Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blog Post 14

Final Report for Project 13

Communicating through Technology

We continued using e-mail and text messages to communicate, but we didn’t really use Face Time again. We could pretty much get everything done through e-mailing, text messaging, and talking on the phone. We used e-mail to send Notebook files back and forth so we could work on our Project 15 without meeting. Then for Project 16 we didn’t even meet until we had to record ourselves talking together. Luckily neither of us really had time to meet anyways so not discussing the projects in person was easy. However, we had a class together and would run into each other at different places so we had to resist the urge to talk about the projects.

Project 16 - Children and Technology

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Project 10 - PLN

PLN on Symbaloo

I have stuck with using Symbaloo; I really like the layout it provides, and it makes my PLN so much easier to organize. On the top row (the first eight), I still have the tools that I use the most: Facebook, Gmail, Google, YouTube, Blogger, Twitter, Timetoast, and Apple. The first seven tiles of the next row has blogs and Twitter pages for Arvind S. Grover, Silvia Tolisano, David Wees, and Jenny Luca. These were the four people I had for my C4Ts. Then in the top right corner I have two students' blogs and Twitter pages that I really enjoyed. Their names are Lindsey Edwards and Diane Boudreau. On the fourth row on the right-hand side, I have Dr. Strange's blogs and Twitter page. Then the last two rows are full of blogs and Twitter pages that have in some way come from this class. Here I have Sir Ken Robinson's blog and Twitter page, Laura Holifield's blog and Twitter page, Lauren McKenzie's blog and Twitter page, Joe McClung's blog and Twitter page, John T. Spencer's blog and Twitter page, Kathy Cassidy's Twitter page, and Paige Vitulli's Twitter page.

Here is the PLN I have come up with so far:
Arvind S. Grover - Blog and Twitter
Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano - Blog and Twitter
David Wees - Blog
Jenny Luca - Blog and Twitter
Lindsey Edwards - Blog and Twitter
Diane Boudreau - Blog and Twitter
Dr. Strange - Personal Blog, Professional Blog, and Twitter
Sir Ken Robinson - Blog and Twitter
Laura Holifield - Blog and Twitter
Lauren Mckenzie - Blog and Twitter
Joe McClung - Blog and Twitter
John T. Spencer - Blog and Twitter
Kathy Cassidy - Twitter
Paige Vitulli - Twitter

C4T 4 - Jenny Luca

Jenny Luca

Jenny Luca is the Head of Information Services at Toorak College in Australia, and she has a blog called Lucacept - intercepting the Web. The first post I commented on was titled, "Is it just me?" In it she discusses how much importance is placed on someone who made a photo sharing app versus someone who is trying to make the world better. As you can imagine, more importance is placed on the person who made the photo sharing app, but can you tell me why? There's no logical answer to that question. We have to change what the world views as important. It's not going to be easy, but if we start early by teaching our students this then maybe it'll catch on. However, no matter what we just have to push through the criticism we'll receive and try our hardest.

The second post I commented on was titled, "Using Evernote to record a lesson." I thought Evernote was more of a text-based program, but apparently it can be used for voice recordings as well. She used it to record a lecture for two of her students that would be unable to attend class one day. Then the next day she asked the students if they'd like her to record it again, and many of them said yes and had her e-mail the lecture to them. I think this is a wonderful idea because it gives students the chance to revisit the lesson. Students still need to take notes, but this way they can use them to reinforce what they hear when they listen to the lesson again. It's also great for students who have to miss a class but don't want to get behind.

Blog Post 13

No Technology

8:30 - The mission began.

9:55 - My boyfriend and I went and saw a movie at a movie theater.

12:30-8:30 - I slept.

10:00-2:00 - I went to the Leadership Summit for the Jaguar Marching Band.

2:00-6:00 - I went shopping.

6:00-8:30 - I took a nap.

Some people asked me why I didn't just pretend I did the assignment and make up stuff, and I told them that I wanted to see if I could actually do it. It turns out I can. I did break a few of the rules, though. I used my cell phone as my alarm, and when I got a text message, I looked to see who it was from to make sure it wasn't important. However, I didn't read the messages (most of them were from Facebook). I think this is a good assignment to participate in because it really shows our dependence on technology. I had to go shopping and find things to keep myself busy just so I wouldn't be tempted to use technology. I almost failed a few times, but luckily it only took one try.

Our students are going to come into our classrooms not knowing a world without technology. Pretty much everything they do in their lives will revolve around it so we need to accommodate that and incorporate it into our classrooms. We will have to teach them the importance of technology and how to use it effectively for learning. We owe it to them to teach them in ways that they will understand, and technology is that way.

Project 15 - Smartboard Instructions Part 2

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blog Post 12

Mathematics, English, Science, and History

I'm an elementary education major so I'll have to teach all subjects. This kind of made this assignment hard because I'm not really sure how to make my own blog post assignment that covers all the subjects I'll be teaching. This is why I decided to focus on these four subjects: Mathematics, English, Science, and History. Think about which subject you have the most trouble with, and then find and share a website that helps you better understand it (or do this for each subject). Also, try to make the website interactive so you are actually engaged and learning something.

I have done this for all four subjects.





Make sure you are actually finding useful websites so you can refer to them later if you need some ideas on how to get through to a student. I have picked websites that are student based, but your websites can be teacher based if you think those would be more useful.

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

I want to begin this post with my favorite poem. Here is "Curiosity" by Alastair Reid:


may have killed the cat; more likely
the cat was just unlucky, or else curious
to see what death was like, having no cause
to go on licking paws, or fathering
litter on litter of kittens, predictably.

