Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Project 15 Redone

Hey everyone!
 I did my first book trailer with movie maker and I really hated it, so I redid it with iMovie on the mac.

Check it out on YouTube by clicking here!
Or watch the embedded version below.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Final Project 16

Courtney Mathis, Bailey Abston, and I did our final project 16 together. We made a website which was inspired by the EDM 310 for dummies video that we saw at the beginning of the semester.

Final Report on My PLN

This is a screen shot for my EDM 310 PLN. I have become obsessed with symbaloo, so I have several pages. This is my EDM 310 section. I have tabs for all of the sites we have accounts for in this class. I also have links to several blogs we were assigned too as a class, along with blogs I was individually assigned too. It makes it so much easier and faster to get to my class blog, the EDM 310 class blog, the University home page, and my online classes. It is also faster for me to get to my social networking sites and email accounts this way. I have other pages that other teachers have developed with educational resources and other teacher blogs to follow. Everytime I find a website that I find more helpful or visit often, I replace a tab I don't use often or add it to one of my other pages.

My EDM 310 page has the following quick links....
7. ANT
29. iTUNES

Special Metaphor Assignment (Blog Post 14)

Tom Johnson Blog Header

I did not comment on Tom Johnson's post, because I like a few others misinterpreted the instructions. However, I did read the post and I definitely understood that it was a metaphor.

I think it would be hard to miss it. Maybe if some people did not understand the exact metaphor that it was about computers, I would assume that they at least noted that it was an article pro-technology and advancement in the classroom, thinking that the article was just picking fun at pencil usage and the people whom are anti-technology enhanced classrooms.

The first hint that it was a metaphor was "Tom, Tom, you cannot have students bring home pencils and paper." Well, you obviously can have students bring home pencils and paper, so that was shouting something was up from the get go.

A second example was " 'Is this about damage of property? I've had parents sign legal waivers.' 'It's not that, either. I have a journal article about how students who use pencils at home have lower standardized test scores.' " Firstly, no one would be worried about property damage of a pencil. Secondly children who use pencils at home certainly do not have lower test scores. Children who have t.v.'s or computers in their rooms do. Which one would children be using at school t.v.'s or computers? Computers.

Another hint was "Because the poor are often marginalized, clever marketers tailor pencil use in poor areas toward entertainment. So, they come into my class thinking, 'Cool, this is a toy.' But we can change the paradigm." Firstly, who is marketing pencils these days? Unless it's a new kind of pencil which is greener or writes for itself or something, no one. Secondly, who thinks "Cool, this is a toy" about a pencil? No one, but people DO think that about computers all the time.

The final hint was  "But if they choose to play Hang Man or go on the pen pal networks, I'm okay with it. There's probably some learning that's taking place that we don't realize." Hang man is obviously a metaphor for all of the games which are on computers and pen pal networks are obviously talking about social networking through technology like skype, twitter, facebook, etc.

I encounter tons of metaphors on a daily basis. It is a common part of American communication. A short list of some of the metaphors I encounteres were....
"The grass is greener on the other side"
"He's not the brightest crayon in the box"
"I'd kill for an Ahi Crunch roll from Stix right now!"
"Your definitely getting coal this year. Its only April and your already on the naughty list."
"She's about as stong as a 3 year old girl."
"I'm going to die if I don't get some sleep soon."
"Oh well. No use is crying over spilled milk."

As educators we can help our students understand metaphors by teching them to use context clues. If they are reading something that doesn't make sense, or one word doesn't fit, they should consider that they may be reading a metaphor. Think about the other words and parts of the story and see if something else would fit and make it make more sense. Metaphors are comparing two things which usually do not go together. So students should consider trying a word that is the opposite of what is written.

We use metaphors to make our writing and speaking more colorful and entertaining. Using metagphors is a great way to use our imaginations. Sometimes metaphors make something more relateable. If we know someone doesn't understand what we are trying to say, we can compare it to something they are familiar with or something that is an extreme version of what were feeling.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

C4T #4 Summary- Scott Mcleod



Technology, Leadership, and the Future of Schools

Post #1
"The Future of Learning"

black and white picture of man holding a crystal ball over his right eye

In this post, he talks about current trends in learning and technology. He gives a list including: digital rather than ink on paper, informal, online not depending on local human contact, mobile, multimedia, self-directed, networked, personalized, computer based, accessible, project-based, simulation, and game based. He says we are not going to move backwards in terms of technology and it is only going to become more present in the classroom and in all aspects of learning. He poses several questions at the end. How do we design our classrooms to involve these things? If we don't, will education remain relevant to students, families, and the community? Finally he asks his readers what they think of the list and if there anything you'd add or remove?

