Saturday, June 1, 2013

Post-EDM 310 effects

Life after EDM 310

Spring semester seemed like it lasted a lifetime and now I am in full swing of the Summer semester chocked full of condensed material and short term-itis. Sometimes the plethora of information is quite overwhelming but it is a necessary evil for a vast majority of students, especially non-traditional ones. So life after EDM 310 seems splendid and a sense of relief lingers at not having to watch videos and comment on blog posts and make blog posts, unless you took something valuable away from the class.

My middle son plays park baseball and I was browsing about looking for something to enrich his experience of playing a team sport. I feel that it is necessary to teach my own children about how everything we do in our daily lives has an influence or effect that sometimes may seem insignificant, but affects us in many ways. Upon my search I discovered a re-enactment of a true story. A story of how winning has many different meanings. By definition from to win means: 1. to finish first in a race, contest, or the like. 2. to succeed by striving or effort 3. to gain the victory; overcome an adversary verb (used with object)4. to succeed in reaching (a place, condition, etc.), especially by great effort. 5. to get by effort, as through labor, competition, or conquest 6. to gain (a prize, fame, etc.). 7. to be successful in (a game, battle, etc.). 8. to make (one's way), as by effort or ability. 9. to attain or reach (a point, goal, etc.).

Check out this video:

So, after experiencing this video it really hit me how this example of winning reflects the idea behind education and why I am becoming a teacher. Learning is not something that we do completely on our own. Teaching is not something we do on our own, either. Teaching and learning are both collaborative and at times we are carried, motivated or coached by others that strive to see us succeed. Sometimes we struggle to meet the requirements of our classes but that is not a valid reason to give up on the task at hand. Being part of a larger group or network, attaches our thoughts and ideas to people and resources that may have not been available otherwise. The importance of connectivity and personal learning networks will not be evident immediately but have effects over a period of time.

Winning is the result of hard work and determiniation, but sometimes the same preparation, results in losing. Last year the team my son was on lost every game, not one win. It was hard to see those young guys work hard at practice and then lose every game. This year his team has won every game so far. We have to lose at some point to appreciate the wins.

You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there. - Yogi Berra

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blog Post #15

Blog Post #1 Reflection

In my first blog post I was just being introduced to the world of educational technology. The basic ideas from my first post was good, but I now see how I can make them better. Making history fun and exciting for students is my main objective. When something is fun, comprehension explodes and learning goes to a different level. I want students to later reflect on their time in my class and remember how much they learned about history, very much like this last blog post is to reflect on what we have learned and can apply to our future classrooms and who we are as people. I want to make a difference on how students view history. I have a seventeen year old son that pretty much hates history because he was never truly introduced to history and how it affects his everyday life. It is all about the approach.

Blogging will be a great way for me to help students learn about history. Several C4K assignments were where students were writing on a historical place. The special tool I had picked in another assignment was virtual field trips. Blogging will be a key part of these assignments and projects. Glamorous social media outlets that all students now use daily will be able to be used to comment about a museum visit or a current event. Collective learning among classroom peers but also with networked peers will broaden student's learning vision and also create relationships for lifelong learning. Watching videos and reading blog posts by children from all over the world has really opened my eyes to the possibilities that are being missed in our local classrooms today. I am so excited to be a part of something new in Mobile County Schools. Our generation of educators will provide the 21st century classroom with an open mind to a new style of learning.

Leading and guiding students in the direction they need to go will be much different than the traditional "burp back" process of learning. History on all levels of learning including college is traditionally a lecture of facts and few opinions that are required memorization for an assessment on a later date. Upon finals time now I am in the process of memorizing facts to only spit them back out for a grade. However, as an adult I tend to remember a fair amount of those facts in my long term memory because history is a passion for me. Sharing that passion with students is why I am becoming a teacher.

Final C4K

At some point in April I missed logging what I wrote in a C4K, so I will summarize the two post I have logged. My first student was Ayden T in Mrs. Geldes class. Ayden wrote about Dr. Suess' book The Sneetches, and how its not right to judge others without really knowing their situation. In becoming an educator it will be very important that I do not judge students before I get to know and understand them. Students already have their peers judging them and when teachers join that it can ruin the self esteem of children and deflate their drive to succeed.

My second student was Olivia in Australia. Olivia talk about her Easter Holiday and visiting Melbourne with her family. She discussed how she wrote a lot on her school blog and even when she didn't have to she did anyways because she enjoyed it. It is important that students have the outlet of blogging to share their learning experiences with other students all over the world. Olivia's learning experience has been forever changed by educational technology.

Project #13 Collaboration

Group Collaboration

Nikki Rae Mooney, Farrah Deese, Ciara Deese and I used Google Docs and FaceTime to work together on Project #15 Smart Board project. We wrote an outline on what we were wanting to teach and what lessons could be done based off of the state website. We used Google Docs, and it was a great help to us because we could collaboratively edit our ideas at our own pace. The use of FaceTime allowed us to get a feel of how the lesson should be taught and how effective it would be. Meeting via Facetime saved us time when it was time to shoot video. We were able to work out any possible problems beforehand and discuss ideas from other Smart Board lessons. We wanted it to flow smoothly and know who was going to teach what. And the last stage of production we met together in the Education Building to film our Smart Board project # 15 video.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Final Group Project #16

PLN Final Report

Personal Learning Network, I think this has been my weakest link so far in this course. I know building my PLN is very important and it is an ongoing process, but I have not succeeded the way that I probably should have. As far as connecting with teachers across the broad spectrum I have made a few contacts through Twitter. I would have to say I have mostly focused on the lessons that the people have taught me versus connecting with them. My network is still relatively small, however out of the ones I have in my PLN I would have to say I enjoyed Krissy Venosdale's thoughts and blog posts the most. Her blog title is Venspired and that is a great title. Her tweets and re-tweets have triggered thoughts about what it really means to be an educator. I also have started using Symbaloo as my home page. Symbaloo allows me to stay connected to the vital parts of my PLN with ease. I like the versatility of creating your own icons for sites that may not have one already. My PLN will continue to grow and I look forward to adding to it in the future, and possibly one day when I am a teacher, EDM 310 students will add me to their PLN.

Last C4T

The Masters Golf Tournament

Dr. John Strange's Strange Thoughts

My first comment of C4T #4 was a post by Dr. Strange about The Masters golf tournament that takes place in Augusta, Georgia each year. This is the premiere tournament in the golfing world and the winner takes home a hefty monetary prize and the coveted Green Jacket of the Augusta National Golf Club. This would be, in many golfers eyes, the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup, or the World Series of golf. With such high stakes and prestige one would think the rules wouldn't have to be reviewed for PGA Tour veteran, Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods has understood the rules of golf since he was probably five years old. A situation arose during the 2nd round of The Masters tournament when Woods made an illegal drop. At the end of each round of the tournament the player has to sign off on his scorecard. After the fact, rules officials assessed Woods a 2 stroke penalty for the error. In the game of golf there are some unwritten rules that are followed and since it is coined a "gentlemen's game" many veterans frowned on the situation stating that Woods should have disqualified himself from the tournament for his infraction. All of that to say, that sometimes we don't always own up to our mistakes. Many times we try to hide them or play "dumb" to the rules. In education integrity is foremost in the teaching of our children. Students deserve teachers that have the utmost respect for their education to always do the right thing.

