Saturday, December 6, 2014

Blog Post # 16: Final Reflection Video

This my video that reflects on how EDM 310 has impacted me this past semester. It was a fun ride and I have learned so much more than I could cram in this video. EDM 310 has been a great learning experience for me I would not trade for the world!! I have thoroughly enjoyed myself this semester and I want to thank Dr.Strange and all the EDM assistants for being there for me WHENEVER I needed someone. I hope everyone enjoys my video and has a happy and safe holidays!!

Part 2 of Blogpost # 5

     Before I started EDM 310, I had never even heard of a PLN.  Just by commenting on teacher's blogs this semester, I have had conversations with different educators from two different continents. By creating relationships like this, you now have a broader connection with educators that can help you through your transition from student to educator. I think these relationships are important because they allow for some relief in an already hectic world. I can now share my propossed teaching lesson to multiple educators and get incredible feedback. It is also a way for educators to share ideas and collaborate on ideas for lesson plans and methods of teaching. Since starting my PLN this semester, I have come across many ideas of how to make education fun by just following educators on facebook, twitter, and pinterest. I think my PLN will help me create some of the most incredible lesson plans, and projects for my students once I am employed as an educator. I will keep adding people and sites to my PLN in order to make my life as an educator more effective and fun for my students.,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGD-XUXQsHw8PGDUFnbjgemuNtvjg&ust=1417933732545611

Friday, December 5, 2014

Last C4T Summary

      I must say that I have enjoyed doing my C4T assignments this semester. I have made connections with educators that I can use for my PLN. I have conversed with teachers in the U.K. and in the United States. I have also learned a lot from reading these educator's blog posts as well. I have been able to learn interesting facts about history, different teaching theories, and much, much more. It has been a priviledge to learn from these experienced educators, and I hope to continue to learn from them and keep in touch with them. Here is the final summary of my last two C4T comments.

     My first C4T assignment this month was on Ken Halla's blog: ushistoryeducatorblog. Ken shared a video about the history of Thanksgiving. It starts out by telling us that the first Thanksgivign in 1621 was to celebrate the first successful harvest. The celebration included hunting, eating, and other entertainments among the new settlers and Native Americans.This was a celebration that lasted three days. The video also points out that there were no turkeys on the original thanksgiving menu, however, venison most definitely was. The Holiday experienced a number of changes over the years. In 1789, President Washington declared Thanksgiving a holiday, but it was not celebrated throughout the nation. In the 19th century, a poet named Sarah Josepha Hale was inspired by a pilgrim journal to recreate the celebration and make it a National Holiday. Hale even created recipes such as turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie to be enjoyed on the holiday. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln finaly declared Thanksgiving as a National Holiday. The turkey day celebration also encountered some changes in the 20th century as well. Roosevelt moved the date during the depresion to extend time for business owners to gather the goods necessary for the feast. In the 1980's President Bush created a tradition of his own. He chose one to two turkeys to be spared from the oven and called it the "Pardoned Turkey". This is a tradition carried out by U.S. Presidents to this day. I thought this video was a neat and educational video that I would like to share with my students when I am in a classroom setting.
     My response: I told Halla that I loved learning new information pertaining to such a strong American tradition. I also told him that I appreciated him sharing and that I would like to share this with my students once I have made it into the teaching profession.

     My second C4T assignment was on Eric Langhorn's blog: speaking of history. Eric shared a video on his blog that showed how an augmented reality app was bringing history to life at the Union Station in Kansas City. I thought this was so cool! The augmented reality app allows for visitors to download and app and view reinacted historical events that have taken place there as they walk around the station. It is hard to explain, but I am going to try. When you open the app and walk around the station, using your phones camera, the app picks up where you are and will produce a video of a reinactment of the historical event that took place in the same exact spot years and years
       My response: I told Langhorn that I thought the app was a great way to inspire people to learn about history. I also told him that I hoped this technology would spread to other historical sites around the country so that maybe I could experience this technology for myself. I also added that if he lived near Kansas City, that he should most definitely take his students for a visit. I know I would if I had a chance to do so.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Blog Post # 14
     I think Joel Klein expressed a great vision of what education could look like in the public school systems of America. Klein believes that professionalizing education is top priority. He believes that the educationn profession should be competitive and held in high reguard. In his article he presents some suggestions on how this  could be accomplished.

