Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blog Post 5 Part 2
I am not ashamed to admit that before entering this classroom the my knowledge of  personal learning networks was a nihl. However I have begun to dabble my toes in the water with PLNs so to speak. It is very hard to ignore the many advantages they offer to my personally and to my future classroom. It will definitely be fun to continue to learn how to hone my skill at using them and a semester of college was not nearly adequate to perfect this art. However it has been a fun challenge no the less to try and use these tools to help prepare myself for the classroom. Heck, I even signed up for Pinterest the other day. Never though I would say that but things like that have a wealth of good ideas for all us to use. I will continue to use these things and stockpile different resources that I find in my journey. I use Twitter a whole lot but that is about my only dabble in the social media world. Maybe I will do more later on in life but that time is not now for me. As I stated in my first part I love using Symbaloo and I would recommend everyone check it out!

Blog Post 14

1. Giving far more school choices to families 
2. Using technology to improve teaching and learning 
3. Adopting a knowledge-based curriculum 
4. Starting education before a child is 5 years old.

Listed above is some of the things that Mr. Joel Klein thinks need to happen in our school. He brings his thoughts to the table for all of us to see in his article  Self-Discipline and High Standards Can Secure the Future of Public Schools. All of these are admirable goals and we should work our hardest as future teachers to bring this man's vision into a reality. The first one of his point I found to be pretty interesting for me. I went to a very small community and we had one local school in our area code. If you had our zip code you had that once choice outside of enrolling into a private school which was really a long drive. Luckily my our school was great and I could not imagine graduating from anywhere else. I am sure that is not the case for everyone however. I guess if you give more options then that would in turn promote competition between students to get into the best schools in the area. The next point is using technology to improve teaching and learning. This is a subject matter we have covered very frequently in our time in EDM 310. While a couple of months ago, I would probably of told you too much tech in a classroom would ultimately hinder or distract the students. Today I am thankfully singing a different tune. After observing and studying some local and global teachers this semester, I have become convinced that the biggest logical way to improve our classrooms is by the use of technology. We can through technology create a much more interactive, personal, and engaging classroom for our students that could never of happened even a decade ago. We have been given the unique opportunity to help push forward this new wave of teaching and I fully intend to be apart of this. So I fully agree with Klein on this count. Next he brings up that we should adopt a knowledge based curriculum. This is pretty straight forward and I agree with him. We need to be teaching kids in a way that truly pushes them intellectually. Not just having them memorize some vocabulary terms and follow that up with a true/false test. We need something A LOT more meaningful than that. We need to push them to develop skills and application that will better prepare them for the world ahead outside of the classroom. Next he thinks we should enroll kids into school before the age of five. I think we should start to prepare kids for learning at an early age sure. I would be curious to hear what I real life parent would think of this. On paper it sounds great and that is really the extent as to which I will speak on the topic.

The author made some great points that we can contemplate for the rest of our future teaching careers. I certainly look forward to implementing his ideas into my own classroom one day. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blog Post 13

For this week's assigned blog post the teacher will assign the whole class a series of videos to watch. After doing this you will write up your honest and first reaction to the material presented. The videos subject matter is that of first year teachers and the trials that presents. You will be in these people's shoes one day so be sure to take this seriously! Pay close attention to their schedule and how they operate their classroom. What are some things you like? What are some things you feel can be done better?

                                                            1. New Teacher Survival Guide
                                                                     2. If I Knew Then

1. This video details a teacher who is having a spot of trouble with her classroom. The students seem to get into trouble and act up during class time. On top of that the students in her classroom have a casual disinterest and do not really seem to care. This is kind of a weird thing to film and put online especially if it is an ongoing problem. Anyway the point of the video is some ways new teachers can manage their classrooms when behavior likes this presents itself. One thing is that teachers should always stick to a strict routine and never waver from it. I guess this lets them know what they have to do and gives them time to mentally prepare for the task. I do not think I fully agree with that. I think it pays to be spontaneous when teaching sometimes. I am not saying running into your classroom and yelling "Pop Quiz"! Just find ways to shake things up and I believe that will be a better way to keep things interesting and engaging. This is a great video to watch to really get a feel of what the first year of a teacher looks like and points out some things we may what to go ahead to prepare for.

2. This assigned video was really cool to me on a number of levels. The video takes a number of teachers and ask them to do something really funny. If you could right a letter to yourself on the first day you taught, what would you say? First off this video is filled to the brim with tons of advice that upcoming teachers can take heed of. They describe some of the trials and tribulations this dreaded first day can cause. It shows that like we all figure, the first day we teach is not going to be perfect. This video more than anythings is meant to be inspirational. Yes, you will make mistakes. No, you do not know everything when you graduate college. The teachers give their testimonies that you will constantly have to adapt and evolve while teaching. It made me feel better about my future first day.

