Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Summary Post C4K 1,2, and 3

Before I begin summarizing the posts of the great kids that I commented on, I want to stress how much fun this was. It was way cool to see that kids this young and all around the world are blogging! I hope that they see the value in this and aren't doing it just because it is a required assignment for their class. This was so cool to see. The schools that did this are so wise to allow and/or require their students to do this. I only have seen three classes so far and I know that there are many more out there. That rocks!

The first comment 4 kids blog that I looked at was Zach. His class lives in Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. It is located on the West coast of Canada along with beaches, mountains, and forests. Zach's class blog is called Building Blocks and they use their blogging to reach out and to stay in touch with students across the globe. They are also working with other classes in their school to help each other out with the blogging. They call themselves Division 17 and post all sorts of things that the students create. They had a stick figure dance challenge where they created their own stick figures on the computer that danced! You can view the different dances made at http://bcarmi.edublogs.org/classwork/. They also have a spot on their blog where you can go through the steps provided to make yourself a stick figure or an avatar. You can check that out at http://bcarmi.edublogs.org/blogging/. I also posted Zach's blog on my blog previously. This was such a neat school. I'm glad they are encouraging blogging.

The second kid that I was assigned was the Sebastian. He went to Pt England Primary School in Auckland, New Zealand. The students at this school produce a weekly podcast called KPE which stands for Korero Pt England. The students that create this podcast are between the ages of 9 and 11. They work with their teachers to promote reading in their classrooms. They read lots of books by New Zealand authors and their podcast is to promote these authors. You can view the podcasts at http://www.ptengland.school.nz/index.php?family=1,871. This link also will lead you to the class blog. They love feedback and commenters. You can do this at kpe@ptengland.school.nz

The third kid I got assigned to was in Mr. Wolfe's class. This blog was different than the other 2 blogs I read. The students here didn't have names, they were a couple letters then numbers. I assume they are their initials and 2011 which is obviously the year. This was interesting on how it was set up. The homepage blog http://kidblog.org/MrWolfesClass2/. It is set up with the blog title and who the author it is whether it is student or teacher. This was a neat way to do it because you can scroll down and go directly to that blog post and to what student wrote it. I didn't get as much information on this school as the other ones simply because the information was limited. I was encouraged to see that the students blog regularly though! I think this is very important to keep in the classroom. Mr. Wolfe's blog that he keeps himself further explains each particular blog that his class does and some extra posts as well. You can view this at http://kidblog.org/MrWolfesClass2/author/MrStephenWolfe/.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blog Assignment 7

This video really was worth every minute of watching it. Randy Pausch made some amazing points. Just listening to him talk about his life and dreams he achieved was extremely inspiring. The fact that he is dying and has the attitude and outlook on life that he has says enough. If you were to look at him and listen to him, the last thing you would think is that he has cancer and has a few months to live. This man is such an inspiration. Throughout the video, he made some awesome points and stated some eye-opening quotes. I love when he stated,  "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." This rings true. I can think of many times in my life when this statement was proven. If you always get what you want, you wouldn't necessarily see your achievements as anything more than accomplishments. The experience aspect would be overlooked. Another statement that hit home for me was, "If you are being corrected and criticized, it is a good thing. It means you are doing something right." If they aren't correcting you, it means they have given up on you. I never thought of it like this, I know constructive criticism is a great thing, but even harsh criticism can be looked at as a great thing. It just means that your critics still have faith in you and are still holding out on you.

When Dr. Pausch spoke about his childhood dreams and one was to be an Imagineer at Disney World, he spoke on the brick walls that came in front of him. "Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things." One brick wall for him was the rejection letters he got from Disney at first. For most, that would have been the end of trying. Dr. Pausch actually went on to work on the Aladdin Virtual Reality and got an offer to be a real Imagineer at Disney World. This just goes to show the extent to which we can succeed if we honestly try! Brick walls filter out the ones who don't really want to achieve their childhood dreams. Brick walls are useful tools. Helping with the Aladdin Virtual Reality led him to create a course at Carnegie Mellon called Building Virtual Worlds. 50 students are chosen and every 2 weeks you do a new project. You do a total of 5 projects. This was a huge accomplishment. When it came time for the students to present, they would bring their parents and friends and roommates to watch their presentation. They soon moved to the room he gave his talk in, and filled that up too!

