Sunday, July 17, 2011

Project #10 Final Report

I've added a few more boxes and reorganized my PLN since I first created it. I found that there were not as many important websites that warranted a spot on my Symbaloo as I thought there were. While mine may not be completely full, it is made up of places that I consider essential. As stated in the Progress Report, I arranged my email addressees and web accounts(Blogger, Twitter, ect.) in the upper left hand corner. In the upper right corner I added sites that I often use while writing or working on School work. and Perdue OWL being the most visited ones. In the bottom right corner I added places that I've discovered through this class and plan on using as a teacher. This corner includes Wolfram Alfa, Timetoast, and TED just to name a few. Places such as PAWS, Rate My Professors, and Amazon are in the bottom left corner of my Symbaloo. These are places that I may not visit daily, but are in one way or another related to school. I haven't gotten into the habit of using my PLN every day just yet. However, I feel that as I discover more teaching tools online(and general websites to add to it) I will begin to use it daily.
This is the Symbaloo Logo.

Blog Post #14

For Blog Post #14 I chose to do the "e-media fast." I tried to keep myself as busy as possible throughout the day to prevent lapsing. Most of the day was surprisingly easy, but again, this is most likely because I wasn't laying around the house. I chose to try the e-media fast Saturday since I didn't work and would not come into contact with computers all day. My boyfriend, Robby, was the most helpful person around me during the media fast. Having someone to spend the day with made it less tempting for me to turn on my computer. While no one was unhelpful, keeping my phone off was the hardest part as I was worried someone would need to contact me and not be able to. After completing my e-media fast I learned how useful my cell phone is. My family doesn't have a house phone, so I was a little anxious that I would miss something important throughout the day. After the fast, I'm glad that I live in a time where I can remain in constant contact with my family and loved ones.
This is a clipart image of a purple cell phone.

I think that my students will be very dependent on technology at the rate that it is advancing. I would like them to be able to experience e-media fasts in order to learn to appreciate the information available to them. Hopefully their constant access to computers at such a young age will aid them throughout their scholastic careers. I'm still trying to familiarize myself with Blogging and Google Docs(just to name a few things), but these are things that my future students may already know how to use. To me, this fast was valuable because it showed me how important and useful technology is.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Project #3

Comments for Teachers #4
Beth Still's The Nebraska Change Agent

Twitter 101
Twitter 101
In Twitter 101 Ms.Still talks about how Twitter has most benefited her. She feels that Twitter allows her to reach out the people and knowledge that she would not have otherwise been able to access. Ms.Still also mentions that a key part of Twitter is following the right mix of people(which is what we have also learned the importance of in this class). as she puts it, "helping someone get started on Twitter, but failing to provide suggestions of who to follow is like starting out on a road trip without a map." I do think this is very true since the main part of Twitter is receiving the feed of people one follows. Who you are/are not following can determine how interesting or useful the information you receive is.
For my comment on her post I stated that since I'm still figuring out my own Twitter account, it is inspiring to see how much she has gotten out of using Twitter. I mentioned that we have also learned the importance of following people who will have useful things to our personal feeds in EDM310.

Controversy Over Grades
Controversy Over Grades
In "Controversy Over Grades" the comments are just as substantive as the actual post. Ms.Still feels that grades are somewhat necessary since they determine if a student advances to the next grade level, what type of classes they are put in, colleges they get into, ect. It would be difficult to rework this entire system without some form of learning measurement. Someone who commented on this post pointed out that every teacher has his/her own "system" for calculating grades. It is very clear to me that the grading system is in no means perfect. However, like Ms.Still, I can't seem to think of a replacement measuring system.
In my comment on her post I stated that I was still on the fence about grades, but her post(and the comments below it) were very helpful and thought provoking. After reading what everyone had to say on the matter I have some ideas on how to make my grading system more personal and thorough. There were suggestions such as attaching a written evaluation of studetns' strengths and weakness to the "official" grade sheet. It was a wonderful read!
These are various letter grades stamped in different colors.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Top Ten Tips for Using Technology in the Classroom
Top Ten Tips for Using Technology in the Classroom
Most of the tips supplied in "Top Ten Tips for Using Technology in the Classroom" were ones that we have learned about in class. However, tip number 8, social networking, surprised me. I would never have thought that creating a Facebook page for class would be a good idea. I do see how it's useful(and convenient since most people have one), but I do think that discretion should be used. I'm not sure if I would use that immediately into my teaching career, but it's something that I would consider giving a try after watching this video. Music was also relatively surprising as it's something I hadn't thought to use before. It is something that I will incorporate into my teaching now. We've learned about iTunes U, so it only makes sense to take advantage of the music available on iTunes as well.
This is a dark pink iPod.

His other tips were ones that I have heard before in EDM310, but this doesn't make them any less valuable. Interactive exercises, pod casts, blogs, and Internet tools are the ones that I am most comfortable using. Teleconferencing via skype is something that I need to work on. I see how valuable it can be for communicating with other teachers, students, and parents and look forward to familiarizing myself with it more. I know that iTunes U and iTunes can be used on students' iPods, but I'm not sure how to use their cell phones for more productive learning. However, This video has inspired me to discover ways I can make this possible. Even though I am already familiar with some of the tips listed, it's still nice to see them all laid out in one place. Overall, I found this video very useful and would recommend it to anyone looking to enter the education field.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Progress Report on Final Project

For my group's final project we will be filming a video about the good things in EDM310. We thought that after being warned about how time consuming or difficult the class is, new students should see how rewarding it can be at the same time. My group is throwing around video ideas and planning a script over email at this point, but I can confidently say that we have some good ideas. You'll have to wait for the video to be posted to learn more!

Blog Post #12

For Blog Post #12 we were asked to create our own assignment that would be useful in EDM310. I chose a video from TED, a website that we were asked to research for Special Assignment #2. The video is of Adora Svitak giving her speech "What Adults Can Learn from Kids." For my assignment I would like you to watch her speech and write at least one paragraph containing your thoughts on her main topic, equal learning between adults and kids.

