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

Blog Post #8

How We Dream-- Robert E. Miller 

lucid dreaming
Robert E. Miller shares his video This is How We Dream.  Basically, he wants people to share their ideas with the web which can be accessible to all because ideas belong to people as a culture, not individuals.

Miller dreams of a school that is not designed around parking lots.  He believes in researching without having to step foot in a library.  Miller speaks about information being able to be updated instantly.  He shows the visual representations that can be composed on the internet.  I used to think I was technologically literate until I was introduced to this class.  The resources are going to be hard to come by.  Inspiring spaces and teachers will  definitely be needed.  "What would it mean to build a building that united the best of the humanities and the best of the sciences."  The goal of his technology is enabling people to tackle dreams while sharing them with others.  He wants the university to be for ideas.

Miller mentions iTunesU and being about to access lectures from top professors and researchers.  This is pretty cool. Because Miller speaks about writing and composing changing.  Miller believes, "the limits and the restrictions are largely ones we place on ourselves."

Carly Blog Post #12 

Carly wrote a blogpost for a create your own assignment.  Her assignment highlighted the power of multimedia in illustrating a point and keeping attention.  She based her post around finding your own philosophy as a teacher by creating a youtube channel for philosophies.

I started my youtube channel and plan to add to it as more inspiration and motivation comes while exploring.
Michel de Montaigne
Michel de Montaigne

The Chipper Series

The Chipper Series was a video with Chipper and Dr Strange. Chipper cannot seem to keep a job because of her poor work ethic.  The primary message from this is to be prepared for what you want and to work hard to get it. Achieving your dreams require motivation, dedication, and responsibility.  Chipper needs to work a little harder, although she seems to have good communication between her mentor. That is better than no communication!

help wanted
Learning to Change, Change to Learn 

Children are big communicators through text messaging.  Technology is not hindering the students learning.  It is enhancing it.  Teachers need to research, reflect, and learn from the web.  Children also learn from community, home, online.  I agree with this completely. Students learn from all of these things, however students are also exposed and desensitized to negative roles in violent movies.  Teachers and parents can help children synthesize and choose the right information.  Students need to learn how to find, validate, and collaborate information.

what do i know
Scavenger Hunt

1-Edmodo is a great networking tool that I could use in my classroom.  Edmodo connects you to other teachers and educators interested in your field.  There is a planner to help organize daily activities.  There is a link to explore and discover.  I thought it was really cool to have the insights tab that documents overal trending reactions, your reactions, and students reactions.

2- MY COMIC made through

3- My Poll created with Poll.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Project #9

First Progress Report of PLN #9

So far, thanks to EDM310 and Dr. Strange, I have began to assemble many contacts and tools to help with my learning experience in becoming a networked teacher.  The comments for teachers has exposed me to Daivd Truss and Edna.  Both have exposed me to other people and perspectives through their links.  Twitter is a great way to find mentors and educators for influence and quick information.  Blogging has also given me an avenue to explore others with similar interest.


Blog Post #7


WOW! I have got to say, best blog post assignment yet! Although I have watched this lecture before, it never ceases to amaze me. Thank you Dr. Strange for recommending this. I plan to share and watch this lecture again. And again. So, where to start...

dreaming edgar allan poe

Some background to this lecture:  

Randy Pausch was a husband, father, and professor at Carnegie Mellon University.  At the time of his lecture, he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with only a few months left.  He dedicated this lecture to his children.  Randy tells an inspirational and motivational story of achieving his childhood dreams, how he dedicated his life to helping others achieve their dreams, and meanwhile addressing lessons learned along the way.  I love this reflection; and I admire Randy's self-awareness and love for fun and life. 

Just some forewarning, I will be incorporating a lot of quotes for paraphrasing might be difficult when someone already says it best. 

To begin, Pausch brings up many good points and valuable life lessons.  

"It's not about the cards you are dealt, its how your play them."  Would you like to be a Tigger or Eeyore in life?  Randy stresses the importance of being honest, loyal, enthusiastic, and helpful.  

Being good at something can have its perks.  One of Randy's tips, "always have something to bring to the table." Having something to bring to the table will make you valuable and people will want you around more.  Why would anyone want to extend an invite to you? Give them a reason. Be unique and useful.  
hot air balloon

Randy discusses all of his childhood dreams and the obstacles he went through to achieve his goals. I especially enjoyed when he mentions that he gained the most from the one dream that he did not achieve.  "I got more from the dream and not accomplishing it than from all the other combined."  He mentions, "experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted."  Although he could not go to the NFL, he learned about teamwork, perseverance, and leadership.  While discussing his dreams, he shows that he is resilient and flexible.  He molded his dreams to be accomplished and adapted to changes as needed.  

Pausch calls his setback brick walls.  "Brick walls are there for a reason: to stop the people who don't want it bad enough....and an opportunity to show how badly you want it."  This stood out to me.  After hearing this, I realized that many times when I truly want something, I get it done regardless of the setbacks.  On the other hand, it is apparent when I do not care as much, because even tiny setbacks can hinder my process.  Maybe sitting down and writing out what is important to me and how to accomplish these goals can help with time management and achieving them.  

