Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Goodbye EDM blog land...

Dr. Strange, Mr. Tashbin, and staff......thank you!!

Classmates........good luck!

Wow - Final Blog Assignment!

Holy cow - I cannot believe this is the last EDM blog assignment! Here it goes...

I have learned SO much in this class! Anything from blogging and Google Docs to voice recording and timelines. I do not have the time and space to go into every little thing, because there was so much that we were able to dabble in. I have to say the top few things that were most valuable to me were all the different aspects of Google that are available (this is a great time-saver!), blogging (my most favorite!), timelines (an incredible source for teachers at any level!), Google Earth (quite possibly THE coolest thing EVER!), and so many more things!

I would have liked to have gone into some more detail about each of the things that we talked about. I feel like everything was so rushed and that we weren't able to devote time to some things that we needed to devote time to and really explore.

Everything I learned in this class has been valuable in some way or another, but I have to say that the thing I wish to forget and probably will not use is any form of the voice recordings. Although they are a valuable and useful tool in the classroom, I just think that in this class, it was not as valuable and those five minutes might could have been better spent on other projects and topics that are much larger and would require some more depth.

This was an exciting class for the shear fact that you never really knew what to expect. You knew the things you were going to have to do, but you never quite knew what was going to be thrown at you in the class. It was always something new and exciting that helped you learn.

I think that every aspect of this class was somewhat challenging for me, as I had no prior experience with a large number of the topics we covered. I had to think and really apply the things we were doing even though I did not have much prior knowledge to draw upon.

Absolutely, I was never board in this class. There was always some project to work on or something to update or check.

I would not change anything about this course, except to make the expectations clear right from the beginning for each individual project and to have a time table set for each of them throughout the semester instead of having them all so close together at the end. I would also find ways to devote more time to actually explaining in depth each feature that we use.

I will not go so far as to say that I am fully technologically literate, but I am more than I was at the beginning of the semester. I have a lot more to learn, but I am excited to use what I have learned this semester and to continue to learn and grow. I think that is what courses like this are all about and what life is all about in general...learning and growing.

I will find more ways to integrate technology into my lessons as early as student teaching if my cooperating teacher will allow. I would love to continue to use the things that we have learned in here and to build upon that knowledge. I think also the biggest thing is my PLN. I hope that that will continue to grow and that I can have resources and maybe one day BE a resource for someone. I would like to find new technology related things to use in my classroom and find really good ways to integrate them.

Project 8

For this project, I chose to discuss how I would go about teaching someone - namely a group of my students - how to use Twitter and how I would incorporate it into the classroom.

First, I would show the students my own Twitter account and show them what it looks like.

Then, I would lead them through the steps of creating their own Twitter account that are spelled out on the site.

I would show them how to Tweet, Re-tweet, Reply, send direct messages, and change their profile information and privacy settings. I would also assist them in collecting followers and requesting that others follow them.

In the classroom, I would use it as a means for my students to post answers about different things. Instead of having a homework assignment as such, I could say, "Tweet your answer to this question by [insert specified time and date]." This is a fun, non-conventional way for students to show what they have learned, but get used to new technology at the same time.

Updated PLN

In the past few weeks, I have been able to expand my PLN. I have enjoyed reading a few teacher blogs, and found one by Mrs. Kathy Cassidy (whom our class had the opportunity to Skype with) that I really is the link. This is her class blog and it also has some really interesting ideas for classroom activities as she shares the things that she is doing in her classroom.

I am also following a blog by an unnamed elementary school teacher in Oregon. Her site provides a lot of "how-to's" and activities that she uses in her classroom.

I am also following WeAreTeachers on Twitter, as well as purposing to regularly visit their website.
There seem to be a lot of fun resources on here that I can use as a future teacher.

Google Survey

Here is my Google spreadsheet about music styles.

