Friday, December 7, 2012

Project #13

My group consisted of, Brelyn Searcy, Jessica La Force, Ashley Franklin and Kathryn Reynolds. For Projects #15 and #16, we used Face time (Apple products) and Skype. These were the most convenient in terms of communicating with each other. We used these tools to set up times to meet as well as discuss what our project would consist of. These technologies allowed us to meet face to face, in a sense, without actually having to arrange several times that we could all meet at the University. We used Google Drive/Docs to share any documents or websites we thought would be helpful for our project. Because Project #16 was a little more extensive we had to communicate more frequently; we communicated through Google drive and Skype but we also used email. With Skype we could have video call conferences and all talk together. Having five people in your group is difficult. It was often a challenge to find a time that we could all get together and record. Our video "How to Survive EDM310" consisted of rules to follow in order to pass this class. In our first podcast we accidentally assigned two people the same topic (chapter) to discuss, because of this we made sure to go over what each of us would discuss ahead of time so that there was no overlap. By communicating with each other in the weeks prior to the projects due date, we were adequately prepared for recording. Our group was very good at communicating. We always made sure everyone knew ahead of time when our scheduled meeting times were and what we would be doing during that meeting time. I believe that is why our group got along as well as it did. Not only did we have a good time but we were able to work quickly and efficiently due to proper preparation.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Project #15- Smart Board Lesson

Blog Post #13

we are digital learners

For this blog post I watched A Vision of Students Today. This video is about students in today's classroom. Over 200 students commented on and edited this information for this video. This video covers several issues of the modern student from being in massive amounts of debt after graduating from college to the fact that, more often than not, the job a current student will have after they graduate doesn't exist today. Students hold up sheets of paper with the facts written on them as the camera shots zoom around the room from one paper to another. The video ends with a quote: "The inventor of the system deserves to be ranked among the best contributors to learning and science, if not the greatest benefactors of mankind." Upon reading this quote one might think they are referencing technology however it is a quote about the chalkboard stated in 1841.

I watched this video a few years ago just from stumbling upon it on Youtube. I think this video is very striking. In particular, this video was published in 2007 (over 5 years ago) and yet we are just beginning to see changes in the education system. Watching this video from the perspective of a student I can relate to everything they "say" when they hold up their signs; I often buy school books that I hardly open that cost hundreds of dollars, I will be in massive debt when I graduate, and most of my professors don't know my name. One of the most striking parts of the video for me was when they totaled the number of hours spent doing tasks each day; it totaled 26.5. The next slide says "I am a multi-tasker-I have to be." I am always multi-tasking. My fiance often commends me on being such a good multi-tasker and I felt that this portion of the video spoke the reason why I am good at that-I have to be. Between work and school and caring for my son I find myself not only multi-tasking but losing more and more sleep.
Charlie Brown

As a future teacher I also found this video very interesting. I think technology is a great tool and one that we should stop fearing. Teaching students, of any age, by having them sit at a desk while I lecture is frankly unacceptable. I loved the video Back to the Future by Mr. Crosby. We need to encourage active learning by getting our students involved. We need to get our students up out of their seats and let them explore. When we are children we have a natural curiosity about the world; we are natural explorers. As we get older, however, that curiosity is discouraged and so we forget how to really learn. I am excited for the future of education. I can't wait to have my own classroom and to encourage students' curiosity and to help them explore (and become life long learners).

PLN Final Report

symabloo screen shot
I have really enjoyed using my PLN symabloo over the course of this class. At first I just used it to sort of play around. Now I have it as my home page. I love how I can put the link to any site I visit often, or want to remember, on here. Recently I started adding sites like the Alabama State Department of Education and a link to South's webpage. Using my symbaloo is similar to using my tablet: I have all the buttons right on my home screen that can navigate me directly to where I want to go. I plan to continue to use my symbaloo; it is a great tool.

C4T #4

For my first C4T assignment I read Scott Jealias' Blog. The post was titled "How to run a smooth iPad deployment, and lessons learned." This blog post was about the distribution of iPads at his school (to replace books) The staff at his school distributed more than 600 iPads in one night. The purpose of this blog post is to help other schools who may be faced with the same task. He doesn't go into much detail about problems they had except to say that you should notify Apple if you are going to be uploading new Apple IDs from your site otherwise it will shut down. That seems to have been their biggest issue. He also offers tips like sending out an email prior to registration day to let parents and kids know how to sign up for Apple ID's prior to coming to get their iPad. They also set up stations for the students, 5 that were mandatory and 2 that were optional.

Mr. Elias, I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am currently studying Elementary Education and was assigned to read your blog through my EDM310 class. I enjoyed reading this post. A few weeks ago we were learning about students using iPads in schools instead of books; I thought this was something that would occur more frequently in the future and was shocked to find out that the high school in my community just recently initiated the use of iPads. I think this is a great way for schools to be more "green" as well as educate kids about technology. It seems like they mainly do these distributions in high schools. I hope soon they will allow iPads, or Macs, to be distributed to younger children as well; that way when they reach high school and are presented with an iPad they will be familiar with the programs. Thank you for this helpful post! -Kathryn

For my second C4T I commented on Mr. Jelias post "Caught in an Ed Reform Whirlwind. This was a post about the "Wal-Martization" of education. Mr. Jelias talks about how it is a little known fact, but our school systems are funded by some of the wealthiest people in the country. He talks about a new program that his school is testing out. In his words: "In addition to piloting the evaluation system — a 23-page-per-teacher document that comprises 50% of a teacher’s “effectiveness” combined with 50% from (you guessed it!) scores on state tests — we are also what is called an “integration” district. This means that we are also rolling out massive curricular shifts in the form of what are being called the math and literacy design collaboratives. These are huge initiatives that tie classroom instruction and assessment directly back to the Common Core State Standards." He continues on to say that none of this is bad per say but that with the way things are changing so rapidly and so dramatically that hopefully we will not stop one day to look around and ask "how did we get here?"

In my comment to Mr. Jelias I wrote:
This was a really interesting post. I had no idea that schools were being funded by some of the wealthiest in America. Reading this post, and watching the video, makes me feel a little nervous about the future of our education system. Even the term "Wal-Martization" is scary (I myself not being a WalMart fan). One point I found very interesting in the video is how they are placing superintendents that are in the top of their field which is not education (military, business, etc.). I have to wonder, why would they want people who are not part of the education system to have so much influence over education? To me, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

C4K November Summary

For my first C4K assignment I read a great post by Madison from Robertsdale High School. Her blog can be seen here. Her post was based of of a question: In a battle between modern Marines and Romans, who would win? She discussed practices of Romans that were intended to make their children stronger, including leaving their children in the wilderness to see who would survive. She concluded by saying that she believes the Marines would win in the battle because of modern weaponry. I believe she is correct.

