Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Final Reflection

Porky Pig That's <br />All Folks
Wow, what an educational journey. Eight weeks ago I walked into EDM 310 with only one goal in mind; pass this class in order to enter pre-candidacy. However, I'm here today, having gained more than I could ever imagine. Not only did I learn a great deal about technology, I learned even more about myself. I have met a lot of wonderful people and have established a network of veteran teachers and future teachers in which to collaborate. I have become technologically literate by being taught one seemingly simple concept, exploration.

To Be Or Not To Be
On day one of EDM 310, Dr. Strange posed the question, should all teachers be technologically literate. My immediate response was of course not. After all, I have had some “good” teachers and they knew absolutely nothing about technology. Open mouth, insert foot; the keyword was good not great. After eight weeks of following teachers who were technologically literate, my entire mindset changed. Because of great teachers like Randy Paush, Karl Fisch, Ms. Cassidy, Vicki Davis and Dr. Strange one can easily see the benefits of incorporating technology into the classroom. Students are far more advanced, engaged, and equipped for success when technology becomes a component of instruction.

Okay, so what have I learned? I entered this class with very little computer experience. I knew the basics such as PowerPoint, Word, Email, and Facebook. However, I'm leaving this class being more equipped to lead a 21st century classroom. How often does one really leave a classroom smarter than when they entered? I have learned to create presentations, surveys, and forms using Google. I like Google because it gives you the ability to share your information with others with just the click of a button. I have learned about blogs and podcasts and their many classroom benefits. Students are taught reading, writing, and collaboration in a fun-filled way. I have learned to add links and pictures to my blog, embed movies from various sites, develop a personal learning network in which to share ideas, Skype with people worldwide, create movies using imovie and provide students with important dates in history using timetoast.

Advice For Future Students
To future EDM 310 students, procrastination is not an option, take advantage of the computer lab and plan to spend the required amount of time working on class projects. There is meaning behind every project. Find the meaning and add substance to your work. This is definitely NOT a bird course. Also, check the class blog daily and watch the tutorials. If possible, purchase a Mac, your life will be so much easier. Avoid getting behind; it’s almost impossible to catch up. If you’re unsure of something, Google it and don’t stop until you’ve found what you’re looking for. In this class there really is no excuse for ignorance, don’t allow intimidation to get the best of you. There is an answer for everything. Finally, surround yourself with people smarter than you and become a powerhouse!

Special Thanks
To Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange, you have made such an impact on my life. I value your tenacity and passion for teaching. You have given me a model in which to go by and have certainly set the bar for my future instructors. I have never gotten so much out of one class, amazing. Thank you for your patience and always being accessible. I could not have made it without your assistance and/or words of advice. Because of you all, I have embarked upon a more meaningful educational journey in which my future students will reap the benefits. This is definitely not good-bye, but look out as I continue to learn about the vast world of technology! One day in the distant future, I hope to be on the Comments 4 Kids list. See you later and God bless!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Final Project - Blogging & Glogster!

Collaborating with Ms. Case to setup a blog for The Learning Studio was an amazing experience. Click on the above video to see how Ms. Case responds to technology. Where was she when I was in school (smile)? Special thanks to my friend Sandra, for putting me in contact with Ms. Case and Anthony for acting as the Camera Man. To access Ms. Case's blog, click on the following link: The Learning Studio

Glogster - A Few of Our Favorite Things!

Screenshot edm 3 10 glogster created with hillery, gina, and rachel

Hillery, Rachel, and I also opted to complete a Glogster as part of our final project. To view our entire Glogster, click on the above picture. You may also access our Glogster by clicking on the following link: EDM 310 Favorites

Gina's Final EDM 310 Thoughts

Please press the play button to hear my final thoughts. (Move the cursor around and her eyes will follow...hilarious)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Comments 4 Kids - Alba Middle School

My Comment:

Absolutely Amazing. I am very grateful to know that there are young people in the school standing up for prayer and acknowledging God as our source of refuge. The quality of your video was wonderful, and it is obvious that you all put a lot of hard work into it. I pray that your message reaches millions. Awesome work young people!

Alba Middle School Students Deepwater Horizon Video

Click the following link to view video: Click Here

My Comment:

Alba Middle School Rocks! I am currently a student at the University of South Alabama and I love all of the things that you can do on an Apple Computer; they are so user friendly. I think what you are doing is amazing. This is definitely a great coping mechanism for your students. Not only are they creating fabulous projects with technology, but they are dealing with the issues of life in a safe and meaningful environment. I hope that these students will treasure these projects for years to come. Keep up the great work!

The Mean Oil Spill
To view video, click the following link. Mean Oil Spill

My Comment:

Nice job, all. What a great way to get the word out about the effects of the oil spill. This is definitely something that affects all of us. I can't wait to see more of your productions.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Blog Post 13 - Comments 4 Classmates

(See below for my responses to classmates' blog posts)

Jessica Hassell's SmartBoard Revolution
Great presentation you guys! If I had to choose between listening to a teacher lecture about triangles or learning through the use of the Smartboard, I would choose the SMARTBOARD everytime. You all definitely nailed it when you showed the lack of student interest during the lecture segment, innovation is the way, kudos to you!

