Friday, May 3, 2013

C4K Summary for April

Dylan G's Blog: The Snowy Fight

dylan's blog

In Dylan's post he talked about a snow ball fight he had with his brother and sister. He is very descriptive of this great time he had! He said that they sabotaged his base, and then he did the same to them but he helped them rebuild it because he is nice. I told Dylan that this was a great post, and it sounded like he had an awesome time! I also told him that it was very nice of him to help them re-build. At the end I asked Dylan about how he built his base.

Mitchell C's Blog

mitchell's blog

In this post Mitchell introduces himself to the blogging world. He explains that this is his new blog, and he is very excited! He shares a few of his interest and asked his readers if they had anything in common and about their interest. I responded by telling Mitchell by welcoming him to the blogging world. I told him that this year is also my first experience with using a blog. He did a great job! I asked Mitchell what does he enjoy most about his new blog.

Blog Post #15 Final Reflection

After re-reading my first post, I feel like I was on definitely on the right path. I knew then that I wanted my students to be hands on learners but I did not know how quite yet. I also said I want to incorporate the smart board in my classroom (which I still do), but through EDM 310 I have found so many other options to incorporate in the classroom. I still think it is important to display student's hard work, and feel like art is a great way to get students involved in the lesson.

My BIGGEST change to that post would obviously be a class blog. That is number one on my agenda as a new teacher. It is an amazing way to communicate with your students and even parents if needed. I feel like blogs make even the act of reading new assignments fun! As a young student I would have loved to write a blog post versus writing a short essay on paper. I also feel now that I would be more open to teach as high as third grade. This decision definitely comes from our group experience of making project-based learning lesson plans for a third grade classroom. It is so exciting for me to see how enthusiastic these young students are about learning. I can not wait to have my own classroom!

Final Reflection:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Final Report on PLN

my final PLN

I am still using Symabloo for my PLN. I use it all of the time! I have added many of the educational blogs I read, more educational resources, and other websites for my personal use! It is amazing to have all of these stored in one place, and they are so easy to find. I am still adding to my PLN. I love color coding the tiles to organize them!

Project #15

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

C4T #4

It's Just Life Itself

student's working togetherIn this post Teacher Tom talks about John Dewey and how when you are talking about "hands-on education" you are quoting Dewey. "The teacher is not in the school to impose certain ideas or to form certain habits in the child, but is there as a member of the community to select the influences which shall affect the child and to assist him in properly responding to these influences. ~John Dewey" Tom also talks about a typical "hands-on" day at the Woodland Park Cooperative Preschool where he teaches. Students walk in with their parents and show them what they have learned at certain stations in the classroom. Tom was asked if he finds it difficult to have some parents come to school to help students when they haven't been trained. Tom's response was wonderful! First he said no, and then explained his reasoning. He said that you can see the personality of each of these parents when they help the students, and how everyone is so different. They don't need training, because they let the students be themselves and they even have their own imagination. He suggested that sometimes we may even need "un-training".

My comment:

Thank you for such a great post! I am currently in school for elementary education, and I hope to teach K-5, or first grade. While reading your post, the part about "un-training" really caught my eye. I believe it is so important for children to be creative, be different, and be who they want to be. I feel that I have been trained/taught to color inside the lines, and I was almost scared to be different. Through the education program I have realized how important it is for children to be their own person. It took some "un-training" for me to show my creative side. Thank you for the information on Mr. Dewey also!

The Skills Most Necessary For The Life To Come


In this post Teacher Tom takes us through a small trip down memory lane. He takes a trip to visit his old elementary school, and tells us all about his time there. Everything he talks about involves his friends, the
people he met, and the fun they shared. None of his memories involved the education and what he learned in school. In the end he explains how important those friendships were for necessary life skills.

My comment:

This post had me take a small trip down memory lane myself! Years of school brought me the best friends I could have ever imagined. Through these friends and learning to make new ones has opened many great opportunities in my life. These skills are extremely important! Especially in college when "networking" becomes an important topic.

Blog Post #14

Teacher Knows if You've Done the E-Reading
courseSmart logo

This article explains a new technology, CourseSmart, that is being tested now at Texas A&M. It allows teachers to know if students have even opened the text book, read the text book, and even highlighted the text. CourseSmart allows teachers to track each student through digital textbooks. This article presents many pros and cons for the teachers and the students. A teacher could have a student who is doing well on quizzes, but their "engagement index" is low. This could mean that the student had not even opened their book. The question for the teacher is "what does that say about the student?" Should a teacher talk to that student about their study habits? Is the text book not helpful? Is the course too easy? As for the students they are not actually able to see their engagement index, but they know they are being watched!

As a teacher I feel like I would ask myself the same questions presented in the article. The biggest question would be, "how exactly should I interpret this information?" What should I do with this information? I do like that as a teacher I can see if my student actually did the reading. Some students complete the reading but have terrible test anxiety. In younger students this may be a way to identify this test anxiety at an early age. It also may be a way to provide participation points if students read, and will cut out reading quizzes in class. As a teacher I think it has its pros and cons, but can at least be used as a reference.

As a student my first thought is, "how could someone get around this technology?" I feel like I would read the text regardless, because it is supposed to help me, but I know there are students who will try to get around reading the text but make it look like they have. This was even one of the cons listed in the article. You can't say it hasn't even crossed your mind. Wouldn't students be able to just leave the screen up, and perform other tasks? This allows the computer to be "tricked" into thinking you are actually completing the readings. Then you would ask, "well what if I asked them to highlight key points?" Students are going to find a way around it! Believe me, I know people that will go through the trouble to fake their readings, so they do not have to take ten minutes of their time to actually complete the reading. Then my next question would be about the teacher. I would wonder how much the teacher is going to rely on this information. Would I really have to change my study habits to accommodate this new technology? I really do like that this may allow more class time for students who actually read, and pay attention to continue with the lesson and class.

My questions for a teacher currently testing this technology:

1. How beneficial do you think this product will be in your classroom?
2. How will you hold students accountable? Or will you? Will there be a grade for reading?
3. What will you do to ensure students are not cheating their readings? Is it possible?
4. What would you say to a student who is performing well on test/quizzes but according to their engagement index they are not completing the readings?