In my comment to her I wrote:
Madison, This was such an interesting post! I remember when I found out that Romans would abandon their children if they were considered not strong enough; I was shocked! Could you imagine abandoning a child in the wilderness to let them die?! Rome was definitely a hard civilization to be a part of, but that is why they reigned for so long. I also think that the Marines would win in a battle with the Romans. It does come down to a matter of technology. However, if we took away that technology and made the Marines use the same weapons as the Romans, who do you think would win? Thank you for writing such a though provoking post! -Kathryn

For my second C4K assignment I watched a video from Ms. Nelson and Ms. Yim's blog at Daphne East Elementary. Their blog can be seen here. In this blog they posted four different videos. The video I watched was about their trip to the state capitol in Montgomery. They showed us various parts of the capitol including the stair case and the 3D painted ceiling. At the end we see that they got to meet governor Bentley.

In my comment to the students I said:
What a great post! I watched the video where you all talked about the state capitol. I took this same field trip when I was in fourth grade at Fairhope Elementary. It is so cool that you all get to use iPads to capture memories from this trip! When I took this trip we didn't even have digital cameras (can you believe that?). Did you all enjoy meeing governor Bentley? Thank you for sharing your experience! -Kathryn

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Progress Report: Final Project

My group and I have decided to do a film on "How to Survive EMD310". We discussed details during the last class meeting and came up with the idea. All we have left to do is film and then post it which we will do this week.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blog Post #12

For this blog post watch the video Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner. Think about ways you can merge formal with informal learning in your future classroom. How can we help prepare students for the future? Write a response using the requirements in Dr. Strange's Writing a Quality Blog Post.

In the video "Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner" we hear from six different people about the importance of changing the way we look at how children learn. The video begins by saying that the "most important thing for kids growing up today is the love for embracing change". I believe this statement is exactly right. In today's ever changing world it's important that we teach children how to embrace change as opposed to being afraid of it. I thought it was interesting how he says that the number one mantra for gamers is that "if I ain't learning, it ain't fun". One would assume that the main point of a game is fun, but it makes sense that they want to learn in the process. Think about someone who sits and plays a game for hours, they want the challenge of the game to increase as they invest more time. In other words, they want to learn as they play the game.

We have to teach our children how to use the tools of new media; it is our responsibility as teachers to make sure we are always up to date with the latest technology so that we can keep our students well educated. We have to become more active in linking informal education and formal education and we should think of the skills we teach our students as skills for not only the work place but also for their lives. In my future classroom I would hope we have computers that the students can use. I would incorporate informal learning by using the method of gaming. I would either use games provided online or create games using software. I also think that the use of blogging in a classroom is a great way to get kids not only using technology but interacting with other people around the world, in a safe environment. As long as the activities are safe and educational, any form of media in the classroom is helpful in the education of our children. I found this video educational and enlightening; I look forward to the day when I can be creative in teaching my students how to use technology.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Blog Post #11

I love my first graders

For this blog post we were assigned two videos to watch. The first was called Little Kids...Big Potential. It was a short video about Ms. Cassidy's class in Moose Jaw Canada. The video has the kids narrating as they go through and tell us about the different types of technology they use in their classroom. They have a center set up in the classroom with the computers. They use these computers to write on their blogs, create wikis and access their web page. In the video they describe all of these things and more, including how to be safe on the internet.

I loved watching this video. I love seeing the children using the computers so effectively in the classroom. A few years ago I taught a pre-school class that had a computer in it. During center time the children had to sign up to use the computer and they were each limited to 10-15 minutes on the computer. These children in my class were ranged in age from 4 to 5. It was amazing to see how they all knew their way around a computer. Seeing the kids in this video makes me excited to get the chance to use technology with students again.

 Dr. Strange Skyping Ms. Cassidy
The second video we watched was a Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy. The video can be seen by clicking here. In this video Dr. Strange asks Ms. Cassidy to talk about the use of technology in her classroom. He begins by asking her how long ago she started using things such as blogging and continues on to ask her how she uses technology in the classroom. The video is concluded by EDM310 students asking questions and at the very end Ms. Cassidy shows us her backyard which is covered in snow that she says is about up to her waist!

One thing I found most interesting in the video was when Ms. Cassidy said she doesn't really use technology at home. I found this very interesting. However, she continued on to say that she needed to clarify what she meant by that. She said she is always on the computer at home, but she doesn't use it very much for social networking; She said that she is always checking email or updating her blog. I found this interesting because I am on the computer a lot when I am at home. It seems as the years go by I find myself on the computer more and more. When I was in high school I created my first social network site: MySpace. Now, MySpace has come and gone. However, I use my computer for my classes, to check emails, I am on Facebook and Twitter, the list goes on. Sometimes I wonder if integrating technology in the classroom will be hard. Then I have to remember how technology comes to me naturally and I was born in 1987! I can only imagine how natural it will be for my students. In face Ms. Cassidy even briefly mentions that in her interview. She says how technology in the classroom is new for the teachers not for the students; it is a natural thing for the students and they know how to use it when they come into the classroom. Now, they have to learn how to be safe and what to avoid while on the internet, but they are able to use a computer with ease.

At one point Dr. Strange asks Ms. Cassidy two questions: 1. Should teacher's be technologically literate and 2. What does that mean. Ms. Cassidy says yes, "technology is here to stay!" She suggests that in order to keep up with changing technology our students develop their own online network. This is the technique I want to use in my future classroom. I love the idea of a PLN for each student. Having started to use mine more I see how they are very useful in a personal life and can only imagine how they could increase productivity in a classroom. Of course I would have to make sure that students use them for educational purposes and add sites that are relevant to the classroom. I could do this by monitoring what students add. Ms. Cassidy is a great teacher and I will be adding this Skype interview to my PLN so that I can reference it in the future.

C4T #3

For my first C4T assignment I was assigned Russ Goerend. His blog post can be seen here. I read a post about a new idea on how to plan various projects in the classroom. It is called a road map. The teacher draws out the "road" the students will take in order to complete their project. In his specific example they were doing a short story writing project. The road map begins at the bottom of the page and as they progress up the page, they get closer to the end of their project. I found it to be an interesting concept that would be fun and effective.

