Sunday, May 6, 2012

Final Project Report

This past semester, I had the great pleasure of being part of the Psychotic Salmon Berzerkers. This group consisted of Terri Wagner, Daniel Coker, Kellen Bramlett, and myself. I could not have asked for a better group. We seemed to just form together. We were always bouncing ideas off one another and there was an equal share of the work. For our final project, we made great use of Google Documents. We put the script on Docs so we could all see and discuss it from the comfort of our own home. We also used emails to set up recording times. For our collaborative, we used a program called Teamviewer. We could see the host computer on our own screen and chat to discuss what it is we wanted to do. Technology has made it quite easy for us to relay information back and forth in a quick and timely manner.

Teamviewer logo

Blog Post #14-Final Reflection

Sunday, April 29, 2012

PLN Final Report

My PLN has became a huge group of my former teachers that I stay in contact with via Facebook. I don't use Twitter with them, because a vast majority of them do not use the service. I also bookmark every website that sparks any intrigued. It keeps all my useful resources just one click away. I have a tendency of extreme web surfing. I will jump from one site to another. I used to find myself getting lost or not being able to find my way back to the site if need to be. Now I have began bookmarking them so I can go right to them if needed.

C4T Summary Post #4

For our final C4T assignment, I was given Ms. Hadley Ferguson, who keeps up with the blog Middle School Matrix.

The first post I commented on was quite interesting. She went to ASCD conference session titled,  “Brain Based Strategies to Redesign your Classroom." The message in the session was that students learned at different times of the day. An experiment led to see that after 20 minutes, no matter the task, students began to lose interest. With these results, the teacher introduced new material at three different times. A week later she gave an ungraded quiz and the students had a 60 percent retention rate. These are remarkable numbers and they certainly will contribute to how my classes are organized.

The second post seemed to be some late school year motivation. She commented on how this time of the year it is quite easy to lose focus for both the students and teachers. End of the year distractions and spring fever can make students and teachers give on goals. Especially, when the goals do not seem to be in reach with so little time in the year left, but as teachers it is our duty to keep students motivated in reaching goals. 

Blog Assignment 13

I extremely dislike admitting failure, but with this assignment I failed. I wouldn't say I failed miserably, but it certainly was not an accomplishment according to the set of rules we were given. I knew from the beginning that it was going to be impossible for me, since I do not have a land line telephone. In fact, I couldn't think of anyone I know that still has a land line telephone. I live about three hours from Mobile, and keeping in touch with my mom is required at least once a day. This is where my cell comes into play. So knowing I was going to fail based on these situations, I took it upon myself to see just how little technology I could go without. My iPhone was probably one of the hardest thing to put away. It has so many apps on it to fight my boredom that I would catch myself reaching for it to play solitaire or baseball. It was a struggle, but I fought off using it except for calls and texts to my mom.

The absolute worse time I had with this experiment was no television or radio. I usually fall asleep at night listening to at least one of them. It was almost impossible for me to fall asleep Wednesday night without some kind of noise going on. I made several people angry for not answering phone calls or text messages. I never turned it off completely, in case of an emergency, but I would monitor who called. If it seemed it wasn't important I did not answer. This probably qualifies as using technology, but again I didn't have access to a land line. Facebook was not a problem to give up at all. I'm one of the few people of my generation that is not addicted to it. I actually find that I have to remind myself to check it from time to time to see if anyone is trying to contact me. I left my computer turned off for the 24 hour period.  I did get a lot of reading done for my classes that I have assigned each week. Usually, it is a chore to make myself sit down and read a book, but with the television and computer turned off it seemed a lot easier to get lost in my books.

This period without many of the technologies has shown me just how important they are in my life. I'm sure that was the purpose of this experiment and it's easy to put myself in my future students' positions. It's like them having to have a 8 hour period everyday where they are subjected to no technologies that they are so accustomed to using.

Project #15 SmartBoard Presentation Pt. 2

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blog Post #12

Do you find that learning and understanding history is still important today? Many people feel that what has happened in the past has nothing to do with today. Read the blog post Is History Still Important in Modern Times? by Rod Collins and the blog Common Sense Barrage, compare or contrast what these two posts are saying and write whether you agree or disagree?

