Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blog Post #14

quote:don't write your name on sand, waves will wash it away. don't write your name in the sky,wind may blow it away. Write your name in hearts of people you come in touch with. That's where it will stay.

1) I like many people, I assume, tend to do my blog post all at one time and like Dr.Strange suggested in his post on the EDM blog I believe I miss understood “Don’t Let Them Take the Pencils Home” because the other parts of that blog post had different themes.
2)My cup runneth over
He has a smile that can melt your heart
She’s everything to me
out like a light
she’s a little queen-bee
she so sweet
cute as a button
snug as a bug in a rug
3) First off teachers can explain metaphors thoroughly. Second they can use metaphors regularly in their classrooms. Finally teachers can require their students to use metaphors regularly themselves.
4)The world comes in shades of gray not black and white and metaphors are the perfect way to describe those shades of gray.

C4T #4 Summary

cartoon laptop

For C4T #4 I was assigned to Jeff Utecht blog. As a international educator he has had quite an array of experiences. Also Mr. Utecht is the author of Reach. The first post I commented on he was discussing the Laptop Institute and the fact that he was going to be the Keynote speaker. In my comment I simply stated that I have never heard of the Laptop Institute but he made it sound interesting so I thought I would look into it. So, I did look it up and according to their official website first off I found out that it is a conference and this year it is being hosted by Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, Tennessee. In addition, I found out that it is basically a conference for schools using or considering laptops or tablets as tools for learning. Mr. Utecht might not have meet his goal to be a principal by 30 but he is quite an inspirational person and I will definetly be adding to my PLN. The second post I commented on was his first blog post from his brand new iPad 2. Needless to say I am a little jealous that he got an iPad 2, and I did tell him that. But, besides telling us about his new iPad 2 he was discussing how he does not have enough down time. I can absolutely relate to this. With end of the semester drawing nearer and final projects being due and three final exams to worry about I have not had any down time lately. However, there is a little light at the end of my tunnel because like I said before the end of the semester is almost here and that means a nice long summer break for me. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

C4K Summary

monkey stuff animal
Keeyah, Adia's mascot.

The first C4K blog I commented on was Mr. McClung. I was assigned to the Lessons Learned segment. In the segment I was assigned to he was discussing that at his school are currently hosting tryouts or accepting applications to a variety of organization for the next year and that the students were highly anxious to find out the results and that he was glad that the decisions were almost made. My comment simply was that I remembered those days of anticipation and that at least I would be able to empathize with my students if I ever came across this situation.
The second blog I commented on was Erin’s. She was assigned to write a persuasive paper. Her paper was on “animals should not be kept in the zoo.”
She was very successful in being persuasive. However, I did see a few errors. First she ramble a little bit and second she sometimes would say things that were unrelated to her main topic. But other than those few things her persuasive writing assignment was overall very good. My comment was simply that she made valid points in her argument and that she seemed to be a great animal rights advocate.
The third blog I commented on was Mrs. Yollis and she has a very interesting blog. I really enjoyed all the informative video’s. The video’s on “how to comment” and “Learn HTML code” are great especially for first time blogger’s. Besides being informative I also enjoyed that her students got the opportunity to participate in the video because most of these types of informative video I have seen only involve the teacher. These videos will be more relatable to younger students. In addition, I also enjoyed how Mrs. Yollis has a tab for time-zones of the places of frequent “commenters” this is a great way to involve other students internationally.
The last C4K I was assigned was Adia’s blog. Adia is in Mrs. Yollis's class. The blog post that I commented on was all about the new addition to her blog, her blog mascot. Adia created a monkey at Build-A-Bear and named it Keeyah. Adia had the wonderfully creative idea to make her new found friend her blog mascot she even took pictures of it and made a presentation. In addition, she had a few questions for any viewers to answer. I simply commented that even though I did not have a blog mascot, I thought it was a creative idea. Also, I told her about a bear I made at Build-A-Bear many years ago, the answer to one of her questions. I concluded my statement with complimenting her on such a good post. These C4K’s were a little different from the past C4K’s. However, I learned a lot with these C4K’s and got a lot of great ideas.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Final PLN Summary

