Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blog Post #15: Final Reflection

My ideas of teaching have forever changed. In my first blog post I talked about how I was not entirely sure on how I would approach teaching in my future classroom. I knew I wanted lesson to be interactive, but I wasn't sure how to do so. I wanted my students to be curious and have a desire to learn, but I didn't know show to instill that in them. After this semester in EDM310, I have a much better idea of how I can achieve these goals for my future class.

I know I don't want to use the traditional "pencil and paper" method of teaching, or "burp-back" education. I really enjoyed project based learning were we got to work in groups as a team to achieve a common goal. I also liked how we got to learn independently and were given endless opportunities to be creative. I would love to use project based and independent learning with my future students. I believe it would give them the opportunity to be creative and learn in their own way. I also LOVE the idea of using a class blog for the students. I think it would be a great tool to help the students get acclimated to using computers, the internet and how to use proper etiquette when using the internet. Of course, I am aware that many parents will be concerned with the safety of their children on the internet but I will do my best to encourage them that we will practice "blogging safety" by only using first names and never giving personal information out to strangers. I also love the idea of using a PLN with my future students. I loved using mine through out this past semester and plan to keep using it through my college. I think that the students having their own PLN will help them greatly when having to research and papers. I would like to use SMARTboards  as well in my classroom, because they help get the kids to interact with technology and the lesson being taught at the time. These are just a few of the technologies I would like to use in my future classroom.

At the beginning of the semester, I was absolutely terrified of EDM310 because of all the rumors I heard prior of how much work was involved, how time consuming it was and how particular Dr. Strange was about the projects. After this semester and getting use to the course, I absolutely loved it. I know I still have to learn about using technology in the classroom, but after this class I'm not afraid of technology anymore. I would love to learn more so I can teach kids how to use it as well. Thank you, Dr. Strange for an amazing semester of learning!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Final PLN Report

I love my PLN! It has been so helpful not only in EDM310, but in my other classes as well. If I need a resource quickly, I can just pull up my PLN on Symbaloo and go from there. It keeps my resources organized and all grouped together according to what categories I need. I've added a lot to my PLN since I first started working on it. My favorite tile is still Google Scholar because anytime I need to look up a scholarly souce for a paper, assignment or project, I can just click the title, type what I'm searching for and filters out all the junk so I can just search for what I need.
I plan to continue using my PLN during the rest of my education and when I become an educator, I want my students to use one too. I think it will really help them out like it has me.

Blog Post #14

Teacher Knows If You Have Done The E-Reading

This article was written about e-books on CourseSmart, a program owned by Pearson-McGraw, and how teachers can use it to see if students are reading their assignments, track their progress on reading assignments, see when and how long a student has read. CourseSmart also track the progress of students in the class and if they are doing their work at all.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this system. I like the idea of having e-books because it would be a lot easier to have all the books needed on one device instead of toting around five or six books at a time. However,  I don't see how this method would help students besides having the fear of knowing their teachers know if they have not read a reading assignment. I could see it used for students who are high risk or need help with reading and comprehension, to make sure they are staying on track with the rest of the class, or maybe with students involved in extracurricular activities. As for college students, I don't think it would be very helpful because most resources are provided by professors. Also, college students are grown-adults who don't (usually) need someone hovering over them making sure they are doing their work. They should be responsible enough to complete their tasks and assignments with out an instructor checking up on them.

If I had to use the program, I don't think I would do very well with it. I don't like feeling as if I have to read material out of obligation. If I want to read it, I will because I'm interested in the material and I want to learn more about it. Now, if I had problems with reading comprehension, then I would definitely use it.

If I had an opportunity to interview Mr. Guardia, I would ask: What do you like and dislike about the program? What are some ways the program an be improved? Why did you choose to be apart of the CourseSmart system?

If I could interview a student using the program, I would ask: What do you like and dislike about the program? Would you whether use Course Smart or go the traditional route and read an actual book?

If I commented on the post, I would include my thoughts on the program along with some question stated earlier. I would include how I think it would be more time consuming than helpful for college students to be involved in this program, yet helpful for younger students.

Project #15: SMART Board Demonstration

Teacher: Michelle Vajgrt
Students: Becky Stuart, Jasmine Smith, Kayla Sandifer and Mary Cortipassi
Videographer: Brittney Patrick

Sunday, April 21, 2013

C4K#4: April

Tyson F.

Tyson is a fourth grader from Nebraska and in his post, About Nebraska, he tells all about his home state, what makes it interesting and why he lose it. Somethings I learned from his post were that Nebraska has the largest planted forest in the country, the inventor of spam was from there and they have a skateboarding museum.

My comment:

Hi, Tyson! 
My name is Brittney and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I’m from Mobile, Alabama, just off the Gulf Coast. I loved learning about Nebraska! I use to think that it was all corn and wheat fields, but now that I have been enlightened otherwise, I think I’ll have to come check out the skateboard museum and the largest hand-planted forest in the United States. In Alabama, like most of the South, we are known for sweet tea. A lot of people think we’re weird for putting sugar in our tea, but it’s delicious! We’re also know for our passion for football, mainly the University of Alabama and the Crimson Tide, but I like the rival team, Auburn University. War Eagle! 
We’re also famous for being the birthplace of Mardi Gras. It’s a big celebration, mainly in Catholicism, that leads up to Lent, but you don’t have to be Catholic to celebrate it. Mobile is also called “The City Of Six Flags” because our city has been under the rule of France, Spain, Britain, the Republic of Alabama, the Confederate States and the United States. Our city is full of culture and history! 
I hope to hear back from you, Tyson!

