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Friday, December 3, 2010

Project 16



We made a presentation comparing technology through the different generations.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Final Progress Report on My PLN

Ok. So this has been quite a semester. (Of which I have enjoyed)
As a part of my PLN, I have the following:

  1. Facebook 
  2. Blogger
  3. Twitter
  4. Delicious
I am following the following people:
  1. Dr. Strange 
Wow, I thought my list was longer than that! Hmm, well that is all I have, at least that I can remember (and remember where to find.)

C4K 9- Summary

C4K 9
This student is named Nicholas. He wrote a summary of a book about mice visiting Niagra Falls. He explained that Canadians and Americans refer to Niagra Falls differently. Canadians call this natural wonder "Horseshoe Falls" and Americans call it "Rainbow Falls." I asked Nicholas if he had visited Niagra Falls, and mentioned I had never been.

 C4K 10 
This student created a Wordle with words pertaining to math. I always enjoy looking at Wordles. I shared with her that I had created one and told her that I had fun making mine. She did a good job.

This student, Rocio, told about a skype session he had with Christopher Lee. Rocio told us how the town, Boalsburg, PA was named after Christopher Columbus' mother, which he learned from Lee. Rocio did a nice job on her post, of which I let the student know.

C4T #4 Summary


(The name of the post in which I commented on first.)


This article was about a conversation between two people. Russ said what he had to say and the response of Scott (author of this blog). For me, this was one of the harder C4T I had to comment on. And between you and me, I am not sure if I really understood the underlying message. But regardless if the message I received was what the author intended, here is my take on the matter:

Both persons, Russ and Scott, feel the need that "tech advocates" should focus on selling the learning, and not just the technologies. Russ feels that we shouldn't push for technological tools in the educational setting (or at least that is what I understood his approach to the matter to mean) but solely on the learning. Scott comes across as seeing that the technologies can pull change in the practice of learning. 


My Response:
Hi Scott! I am a student at the University of Alabama. I am taking EDM 310 under the instruction of Dr. Strange. Your blog is one of my assignments. I will check back in two weeks to comment on another post of yours, and will compose a summary of what I read, and of my comments, which will be available on my blog, ferrolisaedm310.blogspot.com

You can visit our class blog at edm310.blogspot.com

What do I think? Hmm. I think that too many teachers and administrators are opposed to the Ed Tech perspective. I am young, just recently (almost 3 years ago) finished going through my local school system (Mobile County Public Schools System) and although a lot of these technologies are newer, I had never heard of blogging. I never would have thought that I could have diverse conversations with students in other countries. It is a shame that teachers don’t use the technology as learning tools. It wasn’t until I took this course before I really saw the potential of the tools. I really feel that teachers should focus on the learning aspect of education versus the tools in which they can use. However with that being said, we have to stimulate the minds of the students and present the information in a manner in which they feel comfortable learning. Let’s face it. A child would rather play a video game than read a book, or they would rather interact with other people than write an assignment alone. If the fact is we, as humans, need social interaction to thrive, and our senses are stimulated by visualizations on a screen, then why not teach behind a screen, or with assistance of a screen. Is it harmful to offer new ways of learning? No. Would we not do more harm by ignoring the way students learn?

Question Mark
Scott posed 3 questions.
     A) What will it take to move schools away from their unidirectional postal service mailings, paper newsletters, Friday folders, parent portal updates, e-mail listservs, and/or grainy public television channels and toward something that’s more multidirectional and interactive?  
     B) Why do parents - even digitally-savvy ones - fail to put much pressure on their local schools to use these powerful communication tools?
     C) Are there schools or districts that you feel are doing a good job right now of using social media tools (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube) to interact with their relevant audiences (and, if so, do you have any links)?


My Response:
             It is Lisa Ferro again, from the University of South Alabama. (I’m in the EDM 310 class.)

Well, I guess that is a good answer to your last question, “Are there any schools that are using these tools?” I’m not sure how much of the university I attend uses blogs; however, in EDM 310, my teacher Dr. Strange, has solely relied on the blogging tool for all assignments. We are to visit teachers, classmates, and kids’ blogs, world wide, and comment on them. Not only that, we have to blog ourselves, on our personal blogs. (I must say, this has been my favorite course I have taken at USA.) Our class blog’s link is edm310.blogspot.com
On the class blog, there are a lot of links, one that will lead you to links of his students’ blogs.
My instructor, Dr. Strange, has a blog:
strangethoughtsbyjohn.blogspot.com
Well, since I have started with the last question, I might as well just work backwards…
As for your second question, B, the digital savvy parents, and those that aren’t, fail to put pressure on the local school because, maybe, the funding of the school is inadequate for such implementation of tools. Maybe these parents are so comfortable with the more traditional communication than the more productive way.
I, personally, hate to wait for responses. It is much easier/convenient for all parties involved to know the ifs-ands-& buts about what is going on.
Last but not least, question A: I think the transition lies solely on the communities. Change must take place where change is wanted. With the way the world is moving, technologically wise, the communities will eventually push for the transition, but I am afraid it will not happen, naturally, soon enough. So maybe I change my answer, it starts with us. Let us push for the transition!
I enjoyed reading your posts! Thank you so very much for sharing!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Additional Assignment 5

