Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Final Project #16

Sean Whatley and I worked together to prepare a tutorial of essential tools on the SMARTnotebook. The tutorial showed me and Sean teaching viewers a basic “how to”. We started our presentation of by opening SMARTnotebook. From there we explained step by step how to use and access the available tools. Here is a basic outline of what was covered:
  • orient
  • toolbar adjustment
  • keyboard/ text
  • pens (regular, creative, and highlighters)
  • the eraser
  • shapes (shape recognition,making shapes, and lines)
  • grids
  • fill options (colors and page recording)
  • Inserting images (interactive images)
  • Shades
Through this project we were aiming for students and teachers to begin using the SMARTboard technology to its full potential not just as a “expensive white board”. I would consider this a great beginner tutorial for students and teachers. The possibilities are endless with this piece of technology. We hope you enjoy the tutorial and learn something new that you can use in the classroom (teacher or student)!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blog Post 14


In my third attempt of going 24 consecutive hours without use of electronic entertainment or communications I have came to the conclusion that without these tools life would be slow and boring. After making that statement you yourself has probably came to the conclusion that I did not make the 24 hour mark. Your conclusion is correct.

In the first two hours I did an outstanding job of staying away from my beloved electronics. I cleaned the house completely. After that I found myself just sitting around doing nothing productive. I began to wonder what my friend Clarissa was doing that night. So as you might guess, I picked up the phone and dialed her number! The bad thing about this was I did not even realize what I was doing until after I had got on Facebook via IPhone to see if our friend Kyndal wanted to join us that evening. I exited the app and I told Clarissa well just call me when you get off work. Yes, that means when she called later that night I totally forgot about the “no electronics”! In the meantime between the end of our first conversation and the next I preceded “no electronics” attempt two.

Attempt two lasted a total of 5 hours. I was on roll I got in my vehicle and was just about to turn the radio up and caught myself. I rolled down the windows so that I could have some kind of noise while driving to Lonnie’s house, my fiancĂ©. I got there and we had a “work day” in the yard since hurricane season is coming up. We cut down some old trees that were dead, mowed the grass, and pretty much tidied everything up. We burned some old limbs we had cut and rearranged the yard furniture. Everything was going smoothly until… my phone rang. It was Clarissa calling. I answered with a “Hello” and she said “Hey” then the rest of the conversation consisted of “Oh my gosh! I did it again!” Giggles come from the other end of the phone and here I am explaining what I was attempting to do. We agree on a time and a place to meet and we end our phone conversation. After that I figured I better call everyone else and let them know we were having a get together and that they could no longer call me for the remainder of the day. After that I embarked on my attempt to master “no electronics” for 24 consecutive hours.

I began attempt three at about 9 o’clock p.m. I was still at Lonnie’s house and our friends began to show up. At this point in time I had turned my phone off and was determined I was not about to fail again. We sat around the table on the porch and started talking. We talked a good hour about random things. Then we decided to go in and play charades. We sit in the living room and play charades for two hours at least (by the way this turned out to be hilarious!). After two hours we end up back out on the porch and this is when I broke my vow of no electronics.

As we were sitting there Lonnie started telling a friend of ours, Arch, about the Doritos commercial that was played during the Super Bowl last year. Arch said he had never seen it and we all start talking about how funny it was. So my friend Kara pulls out her IPhone and searches for it on YouTube. We all gather around trying to watch the hilarious commercial. After watching it, and about five others, Clarissa brought it to my attention that I had yet again failed.

Strike Three
After sitting there discussing to the others what she was talking about everyone started leaving. On the way home I thought to myself man here I am not able to go one day without using some type of electronic device. And yet, with this on my conscious I am driving with my radio on "). I am continuing my 20 minute drive home, and yet it was not until I arrived at home, that I realized I had used three electronic devices in those 20 minutes. I walked inside my home turned on the TV and "facebooked" (here I go again using electronics) a friend of mine that is in the military.  As I lay in bed I think to myself what would this world be without electronics.

As a soon to be educator I start thinking of the many ways our students would be "handicapped" if we were not technologically advanced as we are today. I believe the students I teach will be more knowledgeable in technology than the students that were in my class the past year. What I mean is every year more and more advanced technology comes out. The children are becoming more and more exposed to it. Things change over time but, technology changes rapidly. That means what we use today in the classroom will be outdated next week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blog Post 13

Box of Tricks

In Top Ten Tips for Using Technology in the Classroom Jose Picardo lists and briefly describes ten ways to incorporate beneficial technology and tools into the classroom. They are as follows: 

  • Streaming video 
  • music
  • teleconferencing
  • interactive exercises
  • interactive whiteboards
  • podcast
  • blogs and wikis
  • social networks
  • internet tools 
  • gadgets

Streaming video, such as YouTube is a key concept because it allows teachers and/or students to get on the internet and view others thought and ideas. This can allow students connect with the world by viewing others actions, beliefs, and more.

