Sunday, April 27, 2014

C4T#4 Summary

C4T#4 Comment #1
My new C4T blog is called Pair-a-dimes for Your Thoughts and is authored by David Truss. His most recent post was an extremely thoughtful piece on flexible learning opportunities. My favorite part from this lengthy post was a part where he said that education subjects are "streams, not silos." What he means by this is that each subject area is not contained all by itself. Rather, all subject areas are intertwined and can be somehow related. After introducing myself, I pointed out how much I liked what he had to say about all subject areas being like intertwining streams. I think this is something that some teachers aren't aware of. I told him how I thought more teachers of different subject areas need to work together to make their classes relate to one another at times.

C4T#4 Comment #2
The second blog post by David Truss that I commented on was one about how more and more school systems are going underfunded. He made many points about how schools are getting less and less money and even how some schools use the money they do get on the wrong things. He made several points about how properly funded education is necessary and needed by society. I commented that I agreed with his statements and was encouraged to see an educator speaking out about this matter. We all know how important education is for the future; so why is it so hard for us to facilitate it?
David Truss

C4K Summary for April

C4K#9 Angelica
My student this week was Angelica from Miss Ouano's class in Auckland, New Zealand. Her latest blog post was a story about a dragon who puts eggs on people's doorsteps on Easter. I told her that I thought her story was interesting and that I had heard of the Easter Bunny but not the Easter Dragon. I told her I might not like Easter egg hunts if I knew a dragon was the one hiding the eggs. Lastly I wished her good luck in class.
Easter Dragon

C4K#10 Jasmyne
My final C4K student is Jasmyne from Miss Lavakula's class in Auckland, New Zealand. The blog post I commented on was about a white tailed spider. It had a picture of the spider and didn't really have much other than that. I told her it was a scary looking spider and asked her if she had an interest in spiders. Then I told her about some of the spiders we have here in Alabama.
White Tailed Spider

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #13

The assignment for this blog post is to pick your favorite figure from American history and do a short report/biography on your chosen person.

You may include pictures, audio, or even a Google slide presentation in your post.
You should include links to all your sources of information used in this assignment.

William Barret Travis

William Barret Travis

William Barret Travis is the person I chose for this assignment. He is my favorite figure from my favorite event in American history; The Alamo. Here is a short report I prepared on Travis.

Born in South Carolina on 9 August 1809, William Barret Travis will always be remembered as the Texas commander at the Battle of the Alamo. He spent his childhood in Saluda Co., SC, which was also the home of James Butler Bonham, another Alamo defender. Travis studied law and became a practicing attorney for a brief time before marrying Rosanna Cato at the age of nineteen. Within a year, when Travis was barely twenty years old, they had a son, Charles Edward Travis. Remaining in the area, Travis began publication of a newspaper, became a Mason, and joined the militia. The marriage soon failed, however. Travis abandoned his wife, son, and an unborn daughter, and headed for Texas. After arriving in Texas in early 1831, Travis obtained land from Stephen F. Austin. He set up to practice law first in the town of Anahuac, and afterwards at San Felipe. When friction developed between Texas and Mexico, Travis was one of the first to join the Texas forces. When Mexican General Martin Perfecto de Cos demanded the surrender of the Texan's cannon that resulted in the Battle of Gonzales, Travis was one of hundreds to come to the its defense. He arrived too late, however, to take part in the action. On orders from Provisional Governor Henry Smith in January of 1836, Travis entered the Alamo with about 30 men. Within a few days, he found himself in command, when then commander James C. Neill took leave to care for his family. Travis commanded the Texas defenders during the Siege and Battle of the Alamo. His Appeal from the Alamo for reinforcements has become an American symbol of unyielding courage and heroism. Although a few reinforcements arrived before the Alamo fell, Travis and over 180 defenders gave their lives for Texas independence on 6 March 1836. Remarkably, Travis was only twenty-six years of age at the time of his death.

Travis's Famous Letter

Victory or Death

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World

Fellow citizens & compatriots
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country VICTORY OR DEATH.

