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! 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.