Music, like ITunes as Jose mentioned, can play a great role in student’s life and learning. Through ITunes you can relate to students with music. You can also upload lectures and etc to the ItunesU. This would allow students that may have to miss class an opportunity to catch up on what they missed. This would also help students that need a “refresh”. What I mean is it would allow students to listen to the lesson one more time and “refresh” his or her memory. Another plus side to ITunes is many students own devices such as mp3 player’s or IPods and are already familiar with the tool and its uses.

Teleconferencing tools, such as Skype, are very handy. This tool will allow you to communicate with students around the world. The possibilities are pretty much endless with Skype. I believe this would allow students to have a “study group” without ever leaving the classroom. It also allows the exploration of other people from different cultures.

Interactive exercises and interactive whiteboards pretty much seem to go hand in hand with me. “Tailoring” to the students needs, as Jose refers to it, will allow students to excel in areas. Also, having a board capable of doing so many neat things that students will be able to interact with and have a hands on learning experience should motivate the students to participate in in-class projects and or lessons.

Podcasting seems to be an effective way to allow students to work on their skills of reading aloud or public speaking. Podcasting seems to also be a great solution, like ITunes, to allow students to “refresh” what went on that day or to broadcast their opinion.

Blogs and wikis seem to be a great way to track progress of your students. It also allows like a “portfolio” of what has been happening in the classroom. It allows student, parents, and administrators to track their status or shall I say “performance” in the certain class. Blogs also could play as a calendar. A class blog could be set up in order for students to keep track of what is due and when.

Social networks may be a touchy subject. I personally think it would be better to stick with blogs and wikis that can be viewed publically instead of setting a “private” group on Facebook.

Internet tools and gadgets are great motivators in teaching.  Most of the time gadget and tools are free or students already have access to them. As a matter of fact, most students probably own an IPod or MP3 player. This could allow them to explore educational opportunities right at their fingertips.  

I believe technology is growing and education will always be here. Now we have to make the decision if we will use the tools available to enrich our ways of learning, growing, and teaching or, if we will deny technology’s growth and pretty much “shun” it from our kids. As a child exploring the world it will make you grateful for what you have, respectful of what others do, and more understanding as to why things work the way they do. So, I believe incorporating all of the above ten tips discussed by Jose into classrooms would be the smartest thing we could do for our future children and our future America. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blog Post 12

the  world in a robotic hand
In this blog assignment you will watch the video Ellen Using Assistive Technology (5:29) and write your thoughts on how this video shows the difference between using technology as a learning tool rather than just for entertainment. Include how you would like to have your students’ one day use technology as a learning tool and why.  Also, include how you would still have the student use it as a form of entertainment while having them learn at the same time. Write two or more paragraphs following the requirements in Writing a Quality Blog Post.

In this video it makes the use of technology so much more than just being able to find the newest movies, music or games. The use of technology to be able to give a child a voice of their own is one of the best ways I think it could be utilized. After viewing this video it has opened my eyes to ways that technology has true power in communication (other than just Facebook and Skype). Many times when a kid hears the word computer they automatically think game, and I’m sure learning is not the first thing that would come to their mind. 
I think that as a teacher I would be able to make technology as an everyday tool in my classroom. I would want to make something like an interactive PowerPoint to have students feel as if they are playing a game. Making a simple everyday lesson into a game show to have to kids look forward to coming to class, would make students want to come and learn. I think it’s important to have kids use computers almost every day because so much of today’s work force uses them! I think that if technology is used correctly then it could be one of the best tools to have students learn with!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blog Post 11

Kathy Cassidy Skype Session
Ms. Kathy Cassidy and students

In Ms.Cassidy's video and Skype interview I was able to see first-hand what a difference technology makes in a student’s life can start at a very young age. In the video Ms. Cassidy makes a comment on how when the whole project started she only had five computers and from there she developed a center of learning through technology. This video shows how much enjoyment the students get from learning with a different learning tool. Having students use the internet to learn about different traditions is one of the best ideas I have ever seen! In the video it showed how Ms. Cassidy’s students are able to post blogs about things they have learned which helps the parents be able to track their child’s progress other than a letter being sent home once every few months. I think this is a great way to help parents make sure that their children aren’t falling behind in school. While watching this video I was able to see how well the students work with the use of technology and how they know the difference between learning and playing. The use of a DS makes the idea of having a child think they are playing a game rather than learning so they don’t lose interest. I think that I would love to have technology used that much in a classroom of my own one day. I know that having kids use the internet at such a young age might be risky but can also teach the kids to be aware if the dangers that can come along with the internet! Technology is always going to be a part of life and what better way to teach someone by using something they will use every day?

