Saturday, December 7, 2013

Blog Post #16 Final Reflection

Google


What Would You Change?

My very first blog post for EDM310 was called If You Built A School, What Would It Be Like? Reading it again reminds me of the excitement I felt at the beginning of the semester. I was so curious to know what Fall 2013 had in store for me as a student. What I wrote in my blog that day still stands true but there are a few changes I would make if I were to do it over again. A few things I want to add to "What I want my students to know":
- Technology is going to take over the world. Learn it!
- There are children in the world who would sacrifice everything they had to be able to learn. Dont take advantage of education.
- Education is (or should be) your best friend.


A few more things I want my students to be able to do:
- Search the internet.
- Explore every single resource you have!
- Be creative with technology!!!

I know this list will get longer and longer as the semesters go by. I will continue to learn things that I will want to share with my students. EDM310 gave me knowledge, confidence and direction. I want to help students learn effectively the same way Dr. Strange does. I enjoyed this class and I am taking a lot of new information with me!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Blog Post #15 Collaborative

Google


What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher? Select a few and discuss how they may be useful to you.


By: Haley Marrs
Being a teacher in the 21st century means that there are an infinite amount of assistive technologies available at our fingertips. This neat video, demonstrated by Wesley Majerus, is titled iPad usage for the blind. Wesley gives us an insight on what it's like for a blind person to use a new technology on an iPad made specifically for blind people. This software allows Wesley to control the iPad primarily with his fingertips as he double taps and uses swipes of his fingers to move around. This software is something effective that any teacher could have in their classroom if they have a blind student. It would be useful when the other students are using computers or iPads so no one is left out.
While researching the topic of assistive technologies, I came across this TeachThought website. The author has complied a list of 8 helpful assistive technology tools for the classroom.

- Screen Readers: These are described as programs that allow blind or visually impaired users to read the text that is displayed on the computer screen with a speech synthesizer.
- Word Talk: This program can read aloud any document written in Word and create audio files that can be saved. Students with reading disabilities can use screen readers to help them understand course materials. This is free.
- Word Prediction: Available to help students with writing challenges.
- Supernova Access Suite: A complete screen reader with natural sounding speech and integrated screen magnifier with Braille display support.
- Video Magnifiers: Sometimes described as a form of closed-circuit television that uses a video camera to display a magnified image on a monitor or television screen. Students with low vision can use them to read their course materials with greater ease.
- Close Captioning and Subtitling: Enables deaf students to watch the same online video material as their colleagues. This makes it easier for them to participate in online courses that offer video lectures of their professors.
- FaceMouse: For students with limited mobility, FaceMouse turns a standard webcam into a mouse operator, allowing students to use their head and facial gestures to perform a number of tasks, including pointing the cursor, clicking on sites, or typing on the keyboard.
- Sip-and-Puff Systems: Makes computer use easier for students with mobility challenges, including paralysis and fine motor skill difficulties. Sip-and-puff systems allow users to control a mouthstick, similar to a joystick, using their breath. Students can direct the mouthstick to click on web pages, type, and perform other functions.


Any of these tools could be useful in any classroom that has students with learning disabilities. All you have to do is a little research and you are guaranteed to find something that works in your classroom.


Teaching Hearing and Vision Impaired Children
By: Kayla Szymanski

While researching Teaching Assistive-technology To Students Who Are Bling or Visually Impaired, I found they have an abundance of resources. When you go to the site they have the following choices you can read about: CSB Assistive Technology Center, Environmental Considerations for Assistive Technology, Overview of Assistant Technology, Principals of Assistant Technology for Students with Visual Impairments, Special Education Technology British Columbia Index, and Virtual Instruction. What is Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology can be defined as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities." (-National Institute of Standards and Technology) Basically the goal of assistive technology is to give students with disabilities access to literacy and communication in their school, home, and community. While teaching it is essential to have background information on each student. Do they have medical eye conditions, or other diagnoses? Have they completed the Learning/ Literacy Media Assessment? Have they completed the Vision Assessment? Also before teaching your students make sure the classroom environment had adequate lighting, positioning, glare, and contrast control. If students are having trouble with text make sure the following steps are properly followed: font style, font size, color, boldness, and the layout of the font. Here are some characteristics of a student who might be a likely candidate for a print reading program: Uses vision efficiently to complete tasks at near distances. Shows interested in pictures and demonstrates the ability to identify pictures and or elements within pictures. Has a stable eye condition. These students may use optical aids such as eye glasses, magnifiers, or telescopes. Using computer technology is great for assisting students with disabilities. We now have access to enlarging software, called Zoomtext. Screen Readers is another great tool, this tool is a text to speech program which reads text aloud to students. Another tool is Tactile Access, this is a refreshable Braille displays they can be hooked up to a computer and it then displays a line of braille.


Alyssa Sherman
In Art Karshmer's video "Teaching Math to the Blind" he addresses the issue of how teachers teach basic mathematics to blind students. This past semester I've been taking Math for Elementary Teachers. In this class we have studied different ways to visually show students how basic mathematical principles work, such as counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Throughout the entire semester of drawing pictures and diagrams illustrating the problem I did not think about how a blind student could learn these ideas. Art Karshmer opened my eyes to the dilemas that special needs students would have with any subject. In his video he shows one tool that has been proven useful to blind students. He uses small blocks with numbers written on them in both print and braille. Students can put these blocks onto a grid so that the problem can be set up the same way that any student would set it up on paper. This may not seem to be a very advanced technology tool, it helps many students learn mathematics.

In today's world there are numerous tools that teachers can use in order to help special needs children learn any and every subject. It is important for any teacher, whether specializing in special ed or not, to know the different resources available and how to use them in order to better the life of all students.Sarah Irvine Belson lists a few tools that help blind students learn mathematics.

Audio Aids help students who cannot see to read the problem. This is computer based and will simply read the exact problem to the student to hear. The only problem with this tool is that as the problems get more and more complex students have a difficult time solving the problem after just hearing a computer read it to them.
Tactile Representations show the problem through braille. Like Art Karshmer said in his video, the problem with using braille to show a mathematical equation is that braille is linear, meaning that while most students set up math problems vertically visually impaired students will be at a major disadvantage in learning.
Tonal Representations show graphs to blind students by playing musical tones. This is a great way to represent data that is typically limitied to visual aids. The problem with this tool is that, like tactile representations, it is not very effective with more complicated math problems
Haptic Devices are ways to show as shape to a blind student. This can be used for both two-dimentional and three-dimentional shapes. While this tool is an excellent way to show non-numeral data to visually impaired students, it is very expensive and many schools cannot afford this technology.
Sarah Belson states on her webpage that these tools and methods can be used together based on each individual student. This is true for any student learning any subject. While this list of tools ranges from very technologically advanced systems to braille, these tools allow for visually impaired students to learn math with as little extra difficulty as possible.


http://www.unclegoose.com/products/braille-math-blocks/

Sunday, November 24, 2013

PLN Progress Report #2



This is my personal learning network that I created. This comes in handy because it is everything that I need in one place. When I need to YouTube an educational video, it is right there. If I need to check the weather it is only a click away. I use this to get to Twitter and many other resources that you see. This makes it easy to quickly and efficiently communicate with other people. I know over time I will change things around as I use or stop using certain softwares or websites. I would recommend to any future educator to make a Symbaloo.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Blog Post #14

What did I leave out?
Preparing for Diversity

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Watch this short video about Diverse Learners and Classroom Organization:



How can teachers effectively engage with students from diverse backgrounds?

