Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blog Post #14

My Final Reflection

Project #16

Project #13

collaboration



For project #15, we mainly used Skype and Google Hangout. I really preferred using Google Hangout, but it was very "buggy. We often had issues with a member not being able to get into the Hangouts and we all got "kicked out" at some point or another and would have to re-join the session. We started out using Skype and soon found out it is set up for only two people unless you pay a fee for group conversations, but the three of us could still hear one another. Although we couldn’t see each other,  we used Skype a lot to talk about ideas and brainstorm. After deciding to divide our project into three parts, we used Google Docs to collaborate. Last, we used e-mail to share the final project file.






Sunday, April 29, 2012

Blog Post #13

Engage in an E-Media Fast


no electronics



     This past week, I was given the assignment of being electronic-free for 24 hours. I was not allowed to use any electricity or battery powered communications or entertainment devices. I took this one step further and cut out as many electrical or battery-powered devices that I could that weren't only for communications or entertainment. I choose to complete this arduous task on Wednesday. I began at 9:36 a.m. on Wednesday morning, which is when I got up and I completed my 24 hours on Thursday morning at 9:36 a.m. I made an exception in the battery-powered devices category because of my job. I needed to be able to check my cellphone once in the afternoon before I left for work because of the way my job is set up. The rest of the time, I had my cellphone completely turned off. I didn't really have an issue with not using my cellphone because it's not a smartphone and the only calls I make are for work or to my boyfriend and family. I will say that it was very inconvenient when I couldn't simply call or text my boyfriend about something.

     The worst part of no electronics for me was that I had no idea what time it was. I normally keep try of time with my car clock and my cellphone, but I wasn't using either one. When I needed to know the time, I would ask someone. These questions lead to great conversations. When I ate lunch in the cafeteria, I asked a girl about the time and explained that I was not using electronics for 24 hours. She and the rest of the people at her table agreed that they didn't think they couldn't go longer than an hour or two without their cellphones. While I was in the cafeteria, I noticed that there were quite a few televisions on the walls. I hadn't noticed them before, but finding a place to eat where I couldn't see them was pretty difficult.

When I got home in the evening, I found that I didn't really have anything that I could do. All of my homework needed to be completed online and I couldn't watch a movie or the television. We usually watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report as a family, but I couldn't, so everyone was a little frustrated with me. Fortunately, I was able to convince everyone to play Monopoly after dinner. When we finally made it upstairs to bed, I found a book that had been sitting on my shelf for months since I hadn't had the time to read it. I got a good start on the book and feel asleep. In the morning, I was woken up by my father, as I do not own an alarm clock and normally would use my cellphone.

Over the course of my 24 hours without electronics, I realized that I don't really do anything for entertainment that doesn't involve electronics. Normally, I would watch a movie, television, surf the web, etc. I found that it was really nice to not use technology all of  the time, but that it's really in everything we do. I also noticed that time seemed to move more slowly. This was probably because I wasn't zoned in on a screen at any point.

I spent a lot of time during my e-media fast thinking about my future students and just how wired they are going to be to electronics. I kept thinking of an article I read previously that suggested students should bring their own media to school because they will be more familiar with it. After doing this exercise, I think that it's impossible to think that one can get away with not using technology in the classroom. I think that if we don't, we will immediately lose our students as they will be thinking about when they can next be connected via electronics.



C4T #4 Summary Post

During the week of 4/9-4./15, I left a comment for Dr. Strange on his blog post entitled, "Lectures - Part 1." His post was about effectiveness of using the lecture method in the classroom. He discussed the opinions of several notable people and then asked these questions: why abandon lectures, what would be better, and what are the impediment to achieving a better replacement for lectures? Dr. Strange agave an answer to each of these questions, but also asked for opinions and thoughts.

Here is my comment:
Dr. Strange,
I have been "fussing" about the lecture method of teaching since I started college. I have had many professors simply lecture directly from PowerPoint slides. Oftentimes, these slides were provided, in entirety, by the textbook company. I felt as though my professors did not truly care about their students. I think that the "bond between professor and student," as Wesch suggests is very important and can be addressed in many ways. One of those ways is to not read from PowerPoints that are pre-made. 
I think that the traditional lecture method has had its heyday. I don't advocate for its complete eradication, but I do think that it needs to be used sparingly and carefully. 
I plan to use a combination of videos, interactive learning projects, discussions, and lectures to keep my students fully engaged and actively learning. It's important to find a level at which I can connect with my students and thus, facilitate an eagerness to learn, as well.
I hope to impart in my students an understanding and awareness of imagination, possibilities, life, and real-world skills.

Fact or Opinion?


During the week of 4/23-4/29, I another of Dr. Strange's blog posts. This particular post was titled, "Facts."
Dr. Strange explained his thoughts on the irrelevance of facts in today's world. He says that simply regurgingtating a fact is pointless, instead one should really want find answers and go through the important steps in finding them. He also argues that nearly anyone can say anything on the internet, so it is difficult to find the "real facts."

Below is the comment that I left for Dr. Strange:
Dr. Strange,I don't think that facts are irrelevant in all fields. In the above blog post, you referred to a conversation with a man about facts in American History. I can see where learning the exact dates of certain events in history isn't productive. However, it is very important to know about Boyle's Law in Chemistry, without fully knowing and being able to use Boyle's Law one cannot progress in Chemistry. Where does one draw the line about what facts should and shouldn't be "taught?"
In your final paragraph, you mention the usage of the internet in fact finding and checking. I think that one should use the same care in selecting a reliable website as one does in finding reliable sources for research papers or anything else where accuracy matters.
I believe in facts and do not think they are irrelevant. However, I heard a very interesting story on NPR today that was titled 'The Death Of Facts In An Age Of 'Truthiness' It seems that you and NPR agree that facts are no longer in the grand scheme of things. Here is a link to the NPR story:http://www.npr.org/2012/04/29/151646558/if-a-fact-dies-in-the-forest-will-anyone-believe-it
Best,Eleanor Pomerat

Project #15

Final Report on PLN

I've spent quite a bit of time building up my PLN this semester. One of the things I can across was this video, which gave new meaning to my PLN.





