Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Project 9b - Instructional Timeline

Blog Post 14


For this assignment, we were to check out Jose Picardo's blog on technology and education, Box of Tricks. Mr. Picardo also created a video which is a great resource for adding more technology to your classroom. In the video, Mr. Picardo gave his top ten list of things you can do to incorporate technology in your lesson plans. Most of these things, we have explore in EDM310 (which didn't surprise me in the least). What I did find interesting was the last thing that Picardo said in his video. He said that you should only use technology in your classroom when you find that it can help you accomplish the mission of transmitting your objectives effectively and efficiently to your students. I think this is very important to remember. Sometimes it might be easy to get caught up trying to think of a new, technologically exciting way to present something and you end up taking away from what you initially set out to do. It can be better to keep it simple (stupid!).

Picardo's blog has a handy list of free internet resources for education. This was a GOLDMINE! I had no idea there was so much neat stuff out there. I will definitely be adding this to my PLN for future reference. Don't get me wrong, there are several things on this list that I've had the opportunity to explore through EDM310 this semester, but there is so much more out there than I even imagined. There are so many neat things my mind can't even process all the ways I might be able to use them for my classroom right now. One of the things I did find interesting in Picardo's video and from the list was Hot Potato or contentgenerator.net. These are both things I haven't explored yet but could use to make fun and interactive review games for my students.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Project #16 - FINAL PROJECT



The Learning Leos - Jenifer Stovall, Bonnie Gaudet, Lana Brooks, and Gina Phillips.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog Post #13

For this assignment, I elected to read the New York Times article "My Teacher is an App," and post my response to what I have read.

Over the course of this semester, I have struggled with what my viewpoint is, exactly, on "virtual" education - that is, at what point does technology in the classroom stop adding to the value of education and start being detrimental? This article helped me develop a better grasp on what I feel is "too much" technology in the classroom. Basically, in my opinion, there is "too much" technology in the classroom when there is no longer an actual human being leading the class. We are already as a society letting technology do so much to raise our children and getting away from a considerable amount of human contact. Let's not let it completely educate our children!
Girl taking classes online
The authors do an excellent job outlining the recent movement to online education even at the early levels. It also shows the different types of students and how they perform with so much freedom when it comes to determining when to complete their educational goals. The article states "It's all part of a burst of experimentation in public education, fueled in part by mounting budgetary pressures, by parental dissatisfaction with their kids' schools and by the failure of even top-performing students to keep up with their peers in other industrializedTest scores report countries. In the nation's largest cities, half of all high-school students will never graduate." I can definitely understand that moving to online schools are easier on state budgets than absorbing the cost for every child to sit in a classroom, but when the article goes on a few paragraphs later to say "A few states, however, have found that students enrolled full-time in virtual schools score significantly lower on standardized tests, and make less academic progress from year to year, than their peers. Critics worry that kids in online classes don't learn how to get along with others or participate in group discussions. Some advocates of full-time cyberschools say that the disappointing results are partly because some of the students had a rough time in traditional schools, and arrive testing below grade level in one or more subjects." I can't help but to wonder if saving the states educational budgets are worth not providing our kids with quality educations! They are, after all, our future! If they fail to learn the curriculum and don't know how to get along with others or participate in group discussions, how are they going to succeed running corporate America one day?

In short, I definitely agree that the drive to reinvent schools is necessary and that technology should play a huge part it in. However, I don't feel that cyberschools are an appropriate solution.


PLN Final Report

Midway through the semester, I posted that I was using Symbaloo as the aggregator for my PLN. At the time, I was finding Symbaloo the most helpful of what I had tried thus far and was enjoying adding things to it. It was fairly easy to use and allowed me to organize things by type. With the click of a button, I was able to save things to access later and accumulate helpful resources for my future teaching career.