This is one topic that cannot be avoided in teaching. We are all aware that we will eventually have a classroom full of diverse students but how do we really prepare for this? What can we do to make it a valuable learning experience for everyone? Most researchers put a large emphasis on communication. However, there is importance in preparation, connecting with students and building relationships with families. The Harvard University Research Project has prepared this article that tells us "How can we prepare teachers to work with culturally diverse students and their families? What skills should educators develop to do this successfully?". According to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, students will come into the classroom with some knowledge. This knowledge is shaped by their families, their communities and their cultural backgrounds. The most vital skill a teacher can develop is the ability to build on this knowledge that their students already acquire. Teachers must be understanding to the real lives of the families and children they will be teaching. Set up plausible situations where the families can voice their opinions about the curriculum so their children may thrive in the classroom.
This article discusses a type of skill called teacher diversity capital. Teacher diversity capital is intended to name the type of teaching enhancement that drives teachers to seek new opportunities and ideas. These new opportunities and ideas help build positive relationships with students and families from culturally diverse backgrounds. Diversity capital can in turn afford teachers the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for a sustainable commitment with culturally diverse students and families. Teachers need support, motivation, and experiences related to cultures other than their own in order to engage in effective cross-cultural teaching. There are three basic ways a teacher should communicate with parents and guardians:
1. Call each child’s family with positive information.
2. Email each student’s family during the school year with positive information.
3. Through email attachment, post office mail, or student delivery, send a positive message via audio or audio/visual medium regarding each student.

The Multicultural Education Program at the University of California at Berkeley provides this helpful list of links about teaching in a diverse classroom environment. They cover topics such as instructor self awareness, dynamics in a diverse classroom, engaging with diverse topics, and flipping the classroom.
This next resource comes from EdChange.org. This is a wonderful list of activities and icebreakers that focuses on diversity in the classroom. I personally like the idea of "Who I am" poetry. This is a great way for everyone to feel comfortable about being themselves and sharing their identities in the classroom.

For more information on diversity in the classroom, visit the links from above or visit Edutopia: Preparing for Diversity for more ideas.

google


google

C4T Summary

google


This month I commented on two teacher blogs.
Mr. Lee is an intermediate teacher. On his latest post he shared a slideshow that he made and presented at the 2013 MISA London Region Professional Network Fall Conference. His slideshow is focused on technology in the 21st century. If you haven't already, I would highly recommend checking it out! This was my response to Mr. Lee:

Hello Mr. Lee. My name is Haley and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. My professor Dr. Strange has assigned me to comment on your blog this week. I was looking through your slideshow and it was very interesting to me. I assume there was a lecture that went along with your slideshow. Is there any where on the web to watch, if there is one? Anyway, I appreciate the way you view technology. Many people believe it may be a burden to us. Technology in the 21st century is such an important tool for us as teachers and especially for our students. They are the future! Great job on your slideshow and I hope the Fall Conference was spectacular!


In my next post I commented on the blog of Daniel Edwards. In Daniels most recent post, This Is A Great Time To Be A Teacher, he discusses how times have changed. Edwards says he believes the way he was taught in the 80's and 90's didn't really prepare him for teaching in the 21st century. He goes on explaining why tablets are useful in todays classroom. I agree with him that "tools are tools" Any technology in the classroom is something students may benefit from. Tablets change the learning process and are useful in recording data. Edwards says that now is a great time to be a teacher because the tools we have available provide engagement, stimulation and creativity. Also, because we need to learn with our students.

Daniels post sparked my interest and I was a bit curious. This was my response to Daniel:
Daniel, your post is interesting. I agree that the options available to teachers and learners today are countless. What is something you wish you had been taught in the 80's or 90's? Also, do you use tablets in your classrooms? What is the most beneficial component of using technology?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

C4K November Summary

Student Blog


My first C4K assignment was Starford at Pt England School.

This is Starfords blog post:
The Bushwalk “ Hurry up lets GO!” Chris’s Mum shouted as him and his family were going down to the forest for a bush walk. They were going to the majestic rainforest of Queensland. The whole family wanted to get there before it started pouring down with rain. One of Chris’s brothers Jarryd, was still playing game and needed to hurry up!
Arriving at the rainforest, the sun was still shining on their faces, hoping that it would never go away. Almost quarter of the way, Chris’s sister Tarsha yelled out “ Look a baby Kangaroo!” The little joey hopped away scared to it’s mother. Everyone started getting sore legs and wanted a rest. As Chris’s family sat down, he wanted to keep going, so he did.
As Chris was walking he felt little drops of water falling straight on his face, he knew it would start raining so he went back to his family. Looking around the area they were at, they already left. After a while rain starting crashing down to the ground, Chris was running for his life looking for his family but it was too hard to see in a terrible weather. His family was at shelter waiting for the rain to stop. Chris’s Mum started getting worried and wanted to go look for him. HE WAS LOST!

This was my response to Starfords story The Bushwalk:
Great story, Starford! I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL, USA. Did you write this yourself? I would love to know what happens next. We don't have many kangaroos here but I wish we did. Keep up the great work!


My second C4K assignment this month was Elyzsa in Ms. Cassidy's class.
Elyzsa is a first grader. She posted a great photo of her painting in class. This is what she wrote:

I painted happy.

In response to Elyzsa's painting this is what I wrote:
Hello Elyzsa, my name is Haley. I am a college student at the University of South Alabama. I want to become a teacher. I love your painting of "happy"! It makes me feel happy inside. You have lots of pretty and bright colors. You must be a very happy girl! Keep up the great work! :)


My final C4K assignment of the month was also Elyzsa in Ms. Cassidy's class.
This time Elyzsa posted a painting she made of her Halloween costume. She was Tinkerbell!

This was my response to Elyzsa:
Elyzsa, Haley again! You are such a fabulous artist! I bet your Tinkerbell costume was fabulous too! Did you enjoy your Halloween? I hear fairies get lots and lots of candy! Keep up the great art work!

Project #12B SmartBoard Collaborative Video

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Post #13

What Can We Learn?
This is a collaborative assignment.

