Sunday, October 31, 2010

Additional Assignment #3

I think that Mr. Ken Robinson said many important things, but I really think what he said about divergent thinking was one of the most important.  We are educating our students to think more and more in a conformed and confined way.  This is wrong.  I didn't really disagree with anything in the presentation.  I thought he made some great points.  I think we are still being taught to teach kids so that they might benefit the economy.  We are instilling in them a knowledge of technology and preparing them for jobs that aren't created yet but will need to be filled.  However, the education classes I have taken have told me to get children to really think and expand their opinions and knowledge of information.  As a teacher, I can encourage my kids to work together and to learn how to solve problems on their own.  I can teach them to imagine, create, and use their minds to their full potential.  Overall, I really enjoyed the presentation and the message that was sent.  If I were told to do a presentation like this, I would love to be the narrator, the author, or the designer.

Blog Assignment #10

To All Educators

I agree with most everything that Morgan has to say about education.  Education has become monotonous and monotone.  Students are told to go home, read a chapter, and maybe answer questions on it.  They return to class and usually have to sit through a boring lecture in which the instructor repeats almost everything they have already read in the book.  They take a test on the material and move on.  Do you think that these students will truly remember what they "learned?"  I would say that there isn't a chance.

Students need to apply what they are learning to their life.  That is the best way to learn.  They need to get into the material with other students and discuss, argue, and debate over it.  Students need to have a voice, and they need to be able to voice their opinions.  We, as teachers, are in charge of facilitating these types of discussions.  Kids are much more bound to get excited about something they can speak and share about.  This is what a classroom setting should look like.

Technology can be a very useful type of tool in this kind of learning.  Kids are much more likely to use tools from PLNs like Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, etc... to work together.  I have said it before, and I will say it again.  Technology is the best way to get kids excited and interested in learning.  It's time to teach kids to learn actively, not passively.  What better way to get them involved than using the gadgets they know and love?

What is Your Sentence?

This video really made me think about my career and more importantly, my life.  What do I want people to remember me as?  In my life, I strive to help others and show them love and encouragement.  I want this to be a part of my career as a teacher because I think this mindset can lead to some great things.  If I truly work to do this, then everything else will fall into place.  Through love, kindness, and patience, I hope to teach every child that they can learn and that they can love learning.

My sentence (for now) will be:  "She listened so that they might listen, she encouraged so that they might encourage, she helped so that they might help, and she loved so that they might love."


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Skype Interview Recorded Project #12

Blog Assignment #9

Teacher's Desk

Teacher's First Lessons

In Mr. McClung's blog post, he tells about his first year of teaching and what he learned from it.  He admits that he made some mistakes, but he also learned a great deal about teaching from them.  He mentions in his blog that it is important to keep the focus on the student always because they are the reason we are there.  I hope that this will always be my focus.  He also mentions how important it is to be open-minded and to communicate with other teachers.  When a lesson that we might have planned differently goes wrong, we are quick to react negatively.  We should learn to roll with the punches.  Mr. McClung mentions the point of making sure our expectations for students are not too high.  It's important that we push the kids to do their best as long as we accept whatever their best may be.  He says that we should embrace technology and always listen to our students.  In this class, I am especially learning how important and useful technology can be.  Finally, he charges us as teachers to never stop learning.  I strongly agree with this.  How can we inspire others to learn if we are not inspired to learn?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Project #9b

Project #11

Blog Assignment #8

Kids Using a Smartboard
This Is Becoming How We Dream

After watching Richard Miller's, "This Is How We Dream Part 1 and 2,"  I have several things to say.  I think he did a good job getting his point across about how we are changing technologically.  He made the point that times are changing and so should how we teach.  We need to be encouraging students to use technology, more specifically computers, to accomplish whatever they need to accomplish.  There are so many benefits to using computers.  They give you the ability to create with tools you might not have had before.  With increasing technology, the possibilities are literally endless.

As a teacher that will undoubtedly use technology to teach her students, I am prepared to write with multimedia.  I will make sure to learn all the necessary things that I need to learn in order to teach my students how to use the tools they need to to accomplish whatever task is on their plate.  It is my responsibility to do so.  In today's time, not giving them these tools is depriving them of a fair chance at an education and ultimately at a job opportunity.  Who am I to decide their future for them?

