Saturday, February 26, 2011

Project #10 First PLN

Making my PLN was very fun and interesting because it is such a great organizer and way to keep all of your important websites together. I decided to make my PLN using Symbaloo because it seemed pretty straight forward and easier than Netvibes. Symbaloo will be very useful inside the classroom and outside the classroom because it keeps all of your websites together on one.

At this point, I have about 25 tiles added to my Symbaloo. I added websites such as: facebook, twitter, gmail, google, South Alabama homepage, the EDM 310 class blog, and others. Also, I added websites that I thought had good teaching ideas. Symbaloo has a lot to offer. I searched for many different types of tiles and could stay searching for hours. I will continue adding tiles to my Symbaloo as I find anything interesting.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Project #9b Timetoast

Blog Assignment #6

1. The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

Even though technology is and will continue to advance, there will always be a spot for teachers. Teaching is a job that is definitely needed. Teachers will continue to grow and learn as technology grows and they will learn to teach their students all that they can. The job of a teacher will be the same no matter how technology advances. The main goals are to keep students interested by keeping creativity in your classroom, help students to love learning, guide students to reach goals and to strive harder. Teachers will always have to help guide their students in learning. I think this video should ease the fear that future teachers may have about technology taking our jobs.

While watching this video I began to compare this method to our EDM 310 class. It shows how students and teachers from around the world can stay connected with each other simply by blogging. New ideas, new ways of learning and communication are all through technology. I feel that EDM 310 helps students stay on top of things and search for the answers. It is such a good feeling to find out new things on our own because it makes you feel accomplished and proud, which is something I look forward to my students feeling.

In my opinion, I am well on my way to being a teacher of the networked student. EDM 310 is my first educational class and it has already started to prepare me. Everything that students do in this class prepares us to be awesome teachers with technology. I look forward to what else EDM 310 will teach me and also what I will take from my educational classes to come!

2. A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment

This 7th grade student did a great job creating her PLE. I like that she has different categories for her tiles. That makes her PLE very organized. Also, it was interesting to watch how she set up the different sites and tiles for her science class. I started on my PLN before I watched her video but after I watched it I went back and did more to mine because her video had good direction to how to make it. We both have Blogger, Facebook, Google, Youtube, and Yahoo. I hope when my PLN is complete it will be detailed like hers.

3. Critiques of Smartboard

Why Smartboards Are A Dumb Initiative
Basically, Michael Staton says that Smartboards are the “least cost-effictive way to improve learning”. Smartboards are just a wow factor to amuse the students, according to Michael. He says that Smartboards are a waste of money and make teachers manage lessons that they would rather not manage.

Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards
Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards
Bill Ferriter describes the Smartboard as basically useless and a waste of money. He says that he had one in his classroom but got rid of it because it is useless and did not make teaching any easier.

SMART Board Goodies
Take a look at Amber Coggin’s blog page called, SMART Board Goodies. On her blog she has awesome ideas and assignments that she has come up with for teaching using the Smartboard.

Teachers Love Smartboards

Obviously these teachers love their Smartboards! On this website you will see Smartboard tips, challenges, games, lesson plans, adding animation, and other ideas. Also, you are able to click on a grade or a subject and it gives you creative ideas on making your lesson fun. I enjoyed looking through this site and will be looking back through it again to get ideas for my Smartboard Project topic!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

C4K Summary # 1, 2, 3

For my first C4K, I was assigned to a student named Connor. Connor is from Comox Valley, Vancouver Island and he wants to be a video game designer when he grows. He is in the 6th grade. He has just started blogging and seems like he is really enjoying it. The name of Connor's blog that I commented on was, "Video Game Fest". In his post he talks about some of his favorite video games such as, Jak 2, Jak 3, Meteoroid Prime, and Super Mario Galaxy. Connor talks about how much he loves playing video games and hopes to one day design them! On Connor's blog I asked him to tell me more about these games, because most of them I have not heard of. I told him that my brother and I used to also love video games and we would play Super Mario, also.