Nevertheless, to be curious
is dangerous enough. To distrust
what is always said, what seems
to ask odd questions, interfere in dreams,
leave home, smell rats, have hunches
do not endear cats to those doggy circles
where well-smelt baskets, suitable wives, good lunches
are the order of things, and where prevails
much wagging of incurious heads and tails.

Face it. Curiosity
will not cause us to die–
only lack of it will.
Never to want to see
the other side of the hill
or that improbable country
where living is an idyll
(although a probable hell)
would kill us all.

Only the curious have, if they live, a tale
worth telling at all.

Dogs say cats love too much, are irresponsible,
are changeable, marry too many wives,
desert their children, chill all dinner tables
with tales of their nine lives.
Well, they are lucky. Let them be
nine-lived and contradictory,
curious enough to change, prepared to pay
the cat price, which is to die
and die again and again,
each time with no less pain.
A cat minority of one
is all that can be counted on
to tell the truth. And what cats have to tell
on each return from hell
is this: that dying is what the living do,
that dying is what the loving do,
and that dead dogs are those who do not know
that dying is what, to live, each has to do."

The first two sentences of the third stanza are my favorite part of this poem, and I think they tie in perfectly with this assignment.

Schools in the United States don't encourage creativity and curiosity for basically two reasons. They put the subjects they think are the most "useful" in life (as far as getting a job, or so they think) at the top of their lists, and that is tied in with the second reason which is university entrance. They don't make anything in school about the power of learning. They just make it about school, school, more school, and some boring job that they probably won't be happy with. Students need creativity and curiosity so they will have fulfilling lives. One way to increase curiosity in students is to make lessons so interesting that the students can't help but want to learn more. This way the students are always engaged and wanting to learn more. Then there is creativity. Art fosters creativity. Therefore, incorporating art into the classroom will help students show off their creativity. Teachers have to lead by example, though. We need to be just as curious and creative so the students can see how fun learning can be. Also, we need to motivate ourselves to inspire our own creativity and curiosity, and that motivation should come from wanting what's best for our students. Everything we do should revolve around our students. For their sake, we need to be willing to do whatever it takes to ensure they have the best learning experience possible because I think they deserve it. Don't you?

Progress Report for Project 16

Work in Progress

We have three ideas for our final project.

1. We will teach a kid how to use a SMARTboard or another piece of technology. Then we will either record us teaching them how to use it, or we will record them using it on their own.

2. We will survey one child from each grade K-6 about how much technology they use outside of class and how much technology they use inside of class.

3. We will interview teachers and see if they think technology is necessary in the classroom.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

C4K Summary for April


Emily B

Emily B is a student in Vermont, and I commented on her blog for three weeks for the world blog challenge. her posts weren't very long, but I really liked how she incorporated pictures into her blog posts. The first post I commented on on Emily B's blog was titled, "Some things you don't know about me." She listed 13 things about herself, and this really helped me get to know a little bit about her. She has a lot of animals like I do so I got to talk to her about animals some, and she told me that her favorite animals were dogs and horses.

The next post I commented on was titled, "teaching my dog." In this post she talked about teaching her dog new tricks, and how good her dog is at learning them. I told her that we teach our dogs lots of tricks. I also told her about how smart pigs are, and how they can be trained to live inside and do other tricks. This is what we're doing with our new pig.

The final post that I commented on was titled, "smoking." she talked about the horrible effects smoking causes to your body, and I backed her up on these points. She also included a picture of what your lungs will look like if you smoke. It's a horrible habit, and I'm glad she can see that.

Each time I commented on one of her posts I reminded her that I'd be looking for another post the next week, and she always had one. On my last post, I also encouraged her to continue blogging because it's a great use of technology, and it is also a great place to practice writing. Not to mention how it's an awesome way to share ideas.


Tom is a Year 1 student of Mrs. Jenny She in New Zealand. Tom's blog post was located in the class blog under March, and it was the tenth post down. It was titled, "Tom had a Wonderful Weekend!" His blog post included a picture that he had drawn on paint, and he had a video of himself talking about his weekend. He got a PSP and some games to go with it. I told him about how my nephews each have one, and how he should use it to learn as well as have fun.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Progress Report for Project 13

Work in Progress

I'm not sure if this is due this week or not since it is not on the master checklist, but here is my progress report anyways:

We have been texting, e-mailing, and using face time to communicate about ideas for Project 15. We had some trouble deciding on our subject because we're good in different subject areas. Also, it's hard not to talk about the project in person since we have another class together, and we run into each other at other places occasionally. However, we've been sticking to talking about our project through only the methods listed above.

Here's a picture of us using Face Time:

Us Using Face Time

Blog Post 11

Kathy Cassidy

Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy

I really enjoyed being able to watch Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy. Ten years ago she was given five computers for her classroom. She couldn't put any programs on them. However, she wanted to make these computers useful so she began her journey into the world of webpages and blogging. Her administrators were neither discouraging nor encouraging, but the parents liked being able to see their child's progress at any point throughout the year. Plus, the children loved it. Here's a quote she said that I really enjoyed: "Kids and technology just go hand in hand." It's such a true statement. The world these kids are growing up in is full of technology. It's something that they know better than we do, and they love it. Also, the children love blogging because they have an audience, and they get to interact with this audience.

I admire her because she approaches technology with such open arms. She embraces the fact that even once you're a teacher, you have to keep learning. She didn't really encounter any problems with administrators, other teachers, or parents, but I realize her case isn't the norm. I know that my administrators, my fellow teachers, and parents might try to hinder my progress, but I also know that I'll have to show them the importance of technology. The pros outweigh the cons (which I'm seeing less of), and with guidance, the students will be able to fully receive all the benefits that technology has to offer. Technology has a place for everyone. Ms. Cassidy pointed out that if you like videoing, check out Youtube. If you like photography check out Flickr. If you like like writing, check out blogging. Technology offers something for everyone. This is just a starting point.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blog Post 10


Do You Teach, or Do You Educate?