I asked questions about music styles, how much time you listen to music, and how much money you spend on music!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Week 14

7th Grade PLE
This student's PLE looks absolutely nothing like mine! The student has so many different things that she uses and people she follows and that follow her. I think it is wild yet wonderful that she has all these connections. I hope to one day build such a vast network like that.

Two Questions
What's my sentence?
Was I better today than yesterday?

Everyone wants to be known for something, but no one can do everything. I think having that one sentence - that one thing - is the key to finding fulfillment. If you try to do everything, it is so easy for burn-out to occur and it happens so quickly as well. If I could pick one sentence to be "my sentence" as an educator, it would be as someone who impacted students academically and in all other areas of life.

I also think we all must try to better ourselves each and ever day. There is always at least one thing that we can do better. We could be kinder, more patient, or make an conscious effort to do something nice for someone. As an educator, this has great applications. We can try each day to better understand our provide an environment that is that much more conducive to refine teaching methods so that the most amount of learning can take place. Every single teacher, no matter how long you have taught, can always, ALWAYS do better in some area, and I aim to always be trying to improve myself in this area throughout my career.

Comments for Others
This week's teacher blog that I read had to deal with creativity. I cannot discuss it at length here, but head on over to this blog post by David Warlick and you'll see what I mean! My student blog this week was a little boy sharing about what he was looking forward to about camp. And as always I got to see what my classmates were writing about and read and comment on their thoughts as well!



For my interview project, I had the privilege of talking to someone who I not only respect as an educator, but is a dear friend of mine as well - Causey Middle School Assistant Principal, Dr. Lynn Cleveland. Our time together was brief, but enriching as well.

The first topic of our conversation was about the types of technology that are currently in use at her school. Dr. Cleveland shared with me the several types of basic technology that are currently in use at Causey Middle School, such as LCD projectors, Smartboards, Smartpads (a small hand held version of the Smartboards, which I did not even know existed.), and the various computers that they use. A few of the Language Arts classes also use blogging as a project. She also told me that some of their programs are computer based and some more are headed that way. Skype, Twitter, and Facebook are not used as a regular part of the classrooms for students because of they may be able to get into things they should not get into on the Web.

The second topic of our conversation centered around the things that she as an administrator would like to see used more at her school. She said that she would like to see some of the educational aspects of Twitter and Facebook used. She also said she would like to see more of the Smartpads used, but due to funding, that is proving to be a challenge.

Last, but not not least, I posed the kicker question of our entire course: should teachers be technologically literate? Her answer was a resounding YES! She said that, as an administrator, when she is observing her teachers, she makes a note of whether or not they use technology in some form or fashion. And in her words, "If they are not, my question is why [are they not using technology in their classroom]?" Another statement that she made that I think is completely true is that if you aren't technologically literate in some way, you might as well not even go into education. I think this is true because technology will soon be the basis for absolutely everything!

I am thankful that Dr. Cleveland was able to spend this time with me and share an administrator's perspective on technology in the classroom and how that is incorporated in her school specifically.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The REAL Google Earth Project

I apologize for the lack of audio on this presentation and for the labels not properly showing up. This is a journey that I take about once a journey home from Mobile to Prattville. Here are the cities in order that they run on the presentation:

Mobile, AL
Bay Minette, AL
Atmore, AL
Evergreen, AL
Georgiana, AL
Greenville, AL
Fort Deposit, AL
Montgomery, AL
Prattville, aL

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Skype Project

I had the privilege of chatting via Skype with one AMAZING woman!

That would be my boyfriend's mother, Bethanne.

She and her husband currently live in Atlantic, Iowa, so it is fun to chat with them any way that we are able while we are here.

I absolutely love Skype, and, contrary to what I once said, I will be keeping this up hopefully long after this course is over!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Timetoast Timeline

Okay this was probably one of my most fun projects this semester....

My timeline made on Timetoast

I decided on the topic I chose because I am very interested in history from that time period. Plus, it was just fun to do!!

