Thursday, May 3, 2012

Final Project16

Collaboration Report (Project 13)


I am in the group F-JAM which stands for, Fred, Jami, Ashley, and Melissa. For our Smartborad instruction project #1 we used the basic tools to communicate with each other. We mostly communicated via text messaging, email, Google chat, and telecommunications. The communication for this particular project went well as it really did not entail an excessive amount of communication. At the end of our first group project we discussed other communication tools we wanted to use. I thought that this was a great idea as it gave everyone in the group time to get the tools setup and to familiarize themselves with it. Once everyone was on the same page it was rather easy to jump in and get going.

Google Hangout

On Project 15 part 2, we continued to use text messaging, email and telecommunications. We decided to expand our collaborative meetings by adding three new tools to communicate. We use Google Docs on a regular bases as we continue to plan. We opened a separate document for each project. In Google Docs we discussed ideas and scheduled a date for us to complete the project. I really enjoyed this form of communication because I was able to see instant comments from my group members. The second new tool that we used was video chat through our gmail accounts. I thought that it was fun being able to see my group members. Chatting straight from our Gmail accounts only allowed us to talk one on one. We felt like it would be very beneficial if we all could see each other at the same time to share information. This lead us to using Google Hangout. We setup a Google+ Hangout circle. Hangout allowed use to communicate with each other all at once. It was fairly easy to use and everything we needed was provided through the hangout. We were able to collaborative at the same time by video and chat. We were even able to see each others desktop using this application. All these tools and applications have been working very well for my group. In addition, they could also see my desktop as we chatted on our video session. I was able to navigate on my computer and my group members where able to have a visual of what I was talking about as apposed to trying to explain what I was talking about without any visuals. I feel that everyone in the group enjoyed this type of communication the most.

Although Google provided most of the collaboration tools we needed for our projects I would have loved to experiment with the Vyew. The Vyew allows you to meet and share content anytime. In researching the Vyew, I found a few things that were interesting. This program provided things very similar to what we used in Google+. What made this program different was the drawing/annotation feature, which is great for teaching and especially tutoring. Another interesting tool it feature was how you are able to upload files from your commupter to share in addition you could attach sticky notes to your document. The best part about it is that it has a free version that is free forever, however it does have supported ads on the free version. I look forward to experimenting with the Vyew. I hope to experiment with this program in the future for my professional career as well as use it in community groups that I am in.
Vyew Logo

Sunday, April 29, 2012

C4T Summary #4

head shot

Brian Crosby, an upper elementary teacher for 30 years, guides the learning in a model technology classroom in Sparks, Nevada. He fuses his “at risk” students use of technology with field trips, art, hands-on activities and a problem-based approach, to build their schema of the world while at once connecting them to it.

What Happened To My Pedagogy?
This blog post shared information about experience that he and teachers from his PLN had. The summary gave great details on how the students were blogging in their class. It also showed how the students were using Skype and Google docs in a collaboration with students across the county to write a non-fiction piece. He also shared how the students were excited about researching and how they had embraced using the internet in a safe way. I felt that this was a great post because it touched all the areas in using technology in the classroom. From internet safety to cross country collaboration. It was a Great Read

My Comment:
Hello Mr. Crosby. My name is Jami. I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I have been assigned to visit and comment on your blog for my course EDM310. I enjoyed reading your blog post. I especially loved the project you mention where your students have to work collaboratively with Skype and Google Docs. I am working on a project now which requires me to use those tools. I love how you take precaution about letting your student use the web. It is a good thing to let students have access to it but it is always great to teach and practice using it safely.
It sounds like there is very little opportunity for students to engage in the world of technology. Sometimes school administrators do focus on a strict routine. Although there are guidelines that teachers should follow, they should also be given the opportunity to grow with their students. In this particular instance, today's students should be given a chance to learn with what they are familiar with, which is technology. It should he just as important as any other subject in school.

I will be posting my comments I have have made to your blog to my blog page. I would love for you to visit it and leave any comments that you may have.

Digital Learning Day
garfield cat

My second blog post was about the nationwide Digital Learning Day which was in February. Digital Learning Day is a nationwide celebration of innovative teaching and learning through digital media and technology that engages students and provides them with a rich, personalized educational experience. On the first Digital Learning Day, a majority of states, hundreds of school districts, thousands of teachers, and nearly 2 million students encouraged the innovative use of technology by trying something new, showcasing success, kicking off project-based learning, or focusing on how digital tools can help improve student outcomes. Mr. Cosby posted a video in honor of Digital learning Day. The video is entitled,Back to the Future.
My Comment:
As I watch the video, getting a glimpse of what it's like to be in your classroom, I got excited! This is the type of teaching I love to see in the classroom. You stated in your video that this method is a step out of the box. I could not agree more. This video is an inspiration for me as I plan to be as creative as possible. I plan to make technology a part of the everyday lesson in hopes to keep creative minds working and still promote academic excellence.

Blog Post 13

Engage in A E-Media Fast

no electronics sign

When I first read the instructions for this post I did not quite get it. After reading it a second time I realized that the assigment was basically to do a fast from any electronics. When I figured that out I knew I was in trouble. I began to think about all the electronics I used and was trying to develop a plan to put then down for 24 hours. I knew it wasn't going to be easy but I really wanted to give it a shot just to see if I could do it. I tried to pick a day that to start the fast according to what I had going on that day. Thinking it would be easier if I did it when none of my favorite television shows where own, I made all business calls in advance, etc. One I jumped in and just did it, the result was an EPIC FAIL.

It really took several attempts at trying to complete this E-Media Fast. Although I do not watch television very much, I do have several shows I like to watch. I really tried to be slick about going on the fast thinking that if I started late at night, because no one every calls me then and I'm usually cleaning so the electronics are put the rest for a while. Not watching TV was not so bad because I was able to set and record my favorite shows on my DVR. The hardest of all electronics to fast from was my cellular phone. My phone is my clock, alarm clock, and almost my computer; I check e-mails, Facebook, and sports twitter constantly. Needless to say I was never able to completely put down my phone for a full 24 hours. I fasted from my phone for about 6 hours only because the battery went dead and I decided to not charge it up. As time progressed I knew at some point I would have to charge and use my cellular phone. It wasn't because I had to make a phone call or needed to text someone, it was simply because I needed to use my phone for my alarm as I always do. My laptop never made it into the equation during this fasting. At some point everyday I needed to get on the web to search for files I needed printed for other things I had going on this weekend.

