Saturday, May 4, 2013

Blog Assignment #15

Final Reflection

The first part of my blog assignment reflects on Blog Assignment #1. This was my very first blog assignment, and in this post, I answered the following questions: "Imagine your classroom when you start teaching. What will be the methods of teaching that you will emphasize? What tools will you use, and what tools will your students use?" After taking EDM 310, I have learned so much about technology. However, many of my responses to those questions in Blog Assignment #1 are still the same.

My major is still Secondary Education (Mathematics), and I still hope to teach high school students someday. As I stated in my first post, I hope for my classroom to be inspiring. I want it to be an environment that encourages learning. In my first post, I said that I would decorate my classroom with posters and bulletin boards that would encourage my students to do their best. Through Pinterest, I have discovered many creative ways to achieve that goal such as incorporating interactive bulletin boards which would allow my students to work on certain skills in a creative way.

In my first post, I said that I would love to incorporate technology into my classroom. However, I was unaware of all the possibilities that existed. Before taking EDM 310, I never imagined that resources such as Blogger, Skype, and Twitter could be used for educational purposes. However, I now hope to incorporate all of these activities into my classroom so that my students will be able to create their own Personal Learning Networks and make connections with people all around the world.

As far as what teaching methods I will use, I still think that I need to be flexible, and I still hope to incorporate projects that go along with the lessons. However, I think flipping the classroom is an interesting concept that I will consider trying. All students learn at a different rate. If these students are allowed to read the material and watch videos explaining the material outside of class, then this will help them learn at their own pace. As a teacher, it would allow me to expand on what they have learned, and it would allow me more time to help the students who may be struggling with a certain concept.

As I discussed in my first assignment, I still would love to teach high school mathematics. I also hope to teach more upper level math courses. My two favorite math courses are still Trigonometry and Calculus, and I would love to be able to teach those subjects. So, my overall thoughts about how I would like to run my classroom have not changed. However, I have gained more knowledge of how to effectively incorporate projects and technology into my classroom.

Not much has changed from the beginning of the semester until now as far as the way I want to present myself as a teacher. However, I have learned the importance of incorporating technology into the classroom, and I have learned how to effectively do so. I have learned how to use resources such as Pinterest to create a classroom environment that is interactive and that will hopefully inspire learning. I have also learned how to make connections with other educators by using tools such as Blogger, Edmodo, and Skype. This will help me to continually learn new ideas from others that I will be able to incorporate into my classroom.

The biggest change from the beginning of the semester until now is my view on educational technology. I knew tools existed such as Blogger, Twitter, and Skype. However, I had no intention on using any of this in my classroom because I was unaware of the possibilities. At the beginning of the semester, I had no idea that these tools could be used for educational purposes. Now, I see that it is important to incorporate technology into the classroom. It allows a different type of learning to take place, and I definitely intend on incorporating these tools in my future classroom.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Project #16

Project #13

Using Collaborative Tools group used several tools to complete our project 15 and 16 since we were not supposed to meet face to face to work on these projects. For project 15, our group used google presentations to create our slideshow to teach our lesson. We then were able to share our presentation using Google Docs. This way, only our group members were able to view the slideshow, and each group member could make the changes necessary. We also used Google Docs to share the outline for project 16. We also used our gmail accounts and group texts to send group messages. This was a huge life saver because we were able to discuss meeting times to record both projects, and we were able to discuss project ideas. I found that using Google Docs, emails, and texts were the most convenient tools to use because we were able to respond when we found time. The group did not have to set up a specific time to meet or chat.

C4K Summary for April
Summary of Blog Post #9

The student I commented on this week was Kurtis. He is a fourth grade student from Nebraska. The blog post that I commented on was Nebraska. In his blog post, Kurtis listed many of the facts about Nebraska such as the state motto, state flag, and the state gem. He also gave information about the climate of Nebraska and said that they set a record of having -29 degree weather. He ended his blog post by asking a few questions for his audience to respond to.

Summary of My Comment #9

My name is Ashley Showles. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. Through this class, I am learning how I can use technology in my classroom, much like what you are doing with your blog. I enjoyed reading all of your information about Nebraska. I have never been there, but it sounds like a pretty cool place! I live in Mississippi. Our state capital is Jackson. I live in south Mississippi, so we have warm weather all the time. I don’t think I would like the weather to ever be -29 degrees. That is really cold! I enjoyed reading your blog post. Thanks for sharing!

Summary of Blog Post #10

The student I commented on this week was Charlotte. Her blog post was titled Our Veggie Patch. She discussed the garden and all of the things she was growing such as tomatoes, zucchini, capsicum, and carrots. She then talked about how much work it takes to keep up her garden. She has to water her plants every day to make sure the plants can grow properly. She said that they have a lot of zucchini and tomatoes so they have been giving them away to family and friends.

Summary of My Comment #10

My name is Ashley Showles. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama which is in Mobile, Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your blog post. It sounds like you have an awesome garden! When I was younger, I helped my mom and dad with our garden. We used to grow tomatoes, corn, squash, and peas. You are right; growing a garden is definitely a lot of responsibility. I love tomatoes too! Also, I have never tried zucchini, but I enjoy eating most fruits and vegetables. So, I would probably like zucchini too. Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

SmartBoard Project #15

SmartBoard Project #15

Blog Assignment #14
Teacher Knows if You've Done the E-Reading

This article discussed new technology that is being tested which would allow professors to know whether or not students are reading the course material. The school in the article was Texas A&M, and these professors know whether or not their students are reading the material, taking notes, or not even looking at the material. Eight other colleges are also testing this technology that allows them to track their students' progress through digital textbooks. CourseSmart provides each professor with information on each individual student in their class. This is allowing the professors to examine whether or not their students' study habits need changing. For example, one professor at Texas A&M noticed that a student was doing well on all of his quizzes. He had a good score in the class and his "engagement index" was noted by CourseSmart. However, the professor noticed that this student had only opened his textbook once. The professor knew he needed to reach out to this student about his study habits because how much learning is being accomplished if you only open the book the night before the test? Another student was opening his textbook frequently but kept getting low scores on quizzes. Then, it was learned that he had a low CourseSmart index. Some people have complained that there are problems with the software. For example, one student said that they had opened the book more than once, but the software just did not record it. Other problems with CourseSmart lie in the fact that students can manipulate the software. Students can leave the text open and go do something else. The time spent on the text is being recorded; however, the student is not reading the text. The software also has an advantage in that it allows teachers to examine their lecture methods. One professor noticed that his students had high scores on quizzes and assignments, but their engagement indexes were low. This led the professor to believe that he may need to challenge his students more or that the textbook was not as good as he thought.

As a teacher, I believe this new technology has both advantages and disadvantages. An advantage would be that CourseSmart will provide me with information on each student I am teaching. If I know some basic information about the students in my class, it will ultimately change the way I present the material which would then benefit my students. Also, this technology would allow me to view the study habits of my students and gauge the difficulty of the material I am presenting to them. For example, if I see that my students are never looking at the textbook and still score very well on all of the assignments, then my material may not be challenging enough. On the other hand, if my students are reading the text frequently and do poorly on the assignments, then I may need to slow down and review the material. This technology would also be beneficial as a teacher because it would allow me to see whether or not students are confused because of a lack of understanding or simply because they have not read the material assigned. However, I must be careful when viewing this information because as the article stated, the digital textbooks can be tricked. Students could be opening the textbook and not reading the material at all. So, I must be careful in the assumptions that I make. Overall, I think the CourseSmart E-Textbooks would be very beneficial to me as a teacher.

