Monday, July 26, 2010

Final Reflection

When I registered for this class, I was expecting a boring course about how to use Excel and boring things that teachers already use in their classrooms. Then, the syllabus and instruction manual was exposed, opening the door to new mysterious things such as Blogger, Skype, Audacity, Google Docs (I was a Yahoo! user), Aviary, Posterous, and many many more scary things. Soon after that, my exploration period began and my mind turned on and opened up to the wonders of the Internet that lie beyond the farms and frontiers of Facebook. I have to admit, I was very scared at first, especially with Dr. Strange's "15 hours a week" speech echoing in my head. However, I soon realized that EDM 310 is the way that a class should be and that new things are nothing to be afraid of. I can now say that I have a blog other than my Myspace blog, and that I have found many other blogs that have been very helpful to my intellectual journey.

This class has really helped me realize what changes need to be made towards education. The school system in Mobile County needs a technological revolution. Take Davidson for example, instead of building a dungeon fence around the school, they could buy better computers. They could develop a whole new curriculum and then teachers wouldn't need to sell pizza to use the copy machine for tests. Before this class, tests were an okay requirement because tests are common in determining what has been learned. Now, I do not want to plague my students with a test but assign them projects so they can really show everyone what they have learned. I think Randy Pausch demonstrated this method very well and has shown us all how powerful projects can be. Dr. Strange has also done this with his protests against burp-back education. It is like a light has been turned on for me. This class has also made and my son realize that it is possible to stay up past 10. I did some of assignments done earlier then midnight and those I am most proud of, because I still procrastinate a little bit.

I started telling people what we were doing in EDM 310 after the first two weeks of class. Everyone seems amazed that there are no tests and everything we do is visible on our blogs. I think these methods should definitely be spread because if learning takes the direction that we have gone this semester, perhaps more students will be encouraged and less will drop out. I think we all need to spread the ideas and concepts we learned and created in EDM 310 because we are the ones who will inspire the next generation to succeed. What better way to succeed than with free Internet tools? If everyone could just see what goes on in this class, more minds would open up to these ideas and education wouldn't just be a dusty old chalkboard anymore.

This class was a great inspiration and I think it truly will make my teaching career better for me and my students alike. I enjoyed the "self-learning" aspect and the fact that everything we have done is sitting here at my fingertips. I can look back on it, reflect on it, and grow on it. I plan on a green classroom full of computers and head fakes with projects galore. This is a different picture of my classroom than before I entered this class 2 months ago. I saw myself as any other English Teacher who sits at her desk amidst a pile of papers to grade. Not me. The center of my classroom will consist of students, not essays or reports. I will make the most out of technology and encourage creativity to allow learning to take place. REAL learning, not filling in bubbles.

Pixel Images by Cool Text: Logo and Button Generator - Create Your Own

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Teach Someone

Blog Post 13

Alba Middle School Students' Videos
These videos were dead on depictions about what is happening in the Gulf. The media focuses on Louisiana and Florida, and it is great that these middle school students are letting people know what is happening in Alabama waters. Everything fit perfectly in these videos, the music, the footage, the words that they used. These videos honestly made me cry. We may have tech-literate society in the future but what about our natural resources? You cannot capture the true beauty of a beach from a computer screen.

What I thought about this:
Hi my name is Nichole Hassell and I am also from Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. I love how the oil spill is personified in this video and given a nasty voice to go with its ugliness. I think it is great that this class is taking part in having a voice for the future of our beaches on the Gulf Coast and is encouraging people to help clean the beaches. Thank you for sharing this video and keep on making more, videos are great ways to express your feelings!

My comment on this video:
This video made me cry. Words are hard to come by when trying to express the emotional turbulence behind this disaster, and this video really exposes those emotions and shows the real pain behind the oil spill. Humans and animals alike are suffering from this and this video is a great representation of both sides of the suffering. Please continue to make more videos because the ones that this class has made are great


Comments for Classmates

Martha Yim's Smart Board presentation
Wow! You can't really help but smile while watching this because of all of the enthusiasm! I love how you incorporated class participation in your demonstration. I think involving the whole class is important to engage learning, even a simple class discussion is helpful. Great and entertaining work!

Maeghan Whitemire's Interview
And on a side note, did your group have trouble with keeping your smart board oriented?

I thought this was a really good interview. I liked how you exposed Clare to what we have been watching in this class beforehand so she could express her views on it. Also, I agree that teachers should at least know how to e-mail and keep up with their students outside of the classroom. It is a lot easier to receive your work over the Internet when you are out sick for a long time than having to come to school periodically to pick it up.

Awesome interview, Meghan, and keep asking great questions!

