Monday, December 5, 2011

Final PLN

I am excited about building my PLN. I will use this more often than I use the bookmark tool on my computer. It is nice to have everything in one place. I love this type of organization.

C4K November Summary

On 11-06-2011 I commented on Arjun's post from 10-25-2011 on "Anticipation of the Project". After completion of this project, Arjun has learned a valuable lesson in time management and how to use research tactics to benefit the learning experience. My comment to Arjun on this post:

Hi, my name is Lindsey Gipson and I am student at the University of South Alabama in the U.S. I am currently taking EDM 310 with Dr. Strange, this is a computer/technology class for teachers. We are learning the benefits of using technology in the classroom. I really enjoyed reading your post. From this one assignment you not only learned about the 15th century, you also learned a valuable lesson in time management.

"One of the first lessons I’m able to take away from this project about the 15th century is to not leave everything to the last minute. Early preparation is essential and will give you a better foundation for your research."

Great job! I also find your excitement about diving into the Reformation Project very refreshing. Keep up the good work and stay excited!

On 11-13-2011 I commented on Mrs. Yollis's post, "282- Urban- Los Angeles", from 10-08-2011. She asks, "How is different than your community? And How is it the same?" She also asks, " Have you ever been to downtown Los Angeles?" My comment on Mrs. Yollis's post:

Greetings Mrs. Yollis and Students,

My name is Lindsey Gipson and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class, in Mobile, Al. Currently I am studying to become a high school science teacher. In this class we are learning the importance of technology and ways to use it in our classrooms. This is what has brought me to your class blog.

I must say you guys are extremely impressive! You seem to learn so much and have a great time as well.
In response to the question on your post about Los Angeles, no I have never visited the city. Although, it is definitely on my list of places to see. After reading this I wanted to compare your city of Los Angeles to my city of Mobile. Here is what I found according to the U.S. Census Bureau from 2010.

The population of Los Angeles: 3,792,621
The population of Mobile:
The land area of Los Angeles (square miles): 468.67
The land area of Mobile: 139.11

Wow! My "big city" doesn't seem so big anymore. I can't imagine the traffic. :) Keep up the good work and stay excited about learning!

Thank you,

On 11-20-2011 I posted on Texas's video on the history of the surf board. It was quite interesting my on his post:

Hi Texas! My name is Lindsey Gipson, I am a student at the University of South Alabama. Which is located on the southern coast of Alabama, in the U.S. I found your video very impressive, I had no idea how long surf boards had been around or that they were originally used by fishermen! Awesome job on constructing the video as well. Believe it or not I didn't learn how to do things like that when I was in school, so I am learning now in college and you are doing better than me! :)

C4T: Russ Goerend

I was assigned to Russ Goerend's blog. A 6th Grade Language Arts teacher from Waukee, Iowa. After many attempts I was unable to pull up his blog, "Learning is Life". I did notice that he was on Twitter, so I decided to start following him on Twitter. While reading some of his Tweets, I noticed that a lot of the teachers that we have read about, followed and interacted with in this class also either followed him or visa verse. His and his followers Tweets lead me to #pencilchat, where I kind of got lost. I started reading the debate on "pencils", and decided to summarize it instead. I was amazed at the amount of teachers who do not agree with the use of pencils in the classroom.
One comment was, "The more students rely on pencils the less able they will be to draw their own conclusions." - David Wallace
And "Pencils are irrelevant in today's world teachers should educate students in the basics of hunting and gathering survival skills". - Joram Hutchins
Of course this one disturbs me, "If we give all students pencils they'll b free to write, draw, create, + communicate. Better to limit their use - only 3 per class". - Paul Aitkin
This seems to also be an issue, "I don't trust kids with pencils, they end up doing sketchy things when I'm not looking." - John T. Spencer
The comments continue some teachers are trying to start a BYOP (bring your own pencil program) within their schools. Others don't see how this can work, with some children not owning pencils, and others not allowed to bring pencils from home. Some teachers suggest that students should not be able to use pencils until they have mastered the material with out them. They feel that the use of pencils should be a privilege rather that the normal way of doing things. Other teachers know that they are having issues with plagiarism, and they are not sure how to keep this from happening.
Some are totally opposed to the idea of pencils in the classroom- Shelley Setler states, "There is too much content to teach to fit in pencil training with students. We'll stick to chisel and stone thank you very much." This is a very interesting debate with many valid points from both sides. I have really enjoyed reading these tweets and have gotten more familiar with Twitter while doing so. Very interesting..

Blog Post # 14


In Joe Picardo's video, "Top Ten Tips for Using Technology in the Classroom" I learned that there are websites, where you are able to create interactive games and lessons for your classroom. This is an awesome tool and I am excited about exploring and trying some of these out. I think I will try to create a game or interactive lesson for my daughter and see how it works.

I also agree that using music and visual aids intrigues kids and gets teenagers excited about learning. It is necessary to make your lessons interesting, the learning experience should be fun and leave students wanting more. This is why using technology is a must, and to me using music makes everything more fun. I still try to make up a little "jingle" if I am having to memorize something for a test, it just helps me remember it if I make it a song. I enjoyed this list and I am adding it to my "box of treasures" that I am taking with me from this class.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blog Post # 13: Book Report

Book Report on "Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire", by: Rafe Esquith

In the book, "Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire", Esquith is using fire to refer to passion. Teach with passion! He explains how hard it is to stay passionate and keep excitement in the classroom, due to the state education bureaucracy. The dreaded standardized tests. The preparation for these tests have made a lot of teachers put a halt to the creativity that they use in the classroom. In chapter 6, he demonstrates how to help your students improve there scores by making it fun. He teaches his students that, "anything worth doing worth is doing well". They take testing seriously despite the affects it has had on our nations students. His students also do very well on the tests. The study tactic he teaches is to create the same environment that you will be in while taking the test. If you are having a math test, don't just simply read the chapter, work out some questions that are like the ones that will be on the test. Don't stay up all night studying either, being rested will also help improve your test score. He goes on to explain consequences, and test taking skills.

He also teaches more than just the basic subjects. He teaches morals, respect, and believe it or not the joy of learning. Truly going the extra mile for his students, he expects his students to follow rules because it is the right thing to do not just because they are told to do it. It's also not good enough to do the right thing just to avoid punishment, or to impress a teacher. His students are taught the importance of doing the right thing even when nobody is looking. Simply because it is the right thing to do. There are different levels of thinkers, Level I Thinkers: The I don't want to get in trouble thinkers. Level II Thinkers: The I want to a reward thinkers. Level III Thinkers: The I want to please somebody thinkers. Level IV Thinkers: The I follow the rules thinkers. Level V Thinkers: I am considerate of other people thinkers. Level VI Thinkers: I have a personal code of behavior and I follow it. It is Esquith's goal for all of his students to reach level VI, although he knows that it is impossible. It is very rare that you find someone who has gotten to this level. So, if he encourages one student he has made a difference. He knows of students that have used these levels of thinking to succeed. He also knows students that he thought were on the right track and has later learned that they were not. This doesn't mean he has failed that's just the way it is.