My 2nd post for our final C4T was on an older post by Dr. Strange from earlier in the semester. This post was important in the fact that it taught me of how NOT to handle myself as a person, professional and as an educator. Dr. Strange referenced a comment that a university student made on a blog of a child. As an assignment the students of EDM 310 make comments on elementary, middle, and high school student's blogs. The university student embarrassed themselves and the school by commenting in a very rude manor. One of the aspects of the assignment is to lift up others and encourage them, not break them down. In my comment to Dr. Strange, I interjected that obviously this student was not ready to become an educator. I also commented how I have had many takeaways from this class and how it has taught me about many aspects of life. I appreciate Dr. Strange's commitment to education. I am fortunate to have taken this class at the University of South Alabama.

Blog Post #14

CourseSmart E-Textbooks

Very interesting article, but the comments on the article are even more interesting. In an age where technology is controlling many of our daily tasks, the CourseSmart program tracks usage of its e-textbooks. Pilot-schools have begun to respond to the mass of information that the program provides on the students enrolled using these e-texts. Professors do not understand why or how some students have low engagement scores but have high quiz and test scores in the class. The idea that the article poses is how valuable are programs like this one that tracks students usage and are they accurate. The digital age has opened up a realm of learning that is new and uncharted in a lot of areas and universities and colleges are taking advantage of this technology. The monitoring software from CourseSmart is an attempt to figure out the best way to approach this type of learning.

As a teacher of secondary social studies and history I would have to use the student's success or failure decide whether or not the amount of reading or studying is making a difference. In a middle school or high school classroom e-textbooks will most likely be used soon. It would be an interesting fact to know how often and for how long a student reads their book but I do not think I can base a participation grade off of a computer program's analysis of their usage. Those types of grades will have to be proved by participation and comprehension of online forum threads or in class activities including discussions. Students function and process information in many different ways. This type of student analysis is already being used through standardized testing where assessments take a generalized set of questions and it cookie-cuts a student's knowledge. When school systems focus on these types of test's templates, then creativity has no place. There is no way of really knowing a student's comprehension unless the assessment is a true synthesis test. When a student can understand a concept and apply it to another situation then that is when true learning has been accomplished. Are our current school systems teaching this way?

As a student here at USA I study and accomplish assignments in many different ways and it is not always the exactly the same. I am a non-traditional student with a wife and four children in which the youngest I keep during the day and I attend class in the evenings. I spend the largest portion of my time taking care of the daily life of my wife and children so that leaves small windows of time to complete assignments. Depending on the subject and the task I may or may not intently read in a textbook. Usage tracking software used to determine how often I actively use a textbook may not reflect my knowledge of a concept and I believe it should not be used in anyway of assessing me for that course.

Questions for the teacher:
  • How could this concept be used to actually benefit your course and students?
  • Anonymously, what are your honest thoughts about the quality of your textbooks?
  • Do you give your students a personal survey outside of school required surveys for your own personal improvement?
  • How do you engage your students in your course?
Questions for the students:
  • How do you feel by being monitored on your e-text usage?
  • If this information affected your grade how would you respond?
  • How could this technology be used to benefit you students more?
  • Do you prefer digital learning or traditional classrooms? Explain your answer.

My Comment

I understand that the textbook companies are trying to be innovative in an age of technology based environments. Many people thought that the Wright Brothers were crazy for trying to fly like birds and just over a decade later airplanes were used in WWI. So the application of the information they are receiving now will lead to useful technology and service that will improve future education. However, the process of education has to change along with the usage of technology. The way learning is approached now has to change to truly reach students in a rapidly changing world.

Check out this article by Marc Parry and the user comments that are just as interesting as on the other post.

Group Smart Board Project # 15

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog Post #13

Blogging Universe

Allowing students to think outside of the classroom is the future. Communicating with peers in the lunch room and at recess is only a small portion of communication, for students now and of the future. Mr. Crosby is that teacher! You know the one you remember everything about even twenty years later. Teachers that make adjustments based on the students needs are always successful. I spent 12 years in retail and I watched the business change. Many workers and management couldn't make the move to the future of the business, and they were left behind. Schools are in the same process and many teachers and administrators are having trouble adjusting. There are new waves of educators that are embarking on a journey to the next dimension of learning. This a journey in which guidance is key and allowing the students to experiment and experience versus serving up a worksheet or study guide that has a predetermined outcome. Who knows what our students are capable of, and old school teaching is hindering that creativity.

Blended Learning Cycle

The blended learning cycle allows a new way of learning that the students of today need. I have four children the oldest is seventeen and the youngest is two. I love music of all types, and I can take the eldest son's iPod and listen to music that he is listening to and make a choice. I can choose to persecute him for the type of music he listens to, or I can accept it and learn to understand it and why it appeals to him. Who doesn't want to understand their children? Once he sees that I am willing to learn new things it allows him to open up to experience new(old) music. Its all about the approach. Mr. Anderson is an expanding teacher that is setting the bar high for his students. His approaches to learning allows the students to be in control of their learning process. This not only teaches the students the content but it also teaches responsibility in an innovative way. This preparation reaches far beyond the current classrooms and into their future success as adults.

Surfing Giant Wave

I am studying to be a social science and history teacher. I feel that I have an unrelenting challenge ahead of me in my field. History has been taught relatively the same for centuries. Read, listen to lectures, take notes, study, and take an exam. It will be challenging to be innovative especially if my future department head is quote "old school" and isn't excited about the way I want to teach. That is when I have to see the wave, feel it and pop up on up on my board and ride it to the beach. Wipe-outs are expected and are recoverable. Everyday will not be stellar, but it must be treated that way because a students future depends on it. My name is Jarrod and I approve this message.

Final Project Progress

Nikki Rae Mooney, Ciara Deese, Farrah Deese, and I, stratigically planned what we will be doing in order to complete our project on time. We met Wednesday and filmed some of the our "Mythbusters: EDM310 Edition" clips that will be in our project. We're meeting again this Tuesday and Wednesday, and have planned to have our Project # 16 completed by the end of our meeting. It's gonna be good!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blog Post #12

A History Blog

Learning history has a bad rap with a lot of people, but my whole purpose in becoming a teacher is to offer students a fun innovative way to learn. History doesn't have to be boring, black and white pages of books. History can come alive in many different ways especially using technology. Anne Emerson is a former 7th grade teacher that is now training teachers with the use of technology in education. While she was a 7th grade teacher she had a ongoing extra credit opportunity for the students called Pop-Culture Points.

After watching the video Teaching World History through Popular Culture (5:42) Write a paragraph on how this idea could be used in your classroom to make learning fun. Remember to follow the requirements of Writing A Quality Blog Post.

Special Tools:

There are many technology tools out there that can be used to increase the interest in history. One of the many tools that can be used is the virtual field trip. Students can explore museums and historic sites as a class or from the comfort of home.

After viewing "Conduct Virtual Field Trips - Teacher Professional Development" (7:49) Read Kyle Smith's Blog on Using Blogs In a History Classroom. Pay close attention to the section entitled In The Classroom. Write a paragraph on how these tools can make history more fun for students. Be sure to follow the requirements Writing A Quality Blog Post.


History Blog Post Response

Pop Culture Points is an activity that will stick with kids for a long time. Students are able to relate a historic event with something that they enjoy or understand. I think its a wonderful idea that engages students in a more fun adventurous way, rather than traditional ways that tend to be monotonous. Using activities like this can reveal possible passions students may have for history and they can understand how it relates and influences the world around them.

