Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Blog Post #15: My Reflection Video

Project #13: Collaboration Among Groups

Project #15 and #16 were among the more simple yet difficult projects. They were done simultaneously. Ashley worked on Project 15, planning the looking up websites for lesson that could be taught, while I set up the frame work for Project #16. We had this whole idea of combining the two objectives, but it didn't really work out that way. Maybe it was a little too elaborate for the time spam that we were given to complete both projects. Sometimes the simple ideas are the ones that work out the best. At times my group would meet and at times we did things separately. For project #15, we met face to face and used text messaging to communicate with one another. Come to think about it, we didn't really think to use any of the collaborative tools that we learned about in EDM310.  Well, Ashley did use our Gmail accounts to share our Project #15. In a sense, maybe we did utilize the resources that EDM310 has offered to us. 
Actual Photo of Project #16 in Google Docs

Project #16 was more planned out than Project #15. We met in the lab on the Thursday before and talked about both projects. After coming to the conclusion of how we wanted to do our porject 15, my mind began to race on what to do for Project #16. So, I went to my Google Docs and began laying out the scenes, topics and determining who was going to talk about what topics. Using Google Docs allowed me to avoid the hassle of having to wait for the document to attach in an email. All I had to do was get the email addresses of my group members and click "share".  We had a great time making this video and we laughed, played and joked. However, we still got the job done and we also were able to relay important messages to current and furture EDM310 students. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Comment for Kids: April

By: Ryan B.

THIS KID CAN RAMBLE OFF SOME STATE FACTS ABOUT NEBRASKA!! I was shocked at how knowledgable my kid was about the state of Nebraska. He knew more about Nebraska at his young age than I know about the state of Alabama and I am 21!!! I am shaking my head at myself right now. He knew the state lakes, bird, mammal, beverage, flower, landforms, etc. I was in shock while being impressed at the same time. This kid was so cool and I think that EVERYONE needs to know at least 3 facts about his/her state. The fact that Ryan knew all this encourages me that students can enjoy learning these things.

By Eden

Eden is a 4th grader at Leopold Primary School in Victoria, Australia. For his first blog post he decided to see what he and other people had in common. He made his bulleted list of what he liked to do for fun, such as running, and he also listed his pets. I can tell you, this kid had way more pets than I did at his age. He had lots of comments from different people, including his classmates. I just thought it was the cutest thing ever! I commented back to him telling him that his blog was awesome and well put together. I also told him that I had a cat named Tiger. I'm not really sure if he wanted to know that, but he did ask, "Do we have anything in common?". Furthermore, I told him about my secret passion for music. I like to play the piano and my flute in my spare time. My kid was pretty cool. I also encouraged him to keep blogging. I think this kid is going places in life and if he keeps blogging, the world can go with him. 

Blog Post #14

This is an interesting article to read and the questions put forth by Dr. Strange is even more interesting because of the points of view he asks us to write from. This article is basically about Dr. Adrian Guardia and the new technology produced by Pearson, McGraw-Hill and others called, "CourseSmart". This technology allows for the professor to check to see if the student has opened the E-Book, took notes or even highlighted things in the text. It's only in it's trial run right now at about 8 universities, but the producers are looking for the CourseSmart to go nationwide. 

Dr. Strange asked for different view points of this technology. We are supposed to write from the point of view of a teacher and student:

Point of View#1: Teacher
As a teacher, I think that I am on the fence about this. I would love to know if my students are really opening their books at night and taking notes, but how do I know that they are not just jotting things down in the notebook they use or class? I realize that some students are not always honest, but technology still has its flaws as well. I think I would like it because it would give me a great way to keep track of my students' progress in my class. It would allow me to see what they understand and what they do not understand. I would then email the student and give him or her feedback and answers to questions about the lesson.

Point of View#2: Student
As a student, I would think this would be an invasion of my academic privacy. If I read my materials for class is on me and if I don't, it's still on me. I really don't appreciate the "Big Brother" thing. I am really not the type that types out notes. I don't retain information well unless I hand wrote them myself. Why? The answer to that would be because these are my thoughts and perceptions of the lesson. On the other hand, I think it may improve my study habits because it would force me to read because I know that I am receiving a grade for the material that I read and took notes on. I would be a good study buddy as well. My teacher would be able to see where I am struggling and where I am excelling. I think that is important as well. I honestly feel as though, it is a "Catch 22". 

Questions for Dr. Adrian Guardia
  1. How do you know if the student isn't writing down notes on paper?
  2. Do you feel as if this is an invasive technology?
  3. How do you know if your students are really reading or if they are just leaving the books open?
  4. How do you think this would do at other universities?
  5. Do you think that this would work on a grade school level?
  6. Do you think your students study habits will progress or regress?
  7. Do you think that your students even like the idea of being monitored like this?
  8. Do you feel as though this is helpful? If so, in what ways?
  9. Would you recommend this to another professor?
  10. What modifications would you suggest for "CourseSmart"?
Questions for Students of Dr. Adrian Guardia
  1. Do you prefer typing out your notes or hand-writing your notes?
  2. Do you feel that "CourseSmart" is helpful to you? If so, how?
  3. Have you developed better or worse study habits?
  4. Do you even read the E-text? 
  5. Do you think that you are a responsible student?
  6. How has Dr. Guardia's class changed since the "CourseSmart" was introduced?
  7. If you were Mr. Guardia, how would you modify "CourseSmart"?
  8. What would you tell the publishing companies (Pearson, McGraw-Hill) about their technology?
My comment for this article would be as follows:

