Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blog Post #16

Final Reflection

elementary classroom My dream classroom that I wrote about in blog post #1 and my dream classroom now are still very similar, but differ in a few ways. I still want to use SMART boards and iPads but now I would also like to incorporate blogging, Skype, and podcasts into my classroom. These were things that I did not know existed at the time when I wrote my first blog post. I have now learned about many other types of technology that are used in classrooms today; even elementary classrooms. At the beginning of this course I did not know that elementary students had or knew how to use so much technology. It amazed me! I want to use technology in my classroom to help my students grow and learn. I also want to use Project Based Learning or PBL in my classroom. Throughout my EDM310 semester I have realized the importance of Project Based Learning and how greatly it can impact a students learning. I think PBL is great for students of all ages but especially good for elementary students. It is a great way to keep young students engaged and interested in school and the lesson being taught. With PBL students learn the lesson from the project instead of learning a lesson and then doing a project or test at the end. I also want to try out flipping the classroom and see how that works for me and my students.

In my classroom of second graders, I want to have a class blog where students and parents can find out information. I want each student to have an individual blog. I want my students to blog and write posts so they can have people all around the world comment on their posts. I also want my students to see other teachers and students blogs and to comment on their blog posts. I want my students to learn to podcast and make videos. I want them to use iPads and Macs to do projects and edit videos. I also want to try out icurio and Discovery Ed and see how they help me moderate the websites my young students can visit. I think this is really important. I want to use the technology to my advantage to help my students learn above their potential. I also will use it to teach my students how to work with others. I will have them do podcasts and other projects together using the technology. I still want my students to be able to work individually and with a group or partner. I think knowing how to learn and complete projects in both ways is important. I still want my classroom to be colorful, inviting, and exciting to be in. I think more classrooms, especially ones in upper level grades, need to be more colorful and decorative. I think having a colorful learning environment encourages learning more than one with plain white walls. I think Project Based Learning is the new and best way for students to learn. I believe with the use of technology my students can learn the common core standards required for their grade in a whole new engaging way!

I had so much to say about EDM310 and what it has taught me that I had to edit and remove about 30 seconds of video to meet the 5 minute time limit!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Post #15

What can you learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps?


In the icurio video with Anthony and Dr. Strange, they discussed icurio and how Anthony uses it with his third grade students. Anthony mentioned many different reasons why icurio is helpful in the classroom. One reason that stuck out to me is how students can create folders and drop files into the folders to organize their information . After they drop the files into the folders it is automatically saved for them. This is helpful when students have to go to lunch or recess and are not finished with the assignment they are working on. Another reason that Anthony mentioned that caught my attention was the fact that icurio can read information aloud to a student. This is helpful for students learning to read or disabled students. Icurio is like an online search engine that is moderated and controlled for students. This makes the inappropriate garbage unable to be searched or seen on icurio. This is especially important in an elementary classroom.

In the video about Discovery Ed Anthony and Dr. Strange discuss Discovery Ed and how it can be used for project based learning. Anthony uses Discovery Ed to help students see and hear what they have been learning in class. They can search for the topic they are looking for such as plants or bears and the students can see pictures and hear audio to learn more information about that topic. This is helpful because many students are visual and auditory learners.

In the video Additonal Thoughts About Lessons Anthony explains what he believes a lesson is made up of. He explains that a lesson is four layers thick. The first layer of a lesson is a year. In a year you will you cover your standards. The second layer of a lesson is a unit. A unit is how you are going to organize and teach your information to your students in a organized and well prepared way. The next layer of a lesson is the week. The week is how you are going to divide your week so that every day you can get your information taught and everything done. The fourth and final layer of a lesson is the daily. The daily lesson is just as important as the other three layers and plans. This is how you will deliver to your students. Each daily lesson needs a hook to keep your students engaged. These are the four components to make a lesson. All of these have to be done before you complete on lesson.

I have learned from these conversations with Anthony Capps that there are many different ways for students to search for information. I also learned that their are several ways to keep students away from inappropriate material when searching for information and that the information can be moderated so it is safe for students eyes. I think this is very important for children; especially in a classroom setting. Students should be able to search for the information they need without seeing inappropriate sites or ads popping up on their screens. I plan to try out both icurio and Discovery Ed in my classroom and see how they work for my students.

Don't Teach Tech - Use It by Haley Torries

Mr. Anthony Capps was interviewed by Dr. John Strange in July of 2013 on the subject of Don't Teach Tech - Use It. Mr. Capps shares with Dr. Strange why it is important for teachers not to teach technology, but allow their students to use technology. Dr. Strange asked, “Do you teach technology or do you create a situation that technology can be used in?” Mr. Capps stated that he allows children to use technology, which is natural for them. Children enjoy using technology to learn or improve their learning experience. Technology should be taught with your curriculum. Whenever a child is out of the classroom, they are constantly around technology. So a classroom without technology would be boring. Mr. Capps introduces technologies one at a time to allow students to become acquainted to the program. He keeps it in the curriculum to allow the students to continue to review the technology. Mr. Capps stated, "Never teach technology, just introduce it smartly." Make sure you always introduce the technology first, therefore, when your students ask you questions about the technology, you understand the questions they are asking. You might not always know the answers to the questions your students have about technology. When a question is asked that you don't know, then work with the students to find the answer. The most important concept about learning is to always ask questions.

Dr. John Strange hosted an interview with Mr. Anthony Capps in July of 2013. Mr. Capps is a third grade teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary. He previously was a lab professional at the University of South Alabama in the EDM310 program. During the interview of iCurio, Mr. Capps explains the ways iCurio is useful in the classroom. The iCurio program is a digital curriculum that gives teachers flexibility to develop lessons that meet their students individual needs. This program helps students K-12 improve their achievements. The curriculum aligns with state and Common CORE standards. Students can go into iCurio and search through texts, audios and videos on the internet for educational purposes. There are over 330,000 digital resources on iCurio that are safe for children. Storage space is provided for teachers and their students to store information that they find valuable in iCurio. This tool helps teach virtual organization to students. There is a directional feature setup for historical purposes. This allows the students to put keywords in the search engine and get only results dealing with that subject. The iCurio program was developed to help disabled children as well. If the child is unable to read the materials, then iCurio reads the materials to them.

Dr. John Strange continued an interview with Mr. Anthony Capps in July of 2013. Discussed in this interview was Discovery Education. Mr. Capps shared with Dr. Strange how he uses Discovery Education in his classroom and how Discovery Education works with Project Based Learning. Discovery Education is a digital media program that brings the world into the classroom and gives students a chance to see new people, places, and events. It is aligned to state standards and custom curriculum can be used. Discovery Education links a visual with the text to help children store information more efficiently. Most knowledge that is needed for research in the science and social studies fields can be found on Discovery Education. Educational videos supply the students with a full description of each subject on Discovery Education. Students use Discovery Education for searching topics while the teacher can use it to compare with the text they are teaching.

Tips for Teachers by Paula Lu

After watching the conversations between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps, I have learned a couple things. The first thing I learned is that until you use something, you will not know everything it does. While watching the iCurio and Discovery Ed conversations, there were many features of both sites that Dr. Strange did not know about. After actually hearing someone explain the features of both, I have a better understanding of them. When we first did our blog post on either iCurio or Discovery Ed, I only knew what the site itself said. I actually looked at both before choosing one. There are some really nice features of both.

