Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Project 13- Collaboration Report

For Projects 15 and 16, my group used Google Docs as our main form of communication. We also used text and email on occasion, but for the most part we used Google Docs. I really felt that it was a great way to communicate, and I have even started using it with some of my other classes' group projects.
When working on projects 15 and 16 we wrote out our scripts so that everyone could see what we were planning to say in our videos. We also used it as a way of chatting, by leaving each other messages, for the whole group to see. It was really easy to use, and was a great way for everyone to share their views on different aspects of the projects.
While working on project 16, we decided on the concept of our project face to face during class in November, and started the Google Doc then. After that, we strictly communicated via text and Google Docs. Below is a screen shot of our projects 15 and 16.

screen shot of a document in Googe Docs

screen shot of a document in Googe Docs

I know for a fact I will continue to use Google Docs for projects in the future. This eliminates the problems groups can face when it comes to having to meet at specific times. It is difficult sometimes for everyone to meet at the same time and by using Google Docs, there are no excuses for not having your ideas heard by everyone in your group.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Final Report on PLN

PLN chicklist
I am so excited that my PLN is expanding and that it will only continue to grow to include more educators from around the world when I become a teacher. I haven't had the chance to actually reap the full benefits of all of the people that I have access to on Twitter, but I know that once I become a teacher I surely will. Not too long ago I saw where a teacher was needing other students to comment on his student's blogs and I wanted to badly to have a class of my own that could leave comments for his students. I think that it is so great to have these connections and I really cannot wait to utilize them as a teacher.
I have also enjoyed reading the blogs of these teachers. They have shared so much information with thier readers and have given me many, many ideas to use in the future, as well as given me a lot to think about in terms of the profession I am pursuing. I really love that I have access to these blogs and can always leave comments giving my views on a topic and take advantage of all of the information teachers are just throwing at anyone who cares to read their blogs.
I also am liking my PLE, symbaloo. I have found a few glitches with it, although that may just be my computer. But, I really like how everything I could need is in the same spot and all I can access it all with just a click. This is something that I want to introduce my students to in the future.
Overall, my PLN is growing and I know that it will only continue to grow with time.

Last C4T Post

photo of Josh Stumpenhorst

For my last C4T, I left comments on Josh Stumpenhorst's blog, Stump The Teacher. The first post I read was titled Great Teaching in Preschool. It was about how the way preschoolers are taught is lost with age. For example, in preschool we have small class sizes, our parents are involved a great deal, play is learning, and failure is used as a learning tool. So many of these things are lost in teaching process with the aging of the students. If you think about it, how many games did you play in class during high school? A few if you are lucky. Or, better yet, how many times did you do project that your parents were involved in? Hardly ever. Most importantly, failure should always be used as a teaching tool. When you start to get older, you get even more scared of failing at something that you stop trying, or using your imagination. I think it is especially important that children know that it is okay to fail at something every now and then.
This is the comment I left on this post:
"Hi Josh,
I am currently studying to become an educator, and I can’t agree with you more. No, I don’t have a firsthand teaching experience with this, but I do remember my experiences as a student. What you have shared here makes me want to strive to accomplish and keep all that is lost with age in the teaching and learning processes. Thanks for the great post! Every part was dead on.
Victoria"


The second post I read was titled Why Would You Become a Teacher? I really enjoyed this post, because in my personal experience I have been asked this question several times. He gives a list of things that student's in higher education classes, pursuing the career as an educator, need to be aware of. He states that he wonders why people still choose to become teachers today. He states several negative things about becoming a teacher from teaching under an administrator who tells you how to run your classroom, when they have been absent from the classroom for a long time, to defending your choice to become a teacher to your family and friends. He also states things like having to work for a school system that only cares about test scores instead of the child, and having to put forth all of your energy to a child who does not care, will not care, and will eventually drop out of school. I really liked his post, and it is something that I think everyone pursuing this degree should read. If none of these things bothers you, you're in the right place. If they do bother you, but you still want to become a teacher, you are still in the right place. He closes the post with the statement that all of these things are irrelevant if you are truly passionate about teaching.
This is the comment I left for him:
"Hi Josh,
I am one of the higher education students that this post is directed toward. It is a shame that there are so many negative things about pursuing a career as a teacher. I think that your closing paragraph speaks volumes about teachers, however. If you are truly passionate about teaching, then all of the cons are irrelevant. I really enjoyed this post!
Victoria"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

C4K Summary for November

For my first C4K assignment in November I read a post from Cade, a student from Mr. Boylen's class. He wrote a post on Hoot, the novel. It was only a short summary of the book, including a statement saying that he liked it.
This is the comment I left for Cade:
"Hi Cade,
My name is Victoria, and I am a college student at the University of South Alabama. I am studying to become a teacher! I think Hoot is a great book! Did you like it? I love owls and think they are amazing creatures. Do you want to know what I don’t like? I don’t like bullies! Being bullied is not fun and people should really stop and think about their actions before they hurt someone. I hope you recognize this and always do something if you see someone in need of help. I like how you blog a lot about books. I love to read! I hope you keep up with your blogging; you’re doing a nice job!
Best wishes, Victoria"


My second C4K for November was for Faye. She wrote a post on all of the things that her class had done in the month of October. Her class read a book, each student wrote their own stories, they did a project on the thirteen colonies, learned about the phases of the moon, and they even went out for smoothies on their teacher's birthday. She did such a great job covering all of the things her class did during the month.
This is the comment I left for Faye:
"Hi Faye,
My name is Victoria. I am a student at the University of South Alabama where I am studying to become an elementary school teacher. It looks like you did a lot of neat things in October! I have never read The One and Only Ivan, but after you told me about it, I want to! It seems like it is a good book. I also like learning about the moon! Did you know that during the day the moon can get to be as hot as 225F (107C) and at night it can get as cold as -243F (-153C)? That is really hot, and really cold! It looks like you had a lot of fun and learned a lot of things in your classroom last month! I hope you are having just as much fun this month. I really enjoyed reading your post, so keep up the blogging!
Best wishes, Victoria"


This is the comment she left back for me:
"Thank you for reading my October Reflection! I really appreciate it a lot. I hope that you will read The One And Only Ivan! Thank you again. Have a great year at University of South Alabama! – Faye"