Samuel Gates' Cassidy Response
I was really impressed with the knowledge that Ms. Cassidy's students possessed concerning technology. They certainly seemed to enjoy the process as well as the outcome of their projects. I agree with your idea of posting homework assignments to your class blog. I think that this is a wonderful way to communicate with your students. A class blog would also be a great way to involve the parents of your students, allowing them to stay current on classroom events . Great suggestions!

Della Ervin's Cassidy Response
Della you are so right! These young students are amazing. Not only is Ms. Cassidy teaching them about technology, she's also teaching them to collaborate, explore the unknown, ,and respect individual ideas. She's teaching them how to be successful adults in first grade. Her passion for teaching is clearly visible. In this type of environment, learning has to take place. Enjoyed reading your post, best of luck to you!

Updated PLN

Gina's Personal Learning Network

Screenshot of my personal learning network

You may click on the above image to view those who are currently apart of my Personal Learning Network. This is only the beginning. I certainly intend to add others.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

EDM 310 Skype Interview

Screenshot of Skype Interview Title Screen

For those of you who are a bit apprehensive about EDM 310, here is the Inside Scoop. Check it out and let me know your thoughts...enjoy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Blog Post 12

clipart of a man looking at himself through a magnifying glass

“…never get too comfortable, change is good and ultimately it makes us better teachers.” I absolutely love the way that Mr. McClung has once again risen to the occasion. He sees the need, makes the necessary adjustments and continues to excel. I believe that flexibility is definitely a required attribute for personal success. As a future educator, I appreciate Mr. McClung’s transparency. He shares his educational journey as a teacher and is not afraid to share his mistakes and/or accomplishments. Below you will find the following nuggets of information that I have taken from Mr. McClung’s second year reflection. I definitely believe that his second year blog post has a great amount of depth. Through his experiences, Mr. McClung continues to excel as an educator. To read more about his journey, click on the following link: Mr. McClung's Second Year Experience

Notable Nuggets For Future Educators:
1. Teach students to be independent thinkers
2. Find a school mom (develop a relationship with someone who knows the school
routine and allow them to mentor you)
3. A teacher is essentially a salesman who has to sell what their teaching to
the students; do whatever it takes to teach the curriculum
4. Don’t be a control freak, allow students to take ownership for their own
classroom experience
5. Bring your BEST effort to your students, in spite of workplace adversity

M-Cubed: ISTE Presentation Video Responses

I really enjoyed learning about digital fabrication through the eyes of these young students. Digital fabrication enables student to create and design images through the use of 2-D and 3-D fabricators. Studies show that many students suffer greatly in the areas of math and science. However, through the development of fabrication laboratories in schools across the country, students are now able to construct and design 2-D and 3-D manipulatives, both a science and math concept.

This technological advancement allows students to become comfortable building upon their background knowledge of math and science in an enjoyable environment. In a previous post, I quoted Paush as saying, “the best way to teach someone something is to have them think they’re learning something else.” These children are learning incredibly complex mathematical concepts and taking risks that they wouldn’t ordinarily take in a “traditional” classroom. The look of anticipation and excitement on the face of these students is timeless. How often do you see children actively engaged in learning and largely in control of their own learning experience?

I would love to use these fabricators in my classroom, but I would definitely need to explore the process. I think for me, I’ve taken away from these videos that children love to be in control of their own learning, and given the opportunity, they will excel our expectations. Therefore, set reasonable boundaries and allow students the freedom they need to learn and develop. I definitely see engineers in the making!

Links to Explore
The Classroom Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab)
The Principle of Least Change
Digital Fabrication: Through the Eyes of a Five-Year-Old Boy

Monday, July 12, 2010

Comments 4 Kids # 4 - The Goodman Job

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Kelowna Secondary School's video project entitled The Goodman Job. I love the fact that this school has a Media Arts and Video Production Program for their students. These young people are being groomed to produce movies on such a high level that their work looks absolutely amazing. To view this video, click on the below video:

My response to The Goodman Job:

Hi! I'm Gina, a student from Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. What a nice execution from beginning to end. I thought that your music choices were fantastic. I also think that the black & white conversion really set the tone of your movie. The Goodman Job was so well done that I felt like I was watching a professional movie. Also, the title of your video was a nice play on words. Thank you for sharing your techniques in making this video. Truly a job well done, can't wait to watch the sequel - keep up the great work!

Blog Post 11

Wow these little kids certainly do have BIG potential. I mean where can they go from here, but UP!! It is so amazing to hear and see the results of Ms. Cassidy’s technology journey which began only after being given 5 computers for her classroom. Also, one of the tidbits of information that I took from the Skype discussion and many of the other educational sites that I have visited is that a teacher can get grant money for just about any “worthy” project.

I certainly agree with Dr. Strange. The children of Ms. Cassidy’s classroom are being taught the basic academic subjects through the use of one medium, technology. These techniques certainly speak to the auditory, visual,and kinesthetic learners. Say goodbye to mundane teaching! I also like that their blog is used as a means for the parents to access their child’s portfolio. This allows parents to stay current on the progress their child has made and gives them immediate access to their child’s work.

I think that Ms. Cassidy has done a great job in protecting the identity and privacy of her students. As a future teacher, this has been my greatest concern. It seems like she strives to keep the lines of communication open with her parents and informs them of her intentions at the start of the year.

