Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Project #12 Book Trailer

Project #9 PLN 1st Progress

PLN Update
       I think this is going to be the most beneficial assignment we have had so far. I have been working on getting my PLN set up so far. I am adding all my teachers and fellow classmates into the website by the week.

Blog Post #7 - Dr. Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch
Randy Pausch and his children dressed as the Incredibles on HalloweenDr. Randy Pausch was an amazing inspiration to hear, and I find it hard to not write about how sad it is to know he is gone. Dr. Pausch carried with him a heart warming message in a world where more often than not, teachers and professors don't care about students. I have known so many to be consumed with what THEY already know rather than what they could teach others. His three main points were as follows:
  • Have Fun
  • Never Give Up
  • Always Search For The Good In Others.
In his last lecture, Dr. Pausch talks about fulfilling childhood dreams. He states the importance of, "The Child inside". and the, "Child-like wonder", that we as adults and especially as educators tend to lose. His point here ties in with the other Blog assignments because he silently establishes that the current education system is flawed. I too believe that fun is always a big part in a classroom. I tend to be silly, and I try to keep things light-hearted with my high school kids. I do this because when I am happy, they give me more of their attention, rather than when I am angry and they let my message go in one ear and out the other.
         Another point he makes is to never give up. He says from his health to his students, he never gave up. This is very noble and rare. In the current school system, teachers give up on students, students give up on classes, parents give up on kids and so on. Also with me personally I know that I let my patience wear thin on a daily basis almost. And once I reach that point of no return, I just throw my hands up and give up on my girls.
          He also remarks on the fact that we should ALWAYS search for the good in others. He is told by his colleague that when someone disappoints him, he just needs to give them more time. At some point in time, everyone will impress you. When someone disappoints us, a lot of times it takes a long time, if we ever build back that trust. Maybe if there is a student in your class, and they seem to always let you down, all they need is more time and other opportunities to prove themselves.
         Dr. Pausch presents a beautiful message in his Last Lecture, one that honestly brought me to tears. This post assignment is going to be the one that has the longest lasting impression in my life. If I could inspire one person, the way Dr. Pausch  has inspired hundreds of thousands, my profession would have been worth while.
       As a side note, this is the second time I have done this assignment, and it brings me to tears every time. This is by far the BEST blog post we do, and I hope you never get rid of it Dr. Strange. Dr. Randy Pausch should be remembered, and his ideas celebrated forever. He was truly incredible.

Blog Post #6 - Networked Student

The Networked Student

          The idea of connectivism is very interesting! The basic meaning is that a student will build a network of education for himself, with assistance from the professor. Through programs like Google Scholar, we can do our own research and determine the validity of a website. Using iTuneU we can find podcasts from actual classes across the world and put them straight on our iPod. What a crazy thought. I attend the University of South Alabama, and I can receive a lecture from a professor at UC Berkleigh? This is a great example of technology at its best in the education world.
          Teachers are needed with the concept of connectivism, simply because they help organize the students. A teacher instructs the student on how to politely ask for help. They tell the student how to organize the mounds of information they receive from  their PLN.

          Thinking about all that I have learned, and what I know now, I could easily fill a novel. But dreaming about the infinite knowledge I could have gained from networking such as this is incredible. As a child I always heard, "Two heads are better than one." How about ten brains, or 100 working together? This would be an infinite well of knowledge, coming from all kinds of backgrounds and origins. I hope I can teach this way in my classroom. I will definitely try my best. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Post #5


         Krissy Venosdale is an awe inspiring gifted education teacher from Missouri. She uses her blog entitled Venspired to reflect upon herself and those who inspire her. In a particular post she tells about her dream school. One where students and learning live harmoniously together. Where the students don't have to fit the certain criteria to be considered gifted. If I got the chance to build my own school, the first thing I would do is remove ALL standardized testing. in the current world, everyone learns in their own ways at their own pace. We cannot expect students to pass the tests if we as teachers cannot effectively teach everyone everything. Meaning, in most scenarios, teachers don't have the time to spend individually with every student making sure that everyone has all of the LO's embedded into their heads. Some kids are DIFFERENT, and that isn't a bad thing! The next thing I would do is immediately incorporate the best technology available. The students would begin building their PLN's from the start of their education.

