Sunday, April 29, 2012

Project #15: SMARTBOARD

I'm having some issues uploading my videos from youtube. My part of this project can be found on Constance Dixon's Blogger. I am going to try to the best of my ability to get this video uploaded.

Blog Post #13: NO TECHNOLOGY

I can honestly say after completing this assignment, I had never realized how much I depend on technology. It was interesting because earlier this week someone hit a light pole and knocked the power out that supplied an entire city block so we were without power for a day and a half.  Going without my computer was the most difficult for me because IT'S FINALS!!! As a college student, finals is a do or die moment for your GPA and that day and a half gave me a chance to study my textbooks for my Biology and Government class. My grandfather is a very passive individual and seeing him go to laying on the couch in the den reminded me of when Hurricane Katrina powered through the Gulf Coast. That was one of the most scariest times in my life. I felt like I was on a lone island all alone with my thoughts, studies and mixed emotions about my relationship.

Margarett Lockett, my great-grandmother

When I first read the assignment, I thought to myself, " Daphney, there is no way that you can do this because you use too much technology everyday for personal and educational use. What is Dr. Strange thinking? How are we supposed to do this assignment and study!!!" As the experiment progressed I began to realize that it was not as bad as I thought. I paid my great grandmother a visit. She is 87 years old and has been living on Magee Street in the Prichard community for 68 years!! She told me stories about her childhood and I got to learn loads about her childhood. She even told me stories about how my uncle and grandmother would get into trouble. They would hide in her Cedar Robe when they knew they had done something wrong. I found myself laughing as hard, I almost came to tears because my sides were hurting from laughing so much. He told me the story of her parents and her grandparents. Considering that I am in training to be my family historian, this was an epic event. To end my time there, great-granny and I went to the park for a walk. 

I think that not having my cell phone was the hardest part of my experience. My boyfriend is out of town and not being able to talk to him was the hardest part of all this. Even though it was hard, I think that the separation was best for us because it allowed us to miss one another. After the 24 hours was up, I received a text from him saying, "Bae, I miss you so much. Why haven't I heard from you?". It almost broke my heart, but I could not reply right then. I was refusing to start this experience over so I had to be strong.

My friends called and text me like crazy!! This experiment almost was not completed when my sister came to my house telling me about her and her husband's fight. He was going to get a call from me and get an ear full. If you can tell, I was not pleased with him. I composed myself and talked her into going to our mom and letting her handle the situation. The next evening when the lights returned, I text my boyfriend and checked on my sister.  Experiment complete!

Self Reflection

I think that this has been an eye opening experience. I have been gone a day and a half without any type of technology. I learned so much from my visit with my great grandmother about my family history. I can see that I am greatly dependent on technology for communication, school and just entertainment. I AM A FACEBOOK ADDICT! Going without updating a status or posting a picture was so hard for me but now that I have gone without it, it is not as difficult staying off the social site now as it was in the past. I can say that I am going to take another day away from my cell phone, computer and television. I have always wanted to go sit by a body of water and reflect on my life and just get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of life. I need a break from all the drama and my relationship and family sometimes. I want to thank Dr. Strange for setting this experiment as an assignment because it was a great exercise of getting to know myself.  

As I come into the classroom as an educator, I know that my students will be heavily dependent on technology because it is what they have become accustomed to. The cell phones, the computers, the video game systems, etc., are evolving everyday and this is going to pull students more and more into technology but the question is, "Is that such a bad thing?" Technology is becoming educational and I feel that as an educator, you have to use the tools given to you to help your students attain knowledge.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts - Special Post #12A

