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 Refseek.com. 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.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blog post # 4

This week we were asked to read and/or listen to podcasts. The first podcast I listened to was the Flat Stanley Podcast. I remember reading the book Flat Stanley by Jim Brown as a kid. It's a great book to inspire adventures for kids. Through the use of Flat Stanley these kids are learning while still having fun. This activity will likely be something they will always remember. When you are listening to them, you feel like they are right in front of you telling you all about their adventures. My favorite was, Jasmine, who chose London, England as her adventure. As she was describing Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, you can almost imagine those places in your mind. I also liked the girl who chose Alabama as her adventure. It was cute how she said "Roll Tide!" You can tell the students really like their teacher. She is one who is there for the most important reason, her students.

The next podcast I listened to was 1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audiobook. I think this is a unique idea. The students were taken out of class in small groups to be recorded. Each chapter ending was followed by a special sound. This helped students who had lost their place. I was amazed how interested the students were with tracks, dead air, sound clips, moving clips etc. The students showed real emotion and really seemed to be into creating the podcast.

Next, I watched/listened to The benefits of podcasting in the classroom. I agree with the opinions stated in this video about podcasting. When a student is sick and unable to attend school, a podcast is an excellent way to for them to keep up with the assignments and/or lectures. As the video stated, students today have never lived in a world without personal computers or the use of technology. Podcasts allow students to learn in a way they are use to. Creating and uploading podcasts is an easy process. This makes it an easy and effective tool for everyone. Podcasts are also a way to get parents involved in what their children are doing at school. Students are prompted to use creativity and innovation through the use of podcasts.

For my podcast, I see that the use of inflection, fluency, and pitch are very important when recording.Your podcast will not be inviting if you use a monotone voice. Everyone must be prepared before recording or the podcast will just be chaos.

Project #5 Presentation

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Special Blog Post #1

When I searched on WolframAlpha for "Compare Populations of India, China and the United States." I found many statistics. The statistics consisted of a comparison of India, China and the United States. In 2010, it was estimated that the United States was populated by 309 million people, China by 1.35 billion people, and India by 1.21 billion. By these statistics, you can see China was populated by the most people. This was not a surprising fact to me because I knew these cultures were highly more populated than the United States.

For my two example searches I searched for "Compare Vehicle use in the U.S. to vehicle U.S. in Japan." There are roughly  254.4 million vehicles in the U.S. while there are only about 88.2 million in Japan. Both countries predominately use passenger cars. My second example search was "Compare Alabama's population to Colorado's population." I found that Alabama has a population of 4.803 million people and Colorado has a population of 5.117 million people.

WolframAlpha is relatively new to me. I have always used Google, Yahoo, and Wikipedia. On Wolfram, you must be very specific with your searches. I discovered that Wolfram can be used to solve math problems. This search engine has lesson plans for educators to use, making it a useful tool in the classroom. I think WolframAlpha is useful because it shows statistics in various ways such as through the use of charts.

I was not surprised by the numbers on Gary Hayes' Social Media Count website because the world we live in today revolves around social media. There are many people who are essentially addicted to social media and feel they cannot survive without it. These are the people who post about every waking moment of their day. As technology goes through change and growth, we must adapt to it. If the numbers are changing this much now, I can only imagine what the numbers will look like a few years from now. The websites we use today will be different from those we use in the future. As new sites are created, old ones become less frequently used as popularity decreases. An example of one of these websites is MySpace.
As a future educator, I believe social media will become an even more helpful tool to explore the world around us. As a society, we rely heavily on the internet. This attachment will only grow as we progress into the future. I view the use of social media as an educational tool in a positive way. Social media has it's downsides, but it can also be used to educate such as in EDM 310.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Blog Post #3


Peer Editing

After viewing the videos and slide show on peer editing, I learned peer editing can be easy as long as the rules are followed. The first rule is to compliment your peer. It is important to stay positive when peer editing. The second rule is to make suggestions. The point isn't to criticize the writer, but to point out ideas you think they could use to help improve their writing. The final rule is corrections.

When making suggestions, a good place to start is to look at the writer's sentence structure. Did they use run-ons? Look at the writer's organization. Does their writing need revisions? When following the final rule, corrections, it is important to look at the writer's spelling and grammar. Overall, it is important to remember how you would want a peer to edit your paper.

Assistive Technologies

These are interesting tools to learn about. These tools allow those who have lost certain abilities to feel normal again. I saw a TV show once where a man had to use a device that automatically wrote out what everyone around him was saying because he temporarily lost his hearing. It is important for those who have handicaps to be able to feel like an independent member of society. These people may be less fortunate than we are, but we can learn from them. They learn to work with what they have. It's great that we have the means to create assistive technologies for those who need them.

Ipad Usage for the Blind

As an Ipad owner myself I was amazed by the ability of a blind person to use an Ipad. As technology evolves more and more devices are using touch screens. When a device uses keys, Brail allows a blind person to navigate their way around the keyboard, but when a device is incorporated with a touch screen they are no raised areas. Since the screen is flat, a voice-over is the only way to communicate to a blind person what they are touching.

When a blind person navigates their way on a touch screen using a voice-over, they are sure to experience trial and error. Even people who can see must learn to navigate their way around a new device. It can be even more difficult without the ability to see. A voice-over essentially becomes a blind person's eyes.


This device is quite unique. I've never seen anything like it. I like that the device offers immediate feedback to the student. Since the device saves,transfers and receives files from computers, it's almost like a flash drive for those with disabilities.

Vicki Davis' Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

I really admire Vicki's ideas to teach students to be self-learners. As I think back on my high school days, all I can ever remember is just simply being taught to retain what the teacher said, remember it for the test, then that was it. The only true way to learn is to be independent and learn for yourself. If you are only repeating what you have been told, you might as well be a robot. You will never develop your own opinion unless you are given the opportunity to do so.

"Burp-Back Learning" will only hold students back. A student is allowed to become their own person and gain independence through being a self-learner.