How do my life experiences make me a better teacher?
     Through EDM310 and many other education classes, I have developed and will continue to develop many friends and acquaintances who are education students, teachers and professors. Each of these people play a vital role in my PLN(personal learning network). These physical connections are tied into my online connections through blogging, twitter, email, commenting, and other things like these. For example, any friends or acquaintances that I've made in EDM310 have all of the above mentioned tools and I've probably communicated with them in at least one of those ways. I've also made connections online that are outside of school. I've been able to comment on many teacher's blogs and I've tweeted to some, as well. All of these experiences and the education classes that I have yet to take will hopefully make me a well-rounded and educated individual. I've really enjoyed learning about how to utilize technology in the classroom. I hope to bring this knowledge to my students and the demands of the modern-day classroom head on.

How do my relationships make me a better teacher?
     My relationships allow me to continue to learn and grow. Not only can I ask fellow students for their opinion, but I can go to professors and ask for help. Now, with my new-found knowledge of technology in the education field, I am able to ask a teacher, fellow student, or professor for help online. I also draw some of my creativity from seeing the wealth of ideas that other teachers have. It's truly wonderful to be able to see the hard work of a teacher in another country through the internet.


Now, here is most of my PLN:
my symbaloo
As you can see in the above photo, I have plenty of white spaces, but I think that the connections are made within most of these wonderful websites.

My PLN also includes:
Skype, Comments4Kids, Comments4Classmates, and Comments4Teachers. I will say that the blogs in the bottom right corner of the photo are mostly blogs that I've found through my C4T assignments.

I think PLN's are very important and I'm thrilled to have had them introduced to me. I plan to continue growing my PLN as I think it is an ongoing and ever-changing network that is never really complete.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blog Post #12

Read the following articles and watch the video on the use of video games in the classroom. Do you think that video games should be used in the classroom? If you don't think that video games should be used in the classroom, explain your reasoning 2 or more paragraphs. If yes, pick a video game that fits into your specialty( Elementary Ed, History, Physical Ed, etc.) and write about the possible uses for the game in your future classroom. Should you be an expert on the game before using it in your classroom or should you allow your students to be the experts as you and they play the game and learn. 


1.The Games Show(The first page is black)
2.Wii Love Learning: Using Gaming Technology to Engage Students
3.Becoming Lore Keepers
4.Using Video Games in the Classroom(video)


     Yes, I definitely think that video games can be used to supplement learning in the classroom. I don't think that my students should play only video games in class, but I can see the many uses that they have in making learning more accessible and interesting for students.

     The video game the I have chosen to write about is called Zoo Tycoon 2. In Zoo Tycoon 2, students are responsible for building up a zoo, managing its finances, hiring employees.  Each student has an unlimited amount of money, but they have limited space. The student must built the proper habitat for the proper animal. For example, a zebra must live in the savannah. Students are also required provide food and drink stands for visitors to the zoo. This game can be used to help my future students learn about animals and their habitats, responsibility, and money management.

     I think that because I will be teaching Elementary age students, I will need to know the intricacies of the game, inside and out. I'm sure that I will be asked many questions and I need to be able to know how to answer them from the beginning. If there is a child that knows how to play the game very well, then I'll be glad to ask for additional advice or allow him/her to help someone who is having trouble.


Note: I really enjoyed this assignment. Thank you for the opportunity to design my own assignment.

Progress Report on Project #16

     My group and I are excited about our project for Project #16. We have had the plan for it in place as long as  we have had a group formed, so very near the beginning of the semester. We've spend a little bit of time discussing our project #16 during our online sessions for project #13. Thus, we have been able to finalize our plans for it and will be meeting on Tuesday of this coming week to make sure that we have it completed in time for the deadline.

Final Project

C4K Summary for April

Kids Connected Around the World



On March 31st, I commented on a wonderful slideshow that Drew made about Global Warming. He outlined some problems: temperatures and sea levels rising. He also outlined some solutions: Use less hot water, switch off the lights, and "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle."

Here is the comment that I left for Drew:
Dear Drew,
My name is Eleanor Pomerat and I’m a student at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed your presentation on Global Warming. It was very convincing and it seemed like you put a lot of thought into it. I will try to donate a dollar to the plantabillion website; Until I read your blog post, I had never heard of it. Where did you find out about it? I look forward to reading your future posts. 

     On April 8th*, I commented on Drew's blog again. This time it was on a post entitled "Making A Difference in the World." Drew's blog post was focused on water.org. He did a superb job listing facts, posting pictures, and posting a link to a video. At the end of his post, Drew asks his readers these questions: "What will you do to help? Raise awareness? donate? Or the big one, actually fly over to the countries and help out.

This is the comment that I left for Drew on April 8th:
Dear Drew,
My name is Eleanor Pomerat and I’m commenting on your blog for the second week.
I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog posts. I read your post and then, I spent some time looking around water.org. It really is a great website!
I will help by spreading awareness. I don’t really have the funds to be able to donate and I certainly can’t afford to fly overseas. However, lack of clean drinking water is a major issue and deserves much more awareness. I will create awareness by using water.org’s surprising facts and by holding fundraisers. Do you know of any other websites that have good facts and information to use?
I have one tip for you: remember to proofread.
Best,
Eleanor Pomerat

     Drew didn't have a new post for me for leave a comment on during the week of April 9th to 15th*, so I went back in time (per Dr. Strange's suggestion) and left a comment on a previous blog post by Drew. He had a wonderful post about how to comment. He explained that it is important to focus on the things are done well in a blog post and then to give advice on the things that need improvement. Secondly, Drew suggested that you ask questions. Finally, he wrote that it's very important to only say "useful" things. The comment I left for Drew was in reply to his post and encouraging him to post again.

Here it is:
Dear Drew,
My name is Eleanor Pomerat and I am a student at the University of South Alabama.
I really enjoyed reading your advice on the best way to comment. Earlier this semester, my professor gave us suggestions on how to write good comments. His suggestions were really close to yours.
How long have you been blogging?
I left you a comment on this post because you didn’t have any new posts that I could read and comment on. I always enjoy reading your posts and hope to see a new one soon!
Best,
Eleanor Pomerat

     On April 20th, I left a comment on Titan's blog. He is a 1st grader in Ms. Cassidy's classroom. His post was entitled "Hiding Eggs At Easter." Titan's post is too short for me to properly summarize, so I will copy it here:"las tim it wus esd and the esd bune hud esd."

