Sunday, February 26, 2012

This Is My Sentence

Blog Assignment #5

Dr. Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor at The University of Kentucky and an author. He is also a regular blogger and in his blog, "Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff PLEASE" (Which was posted on my 17th birthday but that is neither here nor there ) he expresses his thoughts on technology in life of kids. I love the sarcasm in this post, it almost sounds like he was serious. He basically said that technology was too dangerous for children to use and all the negative things that technology can cause. For example, he uses the phrases "Sexting" and "Cyberbulling" which are both HUGE issues for underage kids. This I can agree with but in the same breathe, I can disagree with some things so I guess I can say that I am neutral. McLeod founded The Center For The Advanced Study of Technology Leadership In Education which is dedicated to the technological needs of needs of school administrators. Oh the irony!! I enjoyed reading his blog post because it actually made me really look at the dangers of the Internet and other technologies. I know that when I become a secondary educator, I am really going to have to monitor how my students do with technology and remind them about the dangers.

Travis Allen
WHAT AN EXTREMELY ACCOMPLISHED YOUNG MAN!! I totally enjoyed his youtube videos and I even joined his initiative!! After listening to iSchool, his solution to massive budget cuts, teachers being let go and the increase in class sizes affected school systems I was floored. He was only 17 years old when he came up with this solution. iSchool is basically teachers and students using Apple based products to interact with one another on an educational basis. I am so in love with this idea and I see myself using this in my own classroom.

I know that school systems have to be persuaded to use certain technologies but I think this initiative is worth the hard work and butt kissing. This solution is going to not only have the school systems money but also decrease the carbon footprint facing the world today...TEAM ECO-FRIENDLY! I have a question: WHO WOULD NOT WANT TO SAVE $450 per student per year when you have well over 10,000 in your school system?! It's beyond amazing! I'm so excited to be apart of the technological educational revolution.

I just have one concern: Although, technology is the new innovative thing, but how often will the technology have to be upgraded? How will all the progress be backed up? How is all the students' and teachers' information being protected? Maybe I can just email Mr. Allen and see what his solution is.

Eric Whitacre
This is an amazing work of orcestrial art. I have never in my 20 years of living heard something so beautifully composed. I was astonished to read Jennifer's comment saying that these people never met and are from all over the world. The harmony was beyond incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed that video!

Kevin Roberts
After watching this video, I can say that Mr. Roberts was very informative but very boring at the same time. I would have rather a video of him talking about these issues than having to read at a fast pace like that. Now to the task at hand, Roberts expression about 21st century teaching leads back to technology. Using the social sites, search engines, etc. that students use on a daily basis outside of the classroom. He does have a point, but he is basically making the same point as the rest of the "modernizers". Keep in mind, this is just my opinion. Also keep in mind that this is my blog as well. His position is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! As educators, we have to be filters to the internet. Anything can be posted to Wikipedia so as an instructor, it would be my job to make sure that my students had the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Reading Rocket:
The first thing you notice when you go on the Reading Rockets website is that fact that the website is not just for teachers but for principals, librarians, parents and other professionals. This lets me know that this is not just a site for teachers but for EVERYONE! I know that this website will most definitely come in handy when I begin my teaching career.

Right off the bat I saw so many resources that could be used in my classroom. As a student who has an issue with comprehension, I have to read over something more than once to actually understand what is being asked of me. The comprehension apps caught my attention. With applications such as Aesop's Quest (teaching students to memorize that elements of the story), MiniMod's Reading for Details ( instructing students on the 'who, what, when, why, and how' rules of reading a story), and Opposite Ocean ( teaching students antonyms) would be great for 6-8th grade students. Apps like these would give middle schoolers the tools needed to build a good academic school record.

Not only does this site give resources for teaching students, it also provides resources for first year teachers (i.e. ME upon graduation). Clicking on the First Year Teacher's link, then clicking on "Become A Teacher: A Survival Guide for New Teachers", it leads you to The US Department of Education. Here you will see titles such as, "Working with Veteran Teachers", "Working with Parents" and "Working with Principals". In more common words, this guide takes you step by step in dealing with the people that you are going to interact with on a daily basis in your 1st year and however many years that you plan to teach. GRRREAT RESOURCE for teachers.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Blog Assignment #4

Langwitches Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting
One word to describe this video: EFFECTIVE. This video basically focuses on grade level instructors who utilize podcasting and vodcasting. These two terms may seem the same but vodcasting involves video. In the video, I learned that podcasting can be beneficial to students whether he or she is in class or not. Teachers can put these voice recordings of the lecture that day online for students to go back and listen to. I recall while at Auburn University, one of my professors used podcasts via iTunes for students because he was going on a conference trip and would not be in class. I recall a history professor doing the same.