William Barret Travis,

Lt. Col. comdt.
P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves. Travis


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #12

Assistive technologies available for our students who are disabled or impaired have developed rapidly in the 21st century. Teacher are now far better equipped to effectively teach students with disabilities because of this. Here are a few examples of assistive technologies.

After watching the video, iPad Usage For the Blind, I learned about the voice over feature on the iPad that allows a visually impaired person to use the iPad effectively. Whenever the person puts their finger on the iPad, it responds with speech and lets the person know where they are on the iPad. Being able to use an iPad to listen to books, newspapers, or magazines can help visually impaired people operate independently rather than having to have someone else read to them. Audible is a good audiobook app that I found and think would be good for a visually impaired person to use. It allows access to over 150,000 audiobooks and is operated by Amazon.
Audible Logo

In The Mountbatten video showed an example of a student using a device for typing braille. The device reads aloud the letters being typed on it. It can help students and teachers who cannot read braille understand the student who is typing it. This allows for the impaired student to be more involved in classroom activities and group projects.

I found a very interesting blog post authored by Lisa Nielsen on her education blog called The Innovative Educator. In this post she covers 25 different assistive technologies such as talking calculators, audiobooks, text to voice software, etc. Every one of the 25 items she briefly discusses also has a link to a much more in depth analysis of the particular item. This blog post seems to cover most all types of assistive technologies and would serve as a good starting point for anyone interested in learning about such devices.
The Innovative Educator

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Project #10

Blog Post Assignment #11

Back To the Future
Brian Crosby's speech about techniques and methods used in his classroom taught me a lot. Crosby lets his students be active and express their own knowledge and feelings in the classroom. He encourages his students to have personal learning networks and to collaborate with the other students in class. Mr. Crosby is a very good example of what a 21st century teacher should be like. He seems to incorporate technology into his classroom flawlessly. Technology allows students to expand their ability to learn much farther than they ever could without it.

Sam Pane 4th Grade
Mr. Pane is a very interesting teacher who succeeds at keeping his class interested and entertained with his teaching; which is something that I personally believe is extremely important. Mr. Pane's way of teaching his kids about internet safety was a very interesting concept. He combines many skills into one lesson and has his students learning quite a lot in just one project. Being able to combine many different skills in one lesson or project is something that a successful teacher should be able to do. His students seemed so excited and ready to learn in his class. Mr. Pane provides a great example of how to keep your students interesting in learning.

Project Based Learning
This video shows that collaboration isn't limited to just being between students. This video shows how three teachers worked together to combine their classes and used technology to help their students learn. Teachers seem nowadays to only operate their classes without any input from their colleagues and peers around them. I think it is important that we as teachers work together to provide our students with the best educational experience that we possibly can. This video also showed me that students will surprise us teachers with how much they can do when we allow them some freedom to work and learn together. The skills shown by some of the students working together on projects really impressed me. Providing students with well-prepared project based learning experiences can really allow them to shine.
students learning

C4T#3 Summary

C4T#3 Comment #1
My new C4T blog is called Thurmann Resources and is authored by Lisa Thurmann. She works at The School for Global Education and Innovation at Kean University in New Jersey. She recently posted an entry in her blog that discussed how teachers are going to learn and adapt to Common Core. She talked about how her team is going to develop Common Core Communities of Practice. These will serve as a way for teachers to learn with one another how to implement Common Core and enhance their ability to learn and teach.
After introducing myself, I told her how as a future teacher I appreciate the efforts being made by people such as herself towards helping educators learn these new standards. Learning new standards and requirements is never an easy thing for teachers to do, but with enough effort put forth by everyone in the education community it can be done effectively. The Common Core Communities of Practice seem like a great way for teachers to collaboratively learn the applications of the new Common Core Standards.

C4T#3 Comment #2
The second blog post by Lisa Thurmann that I commented on was one in which she discussed many useful apps that you can use on Google Drive. I found this post to be interesting because I have only been familiar with Google Drive since I began EDM310 and I am eager to learn more about it and its uses. Her post covered several apps ranging from video & picture editing to mathematics software. I told her about how I had just became familiar with Google Drive and that I looked forward to checking out some of the apps that she mentioned in her blog.
Google Drive

C4K Summary for March

C4K#6 Hine
Hine is a young girl in Mrs. Jenny She's second grade class in Auckland, New Zealand. Hine did not have any blog posts that were specifically hers but she was in a post that showed a video of the entire class 18 on a school picnic. I commented that the whole class looked like they had a great time and enjoyed the day.