*ENTER PINTEREST*

A screen shot of my
A few days after I made that post, I was invited by a friend to join Pinterest. I am now officially addicted. With Pinterest, you can create virtual pinboard of any type and organize them in any way you choose. You can create your own "pins" from any source on the web. I have pinned various blogs, craft ideas, listings of apps for use in the classroom, instructional YouTube videos, and many of the resources I have been provided in this class. Not only is it super easy to create your own unique pins from any web source you come across, you can also "follow" other Pinterest users with common interests and repin their pins onto your board. It's like retweeting something interesting on Twitter. I think this is a GREAT resource for upcoming teachers and anyone developing a PLN!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blog Post 12

For this assignment, you are to watch the following video of Steve Jobs speaking at the 2005 Stanford Commencement. Think about what Steve has accomplished throughout his career, and reflect on the advice he gives to the Stanford students about to graduate. How does his advice impact you and your teaching philosophy? Write a blog post reflecting on the video.

Final Project Progress Report

For the Final Project, I am in a group with Lana Brooks, Gina Phillips, and Jeni Stovall. We are still in the brainstorming and planning stages of our project but have decided to do the project as a demonstration on how we plan to use technology in our respective classrooms. Two of us are elementary education majors, and two are secondary majors (who I think are both focusing on literature, but I could be remembering incorrectly). I am excited about the outcome of our project and think it will turn out well!

Blog Post 11

First Graders in Mrs. Cassidy's Class

This video was really great! I have been doing my 1st tier observation hours in a first grade classroom that was using minimal technology. The teacher was using her SMARTboard effectively in lessons and students were getting involved this way, but I was having trouble visualizing how I might be able to use blogs and wikis in a class of students who were just learning to read and write. Mrs. Cassidy's class has really inspired me to encourage students to not only work on handwriting skills, but also to work on their writing skills via their blog. This way, they can see their progress over time on their blog, but their parents and grandparents and relatives that live farther away can also see what they are doing and how they are improving. I love the idea of using wikis to have people help them learn about traditions and rituals! The Skype interview with Mrs. Cassidy was also very helpful to me, to see how I might be able to get this type of program started in a first grade classroom. She had some great insights and advice!

Blog Post 10

Do You Teach, or Do You Educate?

In this video, the definitions of teach and educate are examined. It truly makes me want to refer to myself as a future educator, rather than a future teacher. When people ask me what I am getting my degree in and I say I am going to school to be a teacher, sometimes I get nasty looks or responses like "oh, what a waste of your potential!" Why does my degree choice get these responses? Because so many people choose this field for "ease" or "convenience" that nearly everyone has had a teacher some point in the educational career who put a sour taste in their mouths. But, my degree will maximize my potential to change the experience of up and coming students. I will do my best to foster a love of learning in my students so that they have a positive outlook on school, learning, and technology.

Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home!Pencil Sculpture
I loved the metaphor in this post! The absurdity of children not taking pencils home because they might be used as toys translates really well with some people's ideas regarding the use of computers, iPads, etc. Yes, these items can be used for entertainment but we can teach students to use them as so much more! I particularly liked the response to "How will you keep them accountable at home?" when he said "I don't hold them accountable. I try and find projects that keep them interested. But if they choose to play Hang Man or go on the pen pal networks, I'm okay with it. There's probably some learning that's taking place that we don't realize." If we create projects that keep children interested in what they are doing and they complete the assignment, we have accomplished a great task. If they then use these technologies as entertainment, that is fine. Children learn a considerable amount through play!

Blog Post 9

For this assignment, we were to read Mr. McClung's blog At the Teacher's Desk, specifically his posts "What I learned this year" from various school years.

In 2009, Mr. McClung's messages that hit closest to home with me were be flexible, stay positive, and listen to your students. We have all started dreaming up these elaborate perfect lesson plans in our classes that we can't wait to implement in our own classrooms once we become teachers. We have grand plans that they will go exactly as we imagine them. The reality is that we will likely have seDon't sweat the small stuff!veral disasters. It is important to realize that lesson plans will have to be changed from year to year and class to class. Not every student or group of students learn the same, and the classroom dynamics are always going to be different. We need to remember when things flop, to stay positive and not get discouraged because everyone fails occasionally. The final thing to remember is to focus on doing things effectively and making sure you are meeting your job requirements for your principals and administrators, but never forget to make sure you are listening to your students. We cannot be successful teachers if we become so involved in trying to make everything perfect and pleasing for our administrators and let our students suffer.