The presentation on conducting virtual field trips explained the benefits from using this tool as a supplement to classroom topics. Virtual field trips allow students to visit places that they may never see in person. Using these types of tools can help teach students how to analyze and synthesize information and have a higher chance of retention.

Mr. Smith covered some ways that blogging can be useful in history education. The overall main idea is to use blogs for the students to expand and share their thoughts and expressions on events or writings. This would allow students to analyze and critique each other's blogs or comments as well. Using an online learning environment can also make it easier for students to understand difficult topics by using tools such as podcasts and forum discussions. With podcasts, students can listen to the information as many times as they like to gain a complete understanding. Using forums allows the students to collaborate through comments to gain a better understanding of a topic. Overall I see using these tools as an excellent opportunity to learn in a more fun innovative way.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blog Post #11

Ms. Cassidy's Class

It is absolutely amazing how technology has opened up the possibilities for learning. When I was a student in high school, in the 1990s, computer hard drives were categorized by MB, and now TB is standard. Everyday in this class I learn more and more about the way learning is changing, and its changing to suit the needs of a new generation. I will be teaching this generation within a couple of years. Ms. Cassidy embraces technology that the kids understand and want to use, and it empowers them. Anything that is fun is retained much faster than in other methods. My kids can learn lyrics to whole songs because it is something they are interested in and want to know. However, if you put a study guide for an exam in front of them, they tend to stumble and jumble the information.

I have three sons and a two year old daughter. My sons always have their iphone, ipod, or tablet connected to their body in some way. If they are not listening to music they are playing a game or searching for the next thing they want to order from Amazon with their chore money. My daughter is absorbing everything that they do, and tries very hard to replicate their actions. I have heard that Mobile County Public Schools are trying very hard to move towards using technology in similar ways to Ms. Cassidy's class. The students will be allowed to bring their own device(smartphone, tablet, or handheld gaming device) to school, in which they will interact through wireless capabilities. I attended the education summit at USA a while back and what I heard was a school district that is eager to move forward into these new avenues of learning.

Mobile County will be where I seek a teaching position following graduation. I know I will want to use every bit of technology I can to reach my students. As a history teacher I will make use of the special tool, virtual field trips, I blogged about a while back. It will be something a student can do while on the school bus ride home in the evenings or while staying at grandma's house on the weekends. Most students have internet access but for the ones who do not, I will allow class time to complete any online assignments. In class activities can revolve around an online classroom/blog for the students to access everything they will need to know as far as instructions. With this type of setup if for some reason I were to be absent from school, as the teacher, it would not hinder the learning process of my students. A substitute teacher would be able to carry on class as usual. I am sure things will have changed even more over the next couple of years so I have to be prepared to seek and use the new technologies. To see first graders in Ms. Cassidy's class effectively using the current technologies encourages me and proves that it works as long as the students are properly guided. Embrace Change!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

C4K March Summary

The first student's blog that I commented on in March was Berkley's post entitled What Reminds Me About Winter. It was a very creative post which made me think for a few minutes about things that remind me of winter. The things I listed were, soft fleece blankets, long fluffy socks, homemade chili, trees with no leaves, and super clear crisp nights when stars seem to be more plentiful than usual. Blogs really give students an avenue of expression in writing but also a way to make connections to others that share similar interest.

The second blog belonged to Markeseia, in which she talked about Andersonville which was a Confederate Civil War prison for the Union. Since I am a history education major I enjoyed this post. Markeseia did a great job describing the conditions the prisoners had to endure and many died there. I noted that Andersonville now serves as a memorial to all POWs that have served in U.S. related wars.

Third, I commented on Shanika's blog from Pt England School in Auckland, NZ. I think it is so interesting how students around the world are using technology in the classrooms and how it expands their learning realm. Her post was a short video of how she has used blogging to learn. She noted several new tools she had learned to use to make her blog better. I encouraged her to keep up the good work and I explained that I look forward to using blogs in my future classroom.

For my last installment of C4K March I visited Rylee's blog. Her post was about standing up for yourself and what you believe. I related some of my own experiences to her situation and encouraged her. Many times students can get taken advantage of by other students but also by teachers and administrators. Standing up to opposition is a hard thing to do but once you make that stand you have a sense of relief. Blogging is an awesome tool where students can reach out with their stories and help others or gain support from similar students.

C4T #3, Summary

John Spencer's blog The Myth of the Awful American Teacher talked about how there are awful teachers in schools but how the good outweighs the bad. The memory of bad teachers tend to linger for a long time. It made me think about my children making comments to me about how I shouldn't teach like some of the teachers they have had. That's strong stuff coming from your children and I think being a parent helps improve my thoughts about teaching, and also my education classes has given me some tips that apply to parenting.

On my recent visit to Mr. Spencer's blog I read a post entitled A New Podcast. Mr. Spencer discussed creating a podcast that would pose a question and instead of using Google to find the answer he would actually interview people that are experts on the topic. He listed a few names he was considering and also some topics he is interested in researching. I left a comment on his post with my thoughts on the title and that it sounds like an interesting podcast. I also encouraged him to visit our blog and connect with Dr. Strange. I believe this podcast's success or failure will depend on Mr. Spencer's PLN and the PLN of his readers. The more I learn in this class the more I start to understand why this class is important and required.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Blog Post #10

John T. Spencer

Mr. Spencer commented that this cartoon was a mock of the PC/Mac commercial. I feel that you get what you pay for regardless of what it is, whether it is a pencil or a computer. I personally love the Ticonderoga pencils, and they are a much better product than the cheap big box logo pencils. I own all PCs but there are five iPhones in our house. In a previous college experience I used Mac computers and they are the best in quality. I do have to admit that a PC has been very good to me through the years and I can count on one finger how many times I have had a serious issue with a PC, and it was the result of something I did. Actually the next computer I buy will be a Mac. This cartoon could be viewed as symbolic to the results of finely tuned guidance in educating children. The better content and use of resources in the prepared teacher's classroom will be more effective in properly preparing the students for the future. The job of passing kids to the next grade can be done in other burp back ways and not really be as thorough. Interesting cartoon!

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?

Old school administrators are still beating up the teachers that are trying to move learning into the 21st century. A larger part of those old school guys and gals are nearing their retirement and hopefully the new folks moving in will really embrace the change. Teaching and learning has been forever changed with the technology that is currently available to most educators. By the time I get into my own classroom things will have progressed even more than now. I try to keep an open mind to everything, but sometimes I can get bogged down in the rhetoric against new methods and ideas, but I plan to look to mentors and other people in my support network to help me keep my focus on the students.

The Con Academy

Mr. Spencer examined an idea of students learning outside the classroom. I know Mr. Spencer appreciates innovations in learning but he sees some of the ideas as glorified busywork for the students. With his title "Con Academy", it tells me to not fall for everything that comes along. It all goes back to keeping the focus student centered. Piling the kids up with stacks of worksheets accomplishes nothing but frustrated students. Cookie cutter programs will not work for every classroom and could lead to some students bored due to simplicity or some can be overwhelmed with concepts not tailored to their needs. Big idea for me was to be on the look out for ideas that might be to good to be true.

Mr. McLeod

Yes, yes, yes, I follow. Mr. McLeod makes his point about holding up progress. I know a few people who refuse to use technology, but honestly, my wife's 78 year old grannie embraces technology, so why shouldn't the people teaching the students that will operate our world in the next generation, which will totally depend on technologies that have not been created yet. I am pursuing history teaching profession and I can think of times throughout history that innovation led to world progression. What about Roman roads and aqueducts, and how that changed the operation of society. We can't forget the industrial revolution that took countries from a fully agrarian society to a society of self-propelled carriages and mass production. With that said, why hold back students from reaching a height of learning never before achieved. Embrace change!