My questions for a student currently testing this technology:

1. Do you actually physically complete you readings?
2. Since using this technology in the classroom do you find that you are more susceptible to completing the readings versus before when the technology was not being used to check?
3. Do you feel that your grades have improved due to the fact that you know you are being "watched"?
4. Do you feel that this technology is effective in the classroom?

My comment on this article:

I feel that my opinion is on the fence right now. I am curious to see the results of this experiment with this technology. I think that maybe it might be more useful in younger classrooms to identify comprehension problems, and test anxiety. In a college setting...maybe not so much. I feel it would eventually lead to a good bit of people trying to "cheat the system" to get participation points, or what ever may be at stake. Also in many of my college classrooms we "refer" to the text book, or use it to complete homework. That is why I feel that e-books should be an option in almost every classroom, especially due to the cheaper cost! That is a completely different topic, but I do not know how effective it would be to "watch" college students to see if they are reading. College students are there because they want to be, do they need something to actually watch them and make sure they are completing their readings?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog Post #13

Back to the Future

In the beginning of this video it is shocking to see how little Mr. Brian Crosby's fourth graders know about what state they live in, what country, their telephone number etc. It is SO EXCITING to see how engaged these students become in this hands-on real world experience! The survey in the beginning showed that most of his students did not even know what country they live in. Through this video we see how eager these students are to learn, and how much they learn! These students are now much more advanced than most fourth graders I have seen. These students participated in active learning and the results are amazing. It provides educators with a tremendous amount of hope for active learning to succeed in ALL schools.

Blended Learning Cycle

In this video Paul Anderson provides an amazing display of blended learning. He explains this teaching style as taking the three components of mobile, online, and classroom and blending them together. He also uses the learning cycle which is engage, explain, explore, expand, and evaluate. He then blends these two things together,and he provides us with his learning cycle. He explains that you should "hook" the students, for example with some phenomena, and then ask a question about it. That leads to them investigating and inquiring. Next he uses video for instruction. I think that is a great idea, because as he suggested it frees the
pass ideas of a future classroom
teacher to help those who may need it or prepare for something else. Next is elaboration and review. Students are not able to move on the the last phase, summary quiz, until Mr. Anderson is sure that they have grasped this concept. Summary quiz is just a test of what they have learned. This is an amazing learning cycle for teachers to utilize in the classroom. Students are still being tested on what they have learned, but not before they truly understand the lesson. In class Mr. Anderson is going around and talking to students and asking questions about the lesson. Students answer in their own words, and if they do not understand they can repeat the cycle. This provides wonderful feedback for the teacher AND the student. The student has the opportunity to share what they have or have not learned before being tested, and the teacher is able to see how well the students are understanding the lesson.

Progress Report on Final Project (Anthony Group)

For my group's final project we are going to reflect on the pros and cons of the project we participated in with Anthony Capps. I have already started a list of ideas that I feel could make this experience even better. I hope more students will be able to participate next semester, because it has shown us what really goes on "behind the scenes" as a teacher. Hopefully we can also show other students how beneficial this experience can be for your future career as an educator.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blog Post #12

For this blog post I am going to create my own assignment that I feel would be helpful to future EDM 310 students. So far there have been so many helpful resources, projects, blog post assignments, and more. I wanted to choose something we have not covered that I felt like would be beneficial for future elementary teachers (like me), as well as future middle and high school teachers. I was extremely blessed this semester to work with a great group of classmates to help a teacher create lesson plans for an actual classroom incorporating project based learning. We soon realized we had no idea how to make a REAL lesson plan. None of us had ever made lesson plans that weren't for a pretend classroom. We had to consider every minute of class time available. Our biggest question was "where to start??" That is where padlet came to the rescue! Our unit was a weather unit, so we decided to ask the question "what is weather?" as our introduction. So where, and how would the students answer this question? Mr. Anthony Capps recommended PADLET! So for your blog post assignment I want you to:

1. Pretend you have a classroom in your field (elementary, middle, etc.). Pick a subject and topic for your lesson for the day. EX:(Science/Weather). I want you to incorporate Padlet in to your lesson somehow. For example: "My subject and topic is science/weather, we are going to use Padlet to answer our bell-ringer, "What is Weather?" at the beginning of class. Students will have 15 mins to complete".

2. Explain what Padlet is and how you can use it in your future classroom.

3. Create an account (it's free), and create a wall. Choose any topic you wish for your "pretend" classroom. Play around with the effects on your wall. How will your comments be displayed? Will you change your background? Will it be totally private, open, or require a password? You will need to let your students know how to access your Padlet. Embed your wall in to your blog.

4. I want you to find your own resource/website. Find something that will help you with ideas or lesson plans for the classroom. It can be a blog, an educational website,or a tool such as Padlet. Tell us about your resource and post your link on my Padlet wall titled: Lesson Plan Ideas!

My post: Padlet is an online pin-board used to collect different ideas on a certain topic. It works like an online sheet of paper where you can add any content (images/videos/text). I feel I could use this in my future classroom with bell-ringers at the beginning of class, or even use it as a class to-do list. I could even use it to share ideas with other teachers. The possibilities are endless! I chose to use EDM 310 as my classroom. We will use this wall to share educational resources and websites that could help us in the future. Here is my Padlet wall:

The website I chose to pin was Discovery Education. It provides wonderful ideas for hands-on lesson plans for all grade levels!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blog Post #11

Little Kids...Big Potential

alphabet wiki
Little Kids...Big Potential is an outstanding display of first graders blogging, making videos, wikis, and using all sorts of technology in Ms. Cassidy's class. The kids even used a Nintendo DS in the classroom to help with sharing and vocabulary. I have never thought about using a Nintendo in the classroom! These first graders were beyond excited about writing on their blogs and wikis. They were even more excited about the comments they have received! It is exciting to be a future elementary teacher and see that these first graders are so advanced in technology. I would love to use some of these techniques in the classroom. It will definitely be a challenge for me to implement these changes in a new classroom, but I am ready for the challenge. Ms. Cassidy started using technology in the classroom almost ten years ago. Technology was not something that was commonly used in the classroom then, but yet she found a way to make it work. Now there are so many resources available to use in the classroom it is hard to find which ones to not use! This video shows me that I will be able to use technology in my elementary classroom, and that there are so many options for me to use.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

C4K Summary for March

Amber A's Blog

In Amber's post she wrote about blogging in the classroom and what you would gain from blogging with students outside of the school. Amber felt like she is able to talk to people she may not have ever come in to contact with otherwise. She also said that students can find out how each other feel about the same topic in other places. I told Amber that I follow teachers and student's blogs all around the world whom I have never met! I think it is very exciting. I asked her what has she learned from blogging with other students outside of the classroom.

