Friday, December 4, 2009
2.) Despite the limitations of Smartboards, I think we should be more familiarized with their operation processes and potential since we will definitely encounter them in our teaching career.
3.) A lesson learned is never wasted.
4.) This class has been the most exciting class I have ever taken. Never before have I felt so connected and empowered. Likewise, I have never been so pushed for creativity and originality. I am still awaiting that idea that finally satisfies my craving for me to create something useful and un-heard-of.
5.) A very insightful classmate helped me overcome my writer's/ thinker's block which was caused by a fear of not really knowing who I was as a professional in terms of my Professional Blog assignment. She emailed me this note which may help you in your future additions to your Professional Blog: "It seems like the main purpose driving this assignment is reflection. So, while who we want to be and the values we want to represent in our professional life is tough to write down, is it because it's not far removed from the same elements in our life life. Or maybe that would be an easier approach for you; just cover up the word professional, it carries baggage like having to answer what we want to be when we grow up. As long as you exercise themes pertaining to Anthony's goals, beliefs, what you want to do, how your nature or experiences suit you to do it... he'd have to give you credit for all that soul searching right? Surely, he wouldn't want us to manufacture stuff just to sound like we have it all figured out. Just start writing, you might be surprised with what comes out. I'm talking to myself here, as well, I realize."
7.) I really liked the results of the group projects. Maybe you could have your students brainstorm the social implications of communication technology beyond the classroom. That's kind of a reach, I know-- but it's all I have.
8.) Yes, some, but still a work in progress.
9.) I want to use the tools I have learned of to become a more investigative student. I want to know the ins and outs of why things are the way they are-- inside and outside of the classroom. Blogs, production tools, and google make that job a whole lot easier.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Because I was lightly familiar with the Choir's background because I was exposed to one of their Stevie Nick's performances in my Educational Media class here at U. South Alabama, I brushed her comment off as a prejudice reaction. But then I got to thinking about the implications that these performances are creating. When does creating opportunities for celebrities to inspire and encourage our youth cross moral lines. These kids are being praised and encouraged to sing songs by celebrities like Kanye who are insulting other celebrities in their lyrics and on stage or by Lady Gaga who's lyrics promote alcohol recklessness and sexual promiscuity. Sure, these kids are talented-- but should their talent be exploited in order to gain the attention of people who earn their merit by singing about their partying lifestyles.
The bad sentiment that was building in my mind was further enforced when I watched two extremely talented kids singing "Run This Town" and "The Climb". Then, just when I was most impressed, the choir director prods one of the singer's young brother to "tell us a mean story about Tirzah." He then instigates a dialogue between the siblings consisting of tattle-tale and beating each other up. Of course their was no serious maliciousness going on-- but shouldn't teachers rise find positive ways to create relationships with their students and make them laugh?
At this point, I haven't decided whether or not I think it is healthy for the children to be exposed to some of these celebrities just because they are famous. On the one hand, these kids have already established many of these singers as heroes. They are going to listen and sing their lyrics beyond school walls regardless. Perhaps the encouragement that these celebrities are providing is just what these students need to gain the confidence that it takes to achieve success. Who knows?.. these children may even make make celebrities more aware of the impact that they are having on American youth.
To learn more about evolution of PS22 and how they got their start, click here. Watch the video below for an example of their indisputably positive educational performances. They are singing PEMDAS the Pirate which helps teach the mathematical order of operations.
SchoolTube - PS22 Chorus "The PEMDAS Parrot" by Zach Johnson
What do you think about the waves that PS22 are making? What conclusions have you drawn about American culture and education?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Jim's Group: Zinio
May's Group: Edublog, educampus, keeping kids safe by making all your students blogs available for edit
Laurin, Lauren, and Kimberly: Google search tips "quotations" and, or, not ~related to from now..to then phonebook: filetype: site:
Ginger enlightened us with a chapter summation of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
As we learned about in New Media Literacies, we have recreated Dr Wesch's presentation about Youtube to fit our needs for Voicethread. We believe that Voicethread has all the great collaboration benefits of Youtube, but provides a safe way for students to get prepared for a lesson or review a lesson by contributing to the conversation from the privacy of their own homes without the worry of embarrassment. Because the conversation is recorded and can be moderated, Voicethread is a great tool that allows teachers and students to build off of others comments and reflect on those comments as more and more knowledge is gained about the subject. Because Voicethread so easily allows it users to publish the presentation, it can be shared over multiple platforms that are appropriate to 21 century classrooms, like blogs.
Please feel free to add your own comments to this Voicethread, or to leave a comment on this post regarding your ideas for Voicethread use in education. Also, we focused on the positive sides of Voicethread-- don't feel ashamed to point out any holes!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Today Dr. Strange's TT 11:00 am class from Alabama got to skype with Jabiz Raisdana in Qatar. One of three things that really stuck out for me was his mention of International Schools Services, which is a resource for teachers who wish to teach abroad.
Mr. Jabiz also told us that creating a good PLN requires patience. He said his most effective strategy was by blogging with a voice-- meaning, personalize your responses, share your own life experiences, get engaged with others who are discussing things beyond the educational "echo."
Lastly, Jabiz left us with one good tip... When your passion for teaching expires, "Move on."
Dr. Strange has posted the skype session, be sure to check it out! Jabiz encourages us to follow his paper trail. Start here.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I decided to practice using screentoast by briefly addressing an enlightening blog post and its wave of comments called There's No Such Thing As Virtual: It Is All Teaching by Jabiz Raisdana.
