Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blog Assignment 10

“What’s my Sentence?”

sentence clip artThe two questions that can change your life

Honestly, if I had not read this blog, I know I would have never though about these two questions. The first one being, ‘What is your sentence?’ To me, this really does make sense. Like the video says, what sentence will be used to remember you? Right now, I could not tell you what my sentence was. I believe that later in life, after I have started my career in education, I may be able to tell you what my sentence is. All that I know is that hopefully, I will be able to give these children a positive, fun learning experience. I know that I want each child to want to come to class, and I want each child to push them selves as hard as hey can to do the best they can.

The other question was ‘Was I better today than I was yesterday?’ To me, this one is actually a lot easier to answer. I feel that if you are constantly educating yourself and pushing your self, then yes, you are better today than you were yesterday. If your life is a continual learning experience, and you improve yourself each day, then day by day you will find that you are growing and gaining knowledge. I think this is a sentence that teachers should ask themselves each day. If they can continually find ways to improve their skills and their teaching methods, their students will be the ones benefiting. Teachers should be constant learners, just as their students are. I believe that if each day you better yourself, you will be bettering your classroom and your students as well.

An Open Letter to Educators- Morgan Bayda

I really loved reading Morgan’s post. I too, think sometimes that some of the classes I am taking are, in a sense, “not doing me any good”. I pay so much for some of these classes, materials, and books, and then I do not even learn things that are relevant to my future career. I, like Morgan, have had the classes where you are supposed to be lectured to, read the text, and take tests. There is no interaction between the teachers and students, or between the students themselves.

To me, at least in EDM 310, we are all able to talk together when we have problems and issues, and we are also able to talk about assignments. I really believe EDM 310 has been beneficial to me. I have learned to use all types of technological tools, like PowerPoint, timetoast, wordle, and I have also learned to more efficiently use search sites and internet links. With some of my other classes, I feel as if the information I learn, like the lectures and the readings from books, will be information I lose or no longer need in a year or two. Hopefully, I will be able to successfully use these tools in the future, not only in the teaching field, but also in my personal life.

Don’t Let Them Take the Pencils Home

I think that this was a very creative idea for a blog post. If I understand right, it is not necessarily meant to be about the pencils themselves. Tom, the man in the post, is saying that completely taking something from the children (like pencils) may not solve any problems at all. He is saying that you have to use your problem to come up with better solutions to help learning. Gertrude tries to say that because of the children take the pencils home, they are thinking of the pencils are toys. Because of this, they do not use it for the things they should be. I think that it was great that instead of “Tom” agreeing with Gertrude, he proposed other solutions to the problem, like getting the parents involved in using “pencils” as learning tools as well.

In a way, this post was more confusing to me than it was educational. Yes, I think that is has a great message, but I had to re-read a few times to figure out what was really happening. I think that all teacher need to be like Tom. Use the tools you have to teach. Even if there is a problem with one of them, you can always come up with other solutions for learning.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blog Assignment 9

What I learned this year. Blog post

I really enjoyed reading this post on the "At the Teacher'd Desk" blog. I found it to be very informative and helpful since I will be starting my career as a teacher soon. I think that Mr. McClung has made some very wonderful observations.

One thing he says is that you need to teach to your students. I know that it sounds like an obvious comment, but he is right when he says that sometimes teachers are more worried about how others are judging them, and they forget to teach towards their students. I agree, all teachers should be teaching in a way that ensures student comprehension.

teacher and childAnother point that he made was that you need to listen to your students. To me, this is the most important thing. If you listen to your students, they know you care about them. Like Mr. McClung said, sometimes you may be the only person who will be there to listen to them. Also, you need to make sure that you keep open communication, not only with your students, but with your coworkers as well.

Mr. McClung also stated in this post that you do not need to be too hard on yourself. Sometimes, you may get discouraged about lesson plans and activities. If they do not go right, just work harder to try to perfect them. I do not think anybody is capable of making perfect lesson plans for every single day that you teach.

Also, he stated that you need to be reasonable about your students and their achievement goals. Yes, you want to set high standards, but you do not need to punish students if they can not always achieve their goals. You need to push them to work harder and be there to help them out.

Teachers need to be life-long learners. This is a very important point. Not only will you be teaching your students, there will be times that they will be teaching you.

Since I am in EDM 310, I saved the best for last. You can not be afraid of technology. Technology is something that is available to us, and there are so many things that we can do with computers that are beneficial to our students.