Tom Johnson's Adventures in Pencil Integration
Our assignment: Read 4 [predetermined posts] and summarize the main ideas/beliefs.
     The first post I read:            Just Teach Them to Solve for X
  In this post, I found that Tom Johnson's primary concern was the use of metaphors. While using a metaphor, he explains the necessity of metaphors. He uses what may or may not be a personal experience of using metaphors to teach math. He argues that students need to know how variables work and be able to apply them to every day life. When I think a little deeper into the matter, metaphors are applied to every day life, and it is also argued, metaphorically, that people need to know how metaphors work.         Sketchy Portraits: 8th Grade Identity and Pencils
 In this post, I was unsure of the meaning of this post. We read one post earlier this semester in which Tom Johnson referred to pencils to metaphorically to represent computers. Then the post mentioned above, talks about metaphors. That is all great and all but this particular post mentions the ink of pen and the graphite of a pencil. Hmm, that poses a serious problem of confusion for me. Maybe it isn't primarily focused on the medium, but rather what the medium portrays. It isn't what we see the medium create, but rather what the meaning of it is. Eighth graders are in a period of confusion, looking for any means to hold on to their childhood, like Johnson suggests, yet they thrive for independence. Mediums are the same way. Pens are compared to pencils, as if there is no permanence, yet computers create something that is just as easily changed. So if we are moving towards a means of permanence, we are still leaning on the uncertainty and temporariness of yesterday's mediums.          He Just Likes the Class for the Pencils  Students need to know that someone is there to listen and actually cares. This relationship needs to be developed rather than assumed. I approve of Johnson's approach to creating such a relationship and think that more teachers should take the time to realize his approach. Students don't necessarily enjoy a class due to the computers. I really think that students care more about the relationship they build with their teachers.                                        The Medium Shapes the Learning
This was probably my favorite post that we read by Johnson. I was very moved that Johnson isn't opposed to incorporating new tools in education but rather he prefers to use ones that reshape learning. I think on a daily basis teachers should be thinking of new ways to reshape the teaching process, but not losing focus on education. Johnson is a very talented writer, and he makes any reader of his writings think deeper than they expect.

Blog Post 13

Alabama Learning Exchange header on website

     First off, ALEX is a website entitled the Alabama Learning Exchange. The site's name already gives insight as to what to expect when visiting. Although I am not sure where the exchange is taking place, maybe it is from the different actual sites, compiled in one convenient place, as to be accessed with ease. Second, ALEX offers many resources. It offers objectives for every grade, for the different subjects, to allow teachers across the state to offer the same education to students, and held to the same standards. The site also offers links to various websites which entail information about integrating technologies in the classrooms, to having classes based solely  distant learning, to understanding learning disabilities such as Autism. This site has an incredibly vast amount of information on it.
Toolbox     The first thing I explored were the different subjects. I noticed how ALEX offers objectives. I think it is a great source for teachers, and tool to make sure students across AL are receiving the same education. ALEX offers links for resources, which I pray that teachers today utilize. I was moved by the motto of eLearning for Educators. It Is... This stands for "Inspired teachers, inspiring students"  That is exactly how all education should be based. I really feel we shouldn't spoon feed information to students, but rather inspire them to want to learn. Another great thing about ALEX is that there are ample links to incorporate technology in the website. Although I cannot be sure, it doesn't seem as if many teachers utilize this website, which is quite sad. I think the education in AL can really make a turn for the better if teachers start using this handy website. I believe that by utilizing this site when I begin teaching, I will be able to provide a better quality of education to my students. If the tools are in the toolbox, we can only create great things if we use them!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

EDM 310 The Experience Movie Trailer

First and foremost, I would like to thank my group for their hard work and cheerful spirits! It wouldn't have been the same without them! Please enjoy the following presentation, a movie trailer about EDM 310.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Final Project-Progress Report

So far, I have a group; we are also working on Project 15 together. We have all been so excited about Project 15 that we have not begun our final project. We plan on wrapping up project 15 this week and hope to begin the final project immediately following. 
Our group members are:
1.) Lisa Ferro
2.) Mary Mauceri
3.) Brittany Schneider
4.) Elizabeth Flemming
5.) one additional person.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blog Post 12

Our assignment for Blog Post 12 was to come up with an assignment, and to do it. I came across this blog this early Saturday morning, and found it intriguing. So... Read A Different View from the Top of the World. After reading, compose a post on your own blog and share your thoughts on the matter.

Here are mine:

Just recently, Mount Everest has entered the 21 Century. A telecom company based in Nepal has set up antennas at the base of the mountain. Hmm, here is a thought. No place is safe from technology. As we grow, technologically, at exponential rates, our lives as we know it are changing.
The con:
Ying Yang Sign
What ever happened to taking a break from the world. At one point, people would disconnect their house phones to stay out of reach with the world, turning off their televisions and radios to find peace of mind. Now we can't even take a hike up the tallest mountain in the world without getting calls. Is the world in that much need of being able to contact you at any and every minute, at any and every place. Pretty soon, dead zones will be the new vacation spots. When you are having a bad day, alone time with yourself is the best way to "center your chi" (or creating the free flow of energy within the body to be in a perfectly harmonious state between yourself and the universe.) I guess I could've used the term "mellow out" but all in all, it essentially means the same thing. There is too much negativity in the media, we all just need a vacation to forget our troubles, and now, we can't even climb Mount Everest without the possibilities of someone calling to ruin our time of peace.
The pro:
Mount Everest
However, I do feel that being able to share, in real time, with people your accomplishment of climbing Mount Everest is astonishing! Although we cannot experience the climber's feeling of achievement, we can see what he sees at the top, which is way cool! This would surely inspire me to visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. We used to only have satellite images of this wonder, then if we were lucky enough to know someone who climbed the mountain, their pictures. Now we can experience the view first-and-a-half handedly. First hand being actually experiencing it, Second hand being learning about it from someone who did experience it, and my term, "first-and-a-half hand" experiencing it simultaneously without really being there. It would also be easier for an exhausted climber to call out for help in the case of an emergency.