Virtual Choir
       Jennifer Chamber's posted a video of Eric Whitacre's breathtaking Virtual Choir! I have followed this amazing, ever growing choir. This particular choir piece is entitled, "Lux Aurumque." 185 voices from 12 different countries singing together via Skype. What an amazing innovation Whitacre has made using the world wide web! He is currently producing his newest and largest choir. I would love to be part of his virtual masterpiece!

21st Century Teaching
     The first thing I noticed about this video is the music. As a band student, and music fanatic, I was mesmerized by the track behind the video. I watched it a few times.
       Teaching in the 21st century shouldn't be too hard. Most of my classmates and I were the start of the technological age. As long as we use the technologies we use such as blogging, (tumblr, blogger, etc) social networks, (Twitter, facebook, linkedin, Skype, etc) Educational connectivity, (PLNs) we will be effective teachers. These sites provide us with an instant and endless source of knowledge and lesson possibilities. Bloom's taxonomy has been blown wide open with the possibilities. Create has a different meaning today than it did 15 years ago. It used to just mean to put something together. Now creating something is making something that no one has seen, or expanding upon a concept already around.

Flipped Classroom
           I could definitely see myself using the flipped classroom approach. And simply because, class time becomes a precious commodity to teachers in a tight schedule. More students learn by hands on experiences in my opinion. I love the idea of the lesson being at home and the assignment being in class. What a great way to check the understanding of the students. I really think I will try the flipped classroom as a teacher! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blog Post #4

Joe Dale
           The video on Joe Dale's website talks about the importance of Podcasts and Vodcasts. It gives the example of a child staying home from school with a high fever. The child is afraid of missing an important study guide review that is happening in class. She is at ease when she realizes that the teacher  makes a Podcast of all of his study guide reviews. She listens to it while she is recovering from her illness. To me this proves that podcasting and video podcasts are an extremely convenient way to educate our students. It also makes me think of the flipped classrooms. In flipped classes, students learn the lesson online either through podcast of vlogs, this way they can spend precious class time applying their knowledge to reality.
             I think that using podcasts in class is an excellent way to keep kids interested in learning. And I actually really like the idea of a flipped classroom. I could have my students at least listen to their lesson at home. With that system in place, It would take 1/4 the time to review quickly and put their knowledge to the test with the assignment. 

Flat Stanley!

Flat Stanley             I chose this option because I love Flat Stanley! i had never heard his story until last year, but it is an awesome concept! I really want Flat Stanley to visit me! Anyway in  Ms. Tolisano gave her first grade class from Jacksonville, Florida a really creative assignment. She had them read Flat Stanley by Jim Brown. And then she asked them imagine that they had been flattened like Stanley and they had to choose their own travel destination. Each student conducted research on their location so they could describe what they did on their adventure. They also told how they got to and from their chosen place.
             The finished product was a really cute podcast that encouraged all kinds of creativity.They also got the experience of a podcast; they got to hear themselves saying the words, as well as hear the different emotions in their speaking parts. This is also a great way to support their creative writing skills, which will be used a lot, later in school. They are learning to describe things such as a plane, a trip to a different country, themselves if they were flat. 
This would be an awesome assignment for any age.

Listening-Comprehension Podcasting
                In Ms. Tolisano's blog post, "Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting", she writes about a second grade class that uses podcasting to learn and understand Hebrew. They are learning the story of Purim. The class used tools such as a Smartboard, Garage Band and a microphone to record their segment of the podcast script. This is where the good part comes in. Then the class listens to the script clips out of order and is asked to put them in the correct order. Ms. Tolisano expresses the importance of hearing their vocabulary while they are discovering and learning a new language. She also says that by letting the students hear the clips over and over again they deepen their understanding for the meaning of the clips. 
               Once again, Ms. Tolisano has introduced me to a method of learning that is amazing, but had never dawned on me. This is actually a great way to learn a different language, or better your understanding of your own language. In my opinion, nothing helps me to learn Spanish better than using it in context. This way of teaching languages with podcasts is like a modernized version of virtual flashcards, where the clips read to you, and you decipher what you hear. Ms. Tolisano is an inspiration! Great assignment. 