In my comment to Mr. Goerend I said:
Hi Russ, I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am studying Elementary Education. For my EDM310 class I was assigned to read your blog. I found this post interesting. The idea of creating a "road map" for writing assignments is a great idea. When I was an elementary student my teachers did something similar to this, but not as fun. It was an outline for creating the story but instead of calling it a "road map" and drawing it out as such, it was just an outline that was spread over a few days. This is something I will definitely keep in mind for my future students. Thank you.

In my second C4T I left another comment for Mr. Goerend. The link to this blog can be seen here.In this second post he talks about kids who have died during various sports activities due to heart conditions. He referenced various incidents that have occurred since 1990 all the way up to 2005. The most recent he cited occurred back in February "Damien Nash of the Denver Broncos died not long after playing in a charity basketball game. By sad coincidence, the game was to raise money for heart-transplant research — Nash’s older brother had had a transplant, after passing out during a basketball game." The last story he referenced was both shocking and ironic.

In my comment to him I said:
Mr. Goerend, I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am studying elementary education and was assigned to read your blog through my EDM310 class. I actually found this post quite interesting. I had a brother who played sports all through high school. When he was two years old he had open heart surgery to repair two large holes in his heart. I often worried (as I'm sure my mom did also) if it was safe for him to exert himself so much and how that exertion affected his heart. Although he never had any problems I did have a friend who passed out while at school and was later diagnosed with a heart murmur. Having a child of my own now I definitely want his heart checked when he is older before taking part in any sport. Thank you for sharing! -Kathryn

Saturday, November 10, 2012

C4K October Summary

For my first October C4K I was assigned Lauren from Mr. Mike Gwaltney's 11th grade U.S. History Research Seminar. The blog can be seen by clicking here. Lauren's post was about interviewing people. She begins her post by talking a lot about how the task seems daunting and she is nervous. The title of the post is "Interviews Vs. Conversations". As she progresses with her post she talks about getting prepared for her interview. She concludes by saying that she chose to do her interview in an informal setting; she sits side by side with her interviewee. She says this allows her to gain information more easily and the "information that was uncovered was much more compelling and sounds exponentially more sincere; less rehearsed".

In my comment to Lauren I agreed with her method. I told her briefly about having to do an interview as a freshman in college. I also chose to do an informal, sitting side by side, atmosphere. I thanked her for her post and told her she did a good job.

For my second C4K in October I was assigned W.J. from Danielle Spencer's blog. His post can be seen here. The title of his section is "Welcome to Alberta". For his post W.J. embedded an Animoto photo slideshow. It included pictures of his friends, a wordle he created, and pictures of Alberta. He also had music playing through out the show.

In my comment to him I wrote:
W.J., I really liked your Animoto photo slideshow! Alberta looks beautiful. I have never been to Canada, but I would really like to visit one day. I live in the United States in Alabama. Did you choose the music for your Animoto? I liked it! Thanks for sharing. -Kathryn

For my final C4K assignment I read Ty H's Blog. It was a post where he told the story of a football game he had played in. It sounded like a great game; his team won 105 to 0! He was able to recall the game in great detail and was obviously proud of their wonderful win.

In my comment to Ty I said:
Ty, This was a very interesting blog post. My brother played football all the way through high school and reading your post was like watching him from the stands again. It sounds like you are on a very good football team; good job to you all for ranking 9th in the country! I was impressed by your ability to recall this game so clearly as I am sure you have played many games in your life. Are you planning on playing football next season? Thank you for sharing your story! -Kathryn

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blog Post #10

I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga
Upon reading this cartoon I immediately realized it was a mock of the "PC vs. Mac" commercials. I looked over it for a while trying to decide if there was a deeper meaning but couldn't find one. I believe this cartoon is poking fun at the "PC vs Mac" commercials. In reality a PC and a Mac are the same thing- a computer. What I gained from this is that if you stick a fancy name on a product and associate it with a group of people in society who currently set trends- hipsters for example- it becomes expensive and desirable. In this cartoon each character is talking about the same thing: pencils. In the end they both come with lead and an eraser.

Why Were You're Kids Playing Games?
In this post Mr. Spencer writes a dialog between himself and his principal. He is called into the principal's office to discuss playing games with his students "instead of teaching". He attempts to explain to the principal how the "game" he was playing integrated reading as well as problem solving, but the principal doesn't want to hear about it. He cuts off Mr. Spencer and suggests he focus on memorization skills. He also suggests that Mr. Spencer, if he must abandon "slate based learning" that he fill out the algorithm sheets. Mr. Spencer's solution is to "create an algorithm factory and integrate it into our Conflict-Oriented Reading and Writing Project". He calls it the Factory Game-the name of the initial game he got in trouble for.

This post is great. What Mr. Spencer is doing here is showing two things- the principal's misunderstanding of how teaching (and learning) can be done through games and also how as a teacher, if we hit a road bump like the principal in this post, we can re-work things to incorporate learning through activity in our classroom. Many times in this class and others we have discussed how students not only enjoy learning when teachers incorporate art, music or games but also have a greater understanding of the material as well as better retention. What Mr. Spencer is saying in this post is to do whatever it takes to keep these things in the classroom so that our students can have a better chance at learning. I really enjoyed this post, you can almost hear the sarcasm in the writing when he says he will call his "new" game by the same name as the game he was just reprimanded for.

Remember Pencil Quests?
The second post I chose to read was Mr. Spencer's most recent post: "Remember Pencil Quests?". In this post Mr. Spencer describes a game he played as a Sophomore. The teacher takes the students to multiple locations where they each will read a page of information and answer questions about the information. The students are given a map and instructed to follow it; they are not allowed to make their own decision on which location to visit next. Mr. Spencer says that they all ran from one location to the next with excitement. He says that he is embarrassed when he thinks back on that memory. However, he realizes that these teachers who did that back then were pioneers; they did something different.

