Sunday, May 5, 2013

Project #13

Through EDM 310, I have learned how to collaborate many forms of technology. Some of these forms of technology include Skype, Google Drive, Google +, Google hangout, and Facetime. I was aware of Skype, Facetime, and Google hangout prior to taking this class. Google Drive became a highly convenient means to communicate and share information. My group used Google Drive to share and edit documents which we used to create our iBook. I plan to continue using Google Drive in the future. I believe I can find many ways to incorporate it into my career as an educator. All of these tools can be very useful for people with busy schedules or those who are working together over a distance. With these tools we were able to piece together our projects and decide when to meet to record them.

Blog Post # 15

Final Reflection/exam

Part 1

As a future educator, I imagine my classroom as being a fruitful environment for students to learn. I will strive to be an educator who is fully dedicated to their students. I want my students to be independent learners and for them to possess the desire to always want to know more. I plan to incorporate the use of technology in my future classroom. I imagine my students using computers or even their own iPads to blog about what they have learned and what they have gained from the experience. I will be teaching on the elementary level, but I believe my students will be able to successfully learn from the use of technology as well as a student on the high school level. Mrs. Cassidy's first graders, whom we did a blog post about, are a perfect example of that idea. I'm not completely sure exactly what grade I will be teaching, but I am thinking along the lines of 3rd or 4th grade. Since I am minoring in English, I will likely plan special activities when teaching this subject since it is my strong point. I may also continue my education in the future and teach English on the college level later on. I see my students striving to be the best they can be in all that they do.

I could see Skype being used in my future classroom to gain insight from other educators or even special people the students could learn about. One example of a special person might be an author of a particular book we read in class that the students liked. I'd like my students to be hands-on learners because I believe this is the best way to learn. You learn from the experience itself rather than just simply reading about it in a textbook. Hands-on learning also incorporates an aspect of fun into learning.

I plan to make use of the SmartBoard in my future classroom. I knew a few things about using a SmartBoard through my experience with using them in high school, but in this class and a few other education classes I have learned many new tricks and tools which can be used on a SmartBoard. I also plan to use blogging not only for myself to record a reflection of the school year, but also for my students to record what they have learned. I will most likely wait a few years before beginning to blog about the school year. I will do this so that I can look back on my journey and where I've been as I continue to move forward.

I will try out using Google Drive to collaborate with other educators on lesson plan ideas. As I have learned in this class, there are so many people out there with their own unique opinion from which we can learn. Google Drive could be a way to learn from other educators because even after you have your own classroom there is still always room for improvement.

As I look back on what I wrote at the start of the semester, I see I had a plan for how I see my future classroom. I would not want my classroom to be about "burp-back" education. I knew I wanted my students to have fun learning. I would make a change to add more technology into my teaching. At the start of the semester I was not sure about how I felt about the use of technology. I see how much I have learned from the use of technology and I know my future students will learn just as much if not more from the use of technology in the classroom. I still plan to keep some aspect of lecture in the classroom considering I will be teaching elementary students, but I plan to find a different way to test the students. One way I could evaluate the students on what they have learned is by assigning a project based on the material they are studying.

I never knew by the end of the semester I would be thinking about making my future classroom centered around technology, but I feel I have been warmed up to the idea. I like the idea of technology in the classroom. One reason I would make this change is because we are such a technology based society. Technology and the use of the latest gadgets is what the students know best. This will encourage and help them to learn.

Part 2

Thursday, May 2, 2013

C4k Summary April

C4K #8
On Tuesday, April 2nd we went and saw a man named Philip Gans. Philip survived the Holocaust and he was in Auschwitz 3.
The Holocaust was so terrible about 11,000,000 people total died. Philip was 15 years old when the Holocaust started and he is now 85 years old.
You will probably never see a Holocaust survivor in your life, but if you have, please share their name with me.
My comment:
 I enjoyed reading about your experience when you went to see Philip. It is unique to meet someone who was there during particular moments in history, especially the Holocaust. I can’t say that I have ever seen a Holocaust survivor in person, but I remember watching videos of accounts from Holocaust survivors in school. What did Philip share with you? Were you surprised?

Dazmy C. April 14, 2013 Mrs. Geldes 4th grade class in Nebraska C4K #9
Nebraska is a beautiful landscape filled with amazing creatures and life. For example there are deer,badgers,coyotes,bobcats,prairie dogs,otters,beavers,rabbits,skunks,and squirrels all live hear in the woods,water and open land. My favorites are the bobcats & rabbits what’s some of your favorites.
Nebraskan team is the huskers. One of my favorite things in Nebraska is there zoo the Henry Doorly zoo it has lots of animals and the have peacocks running lose. And there dome thats like a desert.
Our motto is “Equality before the law”. Our state tree is the cottonwood wich in the summer it blooms cotton but not the kind that we use for clothing,the state bird is the western meadowlark its a bright yellow songbird with a black v on its chest 5 other states have this bird as there state bird can you gease what they are is it your state bird? The state flower s the goldenrod it con be found near the roads,the state beverage is milk and our state soft drink is kool-aid and what’s cool about it is that not to many states have a soft drink. We don’t grow to many things but what we do grow boy do we grow a lot of it. We are the leading makers or corn. We also grow lots of soybeans ans wheat and in the the summer it smells because the cows stink a lot.
So where ever you live in the world I’m shere it’s really pretty so tell me about your state.
My comment:
 I really enjoyed reading about Nebraska. I’ve always wanted to travel out West. It’s interesting how the state beverage is milk and the state soft-drink is kool-aid. I never knew there was more to states other than the state bird and state flower. Great post!

19 April 2013 Jayden in 4th grade at Leopard Primary School in Victoria, Austrailia in Mrs. Kathleen Morris and Miss Kelly Jordan's class
Easter Holiday
Today I am going to share some work with  you that I did in class.The work that I am going to share with you is a recount about my Easter holiday.I hope you like it.
 At the moment my focus is to get better at doing paragraphs

My Holiday

On Good Friday I had to go to the Leopold Easter egg hunt. Because my mum had to help out  there. I got half a bag of Easter eggs from the Easter eggs in the hay. I saw Luke there .I did a lot of thing with him. It was so fun.
The day after Good Friday we went camping at the back of Stieglitz’s . I had my own tent so did my brother, my mum had a three room tent . My brother had to sleep in there for a night because his tent had a leak. There was creek behind us when I went to bed all I could hear was water from the creek . There was a camp fire already set up there and a shelter set up it was a lot of fun.