"My name is Daphney McFadden. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in EDM310 with Dr. John Strange. I was reading your article and found it to be very interesting. I am not sure if I should be impressed or mildly disturbed. I say this because, as a student, I would not want my teacher going into my textbook reading my notes. My notes is how I remember my material and sometimes can be private. That may be because I am a private person. I'm not sure. Another thing, I am the type of student that preferred hand-written notes to typed notes. On the other hand, as a future teacher, I can see where this is beneficial to my students. It would show me progress or regress and I think I would feel a better connection to them. I think it is an interesting idea and I am not in opposition to change for the betterment of learning. I hope that things go well in your classroom and I hope to see a post about the progress of the "CourseSmart" Technology in the near future. " 

Progress Report on PLN

Since the beginning, I have been using the Symbaloo PLN. My personal learning network has come a long way from where it first began. I have been adding titles from different social, educational and media websites. I have even added some of my C4Ts blogs to my PLN for references and other ideas. I still have my Symbaloo divided into my personal and professional categories so as not to get things mixed up. I haven't added anymore to my personal widget yet, but I think that as things progress, I will. I think that it is going to continue to grow at a steady pace. After I leave this class, I do not know if I will continue to use it. I do know that it will be a treat for my future students to use. It will probably become part of my lesson plan for my special needs kids. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog Post #13

By: Brian Crosby

This is an interesting video created through TEDxDenver of Mr. Brian Crosby and his amazing class of 4th graders. Science was one of my favorite subjects as a child. I loved to experiment and see what would explode or collapse. In this video Mr. Crosby focuses on one ballon project that his students conducted. The most exciting part of his presentation was when he showed the video of the balloon going up into the earth's atmosphere. The kids even attached a mini camera to get an arial view of things!! Click play below to view it :)

Summary Quiz"

This is what Mr. Paul Anderson is all about when it comes to teaching his students. The Blended Learning Cycle is an awesome idea that not only teaches children, but also makes for certain that he or she is knowledgable of the lesson. 

Mr. Paul Anderson
Step 1: Question
Mr. Anderson starts with a really good question. His example is Oiler's Disk. They placed the disk on a mirror and it continuously spun. He gives his students the opportunity to think about the details behind these ideas and come up with his or her own conclusion. Another good example was the Natural Selection video. Students were asked to analyze a graph and explain it. 

Step 2: Investigation/Inquiry
This is the area where students put their brains to work to apply the physical actions to understand how the experiment is done. In this section he allows the students to contrast spinning the disk on a mirror and the table. He asks, "Will it spin for a longer period of time or will it spin for a shorter amount of time?" This is a great way for the students to get really involved and intrigued. I am teaching Special Education so way of keeping my kids attention is what I need to utilize.

Step 3: Video
Mr. Anderson uses podcasting to give his students direction. In doing so, he has more time for review purposes. This also benefits the students because they can go back in and review the podcast in case of forgetfulness. I know that as a student, I am absent-minded when it comes to remembering lectures and details of what the professor emphasized in class. I had to depend on my notes all the time and sometimes I wasn't able to get everything written down. I then came up with the idea of downloading Evernote which recorded my lectures and I was able to go back. When I was attending Auburn University, I had a professor that used podcasting as a part of his lecture. This really helped me remember and fill in notes that I wasn't able to take down. If you want to download a good podcasting tool and you don't have iTunes, you could use Jpodder. Create an account and go to work. In my classroom, I plan to allow my students to create their own podcast as apart of a graded assignment. 

Step 4: Elaboration
This is where the teacher would use the classroom to go into further detail about the lesson. The teacher could also tie in other lessons. For instance, Oiler's Disk can also explain the laws of Inertia. I think this is a great blended portion because you are thinking outside the box while also staying within the guidelines of your pacing guide. 

Step 5: Review
This is just basically going over what the student has learned. Mr. Anderson meets with his students individually or in small groups and asks questions to see if they have actually learned the lesson being taught. I would have never thought to do it like this and I love the idea because it shows the student that you are interested in his or her future by giving him, her or them one on one time with you (the teacher). I will definitely use this method in my classroom. In my mind, this all ties into the "Flipped Classroom" concept. As a reminder, flipping the classroom would mean sectioning off students in groups according to their learning abilities. This is great for a special education collaborative  teacher like myself because it allows me to group my kids based on who needs my attention the most. 

Step 6: Summary Quiz
Mr. Anderson says that if he feels that the student doesn't do well on the review, then he will not give them the summary quiz. This shows him that they know what they are talking about when it comes to the lesson. I am not sure if that is a good idea. Will that not put some students behind or ahead? I believe in equality among my students. After the summary quiz, it's on to standardized testing. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Comment 4 Teacher

C4T#4: Gender Bias In Education
By: David Wees of Canada

When I first started reading Mr. David Wees's blog post about gender bias in education, I would a tad bit confused. I did not realize that it was a suggestion from another person until I read," Mark writes..." I began to read Mark's suggestion and was astonished at what was being suggested. Mark suggested that some teachers are unknowingly bias when calling on students to answer questions in the classroom. Mr. Wees said that he probably wouldn't attempt this at his school and to be honest, neither would I. While taking EDU 400, I was taught that males students are more prone to developing special needs than females. Since special education is what I am teaching then that was the comment that I made to him. I am not really sure how to take this though. Thinking back to when I was in school, the girls were called on more than the boys because the boys always coward away when it came time to answering the teacher. His blog post was very interesting to me and I am wondering if he wasn't going to do it at his school, would he go to another school to perform this experiment? Maybe that was a question I should have asked. I also found it interesting that there was a short bio on Mr. Wees at the end of his blog. In all these weeks on commenting on teachers' blogs, this was a first for me.

