Tuesday, April 29, 2014

C4T Assigned Part 3 Weeks 13 & 14 Shelly Terrell "Teacher Reboot Camp"

The teacher assigned to me by Dr. Strange is is Shelly Terrell and her blog is Teacher Reboot Camp.

Week 13

Shelly Terrell has many things to offer on her site other than her blog post. The image above was taken from a tab on her web page labled resources. On her page you can click on any of the titles and be taken to that resource. Each provides countless invaluable resources for teachers. she has so much to offer I encourage all to check it out.


This week Ms. Terrell tells us how to ""gamify" our classrooms. She says that since people enjoy plsying video games and while playing they learn to build, collaborate, problem-solve, explore, discover, and achieve goals. What if learning were more like a video game? Our students could be deamed heros or champions of the classroom. She shares a presentation by Paul Magloine, Unlocking Learner Motivation in the Age of the Digital Native, in which he highlights the ways in which games motivate and engage students.

Next she included a video showing how to make your learning resemble a video game.

Gamifying Learning from Shelly Terrell

She suggests that you don't have to gamify your curriculum all at once but do it in small steps. Start by using points and badges instead of grades when assessing. Also send your students on learning missions instead of homework, nookwook, and worksheets.
After the slide presentation Ms. Terrell provides links to many teachers who have gamified their classrooms and offer free tips and resources.

C4T Revolving Part 3 Weeks 13 & 14

C4T Revolving Part 3
Week 13

The teacher for my comment this week was Scott McLeod. His blog is "“dangerously ! irrelevant” and the post was  called  60 apps in 60 Seconds
In this post Mr. Mcloed presented a 60 second video rapidly flashing screen casts of apps that are available for teachers. I could tell that there were some interesting apps in the video but they went by to fast to gather any information about them. The video was a parody used to represent the way in which many apps are presented at seminars. Mr. McLeod made this post to illustrate that this is wrong way to do it. He suggests that what conference leaders should do is to choose one app or perhaps just a couple of good apps that have proven positive student outcomes and to address these apps thoroughly. I agree with Mr. McLeod. I believe that too many apps can be overwhelming. Also, apps become redundant and I am really interested in learning about the best of the apps of each category that consistently have good results and reviews. I hope that his video will have an impact on the way apps are presented at conferences in the future.

Week 14

Lisa Thumann

This week I was assigned to read Lisa Thumann's blog, Thumann Resources .
Lisa Thurman wrote in her blog about an attendance problem that she is experiencing at the UnConferences that she has helped to produce. Over the years attendance has been declining. Greater percentages of people who have pre-registered are not showing up. Her biggest concern is with the waste of food that is incurred when venders plan for a large crowd and then only half of them show up. She feels like the money that is wasted on food could go to more worthy cause. She is searching for a solution and eliciting responses of ideas from her readers. I feel that people should be required to pay a registration fee that would be refundable or exchangeable for food vouchers upon their arrival to the conference. If someone has a financial commitment they will be more likely to follow through. This may mean that less people register but they will be able to more accurately predict the number that will attend thus reducing the amount of waste incurred.

Blog Post #10 What Did I Leave Out?

This week Dr Strange has asked us to tell him what assignment we should have been given but were not. Then we were instructed to create the assignment and do it. This is my suggestion for what we should have done.

 What do the kids in MCPS really think?  
This week in EDM510 your assignment is to interview a current MCPS student in a class from your specialty area. Your interview should be based on the use of technology in his or her class. You may include information about their recent experiences with PBL. It is up to you to create your own questions for the student but you should focus on their experiences, likes, dislikes…… You may include the student’s teacher in the interview as well. It is up to you. Make a video and upload to either Vimeo or YouTube then post to your blog. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

C4T My Choice Weeks 13-15

From the blog of Mr. Derrick Willard: Tearing Down Walls
half of a brick wall with the saying:tearing down walls extending the science classroom

Week 13
I have been constantly searching through the archives of post by Mr. Willard. I came across a post from Dec 17, 2012. The post was titled Well Said and it included a quote which Mr. Willard says describes as what he is trying to do in his classroom and through his blog. “The world is where we learn; school is where we meet. Those who try to capture learning within school walls are doomed to the past”- Grant Lichtman. Thus the name of his blog, Tearing Down Walls. I think this quote should serve as a reminder to teachers of what our classrooms should be like and that we owe it to our students to make sure that they are globally connected.