Do You Teach or Do You Educate? is a film made by Joshua Bloom. He begins by defining "to teach" and "to educate." He also defines educator, mentor, and guide. These are the words that describe what we should be to our students. He ends the video by quoting Peter Brougham, MLK, and Socrates. My favorite quote was by MLK, and he said, "Intelligence plus character... that is the goal of true education." The reason we have educators is not only to provide the students with information, but it is also to help them build themselves as human beings.

Every day I will have to look for new ways to educate, rather than teach, my students. I'll have to find things that inspire them to learn more by making my lessons interesting and engaging, and they'll feel empowered when they accomplish the tasks I have given them. I also want to enlighten them on subjects that they knew little about by showing them different perspectives, and finally, I want to illuminate their lives with the power of learning. They should see me as someone they trust so I will have to prove to them that they can trust me. I will be their educator, mentor, and guide.

Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!

Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home is a blog post by John T. Spencer about students not being allowed to take pencils home because it lowers standardized test scores. He argues that this isn't a good measurement of learning. He wants to teach the students to think of pencils in a way other than as entertainment. He also taught parents the skills that he was teaching their children in hopes that it would help to alter the students' thoughts about what pencils should be used for, and the way he is teaching this to the students is by making his lessons so interesting that they can't help but want to learn.

As usual, this administrator is only focused on having high test scores, but luckily this educator, John T. Spencer, is focused on the students. He's willing to find a solution to this problem even though his administrator would rather just take the easy way out. He wants the students to actually learn, not just be able to pass some test that doesn't truly measure what they've learned. By making his lectures centered around the students, he is engaging the students and making learning interesting for them, and in the process he is teaching htem that pencils are not just for entertainment.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Post 9

Lessons Learned

What I've Learned This Year (2008-2009)

Mr. McClung's first post was after his first year of teaching, and he wrote this post to share what he learned. He lists seven things that he has learned. First, he addressed his misconception about who the lecture was actually for. In the beginning, he was so worried about how his superiors would evaluate him that he lost sight of the fact that the lesson was for the students. He also discusses how most teachers focus too much on delivering the content when they should be focusing on if the students comprehend the material, and he has grown a lot in this aspect. Second, he focuses on being flexible. Lessons aren't always going to go as planned so just go with the flow. Third, he discusses how communication in the workplace is essential. Fourth, he talks about setting reasonable goals for the students. Teachers can set high goals, but if the student doesn't achieve them then the teacher should be there to keep encouraging them instead of being disappointed in them. Fifth, he discusses something we know all too well from this class -- the importance of technology. Sixth, he discusses listening to the students. It's more important than most people think. Seventh, he talks about another thing we've learned throughout this class -- never stop learning.

I like the idea of teachers posting a reflection of their work at the end of each school year. It offers guidance to teachers who are just starting out. That is why I chose to read the post about his first year teaching. It offered some helpful advice such as making sure that the lessons focus on student comprehension. I feel like this is something that teachers can easily lose sight of when being constantly watched by administrators. This also ties into being flexible. Another one, that I found especially helpful, was about setting reasonable goals. Students are just that, students. They won't always achieve the high goals that we set for them. This doesn't mean that we should lower our expectations, though. If the students don't reach our high goals then it is our job to encourage them to continue trying. Also, listening to the students is something that often doesn't happen in a classroom. Especially the ones that I have been in. It is crucial to establish a good student teacher relationship, and this is partially done by listening. Then there are the two that this class has taught us all too well. The importance of technology and the want to never stop learning are re-enforced in this post. Finally, there is one that I never really thought about which is the need for communication in the workplace. I never thought about there being workplace drama. Obviously there is, though, and like most things in life, communication is key.

What I Learned This Year (2010-2011)

This post is about Mr. McClung's third year of teaching, and he discusses five of the things he has learned. First, it is all about the students. Don't get caught up in trying to please the administration when your focus should be on the students. Second, don't let the pessimism of others affect you. Always stay positive about change. Third, don't be afraid to not fit in especially if you don't fit in because you focus more on your students than pleasing other teachers. Fourth, don't try to take over when a student is having problems with an assignment because you will end up basically doing the assignment for them. If you take control then the student won't learn as much as they can from the assignment. Fifth, don't get comfortable. Comfort leads to apathy. When teachers get too set in their routines, they are more likely to fall victim to apathy. Teachers must find new ways to keep their careers moving forward.

What I've mainly taken away from both of these posts is that it is always about the students. Now, this isn't something new that I just learned by reading this. I've known this all along, but it is mainly what he keeps saying over and over again. No matter what the problem is, think about the students. Think about how what you do will effect the students in the long run. We want to be teachers because of the kids so our teaching should reflect that. That's pretty much what he learns every year, new ways to focus more on the students, and I can't wait to see what he has to say about this current school year.

Friday, March 30, 2012

C4T 3 - David Wees

David Wees

David Wees specializes in mathematics and technology. His blog is called 21st Century Educator. The first post I commented on was titled "Rethinking the standard school schedule." In this post he is advocating the four day school week for schools. His post is based on an article that talks about a 40 hour work week providing the maximum amount of time where productivity occurs. The four day school week has its advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages are that it won't drain students as much in one week. The extra day that they have will, in theory, provide the extra time the students need to complete the work they have outside of class. A disadvantage is that they will start their school year earlier to make up for the time lost by taking away the fifth day of school. This takes away from their summer, and some kids are engaging in learning activities with their summer break. However, this includes another advantage. Starting school earlier will lessen the gap where some students aren't learning. Not every student spends their summer engaging in learning activities so this will help the students not lose everything they learned the previous school year.

