Monday, May 2, 2011

Special Assignment on Metaphors

1.) I missed the metaphor because I didn't see anything in the post to suggest to me that it was a metaphor. I thought it was just a STRANGE assignment from Dr. Strange and just accepted the whole thing at face value. I also would've never thought that we would have an assignment as "deep" as using metaphors. Predominantly in this class we have learned about all types of technology, and then we have had a few blog posts that have made us think about life and the "deeper" side of how we really want to live life a.k.a The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I haven't thought about metaphors since I was in high school and EDM 310 was the last place I thought we would be learning about them. But I was wrong...obviously!

2.) I went to church last Wednesday and the college intern read from Matthew 13:24-30. It's the Parable of the the Wheat and Weeds. Jesus tells a story about a garden that becomes infested with weeds because the gardener's enemy planted weeds in it. Therefore, when it comes time to harvest, it is a mixture of good fruit and the weeds. Everything symbolizes something else: the weeds are the evil people, the master gardener is Jesus, the enemy who planted the weeds is the Devil, the harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels. I know this isn't a simple metaphor like "It's raining cats and dogs," but this story is still definitely a metaphor. The story just stuck out to me and I knew I would use it in this blog post when we read it at church last week.

3.) I think we need to teach our students to think more "outside the box". If we teach our students to think more analytically and creatively from the beginning then our students won't be like us in EDM 310 and not know we're reading a metaphor. I really don't think we need more projects on metaphors, because I personally think those are boring. Also, if students know they are working on a "metaphor" project then they will be able to decipher it better. If students are just reading a normal story and assume from the beginning it's to be understood at face value, then they will miss the metaphor. Students should be able to look at anything in life and see the deeper meaning, not just when they are told to do so.

4.) I think we use metaphors to express what life is all about in a different way--a way that isn't boring, but can be creative and fun. I honestly am not a fan of metaphors because I'm a woman of straightforward talk and ideas being black and white, but that being said, I think metaphors are a good tool to use to help spur creative thinking.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Final Report PLN

I have been using Symbaloo as the major source for my Personal Learning Network. I really like it because I make it my homepage and I can organize all of my tabs and bookmarks on here into different categories. I like how I can put everything I use on a daily basis right here on a tile and it's there for me to see. I like how easy Symbaloo is to use and categorize into anything I want. 
I've also been using Twitter a little bit more since the mid-term. Although I don't post many updates on my own twitter account, I like following other people and finding out what so many educators have to say. It's so great because it's like a treasure hunt and you don't know what you will find. It's really cool how I can click on one educator's twitter page, which leads me to their blog, which then leads me to another person I'm interested in looking into and reading about.
I'm a big fan of discovering people's blogs and subscribing to their feeds and keeping up with them that way, almost more than Twitter.
I have to say my Personal Learning Network has developed a lot more since the mid-term, but it's definitely a work in progress and always will be when I find new people and places to see on the Web.

Here's a screenshot of my Symbaloo:

Comments for Teachers (C4T) Summary Post #4 arvind s grover


21 Apples
Learning in the 21st Century

arvind s grover


Comment #1

Gender Transformative ABC's-Incredible Resource for Breaking Traditional Gender Norms

Mr. Grover brought to the attention of his viewers a website called He thinks all educators should read it because it is a great resource for combatting traditional gender norms for children.

I comment on his post by saying that I like his style and how he writes his name with all lowercase letters. I say that it's a great idea that he brought this to the attention of all educators. It's something I would've never thought of looking into. I say that regardless of a teacher's personal beliefs, or my personal beliefs, we should all be educated on what our children are faced with and struggling with so we know how to help. I say that this issue isn't going away so we should learn how to embrace it...just like technology. I thank him for the enlightenment.

Comment #2

Amazon announces 11,000 libraries to lend out Kindle books. More gamechanging.


Mr. Grover talks about how libraries are going to have Kindle books at their disposal for patrons to be able to check out. People will be able to read them on their smartphone, Kindle, iPad, or with anything that uses a Kindle application. There is an article from Amazon that says there will even be a feature where you can highlight and write in the margins and when you check-out the book again or decide to buy it, you'll be able to see everything you wrote down before. He says he has used a Kindle a few times and he has critiques about them, but he thinks this library lending idea is a good idea for schools to start thinking about.

I commented how I think this library lending thing that Kindle is doing is a great idea, especially for people who love using the Kindle so much. However, I say I will not be using this. I don't have a Kindle or have a desire to get one. I've tried reading books on my Mac using my Kindle app and I just can't get into it.  There's something about checking out a book from the library, smelling the mustiness, touching the pages and the book jacket--it's something I love and will always continue to do.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Comments for Kids (C4K) April

Comment #7

Mr. McClung's World
Talent Show
Mr. Neal Video


Mr. McClung posted individual videos of students and teachers who performed at the school Talent Show. I was assigned to watch Mr. Neal's video. He played the guitar and sang an original song he wrote. I commented about how I was so impressed that a teacher actually performed a talent for all the students to see and how I had wished my teachers back in high school would've done something like that. It would've shown how teachers are real people too and not just nerds haha. I said I really like the song he sang and my favorite lyric was, "I wanna love like evergreen." That's really creative. I also watched the hip-hop dancer video because I love everything about hip-hop. I thought it was great to see the students and teachers sharing their gifts they were blessed with.

Comment #8

Wildcat Writers of 804
Ms. Connor's 8th grade class

Nathan's post was titled, "A Tribute to Jules Vernes".  Jules Verne was a French author who wrote many books including his most popular, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Nathan wrote something similar to what Jules would've written in one of his books. He used a lot of imagery and description to describe the ocean depths and it's beauty. I commented on his post and said I thought it was absolutely fantastic. He did a great job of describing everything to where I had a word picture in my head. I love being on a boat and getting lost in the openness. Nathan was right when he said that when we are on top of the waves we can't imagine the beauty that is below us. It may be scary to some but the vast unknown is a beautiful creation.

Comment #9

Mrs. Yollis's 3rd Grade Class Blog

I commented on her family blogging month post and about writing quality comments. I said that I was very impressed by how her 3rd graders could write so well. I also thought that a class blog and student blogs, as well as commenting, helped students become better readers and writers. I think Mrs. Yollis is doing a fantastic job with her class and teaching her students everything about blogs, commenting, and connecting to the world around them.

Comment #10

3rd grader from Mrs. Yollis's Class
Miriam's Magical Moments blog


Miriam wrote about her family vacation to Hawaii. She went kayaking with her mom, dad, two younger sisters, and brother to a place called Captain Cook Monument. You can only access this monument by water and it's on the Kealakekua Bay. They also saw spinner dolphins while they were out in the ocean. I told her that her trip to Hawaii looked really fun and I would like to go to Hawaii sometime. I said that I love the ocean and the tropical atmosphere. I've been snorkeling in Australia at the Great Barrier Reef and I've also seen dolphins at the beaches in Florida. It's an amazing experience to see dolphins swim beside your boat. I imagine that she will remember this experience for the rest of her life.