My comment:

I enjoyed reading about your eventful Easter holiday. Easter is one of my favorite holidays. I can’t say I’ve ever been camping, but your post makes it sound like a fun activity.

Monday, April 29, 2013

C4T summary

C4T # 4 

4/14/13 - The teacher I was assigned to comment on was Mrs. Greta Sandler. Her blog is entitled "About a Teacher." She updates her blog monthly, but her last post was during October of 2011.

The first post of hers that I read was entitled "Finding My Voice." Mrs. Sandler talked about how when she was a little girl she loved to write. She savored each and every opportunity she had to write. Her Great Uncle is a poet and once wrote a poem with her. She would share her writings with him.

As the years passed by, she went through some rough times and unfortunately lost her inner voice and her love for writing. She tried and tried to regain this love, but she was at loss for words. She developed writer's block for several years.

When she became older and more connected with her passions of teaching and technology the writer inside seemed to wake up. She felt the words swirling in her heart and head. She signed up for a WordPress account and still couldn't write. Although something was changing, she still couldn't find a way to get the words out.

Through her involvement with her PLN, she began commenting on blogs and found herself taking a long time to come up with the words for a comment. A message from her friend, Pernille Ripp, eventually allowed her to regain her voice as she was presented with an opportunity that she was humbled and honored with. Her words began to flow like magic.

My comment:
Writing has always been a passion of mine. It seems to be a talent I have. In high school, some of my writing was published in anthology books. I am glad you found a way to rekindle an interest in writing. I've always had trouble expressing myself verbally, but when I put pen to paper it's like taking on a completely different identity. I decided to major in Elementary Education, but I kept my passion for writing by choosing to minor in English. I enjoyed reading your post.

4/28/13- In her next post entitled "Kids Motivating Other Kids to Blog!", Mrs. Sandler discusses a special event she held during which she invited her group from the previous year to come in and share their blogging adventure with her students. She found that each student was highly engaged in conversation and was amazed at how everyone wanted to participate by asking or answering questions. She carefully selected a few quotes from a video which shows how much blogging means to them and how important it is for students to learn about new things they are passionate about. Some of the quotes include accounts of how a student received a comment from an uncle who lives in Spain. Another quote describes a map that was created to record each location a comment was received from. The map was filled with various colors all over the world. Mrs. Sandler was astonished with the results and reactions she received from her students. She is well pleased with their encouragement to learn and is excited to blog herself

My comment:
I liked your blog post about kids helping kids. I think it is a great idea. Kids can learn a lot from other kids who have been in their shoes. The kids can form a connection with someone who sees things on their level and learn from that very experience.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Final Report on PLN

As I explored the use of PLNs, I determined they are not as simple to use as they first appeared. One must experience both trial an error to reach a given outcome and one may even come out with a completely different outcome than what was expected. This idea holds true with any aspect of technology as it is constantly evolving and making transitions.

One saying that holds true with any aspect of life is that you will get out of something exactly what you put in to it. You cannot expect a grand outcome if you are only putting in the least amount of effort. If you want to learn, you cannot be afraid to ask questions and explore.

I have found Twitter and Blogger to be quite interactive. I was not a major fan of either as the semester began, but I have found both to be a resourceful means of connecting with an audience that otherwise would not be available.

Blog Post #14

Teacher knows if you've done the E- Reading

This is an article summarizing a new technology known as CourseSmart that is now being tested at Texas A&M. Teachers are able to know if students have opened the text book, read the textbook, or even if they have highlighted in the textbook. CourseSmart allows teachers to track each student through digital textbooks. As with all aspects of technology, CourseSmart comes with both its pros and cons for teachers and students. A student's "engagement index" may be low, but the student may be doing exceptionally well on quizzes. This is evidence that the student may have not even opened the textbook. The teacher must then ask themselves "What does this say about the student?" The teacher must also determine whether or not to speak to the student about their study habits, decided if the textbook is helpful or not, or if the course is too easy. The students are not able to see their "engagement index" themselves, but they are well aware that they are being watched.

As a future teacher, I feel I would need to ask myself these same questions. The most important question would be to determine how to interpret the information. I like the idea that as a teacher I can know whether or not the students have done the reading. Although some students may do the reading, they have terrible test taking anxiety and/or skills. CourseSmart may allow for educators to identify this issue at an early point in the student's educational years. This technology also allows for a new change to be brought about in the classroom with the elimination of reading quizzes and an open opportunity for points to be given for simply doing the reading. As with all new things, there are the pros and cons, but many times the pros outweigh the cons and the new idea can be very resourceful.

As a student, I might think well "so what if I do the reading or not as long as I can summarize the text.." As an English minor, I know it can be quite helpful to have actually done the reading when it comes time for the test. This holds especially true if the test format is an essay. There are still many students that will do whatever it takes to get around doing the reading and to take the easy way out. This is one of the cons included in the article. There are ways around this technology as there are ways around other means of technology. Some examples include simply leaving the screen up and doing other tasks such as surfing the internet or spending time on social networks. The computer can do many things that humans cannot do, but a computer can still be fooled just the same way a human can be fooled. A student may leave the screen up while doing other tasks to make it appear as though they have done the reading. A teacher may think of an idea to have the students show evidence of doing the readings such as marking key points or words which they do not understand. As we all know, there are students that will find their way around completing any task and some of us have been there ourselves. Not only must a teacher decide how to interpret the information provided by CourseSmart, but a teacher must also determine how much they plan to rely on the information. This technology will highlight the study habits of the students and allow more class time and discussion for the students who complete the reading.

My questions for a teacher currently testing this technology:
1) How are you interpreting the information you receive from this technology?
2) How do you evaluate students based on the information?
3) What benefits have you discovered with using this technology? What difficulties/misinterpretations have you discovered?
4) What is your opinion of students who are not completing the reading according to their engagement index, but are doing exceptionally well on tests/quizzes?

