Well, we made it! It is the end of another semester and we are that much closer to reaching our goals.
Here is my final reflection video, it's a little longer than I wanted but I am a slow talker, sorry.
Thanks Dr.Strange for the challenge
Since this semester in EDM places so much emphasis on our blogs, we decided to make our final project in the form of a blog post using three different tools that we came to know and appreciate in the course. The first being a video post, the second an iMovie, and the third a written post.
There were so many new and interesting challenges, like making an iMovie:
This has become one of our favorite tools because it allows us to create anything we want.
Here are some tips we would like to offer those who are just entering EDM310.
On the first class day of class count to see how many students are there, and then subtract a third from that number. That's about how many people will still be there in the end. Will you be one of them??
You will have to have a gmail account so use a name that is suitable for class and check it often
There are many links to follow when doing assignments for Dr. Strange, so we suggest bookmarking your blog, the class blog, the projects page, the activities page, and the blog post assignment page to save time. You will find these links in the instruction manual link from the class blog.
Get to know the edm lab assistants, they are your friends!!!
Be sure to give edm the time and effort that it requires. If you do not have 9 hrs a week to dedicate to the class, take it another time.
Keep a positive "I can" attitude. Learning is half of the fun so try to enjoy the journey to becoming a tech literate educator.
Good Luck, if we can do it, so can you!!!
Just for extra fun, here is a crossword puzzle. There will be plenty of "extra" fun assignments, so we wanted to add one also.
Here is the continuation of my groups smart board project. We chose to do simple addition using gumball math and an educational website BigUniverse.com followed by an original game that I created on the smart board.
As you can clearly see, I have a ways to go as far as becoming a tech literate educator. I still become easily frustrated and have problems with almost every project I do, but I am learning soooo much and want to continue learning.
This week I attempted to participate in an e-media fast. My attempts were sincere each time, but one after the other failed. All three tries were unsuccessful in several ways. I do not consider myself as a big tech user, I rarely get on Facebook and when school is in session I don't have much time to watch TV. We do enjoy watching movies, which is how I failed this challenge in one of my attempts. My children usually have the TV on for the first hour or so when they get home from school and I seem to always have work to do on my computer for class. My iPhone is another reason for my failure. My phone, like the majority of people today, is an important part of my day. I stay in contact with my family and play games when I have free time. Also I am taking a couple of online classes this semester and had several assignments to complete this week using my computer.
I did get to do some things that I haven't done in a while during my attempts at media fasting. My daughter and I played solitaire, with real live cards!!!, we played the old battleship game, and dominoes.
This assignment reminds me of each winter, we have a hunting camp in Thomasville where we spend most of our weekends. I have little use with my phone up there due to very weak signal, but since my family is already with me I don't miss it much. Also we have a TV there but only pick up a couple of channels so we watch very little television. We are outdoor enthusiasts, so I feel that this fast is not an impossible feat to tackle, just not while I am preparing for finals.
I did, however, recognize how dependent I have become to my phone and computer and television. Each time I drank my coffee in the mornings I like to watch the news channels and at least once a week before bedtime we like to watch a movie together. I am reminded that there are many other ways we can spend our time, such as going for a walk, playing cards or board games, or just sitting at the table having a meal and talking together FACE TO FACE. Technology is very beneficial in many ways but life still can be exciting without it.
I hope to discuss with students the benefits and drawbacks to technology. I will challenge them in this same way to consider what life would be like if there ever was an event like the dreaded "Y2K" scare of 1999, and how things would change without using any e-media. Would we revert to country living and go back to neighbor helping neighbor or will we immediately begin to rebuild all of what we have grown so accustomed too, how in the world would we get by without knowing what our friends are doing every minute of the day?!?
Although I am a member of Facebook, I believe that we should have a healthy balance in our reliance on these types of things. Technology is a very important and useful tool as part of our lifes today, but we should also be able to thrive and learn in other ways, like getting out there and getting our hands dirty when seeking to learn gardening skills or learning a new language should involve visiting the place where the language is spoken. Sometimes reality is lost in translation and can only be discovered by personal experience.
