Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blog Assignment 14- Final Reflection

Project 16

Project 13

To prepare for projects 15 and 16 without meeting as a group, my group primarily interacted through e-mail and text. It was actually quite effective and we did not run in to any problems. It showed me just how helpful technology can be and that you don't have to be person to person with someone to get ideas and points across. We were able to simply send each other ideas or opinions as they came to us and that was extremely helpful since new ideas would come to us when we weren't in the same place to share them with each other. I enjoyed working on these projects and the methods we used to communicate.
comic about email and texting

Sunday, April 29, 2012

C4T #4

   For this C4T, I was assigned to Mr. Bernia's blog entitled, "The Principal's Principles". Mr. Bernia is a middle-school principal and in his 9 years of being in the field of education he has been a school custodian, a teacher, an assistant principal and now a principal.
   His first post that I commented on was, Our Parent Plan for Next Year. In this post, he described some of the actions and plans he wanted to implement in his school to further involve the parents of the students as well as the community. He had some great ideas including a parent book club and even an event called, coffee with the principal. I really respect his motivation to get the parents and community more involved in the schools. I responded to him by thanking him for his ideas and explaining that as a future teacher, I have been told just how vital community and parental support is to the success of a school. I know I will take with me these ideas and techniques to further help me in my future career.
   His next post I commented on was, What to do About Kony 2012. We have all heard about this issue whether it be from the news, social networking sites, or others in passing. Mr. Bernia received and e-mail from a student asking him to view the video put out by The Invisible Children Organization. About a month later, four of Mr. Bernia's eighth graders asked to meet with him. They explained to him that they wanted to do something to raise the issue of Kony 2012. Their reasoning? They heard about the children soldiers and wanted to help raise awareness. They explained that they began to realize how lucky they are to live where they live and have what they have and that they wanted the other students to feel the same way. I remarked on his post and told him how wonderful it was to see young people thinking on a global level. To have children of such a young age feel humility and pain for other children is a beautiful and inspiring thing. These students didn't want recognition or to become followers of an issue that has become so viral, they simply wanted to help those less fortunate than them. I think we can all learn a lesson on gratitude and humility from these students.

bring Kony 2012 down

Blog Assignment #13

cellphones banned at school
This was a very difficult assignment. It was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I did fine for the first few hours with no technology. No T.V.? Piece of cake! No Facebook? Bring it on! No cellphone? So not happening! I couldn't bring myself to turn my phone off so I wouldn't use it. I am so used to being in contact daily with friends, family, and my boyfriend that I hated the idea of not being in contact with them even for 24 hrs. This assignment showed me the extraordinary dependence we have on technology. I kept finding myself going to get on the computer or turn on the T.V. simply out of habit. Technology is such a part of my everyday life that I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was even going to use technology. I had to stop myself and remember I was not supposed to use it. Although I failed, quite horribly in fact, at this assignment, I learned that we truly are living in an era of technology. Our hands are glued to our cell phones and our eyes are glued to our computers and televisions. So, what does this realization mean for me as a future teacher? This assignment helped to further show me that as bad as I am with my dependence on technology, kids are ten times worse. For many children, not a day in their life has gone by where they didn't experience some form of interaction with technology. As a future teacher, it is important that I remember this. It is the responsibility of the teacher to teach to their students in the most effective way possible. If technology is what interests and engages them, then use technology! I want my future students to enjoy learning and retain what I am teaching them and technology will be a huge help in achieving this goal. I must say, however, that I do not feel bad about my "addiction" to technology because many of the reasons I use it are for educational purposes and to stay in touch with people I care about. I am thankful for technology and am excited to see just how far it will go in the future.

Project 15-Smartboard Presentation Part 2

Final Report on PLN

I have really grown to love my Symbaloo page. I add new things to it weekly and enjoy having all my social networks, educational sites,class sites and all my other most visited websites all on one page for me to view. I have included tiles on there to blogs I have visited through C4K and C4T so I can keep up with new things that are posted and gain ideas. I know I will continue to update my Symbaloo regularly and it will be a valuable resource for me in my college and professional career.
personal learning network

Sunday, April 22, 2012

C4K Summary for April

child blogging

For the worldwide blogging challenge I was assigned to a student named Joe. Joe enjoys sports and art, especially drawing. He explained to me that he was new to blogging and having a lot of fun with it. Unfortunately, I only received one comment back from him and he only made three posts. The first post of his I commented on was one in which he described a website you could go to and create your own clay avatar. I went to the website and created my own and thanked him for sharing. His second post I commented on was a picture he liked of a house in a meadow with a thatched roof. I commented several other times and offered encouragement for him to make more posts. Hopefully he will try to do more with his blog in the future.

The next blog I commented on was that of Room 9@ PT England School in Auckland, New Zealand. I was assigned to a student named Daniel. He created a video in which he read aloud a sentence he wrote about their class game of tee-ball. He was practicing using new beginnings to sentences and chose to begin his sentence with, straightaway. I commented on his post and told him how much I liked his video and how creative I thought it was for him to start his sentence the way he did. Check out Daniel's video

Progess Report on Final Project

For our final project, our group has decided to make an instructional video for children on how to make a webpage. We feel this will be beneficial as it will give students a chance to do something they think would be too hard or complicated for them. A student could create a webpage for their class or themselves. This project will also teach us how to make a webpage and one day teach our future students how.
website 101

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

They say that curiosity killed the cat, but is lack of curiosity killing our student's education? I believe children have an innate curiosity that must be fostered and not discouraged. I think one of the main reasons the curiosity and creativity of today's student is being diminished is due to the strict curriculum teachers must follow for state testing purposes. Teachers are under so much pressure to prepare their students for tests and meet standards that, more often than not, the teacher finds difficulty in finding time and ways to incorporate creativity into the lesson being taught. Children don't really have a chance to be curious because the "plain hard facts" are being poured into them like water into a cup. Unfortunately, teaching this way often produces a hole in that cup and as soon as a child is tested on what they have been taught, they forget it. The water drains out quite fast. Students are also made to feel like their questions don't matter or that there is no time for them to question something. They are not given a chance to form their own opinion. They are told WHAT to think and not given the opportunity to discover WHY they should believe it.

I think one way to encourage curiosity in a child's curriculum is to have more student-led learning. Students need to be given a chance to find some of the answers on their own. They need to feel excited about learning and feel a part of their learning process. Teachers must try to find a way to guide the student-led learning to make sure they are receiving appropriate answers and material to their questions. This could be aided through the use of digital kits. Digital kits are a collection of images, websites, videos and other digital sources that a teacher puts together. The kits can then be used by a student to research a topic. This way the student is still doing much of the learning on their own but the teacher is still guiding their process and is ensuring that they are receiving proper and correct information.