My third C4K comment was for Katie, a high school student. Katie wrote a post about 10 lies that people tell you in high school. After reading some of the things she thought were lies being told to high school aged students, I felt the need to respond to her. My comment was quite long, but something told me she needed to hear what I had to say. I tried to make her see the good things about the four years of high school instead of focusing on the negative.
This is the comment I left for her:
"Hi Katie,
My name is Victoria and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am currently studying to become an educator and I completely understand the way you feel about High School. Most kids feel the same way that you do and your ideas are mostly universal. I have been assigned to comment on your blog for one of my classes, and this post really popped out and spoke to me. I just want to comment on a few of the lies you have been told.
Let’s start with lie number 1; it goes along with number 7. I was told this many, many times in high school. It was actually plastered in every room on campus. “If you have a problem, tell us your problem, and we will do our best to fix your problem…” blah blah blah. What a load of bull! However, if you can find one teacher or coach that you really “click” with, he or she is your person to run to when you need something. Fortunately, I had one of those, and for the last three years of high school, I knew that if I had any problem, whether it had something to do with school or not, she would be there to help me. It is important to establish bonds like that with adults, especially for students in high school, because let’s face it, it’s a cruel, cruel world out there.
Number 2- Bullying is one thing that truly disgusts me. Every school says the same thing; there is a zero tolerance for bullying. But, when something serious occurs, it feels like the consequences are laughable. This is one thing that schools everywhere need to work on, unfortunately.
Lie 3 is completely true. I brought my lunch every day. After eating the mystery meat a few times, I decided that there was no way I would be able to stomach that stuff all year.
Number 4- No matter how hard high school gets to be, or has already been, those four years ARE the best of your life. I didn’t think they were while I was there, but looking back now, I would trade a lot to be able to go back. I am a senior here at South, and I still feel that way. As long as you are surrounded by people you love, and people who love and support you, there is no reason that these four years shouldn’t be the absolute best.
Lastly, lie number ten- No matter what anyone says to you, you ARE important. In whatever way your peers, family members, or even teachers bring you down, you are truly special. I don’t know you personally, obviously, but believe me, whatever you may be going through, remember that you are important to someone. You may not think you are important to the right people, but that just means you should surround yourself with those who think you are. As far as administration and the like, sometimes you just get bad school officials who make the school year a drag. It is often hard to feel special at school, but you are.
I’m sorry for posting such a long comment; I just really felt the need to speak to you. I am glad that you recognize bullying as problematic in the school system. If you are a take charge kind of girl, I challenge you to do something about it. Start a club or organization, or you can make a petition to call attention to the problems in your school, or anything along these lines. I’ll go with just a few more words. High school may be tough, but just remember to apply yourself and the best you can be will shine through in your work. Find a teacher or coach to bond with. If you feel like the administration at your school is being phony when they say they will help you (like I did), then find someone you actually can run to with your problems. Lastly, high school is fun! Try making friends with different people, even if you don’t have any problems with your friends now. You will be surprised at the relationships you gain with people you never thought you would. You can never have too many true friends. I wish you the very best of luck this year, the next two years, and in your life.
Victoria =)"


the words student blogs

Project #15 Part 2

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Blog Assignment 13

Brian Crosby
Brian Crosby's Presentation at TedX Denver was quite enlightening. He opens up his presentation with a a few facts that he asked his students in a survey. It was a little shocking to see that most of his student's did not know what city they lived in, but more so that they didn't know what country they were living in. This really surprised me, however I have never had the privilege of working with the types of students he is working with. I thought that was an interesting way to start off his talk.
What a cool experiment. I love how he incorporated several subjects into the experiment too. I wish I had done this experiment in school. As a child, I always wanted to tie a letter to a balloon and send it up into the sky in order to see if anyone would receive it or write me back. It would even be cooler to do this experiment.

I really like the idea of writing a story collaboratively with students in another state. That is something I want to do in the future with my students. Also, how amazing is it that Celeste was included in her classroom while learning? This is something I will need to remember when The problem arises. Skype is such a simple tool to use and set up, and this is one of the greatest ways I have seen it used. Through Skype she is included in the lessons and can be "in class" with all of her peers.

Crosby ends his presentation with a quote from a high school teacher. This quote states that the basics should be taught in a motivational and meaningful context. I completely agree. So many children are not motivated by desk learning, and really don't learn all that they should. I enjoyed Mr. Crosby's presentation; it gave me several ideas to use in the future.

A Vision of Students Today
First of all, wow! I love the composition of this video. A Vision of Students Today is a great way to get not only students, but educators thinking about the different aspects of learning in the classroom. Seeing all of the papers and computer screens being lifted into the air stating some fact about college courses is very relatable. And, I can say that I could have easily replaced any one of those students and held up the exact same statement. Well, I do watch more that one and a half hours of TV per night, and I sometimes get seven hours of sleep, I don't spend most of class on Facebook, but I would be lying if I said I had never logged on while in class, but for the most part, these statements are correct of almost all college students. Here I go commenting on the video as a student, when I should be viewing it as an educator. So, as an educator, I think that this video gives faculty something to think about when it comes to altering their methods of teaching.

(On a side note, why do departments assign textbooks to students that are barely used. I have personally paid for expensive books that I can count on one hand how many times I opened them in the semester. Why have your students pay for something they won't use. This is one issue that I think should be addressed.)

As a future educator, it is obvious that there is work to be done in school systems. It is a little easier to fix the problems posed in this video in a K-12 school system, but once you get to colleges and universities, it's tough. Or, it's made out to be tough. As a student, I understand what a temptation technology is. I would definitely rather be looking at Instagram accounts or Pinterest than studying. But, with all of the technology at our fingertips, professors should take advantage of those resources. It can only make learning relevant.

wall with the words if these walls could talk written on it

Final Project Progress Report

I am happy to say that the end in near! I need a long break from school, and Christmas break can't get here fast enough. My group, Kids R Us, has been working on our final project through Google Docs, email, and text message. On Google Docs, I and one other group member have written out our scripts for our video, and we are still waiting on the other two to do so. We have chosen to do an advice video that is a sort of parody of "Dear Abby." I think it is going to work out really well! We are going to film this coming week as well as edit and publish. I am excited to work on it. I have been blessed with a group that likes to have fun and that puts forth the effort to get our work done. Here's hoping filming runs smoothly!
group pipcture of Alecia baxter, Shannon Watson, Taylor Davis, and Victoria Kaplan

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Blog Assignment 12

Assignment:
1. Watch John Green's An Open Letter to Students Returning to School. Summarize John's thoughts in a paragraph. In a second paragraph tell whether or not you agree with what he has said, as well as whether or not you agree with his methods of doing so. Would you show this video to your students on the first day of school? (Assuming you teach middle or high school.)
2. Check out Crash Course! and watch at least one of the 90 videos on the channel. Choose something that specifically interests you. Then, summarize the video and give your thoughts on it, including its composition and content. Would you ever use a Crash Course in one of your lessons as a teacher? Why or why not?

My Response:
An Open Letter to Students Returning to School
Through a comedic monologue, John Green welcomes any and all students back to school by giving them the message of starting the school year off with an open mind. He makes the point, in the video An Open Letter to Students Returning to School, that many students do not see the point in learning things that they won't use in their everyday lives. He explains that though you may not know you are using these things, in fact you are. My favorite part of the video is the closing. Green closes his video by stating that the reason he teaches is not because of the students, he teaches for himself. He states that the reason he teaches is because he wants the future generation to be able to sufficiently take care of him, by doing things from inventing better antibiotics to inventing a microwave pizza with an "actual crispy crust." He explains that he wants his students to be able to make these improvements in society so that they will be able to take care of him, and to make his life easier in the future.

In the future, I plan to teach elementary aged children. This video is more geared toward older students, so I probably wouldn't show my students the video. If I taught high school though, I would start out every year showing the video to each of my classes in order to inspire them to put forth a little more effort during the year and to understand that even though they think they won't use this information, they actually may have a use for it. I will however, share this video with my colleagues in the future. I really enjoyed it.

