Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blog Post #14

tech in the classroom
This is an absolutely wonderful blog! Jose Picard is so passionate and is great at sharing information that is helpful to a teacher. He practices what he preaches! The long list of teacher blog is something that I can use now and in the future. I have already saved this site to my PLN.
I only wish I had learned about it sooner.
I enjoyed the tips for using technology in the classroom. It puts everything that I have learned in EDM 310 into perspective. He suggests to use streaming video. He also likes to use music in his classroom. It could definitely be a motivating factor to most students. They almost all have an ipad and begin listening at 3:00. Teleconferencing is a tool that can be used in the classroom, although I had not thought of it before in that particular way. It is important to use the whiteboard effectively. That is great advice. Take time to learn about it and it will benefit you and your students. Blogs are great. They can be readily and easily used in a classroom. I have learned about many great examples of blogging this semester. Social networking in a classroom is intimidating to a lot of teachers. Why not use something your students know very well? It can enhance learning. There are so many internet tool available to a teacher that are there for the taking. Look for them and use them. That is such good advice. Making the most of student gadgets is a great suggestion. Watching the video, I kept asking myself "Why not?". I don't really have any excuse for not using technology in the classroom now that I have finished EDM 310. Thank you EDM 310. I will be using technology in my classroom.

C4K Summary Post- November

Behyan- I commented on Behyan's post. It was a very nice Halloween story assigned by Mrs. Yollis.
It was a story with monsters, kids, and candy. He had great details and a nice picture.
I commented about his writing and posted a video to him from youtube. I'm sure he would
like it. I complimented him on his writing and thanked him for sharing.

MATEO- Mateo live in England and also wrote a story. It was about his favorite rugby team.
It was colorful and nice. I told him I didn't know much about rugby but that I enjoy
watching sports. He did a nice job on his blog post and I am happy to see a young person
having enthusiasm in a blog post.
rugby player

C4T #4 November Summary post

ecard of a snowman

I visited a very cool site by Richard Byrne. This guy is on top of things. He posts often and provides great information for teachers. Plus, it's free! My first visit was about using a special application for powerpoint that would be helpful to students and teachers. I thanked him for the timely information. Especially since I know how much powerpoint is used in schools. He also provides 4 videos for viewing with each blog post. These are very interesting and I also thank him for sharing so much good information.

My second visit to Free Tech 4 Teachers was about allowing your students to write Christmas cards and sending them out over the internet. He teaches about a site called Animoto for Education. This information makes putting technology into a classroom very easy. I commented on his information and great idea. I also watched the 4 videos he recommended.

This is a great site that I will refer to often.

Final Report on PLN

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This is my final report on my Personal Learning Network. My PLN has been very helpful to me and will continue to be in the future. I like how it keeps my favorite websites organized and it is very easy to use. My PLN has definitely changed since my first report. it just keeps getting better.
Symbaloo is a great site and I am so happy to have learned about it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Special Assignment- I Got the Metaphor

I read a great working definition of a metaphor by Chris Jones. He found me on Twitter after a lively discussion about metaphors. Here it is.

A metaphor is a mental/linguistic technique that helps us understand
a complex concept by relating it to our more concrete, observable
experiences. By comparing two discreet ideas, we explore
similarities and can infer logical relationships.

There are many examples of metaphors in literature. One of the best examples is in Shakespeare's
play- As You Like It. One of the lines in the play is very famous. I'm sure you have probably heard it before. "All the world's a stage and men and women merely players." It is actually an extended metaphor in which the world is a stage for all to view and enjoy. Men and women are the subordinate players on the stage. I could give many more examples.

I heard a metaphor in Mass this morning. I thought about this EDM 310 assignment in church! In the reading from Ezekial, the love of God is compared to the love that a shepherd has for his sheep.That is how the shepherd will do anything to protect and care for his sheep. How he will go find his lost sheep. Great metaphor!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Blog post #13- My Teacher is an APP

The article began by showing how two children in the same family, Allison and Noah, are handling their on-line classes. These two had very different approaches and will have different outcomes.
Noah is not taking it seriously and falls into all the traps that an on-line class provides.
Allison, on the other hand, is doing well because of her self-discipline and obvious maturity.
The article definitely surprised me when it told of how many children are involved in on-line learning in high school and even younger. The numbers were definitely higher than I expected.
The article provokes thought about on-line classes when it states statistics about how those in on-line classes do on standardized tests. Also, when learning needs to take place with a group or conversation, will these students be prepared? Learning a new lesson for an on-line high school student is just a click away. Do we really want a "click and learn" system? I don't. I am definitely opposed to full time on-line learning in high school and below. I think there should be a happy medium for those that wish to have that opportunity.
teacher appI am taking an on-line class right now. I would say that I definitely miss the human interaction. On-line classes require more self-discipline than regular classes. Are high schoolers really ready for that? Some, maybe, but not everyone can do it.The jury is still out.
On-line classes are only as good as your effort. You can't and never will be able to do this alone.
I'm someone who believes in moderation of almost everything. I believe that for on-line classes and technology in schools. Nothing is good when it is overdone.
It was a great article and expanded my knowledge. Thank you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

C4K #10- Mrs. Yollis' Class Blog

yollis blog page     Mrs. Yollis' class blog is such an inspiration. I've been thinking about a class blog for my future classroom and have found a fantastic resource. Mrs. Yollis is so impressive with her desire to be and create lifelong learners. The world is her classroom. She has such great information on the blog for her students and the visitors.
      This third grade blog has had more than 72,000 visitors which is more than the EDM class blog. We just passed 50,000. This is amazing! All of the students seem to love everything about blogging and judging from the comments, the parents do too. It is so great how she connects with people in her school,neighborhood,city, state, and on the other side of the world in another hemisphere and time zone.
      Mrs. Yollis holds her students to a very high standard and extends that standard to all visitors. WOW! Mrs. Yollis also makes it look so easy because she has taken the time to educate herself about all aspects of blogging. This is the best blog I have visited this semester. I plan on visiting again to learn from Mrs. Yollis and her students. Thank you for the assignment.

Progress Report on Final Project

talk show set

The September Group has decided on a final project. We are currently gathering information and ideas for our project.