Although they are effective, podcasts can make a college student lazy. If a student knows that podcasts or notes are available online, then classroom attendance will most definitely be on the decline. I would sugest that instructors be careful about how much information they put in these podcasts so to avoid the decline in classroom attendance. Podcasting and Vodcasting are exceptional ways for students to really learn because they can be used in projects! Projects can be quite boring sometimes but with the pod and vodcasting technology, students can bring projects to life! I honestly believe that they would be able to retain more information like that.

Podcasting with 1st Grade
O-M-G, these kids are adorable. This teacher took an idea and ran with it and it was beyond successful. Podcasting with 1st graders can be a tad difficult because 1st grade is the level where most children are just learning to read. My 7 year old brother is in the 1st grade at Fonde' Elementary School and he has difficulty reading and learning. I'm not saying that all students are like that but I do feel as though that is something to take into consideration when thinking about using technology at this age. As I have said many times in my last posts, using something that children can familiarize with will help them learn more effectively. For example, if a football player is having trouble in math, maybe some football lingo would help him or her (yes, there are female football players) to understand the material. The children were eager to record and if you go to the page and listen to them read....THEY SOUND AMAZING!

Flat Stanley Podcast
Well, there isn't much to say about this particular article other than the children used it to learn, not only to speak Hebrew but also to learn a history lesson. The teachers and students used podcast technology to teach students about "writing scripts, listening, comprehension, collaboration, speaking skills and frequency in the target language".  These are skills that these kids are going to take with them throughout their lives. As I have said before, children can lose interest in things fast but by the looks of how technology is integrating into classrooms...Well, those days of boring chalkboards may be over.

Blog Assignment #3

Effective Peer Editing
I can honestly say after watching the "What is peer editing?",  "Writing Peer Reviews Top 10 mistakes", and reading the "Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial", I now have a better understanding of how to evaluate a classmate's work. These videos and slideshow takes peer editing step by step.
 Step 1: Compliments
 Compliments are meant to be positive remarks about a student's work. Stay Positive about it, but be honest with the student at the same time. Examples would be "I love the topic you chose" or "Your vocabulary usage is excellent!". Motivate him or her to keep up the great work.
Step 2: Suggestions
Suggestions are also meant to be positive while being specific about what should stay or be change in your peer's work. The key to this is to be as specific as possible!! Things like word choice, sentence structure, organization, topic and details are what make a student's work. Please don't cheat your classmate out of a good grade.
Step 3:Corrections
Corrections means exactly that...CORRECT what is wrong with the work. That includes grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and spelling.

**My reaction to the kids video is that is was priceless. I have known a few students to really be like that when it came to peer editing in high school, especially the "Social Sammy". I had a friend who would always choose me to help her with her paper and her cousin was in the class as a class helper. They would talk and talk and talk and by the end of the class period, she had nothing done. I loved how accurate the kids were about those different situations. I would so watch that video over again just to listen to the interaction!!!
**My classmate's name was Jonathan Freeman. His blog post was interesting. Although, I found some grammatical errors and some interesting sentence structure, it was pretty on point. Unfortunately, I didn't let him know that so I failed in what I should have done to begin with. I can make this promise though, I will do 1000% better on my next classmate blog while keeping in mind these steps.

Part II:
Technology in Special Education
This is an awesome video created by a special education teacher to show how using technology benefits her special needs kids. The use of technology in the classroom isn't always a bad thing. Some teachers don't like computers in the classroom for fear of a student getting distracted by the world wide web.

Ms. Cook has taken what some teachers see has a distraction and turned it into an educational tool. Her students communicate using technologies such as computers. She interviewed 3 different student about using the computer and asked them if it made their assignments easier. All 3 answered with the same answer: Yes. The students even got a better understanding of the assignments as in the case of the student using the iPod Touch to listen to his book. She also stimulated the students' eagerness to learn with interactive video. This, I would think, helps the student to visualize what he or she is attempting to understand. As I have said before, not all students are auditory learners. Most are visual.

