Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blog Post # 6

The Network Student: By Wendy Drexler
This video was very interesting and educational. I have taken online classes while at USA and found them to be somewhat more difficult than attending in-class lectures. The absence of  face to face encounters with a teacher was frustrating. Although, I was able to send e-mails and communicate through class discussions, I felt alone in my educational journey. This video shows that online classes would be more effective if teachers helped students become members of Connectivism. In this, learning occurs as part of a social network of many diverse connections and ties. It is made possible through many tools and techniques with the connections made being the most important part. 

The Perfect Online Teacher's Tools for success
I am unfamiliar with sites such as Google Scholar and iTunesU, but I believe they can be very helpful in an educational setting. Both sites provide expert information. The Social Bookmarking site seems to be an excellent tool for students participating in online as well as in-class learning environments. It allows them to organize the information they have learned and share it with others. The video mentioned Blogging which I have found to be great learning tools. I was overwhelmed when I first started blogging for this class, but I now enjoy sharing my opinion and information with others as well as receiving feedback from my peers and seasoned educators. These networks provide students with wonderful learning opportunities and help leave their intellectual trail. 

The teacher is an absolutely necessary part of this process. Without an instructor, students would not obtain the skills to create an effective learning network. Teachers teach students how to;  build their learning networks, provide guidance, show how to communicate effectively and properly with experts, differentiate between good and bad information, and help organize the extensive information obtained. I honestly feel like I  have learned a lot through this class, but I am not sure that I am ready to teach a network student to the extent that the video illustrates. I would utilize blogging, podcasts, and certain social networks, but I don't feel that I know enough yet to create my own much less have a student create a Social Bookmarking Site. I am willing to learn! 

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (or PLN)
This video illustrates that PLE's allow students to incorporate education and fun. School projects and educational information and resources can exist on one place along with the student's personal music and facebook page. It allows them to collect and share various information with their peers. I like that they can collect certain information from various sites and place it in one organized spot to conveniently refer back to and give credit to used sources.  I have never heard of Glogster until I watched this video, and I am now very interested in it. It is a digital poster that incorporates text, video, audio, and graphics on one page. This type of learning provides freedom. 

SMARTboard Usage 
I have never used a SMARTboard before, so I am unable to form my own opinion on its usefulness. Why Smartboards are a Dumb Initiative by  Michael Staton  and Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards by Bill Ferriter both make arguments against the use of SMARTboards. These instructors view them as useless tools advocating they are not cost-effective and do not enhance the learning experience. I found a website that advocates the use of SMARTboards and gives teachers great instructions and techniques for using them. This site provides lessons on how to incorporate animation, games, and different subject areas into the use of SMARTboards. It advocates that interactive white-boards draw students' attention and makes explanations easier to understand. Although I have never used one, I believe that they  could come in handy when showing videos and illustrating an explanation more effectively. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

C4K Summary Post #1

C4K #1- My first C4K was for a student named Taylor who is from Comox Valley, Vancouver Island. She posted a blog about her two Budgies (birds) Mc.Nugget and Mr. Spock. She described their personalities and was interested in what others thought of birds. I have had no previous experience with birds, so I told her that my puppy, Bentley, incorporated both Mc. Nugget and Mr.Spock's personalities. He is very entertaining but also likes to sleep much like her own pets.

picture of a parrot

C4K #2 - My second C4K was for a student in fourth grade at PT England School in Auckland, N.Z.Flora is a student in Miss Helen King's classroom. She posted a blog on a cross country race that she participated in. She told about the events of the day and was excited that she finished the race. I encouraged Flora to keep up the good work and expressed excitement for her finishing the race.

C4K # 3 - My third C4K was  for a 4th grade student in Mr. Stephen Wolfe's class. The school is in Birmingham Alabama. The student posted about a project they had completed for R.L.C. The student along with two other group members built  a roller coaster parks for a contest. They were judged and came in second place.The student felt that they should have won first place because of all of the hard work they put into the project. The student posted pictures of the final product. I told the student that the goup did a great job, and I assured them that second place was really good.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Project # 9b - Instructional Timetoast

The Life of Amelia Earhart

Blog Post # 5 - Podcasting


The videos, posts, and audio presentations concerning podcasts were very interesting and educational. I learned they can be powerful techniques when introduced to the learning process. I was somewhat concerned about the difficulty but was pleasantly surprised to find that recording and sharing was an easy task. Although it's awkward to here your own voice played, I enjoyed the podcast project. 

The first podcasts I listened to were impressive. The Eagles' Nest Radio and Class Blog featured 3rd Grade Podcasts that were both educational and fun. This showed me that podcasts are a great way to make learning fun, memorable, and sharable. The music and sound effects added to the presentations were an effective way to create a mood that correlated to the subject matter. These podcasts also illustrated that information can be presented in different ways. These students used their podcasts to "report", tell stories, and interview experts. 

