Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blog Assignment # 14

        For the last blog post for this class, I explored Jose Picardo's blog. This blog, called Technology and Education: Box of Tricks, was very interesting. Jose had an "About" section, which explained his career, a little about who he is, and how he believes technology is important in the classroom. He even included a "Links" page where he listed many blogs and websites that he regularly reads and wanted to share.
Screen shot image of resource page
        I really enjoyed the resource page for educators. There were so many different sites on there. Under each listed site there was a short summary of what the site can do and how it works. This is so helpful! I made sure to add it to my PLN so that I can look over it more once I become a teacher. I plan on using many of these sites to make my classroom more interesting.

      I also watched the YouTube video Top Ten Tips for Using Technology. This video was great because it gave a short recap about many things I learned about in EDM 310.
    The first tip talked about using streaming video. We should use YouTube in the classroom and make class more fun. This is one tip that I will use in my classroom. Where I will be teaching literature, my students can watch videos made by others about books and maybe even create a book trailer and share it on YouTube so the entire class can watch.
    The second tip on here was to use music. Students are already familiar with iTunes so they can do many things with music for projects.
    The third tip was to use teleconferencing tools. This is one I hope I can use. Using Skype to communicate with another school in a different state or a different country would be so much fun for my students. Seeing how other students learn would help them learn more about different cultures.
    The fourth tip is to create your own interactive exercise. Since the teacher knows his or her students more than any other person, the teacher can determine which games fit in the lesson plans or what other tools would work best for the classroom.
    The fifth tip is to use your interactive whiteboard more effectively. I feel like I have learned a lot about the SmartBoard in EDM 310, but the only way to learn about everything it is capable of is to just play with it. If I am lucky enough to have a SmartBoard in my classroom, I will be sure to spend a lot of time playing with it and seeing how it could fit into my lesson plans.
     The sixth tip is to create a podcast. This is something that I already plan on doing. Doing a podcast about a book would be great for my classroom. If they forget something in the book, they can use their iPod and listen to their podcast and remember.
Screen shot image of video listing the top ten tips    The seventh tip is to start a blog. This is something that I also plan on doing. I think this is a great idea for students to keep on track with assignments and due dates and even for parents to become more involved.
    The eighth tip is to use social networks, such as Facebook. To be honest, I doubt I will use this one. If I have a classroom blog, I don't see the need in also having a Facebook page for my classroom. If I planned on teaching college age students then I might do this, but this one is just to risky for middle and high school students. I will just stick with the blog.
    The ninth tip is to use internet tools and be sure to take advantage of them. This one is a given. Of course I will take advantage of this. These tools are so helpful to me as a student, so they will also be helpful to me as a teacher.
    The last tip is to make the most of your students' gadgets. This is a smart idea. Most teenagers have iPods, so I can have them download their podcast on there so they can listen to it.
    All of these ideas were very helpful. Since I learned how to do most of them in EDM 310, I feel pretty prepared in making lesson plans that keep my students interested.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Final Post on PLN Project # 10 pt. 2

        My Personal Learning Network, PLN, has changed a lot since the last update. On my first update, I was all about organizing each category. I use Symbaloo and so it was exciting adding new links and putting each one where it belongs. Recently though, I have made it more about my tools I will use once this class is over. I still organized everything to the way I want it, but I made sure to add things that I will need once I start teaching.
screen shot image of Kathleen's PLN on Symbaloo
I also added my favorite YouTube videos that we watched in EDM 310. Instead of putting them in my YouTube playlist, I just made the link on my Symbaloo homepage. This way it is easier to find. I also added some teachers' blogs to my page. I made sure to add Ms. Yollis and many others that I thought were interesting. I know your PLN is supposed to be a way to find your tools and people, but I figured instead of adding all of my teachers' blogs that I commented on this semester, I would simply add my Twitter account to Symbaloo. My Twitter has many teachers that I have followed and also great people that would help me with my journey to become an educator. This is the way I will stay in contact with them.
      Of course I still kept my Gmail, AOL mail, Facebook, Blogger, and all my favorite online shopping places on my PLN too. I made sure to keep all of the "non-educational" stuff on the left side and keep the educational things on the right. Wordle and TimeToast were also added to my PLN so that I can use them in my future classroom. I also added links about SmartBoard help in case I need it in the future. I made sure to add some websites about grammar that some of my other teachers shared in other classes.
        I will be sure to keep my PLN and keep adding it as the years go on. Once I start teaching, all of these links are going to help me become the best teacher I possibly can.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

C4K # 3 November Summary

        Comments for Kids was one of my favorite parts about this class. I can read and watch videos all I want about how children are using technology in the classroom, but to actually see it being done and being able to communicate with a child from across the globe was so exciting.
Picture of teddy bear wearing a sarong

       For November, my first post to read was from Ms. Yollis' classroom blog. This post, 301: Skyping with Hawaii, had a picture of a teddy bear, named Beverly, wearing a sarong in order to prepare to Skype with friends from Hawaii. The class had the opportunity to communicate with someone from another state. I thought it was cute how they wanted to get more into the culture by wearing a sarong. I left a comment introducing myself, talking about how neat Skype is where they were able to communicate with others, and how cute the picture is.

        The next blog I commented on was from a little girl named, Lola. This student is from Pt England School located in Auckland, New Zealand. Lola's blog post was so cute. She drew a picture of a crest of some kind. She then wrote under it about how her dream is to become a famous artist. She hopes that one day she'll receive a scholarship to a college in America. I left her a comment talking about how beautiful her picture was. I told her that if she keeps believing in herself then she will end up going far and attending a great college. It was such a cute post.

C4T # 3

        For my November Comment for Teachers assignment, I was assigned to David Wees's blog. David is a teacher in Canada.
Screen shot image of comments from blog        David's first post was about teachers grading. He made clear that many teachers do not pay much attention to the number they are assigning when it comes to grading; it seems more about the letter and rounding. I wrote him a comment about how I did not care much about the number I received as a grade, just the letter. However, once I started attending college, many of my teachers stated to use the grading scale where 92.5 and above is an A and 92.4 and below is a B (and lower letter grades). I wrote about the time I received a 92.4 in one of my classes and received a B. This was so devastating where I know pay very close attention to the number and count every point in my grade. I made sure to tell how great his post was to keep in mind as a future teacher. He wrote me back and told me to remember not to focus so much on the percentage as well.
        On the second post that I read, it was actually about John Spencer's post about pencils. David wrote about how there was a twitter outbreak with a tag called #pencilchat. Thousands started writing status updates about pencils because of Mr. Spencer's post. David added a link that Mr. Spencer wrote. David stated why Mr. Spencer thought his article caused such an outbreak, but David stated in his own blog that, "the idea of critiquing some of the arguments against educational technology is timely, given many teachers' current struggles with the use of technology in their classrooms." I wrote him a comment explaining the EDM 310 situation. I talked about how our class was also assigned to read Mr. Spencer's post and many of my classmates did not catch on the metaphor. I stated I believed many saw it as a literal pencil because we are comfortable with pencils; technology scares those that are new to it. 