Sloan's Blog
Steelers (Excerpt)

In Sloan's post she wrote about the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sloan is very passionate about her team, and it was evident that she did her research! I told her it is wonderful that she is so passionate about something. Her post was very enjoyable, and I learned a good bit about the Steelers. I had no idea their original name was the Pirates. She did such a great job. Her post was well organized and full of facts. I even shared an experience I had with the Steelers when I met their head coach.

Anna's Blog
Religion Bible poster Mark 9:35

In Anna's post she was to choose a Bible verse and had to create a poster to go along with it. Anna chose Mark 9:35. She shared how the verse pertained to her, and I was impressed. She explained that she wanted to serve God by becoming a missionary, and that the verse may not meant the same to everyone else. She said that her poster shows what she sees when she reads the verse. I told her that I enjoyed her interpretation, and that a mission trip is a great example of this. I told her that the poster was very creative. It was an amazing post!


Live the Conversation

By: Becky Goerend

In this post Mrs. Goerend writes about her class's behavioral issues. Her class was having trouble putting learning before socialization. She was looking for a way that the students would be held responsible for each other, therefore the "nagging teacher" could be eliminated. She explains that she will be experimenting with a new method and will report back.

My comment:

I am a college student at the University of South Alabama in elementary education. Thank you so much for this post! I can not wait to read about the results from your experiment. I have so many resources, blogs, and websites bookmarked to help me with my future in teaching, but advice like this will be most valuable in my first few years. I can remember how difficult it was to concentrate as a younger student when half of the class was socializing. Eventually the entire class was socializing during lecture and no one could concentrate. I am very excited to read your follow-up post! Thanks again!!

Turning it over to them - Success in the making!
By: Becky Goerend

This post reveals her first results! She decided to have the class create a rubric that would assess their behavior as a whole. She picks two students to score the class for the day, and they will discuss their thoughts with each other after each subject. Mrs. Goerend shares her rubric in her post.

My comment:

This sounds like a great way to get the students more involved in the classroom! I feel that the students who are being assessed will be more focused on the lesson and participating in class. This will definitely make them more aware of their actions. My only question would be about the students who are assessing the classroom. Is it possible they will be more focused on the classroom behavior than the lesson being taught?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Project #14

Blog Post #10

I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga.
Mock of pc versus mac

After viewing Mr. Spencer's comic I had to read the comments to fully understand its humor. At first I thought the comic just referred to many of life's situations where we take the cheaper, faster route which eventually fails. After reading the comments I realized I was not too far from the actual meaning. In this comic Mr. Spencer is mocking the Mac vs. PC commercials. Macs cost more, but tend to have less problems, headache, and last longer (Ticonderoga). The PC (Papermate) seems to be the more economical purchase but may not be in the long run.

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?

In Mr. Steven's post he shares the details of one of his trips to the principals office. He describes how the principal accused him of playing games in the classroom. Mr. Stevens tried to explain that the game they were playing was educational, and helpful to the students. He then explained that the "game" was actually an advanced simulation where the students made a mock factory. The principal still said no. Then Mr. Stevens also pointed out that soldiers and surgeons uses games and simulations as part of their education. The principal told Mr. Stevens this is not a hospital or war. Mr. Stevens then renamed his game to reflect a writing project, but it would actually be the factory game. Sometimes "game" may not be the best word choice for certain principals and administrators! We tend to associate game with tic-tac-toe or a board game, as Mr. Stevens pointed out. That is not what he was using in the classroom. Is practicing real life scenario considered playing a game? Is that wrong? I feel like these "games" are where students obtain the most knowledge for life and their future career. Simulation is used in drivers ed. classrooms to practice driving scenarios all of the time. I don't see how our future career would be any different.

Remember Pencil Quests?

In this post Mr. Stevens describes his "pencil quests" adventures that were so exciting to him as a student. They had a map of websites and a list of questions for each site. As he looks back he realizes how far we have come with technology. Something that seemed so exciting and new to him may not even be used in future classrooms. I can definitely relate to this post. I remember as a young student going to the computer lab on the old apple computers to play Oregon Trail, or in high school having internet worksheets. My students will probably never play Oregon Trail, or get excited about internet worksheets once a month. As a teacher I will be a part of all of these phases, and I can not wait.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

I was a little confused at first while reading Mr. McLeod's post but it all made sense in the last few lines! Mr. Scott McLeod is "widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues." He currently serves as the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8. He also co-created the country’s first graduate program designed to prepare technology-savvy school leaders. In his post he asks teachers, parents, and everyone involved in the school systems to not use technology in the classroom. He asks why we would ever need these things. He pleads us to not use blogs, PLNs, twitter. Most definitely do not allow cell phones. Don't use technology in the classroom, because he IS. He wants to prove his point that technology in the classroom helps tremendously. We will see in the long run who is more prepared, and it will be the teachers who took advantage of these resources. I completely agree with Mr. McLeod. I would love to be the one who proves to some of these stubborn people how valuable technology can be in the classroom. They would soon realize that he is the better educator, and his students are far more prepared. So my advice for teachers is DO. Do utilize these resources, and don't be the teacher who rejects change. For more information on Mr. McLeod visit his About Me page.