Ken Robinson: 10 talks on education
By: Haley Marrs For this assignment I chose to watch #6 Mae Jemison: Teach arts and sciences together(2002). Mae is a very intelligent and inspirational woman. She begins her lecture by stating what she believes is most important. She says that we need revitalize the arts and sciences. She points out that what we do today will be vital in the future. In the future the world will be building on the basic knowledge and discoveries that we come up with today. Just like now, we are building off of ideas that are from the 70's, 80's, and 90's. We have to ask ourselves: What are we contributing to that legacy right now? Jemison says she is skeptical that we are doing much of anything. In a sense, we are failing to act in the future. We are purposely lagging behind.
"Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill or betray it." - Frantz Fannon
Our mission should be to reconcile science and the arts. We think of science and arts as two separate things, which probably dates back to centuries ago but it is critical now. We make decisions every day and if we don't bring them back together we may have problems in the future. Jemison claims some people say science and scientists are not creative. Some people may say artists are not analytical. When these concepts underly our teaching we have a problem. No one wants to be uncreative. No one wants to be illogical. Jemison also states that back in the 60's people had hope for the future. People had wonderful ideas. Many things that are cool today are based on those concepts. Jemison took certain objects with her when she went into space and when asked why her answer was simple. The items that she took represented human creativity.
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." - Albert Einstein



Video #7: Teaching One Child At A Time
By: Kayla Szymanski
Shukla Bose presents a presentation about a foundation she started at her kitchen table called, "Educating Our Poor, more than just a number game." She went and visited some of India's slums and found tons of poverty stricken children who would never have the opportunity to attend school. This breaks my heart, I recently took a mission trip to the Honduran slums and this video reminds me of all the children I came in contact with. In the city I was staying in, the life span of a Honduran man was 50 years of age. As a teacher we will never know what are students are going through. Mrs. Shulka talks about how daily they would play with the children and be exhausted, but when they went home they would have the memory of each smiling face they came in contact with that day. She talks about millions of children who actually attend school but cannot do basic math, and have problems in other academic areas. But Shulka says they are not in the number game. She wants to focus on one child at a time, getting them into college and into a successful job. She taught 165 children in a roofless building, she also teaches their parents in an after schooling program. Mrs. Shukla has an amazing story and an awesome love for teaching, she is truly an inspiration. I admire her for so many reasons, one being that I have been there and saw how these children live day to day. Being a new teacher we need to keep in mind that all of our students will not be perfectly dressed, groomed, or even have a stable home. This is why we have to make sure and help each child individually, some children might need extra attention that others will not. Shulka states that children have to believe that change is possible. In a poverty stricken world she has given each of these children hope, hope in becoming more than their parents could ever imagine. This, in my opinion, is the definition of a true teacher.


Video #2 Turning Trash into Toys for Learning By:Arvind Gupta
By:Alyssa Sherman

In Arvind Gupta's talk he shows different toys that children can make themselves for very little or no cost. Many of these toys are based on a scientific priciple, such as a motor or a whistle made from a straw. These toys can be used in a classroom as tool to teach with while keeping students interested and active. The main thing that any teacher or soon-to-be-teacher can learn from this talk is that while it is important for students to be active participants in the learning process, this does not mean that classrooms must use the latest technology. Many schools are not able to afford computers or tablets for that classrooms and the students often don't have access to these devices at home. This is when it becomes important for teachers to get creative and use the resources they have available, such as straws, paper clips, batteries, and newspapers. Arvind Gupta proves in his demonstration that computers are not neccessary to teach and engage students, but rather for teachers and adults to be creative and show children what can be done with the simplest things.

One of the most striking statements that Arvind Gupta said was how "the best thing a child can do to the toy is to break it." This is interesting because most people would think the opposite, especially if resources are scarce. What good is a broken toy?Many people use the phrase "you learn more from failure than you do from success". The same applies when children create toys. They can better learn how it works and the science behind their invention by breaking it apart and testing different situations. In the video Gupta demonstrates how the sound changes in his straw whistle when you cut off the end. This would never have been discovered if not for testing it and "breaking" the original toy. Children are naturally curious so it makes sense that they would want to try experimenting with their home-made toys.

http://explaining-science.co.uk/arvind-guptas-science-toys/

A Girl Who Demanded a School - Kakenya Ntaiya
By: Raven Williams
There is a group of people in Kenya called the Maasai. Boys are meant to be warriors and the girls are meant to be mothers. Kakenya Ntaiya was engaged at five years old and was supposed to be married when she hit puberty. At the age of puberty, Maassai women participate in a ceremony that the community considers a rite of passage. Female circumcision is part of the ceremony. Kakenya realized that after the ceremony she could no longer peruse her dream of being a teacher because she would have to quit school. She made a deal with her father: She would undergo the traditional Maasai rite of passage of female circumcision if he would let her go to high school. Her father agreed to avoid shame from the community. After she finished high school she received a scholarship to Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Virginia. After she arrived in America and began college she learned that the ceremony she went through involved genital mutilation and was illegal in Kenya. When she returned to Kenya she decided she wanted to find a way to give back to her community. She built a school for girls because she wanted them to have a place to feel safe. Because of Kakenya Ntaiya, there are 125 girls that will never have to be mutilated or be married at the age of 12. At the end of the video Kakenya says " be the first: people will follow".

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Project #15

Blog Post #12

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?
This is a collaborative blog post.

google


Sir Ken Robinson - Bring on the learning revolution!
By: Haley Marrs
There are two types of people in this world: People who enjoy what they do and endure it and people who love what they do and speak to their authentic selves.
Education keeps people from their natural talents. Talents must be searched for because they will not be lying on the surface. In education we need change. We need a revolution - it needs to be transformed into something else. Abraham Lincoln is quoted saying "We must rise with the occasion; not to it". I like this quote because he is saying we must be engaged. Ken points out that most teenagers don't wear watches because adults grew up in a time when if you needed something you wore it. Kids these days are growing up in a digitized world - the time is everywhere. Life is not linear it is organic. By linear, Ken means we are on a track that we follow and if we follow it correctly we end up set for the rest of our life. By organic, Ken means we create our lives symbiotically as we explore our talents in relation to circumstances they help to create for us. He says the pentacle for education is getting into college, although not everyone needs to go to college. The heart of the challenge is to reconstitute our sense of ability and of intelligence. He discusses the fact that parents are competitive and kindergardeners are being interviewed these days. It is a bit ridiculous that such young children have to compete for a place in kindergarten. Human talent is tremendously diverse. People are often good at things that they don't really care for. Passion is to love the things you are good at. Ken says that we need to understand that learning is an organic process. The outcome cannot be predicted.

http://favimages.net/image/107502/
Changing Education Paradigms: By: Kayla Szymanski
Sir Robinson starts his video by describing several changes that are taking place in our public school systems across the globe. He talks about our economic future, and our cultural beings. Mr. Robinson simply states that people today are trying to meet their future needs by following in the footsteps of the past. Today in our society an educational degree will not guarantee a good career. In fact technology is becoming so rapid in our school systems, teachers will almost be obsolete in the future. Mr. Robinson also states how students diagnosed with ADHD are constantly distracted by their electronic devices. This makes you wonder, if we could channel our teaching strategies to match their technological lives maybe they wouldn't be so distracted? Bringing technology into the classroom is the best way to fill the gap between your teaching techniques, and the way they live their everyday life. Technology gets your students involved, they are no longer bored, and they are always engaged. This video is a great inspiration to all starting out teachers, it will open you eyes and show you that the old ways of teaching are not acceptable anymore. Why would you teach in a outdated way, your only hindering your students ability to learn? Near the end of Mr. Robinson's lecture he says that the most great learning experiences come from group activities. This video basically is trying to portray that the school systems need to get away from standardization and go to divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is the essential capacity for creativity and to see multiple answers, not just one. Instead of teaching memorization skills, teachers should try and enforce the importance of using your imagination and creativity in everyday life. This video will open your eyes to the problems of how student are being taught in our educational school systems today. The entire idea of EMD310 I think, is to stop this cookie cutter mold that society has put on teachers, and teaching methods.