We will be creating a "talk show" with a host, guest, and music.   Darrius will be using his musical talent. Brianne and I want to have a  fake commercial and a top 10 list. This will all be related to EDM 310. We all  like the idea and plan on meeting as much as possible to produce a quality product.
We will be using a lot of technology and our creative minds. This makes a good  combination.

Blog Post #12 -Doing the Assignment

I learned a lot about the Voice Thread through this assignment.The tutorials are very well done. The voice thread is very easy and fun to use. It has many features that can enhance a lesson through technology. There are so many ways to comment and there are so many ways to create a good voice thread. Anytime a tool like this is used, it enhances learning.

VT also has negative aspects. Not being able to use youtube is a definite negative point because people are so familiar with it and use it all the time. There are so many thought provoking videos on youtube. I wanted to use one. Maybe in the future, this will be possible.

I chose a picture from Google images that I could use in the study of Alabama History. This is a picture that can excite students about the information they will be receiving in the next chapter.

I enjoy using the voicethread. It is a nice change of pace.

Blog Post #12- My Idea for an Assignment

     For this assignment you will learn about the Voice Thread. It is widely used in educational settings.  Please go to Voice Thread and register for an account.  It is free.
voicethreadlogoExplore the site on your own if you wish. Watch the Tutorial. It's 15-20 minutes and very worth your time.Explore the public gallery of voicethreads. Some are funny.Some are unusual. Enjoy them.

Take some time to think about a voicethread that you could use in your future classroom. Then, create it. It can be as many slides as you want or just one. You may include video or pictures.Remember, it's your voice thread.

 WARNING: Youtube cannot be used

Embed your VT to your blog.

Be the first to comment on your  own Voice Thread.

Then, Write a Quality Blog Post  about what you learned. Please include the positive and negative aspects of VT, the reason you chose your picture/video, and if you can see yourself using this tool in the classroom.

Next week in C4C, look for the VT of the classmate to whom you have been assigned. Participate in the VT of your classmate. As usual, you must also comment, in writing ,to the blog post.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Project 14. Skype interview

Blog Post #11

Ms. Cassidy

     Ms. Cassidy is a great teacher.She has good support regarding technology at her school, but she is the driving force behind its use in her classroom. Ultimately it is up to the teacher. She says that if you are not using technology in the classroom that you are "handicapping" your students. Good word. Very true. Ms. Cassidy teaches first grade. I wonder how much the second grade teachers use technology?

     Ms. Cassidy has a classroom blog. I would like to have a blog in my classroom some day. She takes all of the necessary precautions related to identity. Her students do not use their last names and pictures are used very carefully. I will problem encounter resistance when I try to set up a blog. With proper communication, common sense, and a true desire to help students and parents, I can do it.

     I like that Ms. Cassidy found another blogging classroom in which students comment to each other. It is always beneficial to find a classroom with something in common. It can even be a classroom on the other side of the world! This is great for the whole process. It is probably not very hard to find one, either!

     I like how Ms.Cassidy's blog serves as an on-line portfolio for her students and their parents to enjoy.
I wasn't shocked that the parents loved to see their child's work on line. This benefits the teacher, parents, and students.

     Ms. Cassidy stated that "kids and technology go hand in hand." She is so right. Kids are using technology more and more at younger and younger ages. She knows this and uses it to enhance the learning environment.  I'm still a little curious about how the parents reacted to their children bringing a Nintendo DS to school.
nintendo dsI have two children with a NintendoDS and it would take a special teacher and very good reason for me to like this idea.

     Ms. Cassidy uses on-line games to help her students with certain concepts. She says she has a problem with her students trying to go to games that they want to play for fun, rather than one with an educational purpose.I can see how tempting this could be for a young person. It is good to be aware of this and make some proactive rules about it. I will use on-line games in my classroom.

     Ms. Cassidy uses technology in the right way. She is really educating               her students. I have learned a lot from her.



C4K Summary post -October

Here is my Comment for Kid summary for October. I enjoy commenting on kids' blogs. I always try to make their day.

Jordan Jordan did a rugby animation. It was very good. It was colorful and cute. I told him so. I told him I don't know much about rugby but it was nice to watch his animation. His favorite team is from France. From such a young child, I was impressed with the teacher for encouraging the use of this technology.

Krishant and Sienna(joint post) Krishant and Sienna are a 2nd and 3rd grader that participated in a speach contest. Krishant got second place and Sienna got third place. I watched the speaches and they both did a great job. I was very impressed. Krishant performed "Steve the Superhero" which had hand motions and cute expressions.Here is a link to the story.It is about a boy who smells bad after a day of athletics. Sienna's poem was about worms. In fact, it was entitled "Worms". She did a great job and was very cute. I told her that she deserves a delicious gummi worm.
Martha Martha is an 8th grader in New York. She is new at blogging. One of her posts was "I am writing on my blog. the end" I decided it was important to encourage her on her post of brainstorming about music. She did a good job and it was colorful and nice. I talked to her about music.

roachMs Gardner post 11 This was a post about roaches. Interesting facts were given about roaches like their ability to live without a head and their survival through the ages. There was a cute drawing of a roach. I commented about the drawing and that it would make me hesitate before squashing it. I enjoyed the facts and provided encouragement to the students on a job well done. I ended by saying that the earth will never be rid of roaches. It was a very good and cute post.

I always put a lot of thought into my comments for kids. If my own children had a blog, I would want people to comment as I do. I am following the Golden Rule.

Thank you for the opportunity.

Going to Bat for my People in EDM 310

First of all, if you got the metaphor in "Don't Bring your Pencils Home" by Tom Johnson, congratulations. Well done. Enjoy your gift. I will enjoy mine.

woman hitting baseball
If you didn't get the metaphor this semester or anytime in the past, this is for YOU, my dear people.

 Here are some reasons,I think, students swung and missed on this one.

1) Students were in the on-deck circle, all alone: Most students probably read this post in isolation. That is, they read it alone somewhere without anyone to talk to about it. They did not engage in conversation about what they had read. Their thinking was narrowed because of this.

2) Students were expecting a fastball and got as curve ball on the outside corner: After many weeks of watching videos and reading articles that called for literal translation, they were expecting it to be like that again. Many (6) weeks have passed since the Scott McLeod article. I think this was a big factor. It was all about the expectations for some.