Project #11

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blog Post #9

Mr. McClung's What I Learned This Year- Volume 4

student deskFor four years now Mr. McClung has written an end of the year reflective blog post. In What I Learned This Year-Volume 4 he describes his fourth year of teaching and the challenges he had to overcome. Mr. McClung felt that he was becoming too concerned with his peers opinion of himself. He soon realized that he should only worry about his students. They are the ones he needs to take care of. I feel that every new teacher will struggle with this at some point. I can't believe Mr. McClung is just now struggling with this in his fourth year. I feel it is very difficult especially as a student teacher to get in front of the class to present a lesson and focus solely on the students and not the adults who are judging you. We are here for the kids, and we're doing them an injustice if they do not have our full attention. I read blog post sometimes and think to myself "this advice is going to be crucial for my future teaching career." Well this is one of those post! My purpose in life is to be the best educator I can be. I need to stay true to myself and my beliefs. Sure it will be difficult teaching in front of other educators, but I will be focused on the students, and that is where my attention should be.

In the second part of his post he writes about challenging yourself. Mr. McClung was teaching the same subject with same lesson plans and it was starting to become a routine. He was becoming comfortable with just continuing to re-use the same lesson plans. He was offered to teach a more challenging subject and gladly accepted! As an educator I know I will sometimes have to take the road less traveled. How will I continue to learn if I don't?

What I've Learned This Year 2009

This was Mr. McClung's first "What I've Learned" blog post that he wrote following his first year of teaching. After reading this post the first thing that stood out was the section about being flexible. He explains that lessons are never perfect, and that they will rarely, if ever, turn out the way we originally planned. He also talks about communicating, and being reasonable. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we are teaching children. Lastly but not least he tells us to not be afraid of technology and to continue learning. I agree with Mr. McClung's views and plan to embrace the changes I may be presented with in life and my career.

Project #12 Book Trailer

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blog Post #8

Richard Miller: This is How We Dream

In Dr. Miller's videos he talks about the change in writing and communication that has happened through the use of technology. This blog post is an example of how different writing is now versus 20 years ago when an assignment would have been submitted on pen and paper. In his video he explains how his dream for his career revolved around books. He eventually wrote his own academic book, and it is now out of print. Since writing that book his way of doing research has changed drastically.

computer in space

Dr. Miller's work tools changed from books, pen, and paper to just his laptop. This change has happened for almost everyone. Researching and writing can be done from almost anywhere. I can use my tablet, laptop and even phone. Virtual books are becoming more common also, and can be taken everywhere with you. They do not have to stay in a classroom or library. I think these changes are absolutely amazing. In the past I would have to drive to different libraries for different books, or information. Now I am able to access libraries online that provide research, journals, and online books. There are also so many different websites and tools to use straight from my desktop as Dr. Miller says.

In the second part of his video he talks about how this digital environment provides a whole audio and visual experience versus just obtaining the information. Dr. Miller believes that as educators "we are in the business of sharing ideas freely." As a future educator I have found many online lectures and resources all over the web to help my career. He feels that there will be a time when students do not even use word processor as a writing tool. I am excited for these changes. I remember hand writing papers and submitting them in class. That will almost be non-existent soon.

Carly Pugh: Blog Post #12

Carly pugh's class blog

Wow. What an inspiring blog post. It was obvious that Carly really wants to be the best educator she can be. This post did not seem like it was a chore, but much more of an amazing experience for her. I learned so much from reading this post. It provides videos and writing prompts that I could utilize in my future classroom. Making a "playlist" is and amazing idea! My educational videos would organized all in one spot. This assignment combines personality, creativity, and technology. I think this is a definite example of Dr. Miller's ideas of writing with multi-media.

EDM 310 is Different

The Chipper Series

This video shows the importance of school and EDM 310. Success in school in school is imperative for success in your career. Chipper does not take school seriously, and as a result she does not take life seriously. Missing deadlines may seem like no big deal now, but it may cause you to be terminated from your job in the future. Work hard, follow directions, make deadlines, and give it your all and you will succeed in college. Through working hard in school you learn life lessons to help you in you r future career. I think this is a great idea for a video. I think it would be helpful for all students, even those in high school considering college.

EDM 310 for Dummies

lady stressed outThis video should be required at the begining of the semester! At first EDM 310 was completely overwhelming. In this video we see two students make the same struggle that all of us have at some point this semester. This class has definitely made me stressed at one point, but it was well worth it in the end. I have already learned so much that will help me now as a student, and in the future as a teacher. These students show that they were struggling, and they freaked out. The two students received help through EDM 310 for dummies. It made the class much more enjoyable and they were actually able to utilize the tools they were learning for other classes. The message in this video is to get help if you need it. In life we should never be afraid to ask for help. I would rather ask and know that I am doing something the correct way versus always doing something the wrong way.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

This video shows the lack of technology that is being utilized in today's classrooms. The video states: "The US Department of Commerce ranked fifty-five industry sectors by their level of IT intensiveness. Education was ranked number 55, the lowest, below coal mining." Students use social networking and other tools to communicate and learn, but yet that is taken away from them in the classroom. One woman in the video says that, "we have a classroom system when we could have a community system." I agree with this statement. Students of all ages are learning on their own everyday. If only they were given a little guidance and structure with these media tools, then at school we could learn so much more than just the information. It would allow so much more time for students to learn tools to help them in life as a whole, and not just the "standard" at hand.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

1) I chose Classroom 2.0 as my social media site for educators. I chose this site because I already have an account for Edmodo and I wanted to explore a new site. This site is for those who are interested in Web 2.0 and social media. It allows you to search any topic, interact with other teachers around the world, and find even more resources. This free website is a great way for teachers to be introduced to the digital world.

3) I created my own comic using MAKE BELIEFS COMIX.

5) I created a poll using SurveyMonkey. My poll is titled EDM 310. Click here for my poll.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

C4T #2

Langwitches Blog

Embed Visuals into Teaching and Learning- Part 2
By: Sylvia Tolisano

In Sylvia Tolisano's post she talks about ways for students to "read and write" in this media world we have created. She talks about a website called Wonderopolis. Wonderopolis is an amazing tool for teachers to use in the classroom. Students will have an image on Wonderopolis and will either have to research further on the topic or answer a question on the topic. Teachers can even submit their own "wonder" to the website for their students. She also shares another site called Visual Writing Prompts.These resources are amazing for future educators. They are wonderful to introduce writing online as well as to add a new twist to a writing prompt.

