Sunday, October 28, 2012

C4T #3

Technology, How Did I Get Started? Paula White

Paula White is a teacher, and she wrote a blog that explains how she starts using technology. White was born in the 50s and attended the University of Virginia (UVA) in 1970. When White was growing up a computer was large enough fill up an entire room, but in 1980, White bought her first computer that she only used word processing on to send letters home with students. White was a part of the UVA pilot program where she was given a modem for her classroom, and she learned how to be able to receive calls and surf the web simultaneously. Then in the 90's, White introduced her kindergartners and first graders to Hyperstudios and Kid Pix, where they were able to do assignments using the internet. White and her students opened a global connection and White was recognized the Apple Distinguished Educator in 1992. White attribute her technology success to her childhood by being able to ask questions and take things apart to see how they work. As a child, White also played outside with others where she learned to use logic, become a thinker, and ask questions.

White's post shows how far technology has come. White's post also shows that children minds need to be stimulated instead of sitting in front of a TV all day. Even in the 80's children were able to use technology; therefore, they should understand the importance of expanding technology in the classrooms. I am impressed how far technology has come, but I will be even more impressed when every teacher sees the importance of technology in the classroom. If technology can be incorporated in classrooms as early as kindergarten then students will be able to think on their own and become logic thinkers, instead of thinking in the box all the time. It is time to understand the importance of technology and allow students to use technology in the classroom.

hyperstudio technology with sound digital, microphone, clip art. Shows the old computer in the 80s

Getting Smart All Of Us

Ms. White works with other teachers in her school to make learning fun for the students. Ms. White has an after-school wiki club where students as young as first through fourth grade learn how to create wikis, embed videos, coding with html, and working with widgets. Ms. White had a student that like wikis so much that she worked at home and taught herself almost everything she needed know. If the student ran into a problem where she could not talk herself through or figure something out on her own, she would ask Ms. White. One day the girl asked a question, and as Ms. White was talking through the process and the student wanted to take over, but instead Ms. White told the student to let her figure the process on her own. Ms. White wanted the student to learn to respect the fact that she was learning and not to intervene. According to Ms. White students often, think they have to prove how smart they are because teachers do not allow them to give their input in the lesson. Ms. White's school wants to focus on teaching students to be thinkers and allow more hands on and experience lessons known as a "STEAM school". In order to start the "STEAM school" Ms. White thinks the following questions should be answered:
1.) What is it that we want all kids to know, understand and be able to do?
2.) What will we accept as evidence that learning has occurred?
3.) How do we respond when kids come to us already knowing how to do those things?
4.) How do we respond when we’ve done our teaching, but learning has not happened?
5.) What does our teaching look like to support important and effective teaching and learning? Ms. White also thinks we should look at what students can do instead of what they cannot do.

Ms. White's post could be better said, I agree that education as we know today needs to be changed. A typical classroom consist of the teacher standing in front of class teaching the same lesson the student learned last year. If teachers took the time to see what the student does know instead of what they do not know the learning process be easier. Teachers should break students in groups and teach those students that did not grasp the concept the first time; meanwhile, challenging those who grasp the concept the first time around. I feel more confident in working with blogs from reading this article because the students mentioned in the article are elementary students and they can successful create wikis and blogs. The article also shows me how beneficial technology is because it allow students to think for themselves or see how something works by figuring things out on their own. I also learned how important it is to have a great support system when bringing technology in the classroom.

Blog Assignment 9

Joe McClung, What I Learned, Volume 1

Joe McClung gives a reflection of what he has learned his first year teaching in Noel, Missouri. McClung reveals that he has matured a lot his first year, and McClung shares seven of the most beneficial things he learned. Teachers should read the crowd because as first year teachers we are used to receiving the information, but not delivering. Therefore, when teaching, students should dictate where the lesson should go. The second concept is to be flexible. When teaching every lesson will not be perfect, therefore, do not get upset with students if a lesson does not go as plan, just fix the problem. Third, we should be reasonable it is okay to have high expectations of our students, but if student do not live up to the high expectations teachers should not get upset. Fourth, we should listen to our student. The last concepts are teacher focused, McClung suggests as educators we should not be afraid of technology, never stop learning, and communicate. Teachers must understand that computers were not created to take over the world, but as a tool to use to help us along the way. However, teachers should be always open to learning, whether it is about technology or anything that will help us.

