Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Sixteen

If I built a school...
If I built a school, my classroom would be quiet different from the normal, everyday classroom. I want my classroom to accommodate each of my students, so each year with a new group of kids, my classroom would have to change. There are two ways my classroom would differ from all other classrooms and one would be the way it is set up. In my classroom, there are going to be different sections, including a reading section filled with Kindles and iPads and a hands on section where my students will participate in project based learning activities. My classroom will be painted in bright colors and my students projects will hung all over the walls, the bright colors are to keep it fun and I want my students to be proud of their work which is why I plan to hang them up.
The second way my classroom will be different from other classrooms is by the way I teach. I want to make learning fun from my students. I want them to be able to be life long learners, so I plan to teach using hands on activities. Pencils and paper will be no where near as important as blogging and using search engines such as discovery ed in my classroom.

My Final Reflection

For my very first blog, I was asked to write a blog on "If you built a school..." Of course my response would be quiet different from what was given at the beginning of the semester. I have learned so much about technology and ways to incorporate in into my classroom. In my first response, I focused more on the set up of my classroom vs. my actual techniques of teaching. In my classroom, I plan to teach using the project based learning approach. I am going to be the type of educator that Dr. Strange stressed throughout this semester, a no burp back educator. My students will work collaboratively with other students, I have learned so much from group work and I want to share this same experiences with my students. Each lesson that will be taught in my classroom will be done using some source of technology. I have always thought of technology as being important and I have always played to teach using technology in my classroom, and after this semester I have learned just how important teaching with technology real is. There are many reason teaching with technology is so useful, but in my opinion the most important reason is because our students need it.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Fifteen

Hilary Thames

When I was a senior in highschool, I had the privilege of working with students with special needs through being a teacher's aid. This was definitely an eye opening experience, and I would have to say it taught me more than any class ever could! While working with these students, we had to teach in ways that were not used in regular classrooms. Its not that special needs students cannot learn, they just learn in ways that differ from other students. One great point Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children makes is that learning needs to be personal.
blind student working
Every student, whether they have a special need or not, learns differently. One great way for teaching the vision impaired is through podcasts, like we learned about earlier this semester from a group of kindergartners. Through these podcasts, students would not only be able to use them during school, but they would also be able to access them at home as well. Having devices like the braille writer talked about in The Mountbatten provides students with special needs the ability to be engaged in regular classroom activities just as any other student.

by Haley Smith
Video E - Teaching Mom What Her Deaf/Blind Child is learning on the iPad
For this blog post, I began the assignment by looking at E and F from the instruction list for blog assignment 15. For section E, I watched a video regarding how blind people are able to access the iPad and use it effectively. I really enjoyed this video. The question for many is how someone that is blind can use something that has no buttons or grooves. That question is answered in this video demonstration. It goes into detail such as the direction that you need to move your fingers, how many fingers to use, how to “turn the knob”, how to type if you can’t see the keyboard, and so much more. The only problem I had with this video is that it didn’t tell you how to put it in the mode where it will read everything or the gadgets will work. It just started the video demonstrating how to use it. This video was very helpful in regards to how to handle using the iPad if I would happen to have a blind student. < br /> Video F - 50 Must See Blogs for Special Education
Section F was really interesting. This was a collection of 50 blogs that have been collected that focus on special needs in children and adults whether in the classroom or in daily lives of these people. Although I looked at many of the blogs, I primarily want to focus on four – numbers 17, 22, 30, and 46. Blog number 17 was titled Teaching All Students. This blog focused on different apps that an educator can use for special education. My favorite part of the blog was that it gave the different apps that were either free or apps that you need to purchase. It also gives reviews of the apps that are great for the special needs students. Blog number 22 was titled Barto’s World. This blog focused primarily on Dyslexia and ADHD. These are two of the most common disabilities in children in school. This blog helps teachers with students with these disabilities and teaches them how to handle it in the classroom. This blog also gives teachers the resources that will help them understand what is needed to do. My favorite part of this blog is that they didn’t refer to students with disabilities as “creative thinkers”. This takes the part where students with disabilities feel abnormal away. Blog 30 was titled ADDitude: Linving Well with Attention Deficit. This blog had to be my favorite blog of the list of 50 blogs on the list. I loved this blog because it had different blogs and different points of view from people who are influenced by ADD. There is a section for parents that have children with ADD, adults who live with ADD, and experts that study ADD. This blog also gives resources on how to parent children with ADD, treatment for it, and a way to get the newsletter for ADD. The final blog that I looked at was number 46. This blog was titled Children with Special Needs. This blog focuses on things to do for children with special needs for holidays and other special occasions. This is also a site that explains what special needs are. There is one final part that I loved about this blog was it gave stories about children with special needs whether they are happy, sad, or hopeful. by Brantley Spillman
Video C - Teaching Math to the Blind
Video D - iPad usage for the Blind

For my post, I began by watching videos C and D from the Blog Post 15 Instructions. Video C was entitled “Teaching Math to the Blind, and video D was entitled “iPad Usage for the Blind”. Both videos introduced teaching materials that were new to me and required some additional for a full understanding of these materials.
The first video, “Teaching Math to the Blind”, was produced by Professor Art Karshmer. Professor Karshmer is the Department Chair of Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the University of San Francisco. In this video, Professor Karshmer introduces a tool that can help blind students see math in two dimensions as seeing students visualize math. In the past, blind students could only use Braille to read math problems. This method places mathematical problems in a one-dimensional line for interpretation. For example,
Braille New Tool One-Dimension Two-Dimension 2 2+2=4 +2
His students have created a new tool that uses a block system allowing blind students to set up a math problem in the more tangible two-dimensional form. Blind students no longer have to solve math problems in a linear setup. As stated in the video, this type of device will help blind students understand math at an earlier age. Thus, providing a foundation for later math studies and providing the proper tools for learning basic algebra.
My second video, “iPad Usage for the Blind”, highlighted the abilities that an iPad offers for the blind user. Its program, voiceover, allows individuals who are blind to navigate their way through his or her iPad. The program voices the application as a user’s finger grazes over the App icon on the home screen. In the past, our blind community was limited to what tools they could use, such as braille. With the emergence of computers and related technologies, visually impaired individuals have struggled to maintain an understanding with these limited resources. Luckily, additional complementary technologies offered today allow the blind the opportunity to enjoy the same computer tools that seeing people enjoy. Before this video, I was unaware of the iPad’s and iPhone’s ability to provide such a useful tool for individuals with visual disabilities.
Additional Resources: 1. A cumulative list of Online Resources for Teaching the Blind
2. A list of useful software programs and their websites. Screen Readers: Screen reading software reads aloud everything on computer screens, including text, pull-down menus, icons, dialog boxes, and web pages. Screen readers run simultaneously with the computer's operating system and applications. (JAWS, Windows-Eyes, and ZoomText) Scan/Read Systems: Scan/read systems combine software and a flatbed scanner to read aloud any printed text. Textbook pages, class handouts, and tests can be scanned in and then read aloud by a computer. (Kurzweil 1000 , OpenBook) Portable Notetakers: Lightweight, portable notetakers provide speech output without a visual display and can be connected to printers and computers for printing and uploading text. Braille keyboards and refreshable Braille displays are available for Braille users. A QWERTY keyboard version is available for people who prefer touch-typing. (Braille Lite Series, Braille ‘n Speak, BrailleNote)
3. Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired The Standards for teaching the blind math concepts using Tactile Graphics. California Braille Mathematics Standards (2.1 mb)
4. What are tactile graphics? Tactile graphics, sometimes referred to as the haptic sensory modality, deliver information through touch. They often accompany Braille textbooks to convey content in maps, charts, building layouts, schematic diagrams, and images of geometric figures. Tactile graphics are often handmade by Braille transcribers as part of Braille textbook production. In some cases, the creation of tactile graphics is facilitated by automated processes using various software applications. Some methods used to create tactile graphics are described below. A hand-tooling method produces a raised image on paper or aluminum diagramming foil. Specially-designed tools hand-emboss raised lines and textures. A Thermoform device creates multiple copies of originals produced by this method. A partially-automated method prints computer generated graphics onto capsule or swell paper, which causes the lines to rise when the paper is sent through a special heating device. In this process, the black portions of the copy swell outward to form a raised line tactile graphic. Some Braille embossers are equipped with a graphics mode that can be used for producing tactile graphics, although additional software may be required to use this functionality. There are also specialized Braille printers, like the Tiger series of embossers by ViewPlus, which are specifically designed to create tactile graphics in addition to standard Braille. The University of Washington's Tactile Graphics Project provides a number of resources designed to increase access to mathematics, engineering, and science information from graphical images by students who are blind. One helpful application is the Tactile Graphics Assistant which, when combined with regular software applications, enables the rapid translation of visual graphics to a tactile form. A valuable resource for creating tactile graphics is the Tactile Diagram Manual produced by Purdue University. This downloadable manual is for educators who need to convert science and math diagrams into tactile graphics. PIC PIC