Tyler Tuveson's Post on Mrs. Cassidy's Class
I am a Secondary Ed major but it was so inspiring to watch first graders achieve so much in this video. Before this class, I never would have imagined any of this. I think it is great where education is going and that we can be apart of it. Legal forms and all, I think it will be a great learning experience for us and our students.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blog Post 12

This is a picture of a male teacher
What I Learned This Year (2) by Mr. McClung

Mr. McClung has definitely changed, grown, and adapted in his second year of teaching. My favorite thing about this teacher is that he is honest and does not sugarcoat everything to make teaching sound like the Utopia of the career world. I also found it very helpful that he shared his experiences about teaching different subjects. This is a fear of mine, as I put it in my comment, I don't want to be thrown to the "historical wolves" and not know what to do.

M-Cubed: ISTE Presentation Video

While watching this video, it took me a second to realize what was going on. The children manipulated shapes with software on the computer and out of a printer-like device called a fabricator came the shape laid out in 2D to be assembled in 3D! If I only had this tool in geometry. I think this is a great concept and tool for children to better understand shapes and figures in math and science. The kids in the video appeared to be extremely excited and engaged in the process!

The Children's Engineering Initiative

In this video, Dr. Robert Pianta (University of Virginia) speaks about the "engineering initiative". He believes in combining math and science to better develop problem solving skills. I think this is what is lost in math and science classes today. It goes back to the familiar debate of the test, there are so many worries about getting test questions right that there is not enough time spent on problem solving skills. This was my worst area in math. I wasn't really bad at math but I would definitely skip a word problem if I could. Children need to develop a more complex thought pattern to not only get themselves through school, but through life.

The Principle of Least Change

This video features Dr. Laura Smolkin who talks about the "principle of least change". Dr. Smolkin recognizes that the use of fabricators is a big change in the students' normal routine and says that if this change is given in lighter doses, the students can better adapt. I think this is true not only for the students but for the teachers as well. It is just like someone who has been teaching from the books for a long period of time and suddenly they have a computer thrown at them. What is that teacher going to do? Most likely reject that method of teaching. That is why small doses of small change results in big change over time.

Comments For Kids 4

I watched a video on the blog Sustainable Digital called Alkaline Earth Metals. This video explains different metals and it recorded like an episode of MTV's Cribs.

Hi, my name is Nichole Hassell and I am also in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. All of these videos are great and I loved how the Alkaline-Earth metals video was made like MTV cribs. However, it was kind of hard to hear but I enjoyed it anyway. Keep making science easy for us who struggle!

PLN status

This is an image of plastic figures connected by network strings
My PLN is ever expanding. I have mainly been using Delicious, Symbaloo and iGoogle to build it. I have a Twitter account, and I'm following 60 teachers, but I just have not caught on to it yet. However, I am enjoying reading and drawing from all of these blogs that I have listed below.

These are my blogs on my symbaloo:
Maria Constantinides- TEFL Matters
Burcu Akyol's Blog
Mr. McClung's World
Edurati Review
The Follis Files
English Teacher, Too.
Graham Wegner
Spencer's Scratch Pad
Ed Techie
Education Outrage
Teach Paperless
Treasure Chest of Thoughts
The Educators' Royal Treatment
The Innovative Educator
Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Drapes Takes
The Educator's PLN
Teach Web
Dangerously Irrelevant
English Companion Ning
Teacher Reboot Camp
English Raven
Teaching Village

These are some blogs I have on Delicious:
If Bees Are Few
Shakespeare Teacher
View From Room 309

Google Reader:
Hi, I'm Steve Moore

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

C4T- Jeff Utecht

July 1 2010
ISTE 2010 Reflections

This post was about Jeff Utecht's reflection about the International Society For Technology in Education conference that he recently attended. Jeff reflects that the themes are "mobile" and global" and that teachers need to "reach" out to make global connections for themselves and their students.

Hi Mr. Utecht,
My name is Nichole and I am a part of Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class and I have been assigned to read your blog for the next 3 weeks. My blog is here
The thought of global learning never crossed my mind until I entered this class. The deeper I am getting into it, the more I realize that I’m not going to just stop once the class is over. It’s great for teachers and students. Where is there a better support system than that of kids from all over the world helping each other through blogs? That is collaboration at its height.
But, while what I said sounded great (at least in my head), the educational system is stuck in the past. I believe that the “old school” should be put to rest and let’s bring on an educational system that truly empowers children to grow in creativity and mind alike.

July 8 2010

Policies, Safety, and Social Networking ~ Steve Dembo ISTE10

This post contained a video entitled Digital Dossier. This video shows how a persons information is recorded from birth on the Internet and is very... sobering, for lack of a better word.

This video was very enlightening and rather scary. I think it’s very important for students to be aware of what they are posting to the Internet, especially the things that could be damaging later. It is amazing how quickly information can be collected about someone and that it all starts with a simple picture at birth.

July 13, 2010
Are We Teaching Networked Literacy

This post was about networked literacy. Jeff makes it a point that teachers are teaching from print resources more than anything else. He also says that it is important for kids to develop social networks and to be able to utilize them to find out information more than they use a search engine such as Google.