C4T #4

Quantum Progress

John Burk is a math and physics teacher in Delaware and is the writer of the blog, Quantum Progress. In his most recent post,  A Collaboration Between Dance and Physics , he talks about how a new dance program has been introduced at the school in which he works and how he and the dance teacher collaborated and incorporated dance with science. They had many amazing ideas like,  using a fire extinguisher to propel a student in a cart across the stage or dancing around while blowing up balloons. It sounds like a lot of fun!

My comment:

Mr. Burk,
Hi! My name is Brittney and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama, studying elementary education. I would just like to say I really enjoyed reading your post about incorporating dance and physics. Your ideas with Mr. Avi were incredible and if I were a dance teacher in a high school or a physics teacher, I would definitely use some of these ideas with my students. Thank you for posting!

In a different post by Mr. Burk, he blogs about visiting his friend, Paul Salomon,  who teaches at St. Ann's School in Brooklyn, New York. He talks about how St. Ann's  has an entire 4-12 grade level school in a thirteen story building and many teachers teach in different grade levels, like third, sixth and eleventh grade math. Like the kids, the teacher change classes as well. It's tough to adjust to the different ages and maturity levels, but it takes amazing people to connect with all the different levels they are presented with. 

My comment:

Hi, Mr. Burk!

St. Ann's School sounds absolutely amazing! I can only imagine the challenge of teaching upper elementary, middle and high school at once, but I bet the rewards of facing the challenge are unbelievable. As a future educator, I would love to have an opportunity to teach in a school like St. Ann's. I bet it is a great blessing to be able to work with all grade levels instead of being restricted to one. Thank you for sharing your experience!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blog Post #13

Back to the Future

"The second day of school, I took a survey with them to find out where they stood and here's what we found out: nine out of twenty-four knew they city in which they lived...twelve out of twenty-four knew what state they lived in..." - Mr. Crosby

Mr. Crosby really got my attention at the beginning of his presentation after showing some information he had gathered from his his school where over 90% of the students lived in poverty or in low-income homes. The survey was simple. It asked questions like: "What city do you live in?",  "What state do you live in?", and to my disbelief, very few students knew what city and state they lived in and they had been going to that same school since kindergarten. He believed that the school he took this survey from was teaching a narrow curriculum and in order for these at-risk kids to succeed, they needed to be exposed to more than what they were getting by with currently.

He then goes on to tell his audience about how he was able to create a learning environment for his students. Every child had their own laptop and had a blog in which they were in encouraged to be creative and express their imagination. Using their blog, they posted videos of their experiments and projects along with written assessments for their project. People from all over the world read their blogs, which I'm sure was HUGE confidence booster for these kids.

I loved Mr. Crosby's science experiment! He and his students sent a device with a camera strapped to a balloon and parachute 80,000 feet into the atmosphere. The camera rolled all the way up and all the way down from it's trip into the sky, so the footage caught was probably breath taking. As an added bonus, Mr. Crosby incorporated a creative writing assignment with the experiment to were the students had to pretend they were the balloon and describe what they saw on the way up, what the view was like, where they were located in the atmosphere and what it was like tumbling back to Earth after they busted from the pressure. It was awesome!

My absolute favorite part of his video was when he told his audience that he was given a student with Leukemia, who really couldn't physically participate because he was either at home resting or in the hospital receiving treatment and therapy. Mr Crosby did what most teachers have never thought about doing and included the student, via web cam, so the child could participate and contribute to the class even though he could not physically be there.

 It's teachers with hearts like Mr. Crosby that change the life and direction of these students' lives because instead of shuffling them in like cattle, barking a lecture and sending them home, they nurture their talents, address and work on weak points together and encourage imagination and creativity.

Blended Learning Cycle

Paul Anderson is an AP Biology teacher in Bozeman, Montana and he is an big believer in using the Blended Learning Cycle in his classroom.

 He opens his video with some things, event and people who inspired him to try new things in his classroom. he explains what Blended Learning is and how it takes the compelling parts of mobile, online and classroom working and "blends" them together. Next, he explains the Learning Cycle and it's five parts: engage, explore, explain, explore and evaluate. So, when one combines Blended Learning with the Learning Cycle, one gets "The Blended Learning Cycle".

Mr. Anderson created an acronym for his Blended Learning Cycle, QUIVER: Question, Investigation, Video, Elaboration and Review. To begin his lesson, he asks his students a question to get their mind engaged and intrigued in what the lesson is on. Next, they investigate the question by performing experiments then recording their results and data in a Google spread sheet to share with the class. Mr. Anderson has them watch a video independently where he explains what the goal of the experiment and lastly, he sits down with students one on one or in small groups and goes over a review with them to make sure the completely comprehend what has been taught before they go on to take a summary quiz and finally, an old-fashion "pencil and paper" test.

I really like Mr. Anderson's approach to the Blended Learning Cycle. It keeps the students engaged in what lesson is being taught and it sort of allows the students to progress at their own pace. My favorite  part of his cycle is when he reviews one on one or with a small group of students to make sure that they totally understand what is going on in the classroom. That way, the other students can still be engaged and busy in the assignment while he can address issues and concepts if they are not comprehended by some students. One on one help does wonders!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blog Post #12

For this assignment, we are suppose to create our own assignment and then do it. For the past few weeks, five of my classmates and myself have embarked on a journey together after all being assigned to a special group to help a former EDM310 student, Anthony Capps, form lesson plans involving technology to use in his class to help further the Digital Renaissance in Baldwin County. So far, in our group, we were able to come up with about three weeks worth of lessons, incorporating  technology with core classes like science and history.