Check it out! (Click the expand button to follow along more easily.)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
After researching ALEX, Alabama Learning Exchange, I was introduced to yet another Alabama initiative to enhance education. ACCESS Distance Learning is a new tool used to bridge the gap between high-quality public education and underfunding. ACCESS, an acronym for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide, provides expanded learning opportunities for all students including those who want to take part in AP courses, students who failed a course and need remedial support, as well as those who want to take courses like Latin, Shakespeare, or Calculus which may not be offered at their home school.
Using technologies including web-cams, codec, interactive whiteboards, and much more, students are able to receive a more specialized, unique, and cutting edge education. The state is funding the implementation of ACCESS with over 70 grants for 124 public high schools.
I believe ACCESS is an awesome way to diversify the way students learning in the 21st century receive information. Students are becoming more and more adept to internet and computer technology. ACCESS not only bridges financial barriers, but also connects great opportunities to students who are more easily engaged with advanced technology than more traditional schooling.
To learn more about ACCESS you can use the link I provided above, or follow this link for a brief overview.
ALEX, an acronym for Alabama Learning Exchange, is an internet based innovation created to help supplement all aspects of education. ALEX is easy to navigate so that anyone involved in a student's education including teachers, students, administrators, and parents can access unlimited information. Such information includes classroom lesson plans, statewide department objectives, web-links to accredited research resources, grant opportunities, and so much more!
ALEX is an exciting tool for teachers because it helps to link teachers from across the state together in the development of engaging lesson plans. It also serves as a potential resource for administrative observation (administrators can review lesson plans as to ensure statewide criteria are being met).
Most progressively, ALEX provides an opportunity for Distance Learning. Distance Learning removes financial barriers from education, and provides a door for students to learn subject areas beyond the capabilities of their home school. Teaming up with yet another Albama initiative called ACCESS (Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators and Students Statewide) Distance Learning, students can engage in Advanced Placement courses, language courses, and others that may otherwise be unavailable do to underfunding or under-staffing of schools.
I believe ALEX and ACCESS Distance Learning are two initiatives that are going to help increase parent and teacher cooperation in their students success. Simultaneously connecting students to easy to use resources for education enrichment beyond the classroom experience. I look forward to integrating these programs into my classroom by exploring lesson plan possibilities, and connecting my future students to this education portal.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Wendy Drexler's Networked Student defines connectivism as: "a theory that presumes that learning occurs as part of a social network of many diverse connections and ties. This network is made possible by various tools of technology. The tools are not as important as the connections made possible by them."
Technology or not, I think most educators would agree that learning occurs best when students ask relevant questions. The challenge for teachers is that we don't always have the answers, and then the challenge becomes that of the student once again. We need to teach students how to answer the question, "Well if you don't know the answer, then what resource should I consult to find out?" The foundation for successfully educating is to create a comfortable learning environment built on trust-- once a teacher has established that, they are ready to introduce their students to learning in a whole new way, by networking them.
One quote in particular stood out to me in this video because it is a crucial part of successful networking. Drexler's student says, "Comment on blogs to offer one's own informed point of view for discussion." Informed is the key word here. It is important to teach students to dig for answers themselves before they ask questions or leave comments. As a result, students will inform themselves about the topic enough to ask the meaningful questions thereby provoking deeper discussions.
However, it is important not to hinder a student's confidence, especially when it comes to asking questions. As the movie put it, "It never hurts to ask, people usually love to share their knowledge and experience-- especially when it comes to students."
Friday, October 23, 2009
By using VoiceThread, my eyes have been opened to all kinds of possibilities within the classroom (especially for those who teach secondary education grade levels). However, I think VoiceThread could be better if it allowed the commentor to overlay his or her typed/drawn comments on top of the audio recording. For presentation purposes, it would flow better. Overall, it is great!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
This video was made December 28, 2008 in San Francisco. The fact that I am already watching it on the Gulf Coast is a testament to the rapid evolution of our creative culture. Miller asks, "How has writing in our culture changed?" and his simple, yet powerful answer is this, "We now have the capability of communicating instantly, globally." He expounds on this idea by describing the way in which people (students) are able to create literature collaboratively from multiple continents simultaneously thanks to shared document programs like Google Docs.
Miller goes even further with the notion of our rapidly evolving writing culture to say that writing is no longer enough. Sure, novels are still appreciated-- look at the wild success of the Harry Potter series, but then look at what they became-- The Harry Potter film series. Think about The Star Wars films... would they have been as wildly acclaimed without the combined creative genius of revolutionary screenwriters, directors, and producers George Lucas and Steven Spielberg?
We are now in a time when producing creative messages extends beyond entertainment; competitive business proposals are expected to be captivating, convincing, even interactive-- employers are using social networking sites and search engines to research their applicants-- scientists and economists who live on two or even three different continents are winning Nobel Peace Prizes because they can share multiple mediums of data instantly. This leads me to conclude that if the real world now requires technological savvy to create engaging compositions, we MUST confidently prepare our students for the evermore competitive lifestyles of today. Reading and writing is no longer adequate-- multimedia production is essential.
I really appreciated Miller's insight regarding incremental versus fundamental change when it comes to how we use technology (more specifically, the internet). He describes a time when people were what I loosely call "copy/ pasters." About ten years ago, people used the internet as a free, vast encyclopedia. They read what was available, pasted it into their minds and moved on to the next resource. Now, we are reading/watching, criticizing or praising publicly, and recreating a unique version that reflects our perception of the most current and relevant resources. Miller points out that internet enables us to see who is behind each publication and read what other people and companies are saying about it. Even better, we can compare it to an infinite amount of other resources with the click of a tab.