This post is what students are really asking for. If students could have a social network to turn to in school, the information would not only come easier, but faster. Sources could not only be based on facts, but personal experiences and the thoughts of other. If a student has the right people in their social network, instead of spending hours searching for the right article, they can directly ask an expert in their field. I think that if and when this method is utilized, it will not only make the students more attentive and eager to learn, but more willing to be active in the classroom.

My Survey Analysis

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blog Post 11

This is a photo of the alphabet that has kids' faces in the letters.
The first graders in Mrs. Cassidy's class are very lucky students! I would have loved to use a Nintendo when I was in the first grade. I think her teaching methods are good because they are hands on and encourage the building of social skills. I think it is great that students are blogging, using wikis, and making videos while being able to explain how to do these things. I think I would use a wiki in my classroom as a start to collecting research for projects and I will definitely be incorporating making videos into my classes.

One obvious obstacle for using this techniques is where is the money coming from? What if there is not enough money to buy an adequate amount of computers? Well, if there is no possible way to get money through grants or whatnot, I can utilize one of Mrs. Cassidy's lessons: sharing. However, the biggest obstacle that screams out in my mind is lack of cooperation with those "above me". Filters are eminent in school computers, they block everything that can allow you to talk someone. At least that is how it was when I went to school. I think this could be easily overcome by explaining my purposes and asking politely to lift the filters.

What will I benefit the most from? Watching my students learn. I think a lot of people are on common ground about tests being faulty learning methods. I don't want to see my students filling in bubbles. I want to see them engaged and interacting with one another. In my future I see videoed debates, videos of students acting out stories, essays posted onto blogs, and students coming into my classroom eager to learn.

2 Person Interview

I chose to interview my cousin Brittany who is going into the sixth grade at Dunbar Magnet School this year. She has the motor tics that comes from tourette syndrome so it is very hard for her to concentrate on a teacher talking. It is also difficult for her to take a test that has a time limit.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Comments For Kids 3

A picture of grass

This post was about the beginning of a grass growing race in Mr. McClung's science class. I thought it was interesting that he was waiting for unique ways to water the grass to make it grow faster. I also thought it was a good responsibility exercise being that Mr. McClung did not tell his students when to water their grass. I also looked at the later results and it looked like some of the students pulled grass out of the jungle! While the thought of watching grass grow was boring, the "head fake" behind this project was awesome.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Blog Post #10

This is an image of people holding hands in a circle and in the middle it says powered by you
A 7th Grader's
Personal Learning Environment (or PLN)

I first watched this video when I completed my blog post concerning Mrs. Drexler. After watching it, I immediately created a Symbaloo and I love it. I have a Symbaloo specifically for my PLN, a Symbaloo for music, and a "miscellaneous" Symbaloo. I'm also beginning to get used to Delicious and I'm liking it more because it keeps everything organized, something I haven't developed great skill for yet. This 7th grader has a very well developed PLN for her purposes and I think that mine is expanding for my own, which are information, collaboration, and a sort of backbone support of teachers from all over the world.

Two questions that can change your life

Question 1: What is my sentence? It is not an easy task to smush up your "being" into one sentence. When I began to think about my sentence, I thought of my child, my education, my dreams, my future, my past, and my accomplishments. This is what I came up with:

I am a single mother of a beautiful child who is my greatest inspiration for my journey into the field of education where technology and English will collide in my classroom.

Question 2: Was I better today than yesterday? Since I am a parent and a server, this is always something on the top of my mind. I have a 2 year old so I have to be better than yesterday just to keep up with everything he is learning to do. I have to be better than yesterday as a server because I live "daycheck by daycheck", even though some days I wish I had a fast-forward button. This question is also going to be a foremost thought when I become a teacher. Everyday can we be better than the last with new ideas and a never ending amount of things to learn.

Blog Post #9

This is an image of a chalkboard that says An open letter to Educators
An Open Letter to Educators

I think that a large percent of the population has come to terms with the reality that the education system has remained relatively unchanged. I've had some of the same experiences that Morgan has had such as having problems focusing. Also, I've had professors who only give a midterm and a final. A professor that only gives 2 major tests in 1 semester is really the worst case scenario for me. If I absolutely have to be tested, I'd rather have 20 tests than only 2. By doing this,it leaves more room for error which is a concept I don't think many professors understand. As the old saying goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day" and I'm sure not many people have the mental stability to flat out ace a huge test when they've never been tested by this professor before. At least give me a quiz first. Please???

Concerning Dan Brown, I think he got his point across pretty well but I don't think he should have dropped out of school. His excuse for dropping out of college was an excuse that 70% of my friends used who dropped out of high school. Where are they now? Jobless, broke, and wishing they hadn't.

However, like I said before, despite Dan Brown dropping out of school, he did make some good points. Information is free in this day and age and we, as college students, pay hundreds of dollars to obtain it. I agree with Dan Brown that it is easier to just search for the information needed.

