Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blog Post #15 Final Reflection



The last and final blog post assignment for EDM310 is to reread Blog Post #1 and write about your classroom, methods of teaching, and tools utilized by our students and teachers.  Honestly, I love my first blog post and my vision for what my classroom would look and be like.  I will probably just be adding a few minor details.

Hello! My name is Wannetta Fincher.  I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.  I plan to major in Health Education with a teaching certification because of my passion for helping others and working in a health related field.  I am taking EDM310, a micro computing course, to stay afloat in today's rapidly advancing technology.  This blog is a part of my experience in Dr. Strange's course.  This will be my first and part of my last blog post, however I look forward to learning and benefiting from a network of academics.

Classroom Jazz

Before I begin, I am going to tell you a story that illustrates my motivation to pursue Health Education.  In eighth grade, I took a Health class.  Although I was active in sports, my family seldom stressed health and nutrition.  On the first day, my teacher passed out calendars and food diaries for us to evaluate our nutrition and health.  Unfortunately, the majority of us were either malnourished or exceeding recommended caloric intake.  Next, she had us write a goal above our calendars and also write exactly what we were going to do to achieve that goal.  We learned about habits; it is possible create habits in three weeks.  Never exercising outside of athletics, I chose to start running or walking daily.  So, I chose a partner and we began walking.  After a while, we started running three light poles and walking one.  Not long after, we had ran a mile without stopping!  We eventually ran two miles everyday until the end of the assignment.  Furthermore, after I had reached my goal on the third week, I could not stop.  She was right about habits.  For the rest of my high school career I ran four to six miles everyday and up to half a marathon.  Needless to say, I also had made my family an entirely revised grocery list.  This story illustrates the impact of Mrs. Peterson's class on my future.  She inspired me to want to help others.

When I think about my future classroom, the only constants will be change, stimulation, and an effective and comfortable learning environment.  My plans as a health educator include traveling to third world areas to teach and campaign for health, diet, and nutrition.  My certification covers grade six to twelve, however my preference focuses on middle and high school.  Nonetheless, I am happy to work with all grades and ages.  I chose this focus bracket because these students are becoming mature enough to think critically, evaluate situations outside of simply following directions, and possess the power to make changes.  Therefore, keeping in mind that my instruction will be nomadic, my future classroom will be a wholly stimulated classroom created by my immediate students and their work.  Imagine a classroom of desks arranged in pods to promote social skills and teamwork while exposing students at different academic levels to be positive peer models.  The walls will have posters made by the students to share information and evaluate other's work.  This will enable students to learn while just scanning the immediate environment.  Constant motivational reminders will be posted throughout the room to lock essential information into long term memory.

++I would incorporate a smart board and iPads if I could gain access to these tools.  Also, I would like plants and animals in my classroom.  Media, videos, and Skype would be utilized.  Skype would especially be helpful so the students can contact experts, ask questions, and connect around the world.  Students seeing other students learning about the same ideas is definitely great peer influence and gets the students excited.  

I plan to utilize scientifically researched methods of teaching while combining effective, personal experiences as a student.  Positive reinforcement, praise and observational learning will be stressed.  I will give an explicit and clear overview for the course and explain daily activities as many students need an idea of a larger picture to fully understand their expectations.  I will save time in lessons for questions and open discussions while encouraging students to answer each other's questions and supply peer input.  This will promote critical thinking and problem solving.  If available, textbooks will be used with presentations to aide understanding and provide examples of how the information pertains to the students personally. Moreover, trivia games will be incorporated to make learning rewarding and memorable through positive reinforcement.  Of course, we learn by doing and practicing.  I will lecture for the auditory learners, show powerpoint presentations for the visual learners, hold discussions  and assign projects for the hands on learners, while having them take notes for practice and relearning.  Importantly, instilling confidence in the students will facilitate learning.

++Project based learning will definitely be incorporated. Moreover, my students will have daily journals to share share their writing and progress.  A quote or theme will be given every morning and students can take 30 minutes and use their creativity.   I feel this will give them time to reflect as well as improve writing skills.  Also, if I have access to computers, the students will  be learning how to blog, connect, and share however the students will have the freedom to choose what they write.

     One could be an exceptional teacher, however a lack of motivation from students can hold a classroom behind.  It is important to motivate students without overwhelming them by creating an inviting, interesting, and challenging atmosphere.  For instance, if one would like a child to read more, surround them with books, have them read, read to them, and have his or her peers reading around them.  Additionally, I will concentrate on assuring my students of their capability to learn the material and do well.  A student does better and will not give up if he or she feels the task is possible. Again, my students will learn through all senses: writing, reading, watching, and discussing.  Group work, open class discussions, and peer reviews constantly provided will promote learning and critical thinking.  Hands on activities and projects  should help create firsts and lasts to engrain material into long term memory.  Additionally, outside projects such as Mrs. Peterson's habit experiment will be included.  Altogether, these methods should facilitate learning essential skills and applying that knowledge to all aspects of life.

