Sunday, December 4, 2011

Final PLN Report

My Sybaloo Account

I have used my PLN much more the second half of this semester.  I have found that it is a very convenient tool that makes searching much easier as well as navigating the websites I use most often.  I have added many of the teachers that I have done blogposts on.  I added Jose Piscado's blog because I felt it had many very useful tools that I can use again when I need to.  I also added both South Alabama's homepage and USA online.  It is so easy to have all of these websites in one place.  At first I was not sure if this would really by helpful but it is an amazing source to organize the internet and store many resources in one place.

Blog Post #13

Brave New World cover

Brave New World was written by Aldous Huxley and is centralized around the idea of a Utopian society.  This society is called the World State and everyone from birth is caste into their group in society.  The books seems to deal with themes well beyond its time.  Many people argue whether or not Huxley was simply writing a fiction or a warning for future generations.  We see these issues develop early in the novel.  The embryos of the babies are destined for different classes, the lowest level being Epsilon.  These embryos are deprived of oxygen and soaked in chemicals which could be linked to fetal alcohol syndrome.  However that diagnosis was not known at the time.  The kids are conditioned to like and dislike certain things such as literature.  This prevents certain castes from gaining too much knowledge.  Other modern messages that seem to prevail are things like drug use and birth control.  Throughout the novel the people use a drug called soma to control their emotions.  The peoples lives are controlled by this drug.  And the constant birth control strips all love from the book.  This presents one of the books main conflicts.  John so deeply wants to love a woman but she can only think about sex.  All desire, commitment and individuality is stripped from the characters except John (an outsider) because their lives are so heavily controlled but the World State.  This I believe is how the book fits directly into our class.  The books has a reoccurring theme about the dangers of new technologies if they are not used properly. In the book we see birth control and drugs being abused, which I believe is happening in America today.  We see the government trying to regulate (to an extreme) the citizens lives.  Technology has a lot to offer.  It can cure disease, educate more people and open new doors we never knew existed.  But I believe Huxley is warning us all in his novel about the dangers new technologies present.  Are these dangers already among us?  Are we replacing real interaction with computer screens and cell phones?  It is important that no matter how heavily we rely on technology in our classrooms or in life, we still always stress individuality.

Blog Post #14

Laptops in the Classroom

Jose Picardo's blog puts many of the tools we have learned to use in this class into one place.  He has links to all of the resources we used including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube along with many other links.  He also has many articles regarding the use of technology in classrooms.  An article on his homepage was about using the new iPad in the classroom.  On his resource page, he has links to hundreds of useful tools, many of which we should be familiar with.  I enjoyed looking through the list because it had many of the things we learned about like Audacity and Blogger but also many other new and useful websites.

His video about his Top Ten Tips for using technology in the classroom was also very interesting.  He stressed using technology in order to reach out to your students.  Some of his suggestions included using iTunes or Skype because most teens are already using these mediums.  Skype can also help connect students.  He also said create your own exercise to fit your students needs.  It makes sense because no one will know your students needs better.  Try to create a system that will help them be successful.  I thought his tips were very important and all regarded engaging students in the classroom.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Progress Report on Final

Man crossing a Finish line

I really enjoyed working on the Final Project.  It was a ton of work but it allowed us to put all of the skill we learned in this class in one place.  We tried to use as many of the skills from this class in our presentation.  We used iMovie, a Skype interview, the SmartBoard and most of the social networking sites that we used in this class.  It was a great way to show off what we have learned and gave us a chance to use our own creativity instead of having concrete guidelines and rules.

C4T #4

Texting on an iPhone

For the final C4T I commented on Aaron Eyler's blog title Synthesizing Education.  The first post I commented on referred to his use of Twitter.  I told him about EDM 310 and how we are required to use Twitter.  I also said that at first I was skeptical about the use of Twitter but have learned that it is a great was to network with other teachers and peers.  His post was about monitoring what people say to you and about you.  He stated that those who are active with their account will get the most out of it.

