Wednesday, March 30, 2011

C4T SUmmary Post # 3

What's Wrong With Google Telling Me Everything? 
by: Steven Anderson - Although Google is not the only search engine, it is the most popular. The argument concerning this topic resides in the ability for students to think critically and the interference of Google Searches. Mr. Anderson explains that educators believe, "if a question is asked that Google can answer, then there is something wrong with the question". He asserts that this belief is inaccurate. In my opinion, if the answer to that question does appear in Google Search Engines, the students have to have some knowledge of the subject matter and details to give a satisfactory answer. As Mr. Anderson explains, these search results only provide additional factual knowledge. The key to using Search Engines effectively is teaching students to think critically about the information they receive and the source. With technology making its way into the educational experience, Anderson asserts that teaching kids how to filter information and perform quality searches should be woven into the curriculum. His final statement is a powerful one. "if we are asking questions that Google or any other search engine can answer, that's cool with me. But, if we aren't taking the next steps and having kids explain the choices of the sources of our information then we aren't moving up Blooms, which is what we should be doing." I have found in my college experience that Google Searches are helpful if you are able to find reliable information and are able to site a the source. Not only will teaching students to use search engines effectively allow them to think about the information received, but it may also prevent plagiarism. I am a fan of online searches and think that students who are taught to use them effectively will gain new knowledge and become better researchers.

Quick List Of iPad Resources For The Classroom
iPad2iPads are gaining momentum in the world of education, and teachers are interested in learning how to use them effectively, useful apps, and more. In this blog post, Mr. Anderson listed his favorite go-to resources concerning the use of iPad  in the classroom.  He lists nine sites that offer instructions and information that teachers as well as other iPad users can utilize to make the most of their iPad experience. To view all sites and descriptions, visit Mr. Anderson's Blog. ISTE iPad in Education Webinar Resources includes a collection of articles, apps and information useful in a classroom setting. iPad for Education focuses on the 1-to-1 basis of learning that the iPad allows students on a daily basis. This 1-to-1 program maximizes learning opportunities for students, because there is constant access to information anywhere and anytime. The site provides schools with steps to smoothly implement iPads into the classroom. Sample Lessons-iPads in Education provides educators with five quick lessons using iPad apps. iPad Ideas to Inspire offers 48 interesting ways to use an iPad in the classroom and tips for effective use. iPads4Education  is a network where educators can connect with others who use this technology in the classroom. It is a great place to ask questions and generate and share ideas. I have never used an iPad, but assume they are similar to the iPod Touch, which I have. This post would be very helpful for teachers who are new to the use of iPads in their classrooms. It is important for teachers to continue learning. Implementing new technology into the classroom allows both educators and students to learn together and broaden their outlook on education. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blog Post # 9

In What I've learned this yearMr. McClung reflects back on his first year as an Elementary School teacher. He explauins that, like many other young, new teachers,  he did not know what to expect when he entered the classroom. Throughout his first year, Mr. McClung matured as a person and a teacher and learned many valuable lessons that he felt he should share with other incoming and current teachers. He highlights seven very important lessons: 
Confused Man reading a ManualMake lessons student centered
Be Flexible
Be Reasonable   
Don't be afraid of Technology
Listen to your students
Never stop learning

In How to Read the Crowd, Mr. McClung discusses a dilemma that teachers as well as other professionals face when entering into a new work environment. The concern is not with the students, but how you as a teacher are being assessed by your superiors. Because of this mindset, lessons become tailored to your own perceived goals and not those of your audience. In a teachers case, he/she loses touch with their students and does not make lessons student centered. The focus is on delivery and not on students' comprehension of the material. As a teacher,your goal should be to first and foremost leave an impression on your students and secondly your superiors. It is important to remember that you are there for the STUDENTS! 

"No lesson is ever perfect. The lesson you teach and the one you plan are always different"  This is a difficult statement for me to digest. Yes, I know that it is true, but I am a very organized and planned person. As a teacher, I must learn to be flexible and accept that things will not always go as I have planned or expected. Many times lessons will last longer than anticipated, because students may not understand and extra time is necessary. Concerning flexibility, teachers must also consider students' workloads not only in their class but in others as well. As a teacher, I will definitely have to give up some control and allow for change.