The second post I commented on was titled "We need social media etiquette." In this post he gave a list of ten rules that he thought should be implemented on Twitter. He mostly discussed rules to make Twitter useful and rules about being respectful. I have to admit that when I first found out I had to have a Twitter account for this class, I was reluctant. However, back then I had a different view about Twitter. I thought it was just a place where people wrote useless information that they thought was important like what their cat ate for breakfast. Through this class, though, the usefulness has become apparent to me. If used correctly, Twitter is an effective tool that promotes the sharing of information and ideas. It's like all technology. If it is used properly, it can be an indispensable tool.

C4K Summary for March


I commented on "My Favourite song by Kaitlyn" on her class blog. It is the 20th blog post down the page. In her post, she talks about her favorite song being "Next to You" by Chris Brown, and how she likes it because it reminds her of how her brother is always there for her. I told her about how I have two older brothers and an older sister so I understand about always being there for your siblings.

Project 14 - Smartboard Instructions Part 1

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Post 8

Technology at Our Fingertips

This Is How We Dream

In This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2, Richard Miller talks about how writing has changed in schools as well as the culture. In the beginning, he thought, like most educators probably do, that writing was something that should be a solitary activity. However, now how we write and research and where we work and publish, is changing. A book that used to only take place in print is now available on the web.

Where we work is no longer limited. The web is now our work space. We can explore the materials of the world on the web without being limited to what we have ourselves or to what libraries have. We can now share knowledge without limits. Now, most of the limits and restrictions that we face are the ones that we make for ourselves. Also, it's now possible to compose, not with text only, but with images, films, and whatever you can find on the web. We're now also faced with information that updates instantly, and educators can not only view the materials, but see how they're put together and if desired, produce alternate versions.

He lists these things that we need: "ubiquitous composing technology, pedagogies that foster creativity and collaboration, spaces that foster collaborative learning, and inspiring teachers of new media composing." The goals of this technology are so much bigger than just the technology itself. Technology will allow people to articulate their dreams and share them. It tackles the fundamental problem of making our work visible. I will leave you with a quote from this video. "How could we not be interested in this attempt to make sense of the world we live in?"

Carly Pugh's Blog Post

Carly's Post is definitely an interesting one. She has created an assignment that is useful and incorporates videos as well as text. I like the idea of the playlist because we do find so many great videos in this class and then probably forget about them the next day. Not only is the playlist she suggested useful, but we can use it store the videos we truly enjoy in this class into a useful playlist for our futures as educators. I think she has beautifully written using multi-media, and that her future classroom would be one that lives up to Dr. Miller's hopes.

The Chipper Series and EDM for Dummies

The Chipper Series and EDM for Dummies both address the issue of how to get through EDM 310. It requires time to do and figure everything out. For my video, I would want to show two students in the beginning, middle, and end of EDM 310. One student would start out enthusiastic then feel overwhelmed after seeing the amount of work that has to be done. This student would slowly stop doing their work and eventually fail EDM 310. The other student would use the lab and the lab assistants and all other resources they could think of which will enable them to pass the class. This video would be to show the importance of getting help when you need it, and taking advantage of all resources that are available to you.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

In Learn to Change, Change to Learn, they attack schooling, as we know it. They call for a more learning based environment. The world around us is changing. Children are living in technology. It's a great place for learning to occur, but in most cases, it isn't. School is just one of the laces where students will be learning. They have a variety of resources at their fingertips, and they should be using them in school as well. This will make them better prepared for the future that lies ahead of them. The video ends with this simple thought and so will I, "It's the death of education, but the dawn of learning."

Scavenger Hunt

1. Edmodo is a tool similar to Facebook and Twitter, but it is made for students and teachers. You can make notes, alerts, assignments, quizzes, and polls that are available to your students. There is a calender and a place to store grades, as well. It also gives you the option of connecting with other teachers. I'm still exploring it and getting my account the way I want it, but I think this is an excellent tool for teachers to connect with their students as well as other teachers

4. Photo Peach is a video tool that has many special features. It is actually a slideshow where you can add polls and quizzes. So it not only has text and pictures, but it adds an interactive aspect with polls and quizzes. It allows you to share, create, and embed these slideshows with other people so it would be easy to share the slideshow you used in class with your students.

5. Polleverywhere

Project 12 - Book Trailer

Project 11 - Short Movie

Friday, March 9, 2012

Blog Post 7

The Networked Teacher

The Networked Student
The Networked Student is a short video written and directed by Wendy Drexler with artwork by Alex Drexler. It discusses connectivisim, which is the theory that learning happens through having a social network with various connections. This social network is made possible by using the endless tools of technology. However, the tools are nowhere near as important as the connections that are being made. This kind of learning allows students to take their learning experience into their own hands and make connections that will enhance it.

The first thing the 21st century student must do is start to develop their personal learning network. This video uses the topic of the American psyche to demonstrate how this is done. First, the student learns how to find credible websites. Then he post their findings to a social bookmarking site such as delicious, and he also look at what others have bookmarked about the American psyche. Then, he finds blogs about it. However, he realizes that blogs are mostly opinion based, and then based on what he has learned throughout the journey so far, he comments on the blog. He also subscribes to the blog so he can keep up with what is being said. Now, with all of the knowledge he has accumulated, he can create his own blog. This student also realizes the importance of using his mp3 player to listen to things other than music. On his mp3 player, he has audio and video podcasts to enhance his learning experience.