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Blog Fourteen

When I first read the instructions for Blog 14, my mind went in a million directions. I can write on this, or I can write on that! With each idea that can to mind, I hit a dead end.. So I quickly realized I would have to choose the one thing I was most passionate about and write on it. My specialty is elementary education, but my main focus is sixth grade and the only thing I want to share with my students is creativity. Though you cannot teach one to be creative, you can inspire them to be. I want to be that inspiration for my students, each year.

Instructions: Watch and summarize the video How to be Creative and tell of at least one way you will express creativity in your classroom.

Summary: This video starts out with a very good point, people aren't born creative, its a process. 1. How do I do this? Most people fail with this step because they are unsure of where the beginning point is. We must be willing to "chase down ideas" and we must also understand that not all of our ideas are going to lead somewhere. That is probably the biggest setback of being creative, too many people are scared to make mistakes, so they get too comfortable where they are.
2. Develop your own ideas and tools People: now days are just lazy! No one wants to put any effort forth. No one wants to come just with new ideas, so they find others. Most of the time, other people's ideas aren't what is best for you, only YOU know what that is. 3. Do the work: Understanding how to work is the key to sharing your creativity. 4. Keep at it: You are going to fail, you are going to fail many times, but it is when you fail and get back up to try again that your creativity is shown!

Creativity: Creativity is the selling point now days. We have too many individuals walking around with diplomas in hand, so the question is "How do you get the first look with an interview for a new job?" or "How do you get noticed about all the others?" By being creative, by going over the top to achieve your goals, but we have too many that are nervous about doing so because they are scared of making mistakes. In my classroom, it is going to be taught that making mistakes is okay. A child cannot be unwilling to move into a space in which they are unsure of because they are afraid of messing up, because they will stay this way their whole life. One of the many reasons I want to teach sixth grade is because those students are in a crucial era of learning, and with the right guidance they can be pointed in the right direction.
I believe that every student has the ability to be creative but it is forced out of them by others. They are expected to be perfect, or they are too filled with the ideas of others that they don't have room for their own. There will be projects in my classroom that allow for each student to think for his/her self. There will be questions asked in my classroom that force my students to think outside the box. I want each of my students to reach their full potential and achieve goals they have set for themselves and they only way for them to do this is by being creative.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Project 12 Part B

For Project 12 Part B, our group taught a lesson on money for second grade. Using features offered by the smartboard, such as object animation and infinite cloner, we were able to present a lesson plan that would allow our students to meet the core standard and also keep their attention through this technological feature! A smartboard is something I plan to use in my own classroom, along with many other areas of technology I have learned about in EDM.
Instead of meeting face to face, our group prepared for this project by sharing links and comments on a shared Google Docs. Google Docs is a freeware web-based office suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating with other users live.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Final PLN Report

Looking back over this past semester, I am completely amazing at all of the technology I have learned to use, some of which I had no idea of before EDM. These past few months have no doubt been an uphill climb, but here I am finally at the top of this mountain! At the beginning of the semester, when I thought of my PLN I mainly referred to websites that have aided my learning, but I have come to realize that teachers and past students in EDM 310 have been my biggest aid! Each teacher that was assigned to me, through C4T, was very helpful, but I would have to say that Mr. Rice's blog, Wisdom Begins with Wonder has helped me an unbelievable amount! From each of his post, I take something valuable! It is through Blogger that I was able to connect with these teachers/students so I would have to say that it was been the most valuable website in my PLN. I was also introduced to websites such as icurio and Discovery ED that will be of great value to my future students. My PLN has been managed through Symbaloo, which is an awesome website that allows quick access to anything I find useful! Overall, I would definitely say my PLN has increased by a lot since the beginning of the semester. A round of applause to EDM and Dr. Strange for introducing me to these websites/teachers and allowing my to expand my PLN. Even though this has been a hard semester, and each week has been full of work, at the end I am nothing but thankful for every bit of what I have learned and I know my future students will be just as grateful for having a teacher that is technologically literate!

November C4T

For my last C4T in EDM, I was able to read Mr. Rice's blog. In his first post, Mr. Rice talked about asking his students questions that would allow them to think. He used a famous quote from Socrates that says “I cannot teach anyone anything; I can only make them think.” He says that it is his goal, this year, to improve and expand his use of questions. In my comment to this post, I told Mr. Rice about a video I previously watched this semester about asking the "right questions" Opened ended questions allow students to put on their thinking caps, while close ended questions call for simple "yes" or "no" answer.

For Mr. Rice's second post that I was to comment on, he wrote on how having one on one conversations with his students was important to him. He stated that he sat down with each of his students, asking them what they did not understand and what they needed help with. I thought this was absolutely wonderful! I believe that most important thing for a teacher to have is a trusting relationship with their students and having one on one conversations with students is what builds these relationships. Once an educator has gained the trust of his/her students, many doors not have the possibility of being opened!

