Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Final Reflection

This is Not Goodbye

What I Have Learned in the Last Eight Weeks
Wow! So many Skills:
I've gained so many useful skills from this class. Can you believe I did not know that there were search engines besides Internet Explorer. I now use Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari and I know to avoid Internet Explorer at all cost.
I know how to create a blog. I never thought I would be a "blogger" but now I am hooked.
I know how to create a link and how to copy and paste a link. I also know what a url is and I've even learned a little computer program language.
I now know that pictures on the internet need to be encoded with descriptions so that blind people can have a description of the picture. I also know how to give credit to the person who took the photo.
I know how to make videos, edit them, and publish them so they can be embedded into a blog post or other site.
I know how to use Google Docs to make a survey and I can distribute it and interpret the results. I can even make a Google Movie presentation with slides and add audio recorded with Audacity or Screenjelly.
I can record a Vocaroo and make a Wordle. I didn't even know what these were eight weeks ago.
I know how to make a time line with Timetoast.
I know the basics of operating a Smartboard and that there are a tremendous number of programs available to use with the Smartboard to make lectures more interactive and interesting.
I know what a PLN is and I can make one.
There has been so much I've learned I hope I did not leave anything out.
The best thing of all that I learned is that I can teach others to do the things I have learned to do.
Time Management: So important!
I've learned that procrastination does not work well in this class. To succeed in EDM310 one must manage their time and work on something everyday. I've learned to better manage the little time I have and I've learned to function on less sleep which may or may not be a good thing.
Be A Part Of Something:
I've learned that EDM310 is worth being a part of. Going to this class is very beneficial.
Some days I learned so much from just listening to other classmates talk about what they discovered and I also shared my discoveries with them.
I learned how important Jamie Lynn and Anthony are to all of us since they are fellow students and have recently experienced what we are going through and are there to help us along our way.
My opinion is that EDM310 has set the bar for all other education classes. I know I will not miss the deadlines but I will miss this class.
Wonderful Mentors:
I once heard that to be successful you should surround yourself with successful people and do what they do. Thanks to EDM310 I am now able to do this. Through the use of the internet I have become familiar with wonderful teachers from across the country and across the globe. I have access to blogs by Bill Chamberlain, Joe McClung, Mathew Needleman, Mrs Cassidy, Richard Miller and the PT England School as well as others which can stimulate me to become a more progressive, creative and effective teacher. I have also been moved by the inspiration of Randy Pausch which has left a signifigant impression on my future.
Final Thoughts
I have learned that before this class I knew almost nothing about being a good teacher and even though I have learned a lot I can never stop learning.
I have learned that there is a better way to teach. There are methods that I could have never imagined before my eyes were opened in EDM310.
I have learned that I want to be a tech literate teacher so I can give my students every opportunity to learn without barriers.

What You Should Know Before You Take EDM310

Come to class everyday even if it is not required. Work on part of an assignment everyday. Do not procrastinate. Do not get behind because it is very hard to catch up especially in the Summer semester. If you do get behind work harder to catch up and do not skip assignments. Every assignment that you are given has meaning for your future as a teacher.
Look at several blogs from previous EDM310 classes before you even begin the first assignment so you can have an idea of what is expected. Look for teach someone videos. You may find instructions for skills you will have to learn to do. At the beginning of the semester learn from previous blogs what a PLN is. This will help you out when you have to create yours.
Really learn how to do every skill that is required because you will likely have to do many of them again and also you will want to be able to teach someone else how to do them.
Pick one of the assistant instructors to befriend and become comfortable with. Do not be afraid to ask questions but try to accomplish things on your own first. Use the email addresses you have been given for help. Someone will answer you.
Make good use of all the instructional videos, they are invaluable. Put the instructional video in one tab while you are working on your assignment in the other that way you can switch back and forth between them. This will make accomplishing the assignment much easier.
Make links for teachers that you like. These are teachers you can learn from by following what they say and do for many years to come. Use Twitter to help develop your professional social network. These will lead to more links on your PLN.
Think of this class as an enlightenment and as one of the best thing you can do for your career as a teacher. Have a positive attitude and do not give up because it will get better.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Interview with Jessica Kogan: The iTouch and the School of Nursing

This interview proves that teachers need to be tech literate. The School of Nursing at South Alabama is trying to implement new technology into their classes but due to lack of planning, communication, and training of teachers the students incurred great extra cost and were not able to reap the full benefits from the iTouch they were required to buy. If the teachers were trained before the device was required for the classes they were teaching then the students could have used them to their full capacity. There were even times that the students were not allowed to use the iTouch because the teachers thought they were accessing the internet. If the iTouch had been implemented during the first semester instead of the second semester the students would not have had to spend the money to buy the books. They could have just used the iTouch. It amazes me that a department could require a tool and the teachers are not required to learn how to use that tool.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Teach Someone Project

This is a video teaching anyone how to use Symbaloo. I used Screenr to capture the live screen as well as the audio. Screenr is very simple to use but has a five minute time limit. If you are doing a short presentation I highly recomend it.