I commented on Ms. Tolisano's post by first thanking her for the amazing resources. I told her that I have shared these resources with a few of my classmates, and that I am book marking them for my future classroom. I will also be utilizing them in an ongoing project I am participating in. I am very excited to continue following her blog.

Anatomy, Grammar, Syntax & Taxonomy of a Hyperlink
By: Sylvia Tolisano

makeup of a hyperlink

 In this post Ms. Talisano talks about how difficult the transition can be for a teacher going from pen and paper to this new online world. She explains how difficult learning hyperlinks can be. In this post she breaks this process down. It was extremely helpful for me!

In my response I again thanked Ms. Talisano for sharing such amazing resources and information. I downloaded the chart that she provided to explain the hyperlinks, and plan to keep it for future reference. I am so excited for these new changes in technology as a future educator. Although even as a student they can seem to be difficult at times. It is wonderful to have someone take the time to explain these things that seem so foreign to us right now.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blog Post #7

Randy Pausch Last Lecture

Randy Pausch is a computer science professor with a gift of being an amazing inspirational speaker. He learns that he only has a a few short months left of his life, but this does not define or change him. After watching his lecture it is obvious that he did not allow the cancer to consume his life. Towards the end of his lecture he says "I don't know how to not have fun." This should be the case for everyone, especially educators. He is such an inspiration to me, and made me realize how precious and short life can be.

Randy PauschHe addresses many topics to help you fulfill your dreams as well as help others. The first one is his theory about the infamous brick wall that we all seem to encounter at one point or another. When Pausch says "brick wall" he means something or someone that prohibits you from fulfilling your dream. He says they are there for us to prove how badly we want something, and that is very true. The brick wall may be frustrating at first but in the end it proves how passionate you are about your dream, and that nothing will stop you. He proves this when he finally experiences zero gravity.

Another point from his lecture that was very important to me was his statement about making mistakes and receiving criticism. He says that when you screw up, and no one says anything it means they have quit caring. This reminded me of peer editing. Most of the time when someone gives you constructive criticism it is to help you succeed because they do care. This statement will be extremely beneficial to me as a new teacher. I am going to have difficult times, and I won't always be perfect. There will be things I will try and I will fail. I hope that in my future teaching those with more experience do care enough to help me realize when I have screwed up. I believe it is important for me to realize and correct my mistakes to make me a better person, student, and educator.

I have watched this video at least three times now, and every time I learn something new or hear something I missed. I recommend everyone to watch this video, and as I said especially educators. I have recently started writing down some of my life goals. I have both short term and long term, and a lot of educational goals. I realize now that I may not be able to realistically complete every goal, but I will never GIVE UP!

Project #9

I chose Symbaloo for my PLN. I have organized it in several groups. I have a social network group, an educational group, and also a group for exercising. I chose to make my educational tiles a different color because it will make them easier to find. I can not wait to add more resources to my tiles. This is going to be extremely helpful throughout this semester and also as a future teacher!

Project #8

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

C4K Summary for February

My first C4K was Maria, a student from Mexico that is learning English. She had to write her own ending for the book The Giver. In my comment I told Maria how much I enjoyed her ending of The Giver, and that she has a wonderful imagination. Her ending was very detailed, and she even gave her new characters a name. I told her that I read the giver in the 8th grade and that I always imagined the main characters arrived at a new safe home. I asked Maria if she enjoyed writing her own ending of The Giver. To view Maria's blog click here.

My second C4K this month was JaTerio, a 4th grader with a passion for gardening! JaTerio had to describe his "fascinating" book that he read in this post. The book was about 4th graders planting a garden. I told JaTerio that he has wonderful writing skills, and to keep up the good work. He included the main points of the story but also what he learned from the book, which I felt was really important. I also told JaTerio that I was impressed that he was a gardener himself! To see JaTerio's blog click here.

My third C4K this month was Sohel, a year 5 student at Pt England School in Auckland, NZ. In this post Sohel created an "About Me" presentation. It was similar to the Google presentation I did in a previous post, although Sohel's was much more exciting and colorful. I told Sohel that it was obvious that he worked really hard on his presentation! I also complemented him on how each slide transition was different. To see Sohel's blog click here.

My last C4K for this month was Cooper. Cooper shared a post about his plans for his spring break. He said he was going to the Clearwater Aquarium to see Winter and Panama. I was unfamiliar with Winter and Panama so I did a little research to allow me to comment appropriately on Cooper's blog. I found out that Winter is a dolphin with a prosthetic tale, and Panama is a dolphin who paints! I expressed my excitement for Cooper's trip. I also asked him if he knew that this aquarium was a marine animal hospital that helped animals like Winter when they were hurt. To see Cooper's blog click here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Project #10

Finding the Right Tool
Edmodo logo

After some research I chose Edmodo as one of my tools to help me continue learning as a teacher. Edmodo is a social website for the classroom. As a teacher you can create a classroom with a code for the students and or parents to sign up with the classroom. It allows teachers to interact with other teachers and follow different types of boards such as "special education" or "science." It also allows for parents to see the classroom, and interact with their children. Students can see homework, work, ask the teacher questions, ask fellow students questions. This is an amazing tool for teachers even if they do not wish to link their classroom. Teachers can find and recommend other resources to other teachers. They can also share files and assignments through Edmodo! I recommend watching What is Edmodo? on YouTube or the About Edmodo video on their website for further information.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Blog Post #6

The Networked Student
PLE Chart
In Wendy Drexler's video she depicts a true story of a high-school student applying networked learning in the 21st century. The teacher rarely has a lecture, and the class only meets about three times a week with two days online. The student is essentially teaching his or her self the material, while the teacher is there for guidance, questions, and teaching the skills needed to find accurate information. This video shows some of the many resources available for students and teachers to use in this setting.

I learned a lot from this video. I agree that teachers should be moving towards teaching these skills versus teaching the information. Students can learn how to find educational material through technology on their own. It just requires practice and the guidance of their teacher. This will allow them to learn the course material as well as learn skills to allow their learning to continue.