Crash Course
After looking at the many videos produced by the Vlogbrothers on Crash Course, I decided to watch one on the Skeletal System because I enjoy Biology. This video was a really great way to introduce the skeletal system to students. It is comical, so it easily holds a student's attention. The Crash Courses videos cover subject matter of a high school level, so I wouldn't be able to show one of these videos to an elementary aged student. However, if I need to brush up on almost any topic in Biology or History, I would be able to watch one of these 10-13 minute videos to do so. The videos could be very helpful in a high school or even college setting. I like them because the way the videos are made is really neat. They use green screen as well as a lot of graphics. Overall, I think the Vlogbrothers do a great job of producing relevant videos for such a large amount of topics.
Crash Course logo

Friday, November 9, 2012

C4T Comments For Teachers 3


For my third C4T project, I was assigned John Spencer's blog, Adventures in Pencil Integration. The first post I read was titled Why Were Your Kids Playing Games. In this post Spencer writes dialogue between a teacher and his principal. The principal asks the teacher why he and his students were playing games as opposed to him teaching a lesson. The teacher's reply was that he and his students were in fact participating in a mock simulation, but that it was educational. The principal does not accept this though. The teacher goes on to say that soldiers and doctors do the same thing everyday when learning their craft, but the principal still disagrees with his methods. I really enjoyed this post and I think that it is very important to get children interested in what they are learning. And, if a game helps do that, then what is wrong with them?
This is the comment I left for John Spencer:

"Hi John,
I really enjoyed this set of dialogue! I feel that it is extremely important to keep your students engaged while learning, for that’s when they are learning the most. I know how hard it is to pay attention to lecture after lecture, and to memorize straight facts. When you incorporate these concepts into a game, however, the information suddenly seems simple and a breeze to recall. I also feel it is important for students to learn skills instead of just memorizing facts. If you teach a child how to retrieve information (and then let them show you they can do it), they’ll never forget how. Repetition is important. I mean who wants a doctor performing surgery on them who has never even practiced the procedure? I really enjoyed reading your post!
Best wishes, Victoria"


The second comment I left for him was on a post titled I Banned Pencils Today. I read a lot of Mr. Spencer's blog posts and this one really stuck out to me so I decided to comment on it. In this post, Spencer talks about banning pencils during a math lesson. Of all things, a math lesson! He encourages his students to use their brains and figure out the problem mentally instead of writing it down on paper. At first, the students were uncomfortable with this idea, but after they finished and came up with the correct answer they realized that they could do it. His purpose for showing the children that their brains are powerful and evolved. I think that his experiment was a wonderful way to do that.
This is the comment I left him:

"Hi John,
Wow! I love this! I think that this is a wonderful thing to do for students. I admit, I would have been very uncomfortable if a teacher had asked me to do this, especially with a math problem. But, after I completed the problem, it would be so fulfilling to know what you can figure out with no tools. I am currently studying to become an educator, and I will definitely be using this approach for a lesson or two once I become a teacher. Thank you for sharing this!
Victoria"

Blog Assignment 11

Little Kids...Big Potential
Ms. Cassidy is a first grade teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada. She made a great video starring some of her students that tells some of the neat things the whole class does with technology. They talk about doing things from creating their own wikis to using the Nintendo DS. One thing that I saw on the video that I really liked was that when the students went to their "Centers" they were able to go to a computer and complete a plethora of activities. I think that is wonderful! Just by seeing how excited the children were about all of the cool technological things their teacher had offered them really showed me how great of a teacher Ms. Cassidy is.
After watching Ms. Cassidy's Skype session with Dr. Strange and some past EDM 310 students, I could tell even more that she loves what she does. I really like how her administrators were all willing to let her use blogging and other sorts of online technology with her students. Some of the techniques that she uses that I really liked were the students blogging themselves, and her class web page. I decided the second week of this course that I would have a class blog or web page for students and parents. I think it is the best way to have all of the information that my future students or parents can use in order to keep up with everything as well as to get acquainted with the use of computers and the Internet.
Some benefits of student blogging are getting the students to be familiar with computers and the technology used for it. Another great benefit is that it will help with their writing skills. The more you write, the better at it you get. By having students write a lot and using different types of media instead of just plain, gets boring very fast, pencil and paper, the students will get more excited about writing. The class web page would be good to keep all of the homework assignments posted for students and their parents, as well as to issue reminders. I also think it is a great idea to post different resources for remediation on the site. This will help students to get ready for tests, or work at home on things that they need a little extra help with. I think the problems that could arise would be if I had a principal who was either not interested in the students blogs or if I had a principal who was against it. I think some parents could have an issue with it to start, but I would hope that they would come around to the idea of letting their children participate and learn new mediums of technology. As long as you have people who are for it, the ideas should be very beneficial.

(And, I wish we could get that kind of snow just once! But, I do not want it to last until March or April!)
Ms. Cassidy's classroon of students looking up at a SMARTboard and laptop

Thursday, November 8, 2012

C4K Summary for October

studdent bloggers button

C4K Post 1
For my first C4K post in October, I read a story written by a fourth grade student. The story was about a young girl who receives a teddy bear for Christmas. Although the girl would have rather had an iPod, she soon came to love the gift that Santa left for her. The child had a wonderful imagination and wrote the story very well. I really enjoyed it!
This is the comment I left:

"Hi macagl1954,
My name is Victoria, and I live in Mississippi. I am studying at the University of South Alabama to become an educator. You have such a terrific imagination! I loved your story about William the Teddy Bear! I am so glad that Sunny decided to love him! I hope William and Sunny will remain friends forever. You did a great job of composing your story as well by making sure there was a beginning, middle, and end. I very much enjoyed reading it! I hope you continue to write stories and keep up with your blogging.
Take care, Victoria"


C4K Post 2
For my second C4K post for October, I was enlightened by the post A Novel Concept written by an Advanced Placement Government and Politics student. The post was about the negative aspects of taking online courses. The author also talks about how it is frustrating it is to be in a class with people she will never be able to see in person. I think this is frustrating as well, but to me, the benefits outweigh the negative aspects of online courses. This post was very well written and I enjoyed her style. This post really got me thinking and I like that.
This is the comment I left for Mi:

"Hi,
My name is Victoria and I’m from Mississippi. I’m currently studying at the University of South Alabama in order to become an educator. I’ll be honest, when first reading your post I was a little confused because you seemed to be against a life fused with technology. After reading to the end though, I completely understand where you were going. I agree it gets a little frustrating when you are taking a course online and you never set eyes on your classmates and professor. Being able to put a face and personality to a name is important, especially when you are communicating with your peers via IM or comments on a blog. There are some good things about online classes, however. I like the fact that I can work at my own pace when I’m enrolled in an online course. But, there are some cons, as you discussed. I enjoyed reading your blog post! I was always a bit indifferent to online classes, but your post got me thinking about the things that are wrong with online learning. Keep up the good work! And, good luck in your courses!
Victoria"


Once again, I was shocked to see that someone replied to my comment. I have only had a few people reply to my comments through all of the C4 assignments. Just like the children like for us as as EDM 310 students to post things on their blogs, I like to hear back from the authors!
This is the comment she left for me:

