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"> 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