I am already impressed by the tools I have learned through using my blog this early in the semester. I could not imagine having multiple classes that utilized these tools. It would be absolutely wonderful! Students would learn skills that will be useful throughout college, their career, and life. They would still be able to learn the course material, but in most cases students would learn even more than they would have from a section in a text book. I hope to utilize these tools in my future classroom. I plan to teach younger elementary students and I would not be able to go as far as the high-school students did, but we could definitely learn skills to lead up to this.

A 7th Grade Student's Personal Learning Environment

symbaloo screen
I think this is an amazing idea for my PLN. I went to Symbaloo immediately and set it up for myself. Before watching this video I had never heard of Symbaloo and I was amazed. This seventh grader had organized her personal stuff from her school work, and even had a place to organize her notes. I can not wait to start filling up my PLN.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Post #5


Krissy Venosdale is a gifted education teacher in the elementary and intermediate schools. She has a very colorful and inviting educational blog called Venspired. Mrs. Venosdale is very passionate about learning, and making everyone feel like they are apart of the experience. On Venspired Mrs. Venosdale provides teachers with resources, posters, and fun classroom ideas!

In Mrs. Venosdale's blog post If I Built A School she describes what her dream school would be if she were given the chance. Her dream school is filled with vibrant colors, a huge fish tank, and a comfy cafeteria. She would have laptops, iPads, cell phones, and more. Students and learning would be the focus, not tests and homework. She truly has an amazing imagination!

creative hand My dream school may not be as creative as Mrs. Venosdale, but I have a few ideas. First I would want the student's work to be the decorations through out the school. I want some framed on walls, some on bulletin boards, some hanging from the ceiling or where ever possible. I just feel that it is so important to show students that we appreciate their creativity and hard work. I do not want books. I would have an iPad for every student to use for books, and work in the classroom. I agree with Mrs. Venosdale about not having grade levels. I would prefer to have phases that students would have to complete. Phases that are not based on age or tests of memorized knowledge. I would want lots of teachers who shared my same passion for continuing to learn. I know that I will never stop learning and I want teachers who can accept this also. I do not want extremely large classrooms because I believe its hard to provide individual help to students who may need it. I want the cafeteria to provide healthy well balanced meals, and to look like a kids cafe. I want to have an art studio, and a computer lab that would be open to students after school as well. Most of all I want students to enjoy learning.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

In this video Eric Whitacre forms a virtual choir from individuals around the world whom have never met. It was absolutely breathtaking. I was beyond shocked at how amazing this virtual choir sounded. I had no idea it was possible. My first reaction was, I have to share this video. I am really speechless at how beautiful this video sounded coming from a totally virtual choir.

Teaching in the 21st Century

In this video Kevin Roberts shows that teaching in the 21st century SHOULD be different than teaching in the past. He asks what you would do if asked a simple question like: "how do I fix my car?" Well my first answer was I would just grab my phone and use the search engine, such as Google. That was Mr. Roberts point exactly. In the 21st century we can access so much knowledge at the click of a mouse, or the touch of a screen. Mr. Roberts brings up the question that, if we can access this much knowledge, should we be teaching the knowledge or how to really use these resources to teach ourselves. I believe we should be teaching the skills used to decipher information online, and how these tools can be used for our benefit. Technology is always changing and teaching the skills versus just the information benefits the students and the teachers. I also love that he explained the difference between "engage" and "entertain". Engage pertains to learning and is longer lived than entertain. I hope to engage my students with skills that can be used through out their life to continuously teach themselves. This way they will never stop learning.

Flipping the Classroom

Flipping the classroom is a great concept that allows all students to learn at their own pace. The lesson is taught the night before on video at home. This way students can come in already prepared with questions. The teachers moves to the middle of the room to be engaged with the students. This allows students to move ahead if needed, or ask for more help since teachers will not be at the front of the room actually teaching lecture. This approach sounds wonderful. One of the questions were about students who did not have computers, and what would they do. Well schools would offer those students to watch the videos that day before class. There is so much time that is consumed by teaching a long lecture at the front of the room. I feel like this will allow so much more one on one time with the teacher and students, because the students will have watched the lecture the night before.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

C4T #1

Third Grade with Mr. Capps

Comments For Teachers Friday! Clouds, Dog-Races, and ToonDoo
Post by Mr. Capps on January 18, 2013

Mr. Capps's blog post was an assignment for his third grade students to read the article Girl will race dogs in Alaska. After students completed their reading they were asked to answer the critical thinking question at the end of the article. The students were allowed to write their responses in their journals or on a blank sheet of paper. The article is about a very hard working sixteen year old girl, Taylor Steele, who decided to follow her dreams. Taylor is a dog sled racer who was influenced by the movie "Snow Buddies." The article talks about her journey, and her plans to finish school and leave for Alaska. At the end of the article is the critical thinking challenge: "Why are clothing and equipment so expensive? Why doesn’t Taylor get her supplies at Walmart?"
Dog sled racer
I commented on Mr. Capps's post by letting him know how much I enjoyed the article and the critical thinking question that followed. I also commented on how I believed his class blog was such a great tool for his students.I loved that this article was a great motivational story with an assignment to better students critical thinking and writing skills.

Science: Earth's Landforms
Post by Mr. Capps on February 5, 2013

This week Mr. Capps's assignment for his students was to explore the links he had provided, choose one link, and write down the main idea with supporting details. The links he provided contained pictures and videos of mountains, valleys, and plains on Earth. He described the pictures on one of the websites as "stunning" and they truly were! To help students decide which topic to choose he added questions before the links such as: "How do plants and trees adapt to live on mountains?" Following the questions student would have a "click here to find out" option.

Austrailian Oasis

I explained to Mr. Capps that I was a previous Geology major and that even I learned something new. I told him that this was such and exciting and creative assignment. It allowed students to work on researching and writing skills while learning about the Earth's land-forms. I explained how closely related Geography and Geology are, and that it is interesting to see evidence of Earth's land-forms shifting right here in Alabama!

Blog Post #4


Langwitches: 1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audiobook

I was very impressed by these first graders. I loved reading about how enthusiastic they were about recording themselves and creating their own podcast. I am shocked that they are so young but so familiar with this technology. I also believe that because of creating this podcast, these students could tell you anything you need to know about their dinosaur book. They read scripts again and again, and then listened to their final product. I even listened to most of "Dinosaurs in the Dark" myself. It was enjoyable to listen to the students read aloud with their sound effects! This blog post gives step by step instructions on how to upload this podcast for students to use at home, and even in other classrooms. This will be useful to me for my podcast as well as in the future.