Picture showing Alabama learning Exchange logo

ALEX(Alabama Learning Exchange) is a website dedicated to keeping schools in Alabama connected. This website allows teachers to share lesson plans, has websites for administrators, teachers, and students to visit, and it even has a "podcast treasury". There is also a link to the courses of study/objectives for every grade level.

Do I see myself using this on a regular basis? Not really. While the websites are great and it's nice to have different lesson plans to look at, I find the blogs and websites that I am using in this class more efficient for my purposes. However, one good thing about this website is the podcast page, where you can make them for other districts to hear. I recommend this as a site to glance at every now and then.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wikipedia Myth

This is a video created by Nichole Hassell and Kimberly Tharp, and it discusses the taboo of Wikipedia.

"What I've Learned This Year" by Mr. McClung

This is a photo showing a pile of broken crayons.
This blog post, written by Mr. McClung, was a reflection of the things that he learned through his first year of teaching. Some things that he talks about are the importance of communicating with and listening to the students, being prepared to make mistakes, being open minded about mistakes and technology alike, and never quitting the learning process.

I think that there are many teachers out there that feel they've reached the end of the learning road now that they teach. The teachers that I speak of are enclosed in limited to their classrooms and follow rigid lesson plans with no hope for spontaneity or technology. I think it is a great idea to follow the reflective advice of Mr. McClung and in fact, I am.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Comments for Kids 2

This is a photo of the album cover for Heal the World by Michael Jackson. The album has a child holding a cracked earth with a band aid over it.
This blog was by Eleva, Jessica, Sesalina, and Turuhira in Room 14 at Pt. England School in New Zealand. It was a video titled R.I.P. Michael Jackson in remembrance of his death a year ago. The girls danced to "Heal the World" and I thought it was a great tribute and the perfect song to pay homage with because right now, the world does need healing.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

English Poets of the 18th Century (the best!)

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

This video was around an hour and seventeen minutes. Every second was worth it. From watching this lecture, it seems that Pausch focused on project based learning the most with his students. By implementing this method, the students get hands on work and have the opportunity to draw ideas off of each other which, most of the time, creates a better product than if the student worked alone. I'm beginning to find out that a project based class, such as this one, is better than just reading and writing all the time (much like my other class at the moment). The amazing thing about the projects that Pausch had his students do was that they completely blew him away. He did not know what to do. This brings us to the next teaching method that I've never even really thought of before.

Due to being completely amazed at the first project he assigned, Pausch had to do something so his students would keep amazing him. So, he told them that they could do better next time. Pausch called this "not setting a bar". By not letting the students know how great they really did, they achieved more and more with each project. This idea was actually given to him by someone else but by Pausch doing this, it created the popularity of his students' virtual world simulators. Which, by the way, the example he showed was really cool even though it was creepy.

The next completely awesome thing that Pausch did that I've never thought about was called "the head fake". A head fake is making the students do something without them knowing that they're actually learning. The biggest example of this is Alice, a virtual life program that he helped create. When I saw this part, I remembered using Alice in the 10th grade, or at least trying to (slow computers). This also reminded me of how much my son learns from watching cartoons, such as saying "Si" instead of "Yes" from watching Dora. While Alice is a cool program, from what I've seen of it, the best head fake was at the end when he told everyone that the lecture was really for his children.

Everything that I mentioned above was great but I got way more out of this video than just teaching methods. Pausch said talked about always working as hard as you can to reach achieve your dreams. To go beyond that, he said not to let a brick wall get in the way of your dreams. This is motivation and inspiration that can be passed from person to person, especially from teacher to student. I am very glad that I got to watch Pausch's Last Lecture and that he got the chance to inspire so many people, even after his death.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Comments For Kids 1

A picture of a koala
The blog that I was assigned to comment on was 2KM @ Leopold Primary School. This school is Australia and that is what the blog post was based upon, a tourism video for Australia!

My post was as follows: The commercial for Australia really did make me want to visit! It was very catchy and everything looks so beautiful! Mobile is known for it’s bay but the waters in Australia look 10 times better.
Another thing I love about this commercial is the emphasis put on the animals. I love animals and right now, a large portion of our coastline is suffering from the Bp oil spill but the animals are being put on the back burner.
Anyway, I would love to visit Australia some day to get a hands experience of the beaches, wildlife, and of course the Sydney Opera House.

The teacher, Kathleen McGeady, said this: @ Nichole, thanks for your great comment. It’s nice having so many visitors from Dr Strange’s class. I am very impressed with what you’re learning in your course! I’m glad you liked the commercial. I’m sure if you came to Australia you would love all the animals, beaches and the beautiful Sydney Opera House. The BP oil spill is very sad and I hope it is resolved soon!

I thought it was very nice of her to comment back and now I have the urge to visit Australia. And after searching this blog, I thought it was in a very original format. It's not the kids necessarily doing the "posting" but the teacher posts questions for everyone to answer. I think that is a very neat idea.

