Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blog Assignment 5

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please? -Scott McLeod
        Scott McLeod's blog post, Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?, makes parents and teachers question education. This post is short and sarcastic, yet powerful. He mentions it is pointless to teach children to type because pen and paper are not going anywhere. It talks about how technology is evil and dangerous.
Brown Sign says No Technology, Technology is spelled wrong
        Sadly, many people still believe that technology is awful and will hurt our future generations. I will admit that just a few weeks ago I partly agreed with these people. I kept thinking how children being on the internet is dangerous. I have seen the "Craigslist Killer" and other Lifetime movies; they don't end well when people talk to strangers online. However, in just the past few weeks I have seen how powerful technology can be in the classroom. A computer is not just for stalking people on Facebook. Children can podcast, make videos, connect with other students across the world, and do research on anything they wish. Of course I still believe there is a chance a child can be harmed from going to the wrong website, but I believe it is our job, as teachers and parents, to show our future generation the perks of technology and the different ways to learn. I hope whoever reads McLeod's post will see that we need to stop making our children scared of these computers and show them the positive possibilities of these machines.
        After doing some research on Scott McLeod, I learned that he is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky and the Founding Director of the UCEA Center of the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education. CASTLE is the only academic center in the United States that is devoted to the needs of school administrators when it comes to technology. McLeod was also the co-creator of the video, Did You Know?, which I watched and discussed in a previous blog post.

iSchool Initiative-Travis Allen
       Travis Allen was a high school senior when he made a video about the iSchool. This video showed how we could change the future of technology in the classroom. My first thought when viewing this was, "Wow, it is sad when the students are begging for change in their education." Then I thought about all the reasons why they want it to change. We, the teachers and education system, are just like Mr. Winkle (see Blog Assignment 2). Things are changing, but nobody is "comfortable" with changing how the classroom runs. I admit, when watching about the iSchool, I was terrified. All these negative thoughts ran in my head. "That won't work. The kids will be on there playing. What about children that cannot afford this." Travis Allen must have known there would people doubting this because he made sure to answer all of my doubts. Websites that are not educational would be blocked and the iSchool would only cost about $150, which is a lot cheaper than what they spend today.
        When he was naming all the different applications that could be used, I mostly enjoyed the US Presidents one. To this day I cannot tell you what certain presidents look like. My teachers did not have room in their classrooms to hang pictures of all the presidents we have ever had. With this new application, students will be able to see pictures of former presidents while learning about them; they will be able to put a face to the name. I also liked how it has math formulas and a graphing calculator. Not all students can afford a graphing calculator so this is a great option. Another amazing feature is that the iSchool can store lectures and send the lectures and notes to other students. This is a great way to keep in touch with sick students. It has a section that has all the due dates and parents are able to see what their child is doing in school.
        The only thing I am not sold on when it comes to the iSchool is the applications where students can take notes. I have always personally learned better by writing out notes with my hand. Typing just does not seem to work as much as writing. Of course, all students learn differently, but I hope students will have a choice when it comes to taking class notes. If I actually think about why I do better with hand-writing my notes, it is probably because I did not have this kind of technology when I was in school. Hand-writing notes has been the way I have learned for years. So I suppose if we start this iSchool program, children will probably become immune to learning by typing.
Disney's Belle reading a book
        I also have trouble with the books and text books being only on a small machine. Since I am an English Education major maybe I am a little old fashion when it comes to books. Nothing can beat the smell of an old book. Last time I tried to read online, I strained my eye to the point where it was red all over. Again though, this is probably because my generation did not learn with technology. Overall, I think this is a great program just as long as students have choices. It can help the environment, help teachers and parents become involved, save money in the schools, and make learning fun for students.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
        Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir video is a YouTube video recommended by a former EDM 310 student, Jennifer Chamber. This video showed how amazing technology can be. It is 185 different people singing the same song. However, they have never met each other face to face because all their singing is done through the internet. These people are from 12 different countries and have produced 243 tracks. This made me think of all the people in the world who always say, "We need to come together and work together since we all live on the same planet." I wonder how those people feel about this video. The world is finally coming together and can work together through technology.
I always thought it was neat on how the new version of the game show 1 VS 100 works.
Screen picture of the game 1 VS 100
There are 100 people on the screen answering questions; however, these people are all on webcam communicating with the contestant. These people are all from the United States though. This choir was amazing because it was people from all over the planet.
      Making beautiful music together with people from 12 different countries is only one possibility of technology. Students can communicate with other students from across the world through blogging and other forms. They will learn more about other cultures and how the world works in other places. I hope many people see this video so they can agree that this is just the beginning of the world coming together.