What Adults can Learn from Kids
What Adults can Learn from Kids
In Svitak's speech she starts off by discussing the inspiring things kids have done(she cites Anne Frank and Ruby Bridges). She touches on kids' "dreams of perfection" that are not tainted with failed ideas throughout history. Svitak feels that due to kids' ability to freely dream, learning between adults and kids should be equal. In order to help kids succeed it is necessary to set their expectations high and believe in them. As Svitak states, kids love a challenge, but will "sink" to lowered expectations. In short, giving kids the respect they crave will help them to strive to accomplish more than we might have as children. By listening(and learning) from children today we can achieve the goal that Stivak has set for us: raise each generation of kids to become better adults than us. With this made possible we will produce new and better problem solvers and leaders(as stated by Svitak).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blog Post #11

Little Kids...Big Potential and Skype Interview with Ms.Cassidy
Little Kids...Big Potential and Skype Interview with Ms.Cassidy
I've been seriously considering keeping a class blog when I am a teacher, so I very much enjoyed hearing about Ms. Cassidy's experiences with it. In order to protect her students' identities on the class blog she only used first names and did not attach pictures to their names(this was also stated by the students in "Little Kids...Big Potential"). I feel like this a clever way to keep them safe while online, and is something I will probably use as well with a class blog. Ms. Cassidy also expressed how positive blogging has been for her students. The website she uses allows students to see how many page views they have had. As seen in the video, their viewers can also comment on the blog posts. Her students have also learned comment etiquette; students know that since their comments will be viewable by everyone they should only post nice things. To me this seems like it will both boost their confidence about their blogs and teach them to constructively critique their peers. Ms. Cassidy also teaches her students where to click on websites to access the materials she wants them to(without going to an unsafe site).
This is the word

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Blog Post #10

Do You Teach or Do You Educate?
Do You Teach or Do You Educate?
In "Do You Teach or Do You Educate?" the difference between being a teacher and an educator is compared. A teacher is someone who merely spits out facts and asks students to accept them. An educator is someone who inspires, empowers and is a mentor according to the video. I'm still in the process of learning how to become an educator, but after reading our Blog Post Assignments and Teachers' Blogs, I'm starting to get the feel of how I might go about accomplishing this.
When contemplating to how educate rather than teach, my last Teacher Blog for Project #3 comes to mind. I read Scott Kemp's Accomplishing More By Doing Less. Kemp focuses on promoting a classroom in which culture can flourish, gives feedback frequently, and answering student questions if they are truly needed. Lastly, he steps aside and lets the learning begin. I think that this same approach is the one that I will be taking when educating. I will encourage my students to learn(and want to learn) and take advantage of the PLNs we learned about earlier in the semester.

Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!
Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!
"Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!" is written in the form of a conversation that Johnson had with Gertrude. In this conversation she has recently read an article that stated children who take home pencils have lower test scores. Rather than ponder why this is, Gertrude decides to solve this by not allowing pencils to go home anymore. Johnson suggests that teachers change to mentality of pencils are toys by creating more engaging lesson plans.

These are a few basic wooden pencils.Johnson makes his point by demonstrating that the key to student success(or higher the higher test scores that appeal to Gertrude) is to find innovative ways to help students enjoy learning. When it is obvious students are not enjoying lessons by their use of hangman for entertainment, Johnson comes up with ways to make the lesson more appealing. As in "Do You Teach or Do You Educate?" Johnson practices the ways of "educating." He is more interested in why students may not be as interested in learning and how to change that. This method will prove to be more effective in the long run than purely focusing on test scores.

Special Assignment #2

Part #1

Khan Academy
Khan Academy
Khan Academy was created by Salman Khan. He began with tutoring his relatives who were still in school by posting videos. Soon the minor tutoring blossomed into a large online community with 2,100+ videos. Videos are broken down into Math, Science, Humanities & other, and Test Prep categories. In addition to that they are categorized farther into more specific subjects such as Algebra and Biology. Khan Academy also contains as unusual sections as Banking and Money and Brain Teasers(which are claimed to be helpful during job interviews).
Kkan Academy includes statistics that remember each video a student watches and records what is learned. There is also a Knowledge Map which allows viewers to zoom in and out to work on various exercises. Sal states that he teaches in his videos the way that he wishes he was taught. He also equips the site with charts demonstrating how effective Khan Academy is. Sal  strives to make Khan Academy the "first free, world-class virtual school where anyone can learn anything."
This is Khan Academy's logo.

iTunes U
iTunes U
iTunes U is set up similar to iTunes so that most students will find it easy to use. Universities can set up accounts complete with information and lessons for their students to use. Some accounts are private and only students at that particular university with passwords are able to access it. Other universities can choose to make their account public and allow anyone with an iTunes account to access it.
iTunes U points out that universities who opt to make their account public will gain recognition from anyone with an iTunes account without having to spend more on advertising.The content can either be downloaded to the iPod Touch. iPad, or the iPhone. iTunes U content is not limited to just notes and lectures. Teachers can post lab demonstrations, exhibit tours, books, maps, and virtually anything else they can dream of. PDF and ePub files(such as syllabi, books, and notes) can be opened and read on any e-reader, not just the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

TED stands for "Technology, Entertainment, Design" and originally began as an annual conference. These conferences were brought together so that their participants may attempt to give the speech "of their lives." These speeches are now available on The site states that TED was created to inspire its viewers and spread knowledge(much like iTunes U and Khan Academy). The TED conference that takes place in the spring spans over four days and includes a variety of speeches(18 minutes in length or shorter) as well as music and performances. In addition to speeches, TED gives away a TED Prize each year. The prize is $100,000 to allow "One Wish to Change the World" come true.