C4T#4 (part 2): Playground Physics
By: David Wees of Canada

I think this man has one of the most brilliant minds I have ever seen!! In his most recent blog posting, he used a day at the playground with his son and turned it into a physics lesson. He instructed his to slide down the slide to illustrate friction, then his son went to the sliding monkey bar to illustrate inertia...who knew that one could use a playground to teach a physics lesson. I commented and told him my opinion of him. I also told him that I hoped to be like him (his creative ability and ways of getting new ideas across to students) when I got into the classroom. I love how he was about to do his lesson plan while also spending quality time with his son. I think that is one the most important things in a family. 

Final Project Progress Report


Last week was a mandatory meeting week. This is the first time that my group has met since we "re-did" the groups. I am feeling some kind of way about this group because we are not meeting or communicating like a group should be at this point, especially since we are coming on our last 2 group projects. Anyway, our meeting was productive nonetheless. We decided to do a combination assignment idea. I'm not going to put our idea out there, but Dr. Strange knows what we are going and that's all that matters. As far as what I have done for the project on my own, I have created a timeline (on paper) of what scenes need to be shot, what the subject of that scene is and who is going to be presented in it. I will give a hint though....FLASHBACKS! I love the survival guide idea for this project and I hope that my group participation gets better. To be honest, I miss my old group with Rachel McGuff. We were dedicated to our projects and met in the lab every Tuesday and Thursday to work on something whether it be the regular assignments or projects. Now that is what I call a group. What I have now is...i don't know. I'm really ready to drop them and go with a different group. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blog Post #12

Honestly, I had the hardest time attempting to figure this out. I am one for creativity, but this one was a tough cookie...Then the idea of cookies just stuck!


I am a Special Education teacher so my field has broadened since the last time I did this assignment. Last time, I did a W.O.W (Wild Out Wednesday) and the assignment was for students to create their own rap about a figure or event that happened in history and post it on his or her blog. I didn't have the opportunity to do the assignment, but this assignment I could do. This time my focus would be on SCIENCE which is one of my favorite subjects. Mr. Lee's Phases of the Moon is a great way to teach kids the phases of the moon. This catchy tune is to the instrumental "Killin'em" by Fabolous. I am not here to ask you to just make up a rap. I am asking you to follow my instructions and physically get out and do this assignment an post it to your blog to prove that you did it. My assignment combines learning and eating!! Ready....set....go!

  1.  Watch Mr. Lee Phases of the Moon and follow his lead.
  2.  Go online to Google Images and find a picture that you would like to use for the phases of the moon. Print it off.
  3.  Go to the grocery store and purchase a pack of cookies; depending on the grade level you are teaching you will only need 4 (lower functioning kids) or 8 (higher functioning kids).
  4.  Draw a picture of the Earth relative to the sun.
  5. Remove the cream from the middle of the cookie by increments according to what phase you are presenting.   
  6.  Now glue the phases of the moon around your Earth as illustrated in the picture above. 
  7.  Take pictures of each phase and create a youtube video or iMovie. Include images, captions and music is optional.
This was a fun assignment to do and I got to eat cookies at the end :) Now I know the phases of the moon!!! #phatkidlifestyle

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Blog Post #11

By: Mrs. Kathy Cassidy

This is beyond the cutest video I have ever seen!! Mrs. Kathy Cassidy is not the typical first grade teacher. She is not all about the students learning the concepts presented in textbooks. She more embraces the idea of technology in the classroom. She has everything from computers to Nitendo DSs in her classroom. The children have a great wealth of knowledge from using Blogs, Skype, Wiki, Video Games, SMARTboards, etc. I know that it will be essential for my classroom to have a SMARTboard and computers. Most of my children will be special needs so there will be certain technologies that my students will have that others will not. I would love to use blogs and wikis as well, but depending on the severity of the child's disorder, he or she may not be able to use them. I feel this is unfortunate because I firmly believe that every child has the potential to be something great no matter what condition he or she may suffer from. I would love to possibly some type of technology that would read the child's brain waves to determine a response or simply get an iPad so that my non-verbal students have a voice.

He or she would be able to look at the iPad screen and tap on the thing or event they want or need. iPad App For Special Needs would be a prime example of what I am talking about. Apps for Coomunication would be another great video to watch to better understand my point. That would be so cool to me!!! I honestly believe that she is doing a great job because she is using a what the children are familiar with to her advantage. Children at that age are very tech savvy because this is the age that they have been born into. I would love to follow her example when I get into my classroom. She is not worried about what her co-workers or administrators think of her or what she is going. She is more focused on the kids and their experiences. Experiences that they can grow from and create a creative foundation upon. There are so many benefits to using this technology method, aside from the ones that I stated before. Not only are they enhancing their skills with technology, they are opening new doors to different worlds and different people. For instance, the fact that Mrs. Cassidy uses Skype to allow the children to talk to pen pals and even experts in different subject matters. I think that is awesome. How she introduced them to wikis!! When they wanted to know about Traditions and Rituals...all they did was post a wiki and people from all over shared their personal traditions and rituals. With that she also taught them internet safety and how to only give your first name if you want to even give a name.