Everyone has something to contribute. The more people are exposed to, the more their wheels turn. The more ideas that are circulated, the faster our communities can change and our thoughts can flourish. Unfortunately, becoming an agent of change by recording one's thoughts uniquely on any given medium is not as easy as it sounds. Just as a musician must learn how to strum a guitar to make music, media producers must learn what Miller calls, "visual literacy." Students must learn how to compose for today's audience. We as teacher's of tomorrow must be able to teach our students this visual literacy.
Currently pedagogical resources for visual literacy are limited because of its relative modernity. Miller emphasizes, "The limits and the restrictions are largely ones we place on ourselves." He goes on to say that educators are responsible for creating and enabling,
1.) pedagogues that foster creativity and collaboration
2.) inspiring teachers of new media composing
3.) ubiquitous composing technology.
I believe it is an educator's responsibility to help their students discover what they love. In order to do so, we must digest Miller's notion that ideas belong to no one. My favorite part of his presentation is the small detail at the very end when his copyright symbols falls and breaks in two. It's scary to admit this in such a great and capitalistic society, but isn't that what humanity should strive for-- less competition and more collaboration?
***Notes and Quotes
1.) At 3 minute mark, Miller defines the movement from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. At the end of this presentation, he states his thesis argument that Rutger needs to build a space that enables students to learn how to produce multimedia compositions.
2.) I like that he encourages the use of local resources to compliment global (internet) resources.
After distributing hundreds of 20 GB iPods to an incoming freshman class as part of a project to discover potential ways to innovate technology into the classrooms, Duke University found that students used the recording device, music database, and hard drive storage capability most. To me, the most handy part about distributing the iPods to students was that teachers were able to preload class lectures, foreign language content, historical speeches, relevant songs, and podcasts. Students could also use it to store mathematical equations and examples, particularly if the teacher recorded class notes on a smart-board or powerpoint.
I think the most significant conclusion I drew from reading about Duke's iPod Initiative and iTunes University is that my generation is expected to multitask now more than ever. Just like Karl Fisch with Did You Know 4.0, Duke University realizes that students must learn to be as efficient with their time as possible in order to be effective and successful. Duke's investment in new technologies for their students serves multiple purposes: to give students a gateway to become familiar with the technologies of tomorrow, to enable students to take learning beyond dorm rooms, libraries, and classrooms, as well as to support students in their uphill battle to do multiple things at once (like studying French while running on a tredmill).
***Notes and Questions
1.) What is a blackboard course management tool?
2.) Led me to research the iPod Touch on Wired, where I learned about the upcoming iPod Touch 3G. It has me eagerly anticipating the newer version!
Check it out and find out where's happening today!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Professional Blog: technology literate, intellectual trail, set the stage for what I talk about (instead of the color of your shoelaces that day, etc.),
Talk about things that define you: McClung, Stay Positive!
Professional Blog, Project 11, Podcasts, and Class Blog are high priority.
Look up Dr. Strange's response to Jabiz's comment regarding the public nature of Dear Kaia.
Ginger: Lit Trip
Google tour: 20 destinations that I must add text notes too.
Dr. Strange: How do I get the history bar that shows you the changes over time in a place on google earth?
I am having trouble organizing my google reader-- people I cannot seem to find recently added people that I know I attempted to follow... any cure?
Notes from a thread I read on Intrepid Teacher: Moodle, Blackboard, chatzy, facebook feed, Tokbox, ning, How does Mr Jabiz apply flickr to the classroom?
I want to create a posts called, Making Publi Education Public-- which addresses the concern of internet safety and student privacy.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
--elluminate??? course in canada (five minute teaching goal) smartboard on the web
--five minute max project (3rd objective for the last half of the semester)
--explicit video project-- I haven't used any type of video making things yet-- this may be another good opp for me to experience something new
--edublogs-- that's the blog system that Jabiz uses
--vimeo, youtube alternative
--fairhope teacher does fascinating stuff with smartboard
--watch google wave
from Karadimos: NPR text books digital or virtual text books that you can subscribe to
--Free, chris anderson
--school who sold their entire library, electronic library
to me: crunchtime on youtube (from a movie making course) example for our project 11
-- free app for iphone... att, vonage verizon mifi?
--think about what implications teaching in public has...
from Dr. Strange: when we get to google earth in week ten-- go to ALICE CHRISTIE's site and read her instructions
web enhanced, signed up for all networks (picassa, igoogle, etc.)
help team- Fawcett & Capps
answering emails, commenting on blogs,
go to Financial Aid and get signed up for work-study
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Jabiz, Kaia's father, is a 7,8,and 9 year teacher of students at the Compass International School in Doha, Qatar. So far as I can tell, he uses his professional blog, Intrepid Teacher, as a journal for other curious minds and educators. I am eager to further explore his site and ask him questions about what it is like to teach over seas? How he manages his time so effectively between school and family? Why he teaches in Qatar and what are some of the biggest contrasts between American and Qatar schools? I am sure more questions and answers will come after I explore his blog.
I mostly just wanted to share this find with y'all because I am so excited about the opportunities that blogging can provide for us. Before investing myself in this class, I struggled to reconcile two dreams-- in short, exploring other cultures and teaching. Blogging has helped provide a bridge between two seemingly distant goals.
Here's the video that helped lead me to Kaia's Blog which helped to further open my eyes. Thank you Mr. C and Class!
I followed link after link trying to learn more about ARGs (alternate game realities) and finally concluded that there is most certainly a novelty to the idea, but it just isn't teacher-time-budget friendly yet. The whole idea of an ARG is to create a collaborative game that connects a variety of classmates and resources in order to teach many things at once; most obviously the lesson-- albeit science, math, history, literature, art, music,.. It also teaches teamwork, how to reach out all over the world via internet, and how to use online tools. It also has the potential to get students to seek answers from libraries, museums, art gallas, community members, etc.