I read a few of the other posts on Mr. Spencer's blog. I chose this one because I can relate to what he is talking about. I can remember also playing games like "pencil quest" and when I think back on them now I don't necessarily feel embarrassed. What I do feel is a desire to incorporate excitement into my future classroom. As a society that is progressing so quickly I can only imagine what my students will feel is primitive and how quickly they will feel that way. In today's world all we can do is try our best to keep our kids interactive with learning. We should consider ourselves lucky. Back in the day teachers had limited resources to bring into the classroom, now we have the world at our finger tips! We can bring our students to the opera without leaving the classroom, we can teach our students how to navigate around the internet or show them works of art located on the other side of the world. We are lucky and although one day even this technology will be considered "embarrassing" or primitive, we can consider ourselves lucky for the time being.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
I really enjoyed reading Dr. Mcleod's post. When I first began reading it I thought, this is kind of weird; it seems like most of the teacher's blog that we are instructed to read are pro-technology. However, I quickly realized he was being sarcastic and I thought it was great.
Technology seems to always be under attack in some way. It's an easy way to track bullying and mis-use (porn, etc)and I think that is why we are always afraid of it and instill fear into our children as well. I think that teaching our children how to properly use the internet is like giving them a key that can open any door to any information they might want both good and bad. It is our responsibility to show them how to use this tool successfully. I read the comments from spring 2011. I agree Don Tapscott when he said,"This is the first time in history when young people may know more than adults about something that's important." I also agree with Dr. Mcleod when he says if you really think about Mr. Tapscott's comment, it is a little frightening. We are seeing a change in the world unlike any other and it is our job to teach our children how to embrace it, not shield them from it.

Dr. Mcleod is serving as the Director of Innovation at Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8. He is on leave from his position as an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. Dr. McLeod also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators. He has won several awards and just completed his first book "What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media".

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Project #10- Progress report on my PLN

For my PLN I chose Symbaloo. I liked the layout of Symbaloo; it reminds me of my smart phone, with buttons I can push that take me to the application I am trying to access. I haven't used my Symbaloo as much as I should. I think it's mainly because I don't have it on my smart phone. I heard a while back that they laptop is being phased out. Since using my smart phone and then being introduced to a PLN I can see how that may be the case. Right now, since I always have my smart phone on me, I have downloaded apps that link me to the sites or information I want to know. I set up my Symbaloo to be my home page on my laptop so that I can use it more frequently. At the moment I have sites such as facebook and twitter on there as well as news sites that I frequently visit. I also linked my two email accounts along with several other sites. My Symbaloo can be viewed here.

Project #12- Book Trailer

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blog Post #9

teacher and student

In Mr. McClung's What I Learned This Year- Volume 4 he talks about what he learned during his fourth year as a teacher. He begins by saying that he didn't learn as much this year as he had learned in his three previous years of teaching. The first thing he discusses is how, for the first time, he puts emphasis on how his peers view his teaching methods. He says he "committed a very junior high like sin and have worried myself with whether or not my peers approve of the way I handle business". He talks about how he focused too much energy on whether or not his peers approved of the way he was teaching his students. He concludes this section by saying that he quickly realized that he was focusing on the wrong opinions; if his students were having fun and learning the material, they were the ones who mattered.

I think that Mr. McClung makes a great point here. Too often we get swept up in the opinions of the wrong people. Most often, it is those who we are around the most. As a future educator, I think it is very important to always put your students first. Through out this class we have seen teacher after teacher who put their focus on the students. They are the teachers who excel in educating. Mr. McClung says that concerning himself with one question "are the kids having fun?" has done wonders for him. This is a lesson we should all carry with us.

In his second paragraph he talks about challenging yourself. He says how he has been teaching the same class at the same school for three years. He talks about how he started to become lazy, relying on old lesson plans and he felt his "creativity starting to vanish". He goes on to say that he accepted a new position teaching pre AP-civics and American Government which is good because it allows him to make a change. His point is not that being offered a change (like teaching a different subject) should be what fuels our creativity but that we should always be focused on creating an interesting learning environment. He says that he feels he could become content with his career and start to "coast"; or he says he can snap out of it and challenge himself to become a better teacher. I can imagine that at some point in our careers we will all be faced with this unspoken choice and I plan to chose the latter.

In life, as well as our chosen professions, people are always faced with decisions. Deciding to continue to challenge yourself as an educator, as well as a person, makes your life more interesting. We chose to make our lives better or decide to "coast" and be content with as far as we have gotten (and go no further). I personally feel those who chose the challenge have a much more interesting life.

The other post I chose to read was from Mr. McClung's first year as a teacher. This post can be seen here. I chose this post because I was curious to see what the difference was between his first year and fourth year as a teacher. I found this post to be very interesting. He covers several things he learned during his first year; much more than in his fourth. He talks about what he learned in relation to being a teacher: Be flexible, be reasonable, don't be afraid of technology, listen to your students, and never stop learning. From these, the ones that stuck out were: listen to your students and never stop learning.

I think that it is very easy to become lazy at work. We write a few lesson plans and then decide we can lean on those for a while, or maybe we write a few versions of a test and decide that is all we need to do. It is important to constantly remind ourselves to be creative and to keep learning fun. If we think back to our own elementary teachers, it's easy to remember our favorites. Usually, those are the ones who made it fun; they are the ones who kept the students interested by challenging themselves as well as the students (us). I believe this
kids holding sign thank you teacher
also applies to "never stop learning". For most people, when we reach the end of something big, like completing our college degree, we stop learning. It is almost like we have decided that we have reached the end and there is no longer a need to know anything else. However, this is not the case. There are always new things to learn and by being an explorer, we influence our students to do the same.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blog Post #8

This is How We Dream: Parts 1 and 2
girl drawing and dreaming

In "This is How We Dream" Parts 1 and 2 Dr. Miller discusses how we can use technology in teaching. He begins by talking about how he grew up around books and dreamed of one day having a job that had something to do with writing. He did eventually write a book. However, it is now out of print and "you can buy it on Amazon for $0.59". He uses this to lead into the fact that paper and pencil (or pen) are disappearing. He talks about having students use the internet to complete school work.

This does not seem like such a big task when one thinks about how even the way we research has changed. Students used to spend hours in a library looking up information, now with a click of a button we can find anything on the internet. Writing is no different. Students used to write papers by hand, now we use computers to type our homework. This could be referred to as "going green" but we must also look at it as moving into the future.

I enjoyed watching these videos. I personally really enjoy online classes or blended classes. The other day I had to take a mid term that was two hours of writing essay responses. I hadn't written straight for two hours in a very long time and my hand felt like it was going to fall off at the end of the time. I think moving into the future and allowing students to become more familiar with the internet and its resources is a great thing. At the end of part two, he mentions people composing using the web itself. Although I don't fully understand what that is, it sounds very interesting and I would love to learn more.

Carly Pough's Blog
In Carly's blog she talks about her idea for a classroom project. She suggests students create a play list on YouTube with videos that are relevant to their philosophy as a teacher. She gives a list of criteria for the videos. She even included her own playlist as an example.

This was an excellent post by Carly. I really enjoyed reading it. You can tell that she is excited about her idea; her passion for teaching really comes through in this post. I think she did an excellent job in relating her project to Dr. Miller's ideas in "This is How We Dream". She even states that the assignments of reading chapters and writing book reports are outdated. After reading her blog post, I agree with her. This allows students to be explorers and use their creativity to learn.