Week 14
students in uniform in a classroom in China
On April 18, 2014 Derrick Willard made his first post about his observations in schools in China. In this post he addressed public boarding schools. Many families in China choose to have their children attend boarding schools during the school week because commuting in their big cities of 10 million plus people is very difficult. The students wore uniforms and the classrooms looked very similar to those found in the U.S. The students he observed were engaged in a “well rehearsed” English lesson. The teacher asked questions and the students enthusiasticly answer in unison. The lessons were taught from a workbook that had a cassette tape to go with it. The students followed the lessons in order and did worksheets that went along with them. After class all the students went outside for group exercise. The principle of the school said that they must teach to the test, the National Higher Education Entrance Examination. He was enthusiastic about daily exercise and the fact that the students had electives on Friday. Mr. Willard was impressed by the impressive academic complex that housed approximately 2000 students and 500 educators.
My comment for Mr. Willard: ”I have to say that I was disappointed but not shocked by your observations. I had hoped to see great innovations coming from the schools in China. I was not surprised to hear you tell of what sounds like strict, traditional rigor. From what I understand about the Chinese, their society prides itself on discipline, tradition, and honor. I look forward to hearing about the other three types of schools. Thanks for sharing.”

Week 15
Mr. Willard with private school students in the classroom

On April 26, 2014 Mr. Willard continued his review of schools in China. The school he visited was a large private boarding school with approximately 4000 students attending. He said that although the school was much larger than the public boarding school he reviewed last week, the classes had about half the number of students than that of the public school. He observed that instead of being slaved to Gaokao prep (college entrance exams), this private “school seeks to master traditional education and institute reforms-moving from more passive learning to more active learning, respecting personalities of students in order to motivate them better, encouraging more creativity, and social responsibility.” He commented that this school seemed very similar to his private school here in the U.S. He is not saying private schools in China are better than the public schools. He was actually told that the public schools tend to be the better ones.

I had a lot of questions to ask Mr. Willard about this post. First of all I wanted to know if the judgment that public schools were better than private schools was based on someone’s opinion, test scores or something entirely different? I was also curious as to why Chinese parents would pay to send their children to private schools if the public schools were better. Are the ideals of the Chinese people changing? I am also curious to know, is college performance by students coming from private and public school backgrounds being tracked? Is one type of student more likely to attend college and also can it be determined which student is the higher achiever based on college performance? Mr. Willard has been so gracious with his correspondence and replies to my questions. I am looking forward to hearing his reply.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Blog Post #9 What I Have Learned About Teaching From These Teachers

Blog Post #9
What I have learned about teaching from these teachers.
This week in EDM510 we have been assigned to watch videos from selected teachers and to think about what these teachers have taught us about teaching. I believe that one of the best ways to learn to do something is by learning through the experiences of someone who has mastered the skill. I love to listen to what experienced teachers have to share about what they do in their classrooms, what has not worked and what has proven to be successful strategies. All of the videos that Dr. Strange assigned this week have given me additional knowledge that I can carry forward in my future role as a teacher. I have inculded a link for each video and my comment about what new things I have learned from each one.

Mr. Brian Crosby: TEDx Talk "Back to the Future"

  • No matter what a child's experience has been at home, that child still has the ability to learn and become excited about learning.
  • Project Based learning and sharing these projects gets kids excited.
  • By sharing their work, the student also takes on the role as a teacher not just a student which makes them empowered.
Mr. Paul Anderson: Blended Learning Cycle

  • Quivers Acronym for blended learning method.
  • You must create an essential question that "hooks the students". This question should drive their desire to investigate and learn about the concept.
  • It is important for the teacher to conduct, with the student, a review of their work so that both the teacher and the student can see if the students really understands the material. Through explaining what they know to the teacher they will also better understand the material.
  • Because students are accustomed to taking test and seeing grades, a checkpoint quiz can help the student to see that they have really learned something and help them to be confident when faced with a final test on the subject.
Mr. Mark Church: Making Thinking Visible

video sample of book

  • Ask a question then let groups discuss the question before allowing them to answer. 
  • Writing down pre-conceptions about a topic before the project begins is a great way for the students to see what others are thinking then to reflect upon how different their understanding is after the project is finished. This is an excellent way for students to perceive how much they have learned.