In 2010, Mr. McClung reminds us that we need to be ready to adapt our styles and preferences to make sure we are doing a good job. We might get comfortable in a certain niche and prefer teaching 3rd grade science or 10th grade American Literature, but there are times when we might be asked to move from our comfort zone to teach something we have never done before and don't really know how to approach. We need to be constantly assessing what we are doing to see if there is a better way to teach it. He also says it is helpful to find someone who has been at the school for a while particularly when you are very new somewhere and latch on to them as a valuable resource. If they take you under their wing it can make your transition considerably easier.

In 2011 you can see that Mr. McClung is really blossoming where he has been planted and developing more wisdom. His advice this year is not to be afraid of being an outsider. It is better to keep to yourself than to get involved in drama in the teachers' lounge. It is important to remain true to yourself so that you can be true to your students. He also tells how important it is for us to guide our students in the right direction, but that we need to remember they aren't learning anything when we get frustrated and end up taking over the reigns.

All in all, I think I will make my own sort of tradition like this one - a year in review at the end of the school year. I think it would be great to keep track of what I have learned each year, and it might prove helpful to future teachers to see how I developed my teaching philosophy as I went along. I really think this was an interesting assignment.

C4T #4 - Summary Post

Post #1
For my 4th C4T, I was assigned to Jeff Utecht's blog The Thinking Stick. The first post I read was entitled Technology: More than a tool, a new skill. In this post, Jeff starts off by talking about a previous post he had written regarding dropping the term "21st century" from anything regarding technology, since we have been in the 21st century for 11 years. Because of this, the term just didn't have the "oomph" it used to. He went on to say that his next big idea regarding technology was to stop looking at it as being a "tool" and more as a "skill."

He made his point by using a metaphor regarding cars. Antique carIf we look at a car as a tool, then we can load it full of people and push it from point A to point B. It is in essence doing the task we want it to do, but we are not fully taking advantage of its potential because we are not using the skills necessary to do so. If we stop teaching students to use technology as a tool, and teach them the skills necessary to use any type of technology, we are teaching them to use it to its fullest potential. Anyone can sit down in front of Microsoft Office products and fiddle with them for a few minutes, figuring out enough to get the job done. In my comment, I told Jeff that his post pretty much summed up what I had learned so far this semester and the attitude that I had developed toward our responsibility as teachers with regards to our students' use of technology in the classroom. He has not replied to my comment.

Post #2
The second post I read was How Much Longer Will a Degree Mean Something? In this post, Jeff Utecht examines a program offered by Stanford where you can go online and take courses offered at Stanford for free. The program is known as the Stanford Artificial Intelligence class, and 35,000 people have already completed several weeks worth of coursework. At the end of the course, they won't receive a degree from Stanford (because as Utecht explains that simply wouldn't be fair to those paying thousands of dollars to attend the University), but they will receive a certificate stating they have completed them.

Utecht goes on to analyze the program, saying that if we move to this type of system the skills and experience we hold will become more valuable than our A college diplomadegrees which will change the way higher education works. I share the opinion of several other readers on this. In fact, my husband and I have discussed this very thing recently. When I graduate in a few semesters, my degree will have taught me the psychology of education, the history of education, and the theory of education. While all of those things are important to teaching, my degree will have taught me extremely limited information about the practical application of teaching. Education (at least at the elementary level) could almost be downgraded to an Associates Degree rather than a Bachelors and cram all that into two years rather than four. This would keep the cost down of a degree and get me into my hands on experiences much faster. Teaching, after all, is mostly about trial and error in the first few years anyhow.