Project 12B

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

C4Ta 4

Summary:Wesley Fyer does shows some really cool stuff for kids and adults to watch in his post Amazing Animated Space Films: Wanderers and New Horizons. As I hinted at above these videos would be an awesome addition to any teacher while covering the cosmic realm. The videos do an excellent job of making you ,the viewer, feel like you are just wandering through space and taking in the view.

Comment: Very cool videos! I love watching educational space videos and look forward to showing them in my classroom

Comment: I have never heard of Classkick until today. Thank you for keeping me informed!

Summary: The poster Wesley Fryer gives some of this thoughts on using technology in the classroom today in his post Using iPads in the Classroom? One of the ways he does this is by using a tool called Classkick. This is a collaborative programs that teachers and students can use in their classrooms. It helps teachers stay organized and helps teachers get feedback from students faster. For more than this brief synopsis head over to his site. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

C4Ta 3

Summary: In the post 4 TIPS TO DEVELOP GREAT TEACHER LEADERS the author Vicki Davis gives some keen insight and points about some of the must do things for teachers. She says that teachers should always work to not only teach but inspire their students. This will give them hope and confidence that they can do anything if they set their minds to it. That was my favorite point from this blog post. 

Comment: These are some really helpful tips! I am a student and this is a very insightful. You make some really keen observations and deductions on some of the ways we should operate as teachers. I love your point about helping students see their value and worth. It is very important that our students feel hope and have confidence in themselves.

Summary: The author Vicki Davis gives another list on her blog. This particular one entitled 10 Ways to Stay Motivated at School. 
1. Solve By Moving Forward
2. Listen To Awesome Music
3. Be Stragtesic About Mornings
4. Top Off Your Tanks
5. Keep A Joy Journal
6. Let The Rough End Drag
7. Forgive and Move On
8. Work Towards Your Task
9. Enjoy the Moments
10. End Well

She explains each of these steps and why each of us should abide by them. Teaching is not always easy (or ever). But there are measures we can take that well help us get the most out our day and notice the small things that helps each day of teaching be a wonderful experience. 

Comment: Such an awesome post! I am sure that their are a lot of times teaching can be trying. It is really cool that you have habits in place that help make teaching be the best experience possible!

Blog Post 11 Brian Crosby's video Back to the Future, he goes on to give his take on the disconnect students seem to have. It is a really cool video and he goes into some pretty heavy topics. The video is even more interesting because his microphone makes him sound like a robot. Also Back to the Future is also the title to one of my favorite movies. Back on topic h
e said that almost all of his students have trouble with what should be common knowledge. Some of the students had trouble naming the city they lived in. All most the whole class could not name what country they live in. That is kind of a startling observation that left me with a lot of questions. He said this is probably due to the narrow curriculum that most of these poverty stricken kids have been on since birth. Crosby sets a goal for himself to make the education these guys receive to more interesting and meaningful. This will in turn hopefully give them more enthusiasm for learning and their performance will be greatly improved. He ,like all most all the teachers we have studied this semester, has incorporated a wide range of technology into his classroom. All the students have a blog that they post on and he uses and interactive whiteboard. They do a lot of projects that help them acquire knowledge in a meaningful way. He incorporates a lot of real world elements which helps prepare them for the future. All in all Mr. Crosby seems to be another role model for us entering the teaching profession. We should also seek to make our classrooms more engaging and interesting.

In Blending Learning Cycle, Mr. Anderson explains to us what the namesake of his article means. You will find right away that his true gift is his use of acronyms. One of those is QUIVERS. What do those clever arranging of letters stand for you may be asking. Well let us break it down.
  • QUestion - What is the question?
  • Investigate - Let's try and investigate it.
  • Video - Maybe we can find videos that relate.
  • Elaborate - Explore it in further detail.
  • Review - Let's check our understanding.
  • Summary - Take a quiz.
This is a really good method to get students to really think about the content that is being delivered to them. being the superhero buff I am this watching Super Digital Citizen was a real treat. He relates the popular heroes to ways they can stay safe while on the internet. "With great power comes great responsibility." He uses this quote from the character Uncle Ben to really relate to the students that the internet is a wonderful tool but like everything should be used with caution. They even get to make their own superhero in class! If only you could see the jealousy coming from my face right now. They take these characters and place them in situations where the will have to practice internet safety. As Mr. Pane ,the teacher, says it gives them a greater sense of ownership of their decisions. The visual presentations these students put together were astounding. They really got the material that was brought before them because it was so engaging. 

In the video Project Based Learning, three teachers set out to take this way of teaching to the next level. How did they do this? Well all three worked together cooperatively and combined their courses to together to make a very effective learning experience. The subjects combined was history, language, and information. They say like we have been told before that this project based learning keeps kids engaged and thus learning is more meaningful. Seeing these three educators work together on such a level is really awesome. Another cool thing I observed was that the teachers are constantly looking for new ways to help improve their classrooms. 