++The great thing about using Skype and blogging is getting to connect and share globally, heighten awareness, and extending group and projects to students on the other side of the world.  How cool is that? 

Supplies are limited in third world areas, however I will make the best with the tools available.  I plan to utilize a textbook, workbooks, and powerpoint presentations that highlight the most important details and provide an illustration with research and video clips.  Video clips are powerful tools because there are countless avenues to explain and reframe an idea so that more students can grasp a concept.  Moreover, peer learning and teaching can make a big difference.  For instance, projects and group presentations will spark more interest than me lecturing.  Getting the students involved and active in class can be a tool to motivate peers to follow.  Journals were a large part of my education which helped me to write creatively and effectively while giving me an opportunity to relieve stress through expression.  I will continue to blog and utilize networking sites to find ways to improve myself, share experiences, and learn.

++Students can explore immediate peers' work as well as international students.  This is a great opportunity for students to network, create, and challenge themselves. Also, they can have FUN while learning.  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Final Report on PLN

My PLN is going very well.  I have learned to network on Facebook, Twitter, and have connected with many inspiring educators.  I plan on continuing on my network. The comments for teachers and blog assignments have exposed me to many new contacts which will help continue my learning.

don't give up the beginnings always the hardest

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Project #13

"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place" -George Bernard Shaw

Project #15:  My wonderful and great team members, Warnetta Hurd and Jessica Mose, communicated through group text messages for our project because we are fortunate enough to have cell phones.  This worked out very well for us so we texted about ideas and times to meet while sticking to our plans.  I have got to say, the best part about these final projects is meeting new friends and sharing many, many, many laughs.  Priceless.  Group messaging worked best for us with our busy schedules, however FaceTime and Skype were definitely discussed.  


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Project #16

Teachers For Peace EDM310 University of South Alabama

Warnetta Hurd
Jessica Mose
Wannetta Fincher

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Project #14 Smart Board

EDM310 University of South Alabama 

Warnetta Hurd
Jessica Mose
Wannetta Fincher

So silly!

Project #15 Smart Board Application

Warnetta Hurd
Jessica Mose
Wannetta Fincher

--It is so weird getting used to yourself on camera.  So nervous.  We definitely need a bloopers clip.  

Third Grade--- Multiplication 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

C4T #4


why i teach
This week I was assigned to the blog titled, Intrepid Teacher.  Jabiz Raisdana is a Language Arts and Humanities teacher but also teachers Global Issues and Journalism.  He reads, writes, photographs, and makes film.  Jabiz has an amazing philosophy and passionate and enthusiastic about his work.

I strongly recommend checking out Jabiz Raisdana's Philosophy.

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge
"Free human dialogue, wandering wherever the agility of the mind allows, lies at the heart of education. If teachers do not have the time, the incentive, or the wit to provide that; if students are too demoralized, bored, or distracted to muster the attention their teachers need of them, then that is the educational problem which has to be solved- and solved from inside the experiences of teachers and students." -Theodore Roszak 

"Human beings learn by sharing.  We learn by communicating.  We learn by being honest in out dealings.  We learn through expression.  We learn by being open and passionate and curious.  We learn when we are engaged and involved."  

In Jabiz's post on February 21, 2013 titled, Blogs from the Mouths of Babes, Jabiz explains his approach for integrating blogging into his English classroom and raises interesting points.

To get an idea about how the students felt about blogging, he had them all write a paragraph on his statement:

Blogging is an important part of an English classroom.  

make writing fun!
The approach: Coached students to set up a blog, explained etiquette and gave them freedom to won the space

We are not formally assessing anything that goes on the blog, and there is no obligation to blog at all.  We are hoping to see what kids write when they are given a space and freedom to write.

Personally, I am in love with this approach although it may have its pros and cons.  I need the inspiration and time and freedom to gather my thoughts, begin writing, put it down for a while, and get other input before I feel comfortable publishing.  Forced publishing to the web can create trail for you that you did not want to create or does not truly represent you.  This approach would be more appealing for integration.

Having too much freedom can be concerning.  Jabiz brings up the valid point that some students might need more structure to foster creativity and imagination.

How do we find this balance of what is expected and graded and what is free of choice?

Jabiz post on April 17th titled, Formula for Engagement, was about working with her 8th grade journalists.  She explains creditability when testing the facts and the gray area between fiction and nonfiction.  Jabiz stresses the importance of keeping students engaged and motivated.

Three quotes stand out:
students science

"You can either think of yourself as a thirteen year olds writing for a teacher in an English class, or you can think of yourselves as writers who demand to tell a story.  There is a difference." 

There quote shows the importance of audience.  Also she is rising the expectations for her students to excel in their writing.