Creativity and Curiosity 

I can honestly say that the United States Department of Education uses textbooks to put a child's imagination and creativity in "chains". Textbooks are a crutch for teachers. Do you really think that the teachers themselves are learning from these books? Can these teachers really educate these children and   these children retain the information required to pass standardized tests and beyond? The people who sit in Washington, D.C. making these lesson plans to hand out to educators are not thinking about what kind of learner a child is, rather they are thinking about how to get that child out of that classroom so that the next child can take his/her seat. I do not feel like they care if the child really learns the subject. The course curriculum can be altered to increase curiosity. I think that a study or survey should be done on students in each grade level, asking what they like most about each subject and what they would change about each subject. This is to get the students' input on how they feel the curriculum is affecting their learning abilities and how it should be changed. This gives students a voice in their educationThe way an educator presents the information to the students can either grab their attention or put them to sleep. I believe that a child will have better retention with hands-on work rather than book work. As an educator,  I feel that you must be enthusiastic about what you are teaching. Make the student feel excited to walk into that classroom Monday-Friday. Teachers can incorporate things that the students enjoy in everyday life such as using their smart phones, computers, music that they listen to, social sites, collaborative exercises, etc. I say social sites because Dr. Strange taught us in EDM310 to push the bar to see what  we can do to make sure that child investigates what he/she wants to know. In my honest opinion, educators' hands are tied by the "red tape" of the school system. By "red tape" I mean the regulations that each teacher has to abide by among being employed by the school system. I can not list these rules because I do not know them as of yet, but from what I have been told by actual educators these rules hinder them from doing a lot of what they want to do in their classrooms. When I was in high school, there were certain field trips that we could not take, their were certain websites that we could not access because they were blocked, their were certain books that were not present in the library because the school system thought they were inappropriate for high school students. "Red Tape" is all around education and until we cut this red tape, the children are going to suffer.
I know that parents want the best for their children. They want the best lives and education for their little ones. The question is can educators really give these children a better education when they can not always release their own creativity? 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blog Post #12

My name is Daphney McFadden and I am a secondary education/social sciences major. I know many people believe that history is a boring topic, but it does not always have to be so allow the students to rap a researched topic.

Rap Battle: History Edition

This blog assignment requires two students. The instructor will assign an era in history, such as the Industrial Revolution, the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Civil Right Movement, the Black Panthers, past presidents, the Constitution, etc and the students will compete for bonus points added to his or her final grade. If you have ever watched 106 & Park on BET then you know what I am talking about. If not, here is a video of a Wild Out Wednesday segment.

*1. The instructor will pair (2) or group students randomly.
2. The instructor will choose an era from history or allow the students to choose for themselves.
3. The students will have until the next class meeting to create the rap.
4. The rap has to be original. 
5. The rap will be done in front of the class upon the next class meeting.

Rap Rules
1. The rap can be on the topic of choice or what the instructor assigns.
2. The rap has to contain a hook, consisting of at least 6 bars (bar=1 line).
3. The rap must contain 2 verses.
4. The rap cannot contain profanity or you will be eliminated.
5. The rap must be recorded and posted to Youtube. It must also be embedded in your class blog.
6. The rap can rhyme, but this is not a requirement.
7. The rap should be at least 2-4 minutes in length.
8. The rap is allowed an instrumental. An instrumental is a song without lyrics.  

Rap Presentation
1. The students are called to the front of the class
2. The students face one another
3. The students will shake hands
4. Each student goes one at a time.
5. The audience is be quite for each student's presentation. Anyone talking WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.
6. The winner will be determined by applause from the class.
7. Participants will be respectful of the other.
8. Students can wear a costume, imitating his or her favorite rap artist.
*9. The will be 3 rounds (in total). The winner will be determined in the 3rd round. 

Here is an example, but it does not have to be this poetic

* the rounds depend on class size.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Comment for Kids: April

I have had some really great kids for the month of April. I ran into the issue of my kids not blogging, but the ones that did blog had some great blogs. I can't remember them all but the one that sticks out to me the most would have to be Dylan, not because he was the last "C4K". He stated that he went to an Art Museum with a friend. I thought about it and I came to the conclusion that I have not been to an Art Museum, ever. Dylan has inspired me to go so when I have some friend time in Birmingham this summer, I think I will treat myself to the Art Museum.

The Global Blogging Challenge

Unfortunately, I have not gotten any information from the challenge. I have not received any assigned student or teacher. I E-mailed Dr. Strange about it, but I never received an E-mail back from him either. I was wondering why my name was highlighted on the checklist for the blogging challenge as well. I guess I am going to have to send my E-mails out again. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Post #11

This is the most adorable video of children that I have ever come across. Ms. Cassidy's First grade class explains what they have learned about using technology in the classroom. These first graders demonstrate the use of SMARTBOARD technology as well as using computers in there "down time".This video really pulls at your heart strings. It is truly amazes me that children this young can absorb so much!