In Roosevelt's Elementary's PBL Program we are once again showed a group of teachers that use PBL in their classrooms. They break down the method in a way that can be easily understood for those new to the concept. The students are put in situations were they will have to work together and solve problems for themselves. They are also doing a lot of public speaking and this helps them improve their communication making them better rounded students. As we have seen many times this teamster PBL seems to be an enjoyable tool for us to use in our future classroom. It has the seal of approval of many respected educators and the enjoyment the students seem to have cannot be ignored. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Special Post

There were so many useful resources on Dr. Jacobs' site. That it was hard to choose my favorite six but somehow I managed.

This is a really fun tool that allows us to access newspapers from all over the world. This is a really cool because you can expose your students to the larger world. You can assign them all a country and have them read an article from there. You and the students can see how other countries perceive current world news. I get all my news from the British Broadcasting Corporation so this is taking that one step further. The students can look at it in the countries language or it will easily translate it to English. I saw this a couple of days ago when I was doing research on what resources I wanted to use. I got to read some cool stuff from other countries on the recent Supreme Court decision that I was very happy about.  So this is a very good tool just for an indiviual as well as a whole class. When grown ups ask my class if we ever read a newspaper we can say "From which country?" 

This is by far the coolest resource I have looked at! I love all the sciences especially astronomy so this interactive solar system map is off the chain to me. The level of detail it has is incredible and could be an invaluable tool for teaching kids about the cosmos. It gives a great sense of scale and size of the planets. If you click on a planet it gives a wealth of fun info and facts. When you go to the site it shows where the planets are at this specific date! Tell me that is not the coolest thing to show kids (or Robert). It is labeled as being for middle and high school kids but I would show this to any age group. Seriously if you do not follow the links to any of the other resources I post, please look at this one. 

This is a valuable way to learn history for those who love it or hate it. I always enjoyed history so I will look forward to perusing through this further. This is a very interactive tool that is sure to fun for students of all ages. On the homepage you can choose from a few characters and you can go through missions to learn more about their place in time. They can play as a boy caught in the middle of the American Revolution, a runaway slave desperately trying to make her way to the North, and a Native American boy growing up on the Plains. These are great ways to immerse kids into the culture and time periods they choose. I played a little bit of one mission as Nat Wheeler the young revolutionary and it provided a wide variety of rich learning. 

This is a tool that I have already put to great use while taking EDM 310. If you need help developing a rubric for your class, then this is the site for you. You have multiple templates to choose from and it has some for about every subject you can think of. So give this one a look if you have not already. 

I cannot not say enough about how useful Khan Academy has been to me personally through the years. I am one of those that are shockingly not very good at math. So I am constantly looking for tools to help me get through whatever math is giving me trouble or just trying to become a better at it. This site is very popular and has received much love from the top philanthropists. Bill Gates has been a big advocate for Khan Academy. It offers many features such as tutoring, practice exercises, and a personalized dashboard for you to use. 

Well this is is what your standard thesaurus would look like if it took steroids. You can search a platypus and it will give you a bunch of related terms to further research. This is a great tool for students who are having trouble with a word. They can type it in and get some more context of how that word is used. It will even pronounce it for you so will know if you are saying to correctly. This is a fun easy to use tool that would be great for any classroom. 

Blog Post 10

Today I will be giving my reaction to a few videos done by Kathy Cassidy. She covers a wide range of topics that we can definitely learn from. the first video Little Kids...Big Potential, we follow her class around and observe some of the tools they use on a daily basis. First up we see how much the students love to write on their class blog. They really seemed to enjoy when they got comments on their work from people they knew. Like what Anthony Capps said the other day, these kids really like to have the big brother and sister technology offers them. They think it is awesome that their mom, aunt, brother, and so on can see what they do on a daily basis during class. It makes them work harder knowing that this will be displayed on the web for all these people to see. It is also really cool that the parents and guardians have the privilege to stay up to date on their kid's school life. They also use Wiki to seek out information. The said they did not know what the word ritual meant so they went on this website and asked other people around the world to help them out. They got back a bunch of responses and some even gave them some of their rituals. Since they went through they did all this research, I feel confident they will very much retain the definitions. If you just wrote the definition of ritual on the board, they would have forgotten it by dinner that night.

Next we go to the first part of an interview with Ms. Cassidy conducted by Dr. Strange. They talk about some of the cool and interesting ways that technology has changed her classroom. She says that she has been using tech in her classroom for ten years. They started out with some brand of computer I have never heard of. I thought it was telling of her drive as a teacher when she sat out to make her class interesting by using these new devices. She did not just say "Yeah new stuff!" then let the things gather dust. She had the drive and the passion to learn some stuff she was unfamiliar with. She likes us ,when we first entered this class, had to work very hard to learn how to blog and make web pages. Another common thread I have noticed with all the kids in this video and others is that they really work hard when they know something is going on the blog. I very much look forward to doing a blog for my classroom. It seems to be to good of a tool to ignore.

