Sunday, October 28, 2012

Project #10-PLN

Amanda's PLN
For my PLN I decided to use On this website, there are several preset tiles you can choose from or you can create your own. You must first create an account before you do anything, then you can customize your site however you would like! I placed the tools I need for EDM310 along the top because that is what I first look at on my computer most of the time. On the next line, I put University of South Alabama websites that I visit daily. Along the bottom, there are many websites or blogs that can help me become a better educator. I found several PE blogs that have information about different games that I could use with my students. I really think this can be a useful tool and have made it my homepage on my computer. I want to continue to make it grow so that I can come to this page anytime that I need something.

Blog Assignment 9

What I Learned This Year- Volume 4. (2011-12)
In this post, McClung talks about how he had trouble with defining himself as a teacher. He said that it is important to look at how the students look at you rather than the teachers because they are all that truly matter. You are not there to impress your peers, but to make an impression on these kid's lives. McClung also talked about how important it is to challenge yourself as an educator. He said that he taught the same two subjects for the past 3 years and felt as if he became to comfortable and lazy with what he was teaching. The children suffered from this and did not learn as much because of it. During this school year, he has been privileged to teach a new subject and grade. This will allow him to grow and become a better teacher. It is his goal to do everything in his power to make the students enjoy class. Overall, this was a challenging, yet fun school year for McClung and he hopes that the 2012-13 will be even better.

What I Learned This Year (2010-11)
During the 2010-11 school year, Mr. McClung learned many valuable lessons. First of all, he realized that you need to not worry about what other teachers think about you. The kids should be the focal point and they are (hopefully) the very reason you are a teacher in the first place. Secondly, you must realize that other educators may not be as excited about change as you are. McClung stated " I feel like the teaching landscape is full of individuals that once had a fire and excitement for the profession but somewhere along the way they joined the darkside." This is so true because some teachers tend to become set in their ways and think that they know what is best after teaching for a while. This in turn makes them become less passionate about changing children's lives. He also showed us that it is okay to be different. Many of his peers would eat lunch in the teacher's lounge, while he would eat lunch with his students.
McClung's homeroom class
As a teacher, you do not want to interfere with hands on learning. McClung uses the phrase "Don't Touch the Keyboard". The idea is that you will be doing all of the work if you show them how to do it. Let them learn how to do it on their own. Lastly, he says to not become comfortable with what you are doing. By doing so, we become stagnant and do not better ourselves as educators. This not only hurts yourself, but the children you are teaching.

This post really opened my eyes and reminded me of why I am becoming a teacher. Not to impress the principal or other teachers, but my students. I want to make an impression on them so that they will tell their kids and grandkids about what an awesome teacher I was. I want to get better in everything that I do and become the best teacher that I can be. I may steal Mr. McClung's idea and do a blog like this to look back on what I have accomplished and what I can improve on.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blog Assignment 8

This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2
In Part 1, Dr. Miller talks about the restraints of paper books and how they hold us back. On the internet, articles and print can be changed to reflect current conditions, while books become out of date the second they are printed. He talked about when he wrote a book, that has now gone out of print and can be bought on Amazon for $0.59. It is so much easier to research things because you can find information so quickly and easily on the internet. You can also easily access videos for interviews and important moments in history. I know for a fact that you cannot watch a video in a book! It is also easy to do collaborative work. Therefore, people are able to be accessed at any time.

Part 2 talks about new material that is updated instantly and constantly. Teachers can provide students with other teachers lectures so that they can share others ideas with their students. Miller talks about how we can go behind stories and figure out how they were written and put on the website. He also talks about how in the future he sees students writing with digital technology, not word processor. By being able to write with multimedia, this will have an impact on the students and they will be more likely to remember the information. When posting on the internet, the things you say will stay forever. This can be a positive or negative thing, but I think that it will be positive for education.

By being able to write with multimedia, we will be able to show our students information through videos, interactive graphs or polls, and maybe even interactive pictures. Students love hands on activities. It gets them involved in learning the information and they can discuss it among their friends. Lecturing does not do much good because of all of the distractions technology can provide. By integrating the distraction into the lesson plan, this will benefit the student and the teacher.

Carly's Post
When asked by Dr. Strange to create a new assignment, Carly answered the bell. She brilliantly thought of making a playlist on YouTube that contains inspiring videos about teaching and life in general. Students will create their own playlists be able to use YouTube to help inspire them to write and visualize stories. This will follow Dr. Miller's hopes for writing with multimedia. I personally enjoyed Think Different the most. This is also a great idea because students tend to enjoy watching videos and are more likely to stay engaged.

