Sunday, May 6, 2012

Final Reflection

Project #13

My group for Project #13 collaborated by using Skype. We shared information through Skype between all of us. We discussed information that we could use in the lesson. We also used texts. We would text each other to set up times to meet, and to talk about what we wanted to do our lesson on. We also met in person to decide what to do for our lesson.

Project #16

Sunday, April 29, 2012

C4T April Summary

I was given Mr. David Warlick and his 2 cents worth blog. I first commented on his blog post What is the Purpose of Education? He discussed what education really was and argued how we are as educators are more concerned with test score, rather than the preparation of future generations. He stated, “The purpose of education is to appropriately prepare our children for their future.” I commented by agreeing with him on how as educators we should be more concerned with our students becoming engaged and motivated in their education. Promoting personal goals and creativity allow student’s to engage directly with their learning creating ownership in their own education. Instead of a lot of information spit back up for a high score.
The second blog post I commented on was The Nextbook Must Be… It was a interesting post where Mr. Warlick discussed his view of what textbooks should be. One of the topics that interested me most, was his view on how textbooks should be comprehensive and cross-disciplined. And how the textbook should provide content in a variety of formats such as text, images, audio, and video selected by the student. I commented how I thought it was a great way to engage and motivate students. by allowing students to use their creative side in which ways they incorporate the various formats in creating their textbooks. Also, if we are able to engage students directly to their work by giving them “no boundaries” we create and give students accountability to their work. It was an excellent blog and posts.

Project #15

PLN Final Report

I have really enjoyed using my PLN. I was really excited to use Symbaloo and organize all of the sites that I visit and use on a regular basis. I have been adding websites to my "favorites" for practical use when working on projects. It is so nice to have them all listed and organized in one central area compared to multiple windows open when doing my work. I plan to continue to use and grow my PLN even after EDM310. I have introduced some of my co-workers to Symbaloo and plan to teach my future students about it for educational use.

Blog Post #13

I have to admit that this weekend was easier for me to do a media fast than usual. My fiancé’ and I were going to my hometown fore wedding showers all weekend so I was not in my regular routine. I began my fast on Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. and it ended Friday night at 8:00 p.m. The drive home was a little strange at first without the radio. But my fiancé and I had a great 3 hour talk! When we got to my parent’s house the T.V. was on and I told them what I was doing and they were glad- because we talked! My first instinct the next morning was to turn on my cell phone and check for any messages and grab my laptop to see any new postings on Facebook. I didn’t though! Throughout the day several of my friends called my fiancé wondering why I wasn’t answering my phone and there were many times throughout the day that I wanted to call someone but there are very few landlines left! I learned from this experience that I am dependent on media not only for my communication with others but for my own entertainment. It killed me not to watch Sports Center for one day. It is why I chose to do the fast before the NBA play-offs started on Saturday. I really missed checking and communicating with my friends on Facebook but I learned I am really dependent on my cell phone. I know that when my students come to me that they will be media-dependent. It has just become a way of life. Google gives us instant answers to most of our questions, Facebook allows us to interact with others without actually being with them and we can just about talk to anyone, anywhere, and this is their world. I hope to utilize the media that is available to teach my students to engage in their own learning by making use of all that is available. I think their reaction to a media-fast will be much harder for them than it was for me because I can still remember when there were no cell phones or laptop computers!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Special Post #12

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts
         I totally agree with the quote, “Curiosity Gave Life to Creativity”. Curiosity is the match (most of the time) that lights the fire of creativity. I used to think that you had to be born with a “creative” gene but I have learned over the years that creativity can be developed like a skill. It has not been my experience that schools think this is a priority. Most of my education has been memorizing facts and doing repetitive skills. Although some teachers have encouraged my curiosity and gave some freedom of creativity, it has not been the norm. Taking this class has exposed me to many creative ideas that I didn’t even know existed in the classroom.
          I think a curriculum could be developed to better intrigue the curiosity of students and allow them to be creative in their learning. I certainly see now that technology would have to be a key component. I think the curriculum should focus more with the top of Bloom’s Taxonomy (evaluation, analysis, synthesis, application) instead of concentrating so much at the bottom with knowledge and comprehension. Questions should be more important than rote answers. If the way we question students sparked their curiosity, with the help of technology, they could creatively express their findings. In a way, this helps give them “ownership” of their knowledge instead of just giving them answers to memorize.
          I think Elli expressed one of the problems that I often face as a student and that is the fear of failure or that my teachers would not like my ideas. I am always comparing my work to others and sometimes don’t feel my work is as good. I think we as teachers need to work hard to make our students to feel confident with their ideas and encourage them to ask questions! We need to give them more freedom to explore things that interest them. I think students would value learning more if their curiosity could be explored and their findings be revealed in a creative way. I think it would be great to have a classroom where there were no “wrong” answers. A wrong answer would be just another stepping stone on the way to the discovery of the right one.