Mr. Sam Pane
  • Digital Safety First. Do not assume that the students know anything about being good digital citizens. 
  • Create an age appropriate fun project such as creating a super hero character who is fights internet villans. Kids will have a great time creating their characters and learn that it is fun to be a good digital citizen.
Dean Shareski: Project Based Learning

  • Combining classes that can merge together to do PBL gives the students more time to do better work and learn more about all of the subjects through one project.
  • What the student can learn is unlimited if a project does not tell them what they are supposed to learn.
  • Multiple teachers revolving around a single classroom offers more hepl for each student and helps to stimulate a deeper level of thought.
Roosevelt Elementary's PBL PRogram

This video only reconfirmed what I have already learned about PBl. The main points this video made were:

  • Students are never too young to start PBL
  • PBL gives a student self empowerment because they feel that they have some control over their learning process.
  • PBL allows a student to question their world and learn more about the world around them.
  • PBL integrates curriculum.
  • PBL helps develope public speaking skills.
  • PBL teaches 21st Century skills.

C4K Part 3 Weeks 13 and 14

Comments Week 13

Justus's blogpage with his picture and text of his Fiafia story

Comment 1: Justus is a Year 4 student at the Pt England School in New Zealand. Justus wrote a short post about his Fiafia performance. I commented that he had written a great descriptive writing. I could tell from his writing that he had stage fright and I told him that I too had stage freight when I had to perform in front of a large group. I asked him how he got past it and told him that I tried to not see the crowd and pretend that I was the only one there.
drawing by Glennes illustrating his story

Comment 2: Glennes is a Year 4 student at the Pt England School in New Zealand. Glennes told the story about how Maui slowed down the sun. She wrote her story down and also created a Vocaroo so that a viewer could listen to it instead of reading it. 
My comment for Glennes: “I enjoyed hearing you tell the story about how Maui slowed down the sun. I had never heard this tale before and you did a good job explaining it. I'm sure glad that the sun slowed down because I think the days go by too fast now. I can't imagine trying to get everything done that we have to do in a day if the day went by any faster. Great job on your story and keep up the good work.”

Lukis'blog homepage screnshot

Comment 3: Lukis is a Year 8 student at the Pt England School in New Zealand. Lukis wrote a post about the adventures that he and his friends had at the Swim-a Rama. He and his friends liked to go down the hydro slide the most and they like to form chains and go down even though they are not supposed to. I commented that the Swim –a-Rama sounded like a lot of fun and that I would like to go down the slide. I asked him if he got to go there very often.  I also suggested that he should follow the rules so that he would not be asked to leave. I told him to keep up the good work and be careful at the pool.
My comment for Lukis: "Hi Lukis, my name is Allison and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the United States. Wow, the Swim-a-Rama sounds like a lot of fun. I really enjoyed reading about all of the fun things that you can do there. I wish I could go down the slide too. This sounds like a great place to go all year but especially during the summer when it is hot. Do you get to go very often? Try to follow the rules so you don't lose your band because it would be really sad if they would not let you come back. Keep up the good writing and be careful at the pool."

Week 14
Lani's drawing of the life cycle of a butterfly

Comment 1: Lani is a Year 5 student at the Pt England School. This week she made a Vimeo with a voice over explaining the life cycle of a buttlerfly. 
My comment for Lani: "Hi Lani, my name is Allison and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the United States. I am going to be a science teacher so I really love your Vimeo on the life cycle of the butterfly. Your graphics were really interesting. I have never made a Vimeo before so I did not know that you could do that. It was a little difficult to hear your voice over because of all of the people talking in the background. I listened to it several times and was able to here you explain the life cycle. You did a good job. Keep up the good work."
Akosita's find the robber game

Comment 2: Akosita is a year 5 Student at the Pt England School. On her blog she shared a link to a game in which the player had to find the location of the robber by plotting points.
My comment for Akosita: "Hi Akosita, my name is Allison and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the United States. This game is so much fun. I think this is the most fun I have ever had while plotting points. At first I did not know what the number that popped up meant but after a few tries I figured out it was telling me how far away I was from the robber. I finally got it in seven tries. I think it is great that you know how to but a link on your blog. I just learned how to do that this year and I am in college but you already know how. You should be very proud of yourself. Keep up the great work!"

Danielle and her drawing of the camping trip

Comment 3: Danielle is a beginning blogger in Year One or Year Two at the Pt. England School. She and her class observed a camping trip that the Year Four and Year Five students were on. She made a video about what she saw and her teacher, Mrs. She, posted it to the Little Voices blog.
My commnet for Danielle: "Hi Danielle, my name is Allison and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the United States. I loved watching your video and listening to you talk about your trip to the campout. Hopefully one day you will get to go and be one of the big kids eating yummy food and going to the pool. Do you know how to swim? I have a little girl who is 5 years old. She is very afraid of the water. I hope this summer she can learn how to swim and not be afraid anymore. Keep up the great work on your blog. I will be watching for more stories that you do over the next few years."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blog Post #8 What have I learned from this Assignment?