On iCurio, the content that students are allowed to access has been filtered for educational use. It allows students to search the information they need without being able to access the bad sites. Students can search videos, audios, and images that are related to the ACCRS or other state standards. Another neat feature of iCurio is that it has online storage for students and teachers. It allows students to learn organizational skills. They can make folders and, save and delete material as needed. Another great feature is that the information that students save can be accessed at anytime. They do not have to worry about losing information.

Discovery Education is a site that offers videos and interactive textbooks. It is good for enhancing text during a lesson. It helps students understand as they read text. Students can look up anything in science or social studies. I think both of these sites are great. I do not think that I would choose one over the other. They both provide different kind content and I think they go hand in hand.

I also watched the conversation between Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps on “Tips For Teachers.” In this video they discuss some things that you should do to be a great educator. The first one is to be a learner. Part of being a teacher is learning. You need to learn how to teach a class. In school you learn how to teach a class but you will not know how to teach one until you start teaching. I think teaching in itself is a learning process. The second tip is being flexible. You should be able to change your plans if needed. You decided your class will do research but the internet is down. How do you work around these issues? At the daycare, I also need to be flexible. The children have play time outside at a certain time everyday, but when it rains unexpectedly or is going to rain, we have to change our schedule or find other things to keep the kids entertained. I think being flexible is something all teachers need to be able to do because anything can happen at any moment. The third tip is that teaching is hard work, but it can be rewarding. Finding books, games, or anything that you think your students will enjoy is hard work. I think you should always think about your students and being able to see your students improve is a great reward. Tip number 4 is to start with a goal. Everyone needs a goal. If you do not have one, where are you going? A goal is your destination. How are you going to get there. In school, standards are the students goals. They are also your goals to get the students to meet standards. The fifth tip is to engage your students 100%. You need to be able to keep them motivated, interested, and curious in learning. I think this is the hardest part. Finding ways to keep them interested and wanting to learn on their own can be difficult. I think that I believe it is hard because I do not have any experience in it. I do not have enough practice. The last tip was to give the students something to work for. Tell them they have to present it. Show them to have pride in their work. Let them reflect on the project they have done. These were all great tips. It gives me a lot of insight on what to expect when I begin teaching.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Blog Post #14

What did I leave out?

EDM 310 students should watch the video Top 10 Reasons to Use Technology in Education. After watching the video write a short summary and state your thoughts and opinions in your blog.
I think this is a good first post for EDM 310 students because many students do not realize the benefits of using technology in the classroom. Students may also not know the different types of technology that can be used or how they can help students learn in a classroom. This video teaches ten reasons why teachers should use technology and I think EDM 310 students can benefit from watching this video.

My Example Blog Post:
I thought the video Top 10 Reasons to Use Technology in Education was a good video to see the benefits of using technology in the classroom. According to the video, technology can be very beneficial in the classroom. A statement that was mentioned in the video by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach that I really liked was "Teachers will not be replaced by technology but teachers who do not use technology will be replaced by those who do." It is important for teachers to utilize technology in their classrooms. Teachers who do not will be behind the times and will hold their students back. I think it is important for students to learn how to use technology. Technology will never go away, it will only continue to grow. Students can take tests online and see their scores instantly. This saves teachers time grading and students know their grades earlier. Technology can also help students with ADHD by keeping them engaged. Students with hearing impediments can also be helped by technology. Teachers can use classroom amplifiers to help students hear. Technology can save money for schools. I think technology is important in the classroom and can help students learn quicker and stay engaged longer.

technology in the classroom

For my first grade elementary students who are new to blogging and using technology I chose to assign them to make a PowerPoint timeline of their life.

Directions for students:
Make a timeline of your life using PowerPoint.
You need to include:
-A title slide
-One slide per year of your life(ex. 0 years old, 1 year old, 2 year old, etc)
-Each slide needs to have a description of what you did or learned or describe something that occurred that year
-You need at least one picture for each slide in your PowerPoint
-Upload your finished product to your blog.

Project Learning Network Final Report

My Personal learning network or PLN is Symbaloo. Symbaloo helps me stay organized. I keep all the website links I use often on one page. I can navigate from one to the other with ease. I like having all my websites I need for school, my emails and my social media networks separated on my home page but still in the same place. I really like Symbaloo. It is set as my homepage on my internet. It allows me to not have to type each website into the search bar each time I want to visit it. Symbaloo is a very efficient way to "surf the web" for your favorite sites that you visit often. I will continue to use Symbaloo to stay organized. I really enjoy using Symbaloo. I plan to try SymbalooEDU in my classroom. SymbalooEDU says that it is "a way to organize and share the best of the web with your students". I want to try this and see how it works for me and my students.

C4T #4

Am I becoming a digital luddite?

William Chamberlain's blog post "Am I becoming a digital luddite?" is a post about organizing your online documents and "baggage". His question in his post is "Do teachers who are new to online digital tools have the advantage of no online baggage? Will my inability to move from platform to platform hold me back? Am I becoming a Digital Luddite?" These are all great questions to ask yourself as a teacher. It is important to be oraganized as a teacher; in the real world and also in the virtual world of technology. Being organized with documents, blogs and tools on your computer is just as important as having all your papers filed neatly in a file cabinet in your classroom. I think organization is a main key of becoming successful as a teacher. If a teacher is not organized he or she can misplace students papers or tests, important information, or not have the tools he or she needs for class that particular day. Organization is important and I think everyone can find a online tool that fits their personal needs.

Mr. Chamberlain,
My name is Kaitlyn Parker. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the EDM 310 class. I agree that it can be difficult to keep yourself organized and to also keep up with all the new tools online being created every day. I have learned about many different tools that are online that can help keep yourself organized. There are many organizational tools out there and I think once you find a tool that works great for you continue to use it. Just because there are new tools coming out all the time does not mean you have to use them. I found that works great for me. I can personalize it to my needs, pick what websites I want on my profile and set it as my home screen. This allows me to navigate all the websites I visit regularly easily and efficiently. I can put almost anything. I have my blog for EDM 310, Gmail, social media sites, music, and even the weather. Find what works for you and your needs and utilize it. I do not think that just because something is newer then something else is it necessarily better. This being said, I do not think that you will be held back just because you are not using every brand new tool that is created. I enjoyed your post and am excited to read more of your blog in the near future!
Kaitlyn Parker

Thanks for the comment Kaitlyn. I remember when online was a wild and wooly frontier where there were very few apps and virtually none of them were alike. Now we have apps that are just like apps from before but with a tiny spin. I am all 'meh' about it.

Becoming a curmudgeon and pointing out that tools are just tools doesn't make one an online superstar. :)

student blogging

More Thoughts on Blogging (With or Without Students)

In William Chamberlain's blog post "More thoughts on blogging(with or without students)" is a post focused on blogging and writing. He talks about the importance for students to read and write. He says he makes his students write whether they want to write or not. He also talks a little about online safety and gives a website that is great for students. Kidblog is a website for students blogs that is safe and simple. Comments coming in or out of the blog can be set to be moderated. It says on the website that over 3 million K-12 students use kidblog. I enjoyed his post and it gave me ideas for my future students and how to let them blog safely.