Here is the comment that I left for Titan:
Hi Titan,
I really enjoyed reading your blog post. Did the Easter Bunny hide eggs at school and at home? I love Easter, but I can't eat very much chocolate because it will give me a headache. What is your favorite kind of Easter Candy?
Bye,
Eleanor Pomerat
University of South Alabama

 *For the comments that I left on April 8th and April 15th. The actual comments show a time-stamp of the following day. However, I sent emails immediately after leaving these comments to edm310c3k@gmail.com and those emails were sent on April 8th and April 15th, respectively. Thus, it is impossible for me to have left those comments on the following day. I wrote about this issue in my c4k email on April 8th.

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts - Special Post #12A

Childlike Curiosity




1. Do schools in the United States systematically destroy (or inhibit) the development of curiosity and/or creativity in students? If yes, why does that happen? If no, how do you counter the argument of Sir Ken Robinson that schools do undermine the development of creativity in students?


     Yes, schools do destroy the development of creativity and curiosity in students. This is done by forcing students to take standardized tests. Students end up spending all of their time learning material to be tested on and teachers spend much of their time "teaching to the test." These students should be creatively exploring their world and learning for the sake of learning. If given the chance, children will want to learn and explore.

2. Can a curriculum be developed that increases the curiosity of students? If so, what would be the key components of such a curriculum?
3.Can a curriculum be developed that increases the creativity of students? If so, what would be the key components of such a curriculum?

     Yes, there are actually quite a few possibilities for a curriculum that increases (doesn't inhibit) the curiosity or creativity of students. In this class, we've seen the possibilities of a project-based curriculum. A project-based curriculum is set up on a pass or fail scale and there are no grades for individual projects, only completed, not completed, and late. Another possible curriculum could be the Waldorf curriculum (What is Waldorf Education?). In the Waldorf curriculm children are encouraged to play, sing, and learn from their environment. There are no grades, only pass or fail. Individual assignments are given ar completed or not completed status. Testing is not a component of either of the above curriculum. Both of the aforementioned curriculum's allow for learning about one's own environment in ways that encourage curiosity, creativity and the nurturing of a child.

4. Can a teacher's actions increase the curiosity of students? If so, what would be those actions?
5. Can a teacher's actions increase the creativity of students? If so, what would be those actions?

     Yes, I think that a teacher can completly change the tone and feel of a classroom. If a teacher doesn't particularily care about his/her students or their success, the students will know it. It is one hundred percent vital that a teacher cares about his/her students completely. I think that in many ways a wonderful curriculum can be completely spoiled by a poor teacher. A teacher can facilitate creativity and curiosity by using a good curriculum, truly caring, and by supporting her/ his students.

6.What would help you become more creative? What role would teachers and/or schools have in that process?
7. What would help you become more curious? What role would teachers and/or schools have in that process?


     I think that I am more creative, curious, and generally happy because I'm in the field of education. I feel that I will be able to go into the classroom and make a difference in the lives of my students. With all of that said, I will be careful in choosing a school that is a good fit for me and what I want to achieve. If I cannot get along with the teachers and administration, then I won't be able to make my changes. Also, I think it's important to find a healthy school environment.


     Elli's full name is Elspeth Bishop. She was born and grew up in Colorado. Elspeth now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah where skiing.  She is the author of Curiosity Fuels Creativity: Teaching your kids to be curious and writes for InGoodMeasure.net. More information about her can be found out on her Google+.

    I could easily contact Ms. Bishop through Google+, but I chose not to contact her because her profile was private and I didn't want to intrude into her life. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Post #11

First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class




     I really enjoyed watching the 1st grader's in Ms. Cassidy's Class. As part of their online experience they use a class webpage, wikis, blogs, videos, Skype, and a Nintendo DS game called Nintendogs. They are definitely some very technologically-literate students.


Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy

     Ms. Cassidy explained that she got involved in teaching with technology about "10 years ago," when her classroom was given 5 computers that had internet access, but could not have programs added to them. Ms. Cassidy explored the possibilities and took some time for professional development. What technology she ultimately decided to use can be seen in the video above. These days, Ms. Cassidy uses many kinds of technology with her 1st grade students.  While listening to the interview with Ms. Cassidy, I heard her say that she was the only person that she knew in her school, who teaches like she does, with technology. However, she did say that the other grade 1 teacher had been very interested in adding technology to the classroom. She says that she uses blogs because her students aren't interested in simply writing on paper for an audience of one (her). A blog allows her students to have a much larger audience. She even records the pages views that they get on their blogs with something called Class Blogmeister. The Skype interview was conducted in 2010 during which Ms. Cassidy had her students blogging once per week, occasionally twice. She says that her policy on this changes each year.

     Ms. Cassidy says that she really has not encountered negativity within the administration of her school and school board. She thinks this is partly because of her wonderful technology coordinator. I think that I would be very likely to encounter issues with administration at my school and with the local school board, if I implemented as much technology in the classroom as Ms. Cassidy has. However, I would love to have a website set up for my students to use, like the one in the video above. I would also love to have students blog and Skype. I might even include some video making. I loved the point that Ms. Cassidy made that her students have grown up with this kind of technology and thus are comfortable with it.  I think that my students will have better communication skills. They will be able to write, spell, and work together much better. I believe this because they will be writing for an audience at a young age and thus making an effort.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

kids and technology

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blog Post #10

Do You Teach or Do You Educate?

     The above video is about the difference in the definitions of the words to teach and to educate. I think the video makes a strong case that anyone and everyone should educate not simply teach. When I decided to get into the field of education, it was partly because I don't like the way that students are being taught in schools. I want to change this; not for every student, as I know that isn't feasible, but for all students that I come in contact with. I want them to be educated and to be active learners.

     I believe that everyone deserves the chance to learn from and engage their environment. This is a matter of respect. Thus, we should not simply explain everything and not allow for the active learning. In my classroom, I look forward to seeing mistakes; they are what allow each of us to learn. Making mistakes helps us to understand what we did wrong and/or what we can do better. Yet, if we only do what we are told, then we simply don't know how to do any better.


Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home

pencils

     Mr. Spencer's post was written as a response to Larry Ferlazzo's post on home computer usage. Regardless, I was very frustrated by Mr. Spencer's post because I noticed that Gertrude, as he calls her, completely missed the real point of the study. She took someone else's conclusion and used it to jump to another erroneous conclusion. It very important to scientifically think about one's conclusions and how they are reached. Gertrude assumed that pencils are inherently "bad." She made this assumption based on reading one study. How could she negate centuries of pencil usage, just like that?