Blog post # 13

Alba Middle School Students Create Videos

I am so glad to see some work being done by our local students that is making use if video technology. I think that the Alba Middle School students will leave a big impression on the minds of many people world wide as their videos gain exposure. Until now I have not seen any media coverage of what children are thinking and feeling about the oil spill and it is always good to see things from their perspective. I hope to see more from them after the new school year begins. I have a son who just graduated from Alba and I have been thrilled with this school. Alba is a very good school which among other very good programs offers a very progressive experience in the use of video technology to its students.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Personal Leaning Network as of 07/14/10

I LOVE my PLN!!!! Now that it is official I don't know how I ever lived without it. All on one page I have access to all my instructors, South Alabama's websites that I use frequently, important blogs, creative programs, social networks, all my email accounts and so much more. I chose symbaloo because I likes the simple layout and the way tiles can be color coded and arranged with like items. I know that my page will fill up rapidly and change on a regular basis. Check it out at Allison's PLN

Tack 'N Togs Customer Survey

I sent this survey to gather information from my customers about what they buy and how I could make my store better for them. I will be going to buyers market in September and would like to know what to buy. I learned a lot about the brands, styles and sizes my customers prefer. I also learned what areas of my shop could be expanded on to better serve my customers. It looks like coupons would be used if I sent them out by email or by Facebook. I now realize that one must send surveys to a great number of people in the hopes of getting enough responses to draw viable conclusions. When I created this document I did not have an email data base to work from and it is still a daily work in progress. I hope to continue to get more responses as I send this survey to more people. I think that what I learn will be very valuable toward the future success of my business.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Blogpost #12

M-Cubed: ISTE Presentation

This video of a 3-D fabrication captures a view of a child's fascination and excitement for creating with new technology, I was drawn in with him and like him tried to get close to watch the paper go into the machine and the design to be cut. I fully understand his elation as he exclaims "it worked". What a cool thing to be able to do in a classroom. I want one of those machines for my classroom.
After watching three more videos from the Fablab 4 Teachers channel I realize that there is a lot more to what I have seen in the first video. The first video I watched was Imgine.Design.Create.Construct It talked about the fabricator machine and the ways in which it can be integrated into different levels of regular curriculum to engage learning. It helps with math skills and actively uses problem solving and it is fun. The second video I watched was Children's Engineering Initiative This video stressed the importance of introducing digital fabrication to students in the elementary schools because it is at that age that children develop these types of engineering and problem solving skills. The third video I watched was Principle of Least Change This was an interview about implementing change for teachers and also for students. It discusses how teachers fall short in the areas of math and science and they are apprehensive about having to teach more complex math skills to students. They developed an idea called the Principle of Least Change which states, begin where people are comfortable and make the most minimal change possible that will enable them to grapple with the new idea and produce new behavior. This works for both teachers and students both. The 2D and 3D fabricators are helpful to implement a new idea with minimal change. Students and teachers both like making things that they can hold and manipulate and they are already doing this in the classroom. The fabricator allows them to do what they are already doing but in a exciting way and teaches new math, engineering and problem solving skills as well as promotes teamwork. I guess you could say that these machines "fake us out" into teaching or learning skills we may otherwise be afraid of.
I watched many of the other videos that were instructional videos on how to do various things with the fabricator just because ai found it interesting. It does not look very complicated like I thought it would be. The tutorials walk you through the steps of design so that anyone can do it. Now I want one of these fabricators for my future classroom even more.

Mr McClung Reflects on Year Two
Refer to blogpost # 8

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blog Post #11

Little Kids...Big Potential

Ms Cassidy is using many tools of technology to enhance her first grade classroom. She is very lucky to have access to computers for all the students to use on a daily basis. The kids in her class even have made their own blogs which they all seem to love and they say that their writing skills improve every time they make a new post on them. I love that Ms cassidy can use Skype to bring experts from various fields to her students so they can learn from different teachers more than she could teach them herself. I think at a first grade level this is a very safe way to use the internet to offer a better education than the kids could get from books and lectures. I had not thought a lot about Skype before this assignment but now I think it will be one of the most beneficial tools that I can use. Skype is available to any laptop with internet access so it should be accessible in just about any classroom. Kids love having someone different to listen to in class and since Skype is an interactive conversation they can get their personal questions answered by someone who is an expert in his field. I think there is no better way to connect and if we as teachers do our research and verify the quality of those we choose to Skype then there should be no objections from the administration of parents.
The kids in Ms cassidy's class seem to love all the ways they are using technology and they will be prepared to function in the future technological world.


