Friday, April 8, 2011

Special Assignment #2

Mr. McClung's World
Mr.McClungs World
Mr. McClung's blog is an exceptional blog and has allowed me to learn so much about him. By his blog I can tell that he is real passionate about teaching and helping his students become efficient users of technology. I also can tell that he wants his students to feel comfortable in his class and know they can ask a question and not get yelled at for it. He strives to teach them in a positive way while also letting them have fun. I noticed that Mr. McClung really wants to let the parents in on their child's education by having this class blog. The parents are able to access it and see what there child is learning about and share in on their school work. He makes his blog very inviting to the parents and wants them to get involved. As an educator, Mr. McClung strives to be the best that he can be. He tries to engage the students in different learning experiences that will help them when they are in their own careers. By establishing technology into them at a young age, he is showing them that it can be used for educational purposes. This also helps them in learning that they too, will use it one day in a professional setting.

His rules were very short but to the point. He asked his students to basically be an all around good student and to follow instructions in five simple rules.It shows that his teaching is direct and he likes to engage his students in the lessons. His connection with his students is a positive one and it shows that he wants them to be involved. He is definitely big on communication which is excellent! As a student, these rules would make me a little nervous at first because I wouldn't know what to expect from his class. I would be worried that I wouldn't follow the directions quickly or scared I wouldn't make him happy. But I do think after getting to know him, I would see that his expectations are achievable. As an aspiring teacher, I love how creative he was with his rules. He didn't use the usual rules that teachers put up in their classroom. Instead he made his students wonder about him and want to learn from him. He also portrayed that he wanted them to learn together as a whole class and that meant them being involved in the process. The first thing under everyone needs is a day planner-which is sold at school. I believe he put this first because students need to learn to be organized and a planner is the best way to accomplish that. It also will help students to keep up with their work and make sure they have certain things done on the correct days. The penalties for being late on homework assignments in Mr. McClung's class seem fairly reasonable to me. I say this because he states that he keeps homework to a minimum and you have your class period to work on it and as long as you turn it in by the end of the day then you won't be counted off for it. This means when it is not done on time that the student probably didn't work on it in class. That is the students fault for not using their time wisely. When comparing his penalties to Dr. Strange's, I think that we get it better than Mr. McClungs' students. With EDM we have all week to do the work and if were late we don't get a whole letter grade taken off (Dr. Strange doesn't like grades). I love what he has to say about what he hopes his blog will accomplish. He wants to keep everyone informed on what his class is doing while also providing parents, teachers, and students with links they can look into and other sources that will help them out. As an aspiring teacher, I want to establish a secure blog that my students, their parents and anyone else can go to and find out what my class is doing and things that have helped me become a great educator. I want my students to feel like they can find help with their work on my blog as well as show their parents what they have been doing in class. I want to provide other teachers with links to projects, worksheets, etc. that I have use in my classroom.

I decided to look into and Me is a website set up for people to debate topics that are important to them and to share recent news that has came up. It is a free site and they have three different types of debates. They are: Open, Battle, and King of the Hill. In an open debate you can have multiple debaters all convincing for one side.  In battle it is a one on one debate and King of the Hill is where you are given one main argument and you try to convince members to give you points. The points are given by other competitors siding with your argument and the more points you get, the bigger your photo becomes! You can also link this to your blog and any debates that you give have to restrain from profanity and any personal attacks. You could use this site to have debates with people from around the world or have your students use it in the battle option and debate back and forth on certain issues. I think he put this on his list so that people could have somewhere to go to express how they feel on certain issues and to debate on them. This can help someone make a stand on a certain issue or you could just go read what other people have to say and see what side that you agree with. I think it could also show you the opposing sides argument and why they feel that way. Kid Blog is a website set up for elementary and middle school teachers to create a unique and safe blog. The teacher has total control over the students blog and can access it or restrict things at any time. The blogs are only viewable by the teacher and other classmates. They are no advertisements  and the blogs are simple and easy to use. You could use this to set your students a blog up that is only for them, their classmates, and yourself. It could be about the class homework, assignments, projects, etc. I believe he posted this link to his blog so that teachers and future teachers would have a place to go if they were interested in creating a blog for their students. 

Mr. McClung's rules on internet safety are very detailed. This will help the student to be able to distinguish on what they should put on their blog and what not to put.  They also are told to NEVER put personal information like their last name, address, phone number, etc. He also provides them with an email address if in any case they need to put one on a link they go to. This will ensure that they do not get slammed with spam or anything else. I definitely would not take any of these rules out and if I added one it would be to always ask your parents or teacher for permission to view any webpage that I didn't give a link to. 

The blog post that I had to comment on for C4K was in the categories of social studies and videos. When going and looking in social studies, I found a lot of videos from CNN on current news topics and things that are going on around the world. I decided to look into one of the recent posts about the U.S economy. It more specifically got into the unemployment rates. The post had three graphs in it that talked about unemployment rates between age, gender, and education. The one on age showed true to most statistics. Younger people are unemployed at a higher rate than older people. It also stated that with the economy the way it is, this number is starting to level out! The gender graph showed that men are unemployed more than women because most jobs that have to cut first our industries, construction, warehousing. Most of these jobs are male dominated. The education graph proved that people with the less education are usually the first to be cut. There is a lower percentage of people with college degrees that are cut. This post made me think about how unemployment is still hurting our economy and made me wonder if we will ever get it fixed.

I love how Mr. McClung can have different sections on his blog so that students or parents can easily navigate around. This helps them because there is so much information on his blog. I also like how he has a search engine on his blog where if you can't find something your looking for on his blog, you can just search for it. This helped me a lot when I couldn't find where his safety tips were for Internet use. I would be interested to learn more about Blogger and if we can have these commodities on our blog as well. Mr. McClung makes his blog so accessible to other students, parents, teachers,etc.. As I stated earlier, he seems to genuinely care about helping others navigate around his blog. He makes it easy by having tabs at the top so that people will be able to find what they are looking for. This helps parents find their children's work a lot faster. He also gives helpful links that future teachers, administrators and parents can go to that will help them. All of this makes his blog effective!

Mr. McClung's blog is so different from other 8th grade blogs that I have visited. His blog has more depth to it and really lays out what all the students are doing in his classroom and how he is helping them to understand technology. With his blog you can find something faster than you can on the other blogs that I have visited. His students seem to know what is going on in the society and world around them and their writing is honestly much better than some that I have read on other blogs. I think him really getting his students to think and engage in issues of this world helps make them better citizens. I am very glad that we were able to dissect his blog and learn about what kind of educator Mr. McClung is. This has helped me in a tremendous way and I hope to use this valuable information when I set up a blog for my future students.

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