Esquith's, "We can do better" mentality is the force behind his madness. He has set an amazing standard for all teachers. In this book he takes the art of teaching to the next level, he stays true to his mottoes, "Be Nice, Work Hard!" and "There Are No Shortcuts". This book is the perfect guide for teachers, students aspiring to be teachers, parents, and anyone else who is concerned with the future of our children. I personally have learned lessons that I will not only use in my classroom but I will also use them with my children. I am very thankful for this book. It has encouraged me to not only be a level VI thinker, but I also have a different outlook on life and my future. I am not surprised at all that this was one of "The New York Times Bestsellers".


Monday, November 14, 2011

Progress Report for Final Project

For the final project, which is project #16, I am in a group of three with Jillian Lazzari and Amanda Ellenburg. We are going to make a short movie demonstrating how to use technology in the classroom. The purpose of this movie will be to show future teachers how use different technology in their classroom everyday. We each will play a part in the movie. Lindsey will play the part of the teacher. Amanda and me will be students. We will use a smartboard, an iPhone, Twitter, Google, and a Podcast in the video.

Blog Post # 12

Blog Post #12:
Read Cherra-Lynne Olthof's Blog Post: Giving Up Control in Your Classroom.
Also, watch the video posted by: JustListen2011 "Brainstorming My Senior Project".
Think about how excited these students are and write about your thoughts.

Mrs. Olthof is letting her students take control of the lesson planning for a change. They decided on Mythology as the core unit. She asks them: “So what is it you want to learn in this unit anyways?”
Of course, after asking 20 grade 8 students this question, she was given many different ideas. They worked on it and were able to narrow down to two general questions.

1. What is the difference between a myth and a legend?
2. What makes up a “good” myth?

She then asked them, “Whoa, how do you answer that?” On their own they decided they would need to research, read and gather data, and in small group discussions and large classroom debate they would use critical thinking. After all of this, she asked "And then what?" They decided they could write their own.
"And then what do we do with them?" she asked. They weren't sure what to do next, so she encouraged them to publish them. She asked how they would like to publish them to a potential audience of 6 billion people, she proposed putting them online.
The students are extremely excited about this unit, they own it and are ready to dive in. They are currently working on this project so the finished product is not yet posted. I will stay tuned, I can't wait to read them.
After reading a little about Mrs. Olthof, she is excited about being a teacher in the 21st Century. She understands that as a learner in this century you must gain knowledge of technology, and it is her responsibility to bring it into her classroom.

In the video by JustListen2011, "Brainstorming My Senior Project" the student talks about how excited she is about being able to make the decision about her senior project. She tells listeners how she got so wrapped up in talking about her topic that she was five minutes late for her next class. She is very excited about being able to take control of her learning journey.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

C4K Mrs. Yollis' Class Blog

I have enjoyed exploring Mrs. Yollis' Class Blog. She is extremely talented and it is clear that she is an amazing educator. She uses Skype to it's full potential by allowing students to communicate with other students around the world, face to face. They had a class to class discussion with a classroom in Australia. They compared America to Australia by asking each other questions and sharing facts. I think this is a much more effective way of teaching that just reading from a book. It's exciting, fun, and memorable.

Her blog is extremely organized and very educational. She also has fun widgets on the sidebar for extra enjoyment. The joke of the day is especially cute. Another nice feature of a blog like this is ability for parents to access there children's work at their convenience. It gives them the opportunity to see inside their child's educational journey, and it keeps them up to date on upcoming events. As a parent I think this is a wonderful tool.

While students are posting on other blogs, creating blogs of their own, researching, and skyping they are developing other great skills. These skills include but are not limited to: communication, typing, reasoning, organization, etc.

Mrs. Yollis' blog is still young, seeing how it was just created a year and a half ago. With this being so it hasn't stopped it from having over 72,000 visitors. I would love to have a class blog like this for my students. I look forward to following Mrs. Yollis' blog and seeing it's progress.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Blog Post #11

Little Kids, Big Potential By: Kathy Cassidy

In Kathy Cassidy's video, "Little Kids, Big Potential", her grade one students illustrate how they use the classroom webpage, blogs, Skype, and even Nintendog on Nintendo DS to learn in their classroom. They are so excited about learning! Not only are they excited but they are also proud of themselves. I can tell that they take pride in their work by watching them as they are explaining the different aspects of technology that they use, and why they use them. Her students are able to access their school work from home on the internet. They can show their parents and other family members what they are learning and what they did in school with just a click of a mouse. It's really amazing if you think about it!!

At my daughter's school, they do not have blogs, but they do have a class website. They type their journal entries every morning. They are able to choose any font or color and they post them to the website in their individual file everyday. It is shocking that last year she hated having to write in her journal every morning when she was keeping it in a composition book. Now this year, she loves it, something just as simple as letting them choose the font and color has made her look forward to writing. Interesting thought....

In Mrs. Cassidy's Skype interview with Dr. Strange, she explains how her technological journey began 10 years ago. It starts when she was given 5 computers for her classroom. This was enough for her first grade class to make a center. She created her webpage, so that she could start creating things for her students to do. Her students have been blogging for the past five years and she has incorporated videos into the learning process within the past two years.

The blogs are a portfolio of each students work. Mrs. Cassidy sends home permission slips at the beginning of school and takes precautions to protect the students identities. Unfortunately, we need to be aware that there are predators out there and we have to protect our students. A lot of people want to use this as a reason not to use technology, but that is not the answer. As teachers we just need to be educated enough to protect our students. Mrs. Cassidy never posts the students last names, she also never links a picture with a name.
Parents can use the website and blogs to stay up to date on their child's progress at their convenience.
I do agree with Mrs. Cassidy that if we are not using technology in the classroom then we are not only handicapping ourselves but also our students. I can't wait to come up with creative ways to incorporate technology in my classroom.

October C4K Summary

I read a post by Sienna a student at Point View School in Mrs. Lynne Laburn's, Room 3/Year 1 class. These students are between five and six years old, and I was amazed by Sienna's blog. I played a multiplication game that she had posted, it was very impressive. I even let my third grade daughter look at it and play, she wished she could make something like that at school.