In my research, I came across the Tower of Babel ARG which was used by teachers across Europe to teach language education. The website I have linked shares the how's, what's, and testimonials from the teachers involved. I have posted below a conversation between one of the project's team members and myself so that you could see what is to come and how helpful they were.
I am a student of Elementary Education at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I currently volunteer in two 4th grade classrooms and I witness disinterest among my students as a result of "old school" teaching techniques. I am very interested in learning more about ARG's designed for the Elementary level, more specifically ages 9-12, so that I can implement new teaching strategies in my future class room.
How can I become involved in an ARG project? Can I expect to see one designed for my age level kids?
Thank you for your time,
P.S. You can also view my EDM 310 class blog at http://cappsaedm310fall2009.
Thank you for your interest.
The project has just completed its final meeting and we will be placing on our website a number of papers, including a methodology that explains how educators can use an ARG in their schools and an evaluation of the effectiveness of our ARG on student motivation.
We will also be placing a paper with a number of 'Use case scenarios' that will suggest how flexible ARGs can be and that they can be adapted to all levels of education and subjects, including inter-disciplinary.
The platform that we constructed for our project, on a Moodle platform, is being offered for use to educators. A reasonable familiarity of Moodle is extremely helpful.
The project team are also offering consulting services to schools to help them use ARGs in their schools.
I can be contacted for further information by email or Skype.
Partner ARGuing project
I think it is an incredible idea, and I hope that an easy to use program is created for teachers like myself to start applying this revolutionary teaching style in our classrooms.
His article emphasizes the need for first year teachers to keep our priorities in line-- open pathways for student learning. We must do this by keeping students engaged with exciting lessons, staying flexible if those lesson plans don't go exactly as planned, integrating technology into our learning experiences, setting examples for our students by looking for new ways to remain a lifelong learner, and using our communication skills to share exciting news, seek advice, and resolve problems.
All of Mr McClung's tips are helpful, but the one that stood out most to me was-- Be Flexible. I think that one of the important challenges I am going to face as a teacher is learning how to turn every stumbling block into a learning opportunity and doing it with a smile on my face. This is the most significant for me because I believe that mastering that skill will best help prepare our students for problems beyond academic walls. Moreover, teaching them how to master that skill is equally important in their growth.
1.) When I commented Mr. McClung's post, I left him a question, "Technologically speaking, what was your most useful tool as a first year teacher (software, freeware, smartboard,.. anything)?"
The warnings that we received came in response to the recent buzz that questioned the credibility of Wikipedia in comparison to a standard, print encyclopedia. Where does all that information come from? Well, Virgil Griffith of Caltech University has created
a Wikipedia Scanner that helps Wikipedia users recognize edits
that have been added or removed from a wiki and additionally, where they came from.
Griffith hopes his Wikipedia Scanner will help deter "vandalism" or biased edits from occurring.
After reading NPR's News Blog Who's Been Messin' with MY Wikipedia Entry, NPR's report Scanner Tracks Who's Changing What on Wikipedia, and the corresponding Morning Edition audio-show transcript-- I concluded that Wikipedia is what it is and it is up to its users to use it appropriately. Thompson, NPR's audio-show correspondent and WIRED representative says, "The line we sort of frequently use at Wired magazine is that Wikipedia is a hundred times the information as a regular encyclopedia at 90 percent the accuracy. And for most things that's pretty good."
1.) Before this assignment, I had never been exposed to WIRED. I am now enthralled by the site because it provides information on any and every piece of technology that I would ever be interested in-- and best of all, it does so in a language that I can understand!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Wow, your story was great-- especially the Halloween timing! I am also new to vocaroo-- thanks for the introduction. Your story is a great combination of audio, video, and text! The moral to your story seems very clear, great moms and good friends are the best!
October 28, 2009 6:40 PM
To help me keep organized, I have compiled all of my reflections from C4K into one blog post. I have sorted them by the date that I commented. The Blogs I have found most helpful for me are available on the right side column of my blog, under "Important Links".
September 6, 2009 4:56
How creative! I hope to become a teacher one day very soon, and I hope that my students can express that talents as well as you have with your Humpty Dumpty story, even if it does have a sad ending. :-(
This is a great example of children combining narration with background music and most impressively, animation.
September 9, 2009 4:39
Keep up the good work guys! By looking at your blog posts, I have learned so much about what I want to include in my future classroom. Your creations have been very inspiring! Thank you!
One student leads her class in thanking the EDM 310 students for our input on their blogs. I think this is a great example of building confidence in students and developing student/teacher relationships across the globe!
September 11, 2009 4:47
This is phenomenal! Y'all are so fortunate to be able to spend so much time expressing your limitless creativity with your amazing talents. I was exceptionally impressed with your animation-- it makes me wish I could have gone to the assembly myself!
I am studying at the University of South Alabama to become an elementary teacher. I am grateful that Dr. Strange tipped me off to your website. Please continue to inspire!
This is reporting at its best. The student of Point England collaboratively reported on an assembly they had about storytelling. They digitally animated their experiences and compiled them into one storyline to create a more complete report of the event. HOW EXCELLENT!
September 11, 2009 4:52
Congratulations! Netball looks a lot like basketball. I have played all my life, but I can't imagine playing without a backboard!
Great video April, the voice report flowed nicely into your background music.
This videocast opened up a whole new realm of ideas for possible implications in my future career. Most significantly, I think it would be fun to sponsor a journalism club that reported anything going on in our community that effects the student population: sports, festivals, theater, or academic competitions (geography bees, spelling bees, scholars bowl, etc.). They could also highlight community volunteers, exceptional students (character, grades, etc), student clubs, and club leaders. The student journalists could also interview our school leaders for updates about what may be coming to our school next (teacher layoffs, better cafeteria food, new funding, new technology, etc.).