Mother cramming books into her son's headI really like that Mr. McClung points out the dangers in setting exceedingly high expectations for students. Not only are teachers disappointed when they fail to accomplish and excel in certain areas, but students become disappointed in themselves. This may cause students to feel that they should give up and become uninterested in their work. As Mr. McCLung says, it is okay to have expectations for students, but it is more important to realize that like all, they are not perfect. We must continue to support and encourage students. When they fail, they need even more attention and encouragement, not more frustration for their failure.  Most are critical enough on themselves. 

I feel that his last three points work hand-in-hand. As EDM310 has taught me, technology is an important tool in the learning process. Teachers must continue to learn new skills whether they deal with technology or not. Technology seems to be an emerging technique used by teachers to stay connected to the world of education and their students. If we are to listen to our students, as educators we must understand that they communicate through technology. Most are even more comfortable chatting on facebook, twitter, and through text messages than speaking face-to-face. I am not suggesting we add our students on these social networks or text them, but realize that technology is a big part of their lives. As educators we are afforded the opportunity to use podcasts, educational videos,  and blogs to communicate with our students. As a future English teacher, I must realize that my students may prefer to read assigned novels from their iPad or Kindle. I think as teachers we must learn to use these technologies to our advantage, so we can teach our students to use them effectively. 

C4K Summary Post # 2

A Bug's LifeC4K #4-  Unaloto is a 7th grade student at Pt. England School in Mr. Mike Harris' room. She wrote a blog about a bug hunting trip she and her class took Wednesday morning. They went to the creek behind the school and found lots of "critters". Unaloto's friend Aidan gave her snails that tried to escape. I told her that her blog post was very interesting. I'm not a huge fan of snails, but I explained that it  is always fun to learn about new things. I also asked her what she learned about the bugs that her class caught while bug hunting.

C4K #5-  Rawiri's Parents Came to meet Mrs She!  My fifth C4k was for Mrs. Jenny She's 2nd Year (5 and 6 year old) student class blog  from Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. .In this post Rawiri shares his excitement for his parents visiting his new teacher in a video. He says, "Last night my mom and dad came to see my teacher. They are happy that I like my new school"  There is also a picture of Rawiri's parents in the post. I told Rawiri that I too am glad he likes his new school and teacher. I told him that his parents must be very proud of him. I concluded by telling him, I hope to one day have great students like him in my  who bring their parents to to visit me.  

Children with their arms joined smiling
C4K #6- This comment was for a class blog featuring students years 5 and 6 form Tauranga N.Z. The post was a slideshow concerned with school value respect. I enjoyed the presentation and think it's great for students to be taught and reminded how to treat others and our environment. Each slide defined what "Respect is". The definitions were not only applicable to students but adults as well. The class also included pictorial illustrations of each action. They did a wonderful job. I think it is a great idea for teachers to establish respectful classroom etiquette and discuss with students what respect means to them. Collaboration is a powerful educational tool.   

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blog Post # 8

Dr. Richard E. Miller Discusses Writing With Multimedia 
Dr, Richard Miller is a professor  in the Department of English at Rutgers University. This presentation was to the Modern Language Association, Presidential Forum, in San Fransisco, CA December 28, 2008. In his lecture, Dr. Miller discusses the necessary shift from books as a means of research and education to interactive technology. He illustrates how books are becoming obsolete, stating that many academic books are out of print and are sailing on Amazon for nearly noting. Computers are the new and better way to research and share information with the rest of the world. 

iPad with booksDr. Miller describes this shift as an "incremental change" and not 'fundamental". This incremental change has allowed us to work from and on a computer and has made it easy to collaborate with others.  Students are now able to experience information that has auditory detail and is interactive. The goal is still to inspire, but with new technology, it is possible to reach more people and efficiently leave an impact. When videos are posted on YouTube the owner is able to track views and receive comments and feedback. This is a great way to quickly share information and impact others. 

There are some reservations that these like other changes face. Older generations are automatically used to using books for research, education, and enjoyment, so they may be apprehensive to change their perception. It is important to realize that change takes time and patience. It is also important to remember that for research, many professors require a book source. They are also handy to back up information found on the web. I personally use the internet to for majority of information and research. 