My comment on Sienna's Blog Post:

Hi Sienna,
My name is Lindsey Gipson, I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I live in Mobile, AL, U.S.A. I am studying to be a teacher. The class that I am taking is teaching us how to use technology in our classrooms. Just like you guys use your blogs to help you learn.

Speaking of blogs I was checking yours out and I am so impressed. I played one of the times table games that you have posted. I bet using these tools makes learning much more fun. Keep up the good work! :)

I also commented on Raymond's Blog he is 12 years old, (in Mrs. Gregory's, period 5) and from a different school. I did not save the link to the home page, so I am also not sure where he is from. I do know that he is using his blog in his science class and science is his favorite subject. His post that I commented on was the periodic table. The layout of his blog was very impressive. I could get a few pointers from him I'm sure!

My comment on Raymond's Post:

Hi Raymond,
My name is Lindsey, I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. One of my assignments was to read and comment on your blog. I am learning the importance of incorporating technology in today's classrooms. It's awesome that you were able to post the periodic table on your blog. It seems like using tools like this would make it fun to do research and encourage students to learn. What do you think? Do you enjoy using technology in your classroom?

I used the selector ,"fruit machine", on Mrs. Gregory's homepage and was randomly assigned Jeremy from period 4 at the same school. I was very impressed by this student. He is wise beyond his years. I love his excitement for science, probably because I share the same excitement and can relate. I also read his post on bullies, and I was really shocked by what he had to say. I hope that I have students like him in my class, very good!

My comment on Jeremy's post:

Hi Jeremy,
My name is Lindsey and I am student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I randomly selected your blog by using Mrs. Gregory's "fruit machine" posted on her blog. I love how excited you are about science! I love it too, hopefully after these next two years I will be teaching science to awesome students like you. I also read your post about bullies. That is very good advice. I actually gave my daughter similar advice the other day. Standing up for yourself and making friends can work wonders. Most of the time people that are bullies are in need of some sort of attention, and usually a friend is exactly what they need. Great Job!

I was also assigned, Sohel, a year 3 student in Room 9 at Pt. England School located in Aukland, New Zealand. Her post was on Ireland with an animation of the Dublin Castle. She also included a drawing of the Flag of Ireland. Very nice blog.

My comment on Sohel's Blog:

Hi Sohel,
My name is Lindsey Gipson. I am a student in the United States at the University of South Alabama. Your post about Ireland is great! Isn't it fun to learn about the different places around the world? I like your flag of Ireland and your animation of the Dublin Castle. It is awesome to see students using technology to explore and learn. Great job! Keep up the good work.

Monday, October 31, 2011

C4T #3 Summary

I wasn't assigned Mr. Robo's Blog, "The PE Geek".
In Mr. Robo's post, 10-25-2011, "Discussion Starters" he talks about the use of SMS messaging for educational purposes. Students will receive one 160 character message per day. Sometimes the message would need an immediate response, and other times it may contain the topic of discussion for the next class.

My comment:
Hi, my name is Lindsey Gipson and I am student at the University of South Alabama. I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class and was assigned to read, comment, and summarize two of your blog posts. I think that the use of SMS messaging for educational purposes is a great idea. My only concern would be for the students who do not have access. I know that in our technologically advanced society the majority of students, have cell phones and their own personal computer. I wish there was a way to ensure that all students had access, and could reap the benefits of technology.

In Mr. Robo's post, 10-17-2011, "Time Lapsed PE", he uses iMotion HD to video his PE class. With this program he is able to capture an image every 5 seconds for the entire 80 minute class. The results are impressive. If you check out the video embedded in his post you will see that movement and physical activity are his number one priorities. I noticed in one of the comments left on this post that another teacher used iMotion HD in their classroom to explain the process of energy production by using stop motion techniques and a whiteboard.

My comment:
What a great way to use iMotion HD! You can definitely tell by the video that movement and physical activity is your number one priority. My creative juices are flowing, thinking of how I will be able to use this for activities in my classroom as well.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blog Post #10

1. Do You Teach or Do You Educate? By: Joshua B. Bloom

I believe there is some grey area with most people when it comes to knowing the difference between Teaching and Educating? I would venture to say that most use the two words interchangeably. When the fact is that they are indeed different. I have heard teacher's say phrases like this, "I spent two extra days teaching that lesson and the majority still did poorly on the test!" What I want to say is, "You may have stood in front of the class and "taught", but apparently not very many student's were educated after you finished."

I especially like the definition given in the video that an educator equals an experienced trusted adviser. That is what I want to be, I want more than anything to be an ally to my students. I want to provide an atmosphere and experience that makes them want to learn. I want to take away the fear of making mistakes, and teach them how to use their mistakes as a learning experience.

2.Don't Let Them Take Home Pencils By: Tom Johnson

Goodness, I know that we are all going to encounter the dreaded "Gertrudes" in life. The foot tapping, stuck in their ways, know it alls. There has been one at all of my past jobs and I know there is at least one in every school. (It's inevitable.) After reading a few of Mr. Johnson's blogs Gertrude is the "human brick wall" that he seems to hit at every turn. She is more focused on standardized test scores than on "educating" her students. Her reputation is more important than the student's education. This is going to be one of my greatest challenges as a teacher, the forced focus on standardized tests. I know that we have to focus on it, but we have to work extra hard to not let it be our main focus.

In this particular post Gertrude is after Mr. Johnson for letting his students take home "pencils". Because we all know that research shows that students that take home "pencils" score lower on standardized tests. Oh, and heaven forbid if a student was caught playing a game with a "pencil", their level of intelligence is sure to be doomed. Of course the word pencil in this post is substituted for computer. Mr. Johnson was caught allowing students to take computer's home. This is a "No, No!" according to Gertrude, the School Curriculum Instructional Interventionist Academic Specialist. I despise the way that she basically states that low income areas don't have access, and don't understand how to use technology for educational purposes so just leave it that way. That's terrible, they will never move forward if someone doesn't educate them. It is going to take a lot more Mr. Johnson's to make a difference. He has started a program that brings the parents in and educates them on how to use the computers. The majority of the parents in these areas do not use computers on their jobs, and they never used them in school. They appreciate the opportunity to learn. I know that it is hard/expensive to provide access to computers for all students. But, it is now more than ever becoming a necessity. I also like Mr. Johnson's point that if they go home and use the computer to play a game, it's ok. It is safe to say that some form of learning is happening while they are playing. This is an awesome blog, definitely one that I am excited about following.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blog Post # 9

In Mr. Joe Clung's summary of what he learned from his first year of teaching,
May 27, 2009, he touches a few subjects that really hit home with me. First, he mentions you must learn how to read the crowd. He explains that in your first year it is easy to forget who your audience is. We are used to creating lessons to please our instructors. It's easy to forget that our audience (especially if teaching elementary school) "struggles remembering what they brought for lunch that day". This also leads to his points on being flexible. It's ok if you plan the "perfect" lesson and things just don't go exactly like you planned. You may get started and realize that your teaching the gravy and your class hasn't even gotten the potatoes yet. This may set you back a little, but don't panic. Communication, this is a big one, we must be able to communicate not only with students but with parents and fellow faculty members. Create some allies (friends), make your own little support system. There will be times you will need it and you have to have good communication skills to do this.