If I, as a teacher and mentor, am successful in teaching my kids how to use the technology they are required to learn, then they will be able to write with multimedia.  They will be successful in researching, creating, and even publishing their work.  So, in other words, if I am successful in teaching them how to write with multimedia, they will be successful in doing so.  This video was just another example of how big an impact technology is making on the education of our children.  It also shows how important a role I have as a teacher in teaching them how to use it.


I really enjoyed watching the videos for EDM 310.  I think that instructional videos are very helpful and can be really fun to make.  As a budding teacher, I am very interested in making videos that are informative and using technology to get my point across.  I also think it would be cool to have a video podcast diary.  It could be a great way to keep track of my first year of teaching.  That way, I can go back and try new things when I review the mistakes that I made in the past.  Videos are a great way to inform in a fun way.

Benefits of Smartboards  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Additional Assignment #2

1.  I thought that this video was very interesting and showed how intelligent kids can be.  I also thought it had a lot to say about working together as a team.  I think if anyone is motivated enough, they can teach themselves because they have the drive to do it.
2.  I think that kids might have the advantage in this arena.  They possess a natural curiosity, so they are more likely to teach themselves if motivated. 
3.  I think kids are more likely to teach themselves if they are in a group setting.  They know they must work together to solve the problem, and natural leaders and teachers will rise.  Kids must also be given adequate tools to learn with.  I also think that in anyone's case, they are more likely to teach themselves something that interests them or something that they can be rewarded for learning.
4.  Computers and internet access give children or anyone, for that matter, the freedom to explore what they are trying to learn.  In a way, it gives them infinite possibilities.  It makes things easier to find and research.
5.  Motivation makes the learning process rewarding.  
6.  Sometimes it makes the search easier when you have something you are trying to solve or answer.  You have a goal you are trying to reach instead of trying to find something blindly.
7.  You tell them all the good that it can do for them along the way and at the end.  
8.  I am motivated to learn by knowing that I will be the one motivating others to learn.
9.  I think it is harder to teach someone who is not motivated to learn.  I think teaching them will be a matter of motivating them.
10.  Yes.  I usually teach myself when others don't teach me, and I am forced to.  I also teach myself when I am very eager to learn how to do something for myself.  Sometimes I have to teach myself to achieve my desired outcome.
11.  They are the motivators.  They are the encouragement and sometimes inspiration.  They are the tour guides and sidekicks.  They are there to help you help yourself.
12.  After watching this video, I fell in love with the curiosity and desire of the children to learn.  They had the motivation to learn anything and everything, and I want to instill in my students that same desire.
13.  I think teachers should consider allowing students to work on their own in group settings more often.  I think the video showed how this can be more fun for students and make the learning process much more desirable.  Computers and the internet can be vital tools in this setting.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

1st Progress Report on PLN Project Report #10

I am learning more and more how helpful it is to have a PLN!  It is a great way to organize everything you need to for anything from your schoolwork to your personal life.  Right now, I have a PLN with Symbaloo.  I only have a small number of links at the moment, but I plan on growing my PLN with time.  Some of the links that I have are Facebook, Gmail, Pandora, Youtube, the Encyclopedia, the weather, Flickr, Twitter, and many more interesting applications and resources.  I can't wait to see how my PLN grows and how it affects my education.  Hopefully, I will learn enough to teach my students how to create and effectively use their own.

Project #9a

Summary C4T #2

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been following Michael Kaechele's teaching blog.  In the first post I read, he mentioned the idea of online reading instead of just reading from books.  He allows his students to read for a certain amount of time online, if they wish.  I commented that this is a good way to get kids searching for information on the internet.  It can be a helpful resource for educational information as well as for entertainment.  The second post I read was about an online lottery source that he found.  He thought it would be useful in teaching probability.  I agreed with him.  I think it is another way to get kids online and actively involved in the learning process.  Overall, I have enjoyed reading his blog and am sorry that I didn't get to have him as my teacher!

Blog Assignment #7

Brick Wall

Teaching Kids to Follow Their Dreams

After watching the last lecture of Randy Pausch, I have learned many things.  I respect him very much for some of the principles that he has learned as an educator.  The lecture centered around achieving childhood dreams.  In his lecture, Pausch taught us that it is never impossible to achieve a childhood dream or at least get close to it.  By achieving his own, he learned how to inspire his students to go after their own personal childhood dreams.  

