Saturday, June 30, 2012

Project #3 C4T#3

Picking Up Strangers
For my C4T this time around I will be following Sylvia's blog.
In her second to most recent post,Picking Up Strangers, Sylvia was telling a story about how her mother took the time and went out of her way to help a stranger in the airport. The stranger was a little girl from India who would have been stranded in the airport due to layovers had Sylvia's mother not taken her in to stay at a hotel room with her because she had been one of the only one's to receive a voucher to do so. The best part of the story was that Sylvia's mother then received an email thanking her for helping her daughter.
This post really captured my attention because it is nice to see a real life event that is "non-educational" being written about on an educator's blog. But in a sense, this post is very educational. As I explained to Sylvia in my comment, I appreciated the fact that her mother had not so immersed herself into the technological world that she was too "plugged in" to notice the little girl. I commented, "Because of this God was able to move her heart into helping that little girl. What an affirmation for her to receive that letter from the girl’s mother. I am a big believer in the every day miracles that take place. God tells us he loves us through the people we encounter and the situations we are placed in. Your mother’s “I love you” came from that mother of the girl she helped." This post made my day and taught me a lesson. I hope it did the same for you. Let us all be mindful as we advance as technological people that we don't forget to keep a balance and be on the lookout for God's "I love you"s!

iPads in Art

an art graphic
In her latest blog post,iPads in Art, Sylvia posted about how her co-worker Shana (the art teacher) incorporated technology into art through the use of the iPad to do self-portraits in a program called brushes. She shared a link to Shana's blog where she keeps posts on her progress in incorporating technology into art. She also pasted an exert from Shana's blog on her personal reflection from her first lesson on using the iPad in art.

I told Sylvia that I found it very interesting that the iPad could be used to teach an art lesson. I always thought of art as hands on mediums only, but as I read in Shana's blog post, apparently this subject can be technologically enhanced as well. I was curious as to how the lesson went so I appreciated the way that Sylvia shared Shana's personal reflection on her own blog.

Project #14 Smart Board

I had a blast with my groupies: Lindsay Parvin, Shaniqua Washington, and Lacey Brothers. Special thanks to my Momma for joining us to film it in her classroom.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Book Trailer Project #12

I just realized I never embedded my book trailer into my blog yesterday. brain really is completely gone. Must get some sleep...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

PLN Progress Report #1

circle of computer people around the word you

I do not have much to report for my PLN progress report #1. So far I have accomplished the following:

Starting a PLN

1. Chosen my PLN to be about people I can go to for learning to use technology in the classroom as well as tools to accomplish my goal of creating a more technological learning environment.
I have chosen this topic because it is something I am unfamiliar with but see the necessity for in a 21st classroom environment.
2. I have watched the following videosWelcome to my PLE!,and Building Your Own PLN by Steven Anderson.
I wasn't sure what a PLN was and by watching those videos I have a better understanding of the simplicity and meaning behind having a PLN.
3. I have read Personal Learning Networks are Virtual Lockers For Kids and browsed Tim Wllhellmus's livebinder.

Creating My PLN

1. Delicious
By doing this I have already discovered articles relating to my very concern: How to effectively bring technology into a classroom environment
2. twitter
I will use this to find people who are posting links, making comments, and asking questions about technology in the classroom.

People (so far)
1. Dean Shareski
2. Dorothy Burt
3. Mrs. Yollis

I will spend the next few weeks gathering resources on my own to complete the rest of my PLN for the sake of this class. I will continue after this class, however, to develop my PLN with updated lists of resources for me to use in my future technological savvy classroom.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blog Post #8

Wordle: How we dream

How We Dream
I just finished listening to Dr. Richard E. Miller's presentation titled This is How We Dream. I am fascinated by the use of technology for the presentation. Had I not already seen a previous presentation in class discussing the same idea about the changes being made in the areas of reading and writing and the way we can present ideas within a document, I might have thought it was just a dream.

In his presentation Dr. Miller discusses the changes that our society has undergone in the areas of research, composing, and publishing. He speaks about the incremental changes that have taken place. First, he expounds on the change in how we research. When researching a topic we no longer have to use the library, for example, but can research within our own homes using the internet. We are no longer composing the information with pencil and paper, but mainly our laptops; the same tool we are using to do our research on.

Second, he speaks about our abilities to compose not only with text, but now with images and video. Our research becomes part of the presentation in a whole new way. Also, no longer is there a wait time for the composer's information to get published before the ideas are released to the general public. Once the composer publishes the work it is out there on the internet instantaneously.
In order for this new form of research and composition to work fluently, Dr. Miller also stresses the importance of the idea of sharing. He says, "Ideas don’t belong to us individually, but they belong to us as a culture and that we as educators must be in the business of sharing ideas freely." Dr. Miller understands the simple value of sharing even as it pertains to the process of research, composing, and publishing.

Dr. Miller also discusses the fundamental change that has taken place in connection with the incremental changes in research,composition, and publishing. The finished product contains more than ideas in text form; its about writing to convey ideas in a detailed way that even includes audio. This makes for a more engaging and entertaining presentation that conveys the ideas in a more realistic way. This new form of composition and publishing allows for ideas to be quickly pushed into the culture. For example, when Dr. Miller published his presentation on YouTube, within 3 months it received 9,000 views, was embedded in blogs, and had started many discussions.