The Current Status of my PLN

This is an image of my Symbaloo, which is a bunch of icons that have my bookmarks.
I began my PLN with my Twitter account. I have teachers on Twitter such as Dr. McLeod, Ms. Drexler, Kelly Hines, Dr. Howie DiBlasi and so on (60 in all). Also, after looking around Ms. Drexler's blog, I found the PLE video that one of her students created (before I realized Anthony posted it on his blog) and I created a Symbaloo, which is pictured above. I have also bookmarked many pages on Delicious such as Dangerously Irrelevant, TED, The Educator's PLN and many more.

So far, I have received a "Thanks for Following" message from Dr. McLeod and Dr. DiBlasi on Twitter and I've replied to Dr. DiBlasi on behalf of his Did You Know? 6 Video. I have also left a comment for Will Richardson concerning G-Portfolios, awaiting reply.

I feel confidant about my PLN and as I begin to feel more comfortable with it, and as it grows, I have a feeling it will be my most powerful teaching tool. I am going to use this in my classroom.

Compose. Network. Meh.

This is a picture of Inspector Gadget as the perfect online teacher. His gadgets include a learning environment,web access, creative and publishing, info management, and skill sets for the 21st century.
Richard Miller: This Is How We Dream

"The limits and restrictions are largely ones we place on ourselves". I feel that this was one of the most powerful messages in these videos. Everyone has unaddressed fears and for some of us, it is the web. It isn't the Internet or the computer itself, it is taking on the task of learning how to use new tools and pick up a new "trade" so to speak. While the computer can be intimidating, from what I've what I've learned so far, there are an infinite amount of ways to get help, videos to watch, and an infinite amount of blog posts and websites to learn from.

By watching this video, it has not prepared me to write with multimedia but it has prepped me, so to speak. This video brought home the reality to me that education is just not going to be the same when I graduate. I may not be grading any essays at all but videos, blog posts, and wiki entries.

I stand in awe at this technology revolution. By keeping up with my PLN after this class and through my career, I know I will be well equipped for whatever new is thrown my way, even "composing" with multimedia.

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

This video by Ms. Drexler was very informative, like a set of instructions. However, the path to being able to have networked students seems very gray. As Ms. Drexler says on her blog, there are many obstacles to over come before being able to do this. I hope that Ms. Drexler, as well as myself, can accomplish the task of having networked students.

Such obstacles that accompany having networked students would be parents, administrators, blocked websites/software/applications, and how much responsibility/freedom you let a student have. For students to be more than just model memory keepers, they have to assume some level of responsibility for their work. I think working collaboratively on the Internet is perfect for this. What's a computer without unlimited information of the Internet?

Am I ready to be a teacher of networking students? Well, no. However, I do have the confidence to learn more about it to prepare myself. I find this to be a great learning opportunity and a much easier research method than "Don't use Wikipedia".

Michael Wesch Video

This video was of the easiest videos to understand because I knew about everything Wesch talked about. I've read 1984 and Brave New World and I've also watched YouTube videos for a long time now. After watching his students talk to themselves in the camera, I understand why my video isn't too great. It's really different to act out something with someone else in front a camera compared to have a "private talk" with your camera. Another thing I enjoyed about this video is his perception of the "whatever" and "meh" generations. I find it interesting that we, as humans, do like to complain about almost everything but it's rare that anything is done about it but a simple "whatever, meh".
This is a picture of the word meh as an element. The caption is meh, the element of indifference

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Smartboards Vs. Teachers

Interactive Whiteboard and Classroom Guru

While scouring Google to find something nice to say about smart boards, I slowly began to realize that there really isn't anything nice to say. However, I did find a blog (the link is posted above) that had some interesting pros/cons and a funny parody about the Microsoft Surface. This is the video for the "Smart Table" that seems alluring until you realize that only 3 kids can really fit at the table and being that they cost almost $10,00 a piece, they go from alluring to untouchable.

After reading Why Smartboards are a dumb initiative and Why I hate Interactive Whiteboards, my views on this device did not change. I have never been interested in smartboards. My high school pre-cal teacher used one and it had no outstanding effect because over half the class was failing and still falling asleep. I was very lucky that I didn't need another math credit. Another example would be my high school government teacher whose smartboard sat in the corner of the classroom collecting dust. This teacher had a powerful personality and a great attitude towards teaching so a smartboard was not needed (plus, it was more fun to watch him throw dry erase markers across the room when they ran out of ink).

The only pros to smartboards that come to mind are as follows: (1) they might capture attention for a limited period of time (disregard if you teach high school); (2)the students could come up with their own lessons to share with the class.

The moral of the story: The free software that Dr. Strange is sharing with us is (a)free and (b) more collaborative and interactive that an interactive white board that costs more money than most schools could think about having.

The Chipper Series and EDM 310 for Dummies

I thought these videos were great. While I was thinking about videos to make, I stole an idea from Eagle Nest Radio. It would be cool to "bring back" someone like Benjamin Franklin and teach him about technology. I would like to teach him how to blog and use Delicious because he had a lot of trouble remembering all of his facts when he wrote "The Autobiography".

