Sunday, November 30, 2014

Final Reflection Video

EDM310 was seemingly difficult at first but I have learned a lot and will take a lot from it. I will be a LIFETIME learner. Good job everyone! We did it!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Final Post for #5

My PLN progress throughout this semester, to be honest, has been rather slow. I have, however, met a lot of other students in the same boat as me (Secondary Education/English majors) and to me that is a huge success for my own career. It's nice to have someone to contact if I have questions about which path others are taking and what advice they can give me. Because unlike current teachers, these students are going through the same exact things I am and will have fresh advice to give me. I also believe that if I grow and learn with these people then I will have them as excellent PLN resources down the road when we all, hopefully, have teaching jobs.

Since learning about PLN resources, I have taken more interest in getting to know my professors and to even contacting some past professors that I particularly enjoyed being in their class before. I think this is incredibly important for future references I may need in order to get a good teaching job or just for advice in general with my teaching career and/or lesson planning. Dr. Strange even pointed out that it is a good idea to go to local school events in order to meet teachers from there just in case I ever need a good reference from someone. Going to these events expand your PLN and can really help you in the long run.

So all in all there has not been a spectacular improvement in my PLN. There has, however, been a change in my own perspective about just how important a PLN is and how to acquire a successful one. This class has really helped me understand how connections locally and even all over the world can help my own teaching career and lesson planning in the future. Thanks Dr. Strange!

C4T Final Summary Week 15

Allowing us to pick our own C4T's these last two weeks was very exciting! Of course, I picked two English teachers and it was fascinating to see the things my fellow English enthusiasts have come up with.

The first C4T instructor I picked was someone called "TeacherTom" Teacher Tom.  It was in regards to kindergarteners possibly losing their recess completely. Recess has already almost become completely cut out. Most schools only allow them to have 15 minutes outside of the classroom setting and in the fresh air. Tom argues that recess is an absolute necessity. I agreed with him. Recess teaches children things that sitting in a classroom setting cannot. It teaches them how to socially interact and work together in different ways. They learn how to organize games and take up leadership roles. It also allows them time to get out and relax. It gives them some time to get their energy out so they're not so antsy in the classroom while trying to learn. I believe, like Tom, that recess being cut out is a horrible idea and it is absolutely necessary to have for kindergarteners.

The last teacher's blog I commented on was a woman named Mary Worrel. Mary was explaining a project she has been testing in her English abroad class. It is a multi-genre project she is improving from her first attempt of assigning the project. She provides a list of literature she included in the classroom reading material and some assignments she applied to each particular book. I commented and told her how exciting this idea was. It is implementing so much material into one project. I especially liked her poem assignment for one of the books. This allows the students to fully express their creativity towards what they have read and leads to deeper discussions in the classroom besides just what happened in the book. She even mentions that it lead to some philosophical ideas and discussions. It sounds wonderful and I complimented her on her improvement on the assignment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

C4K November Summary

My first Comment 4 kids this month was a young girl named Alessia. She had been assigned to show the life cycle of a frog. It was a brief post that included a diagram of the life cycle transitioning in a clockwise pattern. She then described each step at the bottom of her post. There wasn't much of her own originality that I could comment on because she was really just posting facts. I did however mention that I remember learning about that in school and that it is really interesting. Biology was always a fun class when I was younger and it was a lot simpler.

My second C4K this month was a young man named Cade from Michigan. He posted a creative project of an altar ego of himself. This altar ego's name was Michigan Man. He included his background story and some hobbies of Michigan Man's (which I believe were some of his own). I told him that this was very interesting! He had drawn a picture of him and everything! I told him that he should further his story and get some more details of Michigan Man's life. It would be a really cool comic book idea to run with.

Overall, the kids did a great job making their post. As usual, it is always very interesting for me to see just how advanced, smart, and creative kids are. I can't wait to be a teacher!

Blog Post #14

In Joel Klein's article Teaching our Kids can be a Profession, Mr. Klein discusses the problems with our education system and how teachers should take control of their careers by making their jobs more like a profession.

His list of problems consisted of:
-Better academic training is needed
-There needs to be a new approach for recruiting teachers
-A reward system for teachers is needed

The solutions are basically the problems worded differently. For the first point I do believe that this statement is extremely important and should be taken into affect immediately.  I remember countless coaches (history teachers), wannabe high school math teachers, and just overall not good teachers that attempted teaching I and my fellow students. I feel like with better training and school these teachers could have been more effective and would have made a better impression. But for example, I remember a new "physics" teacher who would come in my physics class when class ended so she could be tutored by my brilliant teacher everyday. She was your typical blonde, high heels, and tight clothes that really made me step back and say, "I can't believe they let her graduate with her teaching certificate." I mean, they were actually letting her teach children. Come to find out she was marking students' quizzes wrong when they were actually right once rechecked by my own physics teacher...
By using Klein's method of allowing the teachers to create their own standards to rate teachers on then I know for a fact this woman would have been removed. I completely agree with this solution and wish it would come into affect immediately.