Geico's Caveman
I have mixed feelings about the newly installed antennas. I guess with the way this world is moving, turning off the house phones (if any one still has them), turning off cell phones, computers, TVs, and radios is the only way to escape reality... Pretty soon they will create water resistant phones, and install antennas at the bottom of the ocean (surely after devising a craft that can take them there) and we can make calls (provided phone companies devise an app for translating the water-talk), send text, upload our twitter, facebook, and any other social network we are in tune with, all from underwater... Okay, so maybe the latter won't happen, but anything is possible. We went from a world of rubbing stones and sticks together to create fire, to writing letters, to sending texts through the air, to now being able to stream live video from the top of the world. Cave men surely would be astounded by today's establishments and capabilities

Friday, November 12, 2010

Life of a College Student Form Analysis

Form Results Page
Earlier in the semester, I distributed a form that I created. I asked questions regarding my classmates' personal experience in relation to the university. The majority of the students questioned live off campus. The majority of the surveyed students also are full time students who spend at least 5 hours studying. I was shocked to see that some students answered less than 5 hours, simply because we are supposed to allot 9 hours of our study time to EDM 310, alone. I guess that means some students answered honestly, and for that, I thank you.

Of the 16 respondants, 6 students are paying for their education out of pocket, 6 are taking student loans, 2 are on scholarship, and 2 are using a GI Bill. Although I can not make a full assessment, I think it is safe to assume that more students pay out of pocket and take out loans then the number of students receiving a scholarship or money from a GI Bill. I was glad to see that all but one student were also engaged in a work environment. This shows the determination of the students taking this course. We want to become educators, and will obtain our dream while working to make it happen. Well, this is the message it sends to me.

Glass Canoe
What did I learn from this summary? I learned that there are classmates of mine that are in the same boat I am: working part time, while attending school full time, mean while taking student loans to pay for it all. I also learned that the majority of my classmates, or at least those surveyed, understand the importance of taking a break from their studies in order to unwind. Long story short: whether you feel like no one else understands what you are going through, it turns out others are right beside you rowing the same boat you are. Never give up, always try hard, and have fun along the way. Get to know your fellow deck hands... they just might be the support group you need to make it through this chapter of your life.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Summary for C4K #3-7

C4K 3 Video 
He did a video about mighty mariners.
I watched his movie. I thought it was good work, considering how young he is. I encouraged him to keep up the good work.

C4K 4  
I am kicking my self in the rear for not doing the summary while completing the assignments. As I returned to write my summary of the comments for kids project, I was unable to find my C4K. Oops. Lesson learned: do your summaries as you go. 
The student elaborates on how they value their education. The student uses a quote that is sure to get any reader's attention. The famous quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination” can be applied to the idea of education; education is a journey, not a destination.
The student lists some of the key elements they have learned throughout their own journey.
The process of learning things has taught me more about the world, people, and myself than any lecture has ever done. A population without this rite is at a great disservice, because if the youth don’t learn about these important aspects of their lives before they are brainwashed by the thinking’s of their society then when will they learn? They go on to talk about women in the Middle-East, and the rights they obtain as women. It was captivating, and I recommend you read the entire article for yourself. (Link above)
Here is my comment to the student's post:
I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. How very right you are. It is sad to see how women, although they are taught no differently, expect to have their lives controlled by another person. Thankfully, that is not the case in America. I enjoyed reading what you had to say, and I never thought of applying the quote "Life is a journey, not a destination" to education. But I am glad you did. I may just view my own education experience differently now. Keep on blogging!

 This particular student had just begun her blog. She shared how she thought blogging was fun and encouraged her readers to leave comments. I told her to keep up the good work, and that she was off to a good start.

C4K #7
This post is an explanation on how to download a Slideshare document. They incorporated many screen shots. I commented on how I think screen shots are extremely helpful. For me, it is more likely that I will remember a picture rather instead of a a set of written instructions.

C4K #8
This student was a high school student who posted a picture of the USS Alabama tapestry that he had created. I had attempted to comment on how I thought it looked great, but apparently my brain thinks faster than my fingers can move, and I sort of chopped that sentence up. I shared my own experience of my own project.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blog Post 11

LoveLittle Kids...Big Potential  
First, I loved this video! It is one thing to talk about teachers incorporating technology into their classrooms, but it is much better said from the students of these teachers. I think the children in Ms. Cassidy's class are more excited about learning these tools than people I am in EDM310 with. I think that any person with doubts about using these technologies should watch this video. Let the kids speak, because honestly, the title of the video, as well as this blog post, is a major understatement. These children are learning these tools earlier than I did, and that only puts them with an advantage to continue learning more than I may. I really believe that these are the kind of things we should implement in our educational system in America to somewhat close the gap to other countries we don't even compare to. I think Sister Hazel said it best in the title of one of their songs, "Look to the Children" Children are the future, and we must give them the tools to create an amazing future!  
 Skyped with Cassady
Water Footsteps
I love, love, love that Mrs. Cassady uses technology in the classroom. I think if I follow her footsteps, I would enjoy incorporating blogs into my classroom. I think that children enjoy the fact that the world can see their assignments and comment on them, and that is more positive than good feedback from just the teacher. I know I enjoy getting comments on my posts. I think that when addressing the possible problems others may have with using technology in the classroom, upfront, you can convince people that these tools are safe, when managed, and can be better for their child's education than traditional tools. There are many benefits of using technology in the classroom. The one I find most important: it encourages children to learn. It always feels good when you can show others what you learn, and blogging makes that possible. Another benefit, it connects students to others across the world. Isn't it a little boring to just look at a picture of a child in China? Wouldn't it be more exciting to get to talk to them and interact? I think so. After all, we have things call TVs now, with things called movies that play on them. Our senses are more stimulated by visual, moving pictures, whereas reading a book isn't quite as stimulating. Shouldn't our learning be stimulating?

C4T#3 Summary

I was fortunate enough to have been assigned Dr. Strange as my third teacher to comment on.
His first post I commented on was a graph that Dr. Strange was so kind enough to share about Apple's sales. It is quite interesting. It depicts information about the items in Apple's line of merchandise and how much each item is making. Dr. Strange offers an interesting statement, one in which got my wheels turning. "60% of Apple's sales are from products that did not exist three years ago!" 
A crumbling cookie
     I responded in amazement. Although it is true, how often does one realize that these inventions are just toddlers of technology? And for them to be the majority of the income for Apple, doesn't seem even possible. But in all actuality, that is exactly how the cookie crumbles!  
     