The second post I commented on was Aaron Eyler's view on different social resources.  He favored Twitter over all the things he used.  He felt it was the most professional and helpful.  He did not seem to like either Facebook or texting.  I agreed with him that Facebook and texting my not be as professional as Twitter can be.  But I also think that used properly, Facebook can be a great networking tool.  We have learned that this year in this class that all of these sites can be used to network and used for professional and educational reasons.  Texting does not belong in the classroom maybe but it is a fast and easy way to communicate and will be something every one of our students uses.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Skype Interview

Project # 10

My PLN on Symbaloo

For my PLN i used the site Symbaloo.  It reminds me of the bookmark tool on most web browsers.  I think it is extremely convenient and helps me link up very fast to the websites I use most often, both educational and personal.  I have added the teachers blogs that I have commented on so far this year as well as some of our classmates.  I have also connected my Twitter and Facebook so the teachers I follow on those sites I am more connected to as well.  I also added our class blog and some of the teachers that we watched videos on this semester like Sir Ken Robinson.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blog Post 12

Technology symbolized as the key to education

Watch this video: Top 10 Reasons to Use Technology in Education
There is a long list of reasons why technology can be beneficial in the classroom.  But teachers are still an essential part of a successful classroom.  All year we have looked at how to use technology in the classroom.  This week we will all make a "Top 10" list of our own.  However, we will split it up.  List 5 essential reasons technology should be used in the classroom and 5 essential reasons traditional teachers should be used.  It is important that we try to find the balance between the two.  After your list write how you feel you can effectively incorporate both styles into your classroom.

1) Connects students to the outside world.
2) Teaches students skills they will be required to know in the workforce.
3) The internet contains more information than a teacher could ever hope to know.
4) Provides many different modes of teaching to accommodate the largest group of students.
5) Provides for a fun learning environment.

1) Allows for personal, individual instruction.
2) It is important for kids to interact and learn to work with their peers.
3) Can provide a curriculum that can work for the children (technology can be apart of this)
4) Teachers provide a way to show students how to use resources, technology included.
5) A computer can not run a classroom with emotions, behaviors and personalities.

I have loved learning this year how technology can be used in the classroom.  There are so many great resources out there that can enhance the classroom experience.  It is important as teachers though that we do not just sit back and allow technology to do our job for us.  To achieve the highest success in the classroom I believe it is our duty as educators to use technology as a resource.  We should everyday be actively involved in our classrooms.  I read a quote by Dr. Ray Clifford that said "Technology will not replace  teachers but teachers who do not use technology will be replaced." This quote sums up this assignment very well.  Teachers will always be necessary and helpful I believe, but I do not believe we will be able to be effective educators without using technology in our classrooms.

C4K #10 and November C4K

witch flying on broom

You can tell that there was a lot of work put into Mrs. Yollis’s class blog but the resources that can be found there are very valuable.  Her class blog has over 75,000 views on in.  EDM310 has just over 51,000 views.  Mrs. Yollis’s blog is educational but also very fun to read and interact with.  I think that is the reason it is so successful.  Some of the fun things she has on her blog are the photo a day link and her classroom tweet thread.  She also has many different links to ensure that her students have successful blogs.  She has blogging resources, videos that teach how to comment and also instructions on to to HTML code.  You can reach all of her student’s blogs through links on the bar on the side of the homepage.  Her posts also vary widely in variety.  There are posts about math, important holidays, blogging, along with a variety of other subjects.  Each post is very well written and has accompanying pictures.  Every post is fun and interesting to read.

I commented on Chloe’s short story, “The Little Witch.”  Her story was about a girl that was turned into a witch after trying on her Halloween costume.  I loved reading her story and went on to read the whole classes stories.  I think it is so cool how talented her class is.  And work like theirs deserves to be shown off which is why I love that Mrs. Yollis posts their work on the class blog.  You can tell that Mrs. Yollis is a teacher that is proud of her class and the world needs more teachers like her.

I also commented on Avoia's blog.  Her class had a video post about swimming which they were doing during the first semester of the school year.  I told her that I swam competitively all through high school for my school and for a private team.  I was glad her class had fun doing it and told her that I hope she continues to enjoy it!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Metaphors be with you!!!