Teaching in the 21st Century-Kevin Roberts
3 Snakes on Google researching snake        In Kevin Roberts' video, Teaching in the 21st Century, he makes future teachers question ways of teaching in today's world. He talks about how teachers are no longer "the main source of knowledge, we are the filter." Many may not agree with this, but people need to think about where students mainly learn. Even I do not think I could have survived my college years without Google or the internet. I have had teachers use words that I do not know the definition of. Instead of bring my thick Webster Dictionary every day and causing back problems, I write the word down and get on Google after class to research it. Google has taught me more than many of my teachers have. Roberts makes a point that every student can use Google, but nobody teaches the student how to use it correctly and find important information. These are things teachers should also be teaching. After all, Roberts makes the point on where do we really expect our students to learn about plagiarism, copyright, and other information. We do not have time to teach our students what everything means in great detail. We need to teach them how to research what they do not know.
        "What does creation mean today?" That is another question Roberts had me rethink. If I ask my students to create a project, a poster board won't cut it anymore. In fact, a poster board would be seen as "lazy" in today's classrooms. Students have to bring out their creativity; one of the best ways to let them explore their creative side is through technology. Each student could come up with 20 different ways to do a project. Since I will be teaching literature, I will be expecting my students to do projects based on books and readings. Making a blog for a fictional character, creating a website about a book, and doing research on an author are only three ways out of many for students to be creative and learn more.
      Roberts' video made me rethink on how to teach. Teaching in the 21st century is about helping and showing our students different ways to learn and do research.We are the filter, not the source.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

Eagles' Nest Radio and Class Blog
Sharks smiling with human teeth        The Eagles' Nest Radio and Class Blog is a website directed by a 3rd grade classroom. These children create interesting podcasts for everyone to listen to and to learn from. The students have already created many, but the one I listened to was Episode 1a: A Shark-tastic Interview. The students have been learning about sharks in their class, so they decided to interview a shark expert, Mr. Ward, to learn more about these creatures. They recorded a Skype video conference, but only audio is heard on the website. 
        Anna Catherine was the student who asked Mr. Ward questions about his experiences with sharks. I was surprised that such a young girl was able to ask such great questions. She asked him questions that received an interesting answer and there was never an "awkward silence". The podcast was organized with thought-out questions and sounded almost rehearsed it was so great. Anna Catherine and Mr. Ward did most of the talking, but the other students made background noises when an answer required a reaction.
      This podcast impressed me and made me want my students to do something like this. If 3rd graders can do such an amazing job and teach a college student about sharks, then so can my future students.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
        In Joe Dale's blog post, "The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom," he discusses why podcasting is such a great way to learn. This was a cute video that shows many reasons why podcasting is amazing. There are two different ways to podcast in the classroom. One is that teachers could record their lecture and then students can play it back to help them learn and catch everything. This is also useful if a student is out sick. Many students do not want to miss school because the fear of getting behind. With a teacher podcasting his or her lecture, this will help students become less stressed (and probably help with less germs spread in schools).
        Another way to podcast in the classroom is to let the students write a script and act it out while podcasting. This helps the students learn in fun ways and allows creativity in their learning. It also will make it more memorable and they will be more likely to learn the information and not just memorize it. The process of creating and uploading podcasts is easy, according to Dale, and so all students should feel like they are a part of something in their learning.
Dog with headphones on, podcasting
      Replaying lectures, making fun podcasts that are educational, and expressing creativity in schools are all great reasons to podcast in your classroom.   Another great reason Dale mentions is that the parents of the students can become more involved with their child's education. They are able to listen to the lectures and listen to what their child heard in class. They also see their child's creative side and listen to the child learn and become part of the podcast.

        In this website, Langwitches, the teacher talks about a first grade class podcasting. She spent a little while with the students reading a book and then took a few students out at a time to record the book. The main classroom teacher kept reading every word in the book, while this teacher made a script for each student to read. She also created a book for the students to follow with as they listened to their podcast. At the end of each chapter, there was a little noise in the podcast for the students who become lost during the reading to catch up.
      The students had to write down about their experiences. The teacher talked about how amazing it was. Each student wanted to redo their part if it wasn't perfect; they wanted to be involved with it as much as possible. The students experimented with their tones and pitches in their voices and they were "eager" to read along in their book while they listened.
cartoon dinosaur sitting in a school desk     On the blog, the teacher posted the book and the podcast. The podcast was great and talked about a fictional tale of a tree house and a dinosaur. The students sounded very "into" it and their different tones kept it interesting. There was even background sounds that made you feel like you were part of it. There were monster noises, frogs croaking, wind blowing, dinosaurs roaring, and many more sounds. It was very clear when each chapter was over; the sound made sure you knew it was a new chapter. I hope I am able to do something like this with my students. Since I will be teaching literature, I kept thinking of all the ways I can help my students learn in creative ways. Having them shorten a book or a piece of literature and then make a podcast of it is a great idea!