September 16, 2009 9:15
Phenomenal! Each time I run across a blog like yours I become more and more inspired, motivated, and excited to become a teacher! Currently, I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I am taking EDM 310 (an educational media course) with Dr. Strange in order to attain my degree in elementary education.
I just wanted to thank your class for giving me such great insight to Roman architecture, Julius Casar, Cleopatra VII and gladiators. Your narrators were so expressive and clear! I especially appreciated the transitions, subtitles, and background music. Keep using your creative talents– y’all are fantastic!
As a future teacher, I do have a question about your scripting. If you have time, please email me at email@example.com or comment my blog. I would like to learn what method you used to assemble your script, select your narrators, and how much time it took to create a post like this. Thanks so much!This comment was especially fruitful for me because the coordinating teacher of the class blog, Mrs. Carrie contacted me and answered all of my questions. She was very prompt and helpful. I eagerly await her class's next post so that I can see some more great work, and remain in touch with her, who I have found to be such a great learning resource.
October 2, 2009 6:26
Hi, my name is Anthony and I am a student of the University of South Alabama where I am studying to become an elementary teacher. I just wanted to say that this is so impressive. I wish I had the creative talents that Mr. Stu Duvall shared with y'all. Thanks for sharing his visit, it has my brain reeling for possible guest speakers for my future classroom here in Alabama!
I really appreciate the way Mr. Stu Duvall connected art, literature, and music to entertain the student of Point England. What a great way to teach students how to apply brainstorming, teamwork, and improvisation to create. I can't help but think that Sir Ken Robinson would appreciate how the Point clear students were able to use art and music alongside their writing and reading skills.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Did You Know 4.0, like the previous version Did You Know 3.0 is a rich source of factoids about how technology and how it is changing the world. I decided to blend my response on Karl Fisch's Is It Okay To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher? because the video show exposes the astounding technological literacy of Gen XY.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Throughout his lecture, Randy Pausch related his experiences back to a few main philosophies that included what he called "head fakes... brick walls... and seeing the good in people." He first used football to define a "head fake". He says that people don't enroll their kids in football to learn a three point stance, forward pass plays, or field goal kicking skills. They enroll their children to help their kids learn bigger, more applicable character skill-sets like team work, strategizing, work ethic, etc. Essentially, for the kids its about the game, but for the grown-ups they will become, its about the skills they gained from playing it.
I really appreciated his philosophy about "brick walls". It was significant for me because as I watched this video I became more and more humbled. It made me reflect on how my academic laziness as a youth has become a self created obstacle for the goals I am striving for now. Simultaneously, it helped me to realize how important my hopeful career is-- the ealier I can help my students realize how important it is to ALWAYS put forth their best effort in everything they do, the less self made hurdles they will have to jump over later in life. I look at Randy and see everything he has done in his life and with a deep exhale I say, "Wow." However, it was when he showed us a photo of his childhood room which he painted in high school that I realized my forementioned brick wall. He had the confidence to write equations on his wall and paint elevators to no where. He was free to be himself at an age when (I presume because of my own experiences) most kids struggle to conform and become each other.
The last of the three most repeated philosophies that he shared with us, was that if you wait on somebody long enough, they will surprise and impress you. Look for the good in everyone, and if its hard to spot quickly, wait. I think this statement needs no more explaining. It only needs an open heart to recieve and live it.
***Notes, Questions and Quotes
1.) "Your critics are the ones who tell you they love you and care. You're in the most trouble when you see that you are doing wrong, and no one is telling you."
2.)"Experience is what you get when you don't get what youy wanted."
3.) I liked his acknowledgement of Captain Kirk's success as a leader regardless of his lack of specified skills.
4.)"The brick walls are there to show us our dedication/ how bad you want something."
5.)"The best gift an educator can give is to get somebody to be self reflective."
6.)"Get a feedback loop and listen to it."
7.)"Are you a tigger or an Eeyore?"
8.) Who is Andy Van Dam?
9.) Look up Caitlin Keller at Washington University (?) and her progress with integrating Alice into middle schools.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
"Teachers must be learners. Learning and teaching are not the same thing. Technology is useless without good teaching. Be a 21st century teacher without the technology."
The main idea of this article particularly impacted me because I spend 10 hours a week witnessing the success and tribulations of two different teachers and their classrooms. The successful teacher that I am referring to has 30 students in her 4th grade class. She is equipped with one computer which is barely capable of running the AR Test program and one laptop for her SmartBoard which has snail like processing speed. However, her classroom is still a success because she has built a partnership atmosphere between her students who are constantly buzzing with relevant input for class discussions-- albeit Math, Language, Literature, Science, and Social Studies. Her previous classes enjoyed music and art classes, but as a result of budget cuts she willingly came up with ways to incorporate music and art into her daily routines. It's amazing to see how quickly the students are learning despite the absence of sufficient technology.
Unfortunately, I also witness a classroom that thrives much less as a result of an outdated system of learning. The classroom atmosphere is silent and stale. The students spend most of their time warding off behavioral problems that accompany unused energy and boredom. This classroom is equipped with a quick processor for the smartboard and four computers. The building itself is a mere 8 years old (relatively new in terms of educational facilities). Just this morning the teacher I volunteer for expressed her love for the smartboard. I asked her if she learned how to use it in college or if she took some kind of tutorial when she got it-- neither of which occurred. The lack knowledge of its capabilities is evident. For her, the smartboard is nothing more than a touch screen transparency projector.
I believe the forementioned experiences that I have shared serve to highlight the points that Mrs. Hines made. We all must become what teachers should exemplify, life-long learners.
