Sunday, April 3, 2011

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.

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