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My favorite teacher

A post on podcasts

A photo of the book Flat Stanley
By searching through all of these websites, I found a lot to learn about podcasts. I have previously listened to podcasts before this class but I never expected to listen to a first grade podcast... and enjoy it. I learned how simple it is to make a podcast, and from listening to the podcasts, how fun it can be.

I would like to add podcasts as a list of things to do with my classes when I start teaching. Forget about blogging about Shakespeare, we'll have Shakespeare radio. And concerning "vodcasts", the class can create Coleridge TV. The possibilities are endless.

Eagle's Nest Radio & Class Blog

This blog contains podcasts that are created by third graders and designed like a radio show. I thought this was a very interesting way to incorporate technology into the classroom. My favorite podcast was about explorers and the kids made time machine noises so they could back and "interview" different explorers throughout history.

I took a look around the website and also saw news videos that the students made. I thought these were so awesome, it really beats the coloring I did in 3rd grade. This is a link to Nicholas's video, which is a report on the Colosseum of Death in Rome. I give this teacher an A+ for her creativity in coming up with assignments.


This website has so many tools, blog posts, and podcasts on it! My favorite podcast that I found was one that had been done by first graders. They recreated the story of Flat Stanley by saying that they had all gotten flattened by their smartboard. The teacher then mailed them off to places of their choosing and the students described the places by the research that they had done. I really enjoyed listening to this story.

This website is full of ideas for the classroom. The owner is Silvia Tolisano and she is a Technology Integration Facilitator and 21st Century Learning Specialist. I found this website very helpful and I have bookmarked it on Delicious.

Judy Scharf Podcast Collection

I found this website to be very helpful. It gives you a straightforward definition of a podcast, tells you how to make a podcasts, gives you tips to succeed in making podcasts, and many other helpful tips and tricks.

All of this information is designed for teachers and it even gives you a grading rubric. It also gives you ideas for what to make a podcast about. I listened to the example for the Tour of the Digestive System and could not stop laughing. I thought it was great that the students could have fun, learn, and act out body parts.

The Education Podcast Network

I thought this podcast website had the best definition of a podcast: "... imagine a merger between blogging (regularly posted articles of news, insight, fun, grips, literature, and more) and radio (an established broadcasting medium that people have listened to for news and entertainment for generations)."

What I liked most about this podcast network is that it isn't restricted to one main age group, such as elementary. This website has elementary, middle, and high school podcasts and is organized very well. Podcasts can be found by age group or subject, and there are even professional podcasts available.

Timetoast Time Line.

This is a time line of my son Elijah

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Google Presentation

This is my presentation with sound using Screenjelly

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Music, Poems, and iPods

Don't teach your kids this stuff, Please? by Scott McLeod

Dr. Scott McLeod is an "Associate Professor of Educational Administration at Iowa State University and the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE)". In simpler terms, Scott McLeod aids in the process of educating teachers in the field of technology all over the nation. He is also a co-creator of the "Did You Know?" videos (see my earlier blog post).

In his satire, he addresses the fact that children who aren't taught technological communication skills are going to be left behind in the future. This is true. I want my child to have a "leg up", as Dr. McLeod puts it, on all the other kids. I understand that cyber sex crimes are a threat to children but the parents have to be engaged enough to monitor their kids and perhaps, through the process, the parents will learn something as well. Technology has become somewhat of a necessity and although it can create a lot of damage, it can create a lot of good as well.

The iSchool Initiative

This video was created by a high school student named Travis Allen who argues to do away with books, paper, pencil and put all schoolwork on an iPod Touch. Allen says that the iPod touch is capable of this as it is today with different apps such as World Wiki, Formulae, Chemical Touch, and so on. However, Allen says that the applications can be expanded to create a network for teachers, students, and parents; he also says that the internet can be limited to schoolwork only and the price will be cheaper than the normal school supplies are now. Allen also says that this would reduce the carbon footprint and help us step toward a cleaner environment.

I find this to be a brilliant idea but I cannot grasp it. When I write an essay, I need a piece of paper and a pen that I can write and draw for an hour or two and cross out what I don't like. I never am able to start at a computer, and the same goes for these blog posts. I tried searching to see who would be paying for these, and what would happen if there was damage but I couldn't find anything. I would also like to add that Travis Allen is now in college and has moved up to the iPad, which seems a more reasonable tool to use and also a more reasonable tool to use in college rather than high school. I think I'm still standing at the fork in the road.

The Lost Generation

I thought the reversal of this poem was a lot more accurate than the first part. If everyone really believes that we're going to destroy the earth, our melancholy attitudes will definitely get us there. The youth of today however, realize the downfall in of our environment and are eager to help make the Earth "green and healthy". If you don't believe, look up a couple of paragraphs and reread about Travis Allen.