     Klein thinks that when it comes to education, the job market should be competitive. He suggests that we "do what successful countries do and pick from the top third of graduates". According to Klein, better education training for educators is a top priority. And I agree with him. If the individuals teaching the youth of America, it is important for them to be properly educated in how to do so. Without the propper education for educators, we have the blind leading the blind. As stated earlier, Klein also thinks that teachers should be picked from the top third percent of graduates. I agree with this view to an extent. I do believe that teachers should be picked from an upper crust but this also makes me worried. I do not completely agree that because these graduates did well in school, that they will make exceptional teachers.

     Next, Klein states that we should change how the education profession is based on seniority. In the current system, seniority trumps performance. I think this a poor way to run our education system and is not only unfair to educators, but most importantly unfair to students. It is not fair for a child to recieve an average or below average level of education because the educator has recieved tenure. Nor is it fair for a child to recieve a lesser education because of his or her social status. His or her financial situation should not keep them from recieving a proper education. Furthermore, Klein states that educators should face rigorous schooling, preparation, and even have competitive internships  and a board test like other professions such as law or medicine. I think this would be a great implimentation to our school systems. It would ensure that teachers were well educated. Moral would be higher among educators, and their compensation would be based on their performance. This would create an incentive among educators to do their best.

     Lastly, Klein addresses the thought of radical change. This includes educators creating their own policies, boards to ensure these policies are being enforced, and moving up in the profession would be based on how well they did on specialized exams. I think this type of system would be a more strict environment that would make the education profession a very competitive and well respected profession. It is also a great concept because educators are running every aspect of the system. He also states that teachers would stop supporting the neighbor hood kids in neighborhood schools routine. Instead, children would be allowed to attend a school that was more suitable to them and their interests or talents.

     Overall, I believe that Klein has a great vision of what the United States' school system could be.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Final C4K summary

       Damien is 7 years old and in 3rd grade. His blogpost was the most recent of my C4K assignments. Damien's blog post was a google slide presentation he had created about an artist named Jo May. Jo May makes silk paintings. Her work is mostly nature scenes. She uses bright colors and produces beautiful pieces. His presentation presented a quality equal to the ones I have seen in class this semester and he is only 7. Damien also provided a link to Jo May's web page.I told Damien I enjoyed his post. I also added that he should send the artist a link to his page so she could see his interest in her work. Who knows, maybe she would send him a piece of her work?

      Malloryh's blog titled "Declaration of Independence - Class Mother", was very interesting. In this blogpost Malloryh, who is in middle school, is "declaring independence" from being class mother. She writes at length about the struggles she faces as being class mother. She then tells her fellow classmen how it sadens her when they say that "she isn't their real mothers". Malloryh then lets them know that when they are all in high school that she will never stop loving them. She follows up by quoting lyrics from an Eagles song. As an Eagles fan, this was the coolest thing I had seen since I started C4K assignments. She stated that "her heart was like, the Hotel California, once you are in her heart you can never leave". She showed a lot of emotion in her blog and it was well written. It is pobably the best one I have read all year. I told her how much I enjoyed reading her blog and that I was a huge Eagles fan. I also told her to keep writing, and that my middle school friends and I stayed friends all the way through high school.

     Yazmin's blogg was titled "Will You Rather" but I am sure the title is supposed to read "would you rather". I read her blog in late October when the halloween spirit was in the air. Her blog asked the question of "would you rather live in a small house, or a mansion with a ghost?". Most responses from her classmates stated they would live in the mansion and live with the unwanted house guest. I on the other hand begged to differ. My comment stated that I would most definitely live in the smaller house in exchange for a ghost free environment. I also made sure to tell Yazmin that she was doing a great job and to keep up the good work.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Blog Post #13: What Did I Leave Out?

