers assignment, I was assigned Ms. Kathy Cassidy's blog. The name of her blog is Primary Preoccupation. She teaches first grade in Moose Jaw, SK, Canada. She "uses technology to help her students connect, collaborate, and learn with students and other people from around the world." Her students blog regularly, use wikis, video, Skype and other online tools.

    kathy cassidy

    On April 14, 2011, her most recent post was from March 22, 2011, and it was titled "Making Video, But No Faces Allowed". She discusses her policy for her online work and that only students' first names are allowed to be used and that no image can be matched to their name. This leaves her with one challenge: how to post videos of the children's learning without showing their faces. So far, they have come up with three different ways to do this: puppet shows, an "artifact" (her example was a poster made by the child) with the child explaining the artifact, and a "common craft" to explain their learning. She provides example videos of each of these ideas. Ms. Cassidy also discusses that during the making of their last video, there were some children who didn't clearly understand the concept of "needs" and "wants", which was what the video was to explain. Instead of re-teaching these children, she used the videos of the other children to help these children better grasp the concept. Ms. Cassidy said the lights came on! How awesome; this children were able to capture their learning's and share them with their fellow students and help them learn as well. This is a fine example of how beneficial technology in the classroom can be! She closes her post by asking for ideas on how to make videos without showing the children's faces.

    In my response, I told her how great I thought it was that her students were able to make videos and then use those videos to help fellow students learn. That alone will give students the motivation to be better learners, so that they can be better teachers. Phenomenal!

    On April 17, 2011, I commented on Ms. Cassidy's post titled "It's Your Choice...You Choose". In this post, she reflects on an experience she had with a particular student last spring. At the end of a unit she gave her students an assignment to make an artifact of some kind to show their learning. She gave them several tools that they could use, some of which included writing an article for their blog, drawing a picture for their blog, making a book using Storybird, and making a video using Sketchcast. She gave them options so that they had a choice of what was best for them to use.

    She had a student come to her and ask if he could use Vocaroo, a voice recording tool that they had been using that year. This particular student has a severe text disability that was so severe he could only recognize about twenty words at the end of first grade. Due to this disability, she told him no with the intention that of allowing him to get more practice with written words. She says that she was ashamed by the decision she made and that not shortly after, she went to the student and told him that he could use the voice recording tool. She says that her shame in her moment of realization had a deep impact on her. She closes her post be saying the following:

    " I will never forget our short conversation because of my emotional response and because it made me stop and re-evaluate what I was doing as a teacher who says she values choice.  All of us have strengths and weaknesses, and while it is important for us (and our students) to work on those things that we are not good at, it is also important for us to have a chance to show our learning using a medium that can help us to best capture that knowledge.

    If the choices don’t include all students in a way that is relevant to them, is it really choice?"

    My initial reaction to her post was that she shouldn't feel ashamed. She learned from the experience and fixed what she felt was a mistake, how do you find shame in that? As I scrolled down to leave my comment, I noticed that the majority of the comments left were expressing the same feelings I had. So in my response to her I said:

    "Hi, Ms. Cassidy. I understand your initial response to this student being a “no” because you were hoping to help him improve with the use of text. However, I do not think you should feel ashamed. You learned from the situation and that is what matters. If a student decided to, initially, do the wrong option but corrected themselves by making it right, would you shame them? Of course not, as long as they are learning in the long run. It is important for teachers to remember that we are also “students” and we are forever learning, as well as our students! I agree with your closing statement, “If the choices don’t include all students in a way that is relevant to them, is it really choice?” It isn’t."
    I thanked her for her impact on my educational journey in becoming an educator. I also told her that I admired the enthusiasm and excitement that she puts into her classroom. 

    Project 15- Book Trailer

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Blog Assignment 12

    There are two things that I would recommend as assignments for EDM310 students. One was a youtube video that I came across and the other is a blog post that I read for one of my Comments for Teachers assignments. The reason I picked the youtube video was because I feel it really shows the many benefits of using technology, like the SmartBoard, in the classroom and how many different types of learners can be accommodated. As for the blog post I am suggesting, I was really motivated after reading it for a previous assignment. I basically wrote Mr. Genereux a book when I left him a comment. I think this would be a beneficial reading for EDM310 students.

    smartboard in a classroom

    YouTube Video
    Watch this video titled Integrating Technology in the Classroom. After you watch the video, write a blog post with your reactions.

    My reactions: This video shows technology being used in different classrooms, with different age groups, to help them learn all different types of things. They talk to several different teachers who discuss the benefits of using a SmartBoard type of product in their classroom. Several of the benefits they discuss are that it allows them to reach more kids with different types of learning, immediate feedback on whether or not the students are comprehending, creating more excitement for learning, and grasping the attention of today's students. If only every classroom could have a SmartBoard!

    Blog Post
    Read the blog post Kids At Work by Bill Genereux. Leave him a comment with your reactions and then discuss your reactions in your blog post.

    My comment: My name is Kelsey Robinson and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I have been assigned to follow your blog for the next two weeks. After reading this first post, I really look forward to reading more!

    I watched the video that you have embedded and it really makes me happy to see a classroom full of kids learning while having fun. So it gets a little noisy, and sometimes a little chaotic, but seeing students actually enjoy learning is truly amazing; can it get much better than that? As you stated, real science learning does not come from a textbook but rather, it comes from asking questions and experimenting solutions. I, personally, do not think this is just the case for science. Not all students learn the same way; not all students can understand a concept from just reading about it or being lectured to about it. Incorporating hands-on activities, collaborative assignments, and other various interactive ways of learning, can help all students learn.