Star Wars Jedi
(Metaphors be with you = May-the-force be with you)

The metaphor is one of the most common literary devices used in literature and our culture.  We learn about them at a young age.  A metaphor is the comparison of two things without using the word like or as (that would make it a simile).  So why are metaphors so often misconstrued in our culture today?  Was is sarcasm so often misunderstood?  I do not think it is because students do not know what a metaphor is or can't recognize sarcasm.  I think it is more because the two have become such a regular part of American vernacular in today's culture.  Some common examples of metaphors that we may not even realize we use include someone having a bubbly personality or saying that college is a prison.  We compare two things in order to draw connections.  Another example would be "A mighty fortress is our God."  God is something that people have a difficult time wrapping their head around but we know the strength of a mighty fort.  I found a quote by Aristotle that stated "the greatest thing by far is to have command of metaphor.  This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances."  I believe in order to successfully use language in today's culture metaphors are a must.  We hear them used by politicians, newscasters, sports analysts, comedians and many other people we listen to.  They have become common in our culture and there are a litany of examples that we fail to even recognize because they are used so often.

Blog Post 11

Globe coming out of a computer screen

Ms. Cassidy shows in her class video that it is never too early to start using technology in the classroom.  Her students are learning how to not only do something fun in school, they are learning how to become better writers.  They are learning values that children need such as manners and being nice to each other.  They are learning how to use the internet which will be an essential tool for them to be successful in life.  They are learning skills that extend far outside of the classrooms walls.  The interaction these students are receiving from the cyber world is something that can not be duplicated in the classroom.  They are still learning all the skills that the curriculum requires but they are gaining experience much more valuable than just that.  These students are growing up into a connected world and it will require them to be able to interact with all sorts of people.  It is never too early to start that preparation. I also think it is great that they reference the EDM 310 class in their video.

These are tools that can be used in all grade levels.  It is not just young kids that need to expand their use of technology and gain experience interacting with people from the outside world.  I have learned in this class this year that any curriculum can be enhanced through the use of technology.  I have seen almost every subject and grade level covered in class blogs or teachers blogs.  The possibilities are really endless and our classrooms can be enhanced so much if we use technology to our advantage.

October C4K

Pile of Books

The first week of this month I left on comment for Ashira on classroom 320's blog page.  I told her that I went to school at South but was actually from the state of New York.  I told her about Niagara Falls and how it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

The first blog I commented on in Mrs. Gregory's class was Cayla's blog.  This was the blog I was assigned to.  Her blog was very personal and she had just started with it.  She talked about herself and her the things she liked and didn't like.  I commented on Bryce's blog also.  The random name generator gave me his name.  He talked about what they were learning in science which was emotion.  Mrs. Gregory had a great class blog!

This week I commented on Mrs. Bark's blog post about gravity.  Her students had some fun questions about how astronauts do certain things in outer space without gravity.  They stringed together videos that answered questions like how to astronauts eat and go to the bathroom in space.  It  was a great video and a very fun post to comment on.

The last week I commented on Mr. McCafferty's class blog on his post regarding his classes short stories.  His class wrote short stories about grave robbers and he posted the stories in a book that you could read on the screen.   It was one of the coolest ways I've seen the blog used to show class work.  The stories had cool backgrounds and each one was very unique!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

If we go into our careers with the intent to spoon-feed students we will never be successful.  If all we care about is good grades on standardized tests we will not be successful.  I am not suggesting that facts are not important.  Nor am I saying that state tests do not serve a purpose.  I simply believe that in order to truly empower students we have allow them to think for themselves and inspire them to go after the desired information.  There are too many teachers in the United States that are safe in their jobs because of tenure and simply care about good grades on standardized tests.  That is not what our job is as educators.  Our goal should be to motivate students to push their own limits, not constrict their ability by teaching them to a test.  At the end of each year our students will move on to the next level.  After that they will move into a new classroom with a new teacher.  We need to provide them the tools they need to be successful and help build their self-esteem so they are confident that they can continue to succeed.

Tom Johnson perfectly states the problems that schools are facing in the United States today.  We can continue to try and point to whatever problems we want but for some reason we refuse to try and look for solutions.  There is no question that economics drastically impacts the education system.  Schools in lower income areas will have lower quality supplies and resources.  But that should not mean that that there has to be lower quality education.  The notion that “that’s just the way it is” is crazy.  Education can take place anywhere under many different circumstances.  But people fail to see this and instead we try and force children into taking a path that is simply not working, and we take away potential tools that could be used to force them on this path.
                Pencils are a symbol for education just like an apple is a symbol for a teacher.  The message of this post is that we are stripping students of essential tools they need because we are afraid they will adversely impact standardized test scores, or whatever goals the system has for the students.  It seems silly hearing that students wouldn’t be allowed to have pencils but is it really that far off.  In today’s world we are limiting our students because of the tools we provide for them.  We are teaching with textbooks that are decades out of date and we still have teachers afraid to allow technology into their classrooms.  We are afraid that real education cannot take place if we change the way we do things.  It’s time that we stand up for students as educators and give them the tools they need to succeed.  We are falling behind the rest of the world and we need a competitive education system to reverse that trend.

