Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blog Assignment 14

Project #13

google docs

My group members were Susie Salter and Ashton Counselman. I could not have asked for a better group. We worked great together. For Project #15, we used phone calls, text messages, e-mails, and Google Docs. I was the leader, so I would send out e-mails and texts for the meeting times. I also, started the Google Doc to discuss our ideas for the project. We pretty much had all the details together when we decided to meet and record the project. Google Docs made the discussion easy, and without this tool we would have had to meet in person. Texting was the easiest way to contact Ashton and Susie with meeting times and simple questions.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Blog Assignment 13

no technology

Engage in an E-Media Fast

Do no use any electronic (powered by electricity or batteries) entertainment or communications device (except a land line telephone) for 24 consecutive hours.
            - Any use of television, video records or players
            - Computers, tablets, notepads or similar devices
- Video cameras, audio recorders or equipment, radios, iPods, iPads, iPhones  (or any cell phone)
- Telephones other than land line telephones


Needless to say, this was an thought-provoking challenge. So for this activity, I got up at about 6 A.M on Friday morning. My boyfriend and I went fishing and we were on the lake by 6:30. At this point, my phone was turned on silent and was given to him. The only reason we had my phone was for emergencies and his phone was dead (by the way we ran out of gas, but I did not use the phone, he did). Fishing is peaceful and a great get away from any stress and considering finals are next week, I figured this would be the best way to keep my mind off of school. Reading a book, at this point in the semester, is out of the question because guilt would take over, and I would have ended up getting online and studying. We fished until 6 o’clock P.M. and finally got off the water and back to the house at about 7. From here we had to clean the catch from the day. I still have not used my phone and it was pretty easy to stay off of Facebook because I have not even signed on in the past week. At about 8 P.M., I headed to the store to get stuff to cook for dinner. Since we were at his parent’s house, in the country, electronics, like the computer, are easy to stay away from. We are also on an “E network”, so the internet connection on my iPhone, without WiFi, is unbearably slow. After eating supper, the activity was done for because we have a music room for karaoke and listening to music, and every night of the weekend is a party, especially if we are cooking. By 10 o’clock P.M. there were friends and family at the house and in the music room singing and dancing and using almost every electronic device possible. Ranging from the TV to microphones that use batteries to cell phones to the computer containing all of the music, I gave up. There was no escaping the technology. Maybe if I would have spent the night in the boat on the river in the pitch-black dark surrounded by water and woods, I could have lasted a whole 24 hours with technology; but I doubt it, considering I play solitaire on my phone every night before I fall asleep with the TV on. I lasted about 14 hours, give or take a few minutes, without technology.

Now, the interesting part about this activity is I do this almost every weekend. I rarely keep my phone on me and my computer is turned off unless I am doing something for school. Whether I am laying out by a pool, in a hunting stand, or fishing, technology is away from me, so this Friday was not any different than any other weekend. I enjoy the peacefulness of not listening to a phone ring and ding and not looking at a computer screen.

Honestly, I do not think it would be possible to last a whole 24 hours without technology. I believe that we have, for lack of better words, become addicted to having these resources, like phones that do anything and everything at touch of a button, around us all the time. In my house, the TV is always on and I will literally go crazy without the background noise of Spongebob, or something of that nature, playing while I am typing my blog assignments. Thoughtful project, but everywhere you look, you are surrounded by technology. 

C4T #4

awaiting moderation

My assigned teacher for C4T #4 was Andrea Hernandez. Andrea is an elementary educator from Jacksonville, Florida. She is involved in “ed tech” at her school. The first blog that I commented on was “Who Moderates Comments on Student Blogs?”. This blog post was a good one for me to read because, although I figured the teacher moderated the comments, I was unsure. I recall seeing “comment awaiting moderation” on almost all of my C4K comments. In this post, she addresses an issue with a parent. The concern was about the school being a good spam filter for students’ blog. She goes on to explain how she analyzed and addressed the situation. The final section of this post asks if “we” should put the students in control. In this section she explains the potential risks and spam in this section.

In my comment, I told Andrea who I was and explained EDM310. I said that I felt students could control their blogs at an older age, but younger students, like elementary students, should have their blogs filtered by teachers. I think the internet does have some risks, but if taught properly, students can learn to use the internet responsibly. Parents, an older generation, think that the internet is “bad”, but they need to understand that they are only hindering their child’s learning by keeping them away from technology.

The second post that I commented on was “Using iPads to Creat eBooks with 2nd Grade”. In this post Andrea explains a project that she did with her second grade students. This project was based on reading with an iPad, then writing an eBook. She included the eBook on this post. I enjoyed reading and looking at this project. In my comment I told her about this class and said that we had blogged with elementary students and watched 1st graders use computers in their classroom. I told her that I am always amazed when I watch young kids use computers. I loved the eBook. 

Project #10 (Final PLN Post)

personal learning network

Although my PLN is not as immense or as vast as others, it has come a long way since the first report. As of right now these are the main websites and people that I find helpful as a junior in college.