I plan on becoming a PE teacher, so I thought, "What is a way that I can incorporate this into my curriculum?" At the beginning of class each day or every other day, I could show an inspirational video about staying fit or informing them of health risks. As a young student, there are many videos that I watched that I still remember today. Hopefully, these will have the same impact and convince them to make better choices in life.

Student Videos
If I had to create a video or participate in the creation of a video for this class, I would probably make one about time management. As college students, this is a huge problem because we are very busy and it is sometimes difficult to find time to do classwork. By making this video, I hope to inform students of different tools that will help combat problems like procrastination. Another video idea would be "How to Survive Life as a College Student". I would tell incoming freshmen how to become involved, stay on top of their work, and many other things that I would have wanted to know in my first year of college. These young adults would feel more comfortable about college after watching my video. The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies are both excellent for preparing students for EDM310. They highlight issues like procrastination and becoming frustrated with learning on your own. They were both hilarious and these students did an awesome job putting them together.
EDM310 for Dummies

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
Today's schools are treated like they are factories. They bring these children in, they do a bunch of work, then they spit them out and hand them a high school diploma. This is not beneficial to any of them because they are not as prepared for college or the real world. One man in the video said, "Every turned off device is a turned off child."These kids are more in tune to learning things outside of the classroom than inside the classroom due to social media. With all devices being banned, we are only hurting the students because that is where they love to get their information from. It is time to revolutionize our public schools and get out of our comfort zones as teachers. In the end, it will be better for all of us.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0
Edmodo is a website that is used as a platform for teachers and students to socialize with each other. Teachers can also create a group for their class where they can post assignments and online quizzes. This can be beneficial when you do not get to some information in class, or you just want to mix things up a bit. Students can be rewarded for a job well done with badges that can be awarded. With teachers and classmates being able to comment on student's work or posts, instant critiquing can be received. Overall, this website allows the student and teacher to be connected and have access to each other after school hours.

Smart Alec
Smart Alec

PhotoPeach is an awesome, free website where you can make slideshows with built in quizzes and polls. In most cases, this program is used in correlation with a SmartBoard. It is a great tool for reviews for tests and quizzes. You can even add your own music and students can contribute to the questions! Here is a video that shows how students use PhotoPeach in the classroom.

Friday, October 19, 2012

C4T #2-Denise Krebs

Happy Constitution Day and Why I’m a Liberal
Denise’s post reveals that she is not a fan of politics, but would call herself a liberal if she had to choose. She states the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution and shows how it has a liberal tone that calls for strong government. Krebs also reveals how being a liberal is related to her spirituality and goes on to show us several examples of verses from the bible as examples. An example of a verse that asks a liberal question includes Mark 10:51-“What do you want me to do for you?” Krebs concludes she is a liberal because she believes that the government was created to help all of its people, and because she wants to be like Jesus. In my comment, I told her how the November election would be my first time to vote and I thanked her for helping me become more informed. Also, I told her how I liked her analysis in connection to the Bible.
Precious Water
Hippo rollers
In this post, Mrs. Krebs talks about hipporollers. These are jugs that can be easily rolled around if a person has to travel a long way for water. She said that nearly 3 million people die each year due to not having clean water. In my comment, I told her that I thought that this was an awesome idea and I really take the accessibility of water for granted sometimes. It is very easy to spend an extra ten minutes in the shower or leave the sprinkler on for an extra hour. I believe this tool will change many people’s lives and allow them to have as much clean water as they can roll in the hipporollers.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blog Assignment 7

The Networked Student
The network a student possesses will prove to be the most important part of a child's education in the future. They will learn about the concept of connectivism, which is learning that occurs due to the many networks and ties they have. By being taught how to validate information on the internet, they will learn which information to believe just by the content. MP3 players can also be used for students to listen to podcasts. Professors from major universities like Stanford and Berkley have their lectures as podcasts. Therefore, students will be able to receive information from some of the best teachers in the world. Skype can be used to talk to important people that they can learn a lot from. This will make an impression on the students that they will remember forever. The biggest challenge will be how the students manage the information. Within the realm of the internet, there is an unimaginable amount of information. Therefore, some students may have a difficult time finding the "right" information.

If students have all the information they need in the palm of their hand, what is the need for teachers? Well, they provide their students with the tools they need to succeed. Teachers will show them how to gather and validate information. Also, they will teach their students how to build their network and to take advantage of the opportunities they are given. Sometimes students may get stuck and not know what to do. The teachers provide guidance and help them with any questions they may have. Their goal is to provide the kids with networks and tools they will be able to use in the future.