     I believe Dr. Strange wasn't really focused to much on the sales, it was more of a "head fake" to get us to think about the following question: "Do you still believe that schools and the roles of educators can remain the same?"  I responded to this question by using a testimonial. I explained how I continued my education immediately following high school, and that things had already begun to change. Not to mention the lab that they were constructing at my alma mater as I graduated. A learning lab to learn abroad! Although it was more of a pilot program, I can see that these labs are where the learning will be taking place, eventually. 

The second post I commented on was about his response to a student's mid-term reflection. 

Map of the WorldHe used words like "crystal ball" to depict that he was making predictions. Many of which I feel will become reality (which I mentioned in my comment).  He mentioned that some businesses will become obsolete and non-existent as the century makes its way to the quarter mark. (The year 2025) He goes on to elaborate what he thinks schools, K-12 and universities, will become. He thinks that people's network will be world wide instead of localized. I couldn't agree more. He has proven this by making my own network expand in just as little time as a semester.

All in all, Dr. Strange makes some very interesting points, and always has something interesting to say in every post. I encourage all to read and follow his blog!  


Friday, October 29, 2010

Additional Assignment 3

Changing Educational Paradigms
We were assigned this video, and asked a series of questions. Here are my responses.
Wow! Yet another thing to get us thinking. I suggest any and all watch it!
Cartoon drawing of a clock
Time to answer the questions. The first question, "What did I find most important?" There were so many interesting key points that it is hard to choose, but I think taking the children off of ADD and ADHD medicine is highly important. Sure, it does calm the kids down, giving them the time to focus on what they "should" be learning. (I put "should" in quotations because the lessons being taught are deemed more/less important depending on the school board.-It's a matter of opinion!) But it is like Ken Robinson said, "These medicines are anesthetizing our children." That means we are deadening their senses. Does that make sense? We are shutting off their sensors, which we all need and use in order to learn. I think it is time we present the material in a attention grasping way. We need to be able to create lessons that can capture our students' attention. That is the educator's challenge!
Hand Scratching Brain
 I was asked if there was anything I disagreed with in this presentation. Hmm? I really don't think so. I really can understand and sympathize Sir Ken Robinson's stand on this issue. He really seems to have a grasp on the whole education thing and that he can see the problems and knows where he would like to see education in the future.

Paintbrust
I think that this would have been an awesome project to have been able to be a part of. If I was as lucky to be able to create, or help create, something of this nature I would literally feel relieved. I think art is one of the best ways to express yourself. So, to answer the next question, "If you had to do a presentation with others like this, what role on your team would you like most to play?" I would have to play the role of artist/ designer. I love to dabble in art projects. I completed Art I-Art IV in high school, and had art my 8th grade year. So hand me the paint brush, and let's make some cool ideas come to life!

Smart Board Project

We decided to go with a review for mathematics, and had a Jeopardy game theme. Hope you enjoy it.  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blog Post 10

Open Envelope
I find it difficult to stay engaged in class after sitting there for so long. The way information is being taught doesn’t relate to how today’s world is. I can’t even begin to count how many courses I take that I have absolutely no interaction between classmates. It is even sadder to think that I don’t have much interaction with some instructors. Come to think of it, the majority of the education system is sad. We go to school, sit, memorize facts, as Dan Brown says, and regurgitate it back on a test. The school system isn’t about learning for the long term, it is a matter of memorizing it long enough to spit in out on a test. Not enough teachers encourage experience and hands on learning.
I applaud Dan Brown for taking the initiative to drop out to learn. I am not sure how that will turn out for him, but I wish him the best of luck; but it is a foot in the right direction, so kudos to you. Taking the initiative to learn, is the best way to learn. I have shared my feelings in a comment on this post, written by Morgan Bayda.
Group of Pencils
Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home
     Where do I begin? Tom Johnson was very kind to share a conversation between him and Javi. I loved, loved, loved the fact that Tom focused on the solution instead of the problem. I was baffled, to say the least, on Javi's stand point. (Keep in consideration the justification was taking pencils home lowered test scores of children in low-income neighborhoods.) Javi was against the practice of letting students take home pencils. Really? I kid you not. If we are going to go as far as prohibiting pencils from leaving the classroom, because children, as the post describes, use them to play a "sick and twisted game" such as Hangman, we should prohibit the taking home of books. The student, or student's parents, could just as easily use them (the books) to fix a wobbly table by placing it underneath the shorter leg. Can we say "Get real!"
     Also, this reminded me of  the assignment: "Ken Robinson Says School Kills Creativity" that we were instructed to complete. Maybe the kid is an artist; maybe he wants to draw when he gets home. If he lives in a low-income neighborhood, where all too many times after school activities consist of drug and violence dabbling, the kid could become involved in such activities because no one wanted to allow him to bring a pencil home and draw, possibly create masterpieces, and occupy his time. Tisk tisk, I say, to anyone who supports this outlandish proposal. This prohibition can clearly kill any and all creativity a student could obtain. On a more positive note, Dr. Strange has struck again. 
He has given us another assignment to analyze ourselves.  
Man Sitting in Question Mark
Two Questions That Can Change Your Life                This video was very short, but very powerful. "A great man is a sentence." Enough said! Sure, it sounds a bit crazy, but after watching the video, it makes perfect sense. So, what are these questions? The first, "What is your sentence?" This gives you motivation in life, and is something you can use to navigate your life, [the answer, that is.] The second question, "Was I better today than yesterday?" This allows you to analyze your sentence, and lets you know whether your sentence is still applicable. A man can be summed up in a brief sentence. How do you want to be remembered? If you can answer this, you have your sentence. So, as part of our instructions, we are to develop a sentence about ourselves. That's a "tuffy!" If I was to sum myself up in one sentence, it would say, "She is always considerate of others, and strives to put others first."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blog Post 9