The next problem sort of goes hand in hand with the last one. If the teachers had a set of standards handed down by fellow teachers, as Shanker suggests, then recruiting new teachers would not be so difficult because the school would get it right the first time. I also agree with Shanker's take on the beginning of a teacher's career at a new school. He says that there should be an internship process of a 1-3 year span to evaluate possible future teachers. Alongside his proposition of a national exam, I do not think that incompetent teachers would prove to be a problem anymore.

The last problem I have mentioned is the nonexistent reward system for our teachers. Let's be honest here, some teachers are ALOT better than others. It's just a basic fact. But the real problem here is that sometimes it is due to laziness and the unwilling attitude to really take any initiative in their job to help students. This is where the reward system would come in as Shanker suggests. Those teachers that do a better job and are really connecting with their students should be rewarded and start the process of working on a promotion. This will get teachers motivated to do better, even though they should already want to, and give them a sense of gratification that their job doesn't normally provide. Teachers do a lot and so I agree with Shanker and think that their hard work should not go unnoticed or unrewarded.

So, I agree with Shanker's suggestions completely. I feel like their needs to be a huge shift in the education world we have today. Too many people are getting off easy and becoming teachers just because they can and not because they deserve to be. This isn't fair for our students and should not be taken lightly. If we do not take a stand now and fight for professionalism in our career of teaching then teaching will always be treated as second class when we know we deserve a better reputation. When people find out I am going to be a teacher I get the same spill everytime, "Aw, well that's a rewarding job." Excuse me, this is a professional career that is raising up the next generation of your planet. Sounds a lot more important than most other careers to me. Because of this, I feel teachers need to be reevaluated and rewarded throughout their teaching careers so as to keep our teachers at the highest level possible for our students.
Award that states" Awesome teacher award"
"Add Amazing Teacher Name Here"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blog Post #13

So, what made you want to be a teacher?

1.) Watch this video Why Become a Teacher.

2.) Watch this video 7 Reasons Why Becoming a Teacher is Awesome.

Answer the driving question and other questions specific to the assignment in a post that adheres
to the standards found in the ACCRS and in Writing A Quality Blog Post.

My answer to my created blog post assignment...

I feel like this is a very important BlogPost assignment to include because it makes your students really reflect on why they are doing this in the first place. To my fellow future educators, this is not a profession you can just choose and expect to be happy with. It really does have to be your calling. Let's face it, there is no real money to be made in teaching. It is all about the rewards that come from it.

In Why Become a Teacher. , several teachers are interviewed about why they became a teacher. They really touched base on a lot of my reasons for wanting to be a teacher. I too had a high school teacher that really influenced me to go into teaching. She was an English teacher as well. English was my favorite class to begin with, but she really showed me just why I love English so much. I love the creativity and imagination behind every book I read. I want to share my love for reading with my students. My teacher really narrowed my focus into literature and classic novels. Grammar is great, but I feel like the literature aspect is more important. This teacher had such passion behind her lessons. As the video says, my teacher also took her teaching to a college level and that really pushed me to try harder. I accomplished more than I thought was possible and that is my goal for my own students. I want to push my kids to their full potential and beyond. Being a teacher means making an impact on a child's future. I don't see how any other career could be as rewarding.

7 Reasons Why Becoming a Teacher is Awesome. is a very simple video that says a WHOLE lot.
As a teacher you will...

#1 Be a Leader. To your kids, you are Superman. You know all and can help any situation. I remember being a student in high school and just thinking how brilliant my teachers were. A lot of that is due to their passion about their work and their own research that they put into their subject. Like Dr. Stranger says, "We are all learners." It is great though to feel as if you are leading these kids into their future.

#2 Give kids the skills they need. This is a VERY important role of being a teacher. We shouldn't just teach at our kids. We need to give them the important things they need to succeed out there in the real world. The real world is not about grades and test scores. That was one thing I did not like about my own education. I felt so helpless once I really got out there. What did I really learn at all?

#3 Create New and Innovative Lesson Plans.. This relates to all the other points. To be and do all these "Awesome" things as a teacher, we have to create new and exciting, awesome lesson plans that keep our students engaged and constantly finding new ways to succeed.

#4 Become an Expert. This correlates with what I commented on in the first video. Being a Secondary Education major I will have the opportunity to become an expert in my own subject: English. Teachers must take advantage of this. WE ARE ALL LEARNERS. I will never stop learning new things about my subject so I can find new ways to teach it to my students.

#5 Be the most important person to many families. This statement really hits home with me. Growing up with two working parents and being an only child, I didn't have many people to turn to for answers. But I did luckily have a few pretty amazing teachers who I could always go to. They were way more than just teachers. Even on a non-personal level, all teachers have children more hours of the day than the child's own parents do. We have to make the most of that time they are spending at school.  

#6 Fulfill your true calling. This one took a little work on my part and it is one of the main reasons why becoming a teacher is so special to me. Because at first, I planned on going into the medical field (Big money right?) I soon became depressed all the time and hated all of my classes. How could I do something I hated for the rest of my life? I had to choose what really made me happy: teaching. So, I made the tough decision of switching majors after two years and finally felt like I fit in.