Dr. Strange skyped with Mrs. Cassidy This was an interesting chat. Dr. Strange is a little hard to hear, but she is perfectly fine. She explains that the kids' voices in the video are from her previous students because they had a bit of a speech problem when they were in the first grade which we all have had experience with. She has some encouraging words about her support system with children blogging. I see that she never let anyone phase her, even the Principal. She even got in good with the superintendent of the school board in order to keep her technological classroom going. In order to protect her student she firmly teaches them not to use a picture or full name and the parents love it! They love to see how their children are progressing and the kids have a fondness for it as well.  She is so right when she says that as a teacher, we have to change because the world is changing and we are handicapping our children, as well as, ourselves by not embracing technology. I am in total agreement with that. As I have said before children these days have been born into the age of technology. See, she and I share so many of the same views. I love how she allowed her children to create relationships with other students using Skype. I was a bit surprised that she and her students has blogged with other schools in the South in Gadston, AL. I guess because the South is so behind in technology period is the reason for my surprise. "TECHNOLOGY IS HERE TO STAY AND IT'S NOT GOING AWAY" I love this. She uses social media to keep with with different ideas. This is something that. This is something that Dr. Strange is trying to get us to recognize. I see that now. I really don't know why it took me so long to realize that. She gives great advice about how to choose what media outlet to use based on what they (the students) are interested in. This may be the most basic idea, but it will surprise you how some people do not recognize this. I think that Dr. Strange and even some other professionals should use this because not all students are bloggers. Some people aren't good with words. Some people can express themselves better with video or pictures. I understand writing is important, but I do not believe that it is number one way to communicate. After listening to the kids and Mrs. Cassidy, I realized that I am really going to have to bring my A game in the classroom. I would love to mirror my class after Dr. Strange's class because his ideas and views on technology are "what is in". The times are changing, the children are changing, the technology is changing so making a change is not going to be a hindrance...IT WILL BE THE BIGGEST BENEFIT EVER!!

Comment 4 Kids: March

C4K#5: What Do You Gain As A Blogger?

My kid's name is Schylar N. from Mr. Boylen's class. She was asked, "What do you think as a student gain from blogging with students and other outside of the school? Is it worth the time? Why/why not?" And she commented, not really answering the question. Her response was that she thought blogging is a good idea because it was a way to get to know others and find things in common. I thought that she was pretty accurate in her response, but was that really answering the question?? I thought yes and no, but hey at least the kid answered the question. Anyway, I told her how blogging has helped me emotionally and professionally. While blogging, I have been able to better express my feelings through writing and poetry. Professionally, it has helped me to connect with other special education teachers and future teachers. Also, I have found some really good websites for special education that I think are going to really help me out as a teacher :) To put the icing on the cake, I posted a link to my blog on her page so that if she wanted to read some interesting stuff, she could.

C4K#6: Paris' Learning Blog
Paris is a student in Mr. Huebl's 6th grade class all the way from Australia!! I think that is the coolest thing ever. Mr. Huebl assigned a blog post about "Sharing". Paris wrote that sharing food would feed the world, make the world a better place, make the world a happier place of fun and laughter, the world would be a place of fairness and wealth. What was my reaction you ask? I thought is was the cutest thing ever!! She has the right idea about sharing. I thought her post was creative and original with a hint of poetic quality. I just made the suggestion for her to use commas so that she would have a better quality of writing. All in all she did an awesome job and her ideas were creative.

C4K#7: The Wacky Dog Competition
Children are so creative and I admire that because as you get older, most of it begins to fade. I just read a cute story by Annliz. From what I can gather, this was an assignment to create a story and Annliz decided to write about a dog in a surfing competition. What a cute idea?! The only problem that I saw was frequent punctuation and quotation placement issues. I suggested to her to have her teacher or friend to proofread to make sure that it is presentable before she posts, but I also encouraged her to continue writing. I really think that she could be a create children's book author.

C4K#8: Kyle A and the Christmas Project
First off, my kid is SO into guns. I feel some kind of way about that. I don't know if it's okay for a child to be around this many guns to begin with, but I guess his parents know what they are doing. Anyway, Kyle is a student in Mr. Boylen's 8th grade language arts class in Iowa. I want to start off by saying that when this kid blogs, HE REALLY BLOGS. You know how normally, kids may write a paragraph or a sentence or so...well, not Kyle. This kid made sure that you followed directions. In his current post, you have to read his previous post to understand the current post and the first line is, " Christmas present first to understand " Other than punctuation errors, which I commented on as well, this kid is an A1 writer! Oh and did I mention the detail in his work The Christmas Present?! If anyone ever wanted to know how to modify a gun, this kid's blog would be the place to learn. I thought that it was so great how he has a hobby that he can share with his family as well. That is just so precious. Mr. Boylen is doing a great job :)  

Comment 4 Teacher

Mrs. Heidi Siwak is an awesome teacher. When I first went to her blog, my attention immediately went to the "about me" section. She and her student design apps and lead innovative talks!! You can't say that about every teacher in the world. She has to be something special. 

Now I am not sure about what Salience is, but from the context clues of the blog it is a tool used to deal with complex tasks and decision making. When I commented, I told her who I was, what I was majoring in and that this was a great idea. I also asked her to clarify so that I didn't get the wrong idea about what she was trying to teach. I am definitely follow her on Twitter. She seems that she has some great ideas and I would love to stay in contact with her.