"No amount of technology will motivate kids, if the pedagogy and the content and the teachers love for the material is not there." 

The necessity for positive reinforcement, encouragement, and praise will motivate students to continue to want to learn.
comic surprise

"The formula for engagement is simple- Students need high expectations and challenges but they also need every once of energy we have to maintain enthusiasm and love for what we teach.

As you can see, engagement and enthusiasm is crucial to a positive and healthy learning environment.  I left Jabiz a comment that had tips on how to maintain engagement.

-Show personal importance and relevance through videos, discussions, sharing, group work.  This can also be done with videos showing peers excelling and enjoying the idea.

-Make it fun! Play games and have rewards

-Be enthusiastic! Show them your passion and why it is so important.  Apply the learning to everyday situations.

Example case study:  Supporting Students' Motivation, Engagement, and Learning During Uninteresting Activity

Carl Rogers

C4K April


Liam is a fourth grader at Leopold Primary School in Victoria, Australia in Mrs. Morris and Miss Jordan's Class.  His last post was about his weekend.  Liam explains about his sleepover and his Easter Egg hunt.  He describes all the games he played at his sleepover. Cute post!  Remember when we were kids and the first thing we did when we woke up was knock on everybody's door to see if they could play?  Good times... Check out Liam's Blog. 

ultimate guide to creative writing for students

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blog Post #14

Big Brother's Always Watching

Teacher Knows if You've Done the E-Reading

This article Teacher Knows if You've Done the E-Reading in New York Times in Business Day Technology is about an instructor, Mr. Guardia, who started a study with intentions to help under performers in his class.  The underlying idea is that through web E-book's tracking of students reading the e-book and highlighting the e-book, the compiled data would help Mr. Guardia see who was actually engaging in studying.  He tracked his students and gave them a performance grade based on the time spend studying on the site and the highlights. Some students had high grades but low engagement scores and vise versa.  There is much debate over this method.

Although there are good intentions behind this idea; the execution is not productive.  More information should be gathered based on the necessity to address the under performers.   This kind of data will not help the students do any better in class.  As a teacher, I think:

HE IS NOT FOCUSING ON THE MAIN PROBLEM: The students are not doing well.  How do we fix this?  Take a look at how they are studying, not how much.  And this can be done through taking the time to sit and have a conference with the students.  Also, not all students study in the same way.  A required study program can hinder a students' ability to retain information if a student knows his or her learning style already.

Response by ailun99:

"I'm a professor and very weary of all this technology.  My best teaching happens person to person where I can see their eyes, interact with them as human beings, adjust my teaching to how they are reacting, and engage them as whole people-not just mere scores on some computer program."

Moreover, students who do not open books probably do not take the class seriously.  They are adults and the consequences of their actions lie in the future.  Therefore, the grade they receive is a product of them not putting forth the effort to make it a priority.  The students who score high with less studying--good for them! They get the concept and can move on to the next challenge.  On the other hand,  students who study their brains out, but just cannot grasp the concept usually take the time to go to the professor and let the professor know that they are struggling.  This shows that the teacher micromanaging the students required and structured study techniques is pointless.

Achievement correlates with engagement, however tracking structured engagement does not improve information retention;  both are completely different issues.  Anything can be written in the book; however if a student does not learn or apply the material, the student will still not perform as well.  Time spent and the number of pages read and highlighted will not predict success.  Comprehension quizzes and applications will show understanding; or a student who can read the chapter one time while comprehending the key concepts will always be a high achiever, and the students who struggle may have to address a fundamental problem: how do I study successfully.

My reactions as a student:

 Just because it is possible, does not mean it is right.  This is definitely unfair micromanagement and instill a lack of trust and expectations in students from teachers from the beginning.  People rise or fall to expectations.  This reminds me of The Dark Knight when Batman accesses all of the phones in the city to get a grid representation of the city.  Morgan Freeman does this, but then he resigns.  This situation illustrates that although technology opens the possibility, does not guarantee morality; even with good intentions.  People give up their liberties every day the moment they become fearful.  For instance, the Patriot Act or Protect America Act.   If we give up of our civil liberties for protection, where will we draw the line? As a student or teacher, I feel like an explanation is not even needed when I say this is just wrong.

For the Teacher: 

Question 1: Do you care about your students?
Question 2: Do you see your students?
Question 3: Why do you think this is necessary in your classroom?
Question 4: Can this hurt a students grade?
Question 5: What about students who would like to buy the textbook?
Question 6: How many emails do you get a day?
Question 7: What is your favorite part about teaching?
Question 8: With the experiment, what research question, hypothesis, and final analysis?
Question 9: Do you have any doubt or excitement about this technique? Why or why not?
Question 10: Have your students had any negative reactions? How did you respond? Was it fair?