Be REASONABLE, I encountered this kind of situation the other day, when I read this I knew exactly what he meant. I was at a school week before last, the name of the school is not important and neither is the name of the teacher, the class was having an ice cream party for the students that had reached 90% on their AR (accelerated reader) goals for first quarter. Every student in this class had reached 90% except one, she had only made it to 89%. Therefore, she was not able to attend the ice cream party. Not only was she not able to attend the party, but while the other students were at the party she was in another teacher's class working on the computer trying to get to 90%. After the party all of the students came back to class including the 89% student. The teacher asked her if she had reached her goal, "No, mam... still 89%", she said. The teacher said, "Well sweetie, ya know, I just don't get it.... I mean you're just gonna have to try harder.. there is absolutely no reason why everybody else can get to 90% and above and you just can't get past 89%." This conversation was not only in front of me but in front of the entire class, that still had chocolate syrup in the corner of their mouths from the ice cream party. I thought to myself, first of all, there may very well be a reason why she can't get past 89%. It's great that everyone else is at 90% and above but she may not be able to get there, and that's ok. Talk to her, find out what it is... and don't forget that is the goal that you the teacher set for her. Remember 89% is not bad, it's a good score, it's above average. Look at what her score was on the first test, has she improved? Because if she took the first test and made 75% then ending the quarter at 89% is AWESOME, and deserves a reward.
He also touches on not being afraid of technology, we have EDM310 to get us ready for this one! His next piece of advice is to listen to your students. This is so important, you need to know where your kids are coming from. Everyone, I repeat everyone has a different story, get to know them. You don't have to be nosey, just listen. When my daughter was in K4, we went on a field trip to the pumkin patch. This sweet lady read a story around the fire place to the kids. At the end she was asking questions to them in reflection of the story. She asked, "How many of you have someone that loves you?" of course they all raised their hands. Then, she pointed to some of them and asked the question, "Who loves, you?". I'll never forget when she pointed at one of the little ones, he replied, "Mrs. Davis, I know she loves me." He looked up at his teacher and smiled. He had always been the wildest one in the bunch, but then it kind of made sense. Listen to 'em....
The last thing he mentions is never stop learning, hopefully we all know why this is important. We need to be excited about learning if we want our students to be excited about learning. Not to mention things are changing everyday, we need to make sure we stay up to speed.

In his post after his second year of teaching "What I have learned" June 15, 2010.
He talks about how things didn't go as smooth his second year as they did his first year. He had to learn to adapt, when he was switched from sixth grade to eighth grade. He was also teaching a history class when he was used to teaching science. Science involves a lot of "fun" learning through discovery, and he learned that it was hard to make history "fun" to learn. He also mentions to find a school mom, someone with experience, who knows how things work. She will help you when you get into a jam. Also, even if you are having problems with fellow faculty or admistration, make sure that this does not affect your teaching. It's not your students fault there is a problem, so don't let it affect their education. He closes with "It's what you learn after you know it all that matters." Think about that statement for a moment... It's huge!! It is very important that we remember, that when we graduate we will walk away with our chest out. Because we are college graduates, and we are educated! Don't forget to be humble, keep learning you will NEVER know it all.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Short Movie

Book Trailer "Woolbur"

Blog Post #8

1. This Is How We Dream By: Richard E. Miller

Dr. Miller is a Professor of Rutgers University. In this lecture he is explaining how the literary world is changing with technology. One of the main incremental changes is less use of pens, paper, and books. Fewer and fewer people utilize the library as their main source of information. This makes sense due to the abundance of information that is virtually at our fingertips. It is not only extremely easy to access but it saves time and money. Dr. Miller refers to the ability to post documents on the web as, "Sharing knowledge infinitely". Versus using a library where once a book is checked out it is no longer available for anyone else until it is returned. I wonder what a teacher thirty years ago would have said if he/she had been told about these changes... That soon teachers from all over the world would not only be able to communicate at the touch of a button but they would be able to collaborate and work on projects together virtually face to face.

Dr. Miller acknowledges there are factors such as access and availability that at this point in time make it difficult for us to use technology to its full potential. I like how Dr. Miller states, "That the limits and the restrictions are largely ones that we put on ourselves." But he does for see a day that it will a way of life. We already have information that's updated and available to us 24 hours a day. He refers to technology as being a way to push ideas into our culture. The web gives us the opportunity to share our ideas and opinions with the entire world. The door to success is so much larger than it ever has been. Can you imagine how far we will be when our students are our age? This is putting into perspective just how much we do need to have technology in the classroom. Our students are going to need to know how to use these tools in order to reach ultimate success. Notice how I said, "tools", today's youth is well aware of how to use technology for entertainment, which is a start. We need to be able to show them how to use it to succeed. In the world of technology the sky is the limit.

2. Blog Post # 12 By: Carly Pugh

Carly's playlist is a perfect example of how what Mr. Miller is lecturing about. It proves how much you can learn with the click of a mouse. It also shows how you can use this to teach with little or no paper, pens, books, etc. The idea and the post were amazing.

3.The Chipper Series and EDM 310 For Dummies

These videos are great! I especially love the EDM 310 For Dummies video. It makes me feel like I am not alone. I have gotten frustrated with some of the assignments but I know that they are useful and I am excited for the opportunity to learn. Making videos takes getting used to. I think the hardest part for me is getting used to seeing myself on camera. I am still not comfortable with that I can stand up and talk all day, but I don't particularly like looking at myself. I think this is why I enjoyed the podcast so much. I will most certainly use this in my classroom. I will record lessons and post them for students who are absent or for students to go back and listen for studying.