Right of the bat in the second part of the interview, Cassidy said something that really hits home with me. She said she was unusual because she did not use social media much in her personal life but she knows that is not an option with her teaching job. I like her do not care for using social media in my personal life. I have never been interested in opening a Facebook or Instagram account. I like to talk and converse with people face to face. Having a personal connection is important to me. However, even I cannot not ignore the many perks using these tools could have on my classroom. I had a twitter account before entering EDM 310. I help run a website dedicated to keeping people up to date on the upcoming movie news and twitter really helps with that endeavor. So I guess I could take that same plan and apply it to a classroom. One of these days I will get off my high horse and open up some more social media accounts.

In part three she takes a few questions from some of Dr. Strange's students. The first student ask her how many times a week she has the kids blog. Her answer was that it really depends. Since her class at the time was smaller they just do it one or two times a week. So basically these kids blog as much as I do. What are they like eight years old? So give another point to students of today over me. Another student ask a question about concerns with cheating. I thought her answer was really awesome. She says that the classroom of today is going to more collaborative than it has been. We as teachers must be more creative in our assignments and how we go about giving grades.

I really enjoyed watching these videos and interviews. It shed some lights on things I have had questions on or never thought of.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Blog Post 9

Hey guys, today I will once again be providing some of my thoughts on a group of videos and articles assigned to us. The main topic of discussion will be that of project based learning. For those unfamiliar with that term then this must be your first time visiting my blog because it is a subject frequently discussed. With good reason this type of strategy is an effective way of providing our students with the best education and learning experience possible. So without further ado let us break this stuff down!
The first article up is titled Seven Essentials for Project Based Learning. This is an informative article that details you guessed it the seven essentials when dealing with PBL. I stumbled upon this article way back in May when I first heard the term project based learning and it was very helpful to someone like me who was new to the concept. I was thrilled to see it made it to our required reading list. Here are the the essentials in a nice list form!

1.  A Need to Know-  The subject matter that your class is important and the students should always be aware of that fact. We should instill a motivation for the students to want to learn more about what ever they are learning at the time. Perhaps show a video or have the read an article to get them interested in the topic. 

2. A Driving Question- Ask the students a thought provoking question that gets their attention and captures the essence of the lesson. 

3. Student Voice and  Choice- This is in my opinion one of the most crucial elements to the whole project based learning system. If you give the students room to give their own thoughts and feedback into a project they will obviously be more invested. 

4. 21st Century Skills- This one is pretty straight forward. We should always make sure we are using the best learning tools available to us. When I say that most everyone will jump to the technology aspect of today's teacher. The is by all means a correct deduction but there is more to it than that. Perhaps just as important if not more is allowing the students to collaborate with one another while working. As stated in essential number 3 above, the students should voice their opinions with that of their peers and learn how to work with others. That is such a good way to prepare them for the real world jobs they will soon occupy. 

5. Inquiry and Innovation- Give the students freedom to do things their own way. You can have them research a question in the best way they see fit. This is a great way to have your student become more engaged with their work. 

6. Feedback and Revision- We all make mistakes. Our students need to find out as soon as possible that we need feedback from our peers to help get the best performance out of ourselves. We should always be open to the critiques from our peers. This will help us see what did and did not work about our project. We can then take it and reflect upon it. This will not only help whatever you are currently working but also all your future projects as well. So be sure to offer some constructive thoughts about this blog post in the comments below!

7. A Publicly Presented Project-  If you show a student that their work has an audience, you will find that they will want to really pour their best into their work. I can very much vouch for this point because I want you the reader to be able to read a quality post when visiting my blog. I work harder when I know something is going online. 

The next is a video done by Tony Vincent titled Project Based Learning for Teachers. This a fun video but warning if you have a history of epilepsy I would not recommend you watch this video. It kind of hurt my eyes. Tony goes gives some of his insight into what PBL learning is and how it benefits our students. He gives some pretty cool examples of topics that could be used for PBL. 

Project Based Learning in PE was a very interesting read as well. I am just being honest the idea of doing projects in PE is kind of foreign to me. When I went to PE the coach would just roll a couple of basketballs onto the court and that would be that. It seems I am once again behind in the going-ons of today's classroom! The author says he gets his students to develop fitness plans and all kinds of other stuff. He goes into detail about one project that he developed and I encourage everyone to follow the link above to check his stuff out. 

The video High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL Implementation the process of switching to PBL is detailed in a very human way. It shows the teachers begin to shift to this way of doing things and the challenges that arise when undertaking such a monumental task. Some of the teachers have been doing things a certain way for decades and to suddenly have to change that is jarring to say the least. They are troopers about it though and are able to recognize the benefits of PBL. It shows the hard work that these teachers put into their craft. They meet constantly and collaborate with one another to develop some engaging new projects for their subjects. This was such a cool video because it allowed us to be a fly on the wall and see some of things we may very well deal with in the future. 