This is the most interesting of the posts that I have read by Mrs. Siwak. She is teaching her students that there is no such thing as a "bad idea". She is allowing them to think of more creative ways to transform what they think is a bad idea into a good idea. Education is all about the ideas of others and how to add to a person's knowledge base. So, for her project Mrs. Siwak and her students took the idea of turning the gym at her school into a chicken coop. Now to start with, we all know that this is not the best idea in the world, but Mrs. Siwak didn't tell her students that. She instructed them to revamp the idea and they came up with businesses that profited from chicken! Awesome right?! So then they, the students, went on to come up with ways that it would benefit them in the long run. They came up with how it would help them to learn business skills which in turn led to the idea of creating a business class as apart of the academia! Who would have thought that the idea of turning the gym into a chicken coop would result in the idea of a business class. I, for one, am in amazement. I commented to her and told her how great this idea was and in hopes of feeding off of her ideas, I gave her my email address so that we could feed off of each other's ideas. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Blog Post #10

This is an interesting picture. I had to do some research to find out what a Ticonderoga was supposed to be and why it was better than papermate. I found that it was a thicker wooden pencil and it is also more expensive. I guess this picture illustrates that the quality of Papermate is weaker than that of Dixon Ticonderoga. Truthfully, I am not totally understanding this picture. I'm thinking it may be sarcasm or the companies are picking at one another...I just really do not know. Then I became an investigator!! I read through the comments and in doing so found out that this particular blog post is a spoof on the difference between MAC and PC. I had that slap yourself in the forehead moment. I'm still a little on the confused side though. Is he trying to say that PAPERMATE represents PC and TICONDEROGA represents MAC?? If that is the case then that is something that I don't think I can whole heartedly agree with. As a MAC user, I haven't really experienced any problems until now with my hard drive. I don't think it is the computer's fault, that the owner is messing up and not taking care of it as they should.

Mr. Spencer
This is a teacher that follows the rules, but in his own way. He is clever enough to allow the kids to enjoy the lesson without making them feel as though they are learning. This is a complicated strategy to learn, but it is well worth it in the end because the students are learning the concept in a "non-boring" fashion. It was genus how he handled the principal!! He was not lying when he said that they were learning, but at the end when he broke down his plan to "create an algorithm factory and integrate it into our Conflict-Oriented Reading and Writing Project (a.k.a. The Factory Game)." was genus. The principal didn't even know that he was talking about continuing with "The Factory Game". This was humorous and it made me chuckle a little. I want to be like Mr. Spencer when I grow up. 

I liked his blog so much that I "went back in time", as Dr. Strange would say, to check out some other blog posts and I found this one that really made me really scratch my head as to why would this even be a conversation or issue, he titled it, "Are Pencils Making Us Narcissistic?". Now this really caught my attention because students use pencils to communicate with friends and teachers alike. Why is it such a crime? I honestly think that as an educator, you have to be aware of the things in which your students have become accustomed. The thinking that a student would become self-centered because of a pencil is crazy to me. I agree with Mr. Spencer, a MIRROR would make a student more self-centered than a pencil would any day. I really enjoy reading his blog posts. They bring a smile to my face and some enlightenment to my brain. 


From my understanding, Dr. Scott McLeod is serving as director of innovations at a school in Iowa. It is probably far fetched from his regular position as an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky. I also remember is name from the "Did You Know?" video assignment at the beginning of the semester. He is well decorated with awards and honors for his part in education. If you want to take a look at his accomplishments, click here -----> Scott McLeod Bio <-----

It was interesting to know that the Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please? was posted on my 18th birthday!! Just a fun nugget. Back to the topic at hand. The question is, does he make valid points? The answer would be YES, DUH!! Some people are scared of technology and all its advances which are hurting their kids. The internet, iPads, tablets, kindles, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are all great tools for students to use!! In my opinion, it is all about how you allow your children and students to use these tools. If you don't feel quite comfortable with them using them by themselves, go to your computer settings and place a block on certain things or place a time restriction on when they can and can't use the internet. I read through the comments made in 2011 and they are telling me that students who use technology will have a better chance for advancement over the ones who choose to live in the dark ages. 

Where do you think the world would be if not for the internet?! The connections that you can make, the ideas that you can share with the world...IT'S ALL APART OF ADVANCEMENT! I mean, would rather be stuck with your nose in a book or would you rather be in the field, experiencing these things first-hand? I am not one for writing letters so I will shoot family members e-mails or facebook messages. "Real-time" is an amazing thing! Those that don't embrace technology aren't going to be shunned from the rest of the world, but they will be lost for a while until they come to the technological light. 

Project #11: Green Screen Short Film

Project #12: The Book Trailer


Friday, March 22, 2013

Blog Assignment #9

Mr. McClung's First Year Experience

I think that this is an awesome assignment. My end of the year reflection video last year was so insightful to me. I wanted to begin What I've Learned Year 1 because I will be in this position in just 2 short years. I chose to began with year one so that I could see what I should possibly look forward to in my first year of teaching. I know that everyone has different experiences, but this may be a tool that I can use to prepare myself. 

How To Read a Crowd
In this section, Mr. McClung tells about how most first year teachers get so wrapped up in what how their superiors are evaluating them that they forget about the REAL objective...THE STUDENTS! I think that most first year teachers do this because they are so wanting to impress the wrong people. I could give a rat's behind about what my co-workers thought of me, as long as my students were understanding what I was teaching. Excuse the language, but when I am passionate about something, the tongue gets a little loose. 