4. Learn to Change, Change to Learn

This video is stating the fact that the educational system HAS to accept technology! In order to reach today's students, we have to stop banning the use of technology in school and embrace it. School doesn't have to be boring, it's ok to have fun learning. I think some people are afraid that if students are having fun then they can't be learning. This couldn't be further from the truth. If you enjoy what you are doing, you will want to do it more often. Wouldn't it be awesome if a student was having such a good time researching and working on a visual presentation for Biology that they couldn't wait to get home and finish working on it? Don't be afraid of technology and don't be afraid to have fun learning!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

C4T #2 Summary

I have been following the blog "Blend My Learning". This blog comes from the Envision Academy in Oakland, CA. The instructors at the Envision Academy are tired of listening to everyone's thoughts and theories on how technology will effect education. They have taken the next step and decided to dig in and test it out. These guys are shaking up the traditional form of education, and having a great time while they work. They experiment with different online classes and curriculum and document their students learning.

This brings me to the first post that I commented on:
"The Results" posted on August 31, 2011. The main experiment that they are currently focusing on is the benefit of using Google Chromebooks and the Khan Academy Website to enhance the education process. They did this experiment by splitting up an algebra summer school class. Students were randomly separated, half of them were placed in a traditional algebra remediation summer school course and the rest were in a Khan Academy course. The students were given a pre and post assessment to measure their individual progress, now the results are in......

First, it's important to know that the data collected will not be recognized by any statistician. The pilot was too short and the sample size was too small. Also, the students knew they were being studied, this can have an effect on the results. The information is just to give a general idea of the pros and cons of using the Khan Academy education system.

Here are the results quoted by "Blend My Learning":

"Among the students in the study who had valid scores on the pre and post course assessment, the results were similar for the treatment and the control group. Students in the “control” or traditional summer school course, on average, increased their percentage of correct answers by 5.2% over the five-week period. Students in the “treatment” or Khan class, on average, increased their percentage of correct answers 6.4%. For example, a student who started the summer knowing 60% of the correct answers in the traditional class ended the five weeks knowing 65.2% of the correct answers. The same student in the Khan class would, on average, be able to answer 66.4% of the answers correctly at the end of the same period."

I also read the post: "What's In the Data? The Value of Feedback". There was not a new post so I just chose the post just before "The Results" post.
This post shows the polls taken by students, on how much they like or dislike blended learning style of teaching. It also states that one of the high points of blended learning is that it forces students to be accountable. They can't just drift through high school, they are forced to learn. I recommend checking this blog out I have read a lot of the posts and it is very interesting and exciting to see where technology is taking us.
My comment:
"I think that blended learning in high school will be of great use. Forcing accountability is awesome! It is way too easy to just glide through high school, never setting or reaching any substantial goals. To be honest I was one of the high school students who made good grades and never opened a book. I listened enough in class to take the test and make an "A". The problem was I never really learned anything. Of course some things just stuck with me, but the majority of the things I couldn't tell you an hour after the test. This is what made me want to become a teacher. I know I can't change the world, but I can help as many students as possible LEARN and APPLY what they learn. If you understand why you are learning something and how to apply to your life, you have succeeded. I am interested to see the results when the Kahn University Website is used on a larger sample size."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Instructional Timeline

Blog Post 7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

After watching Dr. Pauch's Last Lecture, I had so many thoughts I wasn't sure where to begin. My first feeling was of great respect for Dr. Pauch. Even though he is dieing of cancer, he is standing up with his head high. You don't feel a since of gloom and doom, and he is definitely not suffering from poor pitiful me syndrome. It's sad but I know people who let something as simple as catching too many red lights on the way to work ruin their entire day. Unknowingly, his introduction has a life lesson that we all need, he makes you think about your own outlook on life.

He leads into his childhood dreams, and for the most part how he made them come true. It amazed me how he went through each one of his dreams and made them a reality. He made it seem so simple, "set your goal and reach it". So many times we feel like our childhood dreams are unreachable, and we should settle for what is reasonable. I think the fear of failure or not knowing what would happen if we didn't succeed makes the majority of people take the safest route. There is also the group of people that try to reach their dreams but hit what Dr. Pausch calls a "brick wall". He tells us that brick walls are there for a reason, they show us how bad we want things. I think that sometimes fear also plays a part in this. If we give it our all and smack into a brick wall, a lot of time even though we want it we are just scared to try again or we start to believe that it's just not feasible.

One of the childhood goals he mentions was his dream of being in the NFL. He played on a football team and was the smallest player on the team. He had an exceptional coach, I think he called him "old school". He knew the importance of learning the fundamentals before learning the fancy stuff. That can be applied to everything in life. It's kind of the crawl before you walk way of learning. So many times we want to skip to the fancy fun stuff but when doing this we forget the basics. Or even worse we don't know why we do the fancy stuff. This can be applied to the questions we have been answering about bringing technology into the classroom. Technology would be the fancy stuff. If a student can't explain in their own words why they are using the technology, or they can't tell you how to get the answer without it then there is a fundamental issue. I also like what the assistant coach told him after he had been chewed out repeatedly during practice, he tells him that it's good because when you're messing up and nobody says anything to you, it means that they have given up on you. That's a worse position to be in. Pausch lets us know that even though he didn't actually get into the NFL, he learned the most from the pursuit of this dream. It is interesting that throughout his life he was most comfortable on the football field and even tossed a football around when he was thinking about something.

Pausch made it his life goal to enable the dreams of others. I would venture to say he reached that goal and then some, he has touched the lives of many. He started a new department at Carnegie Mellon University. In this department they paired an artist and an engineer and through virtual reality they helped students from all different majors believe in and work towards their goals/dreams. He mentions a class of students in his program that did wonderful work, they met all his expectations. He wasn't sure the best way to approach this, so he asked his mentor. He told him to tell them that their work was good, but he knew they could do better...... and they did! This way of thinking makes so much sense, I will use this with not only my classroom but also with my children. If we start thinking we have met the expectations and we are finished, then we just might be missing out on some awesome accomplishments. We should push forward, stay positive but know you can always do better.

His closure is about his mentors and parents. He tells how they influenced his life and encouraged him to be the person he had become. His parents supported him through and through. I am making it my goal to keep the child-like wonder alive in myself, and I will pass it on to my children and hopefully to my students!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blog Post 6

In the video, "The Networked Student", by: Wendy Drexler, a 21st century high school student is getting his education through "Network Learning". He attends class three days a week, and the other two days he takes online classes. There are no long boring lectures that we all know so well, and there is no textbook for this class. This teacher believes in connectivism, which is using a social network to learn. Her students use the internet to research and study what they are learning.

"Does a network student even need a teacher?" I think this a fear of all teachers entering such a technical world. We all wonder if we are going to be needed as technology starts to take over the classroom and the learning experience. Of course we will still need teachers, there has to be someone there to guide students through this learning process. They have to be taught how to build a social network. We will also be the filter, someone has to teach them to sort out the fiction from nonfiction. The internet is a wonderful source of information, but you have to know the difference between opinions and facts. And as teachers we will be that filter. Teachers will also have to make sure students stay focused and are meeting the learning objectives for their course. Just because you give a student a computer and access to the internet doesn't mean they are going to learn anything. There has to be someone monitoring the students progress and making sure they are meeting the expectations for the course they are taking.