Week Twelve

Okay, so this week is all about why and where students should post work.

One of the main reasons I think it is important for students to post work is that it provides a record not only for the teacher, but for the student as well. They can go back and see what they did and how they are growing as a writer, video maker, or whatever. It also makes it possible for others to see what they are doing and comment and critique. In that way, they can also help other people that they may never get the opportunity to actually meet face to face expand their learning just by a blog post or a video.

Videos are good ways to to display what you learn. You can show step by step processes or the product of something else you have done. Plus it is fun to actually SEE what is being done instead of just hearing it on a voice recording.

Twitter is also a very good way to post things. It is easy for the teacher to check (one sign-in and you can read everything at once). Plus, it is another good way for the students to be able to keep up with what they are learning and posting.

Timetoast Timelines are another good way for students to interact with different technology and learn something at the same time. They can learn how to organize things and learn about different events. It is also relatively easy for a teacher to check.

The last one is probably one of my least favorites to use, but I think it is also a good thing - voice recordings. Audacity, Vaccaro, and other things like it are fun tools for kids to use and again are also relatively easy for a teacher to check. Teachers and students alike can keep these things for years to come as evidence of work and for personal enjoyment.

~ Comments for Others ~

I got to comment on two classmates' posts about a blog post. My class had the opportunity to Skype with the author of the blog we read last week, so it was really neat not only to do that, but to see my classmates' opinions about what we had read. My comments for kids blog this week was one done by a FIVE YEAR OLD! He posted a picture and then dictated to his teacher what he wished to be written on there. My comments for teachers assignment was once again with Mrs. Kathy Cassidy, whom we also had a chance to Skype with earlier this semester. What fun it always is to read posts by others and learn from them!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Week Elevent

All I can say to this week's blog readings is WOW!

The first part is a class blog, where it showed a video voicethread that they had made for a young girl whose father had talked to their class via Skype. This was a really sweet thing for some young kids to do, as little Kaia was not yet able to read. The next part was Kaia's own blog where it showed some pictures and a presentation that she had done. WOW this little girl can take some pictures. The next was a blog by her father. He expressed his thoughts on the video voicethread that the students had done, and also how his daughter's work had been picked up by various people across the country and world - from New Zealand to Alaska!

I absolutely think that this is the future of education. We are in a time and place in our culture today where knowledge is going universal. Making presentations and videos will soon become the norm. I think this is a good thing. It gives a global perspective to young students who may not otherwise have the chance to see other people in the nation or world...people whom they may never meet in real life, but may be able to have a significant impact upon. Taking knowledge to a global level like that also gives students a sense of accomplishment that nothing else can. Plus doing projects of this sort eliminates some of the paperwork grading a teacher is required to do, which frees up class time for him or her to help the students on their projects. I do not think technology will totally eliminate the need for teachers and paperwork, but it will greatly cut down on time that teachers spend doing some kinds of paperwork and let them focus on the reason they have a job - their students!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Week Ten

I really enjoyed Morgan Bayda's blog post "An Open Letter to Educators". I can absolutely identify with the sentiments she shared.

The thing that I most identify with is the encouragement to communicate factor. Although in most of my classes, we do cooperative activities and things like that, it is not near like what we do here in EDM 310. The entirety of the class hinges on communicating with others and sharing our knowledge. In other classes, cooperative learning is only an element of the class. I enjoy the element of EDM 310 that allows us to share what we have learned with other people and to take in what others have learned.

I also really identify with her sentiment about sitting for hours listening to lectures on things that you never read. A lot of my freshman and sophomore year classes were like that. A few of my teachers made them interesting, enjoyable, and relevant, but most were your typical, boring college lecture class. I would love to see teachers make things more relevant in their lectures...maybe not a full on technology style, but more interactive and fun. I enjoy EDM in that the things we cover in this class are completely relevant to our future in the world of education.