What I've Learned This Year By: Mr. McClung
     Mr. McClung explains what he has learned in his first year of being a teacher. The first lesson was "How to Read the Audience." I am glad that I read this, because I will surely keep this in mind during my own endeavor as a teacher. Teaching should always revolve around the students, and I feel that this has been a concern teachers have forgotten about. When McClung suggested that you need to let your audience drive your instruction, I applauded him in my mind. Not enough teachers think this way. 
cartoon sweating     His second lesson was "Be Flexible." I found it ironic when I read his rant on a perfect lesson plan does not exist. He explains he used to beat himself up, and how he had to force himself to just get over it. I found it ironic because just last night I was talking to my friend Scott. Nothing important, just a what-if subject. He had suggested that he hates to plan things. He said that half of the time things don't work out the way things are planned, and that things will always fall into place, at some point, regardless if you have plans or not. It is odd that I heard this the night before I read the article by McClung. Note to self: if things don't work out, or aren't working out, then the things of concern are not finished playing out. In other words, don't sweat it. 
     Lesson number three: Communicate. I find it very reassuring that someone out there knows that communication skills are one of the harder skills to develop. I can testify that I used to be an introvert. It took years out of high school, interacting with people I had never met before, watching others socialize (for many years) before I decided to "break out of my bubble" and get outside of my comfort level. I admit, at times, I'm still a bit shy, but for the most part, I try to be the outgoing person, and even if it means just going out of my way to introduce myself, I know I have put in the effort. Social networking is how the world operates. And as teachers, it is important to encourage communication, by leading by example, and emphasize the importance of it, as well.  
     Lesson number four: Be Reasonable. Although that none of these lessons are more important then one another, in all actuality, this needs to be heavily stressed. Students get highly discouraged when they don't succeed at something and their teacher scolds them. Don't children need reassurance that they can succeed, and that it just takes a little more effort. Too many teachers do not take this into consideration, and I think that  is one of the causes for unsuccessful students, and dare I say drop outs.
     Next lesson: Don't Be Afraid of Technology: McClung suggests that technology is essential to living. I concur with McClung. Technology is where the world is going, and it is incorporated into EVERYTHING we do. We, as teachers, need to prepare our students to do well in the world. If the world is every changing and technology is becoming the basis of life as we know it, then we must include this into the classroom.
     Listen to Your Students. Need I say more? It is sad to think that a child's only safe-haven is the classroom. But that is reality. Some students have no one to talk to, no one who really cares. A child needs to have someone to talk to. A well known fact is that it is often the case that a teacher spends more time with the student then their parent does. Teachers should be more than just an educator. They should be someone who a child can confide in and trust. 
     Never Stop Learning: McClung states that we are in a learning environment, and that we should "soak up as much as we can." I can't agree more. We only damper our students' learning if we, ourselves, refuse to learn. The more we know, the more we can share.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Favorite Teacher

We had an assignment to create a video of our favorite teacher. This was a difficult choice to make. At first, I was thinking about my drafting teacher, that I took in high school. Then, my old chemistry teacher from freshman year of college came to mind. Then, it hit  me! Who said the teacher had to work in a school? My favorite teacher is my dad. He has taught me so much throughout life, it was hard to narrow it down. I chose my dad's passions, in which he shared his love with me. Please watch this video. It shows my dad's second love, bowling, his first love, cars. Please keep in mind, that his "loves" in which I refer to do not reflect his putting life before family. He has always been there for me and my family. I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Timeline of Facebook

Timeline of Facebook (click me)
The code time-toast gave me is incompatible with blogger. Follow the link above.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Post 8