Mr. Chamberlain,
Great post! I think it is important for students to be able to read and write and blogging is a great way to practice. I also think it is great that you make your students write whether they want to or not. I want to look into the website you mentioned. I want to have my future students blog in class and seems like a good way to keep students safe and to also moderate their blogging. Sincerely,
Kaitlyn Parker
EDM310 University of South Alabama

SMART Board Project 12 Part B

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blog Post #13

What can we learn from these TED talks?

Ken Robinson: 10 talks on education

Shane Koyczan: "To This Day" ... for the bullied and beautiful is a very dynamic and intense video. Shane Koyczan is a poet. He is so inspiring and has opened my eyes to many things. In this video he points out what it is like to be young and different. This video is a spoken-word poem about bullying. He explains his personal experience with bullying and how it has affected him. The poem shows the effects of bullying, abuse and even depression. He speaks about how children are spoken to and treated in school when it comes to bullying. This poem tackles bullying head on. He says how we are expected to define ourselves at a young age and if we do not define who we are someone else will do it for us. He says, "They ask us what we wanted to be and told me what not to be." This happens often with young children because people will put down the child's dream and say it is impossible. We should not do this. We should let children dream and encourage them to reach and accomplish their dreams.He also said, "Standing up for yourself does not mean we have to embrace violence". I really like this statement. All too often when people think of standing up to bullying they picture fighting and violence, but it does not have to be that way. That is not the only way to stand up for yourself. For example, Shane stood up to someone who was bullying him by giving him the wrong homework answers. Shane Koyczan is an amazing poet. He makes the audience feel what he felt. He has shown the profound and lasting impact bullying can have on an individual. He shows how much a battle it can be to overcome the emotional scars from bullying.

cyber bullying

I think as a future teacher it is imperative to have discussions with my students about bullying. As educators we should reinforce the need to think before speaking, because once you have said something, you cannot take it back. A negative comment could possibly hurt someones feelings or ruin a possible friendship. It is essential for students to know to do the right thing instead of the wrong thing and how speaking negatively to a peer may affect them. It is substantial that students know that bullying is bad and will not be tolerated at school. They should be educated on the matter. Bullying whether it be physical or verbal is not acceptable. Cyber bullying also should not be tolerated. This is something that is becoming more and more common with the increase of children having access to technology. Students should also be told that they can confine in myself as a teacher and all other teachers and adults. It is critical that students know that you are there to do whatever you can to stop bullying and for them to be comfortable coming to you about bullying. Schools should be a bully free zone. Bullying can really affect someone and the effects of bullying can last for a lifetime.

stop bullying

Kakenya Ntaiya: A girl who demanded school by Paula Lu

From the few TED Talks that I have watched, I have learned many things. From Sugata Mitra’s “Build a School in the Clouds,” I learned that children are naturally curious and if you ask the right and get them interested they will learn on their own. From Brian Crosby’s “Back to the future,” I learned that learning should be fun and we should be teaching students in a way that they forget that they are even learning. From Sir Ken Robinson’s “The Importance of Creativity,” I learned that creativity is important and aids in making learning fun.

In the video “Kakenya Ntaiya: A Girl Who Demanded School,” I learned that if you are determined, you can reach your goals and dreams. Kakenya Ntaiya is from the Maasai Tribe in Kenya. When she was thirteen, she demanded and made a deal with her father to let her go to high school. She could only go to high school if she would undergo the tradition of female circumcision during a Maasai ceremony. What the people of the tribe did to her could have killed her, but she was lucky. She attended high school and wanted to attend college. She met a boy from her village who had recently returned from college in the United States. She asked him to help her get to college and he did. She applied to Randolph Macon College in Virginia and was accepted. She then had to receive the support of her village to allow her to go and attend college in the United States, which she did. She promised them that she would return and do whatever she could to help the village. She went on to finish college and return to get her Master’s Degree. While she was in the United States she learned many things about her village that was very wrong and should not be allowed. When she returned from her studies, she remembered her promised and asked the village how she could help. The women of the village wanted to build a school for the girls and the men one for the boys. She agreed to build one for the girls and for the boys, another male college graduate would help them build one. The village was supportive and provided land to help with the construction. After all was done, she ended up helping and protecting many girls in their village. The girls are happier and safer. She shows that she can accomplish anything as long as she is determined.

I enjoyed watching this video a lot. I grew up in the U.S. where we have toilets, air conditioning, and fast food. I have never been to another country where they did not have those things. I love learning about the environment and living in other places. One of the things I have always wanted to do was go and stay with a tribe or village who do not have the things that the United States does. I want to experience what it is like to not have a bathroom, to not have air conditioning, or fast food, or even ice. I want to make a difference. Maybe I won’t accomplish anything like Kakenya Ntaiya did, but even changing the way we teach is good enough for me.

Jose Antonio Abreu: The El Sistema Music Revolution by Haley Torries

TED Talks hosted Jose Antonio Abreu in February, 2009. In Jose Antonio Abreu: The El Sistema music revolution, he discusses his founding, growing and developing the National System of Youth, Children's Orchestra's and Choir's in Venezuela.

The opportunity to become a musician was given to Mr. Abreu by the great support system he had as a child. His dream was to allow all Venezuelan children to have the same opportunity that were given to him. He made his dream come true by allowing all children in Venezuela, no matter their families’ income, to play or sing in his orchestras. All of his hard work has made Venezuela’s music programs top notch. Music is important for children in Venezuela because it helps them learn organization and coordination skills, builds self-esteem and strengthens values that they would not of been able to accomplish without music.

"El Sistema" attended to 300,000 children of the lower and middle class in 2009. This program has made cultural changes and social rescues all over Venezuela. Three fundamental circles are affected by "El Sistema": personal/social circle, family circle and community circle. Music has developed the children's emotional and intellectual side on a personal/social level. Children have increased their self esteem, therefore they do better in school. Achieving the dream of music allows children to know that any dream is possible. Music is the number one prevention against prostitution, violence, bad habits and anything else that degrades the life of a child in Venezuela.

I can relate to the “El Sistema” music programs in Venezuela. Since the fifth grade, music has been a major part of my life. Learning how to play the marimba has taught me coordination skills. Playing with music groups has taught me how to work with other people to accomplish a common goal. My self esteem was raised when I played for an audience with a group of musicians for the first time. I plan to give my students in my class the joy of music. Children learn songs on the radio easily because they are having fun while learning all the words to a song. I believe teaching should be just that fun. Music is a great way to teach children hard subjects while having fun.

Project #15

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blog Post #12

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?

Changing Education Paradigms by Kaitlyn Parker

Sir Ken Robinson is a creativity expert. His video "Changing Education Paradigms" was a very interesting and controversial video. In the video, Sir Ken Robinson talks mainly about three things; attention deficit hyperactive disorder or ADHD, rising dropout rates, and schools' dwindling stake in the arts. He begins by talking about ADHD. He believes that America is drugging children and saying children have ADHD when most do not. I think he proves a good point. He says we surround our children with computers, iPhones, TV and much more and expect them to go to school and pay attention to the boring stuff. Then, when they do not pay attention in class we assume it is ADHD and automatically put them on prescription drugs for it. According to him people start losing interest and ADHD is more common as you move east across the country. The southern states that surround Alabama are some of these. He calls it a "fictitious epidemic".

