Monday, April 30, 2012

Project 10

Final Summary of my PLN 

For my Final Summary of my PLN I decided to simply place a list of the people and tools I most frequently consult and use. My PLN list .


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Blog Post 13

E- media Fast

My e-media fast began Saturday April 28,2012. I was planning on going to Dixie Landing in Little River, Alabama where I would have no cell phone service. I thought this would be a great way to successfully perform the e-media fast. I thought to my self no cell phone no problem. Not!

As I am on the way to the Alabama River to catch a few catfish, my husband, Lonnie turns the radio on. I start to sing along and about half way through "Springsteen" by Eric Church I realize I had broken my fast. I decided it would be best to tell my husband what was going on so that he could help me through out the day. For the rest of the ride, about 30 minutes, we talked about the fast and tried to pass the time.

Pulling into Dixie Landing we were excited. A day on the river is just what we needed and we couldn't have asked for better weather. After a few good sized fish, that Lonnie caught,  I finally caught one. I turned to Lonnie, fish in my hand, threw him my phone and said "Take my picture! I got to show my mamma.". Lonnie , happy to see me finally catch one, took my picture. Finally, after moving my arms around as if I was an antenna, I got barley enough signal to send my picture to my mamma. After all the arm flaring and awkward positions ( holding one knee up with your arms in the shape of an "L" ) Lonnie decides to then inform me I had broken the fast. Again!

After blaming Lonnie for taking the picture in the first place, I then came to terms with the fact that I broke the fast and I was determined to not brake it again. It was about twelve o'[clock in the afternoon, I turned my phone off and I was set. I told Lonnie "No matter what I say do not take a picture, turn on the radio, etc.". I then continued to fish.

Dixie Landing

At about 7:00 pm we decided to call it a good day of fishing and head back to the landing. We made to the house a little after 8:45 pm. Just in time for True Blood season 4 re-runs to pop up on the screen of the TV. Yep, you read correctly! Again, I broke the fast.

I successfully completed roughly around 8 and a half hours of the media fast. I would have never thought I would not be able to go 24 hours without any electronic (powered by electricity or batteries) entertainment or communications device. I could only imagine how crazy and dull my life would be without media.

I consider myself tech literate. However, I also "considered" myself able to perform a media fast. I was a 1990's baby. I remember VHS, tape players, and my grandmother having a record player. I can look back and see how much the technology has changed over my short life of 21 going on 22 years. My students are going to remember DVD's and blu-ray. They are going to have few CD's and most will only know music via the radio, mp3, or iPod/ iPhone.

I believe that with me performing this fast that I have learned in this day and age technology is here and used frequently. More frequently than we think. My future students will have even more knowledge of technology than I do. But, when he/she comes to school they are expected to leave cell phones at home. They are taught what comes out of a book is all you have. Honestly, I Google everything via my iPhone that I want to know. Why take that away from our children? We are handicapping them. If they want to know who invented the red light or peanut butter who am I to say I don't know. Go home and look it up. The thing about that is by the time the student gets home he/she and I will have forgotten the question. Why not say "I don't know. Let's use our computers and find out class. The first one to find out gets half a point on the next test." Thus allowing students to explore and adds a little competition. I think the competition would be good for the class because the first person to find it could share with the class which search engine and etc that they used. Not only that but, I also believe the next time an uncommon question is asked the students may think I will offer that half a point again and go ahead and have the answer pulled up why I am talking. I like to think of it as I am striking a fire of curiosity, creativity, and knowledge.

C4T #4

pencils with writing 'About a Teacher'

Greta Sanders
About a Teacher

For my Comments for Teachers 4 I commented on Greta Sanders blog. The first post I commented on, Kids Motivating Other Kids to Blog, was a post Sanders wrote about how her year before students came into her classroom and struck the interest of her present students about blogging. I commented on how wonderful I think it was for her students to share with each other what they liked about blogging. I also commented that it was a wonderful thing that her present students were so curious about it. I asked Greta to simply keep their interest so that they too one day could share with others the wonderful experience of blogging.