C4T #3


I commented on Mr. Avery's blog  Mr. Avery is a math teacher who was teaching his kids fractions.  The way he used his blog was to try to simplify the process of dividing fractions so that the student's had a way to look up the process on their own which they would understand.  He also offered extra credit questions for those students who took the time to read the blog.  My favorite part had to be the rap video that he added on how to divide fractions.  It was very funny and made the topic much more interesting!

In the second post I commented on Mr. Avery was teaching his class about circles.  He used technology to enhance his lesson plan on circles.  He used an iPhone app in his class to give his class an opportunity to have a hands on experience learning and dealing with circles.  They were able to find the radius, diameter and center on the iPhone.  The panoramas they created were very cool and I am sure was a very interesting way for the students to learn about circles.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blog Post 9

Mr. McClung offers a lot of great advice that he learned after his first year of teaching in his post.  I think his point on communication is very important.  Simply communicating can solve so many problems in the workplace.  This includes communicating with the boss, your coworkers and also your students.  I believe teachers can learn a lot from their students.  It is important for teachers to listen to the feedback of their students and adjust their classroom and teaching methods appropriately.  In order to get the most out of your students, it is important to listen to them to see what works best.

In Mr. McClung’s most previous end of the year post he talks about the danger of teachers becoming comfortable in their routine and methods.  Teachers need to embrace change and cannot be afraid to continue to try new things in their classroom.  He also stresses that teachers are in the classroom to serve the students, not the administration.  It is important to follow the rules but our main focus as educators should not be to please administrators.  We have to dare to try new things in our classrooms and try again if we fail.  We must strive to go above and beyond as educators instead of settling for mediocrity. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blog Post 8

This is How We Dream

Richard E. Miller talked about multimedia.  He states that a big change that we face today is that the place where we work today is very different than in the past.  What used to be done using a library, pencils, and paper is now done using the Internet and a word processor.  He also states that articles and books that used to be used for a period of time and thrown out are now preserved forever online.   Also the information at our fingertips today is instantaneous.  Ideas are no longer individual but part of a culture.  As educators it is important that we distribute this information.  Miller also stresses that we have to make whatever we are putting out on the web compelling to those who will view it.  He believes that a different type of composing is going to come that focuses on the web, and it is clear that it is already happening in today’s world.  I am not sure if I would be ready for this type of multimedia now but if this is what the future will be it is important for students to learn it as soon as they can.
Carly Pugh’s Blog Post #12

Carly created an assignment that required students to make a YouTube playlist of clips that they felt were important to creating a productive learning environment.  I think Carly’s post is what Richard Miller was talking about when in his video on multimedia.  Carly’s post was more than a word document.  It was an interactive experience that you got to go on.  It was compelling and also beneficial which Miller stated where important characteristics to write in this new way.  There was a good mix of inspirational videos and educational videos.  We got to get to know Carly while learning about what she thought was important for the educational world.  Instead of just stressing literature she offered videos on authors.  And at the end of her post, the video on the 6 questions truly left you wanting more.  That I think should be a true goal of education; to leave students wanting to learn more and be excited about learning.

Chipper and EDM for Dummies

The Chipper video showed that it is important that students put work into school, not just get taught and respite out information.  Nothing valuable comes without hard work.  A hand on experience is important in the learning process.  EDM for dummies was an overview of the programs we would be using in the class and a funny way of showing that although the class can be stressful, it can also be a lot of fun.  Both videos were interesting and very fun to watch.  There is no doubt that most of us are stressed out because of this class at times and trying many things out that we never have before.  But that is all part of the learning experience.  I would love to make a sarcastic video like this for a project because I feel they express the true emotions I have had during this class at times but also reassure that it is worth the work.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn 