     Pencils are writing tools. We use them everyday to write essays, notes, and even to fill out tests. I don't understand how students using pencils at home can decrease their test scores. Actually, if pencils are used properly at home, then test scores should go up. Mr. Spencer was very smart to suggest educating students and parents on proper pencil usage. I even agree with him that playing Hangman and writing to Pen-Pals can be educational. Students can learn to spell words more accurately and write less haltingly. All-in-all, I think that pencils are very important tools that must be used carefully. There is even a very high chance that with the appropriate usage pencils can help to increase test scores.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

C4T #3

web technology conference


     Mr. David Wees posted a blog post entitled: Math in the Real World: Gardening. In his post, he describes a problem that his aunt and uncle are having; They want to build a garden bed with a special size and shape. When their garden bed is done, they want it to be 3 feet on 3 sides and 4 feet on one side with a trapezoid shape. His uncle just needs to know the angle for each side of the trapezoid, so the he can cut the wood with his miter saw. Mr. Wees decides that this problem will need to be solved using more that one method and uses Wolfram Alpha, a graphing calculator, Geogebra, and the Law of Cosines. After using of of theses methods, he is pretty sure of his solution, but he asks the question: "Which of these techniques would you classify as "mathematics"?"


     During the week of March 19th to March 25th, I left a comment for Mr. Wees on this blog post. I wrote the following comment:

Dear Mr. Wees,
I am leaving you a comment as part of an assignment for Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama.
Firstly, I really enjoyed reading your blog post.
You ask if it matters how you solve the problem: I think that real-life mathematics problems should be solved by using whatever tools are available, so long as you are able to carefully check over your work. It should then go without saying that regardless of the method/technique used, I would classify it as mathematics. I noticed that you used quite a few techniques to check you work. Do you think that it's important to use more than one technique, when finding the solution to a mathematical problem?
Best,
Eleanor Pomerat


On March 30th, David Wees posted a blog post entitled, Another alternative to the traditional conference. He wrote of a new and interesting idea that would revolutionize the traditional conference model. The traditional model has each conference member making it to the conference and attempting to make connections with people, while there. This new model would have a system of email set up with each conference member in a "cohort" way before the conference. Hopefully, this new model will/would allow for members to make contacts before they every reach the conference and then, once at the conference, they will/would be placed into the same sort of groups for their sessions. This way allows each person to make contacts way in advance of a conference and to simply continue the communication, once there.

During the week of March 26th to April 1st, I left a comment for Mr. Wees on this blog post. Here is my comment:

Mr Wees,
My name is Eleanor Pomerat. I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I will post a summary of of the comments that I have left for you to my blog before 4/2.
I was very interested to read your thoughts on changing the way conferences work. I've heard of using twitter during a session; someone asking for responses by tweet and such, but that's a very limited use of technology and doesn't really bring people together with a sense of community, as conferences are really meant to. I agree that email is the best option currently available that is widely used and accepted by all ages. With that said, I think that email will become a sort of dinosaur for the next generation, who are currently shying away from it. I say this as a member of this younger generation. I don't have a perfect solution, but I think the perfect kind of new technology would mesh the community side of Facebook with the professional side of email. This new interface would need to be carefully set up to allow for archiving, but also for interactive activities within a session. Do you know of something that is currently available that is a cross between facebook, email, and a forum? I think that would be the very best option.
I really enjoyed reading your post and hope that this kind of conference come to fruition; it's a wonderful idea.
Best,
Eleanor Pomerat

Blog Post #9

and 

Key Points

  • How to Read the Crowd
  • Be Flexible
  • Communicate
  • Be Reasonable
  • Don't be Afraid of Technology
  • Listen to Your Students
  • Never Stop Learning
  • Adapt
  • The Path Least Traveled
  • Find Your School Mom
  • Check You Ego At The Door
  • Don't Be a Control Freak
  • Scope and Sequence
  • Don't Lose Sight of What's Important
  • It's What You Learn After You Know It All That Matters
     Above are the headers for each section of McClung's What I've Learned in the Past Year blog posts from 2008-2010. The points that I've deemed most important have been made bold.

     Mr. McClung writes that it's important to remain flexible when teaching because a lesson plan never goes according to plan. This point is very crucial and yet rather simple, in my opinion. Next, Mr. Joe McClung says that communication is important and he explains that it isn't really the communication with students that he learned from, but dealing with other teachers. At the same time, Mr. McClung suggests finding someone, whom he calls a "School Mom" to help you navigate the individual quirks of the school you are teaching at. He then says that listening to ones students is essential and that teacher do not know in enough, in general about the students they are teaching. Mr. McClung brings up adapt because he taught at a different school the second year, then his first. His second year he taught in three different subjects. 

     Mr. McClung warns not to lose yourself in teaching and simply going with the flow. He suggests taking whatever path suits you and if you're the only person on it, so be it. Finally, he says that it's important to let things happen in the classroom. If a classroom discussion gets slightly off topic, but the kids are learning and paying attention, then don't stress it. Basically, "don't lose sight of what's important," which is doing the very best you can for you students. 

I really enjoyed reading Mr. McClung's blog posts. I think that a great deal of his key points are common sense, but perhaps, I only say that because I've been working with kids for the last 8 years; I don't expect anything to go perfectly according to plan. Regardless, it's not Mr. Joe McClung's key points that I found wonderful, but his comments on the school workplace environment, his realization that he could keep his students attention by asking them get up to get their own handout, and his advice that everyone needs a "School Mom." Also, I was thrilled to read that he didn't give up when he realized that he was just giving lectures. He figured out what he could do and did it. That is exactly the kind of attitude that we need in teachers. 
The Best Teachers Teach What We Can't Learn From Books



Project #14

C4K Summary for March

What I Did With Scouts: by Kai
Snowball fight

     In his blog post, Kai wrote about a scouting trip that he took for a weekend, with friends. He wrote about some of the activities that he was able to participate in over the weekend, including archery, bed time bingo, and a snow ball fight. Kai said that he was able to get an "arrow in the middle" during archery. It sounded, to me, like he quite a bit of fun on the trip.