The Importance of Creativity
By: Alyssa Sherman

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

In this video Sir Ken Robinson explains how modern education standards effects children's creativity. This video was very interesting and informative. Sir Robinson says that because the standards of education and intelligence are aimed at the typical "acedemic" subjects, such as math, science, language, and social sciences, children are steered away from any creativity or talents they may have in the arts. The lesson he tells listeners is that teachers should allow students to be creative and do what they are naturally talented in. A student who is a dancer should not be forced to sit still in class to study math and science. This is an extremely important lesson to learn as future teachers. Not every student will succeed by siting and listening to a lecture on science, or other acedemic class. Teachers must be ready and willing to encourage students to be creative and do what they feel is right. Sir Ken Robinson makes an excellent point that everyone involved in education should be aware of and follow.

How to Escape Education's Death Valley
By: Ken Robinson

Raven Williams
In this video, Ken Robinson speaks about the problems with No Child Left Behind and the educational system in America. He says that No Child Left Behind is ironic because millions of children are being left behind. 60% of kids are dropping out of school in some parts of the country, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. He believes that education in America is going in the wrong direction. No Child Left Behind is based on conformity instead of diversity. He says that human beings are naturally diverse and that no two children are the same. NCLB focuses on standardized tests instead of focusing learning in all subjects. He believes that standardized tests are important, but they should not be the dominant part of education.
He also said that the role of a teacher is to facilitate learning. Education cannot be improved if you do not pick great people to teach and give them constant support for professional development. At the end of the video he compares the educational system to death valley. It is hot, dry, and nothing there will grow. Death valley received 7 inches of rain in the winter of 2004. The floor of the valley was covered in flowers in the spring. He concluded that death valley isn't dead, it is only dormant.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Project #10 Interview




This is my interview with Mrs. Allison. Mrs. Allison is a special education teacher with MCPSS. About 1-2 minutes into my video my first device failed and I had to re-record using another device. Unfortunately, the quality of my second device is not as great as the first. However, the general picture and the audio are still useful. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

C4T Summary #3

google


For my last two comments for teachers assignments I have been assigned to Daniel Edwards. The first blog post of the two was a short post about a generic app that enhances learning called Socrative. Daniel has attached this Socrative 2.0 Video that briefly describes the app. In my comment to Mr. Edwards I asked him a few simple questions regarding the app. I asked him if he has used this app in his classroom and if so, have you noticed any results?


In Daniels most recent post, This Is A Great Time To Be A Teacher, he discusses how times have changed. Edwards says he believes the way he was taught in the 80's and 90's didn't really prepare him for teaching in the 21st century. He goes on explaining why tablets are useful in todays classroom. I agree with him that "tools are tools" Any technology in the classroom is something students may benefit from. Tablets change the learning process and are useful in recording data. Edwards says that now is a great time to be a teacher because the tools we have available provide engagement, stimulation and creativity. Also, because we need to learn with our students.

Daniels post sparked my interest and I was a bit curious. This was my response to Daniel:
Daniel, your post is interesting. I agree that the options available to teachers and learners today are countless. What is something you wish you had been taught in the 80's or 90's? Also, do you use tablets in your classrooms? What is the most beneficial component of using technology?

C4K Summary #2 October

Google
This is my summary of my C4K from the last month. I really enjoy speaking to other students from around the world and I hope to use blogging in my classroom one day!

Brodie Pickle
Mrs. Eppele's Class
Brodie's blog post: I think Mellody will be a bit jealios because Mellody can not walk talk or anything close, And Penny can do it all she can pick things up walk say mommy and daddy and crall, she can sit on her mom and dads laps. and Mellody can not do any of those. Butterscotch is a good dog and can help blind or parcialy sited and the injured. I think Sharon Draper is trying to get us confused because I am.

My response to Brodie:
Brodie, my name is Haley and I am a college student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am studying to become an elementary teacher and I am excited I have been assigned to your blog this week! I watched the book trailer about Out Of My Mind and I am very curious to know more about the book. Is Mellody the main character? It sounds like Penny and Mellody are related. You say Penny can walk and crawl but perhaps Mellody has a medical condition that confines her to a wheelchair. That is one of my guesses. If so, Butterscotch probably makes Mellody happy because they can relate. Keep reading Sharon Draper’s book and you will not be confused anymore. What has been your favorite part so far? I would love to know what happens! Here is the link to my class blog, feel free to read it with your teachers permission! Haley Marrs Mobile, AL


Tracy
Mrs. Mclean's Class
Tracy's blog post:
In the still of the night, I go outside.
I look up at the stars, in them I confide.
I tell them my joys, and hope for tomorrow.
When I am under their gaze, I forget all my sorrow.
The moon is another ally to me.
she smiles down on me mysteriously.
I bask in the glow of her friendly moonshine,
reminding me of a far ancient time.

My response to Tracy:
Tracy, this is a beautiful poem. Did you write this? My name is Haley and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. Where are you from? I would love to know if you have more poems. I have read this poem many times because I just love it :) Write back soon! You can view my blog here.


Sam
Medbury School - 5G

Sam's blog post:
Bengal tigers
The Bengal tiger is an endangered animal now. They usually live for around 10 years. The mammal is known as a big cat sometimes it is even called the Indian tiger because lots of them live in India and Bangladesh. Some carnivores of the Bengal tiger are crocodiles, leopards and pythons. They attack crocodiles with their eyes and paws. They are such powerful nocturnal hunters. Bengal tigers hunt individually. Bengal Tigers can have up to a litter of 4 cubs at once. That’s 4 times the amount of humans. Tigers use their distinctive coats as camouflage on top of their very heavy weight of 107-200 kg. Most of the Bengal tiger family live alone and aggressively protect their own territory.They cover their territory and look out for their predators. If you go into a Bengal tigers territory you are probably dead meat but the Bengal Tigers main predator are humans. The wild Bengal tigers usually live in mangrove forests. Mangrove forests are made out of plants, big curvy trees and big, long, wide, snaking rivers. The other Bengal tigers live in zoo’s and they sleep anywhere in their enclosure. Humans kill Bengal tigers for their terrifying claws. thier devastating teeth, Their beautiful whiskers and there nice looking coats for carpet.
My response to Sam:
Sam, My name is Haley and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, USA. I am studying to become a teacher and I wanted to let you know I think your blog is great! You have a lot of skills for your age and your grammar is wonderful. I love your post about tigers because it is very educational and interesting as well. Is the Bengal Tiger your favorite animal? Keep up the great work!


Maddie
Grade 7 - Mrs. Horst's Class
Maddie's blog post:
Who is the main character? Would you like to be friends with the main character? Why or why not?
The main character of the text Out of my mind is Melody. Melody has cerebral palsy and cannot verbely communicate with her peers or family, the best she can do is point to common phrases on a plastic board with her finger. On certain levels I would like to be friends with Melody but at the same time I don’t think I would understand her completly and some meaning will be lost in translation, like when she is trieng to communicate on her board not all the words are there.

My response to Maddie: Maddie, I am a college student in Mobile, AL. I was reading your blog and found it very interesting! How do you like the book “Out of My Mind”? I can imagine it would be very hard to be in Melody’s shoes. It is nice that you would like to be Melody’s friend even if it were difficult to understand her at times. You must be a very sweet friend! I like the color blue you have used but it is a little difficult to read. Keep up the great work Maddie! -Haley


Google

Blog Post #11

Write a post in which you discuss Ms. Cassidy’s approach to the use of technology in the classroom. Comment on which of her techniques you might use in your classroom, the impediments you might encounter and how you would address them. Discuss also the benefits you might anticipate by using Ms. Cassidy’s approaches.


mindlearning


Little Kids...Big Potential!