This use of technology is a bit intimidating for me. As I look forward to future planning, researching,and writing for my 21st century classroom I am overwhelmed by the possibilities. As I continue to work on my PLN, I will keep Dr. Miller's presentation in mind.

Carly's Post
I just realized that I missed the whole rest of blog post #8's assignment and would probably be in my happy little I did my blog post ahead of time world had I not been talking to one of my classmates in the lab yesterday. She mentioned how long the assignment had taken her and referred to Carly's Blog Post #12 and I was really confused because I hadn't done anything or read anything about this blog post. Sure enough, I missed it! So from now on I'm printing my assignments to complete them.

So you can imagine my surprise when I started reading Carly's blog post. I must admit. I did panic. I thought that we had to actually do the activity that Carly came up with. Now, don't get me wrong; it is a great assignment! But not one I want to be completing in less then 12 hours considering the thought that I like to put into my projects and other assignments. I tried to view Carly's playlist but unfortunately the video was no longer functional. So instead I watched and clicked the variety of links she had available in the order that they were written. She did a really great job using media to enhance her blog post. The idea was to convey to the reader what her teaching philosophy is. After reading her post I have gathered that Carly strives to create an atmosphere where her students are encouraged to: be inspired, think differently, be creative, and have fun.
Mr. Miller would be proud of the way that Carly used videos to convey her thoughts on her own teaching philosophy. By doing so my attention was kept, and I was able to more concretely grasp what her teaching philosophy was.

EDM 310 is Different
I really enjoyed watching the two videos EDM for Dummies and The Chipper Series. I had watched them at the beginning of the year, but after experiencing EDM 310 for myself for the past few weeks, I am able to appreciate them more. Both videos convey the importance of stepping outside of yourself and your own way of thinking and trying something new.
In the video EDM for Dummies Jennifer and Jamie both learned that by stepping back, taking a deep breath, and jumping out of their comfort zone they were able to explore new things and appreciate them. When they first began this class they were overwhelmed and felt crazy. But once they took the time to open themselves up to the new ideas they were learning in Dr. Strange's class they realized what a difference the information they learned in the class made in their lives.
In the presentation Chipper, Chipper also came to the same conclusions. At first, Chipper thought she could run away from the concepts that Dr. Strange was trying to teach her in her EDM 310 class. He was trying to teach her life skills such as meeting deadlines so unfortunately running away didn't work for Chipper. The more she tried to explore other things to avoid changing her way of thinking the more she failed. Eventually, Chipper had a change of heart and returned to get her Masters in Education. She realized that she couldn't continue to run from Dr. Strange and his life skills lessons.

Now that I have watched these videos again I can feel my creativity start to flow! It makes me want to make a movie playing off of a theme or certain message I would want to deliver to students taking this course. I could think of a few videos against this class I would like to make. For example, I would make one depicting technology being the center of our lives and everything else revolving around it. Or possibly a video about an EDM 310 Student who goes on a quest in search of more time to add hours to the day n order to complete an assignment. But since Dr. Strange stresses us to stay positive in this class,how about a video that depicts the lab assistants as our fairy God mothers? They would flutter around from screen to screen on our computers with their magic wands and diverse personalities and help us complete our many assignments. Well, my imagination is interfering with my non-managed time that is ticking away so I must move on.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
It was hard going from the fun videos to the more serious video. I have mixed feelings about the information that was presented in this video. I agree that the world is changing and that we has future educators are being called upon to prepare our students in a way that we were never prepared when we were young. I agree that "its about relationship, community..." as one person said in the video. I also agree that our classrooms are lacking a sense of community. I do not like the statement made that, "Every turned off device is potentially turned off child." It is sad to me that we think that technology is the only way to connecting with the next generation of children. It shouldn't be this way. God did not design us to be this way, in my opinion. The reality is that as we continue to push technology to be the center of our lives, the center of our classrooms, and the center of our relationships that our relationships are what will suffer in the end. Yes, technology aids in connecting people with people. But as one person stated on the video, "Technology has created a world...." In the minds of some people I fear that technology is their world. They no longer are able to relate to people outside of this world because they are not able to keep a balance between that world and the real world. Yes, we need to meet the needs of our students. I just hate to see our society and now our schools get sucked into being "plugged in" all the time and becoming dependent on technology to function both within the classroom and outside of it.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0
I was definitely not expecting anything like this! Now this is AWESOME. I just visited Justin Cometti's Blog and discovered Web 2.0.

1.I just located a site called Edmodo. It could be Facebook's long lost cousin it looks so similar to it. There are many neat features using this program. As a teacher with an account I can add my students in my classroom as a group. Once they are added I am able to post and keep track of their grades. I can also post assignments for them to complete. One of my favorite features is the calendar I can update with important test dates and other class related events. I would even use this to post birthdays. Also, when planning my lessons I can upload links to videos and other media as well as other notes, quizzes, and polls my students will be completing following the lesson.