Project #6

This is My Sentence

"She encourages those around her when hope is lost."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blog Assignment 3

        Peer review is something I have always had trouble with. People used to tell me that I would not be successful as a high school teacher because I am "too nice." I would simply respond and remind myself that it is different when you have to talk to children and tell them what they did wrong. Facing your peers is always scary at every age.
Green Dinosaur ripping up the words Peer Review
        I have always hated it when teachers had me switch papers with another student. I would either have the student that clearly did not even read my paper (because it was full of mistakes) and say "nice job" or I would have the exact opposite, the kind of student that wants to make your paper bleed when you know your original word choice fit perfectly. I can't say I was the perfect partner either. If I was not 100% sure that they made a mistake, I just would not mark it. I would only give compliments and correct the obvious mistakes, like double negatives or not putting a period. Watching these cute videos and slideshow helped me see that it is fine to correct a peer's paper if you do it in a smart way. Compliments, suggestions, and corrections are key.
      After watching all of these helpful things, I felt confident to go and critique my classmate's blog. However, when I went back and read her blog I had to search for errors. It is clear that she proofreads her blog posts. I had to search for mistakes. The only mistakes I could find were simple errors like saying "he discover" instead of "he discovered." A few comma misplaces and a comma splice was also found. It was obvious that she just overlooked these simple mistakes. I knew that these things were not "big enough" errors to correct her on. If she constantly used double negatives and used many more comma splices I would probably take the time to write her an email. I would not comment on her blog because this blog is public for everyone to read, including her future boss. I feel like pointing out mistakes publicly is unnecessary when there is other ways to comment. Thankfully, my classmate cares enough to proofread though.

"It's Not About Technology" by Kelly Hines
        After reading Kelly Hines' article, "It's Not About Technology," I felt happy she admitted it is not just about having computers in every classroom. It is more about how the teacher acts in order to have successful students. She gave her readers four things teachers should keep in mind. The first tip was that teachers must be learners. They must be willing to learn and explore in order to keep up with the fast growing technology. Teachers must also keep in mind that teaching and learning are two different  things.
        Teachers must see it as a successful day when students learn something new. Learning must be the goal of the day and it is important to remember that not all students learn the same. Another tip she gave was that technology is useless without good teaching. Learning is not about computers, but proper training for the teacher and an open mind that's ready to learn. Teachers must also remember that they can be a 21st Century teacher without technology; it all about willing and wanting to learn and share that knowledge with students.

Karl Fisch: Is It Okay To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
        I was surprised after reading Karl Fisch's blog, "Is It Okay To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?" Fisch first starts off by reminding his readers that he was in a bad mood when he wrote this article back in 2006. He did not think it was the right time to publish the article, but he still stands by what he said.
        I have read many articles and seen many teachers talk about how important it is for teachers to learn more about technology; however, I have never read such a strong opinion. He stated, "If a teacher today is not technologically literate-and is unwilling to make the effort to learn more- it's equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn't know how to read and write." Although I believe technology is important for teachers to learn, I did find this a little extreme.
Teachers have to know how to read and write in order to grade papers, teach students, and to communicate. In most of today's classrooms technology is not even used much. That does not mean that it should not be used; it just means that his statement was a little harsh. If he would have said in 10 years it would be equivalent then I may have agreed. He said "a teacher today" though. Most teachers are lucky if they have a dry erase board and not a chalkboard in their classrooms. They are blessed if they have a smart-board around. Many teachers do not care about technology because they do not have it in their classrooms.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count
        On Gary Hayes' Social Media Count website, he shows what is happening in real time. These facts worried me. They are happening so fast. It makes me wonder how people know all this and who keeps track of all this information. After the 165 seconds on the page, I paused the screen. Just during that short amount of time 1,918,977 items are being shared on Facebook. 5,756,941 videos are being watchied on YouTube. 3,837,963 searches are being made on Google. $11, 042 are being spent on virtual goods in the US. This one surprised me the most. I honestly thought a lot more money would be spent than that. The YouTube one also surprised me because I did not realize just how popular YouTube was.
Media in real time. Numbers shown after 165 seconds
      This is very important information for me to learn as a future teacher. It goes to show me that I am not the only one in the world that is on a computer right now. People from all over the world are doing things online that I do everyday as well. Without this technology we would not have the knowledge we have now. It is important to try to keep up as much as possible with the rest of the world so that I can succeed and help my students succeed in life.