Part #2

Khan Academy
What struck me most about Khan Academy was the extensive variety of math videos. Those of you who have read my previous posts know that math isn't my strong subject. What gave me the most problems when I was younger was trying to remember how to do everything while working on homework. Since neither of my parents are strong in mathematics either, they weren't able to help me with this. When I saw Khan Academy's selection of math videos I immediately thought this would be great for someone who also has a hard time with math. As a teacher I would sign myself up and ask that my students(or their parents) sign up as well and add me as their "coach." I would indicate which videos would relate to what my class would be currently learning so that even when students are away from school they will have access to tutoring for a wide variety of subjects. I would encourage parents to take a look at these videos as well so they can get an ides of what their children are learning about.

iTunes U
For iTunes U I came across surprisingly different material than what was on Khan Academy. I would use Khan Academy more for everyday use, but iTunes U has more unique videos that I would use for special occasions. For example, there is a Space SD audio podcast in which the viewer can take a virtual tour through our solar system while learning about it. There is also a Wired Study Tips audio podcast that contains 30 episodes for the college bound student to better develop study skills. I would find ways to incorporate some of the episodes through out the school year when they would be most useful(such as before a larger project or test).

This is the logo for iTunes U.
Similar to iTunes U, I would use TED for special occasion purposes as opposed to the everyday use of Khan Academy. TED has videos organized by theme, speakers, and "talks." Talks is broken down further into categories such as most viewed, most commented, and rated as jaw dropping. There are also persuasive, funny, informative, courageous and inspiring categories just to name a few. I would use TED as something for students to write on, or perhaps a tool to draw inspiration from for crafts or a project.

Part #3

Khan Academy
Currency Exchange Introduction
In "Currency Exchange Introduction" Khan goes over the basics of how money is converted. He uses the Chinese yuan and American Dollar as examples. The video is filmed as if he is writing on an actual chalk board. In the video he uses one person attempting to convert yuan into dollars and two people trying to convert dollars into yuan. Khan demonstrates that while the starting currency may be 10 yuan to every 1 dollar, the person with the currency in most demand(in his demonstration it was the person converting yuan into dollars) can change this depending on how badly others want it. In short, it is like an auction, or as Khan put it, you're "buying other currencies." Overall I thought the video explained very well. I wasn't necessarily expecting just a chalkboard setting with an instructional voice in the background, but it worked out well for the video. I'm a visual learner, so seeing how the money flowed made it easy for me to understand.

iTunes U
Wired Study Tips
Unlike the "Currency Exchange Introduction", this was an audio podcast. The first episode is "No Mental Marathons." The podcast begins by stating that cramming for a test is like running an extensive marathon. the narrator says one would be lucky to not "lose their lunch." It is then suggested that rather than attempting a marathon the night before, students treat school like a 8-5 job and study a little bit between classes everyday. The narrator says this plan is bound to work out as it will not interfere with weekend social activities that students "would never tell their children about." I thought the way this was taught was pretty funny and it kept my attention. I liked the Khan Academy video so much that I was a little skeptical before listening to an audio podcast, but the narrator made it enjoyable(and informative). This is also very convenient as this could be listened to in the car or between classes(really anywhere one would typically use an iPod).

Joshua Walters: On Being Just Crazy Enough
This video starts off with Walters stating that he is a performer. He then informs the audience that he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. During his first episode he thought he was Jesus Christ. Though before anyone has time to feel remorse for Walters, he says that no drug will get anyone as high as believing that one is Jesus Christ. He described living in a psych ward as being among people who each put on their own "one man show." He continues to address bipolar disorder with humor and argues that it may not be so bad. Walters leaves his viewers wondering how crazy is "crazy"? I actually loved this video and found myself scrolling through more like it when it was over. I don't think I would show this particular one to a class of mine, but I would take advantage of other videos available for students to view.
This is the logo for TED.

Part #4

Khan Academy
As I mentioned earlier, teachers could use Khan Academy on a daily basis for supplemental instructional or tutoring for homework. Part of why I find it so useful it that it can be accessed anywhere that has an internet connection. Parents would be able to see and understand what their children are learning. This would also become useful if any problems arise during homework. Students would have access to these videos for help at home.

iTunes U
I would take advantage of iTunes U for their unique selection of lectures. The "Wired Study Tips" audio I listened to would be more useful for older students. However, I would take the information found in the podcast and form lesson plans around it that would better cater to the younger classes I hope to teach. Teachers could experiment with the more interactive items on iTunes U and use them as additional instructions to accompany school books.

As with iTunes U, I would most likely use TED for special occasions rather than on a daily basis. As stated earlier in this post, I think that the videos found on TED would be useful as inspiration for students before starting a project. Teachers could also incorporate these videos in lesson plans by asking students to write on a video, or even film their own video. TED would also be very useful to calm students before they are about to make a speech.

Part #5
I was surprised to realize that something like Khan Academy existed. I was not aware that there were so many instructional videos online(and free of charge!). Once I visited the website I was not surprised to discover the sheer volume of tutorials though. The "About" portion was very well laid out and thorough, so I was expecting the videos to meet the same standards as well. As with Khan Academy, I did not realize something such as TED existed. Though once reading up on it I was not surprised to see the amazing selection of speeches TED contains. However, I was a little surprised with iTunes U. I was not expecting very much from it because when I think iTunes I think purely music. I still wasn't very impressed after reading the information presented on the website. After listening to and audio podcast I was pleasantly surprised to find it useful and entertaining.

Project #14

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Project #3

Comments for Teachers #3
Scott Kemp's The Radical Tactical Shift

What We Can Do vs. What We Do Do
In this post Mr.Kemp address things that teachers might strive to do, but not always complete fully. He talks about connecting our classrooms digitally and educating teachers about how to achieve the maximum use through technology available today. Mr.Kemp also makes a point of stating that as teachers we should focus on how much students are actually learning, rather than attempt to assign numerical values(such as test scores) to the amount learned. This was something I addressed in my comment on "What We Can Do vs. What We Do Do." I completely agree that as teachers we should not only worry about raising test scores, but about helping students to learn and discover more than what is just required(to pass a test).