    I agree with your statement about the uncomfortableness that some people have over such videos involving kids. In my opinion, withholding these types of videos, is also “damaging”. In a recent assignment for this class, I responded to a video by posting this statement on my blog:

    ” “Ideas do not belong to us individually but they belong to us as a culture. We as educators must be in the business of sharing ideas freely.” This is such a powerful statement by Richard Miller. The internet, this virtual world, allows us to share our knowledge with people all over the world. As educators, if we are not sharing our ideas with other people, how can we even begin to say that we are doing our jobs?”

    This is truly something for everyone to think about when they begin to hesitate in sharing a video like this on the internet. I agree, ten-thousand times, with your closing argument: “We seem to be always seeking ways to get more adults involved in education. Video is such a powerful communication tool, but we ignore or shun it because we don’t understand it. It is simply time to learn more.” It can be said any better than that.
    As I previously said, I greatly look forward to reading more of your posts! Here is a link to my EDM310 class blog, feel free to visit if you would like and thank you very much for sharing your blog with us.

    Kelsey Robinson

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Final Project Progress Report

    twitter icon

    For the final project, Brittany Hamilton and I will be working together to create an instructional video on how to use twitter and the benefits of using it as an educator to connect with other educators. We are currently working on gathering the information that we will be using and learning more about twitter as we go.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Project 14: Teach Someone Something

    Special Assignment

    After going through Mr. McClung's blog and reading his personal information, I would have loved to have him as a teacher when I was younger. He tries his best to make his classroom and fun learning environment that focuses on team work. Mr. McClung is what I would define as a "modern teacher". He isn't afraid to venture out from the old fashioned ways of teaching. Instead, he tries to use a variety of teaching methods because he actually realizes that not all students can learn from "traditional teaching methods."

    As most teachers do, Mr. McClung has rules and expectations for the students who come into his classroom. His three expectations are: energy and positivity, talk in class, and listen. He tells his students that it is important to come to class each day with energy because everything they do will require them to be upbeat and stay positive. He expects his students to talk in class because, like I stated earlier, he focuses on team work. Therefore, talking and communicating in class is important to accomplish their daily assignments. It is also important to listen. It is important to talk but at the same time, if no one is listening, talking is pointless. Needless to say, it is very important to listen, as well as talk and that is why Mr. McClung says that listening is probably one of his most important rules. Speaking of rules, Mr. McClung has five basic rules that he expects to be followed so that his classroom can be an enjoyable place for all students.
    1. Follow directions quickly!
    2. Raise your hand for permission to speak.
    3. Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.
    4. Make smart choices!
    5. Keep your dear teacher happy!
    As a student, my reaction to these rules are "same old same old". These are the typical rules for most of the classrooms I have been in. As an aspiring teacher, my reaction to these rules are that they are essential to keeping a classroom under control and it also makes it fair so that every student is able to have a turn to speak if they wish.

    The first thing listed underneath "Everyone Needs" is a day planner. Being organized is the first essential tool to being successful and using a planner is a great way to do just that. I did not start using a planner until I was in high school because no one every really pointed out ways to help be organized and boy do I wish they had! As soon as you are given an assignment, writing it in your day planner and writing the due date as well, helps you to keep up with all of your assignments without having to try to remember it all in your head. As most teachers do, Mr. McClung has penalities for turning in late homework. For each day that an assignment is late, Mr. McClung reduces your score by a letter grade. This seems fair to me. In comparison to Dr. Strange's late assignment penalities, I would say that the students of EDM310 have it easy. We do not actually receive grades so it is difficult to say exactly what our penalties are.

    With his blog, Mr. McClung wants to accomplish keeping people informed and up-to-date on what goes on in his classes and with his schools cross country team. His blog features the use of educational video, useful links, and class assignments. I would say that he provides these things on his blog with the hope to show the benefits of using technology in the classroom and to encourage other teachers to use it as well. Also, it provides the parents and students with a source to see their class assignments. As an aspiring teacher, I am fortunate to have seen this blog. I plan on having a "class website" when I am a teacher and I will provide the essential information for the class. I will have the class syllabus with the supplies list and class rules. I will also provide a section that will allow parents to know what is currently happening in class and upcoming assignments and events. I think having a class website is a great way to allow parents to be involved and know whats going on.

    One of Mr. McClung's useful links was a website called Scholastic Story Starters. This website is so great for children. This reminds me of one of the previous podcastes that we have watched, the one by Sir Ken Robinson, that talked about the importance of encouraging students to be imaginative. On this website you start by putting in your name and picking the age group of the student, starts with kindergarten and goes through sixth grade. After that, you "pull" the big lever that spins four categories. The first category gives you tells you what to write about, the second is an adjective, the third is the subject, and the fourth is a verb. For example, my spin gave me this: Write a wilderness adventure about a quiet and shy turkey who trains wild crocodiles. Then you pick the format of your story: a notebook page, a letter, a newspaper article, or a postcard; you also have an option to include a drawing. You then get a blank page to type your story on and then you can draw a picture to go along with it. After you finish your story, you can print it out. This is really encourages a student to use their imagination while also doing a writing assignment. It's a really great website.
    The second useful link that I visited was This website is a site for teachers to set up their class to blog. It is for elementary and middle school teachers who want each of their students to have their own, personal blog. is a safe way for students to blog because the teacher has complete control over the students blogs and its a blogging community just for classrooms. I think both of these made Mr. McClung's "useful links" list because they both engage students in a learning environment that uses technology which in turn makes the experience enjoyable for modern students.