My questions for a student currently testing this technology:
1) Do you actually complete the readings or do you find ways around doing so?
2) Do you feel a lack of freedom or like you are being "watched" because of this program?
3) Has this program changed your attitude toward actually doing the readings or is it about the same?
4) How effective do you feel this technology is in the classroom?

My comment on this article:
I am somewhat caught in the middle as far as my opinion on this program. This is because on one hand  it is nice to be able to determine if a student is actually completing the reading, but at the same time a student is able to find a means of getting around this technology. I would like to see the results of using this program and hear opinions of those who have used it. In a college atmosphere, this technology would not be as useful because a textbook is not used as useful as it is in a classroom for younger students. I think this a program that would open up the chance for more "cheating of the system." College students are there on their own self motivation to better their future, and younger students are required to be in class. I feel that college students should not be placed in a situation where they are being "watched." College is about becoming independent.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog Post # 13

Mr. Anderson uses an excellent blended teaching strategy he uses to teach his students. He refers to his method as Q.I.V.E.R.S. Each of these letters stands for a specific piece to his plan to get his students engaged in learning. First, there is (Q)uestion, this is usually the step where you start the
lesson of by presenting the students with a question. This is similar to a bell-ringer and is just simply used to get the students to think. The next step is known as (I)nvestigation. In this phase, the students are told to further explore what has been presented to them. Next, there is (V)ideo, and this is where students watch a video produced by the teacher. The students can watch the video independently or even watch it several times. The fourth step is known as (E)laboration. This is the step during which the students learn from reading and studying the information, charts, or other material given to them. The students then enter a step known as (R)eview. During this step, teachers may meet to discuss the material to see if the students are successfully comprehending what they are to be learning about. The process remains on this step until the teachers are satisfied that the students are successfully comprehending the material. The final step is the (S)ummary quiz. This is where students are accessed on what they have learned from the material.

In my opinion, this is an effective and beneficial method to both learn and teach in a structured way.Mr. Anderson's strategy made me think back on my assigned C4T teacher, Andrea Hernandez, who wrote about learning being messy in her blog post. Anderson's method would "clean up learning." The step by step process provides motivation for the students to become engaged and to be successful. The students must fully dive into the material in order to succeed in this strategy. This will benefit them because they will only learn more as they immerse themselves deeper into learning and reaching a goal. I also think the strategy is a great way to keep both students and teachers on track. It allows students to feel as though they have a path to follow when they get lost in new material. I like the idea of structured learning. I would use this strategy in my classroom to help keep students engaged in learning. The best part about this method is that students must successfully master the objectives before they are able to move on to the next step. This makes sure students are not just doing what they can to get by. All of these are reasons why this can be a highly effective method for not only students, but it can be a great resource for teachers as well.

Special Assignment Blog Post #13

Brain Crosby, a 4th grade teacher at Agnes Risely Elementary School is the author of the blog entitled "Learning is Messy." He posted a video of his presentation at TEDx in Denver where he discussed the activities of his class. Mr. Crosby was presented with an interesting challenge.

Mr. Crosby's class was composed of over 90% of students who spoke English as their second language. He gave a survey during the first week of school which asked questions such as "What is your phone number?" and "What country do you live in?" Through this survey he discovered a lack of connection among his students. He decided to turn toward the use of technology to engage his students. This was a different approach then the methods taken by others who had tried to teach them.

Each student had a laptop and their own blog to use. The class went well beyond simply just reading the textbook. They accomplished this through many hands-on projects such as constructing a hot air balloon that went up over 100,00 ft. The students embedded videos of of their activities and the new discoveries which they learned from these activities onto their blogs. The students explored the history of ballooning and created a wiki webpage. As the students imagined themselves as balloons, they wrote stories. The students then wrote high hopes for themselves, their community as well as the entire world. They put these high hopes on "Stratocards" which went up with the ballons. When it came back they placed pictures of themselves and part of the balloon on it. The students discovered world events that were going on that were not covered by the news through people around the world who began posting their high hopes. All of the students' amazing activities were recorded on their blogs.

Mr. Crosby is amazing. He is an excellent educator who makes use of his creative mind. He not only accepted this difficult challenge and ran with it, but he also went beyond his calling in giving them a worldwide audience. He helped his students uncover amazing possibilities under a broad area. Mr. Crosby learned alongside his students. This is an aspect of being an educator that shows true dedication.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Progress Report on Final Project

Our group, The Avengers, has met a few times to plan and begin creating our project. We chose to create an ibook. We've ran into a few issues with saving the ibook, but we have found that we can save it on a jump drive and transfer it to our ipads. We are unable to edit the ibook on the ipad because you must have the author software to do so. We also discovered a useful website known as We used this website to create widgets to put our my sentence videos and book trailers into our ibook. We are including each component listed in the instructions, but we each have our own page for each category in the ibook. Our group plans to meet next week as we have been during our normal class time to add finishing touches to our ibook.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blog Post # 12

For this week's blog post we were asked to create our own assignment in our field of study for future EDM 310 students. I am an Elementary Education major, and I am minoring in English. I decided on an assignment that not only would fit with my minor, but one that may also be used by educators of any level.

Metaphor Scavenger Hunt

Locate 5 metaphors having to do with Education. These metaphors can refer to any subject from technology in the classroom to a particular area of study. Metaphors can allow us to see things in a completely different light. We can learn from metaphors, however, everyone interprets differently. Metaphors shape behavior,create realities and roles. Read each metaphor and briefly summarize what the metaphor means and/or is referring to in your opinion. Include a link to where you found each metaphor in your summary.

1) Teacher's Mind Resources
"Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel." -Socrates
This metaphor refers to a similar idea we use in EDM 310 with eliminating "burp back education." Students truly learn by experiencing the lesson on their own. As educators, it is not our job to pour information into the minds of our students simply to have them just repeat it back. We are educators, not programmers of robots. By comparing Education to the kindling of a flame, Socrates is simply saying that as educators we must encourage our students to possess the desire to learn on their own. We are there to guide them in the right direction. Our students are dependent on us to be role models of  self- learning. They rely on us as a flame relies on fuel ,such as wood, for a fire to burn.

2) Teacher's Mind Resources
"A Lesson is a journey, knowledge is a landscape."
Knowledge is a landscape across which the learning journey travels. As we learn, we are essentially on a journey. A journey takes us on an adventure on which we learn from our experiences. We take a journey across an unknown landscape, and we learn from the lessons we experience in our educational journey across a landscape of opportunity.