That would be Dr. McLeod, the Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky, and also the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8 in Iowa. A leader in innovation for education, and is one of the leading experts on K-12 educational technology. Dr. McLeod has received many awards for his technology leadership, and has set the standard for many to follow.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Blog Post #9

Mr. McClung 08-09 and Mr. McClung 11-12

Mr. McClung really cares about his students and you can tell it from what he wrote in his blogs. My son that is in the seventh grade this year has a teacher that really cares about the students and how they perceive learning. On a daily basis my son comes home and has something positive to say about his teacher which he respects very much. That same teacher also expects a lot of the students, but approaches their learning in a very positive and encouraging manner. I hope I can attain that same effectiveness with my future students. Reading Mr. McClung's first year review and comments made me really think about how I will be as a first year teacher myself. It is a bit scary the closer I get to completing my degree and stepping into the classroom for the first time. I feel that I have a support system with my wife being a teacher, her mom being a retired teacher, and several good friends that are currently in teaching positions just like where I will be in less than two years. That support system gives me some comfort to my growing nervousness. I know my first year will be like a roller coaster of successes and failures, but I can hold on to the thought of keeping my students at the center of what I do as an educator to guide them in the right direction in learning.

That nervousness I spoke of also contains the thoughts of becoming an ineffective teacher. Becoming comfortable with any task can lead to mistakes and a detrimental ripple effect in education. If I fail in properly educating my students then they will continue to struggle after they leave my classroom. One of the main reasons I am becoming a teacher is to revitalize the subject of social studies and history in secondary schools. I have three sons in 4th, 7th, and 11th grades and I hear them speak of social studies and history in different ways. Two of them do not look forward to those subjects and the other enjoys them. My wife does not speak very highly of her past experiences with history either. So I ask the question, why? My wife says that her experience was a bunch of facts that she had to memorize and burp back out which was not interesting and how she doesn't remember any of the content. Two of my sons say pretty much the same things about history and civics being boring. I want to make history come alive and be something my students go home and talk about with their parents. I want social studies projects to be something my students are excited about and get creative with.

The thoughts of becoming too comfortable and losing that spark is very scary. Teachers that fall into that rut, do not plan for it to be that way. It is not like a teacher starts the year off by saying "This year I plan to use the same old ideas because I am lazy". It is something that is circumstantial and happens before the teacher ever realizes it. Ineffectiveness can be avoided by maintaining an accountability with other teachers not necessarily just in your school but in other schools as well. This doesn't mean worrying over what they think of you, as Mr. McClung spoke of in his blog but more of a support system to keep each other in check. Again as long as I keep my students at the center of my focus then I should be just fine, alluding to Mr. McClung's thoughts.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blog Post #8

Part One and Part Two, This Is How We Dream - Dr.Richard Miller

In Dr. Miller's talk he shares more information on the ideas that we are using in EDM 310. Three ideas that he discusses are, teaching and learning at our fingertips, share knowledge and ideas freely, and the thought of not currently having the technology to teach the future programs. These ideas revolve around something that we are actively doing in EDM 310 which is building our PLN.

Reading books, writing research papers, and collaborating with others, has never been easier than now and tomorrow it will be even easier than today. Ebooks, online journals, magazines, and newspapers are a click away. It is even possible to compose a book report on a smart phone and digitally submit it to your teacher from anywhere with a cellular signal. Teaming up with other educators and professionals across the globe is a reality that doesn't take months anymore. Within in seconds your ideas are worldwide and in a lot of cases permanently embedded into the digital frontier.

Many educators are stingy with knowledge, and feel that they did the hard work and research for their great tactics for teaching and choose not to share. Imagine if the grandfathers of the digital age would have kept it for their personal use and never shared. We would still be using paper atlases to navigate summer vacations and we would still wait days or even weeks to correspond with friends and loved ones. Thankfully they shared and now Aunt B's famous pecan pie recipe will live on forever even if little Suzie decides not to be a homemaker. Men can't live forever(Randy Pausch), but their legacies prevail in the age of digital sharing. Sharing and building PLNs can make us more efficient as educators.

I have a conversation with my wife once in a while about where technology is going. Its hard to imagine what is next, but right now an elementary student is doodling the future on his/her notebook. Ideas that we can't even imagine now, will be implemented tomorrow.

Carly Pugh

Carly's Blog Post #12 was wonderful! The post itself and the videos really made me think about and question, what type of teacher I am going to be. It is too easy to get lost in our personal lives and forget that we have an obligation to the education of many. I used the word, obligation, because that's how a lot of educators see their jobs. The whole reason that I am becoming a teacher is the teachers that were instrumental in my learning. Being inspired by those teachers that truly cared about me and the person I was becoming. I grew up in the same small town as Carly and probably had some of the same teachers. After I graduated I would see my former teachers on a fairly regular basis. I had worked my way up in a pretty solid career of retail and many of my former teachers were proud of my accomplishments, but after 12 years of retail management I realized I was not pursuing the path that had originally been laid before me. I can not wait until I graduate as a certified teacher, and I can thank those that inspired my dream of becoming the teacher that they had been to me.

Out of the videos I watched from Carly's list, the one "Disability Means Possibility" stood out the most. How many times have we looked at someone and saw the disability? Usually pity always follows the thought of disability, and probably 99% of the time the person doesn't want pity. That person just wants to be another person in our eyes, they just want to be another Radiohead fan. That is a major hang up with a lot of educators is seeing the disability rather than the person. Seeing what that person can't do versus what they can do. Everyone is unique in their own way and it should not be a barrier to prevent learning.

Future Video Project

I think a good video project for EDM310 could be entitled "Mythbusters: EDM310". This video could take some of the horror stories and myths about this class and either declare them plausible or busted. I really enjoy the show Mythbusters and before taking EDM310 I heard a lot of stories about this class and how hard it was. I am taking the class and it is a challenging sometimes, but that's what this class is all about. I think the video idea of mythbusting EDM310 would be a great for future students to watch.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

In several of my former blog post I discussed embracing change. Change is necessary for education to continue. Institutions have to remain open and innovative with their approach to learning or it could mean a generation lost, or a different avenue of education being pursued. Being prepared somewhat for where education is going is very important as students filter through this university into the schools. Students are being tested to death to fulfill an outdated approach to learning. Its now or never, change has to happen to continue to reach the kids of today. We can not setup our children for failure, by continuing to stick with old ways of teaching.

Scavenger Hunt 2.0

Edmodo is a social website for parents, students, and teachers to collaborate for anything school related. Assignments could be posted here. I think this would be awesome to use as a daily participation grade. I could post a quick topic about history or a current event and the students would have to research and post a comment to receive credit towards their participation grade. Also this could be a good way to stay connected with parents. Social media is the heart of the internet right now and people are more connected than ever.

Make Your Own Comic

Create Your Own Poll

Sunday, March 10, 2013

C4T #2, Comment Summary

Krissy Venosdale's, "Who are you learning from?"

