Saturday, July 21, 2012

Final Reflection

What a nightmare. I filmed myself yesterday using my video camera. Unfortunately my video was 15 minutes long. Who knew that I could talk that long. So after trying to edit it down in a movie player I decided to re-film myself, this time getting it down to ten. What I didn't realize that the video I was about to take would take a couple hours uploading to YouTube. Apparently uploading a video off of a video camera using internet at home takes a lot longer than uploading a video in the computer lab from a webcam or iPad. So what did I learn? Don't wait until the day that an assignment is due to complete it--especially you're final reflection. Also, don't use tools you have never used before to complete an assignment because you are entering into unknown territory. You might find yourself up to two in the morning stranded with a locked up computer watching the time time left for upload steadily increasing instead of decreasing, and having to go to bed not knowing if the uploading will ever finish.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Final Report on PLN

PLN wordle
Out of all the projects in this class, organizing my PLN is the one I have focused on the least. I think it is because I am not in the mindset of going back to teaching right now. I hope one day to return, but I'm not sure if God has something else in mind. So, here is the updated progress on my PLN. It really isn't much.

Web 2.0
I hated the blog assignment (it lasted forever) but I loved the site! Thank you Dr. Strange for introducing this to us.
Blogging Cartoons
I found this site while trying to find free images on the web.
At the Teacher's Desk
This is a collection of blogs from teachers who are collaborating and sharing their experiences of using technology in the classroom

Angela Maiers
I loved how she addressed the concept of the sandbox as it relates to learning technology
John T. Spencer
I really liked the way this guy wrote on his blogs. Very creative and I'm sure i can tweet him about some ideas I can use for blogging for a creative writing assignment.

I have a learned a lot in this class. The number 1 thing that I have learned over the course of this class is that there is a lot of information to learn that is ever-changing and in order to survive in the world of teaching and do my job well, I must become a life-long learner.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Project #13

our group using google+ hangout
Posted by Picasa

Our group has learned so much together throughout this semester. This evening we set a time to meet in a Google+ chat and hangout. I didn't realize when I accepted the invitation to join that I would be seeing and hearing as well as chatting. It took a bit getting used to. Once we got the hang of it we were able to copy and paste text into the chat feature, talk about what we were going to do for our project, as well as display our screen for our group members to see. It was very useful for setting plans of getting together tomorrow to work on our group project.

Prior to today we collaborated using SMS messaging, email, and Google Docs. For example, when we made arrangements for Project #15 we set up a time to meet to record our lesson through SMS messaging. Google Docs allowed me to create a SmartBoard lesson, take a picture of the lesson in SmartBoard, and share it via a Google Doc with my group members. We were then able to email and work out final details prior to meeting.

All of these features allowed us to collaborate effectively and efficiently so that we could get our group work done even without getting together in person. Before using this form of collaboration in my classroom (especially Google+ Hangout) I will allow an explore and play time for my students. As you can see in our group picture, we needed explore and play time as well. (The other members were also supposed to have their dress up clothes on, but alas, my mates left me hanging and I was the lone pirate.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Progress Report on Final Project

I have to start by saying that my groupies-Lacie Brothers,Lindsay Parvin, and Shaniqua Washington are all awesome. Everyone in our group is so different and we all contribute in a way that is unique to our personalities. Lindsay is very conscientious. She gets her work done ahead of time...the anti-procrastinator. Lacie is really laid back and is very easy to work with. She pretty much just goes along with the ride and makes getting things done cooperatively very easy. You ask her to show up and she's there. Shaniqua has taken the class before and has knowledge that I don't have when working with the Mac. She seems to like to learn to do things and goes along with ideas while contributing her own. So, as you can see I got lucky to be working with these future professionals. We get along great!

As for our progress on our Final Project #16, it is coming along nicely.
We are doing a "What to expect when taking EDM 310" theme. All four of us will have made it up to the lab by the end of today to insert our personal items into the ibook. On Thursday we have arranged to meet at 11 to film our new videos and get the material in the book. Once that is done we will have the little details to work out and our final project will be complete.