For my second C4K, I was assigned to a student named Brandon. Brandon is from Point England School, which is in Auckland, New Zealand. He is a Year 4 student, which means he is in Miss. King’s class. Miss. King’s students have a blog so that they are able to share what they are learning and their projects online for friends and family to see. Students, like Brandon, are posting videos of assignments in their classroom. It seems that the students are enjoying their blog and are really leaning a lot by doing them. Point England School truly seems to be “building a pathway to success”.

Brandon's blog was about Netbook Day. I commented on Brandon's blog and asked him to tell me more about Netbook Day and what Miss. King allows them to do on this day. He is also very good with his blog and seems to enjoy it.

For my third C4K, I was assigned to a student named Turuhira. She is from Point England School in Auckland, New Zealand. Turuhira is a 6 year student and in Room 16. Her teachers name is Mr. Somerville. Students from Mr. Somerville’s class each have a blog. They are posting their work, stories, and even pictures to their blogs. The students seem to enjoy posting blogs, just like students in Miss. King’s class. This class blog is working great with these students. They are growing and learning about technology at such an early age!

Turuhira's blog was a story that she made up about her being a superhero. The name of her blog post was "Superhero Girl". She wrote a story about being a superhero and Volcano Boy as the "bad guy". Her purpose was to help people and her super strength was to make people happy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blog Assignment #5

Eagle Nest Radio & Class Blog
This group of 3rd graders really motivated me to use podcasting in my classroom. They seem to really enjoy their audio about Rome and I am sure they learned a lot in the process. This is such a great idea to do in the classroom because it is so much fun and a great learning experience. It gives the students a chance to work with one another and to do some research on their topic. It was interesting to listen to these students talk about Rome because in our podcasts we, also, talked about Rome. We discussed some facts about Ancient Rome and how to find it on Google Earth.

The Beneļ¬ts of Podcasting in the Classroom
From this video I learned a few things about how important podcasts are in the classroom. Podcasting is useful in the classroom because it helps students interact with one another, while having fun and learning.  Also, it helps to teach students how to upload video and audio to a website, blog, or the computer. It gets students familiar with using technology and with working as a team in the classroom. Podcasting brings technology in the classroom in a fun and different way. It helps to teach students about project-based learning. I have never heard or worked with a podcast before, so this site helped me to better understand what podcasting is. On this website, I found a link for tutorials on how to podcast using GarageBand. Our group chose to use GarageBand for our podcast so this link helped to further the knowledge of how to incorporate GarageBand into our podcast. The link shows you step by step how to use GarageBand.

100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better
Oh wow, this website contains many interesting ways in which the iPod helps you to learn and study. I had no idea there were so many things you could do on an iPod! With just a few clicks and downloads to your iPod you are able to study and learn while on the go. I found Learning Podcasting to be helpful while making our podcast because it gives you tips and step by steps on how to get started. Of course, you do not have to do yours just like that, but tips are always helpful to get you started.

All three of these websites were helpful when preparing our podcasts. They provided many ideas that helped get us started. Also, they provide facts about what podcasting is. If you are like me, and have never even heard of podcasting, then these sites would be especially helpful. They give helpful tips and ideas on how to get your podcast going.  

My Sentence Movie

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blog Assignment #4

1. Don’t teach your kids this stuff. Please?

Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration program, at Iowa State University. He is the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education. He was also a co-creator in the video, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). Dr. McLeod is known as one of the nation’s leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues.
Dr. McLeod’s is stating in his post how technology can be used in negative and bad ways. It is sad to say that people are using technology for the ways that Dr. McLeod mentioned. However, I think that the good outweighs the bad in this case. He is very sarcastic in his post, but I think it is an interesting way in getting the point across. I believe that if children have a proper knowledge of technology and what it is supposed to be used for then it is a wonderful thing. But if children do not have proper knowledge in how to use technology then it can, if fact, be used for bad purposes. This does not mean that technology and computers should not be used just because of the bad things they could be used for. Computers are used for much more good than bad and are worth the risk.  