Flexibility, Listening To Your Students and Communication
Mr. McClung makes the points of being flexible and communication with both students and other teachers. This is an A1 idea! We all will try to plan out the best way to teach the lesson but things may not always work out as planned. My idea is to use a lesson plan as a guide line and not to go by it verbatom. Get the students input on how they learn. Pass out a worksheet asking them what qualities they look for in instruction. Do they do better with verbal, visual or both? 

Flexibility and Communication 
Student/Teacher communication is vital in my opinion. If a student is too afraid to come to his or her teacher and ask then he or she may not get what her or she needs from the lesson being taught. I think that teachers aren't just the person that teaches you academia...sometimes teachers are the only people that students can go to in his or her time of need. When I was in school, my counselor was my Math teacher, Mr. Cliff Allred. We told him our circumstances and he would listen. Even though it was not in his job description, he listened to his students and told them what they needed to hear. He was an awesome math teacher as well, but the fact that his student could come to him with personal problem was a major plus for him. My cisco teacher, Mr. Andrew Large was also a great example of a teacher/counselor. 

I feel as though teachers put so much effort into being right and playing by the rules they forget that students just need listening ear sometimes. I still, til this day, talk to those two teachers about my issues. Oh, my 2nd grade teacher was so close to my family that she became my nana!! My nana and I have lunch dates til this very day. 

Getting to know your students and fellow teachers can be made easier by communicating with them. I like the idea of what Dr. McGowan (EDU400) did for us when we first came into the classroom. We did icebreakers for the first 3 weeks of class until we became comfortable with one another; including herself. Say you don't understand what a student needs, communicating with your fellow teach allows you to open the door for collaborative ideas that can impact that child's life in the classroom. I know that as a special education teacher, their will be a lot of things that I may not know or understand in the beginning, but I know that if you don't will never know. 

Be Reasonable
DON'T PUSH TOO HARD! Some teachers fail to realize that. Putting too much on your students can stress them completely out. I know that teachers expect their students to be the best they can be, but teachers tend to lose sight of the fact that school isn't the only place where they are expected to excel. Some students are honor students, some student are athletes, and some students have parents that expect double the effort. I know all this because I was one of those students that everyone expected to be Ms. Honors all the way through. Even though I was, when it came to college, I didn't have the same push and I lacked that motivation. I began to settle for Cs and Ds because I didn't have friends their to push me on. I had to become my own support system. Teachers need to be a little more sensitive to what a student is doing outside the classroom because as a teacher, you just really don't know. My idea is to let my student create his or her own goals that they want to achieve by the end of the year. Then I am going to give my students a goal to reach by the end of the year. That way the have individual goals as well as a goal as a whole. Expectations should be goals that students can achieve, so be reasonable. 

Don't Be Afraid of Technology and Lastly.....Never Stop Learning

I think that the younger generation of teachers better understand how valuable technology is in the classroom. Okay so if your high school history teacher knows nothing about the computer she is typing on, who does she ask? Well, my history teacher would ask any Cisco Academy student for help. It just so happened that majority of my class were Cisco students. Mr. McClung stresses this point in part of his blog. He describes adults reaction to computers as a "horror film". I thought that was so interesting. In contrast, I know some teachers that go to educational conventions just to find about new strategies and technologies, but they had to step out of their comfort zone to do so. I think this is a That also ties into Never Stop Learning. As a teacher, you have to be open-minded to new and developing ideas. Each year something new comes out in the technological department, especially when it comes to education. As a teacher, you have to be on your game because it is so easy to fall behind. The generation of students are more and more advanced and if we can't keep up, we can't do our job.

Mr. McClung's 4th Year and Counting

Now, let's look at What I've Learned Year 4. I chose this particular post, not only because it was required, but because it is a more current update on what Mr. McClung is up to these days. I just want to see what his most current findings are for newly sprouting teachers. He isn't old, but he isn't new to the game either. He has some experience under his belt now so let's see what other tips he has for new teachers. In this post he only chose two themes, "You Gotta Dance With Who You Came To Dance With" and "Challenge Yourself". 

You Gotta Dance With Who You Came To Dance With
Okay, I know I am not the only one to say that this headline does not fit the substance in this paragraph....almost! When I began reading this, I was not expecting him to talk about him giving in to the pressure of worrying about what his co-workers thought of his teaching performance. Luckily, he snapped back into reality because the reality of it all is that your co-workers don't sign your paychecks nor do they have to take your test to determine comprehension. 
Challenge Yourself
So, Mr. McClung began to get too comfortable with his lesson plan and things started to become drab. This is the issues that most teachers have. They teach the same subject every year and instead of creating new ideas each year, they just go with the same thing. I see that education isn't only affecting the students' creativity, but the teachers' creativity also. The question I have is, "Who's fault is that?" Is it the fault of the schoolboard for all the red tape that teachers have to surpass in order to teacher? Or is the fault of the teacher for not pushing past the red tape to make sure his or her students, not only comprehend, but enjoy what they are learning? The world my never know. Everyone has his or her own opinion. As a teacher, your creativity is your best friend. Kids get bored extremely easy and to keep their attention is crucial. With that being said, if you are a teacher and you use the same thing year after year after year...try something out of the ordinary. The world is a HUGE place. Gather ideas and get back to your creative ways!! I DARE YOU!! For future teachers, never be afraid to push the limits of what you can do in the classroom. Remember that it is YOUR classroom and YOUR students and YOUR job to make sure that these kids learn.