Project #16

This is the final Group project. We created a video using iMovie about many things we learned in EDM 310.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blog Assignment # 13

        For this blog assignment I chose to do option 3. I thought about doing the other options (I even already have read the entire book of Rafe Esquith's There are no Shortcuts); however, I thought option 3 would be the most challenging and I looked at as a dare. I was not able to use any electronic devices for 24 hours. If I messed up, then I would have to do it again.
        I will go ahead and admit that I had to do it over again. I tried doing this assignment Monday. Things were going great until I realized I had a presentation due in one of my classes and I had not yet printed out the worksheets. I ended up having to get on a computer and try this assignment again. Instead of starting my hours over right then, I decided to wait a little longer because I really wanted to check my email. This was an unsuccessful day. I then tried again on Wednesday. This is the day that I actually made it without technology.
        Wednesday morning I woke up late. I was not sure if a digital alarm clock was considered use of technology for this assignment or not. I decided not to chance it. If I was going to do this assignment, I wanted to feel good about it and try to stay away from technology as much as possible. This was probably a mistake since I woke up 30 minutes late. I usually set 3 alarms on my phone and 2 on my digital clock (I am not a morning person). Since I was not able to use my cell phone either, I had my mom wake me up before she left for work. I ended up falling back asleep. I knew it was going to be a long day. Instead of waking up, checking my Facebook, and eating breakfast while watching TV....I simply ate at the kitchen table. While I was eating breakfast I started to look at my kitchen. Blenders, mixers, coffee pot, microwave, dishwasher, fridge, toaster....all of these things are considered technology. It was crazy to think that I never considered these common household objects as technology. They all require electricity though. 
screen shot image of a T-Rex from Jurassic Park
        I thought I would spend my night watching the Jurassic Park trilogy. I quickly remembered that was not possible for today. Instead, I felt like I was living in the Jurassic time period. Honestly, I thought this assignment would be pretty easy. I thought to myself, "Well, I can do this. I hardly watch any TV and I don't need a phone for one day." I was so wrong about this. I warned my parents and friends that I would not text or answer their calls for one day. My mom quickly forgot about this and called my sister in a panic because my phone was turned off. Thankfully my sister remembered though. When my mom came home from work, she was not very happy about my phone being turned off though.
        Not being able to check the news, Facebook, or my email was a pain. Not watching TV was not so bad; I could go without it for a day. I thought about going to the park for a walk. Well, I decided against that since I could not listen to my iPod. I considered finishing up a quilt I was making, but that would require the sewing machine. Darn it. I then figured I would just read all day. That is exactly what I did. I sat at home and reread The Hunger Games. I found myself being jealous of the Capital and even District 12 for being able to watch TV, even though they were watching children kill each other. After I was done reading, I thought I would go to bed early. Not doing anything all day was pretty tiring. I had forgotten about not being able to use technology at night. I always either sleep listening to music or watching reruns of the Nanny on TV. Since this was not possible, I sat in bed and tried to daydream until I eventually fell asleep. The next morning I woke up and checked my email, Facebook, text messages, listened to music, watched TV, and even set my alarm clock back to normal.
Picture of The Nanny Season 1       I've learned so much by doing this assignment. First of all, I did not know how much technology my house actually contained. Before, I only considered the internet, cell phone, and TV to be technology. When actually thinking about it, every room in  my house has some kind of technology in it. Another thing I thought about was how helpful technology is. I was not able to hear about the news or know if my family and friends were okay that day. It worried me that something could have happened and I would not know about it. I also considered the possibility that one of my teachers could have wrote me an email and assigned a homework assignment. Thankfully, none of this happened, but it did make me question the "what if?" without technology.
        Something else I learned about technology is that it's not so bad for children to use. I knew this before, but most people will say, "Technology makes kids lazy!" when talking about why they are against it. However, I have never had such a lazier day than Wednesday. I didn't want to go walking because I wanted my iPod. I couldn't sew because my sewing machine is technology. I simply sat on the couch all day and read books. Yes, reading is great for kids. But taking some time to walk in the park or do arts and crafts is also great for kids.
I have learned not to take these things for granted. I am so happy to be able to use a computer again and type this assignment. Last Wednesday was the most boring day of my life.

Additional Post # 1

       This additional assignment is so students can learn more about metaphors. In my Blog Assignment #10 post, I actually understood there was a metaphor being used in Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take The Pencils Home! post. I used clues (such as thinking about how this is a class learning about how important technology is), and so I knew the pencils were really meant to be computers. However, I accidently posted the directions on what to do in the blog post instead of actually posting the correct blog post, which required my response. It wasn't until the next morning, when Dr. Strange pointed it out to me through a comment, that I realized this. Therefore my assignment was considered late and I have to do this extra assignment. Although I am disappointed in my stupidity, I took this opportunity to learn more about metaphors as exciting. Since I am going to teach English/Language Arts, my students will be coming across metaphors many times and learning all about them.  
drawing of a man with an umbrella while it is really raining cats and dogs        I believe many of my fellow classmates did not understand the metaphor because, like Dr. Strange pointed out, they take this class too seriously. Of course we should take it seriously because we are learning and growing as future educators, but Dr. Strange is going to give us fun assignments and we need to "loosen up" some while reading. Instead of just reading a blog post about how students need to take computers home and why they are not, we were able to read the same thing in a fun way. I believe students sometimes try so hard to write just what is expected from them though. They don't want to "think" and have fun while doing a homework assignment; they just want to get it over with and write what they think the lab assistants and Dr. Strange what to read. Maybe the classmates were just tired or maybe they did not want to "look stupid" if the post was really about pencils. It makes me wonder if the blog post was read to them or someone talked to them about the same thing, if they would have caught the metaphor. Maybe students did not actually "read" what he was saying in his post; they may have just skimmed it. Some students may be better at listening and "catching on" to the message. 
        I believe everyone has heard or used a metaphor at some point in their life. When actually listening to my friends talk, I realized that I use them probably multiple times a day. When I am talking about my pregnant cousin someone might say, "Yeah, she's got a bun in the oven." Now she doesn't literally have a "bun in the oven" (unless she is baking at that moment). Some more I have recently hear when paying attention, "It's raining cats and dogs outside!" "It's so hot; I'm on fire!" "She broke my heart" Every Friday when I am done visiting my granny and telling her bye, I will tell her I'll see her next week and she always responds with "If the good Lord willing and the creek don't rise." We always then laugh because it is such a funny, yet kind of morbid expression.
        Metaphors are all around us. They are not going away either, nor do I want them to. In order to help my students learn and understand them, I will have them read books that have metaphors in it. We will then pause and question what we think the author really meant. I will also have them write metaphors themselves. Reading poetry would also be a great eye opener when learning about metaphors. 
        Metaphors make conversations and reading so much more fun. If anyone has read the New Testament in the Bible, they will see Jesus using metaphors constantly, especially about salt and light. "“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot" (Matthew 5:13). Obviously Jesus isn't really saying we are literally a piece of salt. He is using a metaphor. Children grow up and go to Sunday school listening to metaphors without knowing it. So, why did even Jesus use metaphors? I believe because, like everyone else, children and even adults want to learn in fun ways. Metaphors make things so much more entertaining. Using and learning about this kind of writing and talking will make our students be "sharp as a tack."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blog Assignment # 12

