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