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".