As far as creativity goes, a child must be allowed to explore their creativity and find out what they are good at. Creativity can be encouraged through engagement of the student. When the student is engaged, they are more likely to enjoy the learning process and actually absorb what they are being taught. Creativity allows a child to feel like an individual and to express their feelings and opinions on a subject. I think technology is a fantastic way to foster creativity. Things such as a smartboard will engage the child and get their creative juices flowing. Class blogs are another great way to foster a child's creativity. Blogging gives children a chance to express their ideas and opinions in a way that is fun and interesting. Through this, they are also learning how to navigate the web and technology which will no doubt benefit them in their future careers. Teachers need to educate themselves on the different uses of technology in the classroom. It is the duty of the teacher to provide the best environment possible for the learning of students. Just as a student is being taught something new constantly, the teacher must also try and educate themselves on a regular basis. Things change everyday and the teacher must stay up to date on new developments, especially in technology.

I feel the ideas I have offered would have no doubt aided in the growth of my curiosity and creativity as a child. Even as an adult, I still am just as curious as ever and love to express my creativity. Obviously one of my past teachers did something right. Schools need to back the teachers up on their ideas and help them. The teacher cannot do it alone. They need administrative and parental support. Unfortunately, this is not always given. I think many times people forget that, as cliche as it sounds, it really is all about the children. As future educators, it is our responsibility to learn now what we need to know to help change the future school system. Someone has to do it and it might as well be us.

"Curiosity in children is but an appetite for knowledge. One great reason why children abandon themselves wholly to silly pursuits and trifle away their time insipidly is, because they find their curiosity balked, and their inquiries neglected."-John Locke

child holding rainbow

Blog Assignment #12

post it note that reads blog

Class blogs can be very beneficial to the education and creativity of students. It gives them a chance to share their work, look at fellow classmates work, and also explore other classes blogs from all over the world. There are different blog sites to choose from when you as a teacher decide to create a page for your class. One of these sites is, Class Bogmeister.
Explore the site and click on blogs from the countries and states given. Your assignment is:
1. Choose three blogs you come across and write a paragraph describing each one and what tips and ideas you learned.
2. Choose one of the three blogs and comment on it. Explain to the teacher who you are and ask them if they have any advice for you as a future teacher that wants to incorporate blogging into your classroom.
3. Explain in one to two paragraphs the benefits of blogging in the classroom or, if you so choose, explain why you feel blogging in the classroom is not beneficial but be sure to back up your opinion whatever it may be.

Refer back to Ms. Cassidy's videos if you need any help. Also, watch How to Use Class Blogmeister as a Student and Class Blogmeister Initial Setup. These will show you how to set up a blog as a student and as a teacher.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blog Assignment #11

First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class

I loved this video. It is always amazing to see first hand the effects and positive aspects of using technology in the classroom. Ms. Cassidy uses different forms of technology including computers and even Nintendo DS's. The children experience with blogs, webpages, wikis, videos, and Skype. One thing I think I will definitely use in my future classroom is blogs. I have so enjoyed learning to use blogs in EDM 310 and think it's a great tool for grade school children as well. The kids on the video explained how blogs have helped them improve their writing skills and spelling. They also love having an audience to share their work with. I think it's fantastic to have a class blog so parents and anyone else who is interested can keep up with what your class is doing and learning on a daily basis. I think the only major problem I might face would be that of internet safety. However, Ms. Cassidy explains that it is completely possible to keep students safe. She never uses lasts names and never matches a name to the child's picture. She also provides safe links for her students on the class blog and explains to them what links to not click on that might pop-up. I love what Ms. Cassidy is doing with technology in her classroom and have gained many valuable tips and wonderful advice that I will carry into my future teaching career.


Skype Interview With Ms. Cassidy

It was great to watch the interview with Ms. Cassidy and delve a little deeper into her uses for technology in her classroom. She truly understands that technology is apart of our world and is not going anywhere. She knows that technology is the "norm" for today's child and that it will only benefit and help strengthen their learning experiences. I admire the fact that she really dove into technology and learned all she could and also continues to learn as technology advances. I agree with her that every teacher should be technology literate and not by past standards but by today's. It is not enough to know how to perform "basic" functions on the computer. That is only a starting off point to learning all you can about technology and how to use it to help teach your students. By not learning to use technology to its full potential, she says you are, "handicapping your students and yourself". In this class we are beginning to learn techniques we will use as future teachers, but it is only a jumping off point. We must continue to stay abreast of changes and advances in technology. I am officially sold on the idea of technology in the classroom and am excited to one day get to apply what I have learned to my future teaching career.

Ms. Cassidy mentions that she uses a program called Class Blogmeister for her students to use to blog. I have included a video that teaches children how to use Class Blogmeister in their classroom and I thought I would share it.

How To Use Class Blogmeister As A Student

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blog Assignment #10

Do You Teach or Do You Educate

I became an education major first and foremost because I love children. I want to help them and be a part of them growing up. I want to serve an important role in who they become as adults. Teaching is so much more than just filling a head with facts. A teacher needs to be a mentor, a guide, and a confident. I want my students to know I am there for them and will listen to what they have to say. I want them to be excited about learning and to crave new knowledge.

This video shows the differences between a teacher and an educator. Most of the definitions for a teacher focus on giving information and causing someone to learn something. An educator, however, is one who gives not only intellectual instruction but moral and social as well. I want to be a part of my students’ lives. I want to help their creativity to blossom and help them figure out who they are as people. Teachers play a huge role in a child's life. After all, they are with them five days a week for eight hours a day. Teachers grow to know their students on a different level. I want to educate my students but also serve as an open ear and a friend. Students may not have that at home and the teacher might be the only one who truly cares. I hope my students will remember me and what I teach them in a positive way and know that I was there for them in every aspect of their lives.

Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home

I love the approach Tom Johnson took in this post. What I took from this is that there are many issues stemming from the use of technology in schools. The “pencils”, to me, represent technology. So many administrators, teachers, and parents are not able or not willing to see the positive results that can come from the use of technology in the classroom. Tom Johnson explains that even at home, children might be playing a game or surfing the web but there is always a possibility that they are learning something. I think also that if a teacher is properly teaching their students about technology and proper safety measures, then the student will be less likely to abuse the internet or technology at home. Technology engages a child and spurs creativity. Engagement and creativity….hmmmm.. what horrible things to inspire in a child!

The key here is to EDUCATE teachers, students, administrators and parents about technology. Children today are growing up in a technology based society but the older generation did not. You must show those who do not know the positive implications that result from technology. We must also stop focusing so much on test scores. A child must be taught to LEARN and REMEMBER not HEAR and MEMORIZE. I believe a child is more likely to remember a lesson that engaged them and kept their attention then a lesson that is simply full of facts that are crammed into their heads. Technology is a fantastic way to achieve better retention and understanding of lessons being taught.