Randy Pausch had many inspiring figures and leaders to guide him along the way.  Without some of those helpful words, he would not have gotten as far as he did.  This goes to show how influential you can be to someone you are mentoring.  It should inspire us a teachers to always be encouraging, always be ready to help with a happy attitude, and just be there whenever a student needs a helping hand or a kind word.  I also learned from Pausch's teaching experience with his CMU students that we should always push our kids harder.  That is how they grow.  We must accept their best, and then, we should ask them for even more. 

In his lecture, Pausch continuously brought up the idea of the brick wall.  How much we want something is determined by how we struggle over it.  This concept of perseverance, desire, and endurance should be instilled in our students by us early on in their endeavors in education.  If they learn that sometimes hard work is required to achieve something we want most, they will be all the more willing to do the work necessary, rather than to be lazy.  Over the course of their education, the students will encounter brick walls in their learning.  They must get in the habit of climbing over them if they want to achieve their dreams.

I have also learned the importance of having goals in Randy Pausch's last lecture.  As teachers, we need to inspire our kids to dream big.  Instead of teaching them at their ability, we should teach them beyond.  By saying this, I mean that we should instill in them the idea that it is possible to accomplish something that may seem out of my reach.  It is possible for me to climb that tallest and most sturdy brick wall.  I should have enough confidence in my ability to know that I am capable.  Imagine how different the world would be if every child was taught this way.  

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Summary C4K #1 and 2

During the last couple of weeks, I have been commenting on a young girl's blog concerning some of her posts.  One of her posts was her "Manifesto."  On this she made several goals for herself and what she planned on achieving during the school year.  She mentioned how she would make sure she got enough sleep and ate a good breakfast.  I told her that it was a great idea to make a list of goals and that I thought she had many good ones.  I agreed with her in the importance of a good night's rest and a full tummy so that she wouldn't be distracted.  She also gave a short biography about her life.  She mentioned that she played volleyball, and I told her that I did when I was younger as well.  I then gave a short summary of my life in response to hers.  Overall, I think that she is doing well in keeping up with her blog.

Blog Assignment #6

Youtube Logo
The Networked Teacher

After watching the video, "The Networked Student" by Wendy Drexler, I have a few things to say.  The video gives an example of a student who is taking an online class.  The student is directed by the teacher to use many web tools and various applications for the advancement of his learning experience in the virtual classroom.  He creates a PLN to keep track of all that he does.  He uses applications like Google Scholar, Skype, and even his MP3 player to learn more.  However, the video does raise the question of whether a teacher is needed or not.

I think a teacher is very much needed.  A teacher of a virtual class like this is needed to be a sort of tour guide for the student.  He/she needs to be there to introduce the student to new ways of finding information, give direction on how to go about finding it, and answer any questions that might arise during the student's endeavor.  The teacher must be technologically savvy.  They also must be actively involved in the student's blog and any other record of findings the student might have created.

Having been in this class for almost half a semester, I am realizing how important technology is for a teacher.  I am learning that just because a teacher might be a part of an online classroom doesn't mean they are not involved in the learning process.  In a way, they are furthering the learning process more than other teachers.  They are teaching the student the subject as well as teaching them to use technology in new and creative ways throughout their educations.  Teachers at the head of online classes are very much involved with their students.

Using a PLE

I was very impressed with the 7th graders personal learning environment.  It seems that using technology to organize and assist in the learning process has had a positive effect on her as a student.  It gives the students a chance to have more freedom and deal with the responsibility that comes with that.  I love the fact that the student's PLE allows them to organize and keep track everything that they have read or used in each class.  This gives the student the ability to easily access any information they need to.  The only thing that I would say is for the student to be cautious with mixing his/her personal life with their school life.  It is very easy to get distracted!

Amusing Ourselves For the Better or Worse?

I really enjoyed Michael Wesch's video about Youtube and authenticity.  Technology is transforming the way we think, act, and the way we talk.  I know that it has been the subject of many of my friends and my conversation.  Throughout my education, technology has come increasingly into the forefront.  This class has especially opened my eyes to how much the world is being changed by technology and how it is breeding a new human being.  I think, as a teacher, technology should not be allowed to dominate.  It should be used as a tool to help facilitate conversation, to be a source of knowledge and information, and to make accessing that information easier.  It should be about the knowledge obtained, not how we get to it.