Blog Post #13

ALEX: Alabama Learning Exchange

alex website

I am actually already familiar with the ALEX website because I just recently used it for my EPY 355 class. I had to look up ideas for a math project and this website was a great resource for just that. I found a math project I could use in a middle or high school classroom.

This website is a place for teachers to be able to post their lesson plans from all different subjects and grade levels on here to be able to assist other teachers teaching the same thing. It's a great collaboration tool on the web for teachers to be able to get ideas of different ways of teaching the same idea or to get project ideas. Everything is free and is shared by anyone who visits the site. Teachers can post any lesson plan they choose corresponding to the subject or grade level they teach.

When you enter the website you are given a number of choices to click on. The first is the COURSE OF STUDY button. You will find all of the subjects you would be interested in from Science to Driver's Education. By clicking on a subject such as Math, you will then be able to click on the grade level or the subject of Math you would like to find a lesson plan for.

There is also a button that says LESSON PLANS. This is another way to find all the lesson plans in the particular subject or grade level you are looking for. This search allows you to choose the subject and grade level at the same time. It is a more refined search. You are also able to upload your own personal lesson plans here.

You are able to create your own account on this website by clicking the PERSONAL WORKSPACE button. There's also a SEARCH button to find things and a WEB RESOURCES button that gives helpful websites that might interest teachers and students.

There is a tab that says PROFESSIONAL LEARNING. When you click on this it will bring you to a page with many more buttons to choose from. There's one that explains the Thinkfinity website and organization sponsored by the Verizon Foundation. It's similar to the ALEX website that's a collaboration resources for teachers but Thinkfinity also puts on technology training sessions for teachers in schools. There's also a tab to look up grant opportunities, as well as professional development opportunities, and different techno-savvy tricks like Google tools, multimedia apps, and Internet/E-mail apps.

The PODCAST TREASURY is a button that has different podcasts uploaded from each subject area. It's similar to an I-tunes for education. I found some that interested me for math...however it would never load.

The last button to click is the ALEXville button. This is set up like a blog with different news related to ALEX. You are also able to log-in and communicate with other educators. It is a community type site where everyone can see what's going on.

I think this website will be a great resource and will be very useful for me as a teacher. It has already helped me out and this is my first semester of taking education classes. I think even if I don't use the lesson plans, the ALEX site will give me some ideas for projects, as well as different ways of using technology in my math classroom. It gives me hope that I can use technology in the math classroom because I'm seeing podcasts on math topics right now. I have to say I'm very impressed with this website and how helpful it seems to be, or is trying to be. The "grant opportunities" page had some out-of-date grants mixed in with the current ones and the "internet/e-mail apps" didn't really have much to look at. The lesson plan idea is a great idea but the other technology tips and other tabs for professional learning would need to be continually updated as new grants are added or deleted because of funding, and because technology is constantly changing.  It makes me wonder how often ALEX used across the state of Alabama. But there's no excuse for teachers not to jump on the techno-friendly classroom bandwagon with something that's as helpful as this seems. At least this is a start.

ACCESS: Alabama Connecting Classroom, Educators, and Students Statewide

This is a website that can also be found through the ALEX website when you click on the Professional Learning button, and then the Distance Learning button. This website is all about distance learning for students. If a student wants to take a class not offered at their school then the school can offer the class through distance learning. The students would sit in a classroom and learn their subject with a teacher that could be hundreds of miles away on a TV screen. There are 2 types of instruction: video based or web based. There are also different course offerings for the student to choose from. This is a great website and initiative created by the state of Alabama.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blog Post #12

Create my own blog assignment! Sweeeeeet!

Read this post "Who Chooses the Communication Tool?" by Jeff Utecht on his blog The Thinking Stick. Comment on his post.
What are your opinions after reading this? Would you let students contact you in this way? Should students be allowed to do that? Research the school system you want to teach in and find out if those schools have Facebook, cell phone, and blog access restrictions. Find out if the school system has a blog or Facebook page. How would you deal with these restrictions? (If you don't know where you want to teach then research Mobile County Public Schools.)

My example:
I agree with the idea that Facebook and cell phones should be allowed to contact teachers and guidance counselors. I think it would be even better if the Principal of each school had his or her own personal Facebook page. When I say personal, I mean for his professional job...not use his personal Facebook where all his friends can access it. I mean just a separate one for his job that parents and students can access. Just think how the Principal could create open communication, update the community and parents, and actually respond to comments that parents, students, anyone leaves. It's way better than just the school's website.

I would definitely let my students contact me on Facebook and my cell phone. If they have a question, I would know at a moment's notice. I also think that students SHOULD be able to contact teachers in this way. I know that a lot of people wouldn't fact I'm having a discussion with a friend on Facebook about this topic right now. She thinks that Facebook is totally unprofessional and teachers should not be allowed to use it with their students. She thinks this crosses the line of professional life into personal life. I disagree as long as Facebook is used for communication purposes only. What's the big deal? It's the teacher's responsibility to use discretion, say things appropriately, etc.


I looked up Mobile County Public Schools. I know that students aren't allowed to have cell phones at school per the Student Handbook.  However they bring them and have them out all the time. I tutor through Talent Search at USA and go to 3 Mobile County schools. Students have them out in front of teachers all the time. Teachers don't enforce the rule. However, there is a rule stating no cell phones at school.

Mobile County also has restrictions on their server for accessing Facebook and blogs. In fact I found an article about how Mobile County is trying to enforce a new policy about using Facebook to communicate with students. And I TOTALLY disagree with the article, what the superintendent is trying to do, etc. It says teacher's can create a "teacher page" where students and teachers can interact (I do agree with), but the policy is wanting to make teachers only communicate through school e-mail and/or website (which I don't agree with). Why limit the resources a student can communicate with? However, Mobile County Public Schools does have a Facebook page for all the schools systemwide in the county. But isn't it a little hypocritical for the county to have a Facebook page with announcements, etc. if the students can't even access it at school? Hmmm.....