This is a pencil laying on top of a filled in scantron.
Accomplishing More By Doing Less
Mr.Kemp states that he is in favor of "student-centered learning" such as the hands on type learning we experience in EDM 310. He suggests that rather than trying to accomplish everything possible, we as teachers learn to step aside and encourage this type of learning. Kemp provides his four classroom priorities that aid him in student-centered learning. The first is "building relationships and culture," then "feedback, constant and constructive," "answering student questions, if deep inquiry" is next, and last is "get out of the way." In earlier Blog Assignments we were asked how we would go about teaching a networked student, and I was left unsure how to do this. "Accomplishing More By Doing Less" sounds like it could be the answer to my dilemma. In my comment I stated that I found this post very helpful and thought it could be the answer to teaching a networked student.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blog Post #9

What I've Learned This Year
What I've Learned This Year
Mr.McClung's post is nothing short of inspiring. Every aspiring teacher should read this. He begins by asking us to remember to check if our students are listening and learning when making our lectures. In regards to said lectures, he says the "No lesson is ever perfect. The lesson you teach and the one you plan are always different." This encouragement to allow ourselves to be laid back and not worry so much about "perfection" sounds like ingredients for the classroom I've envisioned. Mr.McClung goes on to ask us to not set our students up for failure with unattainable expectations and to listen to them. This relates back to a section of "Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire" in which Rafe states that mutual respect is the key to an orderly classroom without students fearing their teacher as a result. Lastly, Mr.McClung tells his readers to not fear technology and to constantly learn. These are two things I've recently learned the importance of through this class. To me "What I've Learned This Year" is a post of encouragement. As someone who has not yet had the privilege of teaching, I'm constantly worrying about future mistakes and how to achieve the "perfect" classoom. Mr.McClung's post felt very real and down to earth. His words of wisdom are ones that I will surely carry with me into my first day as a teacher.

This is a cartoon image of a blackboard with the words

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blog Post #8

This is How We Dream Part 1 and 2
This is How We Dream Part 1 and 2
Something I immediately liked about Part 1 is that he wrote his response to the shootings at Virginia Tech without visiting a library. For me this is very appealing as I do most of my homework late at night when I get off work. Richard Miller's document was mailed to people on the mailing list only to, as he put it, "make its way to the trash." The document is also available on line though. This means that anyone at anytime is able to access it. I would like my students to learn to use the web for their benefit for this very reason. They could have billions of sources of information at their fingertips. I feel like this make research for papers and education in general a little easier.
Miller also points out that with the Internet, information can be updated almost instantly. This makes it possibly to tap into the most update facts possible. Miller then states that educators must be open to sharing information and distribute it "openly and freely." This is why I want to have a class blog when I am a teacher. Miller strengthens his argument further by demonstrating the usefulness of YouTube. YouTube allowed him to upload his information instantly and as a result was accessed by 9,000 people within a matter of months. If this would have been published via text it would take two years to publish.
This is a YouTube logo.Miller's point is that we should embrace new technologies, if for nothing else then to spread ideas and information as quickly as possible. I'm not sure if I'm completely prepared to write in multimedia, but I am sure I will be more acquainted with it after this class. I do plan to continue Blogging and posting pod casts for classes. What Miller shows at the end of Part 2 is very mind boggling. It does inspire me to stay on top of new technology in an effort to keep up.

Blog Post #12 by Carly Pugh
Blog Post #12 by Carly Pugh
In my opinion Carly comes pretty close, if not achieves, what Dr.Miller was describing as far as spreading ideas through the Internet. Her dedication to her post leaves a lot to be admired. I really liked her assignment; it seems like it would fit in nicely with the ones we've had so far. By creating a play list of inspiring videos Carly shares her teaching ideals with the class(and anyone who stumbles upon her blog). Her numerous links also allow the reader to venture out and explore other sites and sources of information.To me this does exemplify what Dr.Miller spoke of in "This is How We Dream Part 1 and 2."

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies
The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies
After watching both videos I determined that I would like to see EDM310 for Dummies done in more depth. A video not just showing that this class is important, but why it is would be a nice addition. Towards the end of EDM310 for Dummies one of the girls talks enthusiastically about what she is learning from Twitter. There could be a section on how Blogger, YouTube and Delicious contributed to her as well.
The point to these videos seems to be pretty straight forward. EDM310 can be overwhelming, but learning to use all the tools presented to us will only educate us in the end. The information we learn to access through Twitter, YouTube, Blogger, other sources will increase our knowledge about the education world. The Chipper Series demonstrates what happens when a student does not posses the drive to succeed in school. To me the main point of that video wasn't so much to illustrate the consequences of not putting effort forth in EDM310, but it was to shine a light on the importance of dedication to ones' studies in school and in ones' work life.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
Learn to Change, Change to Learn
This video brought up something I haven't thought of before; even if we do not use technology in the classroom, children will still access it other places. They will Facebook between homework assignments and text on a daily basis. If they are engaging in technology outside of school then teachers should embrace it into their lesson plans. We should incorporate everything possible to, as the video stated, "ensure their best education." I feel that the arguments made in "Learn to Change, Change to Learn" were completely valid. It is my opinion that we should provide everything possible to keep our students up to date with the changing times. As teachers we will not be able to accomplish this if we do not incorporate technological changes into our classroom.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Project #7