#7 SHAPE OUR FUTURE. We are teaching tomorrow's leaders! This is a HUGE deal. Don't make light of this particular aspect to teaching. In our classrooms are future teachers, doctors, lawyers, and maybe even the future president. Give them what wisdom you can to lead them in the real world and never forget what a difference we make!
Text states,"Keep calm and remember you're a awesome teacher"
*An.. awesome teacher.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blog Post #12 Collaboratve Group #4

Blog Post #12 Collaborative Group #4

A. This video is just about introducing what Assistive Technology is and why it is important to have the classroom. For example, you could have a blind child in the classroom and as a result they will require a different approach to learning. They are just as smart and able and their able-bodied counterparts. They just need a different kind of help.
By: Sterling Spencer

B. Apple has a range of technological options to help those who have disabilities live their lives to the fullest with their technology.

For the users with vision problems the “Voice Over” will read the screen to them. For those with hearing problems they can access the “Face Time” feature on the phone and can then converse with people face to face. For the users who have diminishing motor skills can utilize the “AssistiveTouch” features in the IOS. The IOS also has features to assist those with attention deficit or cognitive disabilities stay on task.
By: Sterling Spencer

  1. The Mountbatten brailler is introduced to be a way to incorporate the blind into the classroom curriculum. This device allows the student to type what he or she is trying to say and the device prints the message in braille and reads the message back to the student in the process. The Mountbatten saves files and is able to transfer and receive files from the computer. This gives the blind an opportunity to achieve all academic goals they have set for themselves.
By: Paula Holt

  1.      Technology never ceases to amaze me!! In Teaching Math to the Blind, Professor Karshmer discusses the difficulties of teaching math to the blind while he demonstrates how to use his innovative device that will make it simple and easy to teach math to the visually impaired.
                 For sighted children, it is very easy to explain a math problem on the board because        
           they can see how the numbers line up vertically. They then can add/subtract/divide/                                     
           multiply accordingly. But for blind students, Braille does not line up just so. Their            
           numbers stay linear and they can only read them from left to right. This makes math way  
           harder for them to figure out. But with Professor Karshmer’s device, students can scan
           numbered tiles which tells them what number each tile is. They then can place it
           anywhere on the board and line up tiles to make problems easier for them to feelbraillepic.gif
           and figure out. Such a simple creation but it has a remarkable impact on it’s particular set
           of students. I personally have a very close friend who is blind and just from talking to
           him I know that it is extremely difficult to get a job if you are blind. With math skills your
           chances increase drastically. That’s why technology is such a huge must for students
           with special needs.
By:Taylor Gray
  1.     Another more familiar piece of technology that is becoming increasingly important for the blind is the Ipad. It’s so refreshing to see something so popular being put to good use
           for once! After watching ipad Usage for the Blind, I’m so amazed at what Apple has
           done! Using the Ipad for the blind is simple and so easy for them to hear and understand
           what they are doing while they are using their Ipad. This opens so many doors for them.
           Now they can create and store all kinds of information and easily access it without any
           outside help. I know that there are other forms of technology that have been made
           accessible for the blind, but according to my friend who is blind, most of these devices
           are very expensive. An Ipad isn’t cheap but it is attainable. It is also being used more
           and more in schools. This gives special needs teachers an easy tool to interact with
           with their blind students and give them a chance to feel in control! By: Taylor Gray

E. In this video we see someone showcasing the “Voice Over” feature on the Ipad. You can turn it on and the screen will read everything on it to you. It will even tell you when there is nothing there. It will even offer suggestions to help you out.
By: Sterling Spencer

  1. Denise shows us how learning on the ipad is simple and easy for someone who is blind. By simply running your finger over the screen the ipad tells you what app or program you are about to click on. It is set to double tap, so when you are over the app you need you can double tap anywhere on the screen and it opens the app. The keyboard is the same way making it easier to send messages for someone who can only hear. This is a great tool for a blind person to communicate with the world. I feel this is a great aspect and will go a long way for the people who simply can’t see, but have all the dreams just like the ones of people with vision.
By: Paula Holt
  1. Special Education isn’t for everyone. It takes a calm, cool, collected, organized , and confident person to work with the special needs. Teaching can become overwhelming, so it is great to have a variety of options in your PLN. Working with parents and other teachers can offer many new ideas to help the special needs. Jeff Dunn has created an article 50 Must-See Blogs For Special Education Teachers.  This article provides 50 blogs for you to add into your PLN. Jeff has broke them down into different groups making them easier to find what you need. Special Education Teaching Tips and Strategies, Technology and Assistive Technology, Special Topics, Special Education News and Policy, Special Education Law, and Various Topics on Special Education. Expanding your PLN allows you access to many ideas you can incorporate in your lesson plans.

By: Paula Holt

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Project #14 Collaborative Lesson Plan #2

Lesson Plan

Group #4 did an English project that revolves around taking classical literature language and editing a modern song with this type of language. It's a humorous activity that will get the students creatively involved and excited to present such a project to the class through some form of media.

Picture of Haydn that says," They see me rollin, they haydn."

Blog Post #11

What Can We Learn From These Teachers?