In these two posts, both authors stress how important history really is in today's world. I have always heard that history repeats itself and understanding history is the only way to make it better the second time around. Both posts use every word to describe that exact saying. Mr. Collins even goes as far to say that at least a general knowledge of the past is a prerequisite for all education and truly knowing who we are as a nation and as a person.

 Unfortunately, they feel that historians are not listened to enough today and I feel it is quite a shame. I agree one hundred percent with every word they speak of. History is something that lives everyday. Everything you see in today's world has a past to it. It is important to know how and why it came to be. History is everywhere, there's no way to avoid it. 

Progress Report Final Project

My group, The Psychotic Salmon Berserkers, who I can not say enough good things about, have decided to do a video on surviving EDM310. We are going to take all our own experiences and collaborate a fun video for future EDM310 participants to maybe make their adventure through these unknown territories a little easier.

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

Do schools inhibit the creativity and/or curiosity of students? It's a hard thing for me to answer without being on both sides. Schools are going to teach what they think are important to a student's future, maths, sciences, histories, and languages. We all know these are things essential for everyday life. A student will only find curiosity in something if they are interested in it. Luckily, growing up history always grabbed my attention and curiosity, but for many kids none of the basic subjects get their attention. For example, a student may find interest in baseball, something that gets my attention as well. Just yesterday, a perfect game was pitched and that got my curiosity of how many perfect games have been pitched in the history of baseball, also how many were pitched by the American League and how many by the National League. I began looking these things up and feeding my curiosity, but you do not see schools teaching a subject of baseball in their curriculum. You maybe wondering where I'm trying to go with all this, well I'll tell you. A student is only going to have curiosity in something they are interested in. So my answer to the question , do schools inhibit the creativity and/or curiosity of students?, is yes and no. There is nothing a school can do to it's curriculum to make a student be interested in it. It would be up to the student to have an interest in what is being taught. Teachers can only introduce subjects to students. They can try to make them as interesting as possible, but if a student just is not into the subject it will be hard to have curiosity in it. I'm not saying there is nothing a teacher can do, I am just saying you can not force curiosity and/or creativity from a student. You can encourage your students as much as possible to participate in their own digging and information finding, which they should want to do if they are truly interested and curious about a subject.

C4K Summary Post April

For the world challenge, I was assigned a very interesting girl named Meghan. You can visit her blog by clicking here. She is from Vermont, which I learned from one of her posts. She discussed that Vermont is made up of mostly rural towns. I can really relate to that since where I'm from in Alabama is nothing but one rural town after another. Most winters in Vermont are really cold, but she said that this past winter wasn't that cold and that there wasn't very much snow.

The second post I came across was about Percy Jackson. She compliments on how heroic Percy is for saving his mom, who had been kidnapped by Hades, and return the lightning bolt back to Zeus. He has to overcome many obstacles and adversaries to achieve these goals. Along side him are some equally heroic friends and companions he meets along the way. Meghan sums it up by saying, "You are very brave and trustworthy Percy."

Her third post was about something a little more serious. In this post, Meghan expresses her concerns of global warming. The polar ice caps are already beginning to melt, which result in polar bears losing their environment and dying. She warms everyone who is contributing to global warming, including all uses of smoke, over use of gasoline, and littering, that the effects are hurting the environment and it needs to stop.

My other assigned student was Shelly from New Zealand. This was her very first video post to the blog. She told us all how much she enjoyed going to see a camp. She said there was a number of tents there and a lot of cooking going on. I believe she had a wonderful time there because of the smile she got talking about it.

New Zealand Flag

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Assignment #11

Ms. Cassidy

I love that there are teachers in this world that are not as bullheaded as I used to be. Ms. Cassidy saw an opportunity and seize it. It amazes me how she started out with just five computers in her classroom that allowed connection to the Internet, with no programs, and turned it into one of the most influential teaching tools ever. She makes her teaching methods fun for kids. I think that blogging is one of the best things she has done for her class. The students post writing assignments on their blog for the world to see, which is quite wonderful for the kids.

Students at computersWhat is one of the most important things to a child? I would think the answer to that question would be recognition, perhaps approval. Any synonym of those will work. I'm sure it is one thing for the students to have recognition from their parents and teachers, but to think someone across the world is seeing what they have came up with. It has to be a great feeling for them. I'm twenty-one years old and I still feel great when I make a clever Facebook post and start getting comments and likes. Everyone in our EDM310 class knows that exact same feeling. So, just think how it feels for a younger student to get that kind of recognition. That is why I know blogging will be something used in my classroom.

