Monday, February 28, 2011

Comments for Teachers #2

gradual release of responsibility model
C4T #1
I had the privilege of commenting on Edna Sackson's blog. She lives in Melbourne, Australia. She writes some very informative blog post and they reflect her personal thoughts and opinions. The first one that I was able to comment on was about the Power of Communication. She was talking to a fellow teacher and was suprised how the other teacher dismissed the idea of her students using drama to improve their second language skills and a group of the students applying their knowledge through tech tools. It seemed that she liked her students to all be on the same task and under her control. She didn't want to share the control with them. Edna decided to approach the situation by discussing with the fellow teacher about her own two kids. She talked about how they both learn in two different ways and that is when Edna asked her how they would do in her class then. The teacher immediately saw what she was doing wrong and was open to exploring ways to change. This helped her see how the gradual release of responsibility could improve her students and her classroom.

I commented about how I love the approach that Edna took to talking to this teacher about changing. I said that Edna has helped me learn that not all students will learn the same or at the same pace and that I need to be ready for that and always have something for the students who finish early to do. I talked about how I like that Edna used something personal to the teacher so that it would hit home with her. I also like how the other teacher took it as constructive criticism and did not get her feelings hurt by this. This post gave some great points about what a small conversation can do to impact your teaching style.
C4T #2
change sign
Edna then wrote an amazing post about how change isn't easy and how it can be difficult at times but how it is very necessary. She gave many valid points to how to change from one scenario to the next. My favorite statement that she made was to shift from focusing on teaching to focusing on learning. This is such a major thing that most teachers do not even think to change. She also said that learning new ways is challenging and its going to take patience, openness, time and resilience. She ended it with saying that as educators, in the business of learning, we need to be learners ourselves.
I couldn't agree more with all that she said. She made so many points that as teachers and future teachers we need to always remember. By this I realized that education is going to change and that we need to learn to adapt with it. As a future teacher, I can't be too set on a certain teaching style or way because it will all be changing. Technology is one of the biggest types of change the school will be seeing and as a new educator I want to instill in my students lives that my classroom is based on learning and that I will try to share the responsibility with my students and let them help out with making their experience a successful one. 

Project #11 Book Trailer

Friday, February 25, 2011

Blog Post 6

The Networked Student 
 networked student
This was a very interesting video. I love how it captured the steps of how to be a networked student. This is a true example of connectivism. The student in the video uses a wide range of resources to build his learning network. Not only does he use websites and blogs to learn more about American Psychology he also listens to educational podcast on his Ipod. This helps him have a range of educational tools. With no book in the class, he is able to expand his knowledge and become responsible for the things he needs to learn. Being a networked student will help him in the long run and he will be able to survive living in a world where everything is based on technology.
Does the networked student really need a teacher? I think yes! Like the video said, she is the backbone to what he has become. Without the help and support of a teacher, a student will not know how to fully reach the potential to becoming a networked student. A teacher can help by showing a student what to do, how to fix a problem, how to communicate properly, and more; but without a teacher the student will not know this. I feel like I am prepared to be a teacher of a networked student. It will be difficult but I believe that EDM has helped me learn more about the internet and how to use it effectively. With this, I can help a student learn more about technology and how to use it in the classroom. If I don't know something then I will research it until I do.
Wendy Drexler is very brave for wanting to try this with her middle school students. I don't know if I would be able to do that. Its hard, I think, because they are still at that immature age where they are not going to be responsible. But I do believe that if she does it right and makes it fun, then they might enjoy it and like being able to work on things on their own. It could honestly go both ways.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment
personal learning environment

This student has her Personal Learning Environment(PLE)down. I was amazed by how it had so many sources and she is getting as much out of the internet that she can. Her teacher has given her a lot of leniency when it came to doing her work on her own. The student took this oppurtunity to work with different resources so that she learned everything she could about a particular subject. While doing this, she had fun and learned about responsibility. I also love how it makes the class almost paperless. It helps save the planet but also saves the teacher money because most schools today don't have the money for printing and paper so it comes out of the teachers pocket.
Her PLE makes my PLN look horrible. She has a lot more resources than I have on mine. After watching her video, I thought of other things I can start adding to mine though.

Michael Stanton writes a blog post about how smartboards are the least cost effective way to improve learning. He said that two of the main reasons he believes this is: 1)they don't change the model that is broken, they just make it more expensive and 2)smartboards are an administrative cop out. He doesn't believe that the smartboard will do anything to help because you still have to teach the students things they don't want to learn and it doesn't reduce a teachers workload. They are an administrative cop out because administrators use them to write proposals and use money to make the classroom look better but it doesn't change the actual learning of the classroom.