These are the tools incorporated my PLN:

1. Google (used for Docs, Google +, main search engine, G-mail, etc.)
2. Yahoo (used for e-mail and another search engine)
3. Facebook
4. Twitter
5. Edmodo
6. YouTube
7. Blogger (used for blogging and following others)
8. Delicious
9. Wikipedia
10. University of South Alabama Homepage (used for PAWS, contacts, e-mail, etc.)
11. EDM 310 Blogspot (used for Student links, assignments, etc.)
12. Mr. McClung’s blog
13. John Strange’s blog
14. Sylvia Talisano
15. Scott McLeod

These are the main websites that I visit on a daily basis. I could brake down my PLN even more and have each site, like PAWS, USA e-mail, and teacher’s websites, individually shown; but I find it easy enough to navigate through the main website, finding my way to what I am looking for at the time. I am sure this list will change and grow over my years of teaching.

I plan to keep expanding my PLN!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

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

the future belongs to the curious

Creativity, Curiosity and Education

I believe that schools around the United States have slowly destroyed the development of curiosity and creativity in students. I think this is happening because students, sometimes including myself, have learned to do just enough to get by. If we receive a decent grade, even an A, by doing the minimum work, then why would a student work any harder? If teachers are awarding outstanding grade to students who do not care, what driving force do they have to try harder? Curiosity and creativity is developed when a student must research, study, comprehend, and recap the lesson. This is true for any subject, math, science, history, or english. I believe this class’s curriculum pushes it’s students to the maximum. I want an A and the only way to be rewarded with an A is to be creative and curious, know how to time manage, and learn from others. I think more classes should be set up this way. The key components, such as admitting the students to do work at their own pace, allow students to make their own decisions and the consequences are fail and/or retake the class. This EDM 310 class is a lot of work, but with the right mind set and goals, a good grade is possible to those who are willing to be creative and work hard.

There will be some students who do not care about classes, but not all students are like this. If a student is unwilling to work hard, then there is nothing a teacher can do to change their attitude. Creativity and curiosity is an element of wanting to learn. No matter how hard we, as educators, stress the idea of how important a lesson is or a bad grade will be rewarded for poor work, some students will have a the sour/bad attitude. I think the worst thing to do for a student with a bad attitude towards learning is to assign busy work. Nobody, including good students, wants to sit at a computer or desk for hours on end doing busy work.

The best idea for creativity and curiosity is to show the students how the assignment or lesson pertains to them. If I am interested in a subject or find that what I am researching relates to me, I am more willing to do the task and enjoy doing it. By turning the lesson into something that affects the student, they are more willing to learn.

Elli in a writer for She was born and raised in Colorado and she enjoys skiing, playing tennis, and hiking. I am now following her on Google+ and can send tweets at @ingoodmeasure.

Blog Assignment 12

science is fun

Science is often an extremely difficult subject to teach because many teachers struggle to make the subject enjoyable and stimulating. When students are not having fun learning, they tend to fail or do just enough to get by. What educator wants to lecture to desks full of blank faces? Since science viewed as tedious and uninteresting, why is it an important basic for students of all ages? How can we make science more entertaining and fun to learn for all students? How has technology helped science evolve into what we know today? Research these questions and support your answer with helpful websites or animations. Follow the requirements in Writing a Quality Blog Post.

My Justification

Science, whether we like it or not, is used in every day life. Science explains the weather, gives theoretical answers to why we exist, describes how we, as humans, interact with our environment, solves underlying questions everyday through research and theories, is used for finding the cure for cancer, and rationalizes what precautions need to be taken to better our future. Without science, such as biology, chemistry, and physics, our world would not exist as we know it today. This is why science must be taught in classrooms. We, not only, need science to explain and understand simple questions, but we also need science to answer the questions of what and why. Here is a website for support. 

We, as educators, can make science more entertaining by including the students in the lecture plans. Allow the students to teach the class. By breaking down the lesson and allowing the students to teach, they learn the lesson, easily, and their peers are more interested in the subject. I know when I am in a classroom listening to the same teacher lecture for an hour, the lecture gets boring, but when I teach a process, like the cellular process of glycolysis, I learn the lesson better and my peers are more interested. Changing the atmosphere of the “normal” classroom always gets students’ attention.

Technology has helped science evolve in many ways; but in the science classroom, technology has allowed educators to make animations explaining the hard concepts to grasp. The processes, like glycolysis, Krebs cycle, and photosynthesis, are hard to understand because we cannot see them with our own eyes. By watching an animation, students are able to see the processes and better understand them. Just reading and memorizing the steps does not offer a thorough explanation. Read this explanation of mitosis, then watch this mitosis animation and this animation. Which one would you prefer? I know I learn better by watching the cell divide when compared to reading the phases of cell division. Advances in technology has bettered the science classroom in multiple different ways, and this advances have offered students and teachers a better way of learning. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Progress Report

work in progress

For the Final Project, I started a Google Doc, which we have used to communicate. We have had a few different ideas, and finally decided on what we wanted to do. We are still working on the minor details. I am ready to see the final product!