In my second post to Greta I commented on a post about Believing in Our Students. I think that this was a very inspirational post. Greta talks about how students are commonly prejudged based on thoughts of other teachers. I commented and said that I agree. It happens all too often. I also mentioned how my class ( class of 2008) were commonly told we were one of the worst classes in years by all teachers. I also mentioned how we were often prejudged and teachers would often admit to allowing prejudgement themselves. I commented on a project Greta did allowing each student to create a puzzle piece expressing themselves and good things in their class. It also allowed students to bring to light things they felt the class should work on. Check out their amazing puzzle piece video below.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts - Special Post #12A.


Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts
By:Heather Rigby

The following are my personal answers to an additional blog assignment by Dr. Strange.

Replace fear of the unknown with curiosityI believe schools shut down/destroy the development of curiosity and creativity in students by  allowing “burp back education”. Give the kids something to be excited about. Something they can put their hands on and explore. Something like this EDM 310 class. It gives the students an opportunity to express themselves on their blogger by customizing their backgrounds and the tools needed to explore new things that are helpful and educating. It gives us students’ freedom with boundaries yet, fun and educating videos and more. I think that the key to a curriculum that would increase curiosity would be hands on exploration. Students being able to explore things on their own would be a main component. I think that if a child for instance is told a word that he/she does not know that they should be able to Google and find out what that word means. If a child will Google then they have the will and want to learn more. I think that a curriculum of creativity will come hand in hand with a curriculum of curiosity.  If a child is curious enough I believe he/she can be creative enough to find out the answer. I also think integrating the arts into say History and English by spelling things by forming letters with their bodies will excite children and they will want to learn.

I believe a teacher's actions has everything to do with the curiosity of a student. If a teacher asks questions such as Dr.Strange does (Where is Tasmania) then a students curiosity will strike and the pupil will want to find out just where exactly is Tasmania.Teacher's also influence creativity in a student. I believe the creativity in a student should never go unrecognized. Dr. Strange is another good example for this. Dr. Strange allows us (his students) to design our own Blogger and decide which pictures we put on our blog. Not only that but,  Dr.Strange also has us do neat projects such as Wordle and Smartboard where we can spend time on the tool we are using and be as creative and curious as we want.

I consider myself creative already. I take my time on projects and try to find cool ways to display them. Believe it or not I find myself taking more time trying to find  the perfect picture for my blog post than I do writing my blog post. I think a way that schools could help me become more creative is to integrate arts and have fun projects that we can be creative on. The role that teachers/ schools have had in that process is really none. Other than Dr.Strange's and Dr. Bagget's class I was never able to be creative. I sat inside four walls in a desk only moving when told too for 13 plus years. The only creativeness going on then was when I was sneaking notes to my friend while the teacher lectured his/her heart out. I think allowing more curiosity in schools would start with access to more technology. I think if teachers asked students to do assignments such as a prezi, timeline, wordle, iMovie. etc. that it would result  in interested students wondering "Hey. if I can use Google presentation anywhere... why not use it for this project." After using Google presentation they may see Google Docs and think "Hey. What does this do." Thus, resulting in a wave of curiosity.

creativity and curiosity are cousins

Elli is a writer for real name is Elspeth Bishop.She was born and raised in Colorado resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. Find out more about Elli on Google+.I have recently started following her in Google plus. hopefully I can find out more later

Progress Report for Final Project

 I am currently working on a project. Thank you for your patience.

Final Project  

Our final project is currently a work in progress. Eleanor, Cyndi, and myself have made a final decision on what our project will consist of and a complete outline of the project. We have plans to meet this Tuesday and finalize all the details. After our meeting, if all goes well,  we should be able to record at the earliest Thursday. After recording it will probably take a full week, if not close to it, of editing via iMovie and we shall then have a final product. I am very excited to see how this project plays out and I think that if it goes as well as it does in my head it will be an A plus project! Until then, please wear your hard hat ideas are flying around everywhere!