Monday, November 18, 2013

C4K November Summary

For the first week of November, I read Ms. Ariana's Blog. Ariana is a fifth grader at Pt England School in New Zealand. In the Post that I read, Arianna wrote about a girl who works on a sheep farm. She even used a picture from a sheep farm to add to her story! I told her that working on a sheep farm sounded fun, but it also sounded like a lot of work too!

For my very last C4K in my EDM310 career, weird to say, I was assigned a class blog, Team One Rock Stars. "I can write" was the title of the post assigned to me, and in the post Loseti shares an experience of writing her name in the sand at the river and shared a picture of her doing so. I told Loseti about my experiences at the beach and witting my name in the sand there!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Thirteen

Hilary Thames
Mae Jemison: Teach Arts and Sciences Together
It’s funny to think that in this video, Teahch Arts and Sciences Together, this speech given by Mrs. Mae Jemison was over ten years ago because every bit of what she had to say goes along with what is happening in today’s time as well. We as educators tend to have an attitude of , just as Jemison mentions, “whatever happens, happens.” and she used a great quote from Lewis Carrol, “If you don’t much care where you want to get, then it doesn’t much matter which way you go” that sums up this attitude. That’s the problem with today’s education system, we have too many not caring about what happens , or which way they get there. With this quote, Jamison begins to speak on her topic of revitalizing arts and sciences.
Our generation has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. From the shift of the farming age to industrial age, the preceding generations, our generation has taking a leap into an information age. We want all the information we can obtain and we want it now! Just think about it, two to three seconds tops to pull up the news on your smartphone.. Students in the school systems are, just as this generation, thriving for knowledge and with closed minds they are not allowed access to all that an open minded person is. Creativity is the key to opening our students minds and stressing arts and sciences pushed open the doors of each student’s mind. With subjects, such as math and history, a student’s mind is not allowed fully opened opportunities, they simply call for a student to memorize and recall facts and equations.
However, arts and sciences gives way for students to place thinking caps on their heads and being to be creative and think for themselves. Jemison uses another great quote from Albert Einstein, “ The most beautiful thing we can experience the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science,” to further this idea. When children begin to experience mystery, their eyes are opened to a whole new world.

Brantley Spillman
Blog Post #13
Video #5 Kakenya Ntaiya
A Girl Who Demanded School
Ken Robinson 10 favorite Ted Talks
I recommend this video to everyone. Ms. Ntaiya’s determination and personal experiences were truly inspiring to me. Hearing her life’s story from her own mouth made more of an impact than if I had simply read her story. I will give technology props for giving me that opportunity. In addition, if I could choose to work with another teacher’s class “collaboratively” with my own class, this would be my pick
Ms. Ntaiya is a native of Kenya who rose against traditional values and found true joy in learning. Her background triggered memories of when I lived with a student from Kenya, from Uganda, and from Angola. All four of us were housed at the same time in a single college dorm room. I was only 19 years old from a small town in southern Georgia. I immediately respected the “African” culture. Each of their stories made me realize what privilege and freedoms I had been raised with, even with my working class parents.
Fortunately, Ms. Ntaiya was able to leave her hometown to pursue more education in America. Her determination was single-minded. One example is when she spoke of undergoing the tradition of “genital mutilation” (female circumcision) so as to return to her local school. With any society or culture, there will be people who want change and/or equality for local traditions or status quos. However, like most situations, it is easier said than done.
I believe this video was, by far, the most touching for me to watch this semester. Although, I have said this before after watching Randy Pausch’s last lecture, I stand corrected. I hope my children have this determination when attacking obstacles in their lives. When teaching students how to appreciate their own freedoms and applying determination to obstacles, interviews/lectures of firsthand experiences, like this, can offer a strong learning impact that I can appreciate technology offers. Although, for an even larger impact, it would be amazing to have Ms. Ntaiya come to speak in my classroom so as my students can ask questions and generate meaningful discussion.
As a spoiled culture, we should learn from stories of this nature. Life is short, fight for what you believe. In the end, we can only hope people remember what footprints we leave behind. Ms Ntaiya has left an influential footprint for both her own culture and ours, here in America. She will be remembered as a hero for not only women, but for every individual that has challenged the norm in any way.

Haley Smith Video #8
When I was looking to see what video I wanted, my attention immediately turned to number eight, Shane Koyczan’s video “To This Day...for the Bullied and Beautiful”. Bullying is something that has always been there but lately, the bully victims and bully numbers have grown. This video not only covered bullying; it also covered goals and future aspirations that all of us have or have had at one time.
We are asked constantly as kids and even now as adults in college what we wanted or want to be when we “grow up”. Something that Koyczan mentioned is that it is an unfair question. The reason is it presupposes that we can’t be what we already are. Why couldn’t I just stay Haley growing up and there wasn’t anymore to that. Why do we always have to think of something to become. Another issue with this question is that so often we don’t give the people that ask us the answer they want. If a teacher asked us, we are told “be more realistic” or “that is a stupid answer” or even “you won’t ever become that”. In order to please everyone around us in what we want to be, we have to become someone we are not. The way that Shane put it was we must sacrifice what we are to inherit the masquerade of what we will be. Our dreams are something that are so important to us but there are some people that will easily drop our dreams and dismiss them like they are the worst possible thing on earth. Why are our dreams to easy to dismiss? Why do our dreams get called silly or foolish or impossible? In a way, the way that our dreams and goals and hopes are treated, it is bullying. Calling someone stupid due to a dream of being an astronaut is mean and selfish. There is nothing nice about tearing down someone’s dreams. < br /> Bullying is something that can be found everywhere. Public school or private school both have issues with bullying. Everyone knows the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. That is WRONG! Words hurt more than anything. Bones and bruises heal, but words are stuck to your being until you decide it is time to let go. Even then, the remains are still buried in your body and mind. Each school has an arsenal of nicknames that only get bigger and bigger: stupid, spaz, dork. Kids are being called all sorts of names daily at school. I loved what Shane said about beauty. He said “If you don’t see anything beautiful about yourself, get a new mirror. Stare a little longer because there is something inside you that made you keep going despite everyone trying to tell you to quit. Put a cast on your broken heart, sign it, and say ‘THEY WERE WRONG’.” In school we always cheer for the underdog. The one that isn’t so great at basketball or football. When one of those people makes the winning basket or the winning touchdown, we cheer and go crazy because the tried their hardest. Why do we cheer the underdog on? We can relate to him or her. We see ourselves in them. We are more than a car abandoned sitting on empty. We are people. We must not judge ourselves by the pain we suffer but by the beauty in us.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blog Twelve

