Sunday, April 29, 2012

Final Report On My PLN

GoogleI have learned so many things this semester from taking EDM310. Without this class I would not have known how to; blog, twitter, edit movies, use all Google features, use the SMARTboard, and communicate with people all over the world. I know that technology is booming and we have to use it to our advantage. I was very uncertain at first about using all of these technologies and how I would use them in a classroom. I now understand that it's not about using all of them and being completely tech savvy it's using them to the best of our ability and wanting to learn new things.
Google has been my main focus these past few weeks working on our final projects our group has communicated threw many of Google's features. For Project 13 we had to create a lesson without meeting face to face. Google Hangout was the best communication tool we used other than text. Google Docs also helped us a tremendous amount because we all could type on the same page and know what we were going to do. The tools that I have learned from this class I have been able to apply in my other classes, and people ask how I know how to do all this. I like to learn new things but I never would have known about any of these if it wasn't for this class. My PLN has just began but it's far from being over. Over this corse I have signed up at many websites to receive emails about new tools. I'm excited to use these tools in my classroom one day.

Blog Post #13

For this blog post we were not allowed to use any type of technology for 24 hours. We were allowed to use only a house phone and see a movie only in theaters, everything else was banned. If it was powered by electricity or batteries, we were not allowed to use it. This assignment was extremely hard for me. My phone is like my security blanket, without having it the feeling is just miserable. My boyfriend goes to Auburn and there was absolutely no way that I could not talk to him for a whole day. My cellphone was broken a few weeks ago and kept freezing. I immediately took it to AT&T and got a new phone. All my school work is done on the computer, if I didn't do it for a day I would fall behind. Even at my daycare that I work at, we use computers to clock in, and walkie talkies for the playground. Technologies are such a HUGE part of our society today that if the power went out for a whole day I honestly think that the world would go crazy. We have been accustom to cellphones, computers, and cameras that without them we cannot function. Hopefully we won't have to face a no technology day again!

Project #15

C4T #4 April

Google plus iconsI'm commenting again on Jenny She, she has not recently posted. I read one of her post titled, "Would Google Plus be useful in the Classroom?". I was very interested about her thoughts about this topic would be. I just learned about everything Google has to offer due to this EDM class. I have learned so much about technology that I never would have known. In her post she explains that she learned about Google "hang out" from a family member who was studying with her classmate. She further explains that by using "hang out" people will no longer have an excuse of being late or not having money to get to class. Simply long in and ta-da your there. Also on her blog was a link for useful tips on how to use Google+. I explored this website, and it explains how to use Google+ to the max. It also had a link to a teachers blog post, 10 Ways Google+ Can Be Used In The Classroom which was also a very interesting. This post helped me a lot since I am now starting to use Google+ a lot more.

My second C4T is Mr. Myles Webb. His latest blog post is about an assignment using a video camera to show us about Worm Bins. One of the students in this video is legally blind and they were trying to find something to get him more engaged. In the video they created two young boys, one blind, demonstrate and explain to us more about Worm Bins. This video is absolutely amazing to see the excitement students express while teaching others(us). This is the video that Mr. Webb posted.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blog Post #12

This week, we are instructed to create a blog post in our speciality. I had many ideas on what I could do, I just didn't know how to make them possible. While searching for hours on the internet I stumbled upon a website called Story Jumper that really got my attention. The StoryStarter workbook is a tool for teaching students the creative writing process. The goal of the workbook is to coach students in building the 7 primary components of a story (Character, Challenge, Motivation, Setting, Obstacles, Climax, and Closing). Finishing the 7 steps will give students complete story arcs that they can then develop into rich, detailed stories."