April Teacher Blog: Caren Carrillo
Mrs. Carrillo is a straight talkinghistory, technology, [and] beyond educator.
My favorite quotes from her blog: President Obama's 9/23/11 Education Speech
In reference to Obama's Education Speech Mrs. Carrillo wrote "The problem is apathy toward education. When parents teach their children to value learning, education will be vastly more productive. However, when schools are expected to singlehandedly educate children who don't care about learning, these schools will invariably fail. Instead, education must be a team effort in which schools and families work together to achieve a similar goal." A Different Approach to Bullying
In the post A Different Approach to Bullying she suggests: "Let's give them the tools to become increasingly independent and take an active role in the world around them....[Bullying is] usually a symptom of something else that should be addressed and potentially could be fixed if we focused on the kids themselves instead of their behavior."
I found her most recent post Assigning Homework: Use the Power Wisely
to offer really great advice. While Mrs. Carrillo sees value in homework she also encourages teachers to consider that children also have active lives outside of the classroom and should be respected by assigning homework selectively and explain to parents the purpose/validity of the assignment to "make homework productive, to avoid "dumb homework." I commented about the importance of a teache'rs understanding of kids having playtime after school hours and how her advice is invaluable to me as a future educator. Here is a link to my comment if you're interested in my thoughts on this subject.
When Will We Ever Need To Know This?"
This is my last C4T for EDM class. I think this is the most useful comment assignment of the semester for me. I like getting advice and information from people who are experienced in my field. I believe this is how we are able to grow and develop into more effective facilitators with some beginning advice to follow. I continue to follow my first teacher blog and will continue to follow Mrs. Carrillo, they both always have great things to say. Her most recent post "When will we ever need to know this?" she shares a great way to respond to students who raise this question in class. Here is my comment
Here is my Final PLN for the semester. I do expect to keep it growing as I grow with my techno knowledge. This is a very effective tool and I hope to learn to replace some of my old ways with easier and faster tools like this one. This class has challenged me to try new things and to be more open minded in regards with technology.
My group has been meeting once a week to discuss how we will work on our projects. So far we are discussing a few different ideas but our focus at this time is on finishing project 15. We will be using google docs and text messaging for sure.
Yes, sometimes nosy people do get what they deserve, like Christopher Columbus, Issac Newton, and Martin Luther King, Jr. These people were fueled by curiosity and creativity. Where would we be today without them?!? We still honor a great number of influential heroes who's curiosity was sparked and wouldn't rest until others shared in their desires. These people were no doubt creative thinkers. Having the courage to venture beyond what is known into a "New World," or having the ability to envision an invisible force, or being able to have a DREAM so big that it is blind to color and violence, their actions represents a curious spirit that made such an impact that their names will forever be recognized as someone who's passion brought about change.
Creativity and curiosity are birds of a feather, where you find one, you will certainly find the other. Creativity requires a curious mind and curiosity sparks creativity, so we are led to the chicken and the egg scenario. Regardless of which is ignited first, the world is most definitely a better place because of the creative thinker.
I believe that teachers can make or break a creative spirit. If students are encouraged to think aloud and let their thoughts lead them they will find a higher degree of knowledge. So many teachers will not take the time to hear what students have to offer towards their own education. There is a schedule to keep and another test to prepare for so, who has the time for student focused discussion? I look forward to a day when I will be able to incorporate student centered activities and discussions into a state mandated curriculum. I hope to accomplish this by fostering a "safe zone" where students aren't afraid to be wrong and to try without fear of being laughed at. When children's confidence is strong then their creativity and curiosity can be free to flourish.
My curiosity of Eli led me to her Google plus account where I learned a little about her. Elspeth Bishop is a writer in Salt Lake City, Utah for InGoodMeasure.net. Her article makes a great connection with creativity and curiosity. I agree that having a conversation with a closed minded person is quite frustrating!