Project 13

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Blog Assignment 10


Do You Teach Or Do You Educate?

This video shows the difference in being a teacher and an educator. The idea of information being put out in the open for someone to already know how to do it isn’t really the ideal method of teaching. Students aren’t always going to grasp the concept the first time it’s put out there. When I see the word educator I think of someone who would go that extra mile to make a lesson more than words in a book. I think the big difference that would decide if you just teach or if you educate would be the personality and the drive someone has. Anyone can read a book out loud to a student but when that student walks away in five minutes are they going to remember what the book was about?
There are a number of reasons I chose this major. I want a student to be able to say ten years down the road I was one of the people to make a difference in their life. I intend to educate rather than teach by first listening. I plan to listen to my students and get to know them. I plan to build a trust that will be unbreakable with them. Second I will vow to never stop learning. If I am going to education I will have to learn new things along the way just like a student will. Technology is the first thing that comes to my mind with that! I want to be able to connect with my students and make them excited to learn and to be at school.


Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home

This blog I believe is about how many teachers always seem to find the problem rather than the solution. I think this blog can be a learning experience on how as a teacher you should always want to take that extra step for the students. Learning in a classroom will only go so far. I think this makes you wonder how many teachers don’t reach out to ask for help from parents. A student expects to learn or be taught at a school type environment, but when the lesson is sent home what happened from there? I don’t think using some form or technology over a good old fashion pen and paper is going to change test scores, maybe it is how a teacher presents the material. This was interesting to read because it’s not a straight forward type of post. You have to find the message within the post and it’s got a way of truly making you think about what would affect a students learning.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Project 12 (Skype interview)

Blog Post 9

think,do,be positive

What I've Learned this Year 
by: Mr. McClung

After reading Mr. McClung's What I've Learned This Year it occurred to me that he was truly honest and right. The best way to be a effective teacher is to be able to read the crowd. What Mr. McClung means is to never lose touch with the children. They are the ones that will, or will not, take something away from your class. Not the Administrators that you are trying to impress. Being flexible is another approach McClung takes to being a effective teacher.  He says nothing will ever go exactly as planned. When something goes wrong, don't stress about it. You learn things through trial and error.

 McClung goes on to mention that "Communication is the best medicine". He says that communication is the best way to resolve any conflicts in the workplace. Communicating is the best way to establish relationships with coworkers and your students. Being reasonable and listening are  two key factors in building a relationship with students. What McClung is saying is to not set the bar. Sure you can have basic goals that are to be met but, do not have a limit on where to stop after that. The number one key to building relationships with students is listen. Students will feel more comfortable and trust you more if you just listen to what they say. 

One of the last thing Mr.McClung writes "We do everything short of beg students to learn on a daily basis, but sadly some of us refuse to learn and grow as professional educators. We work in a learning environment, so why not soak up as much as you can? We owe it to our students." I believe that this is so true and we should never stop learning. A good example that comes to my mind is technology. McClung says that "We should not become overwhelmed by technology and simply give up before we start. We cannot expect to master computer skills the first time we attempt them, so jump in head first....the water feels fine :)". This is so true considering that technology is an essential part of everyday living for so many of us. We should use technology to our advantage seeing how it is such a rapidly growing part of our present and future. 


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Blog post 8

This is How We Dream

In This is How We Dream Part 1 and 2 Rick Miller makes fascinating points. He states that education is moving forward. We have so many resources at the disposal of our finger tips. Resources such as search engines, wikipedia, and newspapers on the web. He goes on to mention that it is just as important for people to produce multimedia as it is to use it. His main goal throughout this video was to help people better understand the incremental change in education compared to the original source of education.

One of the best comments I think Miller said in this video was that he did a whole research without stepping foot in a library.We can access books, newspapers, and more through the internet. I also believe that composing and  producing material for the internet is just as important as using what is already there. Without composers we would have nothing to use.

