Monday, February 28, 2011

Blog Assignment 6

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler
I love her idea that students form their own learning through research, recommendations, and reading. I think it's a much better way for students to learn when set in comparison with memorizing the same text book that everyone else in the class is memorizing.

In my comment to her on her blog, I told her about a similar opinion I have had for a long time now. All through school we had assigned reading, during the school year and summers. We would then be tested or had to write reports on what we read. Half of the people I went to school with didn't read the material at all. The other half fabricated a two page paper to pretend that they were interested. I have always thought that the students  should be able to pick a book, have it prior approved, and then write a paper on it. In my opinion it all comes down to one thing, laziness. Teachers are too lazy to go through and actually read a students paper. They would rather give a multiple choice test or even worse, a scan tron, so that they can just take a few minutes out of their day to grade papers. Now in some classes, this is perfectly acceptable, but classes like English for example, should not be graded on things like multiple choice.

I love Wendy Drexler's idea because it not only requires effort on the students part, but also on the teacher. I feel like both parties learn so much more through research and outside reading, especially when set in comparison to the limitations a text book provides.

I also see the obstacles she would have to overcome (as stated in her blog post). Getting schools to unblock websites would definitely be a time consuming and controversial issue. Also I had not thought about the fact that not all 7th graders are 13 years old yet and that several websites are 13 and up. I think she had some great points and ideas. I hope teachers everywhere will one day incorporate technology and connectivity into their classrooms and research outside of the classroom.

 A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (or PLN)
After watching this youtube video, I am officially obsessed with symbaloo! Although I had no idea what program she was using at first, after a few moments I saw "symbaloo" in the tope left corner. As soon as I was finished watching this video, I immediately googled symbaloo. I registered for the program and have been updating and adjusting it ever since! I wish I had known about symbaloo a long time ago. It has definitely helped me stay more organized and more focused on the tasks at hand. I wish I had registered, or known about, a long time ago. It is definitely something I will use for the rest of my career, or until it is discontinued.
Check it out!

Smartboards in the Classroom
I have to say that going into this class I shared the same opinion as Michael Staton and Bill Ferriter. I am hoping that after this class and after this project, I will have a different opinion and outlook on whiteboards. However, I did find a blogspot post which fully supported whiteboards and incorporating them into the classroom.

I found it interesting that both sides mentioned the "cool factor" of using smartboards. In Michael Staton's blog post he states, "1) Instead of using the mouse at the keyboard to interact with content, the presenter can stand at the board (without access to a keyboard) and there’s some wow factor there that might amuse students for an hour." In The Interactive Guru's Blog he says, "The sheer awesomeness and "cool" points you will earn by making your Venn Diagram activity look like a scene from Minority Report."

Two things I did not previously know or think of which I read in The Interactive Guru's blog were that the Smartboard can use multitouch, even though it can get complicated. I also learned that Smartboards can help learning disabled student's who might otherwise have difficulties with technology. 

I am still not totally convinced on Smartboards, or interactive whiteboards, but I am so sure that they will be very beneficial in the future and in my future classroom. I am excited to see the new applications that will be invented or put into use for the Smartboards. 
picture of a smartboard with the smartboard logo

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Susan G. Komen Timeline

C4K 1,2, and 3 Summaries

I have loved comments for kids. It's amazing that some of them are 8 and 9 years old and are experts at blogging, while I'm just starting to learn how to use them at 21 years old. So far I've been assigned Max, Rocky, and MJ.

1.Max ( His Web Page )
My first C4K assignment was Max. Max is part of the 6th and 7th grade Division 17 in Comox Valley.

His blog is titled "The Blog of Awesomeness!!!!" and the post which I commented on was titled "Keisja." Keisja is one of Max's close friends and also one of his idols. She is a great musician who favors country music. Her is the link to her website which Max provided for me in this post, .

In my response to his post, I told him a little bit about myself and our EDM 310 class. I told him how I enjoyed reading about Keisja and that it was amazing that she has already done so much at such a young age. I then gave him helpful hints about how to add things to your blogs like pictures or links. Accidentally, where I was trying to show him how to create a link, it actually created a link. Oops! Unfortunately, I could not post the correction on his blog because it would not let me post anything that repeated myself, saying there was a "duplication error." So I posted the correction to his teachers blog, explaining why I could not post it on Max's page. I also left Max a link to my class blog, where he could contact me if he had any questions or if he just wanted to check out my page.

