Sunday, November 25, 2012

Project #15-SmartBoard Instruction Part 2

Blog Assignment 13

Back to the Future
Mr. Crosby

Brian Crosby is a fourth grade teacher that is trying to innovate his classroom through technology. Many of his students learned English as their second language and are believed to be at a higher risk of struggling in the classroom. Also, Crosby has a student with leukemia that cannot attend class much at all. Although he is faced with adversity, he excels at teaching these students by using technology. Blogs are used as a tool for students to write about their experiences and to better their writing skills. By using blogs, this is helping reinforce the English language to the students. Skype is used to help the young girl who cannot come to school because of Leukemia and to collaborate with other classrooms across the globe.

My favorite statement was "We cannot keep racing kids through school". This is so true because they want students to have a high school diploma, but these kids do not learn as much as they need to in the process. My goal as an educator will be to actually teach my students something and make an impact on their life. Why would you want to become a teacher if you do not want to help these kids become better individuals? This is a problem with our education system today.

A Vision of Students Today
This video by Kansas State University shows the thoughts that run through every student's mind at some point during their schooling. It shows what they aspire to do and how our current education system is holding them back. Many statistics are shown including that for a class that you write 42 pages for, you will write 500 emails for it also. This is mind blowing because it shows how students are more likely to use technology to express their concerns rather that write on the actual assignments.

I think that this is the best video that I have watched throughout the entirety of this class. It shows all that we as students face in a classroom setting everyday. It is eye opening to see how much time we spend doing certain things everyday, when most of the time we spend has no purpose or will not help us out in life. This is why we must change how we educate students because students are changing the way they function throughout their day.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Final Project Progress Report

As a basketball manager, I have to travel quite a bit. I have been on the road since November 19th and will pretty much be gone until December 2nd. Therefore, we filmed everything for the video and did all of the voiceovers last week. I have been working on the video through iMovie on my MacBook and am almost finished! I have 7 minutes completed at the moment.

I am so thankful for an awesome group! They agreed to help complete everything early just to accommodate me. I cannot wait to see the finished product because we all worked very hard on it.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blog Assignment 12

Blog Post #12 Due 11/18
1.Watch Technology In The PE Classroom (XRKADE).
Think about what you have heard and seen. How is this different from the PE classes you took in grade school?
2.The PE Geek is a blog that provides it's readers with new technology techniques they can use in their Physical Education classrooms. Read one of his posts and summarize it.

Blog Post #12
Technology In The PE Classroom (XRKADE)
When I began my journey in EDM310, I thought "How would technology benefit me? I'm just going to be a PE teacher!" This video changed my mind and made me consider all of the cool things I can do with technology. At this Jersey Shore area middle school, their PE class consists of several different stations which includes a NASCAR station (the kids are on bikes in front of a screen in which they pedal to move the cars) and a kickboxing station (three padded poles light up when they want you to hit them). This allows students that are not typically athletic or do not like sports to have fun in PE while still getting their heart rate up. I think this will help kids that like video games to get off the couch and create a mindset for exercise. Many kids are struggling with obesity due to things like television and video games, therefore this may encourage them to exercise more.

The PE Geek
The Fitness Tests App for Android is one of the many Apps you can find to use in your PE classroom. It is an easy way to measure the fitness levels of your students or athletes. There are many fitness tests you can use including aerobic capacity and flexibility. This will allow you to be able to store the student's measurements on a phone or tablet. It will most likely be more accurate than a manual device or yourself measuring their data.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

C4T #3

3 words for the year: Hope, Opportunity, and Courage
Mr. Bernia
In this post, Mr. Bernia gives us a recap of what he told his staff at his beginning of the school year meeting. Three words were the focus: hope, opportunity, and courage. Hope is something that many students lack throughout their childhood. They may have a bad home situation or not do well in school. Other students may have lots of hope and dreams they aspire to fulfill. It is our job as an educator to pick up the hopeless and push the dreamers to be the best they can be. Many kids may not have the opportunity to experience things that most kids get to experience. Teachers must create these opportunities, like field trips to help these students do things they probably would not do on their own. Lastly, educators must have the courage to stand up for what is right. They are attacked constantly by outside sources that do not know how much teachers do for these students. Students do not care about or most of the time even know about these attacks. All they care about is if we give them a pat on the back or if they have someone to sit by at lunch. We must stay strong and fight for what is right.