In the video "A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment", a student takes us through her network learning experience. I think that it is awesome to see how much she has learned, and how she has learned to use the computer to document her research. The student also states that she enjoys learning this way because of the freedom. Not because she can choose not do her work but because she can do it on her time and the finished product is amazing. I had never seen a blogster, what an awesome project. This Personal Learning Environment is much like the one in EDM 310. We use our blog to document what we have learned and we are able to work on our projects on our time as long as we get them done. Although I have definitely had to make some adjustments in my way of learning/thinking, I am starting to enjoy learning this way as well.

C4K: Summary

I was assigned to Emilee, a year seven student at Pt. England School. The post that I commented on was her "Black Out Day" post. Pt. England School's rugby team had just won a championship game. The students were wearing all black in support of their team. I commended her on her school spirit. I explained how having a good team is great but when a good team has a strong support system it makes them even better. I closed with a congratulations to her and her school.

I also had the opportunity to vote in a debate on the design of New Zealand's new flag. This debate post is being held by "Kids With A View".
I posted that I like the more traditional flag. The other choice is a black and silver flag with a feather that has "New Zealand" printed on it. I think I would like the black and silver one better if it did not have New Zealand on it, if it just was black with the silver feather. But, my favorite is still the traditional flag.

Unfortunately, I did not keep the link to the other students blog that I posted on. I will be more organized in the future and save a file with each of the links and posts for my students. I remember in this post my student posted one of his paintings of a wolf. He is a very talented artist, painted the wolf red to symbolize the blood lost when animals are abused. He hoped that his painting would make people think before they abuse animals. I commented on not only his great talent but his wonderful use of symbolism.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blog Post 5

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff Please? By: Scott Mcleod

Dr. Scott Mcleod an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the Univerisity of Kentucky, has an intersting way of getting his point across. In his post "Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?, his message is not literally not to teach technology, it's very much the opposite. He acknowledges that there are dangers, such as predators linked to technology. But, we can't let our fear keep us from teaching our children how to use it as a tool. In an attempt to protect them from harm, we will actually be hurting them. The ones that have teachers and parents that support the learning of technology and all of its benefits will be the ones that will always be one step ahead on the road to success. It is our job to make sure that our students have a healthy balance when they leave our rooms. They must understand how to do things without technology, but they must also know how to use it when necessary.

Dr. Mcleod is responsible for founding the nation's only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, the Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). He is also one the nation's leading academic experts on k-12 school technology leadership issues.

The iSchool Initiative
By: Travis Allen

Making the education system digital is a great idea. It sounds great to be paperless, not having to carry books, notebooks, or pencils. I just don't think that society is ready for a leap like this. There are always going to be families that do not have access to technology, what will these people do in a totally digital public school system? Would they be provided with the things they need to use this system to its full potential? Also, students would have no reason to learn how to do things without an app, or some sort of technological tool to do it for them. My fear is that in a setting like this the majority of students would leave my class, not knowing how to figure anything out on their own. If they have to have some kind of crutch to help them along, then I don't think that I have done my job. Going completely digital is not an option for total success. All of the apps that Allen mentions in his video, the presidential app, the periodic table, space exploration, etc. these are wonderful educational tools. Students should be encouraged to take advantage of these tools and use them to study. This is how technology paired with the traditional way of teaching can lead to ultimate success.

In, the short clip, "Zeitgeist Young Minds", Allen states that since his first video, he has formed a team that travels around showing educators how to take advantage of the iSchool Initiative. He says that they have had great success in teaching teachers how to prepare their students for the digital world the were born in.

Jennifer Chamber's Post
and Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

WOW! That is amazing. I never would have thought it would be possible to take 185 people that have met, let them sing on a webcam, and put them together to form a choir. It is just unreal what technology can do.

Teaching in the 21st Century By: Kevin Roberts

YES! Teaching in this ever growing technological world does mean that we need to evaluate the traditional ways of teaching. Roberts hits the nail on the head so to speak. Teachers are not the main source of information anymore. If you are curious about something or have a question, you "Google" it. That's the mindset of most people these days. But, before you cut off your right toe because "Google" said so, we must remember not everything on the internet is a fact. This is the balance I feel is so necessary, Roberts calls teachers a filter. We know our students are going to use the internet whenever possible, they must know how to distinguish truth from fiction. It is also most important that they can apply what they have learned. Although the government may measure a teacher's success by her students scores on a standardized test. A teacher's success is truly in the ability of her students to apply what they have learned and incorporate it in their everyday life.

Technology provides students the ability to exercise their creativity through blogs, podcasting, programming, etc. They must be accountable for the information that they get from the internet. The video states the differences in engage and entertain, this was very interesting to me. While entertainment if for enjoyment, engagement is for learning. Entertainment is short-lived and engagement has long term results. While entertainment is an escape from problems, engagement is solving problems. Lets engage our students and pave the road for success for years to come!

Project #9

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blog Post 4

To be completely honest, I wasn't sure what a podcast was until about 20 minutes ago. I listened to Mrs. Edmison's awesome 3rd graders, on Eagle's Nest Radio Episode #3: "Roamin' with Ancient Romans". They were amazing, they spoke clearly and with great enthusiasm. The music that they played during the podcast was perfect. It made me feel like I was traveling through Rome. I don't think that we will incorporate music into our podcast this time. But, I would definitely like to try it out in the future.

In Joe Dale's post: "The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom" I learned a tip that I will definitely use during my teaching career. To use podcasts as a tool to record lectures and posting them on a blog, will come in very handy when students are absent. They can hear the lecture first hand just as if they were in the classroom. One student states that she downloads the classroom podcasts from itunes, then her parents play them through the speakers in the car. What an awesome way to get involved with your child's education!

It's amazing how excited kids are about podcasting. They have fun listening and following along, or creating and learning? Either way seems to be a great approach to teaching in a technologically growing world.