3) Students went to the game and it started to rain after the first inning: The metaphor just wasn't very good. I think the author is an excellent writer. I love his word choice and his smoothness. He is very talented.I could read his stuff all day long! But the  metaphor is weak, in my opinion. Usually a metaphor provides a grand image and it's easy to recognize. A weak metaphor that runs that long is sometimes hard to distinguish. There is no larger image in this post, only a story that creates an interesting scene and wonderful characters.
So, if you take the word pencils out of this post and replace it with paperclips, will the story still work? Will the metaphor work? What if we put in the word puppy?  Most metaphors are much stronger than this one.

If a student missed the metaphor in the assignment, read it again, and still didn't understand, it is a weak metaphor.

4) Students thought they saw a triple play: Many students probably considered the story ridiculous and rare for real life ,but not completely out of the realm of possibilities. That is, as wrong as the story was, they thought it could actually  happen. Students based their thinking on experience. Many of these students were in high school just a few years ago, taking standardized tests.How many of them could tell you a rule that they considered absolutely ridiculous? Probably all of them. Let's face it. The educational system is often portrayed negatively and many have had negative experiences with rules. Has anyone watched John Stossel "Stupid in America?" I have.

5) Students got a Coke at the concession but always thought it was a Pepsi: The writer himself describes his post as a satirical story. There are other elements of literature in this story . Maybe a student saw hyperbole? figurative language? symbolism?  Just not the metaphor.

A good manager will always stand up for her players.

I hope I got a good  hit  for the team  in EDM 310.                  Game Over.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blog Post #10

candle litDo We Teach or Do We Educate?
Why did I become a teacher and why am I renewing my certificate? It's very simple. I made a decision to study education in 1984 because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people. I felt like I had the ability help children learn, grow in confidence, and become good citizens. I absolutely felt it was "my calling." I am renewing my certificate after being out of the classroom for 17 years for exactly the same reasons. The fire to teach was never completely extinguished and has recently been "fanned" through my experience in recertification. That is, I want to make a difference in the lives of young people through example, hard work, determination, and kindness.
 I'm sure that there will be some "teaching" in my classroom but hopefully it will be overwhelmed by "education." That is, I will take responsibility for my students and inspire them to "want to learn." I will never give up on any student. I will set high goals and be creative with the process of education. I will change lessons or even myself to better educate my students. I will use technology and keep lessons fun and engaging. I personally can't wait to return to the classroom in order to provide some "education."

pencilsDon't Let Your Students Take Their pencils Home!
     I can picture Tom Johnson throwing his hands into the air saying, "Pencils? Really?" At least that is what he should've done. This satirical story revolves around the narrow-minded thinking that teachers can get caught up in. Teachers sometimes lose sight of their purpose. This post is  embedded with fictional hyperbole to show how ridiculous it is when small bits of information can be used and overblown. This ultimately hurts students and the educational process. It reminds me to keep perspective , reason, and common sense in the classroom and to avoid getting bogged down by the bureaucracy of test scores and small things like pencils and many, many other things that can cloud the mind and purpose of a teacher.
pencils     The administrator in this post was "accepting the path" that had been laid out for her and her students.
The teacher, on the other hand, was keeping his mind open (and trying to reopen hers) to the real goal of education.
     After exploring the site, I realized that "pencils" are a symbol of all the things that we are not letting our children use and explore. Technology is one thing that has  so much misinformation surrounding it. The misinformation is used to squelch its use.
     This was clever post and very thought provoking.

C4T #3 Royan Lee: The Spicy Learning Blog

Song Collaboration
gran torino movie poster     This post by Royan Lee is a video that he embedded to his blog about how Clint Eastwood and a songwriter collaborated across continents for a song in the movie It's a great video and was enjoyable to watch. Clint Eastwood sent a few piano notes to a songwriter and he developed the notes and created a wonderful song for the movie. The collaboration was through technology and eventually in person. It is inspiring to watch two masters of a trade work together for a common purpose.
     I commented to Mr. Lee on the enjoyment of the video and thanked him for sharing it with his blog visitors.
I told him I enjoyed watching the collaboration and that it was inspiring. He caused me to watch the movie Gran Torino and have insight into the song at the end.

BYOD: Bring Your Own Device
     This post gives teachers some valuable information if one is considering doing BYOD. Mr. Lee actually provides a list of reasons not to do it which in turn helps teachers to be prepared for all of the misguided people and misinformation about such a program. For example, he discusses the disparity that will exist when students start bringing things from home. He tells how many members of a school staff will not understand how the technology will benefit the learning experience and how there are such rigid policies surrounding technologies. It's a great list that allows teachers to go in with their "eyes wide open" to the obstacles that exist in a program like BYOD.
BYOD     I commented to Mr. Lee that his list is great and very beneficial. I also told him that  many of those same obstacles would exist if students were bringing their dog (D) to school! The misconceptions about educational technology has closed the  minds of adminstrators . I told him the list is very helpful and provides the necessary forethought when implementing BYOD in your classroom. I also told him that the list contains things  can definitely be changed through people like him who are resolved to make a difference through technology.
      I enjoyed the post.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Blog Post #9