main tools used in a PLN

Since my last summary I have added a variety of people. Some I found on my own and some I found through EDM.
I found six from EDM in various ways. Including through project, C4T and blog posts
Daniel Pink- this is Daniel Pink's website and he is the creator of "This is my sentence" videos and author to the very well-known book Drive.
Dianne Krausse blog who I found through C4T she has a very interesting blog her post mainly consist of links to great technological finds.
The Fischbowl blog which is Karl Fisch's blog who was the co-creator of the "Did You Know?" videos.
Spencer Scratch Pad blog which is John Spencer's blog who is the author of Pencil Me In, Drawn Into Danger, Sages and Lunatics, and Teaching Unmasked
The Cool Cat Teacher Blog which is Vicki Davis's blog which I found through C4T
and The Thinking Stick blog which is Jeff Utecht blog who is an international educator and author of Reach.
The rest I found through on my own through Twitter:
Kyle Pace blog and Kyle pace is a Instructional Technology Specialist.
Jabiz Raisdana blog and he has a variety of teaching experiences.
Rush the Iceberg blog which I found through Stephen Davis on Twitter

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blog Post #13

successful teaching

ALEX is an amazing resource for both students and teachers.
ALEX is helpful to teacher's for variety of reason's including:
1)ALEX has a section for lesson plans which can be narrowed down by grade and subject.
2)Educational Podcast that are great for the classroom.
3)A section for professional learning section which has a variety of links arranged by subject to provide you with more information on professional development opportunities. Also, links to advice and tutorials on how to use new technological tools.
4) A helpful search center that can help you narrow down your search by category.
5) A variety of helpful web resources
ALEX is also useful to students for a variety of reasons including:
1) The helpful web resources which are categorized by subject and will be especially beneficial if the student is doing research.
2) The podcast treasury that has many educational podcast and can be very beneficial to students
ALEX seems to be a tool I could practically use in my classroom. However, I do wish there was a little more for the students. I do find the tools for teachers very useful but for the website to even more successful there needs to be more tools for students.

Well ACCESS did seem very helpful for students. However, ACCESS is only for high school students and since I am a elementary education major it does not really apply to me.According to the official ACCESS website the purpose of ACCESS is "to provide high quality instruction through distance learning." ACCESS is basically online classes for high schools. ACCESS wants to provide the students to learn how to work as professionals. ACCESS provides techniclogical help for any students who plan to enroll for the students individually. ACCESS seems like a great program and they need to create something similar for middle and elementary age students.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Progress Report on Project #16

A Mardi Gras mask

I am working with Whitney Greer and we are making a Glog about the history of Mardi Gras. It includes a video which we already recorded at the Mobile Carnival Museum and it also includes authentic photos of Micheal Kraft, Joe Cain, and an invitation to a Cowbellion ball. In addition, I am lucky enough to know one of the famous float makers in Mobile and he has graciously lent us some of his original sketches. We are actually very close to completing the project more than likely it will be completed by the end of this week.

Project #15

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blog Post #11

These kids are amazing! They are using tools that I was not even introduced to until college and some of the tools they use I have not even used. I really loved the idea of using a Nintendo DS as a way to learn to read. That’s such a great way to learn especially for kids at this age. I know that the kids I babysit would love this because they love their DS’s and they are practically glued to those things. So, this is such a creative way to get a student’s attention and to keep it. Also, this video opened my eyes to why comments4kids is so important. The kids love to get comments on their blogs and they really need that encouragement to keep going. Also, I never really thought of all the beneficial uses of Skype. The idea of using Skype to bring in experts into the classrooms was great and I will definitely be using this in my classroom. I loved this video it gave me so many great ideas. Thanks for sharing this awesome video Dr. Strange!

I think her techniques are great. The only problem is that a lot of schools do not have even one computer in their classrooms much less five for students to work; most of the time this is because of financial restraints. Hopefully if I do get into a situation like this I could set up a fundraiser and with some luck I will raise enough to purchase computers for my classroom. In today’s world computer skills are crucial and should be required for students of all ages. Technology is here to stay and it should not be treated as just a little add-on. But, if I do teach in a school that has the technology available I sincerely hope I will have a supportive administration that will support my ideas to bring in technology to my classroom. To insure parent-teacher support I will send out notification at the beginning of the year as Mrs. Cassidy does to notify them of my uses of technology in the classroom. I know that I will encounter many privacy obstacles along the way but I think with Mrs. Cassidy’s techniques those obstacles can be easily avoided. In addition to Mrs. Cassidy’s techniques, I will also instruct my students to follow internet safety guidelines like Mr.McClung's. Overall, I enjoyed the interview it was very informative.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Special Assignment: Mr. McClung