Blog Post #13

I'm on a roll! First blog post #12 now #13! (Okay,so I technically already did this when I had a mind block on what to do for blog post #12, but didn't want to post it out of order because I'm detail oriented....)

a comic about blogging

For this assignment I watched Back to the Future, a video created by Brian Crosby from Agnes Risley Elementary School in Nevada as well as A Vision of Students Today, a video created by Michael Wesch and a group of students at Kansas State University.
Both of these presentations showed me the impact that technology can have on learning. In Mr. Crosby's classroom, for example, the students used technology to enhance their learning when studying about air pressure and its impact on a hot air balloon. The students were able to watch a hot air balloon in flight and then pop once it reached a certain point. The students used this real life experiment from a science concept to write creatively on their blogs, a story from the view point of the hot air balloon. They also connected to students in other parts of the world through their wiki space and blogging. This created a learning environment where students were engaged, and I imagine, excited to come to school the next day.
The second video created by Mr. Wesch and company presented information about typical college students and the impact of technology on their lives. You realize that their lives are directly linked to technology. The purpose of the video was to encourage the use of technology to get students at this level, in the technology mindset, hooked on learning and engaged in what they are learning. In order for them to engage, professors would need to change from a traditional "I talk; you learn," classroom setting to an interactive community where learners are encouraged to explore and engage with one another through the use of technology.

How Will You Teach Me in the 21st Century?
After watching the video "How will you teach me in the 21st century?", I am pumped up about incorporating technology into my future lessons as a teacher. Mrs. Melinda Kraft lists in her presentation that the students should be taught the following:
1.How to use technology
2.How to communicate effectively
3.Understand the impact of media on my life
4.Interact in a global economy
She points out that we as teachers email, surf the web, buy online, and collaborate. She basically wants to know when we will step out of our comfort zone and teach children how to think on their own.

The following is what I want my students to know, to do, and to have experience doing.
To know
1. How to find their way online
2. What sites are appropriate and not appropriate.
3. Proper etiquette when blogging or communicating online
Be Able to Do the web themselves
5.explore their creativity
6.tell their story through podcasting
Have experienced
1. Using the basic functions on a PC
Using Melinda Kraft's approach I would create a movie similar to hers using pictures of real life examples of people engaging in technology in a classroom setting.

Technology Tool Kit
After reading Dorothy Burt's Technology Toolkit post I realize that I am behind in the different forms of technology that the teachers in her school are required to learn quickly how to do/use. As I commented on her blog post, some of the things that I am not able to do include: Google Apps, Mac0S basics, saving files in a variety of formats, using a sound field, and finally the use of photo booth. These are all things I hope to become more familiar with in my future as I study and develop more into a technology literate person. I agreed with her other lists as well. I would assume that teachers would be able to do all the following functions listed in her blog, re-listed below:
All our teachers are able to:
check an email account daily and manage it efficiently
use a computer or laptop and trouble shoot basic functions ie on/off, connect
to printer, connection to internet
use the internet to search, find information and to communicate
particpate in online environments eg blogs or forums or Nings or Trademe or
Facebook etc
manage music files in software eg in iTunes
manage photo files using software
download photos from a camera
use a word processing document efficiently
store and retrieve data from a hard drive eg your computer
access Google Docs
edit a short video clip using simple software ( was "create a movie" - changed
due to feedback below *)
All our teachers are able to use the following independently:
video camera
still camera
I would expect that most people today learn how to do these things at some point in their life. I can not think of anything having to do with technology that I would like to add.

The Next Generation of Movie Makers
In his blog post Exemplar of Student's Work With Video, Mr. Webb is advocating for allowing students to take ownership of their work. For example, in this post Mr. Webb shares a video created by students displaying their ability to use technology to create something that was there work, and their alone. The two boys in the video spoke without a script. It was a real life, real action video without any prior planning or rehearsals.
I think that this idea was a great one! Students won't know what they are capable of until they are given the opportunity to play. This was a great example of using technology to our advantage in a classroom setting that allows students the freedom to interact with one another and use technology to enhance that interaction.