C4K Summary #3

 Claudia's My place
C4K #7: For this assignment and the World Challenge, I was assigned Claudia who is from a little town in Tauranga named Mount Maunganui in New Zealand. The post that I commented on was a picture called “My Place”. This picture could be enlarged and it described the small town where Claudia lives. In my comment, I told her that I was a student at the University of South Alabama and that I was planning to be a teacher. I told her that I had never been to New Zealand, but like her small town, Mobile has a few beaches right around the corner. Along with telling her about our beaches, I compared and contrasted Mobile with Mount Maunganui. I asked her what is her favorite flavor of ice cream and what is her favorite “sporting event” to play.

Since Claudia did not write another blog post the next week, I had to ask for an “alternate assignment”.

C4K #8: For C4K #8 I was assigned Brennanm. I could not find out much about Brennanm, but he was the first student to comment back! In this post, Brennanm explains his favorite Nascar driver, number 8. He says that he likes this driver because “he runs hard, wins, and is good”. In my comment, I told Brennanm who I am and that I enjoyed watching the races on the weekends. I told him that my favorite driver was Dale Earnhardt in the number 3 car, but he had a very bad wreck. After telling him that I agreed with him on the number 8 car, I asked him if he liked any other drivers.

Since Claudia still had not written another blog post, I emailed Dr. Strange asking for another “alternate assignment”, but in the mean time I commented on Brennanm blog again. I ended up with two C4K #9.

burning garbage
C4K #9a: For this week’s assignment, I continued to comment on Brennanm’s blog because I was thrilled when he commented back. This blog post was about burning hourse hold garbage. In this post, Brennanm explained that burning garbage makes pollution and pollution is not good for humans or the environment.  He also said that burning garbage could cause forest fires. In my comment, I agreed with Brennanm because anything, like cars, that causes pollution is not good for the environment. I also explained that, although man-made forest fires are not good for the environment, sometimes natural forest fires are good for forests vegetation. I asked him if he had ever seen a forest fire; he did not respond.

toilet paper roll
C4K #9b: For my alternate, “alternate assignment”, I was assigned Lauren, and the blog post that I commented on was about toilet paper rolls. In this post, Lauren stated “in the U.S. there is 160 million pounds of waste that comes from 17 billion toilet paper tubes”. She says that we should start using less toilet paper. In my comment to Lauren, I told her who I am and that I was shocked to see these statistics. I asked her to think about how long it takes plastic to decompose compared to the rate of cardboard decomposing. I told her that I recycle and asked her if she recycled anything; and I also said that is might be hard for some people to use less toilet paper, so maybe we should recycle the cardboard rolls.

Kerstein's tennis ball
C4K #10: For my final C4K, I was assigned Kerstein. I commented on “Kerstein’s Tennis Ball Story”. This post is a video of Kerstein telling a story about a tennis ball. Following this post is Kerstein's story and the picture to the left is a drawing of her ball. She says that her and her friends like to throw the tennis ball, and that tennis balls are furry. In my comment, I stated who I am and that I liked to play tennis. I also told her that my dog's favorite toy is a tennis ball. I asked her if she had ever played tennis. At the end of my comment, I told her that I loved her story.

Kerstein's Tennis Ball Story

Kerstein Wrote a Story about a tennis ball. from Jenny She on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Assignment 11

child using computer

First Graders in Ms. Cassidy’s Class

The required video for this week is “Little Kids…Big Potential”. This video shows how first grade students in Ms. Cassidy’s classroom use blogs, a classroom webpage, wikis, videos, and collaboration to learn. One student tells the listener how to comment on blogs, and multiple students say they like to use blogs because they get comments from other people, like family members and other students. Their webpage helps the students find things on the Internet, and includes pictures that are links to other educational websites, a reading page, videos, and letters of the alphabet. This classroom webpage allows the students to pick what skills, like math or reading, they want to work on. The wikis allow the students to use collaboration with others around the world, enabling them to put together projects based on traditions and the alphabet. The students used Skype to talk to experts and other classrooms. They also use Nintendo DSs to play educational games.

First of all, I think that this video is incredible, in that, it shows how technology influences students as young as first graders. Secondly, I have learned, this semester, how much technology benefits students, and this video supports the idea of using technology in the classroom. In the Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy, she says that we are handicapping our students and ourselves if we do not take advantage of the technology tools that are available to us. Education is taking a turn, like our world, into technology and teachers who refuse to learn how to use technology are doing more damage to the students by not using technology.

Although I liked the video, I was disappointed to find out that first, the five minute video was over an entire year if not more, and second, that the students who were talking were older than first graders. Ms. Cassidy pulled some of her past students to record the voices in video because she felt that her first graders could not articulate what she wanted said. I was impressed because I was under the impression that these students were using technology every day to learn. If we are being pushed to educate using technology, why would we only use it every now and then? I believe that if her students, or all students, learn well using technology, then we should use this tool, if available, as much as possible. When I found out this short video was over an entire year, I felt like she was only highlighting the best parts of the year. I also think it was wrong to use older students to converse during the video when the video is emphasizing first graders using technology.

