Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Post #8

  Richard E. Miller: This Is How We Dream  
people cutouts encircling the globe

I watched the youtube videos This Is How We Dream Part 1 and  This Is How We Dream Part 2. In this video lecture Dr. Miller, Dept. of English @ Rutgers University, challenges us to consider how writing has changed in the academic culture in response to technological advancements. He points out how today we have the ability to instantly collaborate and communicate globally, sharing ideas freely and push these ideas into our culture instantly. He states that this process in the "book" form would easily take two years!
Our society is moving from the print version of learning to a collective environment that has access to unlimited resources through the world wide web. A teachers job in this society is to allow students to be involved in their learning by guiding and facilitating a creative & inspiring classroom. Richard Miller showed an example of how incredible this technology truely is. He created a presentation that allowed a collaboration between some of his colleagues that incorporated text, images, video, and others which brought interest along with a well rounded point of view.
Today we have the ability to collaborate instantly on blogs, for example. Information can be discussed and changed as new ideas and acknowledgments arise. My teacher's blog assignment this week offered a great example of this point. There was a post made about how the money schools spend on Smartboards can be better spent on purchasing individual ipods/ipads for the students. Some of the information was altered as new comments were made about the realistic costs involved and ideas were changed and continue to be created. This is exactly what this technology is doing for our next generation---Collaboration---, creating a place where those who have great ideas can get together to make the world a better place!

Carly Pugh's blog post
This blog post you could tell was one of those Ah-Ha moments. It was so enjoyable to read. She goes through her thought process of brainstorming and relays how she came up with the idea of creating playlists that will grow and remind us of why we do what we do. This is such a beautiful idea and I commend her for her ability to see that ideas don't have to be big and that it is okay, actually good, to think different. Carly not only encourages thinking outside of the box but taking the words to a higher level, she gives concrete examples and ways to allow our own creativity to flourish. I'm so pleased with her idea I started my own playlist.

The Chipper Series
This video is a good example of where one may end up when procrastination is a staple in your decision making process. This video is kinda long and drawn out, but it is a good representation of what putting off important responsibilities can do for you. Chipper was more interested in taking the easy way of learning instead of learning by doing she expected her teacher to learn for her. That may be how many of us expect to be taught but it doesn't prepare anyone for the reality of being able to do something on your own. EDM 310 has helped me to understand that in order to teach you have to be able to set goals, spend quality time reinforcing what was taught, practicing by doing, setting deadlines, and asking for help AFTER you have tried on your own. Having someone do everything for you deosn't teach or prepare you to do anything other than sitting on the side lines. The skills we are learning now in this class are going to be vital to our ability to survive in the real world as an educator. Do we merely want to "get by" or do we want to be another Rafe Esquith who detests the idea of a child growing to become anything less than extraordinary.
The EDM girls responsible for the video on procrastination have given me inspiration to create video's on how reading can be fun. I would like to read books to the children in my class and then have them act it out to bring the words to life. I will choose stories that have rhyming words, I think they are fun and easier to remember, also ones where there isn't focus on one single character so there will be more emphasis on sharing the spotlight and encouraging each other. I will continually be on the look out for ideas on creating an inspirational video like this one.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
This video is from the perspective of educators who are in favor of allowing the benefits of technology to become the foundation of education in schools today. Their point of view allows for children to incorporate social media cites and a vast array of online information that is not tolerated in classrooms at this time. One speaker describes present conditions as a class system when she believes it to be a better use of education funds to allow more of a community system. Which would replace standardized testing with testing for an ability to problem solve, interact multiculturally, find and validate information, and work in teams. These are the skills that really matter in realistic scenarios.

I agree that this would be a wonderful way to get children excited about their education, being responsible for what they contribute and how they learn. However, I'm not sure how or where to start, this would require a complete system overhaul and I don't see that as being realistic either. It sounds to me a lot like  homeschooling. I'm all for the "Death of education/Dawn of learning" but this process will have to start in classrooms where supervision and childcare are the reason they are there but not the priority. 

EDM 310 Scavenger Hunt

text that reads life is a scavenger huntscavenger hunt list

Discovery Education Web 2.0 Tools

Following cues from Justin Cometti's blog  I went on a scavenger hunt of Discovery Education's website.

One fun tool I discovered was
What would you ask? Try it, it's fun!

Build television sms voting polls at Poll Everywhere

 Another one is Edmodo. This tool was found in the community tools link. To begin an account all you need to do is visit and you are on your way to reaching out to teachers and students. Since facebook is a no-no for classroom collaboration this is a great alternative.

And a third find is located  in the presentation tools link. It is called Slide Share This site allows you to take a previously completed powerpoint or other presentation and convert it to a smartboard compatible file. This is a great tool to use that will enable the smart board to be more than just an under facilitated gadget in the classroom.


  1. Hello Erica,
    I enjoyed reading your blog. It was very detailed, I played around with Slide Share. I even created an account! I am late with doing my scavenger hunt, so yours helped me out a lot. Keep up the incredible work.

  2. Hello Erica,

    This was a very thoughtful post and I'm excited to see that you have created your own playlist after being inspired by Carly. There were a few spelling and grammatical errors, probably just typos, but you need to be careful about that and go back over what you've written before you post it. I recommend writing your posts in a Word Document, which will catch most small issues, and then copying it into Blogger.