EDM310 For Dummies and The Chipper Series
I really enjoyed these two videos. They were both informative yet entertaining. The Chipper series was a great video about sticking with a task (or class, or assignment) and opening your mind for learning. Poor Chipper did not want to do the work, she wanted to just memorize information and regurgitate it. It was interesting to watch her progression from being frustrated at school but in the end deciding to return. I also felt frustration at the beginning of EDM310. It is a different form of learning that does take some getting used to, but once you get through the initial, "painful" part it's a rather enjoyable class.

If I did a video for EDM310 I'd want to do "Surviving EDM310-Stick with It!" video. I think that in the beginning students are unfamiliar with the way EDM310 is taught. However, if they stick with it and open their minds up to a new way of learning, they can really enjoy this class.

In Learn to Change, Change to Learn we see a bunch of different educators who are basically attacking the way that our society has schools set up. They talk about how children have created a new way of communication by using their Facebooks, text messaging and email and yet these are all banned from schools. These tools are also ways for students to gain information, yet they are not allowed to access them while in school. One teacher says if she could reconstruct the modern classroom, she isn't sure it would be a brick and mortar building. Each teacher talks about the need for change and what we can do. In the end, one educator says, it's the death of education but the dawn of learning.

I found this video to be very interesting. That closing statement is powerful. Most teachers, and those learning to be teachers, were raised under a totally different way to educate. We all were lectured to and memorized facts we could spit back up onto a test. This is why, when we are learning this new method of teaching, for us it is hard. We want to do better for our students but we also must learn how to teach and not lecture. We must all take part in the changes in education.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0
For this assignment I watched a video about web 2.0. Then I visited Web 2.0 Tools to complete my scavenger hunt.

1. First I found a site that is similar to Facebook/Twitter. It is called This is a social platform for students, teachers, and parents. Teachers can post assignments on this site and communicate with parents. This site also allows parents to check homework and communicate with the teacher. It's a free website and very useful!
2. Second, I found a video tool I had never used before. It was called Animoto. With this tool you can create videos by uploading pictures or video clips and music. The site claims to create "completely unique" videos. It looked interesting, I will have to upload some pictures and try it out.
3. Third, I found a tool to create polls anywhere at any time. It is called

C4T #2

I was assigned Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension a wonderful blog by Wisconsin teacher Pernille Ripp. The first post I commented on was discussing the up coming WKCE test, or the Wisconsin Knowledge Concepts Examination. Mrs. Ripp examines four accommodations they as teachers are supposed to provide the students during the testing time. They are: small group setting, read the instructions aloud, extended time, and break the test up. She then continues to "debunk" each accommodation and explain why these accommodations do not work. She points out that a small group setting is not more effective in allowing a student to concentrate than a large classroom. Even stating that a classroom should be a "safe-haven" for students and, if done correctly, the only noise that should be heard during testing time is the scratch of pencils. She continues on to debunk reading the instructions aloud and to break up the test. The debunk I most enjoyed was the one related to extended time. She uses an example of giving a French test to a student who doesn't speak French. It doesn't matter how much time they have, they will never be able to complete, or pass, that test because they do not know the material. I think that is a valid point and so I chose to focus on that point for the majority of my comment to her.

In my comment to Mrs. Ripp I complimented her on writing such an interesting post. I then continued on to say that I found her "debunks" interesting and valid. I explained that I didn't have experience with the WKCE, myself not being from Wisconsin, but could imagine the test being similar to the SAT or ACT. I wrote mostly about the extended time accommodation. I told her how I thought she was clever for using the example of the French test. I also agreed with her that most of these accommodations were valid and that I agreed with her view. I concluded by saying that I hope one day we can find a more efficient way, instead of seeing how many facts they can regurgitate, to test children on their knowledge.

For my second post I read "The Real Crisis in Education". This was also a very interesting post to read. Mrs. Ripp wrote about the United States' problem with education. When we hear this we assume she is talking about low test scores, drop out rates, etc. However, Mrs. Ripp looks at the crisis from another perspective and points out another casualty of stricter testing regulations: the loss of veteran teachers.

She talks about how these teachers are almost forced to walk away from a profession they love because they are unable to teach creatively. She points out how all over the country veteran teachers are being blamed for the low test scores. She even goes as far as to say that low test scores will not be the undoing of our educational system, the loss of these teachers will. At the end of her post she says in order to correct this crisis we must realize, "That assessing students in a way that reflects how they will be assessed in their future lives makes more sense. That teacher worth cannot be measured by a multiple choice test taken by a tired ten year old."

I really enjoyed reading this post. In my comment to Mrs. Ripp I told her that I had never thought about the veteran teachers and how they are affected by this educational crisis. I thought she made several very good points, as I stated in my comment. I concluded by saying that this really is a shame. I believe we can always learn from those who have gone before us and learning from veteran teachers is no exception. I also left my blog web address as well as my Twitter address.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog Post #7

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler
Tonight I watched the video The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler. This video describes a new concept in teaching: connectivism. This idea, as stated in the video, is that learning occurs "through a social network that is made up of many different connections and ties". The video continues on by explaining how these different connections are made possible by various types of technology. It all begins with a personal learning network. This is where a student practices finding information and sharing it with other students around the world by using various forms of technology. The video concludes with the question "Why does a networked student need a teacher?"

I found this video to be very interesting. I enjoyed when they talked about iTunesU. It's amazing to think that any student can have access to the best professors in the world without having to be a student at any particular university. In our world today we see technology changing and advancing at the speed of light; a computer you bought five years ago can become obsolete in that time. Sometimes I wonder if progressing this quickly is a good thing or a bad thing. When I hear about an advancement like this I feel it is a good thing. Now a student is never limited. They have the world at their finger tips. They can hear lectures from some of the greatest teachers anytime, anyplace.

While watching this video I kept the question in my head "why does a networked student need a teacher?" At one point I thought, maybe they don't. However, before the video reached its conclusion, I realized some of the reasons they were about to point out. Teachers need to be there to teach the student how to build the personal learning network, how to sort through the information they come across in order to find what is valid, to help them when they get stuck, etc. In a sense, the teacher becomes the tour guide. They show the student which direction to go and they lead the way most of the time, but sometimes they linger behind and let the student explore the world on their own.

A Seventh Grader's Personal Learning Environment
The video "Welcome to my PLE" can be seen by clicking here. In this video we have a 7th grade girl showing us how her PLE (personal learning environment) looks and works. She shows us how she processes and loads various forms of information in order to keep up with her school work.