Hi Victoria from Mississippi!
Thanks so much for your comment! I definitely agree… pros and cons come with the whole world of technology in a myriad of ways. And, working at your own pace truly is wonderful (except if you get notoriously distracted like me…) but I agree, that freedom is wonderful, even if it does heighten the amount of self-responsibility involved. I’m glad my post got you thinking, and I hope that your adventures at university are fulfilling and fantastic! Good luck to you as well!
Mi


C4K Post 3
My third post to read and comment on for C4K in October was written by Dylan. I was a little confused about his post. I am not really sure if he was summarizing a story he had read, or if it was a story that he made up himself. His wording was a little confusing and it just didn't really make much sense to me. In my comment I asked him a few questions and hoped to get a response, but I didn't.
This is the comment I left for Dylan:

"Hi Dylan,
My name is Victoria and I am studying to become an elementary school teacher at the University of South Alabama. I notice that you just started blogging. What fun you are going to have as you continue to add posts to your blog! It's a lot of fun.
I have a few questions for you. Is this a story that you read about and are giving a summary of, or is this a story that you wrote yourself? I would love to know! I'm glad that the father in the story was nice to his son and showed him how to ride a bike. My dad is who taught me how to ride a bike too!
Keep up with your blogging! I'll be anxious to look at your blog in the future to see what else you've written for your readers.
Best wishes, Victoria"


C4K Post 4
My fourth C4K assignment for October was written by Carson. Carson wrote about a field trip to Aldridge Gardens that his class when on. On this field trip, the students learned all about worms. Carson told the readers a few things that the students learned on the trip.
This is the comment I left for Carson:

"Hi Carson,
My name is Victoria. I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I am studying to become a teacher. I am glad you had a lot of fun on your field trip to Aldridge Gardens! I see that you learned some important information about worms. How cool is it that worm castings can help plants grow? I think it is very exciting to think about all of those little worms that are helping all sorts of plants outside to grow big and strong! Did you like digging for worms? Were they hard to find? I bet you were good at it since you found a lot. I hope you are having a great school year, and keep up the great work with your blogging!
Victoria"


This is the reply that Carson left on my comment:
"Worms help us! They help or sols (soils)."

C4K Post 5
My fifth C4K assignment for October was from Vitulli and Santoli's Eyes on Ireland blog. The post I commented on was Dublin Bound. It was a short post written as they were boarding their plane.
This is the comment I left:

"Oh, I love an Irish accent! I hope you had a nice flight over. I’m looking forward to hearing about your trip in class when you get back! I hope you are having a great time.
I can’t wait to hear all about it.
Victoria"




Monday, November 5, 2012

Special Blogpost

A World Where Grades Will Be Left Behind
Udacity logo

In this article by Mary Beth Marklein at USA Today the idea of an alternative way of gaining an education is reported. Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford research professor and a Google vice president, talks of his time as a teacher for a free, online course. After doing so, he explains that by teaching in a traditional classroom it is very, well, traditional. But by teaching in this new way, online to students who do not pay for their courses, it is like seeing "Wonderland."

Thrun created Udacity as a way to democratize education. Udacity offers several classes that, at completion, a student receives credit. The courses offered at Udacity are free of charge for instruction, and anyone can take them. One thing that I discovered from researching Udacity is that, or some schools, you can complete courses online through Udacity that will transfer to your University. If you take the course on Udacity, you can pay an exam fee, which is around $89.00, for the course. If you pass, it can be used as a transfer credit for your university, if they will accept it.

At first when I was reading the article I thought, "This can't be real? This seems like a fake education to me." After finishing the article and researching Udacity a little more I think it is a really neat idea. I discovered that there aren't an abundance of classes offered, but the classes that are offered are taught by university professors. At the end of your class you get a certificate saying that you completed the course (if you need it for your job.) You also can get a transfer credit for participating universities. I think that this is really awesome, especially for the state that our economy is in. If I could take a course online for free instruction and pay a small exam fee (compared to the university's tuition per course) I definitely would choose that option for as many courses that I could. Also, I could see why professors would like teaching this way better. If you teach students at a university that are required to take a course, you know that not everyone is enjoying themselves and that they really are only taking the course because they have to. If a professor teaches an online course with Udacity, or another site like it, they know that their students are taking the course because they want to, not because they are required. People who do not want to take the course won't, and those who do will, and those are the students who will get a lot out of the experience and will enjoy it. I think that when the students enjoy themselves in a course, the professors will too.

At first I was skeptical, but after further research, I think that it is a neat idea for those whom it can benefit.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Blog Assignment 10

"I'm A Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga."
This cartoon is an obvious parody of the "I'm a Mac. I'm a PC." campaign for Apple. In this cartoon, the man personifying a Papermate pencil states that he costs less money than the Ticonderoga pencil, but breaks all of the time. Clearly this represents the PC. The man personifying a Ticonderoga states that he, on the other hand, is an expensive purchase. However, once you buy one, you will have it a long time. This obviously represents the Mac. I think that this cartoon is great! I loved the Mac vs. PC commercials that used to air on television. I, as a current PC owner can say without a doubt, when I have to buy a new computer it will definitely be a Mac.
I'm a Papermate. I cost less, but break all the time. I'm a Ticonderoga. I'm the most expensice purchase a hipster will ever make.

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games
After reading the post Why Were Your Kids Playing Games, by John Spencer, I decided to read his post I Banned Pencils Today, as well.

In Why Were Your Kids Playing Games, Spencer creates dialogue between a teacher and his principal. The principal asks the teacher why he and his students were playing games as opposed to him teaching a lesson. The teacher's reply was that he and his students were in fact participating in a mock simulation, but that it was educational. The principal does not accept this though. The teacher goes on to say that soldiers and doctors do the same thing everyday when learning their craft, but the principal still disagrees with his methods. In the end, the principal recommends a technique that the teacher can use in the place of the "game." The teacher however, outsmarts the principal by using the recommended methods, but making them into a game.

I really enjoyed this post because I feel like it important for student's to participate in games, or simulations in order to get more from a lesson. I think that students will pay more attention to the work and even recall things better if the information is presented to them in a way other than a traditional lecture. One thing that stood out for me in this post was his reference to soldiers and surgeons. Can you imagine going into a surgery where your surgeon had never practiced the procedure before? I wouldn't be too crazy about that!

The second post I read from John Spencer's Blog was, I Banned Pencils Today. I loved this post as well. Spencer states that on this particular day, he banned pencils during a particular subject, Math. He asked his students to find the volume and area of a cylinder using mental math. No paper and pencil could be used, just their brains. He states that though it took some of them a while, the students all came up with an answer to his problem. He states that the reason he held this little experiment was because he wanted his students to see that although they can use tools, like pencils, they don't need them. His purpose was to show them that they have highly evolved and powerful minds.

I thought this was so wonderful. I will definitely copy this from Mr. Spencer. I think that reminding children that they have the ability to use their brains to figure out a math problem instead of having to write it all down is great. If this had been something that one of my teachers had done in class, I probably would have freaked out a little at first. After coming up with the correct answer though, I think I would feel very fulfilled and proud of my small accomplishment.

