Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Blog Post #10 John Spencer & McLeod

Paper Mate and Ticonderoga Pencil Cartoon
Papermate Vs. Ticonderoga
          This picture is mocking the old Mac versus PC commercials. The man representing Papermate is a very, "Average", "Blue Collar", type of man similar to the PC. He buys the Papermate for the same reason people buy PC's, they are cheaper. They are economically smart, but may not be the best option in the long run. Ticonderoga is equal to a Mac. It is more expensive than the PC, but more likely to work better for longer. While the general population uses their Papermate (PC) he is using the more expensive, Ticonderoga (Mac). This is an extremely clever metaphor. It makes the comparison between the two computers easier to pinpoint. 

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?
            Mr. Spencer's story describes a big issue in our current education system. Which is that a lot of educators become so consumed with the need for high scores on standardized tests, that they forget about the importance of creativity. The principal in this dialogue says, "If we want students to pass the rote memorization test, we need to focus on rote memorization skills." With this mindset, school becomes a tedious event in which students spend their days copying book text, and memorizing vocabulary. However; the students never really learn how to apply what they have learned to the next level. 
             In grade school, I remember my teachers had fun little games to stimulate our learning. On of the best activities were our, "Math Wiz", quizzes in first through third grade. Each week we got a sheet of paper with 150 simple math problems, and the student who answered the most (Correctly) in 60 seconds, won. By middle school, I knew MDear Aunt Sally backwards and forwards. I retained the information because I was EXCITED TO LEARN. My personal heroes are the creators of, "School House Rock." They taught us  about grammar, math, immigration, and even the government and its voting processes. Each topic was turned into a creative and catchy song, that people still can recite. We were happy to watch movies, but we learned from them. Not everything is as standardized as Mr. Spencer's, "Principal", suggests. 

            I didn't realize this until I took EDF315, but my high school is totally a standardized school. Teachers would actually say, "I don't care about this, but its on the ARMT and the AHSGE so we'll learn it." If teaching is not fun for the teacher, learning will not be fun for the students. I think Spencer does an excellent job with his teaching. Even his blog posts are enjoyable to read! 

Capturing Reality:
Camera with film strips
           This is one of many interesting posts I read by Mr. Spencer. His dialogue is between himself and Paul the Preindustrial Poet. In this post he is basically conveying that each aspect of technology is good in certain contexts. The poet never takes photos, because he would rather be participating in the photo-worthy activity than take pictures of his family enjoying the activity. "But technology makes it much easier to capture reality in a way that we miss it. We become recorders rather than participants."
           I think that is a valid point. However; Mr. Spencer points out that we are always adjusting, so the, "Live now and interpret later", idea is crazy. This post was really intriguing to me. I found myself at a personal crossroads. I have such a vivid memory, and yet I always take pictures of everything I see. I find that the pictures mean more to me later in life, because they will help revamp my memory. It seems like with this example, pictures are like a back up plan for your mind.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?
            Dr. McLeod's post is very sarcastic. At first, he seems to say, "PLEASE don't teach your students about technology." But as you read the poem, you realize that he actually means, "Please don't teach YOUR kids about technology, because I am teaching MY kids that stuff, and I want mine to have the leg up in life." I feel as if he is challenging us as the future of education to integrate technology with learning. Society as a whole is becoming very technology centered. I think Dr. McLeod's point is that we need to educate our students about this growing phenomenon. 
           Technology when allied with education opens a world of limitless learning. Through blogging, and PLN's we can collaborate with people all over the world in seconds. Just in my lifetime we have gone from, Post offices, to e-mailing, to texting, and now social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The way technology progresses, I would consider it an injustice to our future students to keep them restricted to this pencil and paper type of learning.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

C4K# 1

Frances is in 9th grade. His blog is for Mr. Cometti's pre-IB World History class. The post I read was an interesting one to say the least. Frances proposed the question: What if Youtube had been around in WWI. As another student pointed out, a lot of his blog is not exactly factually accurate or even based on facts. But he is a 9th grader, and it is important simply because he is effectively posting his thoughts in a way that the whole world can see. Putting himself out in the open for people to congratulate or critique.

Joseph is a fourth grade student in Mrs. Sapia's class. His blog is mostly dealing with classroom questions. He asked the commenter in one blogs to write a sentence that can be solved by 45+78. My sentence said, "My friend has $45.00 but she needs more money to buy the video game she wants. I let her borrow $78.00 more dollars. How much did her game cost in all?"

Reece is also a 10th grader in Mrs. Miller's class. His blog I commented on by accident, but I found it rather intriguing. He says he writes stories to relieve stress. I related extremely well to him, because I do the same thing. Since 6th grade, I have used writing stories and poetry as a way to cope with tough issues, or rid myself of stress! My advice to Reece was to never let that talent go away from him.

Kathleen is a 10th grade student in Mrs. Millers class at Baldwin County High School. Her blog is very clear on what she cares about. She has picture after about the Civil Rights Movement and how it effected the country. Her blog also tells of a woman killed because she joined the March from Selma to montgomery. It is refreshing to see that she cares about something other than herself! Bravo to her.

    The students assigned to me were very different, yet similar in their use of the blog. All of the students use their blog to deal with classroom issues. Some, like Kathleen, go outside of the class and deal with issues effecting the world. Either way, they are all examples if how useful a blog could be in school.