"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."- M.L.K
So here is my assignment: Write a -NO- Junk Blog Post. This should be a topic of your choice
that has been researched and carefully thought out. Research your
topic, have it contain more research than opinions, and share what you
already knew about the subject and, of course, what you learned.
This assignment came to my attention after reading a blog post from my first C4T Miguel Guglin that I actively follow for his amazing blog posts. In a recent one he said something that sparked an idea for my #12 assignment. He was discussing the purpose of a PLN, "the majority of my PLN isn't about
responding to questions I ask, leaving comments, etc. Rather, for them,
it's about tagging along on a journey and hopefully learning
something...they figure that if I'm writing about it, it's pretty well
developed, whether it's a junk blog entry (no research) or something
For my assignment I have chosen to focus on the topic of stress and its effects. As the semester draws to a close, many of us experience a wave of intense demands as we "rush to the finish line." I deal with this unnerving dilemma personally and although each semester I am learning to handle it a little better, I still suffer from irritating symptoms such as teeth grinding, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and continual restlessness/anxiousness. During my studies I have learned to develop my study skills to fit my personal learning style better and the more I learn about a subject the less stressed I am about upcoming assessments and tasks.So here is my assignment.
Learn about stress and its effects.
Find ways to alleviate stress in your life
Discover methods of how to handle it when it is impossible to avoid.
Stress, we all deal with it from time to time, but what is it really? How can we catch its causes and counter its effects before we are consumed with fear and dread? Well, I believe that if we develop a better understanding of the subject we can fight it off before it takes over!
Stress is the body's natural response to dealing with pressures and challenges. It is an evolutionary response that increases the body's awareness of possible dangerous events and threats. Now, we no longer are in danger of being eaten by a saber-tooth tiger, but adults and children alike have pressures and challenges to face daily. Some are better prepared to cope with the demands that we are faced to confront while others are less skilled in this area. When faced with large responsibilities that we are not prepared for or events that are too heavy to face alone our bodies respond by increasing heart rate and blood flow to help decision making ability, sending the body into a "fight or flight" reaction. This process is natural and even healthy when experienced in moderation, but is a health risk when continually stimulated.
When the body has been injured, such as a shark attack or a car wreck, the body responds by activating the hypothalamus to produce adrenalin and cortisol which allows for:
increased blood flow to the brain to aid in decision making
increased insulin production for a "burst" of energy
increased blood flow to large muscles and away from visceral organs
increased ability of clotting in the blood
These responses when placed in a life or death situation can mean the difference in whether you live or die. However, a person dealing with "simple" stresses, such as, financial demands, getting stuck in traffic or lost while driving, keeping up with school work and work related responsibilities or dealing with divorce or death can cause the body to be continually bombarded by the "fight or flight" reaction.
This causes serious results that may be life threatening, like:
weakened immune system
That is why it is vital that we take steps to avoid stressful situations and learn ways to respond that can lessen their recurrence. There are many things we can do for ourselves to counter act stress levels from rising out of control when we understand and are on the look out for some of the symptoms. Here are a few:
teeth grinding, jaw clenching, headaches
stuttering, trembling, muscle spasms
faintness, ringing of the ears
rashes, unexplained allergy attacks
stomach problems, pain, heartburn, nausea
panic attacks, chest pain/palpitations
frequent urination, anxiety
depression, mood swings
changes in appetite
insomnia, difficulty concentrating
The list goes on and on. I knew that stress effects the body in a number of ways but I was surprised to learn the extremity of symptoms. The one that surprised me the most was unexplained allergy attacks. I have recently experienced this myself and was not aware the two were connected. It does make sense to me now though. Stress can greatly weaken the immune system and this is a direct result of that occurrence for me personally. For a complete list from the American Institute of Stress Click Here
Now that we know more about stress and its symptoms, let's look at ways to avoid it.