Along with these disagreements, I also had a problem with her idea of cheating and/or collaboration. One of the questions in the interview was based on the idea of cheating due to the use of the Internet to turn in assignments. Ms. Cassidy’s answer to this question was, “I don’t think it’s a problem. I think it’s a switch on how we view information. I think information is becoming more collaborative and I think that then your professor should get more creative in the ways that he asks you to present information, so that it’s not possible for you to grab somebody else’s and copy it because you can still get the information… from these other people, but you need to present it in a different way that would make it yours…it’s not cheating, it’s collaborating.” Whoa! I am not tolerable with this idea. If I turned in my final project for my biology class and claimed it as "my own work" when, truthfully, it was someone else's ideas presented a different way, I am confident that I would be turned in for plagiarism. There are sites, like, that allows teachers to turn in papers, checking for originality. I want my students to be original, and not rely on “collaboration” for an excuse on behalf of not putting effort into their projects, papers, or anything else that is to be turned in for a grade.

So after picking out the details that I disagree with, I absolutely love the idea of a class blog, like Ms. Cassidy’s and Dr. Strange’s class blogs. I think I will have a class blog type gadget, either using or blogger. I like the idea of using technology to help students learn. I think that worksheets and problems out of the book get old. If I can find a resource that will help my students outside of pencils and paper I am all for it. Anything interactive that will help my students learn their science lesson will be a great help for, not only me, but also my students. Technology is a useful resource for all ages because they learn how to collaborate, problem solving, and other useful information that teachers cannot teach alone. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blog Assignment 10


Do You Teach or Do You Educate?

According to this video, the verb “teach” means (1) to show or explain how to do something (2) to encourage someone to accept as a fact or principle (3) to give information about or instruction in (4) to cause someone to learn or understand something or (5) to induce by example or punishment to do or not do something. According to this video, an “educator” is, one who gives moral and social instruction, a mentor, an experienced and trusted advisor, a guide, a person who advises and shows the way. This was an interesting video, in that, I had never thought about the difference between an “educator” and a “teacher”. Honestly, I use the terms interchangeably. Is it possible to be both? After thinking about these definitions, I believe I fall under both categories. I believe that I will be a “teacher” because I will show or explain how to do something and cause some to learn or understand something; but, I also believe I will fall under the category of an “educator”, as well.
I believe that the standards of the “normal” or past teacher have changed vastly. Teachers used to be here for only teaching purposes. They were the epitome of the above definition. Now days, teachers have transformed into educators, and are showing the way and setting examples for students. I think I will be more of an educator than a teacher. I intend to be a mentor, an instructor, a guide and an example for my students. I loved this video!


Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home

This was an interesting blog post as well, but Gertrude’s mindset does not surprise me, at all. I know plenty of people that read anything and everything and believe every last sentence. Gertrude is not the only person in the world who believes everything she reads. After reading this post, I thought about people going on diets. Everyone knows that eating right and exercise will lead to weight loss, but people would rather take every diet pill on the shelf before exercising. The main point to this post is we should focus on the problem, or situation, and solve it directly instead of beating around the bush. Gertrude wants to stop sending pencils home because that is causing lower tests grade instead of changing the teaching techniques.
Teachers need to focus on their students and their needs. If their test scores are low, then we need to figure out what is causing low test grades, and change. Every student deserves a wholesome education, and it is our job, as teachers, to make sure they obtain this education. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Assignment 9