C4K April Summary

The blog I was assigned to was Briana, a middle school student from Fairfax, Vermont. Briana’s first blog post I commented on was about where she was from. It gave me chance to get to know a little about her. She talked about how cold the winters are and how everything is blooming with life during the spring. At the end of her post she talked about wanting to move south to Florida closer to the coast. I was able to give her a few of our own pros and cons living near the coast. How living down near the gulf you always run the risk of being hit by bad weather during hurricane season and how hot it can get during the “Dog days” of summer. I did tell her about the up side of a sunny day only being twenty minutes from beach.
    The second blog post I commented on was about her trip to Disney World. She said she loved the firework show that takes place at the end of the day when the park is closing. How the castle was beautiful lit up with all the fireworks of different colors popping all above it. I was able to relate commenting on how I remembered the fireworks show at night from when I was at Disney World during Christmas on a family trip in 2002. Thinking it was a really cool thing to end on after a fun day riding rides and playing games at the park.
     The last blog post I commented on was on the issue of poverty and hunger. She talked about how she doesn’t understand why people don’t stop what’s causing hunger in the first place. Giving some statistics that were pretty eye opening. How 925 million people are starving and everyday 16,000 children die from hunger related causes. I was really impressed on her knowledge and awareness on such a major issue. I commented agreeing with her, on how important it is to raise awareness about poverty and the things it leads to such as hunger. It is great to see her trying to make a difference in a very creative way by using her blog a platform for hunger and poverty awareness.
    I really enjoyed commenting on Briana’s blog and participating I the World Blog Challenge! Briana seemed to be a great student and a good blogger.

Blog Post #12

While searching the internet for educational teaching tools I found Glogster.  A website that uses a online learning platform for teachers and students to express their creativity, knowledge, ideas, and skills in the classroom. Glogster EDU creates a digital knowledge environment, where teachers and students learn technology in a format that simplifies the educational process and produces relevant results. A Glog is a very easy to use tool that engage students in fun and creative activities. With a Glog you can use a drag and drop interface containing multimedia elements including text, audio, video, images, graphics, drawings, animation and data. Some of the other cool features for teachers were with a Glog you can create projects, assign homework, create students portfolios and teacher presentations. One of the wonderful thing Glog promotes is no more wasteful paper projects to save trees. When you purchase an EDU Premium license, the company will plant a tree in Haiti on your behalf.

For my assignment I would have my students make a Glog on one of their favorite sports athlete to present in class.
Procedures for Glog Project
- Research your favorite sports athlete to gather information.
- Create a poster on Glogster for your favorite sports athlete.
- Include the following multimedia elements in the presentation 
~ Text   
~ Audio
~ Video
~ Image
~ Graphics
~ Drawings
~ Animation
~ Data/career stats of your athlete

Final Project Update

My group is just starting to work on our final project. I am in a group with Anna Darby and Courtney Muse. We have been communicating with each other through email, text messaging, and Skype. We have also met in person to prepare for projects 15 and 16 discussing how we will be communicating with each other while working on this project. We have discussed a few different ideas for our final project, but we have not completely planned out what we are going to do yet.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Post #11

The First Graders in Ms. Cassidy’s Class was a wonderful example of how at ease with technology our students can be if we start them young enough. These kids seemed so confident in what they were doing and seemed to understand what it was teaching them. I was very impressed. For example, they knew that their writing was getting better every time they blogged, the Nintendo D. S. was helping with math facts, the Wikis were helping with their alphabet, and through Skype they were able to communicate with other people. These are just some of the great things Ms. Cassidy was utilizing in her classroom.
You could tell that she had been teaching them responsible computer behavior. One little boy explained you couldn’t say anything mean on someone else’s blog. I am sure the process of utilizing all of the technology in a safe and productive manner takes some time. But even the children shared that they were now better problem solvers, better decision makers, and had learned to share! I think these could all be problems if not taught in the beginning.
It sounds as if her technology program sprang from necessity when she had to teach the children to use the internet in a safe way because her computers could not load programs. I had already wondered where she got the money for these things in her classroom and she was able to get funding through several resources. I also know that it takes time to keep up a web-page and monitor the progress of each student so I was glad to know they gave her some release time in which to do this. I loved her idea of using Twitter as a collaboration technique for not only for students in the classroom but relating to other teachers as well. The idea of having the students create their own school Facebook page different from their personal one is a great idea. It would be a very easy way to communicate with each other and post assignments. Most kids are going to check their Facebook when they get home anyway.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Blog Post #10