C4K#7 Leka
Leka is a seven year old boy in Mr. Barks & Mrs. Nua's class in Auckland, New Zealand. His most recent blog post was a biography poem he made about himself. From reading his poem I was able to learn a lot about him and what he liked. I noticed he talked about baseball quite a few times in his poem. I told him that I too love baseball and that I played when I was younger. I asked if he followed American baseball and told him about my favorite team. Lastly, I told him that if he worked hard enough he could achieve his dream of becoming a baseball player.
baseball and glove

C4K#7 Lizara
Lizara is a seven year old student in Ms. Squire's class in Auckland, New Zealand. Lizara's last blog post was about a boxer named Joseph Parker. Apparently Parker is Lizara's favorite professional boxer. I told Lizara about some of my favorite professional athletes and also that it is important for children to look up to athletes such as Joseph Parker for inspiration.
boxing gloves

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Project #15 Lesson Plan Three

50 States Project

This project will involve the students learning as much as they can about the 50 states. They will be put into groups and assigned a certain number of states to do research on. They will have one week to prepare a presentation using google docs. This project will allow students to use the internet to find facts, pictures, and videos of their states to use in their presentation.
50 States

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #10

Sir Ken Robinson's speech, "Bring On the Education Revolution", was a very poignant argument for schools to revolutionize the learning processes that the children of today are exposed to. He argues that students should be able to build on their knowledge and skills in any way they possibly can; not just in a predetermined manner that is deemed acceptable by a school. Robinson favors a new, non-traditional method of teaching. He does a good job explaining in his speech that the methods we are used to teaching students have simply become outdated. I firmly agree with what Sir Ken Robinson had to say about the future of teaching and learning. I hope to be able to help stimulate my students in any way that I possibly can. Standardized schools don't always provide the best method of learning for every single student. I want to encourage my students to explore their talents and dreams and pursue whatever it is that they want to most. His wrist watch example with the audience was an effective way to prove how we continue to hold onto outdated methods far longer than we need to. I believe an education revolution is needed and on the way.
Sir Ken Robinson

Friday, March 21, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #9

Kathy Cassidy Interview #1
Kathy Cassidy Interview #2
Kathy Cassidy Interview #3

I learned quite a bit about technology in the classroom by watching the interviews between Kathy Cassidy and Dr. Strange. It is evident throughout the video that Mrs. Cassidy has a very good command of classroom technology and implements it very effectively in her classes. She made good points as to how technology is here to stay in the world of education. The importance of educators understanding that technology's role in education is only going to grow is a very important idea to understand. Mrs. Cassidy puts a large amount of emphasis on allowing her students to express themselves through the use of online technology in her classroom. Also, her allowing the students the freedom to communicate with other students and educators is a very good motivational factor in my opinion. I particularly like how she protects her students when they are online. Having them not post pictures of themselves or do anything to make themselves vulnerable is a good thing to teach them. Having the students learn how to protect themselves on the internet is a very important aspect of teaching them to use the internet. Using technology is great way to keep your students motivated and entertained with learning. Having them come in everyday and use pencil and paper will only lead them to lose interest in the learning process. A good teacher should know how incorporate enough technology and collaboration in the class to keep them entertained and engaged in learning. When I am an educator I will absolutely incorporate technology into my classroom. Honestly there isn't even an option not to in my opinion. Learning how to use technology in the classroom is something that I will have to do. Having people such as Dr. Strange and Kathy Cassidy helping the new generation of teachers learn the skills necessary to be a 21st century teacher is a really big help.
Class Blog