1) The first thing I learned is that Mr. McClung is first and foremost a great teacher. He is very interactive with both students and parents. Also, I discovered through his blog that he has a love of sports and music.
2) As I stated before Mr. McClung is a great educator. He is interactive with the parents he is trying to keep them as up to date as possible on their child's academic life. Parent-teacher communication is crucial and it seems to me that he has mastered it. He is very interactive with his students and truly cares about them. He expects a lot from the students and is making them decide now whether they are going to memorable or just average.
3) His rules say a lot about how he runs his classroom. It sounds like there is lots of debates and free-discussion occurring in the class. In addition to this although his rules show him as the definite authority figure, he does keep an opened mind.
4) A day planner that can be bought from the school. I think he has this as the first requirement because he expects his students to act as professionals and to stay organized.
5) A letter grade is dropped for everyday the assignment is late. His penalties are much like your penalties, Dr.Strange, in the since that if you turn in your work late it will highly affect your grade and if you are continually late turning in your work then you will not do well in the course.
6) The purpose of his blog was clear it is to keep his students, parents, and others updated on the school and his classrooms events. I imagine that the purpose of his blog would be very similar to the purpose of my blog, if I ran a class blog.
7) Well, I did not pick just two I found five that I really like. The first being Purdue: OWL which was not a new discovery for me , I actually use this resource quite often and it is great for both students and teachers alike. The next resource I found was The Plagiarism Checker which I really liked because I think it is important for children to learn what plagiarism and that it is wrong from a very early age. I thought Ant was great it is perfect for students when they are trying to research a topic. Also, I liked ToonDoo the only way I could think to implement it the classroom was through a history lesson. The students would use a historical figure as their "character" and the "thought bubble" could state something that the person is famous for. Lastly, my favorite find was Scholastic Story Staters it is a GREAT way to teach creative writing not to mention its pretty fun.
8) I thought his Internet safety rules were great all teachers should have a page for this in their blogs. The only thing I would add to his rules would be not to identify your age.
9) I had "Lessons Learned." I thought Lesson One - April Fools was pretty funny the students managed to pull off a great prank. It was innocent and all in good fun though. But, that kinda makes me wonder if the coach thought it was as funny as I did, I mean that was a lot of post-its to take off. I hope those girls weren't running laps in the gym the next day. My hat tips off to you young ladies it was a funny but innocent prank.
10) Now I have some questions for the EDM staff { I know that's shocking:) }: Are EduBlogs free? And do they work like Blogger does? Are KidsBlogs free? And lastly, how do you put a song on your blog?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

C4T#3 Summary

google tools in bloom's taxonomy

For C4T#3 I was assigned to Dianne Krause blog. She is a instructional technology specialist so, her blog is very technologically advanced. This blog has many helpful post. However, the post are not what you typically expect out of a blog post. The blog post mainly consist of many links. For example, the first post I commented on had a excellent link to a webpage for teaching music. I found this post at a very convient time because I am currently working on my very first smartboard music lesson plan and I will definetly be utilizing this website. The second post I commented on was just really cool. It had a link to an image with the google tools formatted into Bloom's Taxonomy. As you can see from above it is pretty awesome. Overall, I really liked my C4T#3 assignment, her blog was unique. This blog is unlike many other blogs. Most blog post just have people's opinion's which is important for many reason's but I liked this blog because it gives us easy access to helpful tools. I will definetly be adding Dianne Krause to my PLN. Thank you, Dr.Strange!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

C4K# 4-6 Summary

a cute cartoon of 3 children

The first student’s blog that I commented on was Caroline’s. In her most recent post she was discussing her new net book. She also expressed how excited she was to explore her new net book and was curious about using the internet on it. I simply commented that I know that it can be confusing when you get a new net book but as she worked with it, she would learn. I also told her that she was doing well with her blog and to keep up the good work. The second student’s blog I commented on was Nezinili’s and he gave a brief biography of himself. In his post he stated that he has 6 brothers and sisters and that his goal for the year is to improve his reading. I commented that it must be fun to have so many siblings. Also, I told him that I thought it was great that he was setting goals for himself and wanting to improve his reading. I concluded my comment by telling him great job and to keep up the good work. The third student’s blog I commented on was Tyler’s he was discussing the subject of friends. He stated in his post that friends were great and that he had lots of friends; however, he did not have a best friend. I merely stated in my comment that I agreed that friends are the best and that it was okay if he did not have one specific best friend, he can have lots of best friends. I completed my commented by telling him that his post was great and to keep up the good work.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Skype Interview