The movie begins by illuminating problems in our current education system at the university level, such as: scan-tron tests, large class sizes, distant teachers as well as uninviting, big, and expensive books. It also brings attention to the fact that we are expected to cram 26.5 hours worth of activities in 24 hours, illustrating that society demands us to become multitaskers. The following clips are the cause of my blurred anguish. One student holds up a piece of paper that says schools are not preparing us for all of these problems... the surrounding students simultaneously raise their paper with problems, but all of the papers are too out of focus to identify the problems that are written. The next student's note reads, "I did not create these problems, but they are my problems." Finally, here's the rub. The student messages that directly follow the girl's "my problems" statement describes how students Facebook through class and abuse laptop privileges.
My reaction is this; students must take responsibility for our own learning and teachers must provide up-to-date means of accessing information. This means that teachers must move beyond the mindset that teachers are the all knowing, all powerful source of information that can only be attained through dictation. Teachers must recognize the reality of today. Information is everywhere and technology is where it is stored and retrieved. Instead of teaching students the facts of the world, teachers should teach their students how and where find any abundance of information.
Furthermore, students should hold fast to their curiosity. They should use the information that they discover to create a new way of presenting it. This ideology serves two purposes, which are: students will retain the information longer and simultaneously create a new, fun and original pathway for other students to learn. According to Sir Ken Robinson, kids are the source of creativity. The younger they are, the more potent the originality of their ideas remain.
***Notes and quotes
1.) Personal favorite quote, "If students learn what they do, what are they learning sitting here?"
2.) Check out this youtube video of Marshall McLuhan on societal transformation via technology.
3.) From chalkboards to smartboards, Josiah F Bumstead would be proud. Watch the video below to learn why I think so!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
As I browsed Practical Principals I remembered my intention to look into Evernote. While briefly exploring the site, I listened to Scott and Melinda talk about their short summers as principals and their cyber friendship. It was entertaining so I decided to follow them on Twitter after discovering their Twitter name under their Twitter blog post and audio blog. Their blog has great links that are organized according to the topics that they discuss in their podcasts. The podcasts are irregularly posted, but still created often enough to keep tabs on.
My favorite part of this week's assignment was listening to the Eagle's Nest podcast on Rome. It was GREAT! The kids are always so inspiring. I commented the post and I asked a question about who actually created the script, how the narrator's were chosen, and how much time it actually took to produce. I hope to hear back from them soon. Also, I hope to include this as a part of my Project 6 Comments4Kids.
I didn't invest too much time looking around The Education Podcast Network because the website looked so starch. Likely, I will not remember to go back and look into it further because there were no pictures, only two font colors, and the structure was, well.... too structured. Seeing this has helped me hold a mirror up to my own blog (which has no pictures and no color as of now). As soon as possible I hope to jazz up my website, and I also plan to give EPN another chance.
Last but certainly not least, I want to highlight Langwitches! This is a website with a teacher target audience. It was so comprehensive in terms of its organization, information, and examples. I have not even thought about copyright issues until reading the post, Podcasting with 3rd Grade. This post uses the topic Florida endangered species as an example of great elementary podcasting. Not only did the post include examples of podcasts created by the students, but it also included the freeware that the students used to build their audio posts like: Kidpix and Audacity. Once again, the blog had a Twitter link that I used to help build my personal learning network for teaching techniques. Glancing to the left of this particular post, I saw another post related to "digital footprinting" which I learned is the result of someone googling your name and what matches are found. I never really thought about this as a potential resume type flag. But now that I am aware, I realize how important it is for me to be actively producing a trail that I can be proud of-- I want to be googled well. This is even more motivation for me to be active in my networks whether they are my residential community, school, work, or online affiliations (which can be any or all of the formentioned)!
To see an example of EDM 310 class podcasts visit It's Time for Technology Talk. I had the opportunity to interview Ms. Angela Rand and separately discuss Teacher Tube, TED, Smartboards and Edutopia with my classmates.
***Notes and questions
1.)The Kidpix link did not work, does anyone know a good link that will connect me to the right website?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
After listening to Kristin, Briana, and Andrea's Useful Internet Sites for Elementary Students-- the most appropriate response is, WOW! I hope to model my group's podcast after their wellpaced, informative, and clearly articulated podcast. The best part about their podcast is that they introduced so many new ideas, resources, and overviews. They discussed websites such as Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX), Stark Wall (sp?? which has peaked my interest, but Kristin did not enunciate well enough for me to look it up), Funbrain, and Scholastic. Each of the three group members took turns introducing the websites. Then, most effectively, they each told which facet of the website was most appealing or useful for them. As an avid listener of NPR, I think their podcasts should be broadcast on National Public Radio as a testimony to the many resources and innovations ready to be used in the classrooms of the 21 century.
The next podcast was less enjoyable for me. However, Can Facebook Be Used as an Educational Tool was relevant to another article I read thanks to my google reader application. Mr. Jarred Lamshed from Adelaide, Australia and contributor to the blog: At the Teacher's Desk, wrote that he effectively uses Facebook as a means of communication with 20 out of 29 parents of his students because he has found their response time with Facebook to be faster than traditional email. Although I do appreciate the friendship that I have with Sam (a co-host of the podcast), I was minimally stimulated by the audio podcast her group recorded. I think that this is because I was already very familiar with the topic, and they did not rotate speaking roles frequently enough.
The best thing about the least informative podcast that I listened to, Technology Used in the Classroom at the University of South Alabama, was the colloquial nature of the commentary. Sarah, Nick, and their third partner made you feel as if you were sitting on your living room couch having a mildly reflective conversation about school tools. Although it was not informative at all, I must give them kudos for keeping it so comfortable.