     I left Kai a comment during the week of 3/19-3/25. I wrote that when I was younger, I enjoyed archery and told him that making a bull's-eye was "awesome." Then,  I asked Kai what made Bed Time Bingo different from traditional bingo. Finally, I wrote that it hadn't snowed in over 10 years and I wished it would snow here, in Mobile more often because I would love to be able have a snowball fight.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Post #8

Dreams


This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2 by Richard Miller

     In the above videos, Dr. Miller makes the point that as a society, we are not yet set- up to allow for a different  kind of composition. This new kind of composition would take us from using computers and word processors to new realms, in which the web can be used to compose. Dr. Miller suggests that it isn't enough for us to simply add film and sound to existing text documents. He says that we need to embrace an entirely new process- wherein we can have YouTube or another website/program as a way to create a composition. I was stuck by Dr. Miller's point that it can take month's to publish a book or only minutes to publish a YouTube video. Dr. Miller's does seem to realize just how difficult it will be to completely change the way a society thinks and composes. However, he insists that these new forms of composition are beautiful, compelling, and "fundamentally different." He believes that they will allow us to combine science with the humanities. He ends his second video with these words: "We can do this. We should do this. Thank you."

     I really enjoyed watching Dr. Miller's videos. He made some wonderful points. Firstly, I agree that we can completely change the way composition is done. However, I think that this change will come about through time and that we don't need to giving it a helping hand. We are currently in a day and age, where we are told that newspapers are disappearing and that everything is moving online. Thus, I do not think that the day where word processors are a thing of the past is very far behind. It would be very nice to be able to create something and be able to fully emphasize what you want noticed. I've found it very difficult to do that when using only word processors.

     While I am eager to see the new technology available and the exciting new ways to express ourselves that will appear in conjuction; I do wonder if I'm completely ready for the change. I will admit that I dislike only being able to use bold, underline, italics, and strikethrough in a post. I feel like there should be something more. I do think that film allows a greater range, but I am eager to see the possibilities. I'm sure that I'll find many wonderful things to embrace.

     I think that by the time I'm the sole teacher to a classroom of students, the technology will be there to allow my students to write using multimedia. I know that some of it is already available, as students are able to create videos on Youtube and flash files, etc. I'm sure that my students will embrace such interesting and new ways to compose. I look forward to being able to introduce them to these.


Blog Post #12 by Carly Pugh

     I think that Carly gets very close to Dr. Millers hopes for multimedia, but in a different way. Carly seems to suggest that we fully embrace the technology that we already have to fully engage our students. I do not mean to say that Carly is not for the advancement of multimedia for the purposes of writing, but I did not read anything about the future of technology in her blog post.  She writes that "Visuals are a great help, in my opinion." I am a visual learner, so I can easily see the benefits of having the videos and other materials supplement a classroom.

The Chipper Series and EDM310 For Dummies

I think that the underlying message of each of the above videos was to make sure that you really give EDM 310 a shot because it in turn gives you so many wonderful tools and skills. Some videos that I would like to create include: a Green Screen tutorial and inspirational video to encourage those in EDM 310 to keep going so they can see the reward of their labors.


Learn to Change, Change to Learn 
change



     I'm 100% behind the message of this video. I think schools do need to end standardized testing and quit looking for the right or wrong answer. I'm for collaboration and working together. How can a school be like a factory? These are our children and our future, not packed goods. I think that sometimes we forget how important every child is to our future and just how much difference one person can make. One of the women in the video makes the point that children learn everywhere. Let's create a school that teaches children how to learn, not just teaches them material.

 Scavenger Hunt 2.0

     I created a teacher profile on Edmodo. I must say that I was very happily surprised by the possibilities Edmodo provides on their website. I could have my future students create an account and assign them work through the website. It seems that the website also allows for me to group my students into groups, thus, separating different classes. I can even create polls and quizzes for my students through Edmodo.

     Prezi has a great deal on pricing for students and teachers. They have two options for you, if you provide a .edu email address. The first option allows you to make your prezi's private, gives you 500 MB of storage space, provides help within 24 hours(1 business day), and allows you to use your own logo. This first option is call Edu Enjoy and is completely free. The second option is called Edu Pro. It costs $59 dollars a year after a 30 free trial. The only differences between this second option and the first are 2GB of storage and the ability to use Prezi Desktop for offline editing.

     Animoto is a fun website that allows you to create videos. It is designed to analyze your photos, music, and any video clips you may have, then it creates a custom video based on these files. This means that you spend less time worrying about what your video will look like and more time preparing to speak about it and or find content for it. If you are an educator, Animoto will allow you to apply for a free Animoto Plus account. There a quite a few options for uploading videos when using Animoto; videos can be uploaded to Myspace, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, email, or using the iPhone app created by Animoto. 

Project #11

I made two videos for my project #11.

I first tried to use the green screen:




After realizing that there were several issues within the green screen video, that could not be fixed; I made a second video:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Blog Post #7

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

network


     This video is about a theoretical student, named 21st Century Student, who is taught through an online course, without a physical textbook. This student is asked to create his own textbook by using iTunesU, GoogleScholar, his school's library database, delicious, Skype, and an RSS reader in what is called a Personal Learning Network (PLN). This process is guided by a teacher, who ensures that the student is able to set up his PLN. However, the student is very much taught through his PLN.

     I thought that this video, The Networked Student, made an interesting point. It suggests that computers replace pen and paper in the classroom and that teachers take a step back and only guide, not teach. Furthermore, it proposes that students should teach themselves by using online resources.

     I'm not sure that being self-taught is a perfect solution. In the past, I have taken classes both online and traditionally. That said, I do not think that each student will be so interested in every class that they will be willing to teach themselves about each topic. I think that this is a great method for the student who is deeply interested in a topic, but I don't think that this should be used for every student in every class.

     I do advocate students using a PLN and being aware of the resources available, but I think that it's important to remember that we all have certain things that we are very interested in and want to know more about, and others  that we have never learned much about and don't have a propensity to learn about. In my mind, it's better to know a great deal about a few things, than not much about many things. I do not think, even in the age of technology, that we can all be very knowledgeable about many things.

 A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (or PLN)

Here is a comparison of my PLN to the PLE depicted in the video.

Mine:                                                    Hers:
Comments4Teachers                           Evernote
Comments4Kids                                   Delicious

Twitter                                                 Glogster
Facebook                                             Facebook
Google+                                               Youtube
Blogger                                                Blogger
Skype                                                  Skype
Google Docs


     My PLN has 3 matches with the 7th graders PLE. I think that she and I took different approaches to our PLN's. Hers is set up with tools that can be used to help her put the information she has gather together, where as mine is much more geared toward connecting with people to actually gather the information and knowledge. 