This video was the first time I had seen a PLE or PLN set up like hers was. It looked like a simplified version of a computer screen set up. She was able to easily move from one section to another. She told us about having animals in the classroom and in order to get permission to hold them, the students have to do research on them. She shows us how she did the research in order to be allowed to hold the gecko in her classroom. She also showed us how she used the information she found about the box jelly fish to make a glogster, or digital poster. I thought this was all very interesting. It makes me feel excited to be a teacher and use this technology in my classroom. I have wondered, what keeps the student motivated? If they have so much freedom, wouldn't they just wander with no direction? In this video the student says no. She says that she enjoys the freedom but it also makes her feel responsibility. She concludes by saying that "it's not that she can choose to do nothing," but more of a choice of WHAT it is she wants to do.

Project #8- Podcast

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blog Post #6

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

This is my second time watch Randy Pausch's last lecture. I watched it back in 2007 when his book had come out and he was at the end of his battle. He was an amazing man and an excellent teacher, that comes across in so many ways. He says at the end of his lecture that the "head fake" is achieving your childhood dreams; the real message is how to live your life. Randy's life is one to admire, both as a future educator and as a person.

In Dr. Pausch's video he covers a number of topics that people can use to help others achieve their childhood dreams. The first is that we have to start with the fundamentals. In other words, we have to do the hard work first (the rules) so we can play the game. He talks about his football coach really giving him a hard time one day. Afterwards, the assistant coach explains to him that that is a good thing. He tells Randy that our critics are your friends, they are the ones telling you they still love you and care. This is a lesson all teachers should carry with them. As an educator, I can imagine it gets easy to become tired and burned out but we must continue to care for our students and be their critic.

I loved the story he told about getting some projects back he had assigned to the students and being "blown away" by them. He calls his mentor and asks what he should do. He is told that he should go in and say "this is good, but I think you can do better." To me, this goes back to pushing our students. As an educator we must always try to get our students to do better; to go a little more and then a little more out of their comfort zone. When we set a bar at any height we do a dis-service to our students. Educators should encourage growth, no matter how big it might be.

Another topic that covers most of Dr. Pausch's lecture is indirect learning. I am currently taking a course here at South that is about art in education. So often we forget that children learn the best when they don't know they are learning. He calls it the "head fake". If we as educators can take a subject and integrate it with art or music or dance, we increase the likely hood of a greater understanding and retention. Randy Pusch, although he isn't dancing or singing in his class, is a great example of this. He believes in letting students explore and get out of the mold of a traditional learning environment. He encourages them to take risks. This is something every teacher should remember.

Randy Pausch shows nothing but enthusiasm during his lecture. You can tell that he has really enjoyed his life and is eager to share it with others. At the end he made a few points: Never lose the childlike wonder and help others. I can tell that Dr. Pausch never lost the childlike wonder. Even on the stage he used costumes and stuffed animals as a part of his lecture. It is
obvious that he has helped numerous students achieve their dreams and he also has been assisted in achieving his own dreams. At one point he says something along the lines of teaching students how to share with other people, how to get them to bring happiness to people, is one of the greatest lessons you can teach. I agree with this one hundred percent. Even in this moving last lecture, Dr. Pausch is able to get people to laugh. He is able to bring them into his happiness and share it with them. I found this video to be just as enjoyable the second time as it was the first.

C4K September Summary

1. For my first C4K I was assigned Anthony Capps Blog. Mr. Capps blog post was a summary of an assignment his students had done. They all wrote a sentence or two about a story they had read. In my comment I told Mr. Capps I enjoyed reading all the different responses from the students. I also stated that I thought he did a nice job with his opening statement explaining to those reading what it was they were looking at. I also thought it was nice that he encouraged the parents to give their child a "pat on the back" if they posted. I concluded by saying that you could get a feel for the students' understanding of the story and complimented him on doing an excellent post.

2. For my second C4K I was assigned John from Mrs. Kreb's 7th grade class. The blog can be seen here: John's Blog Post. In his post John had a large picture of what looks to be seeds. His post is focused on a link to a website with a quiz where you can answer questions to identify different trees in Iowa. I followed the link and played around with the quiz a few times. In my comment to John I noted that the quiz asked a lot of questions about the details of the leaves. I thanked John for thanked him for letting me read his blog and told him I might use the quiz to see if I can identify any trees in my area.

3. For my third C4K I was assigned Austin from Mrs. Dunlop's 4th grade class. Austin wrote a wonderful post about playing football in the leaves. In my comment to him I told him that I really enjoyed reading his post. I also told him he did a wonderful job creating the image of the environment; I could feel the cool air and smell the autumn leaves. I concluded my comment by telling Austin that I have a son who is one year old. I hope to one day play football in the leaves with him like Austin does. It sounds like fun!

Project 9a- Timetoast

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blog Post #5

The iSchool Initiative
Travis Allen was a 17 year old when he posted a video on youtube talking about revolutionizing the American school system. He talks about using the iTouch in the classroom to basically eliminate the need for any paper product ranging from books to sheets of paper. He goes into how using the iTouch allows students, parents and teachers to all be involved and able to reach each other at any time. He also goes a little bit into reducing school's carbon footprint as well as mentioning the savings per student if schools choose to switch the the iTouch method of teaching.

I found Travis' video to be very interesting. I agree with what he is saying. As our world moves faster and faster with technology, the school system is left behind. I have never known life without technology and I still find myself hesitant to use certain machines or programs. I think that Travis does an excellent job making his point by giving examples of apps that could be used in the classroom. I also think it is a good point to make about the carbon footprint as well as the money per student that would be saved.

Eric Whitacer's Virtual Choir
This video brings up two responses from me. In this video we see 185 people all coming together through the internet. They all have never met or rehearsed the song "Lux Aurumuque" together. My initial response is that this is an amazing thing. Here bridges are being crossed without people ever having to leave their home. They can become part of a choir with other people from around the world.
However, what about human contact? I think that this is an amazing thing, that we can have contact with people around the world and never have to leave our home. I also think this is a worrisome thing. Sometimes I worry that we are becoming less interactive with people in a face to face manner and more through virtual interface. So although I am initially impressed with an idea such as this choir, I also wonder what we are losing in the process.