    Mr. McClung lays out the rules for internet safety very clearly. He provides examples and gives details which ensures his students know exactly what he means. He instructs them to never provide personal information such as last name, address, phone number, personal email accounts, school name or location. He has provided the students with an email address for the class that he only has access to. He suggests using aliases or nick names instead of your real name and to not use your last name. Also, he tells the students to never respond to a threatening message and to always tell a parent or adult about any conversation that feels uncomfortable. These rules are great. I can't think of any that I would add or take away. These rules are made to keep the students safe and protect them from harmful messages.

    I was assigned to comment on a post under the "Lessons Learned" category of Mr. McClung's blog. For the comments for kids assignment, I commented on his post titled, "Lessons Learned: Fat Cat Teachers," however, for this assignment, I have decided to comment on his post titled, "Lessons Three- The Lunch Crew." In this post, he talks about two of his "favorite Persian students" coming up with the idea to have Middle Eastern Friday. Middle Eastern Friday consisted of the two students bringing food that their mothers had made and Mr. McClung making and bringing humus. Can you say, "Yum!"? Well, word got around and more and more students started showing up at his door for lunch on a daily basis. So now, Mr. McClung and a bunch of his students eat lunch in his classroom and they tell stories and just hang out. Mr. McClung says that the best part of "the lunch crew" was that it gave him a chance to build a stronger relationship with his students outside of class time. This is really great. Having a more-than-class-time-relationship with his students allows them to look forward to coming to class to learn. It also allows them to feel comfortable with their teacher which means they will feel better about asking questions that they may have about class work.
    The things that I see in Mr. McClungs blog that I would like to be able to do with my blog on blogger may actually be doable on blogger, I just don't know how to do them! I really like that Mr. McClung has categories for his posts because it makes his site seem more organized. Another thing that I like are the different tabs he has at the top on his page. Both of these things allow his visitors to travel through his "world" easier.

    Mr. McClung makes his site useful to parents, teachers, and administrators by providing them with the information about his class that may be lost somewhere between the classroom and getting home. By this I mean the class syllabus, the class supplies list, the class rules, and the class assignments. He also provides them with progress being made in his class. As for the students of EDM310, his site is useful to us by sharing the ways his class uses and enjoys technology on a daily basis. Mr. McClung's blog is different than other blogs we have visited because he gives more details about what his students are doing and what technology they are using and the outcomes. It lets you know what does and doesn't work. I think these differences are because he is a more modern teacher who isn't afraid to incorporate a large variety of technology in his room. Another reason could be that maybe his school has more funding than some of the others we have seen. I have really enjoyed this assignment and really looking in depth at Mr. McClung's blog. He seems to be a really great teacher that is really passionate about his job. What an inspiration!

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Blog Assignment 11

    Ms. Cassidy's First Grade Class

    In this video, Ms. Cassidy's first graders show you how they use blogs, the internet, wikis, videos, Skype, and Nintendo DS to learn, share their learning, and communicate with other people around the world. They talk about why they like to blog and that every time they write on their blog their writing improves. This video would be perfect to share with all the anti-technology teachers to prove to them that technology is a good thing. It really helps improve the way students learn and it allows them to have fun as well!

    Ms. Cassidy working with a student.

    Ms. Cassidy's Skype Interview with EDM310

    After watching this video, I can honestly say that Ms. Cassidy is a very inspirational teacher. She is so passionate about her teaching. She encourages her students by giving them feedback from their blogs. When her students see the comments from other people and they see how many people go to their blog, they only get more excited about learning in these new ways! She is lucky to have a school board that supports her use of technology, not all of us are that lucky. It is difficult to obtain these tools and be able to use them in your classroom when funding is being cut left and right. 

    Watching this interview showed us many ways to use technology and the safe way to do it. This would also be a really great video for the technology-fearful teachers out there. Teaching her students to be smart on the internet and not use things such as their last names is awesome. She is on the right path of getting technology more accepted in more schools!

    Blog Assignment 10

    An Open Letter to Educators

    In this post, Morgan Bayda shared a video made by Dan Brown. In his video he discusses how he feels schools are interfering with our educations. He points out that society is very quickly moving forward and picking up the new and improved ways of doing things, EXCEPT for our education systems. He talks about going to school and being lectured to by your teacher and then you are responsible for simply memorizing his thoughts and information. This is what Dr. Strange has talked to us about, burp-back-education. Instead of using the new technology to our advantage in classrooms, we fear it and turn it away, which in the long run, leaves us less prepared for what our future holds. Dan Brown dropped out of school because he said it was preventing him from receiving an education. Many of the "rules" about technology in schools really keeps students from learning in bigger and better ways so I could not agree more; schools do prevent us from learning sometimes. However, does this mean I think we should drop out? No.

    Morgan Bayda felt the same way. While she agreed with what Dan discussed, she does not condone dropping out of school. She discussed a class that seemed like EDM310 where she was encouraged to interact and use technology.

    Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home

    What a story! In Mr. Johnson's post, he tells about Gertrude not wanting Tom to send pencils and paper home with his students. Tom is baffled by this and questions her as to why he shouldn't. She replies by telling him she read in a journal article that students who take pencils home have lower test scores. Tom disagrees with the research, stating that a "drill-and-kill" bubble test was the only measurement of learning used. Gertrude suggests that you cannot hold the student's accountable, when they are at home, to use the supplies for educational purposes only; instead, they may end up playing Hang Man! Tom argues back that he doesn't hold them accountable and if they end up playing Hang Man, who cares? He also makes a point that there is learning in almost everything we do, we just may not recognize it as learning.

    This story had so many messages in it and my favorite was that there is learning in almost anything we do! So what if the kids decide to play Hang Man every once in a while, it's using vocabulary and they can learn from this. Instead of reading an article in a journal and then trying to take the pencils away, we need to find ways to CHANGE the results. We need to be the change that we want to see.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    Comments for Teachers 3

    For this Comments 4 Teachers assignment, I was given Mr. Bill Genereux's blog to comment on. Mr. Genereux is an Assistant Professor of Computer System Technology at Kansas State University. He has been teaching higher education since 2001 and is currently working on his Ph.D in Education.

    Mr. Bill Genereux

    On March 25, 2011, I commented on his post titled "Kids At Work". In this post, he discussed a video from Jonathan Dale, a middle school teacher in Idaho. Mr. Dale video recorded his 5th grade students conducting a hands-on science experiment in the classroom. In the video, Mr. Dale is showing his students how to separate salt and pepper from a water solution. Any teacher who actually has passion for what they do would enjoy watching this video because you see students working together and having fun while learning. He does close-up shots on some of the children's faces and even uses their names; the classroom is also slightly loud and "chaotic". He has shared this video and is receiving some, well, unpleasant attention.

    As we all know, their are risks when it comes to putting personal information about ourselves on the internet and people sometimes"freak out" when you put a child's picture/video on the internet for anyone to see. Mr. Genereux points out that, yes, there may be a few risks in sharing these things, but there are also risks in NOT sharing them. He also makes a good point when he says: "Because Jonathan Dale has taken the time to create and share a video, we get to see a positive message about school in a time when such messages are rare. I wish a thousand teachers would do what Dale is doing!" This cannot be said any better.

    In my response to  Mr. Genereux's post, I started off by replying to his comment about some people having a problem, or being uncomfortable, with the volume and chaoticness of the classroom. So what if it gets a little noisy and sometimes a little chaotic, seeing students actually enjoy learning is truly amazing; what better type of classroom is there? I also told him that I felt withholding videos such as Mr. Dale's, is also "damaging" and I shared a segment of one of my previous posts:

    ” “Ideas do not belong to us individually but they belong to us as a culture. We as educators must be in the business of sharing ideas freely.” This is such a powerful statement by Richard Miller. The internet, this virtual world, allows us to share our knowledge with people all over the world. As educators, if we are not sharing our ideas with other people, how can we even begin to say that we are doing our jobs?”

    On March 26, 2011, Mr. Genereux made a post titled "Risks of Hidden Metadata", in which he shared a video from a newscast about the dangers of uploading pictures to the internet from smartphones. Being a smartphone user, this was very eye opening and I suggest everyone watch it! I immediately went in and changed the settings on my phone. It talks about the location detecting software that phones tend to come with now. For example, you can "check-in" your location on facebook and let everyone know where you are. Well, if you have tthis geotagging enabled for certain apps on your phone, you can upload pictures to the internet and anyone can see your EXACT location. The used an example and a mom took pictures of her daughter in their home in the daughters bedroom. They then uploaded the photos and they were able to pinpoint the photo's exact location to the child's bedroom, scary, right? This just goes to show how important it is that we know how to use, and protect ouselves from, the technology we have.

    Mr. Genereux's response to the video pointed out several thought provoking points. First of all, he said, "If a picture of my kids appears in the newspaper along with their hometown, anyone with minimal technology skills could search the internet for the town name and their last name and easily come up with their home address. This feat has been possible for at least the past decade and a half. In fact, kids’ pictures have been appearing in newspapers and addresses in telephone books for decades, so why should I be freaked out if pictures from my phone provides the same information?" This is so true. People act like the internet is so dangerous but when compared to other forms of communication, such as a newspaper, you just about as many risks. Mr. Genereux very clearly states that this is merely because we don't fully understand all the newer technology and therefore we fear it, even though crime and serial killers existed way before computers were around.

    Second, Mr. Genereux states, "I am far more concerned about the five registered offenders living in and around my hometown than I am about some “internet boogieman” who may be lurking out there, waiting to find my kids through hidden metadata in pictures of them posted online. The research is clear that posting personal information online does not by itself increase the risk to kids for victimization by predators. The real risk comes from risky behaviors of kids, and from parents who aren’t paying attention to them." A great deal of the "risks" we take when using the internet can be prevented simply from knowing how to use what we have and tweeking a few settings we have. 

    Sunday, March 27, 2011

    Project 9: Skype Interview

    Blog Assignment 9

    What I Learned This Year
    By Mr. McClung

    When I read the title of this blog post, I'm not sure what I was expecting to read, but it wasn't what I found. I loved this post and I bookmarked the link so that I can go back to it and remind myself of these very important points on being a better teacher. I really like his "Be Reasonable" point. I know from personal experience that teachers often have very high expectations for their students. While it is great to have high expectations, it sets students up for disappointment when they do not reach their teachers expectations. They will, not only feel disappointed in themselves, but they will feel like they have disappointed their teachers. Even if they may have slightly disappointed their teacher, they need to be feeling encouragement from their teachers.