Response #1
In my response I introduced myself and told him that I was currently taking Dr.Strange's EDM310 class. His post seemed to spark a debate between commenter's who did or did not believe in bringing more technology into the classroom. After taking this course, I am obviously with the commenter's who were for more technology in the classroom. I said that I, as a student, loved technology in the classroom and fully expect it to be more and more present. I agreed that social interaction is just as important at schools as academic education is. School can be technology based without students being home schooled. Students can still attend school as they already do and interact with their peers. They will just use laptops and smart boards as the means of schoolwork. I also noted that it could eventually save schools a lot of money and by blocking technology from the classroom we would only be hindering students from learning information which will without a doubt be constantly present in their future careers.

Post #2
Are administrators who blog and Tweet self-indulgent at the expense of their schools?
woman eating a huge sundae

In this post he is talking about principals and superintendents who spend large amounts of time blogging and tweeting. He asks, "Are administrators who blog and Tweet self-absorbed and self-indulgent, gorging themselves on the Web and enhancing their own reputations at the potential expense of their schools organizations? Is it true that administrators who are running 'really tough schools' can't (or shouldn't) blog and tweet?"

Response #2
In my response to this post I argued my opinion on why tweeting and blogging by principals and administrators is not self-indulgent, self-absorbed, nor a waste of the schools time. I said that blogging is a great way to communicate with coworkers, other administrators, students, parents, and the community in general. It is also a great way for the readers to be able to poise a question or make suggestions on the subject at hand.
I also made the point of saying that blogging is not always done during school hours. It may be done before school, after school, during breaks, lunch, or even in between meetings.
I then began my mini rant on tweeting. I said that principals and administrators tweeting does not bother me at all! Posting a tweet takes no time it all. It can only be 140 characters for goodness sakes. How long does it take someone to write one sentence? Most tweets can be posted as fast as a short txt message. So I ask the question, "How much time do we really think they're wasting?" Finally I said that often times if you post a question to twitter, it will be answered a lot faster than if you tried to research and verify the answer on your own.
So my answer to his question would definitely be NO, principals and administrators are not wasting school time and being self-indulgent and self-absorbed.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

BLog Assignment 13


Alex is a great website for educators in the state of Alabama. If you go to the website there are 8 sections "Courses of Study," "Web Links," "Lesson Plans," "Search," "Personal  Workspace," "Professional Learning," "Podcast Treasury," and "ALEXville."

Click on the "Courses of Study" section. There are 12 subsections you can select, based on the course you plan on teaching. I am majoring in English/ Language Arts, so I selected the "English Language Arts" subsection. You are then taken to a page where you select the grade level you are teaching. I would really like to teach college but am majoring in Secondary Education, so I selected grade 12. There are several sections which describe things you will be teaching. Once you decide what it is you want to be teaching there is a link for all of the lesson plans available.

If you click on the "Web Resources" link it will take you to a page with 6 sub categories. There are links for teacher web resources, administrator web resources, and student web resources. There is also a subcategory which allows you to search for helpful links. There is even an area to reccomend good web sites. Finally, you can report broken links and sites. 

The "Lesson Plans" page is great. You can add your own lesson plan or search for particular lesson plans by name or school. Finally there is a search engine where you can enter criteria such as subject areas and grade levels.

The next two sections are "Search" and "Personal Workspace" the "Search" page you can do two things. Your can search the "alex/thinkfinity" by entering search criteria. You can also search by narrowing down your search to 4 subcategories. In the "Personal Workpsace" section you can create your own account for the alex website. 

As a future educator I think the alex website will be very useful in my career. I think the most helpful part of the website will be the available lesson plans. 

Distance Learning
ACCESS website's banner
ACCESS stands for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide. On their home page it states, " Our Vision: The State of Alabama will provide equal access to high quality instruction to improve student achievement through distance learning." Access offers distance education for all Alabama Public high school students. It was started on November 1st, 2004. The website offers several courses including graduation exams, 14 advanced placement courses, test prep courses, and several other miscellaneous courses. CAST is Connecting Access Staff and Teachers. There are several resources including advanced placement test prep, alabama virtual library, alex, apt plus/ discovery streaming, chem lab, curriculum pathways, distance learning week, exam exemption form, graphmatica, hippocampus, mathtype, netrekker, and sreb.

C4K 7,8,9, & 10 Summaries

C4K #7
Mr. McClung's World
Mr. McClung's World Banner
Best Blog Nomination
NCAA March Madness Logo

My Comments for Kids #7 was Mr.McClung's World. I was assigned to the post "Lesson Four- March Madness." Mr.McClung comments on how basketball talk is taking over schools, workplaces, basically all conversations. He said that he was planning on watching the basketball coverage over the weekend and watching his bracket ultimately fail.

In my response I told him who I was and that I was a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. I also told him that I did not follow basketball on T.V., but was not oblivious to all of the basketball talk going on around me. Finally, I told him about how one of my teachers from my senior year in high school had the whole class fill out a bracket. Whomever's bracket won, or was the closest, got five extra bonus points for class. He found it entertaining because it was almost always a girl who knew nothing about basketball that won.