I also got the chance to do some commenting on other people's blogs this week. I got to comment on a video done by a group of 10-12 year olds...these guys are seriously creative! I got to comment on a teacher's blog in CANADA as well as my classmates! I love reading what others have to say and show!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Week Nine

Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX)
Prior to this post, I was pretty familiar with ALEX, but was not entirely familiar with the things that were all a part of the website. This website is useful because in one website, you can view the course of study standards for any grade and subject, see sample lesson plans, find websites for professional development, and podcasts. They really have so many good resources available to teachers on this site.

I can definitely see myself referring to ALEX as a resource when I become a teacher. Between the sample lesson plans, podcasts, and State Department of Education websites and resources, there is so much to be learned here. I think it is good that they have all of the course of study standards listed in one comprehensive place. This makes it easier to see what is what and browse the standards to see what we are getting ourselves into!

Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, & Students Statewide (ACCESS)
When you go to the ACCESS website (, you will find all manner of information about the program. The entire website has to do with distance learning in the public schools and it seeks to make opportunities equally available to all students, regardless of location. There are sections for students, educators, a list of courses offered, and additional resources. All in all, it looks like an appealing program.

Having been a part of a class in high school that was the base classroom for a distance learning program, I have mixed opinions about this. I think that distance learning is a really good thing, but there are also some issues that arise with it. This especially is prevalent with the technology associated with distance learning. Being in the base classroom, I don't think you get as much out of it. However, it is very beneficial to the ones on the other end who are receiving your signals and your directions.

I could not access the power point mentioned in the blog assignment at the time of posting this, but I will check back and keep trying.

Comments for Kids, Teachers, and Classmates
I get the unique privilege each week of commenting on my classmates' blog posts from the previous week. It's always entertaining and inspiring to hear what my classmates have to say. I also get to comment on blogs done by students and teachers each week. This week, I got to comment on a video presentation made by a group of 10 and 11 year olds. This was some good acting even for their young age. I have also been following a teacher's blog called "Don't Waste Your Time", and I have thoroughly enjoyed it as well. The writer gives a lot of helpful tips on technology and it is neat to see what all is out there.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week Eight

I really enjoyed watching the YouTube video of Randy Pausch's "last lecture" entitled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams". His own dreams, his life story, and his humor really combined to make it a fun video to watch and listen to. Our assignment dealt with his teaching methods and how he used them. I had a hard time pulling these out of the video, but I did find several things that he talked about that are definitely worth noting. They are things I will definitely carry into my future classroom.

One of the things he emphasized was having fun and breaking the mold of the 'book learning' that so many programs are built around. He used this in his classroom by making all of his classes entirely project based. While in the elementary classroom, this may not be pulled off as easily, the theme definitely can be. We as 21st century teachers (and teachers to be!) have access to so many things that can make learning so much more fun for our students, but still help them learn. I think the students would enjoy that, and the teachers might enjoy not having so many loose papers floating around to grade! I know I would!

With the project emphasis also came working in teams. This is one of the most valuable skills that elementary school students and really people of any age can learn. At the elementary level, however, it is an especially important skill. I also liked his idea of rating how well the other people in your group did. I wouldn't use this in an elementary classroom, though. With middle and high school age students, that is definitely a good way to go! Mix the groups up and let the students experience working with other students. This can even be done at the elementary level. Giving them a variety of experiences lets them learn about other people and gain valuable social skills.

The last and most important thing that I really got out of this is to always push your students to do better. Pausch mentioned that the first time his students did a project they all did really well and he was stumped how to keep going with it. After some counsel, he walked into his classroom and told his students that what they had done was really good, but he knew they could do better. I think it is SO vitally important as teachers that we continually push our students to excel. When they do well, praise them and then help them figure out how they could improve the next time. Help them to learn to "reach for the stars" and do the best they can do.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week Seven

Writing in Multimedia
Dr. Richard Miller from Rutgers University had a unique series of YouTube videos on writing in multimedia. The videos were all about 'alternative' ways of publishing and producing information. Instead of library books made from pen and paper, these videos advocate digital publishing. I certainly agree with this method. It is more current, more interactive, and can be used on more of a global scale. Students and adults can share knowledge not just with the few people who may or may not read a book in a library, but they can share it with the world when they post it on the Internet. That is a pretty cool thing for a kid especially to know - that so many will be able to read and be interested in what they have learned.