This video, like everything we do in this class, is meant as a starting point. Managing all of the information that is coming at us will be a challenge, but it will be a challenge worth taking on. Now for the question, “Why does the networked student even need a teacher?” The answer is essentially simple. The teacher is needed for guidance. She teaches him how to build his PLN and take advantage of it. She teaches him how to communicate effectively and respectively. She teaches him how to tell good information from bad information. She teaches him how to organize information. She is the start to his learning experience that will continue way after he leaves her class.

In A 7th Grader's PLE, she starts with a picture of her Symbaloo account. I know it is not about how you present your PLN, or PLE in this case, but I am a huge fan of using Symbaloo now. I love being able to organize my PLN so efficiently. However, her PLE seems much more organized and advanced than my PLN, but this is a learning process so I must continue to learn every day. In the video, she mentions how technology gives you freedom, and I agree. It is definitely a change from book work, and a highly desirable one at that, especially to students. Her PLE doesn't really differ too much from our PLN. In both of them, we are using the tools of technology to enhance our learning experience and to connect with like individuals around the world, and I am looking forward to watching my PLN progress.

Project 9b - Timetoast - Instructional Timeline

The Events Leading Up to the American Revolution

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Project 10 - PLN (Progress Report)

PLN on Symbaloo

To better organize my PLN, I am using Symbaloo. On the top row, I have the tools that I use the most: Facebook, Gmail, Google, YouTube, Blogger, Twitter, Timetoast, and Apple. The next row has the blogs for Arvind S. Grover and Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano. I learned about their blogs from C4T, and I have found them very helpful. Then on the third row, I have their Twitter pages. The next two rows come from our C4Cs. There were two peoples blogs that I had that stood out to me, and they were from Lindsey Edwards and Diane Boudreau so their blogs are listed in the fourth row. The fifth row has their Twitter pages. Then the sixth row is full of blogs and Twitter pages that have in some way come from this class. Here I have Sir Ken Robinson's blog and Twitter page, Laura Holifield's blog and Twitter page, Lauren McKenzie's blog and Twitter page, Dr. Strange's blog and Twitter page, and Paige Vitulli's Twitter page.

Here is the PLN I have come up with so far:
Arvind S. Grover - Blog and Twitter
Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano - Blog and Twitter
Lindsey Edwards - Blog and Twitter
Diane Boudreau - Blog and Twitter
Sir Ken Robinson - Blog and Twitter
Laura Holifield - Blog and Twitter
Lauren Mckenzie - Blog and Twitter
Dr. Strange - Personal Blog, Professional Blog, and Twitter
Paige Vitulli - Twitter

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

C4T 2 - Langwitches - Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Langwitches is a blog run by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano. The first post I commented on was titled, "Perspectives and Talking at Cross Purposes." She discusses how, luckily, our perspective is not set in stone so we can change it as we learn new things and meet new people. She asks some very important questions about education and asks the reader to consider them from different perspectives, such as: "What does it mean to be educated? ... Where and how do we learn? ... Where do we go for information? ... What does a classroom look like? ... How do we write? ... What does collaborating mean for you? ... How do we communicate?" All of these are important questions when considering perspective. An older person might say they get their information from books; however, a teenager might say the internet. Then when teenagers think of writing, they might think of text messages, e-mails, and posts on walls. Where older people might think of writing a letter. These a just a few examples, and are by no means saying that all older people and teenagers will respond in this way. Regardless, we can see that perspective is an important, and it is especially important for education. We need to keep our perspective open because we will need to be able to see things from the student's point of view. In this way, we will be able to better relate to our students.

The second post I commented on was titled, "How-To-Guide: Recording Audio Files and Generating QR Codes. In this post, Tolisano has given screenshots with step-by-step directions on how to record audio files in garage band, and then turn them into QR codes. She also has a previous post where she incorporates QR codes in art. I never knew too much about QR codes. I especially didn't know that they could be incorporated into the classroom, but she proved they could. Through this class, I'm learning about a lot of unexpected technology that can be effectively incorporated into the classroom to make learning a richer experience for the students.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blog Post 6

Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Technology has this special way of letting people live on well after they have left this world, and that is what all of Randy Pausch's lectures and such are doing for him. They are helping him live on, and this last lecture was actually a way to talk to his children and live on with them. He may have intended this lecture for his children, but he also reached millions of other people. Technology is definitely phenomenal in this way. In his last lecture, he talks about his childhood dreams, helping other achieve their childhood dreams, and the lessons he learned along the way.

First of all, he talked about his childhood dreams. He achieved some, altered some, and didn't achieve some. With the ones that he didn't achieve, he got something better out of. He said this phrase over and over again, "Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things." This is a marvelous saying that we'll have to teach to our students because it's inevitable that they will run into some of these brick walls while learning. Another quote I loved that he said he learned at Electronics Arts was, "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." This ties perfectly into the previous quote. Most of what we will be teaching our kids will be learned through something that Randy Pausch likes to call "head fakes." We will have to learn to teach our kids difficult concepts that they wouldn't normally want to learn through making fun so they won't even notice that they are learning.

The next item he discussed was helping others achieve their childhood dreams. He started a course at Carnegie Mellon called Building Virtual Worlds, to achieve this item. This also helped them learn to work as a group, and they were required to do, make, and show something. He, like Dr. Strange, advocates "no book learning," or as Dr. Strange would say, "no burp back education." This is something even we can use in our classroom because learning should be by doing, not memorization. Another thing that we can apply to our classroom is displaying student work. Even these college students got excited to put on a show of their projects for people who were truly interested in what they were doing. One of Randy Pausch's legacies, Alice, is another thing we can apply to our classroom. He "head fakes" them into learning them how to program by making it a fun video game where you tell a story. These type video games will be vital in our classroom because this will engage so many of our students.