I can truly say that I am very dependent on electronics, particular my phone and laptop. Think about a high school student trying to do a E-media Fast. I do not think that they could last an hour without using some type of electronic. It seems like students are very engaged in using electronics. I feel that it is pointless to lecture and teach students and not have them engaged. Today's students are technology driven. If it takes using technology tools in the classroom to keep students involved, then I will be very sure to give my students every opportunity to utilize it.
person on the beach

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

PLN Report

Once I started with Symbaloo I stuck with it. I'm not one to keep trying different things when already know that one is working well for me. I say this because there were other sites and tools I could have used to help develop my PLN. Although this is a final report on my PLN, I feel that it will be never ending. I will continue to use Symbaloo while growing my PLN. I like Symbaloo because I can customize it in anyway. I have added numerous titles to my Webmix and attempted to group them all together. When time permits I will go back thought them and color code them. I just feel like it is visually attractive when it is organized that way. I love the gallery itself on the Symbaloo Website. There is a variety of things you can search for. I was able to visit a few Webmix's of others and found some great sites and tools that I added to my own Webmix. I am certain that when I get a job teaching I will began a new Webmix that will concentrate more on the grade or subject I will be teaching. I am enjoying this tool and look forward to using it more in the future.
Symbaloo Screen shot

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Book Trailer - Special Addition

Mary Hoffman

I completed my Book Trailer on the wonderful story, Amazing Grace, by Mary Hoffman. I contacted Ms. Hoffman via, Twitter and email in hopes that I would get a respond. She responded and ask to include a link to my book trailer on her website. I am so honored that she included my project. Ms. Hoffman's email that I received:

Dear Jami,
Thanks so much for sending the link! I enjoyed the trailer. Maybe I could put it on my website?

All best

Mary Hoffman

I am glad that you enjoyed it! It would be an honor to have you post my trailer on your website. Thanks so much for responding.


Please visit her website for more information about the story, Amazing Grace.

To watch my book trailer visit, my blog post Project 12

Final Project Progress Report

Work in Progress Sign

For my final project I will be working in a group named F-JAM. My group consist of, Ashley Phillips, Melissa Harrison, and Fredric Robinson . The group has been communicating via text and Google hangout to discuss our plans for project 15. Our group will create a video that gives future students a preview of EDM310. To an extent, it will be like an infomercial. The video will give students an inside look of what to expect in the class. We will include what we consider to be important aspects of EDM310 such as using helpful resources that will help students along the way. We really want to create a video that student can see before the class begins in order to help them determined if they are ready to take the course or need to postpone it until they can commit to the requirements of EDM310. We will continue to work on the project to iron out all the details to produce a great production.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blog Post 12

Watch this video, WebQuest 101 Part 1. Think about how you can use Webquest in your classroom. In two or more paragraphs summarize why it may be important to use WebQuest in the classroom. Tell us how you think WebQuest can be beneficial to the students. Then visit to gather ideas on how to make a Webquest. Create a WebQuest that you can use in your future classroom.

Butterfly Boarder

WebQuest have been around for quite sometime. WebQuests are a lesson format developed by Dr. Bernie Dodge from San Diego State University. One of the main characteristics of a WebQuest is that it is an inquiry-based curriculum unit. The information that the students interact with can be transformed to create new information that has meaning to them. The focus is on using information rather than looking for it. In the 21st Century classroom we want student to be able to use technology but also do it in a safe way. Some teachers worry about letting students have access to the open web. WebQuests avoid these roadblocks because the Internet resources are identified and evaluated ahead of time. This eliminates the need for wasteful searching by the students. WebQuests provide teachers with a structured environment where they can integrate technology into the curriculum and make it beneficial to the students.

Boy with thinking Cap

With WebQuest, students get to work at their own pace while the teacher has already put a plan together to allow students to work on their own but have a guide in doing so. WebQuests increase student motivation. When students are motivated, they are likely to put in more effort, and their minds are more alert and ready to make connections. It also prompts higher-level thinking. WebQuest can also be arranged to allow cooperative learning. When done correctly, I think that kids will love doing webquests, and teachers will have fun using them in class. It is definitely a step out of the box for teachers set in their regular teaching methods. This can also help bring creativity and curiosity into the classroom.

Check out my WebQuest: The Butterfly Life Cycle

Thursday, April 19, 2012

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


Do schools kill creativity? This has been a much argued issue throughout the history of formal schooling. I feel that some schools do systematically destroy (or inhibit) the development of curiosity and/or creativity in students. They override play and personal exploration. Much of what students are taught is to "get the right answer" and "pass the test". How is this happening? Some teachers are forced to follow standardized procedures to guarantee that students learn what is included in curricula, which leaves no room for the students to explore beyond the pages in a textbook. Curricula, textbooks and educational guidelines normally stipulate the content and schedule for teaching. I feel that this happens because schools have not adopted the idea of a 21st Century classroom, where innovation and creativity is a part of the everyday curriculum.

I do believe that a creative curriculum can be created to increase student creativity. I am sure that someone is capable of forming a creative curriculum that is teacher lead and student driven. The curriculum can include an indirect teaching method and exercise inquiry–discovery or problem-solving approach. If the curriculum can lead educators to be open with the lesson and think outside of the box, I feel it is possible. I also feel that the curriculum should include collaboration. Collaboration is commonly seen as a means of creativity and innovation. There are very few times when teachers will pick up a curriculum guide that expresses collaboration. A creative curriculum should also include Cross-curricular learning. The teacher and student can make creative links across subject areas to contextualize learning and promote creativity and higher learning.

Teacher's actions can increase the curiosity of students. If teachers notice students are not curious in their classes, then we should first look at what we are doing, or not doing. I feel that a lot of curiosity in the classroom stems from how the lesson is being taught. As I mention, inquiry-discovery teaching approaches would contribute greatly to students curiosity. According to an Article I read in the Creativity Research Journal, here are some suggestions as to how teachers can spark students learning experiences:
1. Provide the initial experience to interest students in inquiring about a problem, concept, situation, or idea.
2. Provide the students with manipulative situations and materials to begin avenues of exploration.
3. Supply information sources for students’ questions.
4. Provide materials and equipment that will spark and encourage student experimentation and production.
5. Provide time for students to manipulate, discuss, experiment, fail, and succeed.
6. Provide guidance, reassurance, and reinforcement for student ideas and hypotheses.
7. Reward and encourage acceptable solution strategies. A supportive positive climate will spawn the best results.