Google Favorite Foods Form Summary

As the title states, my Google form was sampling Favorite Foods. I honed in on types of foods people eat the more than others and comfort foods. The results for types of vegetables most enjoyed and types of fruits most enjoyed were the most self explanatory. Out of the five vegetables listed, the only one that everyone liked was potatoes. Broccoli hit a close second while spinach and carrots tied for third. Eggplant was the least liked vegetable of the group. From this information I gathered that the majority of people in my group enjoy more conventional vegetables as opposed to the unusual eggplant. I have a theory that the creaminess of potatoes fuels its popularity.
Despite the controversial vegetables, the five fruits I listed had overwhelming "likes" in comparison. Strawberries were "Strongly Liked" among everyone and apples, bananas and pineapples weren't too far off. However, pears were at the bottom of the fruit totem pole. This also relates back to my theory that creamy(or in this case, juicy) foods are more well liked. Compared to strawberries, pears are a relatively dry fruit. Another point to this theory is that more people prefer creamy ice cream to the more dry cake.
This is a pie graph demonstrating that the majority of people prefer ice cream to cake.
In addition to types of foods preferred, I also discovered that while most people can taste a slightly noticeable difference when their favorite food is homemade rather than store bought, they would still rather purchase it pre-made. The all time favorite comfort foods among my group members were jambalaya, grilled fish, chicken alfredo, bread and steaks.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Project #10 First Progress Report

This is an example of a Symbaloo page.
For My PLN I chose to use Symbaloo because I like how everything is laid out on the screen. I just created my account and am beginning to experiment with what I can do to personalize it. It was a little overwhelming at first since there are so many options, but I was excited to get started. I began with clearing out the clutter and deleted everything I won't be using(Craigslist, Pandora, ect.) Once everything was cleaned out I began adding my own boxes. I added a box for and after organizing my Gmail, Twitter, Blogger, and YouTube Accounts in the top left corner. All in all, I'm still trying to get the hang of it, but I have made personal touches to my account.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Project #11

Blog Post #7

This is Randy Pausch.
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Randy Pausch begins his lecture by "addressing the elephant in the room." He tells his audience that he has cancer and was told he has only months to live. Despite this, he demonstrates how healthy, and happy, his is. While he is undoubtedly a wonderful speaker, I was immediately captivated because of his bad news. Pausch then presents a list of childhood dreams which was filled with whimsical things such as "being in zero gravity" and "being a Disney Imagineer."
As Pausch continues on with his lecture he displays a humorous and thought provoking anecdotes with each dream that he addresses. A particularly memorable statement was made in regards to his dream to play in the NFL. After his football coach was being especially hard on him he was told that it was a good thing. He learned from this that if he is ever making a mistake playing poorly, if no one says anything they have lost hope. I think this translates to all aspects of life, most noticeably education.
Another inspirational statement he makes is "Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want something." He said this after being rejected to work as a Disney Imagineer. This is something I would like to teach my students. Pausch remains eternally optimistic and humorous while speaking of his downfalls and rejections. More than that, he always seems to look on the bright side. Out of everything negative he has experienced a new lesson emerges. Pausch takes his "brick wall" blocking him from working at Disney and turns it into something to encourage his audience.
Pausch ends his last lecture with two memorable "head fakes." The first is that is isn't actually a lecture about how to achieve one's dreams, but it is about how to live one's life. He speaks of finding the best in people and working hard. Pausch also claims to believe in karma. The second "head fake" is that this final lecture wasn't actually for the audience. It was for his children. His lecture was inspirational and chock full on life lessons. As an aspiring teacher I hope to present my students with these life lessons and hope they get as much out of it as I did.

Project #3

Comments for Teachers #2

Prescribed Viewing- Daniel Kraft on Medicine's Future
The video at the top f this post demonstrated all the advances being made in the Medicine field with the help of technology. In Luca's post she mentions that we welcome all the technological changes associated with medicine since it regards our physical health. But what about our mental needs? Technology is the classroom isn't being welcomed with open arms like the medical world. Luca suggests that all teachers(and potential ones as well) watch this video in order to embrace the changes brought forth with technology.
In my comment on her post I stated that I was blown away with the new inventions in the medical world thanks to technology. If such great things come from technology involving medicine, it's worth seeing what it can do with education. Overall I agree with Luca's point of view and enjoyed the video she posted.

Helping Students with Current Issues Research
In this post Luca lists various websites that are intended to help students discover current events and research. Some of the sited listed were Google News and Google Realtime Search in addition to Australian websites containing newspapers and other information outlets. Luca stated that these were used to aid students in their effort to write a persuasive essay.
In my comment to her I said that I especially liked TED, a website in which student can watch speeches and study them to ease their fears about public speaking. I would have found this very useful when taking South's Public Speaking course! I also cannot wait to try out Google News and Google Realtime Search! They seem like they will be extremely useful when preparing to write papers.
This a the Google News logo.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Project #9b

All pictures received from

Blog Post #6

The Networked Student
The Networked Student
The question "Why does a networked students even need a teacher?" was asked after watching this video. I'll start off by saying how impressed I am that the student is able to take so much responsibility and discover things on her own. I think that's a great way to learn. My approach to remaining useful in networked students' lives would be to learn as much as I possibly can so that I would have more to offer. The video demonstrated how eager these students are to learn, so I think the real challenge would be keeping up with them and always providing something new and interesting.
At this point in time I might not be completely ready to teach networked children, but I think as I further my college career I will become more prepared. All the articles and videos we're assigned to read/watch for our blog posts will aid in my preparation for that kind of teaching. I think that networked students will still need a teacher to provide guidance and help if they get stuck with one of their assignments.
As a teacher I would also strive to constantly come prepared with more information and tools and projects to use online. The student in the video is obviously very independent and smart, but with a teacher's help her goals could steadily raise to new heights. That combined with their independent learning would help develop strong motivated students that I would be proud to have in my class.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment
A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment
This girl's Personal Learning Environment is very organized! I unfortunately can't say that mine is as orderly as hers, but it's still neat. I do not have the same page as she does with my websites laid out(though I'm very interested in it now!). Most of my frequently used websites are bookmarked in a folder labeled "School." I also "like" articles I read on my Stumble account so that I can find more like them and come back to them later.
After seeing her video I am much more interested in organizing my laptop and Internet usage the way she does. I generally keep my room and car organized and clean, but I haven't taken the time to do so with my computer. Seeing how coordinated her page was has inspired me to do the same. After all, the more I learn to do on the computer, the more I can teach my students!