Anthony Capps and Dr. John Strange

This week in EDM510 I was given an assignment to listen to an audio recording of Dr. John Strange and Anthony Capps in which they further discussed Project Based Learning and answered some of the many questions that my class had presented over the course of the semester. I was really glad to hear that BPL had not always gone smoothly for Anthony. I know that this must sound terrible from an outsider’s perspective but up until this conversation the concept seemed so easy for Anthony that his success made me question my ability as a teacher to be able to successfully implement PBL because of my own insecurities. After listening to this audio I found that much of what Anthony has done has been through trial and error and has not always gone as smoothly as he had anticipated. Luckily for me and the other EDM students, we are able to learn from Anthony some things that we should anticipate and therefore be better prepared when we take on the challenge of PBL in our own classrooms. Thank you Anthony and Dr. Strange!

What Have I Learned From this Assignment?

·         Always base a project on an engaging question that has relevance in the lives of your students
·         Break up the standard that your project is based on and allow each student to choose the aspect that is the most interesting to them.
·         Do not overload your students with more than they can handle. Break the project up into chunks and give them check points.
·         Don’t go overboard with technology in the beginning. Master one tool at a time and make sure you don’t just teach the tool but you must also master using it yourself.
·         When introducing PBL for the first time, choose to focus on one aspect at a time. Get the students involved in the development and before long they will be leading the PBL.
·         Kids are more engaged when doing PBL because they are excited about the projects and are having fun.
·         Administrations should take the initiative to implement PBL by training groups of teachers who can take a leadership role and then help other teachers in the process.
·         The students love to show off their work to an audience. The audience can consist of many different types such as stuffed animals, other classrooms, parents, faculty, or city leaders.

·         Be sure to be open with the parents about your grading procedures for projects. Parents may be accustomed to their children always getting A’s and they need to understand the criteria on which their projects will be graded. Parent teacher meetings held before the start of a project and an open line of communication will help facilitate a happy relationship between you and the parents.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Assigned Teacher Part 2: Shelly Terrell "Teacher Reboot

teacher making a heart shape with her hands

Assigned teacher part 2:  Shelly Terrell Teacher Reboot

Comment #1
I chose to listen to a webinar recording that she had listed on her blog that was titled Active Learning with Mobile Devices. This webinar focused on getting students moving and engaged with the use of mobile devices. Ms Terrell says that by using mobile devices the kids are active and it helps with classroom management because when kids are still they get stressed, their moods change, and their minds wander. She suggests many different activities that the students can do with their mobile devices. They can mingle with other students by partnering up and doing an activity and then switching to a different partner. They can go on scavenger hunts and compile digital audio and video scrapbooks. They can search for answers around the classroom by using QR scanners and scanning codes placed by the teacher. Many of these activities can be performed without internet connection if the apps are downloaded ahead of time. She made a comment that I will always try to remember. The comment was to never use the word n=homework but to use the word “challenge” instead. She said that homework has a negative connotation but kids like a challenge so assign challenges for the students to do at home with their mobile devices that they can bring in and share the next day with the class. Since the students are already glued to their mobile devices they enjoy using them to complete their challenges.
Here is the link to the webinarActive Learning with Mobile Devices .

Comment #2
The post that I read was Fostering Meaningful Peer Collaboration with Digital Tools posted on Jan 15, 2014. In this post she included a quote, Ït is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed" -Napoleon Hill. This quote is the essence behind peer collaboration. Using digital tools id the way that students today prefer to communicate. Using digital tools for student collaboration will help to encourage students to share and enhance their learning experience. She shared a list of Google tools and apps that she suggested that teachers should use. The list included:
  • Google Communities- Participants can share videos, images, links, & and more. They can edit their posts and include hashtags to organize information. You can create threads to categorize posts.
  • Google HangOuts- Up to 10 can collaborate through voice and video. They can screen share and create/edit documents, presentations, audio, and so much more. If you choose, record the meeting. When you end the broadcast, the video automatically goes to your Youtube channel. Students will love the fun features, such as making themselves into a meme or dressing themselves in virtual hats, ties, crowns, and other accessories. 
  • Google Drive- 15 gb free, create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and forms. Integrate apps and scripts that allow you to do so much more like grade with a rubric, add voice feedback, draw, or calculate grades quickly.
  • Goobric- a script that allows you to grade essays quickly with a rubric.
  • Research- this feature is located in your Google Doc under Tools. Find creative common resources to use, research scholarly articles, and cite in MLA/APA/Chicago style.