As a student, I do not think I would like the CourseSmart E-Textbooks. I had a class last year that had a digital textbook, and I did not like it. I am a traditional book reader. I would definitely rather read the material from a hard copy of the book than I had a digital textbook. It is more convenient for me to take notes and study by holding my book while I underline and mark important pages. Also, I may write down what I think is important from the book and just study that. So, if I were to do this with the CourseSmart digital textbooks, my professor would think that I never studied. It does not mean that the material is not challenging. It just means that I was able to write down the information that I needed from the textbook, and then I did not need to look at the actual textbook again.

If I were to talk to Mr. Guardia, I would want to ask him the following questions:
1. Have you seen an improvement in the study habits of your students since implementing this technology?
2. Has this technology led you to change the way you present material?
3. Since using the CourseSmart technology, have you been able to better understand why some students may be struggling (or doing well) in your class?
4. Are you able to tell which students may be manipulating the software to make it seem as if they are reading the material?
5. If students are performing well on quizzes and assignments but still do not read the material, are there any repercussions?

If I interviewed the students in Mr. Guardia's class, I would want to ask them the following questions:
1. Have your study habits changed since using this technology?
2. If your study habits have changed, have you seen an improvement in your overall grade?
3. Do you prefer to have a hardcopy of the textbook or use the digital textbooks?
4. Have Mr. Guardia's lectures changed any since your class started using this technology?
5. Do you feel that this technology allows Mr. Guardia to accurately view how long or hard you studied for each quiz or assignment?

What Comment Would I Leave on this Article?

I can see the pros and cons of this technology. As a teacher, it may would be beneficial because it would allow you to see which students are making a conscious effort to learn the material. As a student, I do not think I would like this technology. Also, I think it would be hard to apply this type of technology to all subjects. For example, students may be reading the math textbook online, but without working any examples, I doubt they will fully grasp certain concepts. I also think that there are some flaws that should be addressed. How would you know if the students were actually reading the text or if they were just opening the text and leaving to do something else? Also, all students have different study habits and some students may not need to study as long or as often as other students. I think that this technology may be useful for some classes, but I do not think that this type of technology should be implemented into every classroom.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Final Report on PLN

Final Report on My PLN

Since my last update, my Personal Learning Network has grown incredibly. My Twitter account is constantly growing as I am following inspirational people and educators who will be beneficial to me as I begin my career as an educator. I have also created an account with Edmodo which is a social network similar to Facebook. Now, I can use Edmodo to connect with teachers, and ask any questions that I may have. However when I become a teacher, I can use Edmodo to collaborate with students and parents as well as teachers. I could post assignments for my students, and they could use this site to collaborate with their fellow classmates and check on assignments they may have missed.

I have decided that Symbaloo is definitely the perfect way for me to organize my Personal Learning Network. I am constantly adding new tiles that I believe will be beneficial to me as I enter the field of education. As I stated in my first progress report, my Symbaloo account has tiles that allow access to Pinterest, Twitter, Blogger, USA Online, the EDM310 Class Blog, and my class blog. Now, I have added a tile for Edmodo and Skype. I also added a tile called "Create a Graph" which I believe would be beneficial to my students to help them learn how to graph. I also added a tile that allows access to MathGameTime. This site would be beneficial for students in Algebra. It provides access to different games and worksheets that deal with concepts anywhere from linear equations to order of operations. I also found a few great websites that would be great resources to use in my classroom. These websites include Game On: Increasing Learning Through Online Games and MathPlay which provide access to interactive math games. While this is my final progress report on my Personal Learning Network, my PLN will not stop growing. I will continue to add to the resources I have found and will constantly be looking for new ideas to use in my classroom. So far, this is what my Symbaloo account looks like, but I know it will definitely continue to grow.


Summary of Blog Post #1

The teacher I commented on this week was Jenny She. Ms. She's blog was titled iPads in My Classroom! In her blog post, she documented her experience with incorporating iPads into her classroom. She stated that her class was one of the classes chosen to experiment with the use of iPads in the classroom. Ms. She was excited to begin the process even though she knew she had to find meaningful activities for her students to use on the iPad. She then said that she has apps that are focused around math and literacy. She also has games that are used to reward students. Her students know what activity they need to complete on the iPad by looking at the task boards posted on Ms. She's wall. She ends her post by stating that she is well aware that she has only been experimenting with iPads and knows that the iPad is capable of doing much more.

Summary of My Comment #1

I am Ashley Showles, and I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. Through EDM 310, I am learning about many different kinds of technology that can be incorporated into the classroom. So, it was really nice to read your blog post and see how you actually use this technology in your classroom. I think using iPads in the classroom is a great idea because it provides immediate feedback to the student. I think iPads are a great tool, and they should be incorporated in more classrooms. Thanks for sharing your experience with incorporating iPads in your classroom!

Summary of Blog Post #2

This week I also commented on Jenny She's blog. However, she did not have a new blog post since the last time I viewed her blog, so I chose an older blog post titled Would Google Plus be Useful in the Classroom? In this blog post, Ms. She discussed her experience with Google Plus. She said that one night she overheard a family member having a "hang out" with a group of friends, and they were discussing their assignments for school. Ms. She thought it was awesome that all eight of those friends could meet and discuss assignments through the use of Google Plus without ever leaving their room. The students no longer needed to meet face to face to work on assignments. Ms. She then said that she thought Google Plus would be a useful teaching tool and that she could use "circles" to group students and "hang outs" as a teaching and learning tool.

Summary of My Comment #2

I think it is incredible at all of the technology you are using in your classroom. Before taking EDM 310, I had never used Google+, but now I know that it is very helpful. It definitely saved those students a lot of travel time and money by using Google+. I definitely agree that this would be a valuable resource to use in the classroom. This would be an easy way to set up tutorial sessions without trying to find a universal place to meet, or your students could use this tool to communicate with each other. Not only will this tool be beneficial to students, but I think it will also be helpful to educators because it will allow them to talk with other professionals all over the world.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog Assignment #13
Brian Crosby: Back to the Future

I really enjoyed watching Brian Crosby's video Back to the Future. I found it very concerning when Mr. Crosby was discussing some statistics from the survey he gave his fourth grade students at the beginning of the year. He discussed that 90% of his students are second language learners and are at risk students. When he did his survey on the second day of school he asked students questions such as: what city do you live in, what state do you live in, and what country do you live in? Only nine students knew what city they lived in. Twelve students knew what state they lived in, and only three students knew what country they lived in. Brian Crosby then wondered why there is such a disconnect for these kids. He discusses that these students have really had a narrowed curriculum since the time they were born and that they have not had the experiences necessary to develop a wider view of the world. Mr. Crosby then discusses how all of his students have their own blogs, and he has an interactive whiteboard. So, his students are leaning how to think outside of the box when they are not test prepping. I think this is an important concept. While it is important to perform well on standardized tests, those tests do not provide real world experiences. Students need to be able to think creatively and know how to problem solve. I love how he uses technology and creative ideas in his classroom to teach his students. For example, students had to research and find a lot of information before they could begin their hot air balloon project. Then, they had to build their hot air balloon and were able to use google to track their balloon. Other students began commenting that they wanted their teacher to do some of the experiments that Mr. Crosby had completed with his class. So, they set up a Skype interview. Now, his students were able to articulate the steps it took to complete the experiment which allowed them to review the material. I think Mr. Crosby has great ideas. He doesn't just teach the curriculum, but he expands on it and allows his students to experience a more creative type of learning. His students are making connections with people all over the world and are able to explain their projects to other students around the world. He is raising the bar for future educators because he believes there is so much more to learning than sitting quietly in the desk. He is using technology and teaching his students how to be independent learners. I also thought it was incredible how technology allowed Celeste to be a part of Mr. Crosby's class. Even though she is sick, she is able to be an active part of the class through the help of technology.