Mathew Needleman's Creating Lifetime Learners

My first comment was based on watching several videos whose scripts were written and performed by students features in Mr Needleman's blog Video in the Classroom Mini-Carnival #5 I think what he is doing with film is amazing. He has unleashed so much originality and creativity in his students. Their messages are very powerful and there is no better way to get these moral messages across to teenagers than through their peers. I am also glad to see that by writing films the test scores for the students have improved. I was not expecting to see that kind of data. I guess that is what Randy Pausch would refer to as faking them out. The kids are getting great enjoyment from making films and learning valuable skills about writing.The one method that he used that intrigued me the most was Stop Motion Animation. I could not stop thinking about the old skits of “Mr Bill” from Saturday Night Live. They were always my favorite part of the show. I have never really wanted to make a movie before but this is intriguing. I would like to use it for a project in my media class at the University of South Alabama. I asked him for any information that he would like to share.
On Mr Neeldleman's blog The Low Tech Way to Show YouTube Movies in School he finds a way to get around YouTube restrictions. I think it is great when the good guys find a way to beat the system. It's even better when they share it with everyone. This will be great information should I need to use it. I also enjoyed the comment from Kimberly Wagner on how she uses her smart board and real player to Youtube videos as flash videos to her class.
The last blog I commented on was Good Teaching Should Be Like Pulling Teeth (Sometimes) This is a challenge I hope to be prepared for. I can remember teachers who "pulled teeth" and I retained more from their classes than any others even though I may have disliked them at the time. By the way, I have never disliked you Dr Strange. I think you are great. Higher level thinking takes a lot more effort from the student than traditional memorization. I hope that I will be able to motivate my future students to want to learn bad enough to apply that kind of thinking. I wonder if you learn how to do this simply by trial and error? I would like to hear more from experienced successful teachers about this.

C4K # 4 KSS at Word Ruckus January 2010

I thought that these creative writing students from Kelowna Secondary School were awesome. They displayed their talent of using words to move and inspire others to think and learn and be more. I think that all kids there age could benefit from watching what these kids can do. This was a great video that can teach us all to dig deep and be more creative and not be complacent about learning.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Smartboard Movie on the Human Body

The Human Body by Allison & Pauline

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blog Post #10

A Seventh Graders Personal Learning Environment

This YouTube video features a seventh grade science student explaining her PLN and how she uses it. She has created a PLN which contains a few sites for personal use only but the majority of the sites contribute to her school work. She effectively uses her PLN to store sites that aid her in her daily school schedule as well as places to store research material that she is putting together for research papers. She really likes using her PLN because it puts her tools at her fingertips and she can create projects that are not only educational but fun. She says that everything is neat and it's not like book work. She also likes the freedom that the internet allows.
This seventh grader has many of the same useful work tools in her PLN as I do such as Blogger, Delicious, Evernote, Glogster, and Blogger. We also have the same social networking sites such as Skype, and Facebook. Many of the projects that she is working on or has created are stored in her PLN. I do not have much work sored in my PLN yet just my blog. I have many sites and blogs that deal with educational resources on my PLN that she would not have a need for. Everytime I am introduced to a educational site that I think I may find valuable as a teacher I put it in my PLN. Hopefully by the time I am teaching I will have PLN full of helpful links that can answer all my questions and help me be a more effective teacher.

Two Questions That Can Change Your Life

What Is Your Question?/ What Is My Question?
What is my question? This has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to narrow down. If it has to be just one I guess it is that I was there for my kids and that I made a difference in the betterment of their lives. This question ties into the reasons why I have chosen to become a teacher. The first reason is that I want to have more time to spend with my kids. The second reason is that I have always wanted to teach kids and help to guide them in the right directions. I want to be there for my own kids as well as my students and help to make their lives better.
Am I better today than yesterday? Well I have made some accomplishments today, one being this blogpost. I learn something new everyday and I am better for that. Am I better today as far as being there for my kids? Probably not. It seems like life is so demanding right now that to accomplish some things I have to fall short on others. I know that this will change sooner than later and it is that certainty that keeps me driving forward. I do hope that I am setting a good example for my kids to work hard to accomplish something good and I hope that they know that I am doing it for them as well as myself.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Two Person Interview Discussion

Allison and Pauline Discuss Teacher Interview

Sunday, July 4, 2010

C4K #3

3 girls in Mr McClung's class  showing their finished projects of the regions of Arkansas
The Finished Product

I commented on Mr McClung's April #3 post titled, The Finished Product. He was summarizing a project that his students did in which they created the regions of Arkansas out of salted dough then painted them and made a legend for the map. He took photos of the finished products and posted them on the blog. I think these hands on projects are a great learning tool and the kids will never forget the regions after having recreated them by hand. By posting projects like this on the blog and making them available for the world to see he drives his students to work harder to create a finished product that they can be proud of. The students then can access there work on line and feel a greater sense of accomplishment. I believe that this is a great teaching tool and Mr McClung is very creative with the projects that he is consistantly coming up with. He is enthusiastic about his class and the fun that they are having and the pride they have in their work shows in their faces.