This was the first time that I had been able to leave a comment for Ms. Shelly so my comment was: "Hi Shelly, my name is Allison Sells and I am taking EDM510, a graduate level educational media class, at the University of South Alabama. I have read many of your post and watch a webinar that you participated in dealing with using digital tools to communicate with your students and to enhance the classroom. In this class I have been required to blog weekly and to connect globally with other students. I have been reading your blog for the last weeks and I have posted a summary of what I have read to http://sellselizabethedm310.blogspot.com/”  We have also participated in many collaborative projects with class members. The tool that we use the most is Google Drive. I have found it very easy to use and very effective in allowing a group to add to and edit a project. Our professor is also able to see who did what parts of the project. We had one group meeting on Google Hangouts. This was a trial and error attempt that was only somewhat successful for the whole group and we have not really had time to do it again. Thank you so much for sharing all of your ideas. I have gained so much great information that I will take with me into my own classroom after graduation."



Thursday, April 10, 2014

C4T My Choice Part 2

Derrick Willard standing on the Great Wall of China
Derrick Willard:"Tearing Down Walls"

Comment #1
Blog post form March 21, 2014 titled, “China Reflections”. His focus was on how the Chinese view American education and why they seek to emulate the way we do things. He quotes Yong Zhao at the SAIS Annual Conference as saying, "What the Chinese find valuable in American education is a decentralized, autonomous system that does not have standards, uses multiple criteria for judging the value of talent, and celebrates individual differences".  He makes another quote from Zhao, "However, what the Chinese enthusiastically embrace is just what Americans have been as enthusiastically trying to get rid of. Over the past few decades, America has been on a journey to centralize its education system, standardize its curriculum, and impose uniform practices...As the Common Core standards movement accomplished its goal, America will have lost what the Chinese envy and admire". 
My Comment for Mr. Williard: “I am hopeful that the public school system will wake up before too much damage is done. As a graduate student in the college of education, I have been fortunate to have classes such as EDM510. This class emphasizes Project Based Learning that encourages students to think and allows them to express themselves. My secondary education class has taught me to respect individual learning styles and to create assignments that allow students to make choices on assignments based on how they learn best. Yes, all of these assignments that we are to prepare for our students are based on a common core curriculum. At least it is still up to the teachers to decide how they are going to teach the common core. I am not a teacher yet so I do not understand another way to do things. I think that as long as there are innovative teachers that blog and share ideas with the rest of us then we can learn to be better learning facilitators. If school administrators will allow us the freedom to break out of the mold and not “teach to the test” our students will do better. The educators in each state have the ability to bring about reform. Unfortunately this will only come about after there are negative effects from adopting common core. Teachers must never cease to try to make change happen.    
I am anxiously waiting to hear about the schools in China that you observed.”

I had hoped that Mr. Willard would post more of his experiences from China but he has yet to do so. My next three comments are based on much older posts that I sought out and felt had relevance to our class and future teaching experience.

Comment 2
This blog post from February 16, 2013 was titled, “The Job is Not the Work”.  In this post he talks about the art of teaching and that is so much more than the tasks of making lesson plans, setting up bulletin boards, grading papers….
My Comment: “I commented before on a post you wrote about relationships and I agree with you that building relationships is an art that a good teacher must learn to do. I also believe that if you love what you are doing and you build good relationships with your students, then teaching is definitely not the work. Thank goodness that common core only tells us what to teach and stays out of how we teach it, still allowing a teacher to be an artist”.

Comment #3
This blog post from Jan 28, 2013 is simply about why to blog. He refers to a post by Alan Levine called “Blogging as Pointless, Incessant Barking”. In this blog he states that he doesn’t because he is a writer or trying to build a brand but simply blogs for himself. He uses his blog for him. He calls it “an inherently selfish venture- a means for reflection on my practice and clarifying my thinking”.  He also considers his blog as a digital portfolio for himself. I think that blogging for reflection is a wonderful way of self evaluation. Sharing your thoughts about something that you feel is important is a great way to thoroughly analyze what something means to you and how it can affect your life as well as giving others the opportunity to learn. During this semester I have had the opportunity to read several blogs written form this perspective and I feel that they are very personal and I have gained a lot from them.