Don't Teach Your Kids To Read This Stuff. Please?
When I first started reading Scott McLeod's post, Don't Teach Your Kids To Read This Stuff. Please? I was a little distracted by his writing style. After getting into the post, I soon realized the point he was making. He states that reading and writing for the web can be harmful to students; that there are many harmful things online for children to find or be introduced to. He goes on to list a lot on negative things associated with the Internet as well as the usage of cell phones. At the end he advises once more to not teach your kids to do these things. His reason? He is teaching his children all about every one of the things he listed. He asks which students will have a leg up in the future; his or ours.

I think that this post is really thought provoking. If you shelter your students from all of these things, what kind of person will they be in future? If they can't use technology in the future, what can they do? The kids who are exposed to these things will surely have a leg up. Dr. McLeod lists many negative things that are associated with the web. If you teach your kids about these negative things, and how to avoid them, and how to act when they are in a particular situation, they will be less likely to abuse the privileges of technology.

Dr. Scott McLeod is an academic expert on school technology leadership issues for Kindergarten through 12th grade. He serves as the Director of Innovation in Iowa. He is the author of the book What School Leaders Need to Know about Digital Technologies and Social Media. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE. EDM 310 students will recognize his series, Did You Know? from an assignment earlier in the semester.

SMARTboard Project 14

Green Screen Project 11

Friday, October 26, 2012

PLN Project 10- Progress Report

PLN Project 10 Progress Report
After getting acquainted with Symbaloo, I love it. I like the fact that most all of the tools that I will use online can all be accessed in one place, and it is organized well. I added some sites that I use regularly (for educational purposes as well as for my own pleasure,) and I will add more when I feel I need to. I think my PLN is coming along well, and I will definitely use Symbaloo in the future as an educator.
Below is a screenshot of my PLN tools using Symbaloo.

screenshot of symbaloo PLN

I am also really enjoying the tweets from the many professors I am following on Twitter. They post a lot of neat information that I will be sure to consider in the future. I really like the fact that I am becoming a teacher at this point in time as far as technology is considered. I think communicating with other teachers via Twitter is really neat and so simple. My PLN is coming along well, but can always use more work.

Blog Assignment 9

Mr. McClung Year 4
I enjoyed reading the posts from Mr. McClung. What I've Learned: Volume 4 was really enlightening. Firstly, I really like the idea of writing at the conclusion of the school year about all you've learned as teacher. I really think it is a great way to reflect on the year, and to read over at the beginning of each year to see some of the things you should do differently. I don't know that I would publish it to a blog though. I personally would prefer to keep my reflection to myself. That's not to say I don't think anyone should publish their thoughts, I just wouldn't. I definitely am going to try this.
In Mr. McClung's post, he talks about two things that he learned during the school year. The first thing he shares is that he noticed that he started to let the way his peers viewed him influence his mood. He explains that he realized that he doesn't need to pay attention to their perceptions, and that he needs to stay true to who he is. He says that he wouldn't have gotten as far as he has if he had been paying attention to they way others felt about him. He exclaims that the reason he has gotten to where he is career wise is that he works for and worries solely on the perception of the children.
The second thing Mr. McClung talks about learning is that he needed to challenge himself. He talks about how he started falling back on old lesson plans and that he wasn't being creative with his lessons anymore. He explains that he had been teaching the same subject for so long that his teachings were starting to lack in imagination. He states that in the coming year he will be teaching a different subject, and that it will help with the fact that he has fallen into a funk as a teacher. He advises his readers to challenge themselves as well.
I agree with Mr. McClung that it is important to challenge yourself as a teacher as well as his notion of working for the children. I will have to remind myself that the children's opinions are the ones that matter and I need to do my best to make sure they are having fun and learning.

Mr. McClung Year 1
After reading Volume 4 of Mr. McClung's posts, and then Reading Volume 1, it is easy to tell that in the latter he was a new teacher, and in the former he was a little more seasoned just by the way he came across to the reader. In Volume 1, Mr. McClung talks about the things he learned during his first year of teaching.
One of the things he learned was that, as a teacher, you have to be flexible. This is going to be hard for me to come to terms with. I like organization and rules. I understand that there is no such thing as a perfect lesson, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try to make it happen. I think that the first few times I get upset because a lesson did not go the way I planned, I will need to remember Mr. McClungs words of wisdom.
Mr. McClung also talks about listening to your students. He gives an account on a student's answer to one of his questions on an end of the year survey. The child stated that Mr. McClung listened to what he/she says. I feel that being a good listener, as a teacher especially, is extremely important. You never know what students do outside your classroom and how their lives are. Like Mr. McClung said, you may be the only one who actually listens to that child. I try to be an excellent listener with my peers, and I only hope I am an even better listener for my students.

Mr. McClung's World

Sunday, October 21, 2012

C4T Comments For Teachers 2

computer screen with a smiling face

For my second set of comments for teachers, the teacher I was assigned to was Joe Dale.
The first post I read was about aPLaNet, which stands for Autonomous Personal Learning Networks for Language Teachers. This is a project that's purpose is for teachers who don't normally use social networking, to start to use it in order to become aqcuainted with it and to create their own PLN.
I left this comment for him:
"Hi Joe,
Thank you so much for sharing so many great resources about aPLaNet with your readers. It was very helpful that you included links and embedded videos straight into your post so that I didn't have to hunt them down. I really like that. I am currently studying to become an educator, and I had never heard of aPLaNet before and after reading about it I think it is a great project. Social media is a great tool to use in many different aspects. This is such an amazing way to get others introduced to it.
Thank you again for sharing, Victoria"

Mr. Dale hasn't blogged in some time, so I had to travel back to find something else to comment on. The second post I read from him was about Ligu@net World Wide. This was neat to discover. I played around with the website for a while, and it seems like a great tool to use for learning languages. There are many different choices of languages and there are plenty of tools, links, and tips to use. I think this site could definitely be useful in high school and college for anyone needing plenty of sources for learning a second language, or for anyone who just needs to brush up on one.
This is the comment I left for Mr. Dale:
"Hi Joe,
This is such a great site! Thank you for sharing this awesome source. I think it is a great way for anyone learning a language to not only have many sources, tips, and tools at their fingertips, but it is a great way for them to interact with others who are learning or teaching a language just like them.
Thanks again for sharing, Victoria"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blog Assignment 8

This is How We Dream
The videos by Dr. Miller, This is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2, were a bit boring to me, I must say. I watched them once, yawned several times, and had to come back and watch them again just to find out what the presentation was about. After watching the videos again, they weren't any less boring, but I did figure out the point Dr. Miller was trying to make, and I agree with him.
Through the videos, Dr. Miller tries to get the point across to educators that they shouldn't be teaching only through reading or writing information, but through videos, and presentations, and audio clips. By having the children listen to and view things, it is a better teaching tool than having them just read the information. I feel that it is also important for the teachers to be the ones who create the videos and/or audio clips, etc. By having the teacher comprise the information, it is certain to pertain to what the students are learning at the time and not an already made video that may have any additional information that they do not need.
I love the idea of collaboration while producing documents and multimedia. Being able to work with others, whether they are from your class, school, state, country, continent, or across the Atlantic is important in creating contacts, but it can also be a way to get others' insights on topics being taught in your classroom. They can also help you to produce the medias you will use while teaching your students.
I feel that it is important to incorporate as many different medias while teaching that you can. Doing the same old, reading from the text and listening to a lecture can be very boring, but the same goes for always watching a video. I think that the way a teacher approaches each lesson should be different so that the students are introduced to not only different types of media, but to different ways of learning.