3) Metaphors in Education
"Teachers are engineers of the soul."
As educators, we are to guide students in the right direction to be successful. One must possess the desire deep within, such as in the soul, to truly believe in themselves that they can be a success. A teacher is responsible for fostering a passion for learning in their students.

4) Teaching International Students
"A good teacher is a shepherd who tends to his sheep."
This metaphor is somewhat self- explanatory. A good educator cares about his/her students. In order to be a good educator, one must put their heart and soul into a love for teaching. If a teacher's heart is not in it for the benefit of the students, then the students will mimic this behavior.

5) Teaching International Students
 "Education is light, lack of it is darkness."
Education opens the door to new opportunity. Without education or learning, we would be essentially "sprinting just to stay in place." Education allows us to make a path for a new journey. Education brings new ideas to light that otherwise may have gone unnoticed. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

C4T # 3

Andrea Hernandez is a teacher at Martin J. Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, FL. Her blog is entitled Ed Tech Workshop. 

Learning is Messy...Cause life is Messy

Andrea Hernandez's post is about how she identifies learning as messy. She says that accepting the mess doesn't mean that the mess is always enjoyable. She describes her approach to the mess as a feeling that deep down inside she still sees a goal that must be met in a way that satisfies a part of her that wants "a neat little package, tied up with a string." She compares the moment to the satisfaction felt after cleaning the kitchen as you gaze upon the "gleaming counter tops and an an empty, shiny sink." She makes a statement saying, "The house would stay clean if one lived there." She says learning is messy simply because life is messy and learning is life. She describes how after conducting research projects with 2nd and 3rd graders how they reflect upon, assess, and discuss the mess and develop strategies on new things to try. She says that the process of teaching and learning differs from the process of cleaning the kitchen because it isn't the same process every time. The process of learning and teaching is iterative. 

After reading the title of her post, I was curious as to what it would be about. I agree with Ms. Hernandez. Learning can be messy. Hands- On learning is the best way to learn and can sometimes be the messiest. Learning is an experience that we all do differently. I agree with her statement that learning is messy because life is messy and learning is life.

Great Virtual Conference Expectations

As Ms. Hernandez returns from the North American Jewish Day School Conference and is in the process of co- organizing the upcoming edJEWcon conference she has thought of "virtual participation" at these conferences. She mentions a post by her colleague, Silvia Tolisano, that led to inquires about virtual conference participation. It was suggested that there not be a charge for virtual participation. This brought the fact that virtual participation has a different meaning to different people. Ms. Hernandez looks into what virtual participation looks and feels like. She describes the two parts of virtual participation. The first part is the work of the virtual participant and the second part is reliance on the face- to - face attendee. There has to be a commitment to connect.

Virtual attendance or communication is becoming more and more popular. Technology such as Skype allows people on opposite sides of the world to connect in a way as if they were sitting right next to each other. I like the idea of virtual connections. It can be expensive to travel and this type of technology allows a way around such expense.

C4K Summary for March

 Saturday March 2, 2013 - C4K #4
 The student's blog I was assigned to comment on was Brandi in Ms. Vannoy's first grade class. Jacey- Blair, an EDM 310 Lab Assistant, is a student teacher for this class. Brandi's latest blog post was posted on Feb. 25. Her blog post said the following: 1.I      love      vannnoy.      2.   she     is     the      best.        3.       she           is       the        sweetest.     4.   I          love       her     so      much. 
  I commented that it is great she has a teacher who she loves. Learning is always easier when you have a connection with the teacher.

Sunday March 10, 2013 C4k #5

The student's blog I was assigned to comment on was Ryan in Carol Mclaughlin's second grade class in Birmingham.  The link their class blog is Miss Mac's Outstanding Owls. Ryan described a special birthday surprise. The surprise was a trip to the American Girl Doll store. This was Ryan's post: I went to the American girl doll store for my birthday.It was a surprise . I thought  me and my cousin Abby were going shopping . We were  going shopping at the American girl doll store.
I commented that it sounded like the trip was a special birthday surprise. I told Ryan that the American Girl Dolls can be a special treasure. I also told Ryan that I collected American Girl dolls myself when I was younger, and I have now passed them on to my niece.

C4k #6 March 24, 2013
 Nick S.  is in Mr. Seyfert's 6th grade class in Waukesha, WI. His post was about how he would like to hang out with Alex Rider because he thinks he is a cool spy. Nick also wrote about how those who have met Alex have said he is handsome.

I commented that I see that he must like adventures since he likes the fact Alex is a spy. I told Nick I am an adventurous person myself. I mentioned it's always exciting to go through new experiences and learn new things. I asked him if he would like to be a spy? 

C4k #7 Rachel in Ms. Lentine's class - March 31, 2013
Rachel is in Ms. Lentine's class. Her post is a letter written to Tracy and Larry who visited her school. They are dancers with empowering stories intended to make a difference. Rachel talks about how she really enjoyed their show and listening to their stories. She was surprised to learn about what it's like for those who can't communicate. She commended them for bringing light to people who can't communicate but still have a lot to say. She wanted to know how they met.

I commented that I enjoyed reading her post. I told her how it's always a great feeling to find someone who is a true inspiration. I also told her I would also be interested in how they met. I asked Rachel  what was her favorite part of their visit was.

Blog Post # 11


Ms. Cassidy's approach to technology is quite the eye opening experience. It's surprising to see these children diving head first into the world of technology at such a young age. When I was their age we were just getting excited about the opportunity to finger paint, but students today can even paint on an electronic canvas such as on a computer and/or on a Smart Board. As these students start using technology early on, they will be able to go to great lengths as they grow. I think the signed permission slip is a great idea because it gets the parents involved.

Blogging was pretty pointless to me at first, but EDM 310 has broadened my viewpoint on blogging. Blogging is a unique way to connect with and meet people whom you can learn from that you may have never discovered without blogging. It allows you the opportunity to read about and comment on the opinions of others, both near and far. Blogging allows you to see things at all different angles, and it essentially eliminates "tunnel vision." Blogging is also a way to record reflections on experiences as we saw with Mr. Spencer.