Hilary Thames: How Schools Kill Creativity

Creativity is something that I am going to stress on a high level to my students. I believe, just as Mr. Robinson, that it is just as important as any core subject. So when I received the opportunity to watch his video How Schools Kill Creativity, of course I jumped right on it! Mr. Robinson spoke on the way that the education system as it is today attempts to corral children into conformity, making the argument that all children are born with creativity but it is “educated” out of them. He says that creativity comes from the absence of fear of being wrong, however, the school systems of today make being wrong the one of the worst things you can do as a student.
its okay to be wrong as long as you learn from it
In my classroom I am going to promote creativity by not discouraging children after a wrong answer, but encouraging them to find the correct answer. Mr. Robinson stressed the point that the children in school today will not retire until 2065. He also mentioned that we, as educators, don’t know what is going to come about in the next five years, much less the next fifty. This is why I am going to promote creativity in my classroom. We look at University professors as the ones who “ won the education game” however, when we do not know where education is going how can that be determined. The times are beginning to change more rapidly with each year and we need creative students who are not conformed to the usual restrictions of education to help pioneer this coming change. As Mr. Robinson said, the amount of students to graduate in the next thirty years will be the highest number of students to graduate since the beginning of education making degrees nearly worthless and jobs almost impossible to find.
kid with painted hands
Therefore, I am going to encourage children to come up with new ideas, and not just have them bound by the answers the textbook tells us is correct. New creations come from things that were either not thought of or previously looked down upon. Allowing my students to think outside the box will open their realm of thinking beyond what the school system wants them to know and into the leaders of innovation in the society of tomorrow.

Brantley Spillman: Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms
What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson??????
Ken Robinson is a speaker, author, and educational advisor for the Arts. Mr. Robinson petitions in favor of the Arts to non-profit organizations, government departments, and various educational programs throughout the country.
While watching Ken Robinson’s lecture, “Changing Education Paradigms”…
My initial assessment of Sir Robinson’s video was, “how cool is that written cartoon that writes key points of his lecture on a white board!?”
Mr. Robinson opens his lecture by stating that everyone agrees that, “there is a problem with our current educational system”. He further states that, “every culture wants to educate their children so that they have a sense of cultural identity.” However, Mr. Robinson believes that by taking this approach, we are trying to embrace a future in education that correlates with what our cultures have done in the past. He doesn’t explicitly say this approach is wrong but I am assuming he does not agree with this approach.
His argument is that millions of kids are alienated while using this approach. Specifically, modern education is creating survivors. I am not sure Mr. Robinson offers many suggestions to change these approaches. His suggestions, specifically, ask for educators and parents to stop giving difficult/distractable children ADHD drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin, to gain conformism but, instead, we should let these children embrace the Arts, dispose of grade levels, and have them work in groups. Honestly, his suggestions remind me of communism: it looks great on paper, but does it really work when implemented. I find two problems with this discussion:
1) What if you are a child who does not respond or learn well using the Arts? Are you tossed aside for me being math-minded? How is this not just swinging the exclusive learning pendulum the other direction?
2) I am not sure if he was arguing that ADHD is not real? A figment of exhausted educators and parents who just haven’t tapped into that child’s innate need for the Arts? I am not arguing that American culture doesn’t love a good pill to fix something that could be fixed by lifestyle change but I challenge him to stand in front of a set of parents that have found some relief and normalcy by putting their child on these medications. I believe his argument is idealistic and too simplistic.
I did, however, like how he compared the current school layout to that of a factory setting. I had never realized or even tried to compare a classroom to a factory before this lecture: bells that start/end tasks, task-designated rooms, product-oriented projects. I do agree with Mr. Robinson that our current educational system has issues. There should be some value and freedom to commend a student on their learning process rather than the end point. However, I feel it is easy to point out problems, but very difficult to find solutions. Correct me if I am wrong, but I did not hear any solutions in his talk. I only heard complaints about the educational system that seems to have gotten him where he is today: a big-time lobbyist for arts in the educational system. Maybe he should admit that the system did do something right for him and how can we expand on that?
old school picture
Overall, I appreciated hearing his argument. I can appreciate the problem with our current educational system in that 'certain students' are never given the opportunity to thrive. Obviously, we, as educators, have the difficult task to reach these students in some way. If technology offers a means to gain these students' attention, then I am all for it. If the Arts program offers a means to gain these students' attention, then, again, I am all for it.

Haley Smith:How to escape education's death valley
I really enjoyed watching this video because it focused on the “No Child Left Behind” Act that was put in place in schools all across America. American schools are such a beneficial program because there is more money, smaller class sizes, and the schools are always trying to improve. If that is the case, then why is the dropout rate in America 60%? There are three points that Ken Robinson made that causes American schools to be so unsuccessful. The first reason was that humans are naturally diverse. The example that he gave of this is that if a couple has two children, the two children are completely opposite without ever learning anything. No Child Left Behind is based solely on conformity, not diversity. A child that exceeds in arts, humanities, and physical education isn’t going to get the right attention that a student that exceeds in math and english. The artsy student is going to fail in the eyes of the state because he or she can’t pass the standardized test. Robinson made a point that there is an “epidemic” of American students diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. All “ADD” is is a childhood. Kids aren’t going to sit still especially if they aren’t engaged. Teachers should give students a broad curriculum that focuses on each talent not just a small range of them. The arts are important because it speaks to a part of a child’s mind that is untouched.
The second point is humans are naturally curious. If a teacher sparks curiosity, a student will learn. Children are natural learners. Teachers are the life flow of successful schools. Teaching is a creative profession not a delivery system. You can’t expect to use burp back education. You have to mentor, stimulate, promote, and engage students. Make them want to learn. Teaching and learning must go together. You can be engaged in the task of teaching but if students aren’t learning, then you as a teacher aren’t achieving. The teachers role is to facilitate learning. We must get out of the routine, and we must use our powers of creativity and imagination to do what we have to do.
The final point is that humans are naturally creative. As teachers we must awaken the powers of creativity in our students. Instead of doing that, we have a system of standardization. The issue with that is that tests are only on specific criteria rather than all talents. If someone is having trouble because they aren’t good at math but awesome at soccer, they are defined by their failure at math. In a sense, we “leave him or her behind”. Education isn’t a mechanical system; it is a human system. Every student that drops out has a unique reason for doing so. We need to create a movement that turns into a revolution in education.

Project 15

Monday, November 4, 2013

Project #10

Lisa McNeill is a sixth grade teacher at W.S. Harlan Elementary School in Florala, Alabama. In this interview Mrs. McNeill answered questions about technology in the classroom and ways she incorporated project based learning in her classroom.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Project Twelve Part A

This project is to demonstrate tools used when working with a SMARTboard.
-Turn on a SMARTboard
-Calibrate the SMARTboard
-Work with text
-Work with objects
-Use object animation to hide and reveal feedback
-Use the Infinite Cloner and work with digital ink
-Save items added in ink layer to a separate file
-Use multimedia objects

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

C4K Summary #2

For the first week of October, I was assigned Ben Pickle's blog. In this post, Ben wrote about service dogs, which I'm sure was a very interesting topic for the kids because I found it quite interesting myself! Ben stated that service dogs were very important because they "help peolple who need help," which I agreed with. Service dogs are VERY important to their owners, because the owners' lives sometimes depend on them. Ben also points out that siblings are sometimes jealous of each other, because each want their parents undivided attention, which is a point I also agreed with!