Along with blogging, videos will be a big part as well. I have mentioned in older posts about students performing plays or acting out important moments in history. Watching Ms. Cassidy's video of her first graders doing videos and blogging made a light bulb flicker in my head. "Why don't you have your students record their acting?," I thought quietly to myself as I sat on my couch. That way they can upload them on YouTube and even their blogs to get even more recognition. This would inspire them to be creative and fun loving. My only two thoughts holding me back from this is; the fear of reactions from negative comments on the Internet and apathy.

Apathy is something that's going to be found in every classroom around the world. My goal would be to make the assignments as fun as possible to make the students want to complete them. For the subject of negative comments,YouTube can be viewed by everyone in this world and unfortunately that means people that just love to bring others down. Just as a positive comment can make a student feel recognized, a negative comment can make a student just not want to try anymore. A quick, simply solution would be to disable the public from leaving comments, but that impedes from the positive comments. If anyone has any suggestions for me, I would love to hear them.

Ms. Cassidy's first grader's video really opened my eyes to how much fun a student really has once technology is introduced. No matter what age the students may be.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blog Assignment #10

After watching the video Do You Teach or Do You Educate?, I lean back on my couch and just did some thinking. I then proceeded to look back on my past blog posts and some comments that were made, and then thought some more. Looking at everything I have said, I have been quite ignorant and bull headed about everything we have been doing in this class. I have made a complete 180 in my train of thought. The only problem I'm having is figuring out a way to not just teach my students, but educate them.

I find it hard to be a history teacher and not just stand in front of the class lecturing. That is what I have been exposed to my whole life. Perhaps required readings, where the students have to make their own opinions on historical subjects could be efficient. I have mentioned earlier in my blogs that having my students act out historical events could be help them understand how things happened back then. I would love to find online 3D models of historical towns and battlefields. I have also found that Google Earth is an amazing tool for referencing distances between places and even what places may look like today. With these tools and ideas, I want my students to live history as it was today and understand it with the fullest of their potential. Because we all know that understanding history helps keeps it from repeating.
hand holding pencils
Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home

Tom Johnson's post Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home shows a instructor that is not looking for the easy way out. Instead of trying to avoid a problem, he is trying to solve a problem. It sounds like he doesn't care too much for standardized tests to begin with, and isn't too crazy about the research done to say that students with pencils at home do lower on tests. If all this does add up to be true, he doesn't want the students to continue with the same ideology. The plan of not letting the students take pencils home only avoids the problem of students not knowing how to properly use the pencils. Mr. Johnson's argument is to train the students to learn with the pencils. That way the students will benefit later in life. Gertrude's plan will only delay the inevitable. Yeah it may, by some chance, help the test scores, but when it comes to the real world they are surely to fail, which is what we, as educators, are preparing students for.

Monday, April 2, 2012

C4K March Summary

This month I got the pleasure of reading just one that, to my knowledge, would be on this summary.

The post I read was by Misba. Misba told a chilling story of her being trapped in a spooky tunnel with deadly skeletons. She was lost and had know clue where to go. She noticed a creepy figure approaching her, and discovered it was a mummy. The mummy spoke to her and asked if she needed any help. She displayed great bravery by actually speaking back. I would have defiantly sprinted away, probably in the wrong direction. She asked for the directions out of the tunnel, and the nice mummy told her. She said she ran out so quickly that she did not even have time to thank the mummy. You can read about Misba's experience first hand on her blog by clicking here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

C4T Summary Post #3

For this assignment, I was given Breaking Education Barriers by Annie Palmer.

mountain climbersThe first post I read was about how leaders, being educators we are all leaders, do not do enough o show reward for the effort put forth for tasks. We all seem to reward once the goal is accomplished, but rarely do we "celebrate" the effort given even if the goal is not met. That is if there is effort being given. Sometimes we have to do more than just encourage students to meat the goal, maybe a little reward is needed. I do have to add that too much reward may lead to apathetic behavior in the student. They might begin to feel that as long as they show some kind of effort people will praise them, and not look for the celebration once the goal is met.