As far as dealing with these restrictions...
I definitely wouldn't like it...but as a teacher I would try and push to the limit as much as I could. I don't want to get fired and I know that all these legislators and board members around here don't understand 21st century technology and how it should be incorporated in the classroom AT ALL, but I would just have to deal. I hope one day all these people will just open their eyes and wake up!

book trailer

Progress Report for Final Project


I am working with Raley Zofko on my Final Project and we will be doing our project on geocaching. We are going to teach about all of the fun and adventure of this recreational activity.  We need to decide on a location and decide what item we will leave for the next geocacher to find. We are still working out all the kinks but we can't wait to get started on this exciting project!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blog Post #11

Incorporating Technology in Ms.Cassidy's 1st Grade Classroom


I loved watching the Skype video with Ms. Cassidy and Dr. Strange, as well as the video of all her kids blogging. I learned so much about where to start when I incorporate technology into my classroom as a teacher. It's easy to get bogged down with everything that we're learning in this class and she really helped me determine where I want to begin. Although I am going to be a math teacher, she said to begin where your interests are. She uses blogging, wikis, video chats, recording video, etc. with her first graders. She also uses Twitter as a handy resource to find more information for herself.  She suggested if video is an interest to you then start with that in the classroom. If blogging and webpages is, then start with that. If photos are an interest, then start with Flickr.

As a math teacher, I would love to have a class webpage where all the assignments and homework could be located, as well as videos of different ways of explaining the techniques we'd be learning in class.  I think I'd like to incorporate fun pictures and video to make math for interesting for students and applicable to the real world. That's where my fun, crazy, creative side could come in. I honestly don't see any impediments that having a blog and website would cause because I don't think that my students would have computers accessible to them in my math classroom. I would be able to show them everything I wanted to and use the video and photos in the classroom but the using computers probably wouldn't be done.

There are so many benefits to using class blogs and video that Ms. Cassidy is using in her classroom. She addressed how 6 year olds love knowing that someone is wanting to read their posts and look at their blogs from all over the world. They have an audience and that audience can provide feedback. If their writing was just pencil and paper then the audience would just be the teacher and that's not as fun.

I was inspired to know that she started all of this techno-revolution in her classroom on her own. This just shows that she's an independent life-long learner! Everything that we're supposed to be in this class and beyond as a teacher!

Blog Post #10

An Open Letter to Educators


I think that Morgan and Dan hit the nail on the head with education needing to step up their game. I already have a degree from Auburn University in Political Science, which is a liberal arts type education. Most of my learning involved lectures, listening to professors yack, reading, writing essay, yada yada. It had nothing to do with technology or collaborating with other students. I also could've learned all of that from the internet and library because all I was learning was facts. It's sad to say but I think that most liberal arts educations, in my opinion, are worthless. I can say this because I have one and have experienced it. All I was taught in my degree is a bunch of well as research papers, critical thinking, and Bloom's level type stuff. (It wasn't totally pointless! I love Auburn!) 

Let's jump to present day at the University of South Alabama. I'm back in school now getting another bachelors in secondary education/math. So far, I haven't had a lecture hall...but I do have professors lecturing. It's mostly the math teachers. However, I think that learning a "skill" or a type of knowledge, in this case math, then I will have to be lectured to a little more. Incorporating collaborative technology education into a math classroom won't happen for another 50 years...if ever, in my opinion. Most math teachers have no personality and are boring. They stand at the chalkboard and "teach" us how to do the concept, or recite formulas, like in my trig class this semester. (Sorry Dr. Aziz but there is a better way to teach.) 

My education at USA has been different than at Auburn but I think it has to do with the total switch in majors. I agree with Morgan and Dan that fact based education is not what we need. We are failing our students if that's all we teach them. High schools and colleges are eventually going to be so behind in the times that people are going to catch on and realize they DON'T need higher education. Credentials and certificates and diplomas will be a thing of the past...and I wouldn't be surprised if that happens in my lifetime. I think a lot of people will realize the education is not needed unless you decide to go on to professional school a.k.a doctor, lawyer, or need a certificate and skills taught to you a.k.a teacher, social worker, nurse, engineer. I enjoy my education here at South and I'm glad it's not using a textbook to memorize facts. I'm learning how to work a math problem...or using the technology around me survive in Dr. Strange's class. It's fun!

colored pencils

Tom's post is about how he was confronted by the Academic Specialist at his school and is scolded to not let his students take the pencils home. She says that a study found that students have lower test scores if they do that. Tom doesn't buy the research and persuades her that he created a parent pencil program which teaches the parents the same things the students are learning. The Academic Specialist says that it can be used for entertainment and there's no way to hold them accountable if they "goof" off with the pencils and play hang-man, etc. Tom explains that it doesn't matter...because there probably is some form of learning in that too.

I don't know what to make of this post other than to say that they had a problem and Tom found a creative way to solve it. I know now that the pencils are used as a metaphor and it makes a lot more sense.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Comments for Teachers (C4T) Summary Post #3

Steven Anderson
Blogging about the Web 2.0 Connected Classroom

What's Wrong with Google Telling Me Everything?
Mr. Anderson talks about how students are able to use Google to search for everything now. However, students might not always know how to find valuable and reliable web sites and sources of their information. He says that before we had internet searching we would have to go to the library to look up a simple answer to a question. What took 5 minutes of searching now takes only seconds. Mr. Anderson says teachers need to be concerned with teaching children to think about the quality of the information and/or where that info comes from when answering a fact based question instead of just reaching the answer and moving on. Students need to be able to think critically about the info they receive.

I commented on this post by introducing myself and saying that I don't think it's wrong that Google tells people everything. It makes life easier but deciphering the junk on the internet needs to be the focus of the search and not just fact searching. I think a lot of people find the first answer that Google gives them and just assume that whatever website it came from then it's automatically true. I don't think we should have to check our sources each time we search the internet b/c that's not practical and people will never do that, but to teach kids to check their sources is something very necessary. When I do "real research" it takes a lot longer because I have to find credible sources. I was always taught to steer away from Google when doing school research, yet that's what we always use on a daily basis to find information.

Get Connected Why Don't Ya!
Mr. Anderson talks about going to an educators conference and he was interviewed by one of his friends about why administrators and educators should stay connected online using Social Media. He says that because professionals can't do it alone. Teachers shouldn't think that we're teaching on an island. There are people all over the world that we can use as resources for information, feedback, or just someone to talk to. He asks people to comment and tell why we are connected.

I commented by saying that I am required to stay connected because of being in Dr. Strange's class. We have to create a PLN, use Twitter, comment and follow blogs, etc. I think this will be a lifestyle change and I can only imagine how helpful all these techno resources will be when I become a teacher. I agree with Mr. Anderson that staying connecting is a great way to talk to people and other professionals going through the same things I am. So why not use the on-line world to get feedback, a second opinion, or just a great idea?!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blog Post #9

At the Teacher's Desk
Mr. McClung
"What I've Learned This Year"

I'm really glad we were required to read this post because although I love learning and reading about different technology posts and blogs, it is refreshing to just read a post about teaching...after all that's what we will all be doing in the near future. Mr. McClung's post is something I needed to read. Thanks Dr. Strange!