Can a teacher's actions increase the creativity of students?
The teachers you most remember from your school days are not those who crammed the most content into their lectures. The teachers you remember are those whose thoughts and actions served as your role model. Most likely they balanced teaching content with teaching you how to think with and about that content. Teachers have to show their students that working and thinking beyond a textbook can lead to exploring new ideas. Teachers are and should be role models for their students. They must first change their method of teaching and get out of their old routines, in order to increase creativity in their students. When teachers teach by following a set of teaching standards and aim at narrow academic student achievement, they tend not to take risks. A lot of teacher are so focus on following the curriculum and the book but if they change teaching from text centered to student centered they will have better chance at promoting creativity. Students should also have a open and active atmosphere, do not confine students to sitting in their desk, afraid to ask questions that may not follow the text. Another Way teachers can increase student creativity is to allow time for creative thinking. Students need time to understand a problem and to toss it around. If we are asked to think creatively, we need time to do it well. If you stuff questions into your tests or give your students more homework than they can complete, then you are not allowing them time to think creatively. In 25 Ways to Develop Creativity, there are additional suggestions for teachers.

As for me, I find that a topic or subject presented in a creative way is what makes me curious. I feel that if teachers and schools presented ideas and information to me and then allow time for me to experience with it then I would be more curious. I am a hands-on person and once I have tired something or while in the process of experimenting it opens up multiple questions that truly leads to having a better understanding.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

C4K Summary

world in space

World Blog Challenge
If you are like me you maybe wondering what a World Blog Challenge is. The blog challenge a method to improve blogging and commenting skills while globally connecting students of all ages with people from across the world. The Student Blogging Challenge is coordinated by Sue Wyatt, Sue Waters and Ronnie Burt.

I was assigned to Shane's Blog. He is tweleve years old and in the 7th grade. Shane attends school close to Downtown L.A. He is a brilliant student and I enjoyed reading his blog post. Here is a post from his blog that I feel describes and tells what type of student he is.

I am brother, grandson, student, teammate, cousin, nephew
I am hockey rink, I skate up and down the ice
I am purple, royal like the kings
I am lazy with, joy and peace
I am chocolate, rich and sweet
I am light eyes and blond hair
I am plain, normal colored shoes
I am moving my knees impatiently
I am fast moving pace
I am eagle, soaring over the sea

I went back to find out more information about Shane. In his first blog post I found that he was a very detail little boy. He loves hockey and is very anxious about growing up and helping his dad with their family company. He has great hopes that he will one day be the owner of the company. Shane's last post was about his favorite sport, hockey. 

My Comment:
Hello Shane. My name is Jami, I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I will be commenting on your blog for the next few weeks. 
You are a great writer! You have done a great job explaining why hockey is your favorite sport. If I had to choose a favorite sport it would be basketball. I have only been to one real hockey game in my life. I have to agree that it is a very fast pace game. I have always wanted to learn how to ice skate. Do you know how to ice skate? I look forward to visiting your next blog post. If you would like you can email me anytime if you have any questions or comments. Have a great week!

Week 4 Make It Global
Hello Shane, It's me again, Jami! You did a great job with your research about water! I must say that you really opened my eyes to a few new things I did not know about water, like the fact " 200 million hours are consumed by collecting water for their families". Sometimes people in the United State do not understand how fortunate we are to have a simple thing such as clean water. I do not drink water as much as I should be I definitely don't complain about it. From now on I will try to make sure that my family and I do a better job at conserving the amount of water that we use on a regular basics. It may not make a huge difference but it would not hurt to try. Keep up the great work!

Fix Downtown L.A.
My Comment:
Hello Shane! You are such a creative student. What a great presentation on how to make Downtown L.A. a safe place. Your idea about raising money to put extra police to work would be a great start to making it a safe place. The information that you shared about the homeless was a great way to bring awareness to those who may not know how sever it is. It would take a lot of responsibility to get the ideas that you had going, but because you are a determined and caring student I hope that now and as you grow older, you will continue your efforts to make L.A. a safe place.

Eldrin is a 1st Grade Student is Ms. Kathy Cassidy's Classroom. His blog post was about a show he watched called the Avengers.
Hello Eldrin, my name is Jami. I am a Student at the University of South Alabama. I have been assigned to comment on your blog.
Avengers.......I'm not sure that I've seen this show, but it does sound familiar. . Are the Avengers superheros? I have a son your age who likes superheros. Who is your favorite Superhero?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Blog Post 11

In Kathy Cassidy's video, "Little Kids, Big Potential", she uses her 1st grade students to give us an inside look at how she uses technology in the classroom. The students are using the class website, blogger, Skype, Wikis, Nintendo DS and computers. It is easy to see that Ms. Cassidy's student enjoy learning with technology. Some of the students were very well spoken, that comes as a surprise to me as they are only 6 and 7 year old. I really enjoyed the video. It was a positive example of how teacher can use technology in the class as well as how just how much the students really enjoy this approach to learning.

Skype Conversation with Ms. Cassidy

Kathy Cassidy

Ms. Kathy Cassidy, is a 1st Grade teacher in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. She has been involved with technology for the past 10 years. Technology in her classroom began when she was given five SunRay Computers. Mrs. Cassidy stated she has had a website for about 10 years now, a class blog for about 5 years, and has been doing a video for about 2 years. She uses Blogmeister in her classroom. I visited her blog. I enjoyed the things the she and her students shared. I feel that it is one of the best teacher blogs that I have seen that not only show what the students do but also demonstrates how technology is being used on a regular basics. Ms. Cassidy also has a personal website , which is also a great resource for teachers.

There are two things that really stood out to me that Ms. Cassidy shared in the skype interview. She stated, "kids and the technology go hand in hand", and "We have to change because the world has changed." I could not agree more with the two statements. In today's world, technology is all some kids know when it comes to entertainment and most importantly, learning. In 2007, when I got my first teaching job, Smartboards where the "IT" factor in the schools. While Smarboards are still very valuable in the classroom there is so much more technology that is not just available to teachers but to the students as well. I say all of this to make a point that even 5 years ago, which seems to be not long ago, there is much more to offer in the classrooms. This class (EDM310) has really provided me with very useful information that I plan to utilize when I am fortunate enough to get a teacher position again.

She also states that is very important for students to start developing their personal networks. Before this class I had no idea of what a PLN was. I have learned that it is a valuable resource for teachers. As teachers we have to change with the time and students. Having a PLN helps teachers develop new ideas that promote student learning. Although I am still new to the idea of having a PLN, I have already found and bookmarked blogs, people, and sites that I feel will help keep me updated for the future.