Also interesting to me is the idea of the skills you have being more important than the courses you took seems like it will bring us back in time to the point before EVERYONE got a college degree, which brought the value of a degree down to this point. It's funny how history is cyclical.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Project 9b - Instructional Timeline

Blog Post 14


For this assignment, we were to check out Jose Picardo's blog on technology and education, Box of Tricks. Mr. Picardo also created a video which is a great resource for adding more technology to your classroom. In the video, Mr. Picardo gave his top ten list of things you can do to incorporate technology in your lesson plans. Most of these things, we have explore in EDM310 (which didn't surprise me in the least). What I did find interesting was the last thing that Picardo said in his video. He said that you should only use technology in your classroom when you find that it can help you accomplish the mission of transmitting your objectives effectively and efficiently to your students. I think this is very important to remember. Sometimes it might be easy to get caught up trying to think of a new, technologically exciting way to present something and you end up taking away from what you initially set out to do. It can be better to keep it simple (stupid!).

Picardo's blog has a handy list of free internet resources for education. This was a GOLDMINE! I had no idea there was so much neat stuff out there. I will definitely be adding this to my PLN for future reference. Don't get me wrong, there are several things on this list that I've had the opportunity to explore through EDM310 this semester, but there is so much more out there than I even imagined. There are so many neat things my mind can't even process all the ways I might be able to use them for my classroom right now. One of the things I did find interesting in Picardo's video and from the list was Hot Potato or contentgenerator.net. These are both things I haven't explored yet but could use to make fun and interactive review games for my students.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Project #16 - FINAL PROJECT



The Learning Leos - Jenifer Stovall, Bonnie Gaudet, Lana Brooks, and Gina Phillips.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog Post #13

For this assignment, I elected to read the New York Times article "My Teacher is an App," and post my response to what I have read.

Over the course of this semester, I have struggled with what my viewpoint is, exactly, on "virtual" education - that is, at what point does technology in the classroom stop adding to the value of education and start being detrimental? This article helped me develop a better grasp on what I feel is "too much" technology in the classroom. Basically, in my opinion, there is "too much" technology in the classroom when there is no longer an actual human being leading the class. We are already as a society letting technology do so much to raise our children and getting away from a considerable amount of human contact. Let's not let it completely educate our children!
Girl taking classes online
The authors do an excellent job outlining the recent movement to online education even at the early levels. It also shows the different types of students and how they perform with so much freedom when it comes to determining when to complete their educational goals. The article states "It's all part of a burst of experimentation in public education, fueled in part by mounting budgetary pressures, by parental dissatisfaction with their kids' schools and by the failure of even top-performing students to keep up with their peers in other industrializedTest scores report countries. In the nation's largest cities, half of all high-school students will never graduate." I can definitely understand that moving to online schools are easier on state budgets than absorbing the cost for every child to sit in a classroom, but when the article goes on a few paragraphs later to say "A few states, however, have found that students enrolled full-time in virtual schools score significantly lower on standardized tests, and make less academic progress from year to year, than their peers. Critics worry that kids in online classes don't learn how to get along with others or participate in group discussions. Some advocates of full-time cyberschools say that the disappointing results are partly because some of the students had a rough time in traditional schools, and arrive testing below grade level in one or more subjects." I can't help but to wonder if saving the states educational budgets are worth not providing our kids with quality educations! They are, after all, our future! If they fail to learn the curriculum and don't know how to get along with others or participate in group discussions, how are they going to succeed running corporate America one day?

In short, I definitely agree that the drive to reinvent schools is necessary and that technology should play a huge part it in. However, I don't feel that cyberschools are an appropriate solution.


PLN Final Report

Midway through the semester, I posted that I was using Symbaloo as the aggregator for my PLN. At the time, I was finding Symbaloo the most helpful of what I had tried thus far and was enjoying adding things to it. It was fairly easy to use and allowed me to organize things by type. With the click of a button, I was able to save things to access later and accumulate helpful resources for my future teaching career.