This website is also great for teachers because they can set up a classroom account which will allow them to; manage and review students work and also enables them to share stories between the classroom and home. The teacher may also set a time limit for the students. When the students logout they are suggested to share their work with their parents. Teachers and parents can order the book that the child creates.

help screenshot

Writing Worksheet

This website also includes a worksheet that teachers can print for students to get started writing their story. They also have side tabs which further describes how to write a correct story in case they forget. I created my first story and it took me hours. I loved it and had so much fun creating it. I can see where using this in a classroom would be amazing. I was completely zoned in on making my story. I used so much creativity and learned a lot just by making my own story. I figured out how to use pictures from the internet and after discovering this tool, using this website in a class would be wonderful. Just the fact that it gives students full creativity, and both parent and teacher access is amazing. This is my story I made called Exploration. Please make your own story, I promise you will have so much fun.

my story

For my blog post assignment this is what I would do.

1. Create an account, the best part about this is it's free.
2. Make a book that you would read in your classroom that would cover a certain subject ex. math, history, science.
Make sure you put time into it, you can use pictures and information from the internet. These books are also printable for you to use in the classroom so do something your interested in.
3. You must have at least 14 pages.
4. Post your book on your blog for others to read.

Progress Report on Final Project.

progress report
For the final project my group, Scholars United, includes; Amanda Warner, Keeley Bryan, Travis Snyder, and myself. We are working on creating a video to illustrate the benefits of using various types of technologies in the classroom. Each of us will pick a subject that we will teach in the future, and pick which technologies will best enhance their lesson plan. We have selected our subjects and different types of technologies that will enhance our students learning. Our project is centered around the idea of motivating educators to incorporate technology in their classrooms, and to make known the connection between technology and student comprehension. So far we have used; Google Docs, Google Hangout, e-mails, text messages, and our class time to communicate through this project.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts- Special Post #12A.

curiosity is creativity1. Do schools in the United States systematically destroy (or inhibit) the development of curiosity and/or creativity in students? In my opinion, absolutely yes. The school system has a certain requirement that has to be met by all students and teachers. Children in the classrooms are not being allowed to think for themselves. They are told what, when, and how to do all activities the moment they step on school property. Teachers stress over the students test scores because low scores imply not teaching correctly. Even art projects have requirements they must meet to receive a good grade. In schools it's hard for children to think for themselves because they have to follow so many rules and act a certain way.

2.Can a curriculum be developed that increases the curiosity of students? At my high school we had a Leadership Class. You had to apply to be selected in this class. I joined my sophomore year and loved it. This class was designed to make ourselves better leaders and to get involved in the community. We did have rules that we had to follow but we also did many of our assignments on our own. I loved this class and I hated leaving it my senior year. Ms. Miller, my teacher, did an amazing job letting us find ourselves and what are strengths were. This class opened my mind to so many opportunities that I would have never known about. I learned so much about myself and others. This type of class would be a wonderful class to have in schools. We did all the work, the thinking, and producing, she gave us information on how to do it and where we could start. Everyone who took this class absolutely loved it, and gained so much knowledge from it.

3.Can a teacher's actions increase the curiosity of students? Absolutely!! Students feed off of others reactions and feed back. If they sense that the teacher could care less about the subject than they tune out. Why should a student care if the teacher doesn't. Students pay better attention when teachers show enthusiasm about the subject. Showing excitement to learn increases the desire to actually learn.

4.What would help you become more creative? What role would teachers and/or schools have in that process? The school system is so strict that teachers are just teaching to test. It's all about the test scores and students only learn what they have to, to pass the test. It's sad that this is how our school system is and anything not on the Course of Study sheet shouldn't be taught. The internet is such an amazing invention and extremely useful for everyone. My leadership class that I mentioned before really gave me the opportunity to express my creativity and involvement. Maybe a class like this in all schools would help expand creativity. Or even if students were allowed to create more projects to demonstrate what they have learned in that class as part of the final grade. It could be something on the computer like a powerpoint or even a physical object. Less instructions and force on how things should be. The school system needs to actually be involved with the schools and not in the office. They should see how a classroom is actually ran and not have the teacher worry about what they are writing on their notepad in the back of the room. Being involved and hands on lets others experience the troubles that both students and teachers have.
Hopefully we will soon express more creativity and students thinking for themselves, and not learning to test. Little steps eventually make big changes.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

C4K Summary for April

April Heading
We are doing a world blog challenge for three weeks. Alicia is my student that I have been following and blogging to. She seems to be a really sweet young lady and is excited about learning. My first comment to her started in March.

