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.