My C4T this week was for Krissy Venosdale. I was excited to be assigned to her blog. I really enjoyed the assignment from last week from her blog "If I Built A School". The blog post I commented on of Ms. Venosdale's talked about being challenged and collaborating. She explained how it is a give and take collaboration to expand our thoughts and ideas. Ms. Venosdale's post was similar to my Blog Post #3 in which we discussed peer editing, and my allusion to the Proverb "Iron Sharpens Iron, and one man sharpens another". Collaboration through blog post, comments, and peer editing really allows me as a husband, parent, student and future educator to expand my thought process.

You are a Learner

On my return visit to Ms. Venosdale's blog I commented on a post about realizing as a teacher you are always a learner. She explained how it is important to be honest and open with your students and how the experience in learning is positively affected by that honesty. It is not possible to know everything and there is no need to pretend that we do. As Ms. Venosdale explained the power of saying "I don't know", gives the opportunity to say "let's find out". That saying is one of the main things I have taken away from EDM310 so far this semester. I have enjoyed her blogs very much as she has a thorough grip on the reality of being a teacher that guides and mentors, versus barking out orders in the classroom. I hope the learning that I am experiencing now is able to continue past the rules and regulations that go into a position as a teacher.

Monday, March 4, 2013

PLN update

In forming my personal learning network I started with Twitter and made connections with people I already knew but maybe didn't have a solid line of communication with. After becoming familiar with the operation of Twitter I downloaded Tweet Deck, and it opened up a new realm of possibility with Twitter. The features that allow me to connect with others that search and share information about history really opens up the possibility for me to improve and gather ideas for my future classroom. Also on Pinterest, having the ability to follow certain boards that share information that I need provides resources of great power. Also the contacts I have made through C4T and other EDM310 assignments have already influenced the way I see things through their feeds on Twitter. I look forward to expanding my PLN even more.

Blog Post #7

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch

Dr. Randy Pausch was a remarkable husband, father, and teacher. The telling of his own experiences just proved how much perseverance he had in making sure he made a difference in the lives of his students, mentors, and colleagues. I loved his analogy of being either a Tigger or an Eeyore. Being active about an issue and not getting it exactly right, the first time, is better than not trying at all. After reflecting on my own life after watching this lecture, really brought up some times I didn't finish or go the extra mile to make the difference. As a future educator I will not be perfect and that's okay, as long as I improve from the short comings and give it my all.

Setting goals is one thing, but achieving those goals takes much more effort and commitment. My future in guiding students is a very important task that requires goals for me and goals for my students. Setting the bar high and expecting a lot may get results I can't even imagine, but when the results are below what I expect, I may need to examine the way I performed my job in explaining or instructing. The problem is not always the student. Many times teachers can stagnate learning by restricting classroom activities. Allowing and promoting students' creativity will cause the students to invest in their learning, a great deal more. When people in general feel that they are a vital part of something, their commitment level increases. As teachers we need to be the coach in the classroom. I can not do the work for students, but I can inspire and encourage them by guiding them through failures and successes.

I really like the "Head Fake". I use this a lot with my children at home. Sometimes when eating vegetables is a contest it is fun. My kids are getting nutrition and enjoying it at the same time. This tactic is not just for students. I spent twelve years in retail management and anytime work was perceived as fun, the results were far greater than when a task was simply assigned in its raw form. Rewards for exceptional work is always great, but rewards for a struggling student can make all the difference in their perception of success and failure.

As adults we tend to lose the creativity we had as children. The imagination is the key to becoming an effective teacher. Tapping a student's imagination can open up avenues of learning that are not achieved by any other means. Sometimes teachers expect respect from students but does not give it in return. Also being loyal to your students' education and needs will increase the student-teacher relationship. The big idea is to never give up, go the distance, finish the race, focus on others, and uphold any promises you make.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

C4K summary for February

Week One

For my first C4K assignment I was assigned to a student named Hannah. Hannah blogged about imperialism in WWI. I commented with my prior knowledge of imperialism from a class I had last semester on British colony which dealt with imperialism and its effects on the colonized and the citizens back in Britain. Her comments were right on target about how imperialism created chaos throughout the world. I complimented on her concepts she explained and elaborated with my prior knowledge of the subject.

Hannah's Blog

Week Two

I was assigned to a student named Nayah. Nayah spoke in her blog about homework and how she liked homework and thought it was important but there needed to be a balance in the amount given. I commented about how homework prepares students for assessments and projects. Also her input as a student makes me aware as a future educator to implement a balance of homework and classwork.

Nayah's Blog

Week Three

This week I commented on Sela's blog from Mrs. King's classroom at Pt England School, New Zealand. She spoke about returning to school and being nervous in a new class. I told her about how I had been nervous entering EDM310 because of the new technology being used. She talked about how her teacher along with two others decided to merge three classrooms to teach collaboratively. I told her about EDM310 and how we work together, across several classes, by peer editing. I compared her class to ours in the fact that we are using new technology to learn just like she is doing through blogging.

Sela's Blog

Week Four

This week I commented on a student's blog from Baldwin County High School. In Miranda's blog she spoke about hegemony at school. She seemed a bit frustrated at being told she was wrong with an opinion about musical expression. I related a story of my own from when I was a student in junior college. Reading the students' blogs really has opened my eyes to a few things I may not perceive as negative that may come across as that way. I encouraged her to remain positive even when she may be discouraged a little.

Miranda's Blog

Group Podcast Project #8

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Finding the Right Tool

In the near future I will become a secondary educator of history and or social studies. This semester I am taking geography online here at USA. A few weeks ago one of my assignments was to take a virtual field trip. The site I was linked to had interactive content with progressive links to the next leg of the tour. Along the way I had questions to answer for my assignment. Virtual tours and field trips are one of the many "Right Tools" that I plan to use in my classroom on a regular basis. The website, Teaching History with Technology, had a list of links and sites for virtual field trips and tours. With this tool my students will be able to visit historical locations from their laptops or tablet computers without leaving the school. I will assign these tours as a supplement to help students grasp the topic or location being covered in class.

The Museum of Mobile has a virtual tour, also Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, was one of the virtual tours that really impressed me. Using this technology will allow me as a teacher to be creatively affective in using modern technology to keep students interested in history. I would also assign the students into groups to collectively create and assemble their own virtual field trips and tours through using some of the tools that has been mentioned in EDM310 such as, Google Presentations, Prezi, and Pinterest. I really think this tool will be a great addition along with other tools to present history in a fun and exciting way.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blog Post #6

Technology Connectivism

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler offered insight into the necessity of being connected. The networking toolbox is bigger than ever. Technology, programs, and apps provide a plethora of connections waiting to be made. As a new student to this world of connectivism, I am amazed already to have a network established through the assignments in EDM310. Soon my network will exponentially increase as each contact will lead to multiple contacts. Soon, if not already, I will have contacts that are already networked with each other. Once my PLN has expanded I will have neighbors that are specialized in one topic, that I am interested or preparing to teach, that I can extend to for resources and ideas, and I will be a source for someone else. I like the point from the Ms. Drexler's video about the tools not really being that significant but the connections made is what is important. I see this like a painting. A piece of art is not about the paint itself, it is about the message and emotion that is displayed in the art.

Car in Pieces

The portion of Ms. Drexler's video on information management is very important. Can you imagine going to an auto dealership to buy a new car and you find that perfect vehicle. You sign all of the appropriate paperwork and cut the check for the down payment. As you walk out with the keys in your hand grinning from the excitement of a more comfortable luxurious ride, you notice a shipping container with your name marked on it. The salesman says "here is your new car the only thing you have to do is assemble it" and there are no instructions. That is how technology can be if not taught to use it properly or guided to the best programs and apps to manage the information to suit your needs. Now I realize just how technologically illiterate I am. This illustration leads me into the main idea of Ms. Drexler's video.