C4T #2

About a Teacher
By: Greta Sandler
Blog

     I read Ms. Sandler's blog post entitled, Finding My Voice. Her post was written about her return to the world of writing after many years and what ultimately caused the birth of her blog, About a Teacher. She wrote that she had been interested in writing when she was little, but that she lost her nerve somewhere along the way. Years later, a friend of hers (through her PLN) asked her to write a guest blog post and she agreed. Ms. Sandler said that it was very difficult for her to write that post, but once it was written, she decided that it was the best thing she had ever written. After that post, she was hooked on writing because she had finally found her voice. Finally, Ms. Sandler wrote that writing a blog post for her own blog gives her classroom an audience and forces her to take a step out of her comfort zone.

I left a comment for Ms. Sandler that reads as such,
Ms. Greta,
My name is Eleanor Pomerat and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I have often had difficulty in writing, as well. I find that blog posts can take me hours to write and leaving a comment can take nearly an hour! I have not read your post “my best piece ever,” but I will make sure that I do, as I thoroughly enjoyed this post.
You wrote that blogging has changed how you teach, as you reflect more deeply when writing for an audience. I wonder, does it still take you a long time to write a blog post?
I love that you write about how we need to “step out of our comfort zones.” I completely agree with you; I think that in order for wonderful things to happen in the classroom, we have to have let go and simply let them happen.
Regards,
Eleanor Pomerat

     Ms. Sandler did not post another blog post during the time period given for C4T#2, so I left my second comment on her previous blog post, which was entitled Kids Motivating Other Kids to Blog!. Ms. Sandler wrote about having brought some students into her classroom that she had taught the previous year. She asked these students to share their "blogging adventures" with her current students. Ms. Sandler includes a listing of some of the things her previous students said about blogging including,
The blog was the best, I blogged all the time, when I was happy, sick, bored… all the time!“, said Vickucha
     Ms. Sandler wrote that listening to her previous students talk to each about blogging and how much they had enjoyed it, was "one of my most inspiring moments as a teacher." She ends her post by saying that she and her current students are eager to begin their own blogging experience.

My second comment for Ms. Sandler was this:

Ms. Sandler,
My name is Eleanor Pomerat. I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 Class at the University of South Alabama. I left you a comment two weeks ago on another of your blog posts. This the final comment I am leaving you; after which, I will post a summary of my comments in a blog post.
I really enjoyed reading your blog post. It’s wonderful to know that there are children excited about writing and blogging. It sounds as though some of your students became writers. I am just now (this year) learning how valuable and important blogging and commenting is for students in this day and age. Have you heard of Comments4Kids?
Regards,
Eleanor Pomerat
Naturally, I left a link to my blog in both of my comments.

An Update On My PLN: Project #10

My personal PLN(Personal Learning Network) has greatly expanded this semester. Below are some of the tools that I am using to expand my PLN.

Here are the things that I have begun using that I had never used before this class:

Comments4Teachers
Comments4Kids


I am very excited about having these two tools under my belt, as I can foresee being able to learn from many wonderful people around the world.

I wish I could say that I have received a comment back from a teacher or a kid that I have left a comment for, but I have not.

I've have used in the past and am expanding my (professional) use of:

Twitter
Facebook
Google+
Blogger
Skype
Google Docs

As the name PLN suggests, each of these tools has allowed me a greater ability to network with people around the world.

I ended up losing half an hour the other day, because I was on Twitter reading some tweets between Mr. William Chamberlain and one of his colleagues. They were having a conversation about whether or not students should be assigned homework. I ended up learning a great deal.

I am eager to continue broadening my PLN and to keep the L firmly within it.

Professional Learning Network

Project #9b



Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blog Post #6


The Last Lecture by Randy Paush

     I really enjoyed listening to The Last Lecture. Randy Paush was diagnosed with liver cancer and given 3-6 months to live. This lecture was given during that time on September 18th 2007. He passed away on July 25th 2008. Randy Paush was a brilliant man who accomplished many great things. He was also terribly funny. In this lecture, he covered three topics: his childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others, and his lessons learned: how you can achieve your dreams or enable the dreams of others.

     Randy Paush had 6 childhood dreams and he managed to reach 4 of them. The ones that he obtained were being in zero gravity, being a Disney imagineer, writing an article for World Book Encyclopedia, and winning stuffed animals. He did not achieve being Captain Kirk, but he did meet William Shatner. He also was not able to play in the NFL, but he said that "football got me where I am today." I think that the dreams Mr. Paush was able to accomplish were truly remarkable. There aren't many non-astronauts who can say that they've been in zero gravity! Randy Paush had a wonderful saying, "Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things."

     Mr. Paush started a wonderful course called Building Virtual Worlds. The entire course was/is project based and each project is to be completed as part of a group in a two-week time span. Once each project is completed, the people in your group will change and you will complete another project. Randy Paush used many teaching methods, like these. He was very open to trying new things in the classroom. He pushed his students to do better and treated each student as someone with potential.

     He helped start a master's program at Carnegie-Mellon. This program is completely different from "normal" master's programs. It is all project-based and includes many field trips. There are no books. Mr. Paush said that you shouldn't need any books, as you spent plenty of time reading books in your undergraduate career. There are companies that have signed a guarantee saying they will employee graduates of this master's program. Randy Paush was definitely a pioneer in education. I hope to use the idea of project- based learning in my classroom. 

     Finally, Mr. Paush spoke about his lessons learned. Here are some things Randy Paush said that he learned: to help others, to Never lose the Childlike Wonder and Loyalty is a two-way street. He also gave this advice: 
  • Tell the truth
  • Be earnest
  • Apologize when you screw up
  • Show gratitude
  • don't complain; work harder
  • Be good at something: it makes you valuable
  • Work hard
  • Find the best in everybody; no matter how long you have to wait for them to show it
  • Be prepared: "luck" is where preparation meets opportunity
     Mr. Paush suggested "Decide if you're a Tigger or an Eeyore.” Thus, are you going to go through life enjoying it or moping?
The Last Lecture

C4K Summary for February

Ring of Children

OmarA's Blog Post
     During the week of 2/5 to 2/12, I left a comment on OmarA's blog. His blog post was about his school, which was not disclosed for privacy reasons. He wrote that he loved his school and was pleased to attend a school that taught the Quran and Arabic. He also mentioned that the student council at his school was going to hold a toy and canned food drive. OmarA went on to say that his school had spirit days, where they sold Popsicle's.