This is How We Dream
Dream
     This video was, at first, somewhat confusing. However, Richard Miller was able to tie all of the loose ends together and even though I may not fully understand it, I have been able to grasp some of his concept. 
     To start, he discussed how writing has changed. We went from just a world of books. Books are what we learn out of, what we record ideas and factual content in, and where we do our research. Me, particularly, do not care for books. Yes, I think they come one handy when I am working on homework, homework for all my classes except EDM310, for we are a virtual class, in a sense. But the world has changed, as Miller has suggested in his video. The way we research and learn is on the web. The majority of written assignments due in schools today are to be typed. Hence, we are a technology based world. And classes like EDM310, we are a class to do work solely on the web. 
     Speaking of EDM310 being a web based course, I think it is becoming evident that Miller may have influenced this course. Our assignments in this course are fully accessible. Dr. Strange has mentioned numerous times that we are leaving an intellectual trail. He has made us fully aware, or at least those who read the class blog, that we will be searched, our ideas will be read, and we should keep that in mind when making our posts. As well as expressing our own thoughts.
     It is interesting to look at how much is available online, and at our disposal. We use other's thoughts, to form our own. And with them being available online, it is easier to access each other's thoughts. It would make formulating conclusions and our own ideas more difficult without the use of the web. I said difficult, not impossible, because obviously enough, we, as a human race, have been using the hard copy system for longer then the virtual system. It just takes the travel time out of the equation. I like that Miller suggests that ideas do not belong to an individual. We should share our thoughts and ideas with the entirety of the world. Sharing our thoughts can enable others to have thoughts, build upon our thoughts, and possibly even improve the world in which we live. It happens all the time. We should overcome our stupidity of being selfish. It is only slowing down the improvement and advances of the world. Share your thoughts and ideas with the world.. Especially those aspiring to be teachers. We must share our enthusiasm to dream and think with our students, for it will encourage them to do the same!
Chipper
     The message: you must follow your heart before you realize what the best course for you is. As chipper showed, although her priorities were a bit mixed up, no matter what aspect of interest she pursued, she came back for her education to get her master's degree in Education. She showed that procrastination, mixed-up priorities, and carelessness can get you no where in life. To get the things that you want, you must try your best, in a timely manner, handle priorities of importance first, and care about how you handle your professionalism. I think that this was a great project. From what we were told on the first day of class, this seems to have some personal experience, or maybe it all is. If I could be involved in a project, I would like to take a life lesson, that I learned the hard way, and share someone my story, in hopes to spare someone else the same hardship or mistake.
EDM310 for Dummies
EDM310 for Dummies
     What a comical infomercial! It is funny to see Jamie Lynn portray a student of EDM310, although the temperament may have been a bit skewed. It showed factual content: students do get frustrated with the  class assignments. Students also get confused with some assignments. It is even funnier how the "EDM310 for Dummies" book is available to all students. It is called the Instruction Manual, people! It goes to show that if you take the time to read the assignments, and instructions, the frustration level drops tremendously.
This article is mainly discussing the opposition of the Smart Board. It is argued that even though it is a more appealing media for projecting ideas to the class, it only helps test scores by 1%. (Or at least that is the statistic provided in the article.) The author of the article says that the Smart Board is an acceptable way to spend money to try and help students stay engaged, but thinks that the money should be spent elsewhere. None-the-less, even though this author is a gadget-goo-roo, they are opposing Smart Boards for their lack of educational improvement and the fact that they are less cost-efficient.
   Why I Hate Interactive White Boards
      Bill Ferriter feels very adamant that interactive white boards(IWB) are a waste of financial resources. He argues that IWBs are discouraging the collaboration among students. He goes to quote Sylvia Martinez, who says, "You can't buy change. It is a process, not a purchase. The right shopping list won't change education." (I know Dr. Strange might want to give me a failing grade for my next statement, but to justify, I can sympathize with this statement, so hear me out.)
     In EDM310, we have an interactive white board. Frankly, I have seen it used twice. I come in the lab twice a week, at least, and to say the least, it has not helped me in the slightest. I have visited my old high school, spoken to one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Mallon. He is the drafting teacher at Theodore High School. He said that the Smart Boards are cool, but after visiting with him on a few occasions, I never saw him use it. And I visited during school hours. Maybe if I were to witness the capabilities of this new technology, I could come to the conclusion that they are valuable to the education process.
During research, I cam across an article that is in rebuttal to these two particular articles discussed above: 
This website offers testimonials of teachers around the world, and you will see the various ways that these teachers utilize their interactive white boards. Some, like Katie, show the various ways an IWB can be used. For one project, a news program, they can use the IWB to write, produce, edit, and film the entire production. That is kind of cool. I dare take back my opinion [above] about how i agreed with Mr. Fassiter. But it does take training, as it discusses further into this webpage, in order to be able to fully utilize its capabilities. But technology has yet to be widely accepted by all, and this piece of technology will suffer the same attitude. And what I mean about that is, people will be hesitant to using the Smart Boards, just like some people are hesitant to get computers, get cell phones, etc. Technology being accepted, is a matter of opinion. I think when people see the various attributes an IWB has, people will be more open to using one. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Additional Assignment 2

 How Kids Teach Themselves
     
     If learners are motivated, they can teach themselves. There must be interest before any initiative is taken. And this is regardless of age. Although, with age comes accessibility, but if the resources are available, kids, too, can teach themselves. In order for kids to teach themselves, interest and a computer is all that is needed. They do not necessarily need a person beside them. In fact, the video, in which these questions have been asked about, explains that they learn when there is no educator or adult present. And in addition, they begin to teach and "show off" to their peers what they have just done or learned. I think when applying the question to a person in general, the only thing needed is interest. The computer and the Internet can be the primary source of information, especially in a place where books are scarce. With the computer, comes Internet. With the Internet, comes resources. With resources, comes knowledge. With interest in reading the knowledge, comes learning. I think that without motivation, learning will take longer, if it even happens at all. 
     With the use of a problem, a question, or multiples of either, a person is intrigued to learn more, to dig deeper into the information they are finding. Even in today, in America, scientists must be presented with a problem before solutions can be found. Sure, scientists have done an immense amount of learning thus far, but would they know that to help kill cancer cells, they would need to create a poison, or chemotherapy? Maybe they would have stumbled across it one day. For it is true that great findings happen by mistakes made while trying to find something completely different. They were most likely presented with the question "How do we stop the division of cancer cells?" [This is an assumption made by me, and not factual content.] 
     How do you motivate someone to learn? Hmm... I would say that by showing interest in what the other person is learning, and asking if they could explain it or show how to do something they have just learned, they will feel joyous in their ability to show their new-found knowledge. How am I motivated to learn? Good question. When I don't understand something, I begin to learn. I ask questions. I hate not knowing something I should. One of my biggest fears: to fall behind, in anything. I hate being last, and hate if everyone else can arrive at an answer when I am left in a state of confusion. It is so bad that I have had nightmares about it. So to answer the question, I would say I am motivated to learn by fear, a fear of not knowing. Although motivation to learn plays a key factor in the actual process of learning, I do feel that it is possible to learn when not motivated. Hello! It happens everyday in school. Kids go to school, learn information that they think is boring, and retain it, to some extent, of course. Eventually, they will forget about it. I shall take a personal example. I do not find history to be interesting, in the slightest. (Sorry if you are a (aspiring) history teacher reading this. I just mean it is not one of my interests.) However, just last night I was with some friends. We were just getting back from the University of South Alabama's (Go Jags!) football game. 
University of South AlabamaImage via WikipediaWe were discussing who discovered America. [How we got on this subject, I am not sure, but random conversations are not unusual with us.] When someone suggested Columbus, I had mentally recalled Amerigo Vespucci. Although the debate is still ongoing about who really discovered America (according to some websites), that is not the point. I had recalled that America was named after Vespucci, and that there is speculation that he discovered America. I had retained the information even though I was not interested in the subject.   
Questionmark
     When trying to teach myself, I like to ask questions. Ask my parents, the Internet, anyone I know that is more knowledgeable in the subject. I do this to use my resources. Then when I have some information, I ask myself questions to further the learning process.  Teachers are there to speed up the learning process. They cut out the need to ask questions. But then again, they discourage self learning. What I am taking away with me after watching this video is that it is important to encourage others to be self learners. Not only should we encourage, we should teach them HOW to be self learners.