Mr. McClung talks about all the things he's learned as a first year teacher: How to read the crowd, Be flexible, Communicate, Be Reasonable, Don't be afraid of Technology, Listen to your students, Never stop learning. He says that lessons need to be student centered and we shouldn't worry so much about what other people think (our superiors) because our primary concern is whether the students learn the material. We need to be flexible because no lesson will ever be perfect. If something we really want to work doesn't, then move on from and it and learn from it...but with a smile! :) Learn to communicate not only with our students but with our fellow teachers too because we need a good rapport with them. They're a great resource. Be reasonable with our expectations because when we have high expectations for our students and they fail, we shouldn't beat ourself up about it. Just encourage the student to try again. Let technology be our best friend because it is essential in our society. Listen to students and show that we care about them. We should really know our students. Never stop learning because we expect our students to continue to grow and learn on a daily basis and teachers must do the same.

I really like all the points that Mr. McClung made in his post but the one that speaks out to me the most is the one about listening to students. I really have a desire to impact a child's life in my classroom and I want to be more than just a teacher to all my kids. I want them to realize I care about them as a person and not just another face in the classroom year after year. I hope I never get tired of teaching and just consider it a job. I know that every child has value and can accomplish great things and some of these kids don't get the motivation and respect at home. Therefore I must do my part in helping the best way I can and just listen.

I also like the comment about how as teachers we never need to stop learning because we expect our students to never stop. I have never had a teacher as motivated and as committed to daily learning as Dr. Strange. Every time I'm in the lab he's always looking up something about new technology. He is definitely an inspiration to me as a future teacher. Thankyou Dr. Strange!

Comments for Kids (C4K) Summary Post #2

Comment #4
HD2011 blog
Mr. Wolfe's Class

This student was talking about how what all went on in class today (March 2, 2011) and what's about to happen. He said he had a benchmark test and it took 2 days to finish. He said he learned about shapes and sides which he learned already in first grade. He is excited about Spring Break and he has to take the ARMT test soon and he's going to get an A on that.

I introduced myself and told him where I live and where I go to school. This child is from Birmingham too so I asked if he knew where Pelham is because that's where I'm from. I commented on the test he took that day and asked when he has to take the ARMT and how I'm learning about different tests in my education classes. I said I'm excited about Spring Break too and I'm not going to the beach but to Nashville.

Comment #5
Ronald at Pt. England School in New Zealand
Grade 7

He talks about going to health camp and they stayed in dorms. On the weekends he got to go on the bmx track and some people fell off the back. Then they had dinner and went to bed. Then he had to go to school on the school day and had to do work.

I introduced myself and told him where I live and go to school. I said it was really cool that he's from New Zealand and how I've visited Australia but would love to see NZ some day. I said his health camp and bmx adventure sounded really fun and how I've never done that. I asked if he was one of the kids that fell off the back. I told him he sounded brave for doing bmx. I told him I have a blog that he could comment on if he wanted to. I said his writing was very good.

Comment #6
Ryan's blog
7th grade

He talks about how he only has 2 more months left of school until summer. He's excited about the sunshine and nice weather because he's been stuck inside because of snow storms most of the winter. He said another sign that school is ending is the beginning of baseball. He enjoys catching the ball and throwing it around. He asked what other people's favorite part of the end of school is.

I introduced myself and told him where I live and what school I go to. Then I asked where he was from since I couldn't find it while searching his blog. I told him it rarely snows in Alabama and especially Mobile and I hate the snow and cold weather. I said I look forward to going to the beach during the summer since I live only an hour away from the Gulf. I told him it was nice to meet him over the web.

Smartboard Presentation

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blog Post #8

This is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2
by Richard Miller

cloud bubble

After watching both movies, I was still a little confused as to what exactly writing with multimedia is all about, so I did a little more digging online. However, let me first comment on Mr. Miller's ideas and videos.  I think that his idea is a fresh, forward thinking, 21st century idea that more educators should start getting involved with too. He's wanting to change the way of thinking, learning, and doing from a reading and writing culture to a listening and watching culture. It makes perfect sense with all the technology that kids and teenagers use now; I'm sure their ways of thinking and learning are being adapted and changed based on all the visualization of the 21st century now. The old way was to research a paper, write it a book, publish it, and it goes into the library or bookstore. Now that same book is online for less than a $1. (He gave his book that he wrote as an example.) The new way of writing is to research everything online without having to step foot in a library and publish your book as a web based document accessible to everyone at anytime with limitless access. Also, instead of just having a document version of an article or assignment, we can now make it have videos, links, blogs, and all things interactive from the web. This is the new direction that he thinks education is going and I agree.

He made the comment that all ideas don't belong to a single person but are shared by everybody. I thought that was really interesting to think about. I understand what he means that we can learn anything and have access to anything and can know anything at any moment we want. But I still believe that an idea is owned by a single person. One person came up with an idea and shared it to the world, and regardless if we know who's idea it is or not, it's still their idea. He also said that his school is not ready to "convert" over to this new way of multimedia use because they need someone to come up with the way it would be taught, new teachers, new concepts, a new learning space, etc. Most colleges and public school systems aren't ready for this change too. Some schools are just crossing over to the technological side of the 21st century and what he's talking about is even more than using smartboards or new computers. I feel like it's a good idea but is it too much too fast? Is it really necessary? Do we really need to change our way of teaching? What's wrong with reading and studying a book? I personally think that watching videos all day and seeing interactive websites are fun, but they can get monotonous and boring after a while. 

As I mentioned previously, I did a little research as to what "writing with multimedia" really is about and I discovered an article about using multimedia with research and writing. It was called Multimedia as Composition: Research, Writing, and Creativity. It helped me understand a little better what multimedia really is and how it can be used for writing purposes. The writer of this blog Viet Thanh Nguyen defined multimedia as, "the use of multiple means of communication or expression that enables a more flexible and creative environment of learning and intellectual growth." So basically the use of multimedia is endless.  He also points out that when students are learning about literature, film, history, labor unions, the Civil War, etc. they are learning creative acts. So why do teachers make students analyze these things by writing papers that limits creativity? That is a great point and the solution should be multimedia technology use. Now it makes more sense. 