Science experimentOn April 2, she blogged about how excited she is to go to the nature room. She describes it as a science lab where they will build bottle rockets, have a spa day, and even dissect a sheep's brain. I responded by telling her how brave she is if she dissects a sheep's brain because I could never dissect anything. She said that she will post about her experiences in the nature room later this week. I cannot wait to read about what she learned and made. I asked her if she would tell me what she did and didn't like so I have some ideas when I teach. Very excited to read her response!

Hawaii People
  • This week is spirit week at Alicia's school and today, Tuesday, April 10, is Hawaiian day. She describes her outfit that she actually bought when she was in Hawaii. She explains that it's a family tradition to go to Hawaii for vacations. She asked for wacky ideas for spirit week. I was so excited to read this post because I have always wanted to visit Hawaii, and jealous that she has been. Spirit Week in high school was my favorite because it was also homecoming. I replied with many ideas that she could use for her spirit week that I used for mine. I cannot wait to read her reply on how the rest of the week went.
Drawing from Students BlogI am now assigned to a new student from Ms. Cassidy's 1st grade class. This is the post that my student G had posted;
"I WeT To Rjine Last Weekced and I Had To wat for (a half an hour)".
I commented back that I was sorry they had to wait so long but I hope they had fun on their trip. I also asked what all they did on the trip. I had to remember that this student is in first grade and learning, like myself, how to blog. Amazing how young we are teaching technology to children.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blog Post #11

Watching the First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class was very amusing. I like to see that the students are actually learning how to use technology at such a young age. I also watched her Skype Interview with Dr. Strange, which was extreamly knowlegable. Her video was inspiring to see how an actual classroom uses the technology and they understand the importance of being safe on the internet. I liked how she is already teaching the children how to use blogs. It's a great feature that the parents can go and see their child's work at their convince. Parents love being informed with what their child is learning and for them to quickly see it improves communication with both the parent and teacher. A problem I might face would be the privacy of the children some parents might not want their child being publicized all over the internet. If a parent does have that concern I would do my best to ensure them that they are being educated and I will not post their picture on the internet. For my own preference, I would not use the computers with every assignment. I would also be hands on with pens and paper, to see where children mess up and not use auto correct. I really liked how they posted all their art work on their blog for the family to see. My family is very close in communication but not distance and it would have been awesome if everyone could have seen what I worked on. Amazing how we always keep learning. :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blog Post #10

teachingIn the video, Do You Teach or Do You Educate I was expecting more from it than what it turned out to be. Josh Bloom created this video in 2006 as probably a class project. Watching this video I didn't feel any inspiration to want to educate. I can tell he worked hard and spent a lot of time on the video, but it lacked the desire to teach. I watched the video twice just to make sure I didn't miss some powerful message but I was extremely board, and lacked focus.
I want to become an educator, I want students to be inspired by new information and think for themselves. Education is such a powerful tool that we, as American's, take advantage of it. I wish I would have tried harder in high school and paid closer attention to what my teachers were really telling me. I want to become an elementary teacher because I believe that the young minds hold the most power. As an educator I want students to feel like they can ask any question and not feel dumb. I want to demonstrate that the little subjects build on top of each other, like building blocks and that furthers our knowledge. It's hard for me to explain my passion for children and the joy I feel knowing that I'm changing children's lives.