I would certainly like to incorporate many if not all of Ms. Cassidy’s technology techniques. I love the idea of the classroom blog. I believe that the children would attempt to do their best work because they feel like people from around the world would be visiting our blog. I would certainly teach them to create and edit classroom videos, work with Smartboards, establish a PLN, research areas of interest on the web, and Skype with other classes from around the world. I think that it is important to teach our students to use, value, and appreciate technology. As stated by Ms. Cassidy, if we don’t teach our students to use technology, we are certainly handicapping them.

Wordle 101 - Teach Someone Project

Screenshot of Wordle tutorial title screen Wordle 101 by Gina Pace

Click on the above picture to view my tutorial on Wordle.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Blog Post 10

I actually watched the above video a few weeks ago and attempted to use symbaloo to establish my PLN. I loved the vibrant colors and this particular 7th grader made it "seem" user-friendly. However, when I attempted to organize my PLN using this website, it was not as user-friendly as I expected. After speaking with a few classmates, I opted to use netvibes. Netvibes allows me to track the sites that I have selected in real-time. I might attempt to use symbaloo in the future. However, it will not be the near future. It still amazes me to see young people who are so tech savvy.

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

My Sentence: I change lives one day at a time through my compassion, ambition, and love for Jesus.

My Motivation: Even as a child, I knew that one day I would become a teacher. By understanding who I am, I am confident that my footsteps are ordered by Jesus. Everyday I strive for excellence and encourage those around me to do the same. I believe that I am in this world for a purpose and with a purpose. Therefore, I live in a sense of expectancy. I understand that it is never about me, but it is always about Jesus. So, as I live life, I live each day to the fullest. As a future educator, I conduct myself as an educator. I walk as an educator, I talk as an educator, and I dream as an educator. Yes, I anticipate the day that I hear my name called and I walk across the stage to receive my diploma. However, the diploma will only confirm what I already know about myself.

Was I Better Today Than Yesterday?
Definitely, because of my yesterday, I am determined to make my today greater. I am in no way perfect, but I do strive for perfection.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

First Smartboard Presentation

Smartboard presentation title screen which reads Alphabet Review by Hillery, Rachel, and Gina

Please click on the above picture to view the Smartboard Presentation created by Hillery, Rachel, and myself.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blog Post 9

Old-fashioned paper and quill set

An Open Letter to Educators By: Morgan Bayda

Morgan's post definitely seems to speak to the minds and hearts of many students. It is heartbreaking to see that lecturing has become a world-wide epidemic among many teachers. In many cases, education has become just another obstacle for students and sadly, many do drop-out. We lecture and we lecture and we wonder why students just aren’t getting “IT”. It is because the world as we knew it has changed.

The world has become more diverse and the wheel has been reinvented. Knowledge of technology and establishing a PLN in which to collaborate and share ideas is not only “relevant” but necessary in this information age. I love Brown’s quote - information is not only “free”. It has been liberated! While taking my EDM 310 class, a hunger for knowledge has been ignited and I certainly feel liberated. You can become as educated and informed as you choose to be. There are absolutely NO LIMITS.

I am however hoping that Dan Brown did not drop out of college. In today’s society, a college degree is still a very valuable asset. As stated by Dan, a strong education isn’t just important, it is essential. In my opinion, Institutional Education is still the springboard for socioeconomic success. Perhaps Brown could become the conduit for revolutionizing institutional education in the information age. He seems to be very creative and has lots of great ideas. What would education become if Dan Brown channeled this same energy into revolutionizing institutional education?

Alabama Learning Exchange Logo
ALEX is an acronym for Alabama Learning Exchange. This interactive website provides teachers access to thousands of lesson plans created and posted by teachers for grades K-12. Parents may also access this database to help students reach and maintain school standards. ALEX Lesson plans are created in compliance with the Alabama state standards for all subject areas. However, teachers in other states can customize the lesson plans to fit their school’s standards.

The ALEX database is very user friendly. One of the features that I most liked was the web links tab. This section provided the names of several sites that would be useful to classroom teachers such as: New York Times Learning Network, The Educators Network, and Highlights’ TeacherNet. There is also a section where visitors can listen to and/or create Podcasts.

I do find ALEX to be an extremely useful tool. As a future educator, this site will become a part of my PLN. ALEX allows you to collaborate and share experiences and lesson ideas with veteran teachers across the state of Alabama. I still plan to collaborate with other educators around the world, but it is always nice to know what is going on in one’s own neighborhood.

Comments 4 Kids # 3

Cipart of 5 Children playing, picture reads C 4 Kids

I really enjoyed reading about strategies that McClung uses in his classroom to become a better educator. He solicits feedback from his students and then makes adjustments accordingly. To learn more about his techniques, click on the following link: Lessons Learned by Mr. McClung

My response to McClung's Lessons Learned:

Mr. McClung what a great idea! I’ve never had a teacher request feedback on their performance. I think that this assignment not only teaches students how to give constructive feedback, but it also allows you to make the necessary adjustments to become a better teacher. I’m sure that your students have taken a sense of ownership and community within the classroom because you have given them a voice. Average teacher...I think NOT. In my book, you get an A+!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Comments 4 Teachers (Part 2)

On July 5, I began to follow teachernz.edublogs.org
This is a wonderful blog for educators who are interested in learning how to incorporate technology into the curriculum. Some of the blog posts that I found interesting were: Twitter at Southwell, Paperless Day, and 3-D Printer. Please see below for my responses on selected blog posts.