C4K #8
I'm not sure what my C4K assignment was, so I'm going to have to go back and search for it. I will update this post with more information as soon as I find it.

C4K #9
Mrs. Yollis' Class Blog
Digital Voice Award

Best Class Blog First Runner Up

Lifetime Achievement Award

Best Class Blog First Runner Up

As can be seen above, Mrs. Yollis' Classroom blog is obviously an impressive one. Most of us already knew this before we even had this assignment since we have used her insturctions in our own class. 

In the "Meet Mrs. Yollis" section, she has posted a few pictures of herself. She also tells us that it is her 24th year of teaching. She is not only a teacher but a student, who has just received her masters degree. She also talks about how she loves to travel and the places she has been. 

In the "Meet the Bloggers" section there is a picture of her class. She tells us that there is a combination of 11 boys and 11 girls in her classroom.

In the "How to Comment" section, there is a video on how to comment. In the video she shows not only how to literally post a comment, but also what should be included and excluded from comments.

The "Learn HTML" section, is one that we are all familiar with. It is a great way to learn about using HTML.
♥ ♔ ★ ☆ ☀ ♠ ♦ ♣

The "Time Zones of Friends" is a fun page to go see what time it is in other time zones and countries. 

C4K #10
Jaden's Awesome Blog
Jaden from behind in a basketball Jersey

My Comment for Kids #10 was a boy named Jaden from Mrs. Yollis' class. His post talked about a basketball game he recently attended. It was between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Maverick. Jaden posted a picture of himself from the game (see above). In his post he talked about the score at the end of each quarter. He also asked three questions at the end. "Have you ever been to a Clippers game?" "If so, who did they play?" "If not, would you want to see a clippers game?"

I responded by telling him who I was and where I went to school. I also told him I was taking Dr.Strange's EDM310 class and the kind of things we learn about. I told him that I didn't really like to watch sports as much on television, but that I do like to watch them in person. I told him that I had not been to a Clippers game yet. Finally I told him that he did a very good post, because he added a picture and posed questions for his readers.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Project 16 progress report

I am in a group with Courtney Mathis and Bailey Abston. So far we have been brainstorming and coming up with several ideas. We are trying to decide what we can all contribute to equally, what we can do that will turn out the best, something that equally shows off all three of our strengths, and something that would best represent things we have learned in this class.

Project 15

This is my first project 15 attempt with movie maker. I hated it so I redid it. You can check out my new one on my blog post Project 15 Redone or by Clicking here!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blog Assignment 12

Blog Assignment #12- The Government, Technology, and Education

You may be asking, "How are all of these things related?" Visit this government website to find out how! http://www.edtechactionnetwork.org/why-technology-in-schools. After visiting this website, pick one of the most recent articles on the site and write a summary of what you find there.

Blog Assignment #12
students on computers

After I visited the Ed Tech Action Network, I chose the Technology improves students achievement in reading, writing, and mathematics article. In this article it talks about how "technology engages students in learning," how "technology improves attendance and graduation rates and decreases dropout rates," and how "technology facilitates parental involvement."

It also talks about many different programs which are successful. In Missouri, students are involved in a technology program called eMINTS. Fourth grade students have tested 5.5 points higher on communication arts and 3.6 points higher on mathematics. Middle schools and high schools across Georgia use an interactive learning tool for pre-algebra which have drastically improved scores statewide.

On this website you can also write government officials! I think its a great interactive, educational website.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Instructional Video Project

Blog Assignment #11

Ms.Cassidy's approach in the classroom consists of introducing technology to the classroom and familiarizing students with it from an early age. Early in the video of her classroom it says "little kids, big potential..." I love this! 

The kids really use their blogs, which is great. It really encourages the students. She noted how exciting it is for the kids to get comments. I'm sure that is such a great reinforcer for kids when they are getting feedback from all kinds of people. I'd really love to use this in my classroom. 

She also noted that the blogs are a great way for parents to see what their students are doing in the classroom.  It's much more convenient for parents then trying to come up to the classroom or set up an appointment. 

Also privacy is a big issue for many people. I like that she manages to use the students pictures and names, while maintaining their privacy. She does this, by never putting the name and the picture together (which I love!)

I plan on facing several impediments when incorporating technology into the classroom. I plan on facing challenges with introducing technology into my curriculum, when it comes to dealing with my superiors who may be older, unfamiliar with technology, or resistant to change. 

I also plan on facing financial challenges. I would love all of my students to have a laptop or computer in the classroom which we can work on. Unfortunately, this is not always realistic. Also, I would love to be able to communicate with parents mainly through a blog site, but once again, not all families have a computer at home.