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today
        After watching Michael Wesch short YouTube video, "A Vision of Students Today," I had mixed emotions. A part of me felt selfish; another part of me felt hopeful. A big part of me thought, "Wow, college is worse than I thought." I am glad I am in school because I do feel like I learn something everyday. Many of my classes feel helpful for my future jobs. However, after viewing many of the signs the students were holding in the video, it pretty much made me depressed. Only 18% of teachers know your name. I honestly think it is less than that. I have only had a few teachers take the time to actually know I exist. Even in high school I started responding to Katherine or Caitlyn or even Sarah or Stephanie (my older sisters). I also agree with the statistic about only completing 49% of the readings assigned by teachers. Now that I am taking so many literature classes, I feel overwhelmed when each teacher assigns 100 pages to read a day. I become stressed and fall behind because of this. I blame this on me though, not the teachers. If I balanced out my time better I would not be so stressed.
Woman stressed cartoon
They said that with all the things students do everyday (7 hours of sleeping, talking on a cell phone for 2 hours, watching TV, online for 3 hours) the total would be over 26 hours a day. This is impossible considering there are only 24 hours in a day. Do many college teachers assign too much work to be done in one day? Yes. However, students do not have to spend 3 hours online every day and 2 hours on the phone or watching TV.
      I do agree we need to do something about buying hundred dollar textbooks that do not even get open. This is just awful. They should offer textbooks online for free or even a couple of dollars. There is no need to buy a book that will not even be open. Especially after the statistic that the college student will be 20,000 dollars in debt once she graduates. Sadly, since I am going to be a teacher I am going to have a hard time paying off these student loans. However, after seeing that over 1 billion people make less than a dollar a day I feel selfish for even dreading my future salary. This is crazy; that student's laptop in the video costs more than what many people make in over a year.
        "I did not create the problems, but they are my problems." This is true. Many believe technology can save us. I am not entirely sure how technology can fix everything, but it is a good start by teaching it in schools. By simply writing on a chalkboard, students do not get to experience pictures or videos or see anything interesting while learning. Having technology in the classroom could help students become interested in learning and teaching new ways.

Project #5 Google Presentation

C4T #1

          I was assigned to read and comment on Denise Kreb's blog. I was so happy when I started reading her posts because she is such a positive teacher with blog posts that show she is passionate in having her students learn as much as possible in fun ways.
        The first post I commented on was called "You Matter." This title fit perfectly because she posted a video of a woman, Angela Maiers, speaking to an audience about the importance of telling others that they are significant and that their contribution in the world is important. Denise then said in her blog that on the first day of school she wrote, "You are a genius, and the world expects your contribution!" Denise also said that her goal is to "write it on their hearts this year by entrusting them with learning." 
I thought this was a great post from her that reminded her readers that all of our students (or future students) are geniuses in different ways.
Kathleen and Denise comments. Two comments replying
        I commented on her page about how important I also believe the words "you matter" are. It's important for me to remind my students that they are each important to the world. Denise kindly took time to respond to my post and even commented on my first blog post on here. 
         Another blog post from Denise was called "Foto Friday." This post was just as interesting. Denise said she has decided to post a photo every Friday that shows something about her week in school. Her first photo was of a old, wooden swing-set covered in grass and lichen. She says, "Life can be found in many places." I thought this was so cute and is a great idea to get people thinking.
        Denise also stated in this post that her students in her science class are making a science photography portfolio. They plan on walking on a nature trail in their town and taking photos, draw, identify animals and species, and press leaves. They plan on returning to the same spot during the year to observe the changes.
This seemed like such an exciting way to learn. I have never been crazy about science, but just reading on what she planned on doing with her students made me wish I was in her class. This is a great way to make her students excited and interested in learning.
        I commented on this post and told her how great of an idea I believe this is.

Comment from Kathleen on Denise's blog.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Blog Assignment 2