Joe McClung: First Year Reflection
I found the reflections for this assignment very intriguing. It is very interesting to read an honest reflection of a first and second year of teaching.
     Mr. McClung cites that in his first year he realizes that it's "not about me anymore." Yes, indeed. It will never and should never be about the teacher. Education is student centered in the best case scenario. You must divorce yourself from all of those selfish tendencies and realize that this is your chance to make a difference in a student's life.
      Mr. McClung discusses the need for flexibility. This is probably one of the hardest and yet very necessary attitudes to learn in the first year of teaching. I can remember telling my principal back in 1988-89, that I (21 years old) disliked all "of the interruptions to my lessons." Things definitely do not go as planned sometimes........but, that's okay! Being flexible is a very important skill/attitude to acquire. Students always benefit from a flexible teacher.
     Communication is a skill necessary for a successful school year. It takes practice to communicate properly and resolve issues.  Most people know the value of communication but avoid difficult conversations for many reasons. When people communicate for a positive outcome or change, it is usually worth it. This is a great lesson for teachers.
     Be reasonable. Oh, yes. I couldn't have said it better myself. Two simple words that teachers forget about sometimes. I can remember in my first year of teaching and I had really "piled on" the homework. Kids were coming to school crying and complaining. I was not being reasonable. Four hours of homework? Forgive me!
I made reasonable changes and everyone was happy. If a teacher is reasonable then frustrations will remain low and it produces better attitudes and a more positive learning environment.
     Mr. Mcclung reminds us to not be afraid of technology. Technology is essential to learning because it is everywhere in our society. I am not as afraid of technology as I used to be. Use the tools of technology to enhance learning and your students will thrive.
     Getting to know students should be a top priority for teachers. Taking time to listen and talk to students will only make the teaching and learning experience more rewarding. A former student of mine is actually taking EDM 310 this semester. I remember getting to know her (Robin Hendricks) and her family. We recently "caught up" in the lab and it was a great trip down memory lane.
teacher crying     Never stop learning. If a teacher decides to only focus on teaching and forget about learning herself, then she will become stagnant and boring. You owe it to your students to be the best teacher you can be and learn as much as you can for them.
      On the last day of school in May of 1989 , which was the end of my first year of teaching, I can remember crying and crying and crying. I cried for my students that I had grown to love so much and I cried for myself in happiness and relief.  I had made it through the school year very successfully and had learned so very much. You never forget your first class. Here's an interesting link to another reflecting teacher. First year blog
Second Year Reflection
     Mr. McClung reminds us to adapt. That is, change yourself or your lesson to meet the needs of your students. A good teacher does this naturally through knowledge and experience. "Change is good," as he says, "and it makes us better." That should be on a poster in every classroom!
     Finding your school mom is great advice. These school moms can provide the necessary support and information that is very important to you. You should always appreciate and respect them, as well. I located a "class mom" every year when I was teaching. Some of my "class moms" are still my friends, today!
path     Try not to be a control freak. A teacher that tries to control everything stifles learning. Students begin to narrow their thinking  when control is an issue. That is, students will "burp things back" rather than expand their ideas and explore.
     Don't lose sight of what's important. Never! Teachers should remind themselves everyday that the reason they are teaching is.......students. You just can't do it without them. Students should be the top priority.When this happens students are very aware of it and feel important. Students will strive to please the teacher that has made him/her feel valued. Teachers must stay on the right path. Here's a second year teacher's blog. Second year blog
I really enjoyed reading these reflections. Thanks for the assignment.

Project #13 Smartboard instruction

Friday, October 14, 2011

Project #12 Book Trailer

Blog Post #8

man dreaming

This is How We Dream
- By Richard Miller
     The title of this video is very appropriate. Richard Miller is dreaming about a world of integrated technology that enhances reading and writing for everyone.  He discusses the incremental and fundamental changes that have happened or will happen regarding reading and writing. 
     For example, one incremental change has been the ability to collaborate through technology with people around the world. People are getting more and more comfortable with this ability. As the comfort level increases, so will its use and then new ideas will spring forth. One fundamental change deals with our thinking. It is sometimes our thinking that is actually holding us back rather than the actual ability to do something. Fundamental changes take time, effort, and persistence. When we are able to share our ideas freely then we are able to share our dreams for the future. Richard Miller's language of how we can "collect the threads of experience and weave them together" is inspiring.
     Am I prepared to write in multimedia? I am not totally prepared, but the knowledge I am attaining in EDM 310 is definitely helping me to reach that goal. Every new concept that I learn and practice is making me more and more comfortable with the vast amount of knowledge that is available to me. 
     Will my students be able to do this? My future students will be so ready to do this type of activity. That is, an assignment that incorporated multimedia techniques. They are witnessing this type of activity very regularly and would probably enjoy the challenge of doing it themselves.

Carly Pugh's Blog Post
     Carly employs some multimedia techniques thoroughly and thoughtfully in her blog post.  All of her time, effort, and technical skills paid off with an excellent product. The links are wonderful and weave together very nicely. It is a great example of integrating Youtube videos into a blog. Carly comes very close to being part of Richard Miller's "dream."   I will refer to it often.

Chipper Series and EDM for Dummies
     The primary message of the "Chipper Series" reminds me of Rafe Esquith. That is, "There are no shortcuts." Students often try to take the easy way out or deny the process of learning that goes along with the product.  This video is cute and reminds me to stay the course and enjoy the learning, even though it is very difficult, because it is worth it. 
chipper     I could've starred in "EDM for Dummies." It reminds me that effort, determination, tutorials, and great lab help can alleviate the frustration associated with a difficult class.  That is, you can succeed in EDM 310 with the right outlook and opening your mind to the concepts and opportunities that are given to you. This can lead to a very rewarding learning experience.
     I have an idea for a fun and funny video. I would like to get the students in EDM 310 that are older than 35 and create a video on how to survive this class. I would call it "The Wise Woman's Guide to Surviving EDM 310" or " The Survival Guide for the nontraditional student in EDM 310."

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
brickwall     I wasn't surprised at all that the educational system ranked at the bottom (even below coal mining) in terms of technological integration. A system that is so vast and powerful takes time to change. What other system affects as many people? The changes that are needed are no longer a matter of choice but a matter of time.
Why? Because these changes are happening everywhere else in the world. 
     When we realize and embrace that the bridges that are created, the communities that are formed, and the opportunities that are available through technological integration, then our children and the world will benefit.
     The title of this video is so appropriate. I definitely believe that the educational system is one of the hardest to change because so many minds must be changed.  That is, the entrenched mindset of what "school" is supposed to be. When thinking changes regarding technology,  learning is enhanced and improved. The "product' becomes superior which is really the ultimate goal of education. The brick walls must come down.      

Project #11 My short Movie

Friday, October 7, 2011

PROJECT #10 PLN progress

symbaloo logo

My Wonderful World of Colored Chicklets

     I have taken some time and thoughtfully arranged my connections to people, places, and things into my Symbaloo screen. It is a wonderful way to organize a lot of useful information. Each section of my screen has information that is  helpful to me as I journey back to the classroom. There are many blogs, sites, and videos that I would like to be available to me with just one click and my PLN accomplishes that for me.
     I know that my PLN will evolve as I continue in EDM 310 and my other classes . As I connect to people and information, I now have a wonderful way to keep the connection strong and vibrant. 