Blog Post #10

Morgan Bayda's Blog Post
Well I really enjoyed the post that Morgan Bayda but I did not care for Dan Brown's video for various reason's. First, he was talking so fast that I could hardly keep up with him and second to be quite honest he was annoying, way too upbeat for my taste. Regardless of his irritating perkiness he did make good points. For instance, something that I could definitely identify with was that as a student I spend hundreds of dollars on textbooks that I never open. This happens every semester and like Dan Brown it is not because I do not care it's because I can find better information elsewhere. Also, I agree with Dan Brown that we have lost site of what education really is but I do not think his definition is quite broad enough. However I do realize education has a different definition for everyone but for me education is not about shoving facts in kids heads so they spit back at us on a test, its about preparing them for the real world. There was a statement in his video that I did not complete agree with, he basically said the way we go about education does not need to change rather the educators themselves do. Well I agree that educators need to change their pratices and the tools they use but unless the system itself changes the educators changing is not going to make much of an impact. The government is in control of education therefore the educators have to follow as they say in order to keep there jobs. Its not educators that make the rules and unless the system changes to allow for educators to transform you would see only subtle changes. In order for a massive change to occur we have to completely revolutionize our current faulty system.
In addition to Dan Brown's video Morgan Bayda also made some good points. I can relate to Morgan's issues with her classes. For example, she stated that she is never encouraged to speak her mind in her classes I too have been in classes where we had to just sit there stare at the professor and try to stay awake. These type of classes seem pointless, because you are not learning anything. Also, she mentioned something about her edu computer class being different and I too feel like EDM is unlike any class I have ever taken. I am constantly learning in EDM, the class teach useful skills that I can actually practice and get credit for them. I wish all my classes were like EDM because I am actually productive in that class.

Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home

Well I really did not really understand this article. But one statement that I did like was, "I take issue with that research. The only measurement of learning was a drill-and-kill bubble test. How is that measuring authentic learning?" Standardized testing is pointless!!! In the real world there is never a black and white answers, life comes in shades of gray. I am completely for abloshing standardized testing. It is probably one of the worst ways to evaluate a student for many reasons. For instance, many students might do very well in class, they will participate and complete their homework correctly but come test time they will not do well because they have such bad test anxiety. This brings me to another reason children would not have such bad test anxiety if standardized testing did not exist. People put so much significance on standardized testing. Furthermore in today's time standardized testing will affect a persons whole future. If a student does not do well on their ACT/SAT's then they will not be able to get into decent college, if a student fails their EQT's there is a high chance they cannot advance to the next grade, if a student does not do well on their GRE they cannot get into a graduate program ergo changing their future. So,of course America has such bad test scores its because the kids are under way too much pressure to do well. The United States have been trying to raise their test scores for years and all they have accomplished is terrible test anxiety in our students. The American government is expecting these kids to perform miracles and they don't because their constantly second guessing themselves because they are too worried of how it will affect their future. STOP PUTTING PRESSURE ON OUR KIDS, ABOLISH STANDARDIZED TESTING!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I had to make a puppet show for my EDU 301 class and I'm proud how it turned out so I thought I would share with you. ENJOY!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blog Post #9

the influence of a good teacher can never be erased

This was amazing! Definitely one of my new favorite blog post assignments. I have actually been to this blog before I found it through one of the people I follow on twitter. In fact this blog is a part of my PLN and I was excited to see that someone from my PLN was part of a blog assignment. This post was great it was very eye opening. Somethings I was already somewhat aware of that he discussed but there was a lot that was brought to my attention. For instance, how teachers tend to forget to form their lessons to meet the expectations of their audience (their students)rather they make them to please their superiors. Looking back on my experiences I have to say I have seen this a lot, teacher's forget about the students because they focusing too much to make their principals happy. Also, I have personally seen that poor communication can definitely influence a work environment. So, if you are have issues with co-workers you should talk it out and that does not just apply to only teaching, it can be applied to any working environment.
One thing that stood out in this essay was his comment, "NO LESSON IS EVER PERFECT. THE LESSON YOU TEACH AND THE ONE YOU PLAN ARE ALWAYS DIFFERENT." I tend to be a perfectionist and I realize that my students will not be perfect. So, I definetly know I a going to have to work at being flexible. Also, another thing that I noticed was his advice to really listen to students. I know how much simply really listening can impact students. One of the main reasons why I went into teaching was because of my high school english teacher, Mrs.Blackburn, and I think it was because she really listened and truly cared about her students. Also, I am in agreement with his statement about learning. Learning is a never ending process and even though as teachers we are helping others to learn that does not mean we cannot learn something new ourselves.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blog Post # 8

I believe I am ready to write with multimedia to an extent. This class is preparing me to write with multimedia and I have learned a great deal. However, learning is a never ending process; I still have plenty to learn. For example, in order to write with multimedia I need to improve on my skills with collaboration tools such as, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Since I am an elementary education major writing in multimedia could be somewhat over my students’ skill level. But I do realize that they can do a lot of multimedia writing and I will have high standards for my students and I will expect them to write in some multimedia form and to learn new ways of multimedia literature. Even though I understood the message behind this lecture I did not care for this lecture at all. To be quite honest I found this lecture to be boring. However, not because of the material presented that was interesting, but it was because I found the speaker to monotone and just plain boring. I feel like if I had this speaker as a professor that I would fall asleep in his class. Definitely not one of my favorite blog post it had an interesting concept, but a boring speaker.