             Podcasting is a very effective tool for almost all learning. With vodcasting available as well, all you need is a hands-on assignment in class and you can appeal to the 3 main types of learning. (Auditory, Visual and Hands-on.) I will definitely be using podcasts in my future classroom.    

Project #5 Presenting ME

Thursday, February 7, 2013

C4T # 1 Mr. Bernia

Mr. Bernia
Worksheet some e-card         Mr. Bernia is a Middle School Principle at Oakview Middle School. He has been teaching for 9 years and in that time he has been: Principle, Assistant Principle, a teacher and a school custodian.
In his blog post, "Keep, Stop, Do", he shows us the importance of keeping yourself in check. He has a monthly meeting with his mentor, in which he shares his thoughts, receives feedback and clears his mind of any clutter. He calls this exercise a Self Evaluation and he does them twice a year. Though they don't replace his daily self-reflections, they are vital to his up-keep.
"I think ask myself the following questions:
- What do I want to keep doing?
- What do I want to stop doing?
- What do I want to start doing?"

I think this is something I will start doing, but it is also something that EVERYONE should be doing. I know personally that I can start to feel too comfortable with certain situations, and that is when I know it is time to check myself. I am thoroughly glad that I read this post. Thanks Mr. Bernia!

Why School
           In this post Mr. Bernia examines a text written by Will Richardson called, "Why School." Richardson addresses the issues with current education versus Technology. He asks why school? Why does it require so much change? Mr. Bernia says it has to do with the word Literacy. Back in the day to be literate was to be able to read and write. Those two skills just aren't enough anymore. Now, to be literate, you must have at LEAST a basic knowledge in most if not all basic computer technology.

This post related to EDM310 so well, I had to choose it. Mr. Bernia says to accommodate the ever-changing world or technology, we as educators must rethink the practice of assessments. If literally all answers are on the Internet for almost any subject and any grade, how are the kids learning? I know more than once in high school if I was having issues with a homework question, I would Google it. For example Google used to be a search engine. Now it is a verb: They googled it; I am googling; I will google it later.  Mr. Bernia is a very in touch principal. He knows where the world is headed, and he is bringing his students with him.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Blog Post #3

Peer Editing
 The video says we need to follow 3 simple techniques in peer editing.

  • Compliments: Stay Positive
  • Suggestions: Specifics
  • Corrections: Grammatical, writing
 Even though with these three bits of information, it is evident that this is taught to third graders. By this I mean it is simple, effective, and polite. Constructive criticism is always the best way to go; no one responds to constant negativity. When we give suggestions we are to pinpoint details that the author could be different. And finally, we make corrections. Any sentence structure errors, punctuation errors, or capitalization errors should not escape the editor.

On a different note, I agree with the slideshow, Peer editing is a great way to get to know your classmates as well as sharpening your editing and comprehension skills. These skills can be used to better edit ones own writing in the future. It also helps us learn how to properly use constructive criticism. As future educators, I would have to say that tearing someone down is not going to help anyone involved. Positive reinforcement and praise when deserved is ALWAYS going to be the most effective way to peer edit.

Assisting Technologies
            This video talks about how little is done for children with sensory disabilities.I actually just participated in EPY 315's DAD activity. With this activity I had to be blindfolded, was put in a wheel chair, had to read with a mirror, and lost the use of my small motor skills. I was asked after each activity, how I would cater to each disability as a teacher. And it really got me thinking. How do we assist disabled children individually, while still treating them fairly. Most of the time the disabled children only want to be treated the same as everyone else. There are tools such as Easy Readers that help dyslexic children read better. Or you can read aloud to the visually impaired students. But I honestly don't know how I would react. I would do everything I could to help them learn. My heart is too big to treat them like the rest of the class. I would, in a way, have to train myself to be fair beyond reason.