This is my EDM 310 assignments for Blog Assignment # 12.

Part 1. Watch the YouTube video, Engage Me. Write your thoughts about the video and how you will engage your students' learning. Be sure to proofread your paragraphs. (2:40)
Part 2. If you Google "anti-technology" and "negative effects of technology" you will see many different articles written by people who do not believe technology is important in society. Some blogs are so against technology that the people writing them use inappropriate words to describe their hate for this. My assignment for this is to think from their point of view. We have read and watched many things about the positive effects of technology, but try to think of what people may consider negative effects and what they would say. After listing the negative effects, think about you would say if a student's parent listed these concerns to you. How would you explain to the parent the benefits of using technology in your classroom?
        I chose the YouTube video Engage Me because it reminded me a lot of a YouTube video we watched earlier this semester,  A Vision of Students Today. Where both videos contained students holding up signs mentioning their life and technology, Engage Me showed the younger side of students. When most people think about using technology in the classrooms, they are probably thinking about high school students. Younger students need to be engaged and learn with items other than a paper and pencil too. This video is great because it shows that even though they are young, they use a computer every day. They also play educational games on their Nintendo, they instant message, they use a podcast, and they blog.
Screen shot image from video. Boy holding up two signs that say,
        My favorite part in the video is where a boy held up a sign that said, "I wrote a story in my book and my teacher read it." Then another boy held up a sign that said, "I posted a story online, 2000+ people read it." This really shows how great blogging can be. Yes, it is important for students to receive feedback on their writing from their teacher in order to make progress. However, having feedback from people across the globe and knowing thousands of people will read their post will probably make the student want to try harder in improving their writing skills. I also liked it when the students held up signs that said they want to "join in with other learners globally" and "enable me to be a global citizen." These are so true. Communicating with other people across the world will make students feel important and learn about different cultures.
        For part 2 of this assignment, I tried to think a little differently. Instead of watching a video or reading a blog about how great technology is, I wanted to assign the opposite. I think to fully believe in something, you have to see other sides of the belief and how others view it. This class has really made me want to use technology in my classroom. I honestly believe that the world is changing and so our education has to change too. However, I know in the future I will meet many people who disagree with me on this. This is why I made this an assignment. How are you going to respond when a parent or another teacher tells you all their negative thoughts about technology? This is something we need to think about now so we are ready to respond; we need to think "outside the box" and try to see from their eyes. I planned on assigning a blog to read about anti-technology, but I could not find a "clean" one. Most of the blogs contained words that I thought were inappropriate; I did not want to have a link on my website to such sites. This is why I only assigned to think about the negative side.
        In order to complete this assignment, I had to think back before I started taking this class. I admit, I was not supportive of technology in schools.
Cartoon picture of Carmen Sandiego
In fact, the thought of taking this class caused a few mental meltdowns. I knew how to do about 7 things on a computer: turn it on, get on Internet Explorer or AOL, sign into my mail, sign on Facebook, play Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, type on Word, and turn the computer off. Yes, this is about it. Watching the videos of children doing podcasts, blogs, and using a SmartBoard made me realize how much I needed to learn. So when thinking about my life before August, I came up with a few reasons people probably are not wanting to get on "the technology train."
        The first thing, they are scared of technology. With movies like Terminator and Eagle Eye, we have every reason to be scared. When technology becomes smarter than us and decides to destroy humans, we can panic. However, how many robots do we actually see on a daily basis? We live in world where the terminator likes humans; he was even governor. "Scared" can mean two things here though. People may be scared of the machines taking over, or they may be scared of being overwhelmed and not being able to do it. It is understandable for somebody new to computers to stress out. It can be overwhelming with all the different websites and applications, but we need to just take it one step at a time. If a 5 year old can learn to use it, so can adults.
      Another reason people might not want technology in schools is because they believe it makes students lazy. People might say that students not writing with a pen and paper are becoming lazy. Anybody who actually believes this needs to take EDM310. This class is not for lazy students. In fact, this class has been more work than any of my other classes I have ever taken. The odd thing is, I have not used any paper or pens for this class. Being a (future) Language Arts teacher, I will make sure my students write with pens and on paper. However, I will also make sure they are able to type on their blog and create podcasts.
        We need to prepare our students for the future, and the future is all about technology. Everywhere we look we see technology. Television, computers, radios, iPods, phones, is everywhere and almost impossible to escape it. This is how we communicate with each other and get by in our day. Not letting our students use these things is not preparing them. Isn't our job as a teacher and an educator to prepare our students for their future?

C4K # 10

        Ms. Yollis is a third grade teacher in California with an amazing classroom blog. When you first go to the blog, there is the Home page. Then at the top, there are links to other parts of the blog. There is even a link about Ms. Yollis.
screen shot image of Ms. Yollis' homepage on her blog
On this page, sure has a picture of herself as a 3rd grader and a short biography. She also pictures of her and her husband on vacation. On vacation, they were able to swim with turtles. She has a link under the picture of the turtles; this link takes you to more pictures of her experience and even videos of them with the sea turtles. This is so great that she has information about her on the site. I think parents appreciate this more than anyone because they are able to learn a little about their child's teacher. They can see pictures of her, her interests, and some background information about her. It is always important to know a little about the person that is educating your child.
       Another great link for students and parents is the Mrs. Yollis' Website link. This takes you to their classroom website. Here, they are able to see their homework, current events, parent information, and links to every subject. It even has a Math Help link, which is important for students struggling with their homework.
screen shot image of Ms. Yollis' classroom website. Thanksgiving theme
     She also has a Meet the Bloggers link at the top too. This link takes you to a picture of her class and lists some of the hobbies they enjoy doing.
     Some other important links are the ones that can help students, teachers, and people viewing the blogs. At the top there is a link to a video on how to comment, a link about how to take digital pictures, a link to clocks in different time zones (with their friends name under the clock), a link to information about California, and a link to learning HTML code. I had actually been the link about HTML code earlier this semester and it was very helpful.
        I was very impressed with Ms. Yollis' blog. The parents can feel like they are a part of their child's education, the students will never get bored being on the site, students are able to write posts about fun things (such as their large dog), the class is able to communicate with people across the world, and Ms. Yollis is able to share videos, pictures, and homework. You can tell she and the class have put in a lot of effort into this blog. Even a non-student could spend hours exploring everything and learning many different things. She is obviously doing a great job on this blog because this website has over 75,000 views; this includes people from so many different countries across the globe.