Milgram Experiment
For the Students: 

Question 1: What was your initial response when the information was presented to you?
Question 2: If you would fail the class without, would you do it anyways?
Question 3: What is the best way for you to study?
Question 4: Does this technique help of hinder your grade?
Question5: Does this technique help of hinder your learning? (information retention)
Question 6: Why do you like or dislike this technique?
Question 7: Do you think this is productive or counter productive?
Question 8: How often do you communicate or see your teacher?

Response from Newsfreak613:  

"As a retired educator this entire process totally ignores learning style.  AND since each individual has their own learning style, to expect standardization as the best method is counterproductive to knowledge acquisition.  Some highlight, others don't, some can type notes and others need the tactile experience of pen and paper.  Still others may utilize auditory strength, by reading aloud.  

The length, depth, and type of notes or highlighting done--depends on individual needs.  There is no right or wrong.  Right is that which enables the student to learn and comprehend the material.  

It is a sad day when the way a student is graded is based on how he or she interacts with a textbook.  Teachers need to evaluate a students written work.  They need to pay attention to responds in class discussion.  They need to look at exams...which means NO multiple choice, blue book detailed answers reflect both knowledge and thinking processes.  

This is another attempt to equate education with manufacturing.  Students aren't widgets, there is no mold they can, in liquid form, be poured into.  Programs like this are huge steps in the wrong direction" 

"Praise the young and they will flourish" - Irish Proverb 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Progress Report on Final Project

First scheduled meeting for the final project went very well.  We wrote out the script and filmed the video.  The next meeting is next week during class time for the editing.

group jump

Blog Post #13

Brian Crosby from Agnes Risley Elementary School in Sparks, Nevada posted in his blog titles Learning is Messy about the importance of education, awareness, and equality.  In this video, Brian demonstrates that many younger students need help developing a schema for the world; experience  is needed to build this schema.  He surveys that majority of his kids do know their city, country, or address.  But it's not their fault! Brain stresses equal, meaningful, and motivational environments for all children regardless of economic standing.  Moreover, Brian uses blogging to help the students develop this schema, connect, share, and become globally aware.  Also, blogging is a authentic avenue for creativity, an real audience, and to work on reading and writing skills.  Furthermore, Brian is an advocate of active learning empowering students to become learners through collaboration and utilizing free tools available.  My favorite part of Brian's video is when he included Celeste, a student who could not be in his class physically due to illness with the rest of his students.  Definitely life changing and moving.  Also, his students learned how to launch a hot air balloon with their high hopes and hopes from across the world! How awesome?!

 "It is hard to be able to imagine what could be if you don't know what is."  

Mr. Paul Anderson teaches AP Biology in Bozeman, Montana.  His blog titled
Mr. Anderson has a podcast on the Blended Learning Cycle.  I liked how he began my including in his introduction all of his inspirations to try new things in his classroom.  He includes flip, explore, apply, some of his personal experiences among other ideas.  This quote stood out to me in his podcast: 

"Reminder: It's not fair to tell your students that grades aren't important if you are ultimately giving your students grades."

This quote stands out because I remember one of my teachers mentioning something similar.  I did not understand why grades are not important in grade school is my job.  What am I doing here then?    hard Teaching the importance of education in grade school is difficult.  Using a head fake like Randy Pausche mentioned might be helpful.  So teachers are there to make learning interesting enough to be important!  I notice, even in college,  many students receiving degrees and memorizing the study guide.  When I ask a question with application, they do not have a clue.  How are you supposed to be a professional when you are memorizing facts? Understanding and comprehension and applying that knowledge to different situations is key.  Having passion for what you do is also important.

Blended Learning basically blends online, mobile, classroom learning with the Learning Cycle: Engage, Explore, Explain, Expand, Evaluate.  "Its a great way to present material and material to be learned.  Brian's acronym to his blended learning cycle is QUIVERS.

QU- Question: phenomenon or hook in learning; grabs attention
I- Investigation: experiment data, labs
V- Video
E- Ellaboration - reading, physics, diagrams, importance, understand
R- Review - explanation and application
S - Summary Quiz

I appreciate and will definitely utilize Brian's idea of blended learning.  His blended learning cycle is his little mission statement that helps guide and remind him throughout his teaching.  As a teacher, Brian feels more involved.  Also, I liked how Brian mentions, "you don't really learn it until you can explain it."  This is so true! Starting with a question and figuring it out.  Now that's a fun way to learn.

"The power of the question and the power of learning in the science room." 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blog Post #12


This post will be an assignment that I would assign in my area of specialty- Health Education.  I will be completing the assignment as well.   

Name 5 specific healthy behaviors that you practice and that you need to improve upon.

Choose one and explain exactly how you plan to accomplish this.  Remember to be specific and to explain how you will react when you hit any bump in the road.  Have fun with this, be creative, and good luck!!

These links might help.