I plan on reaping all types of benefits by using technology in the classroom. Besides all of the benefits mentioned above, I expect to get many more including preparing my students for their future education and careers, updating assignments, making learning fun, and connecting students to other students around the world.

Oh ya, I also loved that students could play games on her website. They are educational games to help students in areas they are struggling in. I love that she gives young kids a safe website to visit and links to other websites which are appropriate.

Ms.Cassidy's students working at a computer station
Ms.Cassidy's students working with computers

Ms. Cassidy's Class Blog

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blog Assignment 10

 Morgan Bayda

Morgan Bayda's Twitter Profile picture

Morgan Bayda's Wordle on her blog

I completely agree with Morgan Bayda (and Dan) in her post "an Open Letter to Educators." I have had more classes than I can count which entail a teacher lecturing, showing powerpoints, drilling dates and facts into my brain, trying to stay awake for the entire hour and fifteen minutes, memorizing my notes, then taking a test on those notes, and finally forgetting 90% of them when I'm done with the class. I also agree that when teachers do encourage me to talk in the classroom it is only to them, not to my classmates. Like her experience with her ed computer class, EDM310 is the only class which has really encouraged interaction with my peers through my blogging, etc. I also enjoyed Dan Brown's video on her blog. He was very entertaining and energetic. I have a feeling I will see several more of his videos in my life.

C4T #3 Summary- Caren Carrillo

headshot of Caren Carrillo and a man smiling

My third teacher was Caren Carrillo. I commented on her posts "Grading Parents" and "A Teacher's Frightening Power."

****"Grading Parents" was posted on January 27th, 2011 in response to the article from CNN stating that parents should receive a grade. She writes a brief overview of what was in the article. Basically parents would get a grade of "Satisfactory," "Unsatisfactory," or "Needs Improvement." Parents would be graded on three things."1. A child should be at school on time, prepared to learn after a good night's sleep, and have eaten a meal. 2. A child should have the homework done and prepared for examinations. 3. There should be regular communication between the parent and teacher."

She stated that these are obvious things that should be upheld, but asks if they should really be regulated. She agreed with holding parents responsible for students tardiness, since students are usually not the ones driving themselves to school. 

She had many good points about regulating breakfast. She asked how we as teachers would know if students had eaten breakfast, "by smelling their breath?" Ha ha. She also made the point of determining what is considered a meal? Is a pop tart ok? Does it have to be a hot breakfast with several different things for breakfast. Most parents work, their is not always a stay at home parent who has time to cook breakfast. Also she made the good point that as a child, like myself, never wanted to eat breakfast at 6 a.m. before school. 

When it comes to a good night sleep, there is NO way to regulate a child's sleep. There is no way to force a child to fall asleep at an exact time, or make sure they sleep through the night, or make sure they dont have nightmares etc.

When it comes to homework, she agrees that homework should be completed. A parent can ask the child to do their homework, but they don't remember everything about every subject. Sometimes parents cannot help their children because they simply don't remember how to do it. She said it was rediculous to regulate a parent for not knowing or remembering how to do something. 

She also goes on to talk about the five bigger implications that are beyond grading including the fact that "attendance is mandatory, caring is not."

She uses posterous and it was not allowing me to post comments, but below is the comment I tried to leave for her on her blog.

****"Hey Ms.Carrillo,
My name is AnnMerritt and I'm a junior at the University of South Alabama, majoring in Secondary Education English/Language Arts. I was directed to your website by my EDM310 professor, Dr.Strange. I really enjoyed reading your blog. 

I could not agree more on the tardiness issue. Students under 16 years old, or without a drivers lisence or vehicle, should not be punished for tardiness. Like you said, "it wasn't you driving the mini-van."

I not only agreed with your breakfast comments, but was also fairly amused by them. I loved your comments about smelling the childrens breath in the morning, ha ha. I as well, NEVER ate breakfast growing up. I still hardly do. It's not that my parents didn't provide it for me, it's just that I was hungry at 6:30 a.m. I didn't get hungry until my break around 10 a.m. 
I also liked your point about working mothers and stay at home moms. Who is to judge a pop tart on the way out the door in the morning to a breakfast with eggs, bacon, grits, etc. 

I also agreed on your bit about communication. COmmunication should only happen when it is necesary. SOme teachers teach a hundred kids. How are they expected to communicate constantly with each one of them? It would not only be impossible, but ineffective. A blog for parents where the teacher posted what they were doing that week could be helpful, but every parent shouldn't have to write a response to every post.

Finally, I agree that there should be suggestions for parents. There should not be laws or requirements or grading for parents. Actually, it would make me want to be less involved with the school if I was getting graded. I would constantly fear getting a "bad grade" or a "bad mark" or be labled a "bad parent." I think the idea of grading parents is rediculous and would cause a lot, and I mean A LOT, of controversy among parents and the school board and teachers.