Joe McClung, What I Learned Volume 4

Joe McClung is now a fourth year teacher in Fayetteville that writes a blog post at the end of every year. Volume 4 is about McClung's struggle of how his peers rate him as a teacher. He is so caught up wondering how his peers see him, that he loses sight of his reason for teaching; the students. McClung finally realized the only thing that matters was the happiness and the learning of his students. The second thing McClung learned was he should always challenge himself. McClung taught social studies and history for 3 years and he started getting comfortable with following the same routine. McClung failed to update his lesson plans or add new, creative ideas when teaching. McClung learned that if teachers get comfortable teaching the same lesson year after year and not add anything new; their lesson will be boring and will not be effective.

I found McClung's reflection of each year teaching very helpful because the reflections equip me for my years of teaching. Like McClung, I may have been conscious of being accepted by the teachers, but when I think about the student's perspective of me and how I teach, I could easily get over what others think. McClung's reflection also helps me when knowing what to expect my first year teaching. The most influential concept was not being afraid of technology and never stop learning. If teachers never stop learning, then they will always be up-to-date on new concepts to teach the students, resulting in new information being taught to the students. Teachers must also understand how valuable technology is and not be afraid of change. Older teachers are afraid of technology because they have not had enough training on the benefits, but young educators should not have an excuse not to use technology.

a new teacher is walking the plank and experienced teachers are encouraging her to jump in the safe water

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Project 9b: Prezi

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

C4T #2

C4T on Michael Smith

Michael Smith has been in the education field for 17 years. He spent 4 years being a principal and the last 5 years Smith is serving as an assistant superintendent in Tuscola, Illinois. Smith mentions the scariest things in education are the government involvement, threatening weather, towards the end of summer, and website errors. Teachers are devastated when trying to show students things on the internet and inappropriate sites pop up. As soon the error appears, teachers are trying their best to correct mistakes by pressing 'ESC', 'DEL', or unplugging the computer. Teachers feel obligated to report such errors to the principals, but Smith does not understand why teachers are embarrassed when the error occurs. Teachers may be in a panic because they do not want parents calling about what their child has saw.
A guy's head in the center with the words Problem connecting to the internet. Problem message go to the website for more information

The Gangs Are Coming
Smith's post on The Gangs Are Coming is about how schools were when he was teaching. Smith states that when he was teaching gangs were very popular, and the teachers had to report any suspicious behavior or when students would wear certain colors that were gang related. The selling and using of drugs was also a big thing when Smith was teaching. As Smith states, every school have an issue they would like to resolve, anywhere from gangs to Y2K, swine Flu and cell phones. Students bringing cell phones was the latest issue almost every school tried to crack down on according to Smith. Administration and teachers thought bringing cell phones to school was just as corrupt as a gang being in the school was. I agree that today everyone has a cell phone addiction, young and old. Some teachers are so addicted to their cell phones, that they text or make phone calls in class when they are supposed to be teaching.
A girl using her cell phone in the hall way at school and a principal or teacher yelling at her with a bullhorn about using her cell phone

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog Assignment #7

Network Student, The 21st Student

The Network Student introduces connectivism, which is a theory that means learning should be a social network through the diversity of technology. Connectivisim has introduced a new level of teaching and EDM 310 is getting us ready for network students, by allowing us to use the diversity of technology, just as the network student is using. The student in the video goes to school three days a week and has online classes two days a week. The network student does not use paper and pencil because everything is done online through blogs and other sites. The student has a teacher, who serves as a coach, but the student is doing all the research by his self. The network student is also able to Skype anyone he needs to communicate with and has various apps where he can download podcast, his research, and a virtual textbook.

Upon watching the video, I was intrigued with how the Personal Learning Environment was used to bookmark all sites the student was using for class. The PLE allows the student to network and communicate with others when he or she needs help. The PLE was also beneficial for the network student by allowing him to share the sites with others. Technology has come so far, and I amazed how technology has allowed us to organize and share information with others. PLE would be a great tool to use in my classroom because the students and I will be able to share valuable information without being in the same class. The PLE was a great tool to use with the network student, especially the two days a week he was home, working on assignments without a teacher on site.