In this last video Watery Ketchup  it puts on display two high school students who answer the hard questions about our ketchup caps. What did they do you may be asking. Well these two took it upon themselves to design a new cap that effectively stops your first squirt of ketchup from being a watery disaster. This was just a really cool video that shows what cool stuff students can achieve when they are giving leeway to explore and resolve problems on their own. The price increase this would have on the ketchup turns me off a little (I am cheap) but none can deny the awesome work that these two did. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

C4TA #2 Kathleen Morris and the Importance of Educational Blogs

Summary: In Kathleen Morris's post Blogging and Literacy Curriculum she covers how important using an educational blog for her classroom his been. She has been classroom blogging for six years and it sounds like she loves every minute of it. She uses a method similar to our EDM 310 class where she assigns certain students to comment on another students blog. She says it is also important to keep a steady rotation so that a student comments on a different blog each time. 

Comment:I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I love this post. I am glad blogging has been working very well for you. I really enjoy writing on my own blog. I look forward to incorporate this into my classroom. 

Summary: In Kathleen Morris's post The Benefits of Educational blogging she once again tells how important blogging is to a classroom. This post I found particularly interesting because she list some of the ways blogging helps the students with their learning. One for example is cyber safety and she goes into detail about how managing a blog helps the students become better online practitioners. Perhaps the most important is the sense of community that online blogging creates. She says a fun way to do this is by creating a class blog mascot. There are so many different ways we can use blogs in our classrooms and Morris has given me many ideas as to how to implement it into my future classroom. 

Comment: Another great post! I love that the blogging has helped your classroom gain a sense of community. My favorite idea out of this is the use of the class blog mascot. That seems to be a really cute and fun way to get the kids excited to post on their blog. 

Blog Post #8
Today I watched a very moving lecture entitled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. The speaker was a man by the name of Randy Pausch. This lecture went viral on YouTube raking in 17 million plus views  as of this blog write up. The subject of the lesson as stated in the title is achieving your childhood dreams and helping someone else obtain theirs. This is a really cool video because you can just tell how happy he is with his own life and how positive his outlook is. This is especially heartbreaking because Randy had just got a diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer. This did not slow him down while giving his lecture. He had the calm collective poise of a man who had done many great things in his life and wanted to share his knowledge. were many really cool moments in this video but one that really hit home to me was this quote"brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things." That is my favorite line from Randy's lecture. It is a good quote that we should all have written down somewhere. Especially people like many of you reading this blog who plan to enter the teaching profession or are currently teaching in a classroom. We will be faced with many brick walls on this path we have all chosen to walk. These brick walls will test our limits and our strength of character. They will try to make us feel like there is no point or purpose to the job we are trying to do. They will try to take away our drive to be great teachers. These brick walls want nothing more than to watch you become just an average teacher who just shows up and runs through the motions. We must work hard our whole lives to bust these walls down when they arise on our path. We must strive to overcome these hard situations and be the best teachers that we can be. While reading Randy's quote I was reminded of another favorite saying of mine by author Darnell Walker “Sometimes our walls exist just to see who has the strength to knock them down." The message that rings in my head this after watching this video is always be the best you can be and you will achieve your dreams. 

This was a a lecture filled to the brim with a multitude of emotions. Ultimately the prevailing one to me was that of hope. We can hope that tomorrow we can make a difference in not only our lives but someone else as well. That is the message that Randy spoke to me. I am sure with such a great lecture it spoke to many people in many different ways. That is why it went viral and later went on to become a best selling book. This great speech continues to serve as Randy's great final opus in what was an already an extraordinary life. It contiunes to inspire people every year, month, and day. I am sure that he is proud that this great message continues to be heard even after his time on this world has ended. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Blog Post #7

I will be giving my response to a series of videos I was assigned to watch this week in my EDM 310 class. I will be pointing out things that really jump out at me an giving my reaction. Well here we go!

We All Become Learners was a very cool video done by Dr. Strange. In this video podcast, he plays host to two very cool and intelligent women. Their names are Elizabeth Davis and Michele Bennett. The are the media specialist at their respective schools. They all ponder how the educational field is changing and some of the tools that help make that change happen. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Bennett at my most recent lab time and she gave us many helpful hints at how to find success in technology. She demonstrated one of the items she talked about in the videos called Padlet. It is a really cool interactive program that helps connect the whole class. I strongly recommend you visit the site to check out all the features it offers. They go on to talk how the role of the teacher and student is in the classroom of today. The teacher should not be afraid to learn from their students because they also have a lot to offer. I thought it was really cool that they touched on that students can also teach other students. This is such a foreign but very exciting new way of doing things.

Using iMovie and the Alabama Virtual Library in Kindergarten was another video that I found fascinating. Once again Dr. Strange is joined by Elizabeth Davis and Michele Bennett. The panel talks addresses some of the concern that comes with exposing kindergarten students to technology at such a young age. The part that really stood out to me was the iMovie segment. Bennett tells about some of the really cool things her youngsters are doing in their kindergarten classes with the iMovie program. She states the kids will go and make a trailer based on the stuff they have been covering. I admit to being a little surprised about to how well these kids can apparently work the program. I just used iMovie last week and I am 21 years old. So these kids are moving much quicker than I ever thought about moving. Marc Prensky described it best when he said today's students are rocket ships!