July 5, 2010 - Paperless Day
Hi my name is Gina Pace and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. As a class assignment, I will be following your blog with the expectation of gaining lots of insight as a future educator. I would like to begin by saying that the Earth Day projects were amazing! I have a friend who is a kindergarten teacher and her entire school is transitioning to paperless instruction. I am sending her a link to your blog! She is sure to be fascinated by the work that you all have done. You have shown me just how creative our students can be; the possibilities are endless.

I enjoyed seeing how engaged the students were, their expressions were priceless. I do not believe that they could even imagine how much they learned in a single day. I hope that this is something that you will continue for years to come. Also, thank you for including the link with the projects that were made at various schools. As a future teacher, it’s nice to have such great resources available to me. On July 15, I will be summarizing my visits to your blog. Please feel free to visit my blog and post any comments or suggestions that you may have. I am also including a link to our class blog

July 9th, 2010 - 3-D Printer
Absolutely amazing! I look forward to the day that I officially have my own classroom. I cannot wait to see all of the student creations being completed with gadgets like the 3D printer. Kinesthetic and visual learners will have a ball with an instrument like this. Very 21st century!

July 14, 2010 - Twitter at Southwell
I’d like to say thank you for such informative posts regarding twitter. I never understood the value of twitter before reading the random links posted on your blog. If used responsibly, twitter can be a great resource to connect educators around the world. I also enjoyed reading the valuable ways to incorporate twitter in the classroom. Thank you for sharing.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Blog Post 8

Young male reading a book upside down entitled Guys Read
What I've Learned This Year" by Mr. McClung

In Mr. McClung’s post, he shares his experience as a first-year teacher. Mr. McClung writes about his classroom instruction transitioned from being teacher-centered to more student-centered. McClung initially thought that he had to impress his “superiors” and as a result, he was unable to connect with his students. McClung soon realized that he was making a huge mistake and found that if he wanted to make a difference in the lives of his students, his instruction would have to become more student-centered.

McClung later writes that it is extremely important to communicate with students and faculty in order to build strong relationships. I completely agree with McClung, without communication people are left to make their own assumptions which in turn becomes their reality. Communication is definitely important.

I did find one statement to be disturbing; McClung writes that “we build our expectations too high for students.” I believe that we should have high expectations for our students while providing the tools and the information necessary for their achievement. Society has already set expectations for our children, some good and some not so good; we are doing a disservice to our students if we expect nothing more than excellence. I have opted out of teaching a watered-down curriculum.

Lastly, McClung leaves valuable advice for current and future teachers:

1. Listen to your students, this shows that you truly care
2. Don’t be afraid of technology, technology has unlimited benefits
3. As professional educators, never stop learning; we owe it to our students

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blog Post 7

Picture of Randy Pausch
Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams By Randy Pausch Click on the Above Picture to view his astonishing lecture.

Truly Breathtaking, Randy Pausch has left a legacy that will live on in the lives of millions forever. During the first half of his lecture, I began to recall the childhood dreams that I once had. I then began to evaluate my life now. I am very thankful to know that my dreams can actually become reality and I can accomplish these dreams while having fun.

Pausch presented ideas in such a way that I simply had to nod my head in agreement. There were several times that I found myself rewinding the video because of the wisdom he possessed. One’s problems seem so minuscule after hearing such a prolific speaker deliver such a revolutionizing speech. I believe that this speech definitely reawakened dreams that had been lying dormant in me for years.
There are many quotes that I will be adding to my toolbox to include:

- Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things
- Be good at something it makes you valuable
- Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcomed
- When you’re screwing up and nobody’s saying anything to you anymore, that means
they gave up
- Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted
- Luck is where preparation meets opportunity
- The best way to teach someone something is to have them think they’re learning
something else

In closing, I would like to leave such a legacy, to be impacting lives long after I've left this world. As a future educator, I will be given a unique opportunity to cultivate and reawaken lost dreams. I am the catalyst to which dreams can come true, what an awesome responsibility. I believe that there is a greater cause for our dreams and it is to propel others to greatness. I am committed to finishing the course – regardless of the brick walls!

Comments 4 Kids # 2

Cipart of 5 Children playing, picture reads C 4 Kids

I really enjoyed viewing the blog created by the 2KM class of Australia. To find out more about the exciting things happening in Mrs. McGeady's class, click on the following link: 2KM @ Leopold Primary School

My comment to the 2KM class:

Dear 2KM,

I am a student from the University of South Alabama and I am majoring in Elementary Education. I absolutely love the idea of Reading Day! The video used to launch the Reading Day festivities was amazing. I remember so vividly participating in reading fairs and book reports as an elementary student, but I do not remember doing anything as exciting as your class has done. Mrs. McGeady, your students seem so excited about learning and they seem to have LOTS of fun doing so. I applaud both you and your students; you all are definitely a 21st century classroom.

How do you find time to keep current with the latest technology? I was very impressed with the activities chosen such as: making origami art on the iPod Touch, using Wordle, and reading books on the IWB. I cannot wait until your next school term begins. I am now going to add your class blog to my PLN (Personal Learning Network). I believe that your class has lots of innovative ideas that I can use as a future teacher. Well done 2KM, your class has really set the bar for future sites that I will visit. Thank you for sharing!