The problem that we have to overcome is the ever building "me" society that we live in. If this can happen, future generations can gain a great value system and hopefully lower the divorce rate and the environmental deterioration rate. And just as a side note, I thought this was a really cool technique that I will be adding to my list of things to do when I start teaching.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - Lux Aurumque

I thought this ensemble was really cool. I used to participate in my high school choir but to do over the Internet, I think this may have taken a really long time. I know I wouldn't have the patience to put this together. This could be really innovative thing for school choirs/choruses to do, especially for auditions. If you do it this way, you can audition all the people by themselves and then put them together to see if they sound good together. I think the people in this video sounded great, like a heavenly chorus.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My valued thoughts

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

This video is a true reality check. It is amazing yet depressing how much time we spend on technology rather than doing other things that could be deemed more important. However, as technology advances, it gets harder and harder too look at an old-fashioned book. I personally enjoy reading for my own pleasure and I own many books but when it comes to studying, it is almost like I will do anything to escape the reading assignments.

Online classroom tools are designed to keep the students engaged and in my experience, they have been used at South in some instances. After fumbling to figure out how to turn up the volume for ten minutes, my Drama professor showed us videos from TED and youtube; I used the e-companion to fetch my notes for Biology; and my Psychology professor had his own website we downloaded our notes from. The two main subjects that I have taken with a technological void is Math and English. That is what the video was missing- a dusty, ancient overhead projector with the students asleep in the dark.

"It's Not About the Technology" by Kelly Hines

This was a very good outline on how to be a good teacher and stay in this century while doing it. I am all for the idea that technology won't do you any good unless your a good teacher. I also agree that the mindset of a teacher is important when incorporating technology into the classroom. A teacher can be just as stubborn as his or her students. Force feeding does not work with teaching or learning.

What I really got from this blog post is that a teacher is still the main tool in teaching. That has not changed. Technology has arisen as an aide in keeping the students focused and their creativity levels above and beyond the call of duty. Seriously, what student would rather write a 1,000 word essay over blogging?

Karl Fisch: Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

Karl was my favorite. I think is mostly the older generation that does not know computers very well. My mom is the world's worst. She blames me for her ignorance of technology and hates the fact that my two year old knows how to turn on the computer but she can't. All I can say is that these technologically illiterate people are missing out on a lot. I don't know what I would do without Facebook games.

I loved the analogy that if you are technologically illiterate, it's just like not being able to read or write. For today's generation, that is like the chicken and egg question. Which will come first for today's youth? Technology literacy or traditional paperback literacy?

Gary Hayes Social Media Count

If you watch this count long enough, which I don't recommend, you can Father Time's clock ticking. I feel like this is a countdown to an explosion. I suppose you could think of it as a ticking time bomb of information ready to explode. Be sure not show it to y2k fanatics.

How will this affect my professional career as a teacher? That means more information available on the Internet, bigger Facebook for my planning period (a joke of course), more youtube videos to show my students, and a whole lot of catching up to do.


My teacher was John Spencer, creator of Spencer's Scratch Pad. Mr. Spencer is a computer teacher in Arizona and has tons of great things on his blog! I highly recommend bookmarking his blog, following it, or just click the RSS button!

June 9, 2010

In the first post that I commented on, Mr. Spencer had a Google Docs presentation about all of the technologies that his children will not know about or use. I thought this was a great post because it was before I finished my Presentation and I don't even use some of these technologies. This is proof of how fast the technological world is growing.

Hi Mr.Spencer

My name is Nichole and I am a Secondary Education student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I have been assigned to follow you for the next three weeks by Dr. John Strange. This is the link to our class blog and if you would like to view my summary of your blog that I will be posting on June 30, here is my link.

I am thankful that I got assigned to you because you seem like an interesting and fun teacher from what I have read already on your blog and in your book.

It also great that the post I am commenting has a Google Docs presentation because mine is due this Sunday for my blog.

I never really thought about how outdated some of the technologies you listed were until I viewed your slide show. I can charge myself guilty of not using a watch anymore, I use my cellphone. I only use CD's in my car now but even though I'm only 18, I can say that I know how to use a record player. I can also say that mp3 players are so easy to use that my two year old can operate one.

Schools need to open up and accept the fact that they cannot hide from technology. In my first two semesters of college (I'm on my 3rd), I have found that online textbooks and online quizzes are better than the "old fashioned" type. And oh if people (such as school boards) could only realize that a technologically enhanced classroom inhibits boredom and induces learning. Quite the opposite of a traditional classroom unless you have a fabulously hilarious teacher.

June 16, 2010
This post was about the flaws of the education system and how people can't sit back and enjoy the beauty of education, but they have to prod and poke to see how to "enhance" it so to speak.


I thought this was a very interesting blog post. I had to sit and think about it for a while, but I think what you said has started to sink in.

The way a school operates today, at least here in Mobile, Alabama, is not to create thinkers or learners but it seems as if they are here to heighten memory. I have had many teachers that focus primarily on standardized tests, memorization, and making sure that they don't see the same faces again the next year.