I like how Tom Johnson used something as ridiculous as not being allowed to take pencils home to show how equally ridiculous it is to have such a resistance to the use of technology in the classroom. In EDM 310, I have learned nothing that convinces me that I should not use technology in my future classroom. I want to be the best and most effective teacher I can be and if there is something to aid in that goal then I surely will be using it. I really enjoyed this post and it was a great take on the need to educate others about technology and focus on its positive aspects. There is good and bad with anything, but if we are teaching our students to be responsible with everything else in their lives then technology should be no different.

change sign

Sunday, April 1, 2012

C4T #3

I was assigned to Mr. Bill Ferriter who is a 6th grade Language Arts teacher in North Carolina. His blog is entitled, The Tempered Radical. The first post of his that I commented on was, Using Google Docs to Create Digital Kits for Student Projects. What is a digital kit? Essentially, it's a collection of images, sounds, music, and videos that correlate with the curriculum being taught. They are very helpful because it gives students all the materials they would need for a project and saves the time of each student spending hours and hours on the internet searching for materials. They are also good because the teacher can make sure all the information they provide are available to be used without permission. In this post, Mr. Ferriter explained the benefits of using Google Docs to create a digital kit. One big benefit of using Google Docs is the fact that the teacher can share the kit with the students and the students can share their projects with one click of a button. Plus, they can simply provide a link to their projects online.
I started working on a digital kit just for fun and am really enjoying it. I have loved using, Creative Commons which is a website that provides you with digital materials that are available for reuse without having to deal with copyright issues. You should check it out and use it even for our blog assignment photos. I thanked Mr. Ferriter for his post and explained to him that I always enjoy learning new and interesting ways to teach my future students. Here is a great link to a Slide Share presentation that explains a little more about digital kits, Digital Kits for Differentiation and Engagement

The second post by Mr. Ferriter that I commented on was titled, What Can Schools Learn from Best Buy's Continuing Troubles? He compared the troubles Best Buy is facing (stores closing due to competition from online sources) to the troubles traditional schools are facing. He feels traditional schools are also on the brink of extinction. He explains that people go to Best Buy for the human interaction and to physically view the product. However, the employees are not being trained or paid as well as they should be and Mr. Ferriter feels this compares to school teachers and their training and pay.

I commented on his post and agreed with the comparison he made. I explained to him that as a future teacher, I worry about finding a job when I graduate and that even though I am receiving a wonderful education and will be well qualified, I worry that qualifications other than simply having a degree might not matter for much. I know that education has a long way to go and I hope that soon teachers will again receive the credit and acknowledgement they deserve.

Blog Assignment #9

What I Learned This Year 2008-2009

This post describes Mr. McClung's first year teaching school in Noel, Missouri. He describes some important things he has learned from his first year as an educator. He summarizes his experiences into a few main points. His first point was, "How to Read the Crowd". This point discusses the need to develop lesson plans that are student based and not to not be so focused on pleasing your superiors. I think this is very important advice because many teachers lose sight of their purpose which is to engage the students and make sure they are learning to their full potential. His second point was, "Be Flexible". He explains in this section that it's okay to make mistakes and not be perfect. Things will go wrong but you just have to learn to go with the flow and fix problems as they arise. The next piece of advice he gives is to, "Communicate". He feels, and I fully agree, that effective communication is one of the most important qualities to possess. As an educator, communication helps you resolve problems with coworkers, deal with parents, and get through to your students. "Be Reasonable" deals with not setting our expectations too high for students. Of course you should expect a great deal from them but you shouldn't get mad at them when they don't meet your expectations. Instead of discouraging them, you should encourage them to just try again. Kids are not perfect, neither are we, and educators need to remember this. His next point is, "Don't Be Afraid of Technology". This is a very important piece of advice for today's educator. He explains that most adults are wary about computers and afraid to learn how to use them. Technology is a part of our world and can be very beneficial in the classroom. If it can help the students learn in a more efficient, productive manner than you should want to learn how to use it. "Listen to Your Students"! Teachers need to learn all they can about their students. As a teacher, you may be the only person they have that will listen to them. They need to feel like they can talk to you and know fully that you are LISTENING to what they say. The last point he makes is, “Never Stop Learning". Teachers expect their students to learn new things daily but some teachers forget that they should be open to learning new things as well. I think this is one of the most important points he makes. How can we better ourselves as teachers if we aren't constantly learning new and improved ways to teach our students?

What I learned This Year 2010-2011

In this post, Mr. McClung discusses his third year teaching. Like his post describing his first year teaching, he breaks down his thoughts into a few main points. His first point is, "Know Who Your Boss Is". This point reflects some statements he made in his first post. Those being, you need to keep your teaching student-based and not focus on pleasing your superiors. As teachers, students are the main focus and many teachers lose sight of this. Teachers must always remember that the students are a reflection on you as the educator. His next point, "Don't Expect Others to be As Excited About Change as You Are", discusses the fact that just because you are excited about new and improving methods of teaching doesn't mean every other teacher will be too. However, you cannot let this fact discourage you from being eager to learn and apply the new methods in your own classroom. Just like in life, you can't let another person's negative attitude affect your positive one. "Don't Be Afraid to Be an Outsider", discusses the need to not feel you have to be a part of the main crowd. In life and as an educator, you need to stay true to who you are and what you believe. You can't let another person's opinions affect you. His next piece of advice is, “Don’t Touch the Keyboard". What he means by this statement is that as teachers you need to encourage your students to learn independently. If you constantly finish a task for them or tell them how to do something then they will never learn on their own. I don't see a problem in helping your students because that's part of your job. However, you cannot do everything for them. His final point is, "Don't Get Comfortable". He discusses in this point the need to not let yourself become too comfortable in your teaching practices. He explains that teaching is an easy career to let this happen in but you have to constantly remind yourself to stay abreast of new teaching methods, join committees, mix up your teaching style, and don't become apathetic in your teaching practices.
I have learned a lot from reading these posts and have picked up some great advice for when I start teaching. I hope to keep up with Mr. McClung's progress and continue to gain new ideas and fresh approaches to teaching. I really enjoyed reading these posts.