    Another good point that Mr. McClung made was "Don't be Afraid of Technology". This is something that we are learning in this class and most of our blog assignments have been focused around proving why we should not be afraid of it. I understand this, however, I understand that there are still a large amount of people who are still afraid of technology. But I think teachers, whether in-training or many years experienced, need to take EDM310 and learn how to do some of the things that we are learning. Technology is very useful and pathetically, it is not being utilized. So as Mr. McClung said, " jump in head first...the water feels fine."

    Another wonderful point, "Listen to Your Students." He points out that we, teachers, may be the only person that does. We do not know the life that our students go home to and we may very well be the only person they have to talk to.

    Last, but not least, he states that we need to Never Stop Learning. As I have said in previous blog posts, it is important that we, as teachers, keep our education up-to-date. No one ever finishes learning. Learning is a never ending adventure.
    a dictionary, pencil, and notebook

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    Comments for Kids 2

    C4K 4:
    My student's blog was a child named Raenan. He is a year 6 student at Pt. England School in Auckland, NZ, and his teacher's name is Mr. Barks. Raenan is nine years old and wants to be a fireman when he gets older. In his spare time he enjoys rollerblading, riding his bike, and playing his PlayStation2. In Raenan's most recent post, he embedded a video of an interview with the famous swimmer, Hayley Palmer. Hayley is a nation and international swimmer who has won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games and went to the 2008 Olympics. I am not sure why Raenan shared this video in his blog. Therefore, in my response to him, I told him I enjoyed watching it and also asked him why he choose to share it.

    C4K 5:
    This student's blog was by a child named Victoria. She is a year 8 student at Pt. England School in Auckland, NZ. Her teacher's name is Ms. Tito. When I went to Victoria's blog, her most recent post was done on March 1, 2011. In her post she wrote a prayer for the people in Christchurch who were victims of the devastating earthquake. It was a very touching and genuine prayer asking for God to touch the families who have lost loved ones and to help them stop crying and be happy again. She also prayed that the people who were still stuck under the building to be okay. In my response to her post, I told her that her prayer was very touching and that it was very kind of her to take time to pray for these people.
    The aftermath of the earthquake in Christchurch
    This was the attached picture to Victoria's blog post.
    C4K 6:
    For this assignment, I was given a video to watch that students in New Zealand made. The video was filmed by Mitchell and Kris who attend Melville Intermediate. They are in Room 8 and their teacher's name is Mr. Webb. These students researched the sport Handball, which is a game they play for fun on their lunch breaks. After watching their video, the game Handball, reminds me of a game we play here called Four Square. I commented on their post telling them who I was and that their video was interesting. I, also, told them that watching their video proves how interesting the different games cultures play are. They did a great job in filming their video and I really hope they enjoy having technology incorporated into their classroom and learning experiences.

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Project 13: SMART Board Lesson

    This was a collaborative project, using the SMART Board, by Jenna Baxter, Kelsey Robinson, Kristan Steele, and Woodie Holloway.

         After teaching our lesson, we sent our test to our "students". Three, of our four, students answered all of the questions correctly and the fourth student only answered one incorrectly. Great job! The following is a summary of the test results in the form of graphs:

    Which planet is farthest from the Sun?

    Which of the following planets have moon(s)?

    Which planet is closest to the Sun?

    Which planet(s) have rings?

    Which planet(s) can support life?

    Which planet is called Earth's "sister" planet?

    How many planets are in our Solar System?

    Several of our questions could not be put into graph form so this does not show the result of all of them.

         I really enjoyed my first experience with a SMART Board. I have never been taught with one or used one. If given the opportunity, I would definitely love to be able to have a SMART Board in my future classroom and I know I would use it regularly. In creating this survey/form/test, I learned a new way to create a test and another interesting thing that I can do in Google Docs.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Blog Assignment 8

    This is How We Dream 
    by Richard E. Miller

         Richard Miller points out some things that really show how our learning has changed. Quite often, we do not carry pens, pencils, books and paper to class; we simply carry a laptop. This video was made a few years ago and we can even assume now that iphones, ipods, and ipads (and other similar devices) have replaced some of the laptops carried to class. The devices we use to learn are forever changing and expanding, becoming more compact and easier to carry but able to do much, much more.
         We have the means to communicate "instantly and globally." You can easily do research for a paper or project without actually touching a book or stepping foot in a library. Libraries are becoming more and more available online. You can, virtually, "go" anywhere while, literally, going nowhere. You can learn from reading text about a specific historical "happening" or you can learn by visually viewing videos or images that you find on websites all over the internet.
         "Ideas do not belong to us individually but they belong to us as a culture. We as educators must be in the business of sharing ideas freely." This is such a powerful statement by Richard Miller. The internet, this virtual world, allows us to share our knowledge with people all over the world. As educators, if we are not sharing our ideas with other people, how can we even begin to say that we are doing our jobs?

    EDM310 for Dummies and The Chipper Series

         I watched both of these videos at the beginning of the semester and they were a funny, but helpful, way to introduce us to EDM310 and how important our education is. EDM310 for Dummies gave good advice on how to stay SANE during this semester. It prepared you for what was to come during the semester and gave useful sites that would help along the way. The Chipper Series was a humorous way to show how important it is to go to school and get your education and the troubles you may experience if you do not.
         I would like to participate in an instructional video that more clearly explains to the students how to use Twitter. For the first few weeks of the semester I could not figure out Twitter to save my life. I had a friend, that is not in EDM310, show me how to use Twitter and now I understand. Had we been  provided an instructional video explaining these things to us more clearly, I would have used it and greatly appreciated it.