2. The iSchool initiative (Mobile Learning)

 Wow, talk about a money and time saver! Travis is seriously on to something with the iSchool initiative. He has put a lot of time and thought into how schools, students, and parents could easily save money. He estimated that we could each save around $600. That is a great saving! I was not aware of how much the iPhone could do. I have a few Apps on my Droid, but nothing that compares to these.
Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase 
I would like to think that sometime in the future the idea of the iSchool could possibly happen. I mean, technology is growing at a rapid rate as it is. The iSchool would definitely save a lot of money and time looking for a book or homework you misplaced. With the iSchool everything is just a few clicks away from your iPhone or iTouch. Could something as simple as downloadable Apps onto our phones really start taking the place of books, computers, calculators, calendars, paper, pencils, and more?

3. Lost Generation

This video is probably one of my favorites that we have seen so far. It is awesome that the writer is able to take something so negative and without hope and turn it into something terrific and hopeful. This video is a great example of how something bad can be turned around just by you believing it can be done. No way will I let people tell me how my life will end up. There is hope for anyone to turn their life around if they ever feel like the writer in the first part of the video.
Picture of Eric Whitacre conductingImage via Wikipedia4. Eric Whitarce's Lux Aurumque
This is incredible. As I watched this video my jaw literally dropped because I can not even imagine how this is possible. The participants did not meet each other to practice, nor did they meet Eric Whitacre’s. These people are from all over the world and are able to put something together like this. I can not even begin to  think through the process of all of that. Eric Whitacre’s obviously has a great deal of creativity and a lot of knowledge about technology.
 5. Teaching In the 21st Century                                 
 Teaching in The 21st Century had very good points and questions. The part that stuck out most to me was when entertainment and engagement was being compared. Entertainment is not all there is to teaching. It is not only what teaching is all about. We should be learning about how to engage our students with what is being taught.

Engaging students with better activities, involvement, and questions will have them more motivated to learn. Engagement can also be fun, but it is not all that it has to offer. Teaching students in the 21st Century is about helping them find, solve, understand, and answer the questions. It is about having fun while learning and being motivated to learn and want to figure out answers. Teaching students in the 21st Century takes us, soon to be teachers, trying to figure out different, better, more effective teaching methods and applying them to each student in the classroom.
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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Summary Post C4T #1

C4T #1
I was assigned to read Mrs. Caren Carrillo’s post, “Grading Parents”.

Mrs. Carrillo’s blog post was about a article she read about teachers giving parents grades. Parents were graded to see where they needed improvement in these three areas:
1.A child should be at school on time, prepared to learn after a good night’s sleep, and have eaten a meal.
2.A child should have the homework done and prepared for examinations.
3.There should be regular communications between the parent and teacher.
In her post, she blogs about these three points and her view on each on them. She says she likes holding the parents responsible for the child being late because she was always the child that got in trouble for being late and never understood how that was fair since she could not yet drive. Next, she blogs about her view on parents being graded on their child eating breakfast. She wrote about how she never ate breakfast as a child, but that does not mean her parents were responsible for it, or even bad parents for that matter. She wrote about parents being graded for their children getting a good night sleep, getting their homework done, being prepared for exams and for having regular communication with their child. Also, she wrote about how parents may not have money for these certain things. Does that make them a “bad parent”? Should parents even be graded on these kinds of things?

When I wrote Mrs. Carrillo, I wrote about how some of the points mentioned in her post were relating to my life, as well as, the lives of the children at the Learning Center. First of all, if children are late it does not matter because we do not have punishment for being late. However, I do remember being late as a child and it was usually not my fault because I could not drive. Next, my parents are great supporters and even though Math is not my subject, they tried their best to help me throughout the years. Sadly, Math is not their subject either but they would do everything in their power to get me help. Does that make them a “bad parent” because they were sometimes unable to figure out the math problem? One last point I mentioned was the lack of parents helping with homework or school work at home with their child. Like I said before, even if Math was not my parents subject they still sat at the table for hours on end with me trying to figure them out. But, not all parents take that time out with their child to go over what they learned in school that day. It reflects through the child when a parent does or does not help them learn. Sometimes just learning it at school may not be enough and the child may need the parent’s help too. Our four year old teacher gives her class homework and hopes that the parents will only take a little time out to help their child. The difference is obvious in how many children got help the night before and how many did not. I enjoyed reading this post. It has a lot of truth behind each point.