Monday, March 17, 2014

Project #14 Lesson Plan Two

Budget Bill

The Budget Bill Project is designed for a twelfth grade U.S. Government class. The students will be given the role of congressmen and will be put into groups and tasked with creating a bill to reduce wasteful government spending. This will give them an opportunity to learn about issues with the United States budget and give them an opportunity to use critical thinking to come up with solutions to solve real-world problems. The students will be using Google Docs to present their bills to the class.
Paul Ryan & Patty Murray

Project #13 Lesson Plan One

Analyze A President

This project instructs students to design a presentation on a former president. It is intended for high school students in either the 11th or 12th grade. The students will be put in groups and given a specific president to do their project on. They will be expected to analyze their specific president's years in office and the impact he had on American history. This project should help students gain a better understanding of American government and the way our country has been governed in the past.
Five Presidents

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #8

The Teaching Channel
The Teaching Channel seems to be a very good tool for teachers to use. It contains an extremely large amount of resources ranging from common core information, lesson plans, content from other teachers, and so much more. What I think is most useful from The Learning Channel is the ability to interact and learn with other teachers that use the site. You can get content for every subject and every grade on this website.
The Teaching Channel Logo
FunBrain is a website consisting of various games designed for students ranging from K-8th grade. With the use of technology growing in classrooms every year, it is important for teachers to be able to send their students to websites like FunBrain. FunBrain has games that are designed to help improve students' skills in math and reading. The site is designed for use by students so educators can be assured that everything on the site is safe and appropriate for their students. Although I would not recommend the use of this website as a primary source of teaching students, letting them use it could be a way to reward them with something fun that is also still educational.
FunBrain Logo

C4T#2 Summary

C4T#2 Comment #1
My new C4T blog is called "dangerously irrelevant" and it is authored by Scott Mcleod. His latest post was an excerpt from something written by Ira Socol. It was an observation of how the traditional methods of teaching by a textbook, pencil, and paper no longer serve to stimulate students. Ira Socol basically says that teachers clinging to the traditional methods are making students not even want to come to school.
I told Scott that I agreed with what Ira Socol had said about why students don't want to come to school. I believe the teachers sticking to the dated methods of teaching are seriously limiting their students potential to learn. There are so many ways to engage students in the classroom. Simply keeping them busy with book-work is doing them a great disservice in my opinion.

C4T#2 Comment #2
Scott Mcleod's second blog entry I commented on was a very passionate argument against multiple choice questions on tests, specifically the SAT. He argued that multiple choice questions are an outdated and insufficient method of assessing a person's knowledge or skill in a certain subject area. He says that picking the correct choice from a set of prescribed alternatives is simply not the best way to assess knowledge.
I had never really thought much about a topic like this before reading Mcleod's blog. I was able to see and understand his point after reading what he had to say. Although, I'm not sure what his alternative to multiple choice questions would be, or at least he didn't provide an example in this blog post. I do agree that multiple choice have probably been used for too long and that there are better ways of testing student's knowledge.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #7

Watching Dr. Randy Pausch's lecture about achieving your childhood dreams was something I enjoyed very much. Dr. Pausch is such an inspiring and upbeat person. You can tell by watching his speech that he is very passionate about what he is saying and he truly means every word that he says. His ideas about children needing not to lose sight in their permission to dream is something I agree with very much. Our students need to dream big and do everything they can to achieve whatever they desire. I believe nothing should hold them back or stop them from believing their dreams no matter what they are.
What he says about the "brick wall" also really caught my attention. Throughout life we are presented with many challenges that seem like they cannot be overcame, but in reality we can overcome anything if we possess the true desire and determination to do it. I can really relate to this because every week when I check what is due for EDM310, I feel like I've hit a giant brick wall.
Randy Pausch is simply an amazing person. His views on life, learning, creativity, and dreams are absolutely inspiring. Watching his final speech motivates me to be the best learner and educator that I can possibly be. I want to incorporate his views and ideas into my own teaching methods.
Randy Pausch Quote

C4K Summary for February

C4K#1 Sean
My first assigned student was Sean from Ms. Toal's class in Dublin, Ireland. It was a new experience to be communicating with students from a different country so far away. Anyway, Sean's blog post was a list of some information he has learned about sharks. He seems to have an interest in sharks as I noticed that two of his blog posts have been about them. He seems very smart for such a young person. I suggest to him that maybe he might like a career in marine biology when he gets older. I wished him luck in Ms. Toal's class.