Her second post explained the need for introverts in the classroom. If a person is an introvert, many people would refer to that person as shy, this is not necessarily true. This simply means that a person likes to be to keep to themselves to further think about a subject. An easy way to think about it is they must self reflect to "recharge" their learning abilities. In classrooms there is a huge push for students to be extrovert. Not all students feel comfortable learning this way (Being extrovert is learning in groups and being in group projects.) There is a real need for teachers to have a great sense of balance for the two. That way students can learn the group skills needed in life, along with being able to "recharge" themselves to really soak in what it is they have learned. 

Blog Assignment #9

Mr. McClung's Blog 

I decided to read Mr. McClung's report on his first year as a teacher, and then read his latest report to see how thing have changed since the beginning.

In his May 27, 2009 post, What I Learned This Year (2008-09) Mr. McClung talks about how teachers get into the mindset of just the teacher. Teachers become so consumed in making a perfect delivery and lose sight if students are truly comprehending what is being said. His suggestion is to just let your audience drive the instruction. I got the message of not being stubborn. If your lesson needs to be changed, then change it. It is important to be flexible. He wrote about not being afraid of technology. This may have been what helped open my eyes. He mentions that teachers can not get over whelmed by technology. It is never too late to stop learning. I am slowly, but surely, beginning to release my stubbornness about the whole technology situation.

birds on the beach
After reading his June, 23 2011 post, What I Learned This Year 2010-11, I seem to see I am going to be a lot like Mr. McClung as a teacher. He admits that you can not be afraid to be an outsider. He says you find yourself being concerned with what other teachers or adults think of you. The approval of his students is much more important to him than anyone else. Our decision making should be based on our students not the idea of pleasing adults. I feel this to be so true, I mean after all, the students are the reason I got into this profession. He mentions that a routine can sometimes result in a bad thing. I personally feel a routine is good. I think a routine is the most effective way to make sure objects being done are effective as possible. I do agree you can become apathetic, and the main challenge would be not to let this happen.

Like I mentioned before, after reading this I see myself being this kind of teacher. I feel as if I might have read my own blog post from many years into the future. This does gives me hope and a better outlook for where my teaching career is going.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Assignment 8

Dr. Richard Miller

After watching these videos, This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2, it is more apparent to me that the world is going digital. Just a decade ago, most everyone was writing with a pen and paper and had to make the effort to go somewhere to get information, usually a library. Now all of that is just one click away, whether it be typing something up for class or looking up important events online.

All subjects and news is are online for people to view. People can now see illustrated movies and slideshows that go along with what they are reading or researching. It amazes me how close someone can get to a subject while still being so far away. While your reading on the subject, you get to see actual footage and maybe even recreations of the event, without having to imagine it in your head.

Carly Pugh Blog Post 12

Carly sure does come as close to what Dr. Miller was saying as you could in her Blog Post #12. I would go as far as to say she nailed it directly on the head. She produces a video that goes along with what she talks about. It is always refreshing to have a little visual aid to what your are reading.

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies

The first thing I noticed about The Chipper Series is that Chipper and Dr. Strange only have one set of clothes in their closets. With all joking aside, I did see in this video a strong message about how the practices and procedures being implemented right now are the same that will be expected of us once we become independent in life and as we start our careers.

EDM for Dummies helps so everyone that yes this class can be tough. Everyone is going through the same thing as you, so you are not alone, but as long as you can take the time to sit and understand what is taking place, you should have no problems.

One idea I have for a video would be comparing the old style of learning to the new style being introduced to us in this class. It would show a little over emphasis of how boring the old way is compared to how exciting hands on learning with technology can be.The over emphasis would just help get the idea across, maybe going from one student falling to sleep the old way, then showing the new student jumping for joy with the new way.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

I still feel strong to my idea of the classroom should be integrated. I do not want a classroom that has nothing but the old style, nor do I want a classroom that is completely catered to the technological world. I want a comfortable blend of the two. Do I know what the best blend is right now? No, I do not think anyone does, at least not the perfect blend. I want there to be a perfect classroom smoothie, to where I can throw the old ways I know in with the new style so that as many people are happy with it as possible.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0


Comic Strip


Animoto is the video tool I found. To sum the whole tool up, it lets you have complete control of your video from backgrounds to effects and more. You can integrate your own music library and much more. Seems like a very fun tool to use.

Poll Everywhere

Project 8 Podcast

Friday, March 9, 2012

PLN Progress

At this current moment, my PLN is made up of follow students and past professors. Many of them I have kept in contact with over the years. I was developing my own PLN without even realizing it. I am in the process of adding websites and other contacts. I have always used Facebook as a great connection as well as emails and phone calls. Twitter and Skype is now beginning to become a part of it as well.