Final Project Progress Report

        After going through many different ideas, my group and I finally decided on a final project. We will discuss the many different sites and programs we have learned about in EDM310. This will be done on video. Each of us will be on video recording us talking about the websites and how they can be helpful in the classrooms. After explaining what the program is, we will record ourselves doing something educational on these sites and programs. This video will be available for everyone to view on YouTube. This will be helpful for current and future teachers wanting to expand their knowledge and bring more technology into the classroom.
Twitter cartoon bird with Blogger logo
        Since this is the last project, we wanted to share what we have learned in EDM310 with others. Those teachers that may want to use technology in their classroom, but never had a class like EDM310 to teach them how, will now be able to learn from us. We have spent so much time on Skype, Twitter, Blogger, and a SmartBoard. A video explaining and showing how to use these will not only remind us years down the road, but help other teachers see how great technology can be in the classroom.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Blog Assignment #11

        Little Kids, Big Potential is a great example of technology being used in classrooms. This video shows future teachers exactly why we should learn more and include technology in our classroom. These students are in first grade at a school in Canada. They use SmartBoards to work out problems like on a real board. The video also shows them communicating with a woman about rocks through Skype. This is a great idea to get students to learn. Instead of hearing the teacher lecture about different kinds of rocks, they are able to communicate with someone (that could be across the globe) and learn about rocks from an expert. They mention their blogs and the projects they do on it.
Screen shot of child on laptop, with words
        This was such a cute video. Watching this made me realize why I have to stay up to date with technology, so I can teach my students how to learn in fun ways. Those people that still believe technology is a distraction need to watch this video. These students are not "playing on Facebook" or playing games. They are doing their work in fun ways. It would be wonderful if every classroom was like this classroom.
        Ms. Kathy Cassidy did a Skype interview with EDM310 back in February 2010. She is a first grade teacher in Canada. This interview was so interesting to me. I was amazed that she is able to have such young children use what I (before this class) would have considered "complicated" technology. She starts off the interview with Dr. Strange talking about how she wanted her six year old students to be able to do things. About 10 years ago she started a webpage. About 5 years ago she started a class blog. About 2 years ago she started doing video. She keeps her classroom growing because technology is growing. When Dr. Strange asked her if all teachers should be technology literate, she responded yes. She stated that if all a teacher can do is a spreadsheet and Word, then they are not technology literate. You need to keep up with the changes because technology is here to stay. She states that we cannot teach students how we did 20 years ago because the world is changing. I agree with this. Every time I think about education staying the same, I think of Mr. Winkle. We cannot let everything else in the world change, except for education. She also stated that learning from other people is the new way of learning. This is also true. We are all teachers to some degree. We can let other people and students teach our students, as long as we remain the educator.
        Not taking advantage of technology is hurtful towards your students and yourself. Some of the other teachers want to try to do what Ms. Cassidy is doing, but some teachers just do not want change. Ms. Cassidy talks about how writing a paper on a sheet of paper is not as exciting as writing one on the internet. One person, the teacher, will read the one on paper. If a student writes their paper on the internet, the whole world is able to see it. They are able to see people from all over the world reading their blogs.
Screen shot of Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy        She said that she is the teacher that mostly uses technology in her school, but none of the administration has discouraged it; although some are not interested. She stated that the parents love their children using technology. They are able to keep up with their child's school and see their child's writing progress improve. This was my first concern when listening to her talk. These are such young children that I figured some parents might have a problem with exposing their child on the internet. The children, of course, also love it because they are comfortable with technology. On the very first day of school, a form goes home to the parents that lets them know that their child will post their work on the internet. She makes sure to teach her students to be positive when leaving a comment, what websites are safe to go to, not to use their last name, and not to post a picture with their name. She teaches them WHAT to do on the internet. After reading Dr. Strange's blog a few months ago about being afraid of people on the internet, I really don't see the harm in posting your name next to your picture or posting your last name. Now posting your address, yes...I see a huge problem in that. But more than likely no stalker is going to hunt down your child from them doing a blog post. I suppose where these are such young children though, this is probably best to comfort the parents.
        Her students use video, audio, and blogs during school. So what is a good place to start? She admits that she is not really into technology when it comes to her personal life. However, you need to start with what you are interested in. If you are interested in movies, sign up for YouTube. If you are interested in writing, start a blog. If you are interested in photography, sign up for Flicker. She admits that Twitter can be hard at first, but helping other people answer questions and connecting with people who are interested in the same things as you is great. She calls Twitter "the old people Facebook." I thought this was funny because I am still not fully on board with Twitter. I see how it can be great and useful, but when trying to read all the posts from all of my friends, I start to feel overwhelmed. I suppose it just takes time to get fully used to. After all, I have more friends on my Facebook than I do my Twitter and I am not overwhelmed with Facebook because I am "used to it."
        At the end of the Skype interview, Ms. Cassidy showed the EDM310 students what we rarely get to see....SNOW, and lots of it. Although I doubt she meant to, while she was showing us snow she was also showing us another great thing about technology. We are able to communicate with someone from a different country instantly. We are able to talk about the same interests while experiencing completely different weather.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

