Friday, May 6, 2011

Final Post #15: Video Reflection

This is my Video Reflection Project, my very last post in EDM310. It has been a great learning experience in this class. I have learned so many things that I never knew how to do. Also, I met knew people that I might now have met if it were not for EDM310. EDM310 is so much more than a technology class, it also taught me to self evaluate, learn on my own with very little guidance, collaborate with classmates, and be creative with my projects.

Thank You EDM310, Dr. Strange, the lab assistants, and my classmates for a great semester in EDM!

A special thanks to my patient brother, Preston Sasser, for helping me with this video project!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Final Project

For our Final Project, Brandon Caten, Alexa Howie, and I produced a Documentary about The USA Show Choir's final performance for the semester. The USA Show Choir was asked to perform at St. Elmo Elementary school for the students and parents at their PTA meeting/Reading Rally. The Show Choir put a lot of work into this performance for these Elementary students. Brandon Caten worked with the Show Choir to teach the music and choreograph each song while Alexa Howie and I will be recording video and sound plus interviewing for the video.

We hope you enjoy!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Final Project Trailer

Our group made a trailer for our Final Project, as well as, our Final Project video. The video is still a work in progress and will be posted soon!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Final Report on PLN

The first PLN that I started making somehow got deleted, so I had to start over and make another one. Luckily, I remembered a lot of the tiles that I used from the first one and I added those and more to my new PLN. Over the past few weeks I have been working to find tiles to add to my PLN. Like I said before, I had a lot of fun with this project. Before EDM 310, I did not know what a PLN was. But now this will be something that I will use in my classroom. It is a great way to keep all of your favorite and most used websites together.

The top left side of my PLN includes websites that I visit often, such as: Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, the Class Blog, Student Links, GMail, Google, South Alabama Homepage, YouTube, and a few others.

The middle left side includes photo editing websites, some of which I use pretty frequently and others that I recently found while making my PLN. I use Picasa and PicNik for editing every photo shoot that I do. EDM 310 introduced me to Flickr and Aviary, and I found Foto View while making my PLN. These tiles are close to the top because photography is a big hobby of mine and I plan on bringing this hobby into the classroom. After all, "a picture is worth a thousand words".

The bottom left side are random websites that I visit less frequently, but felt like they should make it to my PLN. These websites include: SchoolTube, TeacherTube, Amazon, iTunes, Ebay, Yellow Pages, Pandora, Weather Channel, and Online Dictionary. Some are used more than others, but I wanted all of these to be on my PLN because I use them all on occasion.

The top right side includes Google sites, such as: Google Maps, Google Docs, and Google Earth. Under this row, there are websites that we have used in EDM 310 or were supposed to download to our computer. These websites include: iTunes U, Apple, Skype, Wordle, and Timetoast. There may be other websites we used in EDM 310 that are not on my PLN, but these are the ones I have used the most.

The bottom right side includes websites that I have found and thought will be useful in my classroom one day. Some of these websites I have been introduced to at the Learning Center, such as: Story Starter, Clifford, and Story Line. The rest of the websites I have either found on my own or I know of them from school, such as: PBS Teacher, PBS Kids, Dr. Seuss, Funbrain, Poetry4Kids, Brain Pop, National Geographic Kids, Scholastic, Alabama Virtual Library, Homework Helper, SMART Board, Discovery Works, and Discovery Education. These websites take up majority of my PLN because I believe I will use these tiles more than any other tiles once I get in my classroom.

The bottom middle, under Google Search, includes websites such as Mrs. Yollis' class blog, Mr. McClung's class blog, Ken Robinson's speech on Schools Kill Creativity, and Randy Pausch's Last Lecture speech. I included these tiles in my PLN because these are a few of my favorite things that we got the chance to look at in EDM 310 and I would not want to forget about these class blog's or the speech's. They all contain information that I plan to take with me in my journey with my students.

In summary, I think my PLN is very helpful to me right now, as well as, later on down the road. I have found some very insightful websites that I plan to take with me after EDM 310 and use in my classroom one day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Summary Post C4T #4

C4T #1
I was assigned to read Mr. Tom Johnson's blog post, "Acceptable Use Committee".

Mr. Johnson's post was about banning "Pencil Predators". His post was about a few things. The first point that I got from this post was that he uses few rules in his classroom, but he knows that some are necessary, especially when using computers. Another thing he wrote about was teaching students to be "ethical critical thinkers". What a great idea, teach our students to think and make decisions on their own, using their minds!

In summary, I wrote to Mr. Johnson that there are many precautions to take while using the internet with children. But we can learn the right ways to go about using the internet. Also, he mentioned that he only has three or four rules in his classroom, a lot less than any classroom I have seen. However, he says his class runs just fine with few rules!

C4T #2
I was assigned to read Mr. Johnson's post, "5 Reasons for Leaving The Pencil Conference".

Mr. Johnson's post was about a Pencil Conference that he went to and left early because of 5 main reasons. I listed the few reasons that stuck out most to me. The first reason is that the presenters were unapproachable and claim to love social media teaching tools but do not want you to send them anything making them have to use the tools. A second reason is the presenters were arrogant and he felt as if they were trying to "change" him as a teacher. They did not ask questions because they already "knew it all". A third reason is that no matter how good of an idea something was in the past they will not recognize it to be a good idea. They see it as in the past and only see good ideas now.

After reading Mr. Johnson's 5 reasons for leaving the Pencil Conference early, I can not say that I blame him. Who wants to sit through a class/conference where the presenters know it all and make no mistakes? No one knows everything and everyone makes mistakes. We can never learn to much about anything. That is part of growing and learning!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

C4K Summary # 7, 8, 9, 10

For my seventh C4K, I was assigned to watch a video on Mr. McClung's blog page about students doing a intermission for an event called World Festival. World Festival is an event that his students get to be apart of where they show off their projects from the year to their parents, grandparents, other teachers, and other students. One of Mr. McClung's teaching methods is getting his students to work together in groups, which he shows at the World Festival.