Some people will remain stubborn and simply refuse to accept the world of technology and it's effectiveness. The truth is that technology can open so many doors that would normally go undiscovered. Technology allows students to learn new ideas in new ways. Technology is the new way of learning. We are all going to look at any one thing in a different way. Some will see the glass half full, while others will see the glass half empty. Technology allows us to gain access to all these viewpoints and compare them with our own. Educating is about making a difference, even if it may just be the slightest difference.

Ms. Cassidy points out that the only way to be successful in the use of technology is to find something that works for you and your classroom. The same thing is not going to work for everybody, but we must each find our own path on which to travel. As educators, we must be successful with technology in order to teach our students to be successful with technology.

Blogging, Facebook, and other social networking sites allow conversations to develop which we can learn from. Twitter, on the other hand, has its limits as it has a 140 character limit. Although Twitter can be used to express a short thought or simply a Thank You.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blog Post # 10

I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga.

After my first look at Mr. Spencer's comic, I was not quite sure what to make of it, but after reading the comments on his blog I gained a better understanding of his point. Mr. Spencer explains the comic as an illustration intended to mock the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials. At first, the comic made me think of how typically it is our human nature to simply take the easier, cheaper, or even faster way to accomplish what is at hand. Once we have done so, we ultimately find ourselves regretting this decision as it comes back to haunt us. Mr. Spencer's point is, although we may not immediately see how the less economical option may benefit us in the long run; this does not necessarily make it the wrong choice. As humans, we often only care about instant gratification. Sometimes we need to realize that it is not always about "What's in it for me right now?". If we broaden our horizons, even just a little, we can see further down the road. As one of the comments on Mr. Spencer's blog stated, "pencil and paper replaced the chalkboard, as the keyboard and tablet will replace the pencil and paper." As teachers we must have the knowledge to effectively and appropriately use technology so that we may pass this knowledge on to our students.

Why were your kids playing games?

In this post, Mr. Spencer takes his readers through the experience of one of his trips to the principal's office. He shares details such as the principal not allowing him to close the door because of his "open door policy. The principal accuses Mr. Spencer of playing games with his students instead of teaching. He tries to explain that the game was both educational and beneficial to the students. He tells the principal that the activity was an advanced stimulation used to produce a mock factory. Mr. Spencer pointed out that soldiers and surgeons use games as a part of their education, but the principal was not changing his tune. The principal told Mr. Spencer that the classroom was neither a war or a hospital. The word "game" can have a different meaning to each individual. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but a different word choice may be needed to satisfy some administrators. As Mr. Spencer states, we tend to think of a game such as tic-tac-toe or a board game. His idea of a "game" is practicing real life scenarios. These types of games allow students to feel a connection with the real world. Students will not only gain knowledge and understanding to benefit them in their future endeavors  but they will also have fun in the process. There is no better way to learn than to be put in the situation itself.

Remember Pencil Quests?

In this post, Mr. Spencer reflects back on his "pencil quests" adventures that he loved as a student. As he looks back, he soon realizes how far technology has led us. He thinks about how something that seemed so exciting to him may not even be used in future classrooms. I attended St. Dominic's from Kindergarten to 8th grade, and I can remember each year going to the computer lab. The computers were big and bulky, but now we have flat screen and more compact computers. I remember almost every assignment involving pencil and paper. This led to a big transition once I entered high school and things became more electronic, such as with As educators, we will go through many phases and transitions with our students. We must be prepared for these changes in order to prepare are students.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

At first glance, Dr. McLeod's post can come across as confusing. Scott McLeod is "widely recognized as one of the nation's leading academic experts on K-12 technology leadership issues." He is the current Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area education Agency 8. He is credited with co-creating the country's first graduate program designed to prepare technology-savy school leaders. Dr. McLeod asks students, teachers and all who are associated with the school not to use technology in the classroom. He explains these tools to be unnecessary. He asks that we not use blogs, Twitter, PLNs, or even cell phones. He is intending to prove his point that technology in the classroom is very beneficial. Students are more prepared when taught by teachers who take advantage of these technology resources. I agree with Dr. McLeod. It is not an easy task to prove to the stubborn individuals of the importance of technology and it's benefits. I will be a teacher who accepts change, and I can only hope that my fellow educators will follow this path as well. More information can be found on Dr. McLeod on his About Me page.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blog Post # 9

 Mr. McClung has written an end of the year reflection throughout his teaching career. He looks back on what he has learned from that particular year of teaching.
   In his third year post, Mr. McClung points out the importance of never forgetting why we started teaching, and that reason is the children. He reinforces the idea that the students are his primary focus and that it should be the same way for all educators. McClung explains that if you are trained to do a particular job, then why would you try to get out of doing that job. I completely agree with him that students will struggle and make mistakes, but as an educator it is important to not just simply take over and solve the problem for them. McClung explains that teaching is not about "fitting in" and that it should not matter what your peers opinions. He points out that a teacher's relationship with their students is more important than trying to impress other teachers in the school. I agree with McClung that it is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure the students enjoy and are not bored with class. A student will learn more if they like what they are doing. He isn't afraid to do things differently such as eating lunch with his students. McClung is a unique teacher who creates his own path rather than just simply following the heavily traveled path.

In his fourth year post, McClung entitles a point saying "You Gotta Dance Who You Came to the Dance With." This makes me think about how in middle school everybody's main concern is simply to care about what your peers opinions are. This relates to McClung's point because he states that it's not important what others think of you. He says he would not change who he is just because of someone's opinion of him. According to McClung, superiors and your students are the only people you should care about as an educator. McClung reminds us that we should not fall into a routine and become comfortable with one particular thing, but rather we should challenge ourselves to take on new experiences. He wants his students to look forward to going to school and not resent it as he did.