***Notes and questions for clarity
1.) What is the website that Kristin refers to that sounds like starkwall?
2.) I would like to learn more about the Courses Application for Facebook that Candace refers to even though I don't think Facebook is an appropriate tool for my classroom.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
to Dr. Strange: How does a blackberry compare to an iphone?
to Dr. Strange: What is your Delicious username? How do you find a user easily? How do you change your username?
to Dr. Strange and the Lady in Pink that sits in the aisle seat in the row in front of me: What is Kendall/ Tendall/ or whatever?
to me: (in response to the Needlemen conference) Blogging empowers and motivates students by giving them a real audience outside of the class setting. Using skype allows students to be taught by people who are actually in the field; his examples included a bird scientist in Boston. Integrate a few things at a time when I first start teaching, he says, because it will help me keep afloat.
to me: (about Karl, inspired by Special Needs comment in Needlemen Skype) How can I get Karl to be more engaged in peer to peer work? How can I inspire him to say "yes", instead of my now least favorite word, "no". Maybe the website would be more appropriate for Simeon because Karl isn't not struggling to keep up academically, just socially.
to me: Look up the "Mobile Schools Now Equipped for the 21 Century" from the Mobile Register.
to Dr. Strange: How can I take a screen shot (like in Mr. C's Why Do I Blog post)?
Sunday, August 30, 2009
One significant difference between the two shows was that Kidcast didn't offer any information that I couldn't have concluded on my own. Whereas, Get Smart with Smart Boards immediately introduced me to new ideas and resources that I could use in my future profession. This basic difference taught me a foundation principle for making my own podcast. Only make a podcast if you are equipped to inform your audience with new, original, and interesting information. Also, conversational style appealed to my personal preferences.
My favorite podcast was EdTechTalk. This podcast also had two hosts, but it was exceptoinal because they were interviewing three Google employees that specialized in different google docs departments. They introduced me to templates and google gadgets on spreadsheets.
Also, I went to their website and found the podcast that I had previously listened to in Itunes U. It was transcripted, which I like better, and in the transcript they used http://tinyurl.com/. Just at a glance, I saw Flickr being used, Itunes, chat rooms, and a blog being used. Ed Tech Talk is certainly multifaceted.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Vicki used her passion for technology in the classroom to get students excited about meeting people from around the world and collaborating on projects together. It is even more astounding to me that Ms. Davis somehow managed to afford her students the opportunity to travel to the middle east for a technology conference of all things-- especially during these times when prejudices run rampant and dangers are eminent! How exciting!
I want to learn more about Digi Teen and The Flat Classroom Project.
How can we, as teachers, incorporate dance, art, and music into more the more socially sensible subjects of mathematics and language? Why have worksheets and spelling drills become more predominant tools for teachers? How can we revolutionize these boring techniques?
Teachers, especially elementary teachers, are responsible for cultivating well-rounded, and successful pupils. We are meant to encourage their discovery of each of their unique talents and interests while simultaneously teaching them how to achieve high scores on state standards tests. If you take that little feat, and combine it with the fact that we are supposed to do this on a budget that induces large class sizes with limited or no reasonable access to up-to-date technologies and resources-- you should be come overwhelmed with questions and ideas for possible solutions to the many obvious hurtles we must face as teachers. (Blogging is a good way to communicate those solutions so that your peers can help troubleshoot and build upon them.)
One question/ thought that occurred to me as I spaced out while reading and listening to Sir Robinson's speech was this; Are we teachers allowed to coordinate fundraisers for in the classroom supplies? How is fund raising for a computer any different from asking children to bring glue or asking their parents to volunteer their time in the class setting? Does the computer (or whatever technology/ tool) belong to the teacher's classroom or can it be redistributed according to the will of the presiding principal?
In summary, this video is about cultivating creativity.
1. Use a planner to help you budget time for blogging! Keep on top of it because no matter how hard you try, catching up is NOT possible in this class. It is too fast pace. Plus, this is one of those rare classes that teaches you stuff that might actually carry into the real world-- you don't want to miss out on any of this action!
2. Use igoogle as your homepage. It helps me keep up with news, emails, etc all in a glance. I am a news reader-- therefore, adding the CNN, NPR, FOX, MSN, BBC, yada yada gadgets allows me to compare headlines and read articles sooo easily. This is my favorite thing about igoogle because-- before I even read the articles I can identify biases based on comparative headlines.
3. Add the Recent Comments Gadget to your blog by going to customize (top right corner), then layout, then add a gadget. It's a great notification system simlar to facebook notifications.
Here goes... "Did you know?"
1. If you're 1 in a 1,000,000 in China... there are 1,300 people just like you.
IF THE U.S.A. HAD THAT MANY PEOPLE, WOULD OUR GOVERNMENT BE CAPABLE OF MAINTAINING ORDER AND CIVILITY?
2. China will soon become the #1 English speaking country in the world.
3. The 25% of India's population with the highest IQ's... is greater than the total population of the U.S. (Translation: India has more honors kids than America has kids.)
4. The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010... did not exist in 2004. (We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't exist yet... using technologies that haven't been invented... in order to solve problems we don't even know exist yet.)
THIS MAKES ME THINK THAT SCHOOLS ARE NOT STRICTLY NECESSARY TO PREPARE US FOR OUR CAREERS, BUT MORE SO TO HELP SHAPE US INTO PEOPLE WHO ARE CAPABLE OF SUCCEEDING IN A WORK ENVIRONMENT (I MEAN SCHOOLS ARE NOT ABOUT CAREER ORIENTED SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES, BUT MORE ABOUT TIME MANAGEMENT AND SOCIAL ETIQUETTE).
5. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today's learner will have 10-14 jobs... by the age of 38.