      Brian Crosby from Agnes Risley Elementary School is a very up-to-date educator. You can tell he is very proud of his students. I learned a lot from watching his video Back to the Future. In his assignment about balloons, he found a way to incorporate every subject into this lesson plan. It's amazing how involved students will become when you include things like science, creative writing, skyping, and blogging into a lesson. I have always thought that students need to be exposed to "what's out there." Because it is all too normal for people to be unaware of what is happening in the real world. But by having your students skyping with other students from all over the world they really become aware of just how small they are and of things that truly matter. I loved their idea of "High Hopes" and how it connected them to students all over the world and it really gave them a sense of pride when other classrooms got involved. It was very sweet of his class to include the girl who had leukemia into their classroom and to give her a feel for what it is like to be in a real one. From this video I learned that there are simple ways to get students thinking and learning without them even realizing it. I also learned that I need to keep it in mind to find ways for my students to connect with the world.
      In the Blended Learning Cycle, Paul Anderson talks about his innovative process of teaching. Anderson discusses his acronym for teaching which he calls Quivers: QUestion, Investigation, Videos, Elaboration, Review, and Summary quiz. The key part to this process to me is that he didn't allow his students to take the summary quiz until he felt like they had a real grasp on what they had learned. It happens too often that students get left behind in class and then have a test thrown at them that they have no chance of even passing. Even after allowing his students to take the quiz he would send them back to the beginning of "quiver" if they still didn't understand it. This way he is ensuring that the student is actually learning and not just trying to pass a test. A lot of blended learning sounds like Project Based Learning and in a way they're extremely similar. They engage students, they use technology, and the teacher evaluates their "end product" to see if they really understand it. I will definitely incorporate this in my classroom.
Diagram of the Blended Learning Cycle
      In Mark Church's video Headlines, he has a simple idea that every teacher should use in every lesson plan. Ask your students what they think about a topic that they don't know much about. Later, after you have finished the lesson, ask them again what they think and see how their ideas have changed since the lesson began. By telling his students to create a headline with their initial idea they made something of physical evidence that they can refer back to later so they can see just how much they ideas have changed. This really is a way of making thinking visible. The students are actually presented with their thinking on a paper and they have a way to compare initial thoughts to their ending thoughts. I think this helps students understand the learning process and just how drastic the change in themselves can be. It's a way to spark their interest in learning.
      Super Digital Citizen was probably my favorite video to watch for this blog post. This was a super creative way to implement not only writing skills but technology and real world skills as well. I think it is extremely important to educate our kids to be smart on the internet. This is one of the most pressing matters for our generation of children today. Misusage of the internet is a constant concern for our students and forming a project around it is just genius. These students were so engulfed in the project that they were actually having fun creating their own characters and putting them into a comic book. This is very inspirational for me as a future English teacher because this is a wonderful idea to use for any book we may read in class.
      Project Based Learning was very similar to many videos we have watched in the past about PBL. This just added to our understanding of the difficulties that come with learning how to incorporate PBL into your classroom. This is especially true for veteran teachers who have become adjusted to their teaching styles without it and are now trying to change all of their tactics. I do however think it's rather important to try and include different subjects under a single project. This way the students isn't just learning a subject but instead how it ties into to everything else as well.
      Roosevelt's Elementary PBL was mostly about a small community and the group of kids in this Elementary school and just how project based learning affects them as a whole and individually. It focused less on the actual process of PBL but the outcome of it. Students are becoming more engaged in their community and in their classroom. They're becoming excited about learning and proud to show what they have learned to their community. The best part about PBL in my opinion is how it relates to real world problems. It gets kids active in places like their community, the classroom, and sometimes they even have an affect on students in other parts of the world. Students are taught how to work collaborate together, how to speak in public, and how to research a subject to learn about it on their own. Project Based Learning gives the students self motivation and a sense of ownership in their learning environment. It is empowering for them and I believe this is the best environment we can provide for our students. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Blog Post #10

Little Kids BIG Potential-Interviews with Kathy Cassidy

I really enjoyed watching Ms. Cassidy's class have a fun time making their video First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class. It's so encouraging to see young students engaging in technology and loving to learn! Ms. Cassidy has definitely found a successful way to connect her students to technology.

One of the techniques that I will definitely be stealing from Ms. Cassidy is the fact that her students blog at least once every week, according to her Q + A in the last video Interview with Cassidy Part 3.
She also stated that the students sometimes blog when they are at home. This means that the students love blogging so much that they take their own time away from school to blog without even being assigned to. Another thing I really liked about Ms. Cassidy's approach is the fact that she doesn't try to "force" anything on herself. She encouraged her audience to start their technology journey with something that they specifically enjoy doing. For example, if you like to write (like me), you should start with blogging. The same goes for anyone who likes to share pictures, start with Flickr. Using technology because you love doing it makes it easier for you to get into other types of social media/technology.

Text reads "Flickr"
I think that by taking Ms. Cassidy's techniques and her approach to technology it will help encourage my students to become more engaged in technology and learning through it. Her students were so excited that other students were reading their work and that they were able to communicate with people and classrooms thousands of miles away. It will be my job to make it fun for the students and beneficial.

When the students were using their DS's in the classroom to play Nintendogs, it was helpful for  first graders because it helped them learn to share. But in addition to that, for my high school students, it increases collaboration within groups. In high school, this would mean that the students would be gathered around one computer working together on projects that I assign in my PBL lesson plans.