In the future, I plan to use several of the ideas that Ms. Cassidy uses in her classroom. I really enjoyed Ms. Cassidy's Classroom Blog. While I was exploring her site, looking at several of the student's blog post and work, I thought.... Portfolio. I like the idea of having an electronic portfolio. Although it may take some time for me get into the habit of electroniclly recording information, I feel that it will be very well worth it in the end. Parents have access to what their child is doing on a regular basics as opposed to waiting every 9 weeks or so for the parent-teacher conference to find out how their child is doing in school. I feel that having the videos of students working in the classroom, hearing audio files of their child read, etc, will give parents an instant progress report. Hopefully, it would encourage the parents to work with their students more at home as well. Students also get to track their progress. By using the blog as a personal journal, they get to see how their literacy skills grow as time progresses. Overall, I feel that blogging will keep the students actively engaged in their learning.

I also like the ideal of using Skype in the classroom. I think that it would really help the student connect to other parts of the world that they may never have access to. With Skype, students can learn from other students, connect with other cultures, and expand their knowledge in amazing ways. On the website, 50 Awesome Ways to use Skype in the Classroom, it gives many additional ways as to how I can use Skype in my classroom.

cartoon drawing

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blog Post 10

Do You Teach or Do You Educate?
This video compares and describes teaching and educating. Teaching was described as explaining and giving information. Educate was described as someone who inspires, empowers, and someone who mentors. Often people think that they both mean the same thing. This video helps to show that their is a difference. It also helps me to remember what my roles is as a teacher. While it is my duty to ensure that students have a clear understanding in each lesson it is also my job to also be a mentor to them throughout their learning process.

I intend to educate my students by "Lighting Their Fires". My classroom will be a place of exploring. Talking until I am blue in the face will only become tiresome for me and boring for my students. I want to use tools and experiences in the classroom that makes students excited about learning. It will be a team effort in learning because as everyone discoverers they will be able to share what they learned with others. They will learn from each other. I feel that if students have a part in what they are learning the experience is more meaningful to them. All this will be done not only through my efforts in guiding the students but the student's efforts in being empowered to learn and trusting that their teacher will help guide them to learn the information and skills needed.


Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home by John Spencer
I first want to point out that I'm not exactly sure who wrote this blog post. On the blog page itself it says that a man by the name of John Spencer owns and writes these blogs. However, in the blog instructions it said that Tom Johnson wrote this. I'm not sure if this was a mistake!??!?

This was a interesting blog post. Although the topic of this blog leads you to believe that students should not take home pencils, the underlying factor is much deeper than that. In Mr. Spencer's blog he is arguing with the school’s curriculum interventionist academic specialist, Gertrude. Gertrude assumed that because statistics had shown that children who brought pencils home had lower standardized test scores, and insisted that Mr. Johnson stop giving his students pencil and paper homework assignments. Mr. Spencer disagrees with her but tries to find a solution that involved meeting with the parents and explaining how pencils could be used for learning.

Ultimately, the problem was not about students having pencil and paper homework, instead it was about what children are doing with them at home. Gertrude is more concerned with the test scores provide for the school rather than being concern if the students are truly learning. I'm not actually sure if it was intended to discuss the use of pencil and paper, as I can also see how this could really relate to computers and technology. Which ever it was intended to discuss, I will say that computers and other technology are replacing textbooks, pencils, and paper in the classroom. If teachers are stuck in the old method of instruction, in today's class, it has made some students bored with what they are learning, hence resulting in poor test scores.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

C4T Summary #3

Heidi Siwak

I was oringally assigned to follow another blog,but for some reason I had trouble accessing that website. I did choose another blog to comment on. I visited Heidi Siwak's Blog.

Heidi Siwak's is an award winning teacher whose innovative work is creating new models of learning. She has been recognized by the Globe and Mail as one of Canada's innovative teachers. Her students undertake original projects that have included designing an App for the iPhone and hosting the world's first student-led global twitter chat on the Hana's Suitcase. Heidi and her students have recently been recognized with the Ken Spencer Award for innovation in education and the Mind Share Learning Award. She is available for workshops and speaking.
The post I commented on was entitled, Becoming Curators: First Nations Inquiry. Her post about letting her students learn and explore on their own. She put her students through a stimulation that involved them working together in a group making their own decissions. She stated that she didn't have to do any teaching, yet her students still obtained an inordinate amount of formation.

My Comment:
Hello, My name is Jami and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your blog post. Your approach to letting the students learn on their own was a great idea. Sometimes teachers get so caught up in students having to do projects and assignments one particular way. With your approach the students are free to explore and come up with ideas. This method reminds me a lot of this class that I am taking(EDM310). Being free to explore, and share the information that I have learned. There is no doubt that you are preparing your students for the future.

I will be following your blog and writing a summary on posts I comment on by April 1, 2012. If you would like to check it out you can do so on my blog .
Thank you for the wonderful post!

Road Sign

For my second comment, I commented on the blog post Our Inquiry is Well Underway. This was a follow up from the first post I commented. In this post she shared how her student were working on their museum display projects. She also displayed pictures of students working and some of the tool they were using to do their research. I really like how she was really doing no teach, instead she was able to freely move around the room from group to group asking questions and making suggestions. I enjoyed reading the blog and look foward to visiting to see the end results of the projects. This blog was posted on March 28th.

My Comment:
This sounds wonderful! In this blog post you have displayed a excessive amount of technology in the classroom. What makes it even better is that each student is facilitating their learning through technology. Thanks for sharing the photos. I'm sure that the students are ecstatic about soon having an iPad to work with. I think that iPads are a great asset in the classroom. I've been doing a little research on all the app's that can be used. I would love to know which one's your students found to be beneficial during this project. I am eager to see the final results of the museum display project.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blog Post 9

Mr. Joe McClung starting teaching in 2009 in Noel, Missouri. After his first year of teaching
he moved to a junior high school in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He also completed his 3rd year of teaching their. At the end of each year Mr. McClung writes reflections on his experiences and learnings on his blog. His blog is entitled, "At the Teachers Desk". I visited two of his blog post reflections.