In Joe Dale's video, The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom presented the concept of the Millennial, which is anyone born after 1980. These people have always lived in a world where computers and technology exist at their fingertips. Dale explains that podcast  are an interactive form of learning. I learned that they can be used for reviews, and are great project-based learning approaches. Students who miss school or are unable to keep up in class are allowed to access information and lectures from teachers at home. Podcasts allow creativity and innovation. They are a great way to tell a story, leaving a powerful  and memorable impression on students. 

The links provided by Judy Scharf in Podcast Collection were very useful. These instructional videos showed me how to edit, save, and share podcasts. As in Dale's presentation, this post showed me many benefits to using podcasts in the classroom. The best part about podcasting is the information is available to anyone with access to the internet. They are great tools for generating discussion  and learning new information 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog Post # 4

 Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff Please:
In Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff Please, Dr. Scott McLeod, an Associate Professor in the Educational Administrative program at Iowa State,  bombards readers with sarcasm surrounding his approach to the uses of technology and children. My initial thoughts were that he disliked technology and felt that it should not be utilized or made readily available to students. His approach was very insightful and effective. He manages to highlight the dangers associated with the internet while illustrating the positive freedoms it affords for learning. Technology allows children to be creative, share knowledge, think technically, and learn new information not available in textbooks or simple pen and paper.

pencil vs. Computer
In regards to the dangers surrounding the misuse of technology, parents, and teachers must ensure safety. Children must be taught effective methods for using the internet and performing searches. There are protective settings available that afford parents the assurance that their children are protected. It is also important to remember that children will be exposed to inappropriate information places other than the internet. When technology is used effectively it can be an exemplary learning environment. As parents filter TV, music, and phone use, they must also learn to manage computer usage, so their children will be ready for a future filled with computers.

The iSchool Initiative: 
This kid has some really good ideas! Although his idea is not bulletproof, he permits options to apparent problems in our school systems. "The iSchool Initiative" just goes to show that students can use technology to generate new ideas and embrace their personal creativity. Applications such as the graphing calculator, Notes,  Classics, Calender, and Email are great convenient tools for staying connected to students, teacher, and parents while saving money and resources. He even thinks to safeguard the network, so students will only be able to access school related materials.

 iSchool Initiative
The problem I foresee involves responsibility on the students behalf. The iTouch could save money, but  what happens if a student breaks it. Are the schools responsible for providing a new one, or should the child's parents provide it. It is also valid to consider the various school districts when addressing a plan such as this. The students who are less fortunate may not have access to the internet at home to do homework. When using these devices, WiFi is necessary. By utilizing this method of teaching, teachers will be required to depend on their students to stay on task. Otherwise, students will be playing with their iTouch or iPad when they should be paying attention to their instructor. Maturity is a must for a plan such as this.

The Lost Generation:
Just as we should have high hopes for our own future, we should most importantly have high hopes for the students we will be teaching. Their generation will be faced with statistics similar to those illustrated in this video. Teachers must show concern, value, and equality to each student. These qualities are great ways to build self-esteem and confidence to young people who are already unsure of their purpose and future. Teachers must facilitate positive behaviors and expect students to achieve to their highest abilities.

The technique used in this video was very clever. By reversing the wording, she implies that her generation will not stand for expected failure. They will have to fight hard to rise above the negativity and prevail. They will defy the odds and become the people they wish to be in life.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir:
I think this is an awsoem example of  the creativity afforded by technology. The internet brings live entertainment not easily accessible right into people's homes. The performance was amazing and I definitely give props to the composer who made a seemingly challenging task wonderful. *Applause*

How was school today? Go read all about it on my blog dad
"Teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge, we are the filter". This is a very powerful statement. Learning takes on a totally new concept. Instead of memorizing facts and regurgitating them, students must  understand how things work, apply their knowledge, effectively evaluate a situation, and create a solution. Students' concerns have changed. They are able to share information and address questions through blogging, podcasts, networking and using social networks. Teachers must consider involving techniques to ensure professionalism when using new technology. Collaborating and using researched information properly is something that teachers should incorporate in the curriculum. To ensure proper instruction, teachers must educate themselves and find resources to help their students.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blog Post # 3

Statistics about teachers interest in computer use in the classroom and trainingMichael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today I was bewildered my first day of college. "If students learn what they do..What are they learning sitting here?" Sitting through lecture everyday is boring. I'm the type of person who has to be engaged in an activity that holds my attention. I have friends who do not attend classes, because the instructor reads straight from the book or from a PowerPoint presentation each class period. I also have a friend who pays for her classes and misses excessively with no excuse. When it comes to sleep, I may get 7 hours each night. The video illustrated that students must be multi-taskers, because what they do in one day would take 26.5 hours if they weren't doing more than one thing at a time. It was shocking to see this fact.