Comment #4
This comment was on a post made on March 14, 2013 but I felt it was appropriately related to this week’’s blog assignment. The post was titled “Flickr as a collaborative classroom space. Flickr is a space where students working on a project individually or collaborative can post and share images. Mr. Willard’s class was doing a project on analyzing urban design. The students compiled pictures that they made from a scavenger hunt of their community all onto their flickr site. Mr Willard then brought in a local urban planner to speak with them about their project. He was easily able to see all of the pictures and issues that they were looking at.
My comment to Mr. Willard was “This week in EDM510 we were given an assignment to find additional sources of technology that we have not already discussed that we feel will be useful in use classrooms. I think that Flickr is a wonderful way to collaborate and allow students to share a collection of images from a class project. I also like that you brought in a professional from the community that works everyday with the topic that your class was discussing. Bringing in outsiders makes a topic real and more relatable for students and really helps them to make a connection to the work that they are doing.

Blog Post #7: 21st Century Learning Tools

quote about 21st century learners
Blog Post #7: 21st century Learning Tools This week our class was given the challenge of searching on our own to find 21st Century learning and communication tools that we have not already discussed in our EDM510 class. I thought this was going to be a challenging assignment due to the fact that we have already been introduced to a vast number of invaluable tools that we can use as future teachers. I began my search by looking at the blogs of tech savvy teachers that I have been introduced to through this class or have found on my own since class began. I think did a simple Google search for great technology to use in the science classroom. Between these two methods of searching I found more technology than I could imagine I could ever use. I had to narrow the list down to three tools so I chose the ones that I think will be of immediate use to me as soon as I start teaching.
logo for collaborize classroom
The tool that I think will be the most helpful for me to merge my classroom daily with technology is Collaborize Classroom. Collaborize Classroom provides a free site that is safe and password protected for your learning community. It provides space for streamline conversations, debates, poles, student opinions and arguments, and even allows a teacher to post practice test. A teacher can make attachments of pictures, documents, PDFs, and videos. I think this will be a perfect place to share lecture videos for my flipped classroom. It even has a place to manage grading, track activity, and to build online portfolios for students work. There is topic library that gives access to a vast and growing collection of teacher-designed lesson plans. A teacher can create new lessons and assignments here and share them with other educators. In just one click a teachers can download peer reviewed topic-based lessons. I believe this tool can provide me with everything I need to create a flipped classroom.
The second tool that I am happy to have found is PBS Learning Media. This sites provides materials for all subject areas and grade levels. On the site you will choose a grade level then subject. Next you can choose from thousands of resources such as videos, interactive, documents, images, audio, lesson plans, media gallery and even self-paced lesson plans. With this resource I can find materials to use in class or to put on my Collaborize Classroom site for students and parents to view at home.
remind 101 statement
The last tool that I believe will be very helpful for communication with students and parents is Remind101. Remind101 providers a safe place for teachers to text message students and/or parents for free. Messages are sent via an Android or iOS app without ever having to share phone numbers. Individual messages are not sent and replies are not allowed. Remind101 keeps a digital log of all messages sent which can never be edited or deleted. A teacher can schedule text messages to be sent at a later time. This messaging system will be great to send quick reminders about field trips, homework, tests, schedule changes, forms to turn in, or just simply fun facts or motivational messages.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Project ALEX

Alex logo

ALEX is short for the Alabama  Learning Exchange. Alex is a free site where Alabama teachers can find Alabama Courses of Study Content Standards, lesson plans, and other helpful resouces. This week our assignment was to explore and upload two content standards from grade levels of our choice and also the core standards for technology education. Our next task was to create a personal workspace. The last assignment was to access lesson plans for our content area and grade level of our choice, create bookmarks for the lesson plans that we might want to use in the future and then upload two of these plans to our websites. I have included six pdf files under the ALEX assignmnent.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

C4K Summary Weeks 9-12

kids at the Pt. Englan School title=

C4K part 2 week 1

#1  Comment to Arthur M.
Arthur drew a picture of himself wearing a big hat and he made a video talking about his fun weekend at the beach.
My comment to Arthur: "You look really great in your hat. You did a good job on your video and it was great to hear that you had a fun weekend. It is very smart to wear a hat to the beach so you don't get too hot or get a sunburn. I live very close to the Gulf of Mexico and I love to go to the beach. Do you make sand castles? My daughter and I love to dig deep holes in the sand and let them fill up with water so we can sit in them. That helps to keep us cool."

#2  Comment to Hazel
Hazel drew a picture of herself and Harold the giraffe. She made a video telling about how she was trying to exercise, eat healthy, and drink water. I told her that giraffes were my favorite animal and that we go to see them in zoos. I also told her that I do not drink enough water and then I asked her if she liked drinking water.