I believe technology is advancing in ways unthought of five years ago. I believe that eventually teachers will only be present to guide and encourage students as they explore the world of technology. I also think that schools budgets should focus on technology in the classroom. This is going to be a big part of our future and a great way to prepare for the future is to let our future (the children) have access to it.

Carly Pugh's blog

In Carly's blog I came across many things to ponder. I really loved the playlist idea. Inspiration is the reason that everyone goes through with their dreams. This is a good way to actually sit back and think what kind of teacher will I be. I think Carly displayed a very good example of including mixed media into her post. At first it seemed to be a little much but, as I continued to read I became very interested in the videos posted. I began to think that maybe I should start exploring YouTube a little more to gain knowledge and explore the references available to me.

Chipper Series  

The Chipper Series was about procrastination and the ways it will effect you in EDM310 and in your own life. It goes to show through procrastination you will achieve nothing. In the series Chipper has some ups and downs. She ends up dropping out and going from one dead end job to the other. In the end Chipper finally goes back to school to better herself. As, a future educator procrastination could be your arch-nemesis.

The moral to this video was very clear. Procrastination, especially in EDM310 and our future educator careers is totally unacceptable.  I really enjoyed the pilot comment. I mean who would want to fly in a plane with someone who has never flown before. I really enjoyed this video, it made me giggle.
google image

EDM310 for Dummies                                                    

I think that EDM310 for Dummies would be a best- seller! After the first day of EDM310 I definitely would have bought the hard copy for the house, the paper copy for the car, and downloaded it to my Iphone for on the go emergencies! I think they did a wonderful job putting this video together. Now looking back on how terrified I was entering this class I have to giggle! I enjoy now knowing what blogging is and how to use tools for personal and educational use. Two things that have really stuck with me that I will take with me into my career would be: 1) The illustrious " I don't know, Let's find out!"  and 2) Google Docs.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

In Learn to Change, Change to Learn I found it very interesting education was ranked last. I also am glad to see that people are beginning to realize education is soon going to be through technology. Internet was a big step for businesses, then consumers, now education. Let's embark on a journey that will leave a paperless trail. Let's begin tomorrows class with a lesson taught from across the world. Let us begin to understand different cultures, not through reading, but interacting with others. Let's better understand things halfway across the world by simply asking a native, face to face via Skype. Let's ask questions, let's venture, and let's begin a journey with a giant step that is weightless. I really enjoyed this video!It gave me new perspectives and appreciation for technology and education.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blog post #7

Randy Pausch

Dr. Randy Pausch didn't hold back when it came to his teaching methods. "Last Lecture" is not only inspiring for someone who is planning on being a teacher but anyone who is around people! The energy he used during his lecture made me want to watch more. The passion he showed toward wanting his students to achieve every goal that they set is truly remarkable.

In his lecture he makes a comment about how you should never set the bar, this statement stuck with me more than some others. The idea of having a person stop when they get to a certain place in their life when they think that is all that needed to be done made me realize how often I stop once my goal is reached. He talks about how you shouldn't stop when one project is done, you should make a good idea, great! It makes you wonder what else could have been accomplished if every time you finished something, if someone would have asked for a little more.

"Have them think they are learning something else", how true is that? Personally my best learning is done when I don't even realize I'm doing it! He mentions the term "head fake" a couple times, a great way to do this is to integrate subjects into one another. One that comes to mind is to have kids think they are doing a art lesson when really their learning something like history. I think a kids mind is best used when they aren't bored into a text book. More teachers should use the idea of making sure they aren't preaching instead of teaching.

Enable, to make able; provide with means or power. In this video he said you should be an enabler. I think that if anyone has children, works with children or if they are around them should be an enabler. How often do you settle for something other than your best? The way he made someone feel like they aren't just another student in a desk makes me want to be as active as I can be once I become a teacher. Seeing the impact he made not only in his personal life but his students life is very inspiring. To have watched one video and feel like I've walked away with a stronger work ethic make me wonder if I could be a teacher like that. Would my future students think so highly of me? I think that his leadership is one of the greatest qualities that shines through in this video. I can honestly say I enjoyed watching this!

Project 10

symbaloo logo

I created my personal learning network through Symbaloo. It was simple and easy to make. The program already had everything I needed for this class and more. It had "tiles" such as YouTube, Skype, and Twitter that I find very utilizing. The program also has Facebook and fun "tiles" to use. I think I will use this tool a lot during this semester and in the future. This is a cute and fun way to stay organized.