2.There is a neat tool called Animoto This tool allows you to create a presentation using photos, videos, words, and music. To check out prices click here I was unable to find the nice deal they have for students and teachers but my fellow groupie Lindsay located a quote off the website: "Educators can apply for a free Animoto Plus account for use in the classroom...."

3. Comic Strip

4. Presenting my presentation by PhotoPeach!

This was my first time using this tool and it took me 10 minutes max to create this presentation from start to finish. It was an enjoyable trial run and I hope you enjoy the presentation!

5. I found a tool to create a poll at anytime and anywhere using Poll Everywhere

Friday, June 22, 2012

Project #3 C4T

Embedding a 1:1 Programme
After viewing my second teacher's blog post, Embedding a 1:1 Programme, I realize just how technologically illiterate I actually am. This teacher is writing about a program titled 1:1 which I am familiar about. But basically, it would appear that the Manaiakalani schools are becoming more and more technologically sound and children in years 5-13 (I guess that is the equivalent of a grade in England) are using netbooks as the basic learning tool for every child. To display the information, the teacher embedded a graphic to show the information of the years they have been using the program for the students and the number of years the teachers have used the program. In other words, some teachers are in their second year with students who are just starting out. This teacher notes, however, that it will be a harder adjustment to new hires in 2013 who will be in their first year of this program working with students who are on their third year of experience with this program.

This post portrays my concerns exactly. Teachers need to be trained and familiar with what they will be required to be using as their main teaching tool within their classroom before it can be used effectively. So this continual change to the latest and greatest technology will have to be accompanied with the greatest time and effort for each individual teacher. Paper, pens, textbooks are common language by the time a person begins their teaching career. Wiki spaces, twitter, iMovie, etc are not so common. First, teachers must learn a whole new language. Then, we can see the positive changes in the classroom.

Managing the Learning Environment
I realized after reading my teacher's blog post Managing the Learning Environment that this teacher and I seem to think very similarly. She is very organized in her thoughts and to the point in her writing. (I could use some tips on how to write concisely, however.) In this post she wrote about how the teachers at their school were trying to come up with a way to organize their learning environments in the digital world. She noted as the year progressed teachers minds began to converge as teachers were sharing ideas along with observations they were making within the classroom in an organized way that made it much easier in the environment she is in. She included links to four different videos. Each video is a different presentation; all presentations cover the different areas of instruction.

comic about commenting on blogsOne key word I noticed is the word share. The way I view this post: she is expressing in layman's terms the value of organizing in the digital world that is still in a way that makes sharing ideas possible at the click of a button.

I commented on the fact that her blog was organized and easily understood. Very simple--even for someone like me! I liked the way she included presentations to watch so that I could understand what kind of learning environment she was working with and talking about.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blog Post #7

The Networked-Student
I'm on a roll and just finished watching Wendy Drexler's movie, The Networked-student. I love the simplicity of the presentation with the hand-drawn images.
The movie is based on a 21st century student who is studying American Psychology. Unlike the learning of today, this student is being taught in a setting where he attends class three days a week, two days online,and doesn't use a textbook. His teacher teaches using the theory of connectivism which stresses that "learning occurs as part of a social network with diverse connections and ties," which is made possible by the use of technology. This student uses technology resources such as google scholar, social bookmarking,and blogging to research information and form his own opinions. This enables him to create and post to his own blog so that others can see it and share in the information with him.
This 21st century student uses other technological devices as well such as his Mp3 player to listen to music and podcasts. Through this device he has access to information he can use in his research. He can download lectures. There were other forms of technology that Wendy mentions the 21st century student uses, all of which help him to learn the information which can later be shared with his peers.
Wendy also addresses the question, "Why does he even need a teacher?" The teacher helps him build this network. She is there to offer guidance, ask the right question, determine which information is factual or opinion-based, and helps him organize the information located using his PLN (personal learning network). All of this is to help him be able to navigate the technology effectively and to have a plethora of resources available to him in the future.
men on computer board
As mentioned in my previous posts, I do not think that I am 100% ready to follow this theory of connectivism and teach accordingly. I like the idea of online sharing, and I'm sure it will come in handy. On the other hand, if people are constantly online learning and doing things online in their little online world, then what is going on in the real world? Who has time to communicate with one another if they are busy in their own little world?

Seventh Grader's PLN
I just realized that I forgot to watch the seventh grade student's video presentation on her PLE. Now that I have watched it, I realize that the world of technology based instruction is not as far a distant of a plan as I was thinking. Given the proper education of the educators and the right amount of funding, I could see that our classrooms even in Mobile, AL might be going cyber spaced.
After watching this video I feel far behind. Gone are the days of PowerPoint and the excitement of a smart board. Technology no longer is cool if it stops there. Now you have to have a whole network of sites on the internet and a various amount of tools available through the latest and greatest computers. I realize that if our schools do go to a strictly technology based instruction I would have to go to college all over again just to learn how to teach.
If given the choice between a technology enhanced classroom and a technology based classroom I would still choose the technology enhanced. I think part of the reason why I feel this way is because a technology based classroom is unfamiliar territory for me. But also, I have this fear that we will eventually be expected to function like robots with our lives revolving strictly around technology. Either way, you can just call me old school.
Unfortunately (no excuses given) I have been unable to begin my PLN but plan to in the next 24 hours. I don't even know where to begin. So unfortunately I do not have a comparison between her PLE and my PLN except for one: Mine is non-existent. Her's looks great!