Blog Assignment #7

The Networked Student 

The video by Wendy Drexler, The Networked Student, can open one's eyes to what the world has turned into. I believe this is a great resource for a student to use. It should be made as an option for all, notice I said option. I personally do not feel it necessary to have a network for every section of learning. I support anyone that feels it benefits them, I feel I have learned effectively enough through out the years without this resource, and I think I can continue to to learn without having this resource.

Personal Learning Network ModelNow with that being said, I do not want to discourage my students from having a PLN of their own. I will say that I do have a PLN, but I have it there for when I need it and it really kinda developed on its own. I will certainly suggest all my future students to develop one. This all may sound quite contradicting, but I suppose what I'm trying to make a point of is I will never require a student to setup a PLN.

The reasoning may come from a selfish train of thought. When the question is asked why does a networked student even need a teacher, it is answered by saying the teacher helps a networked  student manage his or her PLN and help when a student gets stuck. Nowhere in the answer did I hear that the teacher actually teaches the particular subject they are suppose to. You can call me selfish, but when I get my own classroom and my own students, I want them to come to me when they need help with history. It kind of defeats the purpose of my four years in college to be qualified to teach social sciences if I make my students establish a PLN for the purpose of learning from others and I'm just there to teach them how to run a PLN. Maybe it is just a very closed mind or selfish view on the subject, but to remember I do want to leave the option of a PLN out there for my students. Please comment on my view to let me know.

A 7th Graders Personal Learning Environment

I watched the video A 7th Graders Personal Learning Environment, and it seems like a great way to stay organized. Everything one would need for the their particular class is right in front of them. The PLN I have developing is mainly between me and other people, such as students and professors. Whereas hers was mostly with other websites.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Sentence

C4T Summary Post 2

I was assigned Mr. Arvind S. Grover for our second C4T assignments. He is the Dean of Faculty at Grace Church School in New York City.

The first post I commented on was a video posting about racism. This talk by Jay Smooth is not really explaining the idea of racism nor is it about being racist versus not being racist, but it is explaining how to talk about race without worrying is someone thinks you are a racist. There are ways to discussing race and not worrying whether or not you sound racist. The whole point to his talk is to help people realize there is a huge in between space when it comes to being racist or not.

I was extremely impressed with the second post I read. He explained that at their school, which is now K-8, they are expanding to add a high school. Their plan is to add a new 9th grade class each where until the first 9th graders there graduate in 2016. This is planned to start in the fall of this year. He explained that he wanted to recruit faculty from Educon, which is a great conference full of great educators. He is instituting rules for the high that really going to improve the learning community at this school.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

C4K Summary Post 1

cricket players
The first student I was assigned just began playing cricket. He talked about how hard it was to learn, but it was a very fun sport. He hopes to keep on getting the opportunity to play.

Northern Pike
My second student discussed how he got to go fishing with his grandfather. He loves to be outside and go fishing. On this particular trip, he got to land the biggest fish of his life. It was a 27 inch northern pike. It was quite a battler for him to land it since it was so big and he was so small, but in the end he came out the victor. It is a moment he will always treasure.

My third student posted about his new years' resolutions. He made the resolutions of making good grades and studying harder. He described that these two particular ones were going great. Unfortunately, he had made a resolution of saving more money, but that one was not going near as well as the other. I commented telling him, not to be too disappointed that I also have trouble with money saving, but that at least he is doing well in school.

My forth and final student made a post about the history of the vikings. She talked about the immense variety of weapons they used and how they went into battle. They would march into battle with one line of soldiers with shields and the rest behind them would lop bows and spears at the enemy. She also went on to talk about the  beserkers that were in the viking armies. I found this very intriguing since our group is named the Psychotic Salmon Beserkers. I was excited to learn what our team mascot was all about.

Blog Assignment 6

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture 

This is a video of Randy Pausch's Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University. This was a truly remarkable event that took place. In this video we learn a lot about Randy dating all the way back to his childhood dreams. How he accomplished nearly all of them except for playing professional football, which he sees as an even greater thing and learn a lot of life lessons from his first football coach.