#3 Comment to Bittner
Bitner made a video about going to his Nana’s house. He said he fell asleep in a big chair. The video was only 10 seconds  long.
Hi Bitner, my name is Allison and I go to school at the University of South Alabama in the United States. think that you did a great job on your video and your drawing. I hope that you had fun making it. I remember loving to curl up in big chairs when I was little. What other things do you like to do at your Nana's?

C4K part 2 week 2

#1 Chloe
Chloe is a year 8 student at Pt England School in Aukland, NZ. Chloe’s post was about going to the local college nearby to play sports every Friday.  She talked about several games that they played. She tries hard to be really descriptive but I could only really understand the details about one of the games, the other two were not explained very clearly even though she did give a lot of details.
My reply: "Hi Chloe, my name is Allison and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the USA. I loved reading your report about going to the college to play sports. I would have loved to have gotten to do that when I was your age. Playing sports has always been one of my favorite things to do. I think that the chain chiggy game sounds fun but it seems like it could even be a little scary if the chain got really long. I think I would want to be at the front. You must be really fast to have not gotten tagged. Good for you! Keep up the good writing it was very descriptive and interesting."

#2 Losell
Losell is in Mrs. Lavakula 4th and 5th grade class at the Pt England School in New Zealand. She and her class have been taking swimming lessons at the local aquatic center for the last two weeks. These lessons are very important to the students because several people in their community have drowned because they did not know how to swim. Her group has been learning to do the freestyle stroke. She seems to really injoy it but she says that sometimes it makes her really tired.
My comment to Loseli: "Hi, Loseli, my name is Allison and I am a student in EDM510 at the University of South Alabama in the USA. I am studying to be a teacher and I have been learning to blog this semester. I really enjoyed reading your post about swimming lessons. I think it wonderful that you get to take lessons with your class at school. That must be a lot of fun. I know that swimming always makes me very hungry and I want to eat right after I am done. Does swimming make you hungry? I was really scared of the water when I was little and my parents had to force me to take lessons and it was really scary. I think it would have been much better if I had all of my friends around for support. Have you ever been afraid to do the things that your instructor tells you to do? Do you and your friends help each other if you get scared or are having a hard time learning to do something? I finally learned to swim and I am so glad that I did but I still prefer to just float around on my back. Thanks for sharing your experience with me and keep up the good work!"

#3 Rebekah
Rebekah is in Mrs Nua and Mr Barks 7th and 8th year class. She has been blogging since year 4. In her post she made a power point teaching someone to multiply a number with a decimal by a one digit number. Her instructions were very clear and easy to follow.
My comment to Rebecca: "Hi, Rebekah, my name is Allison and I am a student in EDM510 at the University of South Alabama in the USA. I am studying to be a teacher and I have been learning to blog this semester. I really enjoyed your presentation. You did a very good job teaching your audience how to multiply a number that has a decimal. Your problem was presented in very clear steps that were easy to follow. That is very important when you are trying to teach someone how to do math. Have you ever thought about becoming a teacher? I think that you could be a really good teacher if you like doing stuff like this. Keep up the great work!"

 C4K PART 2 Week 3

#1 Kaitlynne
Kaitlynne is a 6th year student at the Pt England School in New Zealand. She has been blogging since year four. In her post she created a grid map to get from Hansel and Gretal’s house to the candy cottage. She included many different types of terrain, a key and a cardinal direction on her map to illustrate what her class has been learning in geography.
I told Kaitlynne that I really enjoyed following her map to the Candy Cottage. It was a lot of fun reading and following her directions. I can tell that she learned a lot in school about geography and cardinal directions. I told her that it is very helpful to be able to give these kinds of directions when you are trying to help someone get to a certain location. I asked if she had ever tried to tell someone how to get to her house be telling them to turn North, South, East or West? If not, that might be a fun thing to try next time. Keep up all of the great work!

#2   Marilyn
Marilynn is a 6th year student at the Pt England School in New Zealand. She has been blogging since year four. Her post was a short book review on a book titled “Mr. Stink”. At the time of her review she had only read 1 and ½ paged but she really liked what she read and rated the book a 10 out of 10.
My comment to Marilyn was: “Hi Marilyn, my name is Allison and I am a student in EDM510 at the University of South Alabama in the USA. I am studying to be a teacher and I have been learning to blog this semester.  When I read the title of your book, “Mr. Stink”, I thought it sounded very interesting and I thought that I might like to read it too. I would love to hear more about it when you are finished reading the whole story. What is your favorite book that you have ever read? When I was your age, mine was “Misty of Chincoteague”. This book is about two kids who raise money digging clams so that they can buy a wild pony that has been captured in the pony roundup. My nest favorite would have to be Charlotte’s Web. Have you ever read either of these books? If you have not, I highly recommend them. Enjoy your reading and keep sharing your stories with the world!”