Flipping the Classroom
I really like the ideas proposed in the videos by Dr. Lodge and Katie Gimbar. Being able to reach children outside of class, so that time spent in class can be used more effectively is a great idea. This is a great way to get all students engaged in classroom learning and, as stated in the video, it allows those who need help to come prepared with questions and those who are ready to continue on can do so as well. I would love to use this in my future classroom. I think this allows teachers to be better educators for the class as a whole as opposed to reaching just a few students.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Project #5 Presentation

C4T Assignment #1

The Principal's Principles

principal name tag

Link to Mr. Bernia's Blog:
The Principal's Principles

In Mr. Bernia's post from August 30th, he talks about beginning the school year with these three words: hope, opportunity, and courage. He goes on to say how it is the job of educators to bring these three things to students. I particularly liked the paragraph about opportunity. He writes about a child who had made it to 8th grade without ever going to a movie theater. I think it is so important to find opportunities to get students out of the classroom in order to experience new things. Overall, it was an excellent post about how educators affect students' lives.

For my comment to Mr. Bernia, I wrote that this was a wonderful post to start the year off. I told him about studying to be an Elementary school teacher. I also went on to say that we should incorporate his three words of focus (hope, opportunity, and courage) into our daily lives as well as our classrooms. The ending really tied it together for me, when he says "if not us, who?" it made me think. I wrote,"I think as educators it is easy to forget how much influence one has on students. It really is amazing, if we take the time to do so, how much we can affect a child’s life."

The second post I chose to comment on was from August 17th. I was once again moved by Mr. Bernia's post. The title of this post was "Begin with the end in mind". In this post Mr. Bernia talks about how, after spending the day learning about and planning for the Common Core standards, he walks away with Stephen Covey's famous habit in mind. He then proceeds to discuss the use of assessment in order to have successful implementation. He says that by focusing on what we want students to achieve, we can focus on the instruction needed to gain mastery. He then lists several items from Smarter Balanced assessments. He concludes by saying that student achievement is one of his top two priorities (safety being the other).

My comment to Mr. Bernia was filled with praise. I also believe that focusing on the end from the beginning is a good habit to use in life as well as in education. I praised this post, just as I did the first one. He is a well spoken/written blogger. I also wrote how, of the items he listed from Smarter Balanced assessments, the one that stuck out to me most was allowing more time to focus on the task. I wrote to Mr. Bernia that too often in the classroom we are rushing to the finish line. I believe if we slowed down a little we would allow students a greater opportunity for understanding as well as retention.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blog Post #4

The first blog post I read was 1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audiobook. I thought it was very interesting. The post talked about a class that was given the opportunity to work with Garageband to record the story Dinosaurs Before Dark.
students using garage band
I thought it was very interesting to learn that the students showed a lot of interest in Garageband, even changing the inflection of their voice and adding emotion to their recording. This was a great way to get students engaged in learning. Not only are they using technology to record their voices (and there fore learning about different kinds of technology) but they also received a print out booklet that they could read and follow as the recording was played back to them.
For the second video I chose The Flat Stanley Podcast. This podcast is based on the book "Flat Stanley" by Jeff Brown. In this book a child, Stanley, is playing when a bulletin board falls on him and makes him flat. Then he is able to do all kinds of things that I normal kid can't do including the ability to be mailed places. The story for this class is that the smart board fell on them and made them all flat. Now they too can be mailed anywhere in the world, just like flat Stanley.
map with flat stanley students
I thought this was such a cute idea. I loved listening to the podcast with the various students traveling around then world to London England, Space, Israel, Hollywood, even right here to Alabama! This was such a great way to have children take a story that they enjoyed and enhance it. Not only do they get to learn about technology (recording their stories) but they get to know about different cities around the world. This is yet another great example of integrating technology to allow students greater comprehension as well as retention.
The third video I chose to watch was The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom. In this video Joe Dale shows many different ways in which podcasting can benefit students. It's a great way to do project based learning and to allow students to use their higher based learning abilities.
I found this video very interesting. I was surprised by the many different ways teachers, and students, can use podcasts. I had never thought about using them to record a lecture and then uploading it for students. It was a new idea to use the podcast for kids who are home sick. What a great way to use them! I also liked how they said this is a good way for parents to see what is going on in class, I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blog Post #3

graded paper a plus

C4C Assignment
For my C4C assignment I chose to comment publicly because my classmate had a wonderfully written blog with very few errors. Had she made a number of mistakes in her blog I would have sent her a private email outlining the errors. I believe that criticism should always be constructive and pointing out someone's mistakes publicly can be humiliating and unnecessary. A private email would alert one to the mistakes without making one feel embarrassed or even bullied.
Peer Editing
I learned a few things from the video Writing Peer Reviews Top 10 Mistakes. I am sometimes guilty of "racing towards the finish line" or being a "Jean the generalizer". However, I always try to be positive (compliments) as well as give critiques (suggestions and corrections). As I stated above I think that a peer edit is a great opportunity to help someone, not humiliate.
In the slideshow Peer Edit with Perfection I also learned different parts of a post to look at, and make suggestions about, when editing. I had never considered suggesting a peer use a different or stronger word in their post. Also, suggesting the use of more detail. Most of the time you can get a feel for what message someone is trying to send, but suggesting more detail in order to gain greater clarity is something I hadn't considered before.
Technology in Special Education
I really enjoyed this video. It was extremely interesting to see how technology is benefiting these students. In this video we see a few students who use their computers to communicate. They do not speak and so they type what they want to say. At first they give one young man a sheet of paper and it is too hard for him to communicate. They aren't clear why it is more difficult but one could assume that it is because the words are spelled out without being displayed and perhaps the message is lost some where along the way. Another student says that he used to take a long time to complete homework but now he is twice as fast! That is impressive!
I think that using computers for communication and homework for any type of student is a great tool. When you use it to better a student's life, that is amazing. I would use technology for my own special needs children to grab their attention and have them be interactive. I would also use it for communication for students who are unable to speak.
iPad in the Classroom
I liked the app called iWrite words. This app teaches children how to write and spell words while playing a fun game. The letters appear and a child can trace the letters and form the word. It also teaches children about numbers (writing them). I would use this app to help children with their writing skills and spelling skills. It would be a great tool for those who need to improve their handwriting as well as learn new words.
Harness Your Student's Digital Smarts
This video can be viewed here: Harness Your Student's Digital Smarts. In this video Vicki Davis shows us how she is using technology in her classroom. She believes that when you only have paper and pencil then only certain kinds of students will succeed. Her focus is teaching the students new software, learning how to learn, and use various online tools such as wiki and blogging. Two portals they work through are Digiteen (an online wiki) and the Flat Classroom Project (a source that connects students all over the world).
What Vicki Davis is doing is a new way of teaching. She is taking the classroom and "turning it upside down". By introducing this technology to her students she is preparing them for the future.
I think what Vicki Davis is doing is great. She is empowering her students in various ways. I agree with her that knowing everything before you teach it is not they way to think. Students feel a great sense of empowerment when they have to dig a little deeper and solve the problem on their own. Sometimes the idea of using so much technology in the classroom can be overwhelming and scary. However, taking a different look at it and thinking "I can teach this and learn new processes as well" is not only essential, but makes the realization easier to grasp.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Blog Post #2