Bill Ferriter writes a blog about why he believes interactive whiteboards are useless. He said that he used his for about a year to conclude this information. He said he crafter three nifty assignments out of it but overall it didn't make his curriculum any easier. He believes it takes too much money to help teachers learn how to use it and that it doesn't make the kids learn any more effectively.
I found a useful blog post that a lady named Angie wrote about tools on a smartboard that are effective to use in the classroom. This is a contrast to what the other two authors wrote about smartboards. She has found a way to use her smartboard to help her students learn and to help interact them in the process. To check out her post about smartboards Click here

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Comments for Kids 1

C4K #1
My first assigned kids blog was a boy named Owen T. He is from Charlottesville, Va. He is in Mrs. Paula White's class. I went back to some of his old post and discovered a lot about him. He has a great imagination. He wrote a short story called the Hillbilly Chainsaw Massacre. It was funny but also had an edge to it. He is also very fascinated with looking up things online. He is always posting about new Ipod apps that he is finding and famous quotes.

I was able to comment on a post of his about his favorite links to go to on the internet. It was fascinating because every link was different and told me something he was interested in. A lot of them were about online game sites that you could visit. Upon visiting one, I played online Monopoly and that was fun. He also gave a link to Youtube. When commenting I told him what I thought about each link and offered him some advice. I told him next time he might would want to explain each link so that we knew what we were looking at. I really enjoyed looking at his blog.
link to a website
C4K #2
The next kids blog I was assigned to was a girls named Gina Marie. She is in the fifth grade and lives in Mew York. Her teacher is Mr. St. Pierre. When learning more about her I found out that she loves to go ice skating. I have never been so it was interesting reading her blog post about it. She has wrote many blog post about her weekends and some are short stories and poems. 
I was privileged to read about her Valentine's Day. It was not a good one though. She started off by helping her father make dinner for her mom for Valentine's Day. They made heart shaped ravioli. It got bad when she started having problems breathing. At first, her dad thought it was because she had went ice skating the night before but when her mom got home she put her on a nebulizer just to be safe. This helped her breathing to calm. I responded by asking her if this had happened before and told her she should maybe go see a doctor about it. She recently posted a blog saying she went to the doctor and she has Broncho Spazem. I don't know much about that but it doesn't seem too good.

C4K #3
The last student I was assigned to was a child by the name of  Frankie. He is in the fifth grade and lives in New Zealand. I don;t know much about him because he only has a picture of himself in his blog. But I did go back and look at his blog from last year to find out more about him. He is an excellent writer and uses a lot of descriptive words in his text. He seems to have a fun personality because he wrote a blog about how amusing it was to see his teachers dressed up as bugs and critters in an assembly. He also had a video on there from when he made a volcano and it exploded!
I had to comment on his picture because that was all on the blog at the time. I just told him that it was great to meet him and that I had read some of his post from last year and that I couldn't wait to see what he has in store for us this year. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Blog Post #5

Practical Podcast
podcast symbol

This was a very interesting podcast. Scott from Colorado and Melinda from Missouri are talking about their educational experiences as teachers. Scott has just recently taken a position as an interim middle school principal. He has always been in the high schools so it will be different for him. In Colorado they now have an accountability law where they will have a leadership team to make sure everything in the school is working efficiently. I think this is an awesome idea because it can help the teacher to be accountable to one another and all the weight isnt just on the principal. To get the parents on board with Scott being the new principal, he sent them a letter introducing himself and told them after July if they had any questions or wanted to get to know him better they could stop by the school for a cup of coffee. I like how he makes it very welcoming for the parents to get to know him. The podcast is a very neat idea how these two individuals come together and talk about education and technology that they are using. They love everything that comes with iphones, and ipad and they are looking into the droid.

I think this is a great way to communicate with other teachers and also let an audience hear what you have to say on different subjects dealing with education. I learned a great deal from this and want to continue listening to it in my spare time.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom

Joe Dale gives us valuable information on the benefits of podcasting. Any student born after 1980 is considered a millennial which means they have not known life without a computer and technology. Podcasting helps teachers interact with their students outside the classroom. It is an excellent idea when a student is absent from school for a long period of time due to sickness or some other reason. It can allow the student to be able to hear what the teacher is teaching on and therefore that student will not be too behind on their work. Creating a podcast is fairly simple and it will not take up too much computer space. You can also get the parents on board by showing them that they can keep up with their child's progress and hear what their child is learning about. It is also a great way to have your students show how they would create a podcast and what they would talk about.