Thanks for your blog post! It was informative and entertaining. I will be posting I summary of what I read in your blog on  My Class Blog.  
Feel free to visit it anytime,

****The second post I read was entitled "A Teacher's Frightening Power" posted on December 7th, 2010. In this blog she says that she does not think teachers should be held responsible alone for students progressing in school, but that teachers are extremely responsible for how students feel about school.

She goes on to say that she is a thinker. She is naturally curious and that she always questions information that's put in front of her. She then talks about her graduate level teacher and how she did not appreciate being questioned. She says that her teacher would use sarcasm to try and humiliate her and would sometimes send her home in tears.

She then asks the question "should she continue to ask questions and get rediculed or should she simply keep quite and make it through the last few weeks of class?" This is her second set of graduate classes, which she says and obviously shows, that she has a lot of drive and is a very motivated person.

She said that this experience made her really take a step back and question herself and if she has ever made a student feel that way. She said that her horrible experience has made it one of her top priorities to never make her students feel this way and to make them feel comfortable speaking and asking questions in the classroom.

****Once again, her site would not submit my comments, but this is what I tried to comment on her post.
Hey Ms. Carrillo,
      This is AnnMerritt Taylor again, I commented on your "Grading Parents" post last week. I could not agree more that teacher's do have a frightening power! Considering the fact that I am a student, it is something I experience on a daily basis. There are so many classes that I just sit quietly because the teacher is so harsh on people who speak up. In my classroom I will make sure to answer students in a way that makes them feel comfortable to speak up again. In classes where a teacher asks a question, and the teacher simply says No and moves on to the next student, can leave them feeling embarassed simply because they tried to speak up and were wrong. Teachers who say almost, or lets look at it this way, or answers that infer the answer was wrong but the teacher is willing to help the student find the right answers are far more effective. I think making students feel comfortable in the classroom is THE most important thing a teacher can do. I will be posting about what I read on your site and my comments on My Class Blog .
Feel free to visit it anytime,

Special Assignment- Mr.Mclung's Blog

**Mr.McClung likes his students to think of him not only as a teacher, but as a friend. I feel like he really likes his students to have a fun and enjoyable time in his class. I also feel like he wants to involve outside topics in his everyday learning, which I like. For example, my topic was on March Madness.

**I think Mr.McClung sounds like a great educator. I like that he likes to think outside the box when it comes to his classroom techniques. He said that a lot of children have problems with old ways of learning like notes and lectures. I completely agree with that. I like that he involves technology and other outside tactics in learning. I also like that he gets his class to teach each other. 

**I really liked Mr.Mclung's rules. They are definitely rules that I hope to apply in my classroom. His rules show that his class is a discussion type class which he expects everyone to be involved with. It is not a class where you will sit silently while the teacher talks for an hour. I think children learn so much more when they are involved rather than just being taught "at."

**The first thing everyone needs is a class planner. I think this is listed first because it so important for students to be organized, from an early age. I have always used planners and to-do lists. However, I have grown partial to my spread sheet. It's like a to-do list I can access and keep up with from anywhere. It's definitely something I will continue to use even after I'm finished with EDM 310.

**The penalties for late work, is a letter grade a day. As long as you turn your work in by the end of that day, it's ok. In my classroom I may extend this slightly. I may say as long as it's turned in by 8a.m. the next day then it's o.k. I understand that sometimes students have crazy and chaotic days and are just over loaded. I don't mind giving them time after school that night to finish it. 

**His blog is about his classes, his team, and what he "deems cool." I think having a collaborative blog is a good idea to draw in all types of students for different reasons.

Man playing with two army men on table
The First useful link I chose was "Convince Me."  This is a website devoted to debating. It is a free website where people can argue their point on basically anything to try and convince others. I think this is a great tool for students to learn how to speak and write persuasively.  It's also a great way for students to face counter arguements online before they have to face them in person. It is also a great tool for students to learn other peoples points of view. I think these are all reasons that "Convince Me" made Mr.McClung's list.

Owl Logo

The second Useful Link I chose was "Owl at Purdue APA Guide." This website calls itself an "online writing lab." It gives the guidelines to APA style and examples of these guidelines. I picked this link for the same reason I think Mr.McClung added it to his list. It is not realistic that students are going to remember every little rule listed in the APA guide book. Most student's don't always have their APA book handy either. It is a great website to reference whenever their is a question for writing a paper. 

** I think that setting internet rules for students is EXTREMELY important. I also think its important to set up blockers on the internet at school for students, if the school has not already set any.

His first rule states never to use your last name. I am not sure I agree with this rule. I understand that identity theft is an issue, but I use my last name often when commenting or creating profiles. I think there are circumstances where using your last name is perfectly acceptable. However I do like his example of using nicknames like Johnny S. for John Smith. As a teacher, I'm not sure I'd prefer names like "Rowdy Randy" as he proposed. I think that it might make identifying and grading a more time consuming task. 