Blog Post #7

pausch family

The Last Lecture  by Randy Pausch

     The teaching methods of Randy Pausch are excellent. I enjoyed watching his last lecture and found it to be very powerful. I have learned from him.
     One method of teaching that he advocates is the "head fake." That is, learning something while you think you are learning something else. A talented teacher can do this in the classroom. This will naturally happen throughout life , also, as you reflect on experiences. Randy Pausch's "head fake" at the end of his lecture was fantastic and moved me to tears.
     Another technique, obviously employed in his life and classroom, is fun. Everybody likes to have some fun.Learning that is fun is so memorable and creates the engagement that most teachers desire. It is obvious that his class was very hard, but fun.
     Randy Pausch also had a unique perspective on feedback. He was not afraid of the truth or difficult conversations that could help someone. The feedback that he provided for his students (bar graph) provided an opportunity for self-reflection. This in turn made them learn something about themselves. Wow!
     Randy Pausch also believed in hard work. He expected his students to work hard as well. He definitely did not ask his students to do something he was not willing to do himself. This promotes a great habit and enables students to be prepared for the opportunities that become available. It's a great lesson.
     Randy Pausch focused on others. A teacher is memorable when he or she focuses on students rather than on himself or herself. In fact, a teacher that is able to do this is cherished by students. Randy Pausch's focus was on providing the best opportunities for his students. He was also focused on the process of learning rather than just the product.  This is a great example for all teachers to follow. 
     I reflected on many other things after watching the great lecture. These included loyalty, never giving up, dedication, and apologizing when necessary.
      This last lecture has had a positive impact on me.  Thanks for the assignment!

C4T #3


Willful Blindness by Scott McLeod
     Dr. Mcleod's blog is fantastic. In this post he writes a short letter to educators, parents, community members, and policy makers. He is telling "certain people" that they are willfully turning a blind eye to the changes in the world and that this "blindness" does not mean the changes haven't occurred. It is literary "slap in the face" to those who resist and deny the technological changes in our world. This "blindness" does not trump reality, as he eloquently states.
slap in face     My comment to him was one of gratitude. I thanked him for the "slap in the face" that he has provided to many people through this blog post.  I told him that I could sense his frustration and pictured him with gritted teeth and a pointed finger in someone's chest. I told him that people seem to resist change for many reasons including fear, selfishness, and habit. I told him to rest his hands and be ready to give a lot more slaps.
     He enjoyed my comment and responded to me personally by e-mail. He made my day.

Klout Showdown: Universities v. ed tech tweeps by Scott McLeod

klout logo
    Scott McLeod had fun making a table showing the klout (influence) score of some universities versus individuals in the area of educational technology. Texas A & M has the highest klout score in the table with a 73. Ten individuals listed have nearly the same klout score as that university or higher (71-78).
   I thanked him for teaching me about klout scores. I told him that it is interesting that an individual can rival or surpass the influence of a university through the judicious use of the technology that they profess and possess.
     I told him that those individuals listed in the table should enjoy a steak dinner, sprinkled with a little salt.
I told him I enjoyed the post.

Project #9b Instructional Time Toast: Alabama capitals/capitols

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

C4K Summary post

I already summarized my comments on a previous post for Eric and Mikayla.

I will now summarize my comments for Whitney, Niaviana, and Julia.

ob nurseWhitney:  Whitney is in the eighth grade and wrote a very good bio poem. She wants to grow up to be an OB doctor. She gave me a small window into her life by this bio poem that was very well done.

I told her how much I enjoyed the poem and what a great job she had done on it. I encouraged her to follow her dreams and never give up. I told her that being an OB doctor would be very exciting and she could have a positive impact on many people. I gave her my blog URL and thanked her for the post.
Niaviana:  Naiviana wrote a thank you note to Lucy Buffett for her generous gift of technology. I told Naiviana that I hope she enjoys her ipad and uses wisely. With the right teacher,  it will  enhance her education. I told her she was very lucky.  I also told her that I thought her name was very unique and pretty.

Julia; Julia is a 20 year old girl from Russia. Her post was about all the different places she would like to visit like Australia, Egypt, and Africa.  She couldn't narrow it down to just one place. She chose 10 and gave very good reasons for wanting to visit.She loves fashion and good food. I told her that I liked the list and that I would like to visit Rome.
I told her a little about Mobile and provided the necessary URLs for the assignment. It's cool to be commenting on a blog in Russia.

Blog Post #6

education network

The Networked Student  by Wendy Drexler
     This is a very good video about a class that has no textbook. It could actually be any class.  It tells how connectivism can empower students and strengthen the learning process.  This is done through websites, blogs, podcasts, and itunesU to name a few.  Knowledge is shared and learning opportunities are present through the connections.
     Why do we need teachers? We need teachers even in a connected classroom experience.  Teachers are necessary for guidance, motivation, and help with building the network. EDM 310 is a class just like the video suggests.  This class is connected throughout the world through websites, blogs, podcasts, and twitter. A lot of knowledge is shared in these experiences . We, students, have many learning opportunities and are guided by lab assistants, Dr. Strange, and each other.
     I have a good understanding of the networked student and that will make me a better teacher. I plan on continuing my journey in EDM 310 and use the knowledge for my future classroom. I have already decided that I will have a classroom blog. I'm making decisions, through my experiences in EDM 310, to enhance the education of my students.

PLE of a 7th Grader
      This is a great video by a 7th grader who has knowledge and experience with a PLE. She has created a great network and seems to enjoy using it and helping others as well.
       She tells about blogs, note taking, and the use of glogster. She has the freedom to do what she wants with her PLE. That is, how and when she uses it is her responsibility.  She has a very cool looking PLE and is proud of it.  She especially uses her PLE in science class. I wonder if that is her favorite class?
people connected     My PLN is in the beginning stages. This 7th grader has inspired me to take it seriously and enjoy it. I have made a list and will begin construction of my PLN on symbaloo very soon.  This post was helpful.