 Construction man with arm up.

C4K summary for April

children with world

For the month of April we participated in the World Blogging Challenge. In the challenge we were to take our assigned kid and comment on their posts 3 weeks in a row. I was assigned to Jennifer. Jennifer is a young lady who lives in Fairfax, Vermont. As I was commenting on Jennifer' s post I ran across a problem posting. I sent an email to Dr. Strange asking what would be the best way to access the situation and received no reply. So for this  summary I will post what  I would have commented  to Jennifer. 

error page I ran across

Jennifer’s blog 
1st post

My name is Heather Rigby and I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I love zebras too! I have always wondered are they black with white stripes or white with black stripes. I guess they could be either way you would like! So, if zebra's are your second favorite animal, what is your absolute favorite animal? I would have to say my favorite animal would have to be my little puppy. Her name is Izzy. She is a mini daschund. I really enjoyed reading your post! I am going to be commenting on your blog for the next 3 weeks so hopefully you will have some new posts for me to read! Keep up the good blogging!


2nd post to Jennifer

My name is Heather Rigby and I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I love dancing too! I have never been on a dance team but, my friends and I use to have sleepovers  and make up routines to our favorite songs. Once we even performed at our schools talent show. We got second place! I have also been a cheerleader for the city league football team until I sprained my ankle. Ever since then I couldn't land a toe touch without rolling my ankle. I unfortunately had to give up cheering but, I still dance with friends! Good luck in your cheerleading ( and if you have any tryouts!). I am going to be commenting on your blog again next week so hopefully you will have some new posts for me to read! Keep up the good blogging!

cheerleader clip art

3rd post to Jennifer

My name is Heather Rigby. I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Pollution is a big problem on the Earth today. On the bright side with gas prices going up maybe more people will start walking or biking. I think you and possibly your school should raise awareness of the harm pollution is causing. Maybe you could organize a walk to school day in your community. Also, don't forget not all pollution comes from vehicles but also manufacturing plants. Keep up the wonderful blogging!

 smoke stacks polluting the air


My last C4K in April was to a child named Eldrin. Eldrin is a first grader in Moose Jaw, Canada. Eldrin's post was about watching Avengers and how they were fighting bad guys. I asked Eldrin which of the Avengers was his favorite? I also asked if he was watching the movie or the cartoon. I haven't had a response back from Eldrin yet but, I will keep you posted.

Blog Post 12

Audibility vs Intelligibility

1.Watch Audibility vs Intelligibility 
Write at least two paragraphs describing what you have watched and how to be sure, as a future educator, you are both audible and intelligible. Follow the requirements in Writing a Quality Blog Post.

Daniel Ostergren

Watching Audibility vs Intelligibility was a real eye opener. I must  say I have been in the situation myself where I heard what the teacher was saying but, did not grasp what he or she was actually talking about. For an example, when the President of the United States is giving an address or speech I hear that he is saying something but , I do not understand what he is talking about due to lack of knowledge of vocabulary used or not knowing the situation being addressed. I also think dialects and other things affect the way a teacher is audible and intelligible.

As an educator I think technology could help with ensuring teachers are both audible and intelligible. Recording (video or voice)  a set of instructions or lectures would allow students to replay what he/she did not understand.Blogs could come in handy too by posting what we went over for the day and summaries of what the lectures were and any assignments that needed to be done. I also think that having a instructional manual , such as Dr.Strange's , students are able to read aloud and actually look at what is being said word for word. I think that as a future educator I could improve understanding by clearly talking and by facing my students.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog post 11

Kathy Cassidy

Classroom and Interview

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. In the video Ms. Cassidy makes a comment on how when the project started she 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 (rather than paper and pencil). Having students use the internet to learn about different traditions and rituals 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. This allows the parents to be able to track their child’s progress rather 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. 