Dr. Strange's video interview with Ms. Cassidy is a prime example of using technology in the classroom. I enjoyed listening to her views on 21st century technology. I find it incredible that her young students are learning how to blog and use computers to expand their minds. In my classroom I hope to be able to use blogging with my students in a way such as Ms. Cassidy. She has her students blog once or twice a week and typically only a sentence or two. I respect the fact that she has her students use only their first name. Any time a picture is uploaded to her class blog she does not put a name with the face. This is in order to protect her class. Anyone that allows their students on the internet should always monitor the students actions and always limit the sites that they have access to. Class blogging a fantastic way for parents to check in on their children and their children's progress. I would agree with Ms. Cassidy's views about cheating in the 21st century. She says the world is always changing and technology is not going anywhere. As far as cheating goes, we should look at it more as "collaborating". Group work is frequent in today's generation as well as EDM310. Because I am still a young student who has little to no experience teaching in a classroom, I would have to say that I would follow Ms. Cassidy's blogging guidelines in my own classroom. She basically states she has never had any issues as long as she sets limits for her students, informs the parents of activity, and keeps their learning progressive.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog Post #10

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture is incredibly inspiring. This profesor from Carnegie Mellon was an intelligent, down to earth, and creative man. This man teaches us what it means to really deal with something. In his case, he has been told he does not have much longer to live yet he continues to live with a "nothing is impossible" attitude.
My favorite part about this lecture is when he says "When you do something wrong and no one tells you, they have given up on you. Then you have a problem." I agree with him on this 100%. This is effectively used in teaching. If a teacher did not correct a student when they did something wrong the student would go on thinking the wrong thing for who knows how long. That is one good reason why peer editing is important in EDM310.
Another piece of advice taken from Randy is that experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. We can all relate to this. When he was young he applied to be a Disney Imagineer and said he received some of the nicest rejection letters he had ever read. This was experience for Randy and enabled him to do better in his life even if he thought he wanted something else.
Randy learned along the way that if you give people time they will impress you. I believe we could all use a little more patience. Especially in teaching, patience is important. If you can not be patient with your students then you have a problem. Only time can tell.
I think the most important thing learned from this video is that you can not give up on things. Holding on until the end is vital because life is all about the journey.



Randy

Project #14 Lesson Plan #2

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9

What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?
This is a collaborative blog post.

Brian Crosby, Agnes Risley Elementary School, Sparks, Nevada

http://learningismessy.com/blog/?p=854

1) In Brian Crosby's video lecture he shared what his 4th grade class was doing to learn science. Through his lecture, we have found that there is a lot to learn. He said how he was able to turn a class of high-risk, non-English speakers into a high-achieving class. This alone is amazing! He continues to say how this class was able to complete a massive project based on sending a balloon up with a camera and radio in order to observe the different layers of the atmosphere. This project was achieved by using technology and working with students at a local university. Not only did the students have to set up and complete this project, but they also had to then write about it. Each student made a story based on his or her observations after viewing the video. The stories were about the experience of going up into the air as the balloon.

The most important lesson here to learn is that any student, no matter where he or she comes from or what his or her background is, can achieve anything. The lesson for any teacher or future teacher is that it is our responsibility to provide the opportunity and help to these children. Teaching is a very difficult job, but in order to properly teach one must be willing to work with students as much as needed and not to give up just because students may not know much at first. In this video Brian Crosby starts off telling the audience that most of his students did not know what city, state, country, or street they lived in, nor what their own phone numbers were. This can be very discouraging to any teacher. But he did not let this lack of knowledge stop him or his students! He was able to help them learn and head towards a brighter future. This is the ways teaching should be, motivating all students to succeed and learn. This also shows that learning is not as many people view it. Learning can be achieved by anyone as long as he or she is willing to work.

The last part of the video shows Crosby's determination to teach and help every student learn. He was informed that he would have a new student join his class, the only problem was that she couldn't come to school because she suffered from Leukemia and her immune system was gone. Instead of just dismissing her, Crosby thought of a plan. She could come to class via Skype. The end shows one of the Skyped classes were she was able to learn alongside her classmates. This is truly remarkable and should be an example for every teacher to learn by. No matter the obstacle a student may face, the teacher should never give up or dismiss a student.

2.) Mr. Paul Anderson: High School AP Biology Elementary School Teacher also known as "Bozeman science". He has a website bozemanscience.com that explains what he has been doing for the past 20 years as a science teacher. He has created over 100 science videos that students can view via the web. His videos are made in a way that will grab each students attention and have been viewed over a million times. On most of his videos he has created a small box that shows him actually lecturing while the video is still in motion. He explains each module and diagram, while talking inside the box.

His videos include:
AP Biology, AP chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Educational, Next generations science standards, Physics, Statistics and Graphing.

This is a great resource that he is contributing to the world of education. Each student, teacher, or professor can watch these videos and have a tutor in one click. By allowing his videos to be on the web he has made having to pay a tutor and spending time to meet up with your tutor, extinct. His work doesn't stop there, each video can be translated to Spanish, Mongolian, or Japanese.

While looking around his page we found a "How to Use Video game Tactics in the Classroom". Click here to watch Mr. Anderson's video. This video will explain how to engage your students while teaching in your classroom. While the students are having fun they are also learning, this is the main goal of this teaching method.


Making Thinking Visible

3) Mark Church is a 6th grader teacher at an International School in Amsterdam. Church asks his students to group together to discuss a video presented to them about the origins of society. Each group will better understand the material by discussing a puzzle and collaboratively they will come up with a headline that summarizes what it is all about. He says previously he has asked his students to think about how they their ideas and thinking has been extended. Now he asks them to think about the challenge the puzzle presents. Church gives each group a piece of paper to create a headline that captures what the challenge of the search of human origins is all about. The students continue to trade ideas and work together on their headlines through the remainder of the video. Church talks about each headline with the class and says in two weeks he will go back and talk about how things have changed. I think from Church we learn that working collaboratively is important in building social skills. It is also important to ensure that students are engaged and understand the material that is being taught to them.




Sunday, October 13, 2013

C4T Summary #2

Google Teacher Image

C4T Post #1

Karl Fisch is currently teaching Algebra. His blog post Air Travel: Google Apps Style gives us an inside look into his latest assignment for his knowledge thirsty students. He has asked his students to gather flight information outside of class to prepare for this assignment. Once they get to class with the information the students will graph their information and learn about sketching a line of best fit. He will also use a Smart Board to present to the students. He has used Google Spreadsheet to pinpoint relationships between flight cost, distance, and time.
This was my response to his post:

Hello Karl, I'm a student at the University of South Alabama. I am studying childhood education and currently taking EDM310 with Dr. Strange. He has so kindly assigned me to your blog this week! Although math is not my favorite I am intrigued by your assignment. I hope all goes well for you and your students! What grade do you teach? How do your students like using Google apps? I am interested to know how they react to this technology. Please feel free to check out my class blog!