Mr. Paul Anderson

I enjoyed watching Paul Anderson's video Blended Learning Cycle. In this video, Mr. Anderson discusses how he uses the blended learning cycle and flipped his classroom. Now, his classroom is more student centered. He then explains that blended learning is taking the parts of mobile, online, and classroom learning and blending them together in the classroom. Mr. Anderson then explains the learning cycle in which there are five "E's" which are engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate. When you merge the two forms together, you get the blended learning cycle. He then discusses a concept he calls "QUIVERS" in which there are six components he includes in all of his lessons. The first component "QU" is question: Paul Anderson begins each of his lessons with an interesting question or concept so that he can gain the attention of his students. The next component is "I" which is investigation/inquiry. In this step, Anderson allows his students to experiment with the question he has asked and allows them to begin forming questions of their own. The third component is video. Students can watch videos independently and can begin learning information about their topic. Elaboration is the fourth component in which students expand on the topic they are studying and researching. The fifth component is review. In this step, Anderson meets with the students individually or in small groups and asks them questions to make sure they are comprehending what they are learning. The final component is the summary quiz in which Anderson's students are tested on what they learned in the other five components.

I think Paul Anderson has a very interesting idea for flipping his classroom. The QUIVERS method seems very effective for keeping his students engaged in learning and effectively teaching them the topics they are discussing. I think his QUIVERS method could be used in any classroom. As a future educator, I could incorporate this method into my classroom. What I liked most about his method is that it is all student centered. He keeps his students engaged in hands-on learning which effectively keeps their attention. I hope to incorporate a similar method into my classroom.

Progress Report on Final Group Project
Project Report on Project #16

Our group met today to discuss and work on our final group project. We have made some progress on our project 16. Daphney created a layout of all of the elements we are going to include in our video. We then discussed the steps we needed to take in order to complete our project. Our group decided that we will meet next Tuesday to film our project. Then we will edit our project together. Our project should be finished by the end of next week.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blog Assignment #12

Part 1: Create Assignment

Blog Assignment #12: Create an iMovie trailer depicting a famous mathematician.
Research a famous mathematician and his contributions to math. Include the following information:
-Date of Birth
-Date of Death
-Where is the mathematician from?
-What is he/she most famous for (their contribution to mathematics)?
-Explain the contribution.
-Be sure to credit your sources for both your information and the images used.

Part 2: Do the Assignment

I will be teaching math at the high school level. I think it is important for students to know why they have certain formulas and theorems instead of simply memorizing a formula. By completing this assignment, students would be using technology as well as learning the history behind some very important theorems. By explaining the theorem, formula, or other contribution, it will hopefully help the student better understand the concept.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Blog Assignment #11
Ms. Cassidy

I think Ms. Cassidy has a great approach towards technology. By using all of this technology, her students are learning not only how to improve their writing skills, but they are also learning video and audio skills. I enjoyed watching the video First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class. I was amazed at what all these first graders were able to do! These first graders are able to blog, use a wiki to research information, and Skype. I also enjoyed watching the Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy. At the time of the interview, Ms. Cassidy said that she had been doing her class blog for about five years, and she started the video about two years ago.

I think her ideas are great and are something that I could use in my classroom. I could incorporate blogging into my classroom. I am going to be a high school math teacher, so I could not think of many ways at first that I could integrate blogging into my classroom. However after some research, I have learned that there are several ways I could use blogging in my classroom. I could ask math questions or pose a math topic and allow my students to respond in their blog. My students could also use their blogs to state any confusion they have about a certain topic or to express any ideas they have about a topic we are currently discussing. I think it would be a great way to document student work. It also would allow my students to interact with other students across the world.

I could also allow my students to use a wiki to research and gather information. I could use a wiki to allow my students to do group work which may would encourage them to work on their math assignments. A wiki would also allow my students to work with different students and schools all over the world. I could also use Skype in my classroom to allow my students to actually see some of the students and other people that they have been communicating with. This would also be helpful for research if we wanted to speak with an expert in a particular field.

Some problems I might encounter by incorporating these ideas into my classroom would be about privacy. Some people might be worried about how safe it is for students to be using the internet and posting their pictures on the internet. I plan to be teaching high school students, so I do not think it will be a huge problem for the most part. First, I will gain approval from the parents and give them the option for their child to opt out. I will also teach my students to only use their first names when they are blogging and using the internet. I also might face problems with funding and access to the technology needed to complete these tasks. Even if I did not have enough computers for every student in my class, I could hopefully solve these problems by allowing my students to work on their blogs and research in the library. I could also allow my students to work in groups which would not require as many computers. I think my students would greatly benefit from using the techniques discussed by Ms. Cassidy. Incorporating technology would allow my students to be more excited about learning and hopefully would allow them to learn more by collaborating with other students. Whatever the case, I hope to teach like Ms. Cassidy and incorporate all forms of technology into my classroom.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C4K #5 through #8 Summary for March
Summary of Blog #5

The student I was assigned to comment on this week was Charlie. He is a fifth grade student in Mrs. Goerand's class. His blog post was titled First Amendment. He wrote about how the First Amendment allowed us the freedom of speech and religion. He also mentioned that while we are given these freedoms, people in some other countries do not have these freedoms.

Summary of My Comment #5

My name is Ashley Showles. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama which is in Mobile, Alabama. I enjoyed reading your blog post. I agree that the First Amendment is very important. It gives us the freedom to participate in any religion or none at all. It also gives us the freedom to speak freely without fear of the government punishing us. You are correct in saying that the First Amendment has given us many freedoms that people in other countries do not have. I enjoyed reading your blog post. You did a great job!

Summary of Blog #6

The student I was assigned to comment on this week was Bernard. He is a middle school student in Atlanta, Georgia. His blog post was titled Digital Learning Day. His post was about using technology in the classroom and how he thought that school would be more interesting if more technology could be used. He pointed out that he would rather type than write. However, Bernard said that he did not enjoy blogging.

Summary of My Comment #6

My name is Ashley Showles. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. This class shows future teachers how to incorporate technology into their classrooms. I think technology definitely would make school more fun, and I also think students would learn more because they are interested in what they are doing. I also agree with you about typing. I would much rather type than write something because it is a lot faster. I enjoyed reading your blog post!!

Summary of Blog #7

The student I commented on this week was Dante. He attends Pt. England School in Auckland, N.Z. Dante's blog post was called Surfing Dog. It was about a boy named Cairo and his family. They went on a trip to Kawakawa Bay because it was the best place to go fishing. While they were there, Cairo fell out of the boat and the dog, Coco, jumped in to save him. Cairo made it back onto the boat, but the waves pushed Coco away. Coco saw a surfboard and paddled to it. This is when the dog surfed a wave, and he then floated to a little island. Cairo eventually found Coco on the island, and Coco was very happy to see his family again.

Summary of My Comment #7

My name is Ashley Showles. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama which is in Mobile, Alabama. EDM 310 is teaching future teachers how to incorporate technology into their classrooms much like what you are doing with your blog. I enjoyed reading your story! It was very interesting. It sounds like Cairo and his family had a pretty fun trip. Also, Coco sounds like a very cool dog! After surfing and the adventure he had, I bet Coco was very glad to see his family. I enjoyed reading your blog post! Keep up the good work!