Psychologists spend a tremendous amount of time and effort on studying stress and helpful measures to avoid it. Here are some things we can do when we become overwhelmed with stressful situations:
set realistic goals
don't over schedule
get enough sleep
allow time for relaxing when things are hectic
get regular exercise
practice optimistic thinking and attitude
start small and work up to larger tasks/problems
nurture a strong support system, ask for help
To offset the effects of stress I find it helpful to separate myself from the source of my stress for a brief time and find a quiet place to reflect on my options and goals. This helps me to refocus on what is important and what can wait. With all the preparations for final exams in full swing it is easy to lose track of a vision of the finish line. If you can sneak away for even 30 mins and perhaps soak in a bubble bath to clear your mind and envision what you want your future to look like then back track to what has to happen here and now to make that a reality. This helps me to find that second wind that I need to continue giving my best so that all my hard work thus far will not be in vain.
When dealing with stress we must acknowledge that whatever it is we are dealing with will not last forever. As we face more and more challenges we discover we are stronger than we first realized and hopefully can also see that a little stress motivation can help "push" us to reaching our goals. The most important thing to keep in mind is a positive attitude will make all the difference.
This is our final C4K Assignment and I really enjoyed the experience. Although I only received a couple of replies from all of my comments, I still learned a lot about blogging with children. I have a good idea of how I will incorporate blogging in my classroom. Blogging helps students to understand that writing is important and can reach far and wide, showing little minds that this big ol' world really is "a small world after all."
My final kid blog is Aneelis, a Year 2 student in Mrs Jenny She's class from Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. There was not a written post for me to read, instead Aneelis posted, with help from her Mom, an "Animoto" of pictures from a fieldtrip to Butterfly Creek. Here is My comment.
I think it is awesome that kids today are growing up using this kind of technology. I never dreamed of having an animated slideshow of pictures from a fieldtrip when I was young. That is why we as educators MUST have knowledge and skills in the field of technology if we expect our students to be successful in their futures. Like Ms. Cassidy said " technology isn't going anywhere" so we must keep up as best we can for our students.
This week's assignment introduced us to Mrs. Kathy Cassidy, a first grade teacher in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada who is incorporating many forms of technology in her classroom. This five minute video "Little Kids, Big Potential" displays some of the tools used by students who are fortunate enough to have a teacher that appreciates the fact that technology is "not going away." The question raised by EDM 310 is "does every teacher have to be tech literate?" One thing that I have realized this semester is that technology is an important tool in the vast majority of fields today, yet the foundation of them all- the system of education- is far behind in teaching methods that incorporate technology. Banks offer online banking services, law enforcement uses "bait cars" and heat sensory detection, department stores are accepting text message coupons, and surgeons can operate without even touching their patients so why is so little of the tremendous array of uses technology offers being incorporated in schools today? I think that one reason is that teachers just aren't sure where to start. Mrs. Cassidy suggests the best place to start is simply finding an area of personal interest and go from there. That was very helpful information for me, I consider as a teacher what is a realistic way for me to use the wonderful things I'm learning in a real classroom. I have become a big fan of blogging so I hope to use that as a starting place in the future as an educator. By blogging I feel certain that it will be easy to grow from there into Skype interviews and even videos and podcasts. Dr. Strange has opened my eyes to Twitter and Mrs. Cassidy has helped me understand that it may take a while to really appreciate its full potential. In the interview, an edm student asked Mrs. Cassidy about the threats related with cheating. Her response to this was that she didn't see using info from others blogs, for example, as cheating. Rather she referred to this as more of a shift towards "piggy backing" this is, I believe, technology's greatest capability. Being able to collaborate and share idea's and points of view with the world is key to preparing students for what's to come in the real world.
This 3 min youtube video seeks to question the difference between teaching and educating.The video fades in to rows of empty seats in a large classroom. This picture moves me to think of the concept we discussed in my EDF315 class of the traditional approach to education today that began in the 1800's. Essentially this says that the teacher is the central source of knowledge and the student is an "empty bucket" or "blank slate" with nothing valuable to bring to the classroom besides obedience and a desire to be taught. The definition of teach used in the video generalizes the teacher's job but leaves out the important aspect of the students participation. A teacher can "teach till he/she is blue in the face but if the students are not being educated then what is the teacher really doing???