In the second week of October, I was assigned to read Zach's blog. In his post, Zach explained his activities that day. He watched a little television and played with his legos. The he had to eat dinner and go to bed, because he had school the next day. It was interesting to hear what his day had consisted of, because I could compare it to what my day consisted of when I was his age!

Quasia's blog was my third week of October and in her post she wrote about her sisters and even shared a picture of them! I though this blog was so sweet! I really liked Quasia's post because I felt that I was able to get to know her a little more personally because she talked about something that she loved, her sister, and I really enjoyed reading it! Also, I could connect with her, because I too have a sister that I am close with!

This week for the c4k assignment, I read a post by jacquelineg15 and this was easily my favorite post that I have read yet! She picked a very interesting topic, "The Dangerous Lack of Standardization in Our Criminal System and the Man Whose Life Is on the Line Because of It", and I was VERY impressed with her writing skills and points! She even shared a graph that backed her point of view on the mentally unstable in relation to the death sentence and prison. I agreed with her points and I very well enjoyed reading her post!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Blog Eleven

students using computers
I know I cannot be the only person who does this, but watching videos like Little Kids... Big Potential gets me so excited about being in a classroom! I mean, how adorable are these kids and their readiness to learn!? Watching how Mrs. Cassidy incorporates technology in her curriculum was very helpful to me, and it even gave me ideas to try with my future classroom. I love that she did not limit her students' use of technology because of their age. Kids are much more capable of using technology than they are give then credit for. Mrs. Cassidy also made some very interesting point in the Skype Interview with Dr. Strange about technology being "apart of kids' worlds." This statement is so very true! Kids, now days, are brought up in a technological world, they love it! Watching these first graders breeze through the use of Skype or Blogger made me ashamed because I am a soon to be educator and I don't know it well enough to do some of the things that came so easy to them. Although, thanks to EDM 310, I have become MUCH more "technologically literate."

One of the techniques the Mrs. Cassidy talked about, that I will be incorporating into my curriculum is blogging. I see how much blogging has helped in this semester in EDM and how excited it has made me about learning more about technology and ways to use it in my own classroom and i could only only hope to pass that same excitement on to my students! I also see how it has affected students, like Mrs. Cassidy's first graders, and I want my students to have the same opportunity. Students get excited when they know more people are reading their work, and that is something pencil and paper does not offer. Another great thing about blogging it that students are made to think for themselves! When posting blogs, you start with a blank screen and from there the student is allowed to take the topic wherever they choose! They are given more room for creative thinking using blogs. However, blogging will NOT be the only way technology is used in my classroom!

Having technology in a classroom can be very expensive! The would be on impediment that might be encountered, especially for a low income school. Not all schools are as privileged as others. While some schools have a computer per each student, other schools, like the school I work for, have one computer per class. However, if I was faced with the problem have not having the money but for one computer I would be forced to find a way around, over or through this "brick wall" because I believe having technology in the classroom is VERY important.

C4T Summary #2

teacher with student
For this C4T I was assigned Mrs. Jenny She's blog Jenny'sLearningJourney . After reading her blog posts, I was inspired to become a better person/teacher! In her first blog, Mrs. Jenny wrote about being "snapped." As she was working with another student, Tatiana shouted "You've been snapped!" Such a simple thing, yet so very powerful from Mrs. She's perspective! She gave little Tatiana the guidance, and Tatiana created her own show! How amazing is that!? I hope to one day have as much impact on my students as Mrs. She has had on her class!
Mrs. She's next post was very short, but had such a powerful message! "The happiest people don’t have everything, they just make the best of everything." Along with beautiful photographs of different types of flowers, Mrs. She writes about a photographer she knows who doesn't have the best camera there is out there, but he makes the best with what he has. Although these flower photographs are captured with the camera on his phone, they are just as beautiful as the ones captured with expensive cameras!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blog Ten

"What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?"

randy pausch

I leave my computer opened to allow Randy Pausch's Last Lecture to load, head to the refrigerator to grab a drink and the first thing I noticed when I return is the length of the video, so I began to think "Great, an hour to sit and watch a boring lecture. This should be real fun!" I hope you picked up on the intended sarcasm.. But, within the first few seconds Paush grabbed my attention and never let go. Seriously! What I was expecting from this video was NOTHING like what I received from it. From Dr. Strange's question, "What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?", I was looking for a video full of teaching methods and maybe a few learning techniques as well. But what I got from this was SO MUCH MORE! Randy Pausch is just an ordinary guy who is taking advantages of "the cards dealt to him."

Within the first few minutes of his speech, Pausch declares what he will not be speaking on, which included cancer, his wife and kids, and religion, but what he will be talking about is his childhood dreams. There was SO MUCH to take in from this! One thing we could take from it was that when pursuing your dreams, there are always going to be brick walls. "The brink walls are not there to keep us out, the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something." I couldn't have said it any better!

bird eating frog "never give up"
Again, we must LEARN not to give up, but to find a way around, over,or through those brick walls. We can also TEACH others by how we react to these brick walls in our lives. What do your actions to setbacks say about you? How are you TEACHING others, your students to respond to their brick walls?

On the first day of kindergarten Mrs. Adams went around the classroom asking students what they wanted to be when they grew up, and my response to her question was a teacher. It has always been my dream to be in a classroom full of students, teaching, helping them prepare for their bright futures, and making sure each student knows their full potential. Like Pausch, I have encountered many, many brick walls but I had to LEARN to find my way around them and continue on the path to my dream and I can only hope that I have TAUGHT others to do the same.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Nine

by Brantley Spillman, Haley Smith, Hilary Thames
Video 1 – “Back to the Future” by Brian Crosby (educator 4-6)
Video 2 – “Blended Learning Cycle” by Paul Anderson (high school biology)
Video 3 – “Making Thinking Visible” by Mark Church (Grade 6)

What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?
As future educators, we are continuously learning new methods and techniques that can improve our classrooms. The following video summaries introduce three important features of an effective classroom: technology learning tools, application based teaching, and project based learning. Each of these new approaches attempts to provide opportunities that will equalize the learning experience for all types of children and their various circumstances. Specifically, all children should have the capability and opportunity to use, understand and excel in all areas of education by using these learning strategies.