This video states the problem in America today regarding the fact that classrooms lack new technology.  It states that the American classroom is basically “turned off” which shuts out many modern students.  We live in a connected world therefore the classroom should be a connected place as well.  I agree that we need to connect and make global connections.  However, I still think that the classroom is an essential part of education.  I think we need to be teaching kids the skills needed in the classroom, both scholastic skills and technological skills, then encouraging them to use it in the world around them.  There is no doubt that the model of education is changing  in the United States.  The classroom should never be taken away but as teachers we must adapt and prepare ourselves for the modern world we live in.  Allow students to make connections and use the skills we teach them and inspire them to try new things and not be afraid to fail.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Randy Pausch giving a lecture

Blog Post 7

I want to start by saying that listening to Randy Pausch speak given the situation he was in was inspiring.   You know that his message is genuine and truly what he feels is important.  The importance of dreams I feel is often understated.  No matter how far of a reach they may be, it is important for people (especially kids) to have dreams and goals.  I think Randy Pausch’s claim that having specific dreams is important is very accurate.  We need to have something specific we can aim for.

In order for kids to dream, we have to give them permission to dream as teachers.  We cannot stifle the thoughts of our students no matter what age.  I think we can help direct students and guide them to achievable goals but we also have to allow them to dare to push their limits.  That is how we will truly have students that achieve their maximum potential.  They may not become the next rocket scientist but they will hopefully work to achieve things that they would not have otherwise.

Also we cannot be discouraged by roadblocks we meet along the way.  “Brick walls” as Paush puts it are to show us how bad we really want something.  As teachers we are going to run into brick walls while working with students.  Also, students are going to run into brick walls while striving for their dreams.  Brick walls are to show us how bad we really want something. 

Paush’s idea of a feedback loop I think can especially apply to teachers.  People need guidance and insight when making decisions in their life.  Children need this guidance just as much if not more.  I know personally I would take the advice of a few friends very seriously, to the point of trusting almost anything they say.  We need to be this positive feedback for the children in our classrooms.  We need to tell them it is ok to strive for their dreams.  We need to tell them that they need to have dreams.  Without dreams and goals, we have no direction.  We also need to trust in those goals and dreams, and trust that the plan that is laid for us will be accomplished.  God Bless! Thanks for reading.

C4T #2

Student's in Mr. Hobson's Class

I commented on Tom Hobson's blog.  Mr. Hobson is an art teacher who recently moved schools and adjusting to the new environment. The post I commented on first showed many of his students art pieces which were really fun to look at.  He is encouraging these students to use their creativity and finds good work in every kids work.  I think it is important that he is encouraging these young students creativity and pushing them to keep trying new things.

 The second post I commented on dealt with extroverted versus introverted personalities. Hobson states that the two are often used to mean outgoing and shy, respectively, but that is not what they actually mean. He says that extroverted people gain energy from being with many people and introverted people gain energy from being alone or in groups. Most people state that I am extroverted because I love interacting and being around other people, but I am most happy when I am with close friends and family. I value alone time and feel most comfortable when I am around the people closest to me. Hobson also states that your personality can have both extroverted and introverted characteristics, they just express themselves in different situations.

Project 9b

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blog Post #6

I think the idea of making connections with others is extremely important and one of the greatest advantageous to using technology in the classrooms.  I know I have been critical in some posts about how technology is used in classrooms but I think this reason validates its use more than anything.  We are moving towards a global society in which people will have to be connected to and willing to work with people from other places.  Our classroom cannot be a bubble in which students are shielded from the rest of the world.  We must allow them to make connections and expand their horizons. 

Google scholar is also a great resource that I first learned about my senior year in high school.  It helps limit your search to things that will actually be helpful and useful in presenting real, validated research.  It helps you avoid having to read through many pages before finding a scholarly one that you can actually use.  And the idea of sharing research between students is a great idea.  So often I have problems finding helpful websites but having blogs and other students opinions on what they thought was useful would be very helpful.  Networking is a great way to provide learning opportunities for the modern classroom.


The personal learning network shown in the video is very interactive and engaging.  It allows students much more freedom and independence in their work.  Her learning network is much more technologically savvy than mine is.  I think some of the programs she shows like the note taking one could be very helpful.  Personally for me it may be very confusing because of how I am used to doing things.  I can barely keep track of my online classes and they are all on one site.  But I know that the resources are there and I continue to try and use them and become familiar with them because I know it will be important to know for when I am a teacher. 