Assignment: This assignment is for history teachers. Now that we are in the technological age of the 21st century, it is hard to keep student's attention with lectures and note taking. I want you to find five available resources that combine history with technology. When you have located the sources, create a link for each and place them on your blog. Then, following the standards listed in Writing A Quality Blog Post and the ACCRS guidelines, write a brief descrition of each, how they work and why they would be a useful asset to the classroom.

1) GLOGSTER*7HiP7Zox86cf-j*J88LMvJFpHbicDhN*%2FPicture26.png&

Glogster can be used for any subject. It is a website that allows students to create digital posters. Students can go to the website and choose from literally hundreds of templates that cover evry subject and subject material. Once the students have picked the template of their choice, they then incorporate their reseach into the poster. The students can upload text, pictures, videos and websites to their digital poster. When students are finished with their poster, they can then present them to the audience using a smart device, computer, or SMARTboard. I feel that glogster would be a great resource for both group and individual projects. This site allows for the class to mix technology with social studies, produces a beter quality product than the old fashioned paper poster and is completely digital so no mess to clean up. The only down fall is this site is not free; there is a yearly fee.


Mindmeister is a digital way to map out ideas. It is used for mind mapping and brainstorming. It allows students to start out with a topic or idea and elaborate on them. This resource could be used either individually or collaborately. Mindmeister allows students to share their mind maps with other students who can then add information as well. I think this would be great in a history class because it would allow students to share ideas and information among one another. Also, mindmeister is FREE.

3) GOOGLE EARTH,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNH6tvVJJisLDYFfCKG98Vm4w-W-3A&ust=1416081036701354

Google earth allows for people to view almost every inch of the World via satelites. This is a great resource for history teachers. While on the website, you can click the explore link that pulls up historiographical points of interest. The link provides a variety of pictures and places and gives an overview of their significance. You can even explore the oceans and MARS with this resource.  This would be a great way to enhance a history lesson. This would also be a great research tool for students. They could use this resource at home, in the car or wherever. Also, it is a free resource.


The site, is a really awesome site. It couples history with technology. This free resource allows students to type in any city in the United States. It then pulls up old phontographs from a database and in the background is a picture of what is there now. It is really a site you must see for yourself to understand what I am trying to say. I think this would be another cool way for students to get interested in history. Instead of doing a lecture, an instructor could give the students an assigned town in the U.S. and let them explore this website and allow them to document their findings. Before I forget, there is also and app as well. And again, this site is FREE.

Voki allows students to create their own personal talking avatar. This gives the kids the opportunity to use their imagination and makes the lesson more important and personal to them. This is a great way to get students interested in a history lesson. It is also a great way to allow students to do oral tests or reports. When students have to give a presentation in front of a class, it is uncomfortable and nerve wrecking for most. With Voki, students can have their avatar do all of the talking for them. I think this is a really cool resource and it would be very useful in the classroom.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Project #10

Here is my interview with Christina Smith. She is a teacher at Escambia High School in Pensacola Florida. She has her batchelors in secondary education from South Alabama and has eight years of teaching experience. I hope you enjoy the video.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

C4T Summary # 3

My first C4T assignments this month were both on John Spencer's blog page. According to his blog, Spencer is "an educator, author, speaker, incessant doodler, and perpetual bender of paper clips." I enjoyed looking at his blog posts. You can tell by the way he writes and the subjects that he covers that he is a fun and outgoing person with great intellect.
The first blog that I commented on was titled "You Can Geek Out About Everything". In this blog Spencer talks about a note that was given to him by one of his students. In the note the student thanked him for showing that it was okay to "geek out" about multiple things at once. The emphasis was on how we have stereotyped people with their interests. For example, some find it strange for someone who is artistic to play sports or someone who enjoys hunting to also enjoy theater. Spencer made it clear that it is okay to have multiple interests and that you don't have to follow the stereotypes our society has created. My response was thanking Spencer for puting this into perspective for his students. I also told him some of my personal experiences with these stereotypes while growing up in Alabama. I lastly told him to keep up the good work and to keep spreading messages like this to his students.
The second blog I commented on was titled "I Hid My Art". In this post Spencer talks about how he has always enjoyed art and even won prizes for some of his work when he was younger. He then talks about how he never considered himself and artist and never pursued his talent. Later in life he was curious to see if he still had the talent. He drew a picture of his wife one christmas and he realized he still had his talent. Later on, he and his wife wrote a childrens book that he illustrated. The funny thing is, the main character in the book was about a boy non-magical kid with a hidden talent much like Spencer himself. The main message for this post was for people to embrace their talents and not to hid them. I commented that he should share his story with his students. I think this is a great message that could possibly allow one or more of his students to pursue a talent that they too may be hiding.
I really enjoyed the blogs John Spencer has on his page. I hope that students can read his posts and be inspired.