Project 8

Project 9b instructional timeline

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blog Post 6

Group of students holding hands.

The Networked Student
By:Wendy Drexler and Alec Couros

This video is about connectivism. According to Wikipedia "Connectivism, is a learning theory for the digital age, has been developed by George Siemens and Stephen Downes based on their analysis of the limitations of behaviorism  cognitivism and constructivism to explain the effect technology has had on how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn." The main purpose of connectivism is to allow the student to be in control of their learning process and access it through the internet. The student builds a personal learning network. He/She  does this by finding valid websites on the the topic. The student then publishes it to his or her bookmarking site. This allows other students that have bookmarked the same topic to share what they have found. The student also uses Itunes U to listen to the lectures of professors around the world. Thus, giving the student access to the greatest professors around. 

The teachers role in connectivism may at first seem obsolete. But, the teacher plays a rather important role in connectivism. The teacher helps students by teaching the students how to build their network. He/She also teaches the student how to communicate properly, gives guidance when the student is stuck, helps validate sites, and teaches students how to respectfully ask for help from experts. The teachers role is like the framework of a house. It is the first place you start but, it is nothing without a roof, walls, and all the details. 

I think the idea of connectivism is really good. However, not all students have the access to technology as others do. In the near future I am sure all schools will be technologically advanced. Until then we must be sure all students can access the internet before assigning at home internet projects. I think connectivism is increasing and one day it will be the main source of learning. Textbooks will eventually be obsolete and accessed through the internet. Teachers will not be at school to lecture or stand in front of the class. They will be there to navigate children through the internet and help build the foundation of their networking skills.

A personal learning enviroment graph.

A 7th Graders Personal Learning Environment
By:Mr.H's 7th grade student and Wendy 

In this video the 7th grade student walks you step by step through her personal learning environment. I think she did a wonderful job at organizing her PLN. I loved the way she separated work and play from each other. I have just started my very own PLN. My PLN consists of tiles such as the EDM 310 blog, Facebook  YouTube, Skype, and CNN. I am going to use her idea of separating work and entertainment in my very own PLN. 

I think many people could learn a lot from this 7th grader. Organization is one main thing that everyone needs in their life. Having a PLN is a great way to do so. I plan to  introduce this to friends and co-workers so that they too can become proficient and organized. I also plan on in the future using this in my classroom. This would be a great tool for the rapid technologically growing students.

SMART boards 
For or against?

In Why Smartboards Are a Dumb Initiative, by Michael Staton, Staton writes how smartboards may be a "cool" tool but, " They are just the least cost-effective way to improve learning I’ve ever seen." Michael goes on to state that smartboards are just a cop out for administrators and are way too costly. 

In Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards, by Bill Ferriter, Bill mentions how he believes interactive white boards (IWB) do not make any changes in the lesson plan. He mentions after  a year of having his own he gave it away because, besides a few neat lesson plans, he determined it was "basically useless." He also goes on to mention how expensive the IWB  are. In another blog, Why are we STILL Wasting Money on Whiteboards?, Ferriter mentions other ways he could spend  18k on technology that would be more useful in the classrooms than a IWB. 

In my quest to find positive feedback to the IWB I found The Whiteboard Blog. This is a whole blog dedicated to the use of IWB. The blog has tools and tutorials on new and fun ways to interact with the children through the IWB. 

I believe an IWB is a good tool for the classroom. I have recently just been introduced to IWB's. After being able to work with it myself I fell in love with it. It allows students to actually get up and interact with the board. Thus, allowing hands on learning for every subject. And yes, just like every other tool out there that is not a book, the IWB does require some "training". What ever happened to the saying "practice makes perfect"? Teachers should use their IWB's all the time and not be scared that they will mess something up. I think the students enjoy the IWB's as well. 


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Special Assignment 1

1. Did you know about WolframAlpha? I had heard of it but I never looked into it.
 2. Did you know about Google Squared? No, I did not.
Google Squared search engine 3. What percentage of China's population is the population of the United States? 24%
4. What percentage of India's population is the population of the United States? 25%
5. Now what do you think of the facts reported in Do You Know? I think it  just goes to show countries are growing as rapid as technology.
6. Do you think WolframAlpha and Google Squared will be useful for you? for your students? Why or why not?
Yes, I very much enjoyed the tools. I think the students will love having these tools to their disposal. I think they will like being able to type any kind of question in and have it answered in detail. I enjoyed the tools because it seemed to be quicker than just a Google search and the two engines provided more to the point results.