September C4K

Kids learning how to blog

I commented on Justin's blog. His teacher had the class make a personal history museum. Each kid brought in items from home that they wanted to put into the class museum. Justin brought in items like baseball cards and old toys. I told Justin that I was majoring in history here at South and how important I thought understanding history is. I think it is the key to succesfully planning for the future.

I commented on Racheal's blog.  She had talked about a recent cross country meet that her class had taken part in.  They were all very excited for the meet and had a blast during the actual event.  I commented on the event and told her that I thought it was great that her and her friends were participating in it.  It is great to have young people active and enjoying the activity because our country seriously lacks that today I believe.

I commented on Dani's blog in the last week of September.  Dani had multiple short posts about books she was currently reading.  Her posts were like mini book reports to gather feedback about what other classmates and people thought about the books she was reading.  I think this is a great example of how to use the class blog to enhance the classroom material.  The students have access to the opinions of their classmates and can engage in intellectual discussion through their blogs.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dr. Scott McLeod

 Dr. McLeod posted about how important he thinks technology is for students to learn. Dr. McLeod is a professor at the University of Kentucky. I agreed with Dr. McLeod about the importance of students learning technology. However I think Dr. McLeod laughs off some very real threats of technology and puts technology on a pedestal above basic essential academic skills. Pen and paper are not going anywhere. Students need to know how to write and read. That is what we need to teach kids. Now technology can help do that but the real important part is the academic side. He states the threats of pornography, cyber bullying and cheating but those are all very real threats that computers pose. Facebook is not a place for elementary students I believe. And they shouldn’t have access to many of the blogs or pages that are available. Technology is important but we have to remember what we truly want our students to learn.

The iSchool initiative (Mobile Learning)

 Travis Allen believes that the American education system is broken and he believes technology can go a long way to helping fix it. He claims that the iPod has everything it needs to replace all classroom supplies. The iPod does have many great applications that would be very helpful and interactive for students. I think he does a terrific job of combining both education and technology. His video clearly shows that technology can work for educational purposes on a grand scale. I think at higher levels some of the math, science, languages and other subjects would be extremely difficult to learn on a iPod. But the potential is definitely there for those wanting to use it.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'

 I am a big fan of music and I thought this video was very cool. It may not offer the same effect of a live performance but being able to do these things through technology is truly amazing. Technology offers us an opportunity to connect people from all over the world and do things together that we could have never dreamed of before.

Teaching In the 21st Century

Students have access to a limitless amount of information. Everything we teach in a classroom can be found on the internet. This means it is necessary that as teachers we provide something more than what can be viewed online. But we would be naïve if we did not use this new technology to our advantage. As educators we need to teach students how to use these resources effectively. I am a perfect example. I knew how to Google things for research and fun but learning how to you use things like Google Docs and Google Presentation offers a whole new dimension and way to learn. We need to teach skills in school just as much as we need to teach facts and data. Teaching in the 21st century is not the same as it used to be and in order to be effective teachers we need to adapt to that.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blog Post # 4


Podcast Tips
Judy Scharf has a lot of great tips for having successful podcasts on her page.  She provides a lot of links along with some helpful advice in order to create successful podcasts.  A point she stresses continually is that you must know the program that you are using to create your podcast.  She suggests scheduling a lot of time to learn the program and to create the podcast.  She also provides link in how to use Audacity.
100 Ways to Use your Ipod

This page provides a list of ways to use your Ipod other than for listening to music.  And the site is very student friendly as well.  The first use is Sparknotes, which a lot of students have grown up loving while many English teachers hate it.  But the resources that you can have at your fingertips can truly change the way you study.  Schools are beginning to use Ipods for classes and extra study sources so it is important that students take advantage of these new opportunities.

Eagle Nest Radio & Class Blog

The Eagle’s Nest Radio and Class blog is a clear example that a podcast can be used effectively by anyone.  I listened to the classes podcast about Ancient Rome and learned about Roman architecture and the Roman culture.  This class is learning history but also learning how to use this technology which will be necessary for them to succeed in future years.  This is how technology should be combined with education to achieve success in both areas.  Their podcasts were fun to listen to but also very educational.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Project #5: Presentation

Blog Post #3

Social Media Symbols with Graduation Cap

"It's Not About the Technology"

In this post Kelly Wines I believe accurately states the role technology should play in a 21st century classroom. We hear constantly about the importance of making our children technologically literate and it often seems the technology aspect takes precedence over the education side. Technology should be used as a tool to further enhance education, not as the method for teaching. Teachers need to challenge students to think and learn for themselves and then back that learning up with technology. Technology can be so useful in many situations but often technology can only be as smart as the person using it. A student could look up all the facts and information in the world, but knowing how to apply it is a different story. So at the end of the day, it is not about the technology. Technology is extremely important in today’s world but it has to be viewed as a resource to advance education, not education itself.