“Back to the Future” by Brian Crosby
In the first video, Brian Crosby explains a project that he constructed using technology in his fourth grade class. This video taught us that learning is more than reading from a textbook, reviewing notes, and assessing students. The steps that Mr. Crosby used were not reading a book, although it did involve reading...
His students read the book, did small experiments, posted videos to a blog, learned the history of 'ballooning', made a Wiki page, uploaded pictures to Flickr, wrote “High Hopes,” turned them into trading cards, asked others to send “High Hopes”, brought in visitors, released the balloon into space, tracked it, and then shared the experiments with classes around the world through Skype.
girl letting balloon go
This project was all about active learning by using technology. He used several 21st century tools, such as Skype, blogs, Wikipedia, Flickr, etc. The best part about these tools is that they were all free. The final thing that we learned through this video is that learning includes everyone, no matter the circumstances. For example, Celeste was a little girl that had leukemia. She wasn't allowed to come to school very often, due to her condition. However, Mr. Crosby made it possible for her to be a part of the classroom via her computer. It was in this way that she was given the opportunity to learn with students regardless of her circumstances. Mr. Crosby indicated that learning does not have to be boring. He suggested that teaching with technology brought a sense of eagerness to his students. We hope, by embracing and implementing this kind of student eagerness into our own styles of teaching, we can also maintain student interest during the discussion of a learning topic. As educators, if we are unwilling to embrace such learning tools, then we are not only hurting ourselves but our students as well.

“Blended Learning Cycle” by Paul Anderson
The "Blended Learning Cycle" uses the acronym QUIVERS. Everything begins with Questions. If you have a question that grabs a student's attention, then they will learn more because they want to know more. Next, the I stands for Investigation. In this step, students are told to experiment using labs set up in the classroom. The next step is Video. A student views a video to further explain the concept. Elaboration involves a lot of reading in order to understand the concept clearer.
Finally, Review is the part where the teacher gets really involved with the students. The teacher will go over the concept one-on-one with the student so that the educator knows how much the student finally understands. Mr. Anderson steps away from technology as the focus of this teaching strategy and relies on the application of material. His approach is a hands-on "student as a scholar" strategy that forces the student to think outside the box. He stresses the need for his students to not just memorize facts but also try to investigate and apply them. Specifically, we learned that we should begin with a good question. Following the question, we should begin to explore, explain and expand on the learning topic. During this process, students have the opportunity to reflect and edit other student’s work. Further indicating understanding of the topic. We believe that if we take Mr. Anderson’s approach combined with Mr. Crosby’s use of technology, then our kids should have opportunities that students, in the past, have missed.

“Making Thinking Visible” by Mark Church
Mr. Church emphasized the importance of project-based learning. He explains that working together in teams can provide students with skills that are useful in real world settings. Additionally, by having certain topics discussed in groups, students are more engaged and more willing to dig deeper into a subject matter. This video was about making students think. For example, one girl asked, “How can we summarize everything we have been talking about into one phrase?” This headline project allowed students to think bigger. It is easy to summarize a lesson in one paragraph, but it becomes more difficult when a student must only use one sentence? The student must truly understand the information in order to narrow the summary in one phrase. Everyone has a different way of interpreting things.
two people putting together an airplane
Thus, by allowing students to work in collaborative groups, everyone's opinions can come together to form a bigger product. Using Mr. Church’s strategy with Mr. Anderson and Mr. Crosby’s could allow for the ideal learning environment that will level the field for all types of students to learn and use new educational topics.
In summary, by combining all three teachers approaches: technology learning tools, application based teaching, and project based learning; we will create a successful and modern classroom. Technology will not let us fail. If used appropriately, technology will help us teach and learn together with our students. Furthermore, educators must initiate application- and project-based learning along with technology for the most effective learning environment.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blog Eight

Hilary Thames:

keypal projects
In my sixth grade classroom, I plan to use technology in numerous ways but the number one thing I want my kids to be engaged in weekly is keypals. Through these keypals, my kids will be involved in learning communities. Each students will be paired with another student from a classroom in another city or possibly even another country. My students will be in contact with the paired students through email and when working on projects they will be using collaborative writing tools such as Google docs. Once a month, as a whole, we will have contact with the class via webcam and have an activity planned for this allotted day and the students can engage together. This will allow the students to see their partner and their partner’s culture with their own eyes.
In order to find a whole classroom available for keypals, I would use Teacher's Corner. Through teacher’s corner, I would be in contact with the teacher about various things such as setting up the keypals, activities that will be used throughout the year, and and problems that may evolve over the period of time.
kids circled around the world
One very important aspect I would hope my students would gain through this experience is teamwork. They will have to learn how to depend on others for things, not taking full control over the situation. This quality will not only help them in the keypals activity, but it will also help them when they are in the workplace and are having to work with co-workers. My students, through the use of keypals will also be introduced to a different culture and to students who have extremely different backgrounds than what they are used to seeing.

Another way I plan to have technology in my classroom is by the use of ThingLink. There are many great things ThingLink offers, such as ways to create an interactive report. By creating this interactive report, students will be able to learn much more because it is a more fun alternative to boring reports. Through the use of ThingLink, my students will create a report of themselves and their own culture to share with the students they have been paired with through keypals and when their paired students have shared the reports they have created of their culture, we will have a class discussion about what was shared.

I know I may thinking too much outside the box, here but one thing I think would be a great way to involve technology in the classroom is through digital desks. Instead of the old, boring wooden desks, have desks that allow each student access to the internet. The top of the desk could be compared to an iPad. It would be touch screen and even have a connection to the smartboard in the front of the classroom. My students books would be accessed through these desks. No more “I left my book at home last night” excuses! Of course the students wouldn't be able to take these desks home, so there would still be a textbook available for homework activities and studying. The students would even be able to take test and submit them using these digital desks! WE ARE GOING GREEN LIKE EDM 310! Okay so maybe there is a reason for me wanting to be a teacher instead of an inventor, but you can never dream to big right?

For my tool, I chose Scholastic. Growing up, I remember reading Scholastic books, engaging with the characters such as Clifford the Big Red Dog and the characters in Magic School Bus, and going to my school’s book fair put on by Scholastic. Today, as a future educator, I had NO idea that Scholastic would provide the things that it does. From lesson plans to classroom management ideas to student activities, Scholastic offers an unlimited amount of resources that can be used to further learning in the classroom.

Resources and Tools On the front page of this link, Scholastic offers daily starters, the freebie corner, and printouts that can be used inside the classroom. Daily starters are anything from fun facts, teachable moments, and small lessons in math and language. You can look up information by Common Core Standards. It even takes you directly to the Alabama Department of Education website where you can see what the standards are. Scholastic is a partner with Common Core and they want to provide instructional materials and programs for you, the teacher to use. Scholastic also provides teachers with lesson plans separated by holidays, months, and subject. The amount of lesson plans that Scholastic offers is extraordinary and can be incorporated in the classroom in different ways. The best part is the lesson plans are free! Another resource that can be used is called the New Teacher Support. The best part is the lesson plans are free! There is also a tab that is titled "Everything You Need". In this section of, there is anything you could need by theme such as bullying, elections, and holidays. It has teaching ideas for the month and there is also a search bar that you can use to look for something specific that you need.Some tools that are available through are the graphic organizer, the flash card maker, the spelling wizard, and the class set-up tool.