          Do you Teach or do you Educate? gives us a wonderful example of how becoming a teacher is not just about filling kids with our knowledge but helping to inspire the desire to learn and developing character and life-long skills along the way. The difference in teaching and educating is like comparing knowledge to wisdom. What good is having the ability and knowledge to do something but never knowing when and how to apply it?
          My desire to become a coach and P.E. teacher is not just about rules and how to play, nor is it all about winning and losing. I truly want to teach the importance of teamwork, perseverance, and pride. Coaching and teaching are just the tools I use to help develop the character of the students I teach and the boys I coach. I had the privilege of coaching my first basketball team as head coach this past season and it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Not because we had a winning season, but because I had a small part in shaping the character of these boys into productive men. I really agree with the true meaning of this video, teaching is for the moment but educating is for a lifetime.
           Tom Johnson’s Don’t Let Them Take the Pencils Home is written in a comical way to make several points about why education systems that refuse to change, with the use of technology of today, are really doing more damage to their students instead of helping them. For years books, chalkboards, pencil and paper were the core tools of education. We have never thought twice about kids taking home paper and pencil “to learn” with but if you think about it, what are they learning? How to just write or spit back facts? A computer, when used wisely, can offer so much more to a student’s education. This entire course has shown us the value of embracing technology. It offers a new way of learning by engaging the learner in his/her own education. Technology offers a way to show that learning is taking place instead of rote facts remembered long enough to take a test.
          In reading other people’s responses to this article, I don’t think everyone understood that this really wasn’t about pencils being harmful. The harm is done when supervisors and administrators are under so much pressure for their schools to perform, that they instruct their teachers to basically “teach the test”. Why do they think that test scores really show the quality of a student’s education? It really just shows facts, rules and processes that students know but how does it show what they have “learned”? Most students are exposed to more technology at home than they are at school anyway and that can be a good thing if they learn at school the proper uses of technology and the responsibility that comes with it. Just like we have never returned to each child having a slate board and chalk after paper and pencil were invented, pencils and composition books cannot compete with the technological “notebooks” that are available today.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Post #9

I read the blog entries of Mr. Joe McClung written on May 27, 2009 and June 15, 2011 to see if his view of teaching had changed very much over three years. On the latter blog post I noticed right away that he had added a picture of his students to the post which clearly showed him more at ease with technology. In both blogs he expresses the importance of the students. He reminds teachers that sometimes we teach lessons for our supervisors or instructors that are judging us and forget about whether the students comprehended anything or not. He reminds us to be reasonable with the expectations we set for our students and not set them up for failure. Not every lesson is going to go like we plan nor is it going to be perfect. In the last blog, he reminds us “not to touch the keyboard” because we will defeat the purpose of letting our kids learn by doing things themselves.
In both blogs he points out the need for communication between student and teacher and the teacher with other professionals. The only thing that really bothered me about the last blog is that he says he hangs out with his students and doesn’t really interact much with the rest of the faculty. I know this can be effective in relating to students but shouldn’t we interact on a professional level with our colleagues? I was surprised that he wrote that he was “immature” in this sense.
I do like the way in both blogs that he encourages teachers to never quit learning and to not get comfortable. His ideas of attending professional developments that seem interesting and being on committees that he has never served on are good ways of moving forward. It is very true that some teachers just become satisfied with what they do year after year and are never motivated or required to change. But like he points out, don’t let these kinds of teachers dampen your excitement to want to continue to learn new things and keep evolving into the best teacher you can be.

Project #14 Smart Board

C4T Summary

My third C4T was a teacher at Elsonar elementary school, Mrs. Martha. Both of my posts were very similar Art In Motion  and Art In Motion-Hippie Man were videos of her students editing project. It was a lot like our book trailer project #12. It was after a field trip to the Mobile Museum of Art where the students examined and discussed various works of art including collages. They thought it would be fun to create one of their own. They took an Ipad placed in a plastic bag with a hole cut out where the camera lens was and hung it right above where the table where they were working. They used colored construction paper to cut out characters and other objects needed in their story. The students then placed the characters where they needed them scene to scene. Then they took the footage they shot and used the editing tools to cut out and create an art in motion story. I thought this was really creative and very simple to use in the classroom. A great way to get students motivated and engaged to learn something new. On a reply post Mrs. Martha said the children were amazing and without fear. Because it is harder to teach an adult because they are afraid of the unknown and clicking buttons to find out what they do. Another cool thing was the second group of student’s “Hippie Man” was taught by one of the students from the first group. This is something I would really want to use and do with a class of my own.

C4K Summary Report for March

My C4K for March was a blog post by Zahra. This post was a short story from the point of view of character named Amy while camping. The character becomes scared upon waking in her tent while on a camping trip she planned with her father. As she woke up she saw fifty little spiders inside of the tent. She jumped with terror and woke up her mother. Amy’s mother ran out of the tent, jumped on her dad and left for home. I thought Zahra did a great job in her choice of words to describe the emotion of her story. This was great for capturing her audience as they read the short story. I encouraged her to continue writing and posting.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Post #8

#1 In Richard Miller’s This is How We Dream Parts 1 & 2, he describes how we write is changing because of where we do the work, where we research the work and where we publish our work is so different in the age of technology as opposed to writing with pencil on paper and doing our research in a library. In order to keep our students loving to read and write, we must be willing to teach them to compose and read digitally. In order to do this, we must be willing to learn and do it ourselves.
I liked the way he presented this change incrementally at first and in the future it would be fundamentally different because you would not be just writing words but using the entire scope of the web to add value and beauty to the writing. The incremental changes leading up to this fundamental change involves freely sharing knowledge and collaborating with others with what they have learned. You begin to add visual images and sound and weave them together as you collect information. The finished product is much more than just the printed word.
“The end product is not technology itself”, he says, but what it makes possible.” It is a great way to make our ideas and dreams become visible. Although this may not be possible at the moment for many educators to do, it helps us see the need for creative teachers and resources to help us do it. This class has certainly challenged me to look at the options that are available to teachers and their students because of technology.