Blog Post #12

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Blog Post # 11

In Back to the Future, I learned to give students a chance. When these students first entered Mr. Crosby's classroom in fourth grade; most students did not know their address. Two years later they are sent a balloon into the different layers of the atmosphere for their "high hopes" project. The amount of learning that takes place inside of Mr. Crosby's classroom is unbelievable. The students are learning from every aspect of their project. Group learning, searching the web, Skyping with professionals and class members, and blogging are just a few ways in which Mr. Crosby implements learning in his classroom.
The blended learning cycle is composed of six components: question, investigation, video, elaboration, review and summary. In our video the instructor uses the topic of natural selection. He gives the class a driving question and allows the class to investigate independently for an answer. He also so shares videos with the class to further their knowledge of the topic. Once the students have completed their research and have found an answer to the driving question; the instructor then elaborates one on one with students to make sure they have a complete understanding of the topic before allowing them to move on the summary quizes. This method of teaching is great because it allows the students to work independently or within a group, and uses technology as a way of learning. It is also a great method because it allows for the students to self evaluate their work and allows for the instructor to ensure the topic is fully understood by the students before taking their quizes.
In Making Thinking Visible the instructor puts his students in groups and asks them to create headlines stating what the unit being covered is about. He then posts these headlines in the classroom for the remainder of the unit. This allows students to see these headlines throughout the unit. Once the unit is completed the instructor asks them if their headline is still the same. By doing this the class is allowed to continuously have the headlines in front of them everyday and allows them to use
these headlines as a guide, or allows students to see how their focuses change throughout thee unit.
Super Digital Citizen was a really cool video to watch. The instructor allows the students to make their own digital superhero, and then allows the students to create their own comic with using their character they made. This is a great way to teach writing skills. It also means more to the students because it is a more personal project. This drives students to take more pride in their work and makes them want to create an outstandin piece of work.
The video on PBL showed us an itegrated studies classroom. The class was a combination of Canadian history, english, and information processing. I think this is a great idea because it allowed for three subjects to be learned collaboratively. I also like the fact that the students are constantly engaged by not only other students but by three different teachers as well. It allows for a more well rounded learning experience as apposed to traditional single subject learning. In this class they used PBL which engages students more effectively and provides a deeper understanding of the material among the students.
In Roosevelt Elementary's PBL program they stressed the importance of PBL in the classroom. I found the perspective one parent very interesting. She stated that PBL incorporates public speaking and that it teaches children to overcome their fear of speaking in public at a young age. I think this is a great skill to be learned. I didnt take public speaking until college and it is one of the scarriest things I have ever done. Although I grew up doing theater and drama, being on stage and playing someone else is easy; standing in front of an audience as yourself is a completely different scenario. I also liked the participation and involvement of the parents at Roosevelt Elementary. I have a lot of friends that teach and they say the hardest thing about teaching is that parents are not involved with their childrens education. It seems that the parents really and truly care at Roosevelt. and that is amazing. One last thing I found inspiring about the video (as well as the previous videos) is the implementing of integrated studies when using PBL. This allows for students to take real world situations and learn more about them using a variety of skills.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

C4K Summary for October

My first comment was made to Aliya. She was talking about how she could choose to go to school at different times this coming up year. She was having problems deciding if she wanted to go to school later in the morning and getting out later on in the evening or stay at the normal time. She weighed her pros and cons but was not completely sure what to do. She also said she has a terrible time getting up in the mornings. I responded with one of my own tricks to get up and out of the bed in the mornings. I told her to put her alarm clock across the room so she would HAVE to get out of bed to turn it off.
My second comment was on Liliana's post about a book she had read called The Gold Fish. She explained that the book was not about a gold fish at all. It was actually about a grandfather who was able to drink a potion and become young again. In her post she stated she was eager to finish reading the book to find out what happened to the grandfather. I told her to keep up the good work and to reply to me with the ending of the story.
My last comment was on Nina's blog. She blogged about President Snow of The Hunger Games. She gave a numerical list of topics that explained his importance in the books. I commented that I loved The Hunger Games and that she had given me important information about that character. I also told her to keep up the good work.