Thomas Squarez
After watching the YouTube video aboutThomas Suarez, the twelve year old boy who created an app for is iPhone, I learned a couple of things.
1. I didn't realize a twelve year old boy had the ability to give such an organized, adult-like presentation.
2. I also didn't realize that the iPhone came with the software that it did that you could design your own app.
3. I didn't realize that you could put an app you created up for sale in the app store.
I am curious to how much profit he is able to make doing what he has done. Also, I recognize that God gifted him with the gifts of perseverance and creativity along with the gift of an environment to foster his gifts. What an amazing testimony to what our youth can do when given the opportunity and the tools necessary.
After watching this video I realize why some people who are pushing for technology based instruction are concerned that children in the 21st century will become bored if we continue to teach the way we have in the past. Still I do have my concerns about our society starting younger and younger with technology. It becomes their world. Although this may seem like its not a big deal to most of you technological literate people, it does concern me. I guess, though, an educator has got to do what an educator has got to do, right?
This ties in with the other two presentations I had to watch in order to complete this particular blog post assignment. All three of these presentations are about the way learning has been redefined in the 21st century Also all three presentations stress the importance of embracing the progress we have made in the areas of technology and using the tools we have developed to get what we need to get done.

Blog Post #6

I just finished watching Randy Pausch's last lecture. At first I was dreading finding time to watch an hour presentation, but now that I have finished watching it I am glad that I took the time.

There were many things that Mr. Pausch discussed in this lengthy but entertaining video. He set the scene by starting off with a famous quote: "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." This quote alone speaks volumes. Mr. Pausch was speaking from the perspective of someone who was dying from cancer and choosing to live his remaining days in a positive manner. Coming from a viewer with a Christian perspective, I believe that God created each and every one of us uniquely for a purpose. We are who we are and there isn't anything we can do about it. Since we are also given a free will, it is up to us to determine how to live our lives according to how we were created.

Mr. Pausch continued in his lecture addressing the fact that every one of us has childhood dreams. He spoke about his different childhood dreams. There were 6; being in zero gravity,playing for the NFL, authoring an article in the World Book Encyclopedia,being Captain Kirk, winning big stuffed animals, and being an imagineer. Throughout his lifetime he managed to meet (in some way or another) each one of those dreams. As he expounded on each dream and how it was met in a certain way he shared different lessons he learned along the way. For example, when building up to this dream of becoming a player for the NFL he learned from one of his elder coaches, "When you’re screwing up and no one's saying anything to you anymore that means they gave up." This statement speaks truth beyond value.

As I listened to Mr. Pausch speak about recognizing his dreams and seeking to fullfill them I realized that he expressed the value of many different qualities: perseverance, dedication, positive attitude, and vision. Not all of his dreams came true right away. A lot of the times he hit some brick walls. He spoke about these brick walls in his lecture saying,"Brick walls are there for a reason: not to keep us out but to give us a chance to show how badly we want something." Because of his vision, perseverance, dedication and positive attitude he was able to meet the goals he set forth and climb over the brick walls.

Another lesson I learned from watching this video is "that there are two ways of saying 'I don't know'." Mr. Pausch experienced this and shared his thoughts about this experience in this last lecture. He encountered two key figures in his life that both told him they didn't know but in two differnt ways. The first way was said with anger and frustration, closed to the possibility of finding out due to possible embarrassment for not knowing. The second way is to honestly say you don't know, but be open to finding out more information; a way that expresses interest in learning rather that being closed to finding out.

Mr. Pausch shared his enthusiasm for "enabling the dreams of others". As a professor he learned the value of being able to help others in this way. Yes, it is pretty awesome to have your own dreams and achieve them, but to foster an environment that allows others the freedom of attaining theirs is noteworthy. He mentioned that the best gift a teacher can give is the gift of self-reflection. I can also apply this value of self-reflection to my walk of faith. I find that the more time I am able to spend reflecting on my actions--what I say and what I do--the better person I become. Why? Because it is in self-reflection that we see where we are and can measure it up to what we want to be and make the decision to change or remain stagnant.

Finally Mr. Pausch addresses his lessons learned while achieving his dreams and enabling others to follow theirs. The following lessons are those he mentioned.
1. Parents and other mentors are important.
2. Helping others is important.
3. Allow room for creativity.
4. Tell the truth.
5. Show gratitude.
6. Don't complain and just work harder.
7. Find the best in everybody.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Blog post #5

Photo of the Ischool breakdownThe iSchool Initiative

I enjoyed watching Travis Allen's presentations,The iSchool Initiative (Mobile Learning) and Zeitgeist Young Mind's Entry, on his unique idea about the iSchool. The iSchool is an initiative for Mobile Learning using technology already available to students in today's technological age--the itouch.