Now, the last item he discussed was the lessons he has learned along the way. Parents, mentors, students, friends, and colleagues, have to help with this aspect. Our students will actually be the ones that we will probably learn the most from. One of my favorite things that Randy Pausch quotes is from Andy van Dam, and he told Pausch, "... you might as well be selling something as worthwhile as education." He then lists some tips: never lose what drives you, help other people, be loyal, don't give up, get other people to help you by focusing on others, never bail, listen to feedback, show gratitude, and don't complain. These are things that we should be teaching to our students along the way. We are not only teachers of academics, but life lessons as well. Some more important advice he gives is this: be good at something, find the good in people, and be prepared.

In Pausch's last lecture, he actually "head fakes" the listeners, twice. The first is, his lecture really isn't about how to achieve your dreams, but rather, how to lead you life. By leading your life in the right way, your dreams coming true will follow. Then the second was, this lecture was actually for his children, like I mentioned in the first paragraph. I'm glad that Pausch's memory will be able to live on through his videos. He is such an inspiring man. Nothing can get him down, and I think that's an important lesson that we, as future educators, should embrace with open arms because there will be days when we will just want to give up. We need these inspiring people to push us, and we should strive to be as inspiring as they are to us.

C4K Summary for February


Suzanne is in Mrs. C's 8th grade class. She posted the first paragraph of her creative story for computer class. She makes great use of punctuation, grammar, and word choice, and I really like her use of ellipses at the beginning and end of her paragraph. She used first person to write her creative story. It was kind of a sad story, so I hope it has a happy ending. I'm not sure if she was writing a fictional story or not, but either way, her writing style is exquisite for someone so young.

Cade is a fourth grader. He wrote about his favorite hobby. There were some spelling and grammar issues, but it was not bad for someone of his age. His favorite hobby was football, and a lot of his family is interested in football. I told him about my love for football, and how I am involved in the marching band at South.

Riley is a 4th grader in Mrs. Garcia's class in Manitioba, Canada. In his classroom they used Skype to learn about New Orleans. They learned a little bit about the hurricane and a lot about Mardi Gras. This one was really interesting because it showed how a class was not only making use of blogging, but also of Skype. He lives in Canada so they used Skype to see and learn about another part of the world.

5TG10 VR is a student in Mrs. T. G.'s 5th grade class in Iowa. They student wrote about how his class did a book exchange, and he/she got The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. He/she really seemed to enjoy the book exchange, as well as the book, and I think it's great that his/her classroom has a book exchange so the kids will learn about books they may have never heard of before. This also creates a sort of reading and learning network between the students where they can share their love of reading with other students. He/she also asked what the reader of his/her blog what book they thought was the best. I told him/her that my favorite books used to be the Nancy Drew series.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog Post 5

Consumed by Technology

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He has won many awards for his work with technology, and he wrote the book, What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media. He is widely known for his expertise in the issues of school technology leadership.

In, Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?, he makes great use of sarcasm to convey his point that technology is important. At the very end, if the reader has not caught on, he shocks them by revealing that he teaches all of his students about technology, and he thinks they will have an advantage because of this knowledge. I believe he is right. The "cons" of having children so technologically savvy are definitely outweighed by the pros, and if these children are guided by their parents, teachers, etc. then there are virtually no cons. To make technology useful for children, we need to be familiar with it so we can guide them down the right path.


In The iSchool Initiative and Zeitgeist Young Mind's Entry, Travis Allen argues for the use of more technology in schools. He claims by using an iTouch, education costs can be greatly reduced. There are various apps that the iTouch already has that could replace items used in most schools such as: Email, Chemical Touch, U.S. Constitution, WorldWiki, U.S.A. Presidents, Star Walk, Formulae, Recorder, Scientific Calculator, Graphing Calculator, Notes, Calender, Classics, and iHomework. There would be limited internet on these devices so they will only be used for educational purposes. This would create massive savings, while also helping to save the environment since there will be no waste of paper.

This is definitely an innovative idea. I think there are pros and cons to this idea. I personally like having books and notes that I can physically touch and read, but having all of this conveniently in one place would be amazing. I know that my back has suffered from carrying around backpacks full of massive books that I never even use in class, and I know I am not the only one. In the second video, there was a quote from CNN that said "... Travis Allen started a revolution." He has definitely done just that, and I hope he succeeds because this really is completely integrating technology into the students' lives.

Virtual Choir

Virtual Choir by Eric Whitacre is truly breath taking. It is amazing how these people never met but created something so beautiful. I have to imagine it took a lot of hard work to make this work, but I think it was worth it. We've been reading, watching, and hearing different ways to use technology in education, but technology can also be used for art like this. I think this is a wonderful use for technology. It reminds me of how the students, from one of the links we were required to look at, took a story and recorded it in pieces and all out of order. Then they were able to piece it back together using technology and make it sound like it was recorded all at once. This video just shows you how people from all over the world can be linked through technology and a love of music.

Teaching in the 21st Century

In Teaching in the 21st Century, Kevin Roberts discusses what it means to teach in the 21st century. It means being the filter of the students' knowledge, rather than the main source. It means teaching skills, rather than facts for them to memorize. It means engaging the students, rather than entertaining them. Basically, it means learning how to integrate technology effectively into the classroom. The children we will one day be teaching will have never known a world without technology. It will consume everything they do so it is our job to help them learn how to use it effectively. We have to be there, knowing what we are doing, to guide them through the process and to use technology to teach them lessons in school as well as about life.

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets has a variety of reading resources available, and it is almost an overwhelming amount of information. They offer help on how to teach reading, on how to help students who are struggling, topics for reading, and so much more. The resources for helping struggling students are definitely my favorite. One of the biggest fears for me, and probably most people, is failing to be able to reach a student. This website offers links on why they struggle and how you can target the problem.