I understand the points that both professors are making--Mr. Miller and Mr. Nguyen--however I think we have a long road to go. I also don't think that there should be a complete crossover with this multimedia use. I don't know if I'm just old-school but I don't think that everything in the classroom has to be technologically focused. If I was a teacher right now I would not be prepared to do this. I am learning a great deal that will help be in the future but I think it would take me a few years before I adapted all these concepts and ideas into the classroom with my students. I think as a first time teacher I will be focusing more on just figuring out what to do in general and my main concern won't be all about the technology, although I will have a strong interest in it and will keep that in mind in the future after more teaching experience. I think this will probably come a lot more natural to the students than to me. So as Mr. Miller said that the only limits we have we put on ourselves, I will just have to break down this last barrier of doubt and just dive into it for my students and my sake.
child with computer

The Chipper Series
EDM 310 for Dummies
I thought these were great student made videos and Jamie Lynn is hilarious! Haha! I think it's sending out a great message that everyone is probably in the same boat with this class. It's something new that most of us have never experienced and it can be frustrating. However, there is a way out. I think the EDM for Dummies book would be a great resource. However, I think that would take away from us being self-learners...right Dr. Strange? Haha! We have to explore and learn these things on our own and it's not that hard if we just take the time to do it. The only thing that limits us is our ourselves! And these videos come at a great time too during midterms. It is waking me up to the fact that deadlines really do mean something and I will try even harder to make sure everything is turned in in a timely fashion. As for me making my own videos, I don't know what I would want to be a part of. I really would have more of an interest in making a video about what we've been learning and discussing in our blogs, rather than help for the class.  I think it would be cool for students to make something about our opinions about technology and if we think this new 21st century way of teaching kids that we're learning about is necessary, are we willing to be a part of it, etc. Or act out and compare a student who has been taught technology throughout their entire upbringing in school versus a student who wasn't and look at the advantages and disadvantages of when they are older and out in the working world. Although a lot might be speculation it would still be cool to see what the techno-student learned vs. the old school book learner.


Learn to Change, Change to Learn
I agree with the arguments made in the video and how a new way of teaching and learning for the 21st century is necessary and about to change drastically. We will be teaching our kids in a way that is way different than how we were taught as kids. But it's something we need to get used to and have an open mind about. I hope I can be involved in this new approach of learning and teaching.
These are some of the things they said in the video that stuck out to me:
Kids are having a more stimulating and rich experience outside of schools than they are inside.
Technology isn't a has emerged and is a world.
School is classroom based now when it could be community based.
We must start with the teachers if we want the students to be on a global level.
Standardized testing is a vending machine approach that doesn't parallel with the types of jobs these kids would get later.
It's about finding info...not memorizing it. That's the new 21st century. Way different than how we were raised.

The Secret Powers of Time
Drive: The Surprising Truth About what Motivates Us


I LOVE both of these videos and I LOVE that Italian dude Philip Zambardo with the first video. He talks so fast but is so brilliant. I want to comment on everything but theres so much. After I write this I'm going to watch it again but it is just so GREAT! I love anything to do with time and this just caught my attention from the beginning. And I love the pictures and writing he does with it. I'm a visual learner so seeing that instead of just some man standing in front of an audience and watching their lips move helped  me and interested me so much more! I want to say 3 things about what he said: 1) I glad that I'm a future oriented person and I have my dad to thank for that. But I'm also learning to live in the moment so I'm enjoying life without being so future oriented. 2)I agree that wasting time is pointless and unnecessary....even when waiting to boot your computer. 3)If we are a family oriented country then we should have family dinners. 
Those stats he told about drop-outs and teens is just ridiculous and makes me even more passionate about wanting to help kids want to learn. This just reinforces the idea that teachers including myself will have to adapt to how they learn so they will want to stay in school.

Daniel Pink and the motivation video was also very interesting. He said if we take the money factor away then we will work better and want to work. I love that and totally agree. It makes sense. Since money is obviously a huge motivator then if you take it away and pay people enough where they aren't worried or complaining about it then they will want to work and do their best. Hmmm.....!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Comments for Teachers (C4T) Summary Post

Aaron Eyler
Synthesizing Education Blog 

Aaron is a high school history teacher in New Jersey. He wrote this blog because he wants to engage more of the educational community in understanding how to develop a student's mind. He also is trying to find a suitable PhD program and he just wanted a blog so he could write down some of his ideas. There's something he says in his "About me" section of his blog that is very interesting. He says, "Once we believe we have it all figured out, we become dumb." Great statement.

His most recent post is dated December 29, 2010. It's called Calling All Political Junkies Who Care About Kids. He wrote a short post on how he wants to create a political commentary blog for his students so they can understand and break down the current issues in a way that they can understand. My comment has disappeared that I wrote for some reason. I don't know why it's not there anymore so I decided to comment it on it again. I guess it didn't pass moderation. Haha!
I summed up what I wrote the last time on this post. I told him I'm a student in EDM 310 and explained the class to him. I said I have a previous degree from Auburn University in Political Science and thought it was very interesting that he thought up this idea for his students. I think it's a great idea and said that I think it's very important for kids to learn how to be involved and engaged citizens, however it can be overwhelming to understand or have a desire to learn with the media and everything making it so complicated. I asked him how his blog was coming along.

He doesn't have anymore recent posts so I'm having to go back in time for my comment on this one.  This post was on December 16, 2010 and it's called You Get One Shot At This...  He talks about how we are too busy in life to really think about what we're learning. Teachers aren't teaching persistence because when students fail an assignment, they aren't allowed to redo it to improve their work. They just move on to the next task at hand. He says that a huge component of learning is the ability to reflect on what was done and make improvements on it. I have to agree. He says that teachers are hypocritical when they say, "you need to understand this concept before you can understand future concepts," but teachers find it perfectly acceptable to pass them understanding only 70-90% of the material. He says it's no wonder kids just become masters of "doing school."

I thought this post was really something to think about.  I told him that he has given me very good advice as a future teacher. I told him that I was very good at just "doing school" so I could make good grades and go to college. If I didn't do well on an assignment or test that I just made sure I did better on the next one. I didn't learn from my failures or why I failed....I just knew I made a bad grade and I had to do better next time. I think teachers teach students about persistence in an indirect way. They teach them to try harder next time and give them encouragement that they can complete a current task (which isn't a bad thing), but it's most important for them to teach persistence when they fail the specific task they failed, not to grasp the next new concept and forget about the old one. Students should be able to retry things that they fail at. I never thought about this until he brought this up but it makes a lot of sense. We would just have to find the motivation for students to want to re-learn an old concept.