My favorite lesson plan we came up with a two week weather unit starting with defining what the students thought weather was defined as and through out the week they learn about different weather types. In the middle of the week, the students were assigned a weather phenomenon, like a hurricane, tsunami, tornadoes and blizzards, and had to video themselves "interviewing" the phenomenon, in which, they would ask the phenomenon what conditions occurred to create them, what they did and what the after effects of the phenomenon were after it was over. They would present their video to the class at the end of the week. The second week, after reviewing, they would learn about how to predict the weather and at the end of the week, they would video themselves performing a mock weather forecast.

Our group is currently working on a history unit lesson plan for Mr.Anthony's class.

I believe every EDM project group should participate in a project like the one my mates and I have been working on because it will give them first hand experience working with technology in the classroom and with students. I'm very thankful that Dr. Strange gave me the option and opportunity to participate in this special project because it has helped me advance in the technological realm within classrooms and see first hand what I would be doing in my future classroom with my students. I believe every EDM student should be involved in a project like the one. It will benefit them greatly. I know, because it did for me!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

C4T #3

Post #5

In Edna Sackson's most recent blog post (3/16/13) in What Ed Said, she talks about how teachers feel like they never have enough time to get through all their lesson plans or through objectives in their lessons. She laid out different methods and solutions to help teachers find more time and encourage them to explore the options she suggested.

My comment:
Hi, Ms. Sackson!
My name is Brittney and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama majoring in Elementary Education. I really appreciate this post. As a college student, working part-time and planning a wedding, I feel like I NEVER have anytime to do anything. But, after reading you post, I realize there really is more time than I think I have. I just have to MAKE time. Thank you for posting!

Post #6

In Ms. Sackson's post on March 26th, she addresses parents about why they choose the schools that do for their children to attend. do they send them to be molded into cookie cutter, high score achieving students, or are they being allowed to cultivate their talents and abilities they excel in, learn about compassion for humanity and so on. There are somethings that are more important than high standardized test scores.

My comment:

A lot of schools are so focused on assessments, grades and scores that they forget that there are other important things to cultivate in their students. They want to try to force them into a mold when they are all unique individuals with unique and individual abilities and talents. why not allow them to express them and let them grow in their abilities? I really appreciate this post as a future teacher and (in the far future) parent. Thank you for posting!

Blog Post #11

Little Kids, BIG Potential!

Though watching the interview between Dr. Strange and Ms. Cassidy, along with her Youtube videos, I got to learn about and be introduced to her first grade class. Her students were precious! She talked about in her Skype interview with Dr. Strange that she first started incorporating technology in her classroom after she received five computers for her students to use. She teaches in Saskatchewan, Canada, so I'm not entirely sure how school funding goes there, however, here in the USA and more recently in Baldwin county, technology is being incorporated more in classes. Some schools may not be able to provide their students, but they should have computer labs at least, so there should be no excuse not to expose the kids to technology.
We live in a fast pace, technologically advanced world and we, as teachers, need to be up to date so we can keep our students up to date as well. Ms. Cassidy practices this constantly in her classroom. She made a Youtube video with her students explaining what all they do with the technology provided for them. I learned about many resources that she uses in her classroom. In her video, she had her students talk about and explain all the different things they do with technology in their classroom. They even went over basic blogging etiquette. I really like how Ms. Cassidy has really opened up the technological world to her first graders because it is really opening doors of opportunity for them.
Ms. Cassidy uses various different forms of technology with her first graders. Blogging is an excellent idea to use with younger students. They learn how to type, spell, use proper grammar and how to communicate with others all at once. Ms. Cassidy is not unaware of the dangers of using technology with kids. One major concern is attracting unwanted creepers trying to invade into their personal lives. One way she prevents this is by not allowing her students to use their last names. She also uses wikis and skype  to communicate with other students, teachers nd professionals from around the world and they even play a game on Nintendo DS's, called NintenDog, to teach responsibility.
I couldn't imagine what my life would have been like in elementary and secondary school if we were allowed to use all these different methods and variations of technology. Ms. Cassidy has inspired me to use as much technology as I possibly can in my future classroom to make sure my students are technologically literate. She is an excellent example for all future teachers!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C4K #2: March


 The first C4K I was assigned to this month was a story written by an eighth grader named Rylee G. I really enjoyed her story because it was about a young African girl who was captured and taken to America as a slave. That's close to my heart because there are still 27 million people today who are catch up in human trafficking and modern day slavery.

My comment:
Hi, Rylee! 

My name is Brittney and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. 
WOW! I loved reading your blog post. It is very detailed and I was very impressed with your thoroughness. From what it sounds like, your story is about a young girl who was brought over to America as a slave. Did you know that there are over 27 million people around the world today (even in our own country) who are still held captive as slaves? I encourage you to do some research on it. 
I saw a couple places where commas were needed, but other than that, your post was outstanding. Keep up the great work! 



My second C4K of the month was on an eight grader's blog in Atlanta Georgia. The student's blog post was on a project they were doing on saving money, learning about loans and how to find an affordable place to live. Karmel talked about how she was given $30 (assuming pretend money) to place in a savings account, then she went to different station where they helped her "get a loan", and lastly she had to do research to find an apartment to live in.

My Comment:
Hi, Kamel! 
My name is Brittney, and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. You’re first sentence got my attention. Great attention grabber! I’m glad you’re learning about saving accounts, loans and how to find a place to live at your age, I did a project in high school where we had to plan a mock budget for when we have careers. We had to find a place to live, find out the cost of various necessities like cell phones, utilities, rent and so on. It really opened my eyes as to how tough it can be in the “real world”. 
It sounds like you’re having fun with your project. Keep on blogging and learning!