This is probably my favorite video that I viewed today. These two second graders gave a wonderful short presentation on plants. It was such a well done presentation and they had me drawn in ready to learn more about plants. You could just see how proud they were of the work they had done and were ecstatic to share it with others. It really shows that this kind of learning is working and if anyone has  doubts about that just send them the link to this video!

Dr. Strange in this video interviews two second graders about a project they did with sea turtles. Now this is my favorite video. I just love to watch students who are excited about learning! They talk about the presentation they did and all the research that comes with that. You can tell by their faces how much fun it was and how eager they are to tell Dr.Strange all about it. They said they loved to do these kinds of presentation based projects. I really feel like these two students could teach me a lot about sea turtles and technology.

Christie Whitehead PBL 1 was a really cool video featuring you guessed it Christie Whitehead. She is a third grade teacher and she gives her valuable insight into the changing classroom. She says that all the new tech in this classroom is a new wave of learning. Like a some of the other teachers we have covered, she is amazed about how much the students have to teach her. She uses project based learning to cover all of the core subjects. She has a lot of pride in her students and all they have accomplished. It was really cool to see such an experienced teacher willing to let her students take a teaching role in the classroom. I really look forward to the day when I can have a similar experience.

This last video is a conversation Dr.Strange had with Ms. Lauber . She really details her experience with using iPads in her second classroom. She states that over the past four years particularly the way her classroom operates has changed in a very large way. The thing that really stood out to me was  fact that still use paper and pencil to establish a thought process. Then they move on and use that writing to make their presentations. That is a cool way to show that some of the old mainstays such as those old yellow pencils still have a place in our classrooms.


Project 13 Project Based Learning

 Lesson Plans
iMovie Rubric
Peer Evaluation

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Blog Post #6

The videos done by Dr. Strange and Mr. Capps covered a wide range of resources that were unknown to me until now. The topics were covered with great detail and I look forward to exploring their many possibilities in greater detail.Mr. Capps seemed like a really cool guy that cares about the knowledge the students obtain and the students themselves. Which is a goal we should all aspire to.

I am ashamed to say that the term Project Based Learning was something never heard before entering EDM 310. Over these last few very fast paced summer weeks, I have grasped a basic understanding of the concept. Project Based Learning is just an effective way to get all the students to work together to reach a common goal. This method promotes critical thinking and creativity. I believe this is one of if not the best way for students to learn. Give them an assignment that they can actually get invested in and enjoy. I like that Capps states that his ideas of project based learning are constantly evolving. The minute we think we have all the answers is the minute we start to get complacent with our methods. Which may hurt us in the long run. We should always be looking for more and better teaching methods to incorporate. It pays to be on the cutting edge in today's teaching environment. should come as no shock to anyone following my blog, I was introduced to another new tool today. Icurio is a search engine that is used in many Baldwin County schools. I live in Monroe County and we are always pretty far behind technology speaking. So I guess that is how this popular tool has evaded my notice. Here is a basic definition the Icurio sites gives itself  "icurio is the only learning engagement solution that starts with a powerful foundation of 360,000+ educator-curated, standards-aligned open educational resources (OER). Add to that powerful instruction tools, streamlined delivery, real-time insights into student understanding and personalized feedback at the point of learning" 

Discovery Education is a tool I have used before. The site just provides teachers and students with a vast amount of educational videos for them to view. The elementary class I was observing last semester used this to in their science class. We watched a ton of cool videos on lizards and amphibians. Students would often just look up videos just for the fun of it. So that is one of the key advantages of this site. It gives a fun way for kids to got out and seek information for themselves. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Project #7

My Sentence is.....

My Passion is...

To the Parents...

To My Students

Sunday, June 7, 2015

C4TA Assignment #1 and #2

Summary: In Dean Shareski's post entitled The Teachers We Need he goes over some really critical qualities that current and inspiring teachers today need to have. One I thought that stood out the most is he said teachers in today's classroom need to actually have an emotional connection with their students. I thought this was a particularly strong statement of his "I don’t think it’s possible today to be an effective teacher, let alone a great one, without a deep commitment to care. That’s certainly not the only trait but without it, I don’t see much chance of success or fulfillment." He goes on to say that the teacher today need to be a new breed. We need to be caring individuals who stay connected with the students we are teaching. I agree fully with his stance. 

Comment: I am currently going to college right now and I hope one day I will become one of the great teachers you are talking about. I think it is so true what you said about teachers need to care in today's classroom environment.

Summary:Teachers do not resist making changes; they resist people who try to make them change. Once coaches abandon the role of change agent, we can build trust and rapport and engage teachers in nonjudgmental conversations about their experiences, feelings, needs, ambitions, and goals. (Evocative Coaching, page 6) 
Shareski puts this very relevant quote in his post Revolutions and Encouragement, Can they Co-Exist? He thinks like many people including myself that the role of the teacher needs to be revamped to fit into today's more connected society. He says the teacher of today needs to take on several roles such as heir primary role, designer, and guide. I agree with his views and hope to incorporate his philosophy on the education field into my classroom. Change can be scary but we must not remain close minded to the tools available to us but rather use them to streamline our teaching methods. 