Goal Setting- Teens Health

My Response

1. Never skip breakfast
2. Eat balanced meals and healthy snacks 
3. Floss daily 
4. Exercise at least 3x/week
5.  Always wear sunblock/ safety belt 
Improve Upon...
1. Candy control
2. More sleep
3. Improve cardiovascular endurance
4. Less beer  
5. Personal 

Choose one and state exactly how you plan to accomplish this.... 

Although I have a pretty healthy diet, I have my areas I need to work on.  In my case that would be sweets!  Chocolate, popsicles, fruit roll-ups, ice-cream, pastries, and anything with sugar is my kryptonite.  The area that I choose to improve on is candy control.  Not only is the incredible amounts of sugar unhealthy, but they are all empty calories.   I know this will be difficult.  I plan to improve this by:

look after yourself
1- keep fruits, vegetables, or nuts for snacking
2- modify grocery list [cross sweets off list]
3- keep healthy snacks in car or backpack [almonds/granola]
4- staying hydrated [drink enough water]
5- curbing cravings [adding healthier choices] [i.e. adding a few dark chocolate chips to almonds]
6- portion control when indulging [limit to one serving]
7- post positive notes around the house as a reminder  [can be any goal]
8- have a cheat day [not go crazy and eat EVERYTHING sweet within sight, but indulge in  a chocolate milkshake]
9- keep a food diary to track progress and record findings - how do I feel after week 1,2,3?
10- Stick to it and have fun

Also, plan what you will do when your willpower becomes weak. 

* Must have ice-cream? Opt for a healthier choice like frozen yogurt with berries and nuts or have a smoothie or sorbet.  Make your own with mangos.

*I like to slice bananas and warm them up for 10 seconds with a little brown sugar, cinnamon, and dark chocolate chips and pecans and put on top a scoop of frozen yogurt.

*Fruit roll-ups, gummy bears, skittles? Try yogurt with granola with sliced almonds and strawberries. Trail-mix or grapes and nuts combine beautifully.

*Popsicles? Make your own or buy real fruit popsicles. Frozen grapes are awesome!!

*Drink a glass of water when feeling craving

Overall, indulging in comfort foods is not the end of the world, but control has a lot to do with it.  Stay positive and remember that it is normal to experience turbulence.   Adjust and keep going.  Keeping notes around act as great reminders.   This can apply to other tough habits such as caffeine, soft drinks, and fast food! Know it will be tough at first but it gets easier over time. Permanent change is a commitment.  Good luck!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Blog Post #11

Little Kids...Big Potential 

be happy
"We like to write on our blogs because people see it and write stuff on it." The students in Kathy Cassidy's classroom seem happy to be writing on their blogs and sharing their ideas and working on writing skills.  "My writing gets better every time I write on my blog."  On top of that, the students get to let us know some tips on how to be considerate bloggers and have online manners.  "Always say nice stuff, and don't be mean." Furthermore, safety precautions are taken for internet safety.  One of the students points out,  "Just use your first name, not your last name."

These students seems extremely excited to be writing and working on the internet.  Moreover, I noticed how the kids were working with the smart board in the beginning of the clip.  This is great!  I can remember how fun it was just to be able to write on the chalk or draw-erase board as a child.  I can only imagine how they feel with all the neat applications that the smart board is capable.  Also, Skype video chats helps them connect and share information with other teachers and students around the world.  How cool?  I wish we had this growing up! They are are using Nintendo DS in the classroom to help share what they have learned.  Little Kids....Big Potential is  not only a cute video clip, but definitely leaves me happy about how excited the kids are learn and share.

Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy

She started using technology when she was given five computers for her classroom with internet.  She started by learning how to create web pages about ten years ago, blog five years later and always adding new fun ideas.

Cassidy's approach to the use of technology is inspiring to the fact that she just decided to get started on her technological journey to help the kids get involved.  She basically stated this on her own with much support from the school.  She uses release forms that let the parents know that the students will be getting on the internet and sharing their work.  The parents love the technology and parents love being able to see an online portfolio of what their kids are learning.  I agree that this would be great. I know that I would love to know what my kids are doing in school and to track and see their writing skills get better.  This would give parents an opportunity to incorporate what the kids are learning into daily activities.  On top of that relatives would be happy to keep up with their niece, nephews, or grandchildren.

embrace change
"Technology is not going away. It is here to stay.  We have to change because the world has changed.  There are so many opportunities available online now from collaborating to learning from other people that you are handicapping your students and yourself by not taking advantage of those tools."  

This is a very powerful statement and Cassidy's initial reaction when asked why teachers should be familiar with all of the tools.  I loved her video because the students did look excited and engaged.  Moreover, Cassidy mentions the impotence of Twitter, blogs, and a social networking as powerful tools in teaching.  She stresses the importance of being lifelong learners.