The third C4K for the month of March was written by eleven-year-old Htawara. Htawara wrote a short paragraph/story about a boy named Jack and his dad spending the day together.

My comment:

Hello, Htawara!

My name is Brittney and I am a EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama.

I really enjoyed reading your story. It sounds like Jack had a great time spending the day with his dad. Make sure to use commas and conjunctions to connect parts of sentences. Other than that, your post looks great! Keep on writing!



The last C4K for the month of March was Peyton M's, an 8th grader from Iowa. His post was simply an "About Me" post. He talks about his favorite sports, TV shows, and music.

My comment:

Hey Peyton!
My name is Brittney and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I love basketball and baseball! I am a HUGE Grizzlies and Braves fan. Who are your favorite professional teams? I never played sports in middle or high school, but I was on a dance team and we competed in competitions all over the US. It was a lot of fun.
Have you thought of what you wanted to do when you grow up? If so, what are your dreams?
Hope to hear from you!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blog Post #10

Papermate VS Ticonderoga: War of the Quality

Upon reading this week's blog assignment, I wasn't sure what a Ticonderoga was nor it's purpose. Thank God for Google search. On Teacher Blog Spot, they said that Ticonderoga is a type of pencil and that it is better than the Papermate brand because of it's smooth, smudge-resistant erasers and the quality wood is to make it was better than it's competitor. After reading some of the comments on his post, I realized that the cartoon is not really comparing pencils, but computer brands, PC and Mac to be specific. I love how Mr. Spencer uses satire and metaphors in his analogy. 

 The Papermate represents the PC. PCs are not as costly (like Papermate pencils), so they are affordable. However, they break down constantly and the money you saved by purchasing it is not going into repairs, upgrades and possibly a new computer if the damages are bad enough. Macs ("Ticonderoga pencils") are much more expensive than PCs, but they don't break down as much.

I think the moral of the cartoon is, it's better to go ahead and spend the extra money on a quality piece of equipment than try to save money on a lesser quality piece of equipment that breaks down and need repairs that can cost more than the actual equipment itself. 

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?

In another post by John T. Spencer, he brings up a conversation he had with his supervisor about "playing games" in class instead of working on memorization skills, even though the students "had to read various scenarios and describe their solutions in a text. It was real interactive and the kids were engaged". In the end, Mr. Spencer talked his supervisor into  allowing him the play an "algorithm factory" game to prove his methods help instead of hinder. Mr. Spencer was rebuking the traditional "burp-back" method of teaching and trying a new approach. I loved how he pointed out to his supervisor that soldiers and doctors play "games" when they are practicing to become better in their professions. So, why shouldn't

 I was kind of appalled by the supervisor's snarky implications that games are just a waste of time that don't help students learn. I remember learning better when playing games than having my teacher lecture for an hour. We played memory games, simulation games, action games on test mes involving theatre and several other styles of games. I know I did the best on test that we reviewed for with a game of some sort. My favorite was a Jeopardy style game where we could play individually or in teams. I learned, but I also had a lot of fun!

Please Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

In the last post,  by Scott McLeod, he was extremely sarcastic, but hilarious and to the point. In his post, he acts as a person opposing any kind of technology usage in the classroom. No phones, no tablets, laptops, nothing. in his "argument" he states that kids can't be trusted with the technology handed to them because they will not use it appropriately. He points out that they will not do their assignments because the kids will be too busy goofing around, trying to find porn, bully each other and other claims. While he does have a point that kids can be mischievous with technology, I believe with proper training from an early age, they will learn how to use technology for not only entertainment, but for educational and professional use as well. 

I came from a school where we were not allowed to have access to any kind of technology unless we were in typing class or the library. After being in Dr. Strange's class, I feel like I have missed out on a lot! I've learned things that are not only beneficial to me in my education, but things that are and will be beneficial in my classroom one day. 

Scott McLeod is one of the leading experts in K-12 technology leadership issues. He is a professor at Iowa State University in Educational Administration and blogs about issues in technology leadership in his own blog, Dangerously Irrelevant, and occasionally in the Huffington Post. He created Leader Talk  which is the first group blog for school leaders by school leaders, and he co-created Did You Know? (Shift Happens) with Karl Fisch.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blog Post #9

What I've Learned (2008-2009)

After his first year of teaching, Joe McClung wrote a blog post about his experience. He talks about how he overcame his mistakes and stumbling blocks as a new teacher. Since then, he has continued to write about his academic school years.

In his first blog, he explained the many challenges new teachers are faced with and how to conquer them. As a future teacher, I found that it is important for all educators, young and old, to know how to handle these situations correctly. In the beginning of his video, he talks about how important it is to remain positive when you begin teaching. Not everything is going to go prefect and new teachers shouldn't put that kind of pressure on themselves because they will begin to feel discourages. The situations may not be easy, but they are certainly manageable. How we choose to react to set backs and challenges in life determines our outcome and growth as educators and life as well.

Something interesting that Mr. McClung stated was that teachers don't have to have lesson plans that are solely student focused. In his thoughts, emphasizing too much on making sure the lesson is delivered will not be as effective is the student does not comprehend what is being taught. There's nothing wrong wit striving for perfection, but it's better that the students "get it" than having the perfect lesson. "In order to be effective you have to be able to let your audience drive your instruction". I really like his quote because if you don't let your students influence your lesson plans, then they may be less inclined to listen to what you're trying to teach them. If you take things that they are familiar with and incorporated it into your lessons, they may take more interests in what you're saying and, most of all, have fun while learning.

A few more things that caught my attention is how Mr. McClung talks about how it is important for teachers to be flexible, don't be afraid of technology and listen to your students.