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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Blog Post 7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
     Pausch mentioned how "Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted." How true is this? VERY!!! All too many times when fortunate things happen to us, we tend to take it for granted. It isn't till it is gone, or even when things were out of reach, that we really take the time to analyze what it meant to us, and how to benefit from the loss, or lack-thereof.
Teamwork image
     Pausch also mentioned that we learn fundamentals as kids, when being submerged into the life of sports; the fundamentals he speaks of are teamwork, perseverance, sportsmanship. But these fundamentals are found elsewhere, outside of the sport scene. You just have to know where to find such lessons. I did not play sports, on a team. But I did play the game during gym. I don't know if it was due to the way I was raised, or just absorbing my surroundings and lessons in school (I bet it was a mixture of the two) but I was able to gain these fundamentals. Maybe more-so than those who did play sports. It's funny, really. I can remember, back in middle school and high school, we would have group assignments. If we got to pick our own groups, the jocks would always seek me as a group member. Was it because they thought I would be a valuable asset to their team? Duh! But they took it further. They thought that because I was so much of a team player, that I would be the team. In layman's terms, they thought they wouldn't have to do anything. In middle school, I played along. At that age, children will do anything to make friends, wait I should have said "friends", because in all actuality, they aren't your friends... they can turn out to be, but at that time, you are just a means to an end, or should I say A. But in high school, things change. Every one is looking for a favor... I would assume the bulk of the projects, but refused to do it all. Maybe because it is fear of them slacking, and causing me to have an incomplete assignment. But then, I knew that I had control. I supported my team, rode them hard, and demanded results. Which leads me to Pausch's next technique...
     Leadership! I don't recall him saying much about leadership, although he did talk about how he led this team to victory which enabled him of achieving his experiencing zero gravity. And all I can say is one, to experience zero gravity, that's way cool. And two, it goes to show that with hard work, and being led, or rather leading a team or even your own way, you can achieve greatness. Sure, what greatness is to some, is nonsense to others, but it is all about how you interpret your success stories, and what meanings you make of them. I achieve good grades on 90% of my assignments, since day 1. Some would think that because it is very common for me to do good in school, making an A would be insignificant. I beg to differ! Yeah, I have seen A's before, but each time I get one, it is because I have learned something new. I have been able to demonstrate my understanding for something. And most importantly, it looks great for my GPA. Ha ha, I joke on the latter, but seriously, it never gets old. Anyone can get lucky and make an A every once in a while. A broken clock gets the time right at least twice in a day. But it takes being wrong sometimes, which I am, to make succeeding on the next task important to me. A leader needs to be able to use a defeat to constructively prepare for the next task. Is a team going to practice harder each time they meet when they win consecutively? If they have no leader, no they won't. However, if they have someone riding their tales, you bet  your bottom they will try harder, and give it 110%! But it takes imagination of the leader to expect greatness. They have to be able to see, or imagine what they could achieve before they can make others want it!
Alabama logo
     How do you enable others to achieve their dreams? Good question! Pausch said he was unsure as to what to expect, and that the best advice he was given was to expect more then what his students had done. Already blown away, but he was certain this would work. His mentor told him that it would be "a disservice to the students to place the bar [of expectation] anywhere." I can concur with Pausch that his mentor gave the best advice. To have someone overachieve is mind blowing. But to have them think they can do better only inspires them. Since it is football season, let's look at it this way. The University of Alabama's (roll tide to you Alabama fans reading this page) coach, Nick Saban, has led the Crimson to victorious perfect season last year. Did he set the bar of expectation anywhere? I don't know, but he always demanded more of his players.  He made them try harder than the previous week, and in turn another win under their belts. By always asking for better, constructively, performance will always exceed any expectations. HOWEVER: DO NOT go about it in such a manner as to tell someone the work they had done was minuscule and that they did terrible. Encourage, and they will exceed!
     As the video comes to a close, I caught something. Yes, after starting this video at 5:30 in the morning, a Saturday morning none-the-less, I managed to stay awake and absorb the ending of this video. Pausch said that the best gift an educator can give is to encourage students to be self-reflective... Hmm, was Dr. Strange intrigued by this man, and is he following this man? I think I am on to something. I didn't think of it until I watched this video, but Pausch is 100% correct! The worst criticism one can receive is from one's self. It is like advice. We can give other's advice on any topic we think we are an expert in, well maybe not expert, but you get where I am going. On the other hand, we can give advice all day long, but the hardest thing to do is take your own advice. We are always harder on ourselves then we are on others. I am not sure as to why this is accurate, but I believe it is true.
     His words of wisdom are expressed in the latter of the movie. 1-Never lose the child wonder! Translation: do not grow up and lose who you were. Let your inner child run wild and free. Letting them "die" will allow you to lose some of yourself. 2-Help others. The fact of the matter is, loyalty is a 2 way street. Yes, we should do nice things for others out of the goodness of our hears, but the ones who really deserve it, will remember that act of kindness and will return the favor. 3-Spoken like a true philosphe: NEVER GIVE UP! Perseverance is key to any dream you wish to make true! I found this quote to be quite comical: "The best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap." The list of words of wisdom can go on for a while longer. But throughout the video, he mentions headfakes. And the whole time, I am sitting here thinking, "What in the world is a headfake?" The video talked about childhood dreams, helping others achieve their dreams, etc. But his overall message wasn't what I just mentioned. His headfake, [ahh, it all makes sense to me now] is how to lead your life and this video or presentation, whatever you want to call it, wasn't for me to watch. It was for his kids. Kudos to you Dr. Pausch. Great video!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TimeLine

Personal Timeline
The embed code that Timetoast gave me is incompatible with blogger. Please click the link above to view my timeline. Thanks!