Karl Fisch: Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

Karl Fisch expresses in his post the importance of technology in education today. He clearly states that he believes technology is a tool and not the end all of education. But, he also feels that in order to be an effective educator in the world today it is essential to be technologically literate. Technology underlines almost everything we do in society so it is important that we understand and are able to effectively use technology. Now I do believe his claim that being technologically illiterate is the same as not being able to read or write 30 years ago is very extreme. I have stated before that I believe there are people who are still very effective teachers without the use of technology and I will continue to stand by that. I believe they could be overlooking a great resource, but they are effective teachers none the less. Now, if a teacher is not able to read or write they would be incapable of educating. I do believe technology is much more important in today’s classrooms, but do not believe it is even close to being as important as fundamental skills such as reading and writing.

Garys Social Media Count

If anyone doubts how much people rely on social media in today’s world, you must check out this page. The majority of people, especially in the United States are linked in to some sort of social networking whether it be Facebook, Twitter or blogging. Instead of viewing these networking opportunities as wastes of time, we need to use them as a resource. I feel so often these sites get linked into the “video game” conversation. What I mean is that many adults think kids are wasting their lives sitting in front of a screen when they could be learning or being productive. A way to fix this is to make “sitting in front of a screen” part of learning. It is important to meet students where they are at. And they are all on these networking sites. These sites offer students opportunities that never previously existed such as meeting kids from other parts of the world which in the growing global world, is extremely important.

A Vision of Students Today

This video offers a glimpse into what many students feel about the modern day classroom. The fact is clear that technology is a crucial part of most student's lives. And this trend does not appear to be changing any time soon. Students are spending more time and energy on social media than they are in the classroom. Teachers and administration have to do a more effective job of reaching out to students and engaging them in different ways. They will not be able to reverse the trend social media has started so they must try to use it to their advantage. Allow students to use the resources that the modern world offers. Now that I am not suggesting to get rid of classrooms and teachers because there are things that cannot be taught across a computer screen. But technology can be used to motivate and inspire students. It can offer them a way to use what they enjoy doing to achieve a greater understanding of what they need to learn. It seems sad that we have these resources but we continue to fail to use them.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

C4T #1

Angela Maiers wrote about the benefits of using Twitter in the professional field. She states that despite the many skeptics, Twitter can be used as a productive and valuable resource. I told her that I am one of those skeptics but am finally trying out Twitter because of EDM310.

The second post that I commented on talked about the power of noticing people, especially students. She cited this as a cause for why social media has exploded in recent years, especially Twitter. Social media offers people a continual opportunity to be in contact and to be noticed by their peers. I read a few more of her posts and I highly recommend this blog to anyone who wants to engage in some very interesting topics. They are very well written and really make you think.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

BLog Post #2

Half of the Mona Lisa and half of Einstein

Did You Know?

            This video is very eye opening because it shows how big the rest of the world is and the amount of work required of the United States to keep up.  Countries like India and China are so populous that their children will soon be taking over every good profession if we do not work to keep pace with them.  It is scary that the jobs that we are preparing our children for may not even exist right now.  We live in a world that is changing every day and the people who will be most successful are those who can adapt to those changes.  We take all modern technology for granted but it has greatly changed the landscape of American the last 20 years.  The population is growing rapidly and technology is getting better everyday which means that the competition for kids going to school is greater than it ever has been.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

            This video criticizes the education system for not keeping up to date with modern technology.  The work place and hospitals seem to always have the latest technology because it makes for a more productive environment but the school landscape has changed very little compared to those other places.  Personally I believe that some things in schools are more beneficial than modern technology.  For example, I think my calculus class would agree that having a full chalk board was very helpful in learning the difficult subject.  My teacher was offered a SmartBoard but it did not provide the same benefits.  Being able to all stand up and work out problems next to each other while erasing and changing mistakes allowed us all to get experience with the subject matter.  When problems were put on the SmartBoard we often ran out of room and had to scroll which then confused the class because the whole problem was not available to see.  I know for many classes the technology is very helpful and I think it is important for students to be literate when it comes to technology but, sometimes the traditional way can be better and more helpful than the new way.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