Teacher and a chalkboard

Why do I need a teacher? A teacher is the one who instructs and guides me to effectively use my tool box. Looking at the image above of the car in pieces, with proper instruction I could appropriately assemble that car. Much like our class in EDM310 we are given instruction and are guided to learn in this course of study. How many people have you ever heard say "I have to do it myself to learn." I know I have said it about numerous things but when it comes to classrooms we are programmed to sit in desks and listen to lectures, take notes, memorize facts, and repeat that information. With cram time most of us repeat those facts pretty good and become qualified, on paper, for a career. However, I have insight as an older student from previous work experience, that no matter how much paper education you have, when you get to the job site, you start the learning process over with how to really do the job you were hired for. In a more hands on, self taught, teaching environment we retain the knowledge of performance. A great teacher will provide students with the right tools and the knowledge to use those tools effectively.

Comparing Networks

This example video from a seventh grade student shows how an effective teacher can lead students to develop the modern skill sets to build self motivation through tapping into their creativity. The organization of this student's daily work is amazing. I see where I have vast room for improvement in my own PLN. I believe my blog setup through EDM310 is the foundation for my PLN. Effectively using my blog, twitter, rss reader and bookmarking sites, I can create a hub of communication that filters in the information I want and need and also is the link for others to connect with me as a resource in the future. A virtual desktop that is accessible and mobile with online data drives, and the many networking tools, allows teaching and learning to happen from almost anywhere.

Cyclist carrying a lot of boxes

Jobs are much easier now with technology such as Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Post #5

If I Built A School

Wow, Krissy Venosdale's school would be an awesome experience for students. What she described in her blog post was pretty close to the way a lot of college campuses are now or becoming. Just think, if that were applied to elementary and secondary schools how much students would enjoy school. I have three sons that are in school and not one of them enjoy going to school. However, when summer break is nearly over I hear one or two of them make the comment about being ready for school to start. As a parent sending my child to school of the magnitude, that Ms. Venosdale described, would make parenting a little bit easier. Happily involved students produce much better results and outcomes in learning. I know as a college student myself when I enjoy the class and have fun with it I produce much better work.

The concept of a school I would build wouldn't be much different than the one Ms. Venosdale described. As a history educator I may encourage some dramatic presentations that would allow the students to rediscover historical events through living them out in a fun, exciting, and creative way. The concept of allowing the students to progress at a rate suitable to their interest and intellect would provide motivation and more involved students. I can say that fostering students' talents in a field of study that they excel in, would produce higher level students exiting secondary schools. As future educators and administrators developing these future schools is in our hands. If the schools fill up with classrooms developed through technology, it will eventually change the way schools are designed and the way education is administered, or should I say experienced.

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir

The thoughts that ran through my head after seeing the virtual choir video sparked a conversation, with my wife, about how the technology we have in our hands today was just a creative thought of someone over forty years ago. This past week we joined the world of iPhone users and are excited about Facetime. As our kids were visiting with their grandmother this past weekend we were able to say goodnight face to face. Technology allows me as a dad to say goodnight to my babies while I am doing homework at the library. I know most of you in EDM310 are not yet parents but you will be an educator soon and you will have a classroom full of students that you will build relationships with, and can expand those relationships to their parents by use of technology. A new era of building kids up and tearing down walls of exclusion. That dream school idea starts becoming a reality through your fingertips, LCD screens, and mics. In schools right now educators already have the base set of tools needed to build the schools of the future. What are we doing with those tools?

Teaching In The 21st Century

You have to love Prezi! I used it for the first time for Valentine's Day. Being a frugal student I went cheap for the holiday with a free Prezi since tuition is not free. On to the feature presentation. I think Mr. Roberts, love the name, has nailed down the thoughts for future education. Coupled with the music the presentation was emotionally powerful. I was ready to start building that "Dream School" that Ms. Venosdale talked about. Engaging students through technology is the only way to hold on to them. In a few earlier blog posts I mentioned this same topic, of engaged students, that Mr. Roberts discusses in his presentation. The more I learn through EDM310 the harder it is to imagine how many classrooms are still like the ones in the video Mr. Winkle Wakes.

The ideas we have right now of future education will already be expanded upon or changed radically by the time we graduate. The next big thing (Facebook, Google, Apple) is already in the mind of a student somewhere that is waiting to be unlocked by that creative classroom and teacher. The future is clay in our hands as educators. We are the ones that will be held responsible for providing the environment for the students to proactive not reactive. As a future educator it is a bit scary to think of a society that could be motivated enough to learn on their own. Maybe I won't reach retirement in the school system. Maybe I will have to come back to college in five to ten years to develop my degree into another field to retain my job. Reflecting on the section of Mr. Roberts presentation that talked about where we find information and how we learn. I have Google searched how to change brake pads, how to cook chicken spaghetti, and tips on potty training my two year old daughter. I also have been teaching myself to play the guitar via the internet for the last thirteen years. Technology is endless.

Flipping the Classroom

I like the approach and explanation by Ms. Gimbar in her video about flipping the classroom. Also her FAQ section was very helpful in figuring out how it really works in all situations. As a history teacher I could surely use the flipped classroom. Short video lectures with the nuggets of information about the topics for the week would give the students that background knowledge before fine tuning the details of historical events. It would make test reviews so much easier for the students. What educator wouldn't want to use this idea? I know there are teachers that look at this and think to themselves that it would never work in their school, but teachers in training could put this to use from the beginning and would take some initial setup work, but oh the benefits that this idea will reveal. It will ultimately make the teacher more efficient and the students more receptive. I'm on board!

My Sentence Video

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blog Post #4


In the many resources there was common areas of learning and that was the higher level skills that the children were learning and applying. In using podcast teachers were able to present learning in a new and fun way to the children in which the kids were continuously engaged in the task. Creativity, evaluating, and analyzing were all used in creating a podcast in the Langwitches articles. This higher level thinking takes the students to new heights in education. The main focus of the projects was not to teach the kids about the programs used, but the skills that were tapped into by allowing them to explore new tools used in learning. The read-a-long story book showed how six and seven year old students experimented with their voice by using inflection, fluency, pitch and emotions in telling the story. Having children in that same age group it amazed me at how thorough the students were with that project. Also the fact that a child has to hear a new word used over seventy times before they will retain it and know how to properly use that word, was an amazing statistic that I was unfamiliar with until now. I am excited about using podcasts in my future classoom to reach a new level of learning in history education!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

C4T#1, comment 1 and 2

Pencil Integration Blog

I was assigned to John Spencer's blog and commented on blog post entitled "Remember Pencil Quest?". He discussed an activity from his school days in which they discovered new places and ideas through an activity called Pencil Quest. He pondered the question in his blog of what his students might look back on and consider to be an original unique assignment from school days. I commented and related his activity to history in which I plan to teach. Ideas and activities to keep students involved like this example makes learning fun.

In following back up with my assigned blog, the author had not made a new post. I commented on a previous blog post about the flipped classroom. My input to the author was about our EDM310 class using similar tactics in learning. How we are learning at a guided pace, being provided with resources and direction in which we somewhat work at our own speed. Being responsible for teaching myself gives me a new sense of accomplishment when I complete task well. This type of learning appears to be the face of future education and I am thankful to be a part of it.