Mrs. Jenny She
Just finished looking at Mrs She's Classroom blog. It appears as if she is very big into implementing technology into the classroom. It appears as if her students in her room are having a great time as well engaging in learning!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blog Post #12

Now that you have completed the survey for Dr. Strange, it's your turn to create your own survey! To complete this assignment, you must use Google form. It's purpose is to gather information in a way that is both economical and efficient. After you have created your survey, save it, email it to Dr. Strange, and embed it into a new blog post. It is up to you who you create your survey for. Pick a topic and an audience and let the surveying begin!

*Survey must be created using Google Form
*Survey must have at least 7 questions
*Survey must contain at least 3 different forms of responses (e.g multiple choice, text, check box)
*Survey must be emailed to Dr. Strange and embedded in a blog post that includes your explanation of the intended recipients and purpose of the survey.
*Survey must be free of spelling errors and presented in an organized fashion

cartoon of spokesperson saying survey saysHelp Getting Started
1. Sign into Google.
2. Click Documents Tab.
3. Click Create.
4. Click Form.
5. Create your survey.
6. Proofread survey.
7. Save it.
8. Click "Edit Confirmation" and change response that will be given to recipients of the survey upon completing the survey.
9. Click "embed" and copy code into a new blog post.
10. Click "email this form" and email it to (make sure "include form in the email" is checked.

This is my survey that I created to send to the parents of my students at the beginning of the year. It's purpose is to gather information in an organized fashion (most importantly, without paper!)that will help the school year go more smoothly.

********Special Note: Thank you Dr. Strange for the assistance creating a survey for my job as CCD director. The parents I sent the form to loved it, and it helped me make a decision more quickly than a phone call or basic email would. It was that survey that gave me the idea for this assignment.***********

Project #15 (Collaborative)

Lacie Brothers, Shaniqua Washington, Lindsay Parvin and I met at Meadowlake Elementary and recorded us taking turns teaching our Math lesson on the SmartBoard. Our lesson was based on Math Objective #17 under Measurement and Data for 1st grade.

C4T #4

I am finding very quickly that the world of blogging, sharing, and tweeting is a lot bigger than I thought for teachers. My newest person I have been following, Mrs. Angela Maiers, is expressive and creative in her blog. Her posts are pretty short and contain videos and other links that elaborate on her topic she is blogging about.

The first post I read, Wishbone: A Platform For Student Passions, was a follow up post to an original post about passion. In this post her friend Beth Schmidt gives up information about a program she started to help her students discover what they are passionate about and challenges them to let that be what drives their desire to learn. She claims that doing what you are passionate about gives the reason for learning new meaning. Students who are passionate about something and given the opportunity to do what they are passionate about are more likely to succeed. Beth has this to say about Wishbone: "We created Wishbone, a new non-profit organization, for this very purpose. Wishbone sends at-risk and low-income high school students to out-of-school programs so that they can pursue their authentic passions. We aggregate funding from foundations, corporations, and micro-donations on our website to send these students to their programs of choice at no cost to their families."

This post along with the video was inspiring for me to read and watch. The idea of a program that allows students to experience what they are passionate about in a hands on way is brilliant. The students that went through the program in this video did graduate from high school most likely to pursue their future career in whatever they are passionate about. I commented to Angela that if I were given this opportunity during high school I probably would have liked to have learned more about my faith. It would be neat to have gone somewhere and explored different things about my faith--all in hopes to become stronger and live my faith more fervently.

Angela's second post took me back to my childhood days because there was such a strong emphasis on the concept of play. Angela stresses in this blog post through her video the importance of play in the 21st century classroom. Play is important for a 21st century learner because it is within this context that children learn relationally. In her video Angela draws a connection between the sandbox and our "new world." The sandbox is our new environment--the place where we learn some people skills, cooperation skills, and discover new things about ourselves. She spends time with children playing in the sandbox and records their speech and interactions. In her video she also outlines 10 points/rules about "playing in the sandbox."