Randy PauschThe teaching method that sticks out most to me is his "head fake" method. He finds this to be the most important tool that can be used in teaching. Randy used this method in every environment he taught in. There were even "head fakes" in his last lecture. By getting students to participate in something fun and entertaining, he lays underlining skills and techniques that they are learning and do not even realize they are.

Another method that I saw Dr. Pausch use was letting students do what they want. That is a very loose way of saying it, but it is basically what he did. In a virtual reality class he taught, he let the students make any world they wanted to with only two rules of no shooting violence or pornography. This gives students incredible freedom to be expressive. Students are not restricted with rules or obligations to follow precise instructions. This method also lets them be creative and use their ideas, which a majority of students want to do.

These two previous mentioned teaching techniques and methods are by far my favorite. I want to involve my students in activities involving history that make it fun for them and yet deliver a educational message. I have an idea of letting my students act out plays of historical events. Maybe even letting them rewrite how they would had it happen if they had been there. All this being inspired by the marvelous words spoken by Dr. Randy Pausch.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog Assignment 5

Dr. Scott McLeod

When I began reading Dr. McLeod's post, Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?, I began to think he was a very closed minded type of guy. I knew I would be in complete disagreement with him. Luckily, at the end he had me on his side. There was a slight moment I was in agreement with the sexting and predators online. With that being said, I never once had the thought of a complete lock out from kids using computers or cell phones. The only thought to cross my head was to simply monitor what your kids did online and how they text people.He is completely right about the the students using new technology having a leg up on the ones that are kept away from such technologies. I back him one hundred percent on that stand.

Travis Allen

iPod TouchTravis made a video, The iSchool Initiative, that describes how he feels the school system can benefit from using digital teaching. He argument is to eliminate books, paper, pens, pencils and all of the ordinary teaching utensils. Everything would in the palm of a student's and teacher's hand. He feels this could eliminate many costs to the school by getting rid of the books, copy machines, and other costly equipment. He made a follow up video, called ZeitgeistYoungMind's Entry, which shows the support he has received for this idea.

As much as I would love to believe this could happen, I never see us in a world, at least in my lifetime, where there is a completely digital classroom. The idea sounds marvelous on paper, but I think you just more problems to education. I am completely supportive of integrating technology into the classroom, but only integrating, too much of anything is a bad thing. If you were to have a student read from a computer screen all day everyday, they would just want to read it from a book. I feel a good balance between the two will provide for the best success.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

Simply amazing would be my only description of this video. If your have not seen this Virtual Choir please go view it right away. This only shows how far the would has truly come. People are more connected now than ever. I am afraid I must also feed my skepticism, unfortunately. Now by no means am I calling this video fake, in fact, I am quite sure it is not, but it does open up a thought to how someone can trick you over the Internet. just think a second on how equally easy it would have been to get a bunch of people to lip sync the song and edit a recording of a group singing it into the videos. Just some food for thought and to make people aware of that not everything on the web is truthful or accurate.

Kevin Roberts

In the video Teaching in the 21st Century, Roberts explains how technology has changed the thinking on learning. Teachers are no longer primary sources of information. Information is everywhere and can be obtained from many mediums. Teachers must now help filter what is good and bad information getting to students. If students are going to use these sources for information they must know how to decide what is good information and what someone is lying about. Before teachers can do that, they must first no how to do so themselves. I find inevitable that I must learn these things as an educator because students are going to use these mediums, whether the educator likes it or not.

Reading Rockets

I found that the ABCs of Teaching Reading section from the Reading Rockets website will help me in the future with children that struggle. It opened my eyes to just how far children can fall behind their peers in reading ability. It shows me that even in high school students can be far behind their expected reading level due to malteaching or the student may have hid their inability to read or read well. It lets me know as an instructor what signs to look for and how to cope with a student who cannot read to their expected level

There is also a very useful "how to" section. This can lend assists in many things. It helps teachers find low-cost books, perform an effective read aloud, and even set an in classroom library, just to name a few. This seems to be a great tool to any teacher that may feel stuck or confused about a problem.

TimeToast Time Line

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blog Assignment 4

Langwitches: First Graders Create Own Read Along Book

In First Graders Create Own Read Along Book, I see that the more involved the students were, the more eager they were to learn. When they were involved in the reading that got excited and wanted to know more. It is one thing to get kids to read out loud in class, but when they can interact with what they are saying it opens so much more options for them. This technique not only got the students to read, but got them to read the story over and over again, which might be difficult to do. Once a student feels he or she is done reading, they do not need to pick that book up again.