As far as whether or not I am ready for this, I'm not 100% sure. I am pretty proficient in word processing, but I don't claim to know all about it or the other forms of technology to use. This class has opened my eyes to the various means and methods that technology can be used. Specific to the topic of this video, however, I think I am pretty ready for this challenge.

I plan to prepare my students as well as I can in this area. I will implement both written and electronic assignments using all manner of technology as pertains to the assignment. I plan to learn all that I can so that I will be able to best serve the needs of my students. I want to offer all manner of activities and methods so that all my students will be able to maybe find that one thing that fits them that they are comfortable using.

The Networked Student
I have mixed feelings about this video by Wendy Drexler. On the one hand, I am completely on board with students having a PLN and using technology to learn. On the other hand, I am saddened to think that this may be, in some way, be eliminating the need for direct teaching. Although the video does maintain the role of the teacher as a moderator and one who teaches the students how to find these things, I imagine that this will eventually become all that a teacher is - even in the elementary school setting.

I think it is part of our job as teachers to train students to think for themselves and find answers on their own. That is a no brainer and something I think that every teacher should strive for. To put learning and school in an such an online format, I think, devalues the training that those in the field today have already gone through. Should they learn new methods? Absolutely! Should the ones coming behind them (myself included) be trained in this area? Yes! But should classes even at the elementary level be solely electronically based with the teacher who has gone through so much conventional training reduced to the role of moderator? Absolutely not!

I am not downing technology or being a moderator and teacher of these things. I think the good and creative teacher will find ways to combine the methods of the past with all the bright hope of the technology of the future. His or her training will be worth it, the students will be more balanced, and a lot of learning can still take place and be shared with the whole world! I look forward to implementing technology in my own classroom, but I also want to make the best use of the "pen and pencil" methods I have learned and will learn. I think it just makes sense to give our students the best of both worlds!

Toward a New Future of Whatever
I enjoyed Michael Wesch's video. There were a lot of parts of it that thoroughly confused me and made me wonder why the heck I was watching it. His delivery was really good, however, and he finally made it to something that made sense to me (YouTube!). YouTube is a fascinating tool that I can definitely see myself using. He also brought in Twitter, Facebook, and blogs as forms of expressions as well.

I can well relate to this "search for significance" and presenting a "version of myself" for the world to see. I think it is really important to always present yourself well. I have learned the importance of self-presentation during my college years because that sets the impression that people will have of you for years to come. It is nerve wracking, I imagine, to sit in front of a camera (or a person) and lay yourself out on the line. There is a lot at stake. I am self conscious about talking to a camera or the like when there are others watching. I am also not exactly keen on talking in front of others (although thanks to public speaking class, that is getting better.).

Comments for Teachers and Kids
Over the past few weeks, I have gotten to comment on some student blogs. Most of them are just about their day and things they are doing in class. I am able to encourage them and learn from them through these posts. This week was no exception, as I got to encourage some students in New Zealand as they take action to help their environment. I also got to comment on a teacher blog where she posted a really cute game (more about that in a future post) and able to make her a part of my PLN.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Better Late than Never - Week 6 Post

Dr. Alice Christie has a really awesome website ( where she discusses some popular things and how they can be used in the classroom. She has links and information about anything from Google Earth, GPS, and geocaching to podcasting, web design, and more. She really gives some helpful hints and information about these popular things and how some of them can be used in the classroom. The one that I liked most was Google Earth. I think that is one of the all time coolest tools EVER! It can help students learn about things and really give them a hands on sense of where things are in our world.