I see myself using computers in my classroom in order for my students to do presentations, check the class blog that I'm going to create, allow them to communicate with other blogging students, etc. I want to also teach them about "Internet Awareness". They would learn what is and what is not safe information to put out into the cyber world. As for my special needs students, I would try to get funding for iPads so that they could use them to better communicate and understand what is going on in the classroom. This would require me to find different apps for them but I know that it would be worth it, just to know that the student learned at least one thing in my class that day.

How the iPad works with academics for autism???
Technology in the classroom is an awesome idea, especially for those students with special needs. As I have said in the previous post, students have different learning styles. In most classrooms, a teacher will encounter students with disabilities similar to Autism. What is Autism? According to, autism is defined as a child's inability to communicate and interact in social environments.
"These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors"
There are applications provided by the Apple Store that can help students who live with Autism. Since I will be teaching secondary education/ social studies, I think that finding an app for my subject would be a little difficult. Although, there was one application that caught my eye as I searched through the iTunes Store. The application is called Virtual History ROMA. This app sends students on a virtual tour of ancient Rome. In my mind, a student can learn more by seeing history, instead of just reading about it in a textbook.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count
Basically this site is a counter for how the world is updating on a second by second basis. Even as I type this blog, the counter is increasing more and more. The more the counter increases, the more technology is going to change. By the time that I am a professional educator, numerous of new improvisions are going to be made.

For my future profession, this may also mean that I am going to have to become more creative with my teaching techniques. I have always thought outside the box when it came to almost everything that I have done in my life. Now the question has become: "What am I going to do with the time I have now?" Basically, technology builds on top of one another. I feel as though if you know how to operate past programs then you will be able to operate the newer models based on basic knowledge.

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today
This video was astonishing. The statistics (percentages and ratios) were mind blowing. I can actually relate to this video, considering I am included in those statistics. Many students, not just college, suffer from bordem in class because all the professor is paid to do is talk, talk, talk, talk, talk and did I mention TALK. The homework or assignments, in my opinion, are good practice to learn the material but by the same token, can be a complete waste of time. Come on, we only read (not learn) enough to get through the next class discussion and sometimes the information that you are reading is NOT EVEN RELEVANT!!! It can sometimes be a complete waste of time and money used to pay for the books. It is beyond important to obtain a diploma and degree in this day and age.

I agree that technology is a more effective way to get work done. When using technology, a teacher can combine the assignment or homework with what the student tinkers with all day, everyday...HIS OR HER COMPUTER. Most, if not all, kids these days are technologically savvy and will be more than happy to get up to a computer. I, personally, loved this video. I think I am going to post it to my facebook page to see what my fellow students actually think.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A DMAC Production

TechIntersect by Bill Genereux

To be honest, I have only commented twice on Mr. Genereux's blog. He has some interesting stuff posted. I saw the latest post about the father that shot his daughter's computer 7 times because of the note she posted on Facebook. On the social site, individuals are allowed to post notes. Well this little girl did just that. She posted a note on how she didn't like the way her father worked her. I responded to that by saying that I thought he could have handled the situation better than shooting the girl's computer. That was a total waste of money spent on the computer. The computer was an HP and I know from experience that an HP computer is well over $1000. All I could do was shake my head.

Another post that I commented on was a post about the "cat posters". If you know anything about this, then you know the famous "Leaving Me Hanging" poster with the kitten hanging from the clothes line. I just want to say that I am an animal lover! I wanted to be a vet for the longest. That was my whole reason for attending Auburn University was for the vet program. I still want to work with animals but it may be on a voluntary basis now.

I want to say that I am going to keep checking in on his blog. As I said before, he has some very interesting blog posts.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blog Assignment #2

Did You Know? 3.0- A John Strange Version

I will say that this is an entertaining yet very informative youtube video. The background music sounded like it came from the "Star Wars" or "Lord of The Rings" soundtrack. I can say that I was shocked at some of the statistics in the video. For example, I did not know that over a million people can watch ONE youtube video in ONE minute. 

That is mind boggling and the cell phone statistic just blew my mind. 85% of high school students own a cellular phone. Please keep in mind that high schoolers range from 13-18 years of age, maybe older. I will say that I'm not surprised though because my father just bought my 10 year old sister a cell phone for her 10th birthday. I just hope that this doesn't distract her from what she is supposed to be concentrating on, which is school.