Langwitches- Podcasting with First Grade

Podcasting With First Graders shows us how a little encouragement can really effect how a student thinks. It is one thing to have your teacher tell you how well you are doing or your parents at home, but when people around the world like what you are doing, it is a whole other feeling. This can make students feel better about what it is they are doing, which in turn makes them want to participate more. This method also gets them into the story by them pretending they are actually interviewing the two main characters.

Langwitches: Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting

Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting shows how podcasts can also help with learning other languages. Along with saying the word, students can also hear themselves saying things. The number of steps it takes to create a podcast also makes students practice the language over and over again. By making a podcast, the students have repeated practice, without repeating the same steps over and the work getting boring.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Project #5

C4T Summary #1

My Mind Gap

C4T#1 Comment 1

This first blog post was Mrs. Rand's stand of helping Wikipedia. She feels that Wikipedia is a great resource for students and people around the world. It would be a great loss if Wikipedia could not distribute information around the world. It actually is another great social media.

C4T#1 Comment 2

Mrs. Rand took a class to create a online class. She created a class called Digital Intellect 101. Even though she said after a few peer reviews, she said she might have to bump it up a 202 class. She said she had a great time in the class and learned a lot. The web class took a long time to create, but was fun.

Blog Assignment 3

Technology in Special Education

Seeing these students' faces brighten up at the thought that the world can be much easier thanks to technology reminds me why I want to become a teacher. I got the chance to watch Technology in Special Education, where Ms. Cook displays how technology has greatly enhanced the ability of learning for her her students.

All of her students seemed more excited about learning then ever before. I do believe this can be attributed to the fact that technology makes learning easier for them. They all had the will to learn, it was just so difficult for them. The increased difficulty discouraged them. Now with technology they can do assignments quicker, read and write much easily, and have more time for more learning.

Apple Education App.

I searched through several applications in the education category of the app store, and I found one that really caught my eye. It is an app called Word Bingo. This app includes four different games for the learning of words. I think that creating games for learning is a great tool because every kid loves to play game and most love to be competitive.

This app keeps a log of each participants scores, so the students could challenge each other to do better each time. As I mentioned before, this app offers four different games. This will help keep the students attention, instead of it being the same old game every time. It comes with a speech function so the student will also have to say the word along with identifying it.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count

Looking at this Social Media Counter really can help to open your eyes to how much the world now relies on the Internet to get information from one person to another. It makes you think as an educator if my students go home every day and use the social media mediums on the Internet. How am I going to keep their attention with just lecturing and paperwork?

There is no question I am going to have to incorporate social medias and online activities into my lesson plans. Students' minds are so in tuned to computers and technology that it only makes sense to teach them through the mediums they are accustomed to.

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

I see the message in this video A Vision of Students Today saying that there are too many distractions in today's life to want to apply yourself to old and basic classroom techniques.Every student is more worried about his or her cell phone, or more concerned with getting on Facebook then sitting down and reading a book. Many students think why should they care about class if the instructor does not care about them.

Technology helps associate the student with what they do on a daily basis. Its kind of like the app I mentioned earlier in this post. Students love using newer and cooler technology just like kids love games. So anytime you can combine something someone loves into with something they are not very fond of, it makes for an easier time.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Wordle Image

Blog Assignment 2

The Strange Version of "Did You Know?"

Did You Know 3.0 A John Strange 2012 Version shows where the rest of the world sits compared to the United States along with how far technology has come. This video really did not open my eyes up to much I did not already know. The exact numbers and percentages alarmed me some, but since I was in high school I knew the United States was behind most of the world in education. I feel most of the blame falls on the parents. As educators we can only do so much. Even with the most valiant of efforts, only so much can be achieved in the classroom. This is just a theory, but I'm sure if you ask any of the students in that 25% from India if their parents helped or taught them at home, you would get a absolute yes.