Mr. Mclung's homeroom class

Monday, March 26, 2012

Blog Assignment 8

This is How We Dream Part 1 and Part 2

Dr. Richard Miller is very informed and passionate about the infinite uses for technology. In his lecture he states,"We are living at the moment of the greatest change in human communication in human history". He believes it is a great age for reading and writing. We have access to almost anything we can think of right at our fingertips. We no longer have to go to the library to find a book or do research. Everything is available to us online.
Many people are embracing the use of technology in the classroom. Technology is advancing more and more everyday and students need to know how to use it productively. Dr. Miller feels we should prepare for a world where everything is done digitally. He even discusses how people are discovering how to compose things digitally without the need for word processors. Although this technique is new and not fully understood, people are figuring out how to do it and I'm sure that one day we will hopefully be teaching our students how to.
As a future teacher, I am excited about all the advances in technology. I want my students to embrace and enjoy learning and I know technology will help immensely. Teachers need to try and be on their students' level and teach them in a way they will understand and can relate to. For digital learning to work and be successful, Dr. Miller explains that educators must come together and share ideas and help to develop a pedagogy for this type of learning. The fact is that technology is not going anywhere so we might as well embrace it and use it to enhance our lives and learning experience.

Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12

I really enjoyed reading Carly's post. It's obvious she put a lot of time, thought, and creativity into it. She seemed to really embrace the ideas of Dr. Miller. She thought of a way to use digital learning to express what she wanted to say. She made use of text, audio, video, and images in her post for a full digital experience. I loved her idea of the You Tube playlist. What a wonderful, creative, innovative way to express yourself and your teaching philosophy. I enjoyed reading her different ideas for her future students in her English class. She showed that there are many ways to get your point across without explicitly using the written text. I know she will be a fantastic teacher one day and her future students are in for a great learning experience!

The Chipper Series and EDM 310 for Dummies

I enjoyed watching these two student made videos. I really related to The Chipper Series because I am ,unfortunately, behind in EDM 310 and it was extremely hard to catch up. I am learning how important it is to be on time and meet deadlines. As a future teacher, my students will depend on me to be prepared and organized so I can teach them in the best way possible. EDM 310 for Dummies was great. It was nice to see that everyone has trouble with this class at the beginning but that Dr. Strange provides us with everything we need to be successful in this class. It's important to learn to do things on your own. If I were to create a video for this class it would be along the same lines as these two videos. I would hope to show future EDM 310 students that everyone will have some form of difficulty in this class but that it is possible to do well and there is ample help available. I still struggle with procrastination but this class is definitely helping me to overcome the trait.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

This video was very thought provoking. I think teachers forget sometimes that students don't solely learn from their teaching in the classroom. Students are constantly learning from many different sources whether it be Twitter, Facebook, or other online sources. They are even learning from each other when they text message. The video states that "every turned off device is potentially a turned off child". If technology is what's keeping a child's attention, then shouldn't teachers want to use more technology in the classroom? Learning is about so much more than memorizing facts and taking tests. It's also about sharing, community, growing as individuals, expressing creativity, using the imagination, and having fun. The video says that students need to be able to synthesize and communicate the information they are being taught. What service are we performing for our students if they only learn information for a test then forget everything the minute the test is over. This is not learning. One person on the video described the changing system as, "the death of education but the dawn of learning". This is a powerful statement to make but it is true. Students are learning to enjoy learning. The education system is changing and we must all learn to change with it. This new frontier of education is an amazing thing but will only serve as a positive event if we come together and decide to finally give our students the education they want and deserve.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

#2- The tool that most likely created this presentation is, Prezi. Prezi offers a great package to students and educators and it is completely free! All you need to sign up for it is an educational e-mail address. The plan offers 500MB of storage space, the option to make your Prezi private, the ability to use your own logo/trademark and premium support. Prezi is a great tool for the classroom because it can make a lesson more engaging, interactive, and fun for the students. Prezi is also a great tool for students to use to make their assignments and projects more interesting and creative.

#3- I used Make Beliefs Comix to make my own comic strip. It was so much fun and would be a great way to make a lesson or presentation pop and keep the students interested. It is somewhat hard to read the comic so I also included a link to it. Epic Fail in EDM 310

#5 I created this poll usingPoll Everywhere. It would be a great tool to use in the classroom to further make learning fun and interactive for the student.

Project # 12

"Russell the Sheep" by Rob Scotton

Monday, March 19, 2012

C4T #2

For C4T #2, I was assigned to Paige Vitulli who is the Assistant Professor of Education here at the University of South Alabama. Her blog is entitled, "Pondering Paige". I truly enjoyed her blog. The first post of hers that I commented on discussed The Mobile Museum of Art's exhibit of the birds of John James Audubon. After taking her class of future elementary school teachers on a field trip to the exhibit, she had them each pick a bird of their choice and use materials that would be accessible to any elementary school to create the image. I think this was a great assignment and would also be wonderful to use in the classroom one day. I love that she had the students use resources available to most schools and that the assignment would be a great way to include art into a science lesson.

drawings of birds

The second post I commented on was a video entitled, "Pay for Grades: Does Cash Work for Students?". This was quite an interesting video. It dealt with a small town in Ohio that began a program in one of their elementary schools that offered students cash rewards for passing standardized tests. The students received money for each subject they passed on the test up to one-hundred dollars. There were complications, however, associated with this program. First of all, there was the concern that a cash reward would interfere with the process of learning simply to learn. Many of the teacher's felt it would take away from the student wanting to do well for themselves if the thought of cash is what spurred their learning. Cash rewards also created competition between the students and caused much pressure on the student to do well. One big concern, which I fully agree with, is the reasoning that the teacher should be the motivation for the student, not money. The students that spoke on the video said the only reason they studied and worked hard was because of the cash incentive. The results of the cash for grades program only showed improvement in Math but not the other subjects. The school has since taken away the cash incentives for the other subjects except for Math and are evaluating whether or not to keep the program at all. Another repercussion of the program was that once the cash incentive was no longer there, grades began slipping.
I commented on the video and expressed my feelings of dismay for the program. One thing the video mentioned was that this school dealt with low resources such as textbooks. My feelings on this is why not take that money that was offered to students and use it to help the school? New textbooks and smartboards could make a huge difference in the learning of the students. A child needs to be kept engaged and it is the teacher's job to make learning fun and create a welcoming atmosphere conducive to learning and creativity. In my comment, I stated that I felt this program came across as laziness on the school board's and teachers' part and that if test scores are low, then there are many other options available to improve them then turning to money. I don't even consider cash incentives as a last resort but rather that it should have never even been an option. It clearly did not do much good and I hope that this does not become a trend across the country. I have included in my post the video so watch it and tell me what you think about the topic.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Project #10

For my PLN, I have decided to use Symbaloo. I enjoy this site because it allows you to have all your favorite websites right in front of you on one screen. One great thing about Symbaloo is the ability to open new websites in a new tab without closing Symbaloo. I also like that you can organize your websites into social networking, educational, news, etc... I am slowly building my PLN. So far I have included links to EDM 310, my blog, Google, and numerous other sites. I also have added links to various C4T and C4K sites that I have been assigned to comment on so that I can check in with them and see what new things they are doing. By the end of this class, I plan to have an extensive array of educational websites and resources to help me in my preparation to become a teacher. I look forward to adding many more websites to my Symbaloo. This is a screen shot of what I have on my Smybaloo so far but I plan to have much more added as I continue with it in the future.

