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.
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.
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 enjoyed....here 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.
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.
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 students...to provide an environment that is that much more conducive to learning...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.
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 month...my journey home from Mobile to Prattville. Here are the cities in order that they run on the presentation:
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.
TimetoastTimelines 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!
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!