Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Professional Blog

I have made another blog. It will be my professional blog. It does not have much on it yet but I will slowly add on to it as the year winds down. I think I might use it to record what I have learned throughout my education course here at the University of South Alabama. That should make it pretty full by the time I graduate. Even then, I should be able to use it to help me whenever I start teaching. Check it out.

New PLN!

Since I have last posted about my Personal Learning Network, I have added a few more. My second Comments for Teachers was Mr. John Stange's post. His blog had a new and interesting post every time I looked at it. I also added a site that I had to use in my last education course. It is ed.gov. It gives new news in the world of education. Two other sites that share news are AEA and ALSDE. I used these site frequently in my EDF 315 course so I looked them back up for my PLN to see what is going on in my field.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Week 12

World Connected
Comments 4 Kids
I read Aroha's post this week. Aroha is in her second year at her school in New Zealand. Her class is using iMovies to tell us about her day. In her last post, she tells us her Grandmother came to visit the class. Aroha is doing a great job!

Connecting Across the World
Mr. Chamberlain and his class in Missouri, USA, Skyped to Mr. Raisdana in Doha, Qatar, in September 2009. The class used VoiceThread to talk to Mr. Raisdana's now four year old daughter, Kaia. Kaia, too, uses the internet and has her own blog. She takes pictures and tells us about her day. With Skype, VoiceThread or blogs, students, friends and family can learn and communicate with each other in an instant. It is kind of neat to think that only a couple of decades ago this type of communication was not even thought of. We really did not even start using the Internet until the 90's and now we are talking to people thousands of miles away. With this technology, we can feel like we are actually across the world. I wonder what we will be seeing in two more decades.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Comments 4 Teachers (Week 10 & 12)

Week Ten
We are learning about technology and how to use it in our classes. I knew how to integrate technology into classes. I learned that it can be helpful and boosts interest from students into the lessons. This video went further into depth about getting students into classes. I guess as a future teacher, I should try to used the time that students will use on technology anyways as a learning experience.

Week 12
I loved this video. I have heard horror stories of teachers not being able to be creative in their classrooms. I have heard that we will not be able to really get students involved because we will be so regulated and have to focus on teaching the curriculum. What I have been learning in my EDM 310 class, through you and other teachers, should help me put creativity and deeper learning into my classroom.
I had not thought about elements in education being outdated or replaced like some of the things you have pointed out correcting fluid, remote controls, and pay phones. I really would love to be able to use technology in my future classroom to really get my students to learn.

The more that I have learned about teaching through technology, the more excited and hopeful I get about getting into a classroom. I cannot wait to be able to help put that spark back into learning. I really like how Mr. Stange is so into teaching. He is one of the teachers that I would have loved to have when I was in high school.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My First EDM Form Results

From thirty-three responses, I have found some interesting facts about my classmates. The majority of the responders gave their education classes an eight out of ten. The majority of us are sophomores with juniors coming in close second. We all have a passion for children and/or the topic we are going to teach. Many of us want to teach here in the south and have a pretty good idea of what type of place we would like to work. Check out my results.

Timetoast Timeline

For one of our projects in EDM 310 we have to make a timeline of something we know. What topic would I know more about than my life? I decided to make a short timeline of certain milestones in my life starting at my birth and ending at the present. Timetoast Timelines are actually fun to make. Actually seeing my big points in life was surprising. I saw the high, and dry, points of my life in one glance. Please enjoy my Timeline!


Skype Icon
I have been using Skype since about mid November. I talk to my sister and boyfriend in Birmingham. I love being able to see and talk to them when I normally cannot. It is also fun and helpful to be able to share my screen with them and let them see that I am doing 250 miles away. My boyfriend has checked some of my papers for problems and was able to point out exactly where the problems were through Skype. He also helped me find websites for researches that I have had to do. I love it. If Daddy did not mind putting stuff on the computer back home, I could be able to see them more than once a month.

Week 10

Comments 4 Kids
This week for my comments for kids, I read Mikala G.'s post. Mikala explained some of the dangers of littering for animals. I agree. Save animals and stop littering!

An Open Letter to Educators
One thing that struck me at the beginning of the video was Mr. Brown saying that universities were a place where great minds gathered to learn. The first thing that popped into my head was all of the empty seats that I normally see in my classes from people skipping. The other thing that he said was education is now free. We have seen evidence of this through some of the things we have been learning and researching. One of the biggies that pops into my mind is iTunes U where anyone with internet access can learn just about any random topic. We could also use Google or Yahoo search.
Mr. Brown suggests leaving the university to get a free education. I do not think that many places would give me a job if I said that I dropped out of school to get a free education instead. If they did take me, I would receive less pay than my other co-workers who did pay for their education. Thought I do understand that I could learn all that I am learning here for free, I cannot see myself succeeding without that college degree unless I could come up with my own company or something brilliant. I do plan on stoking creativity and helping my students show their individuality. I just want to go to a school that will take me and teach children that need me.
I actually do have classes where my teachers make an effort to know my name. They also want us to speak to them and each other. They encourage us to say how we thought about something because it gets students involved in class and the lecture. I think that they know that students being involved in the classes learn more. I might just be lucky to have good teachers. I do think that blogging and networking can help students and people even more that just plain talking or researching on your own.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Week 9

Comments 4 Kids
This week on comments for kids, I got to see the geometric shapes the the students were learning. This was one of my favorite things about math. I have to say, the music made it all seen hard core.