Project #9b

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blog Assignment 7

The Networked Student

Wendy Drixler did a wonderful job with this video. I found it to be a very clever approach to making a video. It was relatively simple but straight to the point and very informative. The networked student does not learn in the typical classroom setting. Much of their learning is done independent of the teacher. This gives the student the opportunity and important responsibility of learning and finding information on their own. The students' online classroom, so to speak, allows them to build connections with other students and educators from all over. I think this is a wonderful thing because instead of just getting information from a textbook or one teacher, they are able to gain perspectives and knowledge from many different points of view. A teacher can teach a student all they know on a subject but no teacher has all the answers.
Wendy Drixler asks whether or not a teacher is needed for the networked student. I think a teacher is definitely still needed. The teacher is the one that teaches the student how to build connections,ask appropriate questions,distinguish between reliable and unreliable information, organize their findings, and to be a helping hand when the student is having trouble. Teachers are there to educate the student in many different ways. I think that to be a teacher of a networked student, you must be willing to give up some control but also know that you are still very much needed. At the end of the day, teachers are there to help the student succeed no matter what methods are used. Teachers are preparing their students for the future.

computer teaching a class

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (PLE)

In this video, I was able to see firsthand how technology is being used in the classroom. Although she is only in 7th grade, this young girl is able to do more on a computer than most adults. Her PLE (Personal Learning Environment) allows her to organize her social media and networking sites so everything is laid out and available to her on one screen so she can easily access things. She explains that she enjoys having the freedom yet responsibility to learn and do assignments in different ways. Though she is given more freedom, the teacher is still a vital part of her technological journey. The teacher is there to guide her and help her use social media and networking in combination with traditional teaching methods. The teacher needs to provide the lesson plan and can then include the use of technology to go along with it. I am slowly building my PLN (Personal Learning Network) and am seeing the benefits it offers. In EDM 310 we are building an online portfolio of our work, thoughts, and other important information that will allow others to see a part of who we are and what we are capable of as future teachers and as individuals. I found this article that describes a PLE, the benefits it offers, and how to create one. Check it out! What is A Personal Learning Environment?

Personal Learning Environment

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blog Assignment 6

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch was a truly inspirational person. His last lecture, like all his lectures, was full of wonderful advice and motivation to be a better person. This lecture dealt a lot with his processes of achieving his childhood dreams but more importantly it was about helping to enable the dreams of others. He worked very hard and was determined to achieve his goals. He never gave up. He talked about hitting a brick wall in his journeys to success. To him, that brick wall is there to show us how badly we want something and how hard we are willing to work to get it. So many people, me included, have simply given up when an obstacle presents itself. Randy Pausch always refused to give up and it paid off tremendously for him. He was living proof of what you can achieve through hard work, determination, and dedication.
Randy was an amazing teacher. He talked a lot about "head-fakes". He explained this as the process of learning indirectly. He was able to teach certain things without the students realizing what they were learning. One way he did this was through something he called, "edutainment". He used fun and entertaining methods to teach his students and others. He taught his students how to focus on people and work in groups. He also used peer feedback to help his students see ways they could improve themselves and the ways they worked with others. His course was about bonding and working together to achieve goals. One very important lesson I learned from him was to always raise the bar with your students. Even if they do an amazing job, always tell them they can do better. Teachers should never put a limit on a student's potential. Students should be constantly encouraged to keep working hard and grow and learn.
Randy Pausch was a firm believer in karma. He believed if you work hard and do things right then good things will always find a way to come into your life. Every teacher and person can learn a lot from the teachings of Randy Pausch. Even while facing death, he believed in living every day to the fullest, staying positive, and most importantly having fun. Teaching and learning shouldn't be boring, monotonous activities. They should be looked forward to and fun for all involved. Randy Pausch was a perfect example of the idea that good things will come to good people. You have to work hard and be patient sometimes, but your hard work and dedication will certainly pay off in the long run. I was truly inspired by this lecture and will carry what I have learned from Randy Pausch with me into my future teaching career and my life.

quote by Randy Pausch

C4K Summary for February

I really enjoyed my comments for kids assignments for the month of February. They all showed the benefits of blogging in the classroom and most of the students seemed truly engaged and excited to be blogging.
My first student blog I commented on was for a student named,Martha . Her blog post I commented on was entitled, . The body of her post simply read, "I write because I was told to write." I commented by explaining who I was and why I was commenting on her blog. I then asked her if there was anything she enjoyed about writing or if she only wrote because she was told to. I also asked her if there what subjects in school she enjoyed the most. She did not reply, but I enjoyed reading her blog and hope she enjoys writing and doesn't only write because she is told to.

The next blog I commented on was for Ferry Lane Primary School, Year 6, in London. The blog post I commented on was entitled, "An Update From Tobago". It discussed what was going on during one of the teacher's trip to Tobago. The post included a great video and pictures. I loved how he included questions for the students to answer that were reading the post from London. He asked them for information regarding Tobago's capital city, how Tobago's bay, "Bloody Bay", got its name and he also asked them to find out other interesting things about Tobago. This gave the students a chance to feel included on the trip, learn some new things, and also do a little web browsing to find out the answers to the questions. I expressed to him how much I enjoyed the post and how I can't wait to use blogging in my future classroom.

I also commented on Mrs. Adair's Class Blog (grades 2nd and 3rd). Her blog post I commented on was titled as, "Snow Day". She discussed the recent snow they had that resulted in a special snow day off from school. She included pictures and questions (which I love) in the post. She asked the students to comment and tell her, How many inches are in a foot of snow? (math), How much snow is where you are?, and What things are you doing on your snow day?. I commented and told her how much I enjoyed the blog post and the rest of the blog and how it further impressed upon me the benefits of using technology in the classroom. I also asked her students to tell me what they enjoyed about blogging and how it helped them to learn more. I did not receive a response but still enjoyed the blog and loved seeing how the students responded to the post and how excited they were to be interacting with their classmates and teacher.

Cartoon about blogging

Project #8

Group Podcast- "Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire" by Rafe Esquith

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog Assignment 5

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

Scott Mcleod, J.D.,PHD, is an associate professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He is well known for his stance on technology leadership issues and has won many awards for his work.

In his post, Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?, Dr. Mcleod takes a sarcastic approach to confront the issues dealing with the dangers of technology. He discusses the typical arguments raised about technology such as; cheating, sexting, online predators and social networking. However, he ends his post by explaining that he teaches his students to use all types of technology and that they will be the ones that have a better chance of succeeding in the future.