The post Practical Principal by: Scott Elias and Melinda Miller, was great! This proves that technology gives us the ability to work side by side even if we are physically miles apart. How amazing is that? The two principals paired up after Elias was a guest on Miller's podcast in 2007. They have been recording the Practical Principal's podcast ever since. Teachers send in questions for them to answer and they give tips on how to successfully use technology in the classroom. The podcasts are powered by Feedburner and each one has its own topic. This is an awesome resource for teachers.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blog Post 3

2. "It's Not About the Technology" by: Kelly Hines

In Kelly Hines post, although many will disagree, she states that learning in the 21st century is not about the technology. Yes, times are changing rapidly and as teachers we have to look into the future at the kind of world our students will be entering. It is our job to teach them what they need to know to be successful in that environment. Is it possible to do that without technology? As educators we must make sure that we remember that our eagerness to learn cannot end at graduation. It is our responsibility to stay excited about learning and never become stagnant. While preparing our students for the future, Hines does not feel that technology is the first thing that needs to change. Although ipods, computers, wireless connectivity, netbooks, 1:1 initiatives, blogs, and podcasts are great tools the issue is deeper than that.

She has four basic objectives that must be met in order for our classrooms to move forward in the 21st century.
1. Teachers must be learners. You must do more than just go to mandatory workshops and meetings. Be creative and willing to explore, teach yourself something!
2. Learning and teaching are not the same thing. Remember that if your class did not learn anything from your lecture, then you have not taught anything.
3.Technology is useless without good teaching. You can fill a classroom with thousands of dollars worth of technology, and it's not going to make the students learn any better. The teacher has to be willing to learn and use the technology to its full potential in order for it to impact the students.
4.Be a 21st Century Teacher without the technology. The core outcomes she lists are as follows:
1. Core Subjects and 21st Century Themes
2. Learning and Innovation Skills
* Creativity and Innovation
* Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
* Communication and Collaboration
3. Information, Media and Technology Skills
* Information Literacy
* Media Literacy
* ICT Literacy
4. Life and Career Skills
This theory is concluded with the basic thought that if teachers will develop their students creativity, give them problem solving and critical thinking skills, and keep the hunger to learn alive they will be more than ready for the future. Although if a teacher can do all of the above and can bring technology into the mix the possibilities are endless.

3. "Is It Okay to be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher?" By: Karl Fisch

Is it okay to be a technologically illiterate teacher? It seems that is a very popular question among the educational community. In Fisch's post you can feel his frustration with teachers who are not willing to learn and explore technology. The frustration worsens as he realizes that not only are they not willing to learn but they are proud of being technologically illiterate. He believes that not teaching today's children technology is equal to not teaching children 30 years ago to read and write.

I do agree that teaching technology is a must and that teachers should most certainly be willing to learn. I am not sure that I agree that it is impossible for a teacher to be successful without technology. I think there needs to be clarification as to what extent teachers need to use technology in their classrooms. I don't think that students have to know how to use youtube, blog, etc in order to learn. At some point they need to be taught how to use the internet as a tool but how much of that is the Math, or English teachers responsibility. I think that students should be required to attend a technology lab that teaches these skills. Teachers have plenty of requirements to meet in their specialized subject they shouldn't be forced to teach computer. This doesn't mean they shouldn't encourage the use of technology and be knowledgeable if a student has a question. In the event that a student has a question that they don't know the answer to they should help them trouble shoot and find the answer together.

4. "Social Media Counts" by: Gary Hayes

Wow! That post will blow your mind. Seeing the increases in the counts by the second really puts things into perspective. It is kind of scary knowing how many people right this second are on the computer posting on Facebook, Youtube, and other social networks. Hear me out, I am excited about learning and I think that everyone should know how to use these tools. That's the key though, to use them as tools. I think it is not only important to teach children how to use these sources to better their education but we also have to teach them that there is more to life than the internet! It scares me how much people are glued to there phones checking to see the latest update on Twitter, or Facebook. Not that the internet can't be used as a source of entertainment, but just in moderation. We can't forget to get out in the world and smell the roses. We have to also teach this generation to turn off the phones and computers and enjoy dinner with their families. I see it all of the time. Not only do we need to be technologically literate we also need to teach technological etiquette.

5. "A Vision of Students Today" by: Michael Wesch

In this video you can see how the use of technology has changed the way students think. Students won't read a book, but they will read an email. They won't write their notes but they will type them. They will bring their laptops to class but they will not be doing class work. As a student body we are studying and working towards jobs that may or may not exist when we graduate. This video confirms that the way to communicate to this generation is through technology. The challenge is learning how teach in way that will reach students growing in a technical world.

Project #3 C4T

For the past two weeks I have been following Joe Bower's Blog "For the love of learning". Mr. Bower, a resident of Alberta, Canada has been teaching for 10 years. He began his career teaching in a "traditional" middle school, using the conventional style of teaching that we all know so well. In 2004 he realized that this style of teaching was not for him. Not only was he miserable but he noticed that the students weren't very happy either. Knowing that there had to be a better way he started searching for less conventional ways to teach. Ways that would feed the hunger to learn and let children have fun in the process. He teaches his students that making mistakes is not always a punishable offense, making a mistake opens the door to learn. Don't we all learn something from our mistakes? Isn't the old saying, "hind site is 20/20"? He also believes and so do I, that teachers should not be the stern face at the front of the classroom tight lipped with no mercy. I think Mr. Bower says it best, "they should be safe and caring allies". He is no longer teaching in the "traditional" classroom, but can be found at a local hospital. In an unconventional setting where they assess children under the age of 18 that have a wide range of mental health related difficulties.

In Mr. Bower's "More on opting out of testing" post, on 09/03/11, he talks about ways that we can get rid of standardized testing. In reality, how can we base the success or failure of a student, teacher, or school on a standardized test? Why aren't teachers included in the debate on education reform and policy in the United States? He and many other teachers and researchers believe that making a stand and opting out of the testing process is our only option. Check out the article "Standardized tests: Time for a national opt-out" written by Shawn Johnson from Towson University, for more answers to these pressing questions.

Mr. Bower puts it this way:
"Most politician and policy makers have neither the know-how or courage to stand against standardized testing. I have little faith they will do anything different until the prevailing winds no longer blow in favor of these tests. Where the body goes, the shadow follows -- most politicians are shadows.
I believe with educators' know-how and the public's courage, together we can refuse our cooperation and no longer allow our children's education to be reduced to data for someone else's spreadsheet."

My comment on "More on Opting Out of Testing":
"My name is Lindsey Gipson and I am student at the University of South Alabama. I have been assigned to comment and summarize two of your blog posts. The summaries will be posted on my blog 09/10/11, here is a link to our class blog and my personal blog
I couldn't agree more about standardized testing. These tests are ruining the education system. Teachers have to spend so much time preparing students for the tests that they can't really teach anymore. I think it would be awesome if everyone would come together and refuse cooperation. What a great notion!"