A negative impediment I might encounter in my technological journey in a high school classroom might be keeping the students' attentions. First graders are pretty fascinated with computers in general and do not need much to keep them interested. High school students, on the other hand, have had access to technology their whole lives. So, this just means that my jobs becomes a little bit harder. I have to be willing to research and discover advanced methods of teaching through technology for my older students. It has to be interesting, new, and appropriate for my grade level. But that's the fun part! I can't wait to begin applying technology to my classroom!


Friday, October 24, 2014

C4K Summary Week 10

      These past 4 kid blogs I have had the pleasure of reading have somewhat amazed me. Wow! Kids are really smart and teachers have opened their eyes to real life problems in the world today. They all have really bad grammar problems but they are such a joy to read. It helps me remember what I was like at that age.
       The first young lady I had the opportunity to read wrote a short paragraph about how we should help feed the homeless and take care of them. How thoughtful! Here we have a young soul caring about others and the world around her. I encouraged this student and offered advice for looking into different organizations that help the homeless. I also warned her to always have an adult present.
      The second student I was able to address was a young Mr. Zane. It appears as though Zane's teacher had presented the class with a driving question: Should kids lose recess when they are getting punished in schools? Zane said no because recess is where students get all of their hyper tendencies out in order to relax when in class. If you take that away than the student will just misbehave more in class because they have so much energy. This sounds like he really gave the question some thought and I informed him that I agree with him. There are other ways in punishing a child then making them sit inside. There's detention, writing lines, and many other things than taking his physical activity away.
      The third student was particularly interesting to me. Patrick was (I'm assuming) assigned to write creatively. It wasn't really clear on the post just what his point was or what he was trying to get across. One thing I know though is that he was really into it. The story had something to do with crystal flowers. I encouraged him to keep writing creatively and to continue his story because his readers would love to learn more about it. I hope this inspired him to keep writing.
      The last student I read this month was a girl named Shavanah. Shavanah composed a list of things a person needs to do when trying to protect themselves from the sun. She informed her readers that exposure to the sun can cause cancer and we should take steps to avoid it as much as possible: wear shades, use sunblock, and wear clothes. I told her that it was always very important to be aware of the sun and the harm it can do to our bodies. It was a great post. They all were!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blog Post #9

      So, just what can teachers and students teach us about project based learning? Well, for a person who hardly knows anything about PBL I can learn a lot. The general idea of the program is known but the technicalities and the actual steps are pretty blurry to me. By watching these videos and reading these articles the idea is becoming a lot less hazy.
      In the article Seven Essentials for PBL, I learned that there is a proper way for establishing a project in the classroom that will be both educational and motivational for the students. By following these steps the students will be engaged from the beginning and as the teacher I will be there to guide them through their academic progress. The most important step in this, I believe, is the "hook." In order to grab their attention, the teacher must present it in a powerful way that will lure them into caring about the project. Then from there it's all about helping the students find good resources and ways to present what they have learned from the project. In doing this the students learn how this "driving question" really connects to the real world around them.
      In the video Project Based Learning for Teachers, first of all, this video really grabbed my attention. What this video does in contrast to the previous article, is it gives many different examples of driving questions and resources that students can use in their projects. It goes over the different types of skills students will learn while doing projects e.g. communication and collaboration. I think the Einstein quote at the end really sums up PBL. His quotes says that teachers should not teach but to set the grounds for which their students learn. This is the epitome of  project based learning and everyone can take something from that quote.
      The article Project Based Learning and Physical Education shows just how universal PBL is as a learning unit. This project shows that PBL can be used in any kind of classroom setting and that it is just, if not more, effective. Having projects in P.E. classes is a genius idea! It gets kids moving and thinking at the same time. What better way to get kids to exercise than to hand the reins to them and allow them to academically explore at the same time. It makes exercising more fun and innovative than  your typical physical education class. I thought that allowing high school students to come up with the a new middle school activity for P.E. was very creative. I could only imagine how much fun the students had with this project. This project example deemed very successful and if I was a P.E. teacher I would definitely steal this idea for my own class!
   The title for the video   High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL Implementation really speaks for itself. In this video, I saw the struggle that these teachers had to go through in order to find just how they could fit PBL into their curriculum and how it shaped their classrooms. Yes, this is a totally new way of teaching and I'm glad I watched a video from the teacher perspective about the hardships of it. I mean, we can't just come up with a new way of teaching and expect it to automatically fit into the ways that have always been taught. It's very interesting to see how they attempted to fit the new program into every subject and to learn that not every subjects works the same way with PBL. The effects will indeed be different between let's say math and English. Overall, I think that project based learning can indeed be applied to every subject. We as teachers just have to work together in order to find a way that best achieves this goal.
      Watching the video Two Students Invent New Ketchup Bottle Lid was very encouraging! It made me imagine just what my students will be able to come up with when I give them the means to go above and beyond. This really reminded me of Randy Pausch and how he said that he never set a limit on what his students could do. Once you set a limit, your students will always stop there. But if you give them the freedom to think and explore in new ways you never know what they will create.
Picture of PBL diagram . The word PBL is in the middle and it is surrounded by all sides with the different elements of project based learning

