Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Goodbye for Now!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on all my posts. I really enjoyed interacting with everyone including Dr. Strange and Ms. Averitt as well as all the students inside and outside my section. Good luck in the future!

Final Blog Post

1. How the things we covered in class are beneficial to me as an individual and person:

Blogs(and wikis): By each student having a blog, we learned how to utilized this free internet source as a way to network and share our ideas.

Google presentations: By making presentations on our own, we learned how to create useful presentation in the Gmail account.

Google Docs: helped share and use information readily, especially with a large number or people.

Google spreadsheets: Forms and speadsheets were useful in that information can be organized easily and shared.
Picasa: A free online picture program useful with blogging, videos, and webpages.

Podcasts & videocasts: A great way to share information about a topic and explore and learn about new things.

YouTube & moviemaking: How to share and make a video

Posts you read, creating a PLN, and utilizing Twitter were great ways to network with others that was in contact, especially in my field of teaching and in the class. Networking with other teachers and students outside of my region was performed through the use of: Comments4kids,comments4classmates,and comments4teachers

iTunes and iTunesU: We great ways to access free podcasts, and by creating podcasts and videocasts, USA has begun their iTunesU.

Accessibility issues and the use of html tag modifiers to address some of those issues were helpful on the blog posts.

Who I am as a professional was expressed and discovered through my professional blog page, which was my favorite assignment.

Google forms was a great way to collect information about my classmates and a great resource to create statistics.

Google Earth was a great tool to use, especially for geographical units in the classroom. The trip recorder was a really cool feature too.
Delicious was useful in to share, discover, and bookmark great Websites.

ACCESS and ALEX were two important websites that I explored and wrote about that are central to the public school system in Alabama.

Technological literacy is something we need to think about in the future of classroom and the school system.

2. Are there things you would like to have learned in this class but did not? I would have liked to work with Smartboards.

3. Are there things you learned in this class but wish you had not (and you will try and forget them or not use them as soon as possible)? Explain your items in this list (if any) telling me why you think it is appropriate to forget these things. No, we covered a lot of ground.

4. Did this class excite you in any way? I mean excite, as opposed to "was useful" or "was interesting" or "I did it"? If No, say that. If Yes, tell me what excited you, why, and how. It was interesting in that we were learning about new technologies that can be useful and engaging in the classroom for any subject area.

5. Did you find anything in this class to be particularly "intellectually challenging"? If so, what? Why do you think it was "intellectually challenging"? I think keeping up with the workload was the most intellectually challenging thing, but I really enjoyed creating a professional blog.

6. Were you bored by this class at any time? If so, what bored you and how might that be corrected? I was never bored.

7. Would you change this course in any way (add things/delete things or anything else)? If so, give me your suggestions. Since I am always changing this course I could use your input! Do not, however, make an argument as to why you might think you were overworked. I do not intend to change the workload for this course whatever your position on this question might be. If you do not feel overworked in EDM310, you may say so if you wish. The workload was strenuous, but I would have liked to talk about the importance of some of the technologies in the classroom more on the days that we met.

8. Are you Technologically Literate at the moment? To what extent? I would say about Medium. I have a lot to learn, but I felt like I learned a lot too.

9. How will you maintain or improve your technological literacy between now and the time you graduate? … the time you start teaching? I will constantly be looking for new ways that the internet can be utilized as a teaching tool and how I can network more through the internet.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Project 15 Interview

This interview is visible on Mandy Sullivan's page. We both interviewed two musical performance majors at South to see how they use technology in their classes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Substantive Presentation

This is a Google presentation created by my group(Mandy Sullivan, Rachel McGuire, and I) about the Honest Reflection post on Dr. Strange's blog page for EDM 310.

Here is the actual presentation we spoke about in the presentation:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


It's Time for Technology Talk iTunes for University of South Alabama!

My video podcast group: Rachel McGuire, Mandy Sullivan, and me!

Check out our sweet video!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 24th Blog Post, PLE & 2 Questions

The first video I watched is a 7th grader's PLE(Personal Learning Environment):
Here's a link to the video, Welcome to My PLE!
In this video, the student created a social bookmarking site. On the site she also had links to pages that weren't scholarly. I really liked the Note-taking feature she talked about which saved information from website in an archive with the location it was found. The student said she was free to learn about the things that interested her--her example was box jellyfish. This freedom gives her the responsibility to learn on her own. She also tried to email experts in this field of study to check the accuracy of her work. Compared to my PLN and this student, we have separate ways of learning, but we both are learning through the internet. I am going to try and find her note-taking application and try to add it to my PLN.

Two Questions:
1. Is it OK to be a Technically illiterate teacher?
Absolutely not! Times are changing and in order to stay up do date with the world around us, a teacher needs to be one step ahead of her students and technology. With the incorporation of email in the school system and PowerPoint, I don't understand how a teacher cannot want to utilize technology in the classroom.

2. What's my sentence?

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

I'm not sure what my sentence would be yet, maybe something like "I will not settle for mediocre today, I need to do my best always."

Were you better today, than yesterday?


For my final installment of my PLN, I am utilizing Twitter as a way to follow other English teachers, specifically with writing tips in mind. Some provide me with things they are doing in their classrooms, while others provide "writing tips of the day" type of posts. This is beneficial to me not only as a future teacher, but as student. Currently, I am still exploring Facebook, website, and blog pages that will benefit me as a teacher. For example, lesson plan ideas for Shakespeare. I hope to build my PLN more this summer and make even more connections in the future.