"When you are screwing up, and nobody is saying anything anymore; that means they gave up....your critics are the ones telling you they still love you and care."  This resonates for me. Sometimes it can be hard to to accept that what you are doing is not perfect, however being able to accept and learn from feedback is more respectable than to simply make excuses.  Also, I think accepting the consequences to your actions is just as important.  

Randy brings up a concept that he calls, The Head Fake.  For example, when it comes to teaching, teaching students something considered hard through making them think they are learning something else.  His legacy: the virtual reality world.  Randy brings this concept up a few times throughout his lecture.  "The best way to teach is to have them think they are learning something else."  In retrospect, I can see and appreciate all of my high school teachers for instilling good values and teaching me so much while I was completely unaware.  Teachers have to make decisions everyday on how to handle every situation.  "If ignorance is bliss, tis foolish to be wise."  I have a much deeper appreciation for all my teachers have done; especially not out of the textbook.  

Randy demonstrates enthusiasm through the entire lecture. Enthusiasm for life, for his family, for education, and for his dreams.  Enthusiasm, to Randy, makes the biggest difference.  Sometimes a seemingly dull activity can be incredibly fun with a little bit of enthusiasm.  Also, positive attitudes and high enthusiasm will make people want to be around your more and work with you. 

One of Randy's mentors tells him, "when you wait long enough, people will surprise and impress you."  I have found this true in my own experience over again.  I always believe in giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.  Additionally, although someone might make poor decisions and fall occasionally, helping them rather than turning away can make all of the difference.  I heard this once before, "when you have low expectations of people, they will sink to them; but if you keep the expectations high, they will rise and surprise you."  This incorporates self-fulfilling prophesy.  Also, having someone believe in you is motivation in itself.  
i'd rather be loved for who i am than loved for who i am not

One of Randy's great stories that illustrates expectations is when his students delivered for a two week assignment that he was so impressed with, he was unsure what to do next.  One of his mentors tells him to go to his class, look them straight in the eyes and say, "pretty good, but I know you can do better."  This was funny, but the lesson was more important.  "You don't know where the bar should be, obviously you are doing them a disservice by putting it anywhere."  This is a theme that has come up many times throughout EDM310 and becoming a networked teacher.  Students should be constantly challenged and curious enough to want to know more and do better.  Grades and standardizing learning has seemed to benefit some while holding others back.  
happiness and love

Wording and delivery can make a huge difference when interacting with people.  Randy mentions that he spoke with two people and gave examples of the importance of diction in communication.  Both people were trying to say, " I don't know."  One becomes defensive, negative, and authoritative.  The other replies, "I don't have very much information; all I know is that I have one of my star faculty members in my office and he's all excited.  So I want to learn more."  This is a lesson that can be applied to just about every situation.  Also he mentions how beautifully a mentor once told him that he was arrogant that made him think about changing.  "It's such a shame that people perceive you as arrogant.  It's going to limit what you will accomplish."  Diction is crucial and changes.    

Another lesson I can apply to teaching and makes me feel better about my field of interest. Pausch brings up as professors, "you can have your cake and eat it too."  This statement is true for Randy because he was enabling the dreams of others while pursuing his own.  One of his mentors convinced him to go to graduate school and obtain his PhD because he could sell anything.  If he worked, he would be in sales, however if he stayed in school, "you could sell something worthwhile: education."  I can relate to this with my passion for helping others and education.  

The power of being a good team player and creating close relationships through projects and experiences will benefit a person in the long run.  Randy points out that when his students presented his projects he can tell which teams succeeded in this. "When the teams were standing close; that's when you know the world is good." Because this was for graduate school, he utilized a project curriculum instead of book learning because he figured the students had received their bachelors and read all of the textbooks already.  Randy wanted his students to have fun while learning, which can be hard to do.  
quote about brick walls

Feedback is a perfect way to show students how they stack up against their peers.  Randy focused on people learning to work in groups as this is an essential trait in socializing, working, and learning.  Randy empowers his students to be self reflective and rate their peers.  This kind of feedback is hard to ignore and much can be learned in taking the time to evaluate yourself.  This method will be very helpful in my teaching because although grades are posit reinforcement and comments from teachers are taken into consideration, peer and self-reflective evaluation will have much more impact.  