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Implications and Teaching Opportunities for Camera Use in Teaching and Learning

Part A

      Technology plays a larger role in education today than people tend to realize. In the study by Zogby Analytics, statistics show just how reliable people are on technology, specifically smartphones. With 87% of them saying that their phone never leaves their sides it's a wonder that work ever gets done in the world today. This is especially true for the education world.
      Having students that constantly have cell phones has so far caused disruption universally in the classroom setting. For teachers, this means constantly reminding students that phones are prohibited and to pay attention during class. This implies that learners will be at a disadvantage due to these distractions and disruptions. Having phones at all times and wanting these phones to have cameras as well can ultimately be an advantage for academics. But like all technology, it must be applied properly.

picture of black and white iphone standing next to one another

Part B

      As a high school English teacher, at first glance it is rather difficult to insert the use of smartphones and cameras into my classroom. But with some creative ideas and a little innovation, any form of technology can enhance any classroom. Constantly having a phone by your side calls for easy access to communication, internet, and other tools. This can be applied to more than one aspect of the classroom.
       The first and most important tool this would be in my own classroom is a way for me to contact my students and vice versa. Emails would be on hand instantly and if a student had any questions or concerns I am just a phone call or an email away. This is also a good reason to keep a class blog so students can collaborate together and keep up with what is going on in the classroom.
       Having cameras constantly on hand in the classroom makes for documenting important information and practice simple and easy. Students will easily be able to take pictures of important notes and possibly sections of books we're studying during class that they need to remember.
       Paper and pens will no longer be a necessity in the classroom. Instead of wasting time writing and organizing papers, students will just be able to take pictures of assignments and things they need to keep up and will instead be able to pay attention in class and use technology to create something. Projects and presentations will be in the palm of their hands where they can easily look, share, and edit on demand.

Video Book Commentary for Group 4

This is Group 4's Video Book Commentary video. Enjoy! Our question was topic #8.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blog Post #8 The Last Lecture Video

      After watching Randy Pausch's Last Lecture I am speechless. I am absolutely at a loss for words and no simple blog post is going to be nearly sufficient enough to express just how moving that video was. It left me in tears at the end. This man truly emblemizes the kind of legacy I want to leave behind as an educator and not just as an educator but as a person. While watching the video I found myself jotting down topics and side notes Randy mentions throughout the lecture and when I went back and read my notes I was taken aback. I saw words like hope, dream, loyalty, leadership, achieve, and most importantly, fun. These are the basic qualities of life I hope to inscribe into my own students and even my future children.
      As I listened to Randy's life and all the dreams he had come true it made me step back and examine my own life. Just what am I doing right now to pursue my dreams? Have I allowed the world and society to help me forget those childhood dreams that used to be so important? To Randy, becoming an imagineer worker for Disney was close to impossible.
Picture of Sorcerer Mickey Mouse with text beside him that reads "Walt Disney Imagineering"
This is where he discovered his first real "brick wall." But without these, according to Randy, people wouldn't be able to tell apart who really wanted to work hard for it and those who didn't. I can say that I have faced a few of these myself and if I'm being honest with myself, I have walked away from a lot of them. Randy taught me to face them head on. He also taught me not to fear those around me who seem to be angry with no soft side. He's right, if you hang around long enough, everyone has a good side just like every brick wall can be taken down with enough hard work and determination.
      Randy and I share a perspective that is very close to my heart for learning: wanting the students to bond together while learning and having fun. Aside from all the success of his ETC class and other endeavors at Carnegie Mellon University, Randy above all wanted his students to be "head-faked" into learning really hard stuff while having fun at the same time. This is all I want for my future students. I've never been a huge fan of a technology take over, but if this is what will allow my students to have fun while learning and connecting with each other than I will embrace technology with open arms for every aspect of the classroom. All I want is to do like Randy and help others achieve their dreams. Opportunities for my own dreams will come and go, but my career will forever be based on helping others achieve their dreams and learning that brick walls can come down with hard work.
      A big success in his classroom is something we have been learning about in EDM310. He didn't have a name for it and I do not think the program had even been thought of yet but it was very plain to see project based learning was what his classroom was all about. Randy even stated that book learning was thrown out the window on the first day because he knew his students had been reading books for 4 years and by then they had probably read all the books. His curriculum said nothing but project all across the border. With the success that came from the pioneering class, we should all be learning from him. What his students were able to achieve in that class just prove how effective PBL really is and how it can push your students to limits they never believed possible. That's another thing I like that Randy says, "Never set the bar." By setting the bar we are limiting what our students can do and that is worst thing an educator can ever do for their students.
      Above all, Randy seemed like he was a magnificent guy who was a leader to pretty much everyone around him. He definitely got a lot out of life and he wanted everyone around him to get the most out of life as well. This video was very inspirational and I'll never forget it. We can all learn a lot from Randy. Never stop learning. Never stop helping others. Never stop having fun.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