Google Earth

Click on this link to read place marks.My Tour for EDM 310

1. Bimini, Bahamas
2. Marianna, FL
3. My Parents house in Marianna
4. Alpha Omicron Pi, University of South Alabama
5. College of Education, Mobile, AL

Monday, April 19, 2010

Teaching about Technology With Vocaroo

My mother, Vicki Taylor, is a 3rd grade teacher in Florida. She is always looking for convenient ways to incorporate technology into lessons and expand her curriculum. Recently, I had a conversation with my mother about the things I am learning about in EDM 310. We spoke for a while and I mentioned to her about my Google Presentation I posted to my blog earlier this semester. She was unaware of the location of this program in her google account and her ability to have a free blog page. I explained and showed her how to create a Google presentation, form, and how to share documents. She also has begun a blog page for her classroom, after seeing mine. Her blog page is one that I follow publicly on this blog site (Vicki Taylor).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordle and April 18th Blog Post

Here's a wordle that shows a little bit of my PLN and how these technologies all are tied together:
title="Wordle: PLN"> src=""
alt="Wordle: PLN"
style="padding:4px;border:1px solid #ddd">

This wordle that I created above is symbolic of how many different things were are exposed to this semester. This class has given me the opportunity to connect with not only other students outside of my classroom, but to students and teachers all over the world. The things we are learning now are springboards, in which we as future teachers can begin. Learning about new technologies will be something we constantly will have to be doing as teachers.

Comments for Kids Week 14

A first grader named Ryland in Mrs. Cassidy's class wrote a post about riding bikes with his family.

It read:

Bike Ride

I am gonig for a bic rid aftr school with my famle and my dog

How precious is this?

I commented with:

I hope you enjoyed your bicycle ride with your family. I wish I had a bicycle! What color is your bike?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Math Teacher's April Fools

Some tricks with technology...a good laugh!

Comments for Teachers Week 13, 14

For the next few weeks I will be following Allanah King Dragonsinger blog.

The first post read,

Last week I tried my hand at some time lapse photography in my classroom. I did a little research (thanks to the sister of a colleague who attended Learning@School this year) and discovered some Mac software called gawker which runs on your computer taking photographs at whatever interval you specify. I showed my students how it worked then set my laptop up to run during 3 different blocks of time during the day: literacy time; maths time & lunch time (which was very interesting to watch). I’d like to get a whole day but that would mean a little more thought as I’d need to reposition things for power supply etc.

So here we go – a glimpse of Room 9 on St Paddy’s Day.

I thought that this was absolutely fascinating that she did this. I wrote:

Hi my name is Spring. I attend the University of South Alabama and I was assigned to follow your blog for the next few weeks. I think it is great that you are incorporating new technologies in the classroom. Is there anything else you are using in the classroom?

This video was really cool to watch! Take a look!

My teacher commented back with:

Hi Spring – we use all sorts of technology – video, camera, recording (for podcasts), computer technology – we’ve used google wave, docs etc. We’re on a journey that has endless opportunities.
I’m waiting for the iPad to be released in NZ – I’d like to use that in my classroom too.

I left her another comment on 4/14/2010:

Yes, that’s awesome! It really does seem like the possibilities are endless. My professor actually just got his ipad a few weeks ago and is already putting it to good use!

Comments for Kids 13

This week for comments for kids, I commented on Room 14's blog post about Hermania's favorite thing to do at camp.
The post read:

"Climbing to the top of the wall I struggled to climb it and I nearly sliped of but I hung on to a leaf on the beanstalk I tried to beat the record made by Nikoia of 1 minute. But I failed as I slipped off the beanstalk."

It also include the picture of the beanstalk, visit the blog here!

I told her that:
"This is an awesome beanstalk. It would probably be one of my favorite things to do too! My name is Spring and I am also in EDM 310 at USA. Try again, it's alright if you slip, just try again!"

April 11th Assignment

Posting work to a blog is important because this information can be shared. By utilizing the internet as a podium, so much more information can be found. Through these connection new connections are made.

Below are 3 examples of sharing information via the internet(blogs, website, comments, Skype)

1. "Dear Kaia":
My last blog post shows how a father's (addressed to his daughters) blog captured the attention of Mr. Chamberlain's classroom. The class was commenting on their blog when Kaia's father decided to Skype the class through blog posts.

Read the "Dear Kaia" blog post
Watch Mr.Chamberlain's the response video to Dear Kaia

2. Another connection that was made is as I was commenting on Jackie Gorski's Blog post about the above connection, Mr. Chamberlain's commented on her post about their response video for Kaia. It was amazing.

Jackie Gorski's post about Dear Kaia

3. After watching "The Last Lecture" video, I ordered the book that I found out Randy Pausch wrote based on his lecture. I did not know he even wrote this book until I read the comments below the post of this video on YouTube.

Watch The Last lecture here, or below on my post titled: The Last Lecture

Skype this semester(thus far...):

This semester, I have used this technology to keep up with some of my classmates. Mandy, Rachel, and I use this program to communicate with each other on off weeks when we don't have class to make sure we are all caught up and clarify any questions we have about assignments. I also have my Skype set up, but have not yet used it to contact Dr. Strange, but the semester is not over!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April 4th Assignment and Comments for Kids Week 12

Mr. Chamberlain's Post "Dear Kaia"

On Kaia's blog, the student's commenting were noticed by Kaia's, Jabiz Raisdana. He contacted Mr. Chamberlain and the students Skype her father. Then he suggested making a video or audio for Kaia since she couldn't read yet. They surprised her with a Voicethread. Mr C's Voicethread for Kaia.

My reaction to this is amazed. I can't believe we have access to so many means of communication and technology. It will be amazing when educators and students will communicate at this level. I love the fact that Kaia's father is including her with his blog and teaching her. He is teaching her things about blogging before she can read. What a great example to set for her!