His next rule is not to use your personal email address in a public website. I think this is a good way to avoid spammers and having your email hacked. I think that using a school email address is the best idea. If the school does not provide students with an email address, then I like the fact that Mr.McClung makes one for his students. I also liked his suggestion to use class email when unsure of the privacy of the website. 

His next rule is not to reveal personal information such as addresses, phone numbers, school names, or school locations. I give out my school information regularly. However, it's important to teach students NEVER to give out their home address or phone number and to never meet up with a random person you meet online.

Finally he says never to respond to a threatening email and to tell a teacher or parent if a conversation ever becomes uncomfortable. I completely agree that the best way to handle a threatening message is to simply disregard it. I also think it is important for students to tell an adult when they think a conversation has crossed the line and become inappropriate. There are tons of predators out there and it is important to nip the threat in the bud.

8. Under Internet Safety I asked you to read carefully the rules Mr. McClung sets forth for safely using the internet. Comment on these rules. Are there any you would add or subtract.

** I like that on Mr.McClung's blog he has different pages. I also really like all of his widgets. I have recently found all kinds of widgets that I can put on blogspot though! There is a whole section of google widgets with codes for blogspot. I use a lot of them on my personal blog. 

**Mr.McClungs blog is useful to all types of people. It is useful for students like me and other students because it is a public website which accepts comments. It also has all types of helpful links that everyone can use. He also has posts which are meant for current and future teachers. It's useful to his students because it has his class rules and syllabus. It also post updates and videos from the classroom. The videos and summaries can help parents (and administrators) catch up on whats going on in the classroom, what their student is really learning, and how they're applying these techniques in school.

**Mr.McClung's blog differs in many ways from other 8th graders blogs. One way, is that there are many posts from the teacher, not just the one initial post from the teacher at the beginning of the year. I like that there is a sidebar with student posts and a section of students post, but it is not all that makes up the blog. I feel like this blog is far more interactive and shows a great relationship between the students and teacher.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Skype Interview

This is an interview of my little sister Patricia Dyer. I asked her questions about her school, classes, and teachers. This may help some future educators know what to do and what not to do.

Comments for Kids Summaries 4-6

Comment for Kids #4
Jordan's Blog Post
My first comment for kids was for Jordan who is an 8 year student at Pt England intermediate School. He is in the class room 19 and his teachers name is Mr. Harris. His school is in Auckland, NZ.

In his blog he talks about how his courses have changed this year. This year he is taking electronics and Science.  He was excited about his electronic class because they got to build cool things. One thing they built was a hat with a torch on it so that you could see in th dark.

I commented that I was also taking an electronics class (edm310) but it was more a technology class which teaches me how to use computers and programs on the internet. I also told him that I thought creating that hat sounded really cool and suggested that maybe he post some pictures of his work to his blog.  I also told him I thought it was really cool that his school went paperless and that I wish we could switch to netbooks (or laptops) and do away with textbooks.

a pitched tent
(Above is a picture from Jordan's blog, but a different post in which he gives the step by step instructions on how to pitch a tent)

Comment for Kids #5
Carlos' Blog Post

Carlos is a year 1 at Pt England School and is 5 years old. Carlos post is a picture he drew on the computer of himself in his uniform. He said that he likes coming to school in his uniform.

I  commented on Carlos' post that I really liked his picture. I also told him that I used to have to wear uniforms to school when I was younger too. Here is his picture.
Carlos in his school uniform

Comment for Kids #6
Room 14 Explorers Blog

Room 14 Explorers are year 5/6 students who form a collaborative blog. I was assigned to their blog post "Respect" which is embeded in my blog below. In this slideshow, they talk about different ways you can respect each other.

I commented on how I agreed that respect is so important for children to learn, and sometimes even for adults to be reminded of. I also commented that I liked how all of the students were involved in the project through pictures. I thought it was really cute that the students acted out the different scenarios through photos for each slide.

Blog Assignment #9

2010 nominated for most influential blogpost
         Post: What I've Learned This Year
         Author: Joe McClung

What I've learned this year was a great article. I agreed with so many points that he made throughout.

First, I can definitely see myself, and many other first year teachers, making the mistake of focusing on what my supervisors are thinking about my teaching. This is a BIG problem. The first step is identifying it and the solution would be redirecting your focus. It is so important that teachers focus is on the students learning rather than what the bosses think of how they are teaching it.

Being flexible is another huge part of being a teacher. I am a planner myself, so I know it is something I will have to work on my first few years teaching. You can NEVER expect things to go perfect or exactly according to plan when working with a child, much less twenty of them at a time! Being able to adjust and go with the flow is so important in keeping a classroom and a lesson plan running smoothly.