The thing that I appreciated most about this website is the information she gave on internet safety. She provided ways to be safe while using various forms of technology. I think this is an important thing to consider and to really warn your students about. So many things can go haywire on the web and students need to be aware of those things and know what to avoid and how to avoid it. Teachers also need to be aware of safety issues so that we can do our part to protect the impressionable eyes, ears, and minds of our students.


I have to be honest...the next topic is one that I am not familiar with at all. iTunes U definitely does look like something that is very usable in a classroom, however. Students can use things on there to learn about and hear things they may not otherwise get the opportunity to hear or learn about. One of the examples on the website was about listening to heart murmurs. Video can also be used to allow students to see things they may not otherwise get the chance to do so, like I discussed in an earlier post on podcasting.

I think perhaps my favorite and the coolest thing about iTunes U is that it makes things available to all students, regardless of disability. Visually impaired students can now feel a part of things when they can listen to a podcast about something and be able to know just what their non-impaired classmates got to know. It also helps students with motor disabilities be a part of things as well by being able to hear the same things that their classmates hear and experience. I think this is a GREAT tool that I can definitely see myself using.


iPods are also a product with which I am not very familiar, since I do not own one of my own. They do have a unique possibility in education, however. Thanks to this, I now have a better understanding of how they can be used.

Susie Meserve sat down with Robert Craven, the education technology coordinatior in Orange County [California] Department of Education. He gave some helpful insight on how iPods can be used and how they are use in his district. They are helpful for students to be able to download podcasts, audio books, and the like so that they can have them at their own disposal for whenever they are needed.

I think this is a neat tool, but should be used with great discretion. It has its many good points, but it can also be used for non-educational purposes during education time quicker than most things that are available. However, I definitely think that they should be utilized to the extent that is appropriate and that the student is able to use them.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Week Five ~ Wikipedia and More


This is probably one of the most debated subjects in all of technology. Is it reliable or is it not? Anyone can post anything (generally speaking) and many may see it and take it as the truth. There are ways for that information to be tracked and monitored, but it still gravely affects the site's credibility as a source of reliable information. I don't want to destroy Wikipedia entirely. I think it is a good starting point. I do, however, think that one should be VERY careful using the site and not trust it alone. Search out other information. Expand beyond Wikipedia and get more information from places that might hold just a little more credibility than Wikipedia.


Mr. McClung, a Missouri teacher, posted a blog about his first year of teaching. The insights he shared were really profound, but simple at the same time. The main thing that stuck out to me was about listening to your students and keeping your lessons student centered. So often, we teachers can get caught up in the test scores, student achievement, and so on that we forget that school is all about the students anyways. We forget that they are the entire reason we are in the position we are! So instead of trying to impress our superiors, let's listen to our students. Let's involve them in the learning process. They will be much more willing to learn and participate if they have a say-so in the way things go, with the teacher providing management and authority. And I believe that if we do that, the achievement and high scores will come!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Week Four ~ Podcasts/Blogs

Podcasting and Blogging with 3rd Graders

I came across the Langwitches Blog about podcasting with 3rd graders. Since this is the grade I desire to teach, I was particularly interested in this one. The students assigned an endangered species in Florida and had to research it not only to become an expert on it, but to produce a podcast as well. It is neat to to think that they are not only becoming experts themselves, but they are sharing that expertise with other students across the country and the world.

I also found a post on this same blog entitled "Blogging with Elementary School Students". I know our focus this week is on podcasting and the like, but I found this article to be really neat as well. It talked about how students not only use classroom blogs just to foster their own creativity and such, BUT teachers also use as a means of communication. The post homework assignments, classroom announcements, and other important news. I think puts a new spin on the importance of blogging and of web communication in general (in all the various forms it takes).