     I told him that I was glad his school taught Arabic and the Quran to its students. I asked about what his school did on Spirit days. I also wrote that if I were nearer to his school, then I would donate some canned goods and toys to the student councils drives. I said that it sounded like the student council at his school did some really good things.  I left a link to my blog and the EDM310 class blog in my comment. http://kidblog.org/MrsDiazsScholars/omar66/nh-2/#comment-341

Ella's Blog Post
     During the week of 2/12 to 2/18, I left a comment for Ella on her blog. Her blog post was about completing her second year and moving to year three. She said that her favorite thing in year 2 was getting her own blog. She asked two questions of her readership. The first one was "what grade are you in" and the second one was " What has been one of your favorite things this year?"

     When I left a comment for Ella; I answered her questions. I told Ella that I was a junior in college at the University of South Alabama. I also said that I had enjoyed being able to take classes in the French language this year. I left a link to my blog in my comment.

Travis' ePortfolio Site
     During the week of 2/18 to 2/25, I left a comment for Travis. He has an ePortfolio site. I had to leave my comment on the classroom page, per his teachers instructions. He wrote about  some of the things he enjoys doing in his free time. He said that he enjoys hanging out with friends, going to the movies, going to a place called Jump Sky High, and playing video games. He also likes to play basketball, football, and golf.

     In the comment that I left for Travis, I told him that I liked to play football, as well. I also told him that I liked going to the movies. I said that I had been to the movies recently and seen Hugo. I asked if he had seen Hugo. I wrote that I enjoyed playing videos games and owned an Xbox 360. I asked Travis about what kind of video games he enjoyed playing and I told him that I had enjoyed reading his post. I left a link to my blog.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Project #9a

Blog Post #5

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please? 
     When I read Dr. Scott McLeod's post, I didn't know who he was; I have now found and read a biography of him on his website. He is a an associate professor at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches Educational Leadership. He is also the founder of a center dedicated to the leadership needs of school administrators. The center is the only one of its kind in the United States and is called the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education(Castle). 

     I really enjoyed reading Dr. McLeod's post, he makes some very valid points. His post seemed to be formed out of a frustration with the general lack of knowledge of technology that is found in much of the population. I think that because I've encountered so many people, in my own life, who have said such things to me, as "I'm worried that if I put any of my information online, then someone could come find me." This sentiment often spills over into the realm of parenting and thus, these parents are scared to let their children do much, if anything on the internet. Dr. McLeod's post brought many conversations back to my mind and really made me rethink some of the things that I was still a little apprehensive about, such as cyberbullying and online predators. However, with that said, I'm not completely flippant about these issues, but I have realized that with proper education and guidance- children will learn how to deal with each of these issues.
logo     When Travis Allen was a senior at a high school in Georgia, he realized that the education system was broken and decided to find a solution. He found it and created a video to inform the public. Mr. Allen uses his video to answer the question, "Does technology belong in our classroom?" He provides an answer by suggesting the use of the iSchool, which would be formed on Apple's iPod touch platform. He gives examples of many applications that currently exist on the iPod touch, including Email, WorldWiki, Recorder, Notes, and Scientific Calculator. Each of these apps could be used in the classroom, without any adjustment needed. He goes to suggest the possibility of customizable applications in which, each school could post their lunch menu or each students grades. Mr. Allen says that by using the iPod touch platform students would no longer need textbooks, pencils, paper, etc. He also explains that using the iPod instead of tradition tools for teaching, schools could save up to 600 dollars per student. Mr. Allen evens notes the possibility of limited internet access on the iPod's to only educational websites. Thus, he decided to form the iSchool Initiative, which is a 
group of corporations, Apple programmers, and businesses. 

     In the video ZeitgeistYoungMind's Entry, Mr. Allen provides an update on the iSchool Initiative. It has gotten publicity worldwide. He is now a 20 year-old student at Kennesaw State University. His iSchool Initiative has developed into a group of 25 students who travel the United States informing others of the possibilities of mobile education. Mr. Allen even says that school around the world have decided to switch to mobile learning  via the iSchool initiative.

     Before I watched Mr. Allen's videos, I was unaware of many of the powerful educational applications that are available on the Apple iPod touch for usage by students. I knew about many of the applications that can be used by children with special needs, but I didn't realize how many applications were also available for classroom usage. They seem like such great resources. I think it would be very beneficial to have iPod's in the classroom and to use them as additional tools, but that they shouldn't be used as the only teaching tools. Children should have the ability to participate in many forms of learning. For example, in elementary school; the students should be able to learn through games, songs, playing, and technology. If iPod's are the solution to the need for technology, then I have no issue, but I think it's important to remember that children need time to play and learn without screens, as well. 

     I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir perform his piece 'Lux Aurumque', which means Light and Gold in Latin. I have been singing in various choirs since I was in 3rd grade and I think that it's a huge step for technology for choral singing to be able to be performed via the internet. I was very surprised, as a professional singer, at how "together" the choir remained during the performance, so I went to Mr. Whitacre's website and found out just how the performance was recorded. According to the website, each part is recorded while watching a video of Mr. Whitacre conducting the piece, then the part is uploaded to the Virtual Choir website. Mr. Whitacre uses all of the videos submitted in the final performance. I do think that an online performance loses some of the beautiful resonance that can be heard in a live performance, but this was still a wonderful performance.

Teaching in the 21st Century
     Kevin Robert's Prezi made some very good points. He seems to say that What it means to teach in the 21st Century is that educators must be prepared to fully engage students. Educators need to be able to allow students to creatively solve problems and come up with their own solutions. This means guided learning, but not hand-held learning. We need to have less hand-holding by teachers and more freedom to use technology.

     Teachers are going to need to really be educators. They need to educate for life skills. I think that the education system will change drastically because of this, but I don't think that I will have a problem changing with the system as I feel all educators should be fully-involved in actively engaging every child.

     I went to the website Reading Rockets and I found a wealth of information on how to help children learn how to read and for helping those who can read, but have difficulty. I found some great resources including, research articles, which covered nearly all aspects of reading from "Early literacy and preschool" to "Summer Learning and Out-Of-School Programs." These articles can be used for teacher education purposes and I'm sure there is much that I could learn from them.