I also really liked that he touched on the idea of really listening to your students. Sometimes the teacher is the only person a student can go to. Unfortunately not all children have great home lives. It is important to listen to your students so that you can change your teaching methods for the better, connect with your classroom, give and earn respect, and finally be your students advocate.

I really enjoyed reading Mr. McClung's blog post and am following him now. I look forward to reading other great posts of his which give insight to the work of a teacher.

Smartboard Project and Forms

AnnMerritt Taylor, Bailey Abston, Amanda Spence, and Courtney Mathis

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blog Assignment 8

Richard Miller: This is how we dream parts 1 and 2

Part 1

Part 2

This video may have been easier for me to watch if it had shown the speaker at least part of the time. It is hard for me to pay attention to things like slideshows when the narorrator isn't seen for atleast part of the time.

I thought it was really cool that Richard Miller did work based on the Virginia Tech shooting and researched/ published works on campus violence. I also really liked the preview of his Martin Luther King Jr. interactive lecture. I plan on looking into it when I am through with this blog. I agree that interactive lectures are better than those which are not. I like looking stuff up and being able to read, listen, look, and watch things on the subject that are all in one place.

I also agreed with his point that all educators need to understand and embrace that we should all share our thoughts freely. I also liked his point that sharing it on the internet is instant, where as if you wrote it out and put it onto a disk that it could take up to two years to publish.

I really like that Itunes has an academic section. I think it's awesome that you can download lectures from your professors, if they upload them, and even world renound professors. I love educational apps. I wish that the University of South Alabama had an app for Iphones and Droids. Better yet, I wish that all of my classes had interactive apps!, Especially my online courses!

The Chipper Series and EDM 310 for Dummies
The Chipper Series
EDM310 for Dummies
Chipper and Dr Strange

Comic of Procrastination Pile of Papers
EDM310 for dummies cover

I really liked "EDM310 for Dummies." I would definitely buy that book if they published it.   I really liked that "EDM310 for dummies" had title's, breaks, and background music. I think it would be a good idea to do a demonstrational video, maybe with a subject a lot of students seem to have a problem with. Someone could video tape the computer screen, while someone else performed the difficult task on the computer. This way, students could watch the example step-by-step. The Chipper series was not as much my style. It was not the acting nor the content which was not my taste, it just seemed slightly repetitive. I think it would be a great video with some editing effects, like title breaks, photos, or background music. I really did enjoy the content though.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
Click here to watch!

First off, can I just say that I find it outrageous and appauling that out of 55 industries the U.S. Department of Commerce ranked Education number 55 (the lowest!) for I.T. intensiveness, even below coal mining! I was blown away by that opening statement. Wow! I agree that students are learning more about technology and using technology for research when out of the classroom, by far, when compared to most classrooms. I do not think that technology should be banned from the classroom.

I loved when someone said that is also about forming relationships, sense of community, and outreaching with the world. It truly is. I love reading my comments for kids. Even when I'm not quite sure what to say back to them because they are younger and the blogs are short, I still love reading them. I feel like I am connected to them in a way. I really loved one blog I read about a student named Rocky. I loved that he had posted pictures of himself and his classmates playing outside. Not only did I get a small glimpse of a foreign country (and the AMAZING weather), but I also felt like I knew him.

One woman said its about providing the best teachers no matter where a student lives. I thought this was a great idea and a great concept. Why not teach children in third world country's, or other poor areas which may not be able to afford a good educational system, via internet. Video conferencing is a great way that students could have a teacher, although digital, in the classroom to teach them and answer questions. I would love to be able to participate in something like that one day.

Finally, I really like the closing statement "it's death of education, but the dawn of learning."

The Secret Powers of time by Phillip Zombardo and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by David Pink

The Secret Powers of Time 
The secret powers of time covers many things. One topic is the idea of time. How do we define time? in portions or through duration? How we measure time all depends on our moods and how we are feeling at that time.

It also talked about the different types of people. People who are past oriented either focus on triumphs and achievements from the past or they focus on the failures and regrets from their past. Then their are people who are present hedonistic. These people are only concerned with what they want right then to gain pleasure and avoid pain. Finally there are people who are future oriented. These people focus on the long term goals and rewards. They take consequences into consideration when making a decision.

Religion also plays a role in whether a person is past or future oriented. Protestants are more future oriented. Catholics tend to be past oriented. Location and financial status also impact whether a person is past, present, or future. Most people are future oriented.

The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us

The truth about what motivates us was so interesting. I never would have thought the higher the reward the worse the results, when referencing complex and cognitive tasks. I loved that the company in Australia has one day a month which allows the employees to work on whatever they want, however they want, with whomever they want. People want to be creative and show off their ideas. I think it is a great strategy for not only the work place, but the classroom.