Comment: I also agree that technology is a valuable tool that should be utilized in today's classrooms. It helps us stay connected with our students. We can turn the devices they are using constantly throughout the day such as smartphones and turn them into powerful learning tools.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Blog Post #5 Personal Learning Networks

What is a personal learning network (PLN)? According to a PLN is "is a reciprocal network that you create to learn from, connect with, gather information or resources, create with and finally share what you have learned.  A PLN can occur in your school, face-to-face, online, at conferences or through reading, reflecting and sharing." I think in Layman's Terms it is a place where you can go and bookmark certain sites and help organize your web viewing experience. It is a really cool idea that is sure to benefit any teacher or student wanting to use it.

 I popular tool many people use for this purpose is Symbaloo. This is an invaluable tool for teachers because of the many features it has to offer. The Symbaloo has an education tab for teachers that has lots of cool things.  It has an sharing tool that allows you to share your web bookmarks and resources with your class. It has creates a PLN catered to your teaching style. This tool even has a feature that helps you tailor personal lesson plans for your classroom. The benefits something like this can have on your productivity is immense. It helps your students stay connected with same information you as a teacher use. This in turns helps you filter and make sure the students are getting the very best information that is available to them.

Search Engines

Looking at all the search engines available to us made me realize even further how little I know about some of the technology available.  Here are a list of some of the different engines that I found while perusing the web.

Wolfram Alpha- This is a resource that I hate I have not heard of before. It seems like it would be a extraordinary tool for both teachers and students alike. It gives you facts, computes date, solves problems and wide range of other uses. I got some of my old Math 112 problems out and typed them into the engine. Wolframa did not disappoint and it successfully worked out the problems I fed into it. This would saved me a few late nights last summer.

Bing- Is my backup when Google is not behaving properly. The searches through the information  on the web pretty fast but I much prefer Google.

DogPile- This is a helpful search engine that pulls results from both Google and Bing as well as other popular search engines. I like the dog theme.

Ask- Is a pretty fun seach engine that I have used on several occasions. You can as the name suggest ask it any questions and it will deliver the best results from people and the web. I mostly used it to ask stupid questions like "Are their aliens in Area 51?" and "Is Redbull bad for you?" But if use properly this is a powerful tool.

 Lycos- I think from my brief use of this search engine it is primarily used for social media and other entertainment. You can also use it to build free websites which is pretty cool. It also has an online gaming feature so I will defiantly investigate this engine further.

DuckDuckGo- This search engine most notable feature is that it does not track you will browsing the web. This cuts down on spam and makes for a better browsing experience.

 IxQuick- Like DuckDuckGo this engine does not track your online patterns and cuts down on spam. Another cool thing is it pulls results from all search engines so it cuts down the need to go switch between the different engines.

Webopedia- Is an search engine that acts like an encyclopedia for computing terms. As just used it to get the actual definition of a search engine and it was very quick getting results. I will without a doubt continue to use this Webopeida as I expand my use of technology.

Blog Post #4 Asking Questions

One of the most important jobs teachers have is asking good questions. These questions are imperative because it is a gauge to see how much the students have retained from your lesson. We must promote a classroom environment that promotes questions and critical thinking. We must do what we can to get these questions out and improve the learning environment of the classroom.

In the video Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom" as the video there are several ways to promotes these better questions.

1. Prepare your Questions-  It is important that go ahead and prepare your questions ahead of time before the lesson rather than just trying to quickly make some up during the lesson. Put time and think about the questions you want to ask before the class. Think of questions that will truly challenge what the students just learned.

2. Play with the Questions- Deploying a mild form of theatricality is a good way to help students think critically for example. Rather than just doing the by the book ask questions at the end of class there are some other ways to help the students think a little more. One being give a question at the beginning of the lesson and tell the students to think about the answer and have them give their response at the end of class. This is a good way to make the students actually think about the material and what they want to say.

3. Preserve Good Questions- This one is pretty straight forward. Save the really good questions for the end of the lesson where they will have the most impact.

In Asking Questions to Improve Learning there are some very good points further showing how we should ask questions. One that I found very true was we should not ask more than one question to the students at a time. If you flood the students with several questions all at once the students will not really focus or even worst they will be so overwhelmed the questions will be ignored all together. Also another very important point is to make sure the questions you have planned are relevant in relation to the lesson you are teaching. The questions we choose to ask is a great indicator as whether our lesson really sunk in with the students. It can not be overstated how important it is to have great questions that will help improve the learning environment of our classrooms.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Blog Post #3 Peer Editing

Peer editing is a good way for students to review each others work. What is Peer Editing is a very detailed and helpful video to grow familiar with the concept. As the name implies you want somebody who is the same age or working on the same assignments. This is just to make sure there is a common connection and the person reviewing your work is reliable when it comes to giving out recommendations. You do not want someone peer editing your work if they do not really know what they are doing or not familiar with the subject matter. Also before reviewing someone else's' work be sure YOU know the subject matter.