I think that Mr. McClung has made some very good points. I'm so grateful that he has taken note of these things. I agree with everything he has said, and I know that these are things I will need to keep in mind when I start teaching.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Additional Assignment 1

Ok for some reason I completely skipped over this on our class blog. I went back and was rereading things and I realized it has never been done.

Additional Assignment  1

2. Do at least 3 Google squared searches

My first Google squared search was on the animals. It gave me a lost of all sorts of animals, like dolphins, cats, dogs, elephants and even spiders. It gave me each of their classes, family, and species.  It is pretty interesting to see all of these together.

The second search I did on Google squared was a search of all of the presidents. Not only did it give me pictures of all the presidents, it also provided me with birthdates, hometowns, important things they did, their vice presidents, and even when they died.

The third search I did on Google squared was on the periodic table of elements. This squared all of the elements; it gave me their symbols, their atomic number and their color. It even gave me a brief description of the elements themselves.

3. Do at least 2 WolframAlpha searches

I did wolframalpha searches on dogs, and on France. It gave me an overall summary on both of these subjects.

a. What are the educational implications of searches such as Google Squared provides?
I think that this is a good tool for learning. You have all of your information in one place instead of   having to search over different websites on the internet.

b. What are the educational implications of searches such as WolframAlpha provides?This is beneficial because it gives you summaries of whatever topic you are searching. For example, I searched for France, and it gave me the mane of the repiublic,  their flag, where they are located on a map, the population, and it even gave you statistics on the ethnicities, religions, and languages. This site, like Google Squared, gives you one place where you can search and get information on everything you want.

c. Did you know about Google Squared before this assignment?
No, I had never heard of it. 

d. Did you know about Wolfram Alpha before this assignment?
No, I had not heard of it either.

e. Reread your comments about Did You Know. Have my comments altered your thinking about anything you saw, heard, read, or reported for the Did You Know assignment? If not, say so. If so, describe how in as much detail as necessary.
No it did not make me rethink. I just learned to pay more attention to the math that was used in the Did you Know video. There are a lot of things that should be paid attention to. Not just one area.

f. What did you learn from this exercise about how you react to and deal with "statistics"?
I learned that there are so many websites to go to that give you statistics. On the WolframAlpha website, it pulls up all sorts of statistics and gives you a summary of any particular subject. On the Google Squared website, you can get all of your information put into a table. As long as the statistics are up to date, I think these websites are great tools.

Food for thought- I think this is a wonderful example on how children can teach themselves without instruction. This really is a magical thing.

Blog Assignment 8

This is How We Dream
how we dream clip art
This is something that is really crazy to think about. I think it is so true when Dr. Miller is talking about technology and how it helps people talk globally, and instantly, to anyone from any part of the world.

Before days where everything was technology based, people had to rely on books and libraries to get all of their information. Of course, back then, nobody realize that it was such a slow process to receive and write down information. I know I actually thought I was getting things done fast when I could copy all the pages I wanted to. But now, we have printers which make that job so much easier. Everything is become easier as technology is becoming advanced. Dr. Miller is right; people are more likely to copy down information in a word document on their laptop than they are on a piece of paper. Furthermore, people can gain access easy with the internet and all of the sites available. It seems like to an extent there is no need to even go to a library any more. Instead of having to “check out” a book, you can just print everything you want, right offline.

Another thing is that information is always freely available online for people. If you were to go to the library and check out a book, and someone had already checked it out, you would have to wait for it to be brought back on. With the information on the internet, many people can view the same page and the same information at the same time, without a wait.

Dr. Miller talks about finding a way to be able to only use the web itself. That means no more letters, no more alphabets, just technology. This is actually sort of scary to think about. I can not imagine living in a world with no libraries and no books. It really is crazy to think that this is something that could actually happen. I know even now, technology is becoming more and more advanced as each day passes by, and before long, this whole “no alphabet” thing could really be possible.

EDM 310 is Different

Watching the Chipper video
 The message of the video is that you should do your work on time, be honest about it, and do not procrastinate.  Chipper had a problem with procrastinating and not doing her work, and she tries to persuade Dr. Strange that it is ok to be late with your work.

EDM 310 for Dummies
I think that this would actually be a good idea to have an actual EDM 310 book for dummies. In a way, that is exactly what our instruction manual is, as long as you take the time to go through and read all the information. I will admit, there have been times that I have been so confused and so stressed out about EDM, but all of the information you need is right there on the EDM 310 webpage. If you can not find it there, you can always talk to Dr. Strange, or any of the classroom helpers. They are always there to help if you get lost.