I can absolutely see myself using both of these tools in my classroom one day. Podcasts are a really neat, interactive way to enhance student learning and to have something that they can preserve forever. Plus, the podcasts can be used to help other students learn as well. Blogs are really effective tools of creativity and communication. With the proper guidelines, I think any student of writing age can learn to blog and journal his or her thoughts.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Podcasts and Videos

~ Podcasts ~

To be frankly honest, I did not enjoy this assignment as much as I have other previous blog assignments. The SmartBoard and KidCast podcasts were my favorites by far though. They were very relevant to my future career and were entertaining and fun to listen to. Smart boards are really fun to use, and it was neat to hear how podcasts can be used to set the tone for a field trip or another classroom assignment of any sort. My least favorites had to be EdTechtalk, MacBreak weekly, and This Week in Photography. Not a one of those podcasts seemed any bit as relevant to me. During part of one of them, all they were talking about was bridge scaling or something along those lines. What under God's blue sky does that have to do with anything at all?! I thought those last three were silly, irrelevant, and over all, just not worth listening to.

~ Videos ~

The first video about 1st grade Media Literacy was interesting to watch. These first graders were really smart in so many areas. I was amazed at how they knew how to navigate the computer and get to their class's blog! It's amazing to know how early they are learning things. It makes me wonder what students will know how to do in a few years.

The second one shocked me. It was nice to see how the teacher was teaching them the importance of using nice words in their comments. They use the internet to learn both in the school and at home. They use blogs to improve writing skills. They used Wikis to find information about various topics. They used videos to help learn the alphabet, which I think is really a neat way to learn things. They communicate via Skype with other students.

May we as teachers rise to this challenge to implore these means to teach our students!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Movie and Some Blogs

Video: A Vision of Today's Students

This video was right on in the portrayal of today's student, college or otherwise. I know it's how I feel from time to time. Do I deny the importance of reading and taking notes in class? Absolutely not. I know they have their proper place in the education process. However, I do think it is wrong to base a class purely on this method of instruction. A hybrid course such as EDM 310 provides the best of both worlds. You get to learn things "by the book" so to speak, and then you get to actually DO it and see how it can be applied to life.

As a future teacher, I think we need to keep this in mind. Students aren't going to always want to just sit and read and take notes. They may want to, and should be allowed to, interact and share ideas. Technology plays a huge role in this process. They can branch out to the world and see what others think about things, and then they can form more well-rounded opinions. Who knows? They may even contribute to someone else's knowledge...or even our own.

Blog 1 - It's Not About the Technology

Kelly Hines makes some wonderful points in this blog post that I absolutely agree with. It's not all about the technology. She emphasizes that teachers should be learners and grow and adapt to changing practices. And they absolutely should. Teachers who have been teaching for a long time have seen many things come and go, and I think they sometimes struggle with new technology that they just are not familiar with. She makes the point that teaching and learning are two very different things. Teachers may have one way they wish to teach something, but a student may not learn that way. They may learn by a different method. Maybe technology has the key to that.

The point that stuck out most to me is that technology is useless without good teaching. It doesn't matter if you have all the technology in the world. If you can't teach a particular point or somehow help a student to learn something, nothing matters. She gives some very good and practical strategies for teaching in a 21st century classroom without the technology. I think if we follow those guidelines, we as teachers and our students will be much better off.

Blog 2 - Is It Okay to be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

The answer to this, obviously, is no. Some of the points the author of this blog makes are pretty harsh to me, however. It really does make you many teachers do have basic levels of proficiency? According to the author, those in education who are not technologically literate should seek other employment (or become technologically literate). THAT is really harsh. While technology is a big part of education, I don't think that it should be a determining factor in the job search and hiring process. Teaching skills and qualifications should weigh heavier. Technology can be learned through time...teaching skills are a LOT harder to do that with.