I am definitely on board with podcasting in the classroom. If it can make my job effective as a teacher then I will do it. I would love to see my students create a podcast about themselves so that I can learn more about them and see how creative they become with it. This will also help me keep students up to date with the material learned in the classroom while they are absent. One thing I think I would use it for the most is to put the material taught in the class on a podcast so that while students are doing their homework they can go back and listen to me teach it if they didn't understand it. I also loved how this website gave me valuable information on how to podcast.

The Education Podcasting Network
The Education Podcasting Network is a valuable website to learn more about podcasting and to share with others. I like how you can find podcast about specific subjects on this website. This can help me find better ways to teach certain topics and to find out some valuable information for myself. I can form lesson plans from the help of other educators all over the globe. I love how the website said that: "the best way to understand podcasting is like a merger between blogging and radio." I had never thought about it that way but that is exactly what it is! This website showed that podcasting is easy to subscribe to and with EPN you can go to specific subjects and hear a ton of podcasts on that subject.
I will be using this website when I begin teaching. I went to some podcast on Mathematics and it really breaks down how you can complete a problem. Since Math is my sore subject, I will probably use these podcast in the classroom so I can effectively teach my students how to solve mathematical equations. I will also try to contribute to this website by forming podcast and uploading them. I will also try to allow my students to do podcast and upload them as well. I listened to some classroom podcast and they were just wonderful!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blog Assignment #4

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?
iphone crossed out

I found this to be a very interesting post. I might be taking it the wrong way but I believe he is coming off sarcastic. I think that in this post he is trying to say that everything has its flaws but that doesn't mean that we should ban our students from it altogether. Why do I think this? In the end he makes the statement that he is doing it with his students. I don't see why he would sincerely be telling people not to use technology if he is establishing it with his students.
I do agree that there are things that are bad about technology but that is with anything these days. You can't just avoid something altogether because there are bad things that come with it. To not teach our students with technology would not help prepare them for a world that is dependent of technological advances. If I have interpreted his post wrong then I would say I disagree with what he said. Either way I stand by what I said about it.
Scott Mcleod is the director of CASTLE (Center for Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education). He is recognized as one of the leading academic experts on technology issues in schools.
iSchool Initiative
ischool initiative

This video was amazing! If schools would go to using that as a learning/teaching device then so many funds would not be tied up and the schools would be able to go green. This device could be used to help students keep up with their work along with become more technologically-savvy. This could improve a teachers work load by being able to store documents and work all in an ischool and no longer have to keep up with so many papers. This could help schools get out of debt and not have to cut anymore budgets or people. They could take the extra money and invest it into the Arts program and other programs that are usually the first to be cut.
I wonder if schools will get this far though. I would love to see this happen but it will take a lot of effort to get everyone on the same page. Students would still come to school and be able to have social skills as well as be taught by a teacher, it will just be easier for them to do work and keep up with dates and events. The ischool is the future of schools and I can't wait to see if this really happens.
Lost Generation
my generation will save this planet

At first I thought the video was kind of depressing but as it started to change I liked how they portrayed this message. I liked how they started it off negative like most experts and people say about this generation but then changed it to twist their words around into positive. This gives us hope that we can be the generation to fix this planet and to bring our country back to what it was.
This video really helped inspire me to not listen to what the earlier generation says about us but to do something about it. We need to tell ourselves that we can make a change and then in ten years we will look back at this and be glad that we didn't give in to what others said. I think the way this video was done really portrayed how this generation is not lost.
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
virtual choir

I have never seen anything like this before. To put all those people and voices together must have taken some work. I wonder if they all sang on their webcams at the same time or he pieced it all together? whatever he did, it was excellent and I was completely taken back by it. To think of something of that magnitude was just genius.
I love how he used technology to create something that extraordinary. It just proves that there is so much you can do with technology if you just will play around with it and see. This had to take some time and for him to do this, helps others know that we can also find new ways to incorporate technology into things. Almost anything we do today can be done with technology as well. I'm ready to see how I can use it to change things!
Teaching in the 21st Century
teaching in the 21st century

This video really made you think about all the aspects of teaching and how you can incorporate technology into the classroom. It also seemed to answer any question that popped in your head. This video portrayed that it will take a step to teach with technology but that it will be worth it in the end. It also showed the different aspects of how you can use technology in and outside the classroom. I liked how it made the point that we need to teach our students these skills because if we don't, who is?
I like the position the video took about teaching. It showed that their are many tools out now that can help better a child's education. It also showed that you can control these devices in the classroom the same way you control paper and pen. I thought that was awesome because the first thing people look at when incorporating technology is how they are going to control it. To teach in the 21st century literally means to adapt and show skills. Children can get information from just about anywhere now and teacher need to help show children how to come about this information.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Blog Assignment #3

