Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blog Assignment 14

iphone saying hello world

I chose to do the “e-media fast” for blog post 14. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I was with my family in Destin on vacation so I thought that it would be great time to try and focus more on my family and less on my cell phone and laptop. The hardest part was not being able to use my iPhone. I realized that I use my iPhone for absolutely everything. I had never noticed how much I rely on my phone for all sorts of information. I kept wanting to grab my phone to check the weather, my email, Facebook, or just Google something. I can’t remember the days when I couldn’t just Google something and find out anything about a topic in a second.

Another difficult part was the lack of entertainment. I really had to keep myself entertained so that I didn’t sit down and watch television or get on my laptop. My family helped out a lot and being in Destin didn’t hurt either. We tried to stay busy doing things outside, but it was raining the entire time so that was pretty difficult. After doing this experiment I realized how much we rely on technology these days. Our society is based on using technology, whether it is for directions, news, communication, or entertainment. I really appreciate my iPhone and laptop much more now.

I think that this is great experiment to do with the students in my own classroom. They will realize how much they count on technology for everyday things and school work. I can’t even remember the days when I couldn’t get online and a search a topic and have tons of information in seconds. We use technology so often that it has become more of a basic thing to have rather than a convenience and we forget what an immense convenience it is.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Final PLN Report

I must say that I have really enjoyed using Symbaloo. This site has so many different things to offer. It seems that I add a new icon to my PLN everyday. It took me a little while to get
use to the convenience of it. I set Symbaloo as my homepage so as soon as I go online everything that I need is right there waiting for me. I use the news tab quite a bit. I use to have to go to yahoo and CNN to get the news I was looking for, but now I just visit my homepage and everything I could want to know is right there. I told my mother-in-law about Symbaloo and she is now going to teach this technology to the teachers that she works with so that they can use in their classrooms.

I had Twitter before starting EDM 310, but had only been using it for about 3 weeks. I have started following different educators and others who are
twitter and facebook icons

experimenting with technology. You can really learn a lot from people on social networking sites. I have been a member of Facebook for quite some time. I use it to stay connected with friends who have moved away and family members. The best part about Facebook is the ease of staying connected and finding new connections. I recently got a friend of mine a job who just recently moved to Key West, where I live 3 years ago, with a photographer that I use to work with. This was all thanks to Facebook.

I also added all of my email account to my PLN. I have about four different email account and was able to put them all together on my PLN. I can no go to my homepage, Symbaloo, and click on all of my email accounts without having to search four different email account.
gmail icon

Symbaloo has really helped me organize my life pretty much. I have so much to keep up with in school and just everyday things and Symbaloo helps me keep everything in place.

C4T 4

Mr. Burrows uses his blog to display all of the different art pieces that are done by his students. The first post that I read and viewed was one where he posted many sculptures that his class had done. They were instructed to research a mythical creature of their choice and then make it into a clay sculpture. This was only the second time that most of these students had used this type of clay before.

I was very impressed by the work that his students had created. His students are probably very proud to have their work displayed in such a way. Have their work chosen by the teacher have it posted to his blog would be an honor. I think that when teachers offer this type of reward to the class then the students tend to work harder to make their work stand out so that they will be the ones being recognized. This is a wonderful concept to be used in all classrooms. Not only will students work harder but they will do their best work since it will be displayed for the public to see.

Mr. Burrows also posted some oil pastels pieces with some collages added in for extra color. He mentioned that this was the first time these students had worked with oil pastels. There were also some pieces done by another class using surrealism. This, he said, was a little difficult for the students to grasp, but they ended up doing a great job.