I agree with the stance Dr. Mcleod took in his post. Yes, there are many dangers on the web but no more dangers than there are in the real world. We should teach our children and students how to be safe in every aspect of their lives and the internet should be no different. I think a lot of the problem goes back to the fear and resistance to change in the education system. It is an easy way out to deem technology and the internet as dangerous and ineffective instead of taking the time to learn about them and the benefits they offer to both the student and the teacher. Technology will without a doubt be a huge and influential part of our future. If we want our children and students to succeed, then we have to prepare them properly. So, take the time to make friends with technology. It can only be of benefit if it is worked with and not against. It is certainly not going anywhere so learn everything you can about it and embrace it!

The iSchool Initiative
Zeitgeist Young Mind's Entry

Travis Allen has completely sold me on the idea of mobile learning. I had no idea of the possibilities that the iTouch offers to education. To think of an education system void of so many extra and unnecessary expenses is amazing. Children could start at such an early age learning to use the technology. Once children mastered their writing skills, there would be no more need for paper and pencils (money saved!). Travis Allen's idea would save so much money that it would cut back on teacher layoffs as well as the other huge issue of not having enough material for each student. Allen explains that it would only cost about $150 per student and would eliminate the need for extra paper, pencils, books, copiers, copier ink and so much more. Technology is not going anywhere and we need to stop focusing on the negatives of it and instead try to embrace the positive impacts if offers to students, staff, and the school systems as a whole. As Travis Allen says, "Join the revolution!".
Join The Revolution

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

This video truly blew me away! Just to think that the people in this video have never met and are not standing next to each other is amazing. I think this is a great use of the internet and technology. It shows the limitless potential that technology offers. It brought together people who had never met and created something beautiful. It makes you wonder just how much technology has to prove before people wake up and realize it is a beneficial and productive use of time and learning.

Teaching in the 21st Century

Kevin Roberts raised some very important points in this presentation. It is true that teachers are no longer always the first source students come to for information and answers. In some ways, technology has replaced teachers on this front. However, this does not mean teachers are no longer needed. Teachers still play a critical role in a child's education. They help a student understand what the answers they find to their questions mean. Teachers are needed to help teach life skills and make sure a student is on track with their educational process and goals. Teachers are now also needed to help teach technology.

A teacher who thinks their only role in a student's life is to teach them when the Civil War was fought or who invented electricity is not only selling themselves short but also the entire field of teaching. A teacher is not merely a body of facts, they serve as life guides and mentors. So what if Google teaches a student about the Periodic Table? It is still the teacher's job to 1. make sure the information is CORRECT, 2. help the student APPLY what they have learned and 3. show the student how the information is RELEVANT to their lives.

Students of today are growing up in a technology based and driven society and they need to know how to use technology properly if they want to be successful in the future. The 21st century definitely brought about some changes to the role of the teacher but it has in no way made the need for the teacher obsolete.

Reading Rockets Website

The resources on this website are abundant and extremely informative. I see why Anthony Capps regards it as such a valuable educational tool. I really enjoyed the section labeled, The ABC's of Teaching Reading. It emphasizes the websites goal of showing the importance of a child being literate. A child is not born with an innate ability to read, they must be taught. This fact shows how important teachers still are to a child's education. This section also gives tips on helping students who are struggling with learning to read.

The Reading Rockets website also offers valuable and informative videos and podcasts dealing with many different aspects of education including educational media. There is a podcast series called, Educational Media. All of the podcasts in this series were great and I particularly enjoyed, Educational Media in Action Part 3 (I have included this video at the end of this post for you to view). This podcast discusses screen time and literacy. It offers some great options and ideas on using educational media to help teach students and how to get the most out of technology. It discusses the importance of the CONTENT and CONTEXT offered by what the child is watching. Is the child interacting and engaged? Children spend a lot of time in front of the television and other forms of technology so it is now important to work with these devices and not against them. Instead, we must find how they can help in a child's educational process and retention. The podcast also offered great ideas on how the parent can interact with the child while watching educational programming. It also brought up wonderful ways to incorporate educational media and technology into the classroom and how to handle difficulties that may arise. It again goes back to keeping a student engaged!!

Everything I learned from this website was wonderful. I will not only refer to this website as a future teacher but as a future parent. Reading and literacy are so important in life and I love that there is a website that values its importance so much. I also enjoyed viewing their section of quotes. Here is one of my favorites I found on the site,

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." - Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Sunday, February 12, 2012

C4T #1 Summary

I was assigned to Michael Smith. Mr. Smith has worked in education for the past 17 years. He has worked as a coach, teacher, principal, and is currently the school Superintendent for Tuscola,Illinois. His blog site, Principal's Page ,focuses on school administration.
The first blog post of Mr. Smith's that I commented on was entitled, College Professors and Twitter. In this post, Mr. Smith commented on the importance of college professors, especially those teaching education, having a Twitter account. He mentions that he has many followers including college students, teachers, principals, assistant principals, superintendents, and parents. However, he is somewhat dismayed to find that none of his followers are college professors. He is worried that the people teaching the future teachers and administrators of education are not keeping up with technology the way they should be or at the rate that the students are. I responded to his post by explaining that until Dr. Strange's class, I had never had a Twitter account nor the desire to create one but that after beginning to use Twitter I am seeing the benefits it offers. I also explained to him that my professor, Dr. Strange, has a Twitter account and talks about the rewards it can offer. He responded to my comment with a short but very true statement, "Twitter is like so many things - you get out of it what you put in it." This is so true. Twitter will be of no use to you if you don't use it to its full advantage. You must increase the number of people you are following (but make sure you are following people that are of benefit to your learning), make sure to get on everyday and read what these educators are saying, and keep up with who you are following. Mr. Smith also mentioned he is a fan of the state of Alabama and gave me a, "GO JAGS!".

The second post I commented on of Mr. Smith's was titled, My Daughter Hates School. I Did Not See That Coming. Although at first glance it appeared as though it might be a housekeeping post, as I read further I realized I could apply the use of technology in the classroom to his problem. Mr. Smith reflects on his daughter (middle school aged) and her sudden distaste for school. After talking things over with her, he discovered she is burnt out on the monotonous routine of sitting in a desk for eight hours a day while knowledge and facts are being shoved into her head. He mentions that although she loves to learn, she is bored. He also mentioned some of her likes and almost all of them included something to do with technology. After thinking about his words, I wondered once again if this boredom that many students are facing could be helped by the use of technology. I raised this question to him in my comment I left. I discussed how technology seems to keep students engaged and helps them to be interactive in the lesson. Though his reply did not offer an answer to my question, I believe that technology can help and should be used much more in the schools.
I enjoyed Mr. Smith's blogs and look forward to keeping up with his posts as well as his posts on Twitter.

image from the principal's page blog

Monday, January 30, 2012

Project #5

Google Presentation

I enjoyed making this presentation. Picasa was a huge help when it came to editing my pictures. I also love the collage feature on Picasa which I used to make some of my slides, including my travel slide, more fun and creative. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blog Assignment 4

The Benefits of Podcasting in The Classroom

This video talked about the benefits of using podcasts in the classroom. Podcasts keep children interested in learning. Sometimes the "chalkboard-lecture" way of teaching can get boring and cause children to tune out on the lesson. Podcasts are an interactive way to keep them entertained and tuned in to the lesson at hand. Children also benefit from making podcasts. It's fun for them and allows them to use their creativity. Podcasts are also useful when it comes to children being absent from school. The teacher can put their lectures online and the child can watch them so they will not get behind in school.