In the video Mr. Allen outlines the ways that the iSchool would be beneficial. In regards to financials he stressed the money we would be saving by eliminating books, paper, copy machines, and number 2 pencils. His next point listed the many apps already available on the itouch--the device that the ischool initiative is centered around. These apps include, but are not limited to: email, chemical touch, a digital copy of our US constitution,world map, USA presidents, Formulae, recorder, and notes taker. The idea is to also use interactive teacher and student applications that store and track assignments, tests and grades. Currently there is a student lead group of corporations, business professionals, and Apple employees coming together to revolutionize education through this idea of Mobile learning and the iSchool.

I can't help but think that the idea of the iSchool is a bit much and can't help but feel a little skeptical about the idea coming to fruition. It's a neat idea in theory, but I still believe that technology should enhance a school not become the school itself. Something just seems off to me about that idea.

Lux Aurumque

I enjoyed watching Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir found in Jennifer Chamber's blog post. I found it interesting that the internet was used in this manner--to create a choir that was virtual! It was not only creative, but very unique and artistic. It reminded me of watching a movie set in the distant future. Incredible!

Photo of bridge across Mississippi RiverTeaching in the 21st Century
I was really looking forward to viewing Kevin Roberts' presentation about the 21st century classroom. However, I have been on vacation for the past 5 days without the ability to get on the internet and have been unable to get the video presentation to work properly using the free wifi service available at the Welcome Center in Vicksburg, MS. So at the insistence of my exhausted husband, a cranky 6 month old, and challenging 3 year old I have chosen to just move on and attach an incredible photo taken here by me instead.

(The following was added this week after resting up from our vacation and being able to view the presentation with the internet at my house)

I was finally able to watch Mr. Kevin Roberts' Teaching in the 21st Century; a presentation that I found both entertaining and engaging. After viewing I am looking forward to creating a pretzi of my own. (Anyone else think pretzel?)
If I were to sum up the main idea of Mr. Robert's presentation I would say that the message he was trying to convey to the viewer is that in order to be an effective educator in the 21st century, we as educators will have to change the way we think students should be taught. In his presentation he expressed that the teacher is no longer the source of information. Students are able to receive information at the click of a button. Because of the internet, students are able to access information through social networking, google, and wikipedia, just to list a few examples found in the presentation. In order to be an effective 21st century teacher who is engaging (not necessarily entertaining) we must begin to think like a 21st century learner and teach the skills needed to participate in this technological world.
I think that I am still fighting this whole notion that because students have access to information through the use of technology, they no longer need to be receiving information from teachers. I don't think I will ever agree with this concept. Yes, teachers should not only be lecturing and passing on information; they should be teaching students the skills through modeling and hands-on application. However, there is something to be said about learning information from another person as opposed to learning in all through the use of technology. I don't know if its because I have a different learning style or because I am brain washed by my many years of what Dr. Strange would call "burp back education", but I learn best when I am learning it in the presence of another human being. I wonder if there is a learning style called, "relational learner," because that is me through and through. I'm sure there are students who learn better the way that this class is opening up my eyes to learning. Me, on the other hand? I can't pick up a manual and teach myself how to do something, and I definitely am having a hard time with only teaching students to learn using technology. Maybe I should just go back to hiding under a rock...after I make my cool pretzi presentation.
If this is how it is going to be teaching in the next ten years then of course I'll hop on board and do what I need to do. Hey, I might even enjoy it! It will definitely encourage me to be more of a life long learner because I will constantly be challenged to learn more so that I can use it effectively in my classroom. As Mr. Robert's said in his video: "It starts with you."

The Flipped Classroom
Katie Gimbar's presentation on Why I Flipped My Classroom portrayed the Flipped Classroom as a simple and easy to do change that can make a huge difference in meeting the needs of all students in a basic classroom.
According to Katie, the reason why she decided to flip her classroom is because she realized after 5 years of teaching middle school math that 90% of her time spent in the classroom was lecturing and only 10% of her classroom instructional time was application of what the students had learned through the lecture. She also realized that this lecturing technique was only meeting the needs of the middle level students in her class. The lower level students were being left behind because they needed more help and the higher level students were also being left behind because they were bored and ready to move on.
The Flipped Classroom, according to Dr. McCammon, is a way to combat an inefficient, non-engaging lecturing classroom by allowing the students to watch a series of presentations at home that were created by their teachers. This allows students to work at the pace that is right for their learning abilities. This way the actual class time is spent with the teacher being able to work with the students in applying the concept learned previously at home.
I think that the flipped classroom is a very original and interesting concept that I would be open to trying in the future if it met the needs of my students. I can see how watching and learning from a video could be an effective tool for late elementary school through high school students. However, in regards to being an effective tool for a K-3 student I would have to say that I do not think it would accomplish its purpose.