C4K#2 Arav Craft
My second assigned student was Arav Craft. Arav is a third grade student in Mrs. Little's class at Hong Kong International School. Once again it was interesting to communicate with a student from a place so different from what I am used to. His blog post was a poem that he had written about rattlesnakes. I complemented his poem and asked if there were any rattlesnakes in Hong Kong. I also wished him good luck with his class.

C4K#3 Natassia
My third C4K student was Nastassia from Mrs. Ruiz's high school english class in Austin, Texas. This was my first C4K located in the United States and also my first high school student. In her blog she talked about how she has moved to different school districts several times throughout her life. I told her that I had never went to different schools while growing up so I didn't really know what that could have been like. I asked her if it was hard to adjust and make new friends so frequently. Lastly, I wished her good luck with finishing high school.

C4K#4 Sarah
My fourth C4K student was Sarah from Mrs. Long's 10th grade class. Her blog is mainly a fashion blog so I had some trouble relating to the fashion topics of a tenth grade girl. However, in her latest blog entry she talked about how she is thinking about whether or not to go to prom this year. I told her that she should definitely go and also about my memories from my high school prom. The remainder of her post had something to do with braiding hair so I just didn't have much else to add.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #6

Before this assignment, I had no knowledge of personal learning networks (PLN). The links to Building Your PLN-A Primer for Anyone and Michael Fawcett Discusses his PLN were great for learning all about what a PLN really is. A PLN consists of educators and tools that give you the ability to connect with other teachers anywhere on the planet. Twitter is a perfect example of a tool used in ones PLN. These networks give you a vast audience of your peers to gather knowledge from.
From a teacher's perspective, a well established PLN could be a great source of information for the classroom. Having so many different sources for information would allow you to pick the very best material for your students. My own personal learning network is quite small right now, but it will only get larger with time. The blogs I have been introduced to in this class have helped serve as a window into broadening my PLN. I have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, & Youtube so I believe I should be able to expand those networks into a large useful personal learning network.

Personal Learning Network

Project #8 Book Trailer

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Sentence Videos

My Sentence Is...

My Passion Is...

Blog Post Assignment #5

What do you learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps

The videos Project Based Learning Part 1 and Project Based Learning Part 2 were very good introductions to project based learning. It was nice to hear Mr. Capps talk about the many ways that he uses project based learning in his classroom. It seems that his students are very responsive to this method of learning. I believe the best point he made was about how projects should not just be something you do at the end of a lesson to show what has been learned, but rather used to actually learn the material.


In the Discovery Education video, I was shown how Discovery Education can be used to enhance lessons in class by complementing them with videos. I believe that visual presentations are very important to teaching and are very valuable tools. Mr. Capps points out that these videos help him tremendously with the lessons he teaches in class. I believe that Discovery Education would be a wonderful tool for me to use as a teacher.

The Anthony - Strange list of Tips for Teachers Part 1 was probably my favorite video from this week's assignment. Dr. Strange and Mr. Capps gave five excellent tips for us future teachers. What Dr. Strange said about being a learner is something I agree with very much. Teachers do not know everything; it is important for us to continue learning throughout our whole careers. Their advice about hard work and flexibility was very good as well. Being flexible as a teacher will allow you to adapt to the different needs of your students and to effectively educate them.

The final video, Additional Thought About Lessons, gave some good advice about lessons. Mr. Capps does a fine job of explaining the way he approaches his lessons. I believe that having very well prepared lesson plans is one of the most important things that a teacher should do in order to be better prepared to teach their class every day. I liked how Mr. Capps explained the way he does his lessons so that he knows he will cover all the material necessary. A teacher with unorganized lesson plans may have problems keeping up with the material that is required to be covered.

Lesson Plans

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Project #3 Presentation

Blog Post Assignment #4

What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?