#2 Blog Post #12 by Carly Pugh was a great idea that answered the question posed by Dr. Strange, “What should he have asked you to do that he did not during the course.” She responded with a wonderful post that gave the idea of creating playlists for other teachers to help in their particular field of teaching. She shared great at ideas for other English teachers to use the touch of their computer. She did a lot of research, especially on You-tube, and made it easier for others not to spend hours searching for information.            
          Her “6 Questions to Ask Each Day” I thought was a wonderful example of what Richard Miller was talking about. She didn’t just write out 6 questions and challenge you to answer them. She put the questions to music and paired the questions with pictures that gave an example of the question. This made it much more interesting and inspiring. Not only do the words inspire but the entire presentation.

#3The Chipper series and EDM310 for dummies. I really enjoyed these two videos. I think we all get a little overwhelmed with everything we have to do in EDM310. I really like point of what the videos messages were. As college students and future educators we are going to have to work to stay in touch and up to date with education and technology, it’s not going to be handed to us. This class, though tough at times, has really been fun and allows for so much personal creativity and views in all the project and assignments we have to do. As for creating a video that could be beneficial I would like to create something that shows how to create and set up your blog. Showing tutorials on how to set it up and enhance it with all the extra tools like adding pictures, music, video, and links.

#4 I agreed with everything that was said in Learn to Change, Change to Learn. These educators were confirming what we are learning in this class and that is the structured, rote memory classroom is a thing of the past. As one man pointed out, “Technology is no longer a choice; it is a must in 21st century education”. Technology not only provides a community system instead of a classroom system, it allows students to be creative and innovative. It allows students to reflect, research and connect with others. Today’s students are clearly more stimulated outside of the classroom instead of in one. Through the use of social networking, tweeting and googling, students can express themselves and be challenged to explore many possibilities than when they are at school. But most of these expressive activities are banned from the schools. This again leads back to one of the important roles of a good teacher and that is responsible use of the technology that is available. It was good to hear from teachers’ points of view instead of students. Most of these educators looked as if they were veteran teachers and I am glad to hear that they are willing to make a changed for the benefit of the students.

1) Edmodo is a social networking site for schools. It is set up very similar to Facebook. The site has many features and tools allowing teachers and students to communicate easily. There are sections designated for assignments, quizzes, alerts, and a list of all your students. You can post class discussions, polls, connections to other sites, and updated feeds for in class use. The page can be exclusively for the teacher, faculty, or parents. This site is a very creative and useful site for teachers and students.
2) EDM310 Comic

3) Polls Everywhere

<img alt="Poll Everywhere" src="" /><div style="font-size: 0.75em;"/>Replace your <a href="">audience response systems</a> with <a href="">Poll Everywhere</a>

Friday, March 9, 2012

Blog Post #7

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

The connectivism concept is definitely a learning technique that can be very effective in the 21st century! Social networking has opened the doors to connect with others that have the same interests so why not connect with others that are interested in learning the same topics. As the video points out, students take control of their learning through networking with others. They not only share the information they have learned but can learn from what others have found.
The one thing that concerned me was the statement that “others can learn from his hard work”. This could make it easy for some students to just “copy” the websites and information others have found and use it for their own credit. I am sure some guidelines have to be set because as in any group work, some will work harder than others.
As for the question, “Why does the networked student even need a teacher?” the video points out several good reasons. The teacher is needed to help teach the student how to build the network and guide him when he gets stuck. The teacher is there to help the student learn the difference between credible information and the information that is not and how to organize the amount of information that is found. The most important role of the teacher is to teach the student to use this networking technique to not only navigate his learning but also his future. This will be of value to all of us as these students learn to creatively solve the world’s problems.

C4T Summary #2


For my third C4T assignment, I was given Wesley Fryer’s blog, Moving At The Speed Of Creativity. It is a personal blog Mr. Fryer uses to digitally document his own journey of learning and collaborate with other educators and lifelong learners around the globe. Focusing primarily on issues related to engaged learning, web 2.0 technologies, digital storytelling, educational leadership, literacy, blended learning, creativity, appropriate uses educational technologies, digital citizenship, and educational transformation. My first comment was on his blog post entitled Changing the Pictures of the Classroom in Students Heads. This post was on Mr. Fryer’s notes from John Nail’s presentation, “Necessary Accountability for Individual Learning” at a Yukon Public Schools professional development day. The article was about involving and motivating students to learn through personal accountability so the process would relate to them personally. One of the best ideas I took away from the article was the idea of a goal sheets he uses with his students. The idea of a goal sheet was very creative in how the student’s own personal goals engage them directly with their learning. It was great how the goal sheet gets the student to think or create their own picture and become motivated by self-reflection creating ownership to their goals. This article really gave some good insight on how to help students become engaged and motivated to learn.
The second blog post from Mr. Fryer in which I commented was Let’s Stop Encouraging Teachers to “Teach Technology”. This article was about how we should be using technology tools, not teaching technology like it’s a separate subject. Much like EDM310 class approach Mr. Fryer stated in the article, “As I continue to teach, I grow less enchanted with the idea of “teaching technology” and more enthused about “using” the tools I need to learn what I want to and/or have to learn.” I think my point of view on this article would have been completely different if I were not taking EDM310. I was more of an average Joe who used a computer for web surfing and face book along with the occasional writing a paper for class. Before this class I never thought blogging,