I think that class size and familiarity depends on the department of study. While Biology, Chemistry, and introductory  level courses, such as psychology have class sizes up to 115, Upper level English courses and Education classes remain small. Most usually have around 20 students. and instructors make an effort to learn your name. 

As mentioned in the video,I agree that most textbooks required remain unused.This would be one of the many contributions to student debt upon graduation. As illustrated in the video, I too will be in debt when I graduate. I think it would safe to say that $20,000 is the average amount owed in student loans after graduation. 

"It's Not About the Technology" By Kelly Hines In  Hines' article,  she stress that technologies will not be effective vehicles for instruction without a change in mindset. She outlines four important techniques for "impacting students in a new generation of learning". 

1). "Teachers must also be learners"! 
It is imperative that educators stay up to date on current trends, research, and educational tools. This is a great way for teachers to be able to relate to their students. 

2). "Learning and Teaching are not the same". 
Learning will not look the same to all students nor will it for teachers, but as a whole, it must be the central goal! All students are unique in the ways in which they study, test, and learn. Teachers must take time to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of his/her students, so that the overall goal of learning is successful. 

3). "Teaching is useless without good teaching". 
Teachers must be willing to innovate. Supplying teachers with tools that they are not willing to utilize is wasting time and money that could be used in other departments. Schools must ensure that teachers have proper training and are willing to use technology to better education. If these measures are not taken then the technology place in the classrooms  is useless. 

4). "Be a 21st Century teacher without the technology"
 Hines states, "students with the capacity to be creative and imaginative will be prepared for the future". While it is great for students to embrace their creativity and imagination, it is not always a sure thing. I do agree that critical thinking and problem solving skills facilitate greater learning and can be utilized with little technology, but students who enter college need to know how to use technology effectively in order to succeed.

Is it okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher? This blog posted by Karl Fisch stresses the importance of technologically capable teachers. He makes his point especially clear when he compares the ability to read and write with technology in today's society. Schools would not hire teachers who were illiterate, so why should they hire teachers who know nothing about technology. Simple use of pen and paper has become restricting in the 21rst century. Students need to be equipped with other tools. Teachers who are trained to properly utilize technology in the classroom are able to stimulate and assist their students in new ways. 
Children at Computers in the classroom

Classes like EDM 310 could help students of all ages to broaden their knowledge and outlook on learning. Students who are able to blog, and make videos have an opportunity to share their knowledge with other students. Technology serves as a vehicle to share ideas, thoughts, and new perspectives. It is also important to note that all students learn differently. Activities such as these allow students to embrace their creativity while gaining new skills. If teachers are unable to assist students with this knowledge they may unfortunately be left behind. 

Social Media Count  This is very interesting! It is evident that technology is key to communication in today's society. It would only be beneficial for teachers to embrace this technology. Twitter, facebook, skype, and other social networks are great ways to connect with parents and relate to students. As mentioned above, technology allows students to channel their creativity while sharing knowledge. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

C4T Summary Post # 1

For more information: check out 
A GeekyMomma's Blog 

Grading Parents?

This blog entry is concerned with a bill proposed by Florida State Representative, Kelli Stargel that would requires elementary educators (k-3) to assess the quality of parental involvement within their child’s education. Parents will be scored on how well their child’s homework is completed, the child’s attendance, and the parents’ willingness to attend or respond to meetings.  They will also be graded on the physical fitness and preparation for school. The received grades will be provided on the child’s report card. While all of these requirements are important, teachers should not have to grade their students’ parents.

Report CardIn this post, Mrs. Kolbert approaches the idea with a satirical attitude.  It is understood that Mrs. Kolbert rejects this proposal and believes that it will not pass. On a more positive note, the bill will open the discussion to the fact that parents must begin to bear some responsibility for their child’s progress.

I agree that the idea is bizarre. Parental involvement is important in the educational success of students, but who are we to tell parents what should and should not be done at home. If I had children I would not want their teachers grading me on my parenting skills, and as a future teacher, I would not want to have to grade my students’ parents. I’m sure that Representative Stargel’s intentions are good, but there are better ways to involve parents than with a grading system.

Protecting Reputations Online

Sharing your life online can be fun and productive but it can also mean losing control. It is important for not only young people but also adults to think about what they put online. Photos, comments, and videos that contain inappropriate materials do not necessarily disappear when they are deleted. The video presented in this blog entry repeatedly encourages its audience to "think before you click" This lesson is an important one to learn. 

caution tape
In this blog entry, Mrs. Kolbert proposes that students make their own Common Craft style video to share their own story of caution for younger students. She explains that her students used the video technique to create science videos explaining rocks and ho they are formed. Kolbert explains that education should be ongoing, engaging, quick, and most importantly different.

We all assume that once we delete something, it is forever gone, but this video taught me otherwise. I think it is very important for students to understand the risks involved in posting unwanted information online. The Common-Craft video technique seems to be a positive, new, and exciting way for students to learn caution when posting while creatively sharing educational information.