*ENTER PINTEREST*

A screen shot of my
A few days after I made that post, I was invited by a friend to join Pinterest. I am now officially addicted. With Pinterest, you can create virtual pinboard of any type and organize them in any way you choose. You can create your own "pins" from any source on the web. I have pinned various blogs, craft ideas, listings of apps for use in the classroom, instructional YouTube videos, and many of the resources I have been provided in this class. Not only is it super easy to create your own unique pins from any web source you come across, you can also "follow" other Pinterest users with common interests and repin their pins onto your board. It's like retweeting something interesting on Twitter. I think this is a GREAT resource for upcoming teachers and anyone developing a PLN!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blog Post 12

For this assignment, you are to watch the following video of Steve Jobs speaking at the 2005 Stanford Commencement. Think about what Steve has accomplished throughout his career, and reflect on the advice he gives to the Stanford students about to graduate. How does his advice impact you and your teaching philosophy? Write a blog post reflecting on the video.

Final Project Progress Report

For the Final Project, I am in a group with Lana Brooks, Gina Phillips, and Jeni Stovall. We are still in the brainstorming and planning stages of our project but have decided to do the project as a demonstration on how we plan to use technology in our respective classrooms. Two of us are elementary education majors, and two are secondary majors (who I think are both focusing on literature, but I could be remembering incorrectly). I am excited about the outcome of our project and think it will turn out well!

Blog Post 11

First Graders in Mrs. Cassidy's Class

This video was really great! I have been doing my 1st tier observation hours in a first grade classroom that was using minimal technology. The teacher was using her SMARTboard effectively in lessons and students were getting involved this way, but I was having trouble visualizing how I might be able to use blogs and wikis in a class of students who were just learning to read and write. Mrs. Cassidy's class has really inspired me to encourage students to not only work on handwriting skills, but also to work on their writing skills via their blog. This way, they can see their progress over time on their blog, but their parents and grandparents and relatives that live farther away can also see what they are doing and how they are improving. I love the idea of using wikis to have people help them learn about traditions and rituals! The Skype interview with Mrs. Cassidy was also very helpful to me, to see how I might be able to get this type of program started in a first grade classroom. She had some great insights and advice!

Blog Post 10

Do You Teach, or Do You Educate?

In this video, the definitions of teach and educate are examined. It truly makes me want to refer to myself as a future educator, rather than a future teacher. When people ask me what I am getting my degree in and I say I am going to school to be a teacher, sometimes I get nasty looks or responses like "oh, what a waste of your potential!" Why does my degree choice get these responses? Because so many people choose this field for "ease" or "convenience" that nearly everyone has had a teacher some point in the educational career who put a sour taste in their mouths. But, my degree will maximize my potential to change the experience of up and coming students. I will do my best to foster a love of learning in my students so that they have a positive outlook on school, learning, and technology.

Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home!Pencil Sculpture
I loved the metaphor in this post! The absurdity of children not taking pencils home because they might be used as toys translates really well with some people's ideas regarding the use of computers, iPads, etc. Yes, these items can be used for entertainment but we can teach students to use them as so much more! I particularly liked the response to "How will you keep them accountable at home?" when he said "I don't hold them accountable. I try and find projects that keep them interested. But if they choose to play Hang Man or go on the pen pal networks, I'm okay with it. There's probably some learning that's taking place that we don't realize." If we create projects that keep children interested in what they are doing and they complete the assignment, we have accomplished a great task. If they then use these technologies as entertainment, that is fine. Children learn a considerable amount through play!

Blog Post 9

For this assignment, we were to read Mr. McClung's blog At the Teacher's Desk, specifically his posts "What I learned this year" from various school years.

In 2009, Mr. McClung's messages that hit closest to home with me were be flexible, stay positive, and listen to your students. We have all started dreaming up these elaborate perfect lesson plans in our classes that we can't wait to implement in our own classrooms once we become teachers. We have grand plans that they will go exactly as we imagine them. The reality is that we will likely have seDon't sweat the small stuff!veral disasters. It is important to realize that lesson plans will have to be changed from year to year and class to class. Not every student or group of students learn the same, and the classroom dynamics are always going to be different. We need to remember when things flop, to stay positive and not get discouraged because everyone fails occasionally. The final thing to remember is to focus on doing things effectively and making sure you are meeting your job requirements for your principals and administrators, but never forget to make sure you are listening to your students. We cannot be successful teachers if we become so involved in trying to make everything perfect and pleasing for our administrators and let our students suffer.