Project #10

My PLN is coming on nicely. Now that I have it is very helpful. I will be working on my PLN and putting more useful links into it to help me a long the way.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Project #8

C4K Summary

C4K February
The first C4K I was assigned to was Shalom a fifth year student at Pt. England School. He was telling us a story about how is Christmas break wasn’t going well for him. Things took a turn for the better when he found some fun shooting basketball and daydreaming about his team the Breakers winning the cup after beating the Miami Heat. The objective of the blog post was for the class to keep in touch by blogging during their Christmas break. His blog was very good with a few grammatical errors here and there, but overall he did a great job.

My second C4K I was assigned was Alicia from New Zealand. Her blog was very neat. She created a animated video where she was interviewing the historical Italian navigator and explorer John Cabot. It was very unique, unlike a post where someone has to read, she was able to give information in a very creative way through the video. Overall her blog was great. It really showed me how through the video she was able to display knowledge gained through her research and information gathered for the project. I think this a great way to get students motivated to learn.

         My third C4K was a student a 5th Grader named Emily from Canada. Her blog post was about sportsmanship and teamwork, something they had been talking about in her P.E. class. I felt I really could relate to the topics being discussed because I was very involved in sports throughout high school. It gave me a unique opportunity to help a student through a reply post. Hopefully, I gave her great information from my past experiences by my response. Much like this class, it shows how technology is breaking through the walls of education to where instead of a classroom setting, you can teach and learn all over the world.

Finally my forth C4K I was assigned a 10th grade Modern World History class. It was a post that talked about the Bill of Rights and whether or not they were still relevant in today’s modern world. It was set up much like a online class, which I think is very beneficial at high school level of education. For example, if a student is absent, they are able to read their blog so they don’t get behind in class and it saves time for a teacher by not having to re-teach the same lesson. I think, a class blog is just one of many tools that is helping revolutionize education.  

Blog Post #6

Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

          This lecture was originally about achieving your childhood dreams but it was also about helping others achieve theirs. He expresses that as you get older, you may find that “enabling the dreams of others’ is even more fun and that we must not lose sight of the fact that the inspiration and the permission to dream is huge. Through all that he has learned in his life, helped bring him to be able to say, “We can’t change it, and we just have to decide how we’re going to respond to that,” after learning he only had months to live with liver cancer.
          One great teaching tool that all teachers need to perfect is what he calls “head fakes”. This is when you have your students doing one thing but they are really learning another. For example, in sports you may be learning specific skills but you are really learning the importance of fundamentals, teamwork, leadership, sportsmanship and perseverance. Lifelong skills that can be applied to any job or endeavor instead of just the skill of the sport.
          When creating the course called Building Virtual Worlds he allowed his students to create anything they wanted except for porn or violence. Giving them the freedom to create their own worlds produced some of the best work he had seen and he had no idea what to tell them to do next. A very wise mentor told him to tell them that the work was very good but he knew they could do better. Confirming the fact that the challenge to always do better or perfect what is already done inspires students to try harder and think harder.
          Not only did he allow his students to work in teams and create these virtual worlds, he also allowed them to share their knowledge and creativity with others which gave them the chance to know what it feels like to make other people happy and get excited about learning. That is a tremendous gift.
          Another big success of his teaching was teaching people about feedback. About every two weeks he allowed all teammates to rank how easy it was to work with another person. He shared the results on a bar chart telling them where they stacked up against their peers. It caused his students to think about how they were treating others and if they were contributing enough to the team. He states that the best gift an educator can give is to get somebody to become self-reflective.
          Some other great advice he shares is to never lose the childlike wonder, it is too important. It’s what drives us. He also encourages to never give up.  Brick walls allow you to show your dedication. They are what separate us from the people that really don’t want to achieve their dreams. Show gratitude to others. Don’t complain. Just work harder. Be good at something, it makes you valuable. Find the best in everybody and always be prepared.
          This was wonderful advice coming from a very successful person. It was very evident that he had loved the life he had lived. As he said at the end, this lecture wasn’t about how to achieve your dreams; it was really about how to lead your life. It was very fitting that the greatest head fake was that the talk was not for us, but for his kids.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog Post #5

Don’t Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
Scott McLeod is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He is also the Founding Director of UCEA (Castle) Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education. If you know who he is, it makes his sarcastic “plea” all the more sarcastic. I think he makes a valid point when talking about the dangers of “cyber-space” but then turns around and makes sure you know all of the positive things about technology. He of course believes that the positive far outweighs the negative.
I think this writing adds to the fact that we must teach the use of technology in a responsible way. If kids are not taught to use technological advancements, then perhaps they may be safe from the “evils of technology” but they will be far behind in the real world. Teachers should not bear the total responsibility of the wise use of technology, I was glad he addresses the parents, administrators and board members too.