EDM310 Videos 
EDM310 For DummiesThe first video The Chipper Series is concerned with the effects of procrastination on education and adult life. Most students think procrastination means waiting until the last minute to complete work or completing the work and submitting it late. It is important for students to learn good study habits in order to succeed as they further their education. My cousin who is a college freshman said, "I came to a realization just now: I could procrastinate my way through high school and pass, but college ain't that easy." The second video EDM310 for Dummies was entertaining and uplifting. EDM310 can be very frustrating but at-least I know I'm not the only one that feels this way.

I think it would be a good idea to make a video that went step-by-step through one or more account that we have to set up and use. It would also be useful to illustrate how to make your own PLN. I know that we have watched videos, but a step-by-step guide would be useful. 

Lean to Change, Change to Learn
The emphasis in this video is placed on Hand-On learning. It is true that students use Twitter, SMS,  and Facebook on a daily basis, but I'm not sure that they utilize them for research and education. While the potential is there, most students use the social networks and communication devices for fun. It would be useful for teachers to help students learn to use these devices more effectively. These are just a few of the many ways students can be educated through technology. If students are able to use these technologies effectively, education will become more exciting and fun. 

The Secret Powers of Time By: Philip Zambardo
Animated ClockThis video illustrates that there are six main time zones that people live in. two focus on the past, two on the present, and two on the future. The people focused on the past are concerned with memories and family traditions, and the other are concerned only with regret. These people are identified as past positive and past negative. It was interesting to learn that different cultures and cities can be identified by their pace of life. We all begin life in the present. Because students live in a digital world, it changes the way in which they respond in the classroom and socially. Time is a powerful agent in our lives. 

Drive: The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us By: Dan Pink 
The video states that there are two studies that call into question that if you reward something you get more of the behavior you want and if you punish something you get less of the behavior you want. it illustrates what happens when the top performers are extra-ordinarily rewarded and the lowest performers are ignored. They found that required rudimentary cognitive skills tests result in lower performance with larger rewards. Three factors that lead to better performance are 1) Autonomy 2) Mastery 3) Purpose. I thought it was interesting that they let employees do as they pleased for 24 hours and the outcome led to new ideas and software fixes. This scenario satisfies autonomy.  The video was very interesting. 

Project # 13 - SMARTboard Presentation

After our groups presentation was over, I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed using the SMARTboard. It was simple to use. I found that it was not only interactive for the students but also the teacher. Instead of illustrating by writing on a chalk board or reading straight from a power point presentation, teachers are able to involve their students more actively in the lesson while making it fun at the same time. The sound effects and possibility of adding videos are wonderful ways to keep students' attention and interest in the subject matter. SMARTboards also appear to be great tools for teachers to encourage the class to interact with one another and socialize with their peers. Playing educational games on the SMARTboard would be a great way to facilitate this sense of community. While it is time consuming to create a lesson, I think that it would be well worth it for everyone involved in the classroom.

The second part of the presentation required us to using Google dos to create a form. Using this devise allows teachers to create tests, quizzes, and worksheets for their students. Our group's form was a short test designed to be taken after the presentation.The form consisted of True/False and Multiple choice questions. The complete form can be viewed here: Our First President The pie graph below is an example of  the compiled results from the three test-takers. All results can be accessed here: Summary of Responses

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Project # 10 - PLN Progress Report

A Social NetworkPrior to EDM310, I had never heard of a PLN (Personal Learning Network). Through this class I have learned that it is important to leave an intellectual trail, and collaborative  learning is a wonderful way to share useful information. Keeping these in mind, a PLN allows us to do both. I have recently started using Google Bookmarks, which is a great tool to refer back to and share great sites and information with others. Although I only have a few items Bookmarked right now, I anticipate expanding as the semester continues. I have also found Google Docs to be very useful when sharing important information. This tool makes collaborating much easier. My Gmail account allows me to correspond with classmates and educators. Twitter is also a great toll for connecting with others who share similar interests, and it has proven to be a great place to receive advice. When I first started EDM310, I wasn't interested in twitter for classroom purposes. I had an account, but didn't see the point in incorporating a class in my personal "fun", but I realized that it allows me to stay up to date with the class and find out if my classmates are having problems with the same things I am and offer support and help to one another. Blogging is something else I had no interest in upon entering this class, but I have come to enjoy sharing my opinions and interpretations of materials. I also like that classmates comment and prove feedback. Along with these sites, my PLN also consists of Facebook, Skype,  and YouTube

Blog Post # 7

On September 18, 2007, Carnegie Mellon professor and alumnus Randy Pausch delivered a one-of-a-kind last lecture. The video Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, has been viewed by millions and has been turned into a best-selling book published in 35 languages.He died of Pancreatic Cancer on July 25, 2008 at the age of 47. He was associated with Alice an academic project that is revolutionizing computer programming education, and co-founded  the Entertainment Technology Center. 