Comment 4 Teacher #2

C4T#2: iPads for learning on Classroom 2.0
My teacher is not a regular blogger so I guess I am forced to go back in time. I think it is best to do research on this "ICT" and "MLF classroom" before I make my finalized C4T.

*I did not finish this C4T because this particular instructor was not an interesting read and all the links and videos. I got lost so I said to myself that I would just pick back up on the next one.*

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Blog Assignment #8

This Is How We Dream

I feel a valid point was made, Yes! "Structure'' is a major part of any language it is the foundation which we all speak, write and learn. The evolution of this foundation has matured for millions upon millions of years,  the value of literature has reached a level and time period for which it could be taught and learn on a basis everyone is able to occur to. Now that it is accessible to anyone who is willing to take the time to learn and fully understand what this means for the future , by one individual taking in this specific knowledge it can be passed on from hand to hand.
Curiosity gives the new world the ideas and willingness to want more knowledge, it helps individuals separate  themselves from the ''Average Society''. Technology is influenced much by education today as any other social outlet. The advantages that technology has given us is the option to surf and analyze opinions and other resources at a keystroke. In Part 2, of This Is How We Dream Dr. Miller touches on the rapidness of how information is updated and that the information itself, may be written by us, but does not SOLELY BELONG to us. I think that this is an interesting way of explaining things. I see, everyday how people place claims on ideas and ideals when they, themselves, received the information from an outside source or just built upon the idea of another. 

I share is opinion about educators being required to share ideas freely with our students. My only concern is that different teachers have different teaching styles and we all interprut things in a different manner. So, how will you know if your children have successfully crossed into the "land of the learning"? How do you know if your information is current and correct? I also get that Dr. Miller and Dr. Strange are saying that as a teacher, you have to have the willingness to also do research on a daily basis so that you are not behind in your field of study. I feel as though my students will be able to digitally compose because as an educator, I am required to learn so that my students can learn. This isn't a requirement my the school system, but I am requiring myself to learn these things because as a child coming up in this century....TECHNOLOGY IS THE KEY. 

I honestly have to say...what a great assignment!! Carly's idea was awesome. She and Dr. Miller share the most intimate ideas about multimedia. I love how passionate both parties are about the creativity of writing!!! I am a Special Education teacher in training, but a writer at heart. I hate to follow rules about what I can and can not write about. I feel as though it kills the creative mojo that flows within us all. Who would have thought that making a playlist of videos on YouTube could inspire you to feel so much and to do so much! Getting organized for your classroom, time management, etc...all videos that can be found on YouTube and used in your classroom. There is an uproar about how media is so negative on today's youth. As a future educator, I plan to shine a positive light on this just like Carly did :)

This is the most interesting video that I have ever seen...Chipper is the typical student who first walks into the doors of Dr. Strange's class. They think that Dr. Strange is supposed to feed you something and then give you a test to spill of the information back out. I was a "Chipper" in the Spring of 2012. Someone who thought that learning on your own was too hard and says that if the teacher doesn't teach then the teacher isn't a good teacher. So not true!! Dr. Strange has proved that point time and time again with the EDM310 graduates that have gone on to share in multimedia tools. I know that this go 'round, I will be a success!!!

I can honestly say that this was an interesting YouTube Video. Personally, I did not find it very helpful. I would have suggested an illustration or demonstration about how to help you with some of the problems students are having with EDM310, but that is just me. If I am going to try to explain to someone how to better themselves in something, I would come to them with solutions/suggestions on how to do better.

My first run in with EDM310 was not a nice one. I was late with most of my assignments. I didn't add my pictures or modifiers like I should have and I, all around, did not take the cours seriously and it reflected in my grade which was a D. I am not used to making Ds so this really bothered me. I think that I would create a YouTube video demonstrating a survival guide to the University of South Alabama's EDM310. Now that is an idea!!! Dr. Strange, if you are reading this. Daphney McFadden thought of it first!! That is going to be my next personal project. 

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

This is a point that I have been trying to make for the longest!!! If the student is the hub of Education then why is Education such an open and shut institution?! Someone please explain to me why the school systems are shutting down the avenues to the very thing that students connect with and are comfortable with as a learning tool. When a teacher gives  a project or assignment for class, where does a student automatically go?? THE INTERNET. The library and books have become almost obsolete since the Internet was created. When are the leaders of education going to realize that the very media that they are trying to keep out of schools, are the very pieces of media that get students to u

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Project #10


This is a great tool for that I was told about when I went to my little brother's IEP meeting at Collins-Rhodes Elementary School in 8-Mile. My brother, Jordan, was being evaluated for the Special Education program due to his test scores drastically dropping. As an older sister, I was concerned about my little brother's psychological health due to the teasing from his peers, but as a Special Ed teacher in training, I was more intrigued by the process. After about 2 hours of going through Jordan's grades from Fondie Elementary and his grades from the fall semester, the committee concurred that it was in his best interest to go through Special Education testing. 