Mr. McClung
The first post that I read was “What I’ve Learned This Year” and it was posted on May 27, 2009. The post begins with Mr. McClung describing his first year as an elementary school teacher. He says that since the beginning of his first semester he has grown and matured and decided to share what he had learned in his first year of teaching. The first section of the blog is entitled “How to Read the Crowd”. In this section, Mr. McClung described how he was so worried about being judged by his superiors that he lost touch with his students. He stated that many teachers do not make their lessons “student centered”. The point of being an educator is teaching the students and student comprehension. We are not teaching our superiors. The next section is “Being Flexible”.  The main point that Mr. McClung makes is “no lesson is ever perfect. The lesson you teach and the one you plan are always different”.  Being flexible is an important aspect for me to learn. I am an extremely organized and well-planned student and if things do not go according to my schedule I become frantic. This will be the hardest point of being an educator for me. The following section is “Communicate”. Mr. McClung says the best medicine is communication and the best way to resolve any issue is by talking about it. I will not have any problems with communication. I am the type of person to confront issues first hand. I do not like drama or arguments. Being a good communicator has paid off for me. The next section is “Be Reasonable”. We must learn to help students instead of bringing them down. Some students will meet our expectations, while others will not. Educators cannot get upset when this happens. I am so glad he brought this subject up. Many of my past teachers fall into this category. Teachers often push students to the limit with tests, paper, quizzes; whatever they think is beneficial for their class. I am extremely hard on myself when my grades fail, but I do not take  multiple-choice tests well. Many teachers, especially college teachers, have a few tests and a final for the overall grade. Guess what! 9 times out of 10 all of these tests are multiple choice! Not good for me as a student and I know many others like me. Teachers become disappointed and evil when students do not do well in their class. I believe that if the majority of the class if failing your tests, then apparently you are not doing something right. Teachers must learn to change with their students and lift them up when they fail. They need encouragement, not disappointment. The following section is “Don’t be Afraid of Technology”. He says to “jump in head first” with technology. My goodness! We have drove head first into technology this semester in EDM 310. I am so thankful for this class! I learned so much about computers and new technology, and I cannot wait to begin teaching with my new skills! The next section is “Listen to Your Students”. Here, Mr. McClung says that teachers build respect for students when they have a relationship with them. This is also true. Being a student, if a teacher does not care to know my name and face, then I do not care about what they have to say during class. Might seem like a bad idea considering they are the ones testing me and I have to pass their class to graduate; but, honestly, this is the truth. Why would I want to come to class and listen to someone who does not want to listen to me? The final section for this post is “Never Stop Learning”. He says that we are working in a learning environment, so why not soak up as much as we can. One of my favorite teachers from high school told me once “education is that one thing nobody can take from you”. At first, I did not have a clue what she was talking about, but now, being in the real world, I know exactly what she means. Why would anyone want to stop learning? There is so much to know and see, by shutting down your brain after graduating you are only hindering yourself.

The next blog post that I read was “What I Learned This Year” and it was posted on June 23, 2011. This post starts off with all of his new experiences for the year, such as being a head coach, coaching cross country, being the computer applications teacher, and the first time for teaching at a school for longer than a year. The beginning section of this blog is “Know Who Your Boss Is”. This section is much like the section “How to Read the Crowd” from an older post. In this section, the main point is our decision making process should always be student centered and not centered on pleasing adults. He makes the point that we often get consumed with trying to please others, leaving the students out, when our main job as teachers is educating students. This is an important lesson for everyone, not just teachers. I know many people who are more worried about pleasing and making others happy than their own happiness. We must consider ourselves and our students before we begin making others happy. Students are our main focus and we, as educators, must not lose sight of this. The second section is “Don’t Expect Others to be as Excited About Change as You Are”. This section focuses on not letting others bring your positive and excited attitude down. I have been around many “Debbie downers” and they often influence my attitude. If negative people surround me, I will often pick up their negative attitude. I must work on this. If I am having a bad day, I do not want the people around me to have a bad day, as well, especially my students. The next section is “Don’t be Afraid to be an Outsider”. This section is about Mr. McClung being ok as the “outsider”. He says that he would rather eat and have personal relationships with his students than having relationships with his other adults in the school. I am not sure where I stand with this section. I will probably be like Mr. McClung because I want to connect with my students and help them as much as I can; therefore, I will be the “outsider”, hanging out with my students in my classroom. The succeeding section is “Don’t Touch The Keyboard”. This section talks about letting the students do their tasks instead of us doing it for them. Teachers must allow the students to struggle in the beginning because this is how they learn. If we are constantly doing the task for them, then they will never learn. The final section is “Don’t Get Comfortable”. Mr. McClung makes the statement, “Teaching itself is a very comfortable job that offers security…and often times comfort and security does not create an atmosphere that highly motivates individuals”. This is an interesting point, in that, I never realized that being “comfortable” creates a less motivated person, but truthfully, when we get comfortable with something our work beings to slack. Interesting point.
I am glad that we had to read these posts. I think they are very helpful for new teachers and even older teachers 

C4T #3

My assigned teacher for C4T #3 was Jenny’s Learning Journey. Jenny is a schoolteacher in Auckland, New Zealand and her blog is used “to record my experiences, reflection, learning, sharing, and any other things that matter to my career as a teacher”.  The first blog post that I commented on was “Having a Go at Photography”. In this post, she talks about a “young man who is full of energy and original ideas”.  His father could not buy him a big, fancy camera, so he uses what is available to him, his iPhone. Jenny says that his pictures look amazing to her, and the moral to his young man’s story is “The happiest people don’t have everything, they just make the best of everything”. One day, Jenny went for a walk and snapped some pictures of flowers. The pictures next to this post are a few that she has taken. In my comment I said that I believe this is an extremely important lesson in life. I know many people who need the materialistic aspects in life, like name brand clothes, to make them happy. We need to make the best of what we have! I also said that I also enjoy taking pictures and that I have used some of my work to create a huge collage on one of my walls in my house.

google plus icon

The second blog post that I commented on was entitled, “My First Experience with Google Plus”. In this post she describes how she had heard about Google Plus. She said at first that it did not look very “user friendly”, but after using it looking around she got the hang of it and she loves it. She describes Google Plus as being very similar to Facebook and says that the privacy feature is most impressive. She has a few circles with different members in each. In my comment to this post, I said that I had heard of Google Plus, but that I had never thought about using it. I am now looking into Google Plus and will be using my account. 