Technology In The Classroom

Education has rapidly envolved from what it was 10 or 20 years ago and the reason is mainly the students and technologies introduced in the classrooms. The students of today are a lot more technology savvy than the teachers in the classrooms. Ms. Cassidy, who is a Canadian 1st grade teacher, has her own opinion about technology in the classroom. This is what I gained from her interview with Dr. Strange back in 2010.

Ms. Cassidy was supplied with 5 computers that began her technological adventure. She consider this a "center" for her first graders. From here, she began allowing her kids to safely search and use the internet. She only uses the first names of the students, which is a great way to protect the identity of minors.  Her students have connected with many students around the country. I love how she describes the children's reactions to getting new comments on their blogs. 

I have said in previous posts that blogs are a way of expressing ones emotions and feelings about something. Through Ms. Cassidy's interview, I have also confirmed that blogs can be used to connect with others and exchange ideas. Because I am teaching 6-12 graders, using blogging in my classroom is going to range. This is a huge age gap so my students opinions will vary, but nonetheless I will be using blogging in my classroom. Social Sciences (History) does not have to be all boring with dates, times, and historical events. My students' blogs would probably be about their own history and how they plan to make a difference in the world. It can be about more than that but for the most part, history will be a main focus.

This is an incredible tool for students of any educational level!!! I do not think that Ms. Cassidy uses these in her classroom because her students are not really old enough to understand the concept of what they are used for, but I could be wrong. Children today are being born with teeth these days so I do not put anything past the intelligence of a child. I can say that my students will HAVE to learn this technology in my class. For my lesson plan, my students will be require to write at least two important papers in a semester and using PLNs with monitor what websites they use for these assignments.

In the Mobile County Public School System is a deemed inappropriate to befriend a student on any social networking site. With this being said, using Twitter or Facebook would have to be out of the question. Upon graduation those rules change because that student is no longer a part of the school system in which I will be teaching. I have personal  experience with teachers and befriending them on Facebook. I actually, til this very day, am friends with my math teacher from high school. Mr. Clifford Allred is one of the best math teachers that I have ever had and he has continued to help me even while taking college math. According to Ms. Cassidy, Twitter is a great way to network with people who share the same ideas as you. I have my own personal Twitter, but I will be setting up a more professional account as I progress in my career field. Follow my on twitter: xoDaphyDuckxo!!

This Interview is a great way for education majors to get some great advice for their classrooms and how to get involved in a more "hands on" environment. In my honest opinion, "hands-on" is the best way for a child to retain information and information retention is what education is about. Technology is becoming more and more intertwined in our educational systems and as educators WE MUST KEEP UP WITH THE TIMES.

"Technology isn't going anywhere, it's here to stay" -Ms. Cassidy 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Blog Post #10

Do you Teach or Do you Educate?

My first reaction to this video was "WHAT KIND OF MUSIC AM I LISTENING TO?!" but when I began reading the message within, I began to see what the video was about. There is a great difference between being an educator and being a teacher.

Being an teacher basically means you are standing in front of a group of about 20-30 students, depending on what level of education you are teaching, and feeding them information that is stems from a book. Teaching is what most "educators" do and really do not realize how they are hurting the students in their classrooms. Students should be able to come into the classroom and be interact with their teachers, not come in and have to listen to someone drag on a lecture for 50 minutes to an hour. I know, personally, that I absolutely hate going to one of my night classes and have to sit there and listen to this woman talk until 8:30 at night! It drives me crazy!

Being an educator is more focused around what the student wants as well as needs to know. Educators find ways to make the material being studied worth the student's time and money. As I have said before, EDM310 was a brand new concept to me before I came into the realm of education. I knew that there was a different way to educate a student with boring them to death or "homeworking" them to death. I know what I want to be and what I am going to be. I am going to be an EDUCATOR!

My classroom is going to include the SMARTBOARD technology. My students will be required to have a "G-MAIL" address so that when projects are assigned and group assignments are present, they can have the technology needed to complete assignments as well as ways to collaborate with one another. I want to attempt to bring the iSchool into our school system. This is an idea focused around using apple technologies in the classroom to improve student retention. Retention is IMPORTANT! How else are the students going to learn information on the Alabama High School Graduation Exams? The passing of these 5 parts are the key to a student actually graduating high school and going on to college. If I can just get one of my students to the collegiate level, then my job is worth the struggles that I know are going to befall me.

Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home 

Tom Johnson
I agree that this is a must read for instructors as well as students working to become instructors. Johnson is a very witty character in this scenario. When the woman comes in the room with the argument about the pencils and the students taking them home, I was a little confused. As I continued to read I saw how instead of arguing the problem, Johnson was coming up with solutions to the issue. He sat down with the parents of his students and talked about activities that can be done so that their children did not think of the pencil as a tool of entertainment but a tool of education. 

As an educator, issues are on how you wish to run your classroom is always going to be there. If you are smart, you will figure out solutions to these arguments made by others. If you feel as though your students are going to benefit from what you are doing and it is showing in the student's test scores, then keep doing what you are doing. Education is all about working with the future generations to ensure that there is a future to look forward to. Enable them to think on a much broader scale then just a textbook. Teach your students how they can advance in this ever changing world. Teach them how to take and give criticism. Teach them how to set goals. Teach them how they can make a difference. BE AN EXAMPLE! BE A MENTOR! BE A COUNSELOR! BE AN EDUCATOR!

My Week :(

This week has been stressful beyond words. I have been suffering from a horrible sinus infection. I have been to the hospital twice this week. I have a doctor's appointment next week and I got a bad review on my last blog post. This is my blog so I feel like I can free lance a few times. I have been working on a research paper for my American Revolution class and I tell you this...DO NOT TAKE PROFESSOR HAMILTON! She is extremely too picky with her grading technique. This is just my opinion. While at the hospital, the nurse mixed up my blood work with someone elses and for all of 20 minutes, I thought I was pregnant. I have never cried so hard in my life. I thought my dreams of becoming an educator was going to have to go on the back burner. When the doctor came in and told me what happened and corrected the problem, I was beyond relieved. Upon my release, the doctor never came back to give me an excuse for missing class this week. I was feeling a little better about Wednesday so I decided to do a little yoga. Well, that was a very bad idea. I ended up straining my abdominal muscles. I have been bed written and on pain meds since then. Lord knows that I am feeling attacked spiritually and physically so I have been just praying and praying. Today I have finally been able to get up and reach for my laptop to get some school work done. I have missed my biology test this week and I'm hoping that I can make it up. I hope that everyone has had a better week than I have. Oh, there was a few good things that happened. My boyfriend came to visit me. He took off work for last two days to come tend to me. He is extremely sweet. I really did not want to put any of this on Facebook, but I did not want everyone in the world in my business. I blogged about it instead. Facebook is not my diary or journal and some of those people can be so judgemental. Well, I guess I will start on my late assignments. God bless and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Post #9

In Mr. McClung first year of teaching, he had to learn a how to read his audience. He could not focus on how his students looked at him as he taught; instead, he had to focus on the deliverance of his message he was trying to give and make them understand.  Communication with fellow instructors as well as your students were also a factor he encounters to make his self a better teacher. He had to learn to take in advice from more experienced educators and troubled students in order to become a better person and instructor. Also, Mr. McClung had to become aware of all the technology he could use to help him in his lesson plans and communication. Overall, his main general aspect of his first year of teaching was to stay positive.

        In his third year of teaching, his agenda has changed tremendously. He was couching cross country for the first time as well as first time head coach; also, he began as a computer applications teacher. It has been times where he has gotten caught with trying to please others so much till he often had to refocus his attention on what made him what he has become, the students. Throughout this year, he has become aware that most people do not share the same beliefs in teachings methods as he does. Therefore, this made him come to a conclusion that it is natural to be an outsider to your fellow peers. As long as he connected with his main objective, the student body, he was happy with the decisions he made; however, he did have one teacher that gave him a few positive learning methods to help him grow.

        In conclusion, I have learned that being a teacher is not always fun being a teacher but you have to learn to stay positive and be willing to learn new methods. Also, I have learned that I have to make sure that I have the right focus and make sure it applies to my objective.  I can help students succeed but I also have to allow them to struggle a little to fully reach accomplishments in themselves and in their future. Never get comfortable in routines and never be afraid to be your own person. Keep your eyes on the prize and always strive to better yourself and others around you.