For my eighth C4K, I was assigned to a student named Cohen. Cohen's blog was not working, so Dr. Strange asked me to pick another student. I chose to write on a student's blog named Lucy. Lucy is a Year 6 student at Epping Heights in New South Wales, Australia. I commented on Lucy's blog post called, "Talking & Listening Task: Rainforest". This is a video of her presenting facts about the Rainforest to her class. In her presentation, she talks about why you should reduce, reuse, and recyle to save the Rainforest. She gave examples of how to save the Rainforest by doing these three things. Also, she named some of the animals that live in the Rainforest. Lucy defines a canopy and ecosystem in her video. In my post to Lucy, I told her how nice her blog looked and how well she did on her video presentation. Also, I told her that I espcially liked that she mentioned the jaguar in her video; because the University of South Alabama's mascot is a jaguar!

For C4K #9 we were all assigned to thoroughly read and look through Ms. Yollis' class blog. Ms. Yollis' is a third grade teacher in California. She recently finished her Master's Degree in Integrating Technology in the Classroom to help her improve the use of technology in anyway she can with her students.

One thing that I really love about Ms. Yollis' class blog is that her students are featured in all of the videos that I watched. You can tell her third graders love being in the videos and they look like they are having so much fun. One of the videos I really liked is the five tips for writing a quality comment. The best part of this video, in my opinion, is at the end when the student is talking about the last step, which is to proofread. He is informing whoever is going to write a comment about the punctuation you should use. I like seeing the third grader inform us on how to proofread because this shows Ms. Yollis' has taught him something that he would like to share with others!

As I browsed through Ms. Yollis' class blog I found Exploration of North America. These giant maps are an awesome teaching tool! It looks like these students learned so much from the map of North America and Asia. Ms. Yollis class made videos of their trip to North America and Asia, in which they learned new facts about the continent they were discussing! Ms. Yollis allowed her students to dress up to show more about where they were on the continent. The videos from these projects looked like her students took a lot of time learning about the continents to put the videos together.

Just reading the comments that these students are writing is amazing. They are in the third grade and are writing on such a higher level. Ms. Yollis is doing a great job in helping her students learn to write and blog early in school! It is easy to see from the comments from parents and grandparents that they are very proud to see what their children are doing.

I am so thankful for EDM 310 introducing us to teachers, like Ms. Yollis' and many others, who are making such an incredible impact in the lives of their students by using technology. The teachers Dr. Strange have introduced us to, through blogging, are the kind of teachers that we all should strive to be like. I am able to take so much from Ms. Yollis' class blog and incorporate ideas that I like into my future classroom. It is a great feeling to know that there are some teachers out there that are willing to advance their classroom with technology!

For my tenth C4K, I was assigned to write on a student named Jaden's blog from Mrs. Yollis' class. Jaden is in the third grade and is already learning so much through blogging. He wrote on our class blog and is so excited to get to blog with college-level students. His blog post was about a Clippers vs. Mavericks game that him and his dad got the chance to go to. He loves basketball and wants to be a NBA player when he grows up!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blog Assignment #13

ALEX, The Alabama Learning Exchange, is a website designed for teachers, administrators, parents, and students, to have all of their needs met through this one resource. This website is produced by the Alabama Department of Education. Its goal is for teachers in Alabama to gain knowledge from other teachers that share their expertise on this website. ALEX provides information for teachers such as: lesson plans, web recourses, professional learning, podcasts, and more. This website is set up so that it is easy to navigate and find what you are looking for.

The homepage on ALEX has seven links to help you navigate around the website. They are courses of study, web resources, lesson plans, search, personal workplace, professional learning, podcast treasury, and ALEXville. Lesson plans are available for any subject, as well as, any grade K-12. Teachers, who have an account, are able to post lesson plans from any category that they chose on ALEX for other teachers to see and even use. Also, podcast are available for any grade or subject and there are tons of videos to chose from after you pick a subject. Teaching tools and tips for technology tools are available on the website as well.

I think ALEX is a teaching tool that teachers should use to their advantage in their classroom. The website is easy to access and has a search tab if you need help. I love the idea of a website where teachers are able to make lesson plans and podcasts and share their information with other teachers. Alabama Learning Exchange seems like a very useful tool to use while teaching.

Access Distance Learning is available to all Alabama public high school students and access to high quality instruction, quality learning opportunities, and greater equity for all Alabama high school students through technology in the 21st century. On the Access Distance Learning website, you will find courses taught on video from highly qualified teachers. The Access Distance Learning has many goals. Some include providing access to advanced diploma courses, providing access to additional course offerings, providing access to Advanced Placement and dual enrollment, providing access to remediation resources, providing teachers with multimedia and tools to enhance instruction, and others.

Access has many awards an accomplishments. Some are more than 100 teachers have been trained in e-learning course delivery, increased enrollment to over 9,000 per year in 174 high schools, awarded 70 grants to Alabama high schools to implement a 21st century distance learning classroom, increased the number of courses by 50 with 5 foreign language and 10 AP courses. So this leads us to the future of Access Distance Learning, which is to provide a 21st century distance learning classroom for every Alabama high school and to have the capacity to serve 45,000 enrollments.

Access started on November 1, 2004 and was planned by Governor Bob Riley's Task Force on Distance Learning. The main goal of Access id to "provide equal access to high quality instruction to improve student achievement through distance learning opportunities." Another gaol that Access has is to provide greater equity for all Alabama high school students through distance learning technology and to a wide range of courses that are unavailable to a lot of Alabama high school students today.