The chipper series was hilarious and poor chipper always mess, but in the end she figures out that she needs to change her ways if she wants to live a productive life. The statement that stood out the most to me in this video was when chipper told Dr. Strange that “she wanted to be taught so she would not have to learn.” Unfortunately in my opinion many students feel this way but that’s only because it is our fault as teachers students are brought up being taught instead of actually learning the material. This must change, students must become learners. In this fast changing world students need to learn to be diverse and pick things up quickly so they can keep up with their completion. A teacher’s position has changed, a teacher is more there to be a guide for the students. A teacher is not there to stuff information in a student’s head so they can just spit out at them on the next test and then forget all of it as soon as the test is finished. A teacher is just another tool for the students not the whole computer. Edm for dummies was hilarious and it was exactly how I felt in the beginning of the semester, very frustrated. Seriously Dr. Strange you should really make this book. I think an extension to edm fo dummies would be good. For example, a funny tutorial of how to use twitter or how to set up your PLN. So it would be tweeting in edm for dummies type video.

This is a good video, very true. As stated in the video we have a classroom system when we could have a community, which I completely agree with. Obviously the classroom system is not working because nationally students have not progressed educationally. If we did have a community system I think we would see great progress. Our students would able to collaborate with other people all over the world and would be able view information that is internationally known. Also, my favorite comment in the video was that if we have the view of simply applying standards and standardized testing that it would work but in fact it does not because these jobs that the students will have do not ask for simply right and wrong answers these jobs will be calling on their artistic abilities, abilities to work as a team, and being multicultural. However, we do use standardized testing as if it is a miracle machine and generally we do not teach students to have artistic and teamwork skills or to be multicultural. As teachers we are suppose to be educating our students for their future careers but how can we do that if the system has our hands tied behind our back. Our system is flawed and needs many changes, I agree with the title of the video we must “learn to change, change to learn.”

The first video was basically the concept that there six times zone that people live in which are: two past focus either negative or positive, 2 present focus including hedonistic, and 2 future focus. Also, the video showed depending on which time zone a person lives how it can affect their whole world. It was a very enlightening video and I definitely see what there talking about. I think I live in the future focus because I do not think I would be in college if I was not future oriented. The second video was about the theory that rewards can be motivational and will result in more of the behavior you are looking for. However, according to many studies if the test were only mechanical than the rewards worked but on the other and if the test were anything higher the basic cognitive skills then the rewards resulted in worse performance. Also, the video showed if they got rid of the rewards all together the results were amazing if people did the work for their own self gratification the end product was remarkable. Overall, I enjoyed both of this video and I liked the technique of the animation their used in the videos.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Blog Post #7

This was an amazing video it was so inspiring. This man looks death in the face and laughs. He refuses to feel sorry for himself rather he chooses to live his life to the fullest. In addition to being inspiring Randy Pausch also brought up some interesting points. First of all, I really liked what he called the "head-fake," which is simply learning something unintentionally. One of his examples was playing football but learning teamwork. Another example that he used was Alice which is a special program that “head-fakes” students to learn computer programming by doing fun things like making games and movies. “Head-fakes” are great ways to learn.
Some of the best advice he gave was to “never give up.” I truly believe that persistence can pay off. I have learned from personal experience that never giving up works. After graduating high school I had a lot of difficulties getting into college in fact I often questioned myself back then if college was in the cards for me. After many non-acceptance letters and phone calls, I finally got into South Alabama. However, I got in on academic probation but I was determined and I did everything I could to make college work for me. Now I am a junior and at the top of my class and will soon be graduating and then pursing a graduate degree. It was amazing to know that Randy Pausch too did not get accepted to his schools right away in fact he was first rejected by both his undergrad school, Brown and then his graduate school, Carnegie Mellon, but then he became this prestigious professor that is known and loved. So I do firmly believe and live by the quote “never give up.”
I also believe in his statement to work hard. I really thought his personal story about working hard was motivating. His story started when he received his tenure early and his colleagues asked him “what’s your secret?” and his answer was, “call my office at 10:00pm on Friday night and I will tell you.” I also liked his story about working hard and Jackie Robinson which I never knew. Jackie Robinson had it written in his contract to not complain but to work harder even if people spit on him or threw things at him and now he is one of the most famous baseball players ever. Even though this video was an hour and 16 minutes it felt like no time at all, I really enjoyed this video. This video was so motivational and definitely one of my new favorite blog post assignments.