"Find a way that works for you, and a way to keep in touch with what is going on with technology."  

I especially like what she said about how to start looking for technology tools.  She highlights starting in a direction that you are interested in.  For instance, writing, video, blogging, photography.  As for Twitter, she mentions how cool twitter is when you eventually find people to follow who you respect, you see some posts and realize that you would not have learned if it was not for Twitter.

Cassidy also mentions that the kids like the audience.  "100 page reads is exciting for a six year old."  It is powerful that people can see it and comment back to them and also highlights that the relationships created through technology can be helpful.

Techniques I might use in my classroom are definitely the smart board, Skype, blogging has sparked my interest as well.  The students seemed engaged and excited to be using Skype to talk to other teachers and students around the world.  Blogging also seemed like a good way for the students to share about their class time activities with family and other students and to improve on their writing skills.  Cassidy networks with other schools around the country and has peers from different college Skype to develop personal relationships with the students.  The first graders definitely look up to these students and take their input seriously.

Some impediments that might be encountered that were addressed in the chat was how to protect the students from dangers of the internet.  Cassidy made it clear that the students only used first names and the pictures did not correspond with the actual students.  Also, she let the students know the internet etiquette when commenting on others posts.  One of the tips were to always say positive remarks and to never to be mean.  There are just trivial matters when compared to the benefits of being connected.  The collaboration and sharing of information benefits both the students and teachers.  This makes it possible for the students to interact with other students learning about the same things and expose them to other teachers that can help them get a concept.  Blogging gives the students an opportunity to network with other students and analyze other information.  Meanwhile all of this allows the kids to work on writing and social skills through sharing and communicating.  Being technologically literate give the students a leg up for what is coming in the future and job opportunities.  And the list goes on and on.....

Personally, blogging in this class has been a bittersweet experience for me.  I was hesitant at first about putting my personal information out there on the internet for the world to see.

Coming down off of that, I digress because this Skype video brought up a very good point that resonates personally.  When Cassidy mentions the importance of being able to have an audience to share work.  This is what I feel about an audience.

Because of the potential audience, this class was intimidating to me because I had to put my writing out for the world to see.  Writing is very personal to me, and for the most part, I love sharing about what I am passionate.  However, the idea that future employers could log onto my blog archive from EDM310 seemed unfair to me.  A good representation of a person stems from when he or she puts forth his or her best effort.  One may ask, but people should always put in their best effort, right?  Well, students constantly struggle in other classes, working, and balancing a family or social life.  Therefore, sometimes it can be difficult to allot the proper amount of time in creating their best in EDM310 despite its importance.  Moreover, wouldn't it be great to have a blog for the students to write about what they find amazing?  Would it not be cool to utilize the required class time to present all of the blog assignments  and have students discuss reactions and research something similar to share?  I believe that this way, we will be more apt to write better while connecting on a more personal level.

Of course, students will write about what is assigned.  Also, having an audience can be great for first graders as they are still learning how to write, however as teachers and adults, we should already know this stuff and people judge adults when they make spelling or grammatical mistakes.  I know I have.  Basically what I am getting at is that I love the idea of blogging and sharing and collaborating and teaching with technology.   I really have come around to seeing the NEED to be technologically literate.  This class has opened my eyes through videos, testimonials, and experiencing.  Additionally, actively networking with other educators has demonstrated the importance of technology.  I know Dr. Strange does not want to stand in front of the class and say, "Hey, this stuff is important. This stuff is worth while.  This stuff will make you and your students better. Believe and take it as true."  Instead, he wants his students to figure it out by showing how to see this and to come to the conclusion themselves.  I have come to that conclusion. Thank you. :)

peace and change

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

C4T #3

The teacher assigned this week is  David Warlick on his blog titled 2c Worth of Seeking the ShakaBUKU.  Sweet blog name! Comments were closed for this his last comment on March 20, however I left a comment on his last post titled, War and Peace, posted on March 17th 2013.  This is an interesting perspective of peaceful countries. Others seemed to not have enjoyed this post.   I had to do with peaceful countries like Canada and Belgium.  David has been blogging since 2004 with an impressive archive.  I left a comment introducing myself as a student here are University of South Alabama and explained that I would be posting this summary of his blog.  Check out his page!

My next comment was on his post on March 28th titled, What 2000 Calories Looks Like.  This post definitely puts calories into perspective.  This also demonstrated how terrible just one meal at fast food can be your entire body's recommended caloric intake for the day - for an active person! Physiology fascinates me and health and losing weight has much more to do than calories.  Maybe I will save that topic for another day,  however I definitely could only try to eat 19 bananas in a day!