1. Sharing is caring.
2. Messy is good.
3. Imagination is your biggest asset.
4. Sand is for filling buckets and never throwing because it hurts them and wastes your play time.
5. Hugs help and smiles matter.
6. Take it to the community (if you have problems--two head are better than one).
7. Strangers are future friends. (According to Aristotle, "One hour of play tells you more about an individual than 100 hours of intellectual conversation.
8. Be Remarkable!
9. You are the master of your universe and keeper of your soul. (I don't necessarily agree with this but see where she is going with it.)
10. Play is work.

As you can see, all of these things can be related to how we should be open to learning in our "new sandbox"--the new technology that is out there for us. I commented to Angela that I found it interesting that she stressed the need for play when that was one of the first things to go (besides nap time) in our school system. If children learn best while engaged with one another in play then what are we doing? I also thought it was interesting her emphasis on children playing in the sandbox. This means that these kids are not plugged up 24/7 into a piece of technology, but are outside getting dirty and solving the day's problems. As I've stated before--It is all about balance!

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blog Post #11

Since I decided to drink coffee at 10 o'clock at night and had such a long nap this afternoon with my hubby being off of work I have decided to go ahead and knock out blog post #11. This means that I am one away from having to come up with my own assignment...yikes.

I really enjoyed watching the first graders in Mrs. Cassidy's class show how technology has enhanced their classroom experience. I found her interview with Dr. Strange's 2010 class over Skype to also be very interesting.

The video Mrs. Cassidy's students made showed an actaul account of the benefits of technology in the classroom. For someone like me who is hesitant about allowing technology to consume the next generation I was impressed with its value that I saw in the classroom. The video seemed to reflect a positive image of the use of technology while maintaining a balance of learning. Technology was used as a resource to enhance the lessons being taught in the classroom. The children were excited and engaged about learning. That is the environment I would like to create in my own classroom one day.

In her interview with Dr. Strange, Mrs. Cassidy addresses many concerns of the use of technology in the classroom. Dr. Strange inquires about the support she has received from the people within the community in regards to her implementing this new style of learning. Mrs. Cassidy comments that she works in a school district where she receives a lot of support from her technology coordinator within her division that helps with her endeavor of incorporating technology into the classroom. She has had many principals throughout her years of teaching and all have supported her using this approach in her classroom in some way or another. She has also received the encouragement from parents of the students she is teaching in her class.

Mrs. Cassidy also addresses using technology vs. not using technology. She says that she does not think technology is going away so we might as well use it in our classrooms. For example, when asked about having a blog vs. not having a blog she comments that her students are more excited about writing on their blogs than they are about writing on paper. Its all about writing for a larger audience vs. just writing on paper for her. She says that her students are more interested in blogging because she has a tool that tracts people from all over the world visiting their blogs. The students in her class are really excited about it.

When addressing Dr. Strange's question about technology literacy she comments on the importance of keeping up with what is currently happening in technology. She says that EDM 310 students should develop their own online network of resources such as Twitter or Blogger. She says that she doesn't really use technology in her personal life, but uses technology for what she is interested in. She encourages EDM 310 students to find networks that match their interests. "For everybody there's a different entry point and I think it is important to play off of what you are interested in...."

Finally, it was interesting the way she addressed the questions from Dr. Stranges' students. For example, she addressed the concern from Rebecca about protecting students from the negative information found online that would be inappropriate for them to view. Mrs. Cassidy explains that she is very thorough in her explanation to her students about what websites are good for learning and what websites are not. I thought this simple but very thorough approach was helpful.

I appreciate Mrs. Cassidy's approach to learning in her classroom and her philosophy behind it. I like the fact that she has a life outside of the technology world and uses technology to enhance her lessons. She doesn't seem to be consumed by technology, but uses it to her advantage. As I have commented before, it is all about keeping a balance. At the same time, it is about preparing our students for a world that is very quickly becoming more dependent on technology. I like the idea of my students blogging and learning the appropriate ways to comment on their peers' blog. I also like the idea of the classroom website as well as using wiki spaces to research information.