The iSchool Initiative by Travis Allen
A very impressive idea initiated by a high school senior. It is very evident that he has done his research and is very knowledgeable about what is available on the itouch by Apple. Not only does he bring home the point that in this age of technology, communication between parents, students and teachers can be instantaneous but also very efficient. Tons of information could be available to students at the touch of a button. All subjects could utilize this device. As a teacher, it would be great to blog with students at any time to see what they are really learning and even feeling. Large class sizes do not allow for a lot of one-on-one communication.
He really sold his idea when he started talking about cost. Everyone in education these days are looking for ways to save money or utilize what little they have. Dropping the cost from $600 a student to $150 will hopefully get the attention of school systems. He also makes it clear that websites can be blocked and that safety boundaries can be put in place. I see that he kept the idea alive by the time he got to Kenesaw and has 20 people working for him. I think it is a great idea and I hope it is successful.

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
That was amazing! I cannot believe the quality of the sound and the harmony between 185 voices that were never in the same room. Some not even on the same continent!! I think this is a great example of how technology can link us together and how the possibilities are endless. Just listening to it was great but also getting to see the people singing was a plus. You could tell they were regular people doing what they love to do. They were given an opportunity to be a part of something much greater and some would never have gotten the chance to perform in front of people on a stage, but as they say, now all the world is their stage. Great example of how technology can en-“light”en us.

Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts.
The video should be a must for all teachers to watch. The days of rote memorization, and just giving back answers are long gone. We live in an age now where we have got to teach our students to be problem solvers and engage in their learning. Shouldn’t teachers have been doing this all along? Maybe we could solve a lot of the problems our country is having today if educators would embrace the advances and limitless knowledge that technology offers.
He explains clearly how teachers are no longer the only source of knowledge for the students but they are the filter through which to obtain that knowledge. We must teach them how to responsibly use technology and engage them in seeking their own answers and then expressing themselves along the way. The statement about the laptop being the temptation but not the source speaks to the ethics and accountability that teachers (and parents) must still try to instill in their students. Effective teachers in the 21st century must learn to incorporate technology into their classroom and be willing to change along with technological advancements that are available to our students.

Reading Rockets Webpage
This is an excellent source for any educator or parent of school age children. Some of the great things offered on this website is the ranking of the top apps available for students and parents to download onto their iPads or Smart Phones. Reading Rockets has already done the research for you and given you their top picks for Reading Comprehension, Spelling, and Writing.
Their choice of videos and podcasts are great too. You can watch or listen to experts in the field of education, participate in Professional Development and watch video clips of actual teachers and students in the classroom utilizing various reading techniques. They have a lot of book suggestions and even author interviews for the kids to watch or listen to. It is a great website for beginning and veteran teachers.

Project #9b

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blog Post #4

Langwitches Blog

I really liked the idea of recording the children on the podcast. The teacher has to stay ahead of the story in order to have the script ready though. It is an example of how reading skills can be reinforced and I think that if the students are involved then they really retain what they have learned. It also adds excitement and anticipation to the reading lesson.
In her example of “Dinosaurs Before Dark”, there is evidence that the students were more than just interested in the story itself, but they were experimenting with their voices by using more inflection, pitch, and emotion. I think this helps with fluency and speed in their reading. It also helps to build confidence in young readers.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom by Joe Dale

The benefits of podcasting in the classroom are many!! But the idea I liked the best was making information available anytime, anywhere and especially when a student is absent. Many students are over-whelmed when they come back after a sickness with all of the make-up work and with podcasts they can listen at home and it also saves the teacher time in that they don’t have to re-teach missed assignments. Podcasts are easy to upload to a web page or blog. It can help parents stay involved in what their students are doing and learning.
Podcasts are also a great way to differentiate and utilize the higher level thinking skills of Bloom’s Taxonomy. It is a type of project-based learning in which students engage in the teaching and learning process. It is a chance to express themselves creatively and be responsible for the quality of the outcome. It is also a great way to review concepts and information that has already been taught.