Smarter Balanced Assessments, change for the better?
In Mr. Bernia's last Daytime Staff Meeting, they discussed their new Smarter Balanced Assessments that will help students be successful after they leave their school. Some of these include:Teach kids the skill of taking notes, planning, and revising; Give students the chance to use technology; Provide real world examples in student work; and Change our interventions – less on work completion, more on learning. I think that every teacher should use this checklist to help their students be the best they can be. I will definitely keep this checklist and add Mr. Bernia to my PLN.


C4K #3-Dynamite Man Vs. Titanium Guy (Part 1)
This student's post kind of confused me (due to spelling and jumbling of words) but I think it was about a super hero by the name of Dynamite Man and he was fighting Titanium Guy. He said that Dynamite Man's secret identity was Wayne Woku and Titanium Guy's was Mike Fast. The two enemies were fighting, then they began to chase each other and ended up falling off of a cliff. The student says that he is going to post a Part 2 to the story. In my comment, I said that I loved the story and could not wait for Part 2.
C4K #4-Success
Michael Jordan
Scott's post was by far one of my favorites that I have commented on. He talks about Michael Jordan and his story. Jordan did not make his high school JV basketball team, then ended up being one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the sport. Scott talks about how the greatest gift you can have is not athletic ability, but work ethic. He relates Jordan's life story to his project that he is working on. Scott says that if he works hard enough, he can get the grade he wants. He ended the post with this great quote from Michael Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” If we all work as hard as we can for our dreams, we will not only fulfill those, but reach new dreams we never thought we could.
C4K #5-Lost Island
JJ describes a trip he took to the water trip. In great detail, he describes riding the roller coaster, going on several different slides, and the food he had for lunch that day. JJ talks about how crowded the water park was that day and how they had to wait in line for several attractions. This trip sounds like one that I would have taken as a kid. In my comment, I told JJ about how I enjoyed his descriptions and they made me feel as if I were actually there. Also, I encouraged him to go again someday because he had such a great time.
C4K #6-Alberta Animoto
Ashton is from Alberta, Canada. He decided to make an Animoto video about the Parkland Region of Alberta. There are several pictures of trees and sky landscapes that look very pretty. It looks like a place that would be nice to visit one day. I commented and said how cool some of his pictures were that he used and how I would like to learn how to use Animoto.
C4K #7-Strolling Down Merion Road in Dublin
Dr. Vitulli and Dr. Santoli took a trip to Ireland for an Education Conference. During their trip, they stopped by Dublin and walked down Merion Road. Some of the stops along this street include Guinness, Insomnia Coffee Company, and Bewley's Hotel. They walked along here shortly after they arrived in Dublin due to their hotel being close. In my comment, I told them that my uncle was born and raised in Ireland and that he would love to see these pictures. Also, I told them that I hoped they are having an amazing time!
C4K #8-Squirrel Hunting
Ryan wrote about his latest squirrel hunting expedition in his post. He talked about the many adventures he endured with his friend Maccoy and Maccoy's dad (Cory). In his story, he said that he tricked Maccoy into growling at a hole in the ground by telling him that the squirrels would jump out of it. All three of the outdoorsmen shot at least one squirrel and their reward was that Grandma cooked them for them to eat. I told Ryan that I had never been squirrel hunting before, but would be open to trying it and that he was a really good storyteller.

Blog Assignment 11

In Dr. Strange's interview with Ms. Cassidy, she answers many questions about technology an how she uses it with her first grade students. She shows how little kids are intrigued with technology and how they love to get feedback from family, friends, and students from other schools. She has been teaching with technology in her classroom for over 10 years now. Cassidy started out with just five computers and now has many more. She still has not gained rousing support from her school administration, but they do not say anything negative about it. Some fellow educators have tried some of her techniques in the classroom, and others have repulsed them. The teachers that do not like Cassidy's technologically minded classroom will probably never change their old school teaching habits of using a pencil and paper.
I really enjoyed the Skype interview between Dr. Strange and Ms. Cassidy. She seemed very down to earth and it sounds like she has a great understanding of our education system today. One of the things that I would like to take from her curriculum is to have Skype sessions with other students from other parts of the world. You could do so many things with this and it would allow the kids to form connections that they probably would not have made otherwise. Cassidy said that they performed theatre productions in front of the other class they Skyped with. That is such a great idea!