            This video talks about the amount of unpredictability in today’s world and the necessity for kids to be able to adapt to that unpredictability.  Schools today are suppressing students creativity because they make them afraid to try new things and be wrong.  If people live in the fear of being wrong or failing then they will never dare to try new things.  Our education stresses the importance of mathematics but not the importance of the arts.  When we don’t value the arts then kids who are good at the arts or enjoy it feel like they are not valued either.  We praise the kids that are good at math and science which we should, but we criticize the students who excel and want to focus on the art.  Also, the arts can help students excel in the other subjects we see as more important.  The brain is interactive and the arts can stimulate the brain and help us excel in other areas.  The arts need to be funded and supported in schools because they are often the only thing that encourage students to push them selves.
Sir Ken Robinson Interview

The United States is falling behind in the education competition.  Despite having funding and often less kids to focus on we still are behind many countries when in terms of education.  Our drop out rate is very high and our test scores are lower than a large percentage of our competition.  We need to push our kids to be creative because the creative thinkers are going to be the new inventors and scientists discovering cures to disease.  We can teach science and math all we want but if kids are not encouraged to push the limits of their learning then the current boundaries will never expand.  The arts are crucial in that sense if the equation.  The video also stresses that we can teach people and encourage people to be more creative.  We have to push the limits of the students while they are growing up.  They can not be afraid to make mistakes, they have to learn how to grow from their mistakes.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

            This video shows how important and useful technology can be in today’s classroom.  Every student can learn but how we reach out to these children is an extremely important part in whether or not the children will learn or not.  Many children do not react well to pen and paper so we have to try to reach them in different ways.  Technology can be viewed just like the arts which we talked about earlier.  We have to reach students where they are coming from and allow them to try to things and push themselves.  When we only teach using one method we only reach out to one group of individuals.  It is important to create an environment in which the highest percentage of students can succeed.  By looking at students strengths and interests we can create a more productive setting for learning to take place and students will be more encouraged to put their highest effort in if they are enjoying what they are doing.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blog Post #1: Randy Pausch on Time Management

Planning is essential when it comes to time management.  Just because we are busy or things are subject to change does not mean that we should avoid planning.  Schedules and “to-do” lists can help keep us organized even if we do have to change plans as other things come up.  It is very important to know the reasons behind our everyday actions and plans.  We should know the benefits and consequences of our plans and consider those before we actually do them.  However, I think the most important thing that Dr. Pausch said was that experience comes from time.  Having experience in a particular field makes someone much more marketable.  Someone with experience has already tried, failed and succeeded in different areas so they are better prepared to perform the job than someone who is trying it for the first time.  For me personally that means the more internships and hands-on experience I can get the better off I will be when I am looking for a job in a few years.

Blog Post #1: About Me

My name is Carl David Armstrong but I prefer to go by David.  That is because I am the third Carl David and it was confusing growing up with so many Carl’s in the house.  I grew up in Buffalo, New York and have lived there all my life.  I attended Orchard Park High School and graduated with 530 kids in my class.  During high school I was the president of my class, was on the Varsity Swim team, and was in the marching band along with many other things.  I have an older and a younger sister.  My older sister graduated from South last year and my younger is a senior in high school.  I have the best parents in the world and without them I would not be where I am today.  The reason I came to South was because I really wanted to experience a different part of the country for a few years.
                If you are around me at all you will quickly find out that I am a huge sports fan.  I love the Buffalo Bills and Sabres.  Before coming to South I had not missed a Bills game in almost 10 years.  I still watch every game down here.  I follow every sport from basketball and baseball to golf and tennis.  Besides my family, friends and faith there is nothing I love more!  Speaking of that, I would hope that people who know me would say the thing I am most passionate about is Jesus Christ.  He not only is my reason for living, but also the reason behind my decision to enter into history education.  I work for an organization called Young Life which is a high school Christian ministry and I love being able to work with high school students every day.  The bible says to “Live a life worthy of the calling you have received” and I truly believe teaching is the calling for me, and I am very excited to be on that path right now.  Thanks for reading and God Bless!