Summary of Blog #8

The student I commented on this week was Ty who is an 8th grade student. For his blog post, he was asked to answer whether or not he thought blogging was beneficial. Also, he was asked to answer what he felt like he gained by blogging with other students. Ty answered that he thought blogging was important and that he was able to meet new people. He could then talk to these people and find out what they like.

Summary of My Comment #8

My name is Ashley Showles. I am a student at the University of South Alabama and am currently enrolled in EDM 310 which helps future teachers learn how to incorporate technology into their classroom much like what you are doing with your blog. I agree with you! Blogging is important, and it does allow you to meet new people. Since I have been blogging, I have met a lot of people and gained many resources that will be able to help me as I begin my career as a teacher. Keep up the good work!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Summary of Blog Post #1

This week I commented on Krissy Venosdale's blog. Her blog post was titled Outside the Box in which she focused on why it is important to teach students to think outside the box. Ms. Venosdale pointed out that in schools today, so much focus is placed on standardized testing. Students are taught to bubble in test answers and not leave stray marks. However, Ms. Venosdale pointed out that no matter what situation occurs in the future, the answer will not be solved by having people bubble in answer sheets. Students will be required to think and problem solve. So in schools, students need to be taught how to think outside the box.

Summary of My Comment #1

My name is Ashley Showles. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. Through this class I have learned about your blog. I thoroughly enjoy reading all of your blog posts because they are so creative and inspiring. I completely agree with your post. So much focus is placed on testing and scores, but students cannot learn everything through standardized tests. As a future educator, I hope to teach my students to problem solve and think outside the box.

Summary of Blog Post #2

This week I also commented on Krissy Venosdale's blog. This week, her post was titled Worksheets are Awesome. She begins by stating how awesome worksheets are and the learning that is possible with them. She then goes on to list some of her ideas which make worksheets awesome. The first idea was to take a worksheet and make a paper airplane with it. Take the most successful of the five flights and record the data for each student. Then, allow students to research wind, air resistance, and even the Wright Brothers. She lists several more ideas such as allowing students to use five worksheets to build a structure that will support five textbooks. The point to her post was that creativity and collaboration should be encouraged in schools and that so much focus should not be placed on memorization.

Summary of My Comment #2

I always enjoy reading your blog posts! They are awesome. I never liked worksheets in school, and when I become a teacher, I hope to not depend on worksheets as a form of teaching. I liked all the ideas you had for students using worksheets; it was very creative. I think a lot of schools now place too much focus on memorization and standardized testing. Creativity, problem-solving skills, and collaboration should be encouraged in schools because I think in the end it will lead to a greater learning experience than what any worksheet could provide.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blog Assignment #10
I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga.

I believe this cartoon is symbolizing the different types of technology. The Papermate would represent the old fashioned pencil and paper type of learning, and the Ticonderoga would represent all of the new types of technology. I think the cartoon tries to make the point that using paper and pencil is a cheaper way of learning. However, the learning is not very efficient and is often slow because the pencils are always breaking. Ticonderoga, on the other hand, represents all of the new technological devices. They cost much more than pencil and paper, but they provide a better quality education. I think the cartoon is trying to make the point that it is better to spend more money up front because in the long run, it will be more beneficial to you.

John Spencer

I enjoyed reading John Spencer's blog post Why Were Your Kids Playing Games? This post was about a conversation between a teacher and the principal. This principal was upset because the teacher was playing a game in his classroom which goes against his no games policy. The teacher tried several times to explain to the principal that the game was educational. The students were engaged in the learning process and were having fun at the same time. However, the principal failed to see the teacher's point. Instead, the principal wanted the teacher to focus on teaching his students memorization skills. While it is important to follow the rules, I think it is important to have rules that are student focused. Creativity should be encouraged in schools because it allows students to have fun while learning.

The next blog post I read by John Spencer was Remember Pencil Quests? In this blog post, Spencer explains that in his sophomore year the teacher told the class that they were going on a pencil quest. He explained that this pencil quest would be like a moving textbook where each site they visit will have a page to read as well as questions to answer. The student was confused and asked the teacher what conflict was driving the quest. The teacher simply explained that they were going on an adventure and the goal was to finish the quest. Spencer then explains that the students were very excited to be going on this quest and happily ran from site to site. He also said that his students are now excited about the projects, problem-based learning, and pen pal networks they are doing in his class. I think it is important to create projects for your students that will get them excited about learning. As a future educator, I hope that I will be able to incorporate projects into my lessons so that my students will have something to look forward to.

Scott McLeod

Scott McLeod is a blogger and professor who is very inspiring. He is serving as the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8. Scott McLeod is also recognized as one of the nation's leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues.

I enjoyed reading Scott McLeod's blog post Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please? I enjoyed the humor and sarcasm present throughout the poem. He uses sarcasm to explain just how important technology is. I agree with McLeod's argument. I think technology is very important and should be incorporated into classrooms. We live in a world that is constantly changing, and technology is now a very important part of today's society. Allowing students to blog and create their own personal learning network exposes them to a type of learning that pencil and paper cannot provide. While technology can be used inappropriately, this does not mean that we should ban it from our schools. The use of technology should be encouraged in schools because it allows the students to enjoy learning.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Blog Assignment #9
What I Learned This Year- Volume 4

Mr. McClung begins his blog post by explaining how he began writing these reflective blog posts. He states that he received so much positive feedback from his first reflective blog post that he decided to continue. This post was reflective of his fourth year of teaching. He said that in his fourth year, he did not learn as much as he thought, so he decided to write about two underlying themes that stuck out to him that year. The first theme was that "You Gotta Dance With Who You Came to the Dance With." McClung said that in his fourth year, he struggled with his reputation as a teacher. He was well aware of his reputation among the students. However, he was concerned about how his peers viewed him as a teacher and the was he handled business. After reflection, he realized that he should not change who he is as a teacher based on what his peers may think of him. McClung said that he follows one rule now which is "are the kids having fun?" He decided that as long as he followed that one rule then he would not go down the wrong path again.

I agree with Mr. McClung and think that he makes a very important point. As long as he is following the guidelines and teaching the curriculum, he should not be concerned with the way his peers feel. Teachers need to do what is best for their students, and what works in one classroom may not work in another. As a future teacher, I need to remember to always do what is best for my students, and as long as I am teaching my students the curriculum, I do not need to worry about trying to please my peers as an educator. Instead I will focus on what is best for my students along with valuing the opinions of my superiors.

The second theme Mr. McClung learned in his fourth year was "Challenge Yourself." He noticed that he had become too comfortable with what he was teaching. The creativity was disappearing from his classroom, and he noticed that he had been teaching the same courses for three years. He then learned that he will teach a new subject and grade level next year. He said that he welcomed this change, and even though it will require more work, it will be worth it. McClung believes that if teachers get too comfortable that they ultimately become lazy, and the lessons begin to be uninteresting to the students. He views this change as an opportunity to better himself as a teacher, and his goal is to make sure his students enjoy coming to class.

I enjoyed reading this theme, and I think all educators should read this. Sometimes teachers choose to use the same lecture material and tests for several years. While this is an advantage to teachers, it is almost unfair to the students. As a future teacher, I need to adjust the techniques and materials I use with each group of students even if I am teaching the same course. Every classroom and every group of students are different, and the same techniques will not work with every student. I need to challenge myself and learn to evaluate myself as an educator to see what changes need to be made so that my students are enjoying learning.

