Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blog Assignment #2

Did You Know???

picture of Dr. John Strange
Dr. John H. Strange
I can honestly say that I really did not understand why Dr. Strange posted this video. It seemed pointless. I mean, all it was was a bunch of stats, BUT when I began really reading the numbers, they astonished me. I mean, really, can you imagine one person sending 189 SMS a day?!?! Actually, I can. I really believe that I send more than 189 SMS per day. It really does not cross your mind when you are texting, but before you know, the number of texts may have increased times three or four.

I wondered where Dr. Strange had gotten all these stats and then I read the instruction manual more carefully. Right beneath his version of the "Did You Know?" video was the original done by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod. Did You Know by Fisch and McLeod, was insightful as well. The numbers of human population vs. up and coming technology is amazing. It makes me feel as though computers are going to take the place of every human in the world. I still have yet to hear of this "SUPER COMPUTER" though. I think that is still a work in progress. This sort of makes me wonder, has the human race set themselves up for failure? I mean, having technology to help you is one thing, but to become almost completely dependent upon computers, phones, tablets and iPads just to get through the day??? I personally feel that this is going to become a problem that we (humans) may not be able to fix.

Mr. Winkle Wakes 

Mr. Winkle 
Matthew Needleman had a wonderful idea on showing the contrast between the modern day technology and the less modern schools. The story of Mr. Winkle is that he slept for 100 years and awoke to a world that he was unfamiliar. He went to an office where people worked on computers and talked to their co-workers and friends via webcams. This was very unfamiliar to Mr. Winkle, so he went to the hospital where he saw life support machines and X-Ray machines. This was still very unfamiliar to him. He finally arrived at a school where children learned from writing notes from the teacher's lectures. This was all too familiar to Mr. Winkle.

This story makes me wonder are school falling behind with the times?? Most public school, aside from some secondary and post secondary courses, settings still use paper, books, pens and pencils. Will there ever be a time where there is a "paperless" classroom?? I can see that more and more of the schools are trying to get away from paper and pen. I remember reading about The iSchool Initiative. It's a program that was founded by Travis Allen to help bring technology and digital learning into the classrooms. A classmate and I began to work at getting the iSchool at some of our local Mobile Schools, but was unsuccessful. I still want to work on getting this initiative started in the Mobile County Public School System because I feel as though it would keep future leaders up-to-date with technology while saving the school system some MONEY.

Sir Ken Robinson: Education Kills Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson
First and foremost, Sir Robinson is a comedian. He had the crowd laughing from the beginning. "Creativity is as important as literacy and we should treat it with the same status." This statement really stood out to me, not because it blunt but because it is true! Think about it. Students go into classrooms 5 days a week to be "numbed" down by reading and writing. Students' individuality is taken in his/her clothing due to mandatory school uniforms in some areas. They (the school board) says that is for the best interest and protection of the children in the schools, but I do not think that is the full truth. Although students have found ways to express themselves through hair, make-up and other accessories, they still have to go through the task of putting on that uniform Monday-Friday, 7:20am-2:40pm.

When I was attending Vigor from 2006-2009, I had 4 classes per day. Out of those 4, only 3 were in classroom settings. Each class was 90 minutes long and in those 90 minutes tons of information was crammed into my head so that I could just spite them out on an exam 4 weeks later. The only time that I was able to really express myself was through "Drum-majoring". I was the only girl on the drum major line and for that I was talked about. I was called gay, weird, and a host of other things. It's not that I lacked a creative side, it was just that it could not be expressed in the hallways of my high school. Oh but when I arrived at practice and my fellow drum majors and I could "show out", I loved every minute of it. The hard work, the dance routines that we prepared for ourselves and the band. That was the best.

However, the argument that education kills creativity is not all together a valid statement anymore. When I was in high school, yes drum majoring was how I expressed myself but some of my teachers gave projects that required creativity. For instance, I took Economics in the 12th grade from Mrs. Buford. She gave a project assignment on creating your own business. I created a business similar to Edible Arrangements. I had to think up a business proposal, mission, menu and design the building. It was fantastic and I really enjoyed it. It seems as though, the "educational powers that be" (mostly teachers) are recognizing the value of creativity and pushing it into the light a little more every year.

Pinterest In The Classroom

A photo of my actual Pinterest account
This is not my first encounter with Pinterest. While in Auburn, a friend of mine decorated her apartment using this website. I was so impressed at how well the apartment was put together so I asked where she got her ideas from. She replied, "Pinterest". I was like, "excuse me?" She repeated herself and sure enough when I got home and looked it up, it was a real website. My Pinterest includes home decor and education pinboards. While scrolling through the different pinboards, I stumbled one for Special Education. There are books and websites attached to the pinboard that I am going to explore in the near future. When I read about the ways to use Pinterest in the classroom, I was like, "hmmmm, that is actually true. It could be used for that!"