I believe that as a teacher it is very important to not only know how to answer questions, but also to know how to ask them. As Ben Johnson points out in The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom, teachers constantly ask useless questions. He says, "Ostensibly, after we have taught a principle or concept, we could ask, Does everybody understand? Even though we all realize that students not answering -- or even answering in the affirmative -- may not really understand, we still ask it. Are we aware of how many times we ask this useless question during a day of teaching?" His point here is that you cannot simply ask your students if they understood what you've taught them. Many times they will just say yes and not really understand what has been taught. He also points out that even when asking the class specific questions, only the motivated students will participate in answering. The other majority of the students are perfectly fine with letting those students answer all the questions. The solution he has delivered for getting all the students to answer the question is to ask specific students a question in random fashion. When the whole class is anticipating their name to be called after the question is asked, they vast majority of them will be trying to solve the question.
Question Party
The article Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom gives teachers three simple tips for asking their class better questions. I found this to be the most helpful article I read about question-asking in the classroom. It states that the one way for a teacher to ask effective questions is to prepare the questions beforehand rather than making them up on the spot. Also, preserving good questions is suggested. If you ask your class a question that stimulates a lot of discussion and thinking by the students, then this should be a question you ask again to another class in the future.
There are two main points in Asking Questions to Improve Learning that I felt were very important. The first point was to make your questions have answers that are more than just yes or no. Students need to learn more than just if something is right or wrong. Asking questions that warrant answers with explanations is a sure way to stimulate your students thinking. The second topic I most agreed with was that you have to let your students know that you are interested in their answer. Whether they answer right or wrong you should expand on their answer and give them even more information on the question.

Following these guidelines should lead to interesting, substantial questions in the classroom.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

C4T#1 Summary

C4T#1 Comment #1
The first C4T blog post I commented on was a very in-depth analysis of why the blogger has deleted their foursquare account. It goes on to explain how foursquare has disabled the ability to privately check-in. She explains how without the ability to privately check-in; seemingly anyone can track the places that you go.

I started off by introducing myself in my comment. I shared with her my purpose for commenting on her blog and told her that I would be summarizing her post and my comment in this blog post. I then told her that although I do not have a foursquare account myself, I have many other social media accounts and privacy is always a concern for me.

C4T#1 Comment #2
The second blog post I commented on was an older post that included an eBook that the author of the blog had been featured in. The eBook was a collection of information about student-centered learning vs. instructor-centered learning and the use of technology in the classroom.

I commented with my thoughts on student-driven learning and how I hope to be able to do that type of teaching once I am an educator myself. I also stated that I wholly embrace the idea of using technology as much as possible with my students. Technology is the future of the classroom and the potential for learning with it is unbelievable.

A GeekyMomma's Blog

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #3

My Thoughts On Peer Editing

Peer editing is a very helpful way of getting different perspectives and feedback on a writing assignment. I personally believe that peer editing is the best way to improve any writing assignment and to make it more appealing to whatever audience you are writing for. Successful peer editing can help you find mistakes you might have missed or help you simply present your information in a way that is more understandable to the readers. Also, having that interaction with a fellow learner is a key component to the educational process.

Peer Editing

When peer editing someone's writing, the key to doing it successfully is to simply care as much as you would if it were your own writing. If you aren't going to actually try to help them then there is no point in even reading their work. Pointing out what they did well, and possibly what they did not do well; is all it takes to help them out. Regularly peer editing other people's writing can actually lead to you doing better writing yourself. Peer editing is a win-win scenario for both parties.

Peer Editing Information
What is Peer Editing?
Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial
Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #2

Mr. Dancealot
I believe that the central message of Mr. Dancealot is that students need proactive, hands-on learning. The author shows a time-lapse version of a course in which the instructor does nothing but read his notes to a class he is attempting to teach to dance. When he gives the class a final exam, nobody in the class seems to have learned anything at all. I believe that it is very important for teachers to do more for their students than simply read to them; students already know how to do that! A truly qualified instructor should be able to show their students hands-on activities and examples of whatever it is they are teaching.