"Did you Know?"
In this blog post I will be discussing "Did You Know? 3.0- A John Strange Version" and also the original "Did You Know?" by Karl Fisch and Scott McCleod. These presentations are about how quickly technology is changing, not only in our society, but around the world. Most of the facts given are directly related to the use of technology in American education.
Most of the facts given in these presentations are, to put it simply, scary. We rely so heavily on technology that one could easily see how movies like iRobot could become reality. There are computers in nearly every home in the United States; over 85% of high school students have a cell phone and I am sure they have their phone attached to them 99% of the time (the 1% being when they are in some body of water or their shower). At the end of "Did You Know?" by Karl and Scott, they stated that by 2013 there will be a computer built that will exceed the computational capabilities of the human brain. That is next year. I believe that this extremely fast pace at which technology advances puts a huge amount of responsibility on our shoulders as educators. Not only are we responsible for teaching children who will have jobs one day using a technology that hasn't been invented yet, but we must also keep up with what is current; and that could change in the course of a month.
"Mr. Winkle Wakes"
Here I will talk about the video "Mr. Winkle Wakes". I really enjoyed this video. The basic story line is a man (Mr. Winkle) awakes after sleeping for 100 years to find that everything around him has changed. Technology has advanced so far that he can not comprehend what he is seeing. So he wanders around the city, first to an office building which he finds to be filled with "strange machines and noises". Then to a hospital where "lasers perform surgeries". Feeling overwhelmed he wanders into a school. Here, he finds that everything is exactly as it was 100 years ago. Students at desks, using paper and pencils to take notes and a teacher lecturing to them.
I think this is a very clever way to point out the lack of advancement in our school systems. Although I am not sure how accurate it is. When I was in high school there were many courses offered that were related to technology. In fact, as a freshman I was in a course that was all about web design. Our main project was working on the school website. We created links, images, etc. I do agree that teachers need to include more technology in their lessons. If we as educators do not keep our lessons current with the technology that is available we do our students a great disservice. I think that is what this video is saying: we could even set them back 100 years.
"Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity"
I really enjoyed this video. In this video Sir Ken Robinson talks about how we (as students) are educated out of creativity. If you travel around the world, the hierarchy for educational subjects is the same no matter where you go. It has math and languages at the top and arts at the bottom. Sir Robinson talks about how this hierarchy was developed to meet the needs of industrialism and how this is now completely outdated and wrong. He goes on to talk about how the world is "engulfed in a revolution" based on creativity.
As I said, I really enjoyed this video. I agree with Sir Robinson about many things. I think that we as students are educated out of creativity. I have seen several friends through out the years who are great artists or dancers but they squash their talents to focus on something "practical" that will get them a job. I thought it was very interesting how he stated that a college degree means nothing now. Although I am currently seeking my degree, I do agree with this statement as well. When my grandfather or even my mother graduated from college, having a degree meant you got a job; that is not the case anymore. The highest number of people unemployed are those just out of college (with a bachelor's degree). As a parent, and a future teacher, I hope to always encourage creativity. I think it is a skill that is vital in our ever changing world.
"A Day Made of Glass"
This is an amazing video that shows several possible technologies that may be used in the future. It basically shows how technology will be improved in every setting by using glass "screens"; everywhere from the home, to the classroom, to a hospital.
I thought this was a very interesting video. Its intention is to show how technology is advancing. The products that they have shown in this video are interesting. I own a tablet and it seems to me that most of the products in this video are just large, clear versions of the current tablets on the market. I enjoyed watching the video "A Day Made of Glass 2: Unpacked...". It was interesting to see what we are close to having and what is still years away. I hope in my lifetime I can see the interactive boards in classrooms. We are already close with the smart boards currently available. I would really like to see the activity boards shown in the video. Those seem like a great way to get kids involved and I agree with the speaker, if they would've had those in classrooms when I was a kid I would've been excited to go to class!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blog Assignment 1

About Me
I am originally from Fairhope Alabama but I have lived in many different places over the last few years. I am not involved in the military, I just enjoy moving to new places. After graduating from high school I moved to Madrid Spain for a few months and worked as a nanny. Then I moved to Santa Barbara California and attended community college for two years. I also met my fiance in Santa Barbara. When we were both done with school we decided to try a new city and decided on Austin Texas. We loved Austin, but after finding out we were pregnant with our first child we decided to move closer to my mom; that is how we ended up back in this area and also how I ended up attending South. While living in Austin I worked at a pre-school and I loved it. I kept thinking "this is something I would love to do everyday". After having my son (who will be one in September) I decided that I wanted to go back to school and get my degree in Elementary Education with the hope of teaching kindergarten or first grade. I have worked with kids all my life and I love being around them. It really is one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs I have ever had.
My passions include travel, baking, gardening and spending time with my son. Anytime I can do any of those things I am a happy person! A few years ago I actually took some college baking courses and I loved it, but decided I'd rather invest money in a bachelor's degree than a certificate. My son is definitely the center of my world. He was a surprise, but one I wouldn't change for anything.
Some other things that are interesting about me: I lived in Spain for a few months and when I came back state side I was almost fluent in Spanish (this is also after having four years of Spanish in high school). However, due to lack of practice, I can hardly speak it. But I do understand a lot of what other people say, which can be fun.
Randy Pausch on Time Management
I learned, from watching this video, that time management is equatable to money management. Dr. Pausch says that time and money should be valued the same, and I agree. I like how he talked about making a plan for each day, month, semester and then if something changes to make the change to your plan. I am a list maker. I get this trait from my mom. She always made lists; a to-do daily list, a to-do month list, a grocery list, etc. and I am the same. I find that this is a great way to manage time. I also learned that you should do the "ugliest" thing first. This is not usually what I do and if I was honest I would say that "thing" might pass from one list to another for a week before I finally break down and do it.
I know Dr. Pausch from "The Last Lecture" that was so popular a few years ago. I have watched his last lecture many times. It is a moving, intelligent lecture that holds meaning for everyone. I also read his book.