Follow the links to explore other tools Scholastic offers for yourself!
Graphic Organizer
Flash Card Maker
Spelling Wizard
Class Set-Up Tool
Strategies & Ideas

Another tab that you can find on Scholastic’s website is one where you can find different strategies and ideas. One resource found in this section that I find very helpful is Teacher to Teacher Blogs.In this section you can find teaching tips, classroom management tips, lesson plans, and great things that are happening in the classroom. It gives you a list of teachers all over America giving their resources and tips for a better classroom. While exploring Scholastic’s Common Core section, I found links that explain what Common Core is and how to understand. This gives links to Skill Assessment, Math Material, English Material, and the Content Library. I really like the section called the New Teacher Support. This link offers tips for how to start your classroom, ways to deal with parents, how to teach lessons and resources that helps new teachers get in the swing of school.
Student Activities
Inside Scholastic there are a lot of resources for teachers, parents, and students. The student resources vary from computer lab activities, SmartBoard activities, and “StudyJams!”. These are all resources that are extremely helpful that will allow students to grasp the concepts needed.
Here are the links to the student activities!
Interactive Whiteboard Activities
Computer Lab Favorites
Family Playground (Ages 3-7)
Kid Stacks (Ages 8-12)

The final resources I am going to discuss are the Book Fair and the tab for Books and Authors. With the Book Fair resource, you can find book fairs near you, see what books are being featured, and you could sign your students up for contests such as Kids Are Authors.
I would use these tools in my classroom as often as I could. This would allow students to stay learn with technology as well as work collaboratively at times. This takes learning home, and it allows parents to join in on the fun of learning! < br />

Brantley Spillman:

While researching technology-based tools for the elementary classroom, I was able to find a lot of new information. The sky is the limit when dealing with technology and its potential for the modern day classroom. Constantly, new tools and programs being invented and implemented into our schools. These tools/programs are allowing educators easier application of the hands-on approach. The tools that were notable to me were Pixie, Frames5, Share4, Wixie, Image Blender, and PollEverywhere .
However, the program I will discuss in this post is Epals. Epals seems to be easy to integrate into the classroom. They have several options that are specific to grades K-12. One example is the “Global Community” that allows students and educators to collaborate with different cultures and communities (over 200 countries). Additionally, this technology offers a safe way for students to communicate worldwide. Both educators and students now have the opportunity to search and learn from many different styles/cultures of education.
Another example of options that Epals offers to an educator and their students is “CRICKET.” CRICKET includes several different magazines and reading materials for a variety of ages. “The mission of CRICKET is to inspire children to a lifelong love of reading and learning.”( In addition to magazines, CRICKET offers several learning products such as books, crafts, toys, and gifts. First and foremost, these products should bring a sense of fun to the learning process.
In2Books e-Mentoring Service is a more specific program Epals has to offer. This service is grade-specific. The In2Books tool is for students in grades 3 through 5. It provides a student with a pre-approved adult penpal to discuss certain reading topics they both have read. “The program provides standards-based professional development and professional learning communities and is facilitated by three resource-filled websites - one for students, another for pen pals, and a third for teachers.” ( Historically, pen pals have been very useful in a classroom. ( Pen pal relationships offer several important inter-disciplinary benefits for your students: good practice at writing in the proper format, increasing your student’s awareness of other interpretations of the reading material, increasing chances that your student will continue to be a writer, increasing your student’s ability to communicate clearly in written form.
The notable aspect of Epals is that it is building on traditional learning tools; reading, writing, and pen pals. However, making it more successful by using new technological methods such as video chats and email we are modernizing the classroom.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


For the past two weeks I have had the privilege of reading Steve Wheeler's blog Learning with 'e's.

The first post of Wheeler's that I read asked the question "Can technology help us to think more clearly?" Wheeler's response was a lot like the response I would have given if I had been asked the same question. He states that with a constant flow of information, technology can be "daunting." But if you learn to only pick out the facts that are useful to you, there will be no headaches involved. With as much information through technology there is in this generation, of course it can be overwhelming to try and understand it all. Not all of the information that is out there is useful to me, so i have be choose wisely what I need and what I can live without. I personally believe the use of technology CAN help us think more clearly. With the use of things like Symbaloo and icurio's storage, saving information and being able to find it is made much easier.

Wheeler's second post that I dipped into was "Self actuated mobile learning." In this post, he makes a reference to "12 Principles of Mobile Learning" and he writes about each individual learning differently with mobile learning. This is a point that I strongly agree with! Every person is different, which means we all learn in different ways and the great thing about mobile learning is that is does not hinder one's learning because it varies from others. Mobile learning is personal, meaning it accompanies the specific need of each individual that uses it. It also offers, as Wheeler points out, self actuation because each person has control over their own learning.

I have obtained some very useful information from reading Wheeler's posts and this is definitely information I will be using throughout my career in education and I will be returning to His blog to continue reading in the future!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Project Nine

Podcast by Haley Smith, Brantley Spillman, and Hilary Thames

Based on the book, Teaching Digital Natives by Mark Prensky, we have discussed the questions "How can we connect technology to the curriculum?" and "What can we do to teach for the future?" Our answer in the podcast below comes from different resources such as,, and Jen Deyenberg's blog Trailsoptional

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Project Thirteen

Blog Seven

What can we learn from these conversations? by H. Smith, B. Spillman, and H. Thames