This video also highlights along with empty desks a fire extinguisher. What is the job of a fire extinguisher? Putting out fires of course! But what does this have to do with teaching? Well, I think the message here is that somewhere along the way in the education process children are being taught that their ideas and interests are of little to no value- which extinguishes a child's fire/desire to learn on their own. When we are constantly pressed to learn things that bore or confuse us, let's just admit it, we memorize as best as we can for the test then forget it as soon as possible. The teacher is focused mostly on teaching required information and has lost touch with what the student can offer to their education.
When I speak or write about why I'm here at South I always refer to my goal as becoming a teacher, from now on I will refer to this goal as becoming an educator. This video has helped me to see some flaws in the system that I hope to reduce. Realistically I don't expect to make some extreme life altering difference in all of the kids that I teach, but I do hope to educate in a way that offers learning to be a two-way street where fire extinguishers are only used literally!
Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home!?!
I began this assignment by reading the link to Larry Ferlazzo's essay: My "take" on recent study saying home computer usage can lead to lower test scores. This post helps to bring a little common sense to a study which did not seem to target those who actually apply the operation. To say that a computer will decrease a child's test scores due to their inability to choose to use them in an educational manner only voices the refusal of the education systems ability to allow/train teachers to find projects that keep students interested. Mr. Ferlazzo points out "Without training or accountability, it doesn’t seem to me that schools should put much effort into getting technology into the hands of students at home. " Having appropriate training with any tool/resource makes the difference in educator's and student's ability to use a "pencil"/computer to their full potential. Without this class I would not know about blogging, prezi, smartboard use, twitter, the list goes on and on. The key to a computer aiding a child's grades comes from their ability to apply it as a tool as well as entertainment, and when you have a teacher who combines the two you're sure to find that students prove themselves accountable when given directions how to use an entertaining tool.
This post by Mr. Spencer Don't let them take pencils home is a silly rendition on the study mentioned above and makes a play on computer usage by students in low income areas causing their test scores to drop. Mr. Spencer replaces the word computer with pencil and highlights the idea that this study is taken completely out of context. Saying that pencils are only used for entertainment purposes is what many educators are saying about computer use in the classroom today, so they are against it. I mean, can you imagine it?!?.....a pencil/computer being used for educational purposes!!?!?!?!! Computers can replace outdated, expensive textbooks and allow each child to interact in their own personal way while also becoming skilled in the future job market that is growing exponentially each year towards digital technology.
As entertaining as it was, this essay made a valid point that the issue with computers in the classroom is not about the dangers on the internet, or the risk of costly damages but how it may negatively affect test scores.Teachers are held accountable for students standardized test scores so in order to protect their jobs that is the prominent factor in today's education instead of it being on the students.
My teacher blog for C4T #3 is "Moving at the speed of creativity" by Wesley Fryer. Wesley Fryer Ph.D., is an inspiring technology advocate. He began his teaching career as an elementary teacher and progressed to an author. Here is a short briefing from his bio, "His educational background includes service as an elementary classroom teacher, campus technology integration specialist, college director of distance learning, state director for education advocacy for AT&T, and director of technology for a state historical association. Wesley is the author of the 2011 eBook "Playing with Media: simple ideas for powerful sharing." He also participates and offers many workshops for technology in education and has his own YouTube Channel Wesley Fryer's YouTube channel.
Here you will find a variety of technology presentations that is followed by educators who share the same zeal for technology in the classroom.
When I first visited his blog I could tell he was an avid blogger, there are soooo many posts on his blog and they are all filled with useful tips coming from his own experiences. I commented on his most recent post Star Walk for iPhone. He shared his delight with the StarWalk app and I just said that I will be checking it out too and thanks for sharing!
In my second week's visit to his blog I was happy to see that his current post was right up my alley. He shared a very positive story about a use for the new Google Voice Search. The story was centered around a student named Morgan who deals with a learning disability yet refuses to allow it to stop her from doing all that she strives to accomplish. She and her teacher were profiled in a video that shared this heartwarming story. Check it out! Google Search Story.