Van Gogh Timeline

Gina's Personal Learning Network

Gina Pace's Personal Learning Network
I am currently following these people: Dr. Strange, Dr. Baggett, Anthony Capps, Martha Yim, and Vicki Davis just to name a few. Click on the above picture for more details.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Comments 4 Kids # 1

Cipart of 5 Children playing, picture reads C 4 Kids
Miss T's Classroom in New Zealand
Patrick's Cat, Pentecost

To learn more about Patrick and Pentecost click on the above link.

My comment to Patrick:

Hi Patrick I love the name of your cat, it’s very unique! I would really like to know how you came up with her name. Also, how did you create the artwork for your cat? Is this an actually painting that you created or did you find it online? The artwork used to create your cat, reminds me of the dog in the book “Why Is Blue Dog Blue.” It’s a great book, you should check it out if you haven’t read it already. Study hard!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mac vs PC Podcast

Marth Yim holding Mac sign Gina holding vs. and Ashley holding PC

Martha, Ashley, and I have made the Podcast of the year. Click on the picture above to see who wins Mac vs PC.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blog Post 6

Several people standing around the world holding hands
Richard Miller: This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2

I would certainly call the concept of multimedia a fundamental change. Multimedia, simply put, is the process of integrating multiple forms of media. Media can be text, graphics, audio, animation, video, data, etc. I think the EDM 310 students are writing with multimedia now; certainly not to the extent of Richard Miller’s presentation, but we are, by definition performing this task.

I was most impressed with the Virginia Tech article created by Richard Miller. He is absolutely correct in that you can research information around the world without ever leaving your home computer. I find that I now use the library as a quiet place to study or write papers - fewer distractions. The true reason in which the library was established is now rarely used; especially among students born during the information age.

Individuals no longer have to write articles and wait for the process of revision, publication etc. People can access this information “now.” Web-based information allows you to access information anytime day or night. We have moved away from a pencil and paper generation as we explore the “riches of the world stored on the web.” Collaboration is possible day or night using internet tools such as Skype. I am definitely prepared to learn more about writing with multimedia, and believe that my students will have already encountered this process to some degree. My job will be to explore the limitless possibilities with them.

Toward A New Future of Whatever

One word…WHATEVER. This video was very interesting and eye-opening. Based on this video it appears that as media evolves so does the conversation and interaction of society; I agree. According to Wesch, people have become self-centered and disengaged. I think people have become consumed with chasing a dream and have forgotten that it’s possible to take someone along as they climb the corporate ladder. Unfortunately I can’t attribute these changes only to television; the internet has also impacted society’s interactions.

In watching this video I pondered this question, have we really become self-involved or are we reverting back to the caveman’s state of mind? Because we have immersed ourselves into the media, have we forgotten what it is like to have an actual conversation with someone in the same room or have we resorted to only being able to speak into a one-eyed contraption? I honestly don’t know how this will impact me as a future educator. Of course technology will be incorporated into my classroom, but I will provide a classroom learning environment that allows students to voice their ideas and opinions; beyond the parameters of YouTube.

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

I believe that it is a fantastic idea to incorporate networked learning into the students’ curriculum. As with any major advancement, challenges will come, but the benefits of networked learning should certainly outweigh any obstacles. In my opinion, teachers must remain in the classroom. Teachers facilitate learning, and provide effective feedback.

As an EDM 310 student, I am becoming a networked learner, but I still prefer having access to an onsite professor. As stated in the video, a teacher provides guidance, teaches proper communication skills, prevents unnecessary exposure to unreliable sites, and has background knowledge and experiences in which students can draw upon. It is impossible to obtain these benefits solely from the worldwide web.

Through connectivism, the 21st century student has access to the top subject matter experts around the world which means that they are no longer restricted to the textbook. I do not disagree with this theory. By developing a PLN, the networked student becomes submerged in a world of endless possibilities and begins to develop a sense of ownership and independence. I completely agree with this theory.

However, a classroom teacher’s presence is a crucial component in student advancement because the teacher provides a safe learning environment while directing students in the exploration process. Finally, am I prepared to be a teacher of a networked student? I believe that I am striving to be that teacher, but the reality is…ready or not, here I come!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gina's First EDM310 Movie

Youtube title screen which reads Five Little Monkeys
My First EDM310 Movie was done with the assistance of five children from Grace Place. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blog Post 5

Small child working on the Smartboard
Critiques of Smartboards
My view on the effectiveness of the Smartboard was not changed by either of the critiques completed by Michael Staton's Why Smartboards are a Dumb Initiative or Bill Ferriter's, Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards. The use of Smartboards raise the interest and participation level of students because of the vast interaction that can occur. Children love interacting with the IWBs (Interactive Whiteboards) which is a way to keep the entire group engaged. This year was my first encounter with the Smartboard, and I was drawn to it like a magnet.

There are so many benefits; no more smelly markers or chalk dust flying everywhere. Spellcheck is a click away and students and teachers no longer have to be self conscious about their handwriting; different fonts may be selected. Teachers have the option of recording instruction in real-time and adding audio to allow for remedial work. You can highlight, circle, label, information found on the web. Topics can be researched via the web during whole group as questions are posed. The benefits are limitless.