Project # 12 - Book Trailer

Sunday, March 10, 2013

C4T #2

The teacher I was assigned is Beth Knittle. The name of her blog is Beth's Thoughts On Technology in the Classroom. Her blog focuses on education, technology, and learning. The link is Her twitter address is @bknittle. She lives on Cape Cod, MA. About 7 years ago, she abandoned teaching middle school science after 19 years to become the sole K-12 Technology Integration Specialist for a farily big district. Her latest post is as follows: 

Happy Birthday Copernicus

Yesterday Google had a doodle for Copernicus on the occasion of his 540th birthday. There have been many pioneers in science that have challenged current thought and understanding. Copernicus challenged the Earth centered view of the universe and gave us the Sun centered view. He was not correct but based on the evidence he had he came up with a new idea.  He stuck to the evidence and conventional wisdom and gave us the modern science of astronomy. The same could be said for many scientific ideas.  With the advent of new information and new technologies what we thought we knew and understood changes. In science nothing is ever really settled, particularly large and complex systems.
Think about the quest for the elements and the smallest particle of matter.  Once upon a time the smallest particle was an atom, then we split the atom and found Neutron, Electrons and Protons.  Since then we have broken these down into quarks. The ‘facts’ and ‘truth’ for one generation are just steps to the ‘facts’ of the next.  I am thankful for all the scientists who continue to question, challenge, test and explore current theories and seek to find new frontiers of knowledge.  Critical, reflective thinking at its best.
My name is Laura Carpenter and I’m a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. Your blog was assigned for me to read. I’m an Elementary Education major. I’m minoring in English, but I have always taken a special interest in science. I remember studying about Copernicus and his discovery of the Sun centered universe. I agree that in the world of science nothing is ever really settled. There is constant research going on that is always bringing about new ideas. I am also thankful for the continuous work of scientists who question,test and explore current theories.
Laura Carpenter

This is the comment I received back: Hi Laura,
Questioning is a skill that should be encouraged in all disciplines. As an elementary educator you are aware that children are innately curious and ask lots of questions. Why? How come? What is that? A parent of a toddler can be come exhausted by all the questions. But some how as children enter adolescents their curiosity subsides. As A middle school teacher I frequently heard “just tell me what I need to know.” I could tell them complete fibs and they would dutifully write it down. Sadly the curious, questioning nature does not return. So I encourage you to foster that curious nature in your students and model it for the adults around you.
I agree with Ms. Knittle that it is important to foster the curious nature that young students possess. 

Is There a Lack of Computer Science in High School?
By: Beth Knittle

In this post Ms. Knittle begins by describing how she is beginning to examine her son's post- high school life. She greatly admires the school which he attends. Her daughter also attended this school and has remarked that she felt more prepared for college than her fellow freshmen. She points out that her son's passions are computers, math and gaming. As Ms. Knittle and her son have started looking into schools that offer computer science and mathematics programs, she has discovered that many schools ask that he complete such course work in high school. The problem they have run into is that his high school does not offer these types of courses. She explains that they are now looking into her son taking an online class or attending a class a a community college. She sees him gaining this experience as an important aspect because it will allow him to discover if this is really something he wants to pursue and to meet the admission requirements.

In her research she discovered that the need for those in computer science greatly outnumbers those entering the field. She explains that everything from your toaster to your smartphone has some type of computer usage. She points out that although it is a much needed skill, these courses are no longer offered in high schools. She points out that if one of the main purposes for schools is to prepare students for the job market then why aren't these courses offered?

I left the following comment: 

I agree with your thoughts in this post. I remember always hearing the statement “You’re main purpose for being here is so that you will be prepared to enter college and/or the workforce.” The closest course that was offered at my high school to Computer Science was known as Business Essentials. It covered subjects such as Microsoft Word and Excel. Thank you for your resources.

Blog Post # 8

1. Richard Miller's This is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2 is not what you would expect. He points out that this is an excellent time for people to take reading and writing seriously. Miller describes growing up in home filled with books. He then progresses to how write today. We carry our laptops around and work in word processing programs. Miller describes writing his project on the one year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting without stepping foot in a library.

It is quite evident that Miller spent a lot of time putting these videos together. He is focused on getting his message/point across, and he does so in an effective way.Technology is always adapting ,and we as educators will be expected to adapt with it. The curriculum is migrating toward being completely technology based. In my opinion, the saying "pencil and paper learning is a thing of the past" is even getting a little behind. I make this statement considering that different means of technology which we used in the past have been replaced with newer versions.

The scary part is not simply writing with multimedia, but rather it is the idea that our future students will be depending on us to show them the way. The outcome of how our students learn depends on how prepared we are. Writing with multimedia is based on staying up with the progress.

2. Carly's blog post #12 is defiantly not short of details. It is evident through her blog and the work she does as an EDM 310 lab assistant that she is a dedicated hard worker. Her videos add a different perspective to the blog. I agree with her statement that good teachers teach by example. I agree that she comes close to Dr. Miller's guide. I like how she examines the idea of inspiration and how she explores where are inspiration comes from.

3. The first student video, The Chipper Series, is unique. Although these ideas do not apply to me personally, I've crossed paths with students like Chipper. For the past couple of weeks, I have been assigned a classmate for C4C who has not kept up with their blog posts. Many EDM 310 students believe these assignments are just busy work. I'll admit that in the beginning I myself second guessed the purpose of some of the assignments. As the class has progressed I've found myself learning new things in unexpected ways. I prefer to be an independent learner. I believe that once we enter the teaching field we will unexpectedly find ourselves looking back on the knowledge we gained from EDM 310.

EDM for Dummies is a good tool to be provided as the semester begins. It gives students a preview of what type of class they are walking into. Along with my classmates, I was not overjoyed to be taking EDM 310, but I have found a way to work with the flow. The class is quite time consuming. You must be dedicated to learning and getting your work done to excel in this class. Once you have discovered the system that works for you, it is important to stick to it. If you maintain your system, you will do just fine in EDM. I was unable to send @jamielynn519 a tweet because the twitter account was not found.

4. The most striking thing in the Learn to Change, Change to Learn video is that the U.S. Department of Commerce ranked 55 industry sectors and education was ranked last at number 55. Coal mining was even ranked above education. Technology is no longer a choice in our society. we can try to get around it in whatever way possible, but in the end we must learn to accept it. Technology is an excellent learning tool for students. and teachers alike. Technology serves many purposes and can connect us to new opportunities that otherwise would have gone undiscovered. Twitter is an example of a source that we must learn to use as an educational tool. Before this class I agreed with most everybody that it was just a social site that informed you of what everybody was eating at the time.I didn't see a purpose to follow everyone's every move. Through my experience with Twitter, I now see that it is a great means of connecting with others that you can learn from.