Dr. Pausch summarized with a few points. The first one was, we learn from our students. This is a true statement. I have learned this in EDM 310. We have watched countless videos on students actually teaching their teachers things they discover through technology, and this is just one example. The next point he made was to always have fun. Through his life journey, he always had a good time even through the bad times he still looks back and laughs. Even while he is dying, he is still having fun! This is such a mind-blowing thing. He is dying, yet he still manages to live everyday to the fullest. Thirdly, he says to never lose the child-like wonder. He is basically a huge kid and wouldn't change anything. We need to keep that child-like wonder at all costs! It is our sanity for some days. Lastly, he stated to help others. This can mean so much, whether its helping someone at school or work or over in Thailand like he and his wife do. This means so much to so many people. He probably doesn't even know how much he has helped people or how many lives he has touched!

This video opened my eyes and my mind to so many things. His talk was titled "Achieving Your Childhood Dreams." Throughout his talk, he brought up numerous "head fakes". At the end of his lecture, he asked if we discovered the head fake of this talk. The head fake was: It's not about how to achieve your dreams, it's about how you live your life. That was the first big surprise to me. The second was when he said there was a second head fake. The second head fake was: The talk is not for us, it's for his kids. That was huge. I thought the whole lecture was about achieving my childhood dreams and that the talk was for the viewers. It wasn't about that at all and it definitely wasn't a talk meant for me. I still learned so much though. Dr. Pausch said you learn the best through head fakes. This is so true. It was proven as I watched this video. I am so glad we were assigned to watch this. I want to share it with so many people! This lecture rocked.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blog Assignment 6


1.The Networked Student
I found this video to be very helpful in explaining the "networked student" to me. It is a good deal of information to process especially when we were raised in a "traditional" student and teacher learning environment where everything is taught off of the chalkboard and the internet was used for research papers. This is a whole new ball game we have entered.
Students in this century must have the skills to be able to master technology. That is their learning tool! The future is now. The tools available to the students and to the teachers alike are so useful and should not be wasted. This is so important to grasp. In this video, the networked student basically built his own online textbook. He had no psych book for the class. His networking and web searching helped him build his own. This is so helpful to him and also to his classmates. His classmates can see the information he has gathered. What a powerful tool this is! This way of teaching is so very different, but so very opportune if taught the correct way!
It is the teacher's job to teach a networked student in a few ways. For starters, the networked student is not going to know where to begin. The teacher is there to help him or her to begin with building their network. The teacher's job also is to help him with any questions he may have with setting up his network, adding onto it, etc. Also, the teacher is there to help him distinguish what is a reliable site and what is not. The guidance of the teacher is so important.
I think my favorite part about this is that the student makes his or her own textbook while learning to network and search for information. To me, the best kind of learning is when you do it yourself. So, if the student would like a text for the class, he or she must go out and basically build it. They will learn so much more doing that than being given a textbook that they probably wouldn't open anyway. If you decide not to build yours, then it only hurts you, the student. This is so great. This is such an imperative thing to teach and to prepare our students for!

2. A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment
This is awesome. I can't believe she is only in 7th grade. Looking back on my 7th grade year, we had to sign permission forms to use the internet at school. This is how she learns at school. This is amazing. She is so organized. Her PLN is so organized, thought-out, and efficient. I will definitely use some of her techniques if not many to do my PLN. She made me want to make my entire one today. I know it will take some time to get everything in your PLN, but it made me eager to get a jump on it! She is inspiring. This can and will take learning to a whole new level.

3. Critiques of Smartboards
Why Smartboards are a Dumb Initiative
Michael Staton in his stand against smartboards argues the cost efficient side. He says they are too expensive for what they are and that you can do the same thing with different programs.

Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards
Bill Ferriter also thinks that interactive whiteboards are too expensive and that don't do any thing positive for the students or the teacher. He gave his away after using it for a year. In his post he quoted:
"Most of the time, interactive whiteboard programs are, in fact, nothing more than vain attempts to buy change. Rarely paired with a clear vision of the classrooms we’d like to see, a set of tangible objectives that can be measured, or any systematic attempts to evaluate outcomes, these high-priced contraptions are sad examples of the careless decision-making and waste that
are crippling some of our schools and systems."

I found a site that promotes Interactive Whiteboard use. On this site, Dr. Mary Ann Bell, Assistant Professor of Library Science at Sam Houston State University in  Hunstville, Texas has a list of a few reasons why interactive whiteboards are so great. The website is http://www.waukeshaschools.com/WIT/smartBoard/benefits.htm. On this page, she also gives a link for the full text of reasons instead of just the points. I went to this site and it is very interesting. She makes a great argument towards the use of IWB's.  http://teachers.net/gazette/JAN02/mabell.html 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Individual Timetoast Timeline

C4T #2


The teacher that I followed for these past couple weeks was Howard Rheingold. His website is http://dmlcentral.net/. He is a very well educated man. To be honest, the first post I commented on was

Wikirriculum: Curriculum in the Digital Age

 I was completely confused as to what he was trying to say and I told him I was confused. He responded with another post to me in an attempt to clear things up and it didn't help too much. That wasn't his fault. I think that I just have a lot of learning to do!