Did You Know?
        I recently watched the YouTube video "Did You Know?" that was researched by Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and Jeff Brenman. After watching this, I felt like my brain was on fire. This video simply gave facts that nobody would expect. I learned that China will soon become the number one English speaking Country. This was surprising, but at the same time expected. I also learned that we are currently preparing students for jobs that do not even exist yet. This seems crazy, but it goes to show that the future is now and that it is important to prepare students for thing that are not yet around. 
            The technology facts shown in this video were impressive. “One out of eight couples married in the U.S. last year met online.” Although I constantly see those commercials for and all the other dating websites, I did not think they were that popular. I suppose I find this crazy because when I was younger I was told, “Do not speak to anyone you do not know online! Stay out of chat rooms!” Now, they are encouraging people to meet up with people you meet online. This just sounds like a bad Lifetime movie waiting to happen. 
Some other neat facts I learned and want to share: 
        “If Myspace were a country, it would the 5th largest in the world.” I did not expect this. I thought Myspace is dying and Facebook is the new thing that will soon be replaced by Twitter. 
        “There are 31 BILLION searches on Google every month.” This I can understand once I actually think about it; I probably put in about 1 million of those searches. It makes me wonder if during school terms the searches are more than that.  In 2006, there were only 2.7 billion searches on Google. I suppose people still used book encyclopedias then. 
        “There are 540,000 words in the English language. This is 5 times more words than during Shakespeare’s time."
Shakespeare with pink sunglasses on
I find it interesting that Fisch, McLeod, and Brenman mentioned Shakespeare’s time. I recently took a class on Shakespeare and learned that he created many words that we use today. “Puking, undress, blushing, birthplace” are all words that Shakespeare has created. I suppose many other words are from writers and people who frequently use terms.  Twenty years ago nobody would have called a non-magical person a "muggle."
        This video has shown the viewers how important it is to stay on top with technology and knowledge. Just when we think we have figured everything out, there is always more to learn. 

Mr. Winkle Wakes
      This YouTube video was a cute and short video created by Matthew Needleman. It started off with a cartoon character, Mr. Winkle, who wakes after 100 years. He becomes overwhelmed with all of the new sights and sounds of technology around him. He then goes to a school and sees that everything has remained the same. There is no use of technology and school is still a place where teachers lecture while students sit there.  
This video does make people think about how great technology is. Mr. Winkle sees people having conferences with people across the globe, machines keeping people alive, but school is the same. If children are our future and technology is the future, then shouldn’t we be teaching them about technology and how to use it for a better education?
Baby on a computer
We can show our students that computers are not just for Facebook and games. Computers and technology can make learning fun.

The Importance of Creativity
            This was my second time watching Ken Robinson's speech about the importance of creativity. I actually spent time in my EDU 400 class last semester watching this video. The first time I watched this I was more focused on what he was mentioning while taking into account students who have ADD and ADHD, which he discusses at the end. Many times students just need to be able to express themselves in other ways through creativity. We, as teachers, should take this into account and teach to every kind of student.
            I enjoyed how much he stressed about the importance of creativity during his speech. We should not just teach basic things such as math and language arts. We should also teach things such as dance. Our education should be diverse. He makes a point that we teach our students so that they will succeed in college and please their professors. However, degrees are not worth as much as it used to be. You must have a masters to do something and later on you will need a higher degree. Education is growing all the time. 

Cecelia Gault Interviews Sir Ken Robinson
Cecelia Gault’s interview with Sir Ken Robinson was short and interesting. I was surprised that such a young girl was interviewing and writing articles on such an “adult” topic. Most children would say they do not care about learning, but I believe every child cares to a point.
I agreed with Ken Robinson about the curriculum needing to be more balanced. Not every student learns the same way. Adding more technology to schools would help students feel involved and possibly want to learn more. 
I also agreed with Ken Robinson about the three myths of technology. I used to be one of those people that would say “I am just not creative.” I was the only one in the family that never won a prize for art. I found later on that I love knitting and sewing though. I found my creative side through something different. Another myth is that creativity is only about certain things. This is not true. Students can be creative through anything they do, including school work.
Unlocking the creative mind
          The third myth was that there is nothing you can do about students who believe they are not creative. This is a myth because you can teach children to become creative in different activities. I will make sure my students receive the best education from me by challenging their minds through their creativity.The last thing discussed in the interview was about the term “intelligence.” This is a very difficult term to give the definition of because it is so diverse. Out of a study with 50 people, nobody could agree on what the term meant.

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
In the video about the teacher from Georgia, Vicki Davis, she shows us how she uses all different types of technology in her classroom. I thought it was so true when she said that children start having trouble in school when pencil and paper are the only things used in class. This causes only a certain type of student to learn. She believes that students should learn using all different types of technology. When she uses terms that students do not know, the students have to look the terms up so they can learn them.
I will remind myself about Vicki Davis when I start teaching. Instead of just looking at what needs to be taught, I will also take into consideration on HOW it could be taught. Focusing on my students’ strengths and weaknesses will help me to plan my lessons to fit their educational needs.  I will also remember that I do not have to know everything in order to teach something. It is okay to let students teach the teacher and teach each other. Learning from each other is a great change in education. Students can share ideas from across the globe.