Carly Pugh
Carly Pugh writes in her blog post about ways to get students more interested in the teachings. I think her last paragraph sums up her opinion on this very well. I love that she says "Not everyone loves to read as much as I and some others do, maybe it takes getting them interested in the story and the characters, and then the words that paint that picture. Modern technology can assist in the education and growth of our youth, and there is more out there available than videos. I think they could be very useful when combined with blogs and podcasts and other things.Videos alone are not an answer to our problems, but they can make us think: what other seemingly simple things can we employ to help us? To keep the attention of our digital learners?" I couldn't have said it better. To get your students engaged, you need to find something engaging. Videos may do the trick, but why stop there when there are many other medias that could be used in addition.
I think that Carly did a great job of writing with media. All of her links are wonderful! I know I appreciate being able to click on a link to get directly to a source, video, or additional blog or website. It helps to get even more information than you bargained for, and it informs readers who have no idea what you are talking about. Carly does a great job of that and provides a plethora of links to additional information throughout her post. I feel like this is something Dr. Miller would be proud of.

EDM 310 is Different
Does EDM 310 have you down?

The videos for this portion of the assignment were great. I really would love to own the book EDM310 For Dummies that was the inspiration for this video. It would have really helped a lot in the beginning of the course. I think now I have gotten the swing of things and could pass the book along though! I also liked the Chipper Series video. It was very entertaining.
After watching these videos I started to think about video projects that I would like to produce and/or take part in. I have done musical parodies in the past to introduce difficult concepts, (that was for bonus points in Organic Chemistry,)and I feel that those work well. If anything, they are entertaining. Explaining things through song can be very useful, and song lyrics can be extremely catchy. Come on, how many of you can honestly say that you don't chant in the styling of Gwen Stafani when you have to spell the word bananas? That's what I thought. If you introduce a difficult concept, the list of presidents, or even a math formula through song it is most likely going to be easy to recall not only for a test, but for years after. I still can't recite the Preamble to the Constitution without singing it like the folks in the School House Rocks video, and I learned that literally 12 years ago. Making up a parody, or song of your own can be a great tool to use in the classroom.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
In the video, Learn to Change, Change to Learn, the statement is made that children do not learn solely at school, but in many places. These places, such as their communities, homes, and even online give children knowledge in many ways aside from classic "schooling." I cannot agree more. The point is made that students should be learning, in school, how to retrieve information from the world outside of the classroom, and to be able to use that information in the correct way to solve problems. Teachers are there to teach their students the skills needed to do these things to prepare them, not only for college or even high school, but their lives after college and for their professions.
I definitely agree with what is being said in this video. I can't remember having a teacher who really explained to me how to go out and find information. It was something that I picked up or figured out on my own, especially by using a computer. I guess growing up in my generation, most teachers were getting acquainted witch computers at the same time I was. I think, now, it is very important to show students how to make global connections and work with people, or find and validate information and how to use it in order to solve problems. One of the easiest ways to get information and make connections is online. Most children today know how to use a computer, some better than adults. I feel it is important as a 21st century educator to show those children how to use computers meaningfully, in a way to further their educations.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0
Animoto/Education-
animoto logo

I have never used Animoto before, and was very interested in it. I was attracted to it because it is made specifically for use in the classroom. It is an easy way for teachers to comprise a video for their lesson without having to put forth a ton of effort. Animoto takes all of your pictures and music and automatically makes it into a video, so all you have to worry with is adding audio, if you want it. I think this is a great tool to use in the classroom that doesn't take a lot of time.

Edmodo-
edmodo logo

Edmodo is a social networking site for teachers and students. I signed up as a teacher like the prompt said, and looked around the site for a while. I love it! I will be using this for my classroom. You can create groups, and give out a code for the students to enter in the site in order to become a part of the group. So, any one who does not have the code will not be able to join the group. This site can be used to post any announcement the children might need, or give homework assignments. It is a great way for students to interact with their teacher if they happen to have any questions after school hours. You can also interact with other teachers. I'm very glad I found this site!

Poll Everywhere- This is the poll that I made using Poll Everywhere. This site was extremely easy to use. The only thing I don't really like is that you have to text in your response instead of just being able to click on a button within the poll.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog Assignment 7

The Networked Student
networked student web

When first viewing The Networked Student, my first thought was, “Wow! I love the design of this.” It is so easy to follow with each of the graphics being lain down by a person behind the scenes. I like how this video is done much better than staring at a power point presentation. Even if it is the same exact information, it has a different feel to it, and is less boring.

My second thoughts about this video were, “What?” and “Let me re-watch this.” I admit I was confused at first, but after watching the video again I understood what was being presented. Connectivism is a way to help students become more self-motivated learners with only guidance from a teacher. The teacher is there to guide the students when they struggle with their own personal networks and connections. By letting the students go out and find their own information and present it to others, the teacher is helping them to get acquainted with and receive information from other people around the world, who in the future may return the favor. We, as students in EDM 310, of course, are doing this to an extent with most of our assignments. The resources are being presented to us, but through Twitter and other blogs, we can follow people and read material that they have found and felt the need to pass on to their peers. It is exciting to think about all of the information that you can access through social networking like Twitter, and that you can turn around and pass along to others with just a single click.

I think that it is important for older students to understand this. It can be extremely helpful in college, and I feel that high school aged students would benefit from the idea of connectivism. I don’t feel like younger students will appreciate the concept as much, however, it can definitely be presented to them.

So, why does the networked student even need a teacher? I think that question is answered pretty well through the video. The teacher is there to be a model to the student, to advise them when they get stuck, the teacher shows the student how to find good information, and can help the student to find new contacts. The teacher of a networked student sounds a lot like any teacher I’ve had. I think it is important for any teacher to be all of these things no matter if their style of teaching mirrors connectivism or not.


A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment
I really enjoyed taking the tour of the 7th Graders PLE, in the video Welcome to My PLE. It was really neat to see how anything she needed could be accessed from one place. She didn’t have to hunt anything down and it seemed like everything was really easy to manage. I really like the note-taking tool because marking things you may want to use in the future that also records where you got the information from is extremely important, especially when you have to cite all of your information.