Project # 8 The Podcast

Friday, September 23, 2011

C4T #2 Scott McLeod--Dangerously Irrevelant

Schools, Technology, Test scores, and the New York Times     by Scott McLeod

    Mr. McLeod made some great points in his blog. His post is a pushback against an article in the NYT. The article wondered whether investments in educational technology were worth it since standardized test scores weren't showing improvement. 
      makes excellent points and I  hope they were published in a letter to the editor. He emphasizes that technology strives for different outcomes than those of a bubble test.  He talks about he appalling lack of support in technology and lack of teacher training. It is terrible. That is, many teachers have access to great equipment and technologies but do not know how to use them.  Teachers need deep and rich integration training.  Scott says that technology is not used enough and that it is basically ridiculous to judge its effectiveness by a standardized test.  
      Technology is the present and the future.  It is not a fad .It  cannot be ignored   It will not go away . Scott reminds us that change is coming. For many, it already has.
     My comment to his  post was one of complete agreement. I told  him how I was renewing my teaching certificate after 17 years out of the classroom. I told him how easy it would have been to avoid the class on technology and take something else. There needs to be changes at the state level. I told him about a teacher I know that brags about not using her smart board. There is the lack of training he was talking about.
kids with laptops     I told him how I think that teachers really enjoy routine and don't like change. This is a hard mindset to overcome. It can be done but it is going to take some time.

Is this the year?

     Scott Mcleod wrote an open letter to principals and superintendents across the country. He asks them questions regarding this school year.  A principal or superintendent may feel uncomfortable with some of the questions.
     He asks about money being spent on technology, surveying students about communication, critical thinking and even the possibility of an on-line class.  He ends his post with a great admonition. If you don't do it, who will? It is a great post that makes you think about attitudes and the long road ahead.
     My comment on the post was positive. I enjoyed his questions. I told him his writing is so effective because he has a great ability to really make you think and he is not afraid to ask the difficult questions. He's not afraid to make you feel uncomfortable.
     I told him how much I enjoyed the letter and that every principal and superintendent across this country should read it.

Timetoast Project #9a

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blog Post #5

beach scene

1. Don't Teach your Kids this Stuff. Please?   by Scott McLeod

     This blog  made me reflect on my attitude about technology in the classroom.  His sarcasm succeeded in making me think to myself," Wake up. Stop resisting technology." An analogy came to mind as soon as I finished reading the post.
     That is, would a teacher(me) take her students to the beach and not let them in the water for fear of jellyfish or sharks? Everyday? Sometimes? Technology is like a vast ocean that children want to enjoy and explore.  Would you let them in the water or turn them back? They want to get in the water. In fact, they have already been in the water. With common sense safety precautions, technology, just like the beach, can be enjoyed and enhance educational experiences.
Scott McLeod is a professor at the University of Kentucky.  He is in charge of the only center in America dedicated to technology needs in schools. I am fortunate to be commenting on his blog Dangerously Irrelevant in my C4T assignment. He also has a blog called Mind Dump.
ischool logo

2. Travis Allen  and  Zeitgeist

     Travis Allen says that the school system is broken and needs to be fixed.  Where does technology fit when repairing the system?
      Travis Allen talks about his vision of an ischool and exposes how so many things are available right now for students. He wants to change the face of education.
       Travis Allen has a grand vision, bordering on the grandiose. I think he is over doing it a bit.  Technology is not the answer to our educational system failures. It is definitely one part that can enhance and improve the system.
        Do you know what means? In my study of the German language I recognized this word as meaning a "spirit of the times".  That is, zeit means" time" and geist means" ghost". Travis Allen is definitely someone with the spirit of our times, in terms of our digital world. This video reminds me that  the educational system must take time to rethink, rebuild, and retool to better prepare students for the digital world. Students are already a part of a world that is connected through technology. Do you want to take them back in time?

3. Virtual Choir
virtual choir of screens     This was a very cool video to watch. It has 185 people from around the world "coming together" through technology for a common purpose--to sing a beautiful song.  That took some planning! The planning was most definitely made easier by technology. I enjoyed the video very much.

4. Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts
     This video reminds me how readily available information is to people with the click of a button. Someone can find the answer to a question very easily, whenever necessary. My children use "ASK" all the time on the computer and have asked some really great questions. Do children today even know what an encyclopedia is anymore? I don't think so.
     Three words will remain with me from this video. To achieve learning, the lesson must be relevant, challenging, and engaging. That is, with or without technology, those three things will always be very important.
     I want to teach my students relevant material. I want to challenge them.  I want to engage them. I will do this to the best of my ability. How will I decide what is relevant, challenging, and engaging? My students will have an opportunity to tell me and I will use my teacher knowledge. I'm sure technology will be a part of my classroom.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blog Post #4

Eagle's Nest Radio and Class Blog

     This is a great example of using pod casting in the classroom. I'm surprised, a little, at the young age of the students.  It reminds me that technology, like pod casting, can be used all along the educational system..The students definitely look happy in all of the activities that they are involved in.  This, to me, is the best advertisement for implementing pod casting in the classroom.  I'm sure they are learning, as well, which makes it even better. This is a great resource for teachers who want to see pod casting in action.
children pod casting

Benefits of Pod Casting in the Classroom by Joe Dale

     There are so many benefits to pod casting in the classroom. This video and site helps to emphasize this point.  Students are allowed to interact with each other and use their creativity and imagination.  These things are needed so much in the classroom.  There are even benefits for parents when it comes to pod casting. This makes the argument for pod casting even better. For example, when a child is sick, the information from a pod cast is readily and easily available. Pod casts are also very easy to do.  This is just one element of technology in the classroom that is easily promoted and put into practice in the classroom. 
    I found this site very beneficial.

Education Pod casting Network

     The EPN is a great source for teachers in many ways.  This site brings together information that can be helpful to educators who want to teach and learn in the 21st century.
     There are many different pod casts to enjoy on this site . The pod casts span many age groups and subjects. It allows you to experience the examples and use this information for your classroom.
      I have saved this site on Delicious and will reference it in the future.

C4K #1 #2


     I chose to comment on Eric's blog in Mrs. Heubner's fifth grade class in Iowa.( Ben, the student I was assigned, had not posted).  Eric created a bio-poem and it was very creative and cute. He said that he was crazy, awesome and fun. In his poem  he says that he  is afraid of spiders and snakes. He also wants to be tall. Eric wants to be a dancer and a baseball player when he grows up. Eric also mentioned a root cow in his poem.
     I commented to Eric that I enjoyed his bio-poem and that he must be crazy, awesome and fun. I told him that I find spiders creepy and told him a story about my son catching a black widow in our yard. I tried to guess what a root cow is and told him that I would like a choco-cow.  I enjoyed his post and I feel certain that he enjoyed my response.