May 27m 2009 Blog Post
Mr. McClung first reflection blog post talks about:
How to Read a Crowd
Be Flexible
Be Reasonable
Listen to your Students
Never stop learning.
Don't Be Afraid of Technology

None of these topics are a surprise to me. However, two of the topics I felt were very great advice. Under how to read the crowd he explains that teachers should always keep their lessons student centered. He states, "They become so concerned with the delivery of the content that they are missing the most important aspect of teaching, and that is checking for student comprehension." From experience, I learned that just because it was enjoyable for everyone doesn't mean that the skill was actually learned. I quickly realized that fun didn't always equal comprehension. While I wanted the students to enjoy the lesson and ultimately learn the skill, that wasn't always the case. What I am saying is teachers should focus on the skill then the delivery.
As he talks about being reasonable I think about the many times I've seen elementary children being treated as adult. Normally it is the students who are a little move advanced than the rest of the class. Regardless of the knowledge and skills that the student has, they are still children and should be treated that way. McClung state, " Teachers can sometimes really loose touch and forget that we are dealing with children.". Sometimes children often get scolded or expected to do and handle things as if there were adults. While the teacher may think they are helping the student it may have a negative affect and actually discouraging them. As teachers we should always want to encourage our students.
Teacher Badge

Mr. McClung's Blog Post. on THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2011

In this post Mr. McClung began stated that this was the first time he taught in the same school more than one year. During that time he had many new experiences.
Know Who Your Boss Is - He explained that teachers should not get so caught up in pleasing individuals. They should not be so worried about what others think of them as their main focus should be the students. This is great advice for all teachers but especially first year teachers. When I got my first teaching job I was very concerned about how my boss and co-workers would perceive me. I wanted to be sure that I was not the talk of the teachers lounge as the worst teacher. However, as time progressed, I realized that I was putting too much time in trying to please others, when I could have used that time to focus on what I was teaching and most importantly my students. The more I understood that the more I felt the weight being lifted off of my shoulders. I found that doing what was expected of me as a teacher and teaching my students what was needed was more rewarding.

Don't Expect others to be as Excited About Change as You Are - In this topic he explained that you cannot let others "stifle your own excitement and joy that you experience in teaching or any other facet of life for that matter". Sometimes others can be Debbie Downers. When they get to this point I feel that they have just lost the passion for what they are doing. As teachers we should always remember why we wanted to teach in the first place.
Don't be Afraid to be an Outsider - Teachers should stay true to who they are and have little concern about wanting to be like someone else.
Don't Touch The Keyboard- A coworker explained to Mr. McClung that if you touch the "keyboard" they will never learn the tasks that they need to learn. In other words, when students have difficulties doing a task do not do the work for them. Students will never master the skill if teachers "take over and do the work for them".
Don't Get Comfortable- Teachers should not get comfortable in their daily routines and and teaching methods. "They need to be willing to be "movers and shakers" and be advocates for the changes that need to happen in our schools."

self reflection text

In reading both of the reflection blogs I was reminded of how I did self-reflections during my internship. After each lesson I taught I would always reflect on how I taught the lesson. It was a great way to help me understand my strengths and weaknesses. This also shows that reflection is also a means of professional development. Self reflection is the strongest tool all people have in order to control their own feelings, behaviors, and decisions. When teachers self reflect, they are providing invaluable information to themselves. This may then lead to changes and improvements in their teaching. As Mr. McClung stated, teachers should "never stop learning". Teachers should always look for personal growth as it is what helps to create an effective teacher.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

CK4 #6

kids sticker

I commented on Betty's Blog post. I'm not sure if it was a short story or a poem. This was her post for the 100 Word challenge: Her post:

Clair the long silver haired girl 100wc by Betty
Posted on 28 January 2012 by Betty

One sunny day Clair was brushing her
Long silver hair when she thought why am I
In this boring room all day every day.
So that very night she jummped out of her gold window
as her glass slipper touched the silky
Grass. “next plane to Paris goes in 1min”
Clair Was in the best country ever she was walking
Down a alley on a dustbin she fond a tiny dancing flea.
She also fond a butterfly neckties.
The flea jumped and he did handstands
but by then it was to late.
She ran to the plane with her friend will she make it…

My Comment: Hello Betty, my name is Jami. I was sent to read your blog post by my professor at the University of South Alabama.

I enjoyed reading your post. Was this a special assignment? I would like to know more about the instructions for this assignment. This post was very descriptive. Your writing reminded me of the story, Cinderella. I love that story! Is that story where you got your idea from? Keep up the great work.

boy avatar


I went back to find out more information about Shane. In his first blog post I found that he was a very detail little boy. He loves hockey and is very anxious about growing up and helping his dad with their family company. He has great hopes that he will one day be the owner of the company. Shane's last post was about his favorite sport, hockey.

My Comment:
Hello Shane. My name is Jami, I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I will be commenting on your blog for the next few weeks.

You are a great writer! You have done a great job explaining why hockey is your favorite sport. If I had to choose a favorite sport it would be basketball. I have only been to one real hockey game in my life. I have to agree that it is a very fast pace game. I have always wanted to learn how to ice skate. Do you know how to ice skate? I look forward to visiting your next blog post. If you would like you can email me anytime if you have any questions or comments. Have a great week!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Project 11

This was a challenge all week long. My son had so much going on during the week I could never catch him when he wasn't exhausted from school activities and T-ball practice. I literally had to drop what I was doing before he was off again to a boy scout meeting (that's why there is a broom and a box in the background). Enjoy!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Project 12

I decided to try this out with my 6 year old son. I wanted to see what type of reaction I would get. Without any explanation, I just asked him to come and watch it. I watched him as his eyes began to swell with excitement. Before the trailer even ended he asked many questions about the book and wanted me to read it to him. Mission accomplished!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blog Post 8

This Is How We Dream by Richard Miller

Richard Miller

Richard Miller is the professor of English at Rutgers School of Arts and Science. Miller, like many others had a love for books. He expressed how he believes communication is being changed. He discussed writing with multimedia and the impact it will have on our culture. He talks about two basic changes, incremental and fundamental.

The first incremental change he talks about is were we work now. He states that our work space is no longer in libraries, or writing with pencil and paper, but our laptops. As I began to think about this statement I began to think, "when was the last time I went to the library for an assignment before this week". Needless to say, I could not remember. Ever since I have had a laptop my need to go to a library had easily decreased. My work space is at my home. I have everything I need at my finger tips.

The second incremental change he points out is, that we are able to collaborate using networking technology. We are not only able to use text information to do this but images and videos all of which makes learning more engaging. The example he used was information gathered on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was able to find the materials needed not only through the web but through information that was being circulated on the campus.

Fundamental change is defined by Miller, as not technology but what makes it possible. He feels that the focus should be "how we work". While I do enjoy the ideal of technology in the classroom. As stated in other posts I do feel that it is important to also teach basic skills ie. writing. The basic skills set the tone for all other learning strategies. I say again that education must exercise the importance of both technology and basic skills.

Carly Pugh Blog Post 12
Carly Pugh is a former student of EDM310, at the University of South Alabama. Carly has done a remarkable job putting Dr. Millers examples and advice to great use. She conducted a playlist project which required students to create a playlist of up to 10 YouTube videos. This not only was a great way to exercise the use of multimedia tools but also practice being a multimedia writer. Her assignment showed how we can learn about others through the internet. This is what Dr. Miller described as collaborative learning. She stated that videos are a great way to interest students. I personally agree and feel that if it is visually creative more can be learned from it. I also enjoyed the video she posted Six Questionis For the Day. She shared some great motivation questions. In fact they are questions that I want to remember for inspiration.