The work that Wes Fryer is doing is so important for our future education system. My hopes for the future are that education will allow multimedia texts that are up to date and that a child will not be solely judged by how well they measure up to standardized tests. Wes Fryer is a self proclaimed "catalyst for creative engagement and collaborative learning" that is what education needs to offer the best for students AND teachers who know how to utilize these tools effectively.
My kid blog this week is SP11 CT. He/She is a 5th grade student in Ms. T.G.'s class from Iowa. The name of the kid blog is B-17 Flying Fortress. The student had only a couple of really short posts since December, one a Christmas list and another which simply says "Hi." I shared with him/her how great blogging can be and that I hoped that interest would not be lost in blogging. It's obvious from the blog name Flying Fortress that this student is interested in fighting planes. I suggested that it would be a great idea to connect with a real pilot of one of these unique planes through blogging. I'm sure that would create renewed interest in blogging. I might be showing my age again, but blogging is the new, easier way to keep in touch with what was formerly know as pen-pals:) Here is my comment
C4K #6 Georgie Class 12's Blog
My kidblog this week is a 5th grader named Georgie from Bradford Schools, Teacher Sarah Stones @sstones76. Georgie wrote about horse riding and swimming. He/She explained a love for horse riding but began swimming and decided to pause riding because it was too much at one time to keep up with. I commented on how important it is to be able to manage our time and that he/she sounds like a very wise person at such a young age. The writing showed creativity and attention to detail, I think Georgie's teacher Mrs. Stones is doing a wonderful job by having her class write on a blog. This helps them to try harder since so many people will be able to see their work. Georgie has not responded to my comment yet but I asked him what his favorite horse's name is and I wished him/her luck with getting back into horse riding since she/he seems to really enjoy it. Here is my comment
This is a teachers blog where Joe McClung reflects on his progress at the end of each school year, beginning from his very first year teaching.
Our assignment is to choose two of his current three year refection posts. I chose the first and third because I would like to see how much he has grown as an educator in his total three years of teaching.
Here is some of the advice he offers from his first year experience. What I Learned This Year 08'-09' post
give audience driven instruction
lessons planned are always different from the lesson taught
learn from mistakes while smiling
don't get upset when all your expectations are not met
Don't allow naysayers to steer you from optimism/excitement
Don't be afraid to be an outsider - if your focus is on the students
Don't touch the keyboard-let them learn for themselves some
Don't get comfortable
Wow, what a great example for us as future teachers. It is so easy to become focused on all of the wonderful accomplishments we plan to make when they finally let us loose in our own classroom. But the sad reality is that many of us will struggle to the point of giving up because of a lack of realistic expectations. Seeing and hearing from real beginners like Mr. McClung is so important to understanding what life is like for teachers. This has been a big issue for me this week. In one of my classes we were discussing some of the realities of the classroom and I mentioned that so many teachers I speak to today sound so unhappy in their profession and instead of me having the chance to ask them they ask me "Why would you do this when you can do anything else??". Everyone starts out full of excitement and hopes to make some grand difference in every child they touch but as they gain more experience their fires are extinguished by standardized test score pressures and limited resources.
Keeping up with optimistic people like McClung and re-evaluating from time to time our goals and possibilites with the aid of a playlist that was suggested by Carly Pugh will help to make a difference in the long term. I like what McClung said as a year 1 teacher, STAY POSITIVE! I will try and surround myself with inspiring stories and do my best to stay positive hopfully without being a nuisance to my peers. Like he said in his year 3 post, don't be afraid to be an outsider but you also need friends that you can collaborate and encourage eachother to offer the best for the students.
I know I am not prepared for the realities of being a teacher at this moment. I plan to continue talking with teachers who still have a passion for their job and seek guidance from any that will offer it to me. I don't want to enter this profession with rose colored glasses on and loose touch with why I am taking this education journey I'm currently on. I plan to be flexible, always willing to learn, and positive that I can and will succeed as an educator knowing it is NOT going to be easy.