Why Smartboards are a Dumb Initiative
Michael Staton provides two strong reasons why SMARTboards are not necessary in the classroom. He states that some of the "new" technologies found on a SMARTboard can easily be replicated without one. He uses the "save the brainstorm" aspect of it as an example. Staton points out that this is also accomplished by using a screenshot, Microsoft OneNote, or the old-fashioned transparencies that accompany projectors.
Just as you begin to ask yourself why schools would ever spend money on a SMARTboard, Staton provides the reasoning behind it. It is easier to request money for specific items(such as SMARTboards), than it is to ask for extra money to develop new learning techniques. As Staton says, Administrators need to request "things they can point to and count."

Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards
Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards
Bill Ferriter's post on Interactive Whiteboards is more emotionally charged than Staton's. One of the most inspiring points that he makes is that SMARTboards do not fulfill the general vision of a great classroom that most teachers strive to attain. Ferriter asked a principal what she considered the perfect classroom to look like. She responded with an image of students creating and learning as well as challenging one another in their studies. She said that the students would "grow independently."
Ferriter states that SMARTboards may make lessons easier, but they are not a tool to help students "grow independently." He goes on to say that schools are not equipped with an system to actually measure how much(or how little) SMARTboards accomplish.

Education Technology for the Classroom: From Blackboards to Digital Projectors to SMARTboards
Education Technology for the Classroom: From Blackboards to Digital Projectors to SMARTboards
In this Blog both pros and cons of SMARTboards were listed, but for the purpose of the "Compare and Contrast" portion of this assignment I'll only focus on the Pros. Mr.Kuroneko cited that with SMARTboards the teacher is not stuck behind a keyboard, but rather they are in front of the classroom interacting with the white board and the students. In Staton's post he felt that SMARTboards really contained old technology wrapped up in an expensive new board. While SMARTboards may provide the teacher with the ability to remain in front of his/her class, that could also be achieved with a tool probably less expensive. The two other pros listed were that even if the SMARTboard markers were lost, teachers can still write on it(and they come in four different colors) and SMARTboards can convert handwriting to text(though in Mr.Kuroneko's con list he stated that SMARTboards made handwriting atrocious) and save the result. While the SMARTboard does have it's perks, I feel that after reading these posts it is increasingly obvious that their inability to actually provide new teaching methods renders them useless.
This is a SMARTboard.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blog Post #5

"Langwitches" left me very excited to try this with my own class someday. What I thought was particularly striking was that the students were experimenting with the pitches and fluency of their voices. I feel as if that creates a breeding ground for good public speaking that will be important throughout their schooling and later in their careers as well. It makes me wonder if using podcasts would help students in other areas as well.
Could reading along to their own podcast help children whose strong point isn't reading? I'm curious to find out. I think that further use and experimentation with podcasting would help students to become more interested in reading and public speaking. I'm anxious to try this in the future.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
"The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom" takes the concept a little more in depth than "Langwitches." The video states that podcasts can enhance creativity and allow students to achieve a higher level or learning as they will be teaching others. It also provides an example of how podcasting can help students who have to miss important sick days due to illnesses. By having the ability to access the class lectures online students will not only have a way to catch up on work when they miss school, but will also be able to use the lectures for help with homework.
Parents would also be able to keep track of what their students are doing. A demonstration of students recording a podcast is provided for the reader as well. I felt like this video will the useful when my group is filming our podcast as it was very informative and I know have a good sense of what a podcast is and what it is capable of when used as a learning tool.

100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better
100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better
I was a little skeptical before reading this article since I only use my iPod when driving. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the list of educational tools that iPods can tap into. A plethora of study guides, podcasts and apps have been at my fingertips without my even knowing. What I find especially useful is how small an iPod is. Though I see students on campus lugging laptops around all day, an iPod would easily fit into a purse or a pocket. It is truly learning on the go.
In addition to being used to any time/place access to study tools, iPods have learning tutorials. These ensure that one can get the absolute most out of these tiny devices. I look forward to see what I can do with mine!
These are five iPods in various colors.

Project #9a

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Blog Post #4

Don't Teach Your Kids this Stuff. Please?
Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
I love that this was written in the same format as a poem! I think that helped Scott McLeod not only get his point across, but made it funny and entertaining. "Don't Teach You Kids This Stuff. Please?" covers all the basic fears that parents may have about familiarizing their children with the internet too early in life. Some reasons, like predators, cyberbullying and porn, seem valid, but in the end no good can come of sheltering children. If anything, educating them on minor dangers of the world wide web could help prepare them to deal with bullies at school or other real life issues.
McLeod ends his poem by saying that his kids, the kids who are learning with the internet, will have a "leg up" in the future. To me this relates back to "It's Not About Technology." It's good to prepare and watch over students who are tapping into the knowledge on the internet to prevent mishaps such as predators or porn. However, when used correctly the web can be a strong learning tool and enhance students' studies. Overall, I feel that when used in the right manner, the information gained when exploring the internet outweighs the dangers of it.
This is an iPod Touch.

The iSchool Initiative
The iSchool Initiative
The iSchool seems like a progressive idea that would help with teacher cut backs(as there will be no need for pencils, paper, and copiers as stated in the video). It would also help students become more comfortable with using technology on a daily basis. I'm especially familiar with that as I myself am still trying to adjust to using Blogspot and Twitter. While I wouldn't replace all subjects with the iSchool approach, I think a class or two using that route of learning would greatly benefit teachers and students alike. As I said before, teachers should also be learners. And what better way to learn than with an iPhone!
"The iSchool Initiative" describes the costs saved in impressive detail towards the end of the video. The average cost estimated is about $600 a student, while an iPhone would only require about $150. The only downfall I saw to the iSchool is that some students, like my self, find it easier to write things out when studying. The video cited that flashcards would not be need in iSchool. I depend on flashcards a great deal when studying though. Part of this is because I've used them since Elementary School to help myself focus. A possible solution to this would be to introduce the iSchool at a young age to would help students to develop study skills more compatible to internet studies.