Podcasts Collection by Judy Scharf

This was a very informative article about succeeding with podcasts in the classroom. She actually lists some tips to help you succeed such as making sure you are very familiar and comfortable with the software you choose to use in making your podcasts. She suggests giving students a choice of their topics and even includes a list of project ideas. She shares some great links to good examples of podcasts so students will know what they are working toward.
She also shares an example of a time-frame in which you can go by in order for students to have a sufficient amount of time in which to finish a good podcast. She also includes a rubric for students to use as they are progressing through the steps of their project. All of her examples will be of great help to the classroom teacher.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


      For my first C4T assignment, I was given Tina Barseghian’s blog, Mind Shift. A blog that gives information on technology that is revolutionizing the world of education replacing familiar classroom tools and changing the way we learn. My first comment was left on her blog post entitled What Does Your School Know About You? In this post, Miss Barseghian talks about how more schools and colleges are using algorithms to determine a student’s path. Much in the same way as Amazon and Netflix are able to use software to predict books, music, and movies you might like based on your past preferences. It seems that the practice of data mining will soon be the norm in how schools and students operate. For example, at Purdue University a program called Course Signals are being used to help by warning students who are at risk of poor grades and “ facilitates intervention and support” that can help them improve. I think the algorithm programs are just part of the education curve in this day of technology. It’s hard to argue with results of some of these programs such as Perdue’s Course Signals where the program has been consistent with grade performance improvement at both the course and developmental levels. In some cases, students who were receiving C’s and D’s have pulled up half a letter grade or more. So it seems to be beneficial.
      The second blog post from Miss Barseghian in which I commented was
As Digital Tools Abound, Help Kids Self Regulate. This time, Miss Barseghian discusses how with tablets, laptops, apps, and online games there is great promise in technology to inpsire and excite students to learn with digital tools. But that using technology in and of it self is not a silver bullet for motivating children to love learning and doesn’t guarantee they’ll use it for creative and innovative learning. Stressing how important a students initiative, self-efficacy and ability to set goals are essential, I thought the post had a great point in how education is moving towards using digital media to teach. It is important for us as teachers to help our students develop learning strategies so they are able to stay on topic. It was a great post for anyone who is an educator giving good strategies to help keep your students innovative and motivated to learn. Self-regulation will become an essential life skill to cultivate in this day in age with technology.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Blog Post #3

Technology in Special Education was a very informative video. I was not aware that this type of technology was available and can make such a difference in a student with physical and cognitive limitations. I never saw this type of technology in a rural school I attended. I would be interested to know how the funding of these resources was obtained.
It was amazing to see that this technology is not a “one-size-fits all.” Each computer was personalized for the need of that student. It was a great example of differentiation by using computers. As it ended, I wondered just how successful her students have been in transferring these skills into the real world. It really made a difference in the classroom.

After watching How the ipad Works for Autism, the special education app I chose is called Scene Speak. What caught my eye first was the ability to upload personal pictures from a computer. So many autistic children need familiarity and routine and anything strange or unfamiliar can be a set-back. This app allows you to create scenes of real places and real people that they will come in contact with everyday.
For example, you could upload pictures of their school, teachers, and friends and place them in order of the school day so they are familiar with what they will do, the order in which they will do it and the people that they will interact with. The computer can be programmed with a familiar voice that talks to them about the picture they are looking at and explains to them the order of their day. I think it is a great recourse to have in the classroom.

The numbers and statistics are astounding in the video Social Media count. There certainly is no doubt that social media is a global explosion that is changing the way people interact with the world in which we live. As with past generational changes, we as teachers must embrace the power of technology in order to help our students succeed.
The ever-changing advancements in technology offers teachers not only help when utilized correctly, but also the challenge of being familiar with what is available. We would do our students an injustice if we didn’t expose them to what is available in the world but we will also do them injustice if we make them totally dependent upon it. Teachers today are challenged with the task of helping their students find the proper balance between the real world and the virtual world of technology.

As a student looking at the video

A Vision of Students Today, I can relate. It was all truth. I have experienced it. Looking at this video as a student wanting to become a teacher, I better be prepared to engage technology into my style of teaching.
The days of notes and lectures alone are becoming obsolete. Students will be looking to attend universities that offer them the opportunity to learn and express themselves through the use of technology. They want to learn in a way they can express some creativity and not just note memorization of facts. They want to learn the skills of technology so they will be prepared in jobs that require them. Technology of some kind is required to survive in the world today, any teacher no willing to learn some and use it is setting a very poor example.

Project #5

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blog Post #2

Did You Know

     This week I watched Dr. John Strange’s YouTube video Did You Know based on Did you Know 3.0 by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod. The video was a real eye-opener and needless to say it makes you think. The topics discussed and statistics shown in his video, I had no clue about. For example, the statistical fact that 25% of the population in India with the highest IQ’s, outnumber the entire population of America. This shows how far America is falling behind the rest of the world in education and how important it is to improve our educational techniques.
      Another mind blowing fact was “by 2025 the number of English speaking Chinese is likely to exceed the number of native English speakers in the rest of the world.”- Gordon Brown, UK Finance Minister, 2005. This is astonishing leading us to ask why the U.S. is not making a strong push in foreign language learning in our school system. Especially with the ever growing number of people who can hardly speak English living in the U.S. Being in education, it is our responsibility to use the accessible technology in preparing students for jobs that will be available for them in this growing world of technology and advancement.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