Peer Editing with Perfection Tutorial takes us through some of the concepts of peer editing and how to apply them. When peer editing someone you must always be clear and precise with what you are recommending so they will know what needs to be addressed. Be constructive with your critique but do not be so harsh that you damage a working relationship with one of your peers. On the flip side you should not be so delicate and say it is great when it is not. You give them a glowing review and they turn it in only to find out they had five grammatical mistakes. Then they wonder why the person editing did not catch any of this.  It is a delicate line but one that we must walk in order to get the best out of ourselves and those around us. Do not feel nervous or awkward if you are assigned to edit any of my posts. I know it is hard to believe but I  make a few mistakes from time to time.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Blog Post #2

1. Mr. Dancelot proves what can happen when teachers fail to properly instruct their pupils the steps they need to succeed in their class. Dancealot as his name implies is tasked with teaching his students several forms of dance. However rather than getting the students involved and doing all the steps in live action. He elects to sit behind his podium and read off of a boring PowerPoint presentation. All the while the kids take diligent notes on what they think will help them become better dancers. However when final exam day comes, they quickly realize that the notes they have been taking in class in no way helped further their skills. This humorous video can be applied to any subject and age level. We as teachers can not just sit behind our desk and throw a slideshow up while hoping for the best. We need to find ways to actively engage our students on an intellectual level that challenges them. Also even if we start out strong, we must not get complacent the longer we work. I would like to imagine that Dancealot was a great teacher twelve years ago when he started. Perhaps over the years he just lost his enthusiasm and thus his lessons began to suffer. So I agree with all the points being made. It serves as a warning on several different fronts and I hope we would be sagacious enough to avoid these potential pitfalls.

2. In the video Teaching in the 21stCentury Roberts really makes it clear that teachers need to stay up to date with the technology available to them. I whole heartily agree with this stance and believe that we should be current with our methods. Everyday the students we are getting ready to teach are becoming more technology proficient. We must not become walking dinosaurs in our classroom and our tech savvy consists of being able to turn the computer on. There are so many advantages for staying current and incorporating tech elements into our classrooms.

I.Information is Everywhere
A. Cellphones
B. Computers
C. Television

II. Teachers To Filter This Overload of Information
A. Validate the Information
B. Collaborate the Information
C. Communicate the Information.

III. Teaching Should be Engaging but Entertaining.
A. Make lessons that are actively engaging that holds their attention and makes them want to learn
B. Make lessons that have meaning and helps the students retain over a long term.
C. Make lessons that encourage creativity not discourage it.

3. My initial reaction to The Networked Student was that will never work. Then the he just continues to show how many different ways there are to obtain access to knowledge. He shows that the technology we use on a daily basis can also be used to help further are education. We can use our phone for more the music and texting. We can use or computers for more than Facebook and cat videos. I always fancied myself being a little tech savvy but this video exposed a lot things I have remained ignorant on. Rather than just take notes and fall asleep in class, we can connect with people all over the world to collaborate our ideas. This is a very exciting concept and I hope it continues to expand to becoming the mainstream form of education.

4.  While watching Harness Your Students' Digital Smart many cool points were made. She uses technology to help give every student an edge in ways a pencil and paper class never could. I think this is due to all of them being engaged in the concepts being taught to them. I was amazed how into the lessons the students were and the responsibilities that are entrusted to them. Did she test their knowledge by a multiple choice test they would memorize the night the before? No, she let them get in front of the class and teach how to do something. She gives them something real to apply their knowledge to and thus their productivity is greatly increased. Also that just looked like a fun class to be apart of.

5. Proven by our own Dr.Strange in his video Who's Ahead in the Learning Race elementary students seem to be well ahead of us in the learning race. Some of those responses from under grads really hit home close to me because I find Apple based products to be a little hard to use. So I guess becoming compatible with these devices could be one of my goals for EDM 310. I think the older we get we become a little to prone to shoot down new ideas and way of doing things. We can get so stuck in the way we are used to doing things and when I better solution comes up it is quickly discard the foreign idea. This is not a problem for these youngsters. They take new ideas and thrive on them. Once again this is a class I wish was a part of my early education.

6. I have never heard of Flipping the Classroom until I watched this video. It is without a doubt a interesting idea but even more importantly it is a good idea. How much time do teachers waste trying to get the students to a point where they can comfortably get into a lesson? Why not incorporate a technique that can alleviate some of this and come into the classroom ready to roll. It gives the students extra time to focus on things they may actually be having trouble with and gives the teacher the time to touch on those concerns. The students can come into a classroom ready and skip some of the required exposition time that has been a problem for many teachers over the years.