C4T Summary #2

      I was fortunate enough to be able to peruse Eva Buyuksimkesyan's Blog. Her latest post up was about a few different websites useful if you are trying to learn English. Most of them were just a bunch of games and quizzes that make it fun to learn the language. This is how all learning should be done. If you can't keep the student interested and having fun then they won't pay attention and the information will not be retained. One of her ideas she suggests that makes it easy to organize activities for learning was Pinterest. In my comment I mentioned that this was a fascinating idea. I have always used Pinterest for arts and crafts ideas and even gifts, but I never considered utilizing this site for learning.
      In Mrs. Eva's second post I commented on, she discusses different activities teachers can use in the classroom on the first week to socialize their students and get them working together. A great idea I saw was her activity involving making the students group together and create advertisements for themselves. Then they present the advertisement to the class and the teacher to introduce themselves. Not only does this implement the activity into a project, but it's a group project that allows the kids to use their creativity while working together. The other ideas were very creative as well and I'll definitely be stealing a few of these for my own classroom.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Project #7 Movies Part B

Introduction to Students Movie
Introduction to Parents Movie

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blog Post #7

1.) Instruction in schools has changed dramatically since I attended grade school. Technology is being applied in everyway possible and the kids are having no trouble at all keeping up with it. It appears that by incorporating technology into the classroom, kids are learning better and more effectively than ever before. Teachers are discovering new ways to implement technology into their lessons, or more so their lessons into technology, and the kids are eating it up. Project Based Learning is a whole new system of learning that I am still getting used to, but after taking this class I know for a fact that I will be more prepared for applying it in my classroom in the future. I can say right now that my strengths and weaknesses are more or less balanced for the moment. Some of my strengths for implementing PBL in the classroom is my creativity, ability to learn new skills quickly, and my enthusiasm for group work. I love being able to make the learning process a creative one. It just makes it more enjoyable for both me and the students. I love for people to work on problems together and I believe that's a big part of PBL. Some of my weaknesses include not being so tech-savvy(not yet anyways!), this idea being new to me (this wasn't how I was taught), and that most of my preintended lesson planning methods do not include PBL (yet!). So, there is hope that I will be very successful in using PBL in my classroom.
2.) I learned a lot from these videos. For the most part, I learned that children enjoy using technology in their lessons and that it is easy for them to do so. I learned that children use tablets more than I ever have. In How to Make an Audio QR,and in Ipad in the Reading Center, I learned that by children making their own recordings or by listening to their teacher read to them, they are more likely to be interested in listening to these books and to become engaged in them. I remember being in Elementary school and listening to books on tape in class and I would get so excited just for that time of the day. I can only imagine how excited children get to hear not only their teacher's but their own voices reading the story to them. Plus, by them recording and listening to it played back, they have the opportunity to listen to where they may have made a mistake in their reading. This is a wonderful technique for reading!
In Using Poplet and in How to Use and Build a Board, I learned just how PBL can be used in the classroom with technology. By using these different apps for reading in the classroom the children are actually doing a kind of "mini" project each time they read a book and put the information in these apps. They use what they have read and seen in the book and organize into "web" like structures within the app. This let's them see the information in a different way and by doing this they will better retain the information they have learned.
In We All Become Learners, these two librarians just emphasized more on what this class has already been teaching me. That as teachers we have to adjust to a changing world of education and that technology is now the key to learning. Apps like Padlet and the ones in the previous videos are taking learning to a whole new level. Technology is making learning fun, accessible, convenient, and it is displaying information in a whole new way making it easier to comprehend and apply. As teachers, we need to be up to date in all things new in the education world. It is our responsibility to be able to relay information in the best way to our students. I also learned that as an educator I myself will constantly be learning. I will be learning how to use new technology and how to utilize in my classroom to be help my students' learning processes.
Picture of Teacher helping young student using an Ipad at their desk.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

C4K Summary Post for September

      Comments for Kids is such an awesome experience. Seeing these kids blogging and talking about their day at school takes me back to my elementary and middle school days. These kids are so smart!      
      My first C4K assignment was to a young girl in the 7th grade. She was talking about a presentation she went to that was held by three or four authors of children's books. She absolutely loved this experience and was very excited about the opportunity. I told her that I myself am an aspiring writer and this would have been a treat for me to attend. She posted a picture of the authors and even talked about the one that was her favorite because she was funny and had nice things to say.
      My second C4K experience was somewhat of a strange one. The "child's" name was, and I quote, "grandma". I was a bit confused if this was an actual kid's blog or some joke. So, I just decided to respond to "grandma's" most recent post. The most recent stated, "I like pancakes." So, I just said what came to mind. I asked what kind of pancakes they liked. I told them that I love pancakes myself. Then, I responded with a question: "Why pancakes? Why not waffles? Is there something wrong with waffles? Why not bacon?" In conclusion, this was a very humorous and somewhat odd situation but I made the best of it.
      My final comment for September was a young man named Travis. He is in the 4th grade and is very grumpy about it. He says that he does not like how the lunch is run and that you can't sit by your friends. He also said the same thing about the football games and would rather sit by his friends than his parents. The most baffling statement from him was that he was upset that he has had to bring homework home a couple times.... I guess "home" work hasn't hit "home" with him. Nonetheless, I responded with some words of wisdom that in the future of middle and high school he will have to take homework home all the time. I told him that I am in college and that I take homework home all the time and even do it at school too. I wished him the best of luck and I hope he enjoys his year better because it will fly by!
Picture of a man holding a sign that says "Don't forget to leave your comment"