What I've Learned This Year

The second post I read by Mr. McClung was What I Learned This Year (2008-2009). In this post, McClung outlined what he learned in his first year of teaching. He discussed an important fact that he learned which was to make your lessons student centered in order for them to be effective. Another important lesson Mr. McClung learned was to be flexible. He learned that the lesson you plan and the lesson you actually teach are always different. In his first year of teaching he also learned the importance of communication and being reasonable. He also encourages people to not be afraid of technology. He knows that you will not master a skill the first time you attempt it, but according to McClung, that does not mean you should stray away from ever using technology. He says that technology is essential to surviving in the society that we live in today.

I enjoyed reading this blog post; it was very inspiring. I liked how honest he was about the struggles he faced in his first year of teaching. I will definitely keep his tips in mind when I begin teaching. I know it will be essential that I am reasonable with the expectations I have for my students and how important it is for me to communicate with my students, parents, and my superiors. I plan to incorporate technology into my classroom, and I hope to always continue to learn and grow as an educator.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Blog Assignment #8
This is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2

I enjoyed watching both of these videos. I found them to be very interesting and helpful. He did a great job at laying out the uses for all of this technology in the classroom. In his videos, Richard Miller points out that while people are working in the digital environment, people are now being faced with a new kind of material which changes before their eyes. The material and information is now updated instantly. We live in a world that is constantly changing, and we must be able to adapt and change with it.

Richard Miller put a lot of time into creating these videos. As a future educator, I need to be able to incorporate technology into my classroom. Richard Miller makes a very important point which is that we now have the capability to communicate with people instantly and with people all over the world. Just through taking EDM 310, I have had the opportunity to make connections all over the world. It is important that I use this concept in my classroom as I help my students create their own personal learning environment. He also discusses that now, we do not work with just pencil and paper in the library. However, we now carry our laptops with us and work with word processing. Now, students can access information from all over the world without ever going into the library. It is important that I teach my students how to properly use this technology and find credible information.

Richard Miller also discusses another important change in technology. Through the help of networking technology, it is possible to collaborate with other people and compose not only with text but with images and film as well. I could use this technology to allow my students to work together and create nontraditional projects. Richard Miller also said that as educators we should share our ideas freely. This is an important concept because as a future educator, I hope to gain knowledge and information from people who have been in the profession much longer than I have. As I gain experience and knowledge, I hope to share that information with others. Richard Miller sees a change coming where students will no longer work with word processors but with the technology and composing material that he is learning how to use. Am I prepared to write with multimedia? I still have a lot of work to do before I am fully prepared to teach my students how to write with multimedia. I am not concerned with learning how to write with multimedia. However, I am concerned about teaching my students how to write with multimedia. I hope that by the time I become an educator, I will effectively be able to teach my students how to write with multimedia.

Blog Post #12 by Carly Pugh

I enjoyed reading Carly Pugh's blog post and watching her playlist. She included so many links in her post, and I found them to be very resourceful. I liked how she put so much effort into creating this assignment and included so many videos that were very helpful to me as a future educator. Carly's assignment would allow students to think about what kind of teachers they want to be, ways to motivate their students, ways to improve modern education, and much more. Through this assignment, students would be using all of Richard Miller's multimedia components. They would be using the text, auditory, and visual components that Richard Miller described in his video. I think that Carly's post comes very close to meeting Richard Miller's hopes of writing with multimedia.

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies

I thoroughly enjoyed watching both of these videos. They were very humorous, but at the same time, they had a very important message. The Chipper Series was an interesting video about a girl who is a procrastinator. However, she sees no problem with procrastination. She even made the claim that she was going to go to Wikipedia and change the definition of procrastination so that she could turn her work in late. One important message that should be learned from this video is that rewording a definition to meet your needs will not change how other people perceive the definition. Chipper thought that by changing the definition of procrastination in Wikipedia that she would be allowed to turn her work in late. However, Dr. Strange informed her that he was not going to accept her definition of procrastination. Another important lesson to be learned from this video is to not procrastinate. This is a problem that I struggle with. I always turn my work in on time. However, I sometimes wait until the very last minute to do it which causes me a lot of unnecessary stress. Chipper also made another interesting statement which was that she wanted Dr. Strange to teach her so that she did not have to learn. This was a statement that I did not completely comprehend. How can someone teach you if you are not willing to learn? Also, students will enter the work force one day. They will have to be independent learners because an employer does not want to hire someone who is not willing to work hard.

EDM310 for Dummies was a creative video that all students should watch coming into EDM310. I was nervous about entering this class because I had heard that it was hard. However, I have come to enjoy this class, and I learned that this class is not hard. EDM310 just requires a little more work than other classes; it has required me to become an independent learner. While this video was about a book called EDM310 for Dummies, I have similar feelings toward EDM310. I have learned so much about technology and plan on incorporating this knowledge into my future classroom. An idea that I would like to see made into a video is teaching students the importance of technology. Most students have a basic idea about how to use the internet, but most students are unaware of the abundance of resources that are available. For example, I considered myself technology literate coming into this class. However, I soon learned that I was very wrong. I am creating my own personal learning network that has allowed me access to many valuable resources and people who will be able to help me as I work toward becoming an educator. I think it would be important to have a video of this nature because students need to know that there are so many free resources available to them. They just have to know how to look for them.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

This video was very interesting. It begins with a very shocking statistic. The U.S. Department of Commerce ranked 55 industry sectors by the level of I.T. intensiveness. Education was ranked 55, below coal mining. One person in the video also made the statement that students are experiencing a more stimulating environment outside of school than they are in school. Technology is no longer an option, and it cannot be kept out of schools if we want our students to excel. Students need to be using technology in schools to create connections with people and opportunities all over the world. I personally agreed with a lot of what this video was saying. Technology is an important part of society and is constantly changing. As a future educator, I need to be able to adapt with technology and provide with my students with access to this technology in my classroom. Another statement made in the video was that we now have a classroom system when we should have a community system. Technology can help create this. I hope to create a community system in my classroom where my students work on group projects and make connections with people outside of the classroom that will provide a richer learning environment. Students do not need to be fed information in order to pass the class. However, students need to be taught how to find information and determine whether or not it is quality information.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

1. Poll

I created my poll at This is a site that allows you to easily create polls using your mobile device. Please take my poll here.

2. Video Tool

Animoto was an interesting video tool that I have never used before. This site allows you to create an account for free. Animoto allows you to create high definition videos. It also allows you to share the videos you create on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Pinterest, and you can even embed it into your blog. This tool also allows you to customize the video and has approximately 50 different styles to choose from. I could use this tool to allow my students to create videos, and they could then post those videos on the class blog.

3. Social Platform for Teachers

I created an account with Edmodo which is a social media site full of educational resources for teachers, parents, and students. I am following several different communities which involve math, computer technology, professional development, college readiness, and career and technology education. I definitely think this would be a beneficial resource for my classroom. I have already found several math websites through Edmodo which would help students with homework and would allow my students to participate in interactive math activities. I could also place assignments, quizzes, and polls on this site which would allow my students to access this information outside of the classroom. This would be a great way for my students to access homework and talk with other students outside of the classroom.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Summary of Melissa B's Blog Post #1

Melissa's blog post was Two Turtle Doves. She began her post by describing the duties of teachers at her school at the beginning of the new year. Seniors are filling out college applications and need recommendations. So, she spends a lot of time at the first of the year writing recommendations for her students. She then described what she would like to see happen at her school in 2013. First on her list of what she would like to see happen in the new year was to have fewer meetings. She feels that these meetings, which discuss how the staff is teaching, take away from valuable classroom time. She also hopes that in the new year, the school could focus more on academics and less on athletics. She was disappointed that the Career Center at her school, which helps students search for colleges and scholarships and prepare for other real world tasks, was moved from its spot at the beginning of the year. Replacing the Career Center was the Director of Student Activities which has also been called the Athletic Director. She would also like more recognition for the hard work of her AP Language Students' 100% pass rate on the national exam they took last year. Also, she hopes the school will be more open to new ideas and that her students will learn how to examine both sides of an issue.