The Chipper Series
I must say that I needed a good laugh and watching the video provided that for me. In the video, Chipper is a student who thinks that she can just skim the top and just get by. She is looking for the easy route but yet still expects to come out on top. It is sad to think that people actually live with the same attitude as Chipper. Needless to say, there are people in EDM310 who are in the same boat as Chipper. EDM for Dummies - I think that this was my favorite of the two videos. I have to admit that I did feel a little overwhelmed as the two girls in the video when I first read the syllabus for this class. After the first two weeks it didn't take long to realize that I needed a plan and schedule in order to make sure that I took the time needed to do my assignments.

Idea Light bulb

As I began thinking about creating my own video, I thought about how I left before EDM310 and how I am going to feel after the course. Off the top of my head I think that a before and after video series might be worth trying. In the before segment I would want to display life and the feelings and emotions of how some people come into the class really green, with very little knowledge about technology and experience in teaching themselves. The after segment would show life after EDM310 in a way that shows what has been learned from the course. It would also show how a students feeling may be different towards the class as well as technology in the classroom. I am not sure if this is what I will stick with. As I continue to brainstorm I may come up with something else that I may find enjoyable.

Learn photo with mouse

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
This was a video of distinguished individuals in education discussing the need for change in the classroom. This was very interesting for me to watch as valid points where made. The first thing that really grabbed my attention: "U.S. Department of Commerce. They ranked 55 industry sectors by their level of IT intensiveness. Education was ranked number 55, the lowest below coal mining." Wow, what a shocker! This obviously tells us that it is time for a major change in some the classrooms. The second things that caught my attention was this statement, “The kids are having a much more stimulated and rich environment outside of school than they are inside of schools". In some cases I do see this. I think of my son and how when I asked him what did he did in school today he responds, "I can't remember" or "I don't know". That tells me one thing, that nothing was done in the course of the day that grabbed his attention enough for him to think about and remember. My son is a rather intelligent child, and I just feel that the school system in which he is in does not provide the type of learning experiences that make students excited about learning. When my husband and I take our son on a learning experience, known to our son as just another family outing, he is intrigued by what we are experiencing. He will talk about the experience for the entire week long sharing the facts he's learned. I'm saying all of this to say that my son is very capable of learning and remembering what goes on and secondly, if what is being taught in the classroom is as engaging as experiences outside of the classroom the learning possibilities are endless.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0
I absolutely loved the introduction video on the site
Edmodo Logo
The first tool I had to locate was a tool similar to Twitter/Facebook. I choose Edmodo. It was very easy to sign up. I think that t is a great asset for parents and students. The reason I like it is because it is very similar to Facebook which I'm sure most students and parents will be able to identify with. It seems a lot less busy than Facebook, which I feel is great because the students can really focus on what is needed. Teachers can create collaborative projects, quizzes and even maintain grades for work completed through Edmodo. I feel that this is a great tool to use in my classroom. It may take some time to get everyone use to it but I feel that it will be well worth it. In fact, I am adding this site to my PLN to insure that I will have it in the future.

Animoto Logo

I had to choose a video tool to use. I choose, Animoto. It was free to sign-up which is always a great thing. During the little time I spent viewing the site I loved all the themes that they had available. What turned me away from it was the fact that you could only create a 30 sec. video for free. If you had to create a presentation longer than that there was a fee ranging from $5.00 to $39.00 to use the full features. I guess it is not so bad if you only used it for a very special occasion a few times throughout the year. Otherwise it could become very expensive using this tool on a regular bases.

Polls Everywhere logo

The last hunt instructed us to find a tool where we could create a poll anywhere and anytime. I chose Polls This was really cool and easy to use. I love the fact that you can access the poll via text from any cellphone, as well as through the computer or tablet. Teachers can especially use this in Math. For example it would help gather information to create graphs. I can not only see it being a great tool as an educator but personally as well. As I am working on our family reunion, it would be great to form a poll to get an idea on where everyone would like to meet next year.

Checkout my Poll

Sunday, March 11, 2012

C4T #2

I visited the Reported Speech activities, ideas and links blog of Eva Buyuksimkesyan. She is a English Teacher of 20 years in the United Kingdom. In 2011 she was nominated Best Individual Twitter and Best Teacher Blog by EdmBlog Awards. Her latest blog included a list of activities and links to help her students practice reported speech.

My Comment:
Hello, I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I have been assigned to comment on your blog.

I love the ideas you have listed as possible activities to help teach Reported Speech. I particularly like the idea of having the students exchange what they written randomly by playing “snowball” and then reporting on what they end up with. I’m sure the students will love it. I love the interactive Wheel of Fortune game. I’m sure that your students will be very engaged in this activity.

You have done a great job researching ideas and resources to teach Reported Speech. I hope that your students enjoy the activities. Please feel free to respond and visit my blog.

Baby on Laptop

My second C4T was entitled, EVO, Digitalstorytelling4kids and the tool of the week. It was actually posted on January 18th. This was the latest blog posted at the time I began to observe the topic. Digital Storytelling for Kids was a course she took because she is such a big fan of digital tools in the classroom. She also included how she planned to use the tool. It is as follows:

To introduce a topic
As a pre-reading and awareness raising activity before starting to read a short story or a novel
And also I will ask my students to use it
To summarise the story they’ve read
To introduce a topic

To learn more about the Digital Storytelling Course visit the page.

My Comment:
Hello I am Jami from the University of South Alabama.

I visited the Digital Story Telling link that you included. As I looked over the information I came to terms that, this would be a great course to learn more about. I am personally always looking for new ideas in Reading. Your outline of how you plan to use it is great. It is something that I will bookmark as a reference, when I get my own classroom. I loved how you used it with your students. It was a perfect example of teachers taking what they learn and putting it to use in their classroom. I would love to see more stories that you created.

If you have anymore suggests as to how to use this digital tool in the classroom please share them with me.

Here is a link to my blog.

Project 9b

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Project 10

My First Progress Report

What is a PLN? PLN is an acronym for Personal Learning Network. It is a network that you create to learn from, connect with, gather information or resources, create with and finally share what you have learned. It is great to use in any profession. I have found it very necessary for me to have one while taking class EDM310.

I created my PLN using Symbaloo. I had never heard of this before but had received many suggestion to use it while taking EDM310. It is a tool much easier to use compared to your average favorites list. This has been helpful because I easily forget the names of sites that I visit and would like to visit again. Some of my most used tiles from my Symbaloo are: Facebook, EDM310 Blogspot, YouTube, and Gmail. The Webmix I created is still a work in progress as I am trying to make sure that I categorize the titles by color. This is an idea I got from the video of a 7th grade student who also uses Symbaloo.