    Learning to Change, Changing to Learn

         This video discusses the ways technology can enhance the education of our young people today and how many schools make them give up these ways during school hours. Texting, blogging, emailing, skyping, and so much more, are often banned when inside the walls of a school (where they could be most useful). These technologies and devices allow students to learn outside of the classroom; so why are we forbidding them INSIDE the classroom? I agree with everything said in this video. Allowing these things to be used in a classroom will allow students to learn on a much broader level. When we do not allow them to do these things, we are preventing them from learning to their full potential. I think teachers all over our country need to watch this video and think about the BENEFITS that cellphones and computers can provide for our students, our future.
    teaching with technology

    The Secret Powers of Time
    by Philip Zambardo
    Drive: The Truth About What Motivates Us 
    by David Pink

       The video The Secret Powers of Time was very creatively made. I enjoyed watching it and was a little disappointed when it ended. In this video, Professor Philip Zimbardo discusses the different types of people in the world and the things that they focus on: the past, present, or the future. He discusses religion, family, education, success, and money. He uses statistics to show us how people's values and lifestyles have changed. When he mentioned the number of people who do not have sit-down family dinners, I thought about his statistically numbers. Twenty years ago, 60% of American families had sit-down family dinners. I was just being born twenty years ago but I remember having sit-down family dinners when I was younger. Now that I am older, my parent's are divorced, and my sister has moved out, it is normally only on holidays that we have sit-down family dinners. The number of people who sacrifice family time, sleep time, and friends to be successful is sad but impressive. It is unfortunate that success sometimes requires sacrificing all these things at some point in your life. I really enjoyed this video.
         David Pink tells us in the beginning of his video Drive: The Truth About What Motivates Us, that he wants to talk about how we are motivated and two specific studies: If you reward something do you get more of the behavior you want? If you punish something do you get less of the behavior you want? If you reward something you do not always get more of the behavior you want. If you offer really big rewards to people for certain challenges, sometimes they will try too hard, get frustrated and end up failing. When you ask someone to do something that requires creativity they do not do as well with monetary rewards. It makes sense to me! I enjoyed this video, as well, but not as much as I enjoyed the first video.

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Project 11

    For this assignment, I chose to discuss why I wanted to be a teacher.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Blog Assignment 7

    Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

          Randy Pausch tells you that during his video he will discuss: his childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others, and lessons learned. He begins by talking about his childhood dreams: be in zero gravity, play in the NFL, author an article in the World Book encyclopedia, be Captain Kirk, win stuffed animals, and be a Disney Imagineer. He achieved all of these dreams except for playing in the NFL. However, he uses the quote, "experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." to describe how he feels about not achieving it. Although he did not play in the NFL, he discusses the football coach he had and talks about the critics that we encounter in our life. His coach was a critic to his football. We, as educators, are critics to our students. I think it is important to point out to our students, at an early age, that we are not there to tell them they aren't doing well to be mean/hurtful but because we care and we want them to be successful. Pausch says that critics are simply people that are trying to help us because they care about us and love us; when people stop criticizing you when you are doing something wrong, they have given up on you.

         Pausch points out that no matter what we try to achieve in life, we will most likely run into "brick walls" here and there. He says brick walls are there simply to prove to us how much we want something and to stop those who do not want things bad enough. This is very accurate. Throughout my life, I have hit quite a few "brick walls." It is important, though, that we teach our students to not give up until you reach the other side.

         Randy Pausch proceeds to tell us how he created a class called Building Virtual Worlds. In this class, there were 50 students chosen at random to work in groups for two weeks. Every two weeks the assigned group and assignment were changed. This forced students to work together as a team, multiple times, with different people. In doing this, you learn people skills. You learn how to interact and work with other people. They also learned how well other people were able to work with them by putting data into bar graphs. Seeing where you need to make improvements to yourself can help you be a better teammate and a better (future) teacher. This will not only benefit the students in the classroom but in life as well. He makes a very true statement when he says "The best gift an educator can give is to teach someone to be self-reflective."

         He also talks about the use of technology to involve a large group of people at one time. Using interactive learning can really keep the attention in a classroom. If you give all of your students something to do to interact in the learning process, they are more likely to walk away remembering more than they would have if they had watched the instructor lecture while flashing a power point slide show. Allowing students to have fun while they learn something that would, otherwise, be boring is truly great.

         Towards the end of his lecture, he talks about the role of parents and mentors. I can honestly say, I do not know if I would be as passionate about my education if it were not for my mother. My mother has played a huge role in my life and has always encouraged me to do my best and achieve what I know I am capable of and even more. As for my mentors, I would say that I have had two teachers who have played a very big role in my wanting to become, not just a teacher, but a life changing teacher. I had a teacher in elementary school who started my love for education. She made learning fun and she loved coming to work everyday and working with her students. The second, would be my English teacher from my junior year of high school. Not only was she an amazing person who was there for her students unconditionally, she made learning enjoyable. I only hope that I can have as big of an impact on my students lives as they have had on mine.