Project #5 Presentation

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Special Blog Post #1


WolframAlpha is a great resource that I was not familiar with. Upon completing the search for the populations of India - 1.21 billion, China - 1.35 billion, and the United States - 309 million, there is a vast difference. The growth charts shown in the search results signify that India doubled in population since 1970. Based on the comparison data India will surpass China in total population over the next 10-15 years. Of course with a larger pool of people to pull from there would undoubtedly be more intelligent people as compared to the United States. However, this leads me into the searches I made using WolframAlpha.
I decided to compare the literacy rates of the three countries. In the results of my search I found that the literacy rate percentage of people 15 years of age and older in the United States is at 99%. China comes in a close second with 93.98% and India falling back considerably at 62.75%. With that being said, India's pool just got a little bit smaller. With those figures that brings India down to 759 million that can read which is still more than double the total population of the United States. Let's throw in a "What If" scenario. What if India and the United States had the same population, and considering the literacy rate that would put India at 194 million literate people. So for people to assume that the statistics show that Indian people are more intelligent, is a misunderstanding. This led me to my next search.

I submitted a search to compare the GDP per capita income of the three countries. The United States led with $46,000 per person, China at $3,920, and India at $1,080 per person. This would be the main reason that India falls so far in literacy rate. A lack of resources and finance for education does not provide an ideal learning environment for a vast majority of the population of India. However, considering the low per capita of China, I was surprised to see the literacy rate not affected as much. This could very well be the reason that China has more English speakers than the total population of the United States.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count

This screenshot shows a two minute time frame, which is the average length of a television commercial break. So while you are grabbing a snack, taking a bathroom break, or channel surfing, about 4.5 million likes or comments were made on Facebook.

I read an article in the current issue of NEA Today magazine, that highlighted social media usage in the classroom. As we have been learning in EDM310 so far, technology is the future of education. This article profiled a couple of teachers that make use of many of the social resources that are listed on Gary Hayes social media count and several of the resources that we use in EDM310.

Inevitably as future education degree holders we will have to have the knowledge to use these tools or we will not qualify for jobs upon graduation. Many future educators will also become coaches in high school sports, which in the near future will be embracing the use of technology in the locker room. An article, by The Examiner, explains how NFL teams are using digital playbooks and video on ipads rather than traditional means. The progression of technology will not slow down anytime soon, if ever. As I said in a former blog post, embracing change is imperative as future educators.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blog Post #3

Peer Editing

Peer editing is a task that very few people enjoy conducting. The first thing I have been guilty of in the past is being "Defensive Dave". Usually criticism of any kind is hard to swallow due to the fact that we have to admit that we are not always the best at everything. Many people are prideful and being criticized can cause them to easily shut down and take constructive criticism totally in a negative manner. The videos and slides, in this assignment, revealed that when introducing idea changes in a positive manner that the suggestions can be received with more ease. Being a 'Picky Patty' or a 'Mean Margaret' comes almost naturally to us and most of the time we do not realize the negative tone we have set in our conversations. Peer editing would be so much easier to perform and accept if it had been taught in elementary school.

I want to thank Paige Ellis for her blog post on peer editing. I too have decided to post by comment on a student's blog because I expect the same from someone else. As the Proverb states iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another, because as classmates we need to look to each other for help in growing and maturing as educators together. When we get into the professional setting at a school it will be very important to embrace the advice from tenured veterans of education. I can think of a several professors that I have had here at USA that I will look to for that constructive criticism.

Assistive Technologies

The Mountbatten braille writer is an awesome tool that changes the student-teacher relationship and also allows the impaired students to participate in peer group activities and projects. For years separate classrooms or even separate schools kept visually impaired children away from other students and the daily classroom environment. Isolated learning probably proved positive as for as intelligence but as far as socially, the impaired children missed out on those opportunities. I have a cousin that is blind and he came through primary and secondary school in the 1980's. Technologies were innovative but nothing like current technology. He was one of those isolated children socially but is extremely intelligent. With equipment like the Mountbatten Braille Writer those children do not have to experience that isolation any longer. As a future educator this machine would also give my classroom the ability to serve all children equally. In the past, lack of knowledge on the teacher's part would prevent proper instruction to visually impaired students but this machine breaks down those barriers. All children deserve the best educational experience possible.

Classrooms can be very intimidating for all children but when learning is compromised by visual impairment, in the ordinary classroom, it can affect the educational experience in negative ways sometimes. I had the opportunity last semester to witness first hand the ipad being used by non-verbal exceptional children. For my EDU400 class I observed students at The Learning Tree, here in Mobile, use the ipad to communicate about classroom task, eating lunch and play activities. I also witnessed one of the instructors training a new student to use his ipad to tell them what he wanted for lunch. I was amazed at how this technology is totally revolutionizing education on all levels.

Math is one of those subjects that is challenging even without an impairment of any sorts. I can't imagine the patience on the students and instructors part to master even elementary level arithmetic. As Art Karshmer explained that a solid math foundation would allow blind students to enter into disciplines such as engineering or even science. The technology that he has help design will provide that opportunity for students interested in math fields. I am sure that ipads are or will be integrated into the math classrooms as well.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

This really puts what we are learning in EDM310 into perspective. One of the things that Vicki Davis said really stuck with me, that limited resources would allow only certain students to excel. Her innovative teaching style is the face of where current classrooms will be in the next few years. As I stated in a former blog post, that students need to be engaged by use of the technology that interest them. The ability to use digital questionnaires such as the one we filled out for EDM310, allow the instructor to gauged the strengths and weaknesses of the students. With this approach it cuts down on the amount of time it takes to produce results from the students.

Davis also said she didn't have to know everything to teach it. Allowing students to say "I don't know, let's find out" empowers them through their own learning experience and gives them to drive to learn more. Pushing the envelope for students maximizes the abilities that the students did not know that they had or could achieve. Davis made the remark about turning the classroom upside-down, and that really says it all. Breaking the binders loose and being innovative opens up another realm of education possibilities.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Project #2 Wordle