Blog Post #6

Conversations with Anthony Capps

      I was very interested and pleased that we were assigned to listen to Anthony Capps because he has already achieved what we're working towards. He has a lot of really good teaching ethics and teaching tools that I hope to apply in the future in my own career.
      In the videos, Project Based Learning Part 1, and in Part 2, Anthony opened my eyes to what projects should really do for students in the classroom. When we think of projects, like Anthony said, we think of an assignment that comes at the end of a lesson and helps to summarize what you have learned. This is how it was all through my Elementary, Middle, and High School career. But PBL helps you realize that we have been utilizing projects the completely wrong way. They shouldn't summarize; they should teach. Anthony talks about how his students get enthralled in their projects and that's also in regards to how well he plans them. I was especially impressed with his project based on Haiti. This gave the students the opportunity to not only be creative but to learn about what was going on in the world at the time. This relates topics from the classroom to reality which is what should always be done. Otherwise, what is the point of learning something that cannot be applied in the future?
      Discovery Ed and iCurio are particularly useful tools for the classroom. In these, you can trust that whatever the students are researching it is academically based and nothing inappropriate. This is beneficial to every grade level but particularly for the younger students who are now using technology for research and assignments. Anthony explained how the students can create projects and save their work on iCurio which is extremely important. Overall, these sounded like great tools that I can use in my classroom in the future.
      Anthony's Tips for Teaching wasn't exactly something I have never thought about before when considering my future as a teacher. I know that by becoming a teacher I will never stop learning. I will never be "finished" with the job and I think that's why I love the idea of becoming one. It's an ever fulfilling job that is never done. You are always finding ways to help students achieve their goals and to push them to their highest potential. It's not a cut and dry job that starts at 8 and ends at 3. You have to take work home with you and find new things you want to share with your class. It was very encouraging to hear Anthony discuss how you have to learn to enjoy learning while not getting paid. By constantly learning and bettering yourself, you are teaching and bettering your students. That's why becoming a teacher is such a fulfilling career that I am so excited to pursue.
      It was very hard to listen to Use Tech Don't Teach It . This is a controversial subject for me, because my generation was exposed to technology but it was never enforced or taught per say. I think technology can be extremely beneficial to the learning process and obviously is enforced in the real world today. On the other hand, I believe that technology can also be a burden. It can be used for negative things and it can be a crutch. But nonetheless, technology is here and it will forever will be. I am not one who will fight this to the death. Anthony has the right ideas about how technology can be useful in the classroom. It can help excite your students to learn and to further develop ideas. As for me, yes, I will constantly be learning how to use technology because I know my students will be as well. I hope to one day use technology in my day to day activities so as to be able to better educate my students and to be able to enjoy it myself. I may not always be in agreement with technology but I will however learn how to apply it in my classroom.
      In Additional Thoughts, I realized that I am very worried about my lesson planning. I know it will come in time but I hope I can one day master the "scaffolding" , as Anthony puts it. Lesson planning is very tedious and if done wrong the students cannot learn the topic properly and may have a hard time learning it later. It has to be strategically placed in order to guide the students through the lesson so they come out in the end confident in their work and abilities.
Reads" Successful Teaching" with picture of pencilas, a notebook, numbers, and letters.
I hope one day I can say I have achieved this!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Blog Post #5

          My Personal Learning Networking abilities are all rather new to me. As a student, I am very excited to be in EDM 310 in order to expand my technology usage and, most importantly, my networking abilities. After watching a 7th grader outdo me with her technological savvy skills in Welcome to PLE!, it has become a mission of mine to up my game and start expanding my networking branches.
          It started off with emails. I can remember when sending an email was cool and fascinating to me in middle school. Of course, then I was only sending about one email every few months and it was normally just because I wanted my parents to let me use the computer.....But since then, emailing has become an everyday phenomenon. Now, it's routine for to me check my email at least three times a day. From this source, I have connections with the most important educational figures in my life at the moment, and that is all of my current teachers:
I also keep a compilation of all of my past college professors and even some of my more memorable high school teachers.
          The next biggest innovation in my PLN is my Facebook. Here I can keep a more personal assortment of teachers I've had past or present. This way I can keep up with new projects they have or if they have moved schools even. I'm still "friends" with teachers I have had that have moved out of state. But with this tool, even if they no longer live here, I can still ask them any questions I may have. They are all very pleased to answer these at any time.
          The newest addition to this networking process is my Twitter account. Found here, My Twitter. Here I can start adding as many education tools as I like. I have only added a few education influences so far, but I have hopes of expanding this immensely. This is the fastest access to my networking branches. This way I can keep up with everything everyone is doing. I can look at links, blogs, and ideas that they may have all under one media source.
          Since joining EDM310, I have recently added a few other tools under my PLN. I now have accounts with Delicious, Youtube,and  Blogger.
Connected people
That's What I Call a Connection
          So, by taking EDM310, there is hope for my personal learning network. I hope to make connections all over the world with teachers and students alike. I will begin this process by expanding my Twitter account. Then, I will begin exploring on my blog account. Last, I hope to start using some of these social medias that I have never heard of before, such as Delicious. Wish me luck!