C4K March


Carl D is an 8th grade student in Mr. Boylen's Language Arts class in Iowa.  The last blog post that Carl wrote about was a response to a question that Mr. Boylen presented.  The question asked, "What do you think your as a student gain from blogging with students and others outside of the school? Is it worth the time? Why/why not?" Carls response was he gains conversation, meeting new people, and discussing opinions on books.  I left a comment for Carl.  I introduced myself and let him know that we are blogging too in college.  I agreed that blogging was useful for his stated reasons, and I asked him what his favorite subject is and how bloggin has been working out for him.  Check out Carl's blog.  

I heart blogging!


Francis is a 6th grade student in Adelaide, Australia in Mr. Paul Heubl class. His last post was a creative writing paragraph it seemed like. He is such a terrific writer.  I introduced myself in his post and let him know that I am student here at South and that we are blogging as well in our class.  I asked him what his favorite subject was and if was into writing.  Check out Francis's blog.


William is in Ms. Lentine's K Harbor 7 class.  I commented on Mia's post titled, Wretches and Jabberers; Larry + Tracy posted on March 27, 2013.  William writes about a visit from Larry and Tracy and their documentary about Autism.  The documentary demonstrates the use of assistive technologies to help communicate.  William writes an analysis and his feelings about the situation.  William gets a different perspective on autism and comes to the realization that autistic people are different, diverse, but are just the same as you and I.  He seems appreciative of this perspective.  I commented on his blog on March 31, 2013.  I introduced myself as a student at USA and I agreed that although people are different, we are all humans.  I asked her if him asked any questions and what questions.  I also asked him to tell me his favorite part of the presentation.  Check out William's Blog.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blog Post #10

Cartoon John T Spencer


This cartoon by John T. Spencer.  His cartoon posted in his blog titled, Adventures in Pencil Integration, is a metaphor for the Mac vs PC conflict. Mr. Spencer uses the paper mate to represent PC and Ticonderoga to represent Mac.  PCs are reasonably priced but have more problems and can do less,  however Macs are are a little more expensive, and can do much more without the risk of all the viruses.  It is funny because Macs are personal computers. Thanks Andrew.  :)


Mr. Spencer also shares a post titled, Why Were Your Kids Playing Games.   Mr. Spencer's has a VERY facetious and sarcarstic writing style.  I enjoyed reading his posts.  I especially enjoyed, Remember Pencil Quests.  I can relate to this because I remember being tricked into thinking something was fun when I was a kid.  But then again, because it was fun for me at the time, why regret it?

be the change you wish to see in the world

Scott McLeod

Dr. Scott McLeod shared a great post titled Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please? on his blog dangerously ! irrelevant.  This post is a letter to whom it may concern warning them not to teach their kids about technology, collaborating, blogging, social networking, etc... He highlights all of the dangers of cyber-bullying, online predators, and porn.  The punchline is that he is teaching all of his kids this stuff and, "can't wait to see who has the leg up in a decade or two; can you?"  I very much enjoyed Dr. McLeod's sarcastic delivery in his message.  I completely agree that many people can be too protective over children having access to the internet and may become frustrated.  Instead of being hesitant of kids knowing how to correctly utilize technological tools, people should be supportive and try to help inform  the kids of potential dangers so that they can take precautions.  Humans are curious creatures and sometimes people must learn through experience.  I know this road to learning about technology has been rocky at times, however, it really is not as intimidating and scary as I thought.  So get excited about all of these tools and access to basically unlimited information, change your attitude, and start letting it help rather than hurt you.

Scott McLeod Ph.D is an academic expert on K-12 school technology leadership issues and here are only a few of his achievements.

--Director of Innovation in Iowa for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8
--Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE) 
--Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky
--Co-creator of Did You Know (Shift Happens) 
--Blog: Dangerously Irrelevant and Education Recorded.

This video in one of Dr. McLeod's archive posts is definitely worth the time and opened my eyes to new learning techniques.  What 64 schools can tell us about teaching 21st century skills 

"Asking questions rather than giving answers and finding problems rather that solving problems."

be the change

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blog Post #9


Mr. Joe McClung is a teacher that documented his years as a teacher by blogging at the end of each year.  We were assigned to his blog of his findings and lessons he learned along the way. This was an interesting blog and you can tell a definite progression of his changes.  He started teaching in 2009 in Noel, Missouri.  We were required to watch the Version 4 Post covering 2011-2012 and pick another one.  I chose the earliest one on 2008-2009.  He covers how to read the crowd and to be flexible.  He came to the realization that, "no lesson is ever perfect.  The lesson you teach and the one you plan are always different." Joe blogs about staying positive and smiling.  Also, he learns that communicating is the best medicine.  Joe highlights that expectations should be high, but not to get upset when children do not meet them. I agree with this, however I believe in sticking by those children and encouraging how much better they can do based on their capabilities.  This push can be the motivation a child needs to reach his or her potential and to continue to challenge his self.