test paper
After reading Tom Johnson's blog post titled, Don't Let Them Take The Pencils Home it brought to my attention again how much I hate taking test. Since I can remember, test have been used to see how much students know. I myself am an awful test taker, I get very nervous and forget everything when that paper is handed to me. All the school board sees is our test scores and ways to improve them. Some schools have been so low in grades that they talked about taking the extra involvement's like sports and clubs out of schools. To me, taking these things out of school will worsen the grade for the students have nothing to look forward to. Anyway, regarding Mr. Johnson's post about not letting students take the pencils home because it lowers test scores. He explains that pencils are for learning and by taking them home the parents can learn to in this low income community. People, not just children, learn everywhere they go. The saying, "You learn new things everyday" is completely true. No matter how old we are or where we go, there is always something new to learn. LEARNING SHOULD NOT STAY IN A CLASSROOM. As a teacher, I would want my students to take what they learn inside the school walls and express them outside. Also, use their knowledge outside of school and bring it inside. Learning never ends and it should never stop, especially if the pencil is broken, sharpen it and keep writing.

Project 13

Amanda Warner and I demonstrate simple tools, on how to use the SMARTboard.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Post #9

This blog post is about Mr. Joe McClung's blog post about his reflections about his first years teaching. I really enjoyed reading his post because as pre teachers we want everything to be just perfect and to run smoothly. Teaching isn't about making everything perfect you cannot into a classroom and expect them all to understand what you say. The first post I read was his post in 2009, about his first year ever teaching. Teaching will vary from day to day and we just have to take the situation and make the best of it. In this post he mentions that not everything has to be perfect and that we have to be flexible and ready for change. I agree with him 100% on this there is no way that we can predict how students will react towards a lesson. He also states that we should listen to our students. Without listening to what they really say it'shard for them to understand what we are trying to say. Communication is extremely important and we have to be willing to listen to them for them to listen and respect us as a teacher.

Stay Positive

The second blog post I read was his teaching in 2010. What stood out to me in this one was him saying that we (teachers) have to make ourselves look crazy for students to be excited to learn. Teaching is like acting, we have to make the audience want to be there and see what happens next. "Our students need to know that we have passion for our jobs if we ever expect them to take our subjects serious." This quote says it all, love what you do and give it all you got. He talks about so many great topics in his blog post, but another one that stands out again to be is being a control freak. I myself now am very organized, and like to have things done in a certain way. He states out how teachers have to write out there every move for a year and by having all the directions to follow it can be stressful. It won't all be perfect but by giving yourself simple breaks like students passing out papers can take some control off of the teacher. We cannot be a drill sergeant or they would never learn. By giving students some control of how the class works lets them feel equal and with older students that's all they want.
I really enjoyed reading his blogs and I think that when I start teaching I will make a blog about my adventures in the classroom. Really good idea Joe!

C4T #3 March

Mr. Eric Sheninger's PLN I am a student at the University of South Alabama striving to become a teacher. A class I am required to take is a class about technology and using it in the classroom. Before reading this post I was very uncertain about teaching. The technology is advancing everyday and I questioned my ability to remember all of these tools. After reading this post I understand now that it's not about how many tools you use, it's using them sufficiently. Teaching isn't about who can do it best, it's helping each other strive forward to help children succeed. I like that Mr. Sheninger let's his teachers use 20% of their time to work on a project they enjoy. It is very important to keep the teacher's mind fresh and exciting. I have enjoyed reading this blog post and I look forward to hearing more about Mr. Sheninger's success.

My second C4T was to Ms. Jenny She. Her blog is dedicated to record her experiences, reflections, learnings, and anything that matters to teaching. Her latest post was about photography and the beauty of the simple things in life like flowers. A quote that she wrote has stuck with me the rest of the day,"The happiest people don't have everything, they just make the best of everything." She went for a walk and took pictures with her iPhone of some flowers she saw. Beauty isn't always the biggest most elaborate things, the small things make the picture complete. I responded by telling her my passion for photography and how pictures last a lifetime. I really enjoyed her reminder about making the best out of everything.

Jenny's flowers