I have worked with oil pastels before and it isn't easy. He also gave them instruction to add collage into their drawings. They were all beautiful. You can tell by looking at Mr. Burrow's blog that his students really enjoy his class. They get to work on a project and then enjoy the finished product, much like EDM310. I think that this is the reason why I enjoy EDM so much. When you put so much effort into something it is always a plus to be able to enjoy what you have created.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 13

class blog

Jose Picardo brings to light some great tools that can be used in the classroom. There were many that I have used before but never really thought to use them in my class. He mentioned a couple of interactive websites and a website that can be used to create your own games specifically for a lesson you may be teaching. This would be great to use in a history class for different history facts. Students, I think, tend to absorb more information from interacting with others rather than just listening to a teacher lecture. It is good for both the teacher and the student to change up the method of teaching every so often and using games in class is a great way to do that.

Mr. Picardo also mentioned blogging and podcasting. These are two technologies that I will definitely be using in my classroom. The class blog will allow students to keep up with assignments and due dates. The students can also interact with one another on the blog about class material. I can’t count how many times I have gone home from school and started on my homework and then had a question, but had no way to reach a classmate or the teacher. The blog can also be available to parents to keep them up to date on what their child is learning in their class. Podcast’s are wonderful for students. I want to make podcast’s in my class so that my students can go back and listen to my lectures at any time, especially before a test for extra review.

The different tips from Mr. Picardo are extremely useful. He makes some great points on different ways to use these resources.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Project 15

Final Project Progress Report

colorful picture of Mona Lisa

For our final project my group and I will make a video about the good side of EDM 310. Before beginning EDM 310 all I heard were horror stories about how time consuming this class is and how many projects there are. I think that future students should see all of the cool things that we have learned throughout the semester and how rewarding this class is. For example, the blog that we have created is very rewarding because you can look back and see all of the awesome projects that you have created. We will begin filming this week.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blog Assignment 12

picture of red school house as computer

Watch this video: Teaching With Technology and discuss some of the advantages to using this type of technology in the classroom and how you think that technology could enhance students learning.

This is a news cast from a local news station in Austin, TX. They make a visit to Bowie High School where they are incorporating more technology into the classroom. They have put, what they call, innovation stations in some of their classes. The students are able to be interactive by all answering the questions that pop up on the screen. There are many different features on this station. The system can randomly choose students to be called on in class, one student that was interviewed said that this kept him from falling asleep in class. Another student said that the innovation station made learning more "competitive" in the classroom. The board shows who answers the questions and how long it took them to come up with that answer. There is also the advantage of going green and not using so much paper in school.

The teachers said that students were able to learn more faster by using these systems. This shows that technology is a great tool to be used in the classroom. Students really seem to enjoy it and teachers seem to enjoy implementing it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blog Assignment 11

cartoon says to blog or not to blog

I want to start off by saying that Ms. Cassidy is wonderful. I am sure that it takes a lot of patience to teach this kind of technology to a first grade class. While watching the video it is obvious that her students are very enthusiastic about working on their blogs and learning all about using technology. She mentioned in her interview that instead of writing on paper and turning the paper in to her they use their blog. I think that this is great. The students know that their post will be seen by many other students and bloggers this will encourage them to do well on their writing and it makes it more fun or them. The students also have the opportunity to talk with other classes through skype in their classroom, students their age and in college that have been reading their blog. I believe that skype is a great tool to be used in the class. It makes learning exciting for the students, to be able to get to know the people that comment on their blog and to share ideas. Another very important aspect of teaching students technology such as this is that they must know the importance of safety on the internet. Ms. Cassidy’s class seemed to be very aware of the rules to be followed while using the internet.

When I do get my own classroom I would like to start a classroom blog like Ms. Cassidy’s. I will be teaching at the middle school level in history. It would be beneficial to the students to be able to communicate with other history classes that also have blogs. They could even skype with these other classes and share new information that they have learned in class. I have also thought about having my class do different projects and then have them present their projects on skype, with the other class being the audience, and also posting it on the class blog. This would encourage the students to do well since they will be preparing these projects for many people to see. The possibilities are really endless. As Ms. Cassidy said, she is always looking to “push the envelope”.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

C4T 3


Mr. Miranda posted a video on his blog from a 70's sitcom about a young man who wanted to drop out of school. There was a teacher who made a bet with him that if he could teach him about the atom in two minutes then the student had to stay in school. He uses gang metaphors in order to teach the lesson. The young man recites the information correctly back to the teacher, he did it. Mr. Miranda believes that this technique of creative teaching is not effective. I agree and disagree. I think that this method of teaching can be effective with some students, as is with any method. All students learn differently. For example, I learn my doing things which is why I feel that I have learned so much in EDM 310.