     Mikayla is  in Mrs. Kilgo's gifted class for fourth graders. She  posted information about prairie dogs  on her blog. She gave information about their size, weight, lifespan and species. It was a very informative post.
     I made several comments about prairie dogs  based on the information she provided. I also looked up a few more facts about prairie dogs on Wikipedia and gave them to Mikayla in my comment.
two prairie dogs
     It is nice to comment on a kid's blog.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Google Presentation - Project #5

C4T #1--- Breaking Education Barriers by Annie Palmer

Post/Comment 1

     The most recent post by Annie Palmer was an excellent reflection on a book that she was reading called Difficult Conversations. Ms. Palmer talks about how results are strengthened in the business world when problems are identified and talked about with the right people. This should also be the case in education.  She said that if we truly want what's best for our kids, we must learn to collaborate and have difficult conversations. She talks about how principals are so important in creating a safe environment for teachers to have those difficult conversations.  She said, and I definitely agree, that all teachers deal with this issue.  Teachers do great things with subject matter but actually avoid the very thing holding their students back.
     In my comment, I discussed and agreed with many points of Annie Palmer's reflection. I added that teachers are absolutely great at practicing the difficult conversations in the teacher's lounge. I emphasized that it is time to stop practicing and take the next step, in order for results to be strengthened.  Again, the difficult conversations must take place if we truly want what's best for our kids.This is a great post for anyone in the field of education
 Post/Comment 2

child      The second post I commented on had a very intriguing title. It is called Mrs. Palmer changed my Life. It was a reflection on how she was able to implement a program that sparked the interest in reading for her students.  It gave great incite on how we are drilling the love of reading right out of our children.  She said that it doesn't have to be that way. The approach she tried was based on the book called The Book Whisperer.
She implemented the program and had excellent results. In short, this program got rid of book reports and assigned reading. The focus was on facilitating the love of reading rather than forced activities and quizzes. Annie Palmer made a difference in the life of at least one child by her courage to try this program. She has an e-mail to prove it.
     My comment revolved around the fact that this approach should be made known to many more teachers and tried by as many as possible.  I discussed the AR program that my children do at their school.  In the AR program, students are forced to read for points and grades.
      I completely agreed and restated with her opinion about the importance of sparking the interest and enjoyment of reading.Annie Palmer has really made me think and has added to my educational experience.
      This was also a great post for pre-service teachers.

Blog Post #3

Peer Editing
     I received some great information about peer editing in this assignment. Peer editing should first involve being positive and giving compliments. Everyone likes to hear what has been done well. It is important to give suggestions about word choice, organization, and topic. Making corrections about spelling and grammar is also very important and helpful. Efforts made in peer editing will help your peer in the long run. Watching the videos has helped me to know how to handle peer editing for EDM 310. I plan on following the guidelines.

It's Not About Technology- by Kelly Hines
    I agree that it's not about technology.  It is definitely about the actual learning. Teachers must also be perpetual learners who are interested in their profession. Teachers cannot be stagnant and stubborn in their pursuit of understanding things. There is a reason behind the professional development and the renewal of a certificate.
     I also find it interesting and agree that if learning has not taken place then the teacher has not done the job.This takes common sense to understand but it is often ignored. The ultimate goal of  teaching is learning. Teachers must teach, reteach, reteach etc if necessary. Moving on in a lesson is pointless if learning has not taken place.
     Technology is useless without good teaching. I couldn't agree more! It's not about the $5000 white board but its ability to facilitate better teaching and learning.
     Teachers must have the proper mindset in order for the best hings to happen to their students. The teacher's skill is an extremely important factor in the success of students--not technology.

Is it Okay to be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher? by Karl Fisch
     I agree with Karl Fisch.  It's really not okay to be a technologically illiterate teacher. But so many are today. Teachers who are not technologically literate are not reaching their potential with themselves or their students. I also agree with Karl Fisch that educators must achieve a basic level of technological capability.  It cannot be avoided. Technology is everywhere and heads must be removed " from the sand".
   I do not think educators should be embarrassed about being technologically ignorant. Embarrassment leads to shame and shame would not lead to any progress.  I believe,because I probably fit this category, that educators should have an open mind and be willing to learn.  It really isn't funny to be technologically ignorant, and I believe it is accepted, especially in older generations.
    A third grade teacher ,who's been teaching 15+  years, has had a smartboard in her classroom for over 2 years. Sadly, she has never turned it on. My secret goal is to get her to use it.
     I must also confess, that at the age of 44, this EDM 310 class was not very high on my list of classes to take. I resisted. In fact, I even almost dropped the class.  I have now come to the conclusion that I must at least pass this class if I want to be the best teacher possible for my future students.

 scramble  Counts by Gary P Hayes
     I had to go to Youtube to watch this video. I found it very interesting and astounding.  The counting of the social media  can really open your eyes to the breadth of technology in our world.  I was amazed at the constant changing of the numbers.
     What does this mean for me in my professional teaching career?  It means that the are here to stay and they are very far-reaching. It's almost mind boggling. My students will probably be a part of it. I should be aware of these facts and try to actually use the to enhance education when possible.
     It also tells me that people truly enjoy connecting with each other. Teachers connect with students in a real life personal setting. The other connections cannot be dismissed or ignored. Perhaps there is connection that can be made half way around the world to enhance an educational experience. Keep an open mind.