One thing he says that stuck out to me is that we all have the capacity to be a "genius", but as we age it deteriorates. We have the ability to change even though society has made it this way. We have been told all our school age lives, that the answers are in the back of the book and things of this nature. So because of this we stop challenging ourselves as we age and instead of our intelligence growing, it shrinks. He talks about a study where they took a set of children. Every five years they tested the same children and each time they did their scores were lower than the time before. Another thing he discusses is how most great learning happens in groups and collaboration is great.

I think we can learn from Sir Ken Robinson. We can learn from him to keep our students engaged and be creative in the ways we do this. Creativity and art are great ways to keep children entertained in the classroom. We should discourage the use of ADHD medication and students dropping out of school. We need to encourage our students to grow and want to become better learners.

We can learn a lot from him because he shows a different views on problems that our students may face. My eyes are now open to how often ADHD is diagnosed in my area, as well as surrounding states. Sir Ken Robinson pointed out great facts on how it may not always be the correct diagnosis. He showed me that medication is not always the right prescription for someone with ADHD. Maybe that child could benefit from less time spent in front of games and television and more time spent in a classroom where a teacher engages his or her students with creative project based learning.

adhd students

The Importance of Creativity by Paula Lu
Sir Ken Robinson is a creativity expert. He challenges the way we are educating our children. In his TED Talks lecture “The Importance of Creativity,” he discusses how education is killing creativity. He believes creativity is as important as literacy. He says that in this generation, children are frightened of being wrong and we are the cause of that. It is also the reason that school kills creativity. He says, “If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.” I completely agree. Kids are scared of being wrong. I am scared of being wrong. All through middle school and high school, I never spoke a word or answered a question because I was always afraid of being wrong. Though that did not stop my creativity, I understand how important creativity can be. For me, art was an outlet. I could not be “wrong” in creativity. Everything that I created or drew was made for me, myself, and I. No one could tell me that I did something wrong. Since creativity is such a big part of me, I want it to be a big part of my future classroom.

Sir Ken Robinson says that we grow out of creativity. In his lecture he quoted Picasso, “All children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.,” and its true. School really does kill creativity and what is worse is the further you get in education, the creativity dies more and more. There is a big difference on how elementary kids are taught compared to college students. Bette Fetter says “Schools are producing test takers, while businesses need thinkers and innovators.”

Sir Ken Robinson says that everywhere you go, art is on the bottom of what I would call the “education food chain.” Which is completely true. When a school is low on funds, what is the subject that gets thrown out first? The arts. Why is that? I understand the importance of Math and Language, but I think art is important too. Why is it that education can not be fun? Why is it so serious. I do not learn that way. Kids do not learn that way. Who really benefits from school? Sir Ken Robinson has many interesting points and I agree with him completely. I did not realize until now, but this is the reason I wanted to become an educator; to make learning fun.

How to Escape Education's Death Valley by Haley Torries
Ken Robinson: How to Escape education's death valley is a discussion about the problems with our educational system. Ken Robinson was told that Americans do not understand irony. When he arrived in America 12 years ago, he found out that this is not the case. He knew Americans understood irony when he heard about the legislation "No Child Left Behind". He said this is irony because 60% of children drop out of high school. This does not count the children who are in school and do not enjoy or benefit from it. The United States spend enough money on education and Mr. Robinson believes we are headed in the wrong direction. He stated that we are stuck in believing that teachers must labor and students have to endure.

Mr. Robinson says that the three principles that human life flourishes under is diversity, curiosity and creativity. "No Child Left Behind" is based on conformity and not diversity. This only allows us to find out what kids can do based on a narrow spectrum. This legislation focuses mostly on the standards, which is important but not the only things children need to learn. A well rounded education deals with arts, humanities, physical education and the standards. Over 10% of children are diagnosed with ADHD. Mr. Robinson believes too many children are labeled with this diagnosis that do not suffer from ADHD. If you sit any child down for hours to do work, most will start to get antsy. Arts are important because they deal with parts of children that normally would not be touched otherwise and keep children from building up energy.

Children naturally want to learn. Curiosity allows the child to learn. If a child is interested in learning a subject, then their natural curiosity will foster learning. Curiosity is the engine of achievement. Teachers are what keeps the schools going. Teaching is a creative profession which is achieved by mentally stimulating, provoking and engaging students. Educators, parents, legislators and society should discuss learning rather than education. If learning is not taking place, then there is no education. Standardized testing is important but should not be the main goal of education. These test should support learning, not obstruct it. Instead of encouraging curiosity from our students, America is encouraging compliance with our standardized test.

Humans are naturally creative and unique. People create the lives they chose to live. When people do not like the life they have created for themselves, then they recreate it. We should encourage our students to be creative and different. America has become a culture of standardization. Death Valley is a very hot place in America where plants rarely grow. This is because it rarely rains. During the winter of 2004, it rained seven inches. Therefore in the Spring of 2005, there were flowers covering the floor of death valley. The flowers eventually died from lack of water. This proves that Death Valley is not dead, just dormant. This is the same with education, it is not dead but just needs some climate control.

My opinion is that students should be encouraged to stay active rather than given medicine for wanting to be active. Medication should be a last resort to a child being overly active. I agree with Ken Robinson's views on education. We should be encouraging learning rather than just education. "No Child Left Behind" focuses on keeping children all at one level. We, educators and society, should encourage children to exceed the standard level of education and focus on advanced learning.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


How would social media be if there were no numbers?

In this blog post Mr. Spencer was asking the question "How would social media be if there were no numbers?" He writes about how people depend on the likes and friends they have on social media websites such as twitter and facebook. Everyone wants to have as many comments or followers as possible and the more the better. For people that use social media sites regularly for leisure they depend on these retweets and followers. If social media did not have the option to like someones post or picture I do not think social media would be as popular and it would be very different then it is now.

Mr. Spencer,
I really enjoy reading your blog. This post really caught my eye. I do think that when it comes to social media numbers do matter. On social media sites people try to get as many "likes", friends and "retweets" as possible. It is a competition. There are many contests on Facebook where stores will do giveaways and people have to "share" the post to be qualified to win the prize. The main purpose behind this is for more people to see the post when shared and add the store as a friend. If there were no numbers of followers or friends or how many "likes" someone received on a picture social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram would change completely. I think seeing the amount of people that "like" or comment on their posts is important to people and with out that social media websites would be less popular and changed forever.
Kaitlyn Parker
University of South Alabama
Edm 310

Dear Kaitlyn Parker,
You make an excellent observation. It certainly seems to be tailored toward human nature in that respect. But is it what's best?

twitter follow me

On looking at stars

Mr. Spencer's blog post "On looking at stars" was about the way he sees stars and the world around him. It was a very interesting post. He says at one point in the post, "I am reminded that the universe is bigger than the walls of my classroom". I think this is something that is important to remind ourselves of. The impacts that are made in a classroom are much larger then the classroom itself. His posts are always unique and take a few minutes of thinking to really understand them, but overall they are always creative and dynamic.