If I were to use this website in my classroom, it would be an extremely important tool for organization. For instance, I am going into Special Education so my students would use a pinboard for daily routines (using the restroom, placing backpacks and lunch bags in the proper area, time management, etc.). It work wonders for me because I could plan out field trips, class lunches, classroom decor, Special Education websites. I'm getting excited about using this website as I am typing about it. I see this as a tool that can be used by all to gather, give and share ideas with the rest of the world. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Blog Post # 1: Getting To Know Me


Me & Mommy at her bday party
(That is not a gang sign, my mother is apart
of the lovely ladies of Zeta Phi Beta, Inc.)
 My name is Daphney R. McFadden. I am currently a junior at the university, majoring in Special Education. I am the eldest of 5 children. I was born and raised here in Mobile, AL. I was raised by my grandparents for the better part of my life. My parents were never married, but I have a wonderful relationship with them both. Unfortunately in early March of 2001, my grandmother lost her battle with stomach cancer. She always was the person to help me with homework and encouraged me to do my best. I can honestly say that she is my motivation for continuing my education. I graduated in the Spring of 2009 from Vigor High School with a 4.2 GPA and number 6 in my class. I applied to many universities and the one that I finally decided on was Auburn University. Weagle Weagle War Darn Eagle!!! (censorship). Now choosing a major was a pain in the butt. I did not dawn on me until I was in the Auburn University bookstore what I wanted to do for the rest of my days...I wanted to teach and I loved history. Why not combine the two?! At the time I did not think to enroll in the College of Education, instead I enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and majored in History. I had, and still have, a passion for History. I am a firm believer in the past being a window into the future. One thing that you will learn about me is that I love teaching and technology!!

Auburn Days :)
 I transferred from Auburn in the Fall of 2012. I loved everything about the school. I loved the people, campus, atmosphere and I was saddened that I had to leave. I knew that since I am the eldest that I had/have a responsibility to help with my younger siblings so I came home. I knew that I wanted to continue my education so I applied at South and was accepted. I came to choosing the major of education because that is what I was raised around...EDUCATION. My grandmother and her sister were a retired math instructors for the Mobile County Public School System. My aunts are both educators, one a professor of African American Studies and the other a Speech Pathologist. Another reason that I chose Education, particularly Special Education, is because I believe that every child has the potential to be something great if given the proper tools and opportunity. Throughout my academic career, I have experienced many types of ways people learn. Take myself for instance, I am a multi-learner. I prefer written to study, but I also require some type of auditory device so that I can go back and listen to my lectures. This is not my first attempt at EDM310. I took the class in the Spring of 2012. I have learned may things from this class and enjoyed it the first time.


 Special Education is a field that requires a few provisions in the classroom. My goal is to make sure that my students learn, not only knowledge, but also how to function in society with his/her disability(ies). If I was to come across a student with a disability that has NOT been diagnosed, it is my job to send a letter home to inform his or her parents of my findings. There are physical and mental disabilities, can you guess which one is not so easily detected?

An Educator should not only teach, but
also lend a "Helping Hand" to students
 I know that in dealing with Special Ed children certain tools are required per his/her IEP (Individualized Educational Program). For instance, Katy has moderate autism and is non-verbal. If her IEP says that she requires an iPad in order to communicate her wants and needs, that's what I am going to need for her. Also, these instruments are provided by the MCPSS per state and national laws. Grading will be based upon the work and tasks completed. Along with grading, rewards (treats, activities, praise etc) are given to the students who display correct behavior.

Some special needs kids can operate in a "gen ed" , or general education, classroom. Those kids I would just work with in his/her regular environment. There is a table that is set up in the back, specially for that child. I come in for about 30 minutes to work with the child on a specific disability. For instance, Luke is a autistic student with ADHD. I take him to that table where we previously worked on hand motions to keep his attention of what he and I are doing. 

The more moderate to severe kids would be in the resource room with myself and possibly another special ed teacher. My classroom would be set up in a daily routine of my kids following a "path" that is taped to the floor. Stop 1: Book bag and lunch bag area to hang things up. Stop 2: Restrooms (even if you do not have to go, just try." Stop 3: Desk area for worksheets and instruction. These students will learn daily task such as washing hands, making sandwiches, crossing the street, purchasing items, etc. I will incorporate academic skills, such as math, language arts, social studies etc as well.

"Time Management" By Dr. Randy Paush, Ph.D 
Dr. Randy Paush, Ph.D
Dr. Randy Paush was a loving husband, devoted father, and quite the accomplished man. Before I watched the Time Management video, I did some research. Dr. Paush had ties to Disney, Adobe, and Google just to name a few. In his everyday life, Dr. Paush would make out a "plan". He would plan for daily tasks and long term tasks. Unfortunately, Dr. Paush lost his battle with cancer in July 2008. I can honestly say that I am the same way. Every day I make a "To Do" list for the day and once my list is complete I can rest easy. Dr. Paush says that breaking down tasks into smaller steps is an effective method. This is true about everyday life and academic life as well. If you have a hectic task list, do the hardest task first. For example, I have an "assistant" app on my android phone. Her name is Sam. I use Sam to get through everyday tasks like remembering to pay a certain bill or go pick up something from the store. Technology is amazing and can be used in various productive ways other than Facebook and Twitter. I have 2 major goals this semester. Before I tell them to you, I would have to explain the back story: Last Spring I became sick and missed a week or two of classes. This caused my GPA to fall below average so I did not qualify for financial aid in the Fall. I ended up paying out of pocket last semester for my classes. Well since my GPA was still low this semester, I am on Probation (financially and academically). So, now that you know the back story....MY GOAL IS TO GET AN "A" AND "B" this semester so that I no longer have to worry about if I qualify or not. I am going to use the method of Time Management to get all assignments and projects done while maintaining a part-time job. It may sound difficult, but I know that I can do it. I know that if a single parent can get out of bed, get his/her kids off to school, go to school themselves, work and make decent grades...I know that I can do it to.
I know that procrastination is what I do best. Waiting til the last minute to study or read over notes for a quiz or test. Most college students are guilty of it because you want to go hang out with your friends or significant other, go to the movies, go to the mall, go to the club. We just want to do things that are fun while we still have the time to do them. THIS IS WHERE WE MESS UP! I am going to do an experiment this semester based on what I read about on the Penn State website, Time Management Excerises . I think this is going to be a hard but necessary change to my daily schedule. I honestly believe that this is going to be a great way to acheive my desired grade in this course!!!