In the video, Pausch highlights lessons that all educators as well as individuals should know:
1. Fundamentals are immensely important. 
2. Critiques show they still care about you. 
3. Brick walls let us prove how badly we want something. 
4. Self-reflection is the best gift an educator can give.  
5. The best way to teach someone is to make them think they're learning something different. 

Randy Pausch and his three children
Pausch and his children
He emphasizes in his lecture the importance of fulfilling your childhood dreams. Some of his personal dreams were to experience zero gravity, play in the NFL, develop an imaginer attraction for Disney, become Captain Kirk, and write an article for World Book Encyclopedia. During his life, Pausch achieved each of these dreams in his own way .While trying to fulfill these dreams, many people hit Brick walls. As mentioned above these Brick walls (obstacles) make us reach farther for what we truly want and allow us to prove ourselves. He also explains that critiques who continually point out our flaws push us to be our best. Teachers, peers, parents and friends can all be critiques in our lives. They allow for self-reflection to take place, so that individuals can evaluate the way in which they perform for their environment and peers. Each of these concepts ultimately allow for students and individuals to fulfill their dreams to their fullest potential. 

The one teaching method that impacted me most was the head-fake. This method takes place when students believe they are learning one thing, but in reality they are learning something more. His example: Students who think they're learning how to make an electronic world when they're really learning computer programming. I think this is a great method. It incorporates fun and learning. This method allows students to be creative while acquiring technological skills much like EDM310. 

For me, the video was very encouraging. Pausch was a wonderful speaker, and even though he fell on hard times, he was still willing to educate others. His most profound head-fake was targeted at his audience. The lecture was not intended for us but was meant for his children. This was a very moving moment. This message was meant to encourage Pausch's three children, yet functions to impact us all. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

C4T Summary Post # 2

Structures  By: Monika Hardy  - In this blog post, Hardy is concerned with structure and the limitations it places on students. Are our students owning their education or are they owning what is being suggested? This is a central question Hardy asks readers to consider. The structures we place on children restrict their creativity and drive to think outside of the box   What they think of as being normal is only what they are taught. Structures set into place by parents, teachers, and government stifles the passions and ideas of students. While these structures are important to sustain safety, we must make sure that we allow students to freely embrace their creative abilities. We too often underestimate students' intelligence and willingness to learn .  It is important to understand that children are able to create their own structure based on their environment. Structure is an individualistic perspective. It does not look or work the same for everyone. Hardy states, “that one person’s organization/structure is another person’s muddle.” 

Image of Adora Svitak
Adora Svitak
Adora Svitak on the "big" changes in education By: Kima Adora Svitak is a 13 year old writer, poet, and humanitarian speaking to adult audiences at TED 2010, which is a small nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. In this post, Kima reposted Svitak's  recent article from her personal blog. In her post, Svitak asks, "why your age, not your aptitude, should determine your grade?" Some students are accelerated in areas where others are not. Placing students who already know information into a classroom where instructors teach to an age group creates boredom which may result in disruptions. I agree that there are some problems with this style of grouping. I assume this practice is intended to keep students at the same educational level as their peers, but if they are gifted then they should be allowed to reach their full potential in higher level classes. In her post, she also discusses the Authority Hierarchy in Schools. She expresses the need for students to voice their own opinion when making larger decisions in schools. Students' input can positively help form better curriculum and create lessons and assignments that reflect each students needs and interests. She also discusses the need for Online Learning. Similar to podcasts, online learning allows students to access information when they are unable to attend class. Online Learning allows teachers to post information that can be assessed by students on their own in order to provide class time for higher learning and not house keeping agendas. Adora understands that these changes will cost the school systems money. She suggests that schools budget more money for these educational tools and provide less for sports.