Mr. Spencer,
Your blog post made me look at classrooms and also the world around us in a different view. "I am reminded that the universe is bigger than the walls of my classroom." I really like this statement. It shows that what goes on in a classroom is great and can impact the students and even the teacher in ways that can affect them beyond the walls of the classroom. I enjoy reading your blog posts. They are very unique and always make me see things in a different light.
Kaitlyn Parker
University of South Alabama
EDM 310


Blog Post #11

Mrs. Cassidy is a first grade teacher from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. In her class of first graders she stresses the use and importance of technology in her classroom. She believes that not using technology is not adequate for students today. Technology is growing everyday and teaching has changed tremendously even in the past five or ten years. Teaching is not the same as it was when we were in elementary school and we should update our ways of teaching according to the times. I was very impressed with the video of the first graders in Mrs. Cassidy's class. The first grade students knew how to use technology such as Skype, blogs and SMARTboards. This blew me away because I did not write my first blog or use a SMARTboard until I was in college. They said in the video how important it is to be nice and respectful when commenting on blogs so no ones feelings get hurt. The students also said that the blogs help them improve their writing and grammar skills. I thought it was quite astonishing to see such young children able to utilize so many types of technology and  for it to benefit their learning so much. I also really like that students can choose what to do during certain parts of the school day when they get to choose what subject and type of work they want to practice  on the computers. I also like that the students are able to access the classroom blog from home and that they are all so excited to learn using technology. This is something I want to incorporate into my classroom. I really liked Mrs. Cassidy's statement when she said in the skype video with Dr.Strange about people who think technology is not needed in the classroom, she said, "You are handicapping your students and yourself by not taking advantage of those tools." I agree with this statement. Technology is growing each and every day and I think as a future teacher that we should take advantage of the technology given and use it in the best way we can to help our students grow, learn, and engage in the classroom. Technology is a great way to make learning fun and exciting for students. It is also a great way to teach students without them even realizing they are learning. When Mrs. Cassidy's first graders are skyping or blogging or even making the video's about the letters in the alphabet they do not realize they are learning. They are just having fun working together and using the different types of technology. The children love getting comments on their blogs and knowing that people are reading their blogs. It is much more exciting than using paper and pencil and the only person reading their writing is their teacher. The comments are a way of encouraging the students to improve their writing.

I want to use technology in my classroom to not only keep my students up to date but to help them learn and meet their full potential and I believe technology can help them to achieve that. I think technology goes far beyond textbooks and paper and can help students exceed the expectations for their age and grade. I think if every teacher utilized technology like Mrs. Cassidy does that in the near future students would be more intelligent and know concepts that are standards for grade levels that are one or two grade levels higher then them. I want to have a classroom blog, SMARTboards, and to also use Skype. I think allowing my students the opportunity to talk to other students or teachers around the world can be very eye opening and beneficial for them. I believe by starting to teach the use of technology as such a young age we are preparing our students for their futures. Technology will never go away it will only continue to grow. I like Mrs. Cassidy's approach to technology and I definitely intend to use technology in my classroom. I think Mrs. Cassidy is embracing technology and using it in a great way that benefits her students.

students using a ipad to video

Project 13

Project Based Learning Lesson Plan

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blog Post #10

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

Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch was a professor and allumnus at Carnegie Mellon University. On September 18, 2007 he gave a one of a kind lecture. In Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture" he begins by talking about his childhood and what his childhood dreams were. His lecture is mostly about his childhood dreams and how he achieved them. Some of his childhood dreams were being an imagineer, playing in the NFL and being Captain Kirk from Star Trek. I really liked his statement "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted". I think this statement is something we can use to guide ourselves and remind us that we do not always get what we want but we should always appreciate what we get instead because it can be just as much or even more beneficial then the thing we wanted in the first place. One thing he mentions many times throughout his lecture is "brick walls". "Brick walls" are things that get in the way of something you want. He mentions in his lecture " Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things." These "brick walls" are there to keep the people who don't really want something out and to help the people who do want it prove how badly they do. Another thing he talks about is "head fake". "Head fake" is when a student thinks he or she is learning one thing, when really he or she is learning another. Randy says, "The best way to teach someone something is to have them think they're learning something else". Randy also said, "The best gift an educator can give is to get someone to become self reflective". I can take these statements and implement these strategies into my teaching in the future. I really learned from the statement Randy Pausch's advisor gave him for his class. Andy van Dam said "You obviously do not know where the bar should be and you're only going to do them a disservice by putting it anywhere". This is great advice that I can use as an educator. Andy told Randy this because Randy was amazed by his students' projects and did not know what to do to encourage his students to do more. Andy van Dam told Randy Pausch to tell his students "you did good, but I think you can do better". This was a way to encourage his students to do more because even though Randy was amazed by their projects and thought they deserved an A in the class, he did not know just how well and high they could set the bar if he just encouraged them to do so.

After viewing his lecture, I want to find ways to encourage my students and give them assignments that are not only fun for them but that also still include the information that they need to learn. I want them to have so much fun while learning that they do not even realize they are learning something new. Everyone has dreams you just have to really want it to make those dreams come true. I think this is one of the best things I learned. As educators, we should make learning so fun that students forget that they are learning. We should throw away the idea that teaching is just standing in front of a classroom lecturing from a textbook and instead engage our students, utilize project based learning, and teach our students in fun and dynamic ways. He has shown me to work harder and find the best in everyone. He exposed at the end of the lecture that the lecture had a "head fake", it was not about how to enable the dreams of others or his childhood dreams but how to lead your life in the right way.

I think Randy Pausch really gave people a different view on life and I learned a lot from his lecture. He wrote his book and gave this lecture about living while he was dying from cancer. He is truly motivational and one of a kind. He is inspirational and has made me look at the "brick walls" in life as positive instead of negative and to make the best out of what you have. As Randy Pausch said, "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand".

Friday, June 21, 2013

Blog Post #8

What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?

In the video Making Thinking Visible , Mark Church, a 6th grade teacher, asks his students to discuss in small groups a video they saw the day before. He asks them to sum up in a few words what they think the video they watched is about. He gives them a piece of paper to write the headline on after the group has decided. By doing this he is engaging the students and really getting them to think about their opinion on the video and what they think the video was teaching. I like the way he puts them in small groups. This gives the students an opportunity to talk to the other students and hear their opinions also. I can learn from Mark Church's way of promoting engagement and thinking with his students. He gives them a chance to be independent by voicing their own opinions, as well as learning to work in a group and decide on a final headliner together. As a future teacher I believe I can really benefit from observing other experienced teachers with their classes. I can see what works for them and what does not. I think I can really learn a lot from other teachers and I can utilize some of the teaching techniques they use in their classroom in my future classroom.

students doing group work

Paula Lu

In the TED video "Brian Crosby - Back to the Future," Brian Crosby, an elementary teacher in Sparks, Nevada, talks about his 4th grade class and their want to learn. His 4th grade class consist of second language learners and students living in poverty. On the second day of school he surveyed his students on things that I believe most 4th graders should know. Out of twenty-four 4th graders, only 9 knew what city they lived in, 12 knew what state they live in, and only 3 knew what country they lived in. Less than half the students knew their address and very few knew their home phone number or did not have one. In his classroom, each student has a laptop and each of them have a blog. These kids are building learning networks and the feedback they receive makes them happy.