That took forever. Time to drive the four more hours to Mobile, AL!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Blog post #4

I found Ms. Tolisano's blog posts about podcasting to be interesting. For example, in her blog post We Podcasted Today! she wrote about her experience of podcasting with her second graders. She described that through podcasting her students practiced many skills! Some of these skills mentioned were collaboration, writing, speaking, technology, and oral fluency. She used this blog post as a reflective tool to note her observations of her students. For examploe, she noted that while participating in the activity, some student worked better with others than others. This would be an example of an observation that would encourage her to want to build collaborative skills among her students.

boy sleeping
In another post,Producing a podcast, Ms. Tolisano spoke about preparing, planning, and creating a podcast. She listed the instructions in seven parts; the first part being "decide what theme or purpose" and the last being "outro" where you would list the credits. Because I am unfamiliar with the terms of podcasting and the ins and outs of creating a podcast, I feel overwhelmed. I'm going to revisit this information tomorrow with a fresh perspective and when I have an opportunity to complete the practice in the computer lab.

Decided to stay up and finish this blog....
After watching Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom by Joe Dale, I feel like I am slowly catching on to what podcasting is and is intended to be used for in a classroom setting. According to Joe in his outlined presentation on podcasting in the classroom, there are many benefits to podcasting in this setting. For example, because students in the classrooms now belong to the group called "Milenials" they require technology to keep them both active and engaged in learning. Using podcasts allows for "differentiated and project based learning." Podcasting is also beneficial in the classroom because, "It can offer distant learning for absent students. Finally by recording a podcast in the classroom, parents are able to hear what their kids are doing in the classroom.

I think after reading this information and listening to the presentation by Joe Dale that podcasts can be a very effective form of teaching this new generation of children. My favorite idea about podcasting is the use of this tool for reading aloud to students.

Now I'm really off to bed!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blog Post # 3

Peer Editing
Well, I just peer edited my first peer. I have to say that thanks to Paige Ellis' blog post along with the other presentations discussed below, it wasn't that bad.
The video What is Peer Editing introduced me to what peer editing was along with how to do it. It explained that there are three important rules to remember when peer editing. One, it is important to stay positive. Two, it is important to be specific about what you are correcting. Finally, it is important to complete all three steps as listed in the presentation. The three steps are: compliments, suggestions, and corrections. The presentation went into specifics about what to look for when complimenting, suggesting, and correcting your peers work. I found this presentation to be very basic. Just what I needed to familiarize me with the process of peer editing!

The second presentation Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial gave a deeper look into how to peer edit. Like the previous presentation What is Peer Editing, this presentation provided me the three rules to follow when peer editing along with the three steps. These were described in great detail. Unlike the first presentation, however, the second presentation was non audio so visually I could read all of the steps described orally in the first presentation. Also, this second presentation Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorialprovided me as the learner with examples of paragraphs that I could practice peer editing using the specific steps outlined in the presentation.

The third presentation, Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes presented the same concept in a humorous way. This video filmed elementary students using the process of peer editing. The kick, however, was that the students on the video peer edited in an incorrect way, playing their role as a "Mean Margaret" or a "Picky Patty." After watching the other two presentations that explained how to peer edit, it was fun to watch and made me laugh quite a bit.

After watching all three presentations, I think that peer editing is an easy, useful tool that could be used by my students to teach them the skill of constructive criticism. Also, I think peer editing will encourage them to look for their own mistakes in their writing as to catch them before their peers do. Before expecting my students to use this skill I would present the skill to them using both the second presentation Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial and the third presentation Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes and/or another presentation of that nature.

Adaptive Technologies

For the most part, the advancement of technology has improved the way our society functions in many ways. When added into a classroom it can instantly change the learning environment to one that is interactive and engaging. This is especially noted in Technology in Special Education, a short video created by a teacher named Lacy. In the video Lacey films her Special Education students that she is working with. One of the students, Corbin, is a student who used to have to go out into the hallway during independent reading time in order for someone else to read him his book. Now through the use of an Ipod Touch and audio book, Corbin is able to remain in the classroom with his peers. Kris, another one of her students is unable to communicate in words. He typed her a message on his laptop. It read, "I like using my computer because it helps me talk." In Lacy's classroom technology facilitated student participation and helped build relationships by connecting Lacy and her students in a whole new way. She says that she wants her students to see the "value of technology" and to "transfer those skills into their work experiences".
I enjoyed viewing this presentation. I am encouraged to continue on in this class learning new skills so that I can one day employ these skills into my own teaching experience. Some of the ways that I would like to use technology in my future classroom, especially for students with special needs, is by the use of a SmartBoard that is interactive or the use of an Ipad touch and headphones for those students who struggle like Corbin in Lacy's class. I recognize that not all students in a class learn the same way. I understand the need for technology to enhance a lesson and will strive to incorporate it accordingly.

After watching the video How the iPad works with Academics for autism, I decided to check out the Apple Store and see what kind of apps could be used in my future classroom for a student with special needs. My little girl loves elephants so I clicked on a game called alphabytes because it had a picture of an elephant next to it. This app explores the 26 letters of the alphabet along with writing, spelling, and memorization. It allows children to learn the alphabet with fully animated interactions. In the area of writing it allows kids to trace both upper and lower case letters with their finger. Children are also challenged to associate letters with words or visuals.
I could use this app in a kindergarten classroom for students who are struggling to learn their letters of the alphabet, or struggling to write them correctly. This is a visually appealing and interactive approach that would be fun for the children to use to learn.