C4T Post #2

I am Malala
In Karl Fisch's latest blog post he has embedded a few interesting videos about Malala. Malala is an advocate for Education from Pakistan. At 16 years old, she is the worlds youngest female to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. This clip from The Tonight Show explains how she stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban. She has recently published a book titled I Am Malala. She explains that her love for education comes from her education being taken away from her in Pakistan. When she was not allowed to go to school she realized how important education is. She talks about education being power for women and says this is why terrorists do not like it, because women will become more powerful. Since 2007, in her homeland terrorists have demolished schools and taken out families. She describes some of this action as "the darkest days" of her life. Malala spoke out publicly about education, gaining confidence from her family to speak up for rights. She believed she needed to speak to the public about the terrorism ruining her hometown. It wasn't long before Malala discovered by googling her own name that the Taliban were targeting her and threatening her. She believed they were not cruel although she mentally prepared for their arrival. She decided she would tell them how important education is to her and then tell them to "do whatever you want". Malala is an inspiration to many people and a true advocate for education at heart.
This was my response to his post:

Thank you very much for sharing this. Malala is an inspiration and gives a very powerful message to students and teachers alike. Do you know anyone who feels this way about education? Did you share this with your students?


Friday, October 11, 2013

Blog Post #8 Collaborative

Find some 21st Century Learning and Communicating Tools?
Tell us about them, tell us where we can find them.
Give a thorough review of at least on of them.


Collaborative Group Post:
This new millennium was brought in with a dramatic revolution of technology. We now live in a diverse, globalized, and complex, media-saturated society. Today's Kindergartner's will be retiring from their jobs in 2067. We as teachers have no idea what they world will be like in 60 years, or how technology will be. This is why future educators have to look to technology as their main teaching aids. Emerging technologies and resulting globalization also provide unlimited possibilities for exciting new discoveries and developments. During our scavenger hunt this week our group has researched and came up with three different ways we can be effective teachers in the 21st century.

Haley Marrs:

By now, we are well aware of the countless educational tools available to teachers.iTunes U is one tool I find exceptionally useful for educators and students. iTunes U is a free tool through Apple iTunes where any college or university can upload courses available for anyone who wants to take them at no charge. With this being said, iTunes U has a multitude of educational classroom resources available. In addition to college courses there is also a section of iTunes U that focuses on K-12 Education. This makes iTunes U the perfect tool for any teacher or student. On top of having the some of the best resources in the world, such as Harvard and Stanford Universities, this tool is easy to use. Once you have downloaded iTunes all you have to do is select iTunes U on the main toolbar. A quick search of your topic, grade, school, or subject will leave you with plenty of content to explore and choose from. The searched content could be in the form of exciting videos, educational movies, elaborate PDF's, intriguing books, or lectures from some of the top professors in the world. I would like to use iTunes U in my classroom to help my students explore all the information that is available to learn. If I wanted to do a lesson on the Solar System I could do one simple search and find enough exciting content to entertain and teach my students for weeks. Another great thing about iTunes U is that you can use it on an iPad as well.

Apple


Kayla Szymanski
I have chosen a tool named animoto, this is a website you can go to and create videos. Basically this is a site where you can upload pictures and make slideshows with text. This is different from Power point or even Google presentations because the background moves while the video is playing. You have the opportunity to pic your style, music, and text. These videos allow personality and creativity. The students will be able to show what they have learned through a video presentation. In three easy steps you can have a fascinating presentation that will catch the attention of the entire class.

First thing you can when you get to animoto is choose which pictures you would like to use. The great thing about animoto is that your Facebook, Instagram, Piscasa, Flickr and any other web based albums are available. This tool is very relatable with 21st century students because most of them already have pictures uploaded to each of these sites.  Having a tool that allows you to choose pictures from web based albums will save time and make it easier for our learners. You can also insert videos from YouTube, or make your own and insert it.

Next, you will be able to customize your style. This site allows you to choose from tons of backgrounds and themes. Here is a link that will show you all of the backgrounds they allow you to use: http://animoto.com/create . During this step you can also add text or points you would like to talk about during your presentation.

Once you have finished your text, you are ready to share your presentation. This site allows you do download and embed your video to Faceboook, Youtube, Vimeo, Twiter and more.



Alyssa Sherman

In recent years many schools have added smart boards to classrooms. With this tool, teachers can set up lessons on the board in advance and while still using their computers. When I was in middle school they were first brought into my school's classrooms. They were always very useful but we students never got to use them. There was also no way for us to take the lesson on the board home. Now there is a new app for iPads called "Show Me". This tool is very much like a smart board, except students are able to download this free app and work along with the lesson. Teachers can write anything they wish to write on their show me board and save it for future use. In addition, there is a record button so that students can actually see the teacher work out a problem or write something down in order. Teachers can show this in class and instead of having to waste class time writing they can start off by showing and then answering questions and better explaining any confusing steps. Students can go home (assuming that they have access to an iPad) and see the lesson again at home. This app is also a great tool for teachers and students to use because students can also see lessons from other teachers. This is a great way for students to learn if they are having a hard time understanding a certain topic.

As an example I made a show me lesson teaching how to solve the equation 1+2. The first step was to click the record button so that students could see the step by step method. Then you just speak as if you were in a classroom and "write". When you are done with the lesson you simple save and share to your class.

Students will also be able to use this tool. It can be used in test preparation, group projects, or just to help them better understand the material. If students make a show me as if they were teaching the lesson, they will always better understand the material. Also, this app gives them a global audience to work with.

Podcast

Sunday, October 6, 2013

PLN Progress Report Project #2

This is my PLN that I have created according to my interests. When I click these icons they take me right where I need to go. Many of the icons I have on my PLN are for educational purposes. Some are there only because they intrigue me. My Educational News icon is on of my favorites. It updates me when any kind of news about my local school systems are available.
I added some art icons to my network also because I believe a PLN should be consistent with ones personal interests. The website I used when creating my PLN is called Symbaloo. The Symbaloo site allows you to compress any site you like into one big collage of sites. Having this organizing site is very convenient and makes it much easier for my virtual usage in becoming a teacher.

Project #13 Lesson Plan

C4K Monthly Summary

Google Images


Comments for Kids has been very enjoyable so far. Each student blog assigned to me has been unique in its own way. My first assignment was a 10th grader in Mrs. Martin's English class at Baldwin County High School. Her blog post in response to her "This I believe" assignment and was about bullying. She wrote about how unfair she thought it was and the time she saw a classmate come into class extremely upset. He refused to tell who had bullied him. She proceeded to write that something needs to be done about it and to treat others the way you want to be treated. When I commented on her post I introduced myself and told her to always stand up for what she believes in. I related to her story and I gave her a few small grammatical corrections. I left her a link to my blog and told her to check it out if her teacher permitted. I did not receive a response. My second C4K assignment was a young girl in Guatemala. She blog post was written about the time she found out her family was moving to Guatemala. She wrote about how she hoped that she would make new friends and she worried she wouldn't like her new school. She had never even been on an airplane. She was posting from her new class and said that she had made new friends and everything turned out to be okay. I commented on her post, introduced myself, and told her I hoped school was going well. I agreed that change can sometimes be scary. I also left the link to my blog and told her to check it out if her teacher allowed. My third C4K assignment for a sweet young girl named Ana Bloomfield at Pt. England School. She had a brief blog post about hexagonal learning with a video attached. She explained what hexagonal learning is and described how and why she made her hexagon. I commented on her blog and introduced myself and told her I thought her blog was beautifully designed. I proceeded to ask her a few simple questions about her assignment and left the link to my blog for her to see.My final C4K assignment for the month was for the blog of Ciana in Mrs. Ripp's 5th grade class in Wisconsin. Her post was in response to a post her teacher wrote about a book they are reading in class titled "Out of My Mind". She wrote about how curious she was to know if the book would be good. She said the front and the back of the book made her wonder about what was inside. She also asked if anyone had read it and if anyone had suggestions on a good book. I responded to her post, introduced myself, and told her I had never heard of the book but now I was curious. I told her about the book I used for my book trailer project and suggested she read it when she had time. I am looking forward to see which students I am assigned next month.