He takes a strong stand on being proud of your technological ignorance. While I agree that not being computer literate and proficient is not a good thing, I disagree with it being compared to not being able to read and write. I don't understand all the ins and outs of computers, how they work, and the many things that can be done with them. And truthfully, I am okay with that. If someone offers to show me something or I am taught something (such as the many programs in this class), I am more than willing to learn and use them. However, I am not going to always push the "latest and greatest" forms of communication on my students. I will present a wide variety of things. And in so doing, I hope to train my students to be prepared to communicate in a wide variety of ways.

Social Media

This thing made my head hurt! It is absolutely astounding to know all those various statistics and how quickly they are happening. As a future teaching, it makes me wonder how I can incorporate these things into my classroom, since they are obviously so very popular.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shocking Stastics and Movie Musings

Did You Know? 3.0

The answer to the question for me was no. I did not know many of the statistics presented in the video. They shocked me. To know how advanced we are and are going to eventually be absolutely blows my mind! The one that blew my mind the most was when the video pointed out that by the 2040s, we could have a computer that exceeds the computational capability of the entire human species! The WHOLE species! That is absolutely impossible for me to even conceive right now!

There were many other statistics presented in the movie. They all seemed to drive home one point, though. Technology is rapidly changing, even as it has also done in past. Another point that was made that shocked me is that it is changing so fast that some technology will be outdated by the time a student finishes the third year of a four year program. Wow!! To think that some of the things will learn even today and in this course might change before we are completely finished with our education!

Mr. Winkle Wakes

This is quite possibly one of the FUNNIEST videos I have ever watched. Imagine what it would be like to be asleep for so long, and then to wake up and find that everything is so different. Hospitals have machines to keep people alive. Streets are filled with cars. Offices are abuzz with chatting, printing, and so much more. I think of my great-grandmother, who is no longer with us. How would she feel if she came back to our world today (she has been gone for almost 11 years)? What would she think? How would she react to everything?

These changes are true of course until you get into the school. As future educators, we have to learn to adapt to and embrace as much technology as is appropriate to use. I do agree with solely computer based learning, but it is indeed a very beneficial and helpful tool. It is useful in teaching skills that are necessary for life and can provide educational entertainment for many during the downtime in between lessons. So teachers and future teachers out there, let's embrace technology and incorporate into our classrooms not only as a method of learning, but also as a way to bring balance and a variety of knowledge not just to our students, but to ourselves as well!

Are Schools Killing Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson seems to think so. He talked about hierarchy of subjects in education, specifically in the arts - music, art, drama, and dancing. These subjects are very rarely taught in our schools today, especially dance. I think that is just plain shameful. Some students may not learn and be gifted in hard core academic areas, but they may have the chance to go very far in some form of the arts. But do the get these chances in most public schools? No. Students are simply made to sit through basic courses, board and frustrated with the material.

This is simply not right! Sir Ken made an excellent point as he said that some are discouraged from these fields because they can't make a job out of it. "You can't play music. You're not a musician!" was one of the quotes he used. Sure, there may not be opportunities abounding and they are hard fields to get into, but to discourage children from pursuing their interests in the arts is just wrong! I hope that somehow when I have a classroom of my own that I can incorporate all modes of learning and doing...even those that are, well, less conventional!

Harnessing Digital Smarts

A classroom in Georgia uses mainly computer means of working, with a lot of student-led teaching. They uses wikis and blogs to share the information they learn. The teacher even confessed that she did not know how to do one of the things the students were doing until the day a student taught the entire class. A quote of hers that I will remember is, "The whole idea of turning school upside down and empowering students to share with one will have a much better classroom."

Student-led teaching is not always the best thing, BUT it can be a very effective tool. Letting students know that they are valued enough to trust them with that responsibility is always a good thing. It can foster learning in their lives, the lives of fellow students, and the lives of the teachers they come in contact with. Teachers do not know it all. I know I sure don't! Let's learn from our students. Who knows? We might be inspiring the future of the profession for which we spend our lives doing!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Hey everyone!! Welcome to my very first blog!