I think that both of these videos are helpful to new students. I know a lot of people feel lost, and feel confused about the class, and these videos help show that they are not alone. We have ALL felt like that at one point or another. I really liked the video on procrastination. Sometimes it really is not a problem for me to get my work in on time, and other times I am just so bogged down that I may be a little late with my posts. Unlike Chipper, I know that I should be getting my work in on time, there are just some days that I cant manage my time as good as I should, This is something I’m definitely working on and it is good to know (by reading the class blog and listening to these videos) that I am not the only one who has problems sometimes.

Smartboards- A dumb initiative?

Michael Stanton’s argument is that smartboards are a good addition to the classroom in a couple of ways, but for the cost, it is not a good way to improve learning. He claims that the smartboards are moe “media savvy” but the teacher still has to stand in front of the class, and the teacher still has a whole room of kids to keep under control.  All smartboards do is make the white board more presentable.

smartboardAnother person who does not like the smartboards is Bill Ferriter. In his post, he explains that as a teacher with a smartboard, he did practically the same thing that he could have done with other tools off of the computer. He said that he used the board for a year, and he got a few creative lessons out of it, but it was practically useless.

Another good point that Mr. Ferriter made was that most administrators will say that a good classroom consists of students who are independently learning with a teacher who is there to guide them. With a smartboard, this type of independent learning is not going to be happening. You will still have a teacher in front of the class reading off a smartboard.

On the other hand…

There are other sides to the effectiveness of smartboards. One site I found who thought smartboards was beneficial was the K-12 Techsters .

This post on the interactive whiteboards, like the posts by Mr. Ferriter, and Mr. Stanton, had very good points. Not only did they tell the advantages, they told about the disadvantages and how to turn them around.
One thing that the blog post says is that smartboards can be used for all sorts of things. They can transfer images from powerpoints or even straight from the internet. Another good thing about smartboards is that you can make interactive games for your students to participate in. This is one way to keep things interesting and fun in the classroom. The K-12 Techsters argue that having a smartboard is more likely to get students attention and keep them interested. It also provided a more enjoyable way of viewing material in comparison with a regular textbook.

Additional Assignment 2

TED speaker
1. What do you think? If learners are motivated, can they teach themselves?

Yes, I believe if they have a desire to learn, they would be able to teach themselves a lot of things.

2. If those motivated learners are kids, can they teach themselves?

Like the video shows, these children had just received a computer and they were already being able to assemble a video to record things. Also, the children figured out a way to record their own music and listen to it. I believe that it the children want to learn something, they will work their hardest to figure it out.

3. What conditions are necessary for kids to teach themselves? For anyone to teach him or herself?

You have to have a desire to learn. You have to want to know more and want to educate yourself.

4. What role do computers and internet access play in the process?

As Sugata Mitra said, “If teachers could be replaced by computers, they should be.” After doing all of his experiments, he found that if children were interested, then learning takes place. For all these children, having an internet gives them a chance to browse and look through all the things that interest them so learning does happen.

5. What role does motivation, a desire to learn?

It plays a huge role. Without the desire to learn, you would not even want to teach yourself so learning would never happen.

6. What roles do a problem, a question or multiple problems or questions play in the process?

I think that it just makes it that much more interesting. If you run across a problem and you’re truly interested in a subject, I believe you would be more inclined to try to fix it and figure out what is wrong. Asking questions is always a good thing in my opinion. If you are asking questions, you are curious and you want to know more.

7. How do you motivate someone to learn?

I think the only way you can motivate someone is by encouraging them to take an interest in it. If they are not encouraged, and they do not find it interesting, all you can do, as a teacher, is try to make it more interesting to them.

8. How are you motivated to learn?

I am curious to know more about things I am interested in. When I was a child, my interests were more like animals and nature, and I did everything I could to try to know all that I could about these subjects. Now, even though my interests are different, I still have the desire to learn more.

9. Can anyone who is not motivated to learn learn?

Yes, I still think they may be able to learn, but I do not believe they will be able to teach themselves. If they have no desire to learn, they will not learn. They have to be interests, or be curious about what is happening.

10. Do you teach yourself? When? Why?

Yes, on more than one occasion I have done this, especially when it comes to the computer and technology. There are so many things that I have had to learn, for classes and things like that, and I have found that once I started looking through everything, I became more interested in all sorts of other things. One thing for me is Twitter. This is one thing I had NO idea how to do when I first started, and each day I get on, I figure out more things you can do with it.