The second post I commented on was

On Paranoid Parenting, Media and Education

 This post was very interesting to me and I did in fact understand this one. Parents are scared to let their kids learn as much as their is to technology. The movie he made reference to was Dogtooth, which won best foreign film. The movie is about a father who shields his 3 children from the outside world completely. They are adults, but they still have children minds. He literally doesn't let them outside of the gates. He doesn't even give them names. It is child abuse for sure and it was all to shield them from the outside world. That's kind of extreme for sure. I really don't think parents today would go to the extremes like they did in this movie, but the fear is still there. Before this class, I was afraid of technology taking over the classroom and students no longer needing a teacher in the classroom etc. No longer do I think that way, I know technology presents us as future teachers with so many tools that we need to grasp and hang onto! I still have so much to learn and I am eager to do it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

C4K #1

imagesCAEDIQMKHello everybody, this is my first post on my blog so im going to post eight different random things about me.
1.I learned how to ride a bike when i was two years old on an adult bike without training wheels
2.I have only moved 3 times in my life
3.I have never broken a bone
4.I only wear jeans
5.My favorite show is Naruto
6.I have never been out of canada
7.Megan Fox is my favorite actress
8. spend most of my time hanging out with my friends

Blog Assignment 5

Eagle Nest Radio & Class Blog

This is awesome! The third graders that did this are pretty unique. The Roman podcast that I listened to was so cool. I actually learned a lot about Rome by listening to this. I thought it was neat how they were "journeying" to ancient Rome and narrated history and sites as they went along. I also enjoyed how the music changed as the setting and mood changed. I could definitely use ideas from this to put into my podcast. The different combination of voices that I heard as it switched from student to student also kept me intrigued and it kept my attention with it constantly changing. I could also incorporate that idea in to my podcast. These kids rock!
This was extremely cool to me that she helped the Language Arts teacher upgrade her unit. The upgrading with the podcast idea was a great idea to mix things up. By "redoing" short stories read by someone with a different point of view was a great way to put a spin on things. This was in part also to inspire other teachers to try something different in their classroom and to do something new. I'm sure it was refreshing to both student and teacher alike! This could also reach more students in this way. I think this was such a neat, fun, and needed idea!
Education Podcast Network (EPN)
This is such a neat set-up! This is so helpful to teachers now and also to future teachers like me! To have a podcast site specifically made for a teacher's benefit is awesome. You can get new ideas and content through this podcast side. It's just podcast after podcast of everything you could hope for. It's like Disney World for teachers. (Well maybe not that great, but you get the idea). The directory will grow as people share their stories and ideas! This is awesome! I will definitely use this as a teacher!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

 1. Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please? By: Scott McLeod http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2009/08/dont-teach-your-kids-this-stuff-please.html/comment-page-5#comment-58919
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration Program at Iowa State University. He is also the director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation's only academic center dedicated to technology needs of school administrators. He blogs regularly. (http://scottmcleod.net/bio/) This was an awesome post. At first I was unsure of what Dr. McLeod was getting at, but it hit me at the end. It was extremely creative. It's true that technology can be harmful in many ways. However, if we were to look at anything else we could say the same about that thing. Everything is potentially harmful in one way or another. If used in the right way, technology is our greatest tool we can acquire and it is up to us as future educators to help enforce this.
2. The iSchool Initiative
I'm going to be honest, when I first started watching this video, I was skeptical and jumped to conclusions. I thought there was no way that would be good for the students or teachers. I am all for technological advances in the school, but when is it too much? Well, the truth is, I never answered that question. Just as quickly as I had jumped to conclusions, my mind was changed. iSchool could be an awesome thing! It could save your school and yourself close to $500 per student! That seems to be reason enough.
Students today rarely touch their textbooks as it is, but how many students reach for their iphones or ipods? Almost all of them! If we put schooling into the iTouch and strictly enforced rules that went along with it, it would yield great results! There would be no more excuses for assignments or lost emails. This piece of technology will go far! I hope to see this in the schools one day!
3. The Lost Generation
This video was awesome! I was disappointed when it started because I thought she truly believed all the things the "experts" say. When it was reversed, it really spoke to me. This video was extremely affective.
4. Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 