 Teachers need to be prepared to make spontaneous decisions. Personally, I have a hard time being flexible and spontaneous. I need structures to function, but I realize that as a future educator I must be prepared for any situation at any time. If something doesn't go according to plan, there's no need to fret. Be spontaneous, and go from there!

Honestly, I am intimidated by technology. But, with that being said, I have learned more and more about technology in EDM310 and I am growing more comfortable with it. Not every lesson needs to have technology incorporated in it, but it is nice to involve it from time to time. Technology is not going away any time soon, so teachers better just go ahead and start learning how to adapt to it and learn to use it. Not only do they need to know how to use it, they need to know how to use it so they can teach the kids how to use it effectively.

I think it's very important to listen to your students. How else are you going to know what your students are truly struggling with and their concerns in your classroom? I hope that, once I become an educator, I will be able to develop a bond with my students so that they will be comfortable enough with me to express their concerns in the class. Every student is different and unique in their own way and should have their voice be heard.

Mr. McClung encourages other teachers to never stop learning. As teachers, we should not only be "teaching" them, but learning with them as well. Sometime, students are the ones who teach lessons better than we could ever imagine. I know I learn a lot from my four year old class in the afternoons. They've taught me things better than most adults I know could. They are a blessing!

What I've Learned This Year (Volume 4, 2011-2012)

Mr. McClung's most recent blog he wrote this past June, the two main topics he writes about are "You Gotta Dance With Who You Came To The Dance With" and "Challenge Yourself".

He talks about how he struggled with seeing himself as a teacher. He knew where he stood with his students, but to his peer, he didn't feel like he matched up with them, but he had a realization that the only people he needed to be concerned about his reputation with are his students and his supervisors. As teachers, we have to remember that we are not working to please other teachers. What's the point of that? We are in the classroom to make a difference and inspire our students to be the very est we can be. If we are consumed with trying to please our peers, it's the kids who will catch the backlash of our insecurities. It's hard to ignore what our peers say or think about us, especially if it's negative, but we need to make sure that our students are thriving and growing instead of what others think. Not everyone is going to agree with another's beliefs. You got to learn to brush it off and remember why you are there in the first place.

It's easy to get settled in a comfort zone and a routine of doing things, but as teachers, that's something we need to be aware of. While having a routine is a good thing, it never hurts to change things up and be a little spontaneous. Mr. McClung talks about how, as teachers, we shouldn't get in a state of complacence. We need to challenge ourselves and branch out of our comfort zones. If we don't lead by example, how will our students know that its okay to take risks?

Overall, I'm glad Dr. Strange assigned us to ready and reflect on Mr. McClung's blogs. It helps to hear the experiences of new teachers and what they go through and feel in the work place. Thanks, Dr. Strange!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blog Post #8

This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2:

In Richard Miller's video, This Is How We Dream, Mr. Miller talks about writing with multimedia and how it can be used and beneficial to teachers in today's classrooms. He talks about how is loves to read and write and how when he would start writing, he would have three windows up on his computer. One window would be his research, another would be his actual essay and the last would be a document file so he can jot down ideas he had as he was writing his essay. He also talk about books and how they get thrown away after being used. E-books last forever and don't trash the planet! It's also nice that different things can be added to e-books to make them more interesting, like pictures, sounds and animations. He talks about how this is the greatest era for communication and how technology enhances it all. If we do not train our selves to be effective and efficient communicators, we will not succeed to our greatest potential.

In the second video, he talks about how quickly things can change in the digital world. With a click of a mouse, pages can be refreshed and have new information on them and update websites. He also talks about how he can create a document or article and share it with colleges or online students. It's really fascinating how using technology makes these type subjects easier instead of just using them for social media, video chatting or messaging each other.

I really enjoyed this video and learned a lot from it. I really like how technology makes communication more effective and efficient. I hope to take the methods he demonstrated in his videos and use them in my future classroom.

Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12

Wow! Carly's post is a great example as to what Dr. Strange is trying to embed in our minds during this semester. Carly was beyond helpful by giving tons of information and advice on how to effective and efficiently use technology, including YouTube. It's a great way to help inspire teachers for unique and fun activities to do in the classroom or make typical lessons more interesting and engaging for the students. I will definitely keep her video in mind when I have my own classroom one day.

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies

I really liked both videos. They were funny, but they both had a great meaning behind the humor.

 The Chipper Series is about a girl who is a procrastinator and has no problem being a procrastinator. She even went as far as to change the definition of procrastination on Wikipedia to excuse her tardiness. Dr. Strange let her know straight up that just because you change the definition of a word on a website doesn't mean your procrastination will be accepted. I felt like I can relate to this video because all through high school and most of my college career, I have been a procrastinator. Thankfully, EDM310 has really helped with my time management skills and avoiding my procrastination habit. I really didn't appreciate her statement, "just teach me so I don't have to learn". I felt like it was a tad bit disrespectful and it disregarded the work and preparation Dr. Strange had put into his lessons.

EDM310 for Dummies is a great, creative video that all future EDM310 students should watch before taking the class. I was a nervous wreck before taking this class because I had heard horror stories from previous EDM310er's who said awful things about the class. Yes, the work load can be more than the normal class, but I have learned more in the class than I have any other class in my five years at USA. I thought I was a tech whiz on the first day of class, and I soon found I was terribly mistaken. Through EDM310, I have learned numerous ways to incorporate technology into my classroom and lesson plans, how to use bookmarking sites for resources, and how to communicate effectively with other teachers and students. Even though it is very time consuming and stressful at times, EDM310 is probably my favorite class because of all the valuable information I have learned so far.