Blog Post #9 McClung

Mr. McClung's World

           I chose to review Mr. McClungs first year teaching as well as his fourth year. Even though his perspective changes between the two teaching years he withholds one common lesson for his readers. Keep your teaching student centered. Make sure they are actually retaining the information you are spouting at them, rather than just fumble through your lecture and go home. This is in my opinion the biggest pitfall of being a teacher. Especially when you are being reviewed by a superior, we tend to focus on the stand in versus paying attention to the students. I also know a lot of teachers who don't care about their students, because frankly they get paid regardless.
         With his first year McClung talks about flexibility and how we all have our certain way of conveying our lessons. In our heads, we create perfect scenarios and have every part of the conversation planned out in advance. I've seen it occur in a classroom that if a student makes a point that isn't on the professor's agenda for the day, it gets overlooked. Many times I hear, "That isn't what we are talking about today", when it a serious topic related to the class. We cannot be this narrow-minded in our teaching. As educators we must open ourselves to new topics, and if we can roll with the punches it will better us in the long run. Education in this century needs diversity, and thus it needs diverse thinkers.
            In his fourth year of teaching he discusses how we get complacent with our curriculum, and therefore we begin to lose our sense of creativity. Our Child-like wonder fades and we forget how to have fun with the subject, as Dr. Randy Pausch would say. As a Color Guard instructor, I can definitely relate to this. In fact, i have now been teaching for four years now. As an instructor my job is to create the routines in which the kids perform. After four years, I have begun to notice that I have my own signature style of spinning the flag, rifle or sabre. There are certain maneuvers that if I am writing routines on the fly, I will, "copy and paste", them and move on. While this makes my life easier, it severely limits my own talents as well as my students. Especially in our sport, creativity is a huge part of the teaching process and a lack thereof results in serious deduction in your score. In a classroom, if the professor lacks that creative luster, the entire semester is a waste of time for everyone involved. If our students aren't learning from us, then they are not growing. And if they are not growing then neither are we. Stagnation is the worst form or laziness; if we strive to progress rather than stagnate we will provide a better education for the future. We can breed broader minds and logic!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blog Post #8

How We Learn: Part 1
           Dr. Richard Miller starts by talking about how writing in our culture has changed. He praises current technology by recognizing that we currently have the capability to communicate with people all over the world in literally a second. He also mentions the fate of Academic books, which I found interesting. He says most printed copies end up in the trash and on Amazon.com for fifty cents. Instead of having a pen and paper, we carry around our laptops and jump drives. This makes documents and personal media share ready with the click of a mouse.
          I find this observation interesting. On a personal note, I recently visited my Alma Mater of Foley High School and I found something rather odd. As I strolled nostalgically through the halls, I noticed outside of every classroom big metal hooks all over the wall. Each one holding one of the same black, BCBE (Baldwin County Board of Education) backpack. Every pack had a name tag on it complete with student barcode and  picture identification. To my utter shock, an old friend told me that within each one was a brand new Macbook Air with a barcode to match the student's. They have limited internet access, so no Facebook or Twitter in class. But this to me says a lot about the strides technology is taking in education.

How We Learn: Part 2
           Dr. Miller again starts by speaking on the new kind of teaching material we are faced with as educators. Technology makes everything an instantaneous share. "Material changes in front of our eyes." We can convey emotions and energy through podcasts or educational videos. Online information for teaching gives us the ability to see what is behind the information. It also allows us to give different versions of the same information.  He gives an example of the speed of sharing a video versus if he had just typed up an essay or paper. In 3 months his video received hundreds of thousands views and had been shared all over the world embedded in blogs everywhere. He feels as though his essay would have ended up in the trash, or only seen by a hand full of people. 

Blog Post 12: Carly Pugh

I really enjoyed Carly's blog post. I think she did an excellent job with connecting writing and multimedia. She showed her true creativity with this assignment. With such an unrestricted blog post, I hope my own will be as creative as hers. She makes a valid point that not everyone likes to read books. This is relevant, but until it was pointed out, It hadn't dawned on me. I love my books, but I know plenty of people who don't read. She taught me that providing images and videos can include more people. Maybe with this kind of media and writing collaboration we can spark creativity in someone else. This is also an important way to say that people learn in different ways, and we should consider this as educators. 

The Chipper Series

The Chipper series is a silly representation of the proper way to handle this class. I have to admit, they made me laugh. But they are true. Especially the episode where Chipper accuses Dr. Strange, of not doing his job. At first I felt this way about EDM310 but I have realized that it is all about self motivation and time management. I struggle with juggling classes and my two jobs, so I really have to push myself to meet the deadlines. There have been a few instances where I miss the deadline, but I still make myself do the work. 

EDM for dummies

I feel like this video is just telling us that there are ways to get help in this class. Which is encouraging at this point, because edm310 is a bipolar beast for me. There are weeks when I feel like I will definitely pass this class with an A or a B. And then there are weeks when I just hang my head and accept that I will probably fail edm. I'm really not sure how to handle the unknown aspect of the grade. Dr. Strange says he doesn't believe in grades, yet despite that awesome glimmer of hope, we still get graded. And we won't know how until everything is over. That point makes this class the most nerve destroying class I am taking.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

I believe this is one of the most relevant videos we've seen. One person said, "As No Child Left Behind fades away, it enables local creativity and innovations." To me, this is pointing out the flaws in traditional education. As Dr. Esquith would say, some children should be left behind because they aren't ready...yet.  "It's the Death of education, but the Dawn of learning." What a powerful statement. How much clearer could the message be? Education is not teaching, it is directing. Directing students down a single path that only has a few outlets. To learn is to open a world of endless possibilities.

Web 2.0 Tools

1) I finally got myself a Prezi account. I have been using it for 15 minutes and I am already extremely pleased and impressed. It has easy to find and use features like other templates, frame styles and every image available and searchable through the Prezi website. My only regret is that I haven't been using Prezi presentations for years!

I couldn't figure out how to share the image of my Prezi.. So here is a link!!

5)This is my poll!