Comments for Kids Week 12

Comments for Kids this week for was a post by a teacher from PT England. Her students are Year One students, about 5 years old. The post was the picture above by Aaron who colored himself eating lunch at the beach.

Google Form:

I decided to survey questions about Facebook, since it has become some a great social networking tool. However, there are some aspects of Facebook that aren't always good. I was curious to see other people's take on it. Out of all the survey requests--the entire EDM 310 class list, I got 14 responses.

My questions were:

How many times a day do you get on Facebook?
How long have you had Facebook?
Do you use Facebook as a way to contact others outside your circle of friends?
Do you often get tagged in pictures that you would prefer not to be tagged in?
Do your parents have Facebook?
What do you think about future employers viewing your college Facebook page?
How do you feel about children below the age of 15 having access to this social network?
Which best describes the privacy of your profile.

My questions were very different as far as how the responses went. The only one that came out even was if parents had Facebook. They feel even with neither, mother, or father or both.

Take a look at my questions and responses to my survey here!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Timetoast Timeline

Here's my Timetoast of my life:

Comments for Teachers Week 10-12

Hopefully, I will have better luck this time with Comments for Teachers.

The next few weeks I will be following:
"Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?" by Scott Elias

His first post was posted March 14. It was about what every teacher should know after leaving "teacher school" during their first year in the classroom. He suggested:
1. Stay interested. Having interest in your students, topics, and your job.
2. Be a learner.
The best way for teachers to learn is not necessarily through one-size-fits-all professional development sessions. Read a lot. Create an account on Google Reader or Netvibes and subscribe not only to education blogs, but blogs about what you’re passionate about (remember the first tip I gave you?). And also, keep it in balance and subscribe to blogs that you don’t necessarily agree with. Preaching to choir is always fun, but it can be a dangerous habit. Network with colleagues who have been doing it longer and who are doing it differently. Find an administrator you trust and see how he or she is willing to help support your professional growth.

3.Avoid like the plague negative people and their efforts to recruit you.
4. Have fun.
5. Just because you can do something with technology doesn’t mean you should do it with technology.

"Do you need a wiki intervention? You know who you are."

My comment on this post:

I’m in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama and I was assigned to follow your blog for a few weeks. The class incorporates a lot of technology and its uses in the classroom as well as encouraging teachers to be learners.

I really enjoyed reading this post. I think keeping a good attitude throughout the first year as a teacher and staying interested is really great advice.

I agree with the part about slowing down with incorporating technology. Sometimes it seems like some teachers need an intervention.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Comments for Kids Week 9, 10

Week 9:
Kindergarten Kids Blog post 112 was about their day. They learned about the tornado safety position(squatting down like a turtle), writing sets of numbers, creating sentences, and using thermometers. They also read a book and made thermometers out of paper and string. It sounds like these kids are really smart and have great teachers!

Week 10:

The student's blog that I commented on this week was Carly. After the teacher picking a team country for field day, Carly did some research on the country. She posted on the basic facts of Djibouti, which is located in Africa. She even cited her references. I told her that she did a good job with this post and that I learned a lot from her sharing.

Who remembers this commercial?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Morgan Bayda

An Open Letter to Educators Video:

In the video above, Dan Brown confronts the issue of education. He talks about his thoughts and ultimately his decision to drop out of college because "his schooling was interfering with his education". Education has been grounded into the heads of every student that is an essential need, but what does it mean to receive an education exactly? Because education has become institutionalized, we follow a very structured system. Even down to how classrooms function, especially at the university level. The professor feeds the paying students information, they write down the facts, the memorize the notes to be tested on an exam. Receiving an education used to mean following this schooling plan that has been used for hundreds of years, but in the Information Age, the meaning of receiving an education will have to change.

Technology advancements are becoming more and more widespread and information is free. This liberation of information through the internet makes the concept of paying hundreds of dollars for textbook seem a bit senseless(especially when they are rarely used--ask any college student). This is why the exaggerated concept of "school is interfering with education" has emerged. Society has to change and accept that the same model of schooling that has been used for hundreds of years is not longer valid.

Sitting through hundreds of hours of lectures over the past 4 years of college, I understand why one would question what exactly we're gaining from this traditional model of "education" society has instilled on us. I always take notes in every class I attend, but half of the time I'm thinking about all the things I need to get done for the day. The rest of the time I'm contemplating what I'm going to eat for lunch. I don't have A.D.D. or A.D.H.D., I just get bored during lectures on Shakespeare, Med evil Literature, and my other upper level classes. It isn't that I don't gain anything from the material or that I am uninterested, but sometimes it's hard to have an active brain sitting through lecture after lecture.

Education has not been re-invented yet, at least not in my experience either, but I do think we are beginning to make strides in the right direction.Education during the Information Age will become more individualized I think. Information through the internet will be utilized as well as student networking too. By utilizing blogging, and networking with other students, this information being thrown at us seems more relevant way to learn.

Society HAS lost site of what education is. It is supposed to provoke creativity in order for us to change the world, not make us contemplate our insanity every time we enter a lecture hall. Educators need to keep in mind that how we gain information is changing, thus there needs to be a change in the way we teach. I guess Einstein said it best:

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."-Albert Einstein

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The Alabama Learning Exchange is a great resource for educators, administrators and students. It is a project of the Alabama Department of Education and is designed to index and share many types of educational materials and information. ALEX provides many resources for every subject area from Driver's Ed to Mathematics. It also provides lesson plans for teachers to use as a resource. The website also provides featured podcasts available to download. There are even external links for Special Education and Technology Education. Both great resources for any teacher.