Vicki Davis's video Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts was a video presenting technology as a way to transform the classroom from teacher focused to students learning from each other. Vickie believes that in classrooms in which only pen and paper is used, only a certain amount of students will succeed. She believes in "customizing the curriculum" through the use of technology. She wants her students to "learn how to learn," work collaboratively, and to feel comfortable using all forms of technology available. She fosters this through the use of blogs, wikis, and new vocabulary in which she encourages the students to google the meaning of the vocabulary she is using.
a stack of books with a graduation cap
I agree with Vickie that our instruction within the classroom needs to be enhanced through the use of technology. I do want my students to be able to discover things on their own and become independent learners. The amount of independence my students will be able to have is dependent on their age.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Project #3 C4T

After reviewing Mr. Dean Shareski's blog post "Great Moments in EdTech History", I realize that I am not technologically literate. In his post, Mr. Shareski was reminiscing on the different forms of technology he used in the past two decades that led up to his ability to use technology proficiently today. Among the forms of technology mentioned, the digital camera, the blog, wiki, skype chat, and podcasting stood out in my mind because I am able to relate to them since I am familiar with them. However, FTP, RSS, and Live Streaming are new to me.

In my comment to Mr. Shareski, I explained that I was very ignorant when it came to leaving a comment on an individual's blog. It is a foreign concept for me to do what I would call "eavesdrop" in on a conversation and then add my two cents--what he would call "blogging." I also noted that considering I am an individual who is in my mid-twenties, I should technically know more when it comes to technology then him because of my age. However, I feel very ignorant when it comes to technology and almost ashamed to attempt to comment on it.

After reviewing Mr. Dean Shareski's blog post How to Make Better Teachers Part 2 I am reminded of the importance of self-reflection. Mr. Shareski attended a conference in which he connected with a woman named Heather who was sharing with him her perspective on the importance of self-reflection through recording yourself. Mr. Shareski shared this view and was reflecting in his post the value of taking the time to record yourself and how you can use that to grow as an educator.

In my response to Mr. Shareski I mentioned that I agree on the importance of self-reflection. I commented that I felt that if people would take the time to reflect on their words and actions that it would allow for positive personal growth. Likewise if educators took the time to record themselves teaching, they could learn and grow professionally by watching themselves from the perspective of their students.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Blog Post #2

No, I didn't know that!

After viewing Dr. Strange's version of Did You Know? 3.0-A John Strange 2012 version, I am left with a dizzying feeling. Did I know that technology was advancing at such an exponential rate and that China and India are out to kick our tails? No, I would say that I have chosen to hide under a rock for the past 10 years taking my simple computer and my "dumb phone" with me. However, I do recognize that the advancing technology does have an effect on our society and my role as an educator. I can not continue to hide from this, nor do I plan to; I agree that as society continues to advance in a technological sense, I as an educator in order to "keep up with the Joneses" (Joneses for the sake of this blog post being India and China)must continue my studies in this area and challenge myself to learn and apply new technology in my lessons. I get that. I am a little bit excited, I admit. It is the reason why out of the few classes offered this summer I chose to take EDM310 again to renew my certification.

(Side note: Dr. Strange, I am very disappointed to find out that we will not be working with Excel to the extent that we did in 2006 as I am in desperate need of knocking out my student loan and setting up a variety of spreadsheets for my new job as CCD director. Tweeting, blogging,and You tube videos are just not going to cut it for help in those areas. Now, Google Docs? You may be on to something!)

On the other hand, I have a hard time embracing this new technological age completely even if it means that we aren't keeping up with the rest of the world. I tend to view things through a different pair of eyes then the secular thinking world at times. I tend to gravitate more towards the relational aspect of our lives as compared to how well we are advancing as a society in the realm of technology. Relationally, I believe we are falling behind.

I would agree to some extent that technology has connected people in a way that is beneficial and pretty awesome for a lack of a more educated response. We can "talk" to people who are hundreds of miles away not only via an e-mail, but through Skype--which allows us to see the person as if we were actually there. Also, I'll be the first to admit that the amount of information I can find in the short amount of time that I have through the use of Google is incredible. I just used it, actually, to find out how to correctly use the phrase "Keeping up with the Joneses." There is something missing from the "good old days" however. Talking. Having a conversation. That is, the ability of the human person to relate with another human person face to face communicating heart to heart without the use of a cellphone, computer, or other technological device. I even have an example! I was listening to 1410 AM today (I love Catholic radio!) and the host of the show and a caller were talking about how teenagers now prefer a text message over an actual conversation as the way to get a date for the prom. Really? A text message? Isabella is not going ANYWHERE with someone who doesn't have the communication skills to ask her to the prom in the "good old-fashioned way" even if the Chinese are doing it in a more technological way. I suppose those are the same teenagers I observe when my husband and I go out on a date at a restaurant who sit across from each other in silence exercising their fingers on their cellphones instead of engaging in a conversation with each other.
wordle using different terms mentioned in my post about the effect of technology on society

What are your thoughts on technology and its impact on our society? What kind of impact has technology had on your ability to relate face to face with another person?