Is this really what teachers want? I don't think so or they should have chosen a different field. School systems are so fixed upon showing off test scores for funding... but what do they mean? I don't think they mean anything.

The whole system is flawed and the errors spread out and corrupt everything. I like technology as much as the next person but if we jump into turning to technology for everything, the whole concept of a classroom will become fable in itself.

Schools are becoming more and more like machines or factories. In comes the student, much like a "tabula rasa" as Locke put it, and out comes the processed product who is not truly ready for the world and cannot critically think or make decisions but can memorize something and fill in bubbles better than anyone.

That is all I am going to say for now... I really enjoyed your post, and I'll save the school board for next time.

June 23, 2010

This was a podcast about the "real world". It focuses on how teachers and schools like to tell students they need to get ready for the real world (i.e. turn in work on time, be prepared) but they should really be teaching honesty, originality, and creativity.

I agree that teaching authenticity is better than "real world" preparations. The "real world" is not the same for everyone. In most cases it isn't the "real world" but "dog eat dog".

I didn't learn how to compose myself in public in school by any means. I've been a server for 4 years which, in my view, has been a great learning experience. I've seen things I wish I had never seen before. But, I have learned how to talk to people the right way, how to avoid conflict with co-workers, and how to bite my tongue and smile.

I think that these are the basic skills for the real world that teachers cannot relay to their students unless they are completely brutal. The
"real world" is what needs to prepare students for the "real world", not the school system.

Back to your point of authenticity, if kids were just taught to be honest to themselves and to other people, they might come out with the originality needed to survive in the ever-changing "real world". I'll take creative chaos over prompt organization any day.

This is not a post that I commented on for the assignment, but for the helpfulness of it. It is the easiest-to-understand explanation of a PLN I've seen so far.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Did You Know? 3.0
This video was rather disturbing. There wasn't anything about it that I didn't already know, some of the facts were just hard to cope with. American patriotism has always made America to be the country that is on top of the world. I am quite sure that this is what many people think, even despite the grotesque amount of debt that our government owes China. It is quite difficult for me to sit here in Mobile, Alabama, and fathom all the technology that is being used right this very minute all over the world. Amish communities have even integrated technology into their lifestyle to sell their products (Amish jelly is really good). When I learned about the Amish using technology is when I concluded that technology is inevitable and quite inescapable.

However, these are the facts that we have to deal with and they must somehow be embraced. A fact that I thought was funny was about Myspace would be one of the largest countries if it were one. I pondered on this and came to the conclusion that if Myspace were a country, it would be very scary. Why? It would be run by 13 year old girls. Those are my thoughts on Did You Know? 3.0.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
I thought this video was dead on about how schools are today. All through out elementary, middle, and high school there was always a designated time to use the computer. Even in college there are instructors that do not want you to use your computer. I saw a lot of comments arguing that schools are not the same as they used to be, and so on and so on. There are few classes that I have had that were technologically enhanced up until my high school graduation. Computer classes, two of my teachers in high school had smart boards, and I remember playing Oregon Trail in the fourth grade. That is all I can remember, other than typing papers on Word and creating PowerPoints.

The ending to this video should have been that Mr. Winkle could not stand the school either, so he went back to sleep. However, that is not so. This is truly a message to future teachers to liven up our curriculum and do not fear or detest technology in the classroom. Instead of forgetting about the computer, wake up the students and let them use it to showcase their intelligence instead of letting it deteriorate through tests and essays.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
This was my favorite video out of all four. Sir Ken is a phenomenal and captivating speaker. What stuck out most in my mind was when he talked about how we place subjects like math and language on a pedestal. I have seen many of my peers get so overworked by these subjects that they fail them and either repeat a grade, or drop out all together. I think that it would be heaven for students if there were more emphasis placed on art, drama, and dance classes. Instead of school feeling like an 8 hour day at prison, it should feel like an exciting place to go not only to learn about math and science but to unlock potential and talent through creativity.

Another awesome point that Sir Ken makes is about ADHD and how it is made to be something that should be controlled with medicine but it really just needs to be channeled through creativity. Where would Broadway be without Gillian Lynne? I don't think that Sir Ken was trying to say that everything in psychology's hefty DSM manual is made up but maybe ADHD is an opportunity, not a disability. Sir Ken is my new teaching inspiration. Kudos, Sir Ken.

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

This was my second favorite video. I admire Vicki Davis in that she a very good relationship with her students. By saying that she has a good relationship, I mean that she can teach her students and they can teach her as well. It is very empowering to a student when they can tell the teacher something new that the teacher doesn't know. Learning together also makes the class more fun and interesting and learning technology creates and endless cycle of learning.

Whenever I get out into the teaching world, I would like to integrate technology into my class. Even though I will be teaching English, I'm sure that there are many things to be blogged about Shakespeare. The main obstacle, however, is privacy controls on school computers. Although if they aren't taken off by then, I'm sure my students will amateur hackers anyway.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

First Post

This is my first post for my EDM310 class blog.