Blog Post # 10:What can we learn from Mrs.Cassidy?

I really enjoyed her class video that she shared with us. I think the technique I liked the most was blogging within the classroom. It is also the favorite of her students as well. This allows the students to focus on what they enjoy and allows them to write freely about these interests. By allowing them to blog, it improves their spelling and also allows a way for parents to see their child's progress within the class. I think the biggest thing I would worry about if I chose to use blogging in my classroom would be protecting my student's identities. But Mrs. Cassidy provided multiple ways to do this. It is also important to protect what the children are viewing in the classroom as well. I would probably use a site blocker to keep the children safe from inappropriate material. I totally agree with Mrs. Cassidy's comment that not using technology is hindering both the students and teachers. Teachers of the 21st century have to be technologically literate and educated. Lets face it, technology is here to stay and really makes our lives so much easier. It is a very vital part of education and has changed the way children learn.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog Post #9: What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Bases Learning?

Seven Essentials For PBL and Project Based Learning For Teachers : Reading/watching these blogs opened my eyes to the fact that when students are presented with a print out of information with guidelines and a subject for a project; this may come off as busy work. This could lead students to disconnect from the project and make them bored.The "print out" method also restricts the students and their creativity. It does not allow for the students to dive into the content and make their own decisions about what they would like to learn more about and focus on as a group. PBL focuses on seven main components: 1) Need to know: This is used to engage students and get them interested in the material in which the project will be based on. Your need to know can be an "entry event"such as a video, blog post, or podcast that gives the students information about the subject of the project. 2) Driving question: According to; a good driving question captures the heart of the project in clear, compelling language, which gives students a sense of purpose and challenge. 3) Student voice and choice: When using PBL, it is important that project means something to students. The best way to make this happen is to allow students to speak their minds and make most of the decisions during the project. 4) 21st century skills: With PBL, students learn many skills that they will be able to bring with them to college and the workforce. Some of these skills include collaboration, critical thinking and technological skills. 5) Inquiry and innovation: This step allows for students to follow a trail of ideas and questions that are created while working on their project. they can use resources such as the internet, books, interview and more to gather this information. They will then filter the information gathered and use what is necessary for the project. This allows for the project to be more meaningful to the students. 6) Feedback and revision: This is a very important part of PBL. This step allows for students to go over their work with classmates, teachers, mentors and even specialists about their topic. By doing so, students can make the necessary changes and adjustments to their projects before presenting them to their audience, 7) Publicly presented product: The final step in PBL is presenting the finished product. By publicly presenting projects, students put in more time and effort into their work because they know it will be presented to a crowd and not just the teacher. This step seems to be one of the most important aspects of PBL because it makes the students strive to make a more presentable product. By reading this blog, I learned that if the essential steps for PBL are followed, it is possible for students to learn more effectively than if they were assigned a project with a strict topic and guidelines.

What Motivates Students: The students in this film taught me what drives them to do well in school. It seems that they understood that in order to succeed in life, it is important to take their education seriously. I really enjoyed the "classroom money" that one student's teacher used. I think that by offering students an incentive to do well in class could never hurt. From what I gathered, this teacher offered "money" to her students based on their productivity and allowed them to buy things with the money they collected at the end of the week. Others stated how they enjoy when the teacher calls them out for a job well done while others enjoyed getting treats such as candy and lollipops. It is videos like these that are important for educators. The kids in this video taught me some new ways to keep them intrigued in the classroom.