One of the experiments he did with his students was the balloon project. He used this project to teach them what they needed to know. The balloon project taught them imagination and creativity, and also about the atmosphere, which was a standard. A video camera was attached to the balloon when it was released. It allowed to students to see what happened as the balloon floated higher into the atmosphere and what happened when it had floated to high. He asked his students to write a story about being the balloon describing what was happening.

He says, "We have been teaching kids how to be taught, to raise their hand when they want to ask a question, but that is changing." We are empowering kids to want to learn on their own. They get to connect to the world and collaborate with classmates and others. Technology is changing the way students are being taught. In one of his classes, he had a student learning through her computer at home because she was ill. She became a part of his class. He says that we should stop racing kids through school, that it is not a race. Everything that we are doing should be providing them with opportunities.

Image of Bill Crosby - Back to the Future concept

It was really surprising to me that these students did not know this information about where they live and such, but knowing their background, I can understand why. When I was a 4th grader I knew what city I lived in, my home phone number, my address, what country I lived in, all of that. In a way, I guess I was force to know this information for emergency purposes. I really enjoyed watching this video. I want to be able to teach this way in the future. I want to make learning fun for my students just like Brian Crosby does. With the balloon project, he used it to teach them what they needed to know as well as spark their creativity. It is like killing two birds with one stone. He has them creating videos, posting them to their blog, and have them explain what, why, and how it happened. He made learning fun. He sparked their curiosity and made them want to learn. From the video, he did an experiment with a can that when it got close to this liquid, the pressure dropped and the can implodes. I am actually still trying to figure out why and how that happened. He even had me curious. I remember in elementary school we never did stuff like this. I do not even remember doing many experiments. Technology is really changing things, but I think it is for the better.

Haley Torries-The Blended Learning Cycle

BOZEMANSCIENCE , by Mr. Paul Andersen, is a science blog with educational videos, notes and video translations. In one of the videos, Blended Learning Cycle, he describes the full process and essentials of his Blended Learning Cycle. It starts with the components of online, mobile and classroom by blending them into one. Then he adds five e's in this learning cycle; engage, explore, explain, expand and evaluate. First, he engages the students with an engaging question. Then, he allows the students to explore all of the possibilities of the answer. After they explore, he explains the answer by expanding it. Finally, the question and answer gets evaluated. All of these components make up the Blended Learning Cycle.

This is bubbles of the process of the Blended Learning Cycle.

He uses the acronym QUIVERS with a picture of a quiver holding six bows. The bows signify his six ideas. The QU in QUIVERS stands for the question given to the class. The I stands for the student doing an investigation needed to find the answer. V stands for the independent videos the students watch. The E stands for elaboration, so the students have a chance to expand the information on the subject. R stands for review. The teacher goes around the room to each group individually to make sure each student understands the answer. The last letter is S because this is the summary quiz, which the students are not allowed to take until the teacher knows they understand the subject. This cycle would be beneficial for a teacher to use in a classroom. 

C4T #2

Education Rethink Blog by John Spencer

Why We Need Skeuomorphism #FlatDesign

Why We Need Skeuomorphism #FlatDesign is a blog post about skeuomorphism. Spencer describes skeuomorphism as "the non functional elements that remind us of previous technology". Minimalism is part of all the new apps and software and at times its nice but sometimes we just enjoy how things used to look and work. He writes about how sometimes skeuomorphism can be good but other times is awful. He says transitions, textures, decorations and vintage matter when designing technology. I think sometimes modern things are nice but other times you want things back how they used to be.

My name is Kaitlyn Parker. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I have been assigned to your blog for a portion of my semester. I like your idea of keeping some of the old because not all old things are bad and at the same time incorporating some new ideas. Keeping things that work good for us while getting rid of things that do not is a way to transition into new ideas without completely starting over. I like that you want to move forward but still look at all the different aspects, no matter if they are new or old when creating or decorating a school.

Digital Citizenship Means Criticizing Tech Giants

Digital Citizenship Means Criticizing Tech Giants is a blog post by John Spencer about how recently on his Facebook account he has been seeing multiple posts about "Google guys" criticizing standardized testing. He says the "Google guys" are the ones supporting creativity and are the good guys making cheap applications and laptops. He explains that people are always so quick to judge the big name companies such as Apple, Google or Pearson. I think people should look at the positive and negatives of all the companies. I do not think one is necessarily better then another; they just excel in different categories.

Mr. Spencer,
My name is Kaitlyn Parker. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I think people have the privilege to like a certain brand of technology more then another because everyone is entitled to their own preference. I also think that each brand has their own positives and negatives and is better or worse then another in different categories. One is not better then the other so it is helpful, especially in a classroom as a teacher, to be open to different ones and be able to use the technology and utilize the best you can in your classroom.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Project #2 PLN

PLN or Personal Learning Network

symbaloo homepage

I used Symbaloo as my personal learning network. A personal learning network is a set of tools or people that can help and assist you. I choose Symbaloo because I like the icon boxes you can pick or create and I liked that it was simple, yet effective. It is a way to group all the websites I visit most and have them all in one place. I can even set Symbaloo as my homepage. This is helpful so when I open Google Chrome all of my most visited websites pop up right away and I do not have to go searching for them each time. There are many websites you can click and choose from that are already on Symbaloo but you can also create your own. I created my own icon on my Symbaloo homepage for the EDM 310 class blog, instruction manual and master checklist. This helps me have everything I need in one place. I have blogger, YouTube, Gmail, and Twitter all in one place also.  I can edit the background and pictures on each icon to anything I want. By having Twitter on my homepage I have access to my EDM 310 instructor and lab assistants, as well as other teachers and educators around the world whose blogs and twitter accounts I am following. Symbaloo is a great tool to use. As shown in the video Welcome to my PLE! it can even be used by grade level students. Each day at the beginning of class the 7th grade student in the video uses Symbaloo to access her science agenda. She organizes her Symbaloo with all her class work in one row. Symbaloo allows you to organize whatever websites you want however you want. There is a lot of freedom when creating your Symbaloo homepage to create your own Personal Learning Network!

Blog Post #7

iPad usuage for the Blind

The "iPad usuage for the blind" video was very eye opening. I did not know that the iPad had options for the blind or visually impaired. An iPad has "voice over". Voice over can be used when a person drags their fingers over the iPad screen. As the person does this, a voice tells them what they are dragging their fingers on. If it is a blank page it just makes bumping sounds. The voice also tells them to double tap to open an application when it is needed. Voice over can also be used to read books to the blind in the iBooks application. Nook and Kindle do not have this option. This is where the iPad really stands out from others. It is able to be used by anyone. It does not matter if you're deaf, blind, five years old or fifty years old. The iPad is easy and effective to use. I really enjoyed this video because it taught me things about my iPad that I did not know it could do. This is good to know because I may have a hearing impaired child in my future classroom one day and he or she may need assistance by using a iPad and voice over. Voice over may be just the thing he or she needs to help him or her learn and excel. He or She could listen to books or do things online with the assistance of voice over. I think voice over is a very powerful tool. If needed, I would use voice over in my classroom to assist a child in their learning.

voiceover on ipad

Having a great time teaching a mom what her deaf/blind child is learning on a iPad

This video was also educational. In the video, a mom was taught how to use voice over on an iPad. This was to show her what her child was learning on an iPad using voice over. It was shown in this video that when typing, no letters will be inserted until the user double taps them. When the letters are touched only once, they are read aloud. There are two modes of typing; standard and touch typing. She really enjoyed learning how to operate the iPad so she can better assist her child. The iPad is a great way to assist blind children in their learning. If I have a student who is visually impaired, I would use the iPad to assist them in their learning and education in my classroom. I would also like the student's parents to know how to use the iPad and the voice over option so that they can help their child also at home and to know what their child is doing and learning in school. I think if the teachers and parents know how to operate the iPad with voice over it could be a very helpful tool to help a visually impaired student learn and also feel more independent.