So many lessons that Randy learned along the way are so simple, yet overlooked by so many.  Randy emphasizes the role of parents, mentors, students, friends, and colleagues.  I loved when Pausch brings up his parents help sponsor up to thirty students in Thailand.  This is the exact kind of help that I would like to be a part.  My best friend's father helps sponsor five RMI children on Ebeye, Marshall Islands get a K-12 education.  This is personal to me as I am also Marshallese, and I have seen how hard it is for families in third world industrializing nations to afford school supplies, uniforms, and transportation.  
diction and syntax

"Respect authority while questioning it."  Randy mentions, "know when you are in a pissing match, and get out of it as soon as possible."  I could take this advice sometimes.  A debate is only as good as the sources.  When negative comments are thrown, respect is lost.  All other information brought up is null and void to the person who is attacked without respect.  Learning your boundaries will make a huge difference in communicating with authority or even as the authority.  Randy also shows, "we learn from our students."  He tells a story of a student simply putting the same concept into a different perspective can be motivation for an unconventional group to take interest.  

Randy Pausch does not just speak of lessons that he learned to help with teaching, but all around social and life lessons.  One simple piece of advice:
childhood wonder

"Never lose your childhood wonder.  Help others and care about people."  He noticed that children who were raised in large families socialize better because they had to learn to get along.  I can see this difference in personalities.  "Loyalty is a two way-street."  Enough said.  This can go back to just waiting long enough for people to impress and surprise you.  

One of my favorite pieces of advice that Randy brought up: 

"Ignore what people say, pay attention to what they do."  

Goodness, is this not true?  How many times have we found ourselves thinking, "but they said they were going to change"?  This reminded me of the saying, "Don't talk about it. Be about it."  Actions speak louder than words.  I will hold on to this piece of advice.  This is what will separate those who care. "

 "If its important, then you will make it happen. If it's not, then you will make excuses." -Anonymous

It is important to know the life changing moments in life.  Great if you can recognize them in retrospect, but even better if you can realize them at the moment.  "Leave a legacy and live on through something."  Be remembered for something great.  "Do the right think and don't bail-the best gold is at the bottom of a barrel of crap."  As difficult as something may seem, accomplishing the task will have more satisfaction that giving up.  

"Show gratitude, apologizes when you screw up, tackle the brick walls, and get your feedback loop; listen to it, cherish it, and use it."  These are important guidelines to live by.   "Being honest if more important than being hip."  This is true because being hip is temporary while honesty is forever.  Just focus on doing the right thing and other people rather than yourself.  

I love that Randy instills through his words in this lecture that anything is possible.  Anything can be fun and easy with a positive outlook, humor, and enthusiasm.  He stresses never to give up, and illustrates through his stories that it never hurts to ask.  People are empathic creatures and can relate and learn from each other.  I have definitely learned from Randy Pausch.  

From now on, I won't complain; I will work harder.  I will also

 "Find the best in everybody, and wait for people to show me their good side."


"Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.  Lead life the right way and dreams will come to you." 

Thank you Dr. Strange for sharing, and thank you Randy Pausch. Rest in Peace.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

C4KSummary for February


I left a comment for Quinyon from Mrs. Miller's 10th grade class at Baldwin County High.  His last post was about Tom Walker.   Quinyon wrote a wonderful post explaining Tom Walker.  Apparently, Tom was not a very likable guy, and he was very greedy.  Quinyon is a very strong writer.  I commented on his writing skills after introducing myself.  I asked Quinyon what his favorite book is. Check out Quinyon's blog.

Terrance is a fourth grade student in Ms. Muhammad's class  at Robbins Elementary School in Prichard, AL.  Terrance created a blog post last December about a book he read.  The post was about some boys surprising their mother for her birthday.  This was a really cute blog.  I commented on Terrance's blog on February 17, 2013.  I introduced myself, gave positive reinforcement, and let Terrance know that students at South are blogging as well.  Terrance's post made me think about my mom! Then, I asked Terrance if he has ever surprised his mother.  Check out Terrance's blog.

no one said anything about blogging
Kishan is a Year 5 student in Pt. England School in Aukland, New Zealand. He is in Miss Ouano's Room 14 class.  The class blog is named Room 14 Dream Catchers.  In Room 14, their sentence is:

"In Room 14 we know that we can reach our goals and dreams if we are committed, determined and work to the best of our abilities.  Anything is possible if you give it your best!" - Miss Ouano

Kishan's last blog post was on February 15, 2013.  Kishan introduces himself as a Year 5 in Room 14.  Kishan's favorite teacher is Miss Ouano, and he enjoys math.  I left a comment introducing myself and explaining that we are blogging here at the University of South Alabama just like his class.  I asked Kishan about his favorite color and book.  I also asked what he is learning in math class right now.  I hope to hear back from Kishan soon! Check out Kishan's blog.

mother love
Morgan is Mrs. Vannoy's first grade class.  Morgan's last blogpost was published on February 20, 2013 titled My mom.  Morgan writes about how much he loves his mom, that she is sweet, and that he likes her.  This was such a thoughtful and considerate post.  This post made me think about my mom! I commented on Morgan post introducing myself as a student at South Alabama and telling him that we are bloggin in class just like him.  I complimented his writing and thanked him for his post.  I asked Morgan how old he was and if he liked blogging.  I look forward to hearing back from Morgan soon.  Check out Morgan's blog.

open your eyes