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.