     I also found a link some booklists based on a child's interest. If a child wants to read about the Olympics, animals, or even detectives, then there is a booklist available on Reading Rockets. The website even had podcasts and links to educational PBS television shows. I look forward to using this great resource in my future classrooms.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blog Post #4


     I listened to the Flat Stanley podcast on Langwitches. This podcast was done by a class of first graders, after they read the book Flat Stanley by Jam Brown. In the podcast, each of the children talked about their adventures as a "Flat Stanley." Although, they each had a different "flat" name, such as Flat Evan or Flat Jeremy. The children's adventures included Tokyo(Japan) , North Pole, Space, and Alabama(United States). Every child described how they got to their destination of choice and what interesting places they encountered. I must say that I was amazed by how articulate the children sounded and how much research must have been done by each of them. This is the kind of podcast that I would love to have my future students create.

dfajdl;fja


     This was a really interesting podcast. A classroom of 2nd year students in Elementary school read a book called Purim. Purim is written in Hebrew and yet, each child was able to speak a part in the podcast and sounded, to me, as though they spoke Hebrew fluently. Garageband was the computer program used by the students and their teacher to put the podcast together.

     Each student recorded their part and when they were all done, the parts needed to be put into order. As the students put their voice parts in order, they continued to hear themselves and each other, over and over again. This was one of the key goals of the podcast. Apparently, someone will begin to really comprehend what they are hearing after they have heard a word about 70 times. I'm sure each of these kids got very near that number because they sounded like that knew exactly what they were talking about!

podcasting


     In Joe Dale's, The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom, he explains the possibility of using podcasts to minimize the amount of learning lost to sick time by children. He says that it's actually possible to provide children with podcasts of what happened in class each day. Mr. Dale also shows several examples of ways that podcasts can be used as a supplement to simply reading books in class. A principal who Mr. Dale asked about podcasting suggests that podcasts allow parents to hear a fragment of what happens in the classroom.

My Sentence Video

Sunday, February 12, 2012

C4T #1

A Journey in TEFL
by: Ms. Eva Buyuksimeyan


Digital Learning


     I read Ms. Buyuksimeyan's blog post on Reported Speech. She wrote that she was on break, but needed to make sure that everything was planned ahead. Ms. Buyuksimeyan had quite a few creative and interesting ways to teach Reported Speech to her students. Among the suggestions that she made were to have her students play a game like telephone, which she called Chinese Whisper. She also had the idea to ask her students to secretly pass notes to each other about a given situation, and report what the conversation when asked to stop.

     I left a comment for Ms. Buyuksimeyan's explaining that I had never heard of Reported Speech before I read her post. I told her that I had looked it up and was it anything like indirect speech? I asked if Reported Speech was unique to the country the she lived in. I wrote that I really liked her idea for of having student's pass notes to each other. I told  Ms. Buyuksimeyan that I was commenting for this class and that I would be posting a summary post on the 12th of February. I also left the link to my class blog, the class blog, and my twitter.


     The second post I read on Ms. Buyuksimeyan's blog was on her post entitled, EVO, Digitalstorytelling4kids and the tool of the week. She wrote about a class that she was able to take online which was called Digitalstorytelling4kids. In the class that she took Ms. Buyuksimeyan said that she learned how to create Google Search Stories videos. She listed a few great ideas for using these videos in the classroom. Her ideas included, "as a way to introduce a topic" and to "To summarise the story they've read."

    I left a comment on Ms. Buyuksimeyan second blog post saying that I enjoyed reading her post and that the course she took looked very interesting. I also wrote that I thought using Google Search Stories in the classroom was a great idea. I asked if she thought these videos could be used to help with vocabulary. I also let Ms. Buyuksimeyan know that I would be posting a summary post of my comments on her blog.

Blog Post #3

Peer Editing


     I learned quite a bit from the above links on peer editing. I learned that it's always important to remain positive when peer editing. It's also key to make sure that you point out things your peer did well. Some of the things to check for are good organization, punctuation, grammar, spelling, and complete sentences. Did your peer misspell any words or use a run on sentences. Those examples are the kinds of things that it would be appropriate to correct.

     When peer editing, remember not to criticize or simply put someone down. When giving corrections it's important to stay on topic and criticize as little as possible. If you aren't very specific about your corrections, then the person that you are correcting will not know what to fix. For example, if you say "you misspelled some words," then you aren't being very helpful. You could say "I think that you misspelled arrow and bleed." The later example of corrections is the best mode to use.


ipad in education
Technology in Special Education

     Technology has made a huge difference in the way that Special Education is taught. It seems to be taking away some of the crutches that students have had in the past. In the video, Ms. Cook showed us what used to be used for teaching special education children. It doesn't even compare to what we have now.

    I think that I could easily use technology for special education students within my classroom. For a child with difficulty seeing, a smart-board can be used to show a book on a projector screen. For a child that has difficulty being around a great deal of noise, there is an iPad or iPod touch which allows students to listen to a book on tape. There are many possibilities.

iPad app
Green Eggs and Ham  - Dr. Seuss
by  Oceanhouse Media



Apple Education Apps

    I found an app called Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. It allows the student the option to read the book themselves, have the book read-aloud to them, or listen to some of the words. I used Green Eggs and Ham to learn how to read. One of the great benefits of having an app that reads is that I will be able to spend more time with other children and yet, that one child will still be learning how to read. Thus, the students have a new, interactive, and exciting way to learn.

Gary's Social Media Count

    Mr. Hayes Social Media Count is really astonishing. I would never have thought that so much happens within the space of a second/click. I think that the best way that we as teachers can keep up with such rapidly growing and changing technology is to remain aware and knowledgeable about the possibilities for in-classroom use.

    However, I also think that it's very important that we don't overload children with technology. It's the duty of the teacher to be aware of how much technology is too much. When so much happens every second, maybe it's important to slow down a bit in the classroom and let the children hands-on learn about the world around them.

A Vision of Students Today

    I've long thought that the way the current education system is set up is detrimental to itself. This video clearly shows that. In the video, one of the signs that bothered me the most was the one that read " 18% of my teachers know my name." I think it's terrible that we have such large class sizes that not even 1 in 5 professors know who we are! Our name is our identity. This is an issue that we have in every aspect of education.

    I'm of the opinion that we're going to have to embrace technology in order to properly educate large numbers of children. However, I think that children and the education system would be better served if there was a way for there to be small class sizes with hands-on activities that relate to the real world. We need to be real people with names, faces, and life stories.