11. What role does a teacher (either answer generally or use a specific example) play in your learning?

I do think teachers are so important for children and the learning process. If students are motivated to learn, teachers need to be able to spark their interests and make things appealing to them. If teachers can keep things interesting for children, they will have a desire to learn and they will want to know more about it

12. What is the most important idea, question or emotional response you take away with you as a result of watching this video?

There are so many things I have taken from this video. I think it’s amazing how excited these children were just to be having a computer. They are in other countries and some of these countries do not have to tools and equipment we do here in the United States, so I think it’s so great to see these children so motivated to learn. Overall, I realize that children can teach themselves, if they have the desire to learn.

13. What other questions or issues are raised by this video that should be considered and discussed by aspiring teachers?

I think that one question I take from this is why are children less likely to want to teach themselves if they are all alone? Like the video explained, children in a group are more likely to discuss things amongst themselves. Another question teachers should keep in mind is, “What can I do to make things more interesting and exciting for my children in the classroom? How do I motivate my children to learn?”

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Comments For Teachers 2

Larry Ferlazzo

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day

Larry FerlazzoFor my second C4T, I looked through the blog of Larry Ferlazzo. Not only did he have a lot of blog posts of teaching children (especially ELL, EFL, and ESL children), He also had blog posts on current news. I was surprised to find he had a few posts on the miners trapped in Chile, which is something I have been keeping up with at home. It is nice to see someone that is dedicated to keeping others up to date with current news, popular websites, and great ideas for teaching children and keeping children entertained in the classroom.

The first post I commented on was about using punishment in the classroom. There was a comic strip that was showing how ineffective punishment can be when it comes to children. What the comic strip was saying is that kids sometimes think if they get in trouble, you just try a little harder next time not to get caught doing something wrong. I thought that it was a clever idea for a comic, and it also made me think about how I would go about handling punishment and reinforcement in the classroom.

The second post I read was on teaching the ESL, EFL, and ELL children in an unplugged way, which means without textbooks. I found this very interesting. The post was giving ideas on how to teach these children in a way that focuses more on their life and their interests and makes it more of a conversation than a lecture. To me, this seems like a great idea. The children will be able to talk about things they are interested in, and I also think it would make things a little more comfortable.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

PLN Progress Report

Personal Learning Network=AMAZING oppotunity to meet new people and talk to people you already know about things that interest you. For EDM 310, I have started developing a personal learning network for the field of education. Since our class is based on technological advances and ways to use technology in the classroom, I have started my research in this area.

Besides watching the required videos for the class, I also have taken time to watch a few others regarding technology in the classroom. My main source for these videos is YouTube. Although I am not too familiar with YouTube, I have found that you can practically find videos on any subject that you are interested in. After watching Michael Wesch's video required for class, I decided to look through some of his other videos on youtube.

question marksI found each of these blogs so beneficial in their own ways. Dianne Krauss has great eduational links, Dorothy Burt has amazing videos and information on Google aps, and she also has links to student's blogs so you can see their work. Wesley Fryers blog has a lot of good information on how to use technology. Its a lot to scroll through, but i'm sure you will find something that will help you out. Not only am I going to continue following their blogs, I am also following them on twitter so I can continue to see what I can learn from them. I actually plan on going through and looking through other blogs that were assigned to other classmates. After reading through their blogs it seems like they have also gotten a lot of good information. I will continue to follow Dr. Strange's blog. I know if I ever have a technical problem he will be there to help.

Not only am learning through teacher's blogs, I am also learning through classmates blog posts. Hearing their ideas and opinions really gives me different perspectives on things.

Skype is something that I am still not too sure about. I have skyped with friends, and I have seen the skype videos that we have put onto our class blog, but for some reason I guess the whole "video chat" thing makes me uncomfortable. THATS STRANGE, I know, but for some reason I would rather just use twitter or Facebook (or even email) when it comes to communicating with someone.

Facebook has also really been valuable to me. When I first created my Facebook, I felt that it was just a place to talk with friends and look at pictures. I now realize that there is so much more to it than that. As long as your willing to search, you can find all types of educational tools and ideas.

For me, twitter was the newest experience. Since I started twitter, I found that if you open your mind, you can learn a lot. I looked through the pages that Dr. Strange put out to help us with our PLN's, and I went and added some new people on twitter that he said would be good to follow. As time goes on I will find more and more people that will help me on my educational journey.