It is a scary thought about how much information we put into the world wide web unknowingly. Facebook is the hottest social network to hit the web since myspace. On Facebook, individuals give personal information, even though they are instructed not to. The web, although very helpful, can turn very dangerous if not used with wisdom. For example, a child meets someone on the internet and think it's okay to go meet this stranger in person. I feel as though internet use should be limited by parents when it concerns children. It doesn't just have to stop at the internet; computers, cell phones, cars, television. Just tonight my 7 year old brother asked me could he do his black history report on Kevin Hart. Kevin Hart is a famous actor/comedian. He can sometimes use inappropriate language, not suitable for children. There lies the question: Is it the fault of the entertainer or the parent of the child watching? 

Mr. Winkle Wakes

This is a "cute" modernized version of the classic story about Rip Vanwinkle, a man who slept for 100 years and awoke to find that things in his word had changed drastically. This mini movie shows the technological innovations of the 21st century in comparison to other centuries past. For example, when he entered the office building and found the computers, phones, and fax machines. It would have surprised me as well if I had woken up after 100 years and found that I could take to someone across the country on a TV screen. As Mr. Winkle ventures out into the new world, he is a little disturbed that he could not find any familiarity until he came across the school. 

The school is where Mr. Winkle was more comfortable because the teacher was using the same format of teaching as the teachers did back in his day. The instructor would stand in front of the class and lecture to his/her students. In today's world or should I say in Dr. Strange's world, this would be a "burp back" teacher; which we are all striving not to be. Although, what the modern-day teacher is teaching is the same premise as the teachers back then. The modern-day schooling has added more to the course of study for the students. It's not just reading, writing and arithmetic anymore. It's Reading, Literature, Social Studies, Sciences, Math, Physical Education, etc. 

Sir Ken Robinson and The Importance of Creativity

I want to start by saying wow! That video was so entertaining and profound. Sir Ken Robinson is a very entertaining character. He presents important information with a comical kick. His theory is that education is dulling out the art of creativity. Some of the best minds in the world stem from creative thinking. He is saying that most students hide their "creative capacities" because they are scared of being wrong. In a sense, the phrase "there are no wrong answers" is null and void.

I love how he makes his point with the story about the choreographer for the stage play "Cats". As a child she was active and couldn't remain still. She felt as though she didn't fit in at school because she moved so much. Her mother thought something was medically wrong with her but her counselor showed her mother that all the little girl wanted to do is dance. So the little girl was placed in a dance academy and she fit right in.  Question: What if her counselor had never shown the little girl's mother that she was a dancer? My verdict is that we would have missed out on the wonderful world of a broadway hit.

Students have different ways of learning. Some of those ways may not be traditional. I am a auditory learner, meaning that I learn by hearing things over and over again. I am also the "hands-on" type. I think his point is that if you want a child to thrive in the classroom, figure out a way that will fit his or her learning style but also do it in a way in which the child doesn't have to lose his/her creativity.

A Vision for  21st Century Learning

I would say that the arguments of this video is based namely upon how students are being instructed in the classroom, in that they are not really getting any instruction at all. The student comes to class 5 days a week and a teacher crams information into their brains. The student only absorbs enough for the test and then forgets the valuable information. In all actuality, this argument is quit accurate. I, myself, used this same method in high school.

The makers of the video talked about making learning more entertaining to children by producing educational video games. In my opinion, this would be a great way for students and teachers to interact without the student getting bored. For example, my cousin plays "Call of Duty: Black Ops" for hours a day. If a child, as shown in the video, had something similar to the Black Ops video game then they would be more likely to retain that information.

Vicki Davis: A Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Vicki Davis is doing and excellent job in taking children from a rural city in Camilla, GA and connecting them to other student half way around the world. She doesn't restrict her students just to textbooks. She teaches the same course material but she teaches it in a way that students can explore outside the text. She says that going into education, teachers shouldn't think that they have to know everything. They should allow the students to teach them sometimes.

Mrs. Davis has created an award-winning blog and introduce students to "Digi Teen" which is a site for students to post their writings and research on the subject of "digital citizenship". Her students seem to enjoy it very much. In 2009, Mrs. Davis was able to take her students the Middle East!!! How awesome is that?!?!?!?! I don't know too many teachers that have that ability.