You Can't Be My Teacher
You Can't Be My Teacher
"You Can't Be My Teacher" wasn't as effective as catching my attention as the previous videos and articles I've seen/read for this class. The point was not lost on me though. How can we teach when we are not up to date with technology? As the internet is quickly becoming a larger and larger source of information, it would be more than wise to introduce out students to it.
As the child says at the end of the video, "That's our job." By exposing students to the internet we can show them "what the world has to offer." I don't think this video provided much information on the usefulness of technology in the classroom. I understand that it is a necessity and the previous Blog Post Assignments have supplemented that. This particular video just didn't have as as much as an impact on me.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir: "Lux Aurumque
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir: "Lux Aurumque"
I thought that this was beautiful to listen to! This can't take the place of seeing a real choir in person for me, but it is inspiring to see all the singers in their own rooms. It gives the viewer the sense of togetherness. Since the singers have never met in person it makes me feel like the video represents different cultures coming together through the internet.
This video represents people uniting and reaching out to other cultures via the web. Watching people who have never met unite to make something beautiful is something I would like my students to see. I think it would encourage them to be more active in pursuing the internet by seeing first hand the good that can come of it.

Teaching in the 21st Century
Teaching in the 21st Century
This video brought up some questions that I was curious about. A teacher I had last semester asked us how we were supposed to teach when students could easily be self sufficient and teach themselves through the internet. While I do think technology has it's place in the classroom, it created some concerns. Would my role as an educator become obsolete? My questions are answered with "Teaching in the 21st Century." We provide skills. Skills that that go much farther than spitting out facts and information. We can teach students how to learn.
By teaching students to create and form their own opinions through knowledge, we provide them with skills useful throughout life. As the old saying goes, if you hand someone a fish you give them dinner; if you teach them to fish you provide them with food for a lifetime. I like the idea of upgrading the information we provide our students with. By giving them the tools needed to reach the endless amount of information the internet and world has to offer, we allow them to grow as people and hopefully begin their journey as a lifetime student. I would like my students to take the skills I give them with and constantly learn just as I aspire to do.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Special Assignment #1

1. Did you know about Wolframalpha?
No I did not.

2. Did you know about Google Squared?

3. What percentage of China's population is the population of the United States?
There are 1.35 billion people in China versus the 309 million people in the United States.

4. What percentage of India's population is the population of the United States?
There are 1.21 billion people in India versus the Unites States' 309 million people.

5. Now what do you think of the facts reported in Do You Know?
I think coupled with the statistics shown in "Did You Know?" it is quite obvious that these countries are expanding very quickly.

6. Do you think WolframAlpha and Google Squared will be useful for you? for your students? Why or why not?
Yes! I think it will help students grasp how large or small other countries are. Google Squared would be especially useful since is displays the countires' religions, literacy rates, and brief histories in a clear, easy to see manner. I think that would make it a little less overwhelming for smaller children to use.

Project #5

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blog Post #3

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today
Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today
"A Vision of Students Today" accurately depicts my college life. The part of the video in which students display how many tasks they must accomplish in a day hits particularly close to home. I think that feeling overwhelmed is common among college students, especially Freshmen. I would emphasis the money spent on textbooks and college courses more if it were to mirror my experiences better.
I liked the way "A Vision of Students Today" was shot. By not having any of the students speak it created a kind of eerie and lonely vibe. I think that's the general feeling Wesch was going for, and one that college freshmen can appreciate. The students holding up signs with real world problems such as war poverty at the end of the video presents another interesting complex that students must deal with. Will the classes they are enrolled in help them deal with "real world" problems? And if so, how can they apply what they know to better our world? Overall, I think "A Vision of Students Today" presents an authentic description of college life.

It's Not about the Technology
It's Not About Technology
I loved this article! Kelly Hines brought up some great points about technology in the classroom that I couldn't agree with more! In "Teachers Must be Learners" Hines mentions that while every teacher must take various tests in order to teach, their basic knowledge can become outdated after a decade of teaching. Teachers who aspire to constantly learn will inevitably provide the best education possible for their students. And not only that, but how inspiring is it that the teachers are actually students too! Keeping educators updated on the newest methods and information would provide so many good role models for children as well. I hope I can embody this learning spirit and encourage my students to constantly learn!
Hines states that "if a student has not learned, not matter how much effort has been exerted, no teaching has been done," in "Learning and Teaching are not the Same Thing." This is so motivational and makes me want to completely immerse myself in everything anyway related to education. "It's Not about the Technology" makes it clear to the reader that only someone who is creative with their teaching techniques can successfully use technology in the classroom. But if technology is used correctly as a supplement to a good teacher, "the possibilities are endless," as Hines says.
It is a cartoon computer.

Is it Okay to be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher
While I don't feel as extremely about technology illiterate teachers as Karl Fisch, it is undeniable that he makes good points throughout his post. He states that while teaching math, parents of struggling students often said they weren't good at math either as if it were excusable. I completely understand that as I have been guilty of uttering that exact phrase(as have my mathematically challenged parents). Fisch says that while it may be socially acceptable to some to not understand math, it is almost never acceptable to have the inability to read. This made me think about my own standards for my education.
I consider myself adequate with technology(though still awful at math). However, I've always had an easier time with my English courses, or more specifically, reading. If I put as much effort into bettering myself in the computer world as I do into reading I would be a much more well rounded person. Now I see where Fisch is coming from. With all that technology has to offer, how could I not make it my goal to understand it?