The biggest argument that I heard from these two critiques was the cost. Yes, it may be costly, but I believe that it is a wonderful investment for the "millenial" students that we teach today. I believe periodic training should be provided and teachers should be required to produce at least one Smartboard lesson per week. Why Smartboards Are A Dumb Initiative and Why I Hate Interactive WhiteBoards are decent reads but with every change comes opposition. As for me, I think Smartboards are a fantastic use of technology in the classroom! The following blog provides additional benefits of the Smartboard benefits Teachers Love Smart Boards

The Chipper Series & EDM310 For Dummies
Click Here to View the Chipper Series

Poor Chipper, when it rains it pours. These video clips were hilarious. I definitely get the idea; excuses and procrastination will get you nowhere fast. Had Chipper put as much energy into her work as she did avoiding work and searching for an easier route, she could have avoided several pitfalls. So much wasted time, only to end up where you started with increased debt. This should be a required viewing for future EDM 310 students. You certainly will not succeed in EDM 310 by being a procrastinator or failing to come to class as it is in the real world.

There is a lot of work to be done in EDM 310 and you are required to research information, but it feels rewarding to accomplish an assignment and complete a task that you didn’t know you were capable of doing. I’m still waiting on a copy of EDM 310 for Dummies. It would definitely be on the University of South Alabama’s bestseller list. I think if I absolutely had to do a video, I would like to do a video on technology’s classroom benefits or perhaps random assignment tutorials.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blog Post 4

Clipart of a RSS feed icon wearing headphones

The Education Podcast Network
The Education Podcast Network is a collaboration of ideas and opinions voiced by people from around the world. This is a great tool for teachers to utilize to gather lesson plan ideas and explore issues and concerns voiced by educators. The EPN can be described as the yellow pages for educators.

An educator may access subject specific podcasts based on their specific area of interest. I like the option of being able to subscribe to specific podcasts by establishing an RSS feed. Teachers are definitely without excuse when it comes to preparing 21st century lesson plans that are creative, innovative, and thoughtful.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
This video classified anyone born after the 1980’s as “Millenials.” These are students who have never experienced life without technology. They have always had access to the digital age to include: instant messaging, gaming, phones, and television. Podcasting allows students to move beyond the traditional classroom and encourages creativity and innovation. This site tells of the excellent benefits of podcasting in the classroom. A school principal states that podcasting can be an effective classroom tool when utilized appropriately by the students.

Podcasting is an opportunity for project based learning and it allows students the ability to use the higher order thinking skills of blooms taxonomy such as synthesis, analysis, and application. Parents can stay informed and know what’s going on in their child’s classroom by listening to actual audio clips of class work. A student who is ill and unable to attend school can listen to classroom lectures or study test materials that have been uploaded to a website by their teacher. The benefits of podcasting in the classroom are endless. This is definitely a tool I see using in the very near future of my personal life

Eagles Nest Radio & Class Blog
Very impressive! I truly enjoyed the Roamin with the Ancient Romans podcast conducted by the 3rd graders of Eagles Nest Radio. They used clever phrases such as “do as the Romans do” and “Caesar is not just a salad.” Their podcast was well written and the organization of the piece was easy to follow and informative. The narration of the children was animated and enjoyable. You can definitely appreciate the benefits of podcasting.

The students incorporated all of the traditional classroom subjects as well as the Arts into a 7 minute podcast. I would venture to say that they will never forget the information spoken about the Ancient Romans…I’m not sure that I knew that Cleopatra VII was Greek. I truly enjoyed the Audacity techniques used such as the fading in-and-out as well as the background music. This is definitely a piece of work that the students can revisit and one day share with their children.

Curriki is another site that expounds on the benefits of podcasting. There was a really cool virtual fieldtrip in which a student conducted an interview with author Dan Gutman. This podcast was produced entirely by a middle-school student. Information is available for K-12 instruction, including lesson plans.
This summer,

Curriki is now encouraging its visitors to post to the site by offering paid stipends to educators who post quality lesson plans in the areas of math, science, technology, and English. This is a great tool to have dynamic lesson plans posted in one location from around the globe while also allowing teachers who are less creative a library of resources!

A Look Into The World Of Podcasts
I definitely learned a lot about podcasting. Such as: podcast was first coined in 2004, by blending the words iPod and broadcast. A podcast is a radio-style talk show that you may also include music in your podcast. You can listen to podcasts on the computer an MP3 player, or downloaded from iTunes or a podcast website. Podcasting allows millions of people around the world the ability to share information using the internet. Podcasting is like a radio station that you are in total control of from producing to managing and hosting.

It is inexpensive to setup a podcast and you only need a microphone, computer, audio editing software (which can be downloaded for free), an RSS feed, and a website to upload the podcast to. Teachers may use podcasts to explore teaching ideas and gain insight into 21st century teaching techniques used by teachers around the globe. My favorite sites were definitely Eagle Nest Radio & The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom.

My Life As You'll Know It!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blog Post 3

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please? by Scott McLeod

Loved the satirical theme conveyed in Dr. McLeod's post. It was also interesting to learn that Dr. McLeod is the co-creator of Did You Know ? Dr. McLeod,is also one of the nation’s leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues. When we cannot comprehend something we desensitize it by calling it "stuff." I believe that no matter how much we "lock it down" children will still find a way to access technology. The key is to teach them to be responsible users of technology.