In another post by Mr. Miranda he explains that students in college today are there to get a good job and not to enrich their minds. The certification received after graduated assures employers that this person knows how to follow direction and knows how to please authority figures. I agree with him. Most of my classes consist of attending lectures, memorizing facts, and then taking a Scantron test. After completing the test most of the information I have memorized goes right out the window. I believe in order to learn one must experience, and that is what we have done in EDM 310. I can say that I don't believe I have learned more in any other class. By doing projects and watching so many great videos I have learned that technology is much needed in the classroom and I have learned how to use it.

Special Assignment 2

TED, iTunesU, and Kahn Academy

1. The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit that gives education to anyone who is willing to learn. People everywhere can access this website and watch lectures from educators everywhere, the website it easy to navigate as well. There are examples of all kinds of worked algebra problems and all sorts of history lessons and interviews to watch. This site is amazing and I would have loved to have had such a source when I was in high school. Since the site is free it provides a great resource to those who don’t have the funds for a tutor.

iTunesU is a wonderful tool to be used in the classroom in many ways. As an educator one can use iTunesU to post lectures for all to view. This is great for your own classroom or to share with classes across the globe. It can be used to allow students to review a lecture outside of school, for parents to watch and see what their children are learning, or for students that may miss class on a review day. Also, iTunesU can be used to show lectures from other educators at other schools and universities. Another one of the many advantages is that students can use iTunesU on their mobile devices and ipods; this comes in handy for students on the go. What could be better than learning while jogging or driving?

TED is another non-profit site full of material to be shared. From bird watching to second hand shopping, this site has a lot to offer. “Ideas worth sharing” is the statement for TED. It couldn’t be summed up better. There are so many great videos that I wasn’t sure where to even start. You can navigate through the site by choosing between the categories of themes, speakers, talks, and translations. Once choosing your category you are then given hundreds of videos to choose from. This “free knowledge” is great for all classrooms. Teachers can now share ideas with their students from real people across the world.

2. Kahn Academy offers collections of Algebra practice problems and equations. There are several topics to choose form like, science, algebra, humanities and other, test prep, and talks and interviews. There are many sub-categories under these topics. There are videos offered that show how to work different sorts of math problems and videos explaining the current unemployment dilemma. Teachers should take advantage of this site by using the videos in the classroom to enhance the learning on any particular topic. For example, in chemistry the teacher could show a video on electron configurations before the lecture to give the students a better understanding.

There are some great collections on iTunesU, this makes it difficult to sum up what it has to offer. I decided to search education and received hundreds of results. Everything from special education to education in Ireland popped up. One can basically search any subject and receive results. These collections can be used to by the students to extend their learning on particular topics. They can watch and listen to these videos on their ipods and bring them anywhere. Teachers can also easily use these videos in their classes to help students on a difficult part of a lesson.

The TED site has so many ideas to share that it is almost overwhelming. I personally found it hard to navigate this site and find exactly what I was looking for. I came across some very inspirational talks and some enlightening videos. I think that this site is great for adding some fun in the classroom. The selection is quite broad. There is no doubt that one could find something on any particular topic, they may just have to look hard to find it. 

3. On the Kahn Academy site I watched a video on Chinese Inflation. The video begins with the definition of different types on inflation and then explains how inflation works. The video is basically breaking down an article from the New York Times. This is extremely helpful. I understand inflation but did not grasp all of the terminology until watching this video. It explained that China is printing more money in order to keep it devalued but this raises the question, "is this causing inflation?" I found this video to be very educational and I would use it to explain inflation to my students. Student may be more apt to grasp the concept of inflation if it were related to the current economy, as done in this video. 