C4T #2
I was assigned to read Mrs. Caren Carrillo’s post, “A Teachers Frightening Power”.

Mrs. Carrillo’s blog post was about the power that teachers have over how students feel about school. She wrote about a class that she took with a teacher that made her feel like her opinions did not matter. Mrs. Carrillo says that she is thinker and a questioner. She says “her mind if often working faster than her mouth.” In this post she wrote about how the teacher humiliates her, and others, for the information they put forth in the class. Her teacher makes her come home from the class making her feel defeated and like feel should not be allowed to ask questions or voice her thoughts. She hopes that she has never made a student feel this way in her class and it is now something she works hard at to make sure no student will feel this way in her class.

In my post to Mrs. Carrillo, I wrote about how I agree that a teacher has the power over how their students feel about the class. It is sad to say that I have not taken a class before just because I have heard horror stories of the teacher which made me not take the class. We have all been in a class where the teacher makes you feel like your thoughts are not needed and that he or she can only voice their own opinions. Being able to ask questions, voice your opinions, and tell your thoughts are ways of learning and no one should take that away, especially not the teacher. A teacher does have all the power in “making the class” or breaking the class” for their students. This post made me think. No one likes to feel humiliated or like their thoughts do not matter, so it makes me want to strive to not be that teacher who “breaks” the class for their students.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blog Assignment #3

A mathematics lecture, apparently about linear...Image via Wikipedia
1. A Vision of Students Today
A Vision of Students Today is, indeed, how would view my college experience so far. Although this video is short and very simple, it shows the lack of technology used. It also shows how things should be, but are not changing over time. Students sit in desk, teachers lecture and it is the same methods year to year. We are students working to build a better future. What are we doing to get there?
Students buy books that are never even opened. That is such a big deal to me, not only because it is a waste of money, but what does that teach us? We buy books in hopes that we are at least going to open them. Our books should be broken into by the end of the year. Almost all classrooms still have chalkboards and still use them. Even though, our classrooms had Smart Boards they were never used at my school. We are the future. Therefore, we should be working and striving to make changes.

2. It's Not about the Technology
Mrs. Hines makes some very interesting points in her post “It’s Not about the Technology.” If teachers do not know much about the new technology, then, “It’s not about the Technology” has truth. Teachers must know something about the technology before they try to use it when teaching. We have all heard teachers say this, “I don’t know why these kids don’t get it. I’ve taught it a hundred times.” Like Mrs. Hines said, you may have taught it a hundred times, but if the student does not understand then it does not matter how many times you teach it.
Learning new and different ways that will help a student understand is a great way to avoid “teaching it a hundred times.” Because more than likely you are teaching it a hundred times, and each time you are teaching it the same way which leaves you right where you started. Being able to have numerous ways of teaching one thing is something that I will have to work on because I think that it would make things flow better in the classroom. Different children learn in different ways so different methods have to be used.  

3. Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
I would have to say my answer to this question is no. No, it is not okay to be technologically illiterate in a classroom. To me, teaching requires you to have knowledge of the technology around you. While technology is rapidly growing, the classroom is just the place for it to be alive. Students are certainly aware of technology so it is a good idea that the teachers are too.
Like Mr. Fisch said in his post, technology is especially growing with communication. Communication is essential when teaching because you must be able to communicate well with your students, other teachers, as well as, with parents.  There are so many more ways of teaching through technology. It makes learning more fun for the students and the teachers. Teachers who are passionate about doing everything they can to reach their students level, should be learning all about technology to help their students succeed! 

4. Gary Hayes Social Media Count
It is incredible to look at the speed of each of the counts on this website. Not only is the speed mind blowing but the number of people that are doing this is just insane. It is hard to think about how to keep up with technology. That is almost impossible. I will have to find ways to try and keep up with technology and how fast things are going on. Luckily, this class seems like it will be such good help with that!

5. Technology in the Classroom
This video helps to show just how useful technology really is in the classroom. It shows great examples of how technology can be used. Brooke, also, states that it is just a lot of fun to use. That is so true! “Technology has tremendous power to help students obtain, organize, manipulate, and display information.”