Another lesson is to not fear technology.  It is so easy to become frustrated with technology sometimes.   I remember my brother teaching me so much about powerpoint in just a day.  He is very animated and made everything seem so cool and exciting.  I was excited and never afraid of powerpoint after that.  I understand this is such a larger scale.

His last piece of advise was to never stop learning.

In his Volume 4 , Joe has two pieces of advice.  "You gotta dance with who you came to dance with, and you should challenge yourself." This made a lot of sense.  Joe had to cope with his feeling to please his peers.  "As long as I stick to this rule and remember who I really work for then I should never divert down the wrong path." I agree that worrying is not positive, and the bottom line is to make sure the students are having fun and learning.    Challenging yourself as a student in college and as an educator can be difficult.   Motivation comes in waves.  A strong support group and positive team environment can help the students stay motivated and want to learn.  How do you motivate the children who do not want to learn?  How can we help those that do not want to be helped?  I feel that sometimes it takes a lot, but it comes down to the bottom line that you cannot give up and to keep working to appeal to everyone.  Sometimes a good peer leader is great inspiration for unmotivated students.  Again, keep smiling! :)  


Sunday, March 10, 2013

C4T #2 What Ed Said


big ideas
Every few weeks, Dr. Strange assigns each EDM student a teacher's blog to explore, comment, and report.  This week, I was assigned to Edna Sackson's blog titled, "What Ed Said."  Edna is a academic  coordinator in Melbourne, Australia at an IB PYP school.  Sackson also is an E-mediator for the The Granny Cloud project.  The project is named Self Organized Learning Environments & Self Organized Mediation Environment (SOLEs and SOMEs) in which she interacts with children in India in disadvantaged settings.  She is also an administrator for Inquire Within.  I digress; please take the time to check out this link and subscribe.  This page posts many different perspectives from fourteen countries.  I thought a lot about the post, Thinking: Shaken Not Stirred  and posted on February 23, 2013 by ChristinaM and To...Thinking and Beyond (Facts).
Too many young folk have an addiction to superficial things and not enough conviction for substantial things like justice, truth and love.  - Cornel West
Sometimes I catch myself going off on tangents when I start clicking on links.  Coming down off of Inquiry Within, Edna is also an initiator of #pypchat, a global Twitter discussion on PYP teachers.  On top of that, Edna is a consultant and workshop facilitator for Inquiry Learning, Global Connectedness, Promoting Creativity, Integrating Technology, Concept Driven Learning, and Learning Principles.

Edna Sackson's last post on February 21, 2013 is titled Concept based learning... This post entails development and application of big ideas in learning and understanding of concepts.  Edna writes, "this will assist them to organize information in future, explore significant ideas, promote higher order thinking and deepen inquiry."  To help visualize this, Sackson uses the Avocado Model.   This model classifies information and concepts from the outside of the avocado in: worth knowing, important to know, and enduring understanding as the seed.  This seed (understanding) can then be stripped of the meat and grow into a new idea and applied to any situation.

big ideas
Edna then explains that big ideas are, "transferrable, timeless, and universal."  The example that Edna uses is sibling rivalry.  Edna shares Lyn Erickson's Structure of Knowledge.  I especially enjoy how Sackson exposes her students to the same ideas as adults.  For example, her student came up with these conceptual understandings:

--> Citizenship carries with it a sense of belonging or identity which includes the right and responsibilities, duties and privileges.

--> Different decision-making strategies can be effective in different situations.

--> In a democracy, citizens have a say in decision-making.

--> The impact of decisions can be personal, local, global.

As with the last teacher assignment, I am grateful I was assigned to What Ed Said.  Edna has much to offer as I have much to learn.  Her blog archive is full of cool posts about digital citizenship to exploring issues.  I commented on Edna's post Concept-based learning.  In my comment, I introduced myself as a prospective educator, expressed my reactions to the post and her work, and subscribed to her blog.  I also subscribed to Inquire Within.  Finally, I asked Edna if she had any advice for me as an EDM310 student and future educator.  I look forward to hearing back from Edna Sackson soon.  

Comment 2

Edna post on March 1, 2013 was titled Choose your own learning...  In Edna's post she includes a professional learning survey.  Basically, three campuses are participating in a professional learning day. Each staff or group is consider personal learning goals, decide of focus for the day, and not to catch up on paperwork! A reflection is given at the end of the day.  The day is based on learning principles and objectives for her school.  

The reflection includes what you achieved and learned that day.  Also staff is to include surprises, challenges, and plan of action for the next day.  Also, the reflection should include what you realized about yourself as a learner.  

Some of the projects include exploring iPads as tools for learning, educational applications, maths manipulatives, and iMovie.  Edna notes that it surprises her that some staff members do not know what to do with their time when given an opportunity like this.  

I left Edna a comment that thanked her for sharing her post.  The day is tomorrow so I am interested in following up with some feedback.  

what your seeking is seeking you