Blog Post #7

Anthony & John


(This is a Collaborative Group Assignment)

What can you learn from conversations with Anthony Capps? (#1-4)

While watching Part 1: Experiences of a 3rd grade teacher Anthony Capps tells us about his latest teaching experiences. He is a third grade teacher in a Baldwin County Elementary school located in Gulf Shores, AL. Dr. Strange asks Anthony how he approaches project-based learning in his 3rd grade class and what it entails. Anthony regularly uses PBL as a method of teaching and replies that project-based learning is constantly evolving. Many teachers may use projects at the end of a teaching unit to sum up the lesson or to clarify that the students comprehend what is being taught. Anthony thinks that teachers should always use PBL as a method in which the student learns content rather than just achieving something. The project assigned should be driven by a “need to know”; meaning the student needs to know the content of the standards before creating their project. This allows them to create their own learning experience. This also allows students to discover their knowledge and become enthralled with their final presentation. He implies that it is the teacher’s responsibility to assign a project that is based on the content of the state standards. Anthony says that the goal to a good project is one that has an authentic audience; this makes the kids feel rewarded for the work that they do. It also prepares them for the future. Another goal is to make the project relatable to the student’s interest and to incorporate your local community. When Anthony creates projects they all have to meet the state standards. For example, one project included the students writing letters to our congressman; this allows for the language, history, and writing standards to be met all in one project. This project is a prime example of having an authentic audience and getting the students excited about receiving a response.

Anthony also talks about iCurio and how he has used this tool in his 3rd grade class. He states that the students are able to log in and use it as a search engine. He encourages students and teachers alike to store content that they think is valuable. Using iCurio to store valuable content allows the students and teachers to have total online organization. You can add things and create your own folders with websites, audio, videos, and images. Overall using iCurio in the classroom is a great way to teach organization virtually. Anthony speaks from experience when he says "the outcome is extraordinary". It is appropriate and safe for students because only the material the teacher allows will be on the iCurio sight. Therefore it is very child friendly which is essential in the classroom. The students can also save any work they are currently working on, so if the bell rings and it’s lunch time they can conveniently save everything they are working on and come back to it at a later time.

"A picture is worth a 1000 words and a video must be worth a million." - Anthony Capps

Regardless of the text article you give a child if you can pair it with visual then they will retain a lot more information. 21st century teachers always should use illustrations when teaching and Discovery Ed is the perfect place to retrieve illustrations and other resources. Discovery Ed is useful for students to find pictures and articles on specific class related topics. Anthony uses Discovery Ed to bring certain text to life. 21st century students are “listener watchers”, which means they listen and watch much more than they read or write. Dr. Strange intelligently states “our goal as a teacher is to convert people to more of a consumer of these products and into users of these products. Or even better producers.”


#5) Strange Tips for Teachers: Part 1
Written By: Alyssa Sherman


This was a very interesting conversation to listen to. I feel like this list will become very helpful in my future teaching career. Dr. Strange and Anthony create a list of 5 different key issues that new teachers need to consider. First, teachers must be interested in learning. I feel that this idea is very important. In the past I have had teachers who had no interest in their subject or learning more about it. These were always the teachers I disliked. They made learning miserable and boring. The other teachers I have had were always looking for more or new information. Even teachers who had earned a PhD in their field were always eager to go look something up if a student asked them a question they did not know the answer to. The second point that Anthony and Dr. Strange made was that teachers need to be flexible. I know this point will become very useful to myself and other future teachers. In 11th and 12th grade I taught a 2nd-3rd and 3rd-4th grade Sunday School class. Because I only had 2-3 students I had to be very creative when coming up with lessons and projects. In addition, many weeks I would only have 1 student come. This made things even more challenging. This experience really makes me agree with this part of the list. The 3rd issue on the list is that teaching is hard work. This is very true. As a student I really can only imagine the work involved in making lessons, making homework, quizzes, and tests, grading these, and engaging students, and helping any student who might need a little extra explanation. Dr. Strange and Anthony also say that teaching is rewarding. From my brief experience teaching a small Sunday School class or teaching a young Girl Scout troop a new skill, this fact is very true; why else would so many people devote their lives to teaching. All new teachers should know this so that they know what they are getting into. The 4th issue is begin any plan with an end, meaning that always know what you want the end result to be. Again, flexibility is key here. The last issue is the get students engaged. Anthony says that the goal should be 100% engagement. This may seem like a very high, unlikely number, but like Anthony mentions "no child left behind". Why teach to the whole class if you only expect half to be interested and listening. I will always keep this goal in mind while teaching. Anthony and Dr. Strange share an extra 6th issue towards the end of the video that I think is very interesting. Sharing the final product with others. Having an audience makes many students want to do better and excites them. It also provides a way for students to reflect, the 6th issue on the list. Reflecting is very important. After a project is done many students want to simply relax, have fun, and not think about the topic anymore. This, however, is not a good idea. Dr. Strange and Anthony are very right to add this onto the list. I think that all of these issues are very important and I will keep them in mind and implement them when I begin my teaching career, as I believe all other future teachers should do!


#6) Title of Video: Don't Teach Tech- Use It
Written By: Kayla Szymanski


Using technology in the classroom can be one of the best approaches in the 21 century. Technology is all around our students and they use it everyday, it comes completely natural to them. A great way to incorporate technology is to introduce these tools that are available like ICurio and Discovery Ed. Anthony explains how you can use technology weekly in your classroom. The first week of class he introduces the students to their new research tools. The following week they will then be assigned a research topic, for the research part they can use ICurio. Next they will have to research for a video that relates to their topic which can be done threw Discovery Ed. The final week Anthony explains how the students are then given a research project that may requires a movie component to it. There are many technologic tools that you can use in your classroom, and these are just two example of how Anthony Capps introduces them to his 3rd graders. The benefits of using technology is that it is completely free and the students get to create and design their projects in a unique manor. Sometimes there will be a one time fee for these technological tools. But what you have to remember is that when using technology the daily classroom supplies is no longer needed. This is a great way to ensure that your students will never run out of the materials during their learning process. Also it saves time in the classroom because it is clean. Anthony mentions how you don't have to clean up markers and spills, technology is the new way of learning.