Learning to Change, Change to Learn

This video was amazing and shocking at the same time. Technology is no longer an option for our students if we want them to truly excel in school and in there lives outside of school. Technology is always changing and advancing and as a future educator, I need to be able to adapt with the technology that is presented before me so I can teach my students how to use and adapt to it as well. The students also need to learn how to make connections through technology with other students and educators around the world. I really wish technology was emphasized more when I was in high school. I can only imagine how much more interesting learning would and could have been!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

C4T #2

Assignment 1

 Karl Fisch has been an educator for twenty-three years and has taught secondary math. He is currently Directorof Technology at Arapahoe Highschool in Colorado.

He posted a video on his blog about The Independent Project where a select group of students basically taught themselves for a semester. There were no teachers or test. They worked together as a group to teach the main subjects (math, grammar, science and history) in their own unique ways. Each week, the students got together and brainstormed about what they wanted to learn about that week. One proposes a question and at the end of the week, they must have an answer to their question at the end of the week and be able to explain it to the other students. This allows the students to expand their interests. They also do one collaborative project at the end of the semester. This type of program also helps different variations of students to work together and help each other. The Independent Project comes across as each student being independent, but in reality, they are dependent on each other because the all the students have to work together in order to pass the class.

"Every person wants to learn about something, even the kids who barely go to class. They want to learn something, whether its auto mechanics or the physics of skateboarding or how ice cream is made. Everybody is interested in something and this gives you the space and the freedom to learn whatever you want." - Alex, The Independent Project

"The power of a young mind is pretty impressive. One, they are resilient. Two, they are extremely creative. Three, they are fearless and will try anything." - Mike Powell

I really enjoyed watching the video and researching The Independent Project and I think I would love to use this in the classroom one day. Under the right supervision, I think the students could excel greatly.

 My comment:  
 Hello! My name is Brittney and I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. First, I just want to say, WOW! I have never heard of the Independent Project until watching this video and I absolutely love the idea and concept behind it. If I was a secondary education major, I would completely be on board for the Independent Project. I do have a few questions. First, is there a teacher/adult sponsor to supervising the students? Second, how are they graded at the end of the semester? Lastly, how are the students selected for the project?
I'm glad you posted these videos, otherwise, I never would have known about the Independent Project.

Thank you!

Assignment #2

In the second post by Mr. Fisch, he was simply talking about how some of his friends in education have gotten promotions in their careers and while he was very happy for them, his heart was heavy for the students who wouldn't get to experience the teachers who were moving up in the education realm. I agreed that it is sad that these kids wouldn't get the chance to have these awesome teachers, but just because they aren't in the classroom doesn't mean that they won't make an impact on students and other teachers. They will always be educators. 

My comment:

Hi, Mr. Fisch,

I am a EDM310 student in Dr. Strange's class at the University of South Alabama, studying elementary education. I agree with the point you made about how it's sad when amazing teachers are no longer in the classroom working first hand with students, but on the other hand, these teachers who are moving on in their careers will always be educators. They will never stop being educators! It would be nice though if they could have high positions and still stay in the classroom.

- Brittney 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blog Post #7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Mr. Pausch's last lecture was beyond inspiring. In the beginning of the lecture, informs the audience that he as terminal cancer, only having maybe three to six months to live. He talked about his childhood dreams, how he achieved many of them, and how he wanted to help others accomplish their dreams, too. He helped many students achieve their dreams and go beyond their wildest expectations. There were times in his live where he had to put some of his dreams on hold and even reduce the size of them, but the on thing he never did was give up. 

He inspired students and teachers to raise the bar of standards and expectation and to bust through the walls in their paths. He didn't set the bar for students to meet because he wanted students to set their own goals to achieve instead of meeting the ones he would set for them. I was inspired to not have a standard bar or goal for my future students. I want them to make their goals and achieve them so they can has the satisfaction of  being successful on their own terms instead of trying to only please my expectations. It should be a desire foe every teacher to want their students to exceed anything they set before the students to learn.

During the lecture, Mr. Pausch says, "the brick walls are there for a reason; they proven to us how badly we want something". I absolutely loved his statement because it is completely true. Think about it: when we encounter obstacles in our way and we just turn around and walk away or just sit there and look at the wall, it's obvious they whatever is on the other side of the wall isn't worth it, or we're just too lazy to bust through  and get it. If we want whatever is on the other side of that wall, we'll find away to bust through. As a future teacher, I really hope to instill this mind set in my students. When they come across an obstacle in the classroom, or in life for that matter, I want them to have the courage to overcome "the wall" instead of being discouraged and backing down from the challenge.

Mr. Pausch was such an inspirational man with some much wisdom for students and educators alike. I have really enjoyed watching his videos and have learned so much from them! They have given me ideas, have challenged me and have inspired me to be the best teacher and role model for my future students as I can be.   Its such a same that he passed away, but in his passing, he has inspired so many people and has encouraged them to pursue there dreams and to never, ever give up under any circumstance.

He is truly a hero. 

Project #9: PLN

Update #1

My PLN is coming along. I really like using it because any time I need to look up something for a project in EDM310 or a paper/project in another class, I don't have to spend hours digging around the internet trying to decide if I have scholarly resources. My favorite title so far on my PLN is Google Scholar, because it filters out all the junk and I can find information so much easier now. I also added a few teachers' and education blogs to look up lesson ideas or see what they are doing in their classrooms.