Project Based Learning and Physical Education: I learned from this blog that PBL can even be used in physical education. In Miller's blog, he teaches us how to use PBL and it's seven fundamentals to create a work out plan. I think this is a great way to incorporate new skills in an area that has never really been viewed as an "academically advanced" class. Yes, I so believe physical education classes are very important and I do believe that you learn from taking this class but lets face it; there is no physical education section on the ACT. Using PBL in physical education is a great idea that I would never in a million years thought of myself. Now that I have read this blog, I can think of multiple ways PBL could be used in physical education.

Ten Sights Supporting Digital Classroom Collaboration in PBL: I learned a lot of cool sites that could be used for PBL in the classroom. One of my favorites that was pointed out it is linoit. I think this would be a great tool for not only students but for teachers as well. It can allow you to create an online class board that you can put all of your assignments on and share with students. Also, students can use this site to share information they have found while completing research for projects. This allows for students to teach other students and teachers as well. I also learned about a great site called titan pad. Its similar to google docs but easier and more simple. This would be a good tool for younger students in elementary and middle school. It allows you to create notebooks and documents and also gives you the option to share these notes or notebooks with others. I also found out that Skype also offers a Skype in education site. I have not looked into this one yet but I feel this could be a great learning tool for group projects.

Overall I learned some great PBL tips from our educators and Kids by watching/reading the blogs for this post. It makes me even more eager to utilize these fun, new technologies and strategies in my classroom.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blog Post #8: What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

Randy Pausch's last lecture was amazing. I took so much from watching it. I feel that the most important thing he taught us was to never let "brick walls" get in your way. Randy told us that those obstacles are there to make us do more to achieve our goals. He also taught us that we learn from everyone. He told us how he learned from his mentors, teachers, bosses, and even students. One thing that really stood out to me was what he called "head tricking". This is a great way to make students think they are doing something fun and interesting when in reality it is really teaching the students how to do a new skill. Head tricking is a great strategy that I would love to utilize with my students one day. Making learning FUN is another thing that Pausch believed was important. I believe that by creating a fun environment for students will not only make them enjoy learning; but make the learning process more effective as well. I am so glad that Dr. Strange shared this video with us. I hope that one day I can say I impacted as many people's lives as Randy Pausch did in his short life time.

C4T #2 Summary


I was assigned to Ken Hella's blog post which provided a TEDed video about the U.S. Constitution. As a history/secondary education major this was right up my alley. It touched base on some aspects about the people behind the Constitution we don't ordinarily consider. Some of these topics brought to light was the fact that each man was a land owner, well educated, and some were even slave holders. It also talked about how these men must have had great patience considering they met in mid summer and wore constricting, heavy attire at a time with no fans or air conditioning. It is a great video that I think would be interesting to share with my students one day. I commented on how the video brought to light these unusual facts that we never really think about. I also stated on how the video would be great to share in my classroom one day.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Implications and Teaching Opportunities for Camera Use in Teaching and Learning

Cell Phones Used In The Classroom

Part A: According to Zogbhy Analytics, 87% of people surveyed ages 18-24 say they never let their smart phone leave their side. With this information, we as educators can assume that our school aged students; (especially secondary education ages) have the access to their own, or a parent or guardian's smart phone everyday. And those that do have their own, very rarely let them leave their side. Educators should take into consideration this information and use it to their advantage. We know students are going to use their phone at school anyway, so why not make it a useful tool that can help our students learn?
Another statistic that stood out to me is the fact that 68% of individuals say they would rather use their smartphones than their laptops. This makes complete sense considering a smartphone can do almost everything one can do on a laptop. By allowing students to use their phones in class would also keep them in the classroom rather than in the office or in school suspension for having their phones out in the first place. It is new times in the learning environment. We have technology all around us; lets use it to our students advantage.