There would be many benefits to incorporating these resources into my classroom. Most importantly, this kind of learning environment would be hands on, exciting, and engaging for my students. It's all about building real life connections to facilitate learning. As Mrs. Cassidy proves in her video, when used correctly, technology is our friend that can help get the job done.

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blog Post #10

Today has been crazy. I have spent the past four hours trying to sit down to complete this assignment and am just getting my fingers to the keyboard to type. Some of the disruptions included but are not limited to:
1. A call from my Momma
2. A blow-out diaper (for those that are unfamiliar with this because you don't have kids...ask me when you are married with children)
3. A phone call from a groupie classmate (I appreciate you anyway Lindsay!)
4. A toddler who refuses to stay in bed
5. Visitors checking on Nicholas (at ER last night b/c he has slight pneumonia)
6. I spilled my! I knew I should have just taken a nap!
7. Had to restart my computer 3 times because it kept freezing up

So now that my wonderful husband is home, the kiddos are entertained, and my phone(s) are in the other room it's on to my blog.

Adventures in Pencil Integration
Here is a comic found on John Spencer's blog: Adventures in Pencil Integration
a comic about the papermate pencil verses the ticonderoga pencil
ticonderoga pencil
This is a Ticonderoga pencil.  I didn't really understand the comic because I didn't know what a Ticonderoga pencil was.  Apparently, according to my Momma who is a first grade teacher at Meadowlake Elementary, Ticonderoga pencils are a very good pencil--top of the line.  So in this comic the men are debating between a Papermate pencil which is cost efficient and a more expensive hardier pencil--the Ticonderoga brand.  Now, in order to understand the hidden message in this comic, I had to consult my groupie Lindsay's blog.  Apparently, unbeknownst to me, this is a play on the old time argument of whether to get a PC or a Mac.  Apparently although much more expensive, Macs are supposed to be better quality as compared to a PC.  At least that is the argument being made in Lindsay's blog.
My experience using a Mac has been limited to the computer lab for this class.  I remember my first time on a Mac.  It was for our "My Sentence" project. I wanted to cry. I got on the computer and it was like looking at a foreign object. I finally found an icon I recognized--Mozilla. I clicked the icon and must have clicked somewhere else, because I lost it! I finally found where I had accidentally minimized the browser window only to find myself on the verge of tears again when I actually wanted to minimize it. Who knew the pretty traffic light at the top left of the page was actually where the minimize button was located! I did survive that day and have had a couple of experiences since. If I had the time and the access, I would love to learn how to use a Mac. They seem to have a lot of nice features that the "PaperMate's" (PCs)do not.

Playing? Or learning?
After reading Mr. Spencer's blog post, Why were your kids playing games I am starting to get a feel for the tone in which this blog is written. Mr. Spencer seems to be employing satire and sarcasm to get his points across throughout his posts. Most of his posts use dialogue between fictional characters to convey to the reader the point that Mr. Spencer is trying to make. The integration of technology is a slow process with many hurdles to jump over. In this particular post the principal accuses the main teacher of "playing games" when in reality the teacher was doing a hands on lesson that required the students to do while they learned--a non-traditional approach to learning. The principal struggles with integrating this new approach into the traditional system because he is afraid of what the authorities would think and say. Mr. Spencer, in an indirect way, is talking about our hesitation as educators of integrating technology because of the fear the students are using it and having "too much fun". Thus, making it a game.
All throughout his blog, Mr. Spencer writes about the use of the pencil as the new technology that is being integrated, but he is really not meaning pencils at all; he's writing about the integration of technology as we know it today. Using this approach is less harsh and very interesting to read. I enjoyed looking at other posts he has written. Some of his posts were hard to understand and grasp the true meaning of, but others were funny and I understood the meaning right away.