On 09/09/11 Mr. Bower posted, "Class size matters". I agree 100% that class size matters. Not even superman or wonderwoman can effectively teach a classroom of 25 to 30 children. Of course this is my opinion and after reading this post and the comments that other teachers left on this post, there are many other people with the same opinion. Although, as stated in his post, just having a smaller class size alone will not increase student learning, it is absolutely necessary. I leave you with an excellent quote by Donald Quinn that set the tone for Mr. Bower's post:

"If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job." ~Donald Quinn

My comment on "Class Size Matters":
"I couldn't agree more. It is humanly impossible for a teacher (one individual) to properly educate a classroom crammed full of children. It's not fair to either party, everyone loses."

Everyone in the field of education and/or pursuing a degree in education should follow Joe Bower's Blog: "For the Love of Learning"!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Project #2 Wordle

Words that Define Me

Blog Assignment #2

1. Did you know?
By:Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod

The facts in this video really made me think. It obviously put into perspective the advances in technology and how fast things really are changing. It is unbelievable that in 2006 there were 2.7 billion Google searches a month and now there are 31 billion. It is also interesting that the top 10 jobs in 2010 didn't exist in 2004. Technology is replacing so many jobs today I can't imagine what jobs will be replaced within the next 10 years.

It not only made me think about the advances in technology. It confirmed to me that as a teacher I need to be technologically literate if not for me then for the benefit of my students. Times are changing and as teachers we need to keep up with times.

2. Mr. Winkle Wakes
By: Matthew Needleman

Mr. Winkle wakes up after being asleep for 100 years. I cannot imagine the surprise or shock rather of seeing the world after 100 years. I think that just seeing a television for the first time would be impressive, computers would blow your mind. The architecture and hospital technology would be unbelievable as well.

I like the way that he was comforted and felt at home when he found a school. Hearing the teacher lecture and seeing the kids sitting in the classroom made him feel safe. That reminds me that as a teacher you leave an impression that will last 100 years. It is up to you whether it is good or bad.

3. Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
By: Ken Robinson

I absolutely love Ken Robinson, I want to find some more of his videos as soon as I finish this assignment! I believe with all of my heart that the way that we are forced to educate these days really puts a choke on creativity. Teachers have so many guidelines on how to teach it's hard for them to be creative. Not to mention the students, they are constantly preparing for the next standardized test. Of course every grade level needs to set and meet certain goals so that the students will be ready for the next appropriate grade. It just seems like the testing is a little over the top these days. We judge a teacher and the school in which she teaches by the students' test scores. So of course each teacher is going to stop at nothing until every child has "memorized" what is going to be on that test! The problem with this is a lot of the time until every child in the class is ready for "the test" everything else gets pushed to the side. Unfortunately, creativity is one of these things put one the back burner.

Children with hyperactivity is another one of my soap box subjects. I know that ADHD exists, but I don't believe that heavily medicating a child is the answer. If they have this disorder then they are going to have it for the rest of their life. They need to learn how to function and learn without medication. I often wonder, is the medication for the benefit of the child or the adults around them? As teachers we should learn how to teach these children not suppress their creativity and turn them into zombies! The story that Dr. Robinson told about the choreographer who couldn't sit still, she was a dancer. She wasn't learning disabled, or a bad child. She just needed to move and that is how she was able to learn. The sad thing is that today in order to reach our "goals" it is nearly impossible to teach without suppressing these children to some extent.

4. Cecelia Gault's interview with Sir Ken Robinson
By: Cecelia Gault

Cecelia Gault's interview with Sir Ken Robinson brings about the same discussion on how important it is to feed creativity. In my classroom I will embrace creativity. I love people who are not afraid to be "different". I will encourage/challenge all of my students to be "different". In other words be themselves, when they come in my room there will be no "normal". They will learn that there is more that one way to skin a cat, and I want them to use the way they think is best. If they try their way and realize that it didn't work so well, then they can try something else. This is life, we can play it safe and all walk in the same direction because that's what everyone is doing. But, my goodness how boring would life be if someone didn't decide to cut through the woods every now and then. This is how we learn!

I agree with Sir Robinson that in order for this to work the education system is going to have to become more balanced between Science and Arts. Arts do not need to be pushed to the bottom of the list. Arts and Technology are just as important as the standard subjects. They all work together. Our children's future depends on this change!

5. Harness Your Students Digital Smarts
By: Vicki Davis

What an awesome way of teaching! Watching the high school students learn through experience and hearing what a success it has been is very encouraging to me. The format of Ms. Davis's classroom reminds me of the format of EDM 310. I have no doubt that this class is going to help me prepare for the technology I will encounter in my career. I wish that I had been given the opportunity in high school to take a class like that.

You can see by the looks on the students faces how much fun they are having. They will remember that experience and use those skills for the rest of their lives. The way that technology is growing, classes like this should become a mandatory part of curriculum.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Blog Assignment 1

1. Introduction:   
     Hello, my name is Lindsey Gipson, I am twenty-seven years old, and have grown up in Southern Alabama my entire life.  I live here with my wonderful family: Daryl, my husband who is a Mobile Police Officer and a drill sergeant in the Army Reserves, my Third Grade daughter Camryn and my 3 month old daughter Marleigh.  They are by far the best part of my life.  As you can imagine we stay very busy juggling my husbands career, the two little ones, and now my new adventure as a student!  I have spent the past 5 years working at Springhill Medical Center Lab as a lab tech and then moving up to Client Service Coordinator.  This title lead me to the opportunity to teach new employees and work with some high school students who were thinking about pursuing a career in Laboratory Science.  While doing this I a realized that I really enjoy teaching and I have a passion for science, and this is what has brought me to USA this semester .  I have decided to go back to school and become a science teacher. 
     In my opinion it takes so much more than reading facts in a book and giving tests to be a good teacher.  To be a not just good but affective teacher you must give students an experience.  Give them a reason to remember that: “The basic structural and functional unit of all living things is a cell!” I just recited that definition from memory, a memory of my experience in 9th grade Biology where we laughed and danced to a rap my teacher made up about cells.  I will never forget that!  I want to make student’s experiences in my class unforgettable.  I want them to not only remember the material I have taught them but to be able to use it and apply it to their everyday life.  This has now become my passion.  I am excited about this class, because I want to know how to use todays advances in communication and technology to help me reach my goal!

2. Randy Pausch on Time Management
     This is the first time I have heard of Dr. Pausch, but I enjoyed the video on "Time Management".  I loved hearing that it's ok to change your to do list. This doesn't mean you have failed, it just means that sometimes things just change.  It also doesn't mean that you shouldn't make a to do list at all for fear that it might change. Pausch gives a nice tip: Start with the hardest thing on your list first, this will make the rest of the list easier to complete. Great video!