I don’t think that I really have much of a Personal Learning Network or Environment. I do use a lot of the tools that the girl in the video uses, but I don’t have them all available in one place. I feel like I should, and am going to see what Symbaloo is all about. I think it will help me in the future, and it is definitely something that I will introduce to my peers as well as my students. It seems to simplify doing assignments and/or projects because everything is in one place and easy to get to. This video was very informative for me. I also think it is important for children to have freedom while learning. The child commented that this was one of the reasons she liked this way of learning. Being able to let a child find the information him/herself and to share it with others is more fun for the child, instead of just giving them the information as a teacher and not giving them the liberty to find more about a topic. I hope to, as a teacher, be able to share things with my students and have them want to learn more by finding more information and in turn, share those things with me.

screenshot of a symbaloo account

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blog Assignment 6

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Randy Pausch giving his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University

While giving his last lecture, Randy Pausch continues to inspire educators as well as future educators to enable the dreams of others. In his lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, he talks about all of his childhood dreams including the ones he accomplished as well as the ones he didn't accomplish. Pausch recounts what happened through his journeys of trying to accomplish each of his dreams, each of which is a truly inspiring tale. He continues his lecture talking about the time he spent as a professor at Carnegie Mellon, as well as the different projects that he was a part of.
During the first part of the lecture, Pausch talked about all of his childhood dreams. One that really stood out to me was becoming a Disney Imagineer. I can remember being a child and being very interested in Disney's Imagineers and wondering just how much went into their jobs. I can only imagine his joy when he got to finally work with them. Throughout his lecture, the quote "brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things" was repeated in his presentation. This reminds me that bad things are going to happen, and you can either stop and run from that brick wall, or you can plow right through it. If you want something badly enough, there are always tools available somewhere for you to use to break that wall away. "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted," was also used in his presentation. This is also very meaningful in that even when you think you have failed, you always gain experience.
As Pausch talked about his time as a professor, I couldn't help but to make mental notes of things that I wanted to try when I become an educator. For example, I love the "head-fake" way of learning. He explains that this is a way for students to learn one thing, while thinking they are learning about something else. It is a way for the student to have fun while they are learning something hard. I think that this is very important. Children get so bored with challenging things, and by making the learning process fun, they will be more apt to pay attention and get something out of the lesson. Pausch also took part in a lot of project based learning with no book work. This is something that, for the right subject, could be so beneficial to the student. I know that I would learn and know so much more by "doing" rather than reading. When he was talking about the projects that his students did in groups, he mentioned a group feedback chart. This was a bar chart of all of the students names, ranked to show who was easiest to work with. This let the students know when they needed to step up and be better group members. I really liked this. If I do a lot of group work with my students, I will definitely try something to this effect with them to not only grade their group performance, but to show them that they could be doing better and/or that they are an excellent group member.
As his lecture comes to a close, he makes a few suggestions and lists things that we all should remember. The first, decide whether you are a Tigger or Eeyore. The second is to never lose your childlike wonder and the third is to help others. He continues with a fourth thing to remember, which is that loyalty is a two-way street. The fifth thing is to never give up. He then asks how you get people to help you, and his answers are to tell the truth, be earnest, apologize when you screw up, and focus on others. He reminds us to not bail out, and to get a feedback loop and most importantly, listen to it. He reminds us to show gratitude, and lastly to not complain; just work harder.
I enjoyed, so much, Pauch’s last lecture. He truly is inspiring, and I can say that this is by far one of the most entertaining and interesting lectures I have ever listened to. From all of his accomplishments to the way he was accepting of his last days, it was clear that he led a very rich life. I could have listened to this lecture an hour more! He was so humorous and easy to listen to. I found myself laughing one minute, and being moved to tears the next. I wish I had had the pleasure of knowing him. He seemed to be such an encouraging and hands-on professor and I can bet he was a fantastic mentor. You could tell that he really pushed the limit with everything, and it paid off. I hope that the Alice project is everything that he wanted it to be, and that his legacy lives on.

Timetoast Timeline- Project 9a

C4K Summary for September

C4K Post 1
For my first C4K assignment, I commented on Jaden's Blog. Jaden is a fourth grade student from California. He wrote a very informative post about the things he has learned from blogging. He included some things that you should do while blogging, as well as some things that you shouldn't do, and ways to make sure you blog safely. It was very well written, and I enjoyed reading it. This is the comment I left for him:
"Hi Jaden,
My name is Victoria. I live in Mississippi, but I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am studying to become an educator, and I must say that I really like your blog! This post is wonderful to share with others. I feel that it is especially important to share with children so that they understand the rules of blogging as well as safety measures that should be taken into consideration while blogging. You seem like a very smart young man to understand the importance of all of these things. I look forward to reading more wonderful blog posts from you in the future!
Take care, Victoria"

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Jaden has blogged in a while, and my comment has yet to be approved by him in order to appear on his blog.

C4K Post 2
For my second C4K assignment, I left a comment on Fauea's Blog. Fauea is a grade six student from New Zealand. I chose to comment on their post about making ice cream comets at school. Fauea wrote about how they made the comets and how they tasted, and her post really made me want to try one! This is the comment I left:
"Hi Fauea,
My name is Victoria. I live in Mississippi in the United States, but I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am studying to become an educator. After reading your post about making ice cream comets at school, I got a huge craving for ice cream! I had never heard of an ice cream comet before. After you gave such wonderful instructions on how to make one, it made me want to try myself. In the United States we call biscuits cookies. My favorite cookies to eat with ice cream are chocolate ones with cream filling. I think when I make my own ice cream comet I will crush some of those up and then add some rainbow sprinkles. I hope mine turns out as delicious as you described yours! You are doing a great job blogging, and I hope you keep it up. Thank you for sharing this unique way of eating ice cream with me and the rest of your readers!
Take good care, Victoria."


keyboard letters spelling out the word blog

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blog Assignment 5

The iSchool Initiative
iSchool Initiative logo

Travis Allen, came up with a solution to the problems in public education that America faces when he was just a senior in high school. He prompts, in his video The iSchool Initiative (Mobile Learning) the question "Does technology belong in our classroom?" He proposes that schools get rid of books, copy paper, printer ink, and even pencils in order to make the digital switch. Allen points out that the current iTouch is already equipped for many educational uses. You can use the apps that come standard with the iTouch such as the calendar and calculator, as well as downloading apps from Apple's App Store. He proposes that all students and teachers can use this technology for learning in class as well as taking tests.
I agree with Allen in that this will tremendously decrease carbon footprints and contribute to schools going green, but I'm not sure it is the smartest for test taking. If a student takes a test on an iTouch or iPad, how are we as educators able to determine whether or not they are cheating. Allen said himself that you can email notes to other students through the devices, and there is also Internet access through the devices. Who is to say that the students will not try this during an exam? I feel like this would be a great tool in the learning process, however when it comes to test taking, there needs to be some other solution. I agree with him completely in that he believes that students now need to be prepared to learn in the digital world they were born into. I would definitely use the iTouch or iPad for my students in order to further their knowledge of this amazing, new digital world.


Virtual Choir
After watching Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir, I was completely amazed! This was truly a magnificent thing to watch. At first, after reading Jennifer Chambers' post, I was a little confused as to what I was fixing to to watch. How incredible is it that someone can compile all of these videos and voices into one? I think that it is amazing that we have the technology now to do this. It was truly magical just listening to the performance, and it made me wish I had been apart of it.

Teaching 21st Century Students
In the John Strange version of Kevin Roberts' Teaching 21st Century Students, Roberts makes it clear that teachers in the 21st century should be teaching skills rather than only facts. His presentation explains that all of the knowledge that our students need to know is out there, and it is our job, as educators, to be filters. He explains that teachers should show students how to use the information that they find outside of the classroom through analyzing it, paraphrasing it, and even uploading it to share with others.
I completely agree with Roberts. His view that teachers should be helping students to learn skills is very important. Teaching a child to correctly use resources is extremely significant. As an educator, I hope to be able to incorporate as much technology as possible in my classroom. I will focus a lot on helping children to learn how to find significant information and use in correctly. I feel like the simplest way to get children involved in new technology is by blogging. If I blog daily or even weekly, and make it a requirement for my students to do the same, and I make a point to have them try new and different ways of getting their information out there (much like this class,) I feel that my students will be well learned in different aspects of the digital world and the many things that can be done on a computer using the Internet. I want to be able to engage them in as much as possible by using technology. When I do become an educator, I can only hope that I will be "relevant, challenging, and engaging."