Alabama Learning Experience, or ALEX, is a site for people involved in education, whether administrator, teacher, or student. For teachers, one of the things that stuck out at me was lesson plans. When I have talked with teachers in high schools, they always emphasis how important the lesson plans are. They even have links for different subjects then lesson plans for the different grades in those subjects. ALEX have a link for teachers to make puzzles for their students. They have Podcast treasury where teachers can put up podcasts for their students or assign their students work to learn new things. The podcast treasury has links for different subjects.

This would be a very helpful and technological tool for not only teachers but students, too. Most information that one could think of needing for a class is in this site. ALEX has research and news to educational puzzles or tips. This is definitely something we should keep up with.

Alabama Connecting Classroom, Educators and Students Statewide has its history and goals on the About ACCESS links along with staff information and spotlights. It lists its courses and has test preps and a resources link. You are supposed to be able to read what past teachers and students say about ACCESS, though I could not get through the link. ACCESS also has certain courses for teacher to help them teach their best through ACCESS.

I think ACCESS is a great program for students. They would be able to take courses from other schools that their school might not have by web based courses and videoconferencing. Students would be able to interact with other classrooms and teachers across the state. Not only will this help students socially and academically, but they get to advance in technology just by taking an ACCESS course. This also means that students in a poorer school could take classes from a richer school (which sometimes mean better teaching). Students could even take some college courses.

For me, if I was a teacher using ACCESS, I would be happy knowing that I could reach out to students beyond my own community. I have already learned about videoconferencing or blogging or such for classes, but this would be me staying with those students for the entire semester and helping them progress. Teachers also have CAST, Connecting ACCESS Staff and Teachers. Teachers can talk to each other and give tips or even blog with each others classes. We have talked about blogging with other schools. ACCESS just helps you find the other schools to blog with.


This is an introduction to my Personal Learning Network. I am using both Twitter and Facebook. I also have a few podcasts that I listen to including: Lords of Education, Teachade for teachers, Englit.com, and Teaching Strategies for the Everyday Teacher. I am excited about the Englit.com podcasts since I am going into Enligh Education. I was assigned speakingofhistory.blogspot for my Comments 4 Teachers and really enjoyed learning from it. Another site that I use is called edutopia.org.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Week 8

Comments 4 Kids
This week for comments 4 kids, I read Samary's blog about slavery on his class blog. Samary hit the high and low points and did a very good job summing everything up.

Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture
I have to say that this is my favorite video out of all of the videos that I have had to watch for this class. I had not even realized that an hour had gone by until Dr. Pausch finished his presentation. Dr. Pausch was a Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. His work with technology is amazing but how he taught was even better. Dr. Pausch was sick at his Last Lecture with only a few months left to live according yet he remained witty and upbeat the entire time. In this video, he tells us about how he accomplished his childhood dreams. Through telling us of his dreams, we learn through what he called "head fake." "Head fake" is learning something while you did not even know you were learning. One example of "head fake" that he shows us was through football. While you do learn how to block, dodge, or catch, you also learn teamwork, perseverance, and sportsmanship.

One of the things that you see throughout his speech is a brick wall. He said that brick walls are there only for you to see how badly you want something. If you really want it, you will not let the wall stop you. He showed us, throughout his presentation, that he kept trucking to get where he wanted to be. If he wanted something, he would keep pushing until he got where he wanted to be. For example, when he was not accepted to work at Disney, he kept going until he found another way. This is a great way to teach your children or students perseverance and hard work. He has also said that his childhood idol was Captain Kirk. Thought Kirk was not the smartest character, he showed the best leadership and was very stubborn in doing what he thought needed to be done though he did take advise. (Yes, I do read Star Trek.)

Dr. Pausch had really wanted to help other's achieve their dreams. He was heavily involved in three different technological advances at Carnegie Mellon: Building Virtual World, Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), and Alice in which he hoped to do this. Building Virtual World was a new class that he taught at the University. He had fifty students in the class. The students were split into groups of four and had two week to do a project. After two weeks, the students was shuffle groups. After he had seen the first weeks projects, he was blow away by what the students had done, but he still pushed the students to do better. The course grew in stature on the campus until the students did a show of their group works and all of the departments came to see, completely filling the auditoriums seats and aisles. He made a chart to show how well the students thought each of their classmates was. He said you could tell how well the group was going by looking at how close the student were to each other.

Dr. Pausch really wanted the best out of everything: himself, his life, his students. That is how we all should act. Not only would we be pushing our students but we would be giving them a role model to watch. He wanted his students to achieve their dreams like he had and get every last drop out of life. He will be remembered both by his students whom he helped to grow and persevere and by the works he has done. (Dr. Pausch died July 25, 2008.)