#7) Additional Thought About Lessons
Written By: Haley Marrs


This brief video is a wonderful learning tool for future teachers. This conversation features Anthony Capps discussing the four layers of teaching lessons. He makes a nice humorous point when saying "if it's anymore than four layers I'm just going to cry". The four layers are broken down as follows:

- Yearly: When planning our lessons for the year Anthony recommends drawing out a map. We have to ask ourselves "Are you going to cover all of your content standards?"
- Unit: Learning should be stretched out to be taught over the course of the appropriate unit size. By the end of the unit students should be able to master the standards taught. A question to ask yourself is "Have you devised unit projects in a meaningful way that is connected throughout the unit?"
- Weekly: Units should be planned by weeks. Each week should require a learning goal to meet your course standards. "How can you cover material needed in one week?" Will your goal be met?
- Daily: Weeks should be planned by day. Daily lessons should focus on ways to deliver content to students in a way that will keep them engaged. It is important to measure learning each day so you know where to begin the next day.

I find it interesting that Anthony says each layer of learning is equally as important. He suggests that all layers must be done successfully to finish a lesson.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Blog Post #6

What questions do we ask? How do we ask them? What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?

Who What When Where Why How


We all know that teachers are infamous for asking questions. Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Does everyone understand? Repeat. Why do we ask so many questions? Most teachers would say it's a mindless habit. Ben Johnson elaborates on what it is like from a students perspective. After a few weeks of class students are fully aware of which classmates enjoy blurting out the answer. I will be the first to admit that I hated being called on in class. All throughout high school I was that student who let out a huge sigh of relief when the teacher called on someone else to answer. How can educators use effective questioning to better engage their students?

Question Marks


The Teaching Center lists general strategies for asking questions:
- When planning questions, keep in mind your course goals. What do you want your students to learn?
- Avoid asking "leading questions." These are questions that give away their own answer.
- Follow a "yes-or-no" question with an additional question. Get students to explain their answer. This is a good method to use to verify your students have understood the lesson.
- Aim for direct, clear, specific questions. Use a series of depth to build depth and complexity.
- In classroom discussions, do not ask more than one question at once. This is an easy way to get yours students confused.
- When you plan each class session, include notes of when you will pause to ask and answer questions. This is helpful for the teacher in measuring a students understanding of the lesson. It is important to keep the students engaged rather than waiting until after class.
- Ask a mix of different types of questions. All students think differently. Using open ended questions and closed ended questions is a thoughtful way to turn on the lightbulbs of all your students.

What is a close-ended question? According to Dr. Chesley's youtube video Asking better questions in the classroom, a close-ended question structures the response for a student. It can be answered with a brief phrase or with one word, typically being "yes" or "no". What is a open-ended question? It is a question that leaves the answer up to the person who is responding. This method of questioning is for eliciting more thinking and yields more information. When you ask a student a close-ended question during your teaching and you receive a one word response you are getting exactly what you have asked for. The student tells you the answer you want to hear and they no longer have to think about the topic at hand. One way to avoid a close-ended question is by using the same content of the question and adding "what if" to the beginning or "what do you believe". This generates thinking and the student will immediately begin imagining the scenario in a variety of ways.

What If?


While doing a bit of research on questioning in the classroom I stumbled across a website titled Tips for Teachers. The site states that teachers of project-based learning have to encourage students asking questions and peer questioning to improve overall student engagement. We want to use questions that ask students to elaborate, justify, and extend their thoughts and ideas. I thought this was a good site to use for many reasons. Project-based learning is a focus of this site just as it is for Dr. Strange in EDM310. They have listed questioning strategies that provoke high level thinking. A good example of promoting higher thinking is asking a student to describe or observe an event or object. The site also goes on to discuss asking probing questions and divergent questions.
Overall asking questions in the classroom may not be as simple as it generally seems. There are many methods to use to keep students involved in the learning process. I think the most important task in being a teacher is finding ways to engage students in learning. A good place to start is by asking questions.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Project #8 Book Trailer

After being assigned this book trailer project I began wondering what book I would use. I went back and forth with many books. Is this one too long? Is this one too girly? Is this one too boring? After some debating I finally found the one. For this project I chose to use "The Museum" written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. This book is so fun to read with so many emotions on one little girls journey through The Museum. This is the first time I have ever made a book trailer and I had such a blast figuring out how! iMovie is wonderful and I highly recommend using it.
I have reached out to both Susan and Peter and I hope I get a response soon! You can watch my book trailer below:





UPDATE:
After I made this video I tweeted the link to Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds thinking they probably wouldn't notice. To my surprise the very next day they BOTH acknowledged by video! I was very excited to receive such wonderful feedback from a respected author and illustrator. It was only a few weeks ago that my EDU301 class celebrated International Dot Day based on the children's book "The Dot" written and illustrated by Reynolds. Thank you Dr. Strange for encouraging me to spread my work! And thank you Peter H. Reynolds for reading and commenting on my class blog!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

C4T #1

Post #1
Daniel Edwards is the Director of Digital Strategy at the Stephen Perse Foundation schools in Cambridge, UK. In his recent blog post The Impact of New Technology In Schools - Results are In! he discusses the impact of the recent technological changes in his school. For two years an A level classroom of 15 students has been using iPads. These same students produced the best grades Edwards has seen in ten years of teaching at the school. Was this a direct cause of iPad use in the classroom? Well, we are still unsure but he does mention he believes they have enhanced learning. There could be many reasons for the increase he has seen in grades.
Beside the fact that this A level class recorded higher results, the entire school also received record breaking General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) results. This goes to show that technology has not had a negative impact on the students. What can Edwards draw from this information? Engagement with learning is crucial and I could not agree more. New technology has enabled his students to better engage with the materials and context. In a short video you can see how collaboration and communication skills are being practiced with technology in these classrooms. Although we are still unsure of the impact of technology on the rest of the world, we know Daniel Edwards feels like a better educator because of it.

After reading this post I could not help but wonder how the iPad's are being used in the classroom. My main concern was how are students being assessed? This is the comment I left for Mr. Edwards:
Greetings Daniel, I am a Junior studying Early Childhood Education at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL, USA. I am currently enrolled in EDM310 (Micro-computing Systems in Education) with Professor Dr. Strange who has kindly assigned me to discuss your blog this week. First, I want to say congratulations on the results you have received as that is quite an accomplishment for a teacher! You should be very proud. In our neighboring county, Baldwin County, this is the first school year where we have seen every student provided with a Macbook to further their studies. It is challenging to engage all students through lecture so perhaps in two years we will see better engagement from our students in the classroom as well as you have. I am curious though, when you are teaching students with iPads (especially PE), how do you assess them? Is this done via web or manually? Hope to hear from you soon! Please feel free to follow me on my Class Blog or Twitter. Thanks!


Post #2


Edwards' posts The iPad Toolkit for Learning diagram in his latest post. This is basically a guide for new and experienced educators who use technology in the classroom. He believes that 15 apps or less can act as a starting point for learning. The great thing about this diagram is that you can edit it to customize your teaching or learning needs. Some apps may be noticed more than once on the diagram to validate their importance in education. There are benefits to using all of the apps suggested. I would recommend reading Edwards' full blog post. (Link above)
This post got my brain wondering how I could incorporate these apps into my classroom. In fact, this is the comment I left for Daniel.
"Do you have any suggestions on how to incorporate these apps into a lesson plan?"