Personal Learning Network Project #10


Progress Report 1 on PLN
Click on the Symbaloo image to visit my Symbaloo site

Before this class I didn't even know what a Personal Learning Network was. I watched that video that a 7th grader did about her PLN using Symbaloo and I was simply amazed that someone that young could know how to do all that. A PLN just seems so efficient and easy if I'm willing to learn and explore how to use it. I'm using Symbaloo to organize all my frequently visited webpages and sites, however it is still a work in progress.  I have my Google docs, Gmail, Youtube, Blogger, Facebook, and Twitter linked to it right now. I also have the Apple website, Pandora, Craigslist, and the Yellow Pages on here too. I also have different buttons on here with certain categories such as Education, Travel, Shopping, and Images. I have browsed certain sites but have yet to customize these categories the way I want them yet. I have recently discovered iGoogle as well, for a way to manage my PLN. I like it because I can see my Google Reader as well as specific blogs that I've subscribed to via RSS. I know that I can put a tile on Symbaloo for my Google reader but I like the format better on iGoogle because it already pops up with information from people's blogs. With Symbaloo I have to click on a tile; with iGoogle all of my preferences are already open. I know that Dr. Strange loves Twitter but I just haven't been able to find the love that he and so many other classmates have for it. I do use it but I mostly see what other people have to say rather than post anything myself. I think it's a great resource to see what other educators are thinking and get their opinions as well as valuable information on a subject related to education, but I also think that blogs are just as valuable which is why I like to utilize my Google reader on iGoogle.

Blog Post #7

Randy Pausch
The Last Lecture
Carnegie Mellon University

I thought that Randy Pausch was an exceptional professor, speaker, and person. Although I was never a student in his class and during part of the lecture it was kind of hard to get into because I'm not that familiar or interested in Virtual Reality, my attention was held the entire time and his inspiration and spunk and desire to live was so meaningful.

I'm sure he was a great professor, but I would label him more as a life coach. I was amazed at how he remembered all of his childhood dreams and during his life he was able to achieve them. Did he plan his life around those goals/dreams? He must have. I don't think I even had dreams as a child, and if I did they were crazy ones like wanting to be a clown, etc. Haha! He really is the epitome of wanting something in life and going after it. He said that brick walls are created to stop the people who don't want it bad enough; they are there for a reason and to show us how bad we want something. When he said that, I thought back on my own life and saw that I didn't persevere through the brick walls and I let them stop me. I hope I'm never like that again.

His main way of teaching to college students was by creating a "head fake." He said that the best way to teach somebody is to think that they're learning something else. Most of what we learn we learn indirectly. He gave the example of football. Learning how to play the game of football isn't the most important thing that kids learn when they first learn the game; they learn about teamwork, perseverance, etc. He also said when teaching his students in the ETC program, they were just having fun learning to make movies and games, but they were really learning how to program. I really like that way of teaching. He also said that if kids have fun while learning something hard, then they will do it.  That's such a profound statement that I think so many teachers don't care to understand or think about. At the end of the day, if I can make math fun for my students even if they are learning something hard, then they will want to learn, and I have done my job. Life and learning is all about fun and so many people lose that.

Randy seemed like such a fun person. He said to never lose the child-like wonder. That is one thing that I know I have not lost. People think that I act like a kid or laugh too much, but I think that EVERYTHING in life is meant to be laughed at.  I think it's very easy for people to not take me seriously, but frankly, I think they are being too serious. I shouldn't have to be serious at all. I can have fun and get things done....and being serious is just boring.  In the video Randy said, "I'm dying and I'm having fun!" That's amazing that he was able to stay so positive and be happy during such a horrible time in his life. But it's also horrible to think that it takes death for someone to really loosen up and have fun with life and not be so serious. I think Randy was a fun person all his life, gauging from his personality. But I think that sometimes it takes a crisis for people to really begin to find joy in life. I refuse to live like that. I find joy in daily living and I will always try to be fun and laugh until my last day on earth.

These are the things he said towards the end of his speech that stuck out to me:

Being perceived as a jerk will limit you as what you will be able to accomplish in life
Respect authority while questioning it
Help others
Decide whether you're a Tigger or an Eeyore (I'm a Tigger! He was always my favorite anyways)
You can't get there alone
Tell the truth
Be earnest
Apologize when you screw up
Focus on others and not yourself
If people give you criticism take it and cherish it
Don't complain, just work harder
Be good at something; it makes you valuable
Find the best in everybody (way too hard to do)
It's not about achieving your dreams, it's about living your life! (Love it!)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Comments for Kids (C4K) Summary Post

Comment #1
Damara's Blog

I first commented on Damara's blog. She's a sixth grader and lives in Canada. She wrote about how she went on a ski field trip with her school to Asessippi. She said that this was her first time to go skiing, she had a lot of fun, but it was painful because her friend crashed into her on the bunny slope. I commented on how cool it was that she got to go on a ski field trip with her school, told her where I lived in the southeastern U.S., and said how we rarely get snow. I also told her that I've been skiing before so I understand what she means when she says it can be painful, and I encouraged her to try it again.

ski resort

Comment #2
Gina Marie's Blog

This student is a 5th grader in Mr. St. Pierre's class at Terryville Elementary in New York. Her blog post was about how (in a previous post) she had difficulty in breathing on Valentine's Day, but she went to the doctor and found out she had a bronchospasm and had to be put on a nebulizer. I commented by introducing myself, where I was from, and that I wanted to be a math teacher. Then I told her that I've had trouble breathing in the past but have never had to be put on a nebulizer like her and it looked very scary. She had a picture of herself with the nebulizer on her face on her blog, so I told her that she reminded me of Darth Vader on Star Wars! Haha! I also asked her if she had to go to school with the nebulizer or was even able to go to school at all. I hoped she got to feeling better soon.

I just looked tonight and saw that she responded back to my comment! I'm so excited! This is my first response from a comment that I've posted on anyone's blog and it feels so good. She was so nice. She  answered my question that she was able to go to school and just had to use the nebulizer before she went to bed.  She also said that she really appreciated my comments and that she thinks that I'll be a good math teacher based on my writing and my personality through my writing. That is so cool. I don't even know this girl and she is such an inspiration to me. She also answered my question that she was able to go to school and just had to use the nebulizer before she went to bed.

Comment #3
Nathan's Blog

Nathan is in Grade 5 at Pt. England School in New Zealand. He blogged about a camping trip that he went on with his dad at Point England Reserve. He said they slept in a tent and went floundering on top of the cliff and cooked the fish they caught earlier that day. I first introduced myself and told him where I went to school and then I told him that it's so cool that he's from New Zealand. I told him I've been to Australia before and loved it there but never to NZ. I also said that the camping trip sounded really fun and that catching and cooking your own food seemed pretty cool too. I told him I'm not really a "camping girl" so I've never slept in a tent before or caught a meal I was going to cook and eat later, but I had been camping in a RV at the lake and LOVED that.


Blog Post #6

The Networked Student

I believe that through experience and continuous learning I will be prepared to be a teacher of a networked student, and right now I have the motivation and the drive to want to be this type of teacher. I think this video reinforces the idea that the definition of a teacher is changing. I love how the 21st century teacher is more of a mediator and/or guide the the techno-savvy world. Without us, these kids wouldn't know how to use the technology around them. So even though the argument can be made that teachers could become extinct, I think that a teacher should always be in a child's life to just be as simple as a role model and mentor.