C4K Summary #2

time square New York City
C4K #6: For this assignment, I was assigned Brandon who is part of Class 12’s Blog. The blog post that I commented on was about New York City. Brandon said that New York City is a very busy place with lots of buildings, cars, and people. He went on further to described two famous buildings, the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty and asked if anyone knew of any other famous buildings in New York City. In my comment to Brandon, I told him who I was and that I had visited New York City years ago. I told him that while I was up there I got to see the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, as well as, Ground Zero and Time Square. Finally, I agreed with him that New York City is a very busy place, but I want to visit again one day.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Assignment 8

the world is connected by computers

This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2

In “This Is How We Dream Part 1”, Richard Miller talks about the transition from reference books in libraries to online sources. He also included a discussion about collaboration online, using sources like Skype. He shows different images and websites online and then compares them to books; for example, the Washington Post is now online with live footage; where as, it used to be a printed newspaper with news from the day before. Miller talks about “incremental” changes and “fundamental” changes. He says that transition of the Washington Post and other related documents from print to the Internet is an “incremental” change and not a “fundamental” change. He considers these changes “incremental” because they are not a necessity, rather just a change going with the flow of society; for example, the Washington Post now has a website with live footage because the society is moving towards a technological era. This newspaper did not change because they had to. People would still it read it without the live footage, like they did 10 years ago before the Internet was popular. In this video, he shows Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream speech”. I find this interesting because we can see how far our world has arisen in technological advances since this era. He stated, “I am the person of the book. I was raised in a house filled with books and I dreamed of a career that involved working with books”. I can relate to this statement because I was raised in a house with bookshelves in every room, even the bathroom. We got the newspaper every morning, and to this day, I have 100s of books in my own house. When he went on further to explain that a book is, now, out of print and can be bought on for $0.59, I thought, “what will it be like when I am raising my children”. Does this mean that my favorite childhood bedtime stories will now be on a computer screen for me to read to my children? With the way that we are advancing with technology now, I believe it is safe to say the answer to this question is “Yes”. Miller also stated that he did “an entire research project without stepping foot in a library”. Ironically, I have also done this; we probably all have. I remember being in high school and the teachers forced us to go to the library and use reference books as a source. It was so irritating! Why did we have to use the library when we could find this book online? Thinking back and thinking ahead, I do not want to be “that teacher” who is stuck in the past, using the “old ways”. I do not want to make my student do “useless” tasks, like I did. This is a scary thought.

Furthermore, in “This Is How We Dream Part 2”, Miller talks about this “new material that changes before our eyes”. He asks why would we not want to use these new ideas. Well, I think we as students and future educators should use every tool and resource possible that is available to us; it would be senseless not to. Miller stated, “limits and restrictions are what we place on ourselves”. We are the only ones holding ourselves back.

These videos are interesting, in that in can relate to them, but they also frighten me. Am I prepared for the future as a technologically advanced teacher? Somewhat, but my skills needs practice. I already write with multimedia, like online sources and such, but this video shows much more advanced aspects of multimedia writing. I am willing to learn how to use these new programs and advances, and with given time, I will be able to use them. I think that this is a learning experience for us all, teachers and students; therefore, we will learn from each other.

Blog Post #12 by Carly Pugh

First of all, I loved the how Carly wrote this post. I try to focus on writing a formal English paper for my blog posts, while she wrote Blog Post #12 in her own words. I think it showed her personality and made this post easier to read; I felt like I was connecting with her. In this post, she talked about an assignment that Dr. Strange should have suggested. Her idea was making a YouTube playlist of videos that included points like the type of teacher you want to be, tutorials and modifications for the classroom, and others. Along with writing the assignment, she also made a playlist. Like Carly, I also learn by example. I think this was a well written assignment because she included all of the directions and an example of the final creation. I am sure this post took a great length of time, but it was well written. The links that she provided really enriched her post. This post shows how creative Carly is and we should all learn from her creativity and strive to achieve.   

EDM310 is Different

EDM 310 for dummies

I watched both of these videos, The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies, at the beginning of the semester when Dr. Strange suggested them hoping that they would prepare myself for the class that I was about to endure. I was nervous/terrified/stressed/eager all together for the first 2 weeks. Needless to say, I was a complete wreck. Both of these videos are absolutely hilarious. The EDM310 for Dummies offered a great deal of relief. Obviously other students had made it out of this class alive, so I knew I could do it. I have felt just like these students. Ripping the keyboard out of the computer and throwing things have crossed my mind. After making it through the first half of this class, I am no longer a complete wreck because I have my own schedule and can do assignments at my own pace. I have learned that I was a huge procrastinator and I have learned what the term “time management” actually means. I wish I had taken this class as a freshman; I would probably have done better in some of my other classes.