I believe that the idea of a "networked student" will be the future of our education system. This will allow students to have more freedom with what they learn. It will be our job as the teacher to make sure they are choosing the right information and not straying on to sites they shouldn't be. It may seem as if we will just be babysitting, but I do not think that the whole classroom setting will be encapsulated by this concept. If this were to be true, there will be less teachers in the workforce because they will not be needed as much.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (or PLN)
This video talks about a 7th grader's personal learning environment. Her science class is paperless and they had to learn how to use resources on the internet to gather information. She shows all of the different tools they use including Google Docs, Facebook, and Glogster. Her PLE is very similar to my PLN for this class. We both use Google Docs and social networking to gather information and provide information for others. This proves that if a 7th grader is able to perform in this environment, we should be able to as well. I believe that this is the future of our education system.
7th grader's PLE

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blog Assignment 6

Randy Pausch's Final Lecture
Randy Pausch
Randy Pausch gave several inspiring speeches over his lifetime. They focused on life tools and teaching tools to be the best you can be and to better others. His "Final Lecture" was a little bit different. Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which ultimately would lead to his death, and this was his final speech he gave. He goes into detail about his childhood and his time as a college student, Disney Imagineer, and a professor. All of these moments in his life shaped him into who he was as an educator and a father. At first when I saw this video was an hour long, I was not looking forward to it. But, I found it to be well worth my time and it made me look at my future job as an educator in a different way.

During Randy's childhood, he had several dreams. These included: going to space, playing in the NFL, meeting Captain Kirk, winning big stuffed animals at the fair, and becoming an Imagineer at Disney. He accomplished all of these things except for becoming an NFL player. He learned that "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want." You do not always get everything you want, but valuable experiences are gained that can help you in other aspects of your life. Pausch constantly repeated the phrase "Brick walls are there to show how badly we want something." When we face a challenge, sometimes it seems like their is no way to accomplish it or get around it. You must persevere and overcome adversity to receive something you want badly. How can we enable the childhood dreams of others? You set the bar high. Your students are only as good as you allow them to be. Students are not as likely to pursue things on their own. If you are there to encourage and push them, there is no telling what they can achieve.

My favorite concept that Pausch explained was the "head fake". According to Pausch, the best way to teach someone something is to make them think they are learning something else. That is exactly what a head fake is. You may make your students form groups to work on a book report, which they believe is to learn about a certain book. What they are really learning is people skills and how to work in a group. This is an easy way to make your students believe they are doing something fun, when you are really trying to teach them something. Most of the time if you tell them they are going to learn something, they get into the mindset that it will be boring. If the student never knows, it is more likely to make an impression on them.

Sometimes in life, you have to ask for a little bit of help. Pausch outlines how this can be accomplished. First of all, there are some places you cannot get to alone and Pausch believes that karma is a real thing. It is okay to ask for help and if you do not help others, it may come back to haunt you. Secondly, tell the truth and be earnest. If you do not tell the truth, you must weave your way through lies and it gets complicated. Thirdly, apologize when you screw up. There is no need to blame things on others. Own up to your mistakes and people will have respect for you. Lastly, focus on others and not on yourself. Pausch's speech may have shown what he experienced in his lifetime, but the speech really focused on how you should live your life. He impacted many people while he was alive and will continue to do so through his Final Lecture.

C4K #1 and #2-September

C4K #1-Tessa
Tessa is a middle school student in Massachusetts. In her post, she explains how she is just entering middle school and would like some advice. Tessa also asked for stories from the commenter's middle school years. I told her that middle school can be difficult at times, but overall I believed that she would enjoy it. Some advice that I gave was to get involved in school activities like clubs or sports. Middle school was one of the best parts of my life so far, but it was not easy.

C4K #2-Jade
Jade is a 13-year-old student in Iowa. In her post, she described how it was homecoming week at their school. During the week, they dressed up each day and had a hallway competition. A couple of the themed days included herd day (they dressed up as farm animals) and school color day. In my comment, I wished her good luck in the hallway competition and revealed to her all of the theme days I had in high school for homecoming week. She commented back and said that there was some really good competition, then later commented and said that their grade level was not going to be judged with the high schoolers. It was kind of cool to have a conversation with someone I don't even know and she was so excited about the comment. This is the most self gratifying thing I have done in EDM 310 so far.
Homecoming week for students in Iowa

Project #9a- Timetoast

The History of The University of South Alabama