I personally do not believe that a child should have uncensored access to the worldwide web; especially if they have not proven themselves trustworthy. You do know that there is a such thing as T.M.I. (Too Much Information). It the right and the responsibility of the parents and teachers to protect the children even when the child's intentions are seemingly innocent. Children can be deceitful and naive. Teach students to create RSS feeds, setup PLN's, and insert hyperlinks, but NOT without adult supervision. It's a risk that I'm just not willing to take!

The iSchool Initiative

The student in this video suggests using an iPod Touch interface powered by Apple technology as the foundation for creating a 21st century iSchool. Students would receive an iPod Touch device with preloaded applications that is individually customizable. Such applications would eliminate the need for books, pencils, paper, copy machines etc. He believes that using iTouch applications such as: Classics, World Wiki, Notes, Recorder, and the Scientific Calculator will revolutionize the way schools operate. He also argues that the use of the iTouch interface will encourage teacher, parent, and student accountability. Approximate cost...$150.

This concept sounds good in theory, but it's not practical. How is student accountability completely possible; I don't believe that it is. How much would it cost to train the teachers and students on the functions of the interface? What happens if an iPod Touch is lost or stolen? Will the student be responsible for its replacement, and does he fall behind in his studies until he is able to secure the funds? Students from low-income families, what are their options? Let's begin with updating our classroom computers and computer labs with current software and even Mac Computers and iPads. Allow students to explore these features while at school, in a controlled environment. I have too many unanswered questions to endorse an iSchool.

The Lost Generation

Captivating, Brilliant, Powerful. I initially thought wow, this person is confused hopeless, and extremely depressed; apathetic...lethargic...not a generation I'd care to embrace. Do our children really think like this? Throughout my lifetime, I've witnessed the change in the work ethic of our young people. We live in a microwave age; we want what we want and we want it NOW. Today, many young people do not know what it feels like to work for something that they want. Divorce is on the rise and the importance of the family unit no longer exists.

Yes, there is hope if God is first and foremost. God is able to "reverse" and restore the years that have been lost. Remarkable message. A very clever and thought provoking technique. We can choose to see the glass as half-empty or as half-full it is just as simple as reversing the way that we think, speak, and live.

Eric Whitaker's Virtual Choir

AMAZING...Okay what will we think of next? A virtual choir of 185 people who have never met or performed together. In over 12 countries singing a song like 'Lux Aurumque.' What can you really say to this, but WOW? This would not have even been conceivable 20 years ago. If I wasn't convinced that technology is rapidly emerging, I would definitely be convinced now, pure brilliance.

First Google Presentation

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blog Post 2

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

The concept was good, but where are they getting these numbers? I think the point that the KSU students are trying to make is that college students spend many hours being lectured to when there is much more that can be done with today's technology.

I cannot agree with many of their statements concerning college life. I have never attended a class that had more than 40 students. I know we're in the South, but I could not imagine being in a class with over 100 students. Here at South, the professors make me feel as if they try to get to know my name; even if its only for a few months. I have also experienced technology being incorporated into most of my college courses.

I do believe that textbooks are over-rated. If I had purchased books at the campus bookstore last semester, I would have spent nearly $600. I only used 1 of the 5 books purchased or rented (online) the entire semester! If that's my only complaint, I think I'm doing pretty good...maybe the students of KSU should just transfer to South...problem solved!

Kelly Hines "It's Not About the Technology"

It is definitely not about the technology. A teacher can be given all of the technological tools in the world, but when a teacher ceases to learn, it is impossible to expect students to learn. Teachers must be willing to attend workshops and read educational magazines to stay current on creative and innovative ideas. It is the hunger for knowledge that enables one to become a better teacher and propels the students to desire this same knowledge.

In 2010 we cannot simply teach the textbook, and expect students to recite back what they've heard. We have students from all walks of life; different learning styles, different socioeconomic status etc. Yes, technology can enhance a student's learning experience, but its classroom presence is not "necessary" to produce intelligent, successful students. A student's success rests largely with the teacher. This is a huge responsibility. We are shaping tomorrow, and we cannot blame it on technology or the lack thereof. We need dedicated teachers willing to leave NO child behind.

Gary Hayes: Social Media Count

The exponential values are astonishing. I can only imagine what the values will read when I become an educator. This is definitely an indication that educators should enhance their curriculum to engage their students. Notice I did NOT say technology was necessary. However, I do regret to say that it would be a wise choice to incorporate some technology...I can't argue with numbers.

Times are definitely changing, and why shouldn't the style of our teaching? Educators can't be afraid to embrace technology. It's here and thriving and we might as well make the necessary adjustments. I believe that many of the social media advancements are being made in the presence of unsuspecting teachers who stand lecturing in the front of the classroom while students: Facebook, text, tweet, and upload new applications on their iPhone. If you can't beat them, you might as well join them.

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

Today it is socially acceptable to say "I know nothing about computers," and still feel a sense of security. However, when a technologically illiterate person is compared to someone who does not possess the ability to read or write,your mindset becomes illuminated to the vast possibilities that are being withheld and you realize that it is only a "false sense of security." 30 years ago, people who could not read or write could still function in society and obtain nice paying jobs. Today, it's drastically harder if not nearly impossible for that person to obtain a job that puts you in at least middle-class status.

I definitely agree with the statement that "technology is the underpinning of just about everything we do today." So why DO we fight technological literacy? As an educator of the 21st century,we owe it to our students to be competent users of technology. In only 2 weeks of this course, I have learned a great deal by delving into the world of technology, it's amazing.