SmartBoard Presentation

PLN Summary


So far my PLN mainly consist blogs and websites and a lot of them I have learned about through EDM for instance:
What Ed Said blog, which I discovered because I was assigned to this teachers blog as a part of Comments4Teachers
Middle School Matrix, which I discovered through being a Twitter follower to the writer of this blog
Sir Ken Robinson's website and The TED website, which I learned about through a blog post assignment.
and, Scott McLeod's website, which I also learned about through a blog post assignment
But, I have discovered a few members of my PLN on my own and I found all of them through Twitter. However, their Twitter page's are not in my PLN their blogs/websites are for example:
At the Teacher's Desk, which is all about collaboration.
for the love of learning blog
I Know This Much is True blog
Classroom Talk blog
My PLN is still very small in comparison to others but I plan to keep adding to it as I learn. Also, as I add more to my PLN I plan to use it more frequently but I feel like once I am actually in the field working I will use my PLN daily.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

C4T #2 Summary

a boy holding a bad report card

In Comments4Teachers #2 I was assigned to Beth Still's blog. The first blog post that I commented on was a blog post called, Educon 2.3 Part 1. This blog post was simply the reflection of her experiences at Educon. Also she specifically mentioned some of the interesting people that she meet and she put up links to those people’s Twitter page. I simply commented that I did not know much about Educon but she made it sound interesting so I would look into it. So, I did look into it and I found out according to ,“EduCon is both a conversation and a conference. And it is not a technology conference. It is an education conference. It is, hopefully, an innovation conference where we can come together, both in person and virtually, to discuss the future of schools. Every session will be an opportunity to discuss and debate ideas — from the very practical to the big dreams.” The second blog post was titled Controversy Over Grades. This blog post was about the latest trend on Twitter “Let’s Abolish Grades!” and her opinion on the matter. She made some very good points that I felt that you should read them for yourself, “ Controversy Over Grades- Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Beth Still on 02-03-2011 After being on Twitter for nearly 3 years I have learned to spot a bandwagon from a mile away. The latest bandwagon to come along has the words, “Let’s Abolish Grades!” written on the side of it. Maybe I am not as forward thinking or as innovative as I thought I was, but I don’t get this movement. Grades, whether they are letter grades, percentages, scales, or something else help students, parents, and teachers measure growth and progress and also indicate the level at which a student is performing (average, below average, above average). Students are admitted or denied access to certain programs, classes, and other things based on grades. Many times grades dictate scholarships and scholarships dictate where a student will attend college. This decision will have a lifelong impact on a person. In a perfect world grades would reflect mastery of a subject, not necessarily growth. For example, I might have a student take a US Civil War course with me and already know most of the content of the course. I strongly believe grades should not reflect behavior, but there is not much of a way around this. I have a few students who flat out refuse to complete their assignments. I have no choice but to put zeros in the gradebook, but I know the F they receive does not represent what they are capable of doing. The F doesn’t reflect their ability, but rather their lack of action. Do any of you who buy into this idea think it is a realistic option? I’ve been watching for the last few years as we have tried to convince naysayers that technology is a good thing and that its use should be adopted across the board. I have not witnessed much change where I live. I cannot even begin to imagine what my administrators and school board would say if I proposed we abolish grades. Are there really enough people in favor of abolishing grades that make this topic worth of discussion?
I really hope someone will reply who can shed some light on what is wrong with grades. I’m feeling a little left out since I have not jumped on this bandwagon, but that is OK. Recently, I was reminded that it is perfectly acceptable for me to make up my own mind without being pressured by my PLN. Too many people have gotten caught up in the need to fit in and comply with the will of the majority. I got caught up in that trap for the longest time. But that is a topic for a different post.” As you can see, Beth Still is against his trend where as I am not which I reflected in my comment. I am very passionate about this subject I firmly believe that we should abolish grades. Grades put too much pressure on students to do well rather than putting emphasis on actual learning. I learned a lot while I was assigned to Beth Still's blog so I do plan to comtinue to follow her blog and following her on Twitter.