For years now, I have been scared of the future. Not because where I may end up or what the future has in store for me, that I can all control. What terrifies me the most is what knew technological advancement will take place. I do not want flying cars, I'm happy with mine staying safely on the ground. It also scares me as an educator. I remember in high school always having that little smirk on my face when my teacher, who had been teaching for 25 years, could not figure out how to get the projector connected to the computer, or in some cases not even able to find the PowerPoint on the computer. I do not want to be that teacher that 25 years from now, I am in the classroom and I am holding up the class 15 minutes and looking like a fool because I can not figure out the new equipment the school had just purchased.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

In the video Mr. Winkle Wakes by Matthew Needleman,  we follow a short story of Rip Van Winkle awaking after his 100 year slumber. Mr Winkle finds that everything around him has changed. The workplace now contains computers and the ability to talk to people around the word in the blink of an eye. This is all a shock to him and suddenly does not feel well, so he finds his way to a hospital where to his surprise is the same as the office. He leaves after feeling even worse where he finds himself wondering into a school, and to his pleasure the school has not changed since the day he began his sleep. One hundred years later the school is ran and maintained the exact way he remembers, which makes Mr. Winkle feel better.

This story rises the very important question, "If the world out side of school is changing, why is the school still the same?" Now this may seem to completely contradict my previous statement on how I am scared the technology of the future, but that does not mean I do not believe it should be in our schools. My fear is just not knowing how to deal or work the new technology. This video can be evidence of why some students has a complete panic attack coming into college or going into the workforce. They are presented things they never worked with before. They may have all the knowledge they need for the job, but cannot work the tools necessary to do that job.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

Creativity is something that can never be taught. It's something that you are naturally born with and make stronger over time. Sir Ken Robinson discusses in The Importance of Creativity how schools are not only stopping the growth of creativity in a child, but also destroying it. All education systems through the world put the arts at the bottom of the curriculum. The basis being you will never need those things in a real job. Math, language, humanities, and science are all what is important in life. They tell kids that they are not going to become artists and dancers.

I completely see what Sir Ken is speaking of based on evidence of my own life. The fifth grade would be the last time I remember ever having an art class and even then it was only on Fridays. Once I became a college student art classes were optional and the required once were just an appreciation class, no hands on activities.

A Vision for 21st Century Learning

A Vision for 21st Century Learning is to bring to attention to people that the world is more than just listening and repeating, which is what our classrooms instill into students today. It is making the same argument that Dr. Strange makes about his EDM310 course. Classes should not be based on a "burp-back" system. I feel this has become a huge problem in today's education and I for one want to become an educator that changes this for a future youth.

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

In the video, Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts, we hear the story about a teach from rural Georgia who brings technology to her students. Not only is technology prevalent in her classroom, Vicki Davis also connects her students to others around the world. She taps into her students minds by making them think and even going as far as making them teach to the rest of the class. She even was taught by her students. She did not know how to Terraform before her students showed her how.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blog Assignment 1

About Myself

Well, my name is Joseph Thornton, but I think everyone on the USA campus knows me as Sammy. That is a nickname my friends at my junior college, Lurleen B. Wallace in Andalusia, generated for me based on my hometown. I come from a very small town called Samson. It's about three hours from Mobile in the southeastern region. For some reason no one could remember my name so every time I walked into the student center people would say, "Hey, Samson Guy." I'm guessing that got too long for them to say and it evolved into just Sammy. I'm a huge outdoors man. I love to hunt, fish, camp, and just being outside in general. I actually heard about South from my friends and the more they talked about the school the more interested I became. Unfortunately, those friends decided not to pursue the road of a four year college, but by chance I did discover that two of my other friends were coming and we now live together in The Grove.

I come from a very small family. I'm a only child and most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins are scattered through out the South. My mom comes from a very complicated family and most of them are untraceable. I do know my blood grandfather, lives in Montgomery, that I love more than anything. He has done so much for me. My absolute passion is baseball. I love everything about it. I usually do not go a day without either throwing baseball or hitting or something of the sorts. I would say that would be my greatest talent other than my pretty excellent debating skills. I also love music. I'm a rocker by trade, but extremely open to any genre. I have loved helping others as far back as I can remember, which pretty much lead the thought of me becoming an educator. I get a great feeling when I help someone and that look of "I finally understand it" comes over their face. There truly isn't a greater feeling to me, no matter what it is I maybe teaching.

Dr. Pausch Video

I found that dividing my time into increments is an easier way to plan ahead. I have always believed that for every plan A, you have a plan D as well. Which he kind of discusses by saying your plans will change. I realized how true it was that Americans do not treat time as a precious commodity. I almost let time slip out from under me with the projects this week. Great time to watch this video!