This website seems like it would be a great resource for me as a future teacher. ALEX provides a wide array of information. Because I am going into secondary English, this seems like a great resource if I needed a fresh approach to teaching a new subject. With the sites access to Special Education website this seems like a good source for helping students with special needs. This site also has a way to join and share information with others. It would be a great addition to any teacher's PLN.


Our Vision: The State of Alabama will provide equal access to high quality instruction to improve student achievement through distance learning.

ACCESS stands for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide. This site provides a network in which students, teachers, and administrators can connect. ACCESS is available to Alabama public high schools. The site provides courses online, as well as resources for administrators to expand their course offerings. For students, there are Advanced Placement test prep courses in which students can utilize to reach their potential. Parents are also included in this network as they can read about upcoming events.

This site seems like a great way for teachers and administrator to expand the curriculum. Because Alabama is a rural area, most public high schools aren't as privileged to have the opportunity to teach an expanded curriculum. This also could be a great resource for teen moms, home-schooled students, and students that have special needs. By providing other means to which students can learn in high school, more opportunities are offered to the disadvantaged.

Kindergarten Kids

I received a very nice response from the blog I commented on from week 8. After commenting on their most recent post, they let me know what they liked most about the spring(the season, not me).

Here's their responses:

"What we like about Spring....
James likes flowers and playing outside.
Sara likes swimming.
Shamara likes that it is pretty.
Jatameyah likes to play outside.
Randy A. likes the sun.
Luis likes to go to the beach.
Tyrone likes picking up flowers.
Randy G. likes the sun.
Keyli likes to plant flowers.
Tytiana likes to go to the park.
Cornella likes to play outside with her sister.
Daylin likes to go to Mexico.
David likes to go to the beach.
Mrs. Farrington likes the birds, the bees, the flowers and the trees.
Mrs. Voigt likes to go for walks and fly kites."

We have so much in common! I love the going to the beach, being outside, seeing the beautiful flowers, and enjoying what nature has to offer.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Comments for Kids Week 8

Comments for Kids:
This week I got to comment on an Kindergarten Class Blog. The teacher posted every day about what she was doing in the class. On my particular day, the students were learning about patterns and Wilma Rudolph. They read a book about Wilma together, watched a video, and drew picture about her life. These pictures were drawn on fabric and the students, with lots of assistance made a quilt. All of which was posted to the blog. During the day they also did some math, art, and would have went to the park if it wasn't raining. I told them that the quilt was beautiful and that I didn't know anything about Wilma Rudolph until I read their blog.

What would you say in your last lecture?

Randy Pausch begins he lecture with the fact that he was estimated to have 5 months to live. He was diagnosed with liver cancer. This doesn't bring him down, he actually says that he is not depressed. He's happy and in the best shape of his life. His frame of mind is that we cannot change the cards we are dealt. In his last lecture he talks about achieve your dreams and enabling the dreams of others.

He starts his talk about his happy childhood. As a child we think anything is possible. Pausch said this was easy for him because he grew up during the 1960s, when Man first walked on the moon. He encourages us to chase specific dreams while bringing something to the table. "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." Sometimes you learn from not reaching your childhood goals. We learn most of what we learn indirectly, or from experience. Something else he said,that stood out in his lecture is,
"Brick walls are there for a reason:they let us prove how badly we want things."

They are there to motivate those who want it bad enough, and to hinder those that will let it.

How do you enable the childhood of others? As a computer science professor at the University of Virgina, he helped others build their childhood dreams by creating a virtual world class in cross subject areas. He was blown away by there work after 2 weeks and told them that they could do better work. He says child-like wonder is what drives us, and never to loose it. Having fun is the best way to achieve your dreams.

I like his refreshing outlook on life. Encouraging others to reach their goals, and help others as well. I like also that he said that if someone makes you mad, you just haven't given them enough time to impress you. One of his professor/bosses told him that he was such a good salesman that he should be a professor, selling education.

Apparently, Randy Pausch has written a book, does anyone know the name of it?

Comments for Kids Week 7

This week I commented on a blog post about childhood obesity in Australia(it's not just in the U.S.). The post was about how little information children receive about fresh food. The teacher is starting a Fresh Fruit Friday in which students will try new friends and learn about the preparation of how to serve food and having a new healthy snack weekly. I said that this is a great idea to encourage students to make healthy decisions in their diets. I was never exposed to this at a young age. This blog was a blog of Mr. Lamshed's class. There are year 6 and 7 boys in his classroom.

On the post was this video:

Take a look!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Comments for Teachers

Week 7-9:
I'm following a blog by Russ Goerend. It is a blog about other people's thoughts. The first one that I commented on was about firing all teachers. Dealing with education problems with wholesale changes is not effective. I replied with that the problems are primarily in the individual classrooms. The link to this blog is here.
Dr. Richard Miller's "Is This How We Dream"
See Video Here: Part 1, Part 2

Dr. Richard E. Miller of Rutgers University Department of English talks about moving away from solely print documents and books to multimedia literature. Miller talks about how he used online literature to create a document about Virginia Tech. The idea of using library research has been incrementally changed. Collaboration and web based documents give a wellspring of knowledge in just a few seconds. Web based documents give us the possibility of sharing knowledge with having to search and sometimes wait for a copy of a book at library. Documents can now be composed with images, visuals, and sounds.These documents composed with information on the web are readily circulated as seen in the example Martin Luther King Jr. document. NY Times uses an online document as a source to share information about the last presidential election. Miller describes this as an incremental change, not fundamental change in the way literature is changing.