In 2010, Mr. McClung reminds us that we need to be ready to adapt our styles and preferences to make sure we are doing a good job. We might get comfortable in a certain niche and prefer teaching 3rd grade science or 10th grade American Literature, but there are times when we might be asked to move from our comfort zone to teach something we have never done before and don't really know how to approach. We need to be constantly assessing what we are doing to see if there is a better way to teach it. He also says it is helpful to find someone who has been at the school for a while particularly when you are very new somewhere and latch on to them as a valuable resource. If they take you under their wing it can make your transition considerably easier.

In 2011 you can see that Mr. McClung is really blossoming where he has been planted and developing more wisdom. His advice this year is not to be afraid of being an outsider. It is better to keep to yourself than to get involved in drama in the teachers' lounge. It is important to remain true to yourself so that you can be true to your students. He also tells how important it is for us to guide our students in the right direction, but that we need to remember they aren't learning anything when we get frustrated and end up taking over the reigns.

All in all, I think I will make my own sort of tradition like this one - a year in review at the end of the school year. I think it would be great to keep track of what I have learned each year, and it might prove helpful to future teachers to see how I developed my teaching philosophy as I went along. I really think this was an interesting assignment.

C4T #4 - Summary Post

Post #1
For my 4th C4T, I was assigned to Jeff Utecht's blog The Thinking Stick. The first post I read was entitled Technology: More than a tool, a new skill. In this post, Jeff starts off by talking about a previous post he had written regarding dropping the term "21st century" from anything regarding technology, since we have been in the 21st century for 11 years. Because of this, the term just didn't have the "oomph" it used to. He went on to say that his next big idea regarding technology was to stop looking at it as being a "tool" and more as a "skill."

He made his point by using a metaphor regarding cars. Antique carIf we look at a car as a tool, then we can load it full of people and push it from point A to point B. It is in essence doing the task we want it to do, but we are not fully taking advantage of its potential because we are not using the skills necessary to do so. If we stop teaching students to use technology as a tool, and teach them the skills necessary to use any type of technology, we are teaching them to use it to its fullest potential. Anyone can sit down in front of Microsoft Office products and fiddle with them for a few minutes, figuring out enough to get the job done. In my comment, I told Jeff that his post pretty much summed up what I had learned so far this semester and the attitude that I had developed toward our responsibility as teachers with regards to our students' use of technology in the classroom. He has not replied to my comment.

Post #2
The second post I read was How Much Longer Will a Degree Mean Something? In this post, Jeff Utecht examines a program offered by Stanford where you can go online and take courses offered at Stanford for free. The program is known as the Stanford Artificial Intelligence class, and 35,000 people have already completed several weeks worth of coursework. At the end of the course, they won't receive a degree from Stanford (because as Utecht explains that simply wouldn't be fair to those paying thousands of dollars to attend the University), but they will receive a certificate stating they have completed them.

Utecht goes on to analyze the program, saying that if we move to this type of system the skills and experience we hold will become more valuable than our A college diplomadegrees which will change the way higher education works. I share the opinion of several other readers on this. In fact, my husband and I have discussed this very thing recently. When I graduate in a few semesters, my degree will have taught me the psychology of education, the history of education, and the theory of education. While all of those things are important to teaching, my degree will have taught me extremely limited information about the practical application of teaching. Education (at least at the elementary level) could almost be downgraded to an Associates Degree rather than a Bachelors and cram all that into two years rather than four. This would keep the cost down of a degree and get me into my hands on experiences much faster. Teaching, after all, is mostly about trial and error in the first few years anyhow.

Also interesting to me is the idea of the skills you have being more important than the courses you took seems like it will bring us back in time to the point before EVERYONE got a college degree, which brought the value of a degree down to this point. It's funny how history is cyclical.