Monday, February 28, 2011


Circle K International is hosting a fundraiser tonight at Zaxby's on springhill from 5-9. PLEASE COME!!! Circle K is a volunteering organization and the money we earn tonight goes towards our service events. We plan to spend the majority of the profits on our Ronald McDonald House event.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blog Post #6

The Networked Student
This video was interesting. I liked the technique such as how they clearly illustrated what a networked student was because before this video I did not know what that meant. Also, they used some creative artwork which helped illustrate their point. In some ways I think I am prepared to teach a networked student but in some ways I know I am not because I still have a lot to learn. But since entering this class I have had some good experience organizing and sifting through information which I can relay to my students. Also in this class, I have had some experience with the proper etiquette to use when talking to a professional which I can also teach to my students.

A 7th Grader’s Personal Learning Enviroment
I really enjoyed this video. I was very impressed that a 7th grader could accomplish this video. But, now I have a couple question’s for the EDM 310 staff: what is a glog exactly? It sound pretty cool where can I learn more information about a glog?, Are we going to make a glog for this class? How do you think this 7th graded made this video meaning what was her technique? How do publish a google doc for anyone to see? And lastly, do you know what “special notetaking program” that she is referring to? It sounds useful and I would like to use it in my PLN.
This 7th grader did a great job demonstrating what a PLE is and how to organize one. She organized her much like mine. I too used Symbaloo to organize my PLN. However, there were many things that she used to organize her PLE that I did not know about and now I am interested in learning more about it and applying it to my own PLN. Overall, this video was very impressive.
Critiques for Smartboards
Okay first off let me just say that I completely DISAGREE with the 2 blogs given to us by Dr.Strange who both have negative views on the use of smartboards. Smartboards are great inventions and should be made available to every teacher. But even though I do not agree with their views I can understand where they are coming from, they have some valid points. Such as, smartboards are a very expensive tool. However, they are worth the expense and I am not the only one that feels this way as seen on, Kevin Lane's blog. Mr. Lane does take into consideration that smartboards are expensive and it does take time to train but smartboards are a very useful tool.

C4K#1 Summary

My first experience with Comments4Kids was good. The first child’s blog I read was Rachel’s in Ms. Naugle math class. The week I was assigned to read Rachel’s blog was when her class was learning about fractions she said,”Fractions are awesome . They go against most rules of math like the bigger the number is the bigger the amount being represented is. But in fractions the bigger the number the smaller the thing it stands for,” I loved how enthusiastic she was about fractions and about learning in general and I encouraged her to keep up the enthusiasm. In honor of Rachel’s enthusiasm I have found this really cute video about fractions which you can view above. In the second week of C4K#1 I was assigned to Daniel who according to his post is a sports enthusiast, ”Sports Sports is the best thing to do. There are soccer, basketball, football, and a lot more! Sports are not a thing to just talk about… its something you can DO! Sports are the best thing to do!” In my comment I told him that I agreed that sports were great and I told him about my interest in tennis and watching college football. Finally, I told to keep posting all the good blog posts. In my final week of C4K#1 I was assigned to Juoan’s Blog, who happens to be a very impressive little girl. Juoan has had her own blog for 5 years, which is where I commented on since there was nothing much on her school blog other than a link to her blog. This blog was very impressive it had multiple videos which she created. Juoan will definitely be a force to reckon with when she is older. So far I have really enjoyed C4K and I look forward to more.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blog Post # 5

Eagle Nest Radio and Class Blog
The eagle nest radio was so cute! I loved the technique of this podcast like how the kids made the podcast sound like an entertainment news show and how there was music between the switch from speaker to speaker. Also, this podcast was very educational I learned some new information about ancient Rome that I never knew before and to me that’s what podcasting is suppose to be about, learning something new. I was very impressed at how professional the kids were they did not laugh or stumble on their words.
Overall I liked this podcast a lot it was both educational and cute. I hope I can apply this in my classroom someday in not only history but also other subject matter as well. I really like the idea of doing a weekly podcast with my students similar to this podcast radio style where we would do a different subject every week highlighting on what we were currently working on that week.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
I enjoyed this podcast and it gave me an idea. I learned something new; I never knew I was a millennial. However even though I am consider a millennial I do not agree with their assumption I did not know what a podcast was before this class nor was it a familiar way of learning to me, in fact podcasting is all very new to me. In spite of this, I think podcast can have a place in the classroom. For instance, I know I already like making a book trailer and I know I am going to apply that to my classroom but now I really like the teacher’s idea of podcasting and how he made the book come to life. So, what I think I will do is first make a trailer for my students to get them excited about the book and then make a podcast to keep that enthusiasm.
Also, at the end of this podcast it gave a great website for tutorials for podcasting. The video tutorials for using Audacity on a PC on this cite were great you can find them at, I provided the URL for the PC tutorials just because that’s what I have but by the way for all of you Mac owners out there they have tutorials on how to make a podcast using Garage Band too.