Materials online are changing instantly. Documents with visual representations can be accessed by anyone. Educators are beginning to use iTunes U to share their academic lectures. Part of these ideas being shared is becoming our culture. Miller suggests that as educators, we should want to share ideas freely and use these materials to produce alternative ones. The only limits and restrictions that are placed on this is ones we put on ourselves. The only real difficulty would be in accessibility. The emerging changes in the classroom will be new ways to form compositions. Students will have to pay attention to auditory aspects of compositions. The beauty of how things are read and compelling ideas will be of importance.

There are now new forms of publications. The pushing of new ideas has become part of the culture. Composing with the web itself is the new trend. Blog sharing is a new way to share ideas. This is a new attempt to share our thoughts and feelings will trying to understand visual literacy. The future will be a blend of humanities and the sciences. The idea of the university is sharing of ideas that belong to know one, but are for everyone.

Networked Student

Learning through 'connectivism' can be done through tools of technology. This 21st century student" is in a class with no textbook. The student is taking control of his learning. He is building a Personal Learning Network. By researching credible sources and bookmarking sites on his topic of interest. He also is searching blogs, which usually reflect opinions rather than facts, but can comment on those that interest him. By managing the blogs that he comments on, he will be notified when they are updated. The 21st century student also uses his ipod to learn. Through audio and video podcasts on iTunes U, he can continue to learn. With iTunes U, he has access to the best professors in the world, like those at Berkley.

Asking others about a topic is good and in the video, it says people love sharing their knowledge and expertise. Utilizing the RSS Reader will also keep you updated on a topic. By posting finding in a blog, someone else can learn from your work. I really enjoyed this video. I liked the simple animations and concept. The idea of learning effectively through the PLN is a great concept to take away from this video. How to ask questions and use technology effectively is an important concept as a student of connectivism.

The idea of using technology to continue learning outside of the classroom is great. I'm not sure how well it will work with young students because I fear they won't want to take the initiative to learn. As a future English teacher, I really want to instill the longing for more knowledge, but the rest will be up to students. Providing the tools and skills of how to get this knowledge is just one step in the process of connectivism. As educators, I think it is really important to encourage students to seek out new knowledge for themselves, just as educators should as in the PLN.

Michael Wesch

"The Machine is (Changing)Us"

Media is affecting our life and changing our culture. The impact of television affects us 30 seconds at time. Planning ahead is critical especially in education. Teachers have "a front row seat" in the classroom and it is a discouraging atmosphere. Students are being lost in this mass. How do we reach these one-in-a-millions? By making the making the classroom more engaging, right? But how? The structure of classrooms isn't exactly friendly to conversation in the typical lecture setting especially if you are one of 200 students. The most engaging classroom that I've been in was a small class of 16, and we would move into a circle and talk about the topic of the day--including the teacher.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Podcasting, Technology Resources, & iTunes U, Comment 4 Kids Week 7

Comments for Kids Week 7:
This week for my Comments4Kids assignment, I was assigned to a young girl who recently moved from Samoa to New Zealand. Her name is Jordenne and she is 3rd grade. Her video on that she posted on her blog page was about her goal for the school year. Jordenne said, "She wants to learn how to post her story to the computer." I told her that I thought that this was a great goal, and that I'd come back and read her story later.

PLN update:
I'm actually just getting started with my PLN. I want to focus primarily on the subject of English--writing and literature. Here are some ideas and goals I have thus far:I want to find new ways to teach about classic literature, preferably at the high school level. I'm interested in helping students with new approaches to writing. I created a Twitter account today, so if anyone wants to follow me my name is springtylr . I started following Richard Byre and am right now using it as a home base until I can discover more on my own.

A Resource for Teachers:
Dr. Alice Christie's Site

Dr. Christie's site is a resource for teachers that would like to use technology in the classroom. The site is filled with resources that can help a teacher get started. The site also provides a list of articles on technology based topics such as text messaging and the average 13-year-old. It provides an extensive list of emerging uses of technology for the classroom, for example electronic portfolios. The site even has a guide for parents and teachers to help them understand the new lingo of Instant Messaging. She provides fundamental principles of the internet, including safety and defines internet terms.

This site is one to BOOKMARK! It is a well-spring of knowledge that can help any old-school teacher navigate through and make sense of the internet. I found this site beneficial to teachers because she has so many great ideas. I really like that she refers to teachers and students as "co-learners". She talks about not only podcast, electronic portfolios, and web design, but talks about emerging technologies like Second Life, Flickr, and Delicious. I see this site being very useful to secondary education teachers because using some of these technologies in the classroom could really engage students if used properly and enhance learning.

iTunesU Benefits as a Teacher and Student

iTunes U is part of the iTunes Store. It is a collection of free educational media available. This use of technology can be beneficial to students, teachers, and anyone else that wants to learn. Different campuses allow access exclusively to material on their own pages. This can be beneficial to the students in that they have readily available access to educational material. By using iTunesU teachers are allowing students to be active learner 24-7.

iTunes can also be beneficial to teachers too. Instructors at the college level especially, can post information to iTunes U. It becomes in a sense 'mobile learning' like the site says. iTunes U also allows a medium by which fellow instructors and professionals can collaborate. In the classroom, access to countless educational resources could enhance learning in a lecture. I think this can really change the way students learn in that they can move at their own pace. It would give students specific questions to ask regarding material they don't understand rather than expect them to unrealistically read entire chapters and books.