2. Rocky ( His Blogspot )
Rocky is a 5th Grader at the Pt England School in Auckland, NZ.
headshot of Rocky
I commented on his blog post "baseball with cola." He talks about getting to play baseball one day at school. He posted a picture and the weather looked fantastic!
Rocky playing outside with his classmates
In my response to his post first, I introduced myself. I told him a little bit about our EDM 310 class. I then told him how I used to play softball in High School, so I also loved baseball. I also talked to him about how gorgeous the weather was and told him how jealous I was of it. I noticed that he had a few spelling errors so my helpful hint to him was that if his teachers ever started counting off for spelling that there are a lot of good, free spell checkers online. I told him that spelling was something that I usually didn't think about either so that it comes in handy a lot. I also gave him a link to one, if he wanted to try it out. I also gave him a link to my class blog in case he ever wanted to check it out.

3. MJ ( His Class Blog )
MJ is in Mr.Wolfe's class and wrote a blog post called "Donavon's Word Jar- Thinking Stem #1." In this blog post he talks about a book he read called "Donavon's Word Jar" which is about a boy who learns long words and puts them into a jar. He said this story reminded him of school and having to learn new, longer words.

In my response, I talked to him about the book. I then told him adding pictures can be an easy way to make your blog more fun. I gave him a link and told him google is a good place to find pictures for blogs. This is the picture I found for him.
picture of the cover of the book

Sunday, February 20, 2011

timeline project. my family

Blog Assignment 5

1. Eagle Nest Radio & Class Blog
Click here to enter the Eagles Nest

class of children dressed up as Romans
This Podcast was so cute. I really liked the music in the beginning. However, I wish they would have faded it out a little earlier because I couldn't understand the first few sentences with the music so loud. I like the music that they played throughout the podcast but wish it had been more intermittent. The constant music was a little bit distracting. I also noticed that you could REALLY tell which students had read and learned about what they were talking about while others simply read from a piece of paper. The ones who were enthusiastic about their topics were really entertaining to listen to.

2. The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
Click for The Benefits
There were quite a few facts from this article that I found to be interesting and beneficial. I definitely agree that it is a great way to reach students outside of the classroom. I had never even thought about it as a way for children to stay up to speed if they are absent. What a good point! I also agree that it is a good way to bring creativity to the classroom. Podcast are a way core teachers (math, science, history, and english) can add creativity and technology to the learning curriculum without a big uproar from people afraid of change. It is also a good way to get students to interact with one another by teaming them up to do podcast projects. 

3. The Practical Principal 
Click here for some Practical Principals
I learned most about feed burners on The practical principal website. This website really helped me understand more about RSS feeds and how it all works. I had the general idea before, but I felt like this website really helped explain things to me that I didn't get before (things I felt like everyone else knew and completely understood.) Basically, it really just helped clear it up. The feedburner is a great tool and easy way for people to become more efficient with their tools. It is something I would use and suggest anyone with a feed use.

4. 100 Ways to Use your Ipod to Learn and Study Better
I really liked this site in general and it is definitely one I will go back and reference in the future. I really liked the Ipod Spanish to go. That is an application that would come in handy in everyday life these days. I really wanted to read the tutorial on how to upload a podcast to your ipod, but it kept sending me to a pop up ad for something. I tried clicking two other links and they did the same thing. :(

5. Education Podcasting Network Judy Scharf Podcast Collection
Judy Scharf probably had the most information regarding podcast. One new thing I learned is that "podcast" is "Ipod" mixed with "broadcast." I had never really thought about where the word "podcast" comes from. I thought her schedule for making podcast (17 periods. each period being 45 minutes long.) was a little extreme and droning. However, if you were teaching a young group how to make a podcast it may require this much time and instruction. I also enjoyed reading her tips to succeed.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

1. Don't teach your kids this. Please?
First off, who is Dr. McLeod? Well to list all of his accomplishments I could probably write two pages! So I'll just mention a few key facts about him. He is a professor at Iowa State University. He was one of the creators of our previous assignment "Did you know?" He is also one of the nations leaders in technology for elementary, middle, and secondary education.

I really liked his post. I knew he was being sarcastic from the beginning because if he really despised technology I doubt he would use words like "RSS," "aggregate," and "synthesize" in that context. Parents and teachers who do not teach their children about using technology are only hurting them. Saying predators can get them online, well predators can get them anywhere. You tell your kids not to talk to strangers in the real world; You should set the same standards for the virtual world. Parents teach their children about right and wrong, what is appropriate and what is not appropriate. If a child is looking at porn online, well they probably would have still looked at porn, just somewhere else. It's everywhere these days, gas stations, movie stores, a lot of places magazines are sold. The internet is not to blame for a child acting out. There are also a million different privacy and safety options. Parents and teachers who don't encourage their children to be literate in technology, they are hurting their learning opportunities and future chance at a lot of jobs.