They also offer videos and podcasts. They have interviews with authors and experts, and they offer videos from classrooms. I like the videos of the authors because you could watch them before reading their book. I also like that they include various lists of books that are recommended for children. Educators should be able to guide a student to something that they are suited to read, and these lists are definitely a big help.

Project 9a - Timetoast

The Birth of a Family

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Project 6 - My Sentence Video

Blog Post 4

Podcast Symbol

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom by Joe Dale names various benefits of podcasting. The students of today have never lived in a world without technology. They use technology every day, and it consumes their free time. By using podcasts, teachers are expanding their teaching methods, and they are making the student’s learning experience more enjoyable. Also, say a student has to miss class for some reason. They do not have to worry about the information they missed because it will be available for them in a podcast. These podcasts would also be there to help them review for tests. Then there are students’ podcasts. When students make podcasts they are using project based learning. This requires them to actually learn the skills of making a podcast instead of just memorizing facts that are given to them. The students also get a more enriched learning experience when they use podcasts to role play.

Podcasting with First Grade

Podcasting with First Grade is a great way to motivate the students. This article pointed out that even younger students will get something from this experience, and they are especially excited when they get comments from people or teachers around the world. In this example, the first graders read a book as a class and made their podcast like an interview between the two main characters. Even some of the students who were normally shy started to open up and gain confidence. This project was great for the first graders because it helped them with many skills such as: speech, listening, comprehension, and technology. There are so many skills that can be learned through podcasting, even at this young age, that I was unaware of until I read this article.


Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting discusses using podcasting as a tool for learning a foreign language. When learning another language, you have to hear not only the word by itself, but you also need to hear it in context to fully understand it. In this case, they used the podcast to tell the story of Purim. The kids had to write a script, and then piece back together everyone's sentences to form the whole story. This wasn't necessarily about learning to make a podcast, but rather learning a language. The podcast was just a tool to engage the students and enhance their learning experience. This is yet another use of podcasts that I hadn't thought of before.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blog Post 3

Child Clicking on Learn

Adaptive Technologies

Technology in Special Education is so inspiring. This video shows various students with special needs, and how they are each using technology to better their learning experience. The fact that they have this technology helps them participate in class, build relationships, and make connections. The teacher’s use of technology grabs the students’ attention so they are interested in what is going on, and they are eager to work. This teacher is teaching students the value of technology, and how they can use it. Her vision is to teach them about new technology so they can use those skills in their future and in their work experiences.

Technology can be integrated into the classroom in many ways. One student, Corbin, was unable to read on his own, but since he had iPod touch audio books, he was able to participate in silent reading. Two other students, Chris and Sherae, had computers so they could more easily speak to people. Then Sean used his computer because he had trouble seeing small print and writing; however, he could magnify the screen on his computer, and he had no trouble writing on his computer. Because of technology, these students with special needs are getting the learning experience they deserve. They are actually learning and are engaged throughout the class.

After watching, How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism, I went to Apple Apps and found an app that I would use in a classroom with students who have special needs. On this site they have a whole section of apps just to help those who have special needs. I found an app called Speak It! The type the words the want said, and the app says the words out loud. This is a great tool for students with special needs because if they are not able to talk, this gives them a voice. It also makes it easier for them to interact in the classroom.

Social Media Count

The Social Media Count by Gary Hayes is mind boggling. This count shows the great extent at which people around the world are using technology. If the whole world is using technology at this rate, then why are teachers not realizing the importance? Some people may just be stuck in their old ways, but technology must be incorporate into education if we are to prepare our students for their future.

We may not have any say over what other teachers do, but we, as future educators, need to educate ourselves about technology. We also need to educate ourselves on its importance, and that is what this class is all about. Some people do not get the great opportunity that we are getting by taking this class, and we must take advantage of it. We cannot fight technology. We must work with it. This requires us to learn like we will one day expect our students to. We must welcome technology with open arms and take full advantage of all it has to offer.

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

In A Vision for Students Today, Michael Wesch asked 200 students what it was like to be a student today. There were 367 edits made to this document by the students. They talk about how their classes made them feel. The average class size, they said, was 115, and only a small portion of the teachers would know them by name. They also talk about the money they spend on books they never use, the amount of reading they do that is relevant, and the amount of reading they actually even do. They also talked about how they spend their day sleeping, watching tv, going online, listening to music, talking on the phone, going to class, eating, working, and studying. At the end of the day they have 26.5 hours worth of stuff and only 24 hours to complete it in.

Students use technology to make learning easier and more fun. Teachers have to be able to connect with their students and provide a productive learning environment, and this connection will have to come from technology. Making students buy hundreds of dollars worth of books that they never use and giving them reading assignments that aren't even relevant, is not being productive. We need to integrate technology and engage the students.

C4T 1 - Arvind S. Grover

Arvind S. Grover

Arvind S. Grover is doing some amazing things in the world of education. He is the Dean of Faculty at a school in New York that is trying to add a high school over the next few years. At this school they are working towards modern classes with modern teachers. There will be fewer classes per day, but they will be for a longer time period with no academic classes following each other. The first class of the day will be fitness, and lunch will be an hour long and managed mostly by students. My favorite thing was that Wednesdays would be a lab day where the students will be able to take trips, do work in the community, or have extra study time. I would have loved a high school like this. This way of learning is so innovative and should be admired, as I hope it is.

He also posted a picture about raising awareness of racist costumes during Halloween. This poster was designed by Students Teaching About Racism in Society. I have actually seen this picture all over the internet. He also mentions the use of provocative costumes by women. This subjects women to judgement by those around them. Women should have more respect for themselves, and they do not need to subject themselves to this judgement.