Duke at iTunes U

Not only just elementary school kids understand the benefits of recording podcast, but even Duke's University is using this educational tool. Duke University is participating in a podcast program, which contains free academic content in some cases at the global level. The site can be accessed at Professors place content on this site in order for students to have easy access to material. There is a log in for students and a log in for the public. From lectures series to speeches, there are countless free podcasts at iTunes at Duke University. Check it out!

iTunes at Duke took me one click to access Duke on iTunes. I looked up English because that is what subject area I want to teach, but there are not many podcasts in the English Department, which was really disappointing. It seems like subject areas of law, history, business had more to offer listeners. As a resource for a future English teacher maybe iTunes U. at Duke University isn't the best resource. I'm at hoping for the sake of all English majors at Duke that maybe students have access to more than I do.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Wikipedia's Credibility and First-Year Teaching Advice

Who's editing Wikipedia?

Read article here!

This article on Wikipedia is interesting because it shows the dark side to the online encyclopedia. Virgil Griffith, a graduate student, created a searchable database that ties anonymous changes to Wikipedia entries to organizations and locations the edits originated. This database also keeps up with all of the changes made to each document. Companies as big as Walmart to politicians are revealed to have edited their entries. I think it is important to consider this site as a general source of information, but not always the most unbiased, credited resource possible. As with any source, it is important to look at the facts and consider where the information originates. Wikipedia seems to be more of the "drive-thru" resource for information online.

First Year Teaching Advice

Read Mr. McClung's Blog Entry

Mr. McClung wrote this blog entry to give teachers, especially those with little experience, suggestions about teaching. He spoke on centering lessons around the audience--our students. Making lessons student-centered, rather than teacher-centered is the most successful way to teach. McClung also wrote about having reasonable expectations and having someone to confide in. He also had a list of "don't s" as well. His first don't was not to be afraid of using technology. Another one of his suggestions was not loosing touch with the fact that we're dealing with children.

What I took away from Mr. McClung's entry was that one, it is important to be flexible. I expect to make a lot of mistakes my first year, but in order to learn from them, having an open mind is important. I also learned that listening to you're students is important too because that is how we know what we are doing is or isn't working. The focus of the classroom needs to be on the students' learning, not the teacher's delivery of the lesson. The teacher should NEVER STOP LEARNING. It doesn't matter what area of teaching, whether it be technology, a subject-area, or lesson plan modification, teachers should change and learn new ways to reach their students.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Week 4 & 5 "Comments4Kids" Assignment

Week 4: Student Blog Page
I commented on a 5th student's blog page in the Avoca School District. Jacqueline's blog page was full of things that she was doing in the classroom. Her posts were her reflections on these learning experiences. Her latest post was about working with Photoshop to create a cartoon. I wrote that she impressed me that she was able to work with the program at such a young age. It seems like she really enjoyed the assignment too.

Week 5: "I have a dream...what is yours?" post

Students wrote poetry that reflected ideas and the form of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech. Several students were featured on the post and I commented on one student's work. The 5th grader's work about her dreams. My favorite line she used was: "Global warming history,Tomorrow a brand new day,Everybody delighted,In every single way!"-Anna S. I made sure I let her know that she was a good poet and I enjoyed reading her work. I also wrote that I thought that this assignment seemed to be very enriching. These children, because the students were using their imaginations to think about how they could make the world a better place by poetry writing.

A Little Bit of Me

Friday, February 5, 2010

Podcast as a New Study Tool

The Educational Podcast Network

In order to further my learning and discovery of the use of podcast in the classroom I visited the Educational Podcast Network website. The site brings together different ways the podcast are used in the classroom through different educators and their insights. There are even subject-specific podcast ranging from the three R's to the Arts, including dance(which is undoubtedly my favorite). Staying focused on how podcast can be used in the English classroom, I listened to a few podcast in some areas of my interest. One was a lecture on sonnets. The narrator talked about the form of sonnets and how they originated.

I can see using podcast in this form very beneficial to students who learn a slower pace than the rest of the class. This could be beneficial to students who are English Language Learners, students who have special needs, or even a student who just struggles in a particular subject area(mine is math--I still have nightmares about Algebra). Being a student who has sit through countless lectures, I realize sometimes I can sit through an entire class and not retain much information. With access to a podcast, being able to hear information again could help students refresh themselves on a topic while at home studying. I also could see how this could turn into an excuse to be absent from class(mainly at the collegiate level), but I think with careful moderation, these "lecture-on-the-go" could benefit a lot of students. Sometimes taking notes in a lecture-setting doesn't always help you remember all the key facts or information needed for a test or to write a paper on. Any thoughts on using podcast lectures as study tools?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Media Literacy Video
Watch here!

In this video Kathy Cassidy is showing her audience what her first grade class can do. Her class is focused on learning about media literacy. The students, at the age of six and seven are doing things I didn't understand until much later on in my elementary school education. The fact that a seven year old can pick up a book and distinguish between fiction and non-fiction shows that they are capable of learning much more than what is traditional taught. Later in the video, another young girl located her class's blog online by herself. Introducing these young students to technology at an early age is extremely important.

I think a lot of the time, especially in education, people are scared to think outside the box. They don't want to try new things, but sometimes change is good. By expanding her curriculum, Cassidy utilizes the technology she has in her classroom and her students are reaping the benefits. I can only imagine what these children will be capable of one day. Technology is constantly changing and this is only one instance of how useful of a tool it can be for learning. Even in first grade, students can benefit from technology.

Little Kids..Big Potential

It's is simply amazing that in first graders are BLOGGING! Up until two weeks ago, I had not even had a blog page. I think the fact that the students are getting the freedom to use computers motivates them to actively write in their blogs. They also enjoy that others get to see what they are writing about as well. From a teacher stand-point the students are not only learning how to type, but sound out words on their own. Blogging improves writing, even in first grade.