I have even began to save sites that I come across that might be useful when I get my own classroom. Once I get my own classroom, I hope that I can start another PLN in regards to a particular grade or subject I may teach. I feel that it will be very important for me to have one in my profession. In my past years as a teacher I used the internet and different sites for references as I taught a particular topic. It would have been really great if I had know about Symbaloo then as well.

Symbaloo Badge

Friday, March 9, 2012

Blog Post 7

Learning Network Blocks

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

This video explained how a student researched information for his American Psychology class through the internet. He used a variety of tools to help him find all the information needed. He used Google Scholar to find creditable websites. It also helped him locate credible scholars for his topic of study. The student basically developed a reliable PLN for his project in which he was able to connect with classmates and people from all over the world. The description of this class really reminded me of EDM310.

In the video this question was stated, "Why does the networked student even need a teacher?". After watching the video one may think that there is no need for a teacher when the student is doing everything on their own. However, while students may be doing most of the learning on their own a teacher is needed to guide the student through his learning. The teacher also needs to build the foundation as to how to build and use network learning process. Teachers should not be counted out as their is and will always will be a place for a teacher even if most of the class is self-taught instruction.

I do feel that I am prepared to a networked teacher. I feel that to be a teacher you have to be diverse and able to reach out to your students different learning abilities. Does that mean we have to throw out all our old lesson plans? No, I feel that teachers should be able to modify their lessons and use the theory of being a networked teacher as needed. In my opinion, grade level students need lots of guidance. When building a networked student, teachers should make sure that their students are mature enough to handle guiding their own learning. Not all students are built and ready to handle such massive learning on their own. But we do, however, need to help prepare them to become a mature networked student by practicing these skills when necessary.

7th Grade PLE
I really wish I was that well put together and organized when I was in the 7th grade. This young girl give a virtual tour of her PLE (Personal Learning Environment) also know as a PLN. She used Symbaloo to show how she can easily navigate through the most useful sites that she uses. I think that this is a great demonstration video to show others how Symbaloo can be used as well as why it is a great tool to use.
In my everyday internet use their are only a hand full of sites that I use regularly. Therefore, I do not see a need for it unless you have tons of sites that you always use, especially for business or class purposes. This site has really come in handy for me while I have been taking this class. I am sure that in my professional career it will have great use as well.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blog Post 6

Randy Paush giving the Last Lecture
The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams by Randy Pausch
Shortly into the video, Mr. Randy Pausch began talking about his illness. My reaction was simply, wow! Even in describing his illness one thing that stood out to me was the fact that he is a strong man. Not just physically but mentally as well because he understood that it was something totally out of his control. He states, "You cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand". That said a lot to me as I have learned to understand to except things as they are. You can either drown yourself in worry about the situation or modify it and keep moving forward.

Mr. Pausch went on to tell about his childhood dreams. As he once wanted to be a professional football player, his coach gave him this noteworthy advice. He said, "When you're screwing up and nobody's saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up." The pushing of others is what keeps us going. I know this first hand because I may not be where I am today if it were not for my parents and family pushing me to excellence. Mr. Pausch used the term "Head fake", which he described as, "telling a story or having someone do an activity that they think is for fun, but really a lesson is learned from it all." An example of that would be a child playing in sports learning that it's important to win, however it's not just about winning, but learning good sportsmanship, persevering, and working towards a goal.

Imagineering Image over looking Disney World
As the video progress, Mr. Pausch talks about his dreams of being an Imagineer for Disney. He was turned down the first time and he explained that, "brick walls are not there to hold us back but to show us how bad we want something." I personally find that statement to be true. There have been many things in my life were brick walls were built. I not only found myself working harder to get over the wall but the anxiety of wanting it to happen for me built even stronger. Just as Mr. Pausch got to finally live his dream, I have and will continue to work hard to achieve those dreams and goals that have not been obtained.

In his lecture he stated, "you've got to get the fundamentals down, otherwise all that fancy stuff isn't going to work. I think that this is really important to all educators. I have found this to be true as I have worked with children on both ends of the spectrum in the elementary education field. It is easy to get wrapped up in teaching what is fun, but the primary focus should be to make sure that educators teach the fundamental skills that will carry them from grade level to grade level and even beyond school. Without them, the focus can get lost even when you are trying to include it in the "fancy stuff".

Although it may seem that Mr. Pausch's video was about achieving your childhood dreams, there really was more to it. He wanted to show people how to lead their life and most importantly, to give his children the story of his life. His great works and honors shows that he was not only a great man but a great father. I feel that Mr. Pausch has left behind a legacy, but must most important, great memories for his family. Randy Pausch was a remarkable professor and leader, who has definitely left his mark, in my opinion, as the American Father.

Project 8

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Comments 4 Kids Banner

C4K 1
Nate from Mrs. Ripp's Class
Christmas in Florida

My Comment
Hello Nate. I enjoyed reading your blog post. Disney World is a great place, especially at Christmas time. I once had the opportunity to go there during the Christmas Holidays. It was everything that you imagined it would be. What I like about it the most is that during that time it is not too hot or too cold and not as many people are there as opposed to going in the summer. I hope that you will have the chance to experience Disney World in the near future. It is a great place! I’m sure you will enjoy it.

C4K #2 - Mackenzie video
Hello Mackenzie! I enjoyed watching your video on Sir Francis Drake. You did a excellent job sharing the facts about him. The video was very informative and a great way to tell others who may not know about him, just how successful he was. I have never heard of It seems as if it is a pretty cool site to use. I am eager to try it out for myself! Keep up the great work!

C4K 3 - New Zeland
Class Treaty
This was a Class blog for students in New Zeland. It was a short and simple post. There were several picture of the students in classroom 2 showing them signing their classroom treaty. The teacher described the pupose of the treat to help the students learn how to have a safe and happy classroom.
My Comment: Hello, I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I loved the idea of having a classroom treaty. What a great way to get the students involved in classroom rules and management. I also like how you have related it to a real life situation. I would love to see exactly what was included on your treaty. Please feel free to comment and share any information with me.

C4K #4
My C4K comment was left on the class page of Mr. Salsich. Their school is located in Connecticut. The last blog was posted on February 26. It was entitled "Building Boats". The class was learning about Properties of Matter. Their were several experiments that the students did to help investigate density and buoyancy.
My Comment: Mr. Salsich, I am a student in EDM 310 at the Unveristy of South Alabama. I really enjoyed your blog post. Properties of Matter is one of my favorite topics in Science. I can recall doing the “egg experiment” as well as the “sink or float” experiment many times while I was in elementary school. Thanks for helping me rechannel those memories.