I use Symbaloo to arrange my PLN and I love the little tiles that display. I really like how it keeps my resources organized and all together in one place.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blog Post #6

The Networked Student

The Networked Student was an interesting video written by Wendy Drexler about how students can use the internet to help them learn. It talked about how instead of books, students build up a network of scholarly sources and websites to help them learn. They can use Google Scholar to help look up scholarly sources for research and a bookmarking site to help save information and websites found so they can return to them for reference. Students have access to blogs from all over the world to read and share their own opinions, respectfully of course. They also have access to some of the top professors and tops schools all over the country by podcast. 

With all this valuable information at their fingertips, why do students even need teachers anymore? They need teachers to teach them how to use the technology set before them and how to use it efficiently to their advantage to further and expand their education.  They also need teachers to teach them how to be respectful with their opinions and blogging etiquette.

I like the idea of the networked student. I think it would be very beneficial for students to be taught this approach to studying and research because I think it teaches them how to use technology (obviously) and it teaches them how to find reliable, scholarly resources without being hesitant. I didn't even know Google Scholar existed until watching to video. It could have saved me many headaches trying to find good, scholarly sources! I loved the bookmarking site where the students could keep track of all their resources online and in one place so they didn't have to go hunt them down over and over again. I also love the fact that high school students have access to podcast from some of the top professors and schools in the country as resources. I think if I had an older elementary class, I would definitely use student networking so they will know how to navigate the internet and know how to find sources that are reliable, and they can connect with other teachers/students from around the world.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learing Environment

Wow! Her PLE was amazing! I really enjoyed her presentation and loved how she brought the view through it. The 7th grader talked about how she loved this way of learning because she has more freedom to do her school work how she wants to and at her pace. She made it clear that she "doesn't have to do it". The freedom available to them helps them learn to be responsible and independent. Her PLE is a lot better than mine in comparison. I need to step it up!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Project #10

Finding The Right Tools

  I work currently work at a preschool/kindergarten, and I have three children with ADHD in my afternoon class. After reading over this assignment, I started thinking about those three kids and how ADHD can hinder their academic process and growth. I watched friends in high school struggle with it as well. They're smart as a whip, but they can't concentrate and put off work resulting in not-so-good grades. It got me thinking about my future students and how, quite possibly, I will encounter many students with this situation. While doing some research, I found a website called Memory On Demand  which is a website dedicated to academic and cognitive performance of students with ADHD. They created an app called Focus GPS (available at the app store) for iPads and iPhones that helps students get organized, helps them with concentration, time management and memory.

  Two features of the app that are very helpful to the users are the What's Up and What's Done features. What's Up makes a schedule for the user to go by in order of priority. It also allows access to "peer mentors", such as, parents, teachers, tutors, friends, therapists, sports coaches or even older students that have experience with ADHD keep tabs on the student's progress. This way, the student has a support system to help them stay on track and succeed in classes. It also keeps the student focused on the present task instead of being all over the place. The What's Done feature keeps track of the completed assignments and informs mentors of the student's progress. These two features help students with ADHD get a grip on forgetfulness and procrastination.

I think Focus GPS is a fantastic app that will help students with ADHD excel. If I were to come across a student with a documented case of ADHD, it could be arranged that the student is set up on this program and his parents and I would have access to his assignments as he progresses. I would love to use an app like this with students. I think it's an amazing idea!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Blog Post #5

If You Built A School

Krissy Venosdale is an educator, and in her own words, she is "a learner, forever". She blogs about teaching, technology in the classroom and the gift of education.

Krissy talks about having the opportunity to create her own school, and if she was presented with a "Willy Wonka" moment, how she would create her own school. She said her school would be huge with a grand neon sign saying, "Welcome: Now Entering Innovation Zone". There would be colorful walls, comfortable seating. The library would resemble a giant tree house and science classes would do projects more than once a year. Grade levels wouldn't be determined by age, but by how the children perform academically. Her ideas we're amazing!

I was actually kind of challenged when I read this blog post. If I could create my own school, it would be extravagant. It would be colorful, but not so overdone that it's overstimulating. I think I would like having different departments and with each department, have it decorated appropriately. For example, the science pod could have the walls decorated with all sorts of plants and animals, the solar system and a huge mural of our planet. The history pod would have different event in history painted on it, like the Declaration of Independence, the Pilgrims and the Mayflower and other different events. There would be an outstanding technology department and computer labs with instructors to help the students with projects and teach them how to blog so they could reach out and communicate with other teachers and students around the world. There would be a huge arts program, mainly because I love music, theatre and art. I loved Krissy idea of having a "tree house" library, so I would have to make that happen some way, some how in the school I would create. I mean, what kid would not want to go sit in a tree house and read a book? It might actually encourage them to read if they get to sit in a big tree house inside the library.

I would also like to have a languages section in the school where children can be introduced to different languages and cultures from around the world. They can pick a language or two that they want to learn and from there, begin to learn the ins and outs of the language/culture and maybe even get connected with another child from a country that speaks that language. I think it would be an amazing learning opportunity!

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

Oh. My. Goodness.

I remember singing Lux Aurumque my freshman semester, here at the University and I fell in love with this song. Eric Whitacre is one of my favorite composers! This video was absolutely breath taking, and what made it even more amazing is that none of the 185 singers have ever met, nor sung together. Some one took different videos of them from Youtube singing and created this virtual choir. It's amazing what technology allows us to create!

Teaching In The 21st Century

The video talked about how teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge. Students can get information from anywhere at anytime by using smartphones, Google, iPods, and the television, and how important it is that these students know how to correctly use technology in the classroom. Roberts also believes that students should be active learners instead of passive learners. Students should know how to collect data from reliable sources instead of the first link they see on a search engine and know how to process and relate to the data they are presented with when they find it. Students should also learn that technology is useful for more than just entertainment and that there is so much that technology can offer them when used properly.