A Vision of Students Today
chalkboard crossed out with technology written over it
This video really captured what colleges around the United States are like. College students go to class and half the time they are preoccupied with their facebooks and text messages to pay attention to a professor who stands in front of the class lecturing and writing the "important" things on a chalkboard.  Technology has changed the world we live in for the better but it is still the same when we walk into a lecture hall.
This video captured my college experience. We spend hundreds of dollars on books that end up being useless in the class.We walk into a classroom of about a 100 students and know that the professor will never know are name. College is not a personal experience for me. Its about cramming as many students in a classroom that can fit, to get a few extra dollars without having to hire more teachers. The average college student is about 20,000 dollars in debt after graduation, I am almost at that point and still have a year and a half to go.  There is not anything that I would add to this video because I believe it hit the main things that make up my college experience.
Its Not About Technology

teaching is a learning experience
This post is so true. Technology is not the most important thing in the schools and it should not be. Before we can even begin to start adapting technology into our schools we need to help teach our teachers. Teachers become so accustomed to teaching students a certain way and if they don't learn the material we blame them for it. In reality, it is the teachers fault for not making sure the students learned the material. This is where teachers need to adapt new styles and methods to teaching.
Though technology needs to be established in schools, the school system does not need to put the money up for it until the teachers our taught about the new technology and they are excited about the new ways to help students learn. Some teachers do not want to grasp a hold of new ways and this can become a problem for integrating these advances into our school. School should be about the students and what is in their best interest. Once this is established then we will reach the educational system that our schools should be at.

Is it okay to be a technologically illiterate teacher?
man scared of computer
My first reaction when I saw the title of this was that the author was saying it is okay. But I loved what he wrote about technology and why teachers should be literate on it. When he compared being technologically illiterate to someone who couldn't read or write 30 years ago, I thought that was the best comparison that there could be. In today's society one must know how to use a computer and other technologies to succeed in the world. So why aren't we teaching our students with them?

I loved how he said that as teachers we can not teach without first being taught as well. Learning is a continual process. We never just stop learning and that seems to be what has happened with some teachers. What they learned when they were studying for a degree in education is not the same as what I am studying right now to be an educator. I do not think they need to repeat all their courses but I do believe that teachers should have to take classes on the new technologies and how to adapt them into the classroom. They can not just learn this in a once a year workshop. This needs to be established throughout the year. With that in place, I believe our teachers could catch the fire of enthusiasm that future teachers have about technology in the classroom.

Gary's Social Media Count
social media count
WOW!! I cant believe how fast things change. They are not little changes either! This really makes me realize as a future teacher that things are only going to get faster. Technology advances are not going to slow down but just speed up. This means that I will need to stay caught up on new gadgets and websites that can make my teaching career more effective.

Social media is something that is only going to get stronger as time progresses. Most students have a facebook or are texting all the time. This means that it is going to be harder to keep their attention when they are use to having everything happen so fast. I will need to integrate technology into my lessons to keep my students challenged and help them retain and learn the information given to them. With living in a fast paced society, students tend to be impatient when it comes to learning. This is where as a teacher I will need to have strategies to keep my students attention and to help them realize that some things take time to learn.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Concrete Classroom

video game poster

I just recently read a fascinating blog post by Michael Kaechele. He has his students designing and producing games on the Internet that they share with students in Vietnam. The students seemed very eager about doing this. They were a few drawbacks though. Because of the time difference between the United States and Vietnam the students were not able to get to know each other well enough as he would have liked them to. They were trying to use Skype but no time was good for either classes. He encouraged his students to interact with them through Facebook or email.
This project was a very creative way to get his students connected with others around the world. This also promotes culturally diversity which is needed in today's society. This project helped me realize that there are different ways to get your students connected with others and that you can mix it up and make it where its mainly the students being able to get creative and help out.

egyptian and twitter

Michael Kaechele wrote a very informative blog post on how social media is being used to help citizens in different countries speak out about the injustices they are facing. He goes on to talk about what is going on in Egypt and how they used facebook and twitter to plan "the day of rage." Now Egypt has shut down SMS messages and ISP connections. Kaechele goes on to talk about how countries are no longer going to be able to get away with what their doing because with the advances in social media, people are being able to inform others about what's going on. With this he asked the question of how do we let our students know this? In my response I talked about how teachers and future teachers could use this as a social studies lesson, maybe dealing with current issues that day. By doing this it would help students see that people are using these sites to reach out for help and not to just socialize. This can now be something that helps us change dictatorships!