Although these videos impress me, I can't help but question if I'm ready for this tidal wave of students that will be media literate. I struggle to make a powerpoint presentations on my own, how will I be ready for them? At least I have the blogging somewhat mastered. I also, like any other college student, I understand Facebook and iTunes. I guess this is a start. In the back of the classroom in one of the videos I saw the sign reading Class of 2025 so I guess I have some time to learn. In the meantime, I think I'll go listen to a podcast and Facebook stalk!

Can your baby do this?(Mine can't either, but I'm not a parent, nor do I own an iPhone.)

Are you kidding me? This young toddler can barely say 'iPhone', but understands how to use one. The fact that a baby can use and operate and iPhone really says a lot about the design of the phone and the potential of young children. They really do absorb information like a dry sponge. The last cellphone(not an iPhone) and toddler combination I saw involved a full cup of water and resulted in some unhappy parents. (That was poor planning on mom and dad's part though.)

What in the world am I going to do if this child walks through my classroom door? This video is a wake up call. Children can learn at any age. It is up to teachers, parents, and guardians to feed them with as much knowledge they can. I'm pretty sure the only thing reflecting any intelligence that I did at this age was me pulling all of the wipes out of the box on my own. Wow, that's not embarrassing at all.

Understanding Podcasts

Teaching with Smartboard by Sladkey and Miller
Find it on iTunes or
for more information, CLICK HERE

In this podcast, it begins with a theme of the holidays. This podcast included holiday music and graphics. The episode I watched,episode 67, is the annual holiday edition. In order to make a podcast, you must think about audio recordings, visuals, and what information is being presented and how. It is also important to let people know where they can find more information about a subject too. Both men created an entertaining way how to educate people about Smartboards. They included written instructions, pictures, and auditory instructions.

KidCast:Learning and Teaching with Podcast
Find it on iTunes:
"Active Listening to Improve Your Show" by Dan Schmit
Episode 57

The narrator opens with music and an introduction to his podcast. This podcast was only audio. Schmit also gives a website to visit as another resource for a competition he is involved with. He explained that a podcast is like a show and have different episodes. Some of these can done by students. There are several types of educational podcast. One type is an inquiry podcast that answers a question through investigation. Another is a point of view editorial podcast. This type of podcast is persuasive to the audience and can be about political issues.

Cammy Bean interviews Robert Squires

For more information about this podcast Click Here

What I noticed about this podcast right away is the fact that all of the participants were from different states. One lady was from Florida, while the other was from Montana. This really showed me the possibilities there are with podcast creation. This podcast involved a lot of discussion as far as how it was formatted. This podcast also did not involve visuals. The creators planned ahead, had questions reader for the interviewee, and knew what they were going to talk about beforehand. This tells me that a lot of planning goes into the creation of a podcast.

This Week in Photography

126: Race in Photography- Don't Blink!
Find this podcast on iTunes

This podcast opened with the sounds of a camera going off. This immediately drew me into the topic. The topic at hand was whether or not face detection is racist. The facial recognitions may think that Asians are blinking and that dark skinned tones weren't picked up. Interestingly enough, the company, Sony, is an Asian company. The problem with this new technology that was being discussed is that it wasn't tested well enough before being released to the public. I also noticed that is was the first podcast that had a sponsor.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Teachers and Technology

Michael Wesch : A Vision of Students Today Video
My Response to this Video:

This video captures how life as a college student can sometimes feel. I work a part-time job on top of taking 15 hours of classes, and am a part of AOII sorority on campus. Though the sorority is extra, it makes my time here at South seem more enjoyable. My classes this semester call for a lot of outside work, like reading about 250 pages per week, or weekly work like this blog(not that I'm complaining). At times, I do feel overwhelmed. After being in college for four years, I've become really good at time management, multitasking(I'm doing laundry as I write up this blog), and invested in a good coffee pot!

If I could change or add anything into the video, I would most likely add more about how students are coping with this stress. Behaviors like smoking, binge drinking, and casual sex seem to be negative ways college students deal with their stress.
Also a lot of the phrases were hard to read and at times I had to pause the video in order to understand what was being said. What I took away most from this video is that most students today are in the same situation I am. Student loans, the cost of living, and our future jobs are what we worry about most. The fact that I have had the privilege of attending college, have a laptop of my own, and have a vehicle to get me all the places I need to go really makes me think about how fortunate I am.

It's Not About the Technology

"...if a student has not learned, not matter how much effort has been exerted, no teaching has been done."-Kelly Hines
Read it here!
One of the most important points in this blog is the teachers should be teaching with learning in mind. This learning should be coming from both the student and the teacher.So many times as a student I have sat through entire classes not retaining anything. As a future teacher, I think it is extremely important to focus on students learning. If students aren't learning with one approach, then it is the teacher's job to change his or her approach. Also the teacher shouldn't just be teaching, the teacher should be learning along with their students. In order to be an effective teacher, one must always be wanting to learn new creative ways to reach their students.

To me it is crucial that in order to be a teacher, you must see what works and what doesn't work. Observing how students react to what is being thrown at them is important. Throughout my high school career, my teachers assumed that giving worksheets would automatically make us retain information. I would like to do more creative things in the high school classroom in the future because sometimes I think so many students are tuned out to learned. Looking back, in order to move forward is really what I took away from this blog. I hope to try and add something new every time I teach a lesson. I hope this subtle changes will reach more students and help them retain more information than I did.

Karl Fisch's Blog
Read it Here!

The post within Fisch's post is quite thought provoking. Should teachers really be accountable for being technologically illiterate? I think there is a distinct line between wanting to learn about technology, and just being unwilling to learn. I have heard too often the phrase, "I'm just not good with technology." Ignorance is impairing those who never try. Why not moving forward? Most students that enter classrooms seem to know a significant amount of technology, but who taught them? The topic at hand isn't about not knowing about technology, it is about individuals who are unwilling to learn because technology is outside their comfort zones.