Eagle's Nest Radio and Podcasts

I loved listening to the podcasts made by these third graders! They really did their research on things and I love the idea of kids teaching adults something! I also read some posts by their teacher. She really allows the children to explore their creativity and use their imaginations. She has truly found ways to make learning fun. The kids were so professional in their podcasts and I loved how they played around with their voices and with sound effects. I also feel that podcasts will help children to remember information better and not just listen to a boring lecture and then ten minutes later forget what they have heard.

Judy Scharf Podcast Collection

I learned a lot about podcasting from Judy Scharf. She gave great tips on how to make podcasts, why to make them, and all the benefits of using them in the classroom. I am seeing now just how helpful and amazing podcasts can be in the classroom. Children's creativity needs to be nurtured and displayed and this is a perfect way to do that. Podcasts give kids a chance to learn in a different way and also to relay what they have learned into their own words which helps other kids their age to better understand different lessons.

I definitely plan to use podcasts in my future classroom. It's such a great way to give your students a voice and be proud of the work they have done. I look forward to making my own podcast. I found this website which also gives some great tips for teachers wanting to start using podcasts in their classroom. Also, under "Lesson Resources" it lists some great links to other websites about using podcasts in the classroom.
Podcasting in The Classroom

old fashioned microphone with a sign that says on the air

Blog Assignment 3

Technology In Special Education

I really enjoyed this video. I had never considered the role technology could play in the learning processes of students with special needs. It's so wonderful that students who either can't speak or have trouble speaking are now given a voice through the use of technology. Special education teachers are able to effectively communicate with their students and build stronger deeper relationships with them. The students on the video were so engaged and seemed to really be enjoying learning. Technology gives special needs students more opportunities and helps prepare them to have a more active role in mainstream society. I think the use of technology will also help to improve the self-esteem of special needs students as well as give them more independence. In my future classroom, when dealing with special needs students, I plan to use technology to teach them more effectively and help them to enjoy what I am teaching them. Technology will help me communicate with students who have trouble speaking, electronic books will help those with difficulty reading, hearing aids and visuals such as powerpoints will help those with hearing problems. There are countless ways in which technology can aid students with special needs and the educators that are teaching them.

How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism
Apps for iPads That Assist Students With Special Needs

It was awesome to see the possibilities the iPad offers children with Autism and special needs. After exploring many different apps available for helping with the education of students with special needs, I was very interested in the app, "Language Builder". Basically, the app displays a photo depicting a scene. For example, a photo might show a girl petting a dog. You then have a few options. There are three levels of hints you can choose from to help the user describe the photo. Level one displays a sentence that has left out a few words such as: "The girl is ________ the _______. The student can then fill in the words that describe the depicted scene. Level two shows only the beginning of the sentence and level three shows no sentence but a voice speaks that asks the student to form a sentence about the photo and gives them one or two words to include in their sentence. One of the coolest options available with this app is the ability to record the student's sentence as they say it aloud. The spoken sentence can be saved as an audio file and played back along with the picture it is associated with. The teacher can play back the student's sentences and focus on the areas of speech the student is struggling with. This app engages the student,allows for creativity and helps the teacher see if the student effectively understands the action or situation depicted in the picture (comprehension). This app would be great for many areas of special needs,including those with speech impairments and Autism. There are endless possibilities from the iPad to aid in the education of children with special needs and I am thrilled to know I will have so many resources at hand.
language builder app for iPad

Gary Hayes Social Media Count

Wow! Once again, I have been shown just how huge technology is. People are constantly tapping in to the internet whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and so on and so on. I think this media count shows that technology has become a priority in many people's lives, including those of our future students. We have to find new and interesting ways to make learning fun and technology can definitely help to do that. Kids would much rather check their Facebook or play a game online than learn their multiplication tables. However, technology offers the opportunity to teach things like multiplication tables through the use of an interactive game on a computer, smartboard, iPad, etc. As future teachers, we have a responsibility and a necessity to learn and stay up to date on ever changing and growing technology. We need to "speak the same language" as our students and stay on their level so we can teach them effectively and keep them engaged. We can't effectively teach our students if we don't teach them at a level they can learn on. Technology is growing at a rapid rate and we have to keep up. Our students shouldn't have to teach us how to do something we should be teaching them. However, after teaching our students the basics of technology, then I think it would be great to let them explore and show us the new things they have discovered. Social media sites have taken over and we have to find a way to keep our students interested in learning. Technology is a great tool to help us do this!

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

This video showed some of the negative aspects of technology. As with anything,though, there is usually a positive and a negative side. One major point that stood out to me was the fact that people don't tend to read books for pleasure as much anymore. This could partially be due to the overwhelming use of technology. However, we must try to find the positives. In this case, students could read electronic books. This way they are still reading books, just using the method of technology to do so. I think the goal is to figure out how to combine technology with the traditional methods of teaching that are still effective. Teachers and other heads of education must try to work with technology rather than against it. Technology is too big of apart of our student's everyday lives to try to completely cut it out of the schools. Teachers are still teaching their students, just with different methods. Another problem technology poses is the practice of texting and social networking during class, however, if the teacher is engaging the student effectively and using things like technology to keep things fun and interesting, then the student might not be as tempted to stray away from the teaching. Technology can help to keep the interest of the student up. Students will have to use technology in their careers one day as well as in their daily lives so we need to prepare them properly!

I came across this website and thought it gave some great rules for the use of technology in the classroom. Check it out :) (I explored the rest of the website too, it had some great ideas and information about the use of technology in schools.)
The 7 Golden Rules of Using Technology in Schools

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blog Assignment 2

Did You Know?

