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.