Blogpost #9

Open Letter to Educators

The following is my comment to Morgan Bayda on her blog post featuring the Open Letter to Educators by Dan Brown. I hope we can one day live in a world like Dan is prompting educators for.
Hey Morgan, great job finding Dan he speaks worlds of truths to many people. I agree with what he is saying about schools becoming more progressive and needing to do more than provide teachers who stand and lecture. The whole time I was listening to Dan I was mentally reflecting on classes I have had in the last few semesters. Luckily the lecture classes I've had have incorporated some sorts of group interactive discussion along with lecture. Dr Stange's EDM310 class has definitely set the bar for embracing all that technology has to offer which is good but to succeed in this class you must be motivated self learner like yourself and obviously Dan. Unfortunately many students today are not self motivated and don't know how to learn independently. They need structure and someone driving them and holding them accountable for them to learn. If a student doesn't know what to look for and how to structure his own learning "syllabus" then he will get nowhere. I am all for a "new age" of teachers and learners and plan to use everything I am learning in EDM310 plus all the links and educator blogs I have in my PLN when I begin my teaching career. Right now our teachers of lower grade levels have to change to prepare all students for a future of learning that will include "liberated information" so that no one will be cheated out of a full and rewarding education that is available. Unfortunately employers still look at degree accomplishments when accessing perspective employees so getting that piece of paper is a necessary evil, even if it means sitting through boring lectures. Until high schools and Universities get up to date we will have to stick it out and if we are motivated self learners we can always challenge ourselves to go above and beyond and use the the vast resources that are at our fingertips to enhance what we are learning in the lecture halls. I would encourage students not to use bad professors as an excuse. Students who know how to need to take that extra step and set themselves apart. Hopefully in the future all students will be prepared by good, progressive technologically innovative teachers to do just this.

ALEX: Alabama Learning Exchange

Alex is a website set up for educators to provide the tools necessary to aid teachers and students in the classroom and to ensure that teachers have access to the latest educational seminars to keep them up to date and progressive. ALEX provides a variety of courses of study to choose from and breaks them down into specific topics providing lesson plans and links to websites to support these lesson plans and enhance the learning experience. Included in these web links are sites for teachers to use covering all core subjects, Arts education, Physical Education, Counseling and Guidance, Professional Development, Special Education, and Technology Educational. There are also links for administrators linking them to topics such as Leadership Development, Professional Development and Technology Education and Funding. This page of links also includes sites for use by the student covering most of the subject areas available to the teachers. Many of the links are interactive and can really enhance a students learning experience.
Alex also provides for the teacher a personal workspace where they can create an account in which to store their favorite educational web pages and to store and submit lesson plans. Another feature provided by ALEX is a gallery of podcast that features podcast created by students in various classes as well as podcast designed to aid in the teaching of specific topics.
Last but not least there is Alexville which is a page providing access to a multitude of teacher or administrator training programs to help keep teachers and administrators up to date with the latest classes available to them. These include training classes on using the latest emerging technologies in the classroom. The site is set up like a community to bring educators together to share information and to make sure training is made available to everyone.
As a future educator I am thrilled to know that this site exists. It is an invaluable resource of information for teachers that can help them to never fall behind. It offers access to continual learning programs and allows teachers to be connected to others who are working hard to make our jobs as teachers easier and more effective. I don't see how any teacher who uses this site could ever be lacking quality, innovative, and effective lesson plans for students of any level. No excuses for teachers. This site is so easy to use you can't fail. This will be a welcomed addition to my PLN and you can find it listed on my blog under Important Links.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Comments 4 Kids #2

Five Card Flickr with Tom & Clancy

Carnival Time by Clancy from Kathleen McGeady on Vimeo.

A Good Life by Tom from Kathleen McGeady on Vimeo.

I watched two videos one each by Tom and Clancy who are students at the Leopold Primary School. The boys each had to look at five random photos and make up their own stories from the pictures. This project gave them experience in telling a story with a beginning middle and ending but it relied on their own imagination to come up with the story. It was very interesting to see just how different their stories were. I will definitely be using this link in the future. Everyone needs to check it out. Five Card Flickr