This video blew my mind. I knew that technology had come a long way but I had no idea just how much! We are living in an era of information overload. The job market has also come a long way. I found it interesting that we are training students for jobs that do not even exist yet. Everything seems to revolve around technology and electronics. Social networking has taken over. People rarely talk face to face anymore. Most conversations are done through text, twitter, facebook and so on.
Another interesting point covered was that Americans don't seem to value education the way other countries do. When we have a question we tend to just "ask" google instead of an educator. This video raised a lot of important points. As a future educator there is a responsibility to be technology literate and to keep abreast of the ever changing advances. We can't help and teach our students until we help and teach ourselves.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

This video showed the need for change and growth in American Education. There are so many new and amazing advances in technology that would be extremely beneficial to educators and students. I found it interesting how they showed the fact that Mr. Winkle noticed change everywhere BUT in the schools. Although many schools are taking advantage of the new technology, many still remain in the dark ages of education.
I think there is a refusal to change in some schools. Many feel we have made it this far using the old methods so there is nothing to change. I also wonder if many educators don't want to take the time to learn the new technology. This resistance to change hurts the student. If we want our students to succeed in the real world one day then we must prepare them. Technology is a part of our lives and we don't want to send our students out into the world feeling lost and confused the way Mr. Winkle did.

Sir Ken Robinson: Schools Kill Creativity

I really enjoyed this talk by Sir Robinson. He is so right about the fact that many schools and teachers do not nurture a child's creativity. Everyone learns differently and as educators we need to figure out a child's natural abilities and help them to explore them. The focus in schools is not on the arts. Children are taught to be focused on other subjects like math and science. When a child does not do well in such subjects they are often made to feel like they are not smart enough, have a learning disability, or won't succeed. Instead of being taught to learn from our mistakes we are taught that it is wrong to be wrong! I think technology can play a huge part in fostering a child’s creativity. There are so many options and possibilities provided by technology and it also makes learning fun!
Sir Robinson says everyone is born with creativity but we have to use and develop our creativity to keep it alive. Every person has a passion. Some are good at math others are amazing dancers. We have to focus on all the subjects so that each child can find an area to shine in. Every child should feel important and good at something. As Sir Robinson said, “we should be learning with our whole bodies and not just our heads.”

A Vision for 21st Century Learning

This video, though short, packed a punch! The idea here is to engage the student and to make learning so fun and interactive that the student does not even realize they are learning. Many students associate the word learning with boring and how can we blame them? What child, especially in this age of technology, wants to sit in a desk for hours at a time and be bombarded with facts and figures that they are expected to memorize and then be tested on? Once tested on a subject, does the student even remember what they have been taught? I know that I find myself forgetting many things I learned in grade school. It was not until college that I began to have a passion for learning. We are living in a digital age. People spend the majority of their time on computers, cell phones, and other devices. Children spend their free time playing video games and social networking. If technology is what is keeping a child engaged then does it not make logical sense to teach them in a way that is familiar and entertaining for them? I think it makes perfect sense. The video game demo they showed on the video was amazing. Even as an adult, I found myself completely entrapped in the digital adventure through the city of Rome. Think of the possibilities that technology offers education. I, as a future teacher, want my children to not only enjoy their learning experience but also to REMEMBER what they have learned. Teachers have a responsibility to prepare their students for the world and future ahead of them.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Wow! Vicki Davis is truly an amazing teacher! She is taking full advantage of the ever expanding world of technology and passing what she learns on to her students. She takes the time to learn new and interesting ways to incorporate technology into her classroom. She has definitely found a way to engage her students and keep them interested. I also like how she has her students learn things on their own and even teach her some new things. This allows the student to feel accomplished, proud of themselves, and learn problem solving skills. I admire the fact that she does all this from a rural town in Georgia where most people would not think would be so up to date with technology.
It's amazing that her class is connecting to people all over the world and they even took a trip to the middle east. Vicki Davis seems to really care about her students and wants them to succeed and perform to their full potentials. She focuses on her students' individual strengths and teaches based on them. This is something I am passionate about. I believe each student should be encouraged and allowed to excel in something whether it be Math, Science, Art, etc. I think all teachers could take a note from her teaching process. I know that I will carry what I have learned in to my future classroom. I explored the edutopia website and found it very interesting. I came across this video and it was another great example of how one school is integrating technology into their learning environments. An Introduction to Technology Integration

cartoon depicting the perfect online teacher

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Project 2


Kate's Wordle

This wordle was so much fun to make. Even though I do not have a Mac, I decided to follow the instructions for taking a screen shot of my wordle on my P.C. It was actually easier than I thought and now I know what the button labeled "prt sc" (print screen)on my keyboard is used for. See, learning can be fun!

Blog Assignment 1

A Little About Me
My name is Kate Fail and I am 23 years old. I was born and raised here in Mobile. I enjoy the simple things in life like spending time with family and friends. Although I occasionally enjoy going out and having a good time, I am just as content to stay home, cook, and watch a movie. I love to read and also enjoy cooking. I love random road trips and can't wait until the day that my trips are to places outside of the United States. There are so many places I want to see and I fully intend to do so. I work at U.M.S Wright Preparatory school at their after-school daycare program. I work with K-4 through Fifth grade and love every minute of it (well almost every minute!).

I am blessed with an amazing family. My father is a Methodist minister and the hardest worker I know. His compassion for people and his passion for helping others is an inspiration to me. My mother is also an amazing person. She is definitely my role model for the type of mother and wife I wish to be one day. I also have an older sister. Her career is in social work and she also shares my family's passion for helping others.

Kids are my passion and the driving force behind my decision to become a teacher. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in First grade. I want to be a teacher that my students remember in a positive way. I want to make an impact in their lives and I want them to enjoy learning and to crave new knowledge. I love the huge part technology is starting to play in the schools and am very interested to learn new techniques and ideas that I will carry into my future teaching career. I came across this quote the other day and it says a lot about my teaching philosophy I touched on above.

"Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it." -- William Haley

I love learning and want my students to see the importance of learning new things. I don't want school to be a burden on them but rather a joy.

Randy Pausch

I learned a lot from Randy Pausch’s video on time management. I have always struggled with being a procrastinator. Randy Pausch mentions that we rarely ask the question of why we are doing something. Normally I just do something because I know I have to but I almost never take the time to figure out why I need to do something. Of course I know I complete an assignment so that I gain the points and don’t fail the class but I need to consider the bigger aspect of why I am given certain assignments to complete. I also learned from the video that I can’t change my ways instantly. I have to work at it and with time I will be able to put my procrastinating ways behind me. I just think it’s smart to realize and consider that you can’t change overnight and that it takes work and practice. I also like that he mentions that it’s okay to fail sometimes and that with each mess up comes a learning experience as well. I think as future teachers we also need to remember that our students are human and will mess up sometimes but that we are there to get them back on track. Randy Pausch is even more of an inspiration to me after learning that he suffered from pancreatic cancer but even after being told he would only live for another three to six months; he remained upbeat, positive, and continued to teach. His passion for life was remarkable. I had never heard of Randy Pausch before but I enjoyed his video and plan to watch some more of his talks.

quote by Randy Pausch