Summary of My Comment #1

My name is Ashley Showles. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I am reading your blog post for my class. I will summarize your blog, along with my comment, and post it on my blog in two weeks. I really enjoyed reading your blog post. It was very humorous. As a future high school teacher, I have come to realize that a lot of my time will be spent in faculty meetings. Also, athletics is an important part of where I attended school as well. I believe more of an emphasis should be placed on academics than athletics. I think it is awesome that your students had a 100% pass rate. Schools need more teachers who are motivated and willing to provide the best education to their students. I really enjoyed reading your blog post.

Summary of Melissa B's Blog Post #2

Melissa did have a new blog post. However, it was more of a housekeeping post because she discussed the snowfall that they were facing up north. So, I looked through her older posts and found one about the Sandy Hook shooting. However, I wanted to find a post that was about education. I read one of her blog posts titled By the Numbers. In this blog post, she discusses that she teaches AP English Language to 11th graders. She also discusses that language can be a difficult subject, so she decided to hold a workshop. After the workshop, a student that she did not teach came by her classroom for help. She helped the student with her work but felt guilty because she was helping another teacher's student. When she finished helping the student, the child thanked her because she now understood what she was supposed to do.

Summary of My Comment #2

I enjoyed reading your blog post. I do not understand why a teacher would become defensive if their student went to another teacher for help. As a student, I find it easier to go to certain teachers for help. I viewed the student's behavior as a compliment because she felt like you would be able to help her solve the problem she was facing on her assignment. I think it was great that you were willing to help this child.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Project #9 PLN 1st Post

Before taking EDM 310, I did not have a personal learning network, so I have been working this semester to develop a PLN. Earlier in the semester, I was just bookmarking useful tools and websites. However, that was not an easy way to keep up with all my tools. After watching the video A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment, I thought Symbaloo would be a great place to start. I created an account with Symbaloo, and now my PLN is becoming more organized.

My PLN currently has information and links to Twitter where I am following several inspirational educators. I also have links to my blog and the EDM 310 class blog. A link to the University of South Alabama and my classes can also be found on my PLN. I also have a link to Pinterest where I have found a lot of useful information from classroom bulletin board ideas to ideas about math games.

I am still working to gather more information to put on my PLN. At first, I was completely overwhelmed with trying to create my PLN. Before EDM 310, I did not have an account with Twitter or Pinterest. So, I am still trying to learn how to effectively use these tools while creating my PLN. From this experience, I have learned that I need to be developing my PLN now. I do not need to wait until I am in the classroom before I start finding these valuable resources. I am hoping that by the next PLN progress report I will be successfully using all of the valuable resources and that I will have added a lot more to my Symbaloo account.

Blog Assignment #7
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch is an inspiring man! In his video, Randy Pausch pointed out that it is important to have specific dreams and understand that brick walls are there for a reason. This is an important lesson to teach my students. I need to teach them that just because they reach a bump in the road does not mean that they should give up. It just means that they need to try even harder to reach their dreams. I also loved the quote, "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." A great point that Randy Pausch made was that most of what we learn, we learn indirectly. He also said that the way something is said makes a huge difference. As a future teacher, this is something that I should be aware of. I need to watch not only what I say but how I say it. Being positive when talking to my students is a great way to encourage them, and I need to remember that there is a good way and a bad way to say everything.

Randy Pausch provided so many life lessons throughout his speech. Not only are his examples applicable in the classroom, but he also uses examples that will help people as they journey through life. He is given the prognosis that he only has three months to live, but he chooses not to dwell on it. Instead, he uses the time he has left to be a positive influence and inspire others. His attitude and the way he presents himself is something that all educators should portray to their students. It does not matter what circumstances life throws at you; dwelling on the cards you have been given will not change the situation. Teaching my students how to handle situations will not only help them in school but will also help them as they go through life.

The first portion of Randy Pausch's lecture is spent on his childhood dreams. Then he discusses how to enable the dreams of others. The way he discussed his childhood dreams was also an important teaching tool. From watching this video, I have learned that my childhood dreams have helped mold me into the person I am today. So when I become an educator, I need to work with my students. I need to encourage their childhood dreams because those dreams help shape them into the person they will become as well as shaping their future. Another good piece of advice was not placing an achievement bar for my students. Instead, I need to push my students to do more and try harder. I need to encourage them to be the best that they can be. According to Pausch, one of the best things you can give somebody is the chance to let them know what it feels like to make other people happy. This is another important life lesson that students should be taught. Students should all get the chance to know what it feels like to help someone else and to make other people happy.

Randy Pausch spent most of his time developing nontraditional classrooms. His students did not just sit in their desks and have information fed to them. Instead, his students were continually working on projects and doing things that most normal classrooms would not ever do. These nontraditional ideas are great ways to teach students how to become self-learners. They do not have a textbook or class notes to memorize. In the end, these students have gained a wealth of knowledge through these nontraditional techniques. Creativity should be encouraged in schools. When students are able to be creative and use their own strengths, a different type of learning takes place, and students are more likely to enjoy the process.

Another important life lesson that Pausch uses is teaching students how to work in groups. It does not matter what field a child goes into or if they go straight into the work force. People are required to work together and get along with their co-workers and bosses. It is important that I teach my students how to work together and be self reflectors. Students need to be able to evaluate their own abilities and see what areas of their own lives need improving. I hope to teach my students to have empathy towards other people and to focus on others. He also pointed out the "head-fake." This would be a useful tool for an educator because according to Pausch, the best way to teach somebody something is to let them think that they are learning something else. An important concept for me as a future educator is that I need to allow my students to have fun while learning something hard. I should engage them in the learning process in hopes that they will enjoy the task at hand.

Throughout his video, Randy Pausch gives numerous lessons that would be beneficial to teach to my students. One of those lessons was how to get people to help you. I need to encourage my students to be honest and willing to apologize when they mess up. It is important for students to realize that being honest and being willing to admit that you make mistakes will be beneficial in cooperating with others. Randy Pausch spent his time inspiring others. I hope, as an educator, that I may be able to achieve the same effects on my students. I hope not only to teach my students but to mentor them and inspire them to reach their goals and lead the lives they want. Some of the last pieces of advice in this video were to never lose the child-like wonder, help others, work hard, be prepared, loyalty is a two way street, and most importantly to never give up.

Project #8 Podcast

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

C4K#1 to #4 Summary for February
Summary of Blog #1

The student I was assigned to comment on was Keegan. He is a student in Mr. Cometti's 9th grade IB World History class at Robertsdale High School. Mr. Cometti is an EDM 310 graduate. Keegan has a personal class blog. His blog post that I commented on was Youtube in 1912. He began his post by discussing the creation of Youtube in February of 2005 and how much of an impact it has made on society. He then asks the reader to imagine life 100 years earlier. He poses a question. What if Marconi had the resources to create Youtube, and how might it have changed the course of the world? He discusses World War I and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. This news would have ended up on the internet and could have been seen by the Western Powers, Japan, and China. The world would have been changed drastically. This is an example of what a great power we possess, and we should use that power for peace and not to fuel spite.