Why does the network student or any student that is given virtual assignments need a teacher? Well, this question will arise a million times, but I understand why a student still needs a teacher even if all assignments are done online. Primarily, the student is learning and even though there may not be a teacher on site, the teacher serves as a coach. The teacher purpose to serve as a guide, if the student gets lost and needs help, the teacher can guide the student in the right direction. The teacher is also there to allow students to work at his or her own pace and to give the student some responsibility, so they can learn a sense of time management. If for one-second educators think their job is made easy because students are doing everything online, they are mistaken, because their job has just been elevated. The teacher should strive to make sure that each child is learning how to use the technology and is not merely memorizing the steps, so that they can use what they have learned at a later time. So to all the 21st century educators we have a task ahead of us to become technology literate, so that we can prepare our students for this technology world.
A student in the middle with all the social networks such as facebook, twitter, yahoo messenger, music and video icons around the student. The pic represents the network students PLE

Friday, October 5, 2012

Blog Assignment 6

Pausch with his wife and kids in the incredibles halloween costume

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Acquiring Childhood Dreams

Randy Pausch, Last Lecture was an excellent video. From doing a previous blog assignment about Pausch, I know that Randy Pausch died of pancreatic cancer about 10 months after the Last Lecture. It amazes me how positive Pausch's energy is, even when he knows he does not have long to live and is leaving behind his wife and kids. Even though, Pausch knew he was dying, he was still willing to encourage others and share his life experiences to help others. Pausch's advice in his lecture is something that could help everyone live a better life. Pausch states, "you cannot change the cards we are dealt just how we play the hand," which I think is one of the most influential statements he said. People often complain about their life, instead Pausch suggest that we should live life to the fullest despite the obstacles that are in our way.

Pausch believes it is important to live out your childhood dreams, help other achieve their dreams, and know how to deal with the lessons learned. As an educator, we will have children with all types of dreams and we must remember not to discourage children from fulfilling their dream no matter how bizarre they may seem. As a mentor, parent, or educator, we must always let others know they will encounter "brick walls" but the walls are there to make us stronger and according to Pausch, they are there to let us know how bad we want something. We must be reminded that obstacles will arise, but we must learn to go around them. If a student comes to us because they believe they have failed, we should continue to encourage them. According to Pausch, we must "head fake" students and when we "head fake" students we are letting them know that it is not the actual task that is important but the experience the student get from doing the task. When students are introduced to new concepts, we should encourage them to have fun along the way, but also remember "brick walls" will arise to make us stronger.

Students must not be afraid to make mistakes when achieving their dreams. If a mistake is made and a student is criticized because of their mistake, we should encourage the student to go back to the drawing board and start again. As educators, we should let our students know that we correct their behavior because we care, but not correcting them means we have already given up on them. Student should understand the correction comes to make them stronger, not to punish them. We must teach our students the fundamentals of working together and achieving their goals, because, without the basics, they will not succeed. Once a child understands the basics, we should never underestimate what our students can achieve. Teachers should not be so caught up with teaching a lesson, however, through a teaching lesson, we should encourage students to have fun. Most classrooms have an agenda to follow and never let the students enjoy activities during the lesson.

The last thing that Pausch talks about during his speech is how to deal with lessons learned. As an educator, we must be able to sit back and learn lessons from our students; however, we should not be too educated to listen to others. Pausch stated that being arrogant limits what you will be able to accomplish; therefore, no one knows everything and should be open to listen to what others have to say. Just because, we are there to teach the class does not mean our students do not have something to say; however, we must let them know when to speak out. As Pausch stated, we must "head fake" students when think they cannot complete a task, by comparing it to something they are comfortable doing. Some of the things Pausch states will take a while to accomplish, but we must continue every day to be a better person. If we taught our students to find the good in a person, we would not have problems with bullying or low self-esteem. Most students look up to teachers and in some cases teachers are the only role model a child may have; therefore, we must be that person that treat others with respect and show gratitude when others do not.

Randy Pausch and a plaque with the last lecture on it

Project 9a