Paula Lu

Assistive Technologies
After watching Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children, there are a lot of assistive technologies that I did not even know about. I actually have not heard of any of them. I did not know that we had this type of technology for these children. Then I watched The Mountbatten video presented by The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine, FL. That was when I was introduced to the Mountbatten for the first time.

The Mountbatten
The Mountbatten is the perfect tool for blind students. It is a brailler manufactured in Australia by Quantum Technology. It can type braille as well as send to and receive information from a computer. Along with being able to do all of that, the Mountbatten says the letter out loud while the student enters it. It allows the students to be able to tell if they made a mistake or not. The first time that I saw this, I was amazed. I did not even know a machine that is capable of this existed. It literally blew my mind.

I think this is great for children who are blind. I think it helps them connect to the rest of the class and the rest of the world. It allows them to not feel left out just because they have a disability. The Mountbatten should be given to all blind students to use.

Kabrina Harris

Voice Recognition Software
What is Assistive Technology? Assistive technology is any device that helps disabled children or adults learn. These devices enhance learning, remove barriers, and give hope to disabled students. Without these devices, students would have a harder time participating in class. Voice recognition software is a great assistive tool that helps disabled students keep up in the classroom. Voice recognition software turns spoken words into typed words on the computer screen. This device can be very beneficial to students with visual and mobility impairments. Voice recognition software helps empower students and gives them a sense of independence by allowing them to write their own papers without the assistance of others. This tool can also be beneficial to teachers by giving them written evidence of the students’ progress. Since this tool allows the students to write their own papers, teachers have more time to focus on other important educational areas. I think that this is a great tool that can also be used outside of school in other areas such as work, communicating with others, and creative purposes.Information about Voice recognition was found on this site

Teaching Math to The Blind
The video Teaching Math to The Blind is very interesting. Before watching this video I never thought about how blind people did math. If I had to take a guess at it I would have said that they use Braille. According to the video I would have been partly wrong because braille is not 2 dimensional and it would be hard to write math problems with it. The professor on the video explains a more helpful way of working math problems. He suggests that student use little cubes with invisible numbers and braille. The cubes can be placed on a grid and conformed into 2 dimensional numbers on the computer screen. The student can hear the number and place it on the grid to create or solve a problem

Haley Torries

50 Must-See Blogs For Special Education Teachers allows special education teachers and other teachers access to 50 different viewpoints on special education. The site,, where this information is posted is a great tool for teachers. Edudemic has information for not only teachers, but for students also. Special Education Strategies And More...
When I first accessed this blog, I was impressed. Special Education Strategies And More... is a blog for teachers or parents of a child with special needs. Different strategies for education that have worked for other people are given in this blog. These strategies explain how to apply them, shows how these strategies worked for someone else and even points out what could go wrong with these different strategies.

Assistive Technology

The Assistive Technology blog is a great resource on different technologies available to be used with children with special needs. The most recent post is iPad Workshop: Using the iPad for Students with Learning & Organization Disabilities. There was a link to where a teacher or parent can sign-up for this workshop right in the post. I did not know there were multiple types of apps on the iPad for children with special needs. This is only the beginning of this blog, there are more technologies and tools that will help anyone with a special needs child.

The Shut-Down Learner

Children with special needs often find school a threatening place. The Shut-Down Learner has different techniques on how to make school less threatening for children with special needs. There is also a post on how parents can make after school activities more helpful for these children. This blog was created by a child psychologist, making it a good resource for teachers and parents.

I only discussed a few blogs from 50 Must-See Blogs For Special Education Teachers . I encourage all teachers to visit this blog to expand your knowledge.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blog Post #6

Asking Questions: What questions do we ask? How do we ask?


What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher? This is something that every teacher, new or experienced, should ask themselves. The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom states very helpful and accurate facts about this topic. This article shows that teachers have been asking students questions the wrong way for too long. Teachers ask a question to the class expecting an answer and hope that all the students who do not answer aloud are thinking of the answer in their heads. This too often is not the case. Most of the time as soon as a teacher calls on a student to answer the question all the other students sigh in relief that it was not them that were called on. A more effective way to call on a student is to ask the class a question. Wait a few seconds and then call on a students name. By doing this all the students will be thinking of the answer in their minds in case their name is the one call upon. This is a good technique that teachers can utilize to get more students to think about answers to questions and to answer aloud. This gets the most effect out of asking a class questions. This way not only the same two or three students answer the questions time and time again. I think what is stated in this article is very true and accurate.

Asking Questions to Improve Learning helped me ask my self "What questions do we ask?" I agreed with this article that before any class, study session, or office hours think and compose questions that you think students may ask and think about how you will answer them. This helps you prepare as a teacher and to be able to be prepared for your students. When planning questions to ask in class or on a test there are many things you should ask yourself when formulating questions. Some of these include but are not limited to; keeping in mind your course goals, not asking more then one question at a time in class discussions, and using a mixture of questions. You should ask "open", "closed" and managerial questions. "Open" questions prompt multiple answers. "Closed" questions have a limited number of correct answers. Managerial questions ask students if they have all the materials needed for a project or understand the material. This also taught me to wait 5-10 seconds for students to think and answer a question. It also taught me not to answer my own question if students do not answer quickly because if you do this it will teach them that if they do not answer you will do the thinking for them and answer the question each time. Another thing to remember is do not interrupt a student when they are answering a question. Give them time to think and speak.Show that you are interested and give them questions that keep them thinking. If the student answers incorrectly point out what is incorrect but give a followup question that will help the student and class to a better answer.

In Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom it says to do three things. The first thing you should do as a teacher when asking questions to your students is to prepare questions. Instead of just asking whatever comes to your mind in the moment you should think and prepare questions ahead of class time. This allows you to ask more stimulating questions and to ask them at the best time in a class discussion. The second thing you should do is to play with questions. Three ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom says "Playing with the question means leaving it unanswered for a while and using some strategies that encourage students to think about it." The third thing one should do as a teacher is to preserve good questions.

Overall, I learned a lot from the articles I read about how to ask questions as a teacher and what to ask. I learned as a teacher it is important to think about what I will ask my students and how I will ask them questions. It is important to prepare myself ahead of class time and to think about what I am going to say and how I will say it. It is also important to ask different types of questions and to give positive feedback even if a student gets a question wrong and to help them get to a better, correct answer.

Project 8 Book Trailer

Oh, the places you'll go!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Sentences Project 7

My Passion is...