Summary of My Comment #1

Hi! My name is Ashley Showles. I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am currently taking EDM 310 which shows future teachers how to use technology in the classroom, much like what you are doing with your class blog. I enjoyed reading your post; it was very interesting! You made a lot of great points that I had never thought of before. If the world had all of the internet capabilities that we have today, World War I may have just had a different outcome. Youtube is not the only resource that could have changed the outcome of the war. The media and internet, in general, are constantly increasing and are more accessible now than ever before. I was very impressed with your knowledge of history! The way you took these events and imagined how they could have been changed by Youtube was impressive.

Summary of Blog #2

The student I was assigned to comment on was Zoe. She is a student in Mr. Sapia's fourth grade class at Springdale Elementary School in Stamford, CT. Zoe has a personal class blog. Her blog post was Let them go!!!! Her blog was about a book The One and Only Ivan. She was writing a letter to Mack, the owner of the mall, encouraging him to let the animals go to the zoo. She told Mack that keeping the animals in the mall with nobody to play with or people who care for them was not healthy. She said that she would not like to be kept in the mall so neither would the animals. Ivan the gorilla does not even remember how to act like a gorilla.

Summary of My Comment #2

My name is Ashley Showles. I am a sophomore at the University of South Alabama which is in Mobile, Alabama. I am taking EDM 310 which shows future teachers how to include technology into their classroom, much like what you are doing with your blog. I really enjoyed reading your letter to Mack. I read a summary of The One and Only Ivan, and it sounds like a very good book. I think your letter to Mack was very persuasive. You did a great job of pointing out why the animals did not need to be in the mall, and you also did a really great job telling Mack why the animals needed to go to the zoo. The animals could be cared for much better at the zoo than in a run-down mall. Great letter! Keep up the good work!

Summary of Blog #3

The student I was assigned to comment on was Sarah. Her teacher is Mr. Marks, and she attends school in Auckland, NZ. Sarah's blog post Bush Walk was about an adventure she took with her class. Her class wanted to find out where the Oamaru creek stopped. While on their journey, they had a scavenger hunt, found where the creek stopped, and took pictures of their trip. On the way back, the class stopped at the PT England Beach and had a water. Then, she went back to class where they watched videos about skating.

Summary of My Comment #3

My name is Ashley Showles. I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama which is in Mobile, Alabama. The class that I am taking teaches future teachers how to use technology in their classroom. I really enjoyed reading your blog. The Bush Walk and the scavenger hunt sounded like a very fun adventure. I used to love to go on scavenger hunts when I was in school. It sounds like your adventure took a long time. You had a scavenger hunt, found where the Oamaru creek stopped, took pictures, and walked all the way back to class. Your trip sounds very exciting. Did you draw the picture at the beginning of your story? If you did, you did a fantastic job! I enjoyed reading your story. It was very detailed. Great job!

Summary of Blog #4

The student I commented on this week was Dustin. He is in the 10th grade and attends Baldwin County High School. His blog was about the role of religion in the Puritan society. He discussed how religion was very important to the Puritans and that everyone in the town was required to attend the meeting on the Sabbath. Also, work was not allowed on the Sabbath. So, people had to complete all the chores, such as sewing, the night before. He also discussed how these meetings were not like church services today in that music was not allowed because it was viewed as inappropriate, and the preacher's message could last anywhere from two to four hours.

Summary of My Comment #4

My name is Ashley Showles. I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. This class is helping future teachers learn how to incorporate technology into the classroom. I really enjoyed reading your blog. The Puritan's church services are definitely different from the church services we have today. Now, most all church services have some kind of music, and the sermon definitely does not last four hours at a time. It is hard to imagine a church where men and women are not allowed to sit together and where the boys cannot sit with their parents. Were Puritan girls allowed to sit with their parents, or did they have to sit on a separate pew as well? Your blog post was very interesting and informative. Great job!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Blog Assignment #6
The Networked Student

Before watching Wendy Drexler's video, I had never heard of a networked student before. After I watched the video, I was amazed. I was unaware of all the possibilities and resources that existed for students online. This video was a creative way to demonstrate all the possibilities and resources available to students. The video begins with a man studying American Psychology which meets three days a week and two days online. He does not have a book for his class, and his teacher practically never lectures. His teacher is a student of connectivism which is a theory that proposes learning occurs as part of a social network of diverse connections. This social network is created by various forms of technology. However, it is not the technology that makes these social networks great but the people and connections made through these sites. His teacher encourages her students to strengthen the learning process and take control of their education by making connections through these social networks. This idea would be a great tool to start for my future students. Allowing them to create a social network would prepare my students to become independent learners.

In today's society, social networks are very important. They allow students to make connections with people and access valuable information. I liked that the video provided ways to build a personal learning network. Students know how to find information on the internet. The challenge is teaching these students how to make sure their information is credible. Google Scholar is something that I was unaware of before watching this video. It would be a great tool to allow students to search for and find credible information. I also liked that the video mentioned blogs as a social networking tool. Allowing students to create blogs would allow them to express their opinions on topics and search for other blogs that would be beneficial to their research. These blogs allow students to comment and share knowledge with others. I also was unaware of all the information available through iTunes. Through iTunes, the student in the video was able to access thousands of courses recorded by professors from universities such as Stanford and Yale.

Why does the networked student even need a teacher? The teacher is responsible for teaching her students how to build this network. She provides her students with advice when it is needed, and she shows him how to communicate properly. The teacher also helps her students to ask for help from other professionals. The job of the teacher is to guide her students through the wealth of knowledge and allow them to distinguish between non credible and valuable sources. The teacher's job is to inspire her students to continue to use their learning network throughout their future and help the world solve its problems. Teachers will still be needed in the 21st century. Not everything can be learned through technology, and the teacher needs to be their to guide her students. Students know how to find information. However, they need a teacher to properly navigate them through this wealth of knowledge. Just through EDM310, I will make a lot of connections. I hope that with a little more experience with technology, I will become a networked teacher. However, I would first have to have a greater understanding of all the tools available to my students and me.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment

I really enjoyed watching A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment. This girl is very organized, and it seemed so easy to access all of the tools in her personal learning environment. I would love for my personal learning network to be as organized and as easy to navigate as her's seemed. She has so much more material on her personal learning network than I do. I was very impressed with the way all of her tools were laid out, and after learning that she used Symbaloo, I created my own account with Symbaloo. I am now working to add tools and contacts to expand my own personal learning network. This would be a great tool to use in my future classroom. Students need to build their own personal learning network to allow them to research and find credible information on their own. Teaching my students how to use Symbaloo would be an easy way for my own students to begin creating their own personal learning environment.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Project #10
Finding the Right Tool

Since I will be teaching high school math students, I researched new technology available to math teachers. I found a website that would be very useful. Fluidity Software is a website that would allow me to purchase the software FluidMath. This software is new technology that can be used for Tablet PCs and Interactive Whiteboards. This software would be very beneficial to me as it would allow me to engage my students in learning. FluidMath can be used for pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, pre-Calculus, and Calculus, and these are all courses that I could possibly be teaching. This software recognizes handwriting and simple drawn gestures and can help with graphing, solving systems of equations, and factoring expressions. I could allow my students to come to the smart board and use the FluidMath software to solve an equation. Then, they could use this software to help them graph the equation. I would expect a lot of benefits from using this technology. This software would allow for a classroom lesson to be more interactive. It would also be helpful for tutoring a student one on one. I chose this particular piece of technology because I was very impressed with the idea. I know not all students like math, but I hope that by engaging them in the learning process, they will learn that math can be fun. FluidMath seems to be a great piece of technology that would be wonderful in teaching students everything from simplifying a simple expression to graphing complex equations.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Blog Assignment #5