My Timetoast Timeline

Friday, October 8, 2010

Blog Assignment 7

Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture
Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

“If you had one last lecture to give, what would it be?”

Randy PauschThis whole video was so inspiring to me. I actually felt like I knew him. I love how he talked about his life, his family, and I like that he was open about his cancer. I love him enthusiasm about his dreams and the things he wanted to accomplish throughout his life. He quoted that “experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.” To me, this is completely true. It seems like growing up, Dr. Pausch really went through and learned a lot. It seems like he was a driven, dedicated man, and I love that he was determined to accomplish all of his childhood dreams.

When he was talking about the days where he wanted to be an NFL football player, he said that you learn a lot more than you anticipate. Like he explained, you do not just learn the stances and the plays, you also learn more important things like teamwork, sportsmanship and cooperation. All of these, Dr. Pausch says, are more important than the game.

Dr. Pausch achieved pretty much all of his childhood goals. Whether it involved Disney, stuffed animals, Captain Kirk, or floating in zero gravity. He always found a way around the odds, regardless of what people thought, and I admire that!

“Brick walls are there for a reason. They are there to show us how badly we want something. The brick walls stop the people who don’t want it as much as you do” This was probably my favorite quote that Dr. Pausch said in his last lecture. I completely agree. I think that if you are strong enough to break down or cross over the wall, there will be so many people that you surpass because they are not driven enough to make it through. I think that it is this outlook on life and this state of mind that made Dr. Pausch as successful as he was.
the last lecture
This video really tugged at my heart. It seems like he was a genuine, educated man who has a strong heart and a strong mind. His lecture goes to show you that you can always achieve your dreams; all you have to do it try and try and try again. You may not always achieve it the first time, but don’t let it stop you. If you put your mind to it, as Dr. Pausch says, "anything is possible!"

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Blog Assignment 6

computer clip art
The Networked Student- Wendy Drexler

>My first reaction to this video was that the teacher just wasn’t a good teacher. Of course, that’s only what I felt when I first started watching, but the longer I listened, the more I changed my mind. I think that people now are just used to teachers who always lecture, and make you read chapter after chapter in the textbook. I don’t think this necessarily makes them BAD teachers; it is just something that is expected of most of my teachers. I have never thought about learning being possible just by social networking, but I guess it does make sense.

I never thought that students could possibly learn from each other, and learn from other peoples opinions and other peoples articles online, but it is something that can be done. Students can gather information from contacts from all over the world, and they can pass on information to others that are interested in the same things. In my opinion, the networked student really can learn a lot without being lectured and constantly forced to read and write papers. Now I see that there is so much more to it than that.

So, does the networked student need a teacher? Of course they do! Everyone needs to have a place to start and a place to run to in case something does not make sense. This is what the teacher is there for. Like Ms. Drexler said in her video, teachers are there to help with guidance, to point them in the right directions, to get them resources and maybe help them with contacts, and also to help them learn the most successful way for them to communicate with other people. Of course, the networked student is expected to get through it on his/her own, but if he/she can manage, they will be able to spread their knowledge and share what they have learned with people all over the world.

A 7th Graders PLN

ADHD childWow!! I can not believe that a 7th grader is has learned to do put together a PLN better than I have. I have to say that I am so impressed that she has learned to use all the tools, especially since she is so young. Hearing this video actually gave me some good ideas about how to expand my PLN even more.

I realize now that there are so many things, tools, and people that can be beneficial to you. Having a PLN that is constantly expanding is something that everyone should consider. I know now that there are all sorts or places to go and all different people that will try to help you as you try to learn more.

Comments for Kids 1 and 2

I was assigned to look through the blog of a students named Florinda. First, I was asked to read her blog post about herself. This gave me a little bit more information on Florinda and what she likes to do in her free time. I realized that she, like me, is not too big of a fan of math. She said that if she is home trying to do work, sometimes her mind wonders off and she can not focus. I thought it was funny that I am so much older than her, yet I still have the SAME problems.

After reading her blog about herself, I read her manifesto. What this was, in my words, is a list of a few things she could work on and try to improve on. These things, were mainly pertaining to school and homework and ways she could try to work a little harder. Florinda also said that she would try to finish all of her work in class so she would not have to take it home. To me, this was a great idea. Especially coming from someone who is still very young. I think that these two projects were great ideas for the students.

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