The video was well put together. It displayed how cooperative learning is used thoughout your class. I really look forward to revisiting these experiments in my future classroom.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blog Post 5

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please? by Scott McLeod

Mr. Scott McLeod is the Associate Professor of Educational Administration at Iowa State. He is also a co-creator of the Did You Know videos, and the director of the UCEA center for the advanced study of Technology Leadership in Education.

Computer Danger
He had a very interesting approach about letting students have the use of technology. Although his sarcasm was quite funny, there was truth in every word. Educators should be aware that the more use of technology will help prepare our students for the future. His statement also tells us that there are things ("sexing, predators, porn") to be aware of when using it. Therefore, we should take all the precautionary measure we need, but still allow students to have access to technology and a better future. In the long run, I feel that those who have practice with it will be at a better advantage as they progress throughout school.

2. The iSchool Initiative (Mobile Learning) by: Travis Allen

I am on the fence with this one, as I can see the pro's and con's from this idea. Travis feels like the idea of the iTouch will replace the textbooks, pencils, paper, and copy machines that the schools have to pay for. If a schools ultimate goal is to "go green" then I guess this would be the best program. However, It also makes me wonder, if we research, how the iTouch is being produced…starting from getting all the precious minerals out of some Amazon region where the rivers are being highly polluted. Does this still typically mean that we are "going green"???
I personally think that technology can be used in any classroom, however, not every lesson requires the use of technology and especially an iTouch.

On the flip side, I do see it helping schools save money, just from the standpoint of cost-savings on the price of books. Can you imagine having textbooks that are interactive and in electronic format; a means of updating your curriculum by downloading the latest updates? That just may not be a bad idea. However, my main concern is if the idea of the iTouch comes into the school and basically forces out the basic skills (ie, teaching students to write,, etc), will this truly solve Americas education problem?

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir By: Eric Whitacre
Vitural Choir
As a person who loves music, this video was simply a pulchritudinous work of art. It also reminded me of Filip Diarra's One Man Symphony that I watched a few years ago. Eric Whitacre' has done a remarkable job using technology to create this virtual choir. I'm sure it was not an easy task to deliver such a great concept. I am quite sure that he spent numerous hours auditioning every singer and editing the videos. It simply amazes me, to see so many people come together from all over the world to make one thing happen; create music.

I feel that this video shows that there is no limit to what you can learn and create with technology. When enough people with creative and innovative minds come together the possibilities are endless. We as teachers should make sure that we give our students the opportunity to experience school and life with technology.

Teaching in the 21st Century By: Kevin Robert
According to the video, Kevin Robert feels that teachers are no longer the source of information, but the filters of information. With the internet available on all the tech tools and personal devices, students can access information anywhere, anyplace, and anytime. The video stated that entertainment is short lived and engagement has long term results. In other words, as teachers we should not just sit our students in front of computers to study information but to actively engage them to apply what is being taught.
I feel to be a 21st Century teacher you have to use computers, Youtube, etc to an extent where we leave no room for it be viewed as entertainment. When I think of a 21st Century Teacher I think of this class and Dr. Strange. He has come up with a way for his students to use and process the skills needed to be taught. I feel that this is a perfect example as to what teachers are suppose to do. Teachers should guide their students in learning and teach them how to apply it in everyday life.

I can remember on numerous occasions when I would cram all these facts in for a test, thinking when will I even use this information? Sometimes I never even knew how to apply it. This idea brings to mind Standardized Test. How would you measure the learning of students in the 21st Century Classroom? I'm not exactly sure how to do that but, I do feel that Standardized test will probably no longer be the proper test to use in such classrooms. With all of this being said, I think that this is a reminder to me to not just teach the skills but to allow students to apply it and use it in a everyday life situations.

Reading Rockets Website Review

Reading Rockets Logo
This was a very resourceful website not only for teachers but parents, and all those in the education field. In grades K-6, literacy skills are very important. The reason I say that is because by the end of Kindergarten, students are expected to know how to read. For myself, keeping myself up-to-date with the latest strategies for all learners is something very important. I was able to find several things through the Reading Rockets website that would be very useful.

Having taught lower elementary students, Reading is one of the main focus. I found the site Struggling Readers to be very beneficial to me. There are great articles to read about in understanding why students struggle in reading and ways to help them. The Classroom Strategies page has great research-based classroom strategies to help build and strengthen literacy skills in the following areas: print awareness, phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. I also would enjoy the Meet the Author Podcasts, as it would be a great way to introduce the author the of books that you read to your students. Although, I didn't get to explore everything on this page, everything that was of interest to me was FREE. Having free resources as a teacher is always a plus.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blog Post 4

Benefits of Podcasting is the Classroom was a great video to help those who do not know exactly what Podcasting is and how it can be used in the classroom. Dough Sanders explains several great benefits of Podcasting. There are three in particular that would be a very good reason as to why I would use it in my classroom.
1. Promotes creativity and innovation
2. Students can access the higher order thinking skills in Bloom's taxonomy
3. Parents can see and hear what their children are doing at school

In Judy Scharf's Podcast Collection, she too also describes what a Podcast is. If you are still wondering what it is, it is a new method of communication allowing anyone to create audio files and post them to the Internet for others to download and listen to at any time.

I really enjoyed the ExemplaryPodcast1 found on her page. The students did a audio Podcast describing the digestive system. I could really tell that the students enjoyed making the productions by their creative approach and technology skills used in it. It was engaging for me and I'm sure that it was perceived that way from their peers. With that being said I feel that when students create the Podcast and share them with friends, it also shows peer-to-peer learning. We all know that students learn from their peers and Podcasting is another way to allow the students to do that.

This site was quite similar to the others, however, it did stress more emphasis on using Podcast to give language learners the opportunity to practice using the words and sentences. I also like the idea of using the Garageband, which is a software to create podcast. Garageband allowed the students to individually record sentences from a story out of sequence. Once it was complete, students where able to display the audio files on a Smartboard and arrange the audio files in order according to the story they read. As a former teacher, sequencing a story is an important skill to learn. Using the podcast would add a creative and fun touch to teaching the skill.

One of the most basic and powerful ways to increase student motivation to learn, write, and communicate is to makes it relevant to them. In today's students, technology is what they are familiar with. I feel that teachers need to get serious about educating today’s students with digital knowledge. It's definitely a technology resource that can be used in any classroom because the price is right, and the benefits are plentiful.
Mic and Podcast Benefits