Mario hanging from a Nintendo emblem 
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 creates an illusion to the child that he/she is playing a game rather than learning. I believe that the DS  is a great way to keep the students interested and allows an opportunity for students to work collaboratively.

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 a battle with parents. However, I believe after parents see and track the outcomes and progress of their children they will be satisfied.Technology is always going to be a part of life and what better way to educate someone by using something they will use every day?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blog Post 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 an educator 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.
Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand.
Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home! 

short used pencil artThis blog, Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home, I thought was about how many teachers always seem to find the problem rather than the solution. I thought this blog could have been 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. As I continued to read I began to think there was something else behind this post.  This was interesting to read because it’s not a straight forward type of post. You have to find the message within the post.  Following the links posted by Spencer proved very helpful in my search to the real meaning behind Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home.
After following the link in the post on the blog I realized that I was right. There was a completely different meaning to this post. It was definitely not pencils either! The real meaning of Spencer' s post was about allowing students to take computers home. Gertrude, a character in the post. was concerned that allowing students to take computers home would lower test scores. ( and after all that is all that matters right? NOT!) Spencer wanted Gertrude  to see that allowing the students access did not absolutely mean that they were doing their homework but, it did mean they were exploring and learning.   I don’t think using some form of technology over pen and paper is going to change test scores, maybe it is how a teacher presents the material. 

The Original Computer ( a Pencil)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

C4T #3

Heidi Siwak21st Century Classroom: the Amaryllis
Heidi Siwak

For my comment for teachers I was assigned Heidi Siwak’s blog entitled 21st Century Classroom: The Amaryllis. The first post I commented on was Becoming Curators: First Nations Inquiry. In this post Siwak discussed how she composed a Google doc and with this Google doc it allowed her students to not loose focus and to explore and learn on their own. Heidi goes on to discuss how “Today I put my grade 6 students through a simulation. We had a fabulous whole class discussion about exhibits and museum displays and what makes certain exhibits more engaging than others.I then divided them into groups. Each group was given a photocopied sheet of a particular element of First Nations culture: hunting, food, clothing, transportation, medicine …” .

I commented on this post expressing how wonderful I thought it was that she allowed students to create something from “scratch”, basically not giving the students many guidelines. Thus, allowing students to think freely and have many options as to how they want to go about doing the project. 

21st Century Classroom: The Amaryllis

The second post I commented on by Siwak was sort of a follow up to the first post I commented on. It was entitled Our Inquiry is Well Underway . In this post Siwak shared the many different ways students were keeping track of their projects such as google docs and graphs. Siwak also mentions that she offers help and ask questions when needed. Also, students are using computers, laptops, and soon iPad’s to do research and prepare their museum display.

In my comment to Siwak I mentioned how thrilling it was to read about the class exploring and learning. I also mentioned how exciting it must be to receive iPad’s for the class. I asked Siwak to keep posting on her blog and keep us updated on the students museum displays.

Blog Post 9

Whether you think you can, or think you can't.Your right.
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. 

Well done is better than well said.

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. 


C4K summary for March

C4K March Summary

Eiffel TowerThis month I commented on Mogtasid's blog post entitled "A Special Day in Paris" . Mogtasid is a student at Hotspur Primary School in the United Kingdom. In this post Mogtasid wrote about the Eiffel Towers birthday in a very vivid way that took the reader to Paris. My comment to Mogtasid consisted mainly of compliments about the wonderful way of writing used in the post.
Hotspur Primary School

My Comment:

My name is Heather and I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Dr.Strange’s EDM 310class. You have a wonderful vivid way of writing that puts your reader in the moment that you are writing. I really enjoyed reading about the Eiffel Tower’s birthday. It is almost as if you were there. Were you? Have you ever been? I would love to visit Paris and view all of the lovely sites! Please continue your wonderful writing! I will be writing a review on your post on April 1, 2012 via my blog. You can check it out at Heather Rigby’ s EDM 310 blog Please feel free to leave a comment!
Happy writing!

I have not got a reply back as of right now but, I will keep checking.