The Practical Principals
The podcast members were very over the top and melodramatic. This podcast was not very informative, I liked but I did not learn a lot. Mainly I felt like I was just listening to their life stories. However, I did like that Scott Elias was a principal who encouraged using technology in the classroom and required it to some extent. Personally since entering this class I really enjoyed blogging and this podcast gave me hope that one day maybe I will have a principal that endorses the use of technology in the classroom. Also, I did learn a few things such as; I did get to see the view of a school through principal’s eyes. In addition, I got to learn some responsibilities of a principal.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blog Post #4

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
This post was pretty funny. I know people who think that the internet is evil and it is only because they are misinformed. I am aware that there can be dangers when using the internet but they can be avoided. By the way, for those concerned parents out there they do have parental controls on computers now you can prevent your child from seeing all these evil things. Where as, there are disadvantages to the internet there are some great advantages and to not let students use the internet is not very sensible. Students can learn great things from the internet not to mention through social networking sites such as twitter students can learn how to work as a team and collaborate together. The internet should be used in the classroom there are so many benefits to its use.
Dr. Scott McLeod is an associate professor at Iowa State University. In addition, according to his webpage,,he is the director of "the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators." Also, we have already seen his work before he is one of the co-creators of the "Did You Know?" video which we previously viewed for another blog post.

The iSchool Initiative
First off let me just say I am so amazed that a high school senior grant could accomplish this and come up with such an innovative idea. This video is inspiring it gave me hope to what could be and what the students are capable of now.
I am completely a supporter for the iSchool Initiative. The only problem with the iSchool Initiative is the initial set-up fees. In order for this to work the schools must pay for the iTouch and the traditional textbook must be pushed aside. But, since the textbooks are used year after year and the iTouch per student is relatively expensive, this could be a serious financial burden. Also, a time will come when applications and the iTouch itself will need to be modify solely for educational use therefore the government will have to create contracts with the Apple Co. which could lead to even more financial issues. However, after the iSchool Initiative becomes common place I do believe that it could save money, not to mention make a remarkable impact to our carbon footprint. Even though the initial start up would be expensive, there is more advantages then disadvantages to the iSchool Initiative.

The Lost Generation
The techniques in this video are very neat. First, I liked the viewpoint of the wording. Second, I was absolutely amazed that when you read the “poem” the first way, how one normally would, then one could read the “poem” backwards and it still made since, it was neat. I look forward to learning how to use this technique and applying it to my future classroom.
I really liked this video, it was very realistic. Marriage used to be a sacred union but now divorce is more common place. We have become a society that places too much emphasis on our jobs and not enough emphasis on our families. We used to be a society who greatly cared about the environment and we have slowly drifted from this view but we are slowly moving back. These things really are happening and unless we start to make changes they will continue and will get worse. Hope is not lost we can change, it is not too late but we need to act now before it is too late.

Virtual Choir
This was an interesting use of the internet. At first I was not very sure how I could apply this to education but then it really got me thinking. Instead of a conductor there could be an educator and instead of a choir there could be students. This has the potential of becoming a purely virtual classroom. The classroom could literally become all virtual and the traditional lecture hall could become non-existent. Educators could teach to students from all cultures and from all locations. One student could be in his bedroom in Washington and another could be outside in Nigeria. All walks of life could be a part of this classroom. Students would still be getting a lecture but now they can freely expression their beliefs where as in a traditional classroom there (more often than not) is too much pressure to truly express beliefs. With students being more active throughout the discussion and with so many various cultures there is the potential for very diverse beliefs in discussion. I loved this idea I just hope it can really happen one day.

Teaching in the 21st Century
I believe there is some real truth to this video. As a teacher, we must teach our students to use the available technology the right way. Too many students today do not understand the meaning of plagiarism, and that it is only because no one has ever taught them. Students can easily find information and simply copy and paste it to their document and some teacher just accepted it. This must stop; teachers must not accept such documents. All teachers should use available programs such as to check for plagiarism. Students should start learning from early elementary school and on the real meaning of plagiarism. However, facts should not just be thrown out of the classroom. Facts should be discussed as a class so students can learn that everyone has different views and opinions on things and that it is okay.