Technology centered classrooms can be great, but the little kids may be too focused on the technology and not on learning the material. It is sometimes hard to keep a child's attention, but I think that this will create a better learning environment where they may be more likely to take in the information. By using Ms. Cassidy's approaches, your classroom can only succeed. The students are able to expand what they are able to learn because all of their information is not in 3 or 4 books. They can gather information and look at multimedia that is not available in a book or on a piece of paper. Cassidy is revolutionizing education, but the question is if we are ready to help her?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A World Where Grades Will Be Left Behind

Mary Beth Marklein
In this article by Mary Beth Marklein, she talks about the future of education and all that we can accomplish with technology. Sebastian Thrun is the founder of the education company Udacity, which was created to revolutionize education. This company provides online courses for students that want to work on their own time schedule. Students may work as long as they need to learn the information or master a concept. Also, grades will not exist because students will know if they understand the information or not. Marklein used the example of live theaters and movies. Although live theaters are not as popular as movies, they are still seen today. Thrun believes that "brick and mortar schools" will still be around. This will allow students to choose how they want to learn and this will create a better education system for the students.

My favorite part of the article is when Marklein talked about the changes that are going on between technologically advanced schools and "brick-and-mortar" schools, to the changes that occurred between live theatre and movies. Live theatre may not be as popular as movies, but we still see it in action today. This will improve our education system because students now have options. Students who struggle or have trouble with grades will be able to have a longer period of time to learn information. This will improve our national education system tremendously. There is still the question of the students who do not complete their classwork for no reason at all. They will probably struggle with procrastination and maybe just never learn the information at all. Some students that are not driven to succeed may suffer, but the ones who want to thrive will find this concept intriguing and exciting.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blog Assignment #10

I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga.
I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga.
This cartoon depicts how more expensive purchases are usually made because of how people will view you and cheaper products may cost less, but usually do not have as good of durability or quality. This cartoon is poking fun at the Mac vs. PC commercials (like the one shown below). I believe that a person should purchase things of quality rather than quantity. I understand that some people may not have the money to buy nicer things and have to settle for a cheaper product, but if you have the opportunity to buy a more expensive item that has proven to be a good product, do it! I have found this concept to save me a lot more money in the long run rather than having to keep buying something because it is broken.

The Con Academy-Mr. Spencer
This post on Adventures in Pencil Integration relates to a conversation the author of the blog had with a representative from the Kahn Academy. The promoter of the Kahn Academy is reveals his idea of "flipping the classroom", but truly the teacher will be giving the students a bunch of busy work that will help them "learn on their own". This is different from the concept that we learned in a previous blog post about Flipping the Classroom. He goes on to say that it is difficult to help every child at every moment, so by the kids working independently, they will learn more. Spencer does not agree with this and adds a lot of humor throughout his post. This includes when he says "This con academy is a free gift. However, so was the Trojan Horse." By this, he means that the Kahn Academy may be free, but the gift may not be what you expect it to be. I highly recommend reading the comments on the post because there are a few people that refute his argument. They are quite entertaining.

I sent Mr. Spencer a tweet and he replied!
Twitter reply

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?
In this post, Mr. McLeod sarcastically talks to teachers, administrators and board members about their view on technology in schools. He lists several things that teachers say about technology and the effects that it has on their students. I loved Mr. McLeod's post because I know for a fact that this is how many of my teachers thought throughout grade school. They want to "protect" the students from things like sexting and looking at porn because they do not trust the students. Only a small number of kids do what they are not supposed to do and teachers always place their focus on them. I believe this is the main reason many schools have not provided their students with technological devices. They believe the small percent of students will steal these devices or use them to do bad things. We will have to put some sort of system into place or trust these students because we are only holding back the kids that continually do what they are supposed to do.