Mr. McLeod
Just read another interesting post, Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?. I must say Dr. McLeod did a great job getting his meaning across through the use of sarcasm. When I was reading his post he seemed to express my same views and concerns (especially from the standpoint of a parent)of the precautions we should take when using technology. However, in his final sentences you realize that he is actually arguing against the more cautious view and out for an all technology or nothing approach. I do not agree with Dr. McLeod. I would say that technology is a very powerful tool not to be given to children without limits. It needs to be explored with caution and used with limits. I liken it to a sixteen year old driving a car. You wouldn't just give the keys over to a sixteen year old. First, they get their permit which allows them to practice driving with adult supervision. (But for the first 15 years, who was driving? Not them!) Then, after the practice comes the responsibility...with limits. Do we just give them the keys and say, "Okay, go explore!" A good parent has limits. Our children when using technology need to be aware of the dangers that are out there before they are ready to free explore with out limits. They need to be taught which sites are appropriate, which ways of expressing ourselves are appropriate, etc. Before they are old enough to be responsible for these things, access should be monitored. It's a no-brainer to me. It's also a no-brainer to me that technology is meant to enhance our lives, not become our lives. It's all about balance. That's all I have to say about that.

Who is Dr. McLeod? He is a leader in technology instruction. He is the co-director and creator of the first graduate program that prepares teachers to be technologically prepared to foster a 21st century teaching environment. To learn more about who Dr. McLeod is check out his bio.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Blog Post #9

Mr. McClung's 1st Year Reflection
Happy Sunday! 
man teaching
I just finished reading Mr. McClung's blog post,What I've Learned This Year (2008-09). In his post Mr. McClung lists concepts he learned through out the year in regards to how he could grow as a professional. Here are his eight epiphanies (most in my own words).
1. Stay Positive
2. Pay attention to your students while teaching
3. Go with the flow
4. Openly communicate with your co-workers
5. "Be Reasonable"
6. Embrace technology
7. "Listen to your students"
8. Be a lifelong learner
For each of the ideas listed above he reflected on his personal growth in these areas. He ended this post with thanking the people who helped him develop throughout the year in these areas.

I wrote a comment on Mr. McClung's post because I was so excited to read a post from a male teacher who humbled himself to write a blog post about his professional growth over his first year of teaching. Here is what I wrote:
"Thank you for posting! You sound a lot like me my first year of teaching. However, it has taken me all this time outside of the classroom to realize how I let my first year consume me to the point where I lost a sense of that positive me. I have two little ones who I am now mothering as a stay at home mom, but I do plan on returning to the classroom one day. Thank God for your gift of being able to reflect the way you have because its only through self reflection we are able to grow as professionals. Again, thank you for sharing!
Brittany DeFalco"
This comment sums up how I feel about this post. Now to the next one! I can't wait to read his reflections on his second year of teaching.

Mr. McClung's 2nd Year of Teaching
Wow! Mr. McClung's 2nd year reflection was even better than his first. In this post Mr. McClung reflected on what he learned his second year of teaching. He learned the following:
1. Adapt
2. Encourage students to think for themselves
3. "Find your school mom"
4. Don't be afraid to be silly
5. Relinquish control
6.Plan ahead
7. Focus on your main objective--the students
8. When you think you know it all, think again
This post was a deeper reflection then his previous year. As he pointed out, his first year he was feeling pretty good about himself as a teacher. This year was more challenging for him and lead him to a deeper refelction of himself and the ways he could grow as a professional.

There are many ways I can relate to Mr. McClung. We began teaching at the same time in 2008, and we are the same age. Our experiences were very similar from the way it sounds. I, like Mr. McClung, am a very reflective person. I like to examine the areas in which I have succeeded and areas in which I can improve. I am doing this constantly as a wife and mother so that I may become more of who God created me to be--a saint! (I have a LONG way to go). I also know that when I go back to the world of teaching I will need to and would like to do this through the form of blogging in order to grow as a professional.

Thank you Mr. McClung for leading by example and showing the importance of self-reflection so that you can grow professionally as an educator!