On iTunesU I watched a video on Earth. There are many other videos on the other planets and each gives particular facts on that planet. I would have loved to know about this when I was in geography. Watching the video puts it more into perspective. It shows the sun rising while the earth is on it's axis and shows the orbit of the moon around the earth. This video would be very helpful for students, along with the videos on the other planets. Watching it, to me, rather than reading about it in a book is much more helpful. 

I watched the video Bill Ford: A future beyond traffic gridlock on TED. Bill Ford's great grandfather was Henry Ford. Bill Ford speaks of his experiences throughout life and working for Ford. He mentions that his grand-father wanted to make cars affordable for the everyday person. Bill has had a passion for cars since he was a boy, and now has an environmental passion that he wants to combine with his passion for cars. After being accused of being the enemy and creating so much pollution, Bill decided to join Ford and make his cars green like never before. Being able to watch the Henry Ford's grandson speak really makes you pay attention. I believe that it will do the same for students. Also, sharing the ambition of Bill with students can really make an impact on them. 

4. With the Khan Academy site I could all sorts of information with my students. This site gives educators endless opportunities to enlighten our students and give them an exciting learning experience. I would use this site to put more emphasis on harder topics being discussed in class. Some find civics to be difficult to understand and with the large number of videos on this site I could show my student videos on our current government to better explain how everything works. 

As an educator, I would use  iTunesU to post some of my lectures so that students can review at home. This will give students a better chance at succeeding in the classroom. Posting my lectures will also help parents know what their child is learning in school and help them help their children. Another tool that is great on iTunesU are the videos posted by renowned professors all over the world. These can be used to elaborate on any given topic and gather another perspective. 

I would use TED to keep my student interested in what they are learning. There are some great videos on so many different topics. I would love to use this site to possibly show a different video every week to inspire my students in different way or to give them an "idea". Sharing the ideas of others could be fun for the class and hopefully keep them motivated. 

5. This assignment has in fact surprised me. The information gathered through this assignment has surprised me. What great tools to be used in the classroom! This is a great example of why technology is important in the classroom. These sites will, with out a doubt, help students excel in school. Students are able to have their own private tutor on their computer or watch their own teacher give a lecture they may have missed. Once I become a teacher I will use these sites in my classroom and share them with my students so that they have to opportunity to learn and have fun using these sites. 

Blog Assignment 10

picture of colored pencils

In the post “Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home” there is a problem being presented and then the solution. Gertrude explains to Tom that there has been a study done stating that students that use pencils at home have lower test scores. Toms develops a solution. He develops the parent pencil program to teach parents how to use pencils in an educational sense and not just for fun and entertainment. He states that he can’t “hold them accountable” he can just “find projects that keep them interested.

This is a great lesson to live by as an educator. When presented with a problem, find the solution. Instead of either ignoring the problem or eliminating it by simply not allowing the students to take home the pencils, Tom embraced this problem and found a great solution. In low-income areas there are situations where parents work late and aren’t home a lot or children getting involved in crime and drugs. The idea of having the students and their parents work on projects together with their pencils serves a dual purpose. Not only does it help the parents but it occupies the students and keeps them from trouble and also gives them time with their parents. No one can monitor and make sure that the projects are done, but just giving the idea and taking the time to develop the projects is a great start.

In the video “Do You Teach or Do You Educate?” the meaning of being a teacher and being an educator are laid out very clearly. I want to be an educator, as assume most do. It takes more to be an educator; it takes more drive and more passion. I would like for my future students to see me as someone that is there for them and can give them advice on life, a mentor.

I want to teach my students all of the necessary materials and also learn that they can be successful and accomplish anything that they want. This is an important lesson to learn these days. With the rate of students dropping out of school rising students need guidance and positive reinforcement regularly to encourage them to reach the goals they set for themselves, and educators are there to help them reach those goals.