Langwitches: Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting

In this blog post Ms. Tolisano's second graders recorded their story Purim as a podcast but not in English. This podcast was
Podcast skills
very unique. It was recorded in Hebrew, and the sentences were purposefully recorded in the wrong order. The students then had to put the sentences in the correct order. They were able to move the scripts around on the SmartBoard which I thought was amazing. I had no idea that the entire class could edit a podcast on the SmartBoard. The main purpose of their lesson was to learn to collaborate, script writing, listening, speaking skills, and fluency of the language. I learned from this post that creating a podcast can be a great way to develop many life skills. In creating my podcast I will be sure to focus on my speaking skills, and developing cooperation skills with my group.

Langwitches: Podcasting with First Grade

This was another outstanding post about podcasting with elementary students! In this post Ms. Tolisano's first graders read a story and made a script asking and answering questions about the journey in the story. One of the things I love about the idea of podcasting with elementary students is that they would want to hear the story again and again. I was right with my prediction because in her post she said afterwards they had listened to the podcast over 20 times. This way students are learning many life skills as well as the material and do not even realize they are learning. Some of the skills she mentioned that were addressed in this project were: listening, speaking, comprehension, storytelling, and technology. It is amazing that students can obtain all of these skills in one collaborative project that they enjoy so much. I look forward to using these resources in my future classroom. I think its exciting that through the use of technology students are able to learn so much more than just information in a textbook.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Special Blog Post #1


This is the first time I have used this search engine and I love it. The WolframAlpha is an amazing way to find out facts for educational purposes or even fun random facts. The data from WolframAlpha is provided in such an organized and direct manner that it would be wonderful for using it in the classroom. The search engine could be used for many different purposes. I used it to compare populations in different countries and states, but in an elementary classroom the questions and possibilities could be endless!

After comparing the populations of India, China, and the United States I found the the populations of India and China are more than three times the size of the United States. These are my results:

India: 1.21 Billion
China: 1.35 Billion
United States: 309 Million

I also did two more comparative searches:

Population of Mobile, AL: 195,111
Population of New York City, New York: 8.175 Million

Number of people in the United States Army: 512,000
Number of people in the United States Marine Corps: 190,000

The Count

Gary Hayes Social Media Count is a count of things bought,
Social Media Counter
tweeted, posted, uploaded, sold and much much more in the media world. It is unbelievable how fast the numbers move constantly. The ipads sold "now" really caught my attention. There were about one iPad sold per second during the time that I was watching. I feel like that means that by the time I am teaching in my own classroom, most students will have access to at least one iPad in their home. Then hopefully the next step would to have them in most classrooms.

The most shocking part to me was the heritage tab. It was interesting to see how much money is exchanged due to music and movies. Music is especially important for me. It gets me going on a run, puts me in a good mood when I'm sad, and calms me down I need it! It is sad to see how much is lost through our generation stealing music and movies. The numbers for film piracy in the United States were going up at almost $1,000 per second! Hopefully our young students can learn the importance of being honest and paying for the music and moves they download.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blog Post #3

Peer Editing

red colored pen and paper
I found that this assignment was extremely helpful. After reading my peer's blog posts I was worried about how I should respond. I want to help someone when I see mistakes, but I also do not want to embarrass anyone. I decided to send my review by e-mail because I felt I could be more personal and helpful that way. I definitely make mistakes and I value the lessons I have learned form them. The video What is Peer Editing had wonderful tips on peer editing and making sure you stay positive. The video explains that you should also compliment good work as well as point out the mistakes. In the Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial I learned that giving suggestions on specific mistakes is more effective than broad or more general suggestions.

As a peer editor I never want to seem mean or like a "know it all." In the video Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes students demonstrate examples of bad peer reviews. The video was quite funny and pretty catchy. In the future I will never be a Defensive Dave or a Mean Margaret. This video will be a great tool to use in my future classrooms. This assignment helped me be a better editor and take criticism personally. Everyone makes mistakes and I will be grateful for anyone who has suggestions for me.

The Mountbatten

The Mountbatten Braille Writer is an advanced device that is used to provide immediate audio and tactile feedback to blind students. I learned that when a student brailles on the machine it types what is brailled as well as provides audio reassurance. If a student is using this machine and his or her teacher nor classmates understand braille they can look at the screen where the braille is converted to print. I think this technology would be a tremendous help in the classroom to make sure blind students are included in the lesson. It would also be a great experience for other students to be exposed to braille, and learn about the technology used to help blind students.

Teaching Math to the Blind

This video presents some of the issues that are associated with blind students using braille in math. I had no idea that when students are given a math problem in braille the numbers are presented in one single line. Professor Karshmer has provided a way for students to place tiles with braille onto a grid with audio. I believe this grid is wonderful for blind students to be able to breakdown a math problem.

iPad Usage for the Blind

The iPad is an amazing tool for blind students. I was shocked at how easy it is to navigate. I did feel that the voice on the iPad spoke a little fast, and that may require a little getting used to. I love that it allows students to independently listen to books, surf the web, write papers, and much more. I think it would only take students a little practice and then they should be able to master navigating the iPad. I believe it is important for students to feel as if they are apart of the class so they are not discouraged. With the iPad, vision impaired students would be able to do the same assignments as the rest of the class.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Vicki Davis uses technology in the classroom to help students teach themselves. Her students participate in blogs, class wikis, and all different types of media tools. Vicki explains that she does not need to master a topic before she teaches it. Sometimes her students show her new tools, and ways of doing things. This helps her be more hands on in the classroom, as well as her students be more independent.