I leave with you this quote by Karl Fisch:

If a teacher today is not technologically literate - and is unwilling to make the effort to learn more - it's equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn't know how to read and write.

Comments 4 Teachers (Part 1)

The teacher that I have had the pleasure of following over the last three weeks is Lee Kolbert from Boca Raton, Florida. She is truly transparent and honest about her experiences as a classroom teacher. To learn more about Lee, click the following link A Geeky Momma's Blog

My reflections are as follow:

June 10, 2010 - When Will We Stop Banning Everything?

In this post, Lee writes about the incessant need to ban things in schools today. Lee contends that we cannot continue to ban things in our schools without working with students to modify the behavior that we have identified as being inappropriate. She argues that we should teach them how to properly use such things as silly bandz. "Teach them what's expected and enforce that." Therefore setting boundaries and expectations and holding students accountable.

June 17, 2010 - What's Your Teen Saying?

Lee shares a way to decode the secret language of teens with the use of an iPhone/iTouch App called "LRN the Lingo." I inquired about similar programs for those who do not own either of these Apple devices and she suggested using urbandictionary.com. By using these tools, one can decode text messages and stay current on what's happening with their teen without seeming overbearing.

June 26, 2010 - Where Do I Fit In?

In this post Lee talks about where she fits in as a classroom teacher. She is very transparent and leaves a lot for the reader to ponder. Lee writes about the obstacles that she faces not only with the students, but also the parents and faculty. Lee is working to integrate technology into the classroom, but not without difficulty.

Some students lack access to a home PC or do not have the software necessary to complete homework projects, many parents do not want to risk the potential of their child talking to an "online predator" so refuse computer access. Even after all of this, she then has to argue the benefits of technology with other teachers. This post definitely gives you the opportunity to evaluate your motives for wanting to become a teacher. Lee has a passion for teaching and allows this passion to propel her as she touches the lives of her students.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Blog Post 1

Did You Know?
America is on autopilot to self destruct. The United States has adopted this “Information Age” which has done nothing more than merely handicap us. Technology is rapidly evolving so much so that it is impossible for us to stay ahead of the vast developments. The more technological advances made, the more we crave. We have become a society in which the use of the best God given tool we have, our brain, is nearly obsolete.
We no longer engage in intellectual conversations with each other; we text - oftentimes in the same room. Our children no longer take advantage of outdoor play, they choose online gaming. We must have the smartest phones, the latest computer applications, cars that parallel park for us, but are we merely dumbing ourselves down? What did we really do before technology? Are we trying to “keep up” only to be left behind? People it seems as if we are being outsmarted with our own invention.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle Wakes was an interesting satire that depicts how technology has revolutionized the world around us while the hierarchy of our school system seems to be stuck in a time warp. Technological advancements have transcended well beyond the opportunities our forefathers were afforded to include advancements in medicine, business, and connecting a once fragmented world.

However, when Mr. Winkle entered the school there was no progress, no growth, and no readily visible advancements. The setup of the classroom as well as the style of teaching was as it was 100 years ago. The power to excel was within reach; i.e. the unused computer, yet the opportunity was ignored. I believe this is because many teachers fear the unknown and subscribe to the mentality “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I say, you’ll never discover how high you can soar until you leave the safety of the nest. It is incumbent upon the educator to use all available resources; to engage the minds of their students and equip them for the ever-evolving world they will face.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
How can I change the way the world views the arts – start with myself. This video shows that many of our students are enrolled in a flawed educational system in which they are made to adopt societal roles that teach success is gained by having a career in the sciences, where the hierarchy of this system promotes and strongly encourages the mathematical learner. Rather than honing a person whose natural tendency is directed toward the arts, students are diagnosed as having behavioral disorders and given medicine to stifle their creativity. Their gifts – art, dance, music, and poetry are often viewed as distractions and hindrances to a more meaningful life’s work.

Are we really responsible for “squandering” the creativity of our children? Educators must introduce and incorporate different styles of learning, to include the arts, in the classroom, no child left behind. We medicate children who fidget and move about the classroom more than we think they should, but what would have happened to Gillian Lynne had medication been an option for her. Would Cats or The Phantom of the Opera exist today? Who would Gillian Lynne be?

I pondered the thought, how many of our children currently classified as ADHD would be considered the Gillian Lynne's of today? How many of our students have to move in order to think...that was a powerful statement. Where will these children be 10 years from now? We must foster a collaborative relationship amongst parents and teachers. I commit to exhausting all efforts to prevent squandering the the creativity of the future.

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis equips her students for success within a safe learning environment. She causes them to learn and is not afraid to explore the unknown with them. She steps into her students' world of technology and equips them with the vast opportunities available beyond paper and pencil projects. She believes in her students and causes them to believe in themselves by building a community of learners who take ownership in their work.

Vicki calls herself a "teacher-preneur." She empowers her students to become a network of teachers while connecting the students to the entire world. She teaches her students how to learn. Vicki states that she wants her students to feel comfortable with any technology and encourages them to explore terms used and technology implemented in the classroom thus teaching "digital citizenship." She made the statement that she does not have to know everything before she is able to teach it; that's powerful.What a sense of pride she establishes in her students when they are able to explore and learn collaboratively. Kudos to Vicki Davis!

Thursday, June 3, 2010