I want to work in an inner-city school and I really don't think that I'll be faced with the idea of a "networked student." My role in the classroom will not only be a guide, mentor, and educator, but also a disciplinarian. I know that a lot of kids coming from low income families don't have the technology at home to be able to explore all the fabulous "extras" in our society, such as blogs, Ipads, etc. Some of the kids need to just learn the basics of a computer like Microsoft Word and how to research basic information. Also, if kids are struggling with basic educational concepts (math, reading, graduation exams) then that would be the central focus during the school day, and not the technology promotion.

However, I do think that I could utilize the technology to help these kids learn better. I just know that a lot of schools are behind the times and the buildings and the administration still live in the 1970s, regardless if they have computers and smartboards in the school or not. The teachers/administration won't let the kids use the technology (new computers, smartboards, Ipods) because they are afraid they will steal or damage them. I know a middle school in Mobile that won't let the kids take their textbooks home because they never bring them back at the end of the school year and will never pay for them.

I know I'm probably getting off subject but when I watched this video, these are the things that came to mind. I believe that all teachers should be open to this concept of the networked student and teach kids how to learn through technology. Even if I'm the only math teacher at my school that is open and willing to use this technology then I will try my best to do that. However, I think that in reality, I won't have the option to be a teacher for a networked student.

Welcome to my PLE (Personal Learning Environment)

After watching this video, my opinion about me not being a teacher that would really be able to utilize technology, etc. in the classroom has become conflicted. I think that is so cool that this girl has a paperless science class and can do everything on-line. Using symbaloo to arrange all her links/websites seem so efficient and fun. I think that doing this would make a child WANT to learn. As she said in the video, "It's not a matter of when you're going to do your work; it's a matter of when and how you are going to do it." She also said that although it can be a distraction, you have an inclination to be responsible. You have so much freedom researching and doing your schoolwork this way; I think the idea is brilliant. I definitely want to utilize this type of learning environment in my classroom. This would give my students a feeling of accomplishment after they have created a glogster or a blog or researched an entire project on their own. I think this is a great way to teach kids.

This also made me realize that I need to have a better PLE for myself. I could utilize internet tools so much more efficiently than I'm doing and not only would it be fun, but it would make my life so much easier too.

Teachers Love SMART Boards

I found this website/blog all about teachers using smartboards in the classroom, and how to use them, and how they promote them, etc. I read the most recent post about how animation is a great function of the smartboard. It said that it can grab a student's attention; animation is fun; and it can convey a concept to a student that words, still pictures, and audio cannot. I totally agree with this, however I have to agree with the two critiques on smartboards: Why I Hate Interactive Smartboards and Why Smartboards are a Dumb Initiative. However, I must say first that I don't have any experience with smartboards and haven't seen them in action beyond all the basics so my opinions are just logic talking.

I think that smartboards can and usually are a waste of money. And I don't think that they are ever utilized to their potential. They are bought for the schools to show the community that they are living in the 21st century, but most teachers don't have the desire or the training to use them. I think there are more cost effective options. Also, I think that creating a lesson for a smartboard or trying to figure out a lesson in your course of study to use with a smartboard could be more headache for a teacher than it's worth. And aren't smartboards supposed to be a fun and efficient use of time. I would rather have my students learn through more hands-on approaches and I think the only way I know that a smartboard is used hands-on is when kids play games on them. Yes, they would be educational games, but kids play enough "educational" games on the computer.

I love what Michael Staton said about smartboards on the first critique. He said that we need to start re-imagining what's possible! Let's stop trying to "look good" and start spending money and focusing the attention on what really matters which is making sure the student learns.

smart board

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blog Post #5

Resources used in creating a podcast

I knew there were a lot of podcasts and resources for iPods out there, but I never realized there was so much. I first started realizing it when I watched the iSchool movie made by the high school student. There are so many learning resources for students of all ages. The items of interest to me are the ESL podcasts and Pod city guides. I have a minor in Spanish from Auburn but I’m still not as proficient as I would like to be, so this would be a great thing to listen to while I’m exercising or driving. I also love to travel, so the city guides podcast would be another helpful tool to me when I’m in a new city. Learning about all the new learning resources out there really makes me want to use my iPod and take advantage of the techno world.

When I become a math teacher I will be teaching students who have grown up with technology their entire lives. It makes sense for podcasts to be a useful tool in teaching in the classroom because it is a form of technology that they are accustomed to. I think this would be a good way to engage students actively in their learning and for them to be excited about what I would be teaching. Not only is this a fun way for students to learn and teachers to teach, students will still be learning the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy in the process.  At the end of the day, if students are still able to master the concepts of comprehension, synthesis, and evaluation, then this form of technology has done its job.  Podcasting also lets students be creative. Creativity can be stifled very easily but that puts the kids at a disadvantage for their future. Finally, this is a great way for parents to see what their kids are doing in school. I think that parent involvement and interaction is a necessity for a child’s success in school.

Vodcasting is a form of video podcasting and that is the form of podcasting that my group used on our project. We went around a school and made a video of the types of technology used in the classroom.

I thought this third grade blog was phenomenal. I never imagined that third graders were capable of doing so much. I think this podcast idea for this age group is a great idea because it reminded me of the shows I used to watch on APT (Alabama Public Television). I remember this show called Reading Rainbow where different kids would each talk about a certain book they had read, but they wouldn't give away the end because they wanted the viewer to read the book for themselves.  One of they boys did that same technique for the Poetry segment of the podcast. I also enjoyed the Vocabulary Vault. Listening to this podcast affirms that these kids are learning not only technology but Bloom's Taxonomy at this young age.

man and rainbow

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blog Post #4

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase1.) Dr. McLeod's Dangerously Irrelevant blog post is so creative, clever, and witty. I commented on his post and told him how I liked his creativity on how he expressed his point almost as much as I liked and agree with his point. I totally agree with what Dr. McLeod is saying and hope that more teachers and especially upcoming teachers like myself will agree too. Students MUST learn and explore and use all the technology that is available to them for them to get a leg up in this crazy, demanding world of ours. As teachers and school administrators and state politicians, if we don't allow that to happen then we will FAIL our next generation. I think it will be funny to see how in the next 20 years how these kids who are being taught now with so much technology compare to kids and adults who know nothing or have made a choice to not learn it and therefore know nothing. Dr. McLeod commented on the EDM 310 class blog how someone else commented that kids will know more than adults. That's really something I never thought about but it's so true. I was a skeptic at first as to how much I really needed to be involved in technology because I used to think it was all for computer geeks who didn't have any free time. Now, I am using and continue to use it in my daily life and to stay up to date with the changing world around me.