A Vision for Students by Michael Wesch
     This is an excellent video that makes me reflect on teaching. It shows some of the things that are terribly wrong with our educational system and implies ways to make it better.  That is, how can we make school more meaningful in our world.
     It is actually sad to think that students pay and spend time doing things that they consider absolutely pointless.  Even worse, they spend the bulk of their childhood doing these things! This video also reminds me how technologically savvy most students are and how it is ignored in the school system.It's time to meet our students half way. They can use their technology and we will help them learn from it.
     This video makes me reflect on the type of vision I want in my classroom as well as the type of teacher I want to be. I do not want my students involved in pointless activities.  Great video!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blog Post #2

Did you know 3.0

     This video was absolutely amazing to me. The information it gives about our world and technology is astounding. By the time the 4:56 video was over, the information was already becoming out of date. Can we even keep up with the reporting of the technological breakthroughs? In 1984, I was a freshman at USA working in the College of Education making copies. Dean Uhlig was in charge. There were two graduate assistants whose job it was to search the internet for people. The big computer was in a small back room and USA students were charged $50-$75 for a "search." I think back on that and laugh. In just 25 years, the technological breakthroughs have been amazing to witness.
     The video makes you realize the scope of technology and how many people are impacted by it.
Technology has an impact on the world and its people. So many things can be done and people are more connected to each other because of technology. Technology can make the world a better place.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

     Mr. Winkle was asleep for 100 years. He wakes to a world that is foreign to him due to technological advances. They are hard for him to understand and he is intimidated by them. Mr. Winkle does not seem to get past the fear and recognize that the advances are good and can benefit him.
Sadly, Mr. Winkle feels at home in the classroom when he stumbles upon a school. Things have changed, but not very much. Schools are slow to incorporate technological advances. Schools need to keep pace with technological advances because their students sure are doing that.
     Mr. Winkle would not have to be asleep for 100 years in order for him to be intimidated again. How long do you think he would have to be asleep? A month? Six months? A year? 5 years?
My children are having a different educational experience than me. However, it is mostly the same. My grandchildren should have a very, very different school experience than I did. Will they?

Sir Ken Robinson

human brain     Everyone has an interest in education. Education takes us to the future so we are not stuck in the past. These words need to be heard and understood by everyone.I agree that all kids have talent. It must be found and nurtured in the educational system.Some talents are manifested early while others take time. I agree that so many times our children are educated out of their talent. Our school system is so narrow minded sometimes and driven by very specific results.  Sir Ken Robinson said that intelligence is diverse, dynamic and distinct.  If our educational system became diverse, dynamic and distinct , more talents would be found. Schools should be havens of creativity that will produce people that will make the world a better place.
  One of my kids is very intelligent and creative.He writes all the time. He wants to be an author when he grows up. After watching the talk by Sir Ken Robinson, I must confess that I have to do a better job of reacting to his career choice. I actually do think he could be a great author. Society and schools actually tell him otherwise. Creativity needs to be valued.

Cecelia Gault

    The US is behind in the world on certain educational advancements and attitudes. We need to balance our curriculum and make better use of technology in the classroom.
     The definition of intelligence cannot even be agreed upon by people in the field. In my opinion, creativity is part of being an intelligent person. Creativity can be taught and nurtured.  In classroom across America everyday, children are asked to things that stifle their creativity. We should try to find it. Embrace it. Enhance it. One way to do this is by balancing the curriculum so that there is more of a chance of talents being discovered. Whenever we hear about budget cuts in the educational system, it seems that the first on the chopping block are the creative arts. Why?

Vicki Davis: Harnessing Your Students Digital Smarts

     Vicki Davis is a wonderful teacher. She believes that every child can learn. Every teacher should think that.She also believes that you need more than paper and pencil to learn. She customizes lessons based on progress and ability. She also is adept at learning herself in order to help her students learn. She is an example of a teacher that produces a thinking child rather than one who can burp it back.
      It is nice to hear a teacher say that you do not have to know everything in order to teach it. This sends the message that you are willing to learn yourself  and that you do not know everything. We should all be life long learners. I also noticed that Vicki Davis really connects to her students. Even though there are computers everywhere in her classroom, she takes the time to connect on a personal level. This is extremely important as well.
     Vicki Davis is an example of a 21st century teacher. The world is her classroom. She collaborates around the world and is connected to people all around this Earth. She has many ideas and attitudes that can be helpful to a teacher.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wordle Project #2

a wordle of me
Tricia in a wordle.

Blog Post #1

Hello everyone.  My name is Tricia Spafford and I am a wife, mother, and former teacher. I have been married to Tim, an architect, for 18 years. We are the proud parents of 5 sons. I taught the 4th grade for 6 years at a local parochial school. I quit teaching when my first son, Jay, was born 17 years ago. He is now a senior in high school. Robert, the second son, is a junior and plays the tuba in the band. He is 16 years old.  Anthony is 14 years old and in the 8th grade. He enjoys the game of soccer and is very artistic. Patrick is 11 years old and is a spelling champion and avid reader. Gregory, 9 years old, will always be my "baby."  Being the mother of 5 sons is truly  a unique and wonderful experience. Does every house have a, "No bathroom talk  during dinner" rule? I don't think so.
     I spent 5 years working part time as a Community Resource Officer for the Mobile Police Department. I have learned the police dispatching code and burped it back on an examination last week. Have you ever wondered the police code for a traffic accident without injury? It's 8.
     I enjoy watching my children play sports and enjoy being active too. I am a member of the USTA and play tennis competitively on the local and state level. Tennis is truly a sport for a lifetime.
     I am renewing my teaching certificate this semester. I am ready to get back into the classroom and make a difference in the lives of children. 

Time Management

  According to Dr. Pausch, managing time can be a lot like managing your money. People should, and usually do, spend their money on things that are important to them.  People should also spend their time on things that are important.  The skill of time management comes from both positive and negative experiences in your life. You can't fake these experiences.
         I also learned and agree with the idea of setting goals each day. If I have a goal of cleaning the 4 bathrooms in my house, then, according to Dr. Pausch, I should start with the dirtiest one. When you get the difficult part of a task behind you, then the rest can be more pleasant. I try to put this into practice.
     I know Dr. Pausch had a deadly form of cancer and wrote his last lecture. His lecture became a best-selling book. May he rest in peace.

Penn State

     The Penn State time management exercises can be very helpful to many college students. I think the list of time wasting activities and time saving activities can make you reflect on how you are using your time. I don't like to waste time and tend not to do that or my house and life will be in chaos. Sometimes I try too hard and then make careless errors and that sets me back. I will ask for help when necessary in edm310. I will  try to avoid frustration by giving myself a starting and stopping time for the class. I must also set my priorities every day, which I usually do, and reach my goals.