C4K # 2 October Summary

A screen shot of Cruz's blog post       The first student's blog post I read and commented on was a little girl named Cruz. Cruz and her class live in Auckland, New Zealand. Her class had one blog, Little Voices, Little Scholars, that each child participated in. Cruz made a short video of herself talking about what Harold, a stuffed giraffe, did in her class. Harold talked about health and safety to the class and helped made their class time fun. I left her a comment telling her how great her video was and I thanked her for sharing her experience with Harold.
      Although this post was short and cute, I thought it was so much fun because I was able to communicate with a child in another country. Seeing how they learn over there and act in schools was a great experience.
      The second student whose blog I commented on was from a student named Jordan. He is also from Auckland, New Zealand and is in the 3rd grade. In his blog post he made a short animation video about a rugby team. In this cartoon video, there was a crowd cheering in the background and the France team in the audience. He also had a French rugby player walking across the field and introducing himself.
Screen image of Jordan's blog post
        This was a very cute way of getting students involved in technology. Jordan was able to make a video with animations, sound effects, and his voice. I commented on Jordan's post telling him how much I enjoyed his video and how I hope he keeps the great work up. I also wanted to know if he enjoys playing rugby himself.
A screen image of Smantie's blog post
       The third student whose blog I commented on was from an older student who goes to school in the United States. This girl's name is Smantie and she is in 8th grade. I commented on a post where she wrote a short story about a girl named Alice. Alice's mother passed away and when she went back to school a boy named Jasper asked to the movies. Alice waited for Jasper, but he never showed up. Smantie ended her story by saying how a black truck was following Alice. I commented on Smantie's page telling her how much I enjoyed reading her story. I told her it was suspenseful and how I couldn't wait to see what happens to Alice and who is driving the truck. I also asked her if the names Alice and Jasper came from the Twilight saga.  Smantie still has to approve my comment, so I am hoping for a response.
Screen shot of blog post. Two cartoon men with spears        I then read a blog from students at Pt England School. These students are in year 6 at this school, which is located in New Zealand. The blog I commented on was a video  made with 3 students' voices in it. In this animated cartoon, the students were talking about Haka. I was confused at first to what this was so I had to Google it. Haka is actually a war dance, cry, or challenge from ancient people living in New Zealand (Source about Haka). Although the video was a bit confusing until after doing some research.  I thought the students did a great job. They had sound effects and had the cartoons moving. The only thing I found odd was the violence. Schools in America (especially the younger grades) are not able to make videos of people being stabbed with spears and blood coming from their bodies. This would cause teachers and parents to worry. So watching this video made by young students was a bit surprising; however, it is a different culture. It would be hard for students to make a video about war without showing spears being thrown into people. I left these students a comment talking about how much I enjoyed their video and sound effects. I talked about how it was informative for those who do not know much about Haka.
        For the last post I read and commented on, it was from Mr. McClung's blog post called, Thunder. This blog post talks about a man named Matthew Paul Miller. Miller, also known by Matisyahu, is "an American Hasidic Jewish reggae musician." McClung gives the readers some background information by telling us about Matisyahu's musical hits. At the bottom of the post, there is a music player with the song "Thunder" on it. Although the music is not really my taste, it was interesting. 
Screen shot image of the band playing live in front of large crowd        At first I was a little confused on why I was assigned to this blog post. I had to triple check the C4K assignment list to make sure I was clicking the correct link. This blog seemed more like a C4T post; it was written by a teacher, not a student. I then noticed the link on the blog though. It was under "Band of the week". This is a great idea for a class blog, having students listen to clean and "mellow" music on their homepage. This probably makes the students feel "cool" and not worry so much about the school work. I left a comment telling him how it is a great idea to do this and how I bet the students appreciate listening to a new band with clean lyrics. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blog Assignment #10

        In the YouTube video, Do you Teach or Do You Educate?, it explains the difference between being a teacher and being an educator. They start off by giving the verb form of "teach"-"(1) Show or explain how to do something. (2) Encourage someone to accept as a fact or principle. (3) Give information about or instruction in. (4) Cause someone to learn or understand something. (5) Induce by example or punishment to do or not to do something. These things all sound great until you actually think about the difference in that and and educator. The video then gives some examples of what an educator should be. "(1) One who gives intellectual moral and social instruction. (2) A mentor. (3) An experienced and trusted advisor. (4) To guide a person. (5) Who advises and shows the way.
Screen shot image of video
        I never really thought about the differences in the two words until now. After reading the definition of a "teacher" though, it seems like everyone, including myself, is and has been a teacher in their life. I work in a nursery and I am able to play with younger children quite often. Naming colors, numbers, letters, and shapes are a daily thing in this class. I suppose I am already considered a teacher since I show and explain how to do something. When I am with my friends, I might help them learn or understand something too. Everyone is a teacher at times. It takes someone different to be an educator though. Now that I think about it, I have wanted to be an educator (not a teacher) this whole time. When I was in high school, I had an amazing "educator." She was someone I looked up to and made me want to learn. Although she was my Journalism and English teacher, she taught me a lot more than that. She taught how to handle life situations and even helped me understand history better. She was someone I trusted; I think this is what an educator should be and I hope to fit all the definitions of an educator.

A picture of a pencil on a computer keyboard        In Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!, he has a conversation going with Gertrude, the School Curriculum Instructional Interventionist Academic Specialist. I will admit, this blog post was a little bit confusing to understand at first. After rereading it, I believe I understand the point of this post. Obviously the two people were not really talking about pencils, but technology. Gertrude tells Tom that his students are not allowed to take home "pencils." Tom mentions that there is no danger to the children and he's talked to the parents about damage property. Gertrude tells Tom that it is because those that take home pencils have lower standardized test scores. Tom argues with her that a bubble test does not prove their knowledge. Tom then talks about how many parents who do not use pencils at their work believe it is just a toy, but he can fix that and show them ways their children can learn with pencils. Gertrude then argues that the children will still go home and play hang-man and other games with their pencils when they are done with their assignments. Tom argues that is okay because there is probably some kind of learning going on through the games. Gertrude then says, "Okay, you keep telling yourself that, but don't blame me when your test scores are lower."  Tom then points out the use of "your" in this sentence. 
      After having my mind replace "pencils" in this sentence with "computers" this was a cute post that made perfect sense.Tom first tells that they cannot physically hurt the children and that parents have signed a form for property damage. Gertrude talks about how children will just play on the computers and their test scores will be lower. She believes they will just play games on the computers the whole time and not learn anything. Tom states his ideas on how to get the parents involved and how playing games is probably giving some kind of knowledge without us knowing. Gertrude is too concerned about the test scores for the school and not that the children are learning. The whole point of this post is to show people that students taking home computers will help them learn in great ways. They might play games, but that's okay. They will learn more by taking their "pencils" home. Their parents can become involved and learn ways to help their children learn with this technology. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