         I only have one more thing to touch on. Randy Pausch had 10 cancerous tumors on his liver but he did not let it stop him. We can all learn from this; every single person can learn from his attitude. He is dying and he knows it and yet he is so content with where he is. We can go through life and let one small thing put us in a horrible mood. From now on, we should think about Randy Pausch when we are feeling a little more like Eeyore than Tigger.

    a small collection of pictures of randy with his family

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Comments for Teachers 2

    I was assigned to comment on Ms. Angela Maiers blog for this weeks assignment and after reading her most recent post, I am more than thankful that I was assigned her blog. Her post was titled World Read Aloud Day 2011: Words Changing Worlds. She says, "World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people." World Read Aloud Day is on March 9, 2011, and you can find links (for more information about participating) in her blog. Attached to her post she has a video and this is what she said about it, "See first hand how the simple act of reading a book aloud to a student unleashes the full power of words and changes lives in the process." I encourage you all to watch the video. As I watched it, I was truly touched by the pure enjoyment of children having a story read to them. The video tells you several devastating facts:

    • Over 72 MILLION children around the world are NOT in school.
    • 759 MILLION people worldwide are illiterate and two-thirds of them are women. 
    • 10.3 MILLION teachers will be needed worldwide to achieve universal primary education.

    "Together we can ensure that all children will learn to read stories to change their lives. And tell their own stories to change the world." This video is truly inspirational and I think every teacher and teachers in training should be required to watch it. I am not going to lie, I was even a little choked up while watching and I cannot wait to make a difference, even in the lives of just a few children. The following is a little bit of my response to Ms. Angela Maiers blog post and the video:

    "...After reading this post, and watching the video, I cannot help but to think of all the people who CAN read and write but take it for granted. When you think of the number of children, and adults, who cannot read or write and would love to have the opportunity to learn but do not have the means, it is depressing. However, to have people like Pam who go all the way to Kenya and read such an encouraging story to young people is truly amazing. The response to Charlotte's Web from Diana should be looked at as motivation to all of those who CAN read and encourage them to teach others. After hearing the story she sees the importance of bravery and if you can positively influence just one child's life by reading a story, well, it cannot get much better than that..."

    Now I leave you with these two questions and I would love to hear your answers:
    • Are you taking your literacy for granted? 
    • How can you make a difference?

    all literacy begins with the alphabet!
    All literacy begins with the alphabet.

    "WRAD Assignment: What would you miss most if you could not read or write?," is the title of Ms. Maiers second post that I commented on. In her post, she simply asks you to think about this question and then answer it. Doing just that, I decided I would be devastated without these abilities! Think of all the simple things that you would not be able to do. You would not be able to read a simple recipe, write a distant loved one a letter, or even read what you are right now. In my response to her post, I stated that as a person that has had the pleasure of these abilities, I know I would be devastated to no longer have them. However, a person who has never experienced these luxuries, doesn't know what they are missing out on and how horrible is that? It is up to us, the future educators, to change that. I have always loved to read and I will always love to read. I just can't imagine life without a good book in hand! So what would YOU miss most if you could not read or write?

    Project 10: PLN- Progress Report 1

    It has taken me a while to figure out exactly what my PLN is but I am catching on. I have found the website "Symbaloo" to be very useful. So far, I have added a few websites to my Symbaloo webmix. I have created several webmixes. My first webmix is for my personal use so that I can get to my most frequented pages all from one location. I have titled my second webmix "EDM310 PLN" and I have added the websites that I most frequently use for this class:

    • for my EDM310 blog and the EDM310 class blog
    • used to follow EDM310 staff and other students
    • which I use for all of my emailing for this class
    • which is also used to upload videos for EDM310
    • for use in several classes to have access to documents at any computer

    an example of someone's symbaloo

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Comments for Kids 1

    C4K #1:
    My first assigned kids blog was a child named Anthony. Anthony's school is located on the West Coast of Canada in Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. He plays a wide variety of sports ranging from soccer to skiing. His favorite subject is math and he likes to spend his summer vacations traveling to Mexico with his family. He says one of his favorite things about winter is to build snowmen; if it snowed here, building snowmen would be my favorite too!
    I read through his blog to get to know him and I read several of his posts. One of my favorite posts was his post about healthy eating habits. He stated that eating healthy was important to him because he plays sports. However, our assignment was to comment on the most recent post. Anthony's most recent post was his weekly joke. I was humored, but taken back, when I read his joke about passing gas. Not sure if it was appropriate for me to comment on this, I discussed it with the EDM310 staff who made a good point. This types of situations are going to come up in the classroom and it is a good idea to learn to handle them now. I told Anthony that I enjoyed his blog and that he was doing a great job. I, also, nicely pointed out that while some jokes really make us laugh, some jokes are more appropriate when not associated with school. When thinking about it, I would say I was lucky to be faced with such a situation early on.

    different sports balls

    C4K #2:
    My second assigned kids blog was for a child named Vaifoa. Vaifo is in year four at Port England School in Auckland, NZ. His teacher's name is Miss King. His post was titled My Holiday. On Vaifoa's holiday, he went swimming, he went to KFC for dinner, and on Christmas day, he went with his mom and got a bike. He also had a picture embedded into his blog. In my response to Vaifoa's post, I complemented him on the creativity he used in his picture. I, also, told him that his holiday sounded like fun.

    Vaifoa's picture
    This is Vaifoa's Picture

    C4K #3:
    My third assigned blog belongs to a student named Jesiah. He is, also, at the Port England School in Auckland, NZ, and is in year six. His teacher's name is Mr Somerville. His post was about a cookie and how the cookie resembled earthquake's and the moon. He said that his cookie had craters like the moon and crevices like earthquake's. He also used the "tawny" to describe its color and stated that the cookie was spotted. What vocabulary for an elementary school student! I was impressed. In my response, I told him who I was and why I was commenting on his blog. I then agreed with him that the crevices in his cookie resembled the crevices that are sometimes left on the ground after earthquakes.