#3 Damien
Damian is a 6th year student at the Pi England School in New Zealand. His post was a descriptive story about two friends trip to the beach.
My comment to Damian was: “Hello Damien, my name is Allison and I am a student in EDM510 at the University of South Alabama in the USA. I am studying to be a teacher and I have been learning to blog this semester. I enjoyed reading your story about the beach. You gave a lot of good details and I could really picture that I was there with Miguel and Katy. I have heard that the beaches near to where you live are very pretty. I live in the Southern United States and we go to the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. I love to swim in the salt water but we have a lot of jelly fish. It hurts really badly when they sting and I always get out of the water when I see one. Have you ever been stung by a jelly fish? I hope you will keep writing these descriptive stories on your blog. Keep up the great work.”

Monday, April 7, 2014

C4T Revolving Weeks 9,10,11 & 12

C4T Revolving Set 2

Comment #1 
photo of Mrs Sharon Davison smiling

Mrs. Sharon Davison's blog is called, KindergartenLife.
In this blog Mrs. Davison is tells us about how she uses Google Hangouts, AirServer and the SMARTboard to bring an audience into her classroom to enhance their learning to read experience.
I commented on her blog that I think is wonderful she is bringing technology into her kindergarten classroom. It is important that students of this age learn what is available to them. Even more important is being able to connect them to a global community of learners. When I was in school all we had was our teacher in the classroom. Now teachers are able to connect with other teachers and join classrooms across the globe to enhance the learning experience for their students. Children are curious explorers and I believe they learn so much more when they can share it with new groups of people. I think that she is doing a great job preparing her young students for their future as global learners.

Comment #2

photo of Steven Anderson

This comment is on Steven Anderson’s blog post “Things That Have Me Thinking-March 12” on his blog page:Blogging About the Web 2.0 Connected Classroom
I was not allowed to leave a comment on this blog. Steven Anderson has added a new section to his blog which he describes as “My goal is to write about and share a few things each week that have me pondering, or are pushing the boundaries of my thinking.” He borrowed this idea from his friend, , who was a high school principal that blogged about things that were, on his mind, weekly to his staff. This week he included comments about the methods people use when using Twitter, good or bad. He commented on a Jeff Gordan video and how students could critically analyze it to draw conclusions about viral marketing or even the physics behind the moves in the video. The comments he made about the Maker Movement were the most interesting to me. This involves 3-D technology where kids can be problem solvers and learn valuable skills while making something.”Maker Ed’s mission is to create more opportunities for all young people to develop confidence, creativity, and spark an interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts, and learning as a whole through making”. This technology will be great to use in any STEM program. Up until recently it has been used in afterschool and club based programs but is now being integrated into the mainstream and the General Ed classrooms. Click for more information on creating your own "Maker Space".

Comment #3 

image of Steven Anderson thinking
This comment was on Steven Anderson’s blog post “ThingsThat Have Me Thinking-March 28”.
 Again, I was not able to leave a comment on this blog. This blog post is the second installment of “Things That Have Me Thinking”. As a mother of two teenagers and a future secondary science teacher, I was really excited to read his thought about the book,  It’s Complicated. This book by Danah Boyd focuses on teens and their use of social networks. The book is important to teachers because it will help them to better understand the world that they live in, how they communicate, and what is important to them in order to be able to reach out to them and teach them better. The book is available in PDF form for free on her site and I think that all teachers would benefit from reading it.  Another thought that he shared that was interesting to me was about Edcamp USDOE. Edcamp is an independently organized professional development day for teachers in which the participants that are there decide on the topics for discussion that will benefit them the most. There is no charge for this seminar but due to limited seating a teacher must get a lottery ticket and hope that they win a seat. This sounds it is going to be a very informative meeting between teachers and policy makers about the direction education is going in our country. More information and lottery tickets can be obtained here:Edcamp.

Comment #4
logo for blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity

This week the blog I read was about printing a QR code for AudioBoo recording. The blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity written by Wesley Preyer, Ph.D. AudioBoo is a site where teachers or students can create an unlimited number of 3 minute recording for free. AudioBoo has integrated QR codes into their site so that the user can print them out to give chosen people access to view their video. All the user has to do is click on their video, click QR code at the bottom, and then “print this” at the top. The code will include the title of the video and a shortened url, for those who do not have a scanner, printed just below the code. AudioBoo is also available as an app for iOS and Android tablet. This app looks like it will be very useful in our classrooms.