5. Scavenger Hunt 2.0
 You are to locate 3 of the 5 items on the list and follow the instructions.
1. Locate a tool that is similar to Twitter/Facebook and provides a social platform for teachers, parents, and students. Create an account as a Teacher and write a paragraph or two about how you could use this site in your classroom.
2. Locate the tool most likely used to create this presentation. Once you find this site, look at the top right and click Pricing. Write a paragraph about the nice deal they make for students/teachers.
3. Find a tool to make your own comic strip. Create a comic. Post a Picture of it to your blog.
4. Find a video tool that you have never used. Summarize some of it's special features.
5. Find a tool to create a poll anywhere and at anytime. Create your first poll and post it to your blog.

1. When I searched for this tool I found a site known as Sophia. This site is described as a combination of Facebook, YouTube, and Google Docs. The teachers can create groups for the students, organize units/lessons, and even create tutorials. I would use this tool to create groups for my students so they could interact with each other and access lessons in an online forum type atmosphere. I would also use this tool to create tutorials for my students when needed.
2. I discovered a presentation tool known as ZoomIt. It is a screen zoom and annotation tool  used for technical presentations. This tool will not only zoom in on the screen but will also movement once the screen is zoomed in on. You can also draw on the zoomed in image. ZoomIt works on all versions of Windows and pen input can be used for drawing on tablet PCs. This tool was recently created in early February and is a free download.
3. The tool I found is called Strip Generator. I think this would be good to use for a few projects in the classroom, but I don't see myself using it a lot. I like that you can create the comics in other languages besides English.
4. The video tool I found is known as Tube Chop. This a unique tool because it allows you to easily chop a funny or interesting part from any YouTube video and then share it. You simply type in a keyword or enter a YouTube URL, select and cut the interesting part, and share with friends.
5. Poll Everywhere is an easy site to use to create a survey anytime or anywhere. It's a fast an easy tool to use.
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Saturday, March 2, 2013

C4K Summary for Feb.


Sun. Feb. 10, 2013 C4K #1 
   The student's name I was assigned is Maria Vargas. In her blog post from Feb. 6th, 2013,she wrote an alternate ending to The Giver. The following is what she wrote: "I think that Jonas and Grabiel are going to stop sliding when they reach a fence of a house. The owner of the house, Daniel, is going to see them. Daniel will see that they are sick, and he will call the doctor to help them. The Giver from that community is going to go and visit them. The days pass and Jonas and Grabiel are better. Jonas and Gabe are going to go the Giver’s house and talk to Him. The Giver wants to find out why they ran away from their community. Jonas will explain the reason of their escape. Jonas will ask the Giver not to call his community. People from their community will come and get him and Gabe. The Giver will let them live there. Now Jonas and Gabe are still living in that community."
   In my comment I identified myself as a University of South Alabama student in EDM 310. I said she was quite creative with her version of the ending to The Giver. I told her I can tell she likes to use her imagination. I said I had also read The Giver in the 8th grade. I ended my comment by asking her if she likes creative writing.

Sat. Feb 16, 2013 C4K#2

   The student's name I was assigned is Aaliyah on Ms. Muhammad's 4th grade class blog. Aaliyah's latest post was on Dec. 21st, 2012 entitled "My Rock star Book" where she said the following:Hi my name is Aaliyah I am going to tell you about my book. My book is called Dear Dumb Diary. This story is about how a girl has to partner up with her worst friend name  Mary. Jamie think that she will get popular because Mary is popular. When they had to do the project Mary  said ”if you  do all the work I will make you popular” Jamie said YES! When it was time for them to respond to the class Mary said so loud ”Jamie made me do all the work”. they were ague and Jamie forgot she took some photos and then Mary got in trouble and no longer popular. Do you like my rock star book?
  In my comment, I identified myself. I answered her question by saying that yes I did like her rock star book. I told her she described her book very well, and although I've never read Dear Dumb Diary she made it sound like an interesting book to read.

Sun. Feb. 24, 2013 C4K #3

   The student's name I was assigned is Rowana. She attends Pt England School in Auckland, NZ. She is a student in Miss Lavakula's class. Her latest post was a movie made by her and her classmates. Her post was posted on Monday Feb. 25, 2013. This is because they are a day ahead of us.Each student introduced themselves by stating their name and either their favorite subject or sport. 
   I left a comment identifying myself. I told her I enjoyed learning about her and her classmates and their interests. I also mentioned how I liked how they all did the Harlem Shake at the end of the movie. I thought it was neat to see a connection between what is trending here in the U.S. and Auckland, NZ.

Project # 9 Progress Report on PLN

   Using a PLN is a new concept for me. I looked into both Symbaloo and Netvibes. I learned a lot from the videos attached to Project #9 in the instruction manual. I decided to use Symbaloo to create my PLN. I found myself to be a bit overwhelmed when I started using my PLN. I have found that having a PLN is a great way to learn the skills of responsibility and time management. I think with more practice and experimenting with my PLN, I will get the hang of it.

Blog Post # 7


    Dr. Randy Pausch is a truly inspirational man. I love his quote "It's not about the cards we are dealt, but it is how we play the hand which we are dealt." Dr. Pausch certainly left a great legacy to follow. Pausch would make and excellent role model for anyone to follow. Pausch had such passion for people and teaching. His lecture is perfect evidence of this idea.
    Randy begins his lecture by presenting his childhood dreams. A couple examples of his childhood dreams include zero gravity and playing in the NFL. Pausch did not exactly fulfill his childhood dreams in the exact way you would think, but he points out that dreams can become reality in some shape or form. Randy decided he wanted to help others achieve their dreams as he did. Pausch is an individual who made it his goal to put others before himself. He was very passionate about helping others. This an excellent mindset to have in the classroom. A good teacher has the intention of putting forth the time and effort to ensure their students are successful. As educators, it is our responsibility to not only help students discover the goals they wish to achieve in life, but we must also to guide them in the right direction to achieve their goals.
     Randy stressed the importance of taking the time to dream and putting people before materials. These are only a few important points taken from Pausch's lecture , but these are points I defiantly intend to use in my future classroom. I have always been one to think of others before I consider myself. I like his idea of the "head fake". It's similar to what we would call "telegraphing" our next move in the halftime show in marching band.This would happen if we started to lean a certain way before the count which that move was to be made arrived. Pausch used this idea as an educator to get students to learn before they even realized it.I like this approach to teaching and I think it could be very useful in the classroom. This approach allows for fun to be incorporated into the lesson. This is an excellent way to get students excited about learning.Students don't even realize that they are learning until they are already engaged in the activity.
     A student is more likely to retain what they learned from a fun hands-on activity rather than just monotonically following along in a textbook. I did some research of my own to discover more about Dr. Randy Pausch. I was amazed by his strong will to push on. He never let his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer stop him from being the inspirational man which he was. It is people like Dr. Pausch whom we should hope to be like. Randy certainly left some big shoes to fill, but this only makes his work even more inspirational.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Project # 8 podcast

