Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Post #8


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 

     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


     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

     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.
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?
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:


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:

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.

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.