    This is Jesiah's cookie.

    Project 9b

    Sources used for the information in this timeline are:

    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    Blog Assignment 5

    iPod touch
    100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better 
    By Valene

    I have previously owned an iPod Touch and I now own an iPhone. Therefore, I have personally experienced the educational benefits of having such a device. I have downloaded study guides and audio summaries for several different classes and you can easily study on the go. There are so many different applications that can be downloaded and used to help teachers or students and it does not hurt that you can also have fun with these devices. Being able to purchase books for personal or educational use is easier and cheaper on these devices. You can get sparknotes, podcast help, and so much more!

    podcasting logo
    The Education Podcast Network

    WOW! This website has so much information on podcasts. You can spend just a few minutes on this website and learn so much about podcasting. You can find out what a podcast is, how to make one, and view podcasts made by students and classes. There are so many podcasts on this site for your viewing which can help you learn more in case you are wanting to do your own podcast. I would definitely recommend this site to anyone wanting to do a podcast but not knowing where to start. I have a feeling I will be coming back to this website for my own personal use.

    The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
    By Joe Dale

    There are so many ways podcasting can be beneficial in a classroom, if used properly. Podcasting can make learning more fun for our students. As we all know by now, technology is an easy way to grasp a students attention because it plays such a big role in our lives today. Podcasting also allows students to be interactive with other students that are not in the same classroom. One of the biggest benefits I liked from this video was a child who is sick and unable to come to school. Instead of having to wait until they return to school to get their work, they can simply watch a podcast that explains the same material to them while they are at home. This will help prevent a child from getting too far behind while trying to feel better. Parents can also watch podcasts that explain instructions for assignments and know exactly how to help their child and know what their child is doing in the classroom. This video also provided helpful links about making podcasts.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Project 8 Podcast

    Click here or the picture below to listen to our podcast about E-books in education.

    This podcast was a collaborative effort by: Jenna Baxter, Woodie Holloway, Kristan Steele, and Kelsey Robinson.

    picture of books going into a laptop

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Blog Assignment 4

    Children learning technology
    Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
    by Scott McLeod

         Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor in the Education Administration program at Iowa State University. He is also the director of CASTLE (Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education.) He has received national awards for technology leadership work.
          In Mr. McLeod's post titled "Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?", he discusses various flaws to the technology that is commonly used today and says not to teach your kids these types of things. However, at the end he states that he is teaching his own kids these things. So the point is, technology, like anything, has its ups and downs but not allowing your children to use technology will, more than likely, harm them in the long run. With as fast as technology is advancing and with how much it is used in almost any work place, it is easy to say that technology is a necessity.
         Although technology is good in many ways, we cannot ignore the bad things. There is the risk of cyberbullying, inappropriate content, etc. However, the downs to technology can almost all be prevented by teaching children the proper ways to use the internet and enhancing privacy settings and parental controls. We cannot focus on just the good aspects or just the bad aspects and we cannot replace everything with technology.

    iPod Touch
    The iSchool Initiative

         The iSchool Initiative is a video by a high school senior with an extraordinary idea. He could not be more right about schools having budget cuts, getting rid of teachers and making classes larger. Larger classes can save money for a school system but it provides less time for the students to get more individual time for extra help. Using an iTouch in the classroom can make a huge difference.
         Using the iTouch can save a ton of money for the parents and the school and it can make it easier for parents to help their student stay on top of their school work and due dates. Being able to use books on the iTouch rather than having to use textbooks has many pluses. You would not have to spend all the money on textbooks, it would be better for the environment, and less to have to carry around. Not having to buy graphing calculators, books, or nearly as much paper, can adjust the budget enough to possibly be able to have fewer budget cuts.

    Family is the most important thing, without it, you have nothing.

    Lost Generation

         This video was, sadly, true. It is very sad to me that so often these days, family is not more important than work and family is put second, sometimes even third or fourth.  My experience working in a daycare I too often saw parents who cared more about their career than they did their own children and it broke my heart. As much as I know I will love my career as an educator, my family will always come first. I was raised that way by my mom; she was always there for me any time I needed her and I will do the same for my children.
         So I agree with her completely. You cannot assume that an entire generation is the same way and will live the same life. Anyone can change the world if they set their mind to it. Therefore, I, also, refuse to be part of the lost generation. Money does not make happiness and happiness does come from within. Family will always come first to me.

    Virtual Choir 

    Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

         This video is the perfect example of how advanced technology is. It is truly astonishing that you can do something like this and not even be in the same room or the same country. Twelve different countries and 185 different people singing together but never having to leave home. Without technology, this would not have been possible at all.

    21st Century Teaching
    Teaching in the 21st Century

         This video is full of valid information. Teaching in the twenty-first century is so different than it was years ago. Technology has come a long way and we are able to access it anywhere. At anytime, we can get the answers and all the facts that we need off of countless websites. The only problem is, how do we know which websites hold valid and truthfully information.  In the twenty-first century, this is where teachers come in. Teachers should be teaching skills, rather than facts. We know that students will find answers on the internet, so it is time that we show them the proper ways to go about getting them.
         We use the internet to get the answers we need so would it really be fair to tell our students they cannot? Absolutely not. It is time to accept that the internet is used to do just about anything and showing the students how to pick the correct websites and information is the next step.