Part B: By using cell phones in the classroom, educators are utilizing a tool that is free of cost to the school system. Most people own smartphones that are basically portable computers. They also come equipped with cameras that can take still portraits or videos. You could allow students to access websites from their phones that pertained to the lesson being taught. You could also allow students to take photos of assignments on the board or let them use the video camera to video a mock presentation in order for them to make appropriate changes to their presentation. You could even go as far as letting them use smart phones to write notes using programs such as evernote. The sky is the limit concerning what we could allow students to use their phones for.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blog Post #How Do We All Become Learners?

technology in the classroom
Watching the provided videos allowed me to see that no matter how old or how young, no matter your title, we are all still learning on a day to day basis. This is one of the great things about PBL. By providing students with technology and technological resources, educators are now creating an entirely new realm of teaching/learning for their students. By implementing technology within the classroom; students have more resources to learn than ever before. This includes learning from other students and not solely from teachers. PBL allows for students to engage with one another and help each other out when faced with a difficult task. It also allows for teachers to learn from students as well. As the media coordinator for Gulf Shores Elementary pointed out, sometimes the students actually teach educators new skills. By using technology rather than teaching technology we allow a much broader spectrum of learning. Students can now read, watch, and write what they have learned all by using one App, program, or whatever their teacher implements within his or her lesson plan. I know that I personally was in the dark ages of educating until I began this class. The information provided to me this semester in EDU 310 has opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that I can personally utilize when I am in the classroom. I know I have a lot more to learn but I am excited about utilizing so many of the skills, apps, programs Etc, that I have learned about these past few months. I am also excite to see the impact I can make on my students by using technology in my classroom.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

C4K September Summary

In my first C4K, I explored a blog from a student in Aukland NZ. It was an animated video she had made with a group in school. The presentation was a girl shooting a flying duck. It was only a few seconds long and didn't have a plot; but it is still an accomplishment they should be very proud of. The following was my response to the video. "Hello Annliz! I'm Marcus Thomas and I am an EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama in the United States. I really enjoyed you and your team's video. I think it is cool that a group of twelve year old students are learning a skill like that. I am twenty six and would have no idea where to begin if I wanted to create an animated video. Did ya'll run into any problems when learning how to create animation? Have any tips you would like to share?"
In my second C4K, I read a blog from a student that was on the safety patrol at her school. She talked about her responsibilities and how she enjoyed wearing her safety patrol vest. In my comment I commended her and told her to keep up the good work. I also told her some of my old safety patrol stories from when I was in elementary school myself.
In the third C4K, I explored Annliz's blog again. This time she had written about a sport called tchoukball. It is a sport played with teams of 12 with 7 players on the field at one time. Each point is made by bouncing a ball off of a trampoline type Of apparatus. I am actually interested in this new game I have heard of thanks to Annliz and plan on researching it more. Here is my comment: "Hi Annliz. Its Marcus Thomas from the U.S. again. I had never heard of this game until I read your blog post. I have played sports my whole life. I have mostly played American football and ran track. Tchoukball sounds very interesting. I plan on looking into it more and seeing if there are some youtube videos available for me to watch."

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Blog Post #6- What I have learned from the videos featuring Anthony Capps

Watching Dr.Strange and Anthony Capps' videos has shed some useful insight into PBL. Firstly I learned that projects are not only a means for students to show WHAT they have learned. Projects is PBL are used a tool in which to TEACH students. I also learned that when creating these projects, teachers make sure that the students learn the content necessary to complete the projects while doing them. This style of teaching also allows for a wide audience which in return; gives the students drive to complete their projects and show others what they have learned and created. Kids are also taking more pride in their work with PBL. These projects allow for students to breakaway from the traditional lecturing and worksheets.
pbl chart
Secondly, I learned about icurio and Discovery Ed. These are online search engines that are effective and kid appropriate. Icurio allows for students to save links, videos, and audio in which they can access again and again to utilize and reference and learning tools for a project or assignment. Discovery Ed gives kids great resources for social studies and science inquiries. Along with text, this website offers kids pictures, and videos that work as illustrations for the text. like Mr. Capps said, " A picture is worth a thousand words."
Lastly, I learned to "use tech and not teach it". In today's society it only makes sense to incorporate technology into the classroom. No matter what the economic status of a child, he or she has some type of technology readily available. I think the way Mr. Capps allows his third graders to reflect on what they have learned by creating an imovie is a great technique! I have personally witnessed my friend's two year old use a smartphone to get to youtube and choose cartoons for himself. If we don't use technology in the classroom then we are only making our own lives as educators more difficult.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

C4T #1 and #2 Summary

C4T #1

My first C4T assignment was by Mr. Wheeler. He is a college instructor in the U.K. First of all, I find it amazing that I am talking to a person half way across the world. I made a comment on his blog about  Jack Merizow's  Transformative Learning theory within the classroom setting and only a few hours later he had responded back. It is so cool to think that someone in another country whom I have never met cared enough to share his feedback with me. Here is a summary his post with my response and Mr. Wheeler's response. 