Our group name is "Ball till We Fall" or as Dr. Strange has us listed, "Bail till we Fail" Our assigned book is by Rafe Esquith and is called "Teach like Your Hair Is on Fire" and we were assigned the Prologue, Chapters 1, 2, 12 and the Epilogue.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Project # 10

The tool I found is called This is a web search engine for students and researchers that aims to make academic information easily accessible to everyone. This search engine searches more than one billion documents including web pages, books, encyclopedias, journals, and newspapers. Refseek has a unique approach that offers students comprehensive subject coverage without the information overload of a general seach engine such as Google or Yahoo. This increases the visibility of academic information and compelling ideas often lost among the sponsored links and commercial results. Refseek even allows you to save documents that are found in your search. I would use this tool to help narrow down my search to just the useful information. I like how this search engine cuts out the advertisements and just gives you what you are looking for. Refseek would make completing a research paper much easier because it narrows down the results of your search to information actually relevant to your topic. Refseek also makes it easier to have access to all your sources when you begin your works cited page by allowing you to save documents. I chose this tool because I know as a future educator it will be my responsibility to teach students how to find accurate information. This search engine will be helpful in doing so.

Blog Post # 6

The Networked Student

   Wendy Drexler's video is a depiction of a true story about a high school student using networked learning in the 21st century. This class only meets three times per week with two days online. The teacher rarely lectures, but is there to answer questions, offer guidance, and teach the skills need to narrow down the abundance of information to the most accurate sources. There are many resources available to students in the world of networked learning. Students are essentially teaching themselves the material.
   I agree that teachers should be migrating towards teaching the skills to find the material rather than the material itself. Finding educational material is a rather simple task. It only take a little practice along with the guidance of a teacher. In the process, students not only learn the material, but they gain the skills used to obtain the material which can be used to further their learning. I've learned a lot about the many tools we have used even this far into the semester. One example of these tools is WolframAlpha search. Networked learning reinforces obtaining skills that can be used beyond the classroom. These are skills that can be used in life in general. A textbook limits students to what they can learn because all that is available to them is what the authors write. Networked learning essentially allows students to "read between the lines" and discover new opportunities. I hope to utilize these tools in my future classroom.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment

I like the idea of using Symbaloo for your PLN. I plan to put this on my computer and begin exploring. Symbaloo is a great way to stay organized and keep everything in one place. This tool allows you to have access to everything you need with just one click from social networking to note taking


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Post #5

My Dream School
Krissy Venosdale's post is about the dream school she would build. I like how she compares her fantasy to the world of Willy Wonka. The way she would design her school sounds exciting and unique. She would include colorful walls, comfy seating, and even a giant tree in the library. She would also include a well stocked science lab for students to conduct experiments multiple times a year. Krissy would base "grade levels" on the students' readiness and ability rather than on their age. Her school would allow the students more opportunity to explore the world around them because she would not follow a mandated curriculum, and she would have a brightly painted bus available for field trips year round. Krissy would allow the students 20% time where they could choose which classes taught by teachers in their area of expertise to attend. She would promote reading simply for the love of reading. Krissy's school would essentially be the best of all worlds for her students.
If I could design my own school, I would do away with mandated State testing. In my opinion, this testing only holds students back and prevents them from reaching their full potential. I would make sure my school provided a warm and helpful environment for the students to learn. I would not allow tests where students simply sat down to repeat what they had memorized. As in EDM 310, my school would be a non-burp back learning environment. I would provide stress free testing where students could actually learn rather than simply becoming programmable robots. I would do away with the punishments often given to students. These punishments don't really teach the students anything and only produce a miserable environment. Students should be able to look forward to school and the new and exciting things they will learn. I would make sure my school was well equipped with all the materials each student would need.

 Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
I thought this project was quite unique. It obviously took a significant amount of time and effort to put together. Instead of the traditional choir, all of these people on video were put together to create a choir. I've known of people using the internet to connect with loved ones that are far away or to conduct business, but I've never seen anything like this video. I think a virtual choir is a very creative idea. It could be a way to bring together a choir of people from around the world and to share cultures from far away places.

Teaching in the 21st Century
Kevin Roberts believes that teaching in the 21st century is like night and day compared to teaching in the past. He believes teachers are no longer the source of information, but rather teachers have become the moderators or filters. He also believes as educators we must teach students how to use sources such as Google and Wikipedia effectively. As teachers we are responsible for ensuring that students know how to narrow down information to the reliable sources. I agree with Roberts because as more technology is brought into our world, the way we do things is always going to change. Last week, while viewing information about podcasting in the classroom, I read that podcasting is effective because it is a tool the students are used to. Students today live in a technological world, and of course technology is going to be incorporated into education. Teaching in the 21st century is no longer a pencil and paper world. The world around us is constantly changing and technology is able to keep up with this change much better than a textbook that is only going to become outdated. Robert's views will affect me as an educator because it will be my responsibility to ensure that my students know how to effectively find information and be able to cite where they found it.

Flipping the Classroom
As with most ideas, flipping the classroom presents itself with a double-edged sword. Flipping the classroom can be an effective way to allow for each student to receive the amount of time they need individually. I think flipping the classroom would have to be used as an experimental approach. In other words, changes may have to be made to the program to solve problems that may arise. I'm not a complete believer in the idea of flipping the classroom, but I would be willing to give it a try. I would want to make sure that by using this method, the students were still getting the instruction they need and deserve. On the other hand, flipping the classroom is an excellent way to promote independent learning. If a student does not do their part, then the consequences directly affect them rather than the entire class.