Gary Hayes' Social Media Counts
It's a little surreal to watch Gary Hayes' Social Media Count. It tracks various internet actions such as Facebook comments, videos seen on YouTube and apps downloaded by the second. These aren't exactly what I could call useful internet resources. In the right hands they could be, but for the most part Facebook seems to be purely composed of stalking and scandalous weekend pictures. I do think this displays how quickly the internet moves, and therefor how relevant it is becoming.
I think that this will effect my teaching career because eventually more and more things will be moved to internet only. As demonstrated through his Social Media Counts, the number of emails sent in just the past couple of seconds are astounding. This could affect how I communicate with my students' parents. Maybe when I'm teaching teachers will post YouTube videos for parents to watch. Or better yet, YouTube videos for at home tutoring. The technology changes illustrated by Gary Hayes will possibly change the way I converse with my fellow teachers, parents and students.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Project #3

Comments for Teachers #1
Angela Rand's My Mind Gap

In Hot Pursuit of Writing
In Angela Rand's blog post, "In Hot Pursuit of Writing", she outlines the usefulness of a mindmap. In short, if it a way of organizing notes and thoughts into a map/chart in order to allow them to flow better. In this specific blog post Angela talks about using one to put together her findings about how students learn. I especially liked Angela's take on this subject.
In my comment on "In Hot Pursuit of Writing" I mentioned that I enjoyed her discoveries on how the human mind decodes things. I feel that understanding this will make me a better teacher. I also loved her mindmaps! I've started using them since I commented on her post. Already I ssee a big difference in how I compose my thoughts before preparing to write.

This is a mindmap depicting the basics of how to draw a mindmap.

Brains, Cognition, Reading, Scripts
"Brains, Cognition, Reading, Scrits" depicts Angela's interest is in human brain and focuses more on mindmaps that "In Hot Pursuit of Writing." Her thoughts on reading are displayed in her mindmap located below her post. Angela states that the iPhone app "SimpleMind" helped her devolope the techniques used in making her mindmap.
In my comment to her post I said that I've been uing mindmaps of my own since reading "In Hot Pursuit of Writing." Not only have they been immensely helpful, but I think her studies on how the human brain learns is fascinating. Knowing how students will learn or read would be very helpful when teaching a class of my own.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Blog Post #2

Did You Know?
Did You Know?
For me, Did You Know? was a little eerie to watch. It starts off with statistics stating how large China and India have become, and that's only from 2008 when the video was uploaded! It's mind-boggling to think how much the countries could have grown between then and now. Having being fed that "America is #1" my whole life, this came as a shock to me. It does serve as inspiration to educate myself with what is happening in countries besides this one, which I think was the point of the video.
Did You Know? clearly portrays how fast paced and internet prone our world has become. Armed with captivating statistics this video reaches out to its viewers with a mission: technology is overpowering and in order to move ahead both in our personal lives and as a country we must push ourselves forward to learn the newest upcoming technology. Did You Know? embraces the phrase "knowledge is power" and left me feeling motivated to learn.

Mr.Winkle Wakes
Mr.Winkle Wakes
Matthew Neeleman uses Mr.Winkle's journey through a new technology savvy world to convey to his viewers the need for technology in the classroom. When Mr.Winkle awakes the whole world has evolved and produced computers. One of the new uses of the new machinery is life support. He observes people being kept alive by machines in the hospital. So if society can discover ways to keep people alive, why have our school not evolved to such spectacular heights?
In a comment below the YouTube video Neeleman states that he himself is a school teacher and while his point may have been exaggerated in the video, he is a firm believer that schools have not progressed the way they should have. I agree. I think that schools should offer more to their students than they currently do. As stated in the Did You Know? video, technology and the world is constantly evolving and it's our job to prepare every generation for the ever changing future.

The Importance of Creativity
The Importance of Creativity
Ken Robinson not only makes a touching speech about loss of creativity, but his sense of humor kept me in stitches! It is obvious that he not only enjoys spending time with children, but he respects them. This alone gives him my full attention and interest. He states that children's lack of fear of "being wrong" provides them with a key liberation needed to embrace creativity. Schools' effort to pound strict regulations about what is right and wrong diminishes students creativity.
Robinson also makes a point that educators typically only work on one side of the child's brain, so to speak. He asks why we don't teach dance everyday in the same manner that we teach math. After watching his video I was left completely converted to his way of thinking. I've always been a fan of arts integrated in education, but his points take it to a whole new level.
This is Sir Ken Robinson.

Cecelia Gault Interviews Sir Ken Robinson
Cecelia Gault Interviews Sir Ken Robinson
Ken Robinson again has remarkable things to say about education in general and way to improve the education system. He tells Cecelia that curriculum's need to constantly be changing as society is always changing. This relates back to the Did You Know? video which demonstrated just how fast the world can change in a matter of years.
In addition to his suggestions, he emphasizes the importance of technology and creativity. Robinson states that anyone can be creative and creativity can apply to anything, not just the typically thought of arts. The creativity he speaks of can be used as a supplement to the growing technology to bring forth innovative new generation of students.

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis uses technology to connect her students to others around their world. She is expanding their view past their hometown and past America. I like that Davis believes that anyone can learn. I think that her positivity helps her students succeed in their computer courses. Davis feels that children learn best when they are exposed to computers and not just the typical "pencil and paper." She even goes on to say that she isn't always needed at the front of the classroom.
Davis' approach to teaching clearly allows her students to go above and beyond what is taught in a normal classroom setting. She evens states that her students have taught her things about technology. This progressive technique not only allows her to constantly learn(and thereby making her a better teacher), but encourages her students to do the same.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blog Post #1

Hi! I'm Alana Escobio and I'm a Sophomore at South. I was born and raised in Mobile. I chose to attend South so that I could continue living at home with my parents and younger brother, Sam. We live in the midtown region near Murphy, which is where I attended High School. I enjoy cooking and watching movies in my free time.
I wanted to enter the education field after spending 3 summers as a camp counselor for girls ages 7-10. I quickly discovered that the carefree simplicity of children that age was something I admired and wanted to work with. The more education classes I take the more I am sure this is the career I want to pursue.