I love that Vicki has her students write blogs with students around the world. It is fascinating to me to be able to connect with other students and classrooms. It allows us to learn about different cultures, environments, or talk about global issues. With their experiences in Vicki Davis's classroom students will be well prepared for college and new technologies in the near future. I hope to incorporate some of these tools into my future classrooms.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blog Post #2

Did You Know

Dr. Strange's video Did You Know? 3.0 - A John Strange 2012 Version was quite an eye opening experience. I never believed that the United States was number one education and technology advancements, although I had no idea we were so far behind. It is hard to imagine that India has more honors students than the United States has students. These students in India will be much more prepared for unknown future jobs that may require technology that has not even been established today. The original video Did you know 3.0 by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod paints a bigger picture of the advancements in technology that we have already experienced and will experience in the near future. There was a time before people were preoccupied with Facebook and text messaging, and I am interested to see what is in store for the future.

In the video Dr. Strange asked a few questions about our roles as future educators and if we were ready to be an educator. My answer is yes I am ready. I feel that my role as an early educator would be to introduce different types of updated technology to my students at a young age. If younger students are comfortable using new technologies then hopefully they will utilize these skills in future schooling as well as life itself.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle Wakes is a video that portrays the continuous improvement of modern technology in our everyday lives except in schools. Mr. Winkle wakes after a 100 year nap, and finds the world very unsettling. School was the only place he visited that had not changed drastically or much at all. When actually put into perspective it was sad to see the lack of change in our schools.

I understand that a lecture with pen and paper is comforting to some people, but what if we changed what was comfortable. How much would it take to train our brains to take notes from a computer? I feel that utilizing a computer especially in high school would save a great amount of time that could be used for studying, other activities, or even homework. Major changes take time, but even something like online books for the classroom would save money room in those book bags.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson speaks in his video The Importance of Creativity about how creativity in schools is becoming nonexistent. He made a statement about how dance could be just as important as any other subject, yet we don't teach it everyday like math or science. Students aren't encouraged to have a career as a dancer because schools do not think it is a valuable subject. As an educator we should never limit a student's ambitions and dreams. The world has changed and professions such as a dancer do exist. Student's are scared to show their creativity and show an interest in these different professions or hobbies in fear of being wrong.

I watched Sir Ken Robinson's video in a previous class last semester also. I enjoy his views on encouraging students to express themselves, and creating a different learning environment than the normal. I also watched his video Bring On The Learning Revolution and in this video he says that people think they can not do anything any other way because that is the way it has always been done. I felt that this statement was very true, and that it goes along with my opinion on people being "comfortable". If schools would be willing to stray away from what might seem comfortable then students might be more willing to show their creativity.


Four Ways to Use Pinterest in Education

In my future classroom I will definitely use some of the ideas for lesson plans from Pinterest. I have already used some ideas to help with lesson plans that I needed for my college classes. I would also like to use the sharing tool to help other teachers if I find useful items. I will also share projects and ideas that I have personally used in my classroom.

The 20 Best Pinterest Boards About Education Technology

I love using Pinterest. I had an account prior to this assignment and I have already been following multiple education boards. After browsing through some of the boards I really enjoyed the board by Charity Preston it has pins involving technology in elementary education. I found this very useful because I plan to teach kindergarten or first grade if possible. Charity Preston's board had many helpful tips, games and websites for technology in elementary classrooms.

Pinterest will be extremely helpful in my future classroom by providing new ideas for activities, classroom decorations, and using technology. It also provides a way for me to stay informed on new trends and ideas in the education world. I have already began to pin to my own education boards for future ideas.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Blog Post #1

About Me

My name is Mary Cortopassi and I am a full time student here at the University of South Alabama. I am from Mobile, and I have lived here my entire life. The University of South Alabama was the best choice for me to remain close to my friends and family. I recently got married in July to my wonderful husband and I have since changed my name to Mary Lambert. To avoid complications I have decided to wait until the Fall 2013 semester to change my name at the university. We got married before he had to leave for deployment to Afghanistan, but we have an amazing relationship and are able to talk twice a day on Skype. While my husband is overseas in the Army I try to remain busy with school, work, and my amazing dog whose name is Foster. I have a great passion for running. I am happy running in hot weather, cold weather, long distances, or even short distances with my dog. Running is such a tremendous stress reliever for me, and a great way to stay healthy.

I am an elementary education major although that has not always been my chosen career path. My first three semesters I was a Geology major and I absolutely loved it. I was not extremely fond of the math classes that accompanied Geology, and I decided to follow my childhood dream to become a teacher. I changed my major this Fall and my experience in the Education department has been amazing. I loved my teachers in elementary school and they had such an influence in my future. I hope to influence my students in a positive way, and keep them excited about learning.

My Future Classroom

In my future classroom I hope to incorporate art and hands-on learning. I hope to teach kindergarten or first grade because I believe those were my most influential years of school. If students have a lack of interest for learning at a young age it will be very difficult to get them excited and intrigued at an older age. I want my students to value school, but to also learn life skills from our lessons.

I feel that students will actually learn if they are able to relate the subject matter to something they enjoy or some kind of activity. If students enjoy learning they will want to continue to learn and retain knowledge and skill versus memorizing and passing. When I was in high school I had very few teachers that actually taught me skills to use for college and life itself. I hope to be that influential in my elementary students.

I would like to use the smart board as a learning tool in my classroom. Students are able to play games to help them understand a subject and I am able to be more hands on with the lesson. It would also allow us to connect to another classroom somewhere around the world which would be a great cultural experience for everyone in the classroom.

I want my classroom to be decorated with my students work and also let that be a constant reminder of what they learned. I remember my chemistry class in high school we made a model of an atom from styrofoam and they were hanging in the classroom. I saw that project every day, and I could tell you all about my hydrogen atom even now almost seven years later. I want my students to actually learn and I feel reminding them of their hard work is a great way to do that.

Randy Pausch on Time Management

I have never heard of Randy Pausch until now. I felt that his video was very helpful. There were a few things that really stuck with me. I liked his analysis of eating the frogs, and how you should start with the big one. Sometimes I put stuff to the side and tell my self "I will get to it later" because it may seem scary at first. The only thing procrastination leads to for me is a world of stress.

I actually use a planner for school, and I have started recently to incorporate my everyday activities into my planner as well. After watching his video I will be sure to prioritize my plans more efficiently. It is also comforting to hear that I am learning from my bad judgement. My planner will be more organized and more meaningful now.