C4T # 2

        For the past two weeks I read David Warlick's blog called, 2cents Worth. The first blog post I read from him he wrote about his trip to an "unconference session." He mentioned how he got into groups with other teachers and he was shocked every time someone said, "Our students need this skill." He focused on the world "skill." He makes a point that this teachers are right, but perhaps the word "habits" is better. He says, "But it seems to me that a large and explicit part of 21st century learning and the transformed classroom is the notion that skills must become habits. We need to teach our students important skills, but we need to also craft and cultivate learning environments and experiences where learners are constantly provoked to use those skills as part of their learning practice.  We need to instill a learning lifestyle." 
Screen shot of Warlick's blog
 I enjoyed reading this from him. Students have many skills, but they need to turn these skills into habits in order to succeed. I left him a comment telling him how I agree with him. I mentioned how I also used the word "skill" without actually taking into consideration about the word "habit."
        He had not updated his blog this week so I had to go back and find an interesting post. I read one about his thoughts of Steve Jobs. I also read one about a game idea he came up with; this is the blog I left a comment on. He talked about how a few summers ago his daughter was in the hospital. His daughter ran a restruant and had to do many things on her iphone to make it run. He then came up with a game idea. Instead of children playing a game about running a restruant, they could play a game about running and maintaining a school. The player could add on the school by adding a library, gym, labs, or updating a classroom. They would have to budget the school and add courses and hire teachers. He made it clear that to "win" in the game it was not about the highest test scores. Instead, to win your school would graduate to the "next Winton Marsellas, a team of biologists who cure cancer, the next Kurt Vontegut or the staff of an award winning trend-zine." He hopes that having a game like this might help change schools in real life. 
        I left Mr. Warlick a comment on this blog. My comment talked about how much I wish this game existed. "Adults might see how much change is needed in today’s school. Younger children playing the game might see how important school is and what they can become with a great education. Future teachers playing the game would see what is really important for their students."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blog Assignment # 9

        I first read Mr. Joe McClung's blog post from What I've Learned This Year from 2009. I thought it was be interesting to read about his first year teaching. McClung is an elementary school teacher from Noel, Missouri.
        His first advice is to make sure you concentrate on the lesson you are giving. He talks about how when he was student teaching he was more concerned on how to delivered his message so that he could impress his supervisors. He states that you need to focus more on the students though. I completely agree with this, but this is a hard one. When student teaching, most teachers just want to pass and get through. They are nervous the whole time the are teaching because they are being graded. It is important though to remember WHY you are teaching though. Surely if you teach to the students then you will end up succeeding no matter what.
A screen shot of McClung's blog post       His next advice is to be flexible in your lesson plans. He says, "No lesson is ever perfect. The lesson you teach and the one you plan are always different." Most teachers, especially first years, try to control everything. If you have control in the classroom then you are doing a good job. This isn't true though. If a student isn't learning your lesson plan a certain way, then change it.
       He also says it is important to communicate with students and other teachers.
       Being reasonable is another piece of advice. He believes we should not set expectations for our students because we will become disappointed if they fail. He says, "Our job as teachers is to simply pick them up after they fail, dust them off, and encourage them to try again."
       Another piece of advice he gives is to not be afraid of technology. A lot of people are scared of using technology, but just try experimenting with it.  
        Listening to your students is something he recommends as well. It's important to get to know your students. Listening and learning about them will help them see that you care about them.
       His last piece of advice is to never stop learning. We need to grow as professionals for our students. Nobody can know everything, but we can learn something everyday.

        I then decided to read McClung's What I Learned This Year from 2011. I thought it would interesting to see how it went his third year teaching.
       His first lesson he learned is knowing who your boss is. He says that we should always focus on the students and what is best for them, not what is best for the adults you may be trying to please. Students should always be our main focus and not the administration. Although I do agree with this, this sounds easier said than done. If you believe something is best for your students, but the principal disagrees then you might end up losing your job if you go against him or her. When I first read this I immediately thought about Rafe Esquith's book, "There are No Shortcuts." When he was student teaching he believed he was right about letting his students learn from watching a play; the principal disagreed. He ended up becoming angry and having to repeat a semester of student teaching. So yes, I do agree with McClung about how students should be our priority, but I also agree you should pay attention to what the administration wants. You cannot help your students learn if you are fired and have no students.
       His second piece of advice is to not expect others to be as excited about change as you are. You have to enjoy your teaching and believe something will work. Do not allow others to stop you from trying something different.
Screen shot of blog post      His third piece of advice is to not be afraid of being an outsider. You don't have to fit in with the other teachers, because this is about the students. McClung claims that it is okay to eat lunch with your students and be immature. You don't have to go to the teacher's lounge and fit in with others. It may be hard at first and you may feel alone, but this is about the students.
        He then gives his next piece of advice called, "Don't Touch the Keyboard." This basically means not to take over your students' work. If you take over it then they will never learn. You have to have enough patience to let them try on their own. They might fail a few times, but in the end they will succeed. McClung says, "This means that our students will struggle a little bit in the front end but it will help them excel in the end game." This may be something difficult to do because we want to feel like we're helping and letting our students fail while trying something is not ideal. If we do it though then they will really be failing.
        McClung's last piece of advice from this school year is to not get too comfortable. It is easy to slip into a routine with teaching and grading papers, especially after teaching for years. However, falling into a routine will only hurt our students. McClung says, "While routines are good in the sense they allow me to be more effective, they can also be bad because they can foster apathy." I agree with this. We need to make sure we change things up some so that we can make sure we do not just fall into routine.
        I really enjoyed reading McClung's blog posts. It was great to read something from a new teacher that is trying out different things so I know what might work when I become a new teacher.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blog Assignment # 8