Dr. McLeod's poem made the point that a lot of people think that the Internet is too dangerous for kids. No one can argue that there are sexual predators and that there are dangers. But I believe that children should be able to explore it and use it regardless. I think that Facebook shouldn't be blocked in school libraries. However, more and more sites are being blocked year by year. I couldn't even access my own blog at a local middle school in Mobile County because the server wouldn't allow it. These decisions are being made by administrators who are trying to protect when they are ultimately harming. They obviously know nothing about the success of everything they're banning because the probably don't use blogs, Facebook, twitter, etc. themselves.

Dr. McLeod is a professor at Iowa State University in the Educational Administration program. He is the Director of CASTLE, which is the nation's only academic center for educating school administrators on technology. He has a Ph.D as well as a law degree. He writes about technology issues on his Dangerously Irrelevant blog.

2.) The video made by Travis Allen is so intimidating simply because a 17 year old high school student came up with an idea that is just so obvious, and he made a video look amazing with graphics and music, and I'm a 22 year old college student and don't know how to do that. I already feel behind my time. Needless to say, he makes the point that schools should use have iSchool by using an iTouch to save money per student, to be green and protect the environment, to open communication between teachers, students, and parents, and hold students accountable for the first time. Everyone will know what the student does at all times with the power of this hand-held device. With the apps already available, such as iHomework, graphing calculator, USA presidents, the periodic table, E-mail, and calendar, it already is a feasible option that could make school so much more efficient and make learning more fun. He has an iSchool initiative and he encourages all teachers, administrators, and anyone interested to jump on board with it.

I am totally on board with this idea. I want an iTouch for myself because I had no clue that it could do the things it could do. It would make my school/work life so much easier. I can only imagine how the students would love this so much more than textbooks, as well as it would help them without them even knowing. I know that engaging parents into the life of a child's schoolwork can be difficult so this could definitely bridge the gap with that problem. However, I think there are still a lot of loose-ends that would need to be tied up for this to totally become reality. How would the school prevent student's from stealing the iTouch, especially if they couldn't be locked up in the classroom when the child leaves because they would be needed for homework. Also, how will it bridge the gap and create open communication between parents, teachers, and students if the parents can't afford to buy one for themselves. Some parents don't even have computers for their children at home still. And those are the parents that probably don't care about the child's progress in school anyways, and need to be engaged with the teacher and student, and therefore could benefit from this resource the most.


3.) The technique used in the Lost Generation video was absolutely BRILLIANT! It was so clever and awesome how by simply reversing what was just said, the speaker made everything go from positive to negative without changing a word. I think this idea can be paralleled to how we look at things in our own life and our own ways of self-talk. We can do whatever we set our minds to and change the world, just like this video said. It's just a matter of saying it and declaring it. We must choose to go down a different path in life if we want to be successful, just like the choice was made to reverse the poem. I will not be a part of the Lost Generation--the people who are just morally lost and sad, lethargic and unresponsive. I will be a part of a changing society of active citizens, excited about life and not sitting still and accepting something just because I've been told that or that's "how it's supposed to be."

4.) I am simply amazed and honestly at a loss for words. Every new video I watch I am simply stunned and learn more and more. I didn't even know that collaborating voices through YouTube was possible. This song is gorgeous and it gave me chill bumps just watching and listening. I have it on repeat right now as I write this. This makes me want to learn how to put a bunch of voices together for a rap song and make a video for that! 

5.) The Teaching in the 21st century really made me think about how we are supposed to teach kids has changed drastically since I was in school and I'm only 22 years old. I've only been out of high school 4 years and I feel like I'm a part of another cultural dimension. That being said, I think a LOT of teachers are behind the times and need to ask themselves the same question that I was asked. I also think that a lot of teachers don't care to learn anymore and that's the main problem of why we won't be able to advance. Teachers need a different mindset. I feel like the ideas expressed are very different than what most people believe but after watching this, could definitely be persuaded otherwise. Teaching in the 21st century means to engage students, regardless if technology is being used or not. I think technology is a bonus as well as a necessity that should be used. Creativity, problem solving, etc. will stem from engaging and not entertaining the student.

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My Sentence Movie

Sunday, February 6, 2011

JBAT'S Crazy Hair Google Presentation

Comments for Teachers (C4T) #1 Teacher Tom

Teacher Tom is a preschool teacher at a cooperative preschool in Seattle, Washington.  He works with children from age two until age five. His cooperative school atmosphere allows him to engage closely with the parents and gives a sense of community. His school and his teaching methods are an unfamiliar, yet enjoyable learning experience for me.

The Boy Who Painted Dragons
By Teacher Tom
Post 1

This post talks about teaching preschoolers about dragons because it is approaching the Chinese New Year. He says that most children are frightened of these creatures, focus on their fangs when looking at pictures of them, and only associate them with fear. The children were asked to paint dragons and reading books about dragons sparked a discussion. Teacher Tom wanted to teach the kids the metaphor of how dragons are similar to themselves.  He said that a lot of the boys in his class are exploring their masculinity and wanted to show them that they too can be dragons and exude the powerful characteristics of dragons but for good and not evil. He wasn't sure if the kids really grasped the concept but he was okay with it. At least he got them thinking.


I posted my comment and told him that I thought his post was very informative and insightful. I would've never thought of a dragon metaphor, much less to teach it to children at such a young age. I said that what I remember of preschool is taking naps, learning vocabulary, and learning the days of the week. I commented how his teaching style is very unique and creative and posted links to both my blog and the class blog.

by Teacher Tom
Post 2

This post is about children's behavior while playing. He gives the story of two twin boys that are two years old and knock over a bucket of counting bears. Instead of giving them "directional statements" such as, "Pick those up!" or "Don't do that!", he decides to tell them a non-directional statement such as, "The bears are on the floor." He then goes on to say he tells them that the bears are on the floor and they should be on the table.  The boys eventually understand that the bears should be picked up and with the help of Teacher Tom himself, they successfully pick up the bears, with Tom narrating along the way. He says that since this episode with the boys, he has had other instances with kids doing the same thing, and not necessarily with the same results. Kids at this age are biologically programmed to behave like this to get attention, but he needs to focus on the behavior he wants to see, rather than what actually happened and what he'd rather not see.  That is an approach that I've never heard of, and it makes sense to a degree. He wants to teach kids to do the right thing because they chose to do it, not because an authority figure told them to do so. I love that idea and totally agree with it.

bucket of counting bears

I commented on this post by saying how I've never really enjoyed working with kids at this age because I would never have enough patience or know how to react to their behavior.  I tell him his post was very informative and told him what I learned from it. I hope to take his advice and not use directional statements when I have my own children someday. I close by saying it just takes a lot of patience and time--two things Teacher Tom mentioned as well. 

Teacher Tom is very enlightening and brings new ideas to normal daily activities with kids. I really appreciate his insight and will continue to follow his blog/posts.