Teaching in the 21st Century
Kevin Roberts believes that teaching in the 21st century will be almost exclusively electronic. He believes that almost all learning will be done online. He points out that students now have access to many online tools such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, and Google. Students in the 21st century will turn to these sources for their knowledge rather than teachers. I personally believe that Roberts might be jumping the gun slightly. Although I do believe school will be completely online & electronic one day, I still believe we are quite far from it and that traditional methods will still be here for a lengthy amount of time. If he is right, however, I will have to make adjustments to the way I want to teach. I personally favor a traditional teaching method that is enhanced by technology, not completely administered through the use of technology.

21st century teacher word cloud
The Networked Student
The Networked Student is a great example of what learning through technology can do for students. Networking allows students to connect with other students, teachers, and even college professors all around the world. Students are no longer simply limited to a single classroom with one teacher. The video asks, "why does the networked student need a teacher?" Well I believe that without a teacher the student would have no guidance on their journey of learning. I think that sometimes good teachers can serve as a students motivation and driving force behind their desire to learn. The networked student can learn on their own now, but a teachers wisdom and insight is still needed.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
The thesis of this video is that students can learn best when they are given the opportunity to teach themselves. I believe that this approach can be very effective for students. Giving students the ability to do their own research and learn something that their own teacher might not even know can serve as a motivation booster for the students.

Flipping the Classroom
Flipped classrooms are a new concept to me. After watching this video, I am very impressed by the idea of a flipped classroom. If the students come to class already prepared with the information from the lesson, they will be able to make better use of the class time they have. Not having to spend time teaching them what they already learned in the class video will give the teacher better opportunity for more stimulating classroom activities. I can definitely see myself using a flipped classroom when I am an instructor.

computer classroom

Friday, January 17, 2014

Blog Post Assignment #1


What Have I Heard?
I have had the chance to talk to a few alumni of EDM310 about the course and most comments I get are generally positive. They all do, however, agree that the course requires a large amount of time and dedication put into it. Even my advisor told me to be careful what I schedule this course with because it will definitely take up a large amount of my study time.

What Are My Fears?
As with any course I take my biggest fear is not being capable of doing the required work. More specifically for this course my main fear will be keeping up with the various assignments and activities that are required. EDM310 seems to have a very strict timeline for due dates and it will be a challenge to adhere to it.

Compare & Contrast
This course is most definitely different than all of the others I have taken so far. This will be my first course that requires me to create and maintain a blog. The lack of any substantial bookwork or the more traditional forms of learning really sets this particular course apart. Also, I have never taken a course that is so centrally focused around technology and the future of teaching/learning.

My Biggest Challenge
My main challenge for this class will probably be keeping up with the due dates and staying on top of my assignments. I believe I will be able to handily complete the assignments with little struggle. However, I worry that the workload will make it hard to keep up with what is due.

Overcoming My Challenge
I believe the best idea for me to overcome what I believe my biggest challenge will be is to keep a very strict and detailed schedule for my coursework. If I can organize all my work and make sure I have ample time available to finish my assignments, I should excel in this course.

After reading all the available material, I do not believe I have any questions at this point. The syllabus, instruction manual & master checklist are all very clearly laid out and explain the coursework in great detail. I am confident that any questions that I may have going forward can and will be answered promptly by Dr. Strange or his lab assistants.

man yelling at laptop

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Practice Blog Post

My name is Brian McGhee and I am twenty years old. This is my second semester here at USA. I spent my first two college years at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. I live in Wade, Mississippi and I have been here my whole life. I am planning on becoming a history teacher once I finish my degree here at USA.

I live with my mother for the moment but I hope to get a place of my own in due time. My father lives away from home in Ohio for work. I love history and am excited to be pursuing a career in that field. My other hobbies include reading, basketball & golf. I try to live life to the fullest and cannot wait for what the future holds.

I want to enter the field of teaching because I truly enjoy history, particularly American history. I believe I can thrive in the role of a teacher and positively impact my students. I believe that a career as a history teacher would allow me to pursue my passion of learning about American history and become better at passing my knowledge on to others.

gadsden flag

Test Post #2

Test Post

Test Post

This is my First Post. I clicked the HTML button which I should always do in EDM310. I am now a Blogger!