     Mr. Winkle Wakes Up was a neat little video by Matthew Needleman. It was a story of an old man named “Mr. Winkle” who has awaken after a one hundred year sleep. Once awakening, Mr. Winkle discovers much has changed while walking around in our modern day society. The advancements of technology in business and the medical field makes him sick. It isn't until he finds his way to school that he finds his comfort zone. Finding out much hasn't changed in the educational approach during his one hundred years of sleep.
     The video was to show how schools are not using technology in the classroom. Unlike much of the rest of the world where technology allows businesses to communicate globally, or how the technological advancements aid in many ways in the medical field. I do believe there is a major gap in technology and the use of it in the classroom. However, there are still advantages from the normal class lecture. A class like EDM 130 allows the opportunity to explore a different side of education with technology, which someday could be the norm.

The Importance of Creativity

     The video The Importance of Creativity by Ken Robinson expresses concern for the future of education regarding creativity. It showcases how the creativity of children is being destroyed by modern education. Mr. Robinson made a great point in how all people do not learn the same. Yet our education system tries to teach everyone the same way which hinders creativity. Mr. Robinson states “We are educating people out of their creativity.”
     As future educators, we should be just as concerned with creativity as we are with academics. Mr. Robinson stated “creativity is as important as literacy” and “if you’re not prepared to be wrong then you will never come up with something original.” As teacher, we should allow our students to show their creative side. I agree with Mr. Robinson and believe that schools should focus on the child as a whole not just a certain side of the brain. As he said “We do not grow into creativity, we grow out of it.”

A Vision for 21st Century Learning

     The video A Vision for 21st Century Learning was a very interesting view of what the future of learning could be. It argues that the “traditional” way of learning is very passive where students are filled with facts. It shows the need to be more integrated with their learning instead of lectures and book reading. As well as how technology could change the face of education as we know it.
     I feel that in education, we should incorporate technology appropriately to aid our students in their learning experience. There should be an even amount of lecture, reading, discussions, and technology to create the best learning environment. As we know, everyone does not learn the same way. I believe that with moderation of these teaching methods you would give each student the opportunity to learn in a way which best fits them. Isn't that our ultimate goals as educators? To be in touch with our students and help them excel academically and creatively.

Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts

     The video Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts showcases a new approach in education through technologically teaching. Much like our EDM 310 class, Mrs. Vicki Davis is incorporating technology in the classroom. She is the IT director and teacher in Camilla, Georgia who pushes her students to think deeper. In the video she states “students get bored with only paper and pencil learning. And only certain types of students will succeed.”
     Mrs. Davis makes it a more hands-on experience by allowing her students to instruct the class. She uses different terminology everyday, which she expects her students to know by “googling” or searching for it to understand. I think it was pretty cool how she has been able to allow her students to experience different cultures throughout the world by using online programs, while being in a rural setting in Georgia. I agree with her remarks on how she feels teachers do not have to know it all. Instead, teachers need to allow students to explore and use critical thinking skills to learn material on their own.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Who am I?

About ME
    Hi, my name is Garreth Trawick, born and raised in the small country town of Malvern Alabama. It was in this small country town where I learned a lot that molded me into the young man I am today. I grew up on my family’s farm which came with its fair share of responsibilities and chores. Whether it was helping with the cattle, cutting the grass, or building fence my grandmother always told my brother and I that we were building character. The family farm in Malvern will always be home and I will forever be grateful for all the fun memories and character building chores I had growing up. But it was the same grandmother that always told my brother and I that we were building character that has had the most influence on my own personal character than all the farm chores combined.
    She was  physical education teacher by trade, but a loving grandmother above all else. It was her who introduced me to my true passion when she taught me the game of basketball. There is no telling how many hours or jump shots were taken on the farm, I really don’t think there has been a day that’s gone by in the last twelve years that I haven’t touched a basketball. Character and a genuine love for the game of basketball has led me down the road to coaching. I have been blessed this past year to move to the city of Mobile with the opportunity to teach young men the game of basketball as their head coach. It was an experience that I will never forget and also something that I would love to do for the rest of my life. This experience has lead me to the University of South Alabama’s education program where I hope to follow in the footsteps of my grandmother in physical education to touch and influence children just as she did. 

Time management
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”- John Wooden
    Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden and Dr. Randy Pausch professor of Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University seem to have the same understanding on time management. They both understand whether it is preparing for a basketball game or the classroom goals, priorities, and planning are essential in being successful. As both a coach and a student I have learned first hand the importance of time management and planning. In Dr. Pausch’s video on time management one of the topics that stood out to me was that of doing things right verses doing things the right way. I think this is critical in having success whether it be in coaching or in the classroom. Just as Coach Wooden said, “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” The video by Dr. Pausch gave necessary tools to help with time management and has helped a number of people. One of his most memorable speeches came in September 2007 entitled “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” What he thought would be has last lecture, after learning in September 2006 that he had pancreatic cancer and given a terminal diagnosis in August of 2007, became an international phenomenon and media sensation.