Blog Post #2

Did You Know? 3.0 - A John Strange 2012 Version

As a future educator it will be a imperative to stay connected with the fast paced world of technology. I think about change and it can be a bit scary at times, but I will have to compare the necessity of change with my former occupation of retail. As a manager at my former employer, "Big Box Retail", if you did not embrace and promote the changes being made in the operation and flow of the company, you didn't have a job. It will be the same with education. If a teacher is set in their ways and refuses to change then I expect that a position will become available. This will happen because of the inability to properly fulfill curriculum standards that are forevermore changing.
This video really makes me think about the way people learn, and how education is totally different than it was just fifteen years ago when I was a junior college student. Online resources, paperless assignments, and the speed of communication has totally changed the relationship between teacher and the student/parents. The internet and digital media capabilities have changed our society from an industrial occupation environment to a post-industrial extreme technology environment. My mother is sixty-eight years old and she never imagined the changes that would be made in society just like I cannot imagine what technology will be like when my two year old is my age (34).
Whether or not people agree with the way the future of society is going to be, it goes back to Spencer and Darwin's "Survival of the Fittest" mentality. Right now people that decided not to embrace technology find themselves in occupations that require excessive manual labor or at worst, unemployed due to lack of skills and knowledge. Embrace Change, is my best advice.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Matthew Needleman described the classroom as unchanged in his video, but the video was uploaded in 2008. I have to say that I am sure there are still classrooms in education that are still unchanged today but as a whole I feel that most Board of Educations across America are starting to change. The reason is a new generation of administrators are taking the reigns of the metaphorical "horse and buggy". Those new administrators know that they are losing the attention of the students. As I mentioned in a former post that I want to keep the students engaged by fostering the technology that they love and "can't live without". Kids will always dislike homework, but if they have to physically write assignments and turn in the following day rather than type them and upload them to an online database, the chance of keeping them engaged will be far yonder more challenging.
In 1990 the student dropout rate was an estimated 12.1% and in 2010 it was 7.4% as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics. USA Today reported that a main contributor to the decline was the economy. What drives today's economy, technology. A technology driven society creates a desire to have the latest smartphone, the newest gaming system, or the technologically advanced automobiles. Without a high school diploma or equivalent a person makes 41% less per year than someone with a diploma. To attain those desires, legally, people must have those credentials to afford such items. Our world's technology is moving at warp speed and educators must keep up to supply the need for technocation.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson mentioned three themes: evidence of human creativity, no idea about the future, and the capacity for innovation that children have. With classrooms as Matthew Needleman described, it will be impossible for children to be prepared for the future. Robinson mentioned that the public school systems stigmatize mistakes. If children are not able to apply their creativity to their education they will be as he stated "Educated out of creativity". The technology of today was the creativeness of someone's dream or imagination. Robinson talked about how schools were created to meet the need of industrialism. As I alluded to earlier, further up in this post, we are in a post-industrial society where technology drives everything. How will our children keep up without this knowledge.
As educators we need to feed the creativity of our students and embrace their ideas. Not to gain any brownie points but I admire the updates to EDM310 that are ideas from the students. Embracing those ideas furthers the possibility of education and it breaks the mold on old school ways of teaching. Learning from each other and sharing information increases the likelihood of exponential learning.
I enjoy cooking, and I have been taught how to cook from many different mediums. My mother and grandmother taught me how to cook many things. Television, books, magazines and the internet have taught me even more, but I have taught myself the most about cooking through experimentation. I have had a few horrible dishes come out of that creativeness, but there have been some really great tasting meals come to the table by adding my own spin on classic recipes. As a parent I know I have quenched that creativeness in my children at times, but I am trying to provide a playground for discovery. As an educator I must provide the appropriate environment for my students to learn.

Pinterest: Using Available Resources

This was my first visit and exploration of Pinterest. I never imagined that Pinterest would be a source of education ideas and technology. I really like the idea of students using Pinterest as a way to collaborate on group assignments. This innovative idea dissolves the barriers that would prevent students from contributing to a group project without the need of a physical meeting place. This doesn't substitute going to the library to research but only makes it much more possible for full group collaboration. Most students have parents that are both working and they end up not having a way to meet with classmates to do research or assemble the project. With the digital age of Power Point, podcast or video presentations, students can accomplish these assignments from home via the web.
I found Samia Wahab to be a viable sourch to new ideas and news of education. One article pinned by Wahab was about online education. As a parent I am taking advantage of the convenience of online classes to fit my personal life. Also I like Edudemic's site as well. They had an article that discussed using Facebook as a teaching resource. In my blog post #1 "Future Classroom" section I mentioned using technology to present learning in a new way to engaged the students. Over all Pinterest appears to be limitless with possibility.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blog Post #1

About Me
My name is Jarrod Roberts,I am 34 years old and I am a proud husband and father of four beautiful children, three boys and a girl. I spent 12 years in retail and management and realized that I was missing a lot of special moments with my family. I received an Associates Degree in Graphic Design from Faulkner State Community College in 1998. After evaluating what was important to me and my family I leaned towards the passion I have for history. For my personal enjoyment and hobby I have spent time retracing local history. I can remember a few teachers through the years that had a passion for a subject therefore they were very good at teaching it to the students. I also remember some instructors that spit out facts for the students to memorize. Where is the fun it that type of teaching? That is when I realized I wanted to make a difference in the future of history!

I also enjoy playing golf and fishing. Golf is a sport that teaches patience and consistency. Without either of those qualities you might as well go beat a tree with a stick and not waste forty dollars. Fishing is very calming to me so I find myself using it as a way to defrag my brain. Sometimes I play a great game of golf and sometimes I catch big fish but what I feel that I am best at is loving my family. I have been blessed with a big heart and lots of love for my wife and children.

My Future Classroom
The classroom can be an intimidating place for anyone. Whether it is a small child starting kindergarten or an adult continuing education later in life, the classroom can be scary. I look forward to providing an environment that encourages discussion from all students and hopefully break down the walls of "boring" history. I hope to teach American History in high school. The reason for choosing high school over middle school is that older children have less interest in history and therefore history classes in college will be more of a challenge. I want to prepare the students for the next level and just maybe impact someone enough that they choose history as a career path and continue to make a difference in the future of history.

I want the students to enjoy learning about history. Keeping the students actively engaged in class is quite a challenge if lecturing all the time. On the other hand if the assignments are reliving history through presentations of their own work and research or through making videos of historical sites they have visited with exciting facts they absorbed from a tour, the students will remember history with much more ease.

Being a history major it may come as a surprise that I do not like to read extensive journals in which the reading level is graduate level or higher. I will not require my students to painfully read through such articles. Students in secondary schools do not like to be bored. Excitement and cutting edge technology will keep them engaged, by allowing the students to have fun with history by presenting it in alternate ways that some historians would scoff at or condemn. Tonight, for example we were trying to get our two year old daughter to eat her dinner and she only wanted her cup. My wife got creative with the presentation of the food and she ate a good bit. Keeping the students engaged is very important and presentation is key.

I have a son that is in seventh grade and he is in what is called the academy at Semmes Middle School. The teachers there are setting the bar at a higher level by assigning projects that encourage the use of technology. It is very important for history professionals to embrace new technology to reach the children. Using resources such as podcasts and virtual tours that the children can access from smartphones, tablets, or portable computers will allow them to access the school work from anywhere without having to miss out on weekend family trips or church trips by staying at home and studying.

Hopefully by the time I reach the classroom portable technology will be much more accessible no matter the economic standing of the student and I will be able to take full advantage of new technology in presenting the curriculum. Smartboards are already in most all classrooms in Mobile county today. Learning will focus around audio visual presentations. The decor of the classroom will be basic due to the fact that most all learning will take place around technology. Classroom bulletin boards will most likely be used to display historical photos for mere decoration.

Randy Pausch
Dr. Pausch mentioned a couple of things that really stood out to me. Dr. Pausch stated that experience cannot be faked. From time to time when I assign a chore to one of our sons, I will inspect the end result. Many times I will discover that they did not have a clue how to do what I asked. Making sure clear instruction is given is key but also expecting it to not be perfect at first is important. I can remember the first time I ever played golf. I was sporting a new branded logo hat, a fresh pair of golf shoes, new clubs, and top of the line golf balls. I looked the part of someone who knew how to play golf, with a warm up swing that could impress Tiger Woods, but when I approached the ball and made the first swing it was evident that I was not an experienced golfer.

Dr. Pausch also talked about "To Do" lists and how it is important to go ahead and knock out the worst task first. This is something I try to practice as often as possible. Sometimes though I have a project that I let loom over my head for days, dreading every moment while I am working on the other tasks. That usually ends up reducing the quality of the easier tasks and by the time I tackle the final project I am a ball of nerves. As an older student I have years of work experience that I can relate to my school work and some positive attributes that help me with projects. I am not perfect and sometimes I choose to put other things before school work to only stress over them at a later date.