1st Progress Report for PLN


I started my PLN in the beginning of September. I am still trying to grasp the concept. With each additional assignment in the class, I understand it a little more.
     Currently, I am following a few people on Twitter. I have been utilizing the Delicious website. I have a few bookmarked pages there.
     I have not made any direct contact with anyone I am following. It may not be much, but I am off to a start.
     It may look empty-ish, but keep in mind is a work in progress.

image of PLN

C4T#2 Summary

Harmful Effects of Algorithms
Mr. Bower wrote a post on his blog condemning the use of algorithms in schools. He argued that the tricks being taught to students are confusing the students because they do not understand the "why things work." He used the example how he told his students that his grandfather is 94 years old. He asked his students how old his grandfather was during World War II, in the year 1944. He said none of his students could give him the answer. He mentioned how they were trying to use different algorithms and spit out different rules, but the lack of understanding prevented them from solving the problem.
I agreed with Mr. Bower. I am currently learning different algorithms, myself, in my math class (aimed for elementary teachers). I notice how some of my class mates are have trouble understanding them, and I am pretty sure they can add and subtract.      
When I Become A Teacher        
Mr. Bower wrote about how teachers are, for the most part, people with good intentions. However, he says that teachers let people OUTSIDE of the classroom dictate what they teach IN the classroom. More importantly, he says that by allowing this to happen means teachers are compromising themselves, as well as their students!
I commented how in MCPSS, teachers are faced with layoffs each and every year. Who can blame teachers for not taking a stand against board members? One act of rebel actions, and there job is "conveniently" on the chopping block. I agree that teachers are usually people with good intentions, but FEAR always prevails over good intentions.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blog Post #6

The Network Student
     This short video was very informative. It showed me an example of what a PLN (or Personal Learning Network) looks like. This will help as I create my own PLN. I was impressed by the simplicity of the way the video was presented. As the saying goes, "Simple is always more." It didn't take a lot of time, nor did it take a tricky program to explain a PLN. Simple drawings and a narrative was suffice.
PLN
     I learned that a PLN is nothing more than organized access to resources. It can be easily accessed, can be updated and added to. Getting an RSS feed helps to keep up with latest posts. It wouldn't be a good idea if you weren't able to view the latest post on a subject of interest, especially if you are trying to find the latest information about something. Also, just because it is called a PERSONAL learning network, doesn't limit the availability. You can share your PLN with others, as they can with you.
     Am I prepared to be a teacher of a networked student? Currently? No. By the time I finish this class? Possibly (and hopefully). Do I think it is important to encourage students to obtain and maintain a PLN? Absolutely. A student needs to be able to learn beyond the classroom. They also need to be able to network through all mediums, whether it be physically or technologically. A good teacher doesn't teach by knowledge, they teach by example. In order to be the teacher who promotes, maybe even require a PLN, I need to have a working one myself.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment
     This seventh grader seems to have a very good head on her shoulders. And according to our class blog, she probably has a better head on her shoulders then some of the students enrolled in EDM310. But this is a rant for a different day.
     I couldn't help but notice that her personal learning environment was very colorful, not to mention organized. Sure, she had distractions on hers, like Facebook, but technically, Facebook is a network site. I am curious to know how she compiled her PLE in such an organized manner. Hers seems to be a more efficient one, in comparison to mine. I hope that she has worked on hers longer than I have on mine, or else this is a clear indication that I could be slacking.
      I am glad Dr. Strange assigned this video to us. It puts it into perspective that so many young students have exceeded what I have yet to even imagine.

The Machine is Changing Us
     Wow! Where to begin? Dr. Wesch covered so much. His presentation was inspiring. It takes someone else (usually) to intellectually touch base with with an idea. Who, besides Dr. Wesch, would envision experimenting on YouTube to persuade and inspire people? (No one I know, at least.) And what I mean by this is he wants to take a term (whatever) and help evolve the definition, constructively. He explained how the definition went from "That's what I meant" to "I don't care what you think". He wants, which I can share in ambition now, for the new definition to mean "I care. Let's do whatever it takes...by whatever means necessary." We should want to move to a day where we [all] want this. We should all want to do what it takes!
     As a person, the YouTube fad hasn't struck me yet. According to some, I still live in the stone age since I don't have an iPhone. I take my time to conform. I don't like conformity, and I especially don't like to jump right in. I would much rather be the person who jumps off the bridge after others, to make sure it isn't 2 feet deep, and I don't take the plunge to my death. I have never watched so many YouTube videos until this class. That isn't saying much, seeing how we have only been doing these assignments since the end of August.
     As my future as a teacher, it is hard to relate to this presentation, simply because I am only just a student. I guess I can relate to Dr. Wesch in the sense that the machine  is changing us, for the better. Even though we aren't physically connecting, we can connect in emotion; we can connect logically. By using YouTube, or any media or social network, we can express ourselves. Others can choose to watch and read or disregard us all together. How would we know if they did just "skip over" us or looked passed us. The depression that people get in being "disliked" could be avoided. Maybe we should use technological outlets to do constructive criticism. As a teacher, I could promote this. As an individual, too, I could promote this. Think about it: Our feelings are hurt less when a complete stranger criticizes us than when a family, friend, or loved one does so. We feel praised when someone we do not know pats us on the back for something we have done, because sometimes our loved ones, let's face it, are just being nice.