Awakening Mr. Winkle

After viewing Mr. Winkle Wakes I realize that Mr. Winkle and I could probably relate with one another. If I wasn't married already I might begin to wonder if Mr. Winkle and I had a chance at a future together. After all, I feel like after hiding under that rock for ten years I am reacting in the same manner as he did. Seeing as I learned from Did you know? 3.0 that 1 out of 8 couples in 2007 met online, I think we have a pretty good chance.
All silliness aside, though, I think the point that the creator of Mr. Winkle Wakes, Mathew Neddleman,was trying to make was that if we refuse to use the technology in our classroom that society is using outside in the "real world" (represented in this presentation by a hospital), then how can we expect our students to succeed once they have graduated and are off to pursue bigger and better things? By not running a technological literate classroom, I would be setting up my students to fail. Bummer. I guess it is time for me to jump on the technology literacy band-wagon if I ever have the intentions to return to the classroom one day. Don't worry, I'm taking Mr. Winkle with me!

The Importance of Creativity
After watching The Importance of Creativity I realize the importance of creativity being allowed in the classroom. The statement that stood out to me the most (which happens to be in typed form on the site) was "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original." I think Sir Ken Robinson is correct in stating this. As an educator I know that it is easy to fall into the trap of following a formula in creating your learning environment. The system in a sense seems to encourage a systematic approach to educating the next generation. If you do x, y, and z, then you will get the result of that child becoming an adult who can function in the working realm of society.

I have even experienced this effect personally in the past few days while trying to re-organize the CCD program at St. Ignatius Catholic Church. (I started my job as the director of CCD yesterday.) Every time I come up with an idea, I am overcome with this sense of fear that if I try to implement the idea, it might not go over well with the others involved in the program. I get a creative idea in my head and feel a pull away from it and a desire to stick with what has been done before because of the fear that I might be wrong.

I have come to the conclusion that although I may not be in a classroom setting anytime soon in which I can focus on the advice given in Sir Ken Robinson's presentation, it is time for me to not give into the fear of being wrong. Right now as director of the CCD program at St. Ignatius Church, I can use my creativity to review the old program, flush out the old ideas that haven't worked in the past, and move forward in a whole new direction.

Disruptive Classroom
After watching the video Classroom Disruption I am left with a mixture of feelings. Don't get me wrong, the video was comical and I did enjoy watching it. However, I would say that the video portrayed two extreme examples of a classroom environment. With this said, I would like to discuss my likes and dislikes from each of the classroom environments portrayed in the video. For the purpose of this discussion we will call the high-tech classroom Classroom A and the classroom that was lacking in the technology department classroom B.

I'll start with my likes and dislikes of Classroom A.

First, I really like the enthusiasm shown by the teacher, Joe. I could tell from his body language--especially his smile--that he was excited to be there teaching and interacting with his students. I think that enthusiasm is a major factor in setting the tone for a classroom environment. Secondly, I like the resources that were available to the students not only in the classroom, but also to a certain degree, the various ways the students could access information when they returned home. Also,I liked how the teacher was involved with the students as they worked through the lesson. Finally, I liked how the teacher used technology to provide the students with examples of what he was teaching.

There are also things I didn't like about classroom A. Granted, it wasn't a video that portrayed an entire instructional day, so I'm left with my assumptions. First, I did not like how the teacher introduced himself by his first name. Just because we are introducing more technology into our classrooms doesn't mean we have to become more of the friend to the students as opposed to their teacher. I feel that by introducing himself as Joe, (Even Mr. Joe would have been better!)he put himself on the same level as his students. Secondly, I did not like how everything was computer-based. If the entire instructional day is done on the computer then when do the students learn the social skills needed for interacting face to face with one another without the use of technology? Again, I think that that is the primary downfall of our society entering more deeply into the technological age. Also, I had a concern with the way Joe used things like video chat, YouTube, Twitter, etc. to relate so freely with his students. In my opinion, the environment he was creating was too casual. Finally, although I believe creating an environment where students are encouraged to think for themselves, first and foremost I believe an elementary and middle school teacher is there to teach not to coach a child through teaching themselves. Content should be taught by a teacher as the foundation for skills to be built upon.

Now on to feelings of Classroom B.

There really wasn't much I liked about Classroom B because it was such an extreme opposite of Classroom A. The teacher in this classroom contrast to the other teacher was boring, disengaging, and rude. He lacked a connection with his students that the teacher from Classroom A possessed. His environment seemed slow, and if I were one of his students I think that I would have fallen asleep as well. I did like how the students weren't staring at a computer screen all day long, but the use of a PowerPoint presentation, Smart Board, or another interactive presentation would have gone a long way in engaging the students in learning the material. I liked how his environment was more structured then Classroom A, but again, the environments are almost too extreme to begin to compare.

My ideal classroom would have been somewhere in the middle. Why not create a classroom environment that has both the instructional time along with the technology. Human beings aren't robots. We are relational creatures that thrive in an environment where human interaction is taking place. Yes, technology is great but let's not center our entire instructional day on it. In order to create this ideal classroom environment I will need to continue learning about the new forms of technology I can incorporate into my classroom instruction where needed to spice things up a bit.

Am I just living in the stone-age here or does anyone else at least understand where I am coming from?

Goodnight! I think Nicholas has the right idea...