Richard Miller's This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2      
        Richard Miller's presentation, This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2 , was given in 2008 to the Modern Language Association. In these two videos Miller talks about how writing has changed in our culture. We no longer have to go to a library to do research on something. We now have our laptops that we take with us; this is our work space now. We are able to research the world without leaving our desk. We are also able to communicate to people from around the world in an instant through our computers. He also pointed out that someone is able to see what presidential candidates stand for by looking online. You can go to a topic that affects you and see where all the candidates stand on that topic.
        Miller told his audience about when he wanted to research the campus murders about Virginia Tech. He incorporated that with researching violence. He learned everything and did all of his research without ever stepping foot in a library. He was able to look at material and use it. He was also able to see how that material was put together and where that information came from and then share it with someone else. He and some other people put together an online document about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He made the document with print, videos, audios, and images all mixed together. People were able to see parts of Dr. King's speeches as well. He then mixed that with information about Black History Month taking place around their campus and how it connects with people today. I thought this was such a great idea. I remember in one of my history classes I was able to listen to President Franklin Roosevelt's speech about Pearl Harbor. I have read this speech over and over, but actually listening to the real thing made me feel like I was living in their time and was experiencing the moment. Although I love reading, technology can do great things to help students learn.
      I liked a the end when Miller talked about how teachers need to be inspiring and willing to look beyond. These new ideas will expand knowledge around the world and be much faster. He can now get his articles published instantly on the web, where as before it would have taken years to be published. I enjoyed his ideas in this lecture. I really started thinking in the very beginning when he talked about how we are living in the time that is the most important for human communication because it is changing history. I think this is true. Print is not our main source of communication now. We are slowly starting to put everything on the internet. I am not quite prepared for this, but I am taking the first step by taking this class and learning how technology is affecting schools and life. This way, I will be able to teach my students so they can be better prepared for their future.
Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12
      Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12, was a great idea. Although I have only half way completed EDM 310, I can also see how important YouTube has been in this class. This is great because watching something and listening to something is much easier for many students to learn. I believe Dr. Miller would appreciate Carly's idea because she wants her students to be creative with technology. With making a YouTube playlist, students will be able to learn instantly and do research on topics. This kind of learning with videos and images is exactly what Miller talked about.
      My favorite part in Carly's assignment was when she talked about creativity. She mentioned how being creative is important to her because it explores more ideas. In one of the videos she posted, it makes people think about how the world could be different. I, also hoping to teach English one day, think this is extremely important. Carly talks about how students could imagine themselves as fictional characters just to think outside the box. I think the best way to understand someone is to try and walk in their shoes. Having students pretend to be a character from literature is a creative way of learning more about that character. Carly's idea of a playlist is a great idea for us and for our future students. After making a playlist we could always add it to our Personal Learning Network; this way we would be reminded how we need to teach and why we want to teach.
EDM 310 is Different
        In The Chipper Series, a student named Chipper talks with Dr. Strange about her experience in EDM 310 and her life. She does poorly in EDM 310 thinking it is okay to not do her work on time because she will do it in the future and she talks about procrastination. She then tells Dr. Strange that she and her parents are angry with him and believe he is not doing his job. She wants to be taught and doesn't want to have to learn on her own. Chipper then decides to create a Timeline school where students can decide when they want to come to class and for how long. The FAA told one student that she needs to fly a real plane and practice before she can become a pilot, but the FAA eventually shuts down the Timeline school. Chipper then decides to become a teacher, but is fired because she comes up with awful excuses and does not do her job. She then becomes a waitress thinking she will make more money, but she is fired there also. Chipper tries to become a nanny thinking that the children can sit in front of the TV while she plays on Facebook, but she is not hired because of her past.  She then becomes a trash collector and has a change of mind there. Chipper decides to get it together and go back to school to get her masters in Education. She will come to class, no longer procrastinate, and do her work. This cute video showed how important it is to be responsible for your life. Doing you work, not procrastinating, and showing up are things that will be important in school and all future jobs. These are lifelong skills.
         The EDM310 for Dummies , is a cute YouTube video created by students. These girls are frustrated and stressed out with EDM 310. They then read EDM310 for Dummies and learn everything they need to know about the class. In the end, they are no longer stressed and enjoy the class. Although this book does not exist, this video shows that once you spend time and learn about every part of EDM 310 you will enjoy the class and learn many thing.
          Both of these videos were very cute and important to watch. They help current students see the importance of this class. It would be fun to create a video about things learned in EDM 310. Having a younger student in high school know more about technology than a teacher would an interesting video to create. The two people could be on a game show type thing and have questions. Obviously the student would know more than the teacher and that would cause the teacher to want to learn more about technology.    
Learn to Change, Change to Learn
        In the YouTube video, Learn to Change, Change to Learn, starts off by talking about how 55 jobs were ranked by their technology use and Education was ranked the lowest, even below coal mining. This whole video has different people from different cultures talking about how education in schools need to change. Students are learning more about technology outside of school than they are actually in school. One man talked about how technology is not a choice; it has emerged and helps learning. We need to accept it and try to use in more in school. One man talked about a living called "nearly now". This is where children are living when they update their Twitter of Facebook and they can research things there; he stated that is a a great place for living.
      Children do not just learn in schools. School is a place to work together and socialize, but student learn in different ways. They learn through libraries, museums, outside the classroom, and online. I thought the most important part of this video was when the woman talked about how to change this. "You start with the teacher." This is so true. Teachers are able to communicate with other teachers and can learn from each other on how to teach their students. If teachers want their students to learn as much as possible, they need to teach by example and do their research as well.

Project # 12

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Project # 11

A reading of "The Fox and the Geese"
This was made using AVS Video Editor.
Since this was the free version, the tag in the middle of the video goes away after 1 minute.

Blog Assignment # 7

        Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture" posted on YouTube was about achieving your childhood dreams. This speech was inspiring and emotional. He opened in the beginning by letting his audience know that he had tumors in his liver. He knew he would not live much longer, but he did not want that to be the topic of his speech. He made it clear that he did not want to talk about his cancer, family, or religion. He didn't want tears, but after watching this video I had to find the Kleenex.
The cover of The Last Lecture book. Randy with child on shoulders
        Randy spent time telling the audience about his childhood dreams. He wanted be in zero gravity, play in the NFL, author part of an encyclopedia, be Captain Kirk, win stuffed animals, and be a Disney imagineer. He worked hard with a class and was able to be in zero gravity. He never became part of the NFL, but he played football and it changed his life. He did have the chance to write part of an encyclopedia. He obviously could not be Captain Kirk, but he was able to meet William Shatner. He won many stuffed animals while playing games; he even brought them on stage to show the audience. He helped work on the Aladdin project at Disney. Although he did not live all of his childhood dreams, he stressed the importance of brick walls. When a brick wall is put up and you do not get what you wanted, it only shows just how badly you did want that thing. He also states that you will always get experience when shooting for your dreams. "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted."
        He also stressed the importance of getting the basics down and then doing hard work. He achieved so much by working so hard. Once, a football coach kept pushing him hard and made him do a lot of work. Although he found this irritating at the time, another man told him that it's good the coach is pushing him so hard. It's bad when "you screw up and nobody says anything; that means they gave up on you." He says that this advice has been the best advice he's received. I also think it is meaningful. As a future teacher, patience is something I will need to have while teaching students. Some students may not understand something and although it may be tempting to just let him or her work on something else, I have to push them and not give up on them.
       Randy stated his love for Captain Kirk as a child. Although Captain Kirk was not the smartest, he had a leadership quality that stood out to Randy. He knew that he also wanted to be a leader. He ended up teaching a computer programming class. His students did an amazing job on a project the first week of class and Randy stated that he did not know what to say. Another man said to go into class and tell the class they did a great job, but they can do better. This was great to say so that the students could extend their limits in the class. I will also take that into account while teaching and grading projects.
       Towards the end of the speech, Randy gave more advice he had learned in his life. He believes all people have good in them; nobody is 100% evil. If you wait long enough then people will impress you. He also believes in having fun at all times. Learning something hard in a fun way is great for students. You just have "to decide if you're a Tigger or an Eeyore. You should always help others and put them first. Never give up on your dreams and be sure to listen to feedback and show gratitude. Don't complain about things; just try and work harder. He ends by asking if people have figured out the "head flakes." The 1st head flake is to be sure to lead a good life and things will eventually come to you. The 2nd head flake is that this speech was not for us; it was for his three children.
        This speech is full of advice from a man that accomplished many things and lived a full life. Every person who strives of making a difference in this world should watch this speech.