Scott McLeod

2. The iSchool Initiative 
I enjoyed this video. I like that he has an idea and he's DOING something about it. A lot of people have great ideas and never DO anything with them. Hopefully he will get a ton of supporters. I have a feeling he will definitely take his idea places. 

I agree that schools should become technology based and dependent. Besides all of the great environmental and financial issues it would help, it would also help physical issues. How many cases of scoliosis and other back problems in children are caused by carrying book bags that are too heavy around all of the time. However, I'm not sure the ipod touch is the best idea. I would rather use laptops. If it was about cost, Ipod touch's are around 130... Walmart carries laptop mini's that are as low as $220. One main reason I think laptops would be better is typing. Typing takes way too long (for things like papers) on an itouch.

Travis Allen

3. The Lost Generation
I loved this technique of reading! How cool! I didn't catch on until about the second or third like that she was just reading everything in reverse. I really want to try one of these! I bet it takes a good while making everything fit though. 

4. Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
I thought it was amazing that these performers had never met or performed together. It just shows how many amazing things can be done with technology. It really makes me feel like the world is coming together on another level. Who knows what his video will inspire other people to do?

Eric Whitacre

5. Teaching in the 21st Century
To teach in the 21st century means to teach skills rather than facts and knowledge alone. I agree with most, not all, but a majority of the opinions expressed in this video. I think it's very important that we teach our students skills rather than facts alone. It is important to know general knowledge, but specific facts can be found online by anyone. Skills are very important in real life and careers.

This Is My Sentence

Check out my sentence! 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blog Assignment 3

1. Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

I liked the project in general. I think it would be a great assignment for classes every year. It would be interesting in how those answers and statistics change. However, I would have added students voices or background music to hold the viewers attention. I am ADD so the silence, along with the camera bouncing from one scene to another, made it easy for myself to get distracted.

When it comes to the actual statistics and whether they reflect my personal experiences, it would probably be fifty fifty. The 26.5 hours a day fact really hit home. I almost always feel like there are never enough hours in a day. I work 25 hours a week and take 15 hours of school. So add those together and try to balance having a social life, not easy. Also for the internet statistic, 3.5 hours a day online, I thought it could have been divided. At first it seemed extremely high, but then I realized I was only thinking about social networking spent online. When I factor in the amount of time I spend online for school, it could very well be 3.5 hours.

2. Read the post "It's Not About the Technology" by Kelly Hines
I really enjoyed this article. The part about teachers not using technology that's available to them is just wasting money. I wish some of my previous teachers from high school had been assigned to read her article. I had so many teachers who wasted the smart boards that were in their classrooms.

I think that it is so important for teachers to use new technology. It is not just because of the technology, like Mrs. Hines said, but it is also a gateway to better understanding our future students. It's also so important for teachers to be willing to learn. If we as teachers are not educated on technology of the present, how can we ever be expected to prepare our students for their futures?

3. Karl Fisch: Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
I loved this post. I thought it was outspoken and entertaining. I really like his comparison between parents admitting to never being good at math and parents admitting to never being good at reading. We've all heard it; Parents laughing to math teachers about how they never succeeded in that subject, but it's so true that we never hear adults laugh about not being a strong reader. It was something I had never thought about before. I also liked his comparison that teachers refusing to become technologically literate is just like teachers fifty years ago refusing to read and write.

I also really enjoyed his overall tone and sense of humor throughout the post. I felt like he was picking on his co-workers and friends, but in a light-hearted playful way. It's a good way to approach any negative situation actually, with a positive attitude and thick skin. I will definitely be reading more of his posts in the future.

4. Gary Hayes Social Media Count
The social media count is insane! When it comes to my career, it's a firm reminder that I better keep up to date with technology because trying to catch up would seem impossible. It also shows me just how fast everything is evolving. There is no doubt that we will be teaching kids to perform jobs which don't even begin to exist today.
I put a copy of his social media counter on my blog just to remind myself how important it is to stay up-to-date.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Speaking of History" C4T Summary

"Speaking of History" is a blog by Eric Langhorst, which deals with history, education, and technology. Mr. Langhorst is an 8th grade History teacher in Liberty, Missouri. I have been following his post for the last two weeks.