Part of being a teacher, especially in today's world, should be about moving forward. Teachers, like Kelly Kines stated in her blog (link is in above section), should constantly be learning. Maybe the way our education system works is too comfortable for the average teacher. Is it time to shake up education? Maybe there should be more of a push to move forward and try new things in the classroom. Outside the four walls of the classroom, technology is moving forward, maybe its time for teachers to look out the open the window.

Gary's Social Media Count:
Visit full website here

Can you believe some of these numbers? Technology is moving forward and expanding at astounding rates! This makes me think of how much time I spend on the computer. Sometimes there are hours at a time that I am on Facebook, or YouTube, and/or other sites. Not to mention, I probably am text messaging my boyfriend at the same time(this goes back to my first section--I am quite the expert at multitasking, what can I say? It's a gift).

So what does this mean for teachers? It means that we must move forward(I've said it about 20 times already)! Technology is changing the world around us not only economically, but socially. The numbers above us prove that people are living in the technology age. The students that I went to school with will not be exposed to same things that my students will be exposed to. As teachers we must be part of this technological world too.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Technology is CHANGING the classroom

"Did You Know? 3.0"

After watching the "Did You Know? 3.0" video, I was completely blown away at how fast technology is coming out and thriving. It's amazing that people that are starting college in 2009, like my little brother, will be exposed to completely different information than I have been exposed to. This really adds to how old I feel(I'm only 21, I guess I better get used to the feeling). The fact that computers are becoming so crucial to society and how we live, makes me wonder how much things will have changed in 5 to 10 years. My little brother's college, Ringling College of Art and Design actually provides every incoming freshmen with a Mac book. The fact that his college has moved forward with technology that much makes me think back to how far we've come.

Thinking back ten years ago in 2000, my family had only one desktop computer that was occasionally used for school reports and work documents. It was mainly was just a form of entertainment for the household--many solitaire games and Oregon Trail(I probably still can't make it to Oregon, but you can't deny that the game was addicting). Now ten years later, every single member of my family has a laptop computer and a cellphone with text messaging. My family still has a desktop computer in our office, but because we also have updated from dial-up internet to a Wi-Fi connection, we all prefer our own laptops over the desktop. Not only have our computers and cellphones become more advanced, but video games too. I remember seeing old pictures(the paper kind that you had to get developed for all the kids out there) trying to play Duck Hunt on the old Nintendo system before I could even form a sentence. Today, my family owns a Wii, and several games (none of which you have to blow into to get them to turn on).

Mr. Winkle Wakes

The Mr. Winkle Wakes video raises questions like how and why technology should be used in the classroom. Teachers are supposed to be preparing us for the future, but how are they doing that by lecturing and not incorporating technology into the classes they teach? Many teachers complain about not having the funding, but there are many instances where teachers aren't using the tools that are provided for them. In the video, the classroom did have a computer in it, but it wasn't being used. This says a lot about our education system. We don't want to change our methods because they have worked in the past.

In the defense of my teachers, I have be exposed to many useful technology skills. I began learning how to use a computer at an early age, and was learning how to make a PowerPoint presentation by the time I was in 5th grade. It wasn't until high school that I really saw the benefit of technology as my chemistry/physics teacher was using a tablet that was connected to her computer. This contraption was projected through her overhead screen to show us how to work physics problems. I didn't understand the convenience of this until I enrolled in physics college course at South--my teacher's tools consisted of a few white boards and different colored dry erase markers. Time was wasted in class because my professor had to constantly erase old work in order to continue on with the new problem.

Ken Robinson Video Response

I agree with Ken Robinson. I believe that creativity is the classroom is killed through education. Children are taught at an early age that being right is the only way to succeed. By doing this mistakes are not only stigmatized, but children are being inhibited from coming up with anything original. Robinson uses the phrase, "educating people out of their capabilities". He continues to say that children are born artists because they aren't scared to be wrong. They take a risks, which allow originality.

Ironically, Robinson points out, that in every school system, the same subjects are emphasized and the same areas are ignored. Math, science, history, and language are all top priorities in schools worldwide. The Arts, on the other hand seem to be at the bottom of the academic hierarchy. The fact that kids are pointed in the direction of professions that they have no interest in, is depressing. Most children dream of being musicians, dancers, and various other creative outlets, but are inhibited from doing so because they are told they'd never get a job in that type of field. Because of this, many really talented individuals went to college, or even worse didn't go to college, and are now working at some empty job. Robinson encourages us to radically change the way we see intelligence, especially in the classroom.

Harnessing Your Students' Digital Smarts

Vicki Davis engages her students through incorporating technology in the classroom as well as using different methods of teaching to reach her students. Her tools include podcast, blogs, digital storytelling, virtual worlds, and other digital tools. Davis pays attention to her students' interests and what engages them in the classroom. She uses new terms and tools to encourage learning and discovery through the use of the internet. Students are also encouraged to share new information with each other, and students actually teach lessons from time to time. With this freedom of creativity, these students are being exposed to a lot more information than a traditional classroom is.

I think that it is important to understand that tradition teaching methods cannot reach every child. Most students retain information better if they are doing hands on work. Students are also being able to use their creative outlets in a class like this as they are allowed to explore their interest. With the use of the internet, students can learn more about the real world and can expand their knowledge outside of the four walls of the classroom. Also, if students understand their work is being shared with the world, they will take more pride in their work because it isn't just being read by a single teacher. Incorporating technology in the classroom is also beneficial to students in the future because they can take the knowledge that they learn and apply it in directly to their lives because technology is becoming such a crucial part of society.