C4T #2

        I was assigned to David Hopkins' blog, Don't Waste Your Time. The first comment I left on his blog was for a post where he talked about the future. He actually had the YouTube video "Did You Know?" posted on his blog. I thought this was great since I was assigned to watch that video a few weeks ago. He mainly focused on the facts about preparing students for jobs and roles that do not even exist yet. He asked the question, "What are we doing to prepare ourselves for this change, for the roles in which we are already employed?" He also talks about how his role as a teacher as not changed, but how everything else (including his students) have. I left him a comment, but unfortunately he has not been on to read or approve it. I told him in my comment that I agreed with him. Society and some schools does not seem to want schools and the classroom changing, but the students are changing. We need to prepare ourselves better so that we are able to help them work these jobs and roles that do not exist yet.
Screen image of David Hopkin's blog
        Since Hopkins has not updated his blog recently, I had to go to a previous post he wrote. I was glad this happened because I found a post about e-books. As I stated in my previous blog post, I have a hard time dealing with the idea of reading books on a screen. I just enjoy everything about the paper books. In his post he talked about how he is a big fan of e-books. He listed some facts about why e-books are better. He stated that digital textbooks are 53% cheaper than printed books and you don't need to buy highlighters when you can use your finger. I left him a comment telling him about how I appreciated his listing of those facts. I am still not 100% sold on making everything into an e-book, but having cheaper textbooks would be amazing. I also brought up that having e-books is better for the environment (something he did not mention in his post) and that is important during this time in our world.

Project # 10

        For my Personal Learning Network, PLN, I used the site Symbaloo. At first it was a little overwhelming. There were so many icons and half of them I did not know or have an account with. I had the option of deleting them, but I think after this class I will probably have a good idea what each icon means. I decided to organize the home screen by moving the unknown and unused icons to the right side. I will eventually use them and learn more about them while expanding my knowledge about technology. I moved the "fun" icons to the very left row. This included horoscope, diet and fitness, health, and weather. The next row is the important and most used icons; this includes Gmail, Blogger, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
Screen shot of Kathleen's PLN
The next row is the information ones, Google, Encyclopedia, and I added AOL to it. The middle icons are the shopping ones, Ebay, Shopping, Amazon, and Craigslist. My favorite icon is the shopping icon. When I clicked on that so many other icons popped up where I could search for perfume, shoes, and other things. I left many blanks left on the home screen so that I can add more icons while I take this class. I also enjoyed the YouTube one. This one was a bit more educational and useful than the shopping one. When I clicked on YouTube I was able to add videos that we have watched in this class to that. This PLN is a great way of keeping videos, sites, and everything organized.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blog Assignment #6

The Networked Student-Wendy Drexler
      The Networked Student  is a short YouTube video by Wendy Drexler that had cartoon drawings; while the man was speaking the cartoons would be placed with different words. These were words about the how the student learns. When I first started watching this, I kept thinking the student is taking a class with the same structure like EDM 310. Although this student is learning about American Psychology, the student goes to class three days a week and spends two days online. His teacher hardly ever lectures and there is no textbook used in class. Instead, the student must find all of his information online.
A cartoon of a female teacher on a computer
      This teacher teaches connectivisim, which is a theory that learning comes from many different sources and ties. Students in the 21st century will take control of their learning and make new connections with other people around the world; this will strengthen their learning process. This student first has to organize his Personal Learning Network. He uses Google Scholar and the school’s online library to find information. This is a neat idea; students can still find information without actually attending school. I did not know there even was a Google Scholar. He also shares the websites that he has found and he searches for blogs. When this was first said, I was thinking about how reading blogs is a bad idea; they could contain wrong information and make the student learn things that are not true. However, they answered that quickly in the video by telling the viewers that they too know blogs are for opinions. They stated that the student could even leave a comment on the blog to offer his own opinion.  Once this student has built up his knowledge about the topic, he can form his own blog so other students can write in it and offer their opinion. This is a great option because sometimes students learn best by listening to their peers.
      I thought one of the most interesting parts is where the student can listen to podcasts and audio on his iPod. He can listen to other professors, even from schools like Yale, speak about his topic. He will read about his topic, write about it, and listen to others speak about it. This is a great way for students to learn. After doing all of this, I doubt this student will ever forget about American Psychology. He will not be memorizing for a test and then completely forget what he just studied. Since he will be teaching himself and learning in all these different ways, he will not forget what he learned.
      I was worried while listening to this because I kept thinking, “Well, where am I needed?” Are teachers needed if students can do all this? Thankfully, they answer this in the video. Teachers will show the students how to build their network and take advantage of all their learning opportunities, they will offer guidance when students need it, teach how to communicate and ask for help, show how to tell the difference between useful information and junk, how to search the web properly, and show how to organize all their information. Teachers will still be needed in the 21st century, but teachers need to see that students today need to be taught different ways so they can survive and succeed in this century. 

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment
      This YouTube video, Welcome to My PLE, is a video from a 7th grade student taking a science class. She gives her viewers a tour of what her Personal Learning Environment (PLE) looks like. The main page contains many boxes in different colors. They are all organized in the order she wants them in. She keeps her Facebook and blogs that are not for school at the very top. She clicks on her science class to see what she’s doing every day. This is great for organizing everything. It can even hold clips of information she found interesting and keep the sources until she needs them. She is also able to use her email and Skype to communicate with others. This student admitted that she enjoyed learning this way. This gives her freedom and more knowledge about the internet and all of its possibilities.
a cartoon of a teacher with a desk full of books and paperwork
      I need to start working more on my PLN. After seeing many of the possibilities of having a PLN or PLE, I am now excited to fix mine up.  I like things organized anyway, so having everything right where I need it is a great option. It is great for students to have one of these to help with their school, but it is also great for teachers. A teacher that has a desk full of paperwork can become a bit overwhelmed at times. Having different bits of information, websites, and files organized sounds like a teacher’s dream come true.