All four conversations we observed this week revolved around the structure of “Project Based Learning” (PBL) techniques and how both iCurio and DiscoveryEd can be used as resources to execute “project based learning” strategies. Throughout EDM 310, we have been learning how these strategies can motivate a student to learn while familiarizing ourselves with the tools available to create this strategy in the classroom. Specifically, we have both created and used several online forums that could be employed for “Project Based Learning.” Honestly, the mentality of “students as scholars” is relatively new to us, and we are realizing the potential of these techniques with each additional conversation this course offers.
Project Based Learning Part 1: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher Project Based Learning Part 2: Experiences of a 3rd Grade Teacher by H. Smith, B. Spillman, and H. Thames
In the two videos, “Project Based Learning” is discussed and how it is constantly evolving. Multiple questions that we had about PBL were answered: How to approach PBL, what you need to prepare for it, what details it involves, and what teachers get as a result are all things that are mentioned. Additionally, it involves lots of planning in order to be implemented properly. PBL strategy has provided a sense of ownership to the student that has been nonexistent in the past. Ownership of the learning process has been found to provide increased retention and understanding of the material. Most people think that PBL is when a project is completed at the end of a lesson rather than using it as a teaching tool by which students learn. All projects are not going to be easy to organize and complete. Specifically, projects must entail an audience, engage all students’ interest, and, importantly, these projects must coincide with Alabama State Standards.
Creating a project that meets all of these standards will be a difficult task for any educator. A good example of meeting these requirements would be Mr.Capps’ project presented in this discussion. His project entailed his students writing Joe Bonner about women in combat. This particular project embraced learning topics such as reading, social studies, and writing. Furthermore, the kids had the opportunity to revise all the letters to select which letters represented the class and should be delivered to their congressman. It is outstanding to see third graders learning the concept of peer review editing at this stage of development. In Project Based Learning, the most crucial element is the when the students have the chance to revise their classmates’ work. As indicated in the video, Mr. Capps’ PBL strategy has incorporated complete democracy in the classroom. Specifically, students own their work and make final decisions on quality of assignments. The whole point of PBL is for the students to have a better understanding and when they are bored with an activity, or their mind is elsewhere, this is not being achieved. We learned that if the teacher is willing to put in the time and effort to make PBL all that it can be, the outcome will be all that is expected, and your students will greatly benefit from it. You can’t limit your students because you will always get more than you expect. By giving specific criteria, students will not have the opportunity to go beyond what is required. We must remember that we are still learners.
iCurio DiscoveryEd by H. Smith, B. Spillman, and H. Thames
While watching the videos on iCurio and DiscoveryEd, we are realizing where today’s classroom is going. Unfortunately, we are also appreciating that many third graders using PBL resources are ahead of us in their abilities to search and learn new materials. As future iCurio educators, we are excited to know that our students will be further challenged and expected to embrace this new style of education. Having tools such as iCurio and Discovery Ed available in the classroom gives every student the opportunity to experience research at his or her own pace and topic of interest.
Additionally, iCurio gives our future generation of students the ability to safely search the internet for any particular topic without the fear of stumbling onto non-educational websites. Before EDM 310, we were unaware of the options iCurio provides. Specifically, iCurio allows students to create their own organizational folder for their retrieved research. It is a remarkable idea that third grades can learn to virtually organize their research and assignments. Organization has always been difficult to teach students and teachers alike. When given the proper tools to organize, we can aide in the teaching and execution of organizational skills. iCurio also allows student to search historical figures. A student can search “Scientists in Thailand” and a whole list will be provided to students. This DiscoveryEd also ties into the safe search engines. In the classroom, teachers should use iCurio for any online search engine.

In addition, “Discovery Ed, like iCurio, virtually brings experts into the classroom.” In order for these resources to be most effective in the future classroom, the tools and resources technology offers must be embraced and used by our future professionals as well.
Don’t Teach Tech – Use It by H. Smith
While watching this video, I thought about what I was learning throughout this discussion. I had my notepad open writing things down that really stuck out to me, and those things make a world of difference in a classroom.Today, technology is a wonderful tool. Children are learning how to use technology earlier and earlier and sometimes, students know more about it than the teacher. One point that Anthony made is that the teacher doesn’t have to spend a lot of time worrying about the students catching on to using computers. If you give the students a computer and a task or project, they may be able to figure it out. This goes back to the video by Sugata Mitra.
He never taught the children how to use that computer. He simply made it available to the students who then taught themselves and were later teaching others. However, this video’s discussion maintains that it is imperative a teacher does not become intimidated when a student can maneuver the computer more aptly than the teacher. Be excited for these students that they want to learn and teach it to others because sometimes, a student can relate to another student better. In addition, it is important to execute the computer work prior to presenting it to your students. By doing the computer work first, you will be able to answer the questions that your students might present. Later, students will develop problem solving skills generated by the process of working towards the goal of understanding the information. It is very important that you don’t expect perfection from your students. Teachers have a lot of practice on computers in college courses, the work field, and even social media at home that puts teachers ahead of students. When students have questions, let them ask. Questions are always more important than the answer because questions give something to work towards. If you work hard at teaching while loving the process yourself, then you will be an excellent teacher. Students are always going to teach us, as educators, something new. We, as teachers, must be open to the experience. Teaching is and always will be a tremendously rewarding occupation.
Anthony and Strange Tips for Teachers Part 1 by B. Spillman
I believe you guys nailed it with your tips for being a successful teacher. First, all future educators should be willing to have a fun experience in order to be successful in the classroom. A teacher’s excitement is infectious to the student. We all know being a teacher can be very trying at times. However, if you can find a way to keep the process exciting and enjoyable, then the chances of your students enjoying and learning are much greater. Secondly, as Dr. Strange stated, we must be open-minded and interested in learning ourselves. If you, as an educator,
are unwilling to learn and find answers, you may have chosen the wrong career. Thirdly, having the ability as an educator to have EVERY student engaged is necessary. It seems like an overwhelming task, but I believe it is possible and should be a priority in your educational methods. Finally, a reflection on any teaching strategy/project you have implemented is essential. Without reflection, there is no way of knowing what worked and what did not work. In order to continue making progress in our teaching strategies, we must look back on what we did in order to improve in the future.
Additional Thought About Lessons by H. Thames
Anthony did an awesome job explaining lessons with the four components! After watching this video, I feel much more informed when it comes to them. As he explained, each lesson plan has four components: yearly, unit, weekly and daily. Each component is just as important as the next one. The first component Anthony talked about is yearly. Yearly lesson plans are the lessons you plan to cover throughout the year and should cover all of the core standards. The next component is lesson plans for each unit. Each unit is usually a few weeks long and covers sections of information. For example, a math unit on fractions would cover: what is a fraction, reducing fractions, adding fractions, subtracting fractions and multiplying fractions. These plans
must be meaningful and they are made up of weekly and daily plans. Weekly plans are the lesson that will be taught each week. The final component of lesson plans is daily plans. These plans are what you want your students to accomplish each day. There are standards and goals that should be met each week and as teachers we must make sure we are meeting these.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


For the first comment for kid, my students wrote about "I believe". He "believes" that teenagers don't know what love is. Throughout his post, he made some very good points that supported his theory. He stated that many teenagers just toss the "l" word around without actually knowing what it means, and I agreed completely with this point. He also went on to give a personal experience that further supported his beliefs, which I that was great!

The second student I was assigned to comment on wrote a poem. Her poem talked about being at her school and in at her house. I thought the poem was well written and it was quiet entertaining. My favorite part about the poem was when she added a little humor, "My sister runs around, to try and lose a pound." I really enjoyed reading this poem and I hope to read more post from her soon!

This week for the c4k I was assigned Logan.In his blog, Logan chose to write about Minecraft. He explained some really cool things to do using Minecraft. I think it was awesome that he knew how to do those things, it shows that he was very knowledgeable about the topic.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Project Two

To begin my personal learning network, I chose Symbaloo! Symbaloo allows for easy access to webpages I find useful. To start off, I arranged and color coordinated them into sections: daily use, EDM 310 use, and classroom/educational use. In the daily use/pink section, you will find things such as gmail, twitter, and amazon. These are the sites I use on a daily basis, and I also find them to be assets in my learning network. Blogspot and Google Drive will both be found in the EDM310/teal section. Both of these site are a HUGE influence in EDM 310 and I also plan on using them after this class so I included them in my personal learning network. In classroom/yellow section, sites that I plan on using in my own classroom one day and sites that I find quiet interesting will be found. These sites include Education News, TeacherTube, and Discovery Education. As I progress through this semester in EDM, I will be adding to the previous tiles on my Symbaloo!