My Sentence is...

Blog Post 5


I think podcasts can play an important and helpful role in the classroom as shown in Langwitches Blog. She used her students to make a podcast that they were very engaged in and excited to be a part of. They wanted to re-record their voices until they were "just right". This got them to understand the book they were reading in a different way. After the podcast was done they printed out what the children had recorded so they could visually follow along. A podcast is a multimedia digital file that is available for download via the internet. Podcasts can be used outside the classroom also. Teachers can record themselves and have students watch the podcast from home for homework or for extra help on difficult concepts. Podcasts are a way of project based learning. In The Benefits of Podcasts in the Classroom there are many benefits listed. Some of these include helping with distant learning for sick or absent students and that parents can hear and see what students are learning in school. In Podcasting with First Grade she says even the first grade students are enthusiastic and eager to learn and podcast. This makes me excited to try this in my own first or second grade classroom in the future. I plan to utilize podcasting and see how it can benefit my own students of the future.

children podcasting

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Project #3 Presentation

C4T #1

Adventures in Pencil Integration Blog by John Spencer

Pencil Quests

In Mr. Spencer's blog about pencil quests, pencil quests are when you go site to site, then read a page and answer questions about the page. He then says how his students love project based learning and pen pals. He enjoys using a actual pencil and paper. I like the idea of utilizing project based learning in the classroom to keep students engaged. I never experienced pencil quests but they sound like a good way to teach students.

Mr. Spencer, My name is Kaitlyn Parker. I am a student at the University of South Alabama. For my EDM 310 class I have been assigned to your blog to read and comment on your posts and then summarize them for my personal blog. If you would like to visit my blog the website is

I think pencil quests sound interesting and a great way to engage your students. I have never experienced pencil quests in school but I imagine many students would benefit and enjoy this way of learning. I hope when I am a educator I can utilize unique ways such as pencil quests to encourage my students to want to learn.
-Kaitlyn Parker

The Con Academy

The Con Academy blog post was about a conversation he had with the principal of his school he teaches at and a guest. The principal introduces the idea of a version of "flipping the classroom" where you give students worksheets. The students then work at their own pace and level and complete the worksheets that they choose.   Mr. Strange does not agree with what they are suggesting. He believes it would be easiest for students to use paper and pencil for essays or math problems instead. I understand why he does not want to change his teaching ways. Change can be scary for some because they do not want to leave their comfort zone.

Mr. Spencer,
I understand why you were not too open about using the new program the school wanted you too. It sounded a lot like busy work and may not work for all students. Not all students will work on their own and complete worksheet after worksheet. As a teacher you know that not all students work or learn at the same pace and that they are not all on the same level. This is different then the other versions of "flipping a classroom" I have seen and I think others should question if this is good for the students or not. 

Kaitlyn Parker

Blog Post 4

21st Century Learning and Communication Tools

When I begin teaching elementary education with my second grade students I want to utilize technology to keep them interested and engaged, as to maximize their learning. I found two learning tools I would love to use in my classroom to occupy my SMART board. The first tool is the SMART table collaborative learning center. This interactive table lets students work in groups and use visuals, auditory, and physical elements to learn. The table is multi-touch and multi-user which means that more than one student can use it at the same time. Students can use this to help each other learn material and also learn good teamwork skills.

The second tool I found that would be useful in my 21st century classroom is a SMART response interactive response system . This is a wireless handheld device or clicker that students can each have at their desks. It has large, easy to understand buttons for the young minds I will be teaching and is great for all reading levels. Teachers can ask a question on their SMART board and have students choose an answer on their clickers and teachers will receive instant feedback. This allows them to see if all students are engaged in the lesson and to also see where the class is having trouble understanding material. This is also a much more quick and efficient way of evaluating students than giving problems via paper and pencil and then the teacher having to grade the problems and tally up the results that the SMART response interactive response system can give in seconds. I hope to be able to utilize one or both of these learning tools in my classroom in the future so my students can learn and be more engaged in the lessons. I think this is a fun and exciting way to get students interested in the lessons and interacting in the classroom.

WIKI by Kabrina Harris

Wikispace is a great collaborative site that can be used by students and teachers. Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit web page content using any web browser. The site allows people to view others work and edit it. This tool reminds me a lot of Google drive. Teachers can give assignments to students and allow them to work on it as a group outside of the classroom. I would use wiki in my class for the purpose of group research projects. I would expect my students to do their own research and share it with their group through wikis. If a group member sees a mistake in someone’s work they could edit it. The benefits I would expect from using wikis are my students will learn to effectively collaborate with each other and edit others work. I chose wikis because its a great collaborate tool that could be used by anyone at anytime. Wiki also promotes group work.

WebMD and Blackboard by Haley Torries

While there are numerous 21st century Learning and communicating tools, I decided to focus on WebMD and Blackboard.
WebMD is one of the more popular websites in the medical industry due to the ease of finding the resources located there. All the information on this site can be reached in these categories; A-Z, Drugs and Treatments, Women, Men, Children's Health, News & Blogs and Message Boards. The information found on this site is well-research and comprehensive. Anyone is able to search for what causes certain symptoms or how to treat any disease a person might have. The Message Board allows visitors to discuss remedies and information they have learned from doctors all over the world. I will be able to use this in my classroom to help students learn about different types of diseases. I believe it is important for students to understand that there are many different diseases in the world. They also need to understand that some illnesses can be prevented by good health care; such as lung and heart diseases. Some illnesses people are born with. WebMD can give students an awareness of the daily lives people with these diseases live with. Children with a better understanding of these diseases are less likely to bully. This will help the students lead healthier lifestyles.
Clients from all around the world are using Blackboard to reach students in personalized new ways. Blackboard keeps the educator's educated and involved with different techniques on how to keep students interested. This is a great resource for teachers to use whenever they want to consult the whole class about an update on course materials.

YouTubeEDU by Paula Lu

As a future elementary teacher, the tool I would use in the classroom is YouTube EDU. YouTube EDU is a similar site to YouTube, but it is for learners and educators. As YouTube EDU calls it, it is a “global video classroom.” It gives students the chance to find short lessons on material they might have missed or do not understand well. It also gives educators the ability to teach without having to be physically there. This also is related to flipping the classroom. (add link) I do not like the idea of flipping the classroom because I believe that kids will not learn that way due to the fact that I believe kids will not take the time out of their day to do the work. In a way it is pretty similar to having homework, which no kid is happy with. But, I like the idea of teaching without having to be physically there. Imagine a child who is hospitalized for whatever reason and cannot attend school. Videos of the lesson will allow the student to be able to learn and keep up with school work at home. One way I would incorporate YouTube EDU into the classroom is by creating videos. I think that a good project would be to have the students group up to learn a specific topic and help them create a video to post on YouTube. I believe that this is a fun way to teach the students and help them learn the material. It teaches students how to work in a group and how to work with others. I chose YouTube EDU because I believe this is a good way to help keep students interested. I think that most elementary students are very visual learners and this would help them in the process. You might ask, “What if the students do not want to watch the video?” I would say, If I were to show a video in class, I would make sure that it is fun, entertaining, and interesting. I know that sometimes educational videos can be extremely boring, so it is my duty to pick the ones I know they will watch.