The Flipped Classroom
"Flipping" the classroom is a way to get students to learn lessons at home and to come to school the next day and work on the application part of learning. It is a way to extend the time that students have with their teachers in the classroom applying the knowledge that they learned at home via video. The YouTube video Dr. Lodge McCammon's FIZZ- Flipping the Classroom gives a little information about what exactly flipping is, and the video Why I Flipped My Classroom is a teacher's firsthand account of the success she had when she flipped her own classroom. The third video, Flipping the Classroom- 4th Grade STEM, is a teacher's message to her students' parents addressing the idea of flipping her classroom. They all seem to think that flipping the classroom is a great idea.
I agree with them to an extent. I feel that it is a great idea to have children watch their lesson before coming to class in order to bring in questions that they may have, and to extend the application time needed in the classroom, but who is to say that the children are actually going to watch these videos? I feel that it could be a waste of time if the students are not going to put forth any effort with this idea. I would love to record my lectures and have them available online for remediation, for the students who need it. I probably would not start out by teaching in a flipped classroom, but if I saw that I needed to try something different, I would definitely try this method out. I think it is a great idea, if you have the right kind of students, and parents who will actually monitor their child's work and who are okay with this method.

classroom that has been flipped upside down

My Sentence Video

Saturday, September 22, 2012

C4T Comments For Teachers- Project 3

C4T Post 1
For the first C4T comment, I read and watched the video that Jenny Luca posted on her blogpost, My TEDxMelbourne Talk: Education Leadership. After watching her talk, it was very clear to me that my elementary, junior high, and high school education was severely lacking in new technology. Luca talked about different ways to get students involved in technology and different ways to create their own digital footprints. Having children do something as simple as blogging weekly will help them to understand the shifts in technology as well as teaching them ways to use the resources that are available to them daily. I really enjoyed listening to the things that Luca had to say. She really understands how important it is that the learning process for children should involve new technology.
The comment I left to her was simply just thanking her for bringing certain issues to my attention, and telling her that I very much enjoyed what she had to say.

“Hi Jenny,
I really enjoyed your talk! I agree so much with you that not enough teachers “get it” when it comes to the shift in technology. I am a student learning to become an educator, and I can only hope that I will be one of the teachers that I so wish I had had. As I listened to your talk, I kept flashing back to my days in high school and could honestly picture how my learning experiences would have been significantly better and more meaningful had there been an incorporation of more technology. The technology was there, it just wasn’t used. Now, I am in classes that stress this so much, and I am grateful. Thank you so much for sharing your talk, and inspiring me to help my future students create their digital footprints.
Take good care, Victoria”


To my surprise, she commented back telling me that she valued my comment.

“Thanks Victoria. I really value your comment. It sounds to me like you’re well on the way to becoming the kind of educator we need today in our schools.
Jenny”


C4T Post 2
For my second post to Jenny Luca, I had to travel back a month in her blog. She had only been posting “housekeeping” posts since I last commented on one of her posts. I went back a month and found one that she posted on August 22, and I really enjoyed it. She posted a video by John Green that explained what teachers should be teaching in the classroom as well as what skills will need to be taught to children in order for them to be successful in the future. The post was titled You are special…and we’re counting on you. The video, An Open Letter to Students Returning to School, by Green was just a way to get students to think about why they are in school. He closes the video stating that the reason he teaches is because essentially, one day his students will be taking care of him. They will be the ones to create drugs to extend lives, and invent things that he will use every day, (as well as coming up with a microwave pizza that has an actual crispy crust!) I really enjoyed the video, and his comedic way of coming across to his students, and students everywhere. He also has a YouTube channel with his brother, Vlogbrothers, that provides interesting educational videos that keep students’ interested and engaged in the material.
I left a comment for Jenny under this post telling her how glad I was that she introduced me to the Vlogbrothers.
"Hi!
I am so glad that you introduced me to the Vlogbrothers! I really enjoy their way of communicating with students in a way that isn’t quite so boring. In An Open Letter To Students Returning To School, I especially loved his parting message as well. It really makes you stop and think about the many purposes there are in schooling children. Oh, and a microwave pizza with actual crispy crust would be amazing!
Thanks again for sharing, Victoria"

Project 5 Presentation

Blog Assignment 4

Flat Stanley Podcast
Flat Stanley in Peru

After reading about the Flat Stanley Podcast, I realized what a great idea it is to do in the classroom. I have heard of sending Flat Stanley around the world, and always wanted to do it myself, but I never thought about using it in a classroom in this way. A group of first graders read the book Flat Stanley by Jim Brown and decided to send their own Flat Stanleys around the country to their relatives and friends in order to receive letters and pictures of Flat Stanley's journey. For the children who participated in the podcast, just sending Flat Stanley around the world was not enough. They decided to put themselves in Flat Stanley's shoes and send themselves around the world. The children picked a location that they would like to be sent to and researched it. They then made a podcast to record what they thought their reactions would be to the different places they were traveling.
I thought that this was such a neat idea, and a great way to introduce a new form a technology to children who probably have never made or even heard of podcasts before. Introducing Flat Stanley to a class, as well as podcasting, is a great idea for all ages. This idea was blogged by Langwiches author, Silvia Tolisano.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
Computer with microphone attached, ready to record a podcastJoe Dale blogged about The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom, which included a video by Doug Saunders. After watching this video, I saw the importance of podcasting with my future students. When children get stuck doing their assignments in the same ways all of the time, they will start to dislike what they are doing, and probably will not learn what is needed. By podcasting in the classroom, the children will feel as if they have actually produced something that is relevant to their generation. Podcasting also gives the students a way to be more creative with their assignments.
Dale makes a summary using bullets to show some of the main points given in the video. One of them is that podcasting in the classroom "can access the higher order thinking skills in Bloom's taxonomy." It is hard to think of good ways to incorporate synthesizing things in the classroom that students will not get bored with. Podcasting is an awesome way to do so, and can be used in many different ways.


First Graders Create Their Own Real-Along Audiobook
Langwiches author, Silvia Tolisano blogged about another way to utilize podcasting in the classroom. In this post, she tells about how her students created their own read-along audiobook. The teacher helped her students to record the scripts from a book, and then they posted it to their class blog as well as to iTunes. After uploading it to iTunes, the teacher wished to do more with it, so she found a way, with help from someone on Twitter, to make it into a read-along audiobook to use with iBook for iPads, iPods, and iPhones.
I think that this is a wonderful idea, and will be something that I definitely will want to try with my class. I love that the children can be the characters in the book, and get to bring those characters voices to life bu using the voice of the students. This is something that the children can get very excited about. When I try this in my classroom, if I teach children older than first grade, I may have them break into groups to record more than one book. I really love this idea.

Screen shot of iTunes audiobook store