If I Built A School

Krissy Venosdale is a GiftedEd teacher who teaches grades three through six. She says that she hopes to inspire kids to reach for the stars. I imagine she can do that and much more. Ms. Venosdale seems very passionate about her job and her students. She is very inspiring to me as a future teacher, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her blog. Her blog post If I Built A School was an inspiring post that Krissy Venosdale wrote about a dream school. She describes every aspect of the perfect school from the neon sign at the front entrance to the parking spaces for teachers with signs decorated by students. This perfect school would be overflowing with creativity. The library would host a tree house in a huge tree, an art room that looks like a studio, and a cafeteria that looks and feels like a coffee shop. Ms. Venosdale's dream school would not have typical grade levels but a system where students advanced based on their personal readiness and abilities. Integrating technology into the classroom would not be a process but a daily event. Students would use laptops, iPads, tablets, and even cellphones with the focus being placed on how and when to use these pieces of technology. In this perfect school, students would learn because they love learning and teachers would enjoy teaching. While Ms. Venosdale's dream school is far from reality, she has ideas that definitely should be implemented in schools today. Schools should inspire students to be creative through the regular curriculum.

If I could build a school, it would not have all the bells and whistles of Ms. Venosdale's dream school. However, it would incorporate the main idea behind Ms. Venosdale's dream school. My school would be confortable, intriguing, and inviting. It would be an environment where students arrived every day ready and willing to learn. My school would have comfortable chairs around tables for students to sit in during class. The library would not have a huge tree house, but it would be inviting. The cafeteria would be cozy with the same coffee shop feeling as Ms. Venosdale's dream school. Teachers and students would be technology literate, and using technology would be an everyday part of the curriculum. If I had to build a school, it would be nice to have all the modern conveniences. However, the main focus in building my school would be to establish a student-teacher relationship where students can take a more active role in their education. Teachers would be passionate about their jobs and would let students have a certain input into the daily activities and curriculum.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

Eric Whitacre's The Virtual Choir was amazing to listen to. The choir consisted of 185 people from 12 countries who had never met or performed together before. The fact that these people never practiced together and never had to leave home to create this piece was incredible. I had no idea something like this could be put together over the internet. His virtual choir shows that the possibilities are endless when working with technology. There is always something knew to learn about the uses of technology. The use of the internet and being able to use technology to allow so many different people to perform a beautiful piece was inspiring. Listening to the story was very interesting. Listening to how he put the piece together by having people record their individual parts on Youtube and then editing it so that everybody's video started at the same time was a great use of the internet. The singers' videos were edited, and they sang in perfect unison. This was a wonderful and inspiring use of technology and the internet.

Teaching in the 21st Century

Kevin Roberts believes that students should not be passive learners. He thinks that students should be actively engaged in learning. Technology such as cellphones, laptops, and iPads can be used in the classroom just as paper and pencils are used in the classroom. Students know how to use Google as a search engine, but Kevin Roberts believes that students need to be able to put this information together and synthesize data. Students have the skills to find the required information. They need to be taught how to relate data and process the information they find. Technology should no longer be used just for entertainment but now should be used to engage students in learning. Engaging students in learning will lead to long-term success and will help students solve problems. Teachers are to provide students with meaningful information. Kevin Roberts thinks that to teach 21st century knowledge, teachers need to engage students in learning. They also need to constantly think of new ways they could better engage students in 21st century skills, and gather information from other people. Do not be afraid to take risks.

As a future teacher, I agree with a lot of the information in the video. Students will learn more if they are engaged in learning. My job as a teacher is not to entertain students but to engage them in the learning process. As a future educator, I will definitely use technology in my classroom. My job will be not to teach my students how to use technology but to help my students use technology to relate and organize data. Some of the questions asked in the video such as, "Should I rent or buy? What's the best credit card deal for me?" would be great questions to incorporate into my math lessons. Teaching students how to manage money and calculate interest rates would be great not only in the classroom but also in the real world.

Flipped Classroom

At first, I struggled with the idea of flipping the classroom. When I watched the video Why I Flipped My Classroom, I did not imagine that it would work. How would students be motivated to watch these videos, or what if some students could not access these videos outside the classroom? However, the idea makes sense. This is another way of assigning homework to students. Instead of having students work ten math problems, they now watch a video of the lecture. Now, the teacher has the time to see that all students have their needs met. She can work with the students who cannot grasp certain concepts, and she can challenge students who are ahead. I could use this idea in my classroom because students would be able to learn the material before coming to class. Then, I could answer questions and better expand on their knowledge.

As a future teacher, I am slightly concerned about student access and students not doing their work. If students do not complete the assigned material, they could do it at the beginning of class. However, students would then be missing out on the material being discussed at the beginning of class. Overall, flipping the classroom is an interesting idea. It would be a great way for students to be engaged in learning and would also allow parents to be involved in their child's education. Hopefully this idea will allow students to take learning to a whole new level. By learning the information outside of class, teachers would now have the time to teach students how to apply this knowledge in a real world setting.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blog Assignment #4

Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting was the first podcast that I listened to. I enjoyed reading the blog before the podcast. The blog discussed that the second graders were learning the story of Purim, and the teachers decided to let the students make a podcast to share on the class blog. When listening to the podcast, it was amazing at how enthusiastic these students were. It was obvious that the students enjoyed learning Hebrew and creating their project. At first, the students were defining Hebrew words, and I thought it was cute. However, the students then began to speak full sentences in Hebrew. I was amazed! I did not understand anything these second graders were saying, but I could hear the enthusiasm in their voices. This project was great. It allowed second graders to learn how to listen and comprehend. While these students were learning to speak their Hebrew sentences fluently, they were also engaged in learning how to use technology. After recording and listening to their sentences, they were able to use their smart board and create their project.

Flat Stanley Podcast

The next podcast I listened to was the Flat Stanley Podcast. The blog first discussed the project assigned to the first graders. They read the book Flat Stanley, and their assignment was to create a short script describing where their Flat Stanley was going and when he would get back home. I loved listening to the podcast. These first graders really enjoyed reading the book, and the enthusiasm was evident in their voices. The students spoke very clearly and with a lot of energy. I loved listening to the children describe the different states and countries they visited while they were flat. My favorite journey was the visit to Tokyo, Japan. I loved Josh's description of what kind of sushi he ate, and sumo wrestlers who looked like they were wearing diapers. This was a fun project that allowed students use technology while learning to locate the countries they visited and fun facts about different places in the world. They are using technology, but at the same time, they are learning about the world.

1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audio Book

The last podcast I listened to was 1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audio Book. The blog discusses the process behind creating the podcast. The students recorded the script, and booklets were created so that the first graders could follow along while the podcast was playing. Silvia Tolisano addressed her reactions to the podcast. She thought the students learned valuable skills. Creating a podcast helped the students to learn how to speak fluently, enunciate, and experiment with their voices through pitch, volume, emotions, and speed as they were reading. Following along with the script also helped students understand how to read sentences ending with different punctuations such as a question mark. I loved listening to the podcast. I also enjoyed being able to follow along with the script as I was listening to the podcast. These first graders did a great job at reading the script and put a lot of emotion into what they were reading.

I enjoyed listening to all of these podcasts and reading the blogs. I learned a lot about what goes into making a podcast. I learned that podcasting is not just about the technology the students are using but is also about the skills students are learning while creating a podcast. These would be great ideas to use in the classroom. I loved the sound effects and music played in the podcast, and I could definitely see myself using these ideas to create my own podcast.