The Chipper Series was also great. Chipper is a normal college student who thinks that teachers should plan around her schedule. After being fired from every job possible she decides to go back to school. I believe I would have given up and returned to school sooner than she did. I remember freshman year, even this past semester, thinking, “this teacher must think their class is the only class I am taking and that I do not have a personal life”. Yes, this class can be stressful if you get behind but it is also a wonderful class, in that, you learn much more than just the same ole “textbook material”; you acquire knowledge that will be useful for the rest of your life.

 The video that I would make for future students is How to Use Collaboration. Collaboration is a major part for group projects in this class. In this video I would show a group for 4 students that included someone who was not a “team player”. The plot would show all of the students working together to make a podcast with the “outcast" member playing on the phone and not paying attention while the others worked hard on their project. I would show how to use Google Docs, texting, email, and twitter for meeting times and other important shared information. The “outcast” member would not pay attention to any of the information being sent to them, further omitting them from the important project. In the end, the student would learn how to use all of the advances suggested and learn how to be a “team player”.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn 

I loved this video! When this class began, the first blog assignments included watching videos about using technologies in the classroom. Honestly, at first, I was completely against using technology in the classroom. Sure a computer was ok, but smart boards and online learning, like blogs, Symbaloo, and Storify were completely out of the picture. I was set that I was not going to use these resources in my classroom. I am sure you are thinking “Why not”? Well, truthfully, it was because I did not know how to use these resources; therefore, in mind eyes, they were not useful to my future students or me. I could not have been more wrong. Dr. Strange and EDM 310 have opened my eyes to all of the valuable assets of the Internet and new technologies, like the iPad. I am actually considering purchasing an iPad now; when before this class, the thought never crossed my mind. This video brings up the idea of the old classroom and how unrelated this teaching method is to our students of today. Future students will need to use the technologies available to them during school years so they are prepared for their future in the workforce.  This is a great video and I completely agree with the statements of these distinguished individuals.

I found the tool that is similar to Facebook/Twitter and it is called Edmodo. This is site that is set up almost exactly like Facebook, only instead of being able to view only picture and posts like Facebook, Edmodo offers resources that are great for teachers. You can make assignments, quizzes, and polls. Pretty awesome! My students and parents could have accounts and they could view all quizzes and assignments. Instead of the parent being oblivious to their child’s progress in class and to what their child is learning, they could follow along with the class!

I also found a video tool that I had never used. For this tool, I researched This website allows you to make videos using your own images and your own music. Although I prefer to use iMovie, I think this would be an easy video tool for someone who did not have access to a Mac.

I created a poll:

Create your own sms poll at Poll Everywhere

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Project #10

my personal learning network

For my Personal Learning Network, I decided to use Symbaloo. I got this idea after watching A 7th Graders Personal Learning Environment. This student made it look easy, so I wanted to try it. I wish I would have found out about this earlier! Symbaloo is possibly one of the easiest websites to navigate, it stores all of my important websites, and it's free! I am so excited about creating my PLN. I have started, and slowly it is coming together.

C4T #2

Jenny Luca

My assigned teacher for this post was Jenny Luca. Jenny is the Head of Information Services at Toorak College in Mt. Eliza. Mt. Eliza is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Jenny believed that web applications had potential in the classroom, so in 2008, she began exploring and using these resources. In her blog, she provides helpful tips about web applications for the classroom. The first blog post that I commented on was Storify your English Classroom”. Jenny is currently teaching “year 10 English”. Their focus this term is “a thematic study about power and greed” with their study text of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. She is using Storify this year. She says that it is a simple application to use, and is now offered as an app for the iPad. I did not know what Storify was, so I did a little research and found out that Storify is an application that allows you to create a social story. Here is the tutorial video that Jenny provides to explain Storify: 


You can compile information, like tweets, Facbook posts, and pictures into a story. I think that using Storify in the classroom is a great idea. This application allows students to compile different communication websites into one story and share it. In order to use Storify efficiently, the student must know how to use Facebook, Twitter, Flicker Photo, YouTube videos, and other applications. Instead of requiring the student to use each website individually, they can assemble them all together into one project. Jenny describes Storify as “something that could be an essential part of any English classroom, just like the pen and paper or folio of old”. Storify seems like an interesting application to use in an English classroom, or any other classroom that requires projects. Instead of writing a paper, or making a poster-board presentation, Storify allows a student to write and publish social stories easily.

The second blog post that I commented on was entitled "School's Out Friday". In this post she includes the video "The The Impotence of Proofreading" and states that a senior English class would benefit from this exposure, but I think that we all can benefit from this video. Taylor Mali, the speaker in this video, is absolutely hilarious. He is talking about all of the typical errors made by students who do not proofread. Honestly, I am scared to submit anything without proofreading now, even a short text. I do not want to be embarrassed like some of these students. This video is worth watching; it might make you think twice about turning a paper or a blog post without reading it numerous times. 