WHAT DOES THIS STATISTIC TELL US ABOUT WORK ETHIC AND LOYALTY OF THE "ME" GENERATION?
6. 1 in 4 workers has been with their current employer for less than a year. 1 in 2 has been there less than five years.
7. 1 in 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met online.
I WONDER HOW THIS WILL EFFECT OUR DIVORCE RATE 5, 10, OR 15 YEARS FROM NOW?
8. There are over 200,000,000 users registered on Myspace. If Myspace were a country, it would be the 5th-largest in the world (between Indonesia and Brazil).
FACEBOOK IS BETTER.
9. The #1 ranked country in Broadband Internet penetration is... Bermuda, #19 U.S., #22 Japan.
WHERE IS BERMUDA?
10. We are living in exponential times. There are 31 billion searches on Google every month. In 2006, this number was 2.7 billion.(To whom were these questions addressed before B.G. (Before Google)?)
11. The first commercial text message was sent in December of 1992. Today, the number of text messages sent and received everyday, exceeds the total population of the planet.
12. Years it took to reach a market audience of 50 million: Radio 38 years, T.V. 13 years, internet 4 years, iPod 3 years, Facebook 2 years.
YOU ALSO HAVE TO CONSIDER THE SIZE OF TOTAL POPULATION IN REGARDS TO THE TIME EACH PRODUCT WAS MARKETED.
13. The number of internet devices in 1984 was 1,000. The number of internet devices in 1992 was 1,000,000. The number of internet devices in 2008 is 1,000,000,000.
14. There are about 540,000 words in the English language-- about 5X as many as in Shakespeare's time.
15. It is estimated that a week's worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.
NO WONDER THEY DIDN'T NEED COMPUTER'S, BOOKS, OR PAPER... THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO REMEMBER!
16. It's estimated that 4 exabytes (4.0 x 10^19) of unique information will be generated this year. That is more than the previous 5,000 years.
17. The amount of new technical information is doubling every two years... For students starting a 4 year technical degree this means that... half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.
18. NTT Japan has successfully tested a fiber optic cable... that pushes 14 trillion bits per second down a single strand of fiber. That is 2,660 CDs or 210 phone calls every second. It is currently tripling every six months and is expected to do so for the next 20 years.
19. By 2013, a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computational capabilities of the human brain. Predictions are that by 2049, a $1,000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the entire human species.
I RECENTLY SAW ON TV A COMPUTER THAT CAN MOVE OBJECTS AND SAY WORDS BASED ON THE ELECTRICAL CURRENTS OF YOUR BRAIN. THEY ARE USING THIS TECHNOLOGY TO HELP ENABLE QUADRIPLEGICS. ROBOTS-- HOW FASCINATING?!
20. During the course of this presentation... 67 babies were born in the U.S., 274 were born in China, 395 babies were born in India, and 694,000 songs were downloaded illegally.
WILL HUMAN INTELLECT KEEP UP WITH POPULATION OVERLOAD? I THINK WE SHOULD MANUFACTURE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED CONDOMS TO HELP PREVENT US FROM FINDING OUT THE ANSWER TO MY QUESTION TOO SOON.
"So what does it all mean?" It means that there were over twenty bits of facts presented in this presentation, and all of the BOLDFACED lettering is my commentary.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
to: Dr. Strange-- I want to set up forms for two students in particular, that if they submit their "homework" they receive instant gratification by "unlocking" a video: youtube, disney, etc.
to: DR. STRANGE-- I just added the recent comment gadget, and I want to have a notification system of sorts. Will this notify me when other comment on my blog posts, or is this just a list of my own comments? If this won't work for my intention, is there a gadget that does work?
to: me-- I need to create a presentation that is 14 slides long including title and question slide. Each slide must have a picture except for the title and question slide.
about: Karl and Simeon-- For instant notification concerning there submissions to the blog, I can go to "email notifications" and type in my email address, or Laura's, et cetera to "blog-sender". I can also use an RSS feeds system. For math problems, I can go to Google forms, create the questions and answers from their homework and create a multiple choice form that is to be "embedded" into the blog by selecting "more actions --> embed" then copy/paste the code into my the blog post on their page.
to: me-- I need a phone/ phone-plan that I can blog from/ access emails.
to: me-- Learn about "evernote" and figure out what he was talking about when he mentioned "personal learning network" in regards to twitter. Is there a way to create twitter categories for my followers/ people that I am following so that I can send questions to only certain people and/or make distinct personal comments from academic ones?
By now you have probably concluded correctly that my name is Anthony Capps. If you have read my "About Me" section, you also know that I am studying Elementary Education at the University of South Alabama. Below I have listed a few extra "fun facts" about me.
1. This is my second time taking Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class because by nature I am not a planner/ organized person-- therefore, I did not responsibly finish my blogs each week. Although this is unfortunate for me, my previous experience might prove to be helpful for you!
2. Last semester, I transferred from the University of Hawaii at Manoa on the island of Oahu. I LOVED it there, and to this day I long to go back. However, I am happy to be involved in the Education program here at the University of South Alabama because I feel it will help mold me into an excellent teacher.
3. Outside of school, I try to fill my time with things that I enjoy so I can stay happy, energetic, and sane! Some of these activities include working at the Cassebaum Farm in Lillian, attending St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Elberta, and volunteering as a teacher's assistant for Mrs. Alm's 4th grade class at Elberta Middle School.
4. During my free time I like to run, play any sport (particularly basketball, softball, soccer, and beach frisbee), kayak, and ride any of my family's four horses.
For more information about me, you can check out my facebook or find me in the back of Dr. Strange's class in Fairhope on Wednesday nights. I would be happy to answer any of your questions.