The Point of No Return

Mr. Wheeler starts off with a summary Merizow's theory. It states that when a person learns, it changes them forever. It may be a small change but it is still a change. Sometimes this can change our beliefs, values, and out outlook on life in general. Mr. Wheeler then tells us how it can be used for educating students. He states that it is important to constantly challenge students by placing them out of their normal comfort zones. Doing so will make them think in a different way and can change the way in which students learns. This allows them to think about things differently. Using this technique allows students to pull from personal experience when evaluating a subject and can help them breakaway from preconceived notions and beliefs. This also allows them to form a more well rounded view. 

My Response:

 I find Merizow's Transformative Learning Theory to be interesting, but I am not sure I am entirely on board with utilizing it within a classroom setting. I understand his reasoning but at the same time I feel that this type of learning would be effective in some areas of education and with some students but not for all areas of education and definitely not all students. Some students may have real problems handling the unfamiliar and disconnect themselves from the class and learning experience entirely. I do agree with challenging students but only to a certain extent. With that said.... I think Merizow is completely correct on the psychological side of his theory. I experienced a disorienting dilemma when my parents divorced two weeks before my junior year of high school. This life altering experience changed my beliefs, attitude, and my views in a lot of ways. I am just not sure of how well this theory would work in a classroom setting.

His Response:

Thank you for your thoughts Marcus. My response would be to say that there are students of all ages. Some of mine are quite mature and others very young (I'm a university lecturer), so I think the theory applies particularly well in my classrooms. I suppose it also depends on how well teachers know their students. Any level of challenge is better than passive learning, yes?

C4T #2

Ken Burns' The Roosevelt's Airs

This blog was a clip of the first eight minutes of a series shown on PBS about Teddy, Franklin and Elanor Roosevelt. Although the clip was only a small insight to what the series had to offer; I still learned a lot from watching it. It talked about a young lawyer named Franklin Roosevelt who at the age of 25 had a goal of day being the President. The clip also informed me the viewer that Franklin was related to President Teddy Roosevelt and went on to marry his favorite niece Elanor. I had no clue that Franklin and Elanor were COUSINS. The small clip also made me want to watch the full 14 hour series that covers the accomplishments and legacy legacy left by these great leaders of our country. As a matter of fact I plan on it. 

My Response:

Thanks for sharing. I had no idea that Franklin and Elanor Roosevelt were related. I also think this would be a great video to show a class. Teddy, Franklin, and Elanor did so much for this country and I believe it is important to keep their achievements and memories alive.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What questions do we ask? How do we ask? Blog Post #4

When I first started this assignment, I was a little confused by the topic. Once I began to read and watch the material assigned for this assignment, however, it all became clear. As human beings we learn on a daily basis by asking questions. If no one ever asked questions I doubt we would be where we are as species. If you have ever been around a young child you know very well that questions are an essential part of human nature.
While I read and watched the materials given for this assignment I learned a lot of great ways to ensure that what I ask students and how I ask students are beneficial to both them and myself. I learned to think about and write out questions to ask my students rather than asking questions that pop in my head. By doing so, I now have a database of questions that I can use again and again and it also makes questions more clear and understandable for the students. I also learned that it is important to call on students at random rather than ask the entire class to answer questions. This ensures each child is thinking of an answer and the same three " over achievers" are not the only ones raising their hand and answering all of the questions. Another skill I have taken from our assigned material is to ask students another question once they have answered the first question to make sure they truly grasp the content. Also, allow the students time to think between asking the question and calling for someone to answer. If you do not allow them time to think, how can they truly answer the question? I am glad we had this assignment because I have never stopped to think about the "art" of how to ask questions within the classroom setting. I have now learned skills that will make me a better educator and that will hopefully benefit my students as well.