Blog Assignment 7

The Networked Student

the networked student

Before doing this week’s assignments, I did not have a clue what “PLN” stood for, much less what it meant in the teaching world. After watching the Networked Student video, I was amazed by the number of websites this “student” used in his PLN. I find it interesting and frightening that our society is getting more and more dependent on technology, like computers and the Internet. This student uses many different helpful websites and organizes them all together in one place, making them available to others, like me.
The major question asked, towards the end of the video, was, “Why does the networked student even need a teacher”? Well, this is an interesting question. This video points out a few answers for this question. The first answer is that the teacher “teaches him how to build his network and take advantage of [the] learning opportunities”. Other answers included: guidance, advice for communicating properly, navigating through good and bad information, assisting in turning a web search into a scavenger hunt, and teaching the student how to organize.
I find all of these answers true, but I do not think these answers are the only reason educators are still needed in the classroom. I feel like this video describes an educator as more of a coach than a teacher. I definitely agree with the idea of using technology in the classroom, like smart boards, but I think that educators are still needed to teach lesson plans and curriculum and guidance. For some students, the only parenting they receive is from their schoolteachers. I have taught in day cares and tutored in elementary school, and honestly some of those kids would not survive without their teacher. I have heard 3rd graders say things that I had never heard before, including curse words and other phrases. Sure, you might say, “well, they do not know what they are saying, they just heard it from somebody else”. Well, when a 3rd grader shouts a dirty word across the room and does a gesture with it, I know for a fact they know what they are talking about. This child did not know that the word and gesture were unacceptable in the classroom. How would he act in public as an adult if he were already acting like this as an elementary school child? I do not think he would know how to act with out the guidance of his teacher because obviously he was not receiving guidance at home. In conclusion, I agree that educators should teach students to learn how to use technology, but I also think that teachers are needed for guidance about socially acceptable behavior and for teaching the basics, like grammar, math, and science. I am a little scared about what the future holds for educators. I know that keeping up with this technology will be difficult for me. Hopefully, educators will still be needed for teaching the basics and not just for guidance on how to use technology. 

A seventh grader's P L N

I thought this was an awesome video. This student has really learned how to use technology. By using Symbaloo, this student was able to organize all of her important websites and personal websites in one place. She is able to reference these at any time. She says, “I really like learning this way because I get more freedom… I can choose how to do it and when to do it”. Learning like this teaches a student responsibility, which is a great characteristic to learn at a young age.
When comparing my PLN to hers, my PLN is not as vast. I am still discovering important and useful sites that will be added. I hope one day my PLN is this useful. I found this video helpful; I now understand what a PLN is and how beneficial it can be.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

C4K Summary #1

Students using computer

C4K #1: For this assignment, I was assigned Menrinna in Mr. Chamberlain’s 8th grade 6th hour class from Noel Elementary School in Noel, Missouri. The post that I commented on was a short poem written by Menrinna. It was a short poem, but had a lot of emotion embedded within. In my comment, I told her that I was a student at the University of South Alabama and that I am planning to teach high school kids. I told her that her poem was full of anticipation and good similes. My favorite line was “wing floats past me like the whispers of old men talking” because it gives the poem a “life-like” feeling. I loved her poem!

C4K #2: For C4K #2 I was assigned Sandhol who is in 4th grade. In this post, Sandhol explains his favorite activity from this year. The activity that he described was a “picture perfect AR party”. He liked the project because the students got their own cameras and could take pictures of anything they pleased. After taking pictures, the students were given a party, with apples and dip, and watched America’s Funniest Home Videos. In my comment, I told Sandhol who I was and that I was planning to teach one day. I also stated that I enjoyed taking pictures and watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. It sounded like they had a great time with this project. 

C4K #3: For this assignment, I was assigned Kole in Mrs. Garcia’s 4th grade class at Mary Montgomery in Canada. This was my favorite C4K for this month because it was about Mardi Gras. Mrs. G’s class skyped with 4th grade students in New Orleans. Kole and his classmates learned about the Mardi Gras traditions. He explained what he had learned from the students in New Orleans, which included, the meaning of the colors, purple, gold, and green, the meaning of the baby in king cake and the amount of garbage left in the streets after the celebration was over. I told Kole who I am and that I have plans to teach high school students. I told him that, like New Orleans, Mobile also celebrates Mardi Gras. I also stated that some of my family members ride in the parades and that there is a lot of trash in the streets once the party is over. 

C4K #4: For student number 4, I was assigned 5P3 RF, a 5th grader from Iowa in Mrs. T.G.’s class. This post was written in December 2011 and it was about Subway. This 5th grader talks about how great Subway is, from the time you walk in to the smell of fresh bread, until the time you walk out with a stomach full. He stated that you get to pick your own toppings, including salt and pepper, pick a cookie or chips, and have “pop or water” with your sandwich. In my comment, I explained who I am  and told the student that after reading this post, I was hungry. I also explained my favorite sandwich and told him that I like to drink Coke and eat chips with it.