The first post that I followed was entitled "MSTA 2010- Improving Parent Communication." He first talks about what and how you want to communicate to parents. A few examples of the things to be shared are schedules, grades, and assignments. He goes on to say that these should not only be communicated to parents, but also to principles, students, co-workers, and teachers aides. He also notes, that sending parents study guides and notes can help parents help students. He adds that communication should be both ways and that teachers should ask parents to get involved in teaching opportunities.

I commented on a few key points from his power point presentation. I liked the idea of sending out schedules and assignments in emails and having them online. I think this helps everyone stay organized. I also agree that communication should be available both ways. Parents need ways to talk back to the teacher. Finally I thought it was a great idea to ask parents to get involved in learning opportunities. Variety should always be accepted in learning plans and daily activities.

The second post that I followed was entitled "2010 MSTA- Building your PLN." A PLN is a personal learning network. In this blog Mr. Longhorst, teaches his audience about social networking devices and online tools. He first describes twitter and text talk, as well as why twitter is useful. He then talks about delicious and how it works. Next, he shows Flickr, with examples and how educators can use it in the classroom. He then goes on to explain blogs and even features his as an example. He then talks about video tools, including Skype and You Tube. Podcasts, Google, and Google applications are last on his list of educational tools. Finally he leaves his tips and advice for building your own PLN.

I commented on the aspects of his presentation which were most benificial to me. I appreciated that he had detailed descriptions and picture examples of the learning networks. While I have new accounts in all of the networks for EDM 310, Mr. Langhorst presentation helped me to understand how to use some of them. I also commented on the fact that he included links to all of the social networks he referenced. He made it far more organized and less time consuming than it could have been.

Speaking of History Blog Header

Speaking of History Blog
My Class Blog

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blog Assignment 2

&Did you know?
Click Here
                              "Did you know" was a very interesting video. The numbers and statistics were all far higher than I would have imagined. The fact that India has more honors kids than America has kids total is insane. It makes me feel like we, as Americans, are very behind. However, you have to put population size into the equation. I thought it was crazy that one in eight couples married last year met online.
                When it comes to occupations, I couldn't believe that the top ten jobs in 2010 didn't exist in 2004. I also thought the fact that fifty percent of what technical students learn will be null two years later was impressive for technology and probably extremely frustrating for the student. I thought it was a well-produced video which was good at holding the audience’s attention.

Click Here
&I was not as interested in “Mr. Winkle” as I was in “Did you know?” Mr. Winkle could be used in elementary schools to show students why it’s still important to learn to write. I think it’s more appropriate for younger children because of the music, animation, and language used in the video. 
           I agree that some things never change, but schools are well on their way. There are some schools which use laptops and computers regularly in the classroom. I expect all schools to eventually use laptops as their main form of note taking and having all text books on discs or online.

Sir Ken Robinson speaking and pointing his finger
Click Here
&I loved the “Creativity” Speech. Ken Robinson is a great speaker and funny too. I completely agree with his idea that schools crush creativity. Schools prepare us for stable or reliable careers. They do not push us in art, music, and drama because a career in those fields is not a “sure” thing.
          I wish schools had better creative programs and hopefully one day they will. I love to sing and draw but I am not majoring in either of those because the careers I would want to pursue are more high risk. My parents also feel that I can pursue both of those careers without a degree in them. I also totally agree with the idea that schools crush originality by making a mistake the worst thing we can do. I would love to see Ken Robinson speak one day.

&Cecelia Gault- 
                   I found the article before the interview video to be very interesting. The fact that Finland’s dropout rate is less than one percent is amazing. America should really strive to reach a lower dropout rate. I also found the correlation between grades, dropout rates, and shorter school days to be something to ponder on.
             I loved that they allowed Cecelia to do the interview. I thought that she did a great job. Experience is the best way to prepare children for the future. It also teaches them to be more independent and shows them that they are capable of doing things by themselves.

Vicki Davis-
&I think Vicki Davis’s classroom is awesome. I wish I had had a class like that in middle school. I think all schools should be required to teach their students at least one technology class. The internet is a great way to connect with students from all over the world.
                  It is so cool that she and her students went all the way to the Middle East for a conference. If students learn how to become technologically literate at a young age, it will help them throughout their education and occupations. It could also help some students find what they’re really passionate about. Who knows, maybe they could be the next big video game or computer program designer.