I found it interesting that most people said that if they had 8 days a week, they would get more work done. I know what I'd do if I had an extra day a week, SLEEP!

P.S. I loved RSAnimate!! I thought it was really cool! It was really interesting, creative, and helped to hold my attention.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My PLN Project #10

After our Blog Assignment #6 last week, I discovered and became obsessed with Symbaloo. The "tour" button on symbaloo is also really helpful when learning how to navigate and edit your own symbaloo. It's free and makes your life so much more organized! Say goodbye to clutter! Click on THIS LINK to go straight to the registration page and sign up. I wish I had symbaloo from the first day I started college. I have told a lot of my friends about it and they love it too. (Especially my friend that's in nursing school. She often is just as weighed down with school as I am. She thinks it's a god send when it comes to keeping her computer in order.)

symbaloo logo

What now? What next? So What? C4T #2 Summary

graffiti word reset
The first blog I read was entitled "Education Reset." I really enjoyed reading this blog post and think many of you will as well. You can find by clicking http://teachernz.edublogs.org/2010/10/30/education-reset/#comments"> this link.  This article talks about how "messed" up the education system is. It states "We need a reset button.  A reset button for education... ...A reboot wouldn’t be enough though would it?  We’d still have the same guts in the machine... ...The same targeted curriculum areas, same bias, same old same old.  Same shit, different day. And still messed up." It references Sir Ken Robinson and shares many of the same ideas. Creativity should be more important in education.  

At the end the article asks, "Or am I wrong? Is education not as messed up as I thought?" In my comment I answered this question with a big NO! You are definitely not wrong. I went on to say that I agreed that the school system should incorporate technology and creativity into the curriculum. They should definitely be part of the core curriculum, but that I doubt that will happen anytime in the near future unfortunately. I also said that I really liked that they used expletives, because I felt like they were being more open and saying how they really felt. They weren't censoring the article down to the point that it was blan or generic, like every other blogger who blogs in constant fear or opposition from critics. 

Internet Evolution

The next blog post was this video on the evolution of the internet, entitled "Web 3.0" In this video it shows how the internet has evolved from 1.0 to 2.0 to 3.0. In the first stage of the internet, 1.0, the internet was used for informational purposes only. In the second stage of the internet, 2.0, it talks about incorporating the users and websites that connect users with sites like facebook and wikipedia. In the third level of internet 3.0, the internet incorporates appliances like cars, and even washing machines. 

In my comment, I talked about how amazing it was that the internet was used for all of these everyday activities. I also had NO IDEA that the washing machines where technologically up to date. I also talked about the fact that I am not a paranoid person, but that I now understand how people could be. If you were really advanced in technology, you could trace anyone these days. I look at technology differently than the paranoid or conspiracy developing people. I see it as a way to make my day run smoother. I think the more technology and the internet evolve, the more efficient my day will become. 

Blog Assignment 7


Randy with his three sons in front of a swing set

Randy with his wife and kids dressed up as the Incredibles

"Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dream" was an awesome lecture to watch. I won't lie, when I first saw this video was an hour and sixteen minutes, saying that I was dreading it, would be an understatement. However, contrary to my initial reaction, about thirty seconds in I realized I was really going to enjoy it.

It's impossible not to admire Dr.Pausch's outlook on life. He remains so positive, even with his terminal diagnosis. On July 25th, 2008, the world lost a truly great and innovative mind. I loved his comment about the quote "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." That is so true, and a good way to look at a situation when you think you have failed.

I also liked his outlook on people who make you angry or disappoint you. Jon Snoody told him to just give people time, it takes some longer then others, but in the end they will impress you. That is something I will have to try and imply in my everyday life when I get frustrated with others.

Considering the fact that I want to become a college professor, I really liked the tidbits he added about becoming one. He said it's one of the only places you can have your cake and eat it to. He also said it's the perfect place to help others achieve their childhood dreams. I really like the idea of that, and helping my future students reach their potential. I thought it was really funny when he said his mom started introducing by saying "This is my son. He's a doctor, but not the kind who helps people."

I also found it humorous when he said that their was no pornography or shooting violence allowed and that "you'd be surprised how many nineteen year old boys are completely out of ideas" once you eliminate those two subjects. Oh my gosh, and then the part about the star wars movies! I literally laughed out loud when he said they probably won't make any more of those and his student looked him dead in the face, serious as a heart attack and said "oh yes they will" and then they did!

Finally, I loved his teaching style of "head fake" education. I agree that there is no better way for students to learn, then when they think they are not learning. I am not gonna lie, when he said his last head fake was that this lecture hadn't been for the audience, it was for his kids, I definitely was holding back the tears. I also really liked the feedback loop. I think it is something that we could use and apply in our edm 310 classroom.

Want to know more about the Alice project, Dr. Pausch reffered to so many times? Simply click on this link The Alice Project