As a future educator, I really hope to use different types of technology in my classroom to enhance the students' learning experience. My job as a teacher is not to entertain them for seven hours a day, but to help then actively learn and keep them engaged in the activities we do in class. I plan to not only teach them how to use the technology correctly, but how to apply it in everyday life. Now, a class of third graders won't need to know right then if they need to "rent or buy", but using the technology in the classroom and learning how to find reliable sources and how to process the information presented will help them determine the that answer later down the road in their lives.

The "Flipped" Classroom

Flipping the classroom sounds like an excellent idea in theory, and I'm sure it works well in different classrooms. I love the idea of the students being able to access the content online and being able to watch and re-watch the information until they grasp the concept. I like how to helps the "middle" and "slower" groups of students be able to understand what is going on in the lesson. My main concerns are, how will the teach know if the students are watching the videos, and how is this a benefit to the fast-pace learners? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for learning at your own pace. I just don't understand how a teacher would test the students on the same information if they are all learning differently. Would the fast-pace students being taking a test on harder material while the others are lagging behind?

I think if I better understood the system of flipping the classroom, I would definitely use it in my classroom. I really love that students would have access to the material at all times, especially if they miss a day for whatever reason. I just need to learn more about it before considering applying it to my future classroom.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Project #7 C4K #1

C4K Summary #1:

The first kid's blog I was assigned to read was Ellie J's blog. She blogged about different cultures and how they can effect people's lives in many different ways. She talked about how culture effects work ethic, how we make friends, how we relate to other people and even our accents. She used an example that really hit home with me about tap water. She basically asked how it would effect our work ethic if we had to get up and walk at least a mile with a container to get water for the day verses just walking into the kitchen and turning on the tap water. I also enjoyed that she brought up the thick southern accents that are heard in Alabama verses the accents in New Jersey. She said if she could chose a culture to live in, she would want to live in ancient Greece because she loved their eagerness to learn and explore the world around them along with their enthusiasm for athletics.

I really enjoyed her post and how through and detailed it was. In my comment, I told her if I could go back into time and live in a different culture, I would want to live in the Renaissance Period because I love the fashion, music and emphasis on the arts during that era. I would love to keep up with her blog and see how she progresses.

C4K Summary #2

The second blog I was assigned was by a child named Jirandy, who was asking viewers to create a number problem using the numbers 97 and 56. I have never seen a blog post like that, nor have I ever thought of asking viewers to actively be involved on my blog. It was a brilliant idea to get other students and teachers alike to be interactive with each other.

Here was my comment/problem:
There are 97 students in the 5th grade Christmas play. 56 of them are wearing red. How many students are wearing  color other than red?

C4K Summary #3

The third blog I commented on was a sixth grader, named Juanita, in New Zealand. She told a very short story about how she, her cousin and his friend all went to the park to play rugby on their holiday. It had a really cute picture of them playing rugby in the park on a pretty afternoon.

In my comment, I complimented her on her story and picture. I corrected her on a slight spelling/sentence structure issue and explained how instead of typing the number "3", we would write it out as "three" because it is a small number. I wish she would have elaborated more in her story. What kind of holiday was it? Who won the rugby game? Was it cold or warm that afternoon? I think it would have made the story a lot more exciting.

C4K Summary #4

For the fourth blog, I was assigned the Ellie J. again, and she wrote a post about Satchel Paige as a part of a Black History Month project. She chose to write about Satchel Paige, an African American baseball player who was born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1906. He had always dreamed of playing in the major leagues one day, but never thought his dream out come true because of segregation. He worked his way through all of the black leagues and was eventually picked up by the Cleveland Indians as an extra pitcher and went on to play for the Browns and Athletics.

Like, her first post I read, Ellie was very through and detailed in her writing. I complimented her on her thoroughness and attention to detail. I was also really excited to read her post because it was about two of my favorite topics: Black History Month and baseball. The only thing I could really correct was when she repeated a word in a sentence. Other than that, she did an excellent job.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Project #4 C4T Assignment #1

Post One and Comment Summary:

 Joe Dale delivered a webinar to teachers around the world about the usefulness and effectiveness of iPads in the classroom. He said that the iPad is ideal for classroom use because it has many creative uses, has a built in camera for pictures, videos and pod casts, books can be easily downloaded and it is mobile. He mentioned a few disadvantaged, such as, Adobe flash, word processor and javascript. It was mentioned in a poll taken before the webinar began that not everyone could afford a 1:1 iPad. He stated that there was nothing wrong with using one iPad for multiple children, but they are more effective when a child can talk one home and use it for educational reasons. He also suggested many apps to explore to help from classroom management to being creative. My favorite app (which I downloaded after the webinar) was My Story. It is an app that lets you make your own books by letting you draw or add pictures of yourself. You can type out the text or you can record your voice. I love it!

I completely agreed with Joe Dale on the usefulness and effectiveness of iPads in the classroom. I work at an after-school program in the afternoons and I use mine with my k-4 class and hope to use it in my future classroom.

Post Two and Comment Summary:

Another post by Joe Dale was about how language teachers are using technology in and outside the classroom in enhance their lessons with their students. He discussed the MFL Twitteria and how it has helps language teachers connect from around the world and get ideas, resources and support from each other. It helps encourage teachers how to tweet and use it for more than just social media. They can use it for resources, to get ideas from each other and how to differentiate professional social media from personal media. 

I just thanked Joe Dale on his for writing all that he does in his blog and how it is helping me in my studies now, and how it will help me in my future classroom. By reading and keeping up with his post, I am learning how to not only use technology to my advantage but to my students' advantage as well.