I got extreme chill bumps watching this video! Wow! These people never met and performed as a choir completely via internet!! Words cannot even describe what I felt when I saw that! It was so awesome and powerful!
5. Teaching in the 21st Century
This is an eye-opening video! It is true in a sense that teachers are now only filters for the teaching. I think that this can be an awesome thing. Technology is our most powerful tool. To teach in the 21st century is to teach technology! I think keeping an "old school" way of teaching in the classroom can be important, but my view of that has already changed just from being in this class for a few weeks. I am realizing with each video I watch and with blog post I read from these intellectuals that the age is now that the technology is the teaching and we need to learn to use the tools given to us to teach our students how to "properly use google". We need to take full advantage of the power we have in our hands.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Summary C4T Post #1

My teacher that I am following is Henrietta Miller. Her blog is Classroom Chronicles. Her blogs are very interesting! Her first post I read was about her goals for this year. She is a very talented teacher. Her main goal this year is to be selected for the Google Teacher Academy in Sydney, Australia. This would be a huge honor. Her other smaller goals consist of expanding technology in classrooms and schools! There is a lot to be learned from her! She keeps her classroom student centered and tries to make school and her classroom unique to each student she has. What a role model she is!
The second post I read was about her advice to new teachers. Her advice was solid, reasonable advice. It was on being a planner as a teacher and also a learner. You must teach with a learner's mindset. A few other pointers were to keep smiling because it does get better and to ask for help when you need it! The only way to get the help you need is by asking. She seems so down to earth. One day I would like to meet her. She is so inspiring and a great teacher. I would like to model my future classroom after her. There is so much to be learned from her and she is still learning. The goals she sets for herself are perfectly attainable for her. I have complete faith in her that she will reach the goals that she sets. I have great respect for her and I haven't even met her. I feel like I know her just from reading her blogs. I will continue to read her blogs even after this assignment is complete.

Blog Assignment 3

1. Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today
technology in the classroom

This movie was fairly accurate for the most part in capturing my college experience. I felt like I was spending hundreds of dollars on books that I never touched. Much of the knowledge I received from college I feel like I taught myself and much of the material that I have learned, I have forgotten.
My college experience did have some differences than the video as well. I was fortunate enough to have teachers that knew me personally. There were a few exceptions to this, such as my enormous biology classes that had more than 120 students in them, but even then the professors made an effort to get to know you. To some extent you as a student have to make the effort to get to know your teachers. If I were to add to this movie to make it more of my college experience I would add to where it says your neighbor pays for class but never comes. I would insert maybe why they never come. There are many factors such as partying or no motivation but that varies from school to school. For the most part, this was extremely accurate.
2. "It's Not About the Technology" by Kelly Hines
I absolutely agree with Kelly Hines about this post. She is right about technology being a huge part of teaching, but in the end it's not the technology after all. Teachers must be learners and they must teach with learning in mind. You must as a teacher be continually learning yourself. You can't assume that just because you've taught the students something repeatedly that they have necessarily learned it. You have to have learning in mind as you teach.
The truth is, we need technology in the world today. At the end of the day, it isn't technology in the schools that help the students learn, it is the teachers. The technology can be a very helpful tool to expand the learning and the teaching, but it is ultimately left up to the teacher to help the students truly learn and understand. It is easy to get caught up in the technology today. It is powerful stuff! Technology  doesn't teach the students, teachers do.
3. Karl Fisch: Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
I totally understand Karl Fisch's view on this topic. I do however think it is a bit extreme. Nowadays It is true that you can barely do anything without technology, but technology is constantly changing. It is near impossible to keep up with it. The older teachers for the most part, have even more of a challenge with this issue. Many of them can barely grasp the concept of a computer much less all the other technology that comes along with it.
I think that absolutely teachers must have some knowledge of technology and should be able to use and teach with the technological tools that are given to them. However, to say that everyone must be technologically literate is a huge statement. I don't consider myself technologically literate yet. I am striving towards being technologically literate but I know I have a ways to go. I know that I have far more knowledge about technology than many teachers that I know and they get along just fine in the classroom. Teachers should be learners and should grasp what is available to them if they so choose to. I think if they feel like they can do just fine without it, then more power to them.
4. Gary Hayes Social Media Count
This means so much to my professional career. It is a little intimidating to be honest. It is also very eye opening. The future possibilities of this are amazing. I still have another year left in school and these numbers are changing every single second. That blows my mind. I can't imagine what the numbers will be in a year but this is some powerful stuff.