Project 5

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blog Post 2

Technology & Learning

Did You know? 3.0 - A John Strange 2012 Version

Did You Know - by John Strange - January 12 Version, presents various facts about technology. I think this was done to shock us into realizing, if we did not already, how important technology is in this world. He also presented some facts about how India and China are rising up in the world. There are more honor students in India than there are in the United States, and there will soon be more Chinese people who speak English than there will be native English speakers.

It is astonishing, in just one little minute, how many Youtube videos are watched and posted, and how many searches are done in Google. That's not even mentioning how many SMS messages were sent in that minute, which is also extremely astonishing. All of these facts, are here to provide us with an understanding that technology is important for our future and the futures of the children that we will one day teach. Dr. Strange stated that we do not know the top jobs ten years from now because they will be using technologies that do not even exist yet. This fact alone should shock everyone who watched this video, into realizing that we all need to keep up with what is going on in the technology world.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle Wakes by Matthew Needleman, uses the familiar story of Rip van Winkle who slept for 100 years. He sets it in a bit more modern time to where Mr. Winkle wakes up in our present. Mr Winkle is distressed to see that businesses and hospitals are using all this technology stuff that he does not understand. Then he decides to go into a school, and he likes it there because there is none of that technology stuff. He stays there for the rest of the day, and he only sees one computer that is dusty and looks like it is barely used. He leaves the school happy, thinking how wonderful it is that even after 100 hundred years some things have stayed the same.

This is used to illustrate the great injustice being done to the children in today's schools. Technology is important in today's world. He showed businesses and hospitals using it, while the school only had one old, dusty computer. If technology is so important everywhere else in the world, then why are students being denied it? The answer I believe to be true is, the importance of technology is not recognized, and we must make it recognized when we are educators.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity, and after watching this, I believe he is right. He claims that all children have some sort of talent, and we ignore them because they are not "useful." Creativity gives children the outlet they need to not worry about being wrong because if they are always worrying about being wrong then they will never come up with anything original. He also makes a point of saying that school is uses the hierarchy it does for two reasons. The first is that the most "useful" subjects for work are on top, and the second reason is that it is designed for university entrance.

We cannot go on teaching our students this way. Our job should be to encourage creativity and use it wisely. He tells an amazing story about Gillian Lynne. Her teachers thought she had some sort of learning disorder, and when she was taken to a doctor, he told her mother that she was just a dancer. She thinks by moving, by dancing. She could have just been given pills, but instead she was nurtured and became an amazing choreographer. That story is what I think this whole video is about. Learning can be in many forms, and art should be one of them.

A Vision for 21st Century Learning

A Vision for 21st Century Learning argues that our world is composed of technology, and our schools should utilize this. Kids are still learning by listening to lectures, passively, and memorizing facts with no context. They want to change the way kids learn by turning a lesson, say about ancient Rome, into a video game where they can learn by interaction. I think this is the only way for children to truly learn. Otherwise it's just memorization, and as Dr. Strange likes to call it "burp back education." This type of learning is unacceptable because, essentially, it is not learning.

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts by Vicki Davis gives us a view into her classroom. She is a teacher and IT Director, but she is a full time teacher, which is her main focus. However, she integrates her IT skills into her classroom. She states that if you only focus on the pencil and the paper then you are only setting it up to where certain kids will succeed. If technology is integrated then you open up a whole other way of learning that more kids will be able to succeed in.

The way to succeed in integrating technology is by looking at the interests and strengths of the students and accomplishing the curriculum but customizing it according to the group of students that you have. This is exactly what Vicki Davis does in her classroom. She is teaching them how to learn. If she says a word that the students do not know, they are expected to look it up. Once again, she is teaching them to learn. She also has students teaching, and she is even learning some new things from the kids. This way the students actually learn and gain empowerment, and isn't this what we want for our students?

Project 2 - Wordle

Wordle of blog post one

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blog Post 1

About Me

I was born on June 17, 1992, and I have two brothers and one sister. I am the youngest; they are 15 years older, 12 years older, and 10 years older than I am. I lived in Mobile until I was 13 then I moved to Grand Bay until I was 19. Despite living in Grand Bay, I went to Davidson High School. We've had many animals including chickens, a horse, two goats, two pigs, nine dogs, a rabbit, and a cat, but we currently only have three chickens, a goat, a pig, four dogs, and a cat. As you can tell, we really love animals at my house, or at least, I do. In my apartment, however, I can only keep my cat. A few other things I love are dance, volleyball, cheerleading, softball, color guard, soccer, and making crafty things. Although, I no longer dance, play volleyball, do cheerleading, play softball, or play soccer for a team anymore, but I am in the South Alabama Jaguar Marching Band Color Guard.

When I was younger I didn't really dream about being a teacher, but my Mom was a teacher so I was around it all the time. She even used to let me help her set up her classroom, decorate boards, and grade simple things. Once I got a little bit older I realized how much I loved helping her with these things and how much I wanted to be like her. She also went to South Alabama so I guess in a way, I'm pretty much just following in her foot steps, but I love children and teaching so it's an ideal choice for me. 

Randy Pausch on Time Management

I didn't know anything about Randy Pausch when I first watched this video, but this video perked my interest so I found out that he actually had passed away in July of 2008 from pancreatic cancer which is depressing for obvious reasons but also because he will no longer be around to share his wisdom and experience. I learned a lot from his video, Randy Pausch on Time Management. He gives four questions you should ask yourself when thinking about a task at hand, and he discusses doing things right versus doing the right things. I also learned to plan at multiple levels. You must have a plan for the day, the week, and the semester. As long as you have this plan, you can change it as you go. And finally, I learned some things about to do lists. To do lists requiring breaking things down into small steps, and doing the thing you least want to, first. All in all this was a very helpful video on time management.