On our way out, my mother and I ran into the reading and math coaches at the school. I did not feel that we had an adequate amount of information to help my little brother so I asked about activities or websites that we could use at home to help him. Both of them told me about this website called Starfall. With a curious mind, I decided to go investigate. Starfall is an interactive website for elementary school students. It focuses mainly on Phonics, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, and Fluency. Most Special Education children, especially those with Learning Disabilities, such as my brother, lack these skills. The teacher can even download worksheets and student logs to keep track of the progress of the child. The best part about it is that the student is not even aware that he or she is learning. They think that they are just playing games on the computer.

 Starfall has so much more to offer. I played around with it and found so many avenues, especially this one game that my brother absolutely loves. It's a phonics game where he gets to drive a car and collect clues to figure out what the letters spell out. He totally gets a kick out of playing this game and he is slowly learning to read on a 1st grade level. Just to give you a heads up, he is in the 2nd grade with a kindergarden comprehension level in Reading and Math. A deficiency in both are evidence of a Learning Disability. 

As an educator, I do not want my students to feel as though they are different because they don't learn similar to or as fast as the other students. I want them to understand that they are the same as everyone else and can do what everyone else is doing, but they just need a different way of learning what the others are learning. I honestly believe that Starfall is a great resource and I plan to use it when I am able to get into a classroom. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blog Assignment #7

Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams


Wow! Watching this video, was beyond amazing. During his life as a professor, he encouraged his students to follow his/her childhood dream. After overcoming many "brick walls" it is safe to say that Randy Pausch lived an incredible life. I will say that I am glad that Randy Pausch went into teaching and not singing. *laugh*

In this youtube video of his last lecture Dr. Pausch, teaches what he learned over the years to be effective teaching methods:

Break Walls
Brick walls are not there to keep you out or slow you down. They are there to encourage you to continue to fight for what you want to achieve. These walls are only obstacles that can be overcome. I felt as though, that was an awesome expression. As an up-and-coming educator, my path is difficult. With all the classes, assignments, exams while trying to have a personal life is crazy but my goal is to be a teacher. I have to get passed wanting to always have a social life for the sake of what I am passionate for and that is TEACHING.

Don't Bail
As I have previously said, I have to get passed wanting to always have a social life. It is hard not wanting to give up when times get hard but that is where I do my best work. Pushing myself to do what I think in my head can't be done. I plan to pass this trait on to my students. I will not pass a lazy child. Bailing out on something that you need for something that you want will get you nowhere and fast.

Get A Feedback Loop
Feedback is always important! How else would you know what you are doing right or what you are doing wrong? For instance, the comments we make on each other's blogs about what we like and don't like and what we can improve on is AWESOME feedback. If I told a classmate or student that his/her work was great and it was crap, what good am I doing them? I can answer that...NONE! Be truthful with people

Show Gratitude

Pleas know that you did not get where you are today without the help of someone. That someone could be a parent, teacher, friend, sibling, cousin, whomever. The point is, you didn't do it alone. I know that if it were not for my grandparents and aunts that I would not be as successful as I am today. I show them gratitude by continuing to thrive to get my degree in Education. Give credit where credit is due.

Dr. Randy Pausch was a great example of what a humble person looks like. He was an enthusiastic person when it came to speaking. He spoke with a comical, yet clear point. He didn't mind making fun of himself. He was a very bold, fun-loving person. I can say that I greatly admire him. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this video. It was worth the hour out of my day.
In this youtube video of his last lecture Dr. Pausch, teaches what he learned over the years to be effective teaching methods.

Comments 4 Kids: FEBRUARY

This kid can blog!

C4K #1
I was assigned an awesome kid who shares my passion for history. I was confused at first because I did not and still do not know the child's name. I guess it just isn't meant for me to know. This particular blog post was about who in history would get what merit badget. This kid chose some great people, but I kind of felt like the blog common in American history. I made the suggestion about possibly researching and writing about some people who were forgotten in history. There are plenty of those types of people. I know in my years in college, I have researched many. The blog was structured very nicely. The grammar and sentence structure flowed together wonderfully. I think it was a great job for a 9th grader.

C4K #2: Ms. Sapia's Superstars

  The orginal kid that was assigned to had not posted one blog post. The kid that I chose wrote about how they thought that homework was helpful and how it was irreplaceable. It was a little repeatious in my mind so I made some suggestions that may come in handy the next time they wrote a blog as such. Other than that, the kid did awesome and I am so looking forward to reading more of this kid's blog. It amazes how children have such a creative mind at such a young age. It almost gives me hope that when I get in the classroom that all I would have to do is give my students the tools they need and let them run free :)

C4K #3: Lollipop Movement

Isara's Blog Post 
This is such an unusual title for such a basic gesture. The person who introduced me to the concept was Isara, a student in Miss. King's Room 17 all the way in New Zealand. She summarized it best by saying   "a lollipop moment is something that makes a difference to someone else."

Summary of my comment: I was floored at the title of this concept. I was confused and amused that the same time. I commented to her say that I appreciated her for introducing to the concept of the lollipop movement. I had never thought that such a small gesture could make such a big difference in someone's life.

C4K#4: Phillip and Suicide

Phillip's Blog Post
Now I was a little disturbed at first at what this student was discussing on his blog. My kid's name is Phillip and he decided to talk about suicide being caused by negative peer pressure and how a personal could possibly feel before and during the action. I just commented to him suggesting that maybe he could be that one person to befriend the student that is being picked on so that he or she does not feel like they are all alone in the world. Like I always say, it only takes one person to start a chain reaction :) He had a few errors in this blog post like spelling and grammar, but all in all, it was a short and to the point read.