Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Project #16 Prezi

Here is Team Tokyo's Prezi. It is a portfolio of sorts of big projects we did throughout the semester.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

C4T #4

screen shot of Jason's blog

C4T #4, comment #1

Flipping in Physical Education 2.0: It's all about the videos! is the first of Jason's posts that I get to comment on. This post is about the positives of "flipping the classroom" in physical education. Because this subject has so much importance on the how-to of sports, these out-of-class videos enable much more class time for the students to actually try the how-to's. Jason not only talks about his how-to videos, but also how he films his students for later analysis. He says it immensely helps them when they get to analyze themselves through video. In my comment, I spoke about flipping the classroom and his use of video analysis for his students. This blog was very helpful and I am sure I will look at it for reference if I am ever in the position of having to teach physical education.

C4T #4, comment #2

What is Flipped Coaching? is the second of Jason's posts that I am commenting on. This post is just explaining what flipping the classroom is and how you can move that to physical education. Jason makes the very good point of "Rather then spending valuable practice or PE class time on lecturing about a new skill or concept, you can make a short, simple video that conveys what is needed." This is why flipping the classroom is such a great idea. It gives students more time to practice the skill rather than learning it. In my comment, I told Jason of how I was skeptical of flipping the classroom at first but now I thought it was a great idea.

Blog Assignment #13

"Bring Your Own Device" Mobile County is moving towards this initiative. Research it and give reasons as to why or why not you think it is a good idea.

Through many of our endeavors in this very class, we have learned that the students in Baldwin County have a tremendous amount of access to school-owned technology such as iPads and laptops. In Mobile County, however, school officials are asking students to bring in their own devices- such as smart phones, Kindles, etc. They have named this BYOD- Bring Your Own Device. Personally, I absolutely think this is a great idea. This program was piloted at Cranford Burns Middle School. School system technology director David Akridge and Burns Principal Joe Adams had a few things to say about this new initiative. Since 75 percent of students at the school have such devices, Akridge said, "We might as well integrate them into their learning, so they learn how to use it for a good thing." This statement is so true! So many kids have access to some sort of smart device and they are constantly glued to them. Instead of these devices being a constant annoyance for teachers, allow the students to use them to further their education.

There are two main arguments that pop into someone's brain when this BYOD initiative comes up .The first is "What about the kids who do not have access to smart devices?" The answer is simple. Mobile County will have to invest in some technology so those kids can have access as well. The second argument is "The kids are not responsible enough to take care of these devices." Principal Joe Adams addressed this issue by saying, "they're the kids' own devices, so they're going to take care of them." If you would like to read the full article on this BYOD initiative at Burns Middle School, you can do so here.

I think the BYOD initiative is a great thing for Mobile County. Instead of spending money on new resources for the huge amount of students in the Mobile County School System, the students can be responsible to provide their own- if they already own one. Officials should make it clear, however, that in no sense of the world, are parents expected to buy smart devices for their students.

Bring Your Own Device promotional picture

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blog Assignment #12

Here is Team Tokyo's blog about assistive technology. Enjoy!

In the video Assistive Technologies For Vision And Hearing Impaired Children we are presented with an alternative concept of the majority of our realities. I was reminded of a play I was part of called Children Of A Lesser God by Hessper Anderson and Mark Medoff. It is the story of a teacher and student coming to terms with different worlds. The teacher, able to hear is coming into a deaf school. The Student unable to hear, but able to form approximate words. (For the benefit of the audience I’m sure.) It was an experience that made me question my reality versus the realities of sight or hearing challenged people. Just as this video does.

That is where the similarities end. My high school experience wasn’t one that lead me to seek innovations able to bridge the gap between the everyday world so many of us take for granted and the soundless or shapeless world of the minority. This video isn’t an in-depth expose of the various tools and their usage, but it does present several suggestions to alleviate the gap left in the wake of a sight and touched based technological world.

For sometime now, 5 years if I had to guess, I have been exploring vastly different concepts of teaching from what I was comfortable with prior to a blind student. I’ll call her Mae for now. Mae was someone who became blind due to an accident. A car wreck left her unable to see anything. No shapes, colors, silhouettes or even light. Her mother helped her do a great many things including a bachelor's in Psychology. Mae lived alone and tried to be as much of a social butterfly as she was able. She had a very positive attitude and carried a smile on her face. She never missed an opportunity to make a joke about her condition and make people laugh allowing them to feel less concerned about hurting her feelings.

I met Mae at a practice party. Her mother, an avid dancer, brought her out. Mae had clearly danced previous to our meeting, but a little more dancing with me and she was eager to take some private lessons to improve her ability. I must admit, the task was daunting at first. The way we teach the various ballroom dances are visual based cues. I often stand in front or beside someone and let them mimic my movements. I could no longer say, “here do this” as a method of education. I found that I had to understand the way she experienced the world in order to properly communicate with her. I first discovered the attention that I devote to visual cues, she must devote to known factors of the room. I would walk her around the dance floor so she was aware of how much space we would be using. When discussing degrees of a turn I would have to talk in percentages of a turn or first inform her of what walls to face. She was an excellent follower, as she relied purely on tactile cues to know what to do or where to go. My time teaching Mae taught me more than I was able to relate to her. I am a far better communicator and educator thanks to her.

Memory lane trips aside, the driving question for this week’s assignment must be answered. First and foremost, I think our best tool to teaching anyone with sensory impairments is empathy. I don’t mean sympathy or pity in anyway and it shouldn’t be confused at this point. Empathy is the ability to see things from another’s perspective. Taking technology to task using empathy, how can we improve education for those with sensory impairments? My first thoughts goes to articles/videos I have seen recently about implants and the innovations science is creating to end the impairments of a vast number of ailments. Such as Bionic Eyes, Retinal Implants, and Bionic Ears. Those won’t help me in a classroom though.

As a PE teacher who hopes to bring ballroom dancing into classrooms, I have to deal with the crux of that issue. The National Center For Learning Disabilities website has a great many suggestions to deal with traditional classroom settings. I happen to be concerned with a non-traditional, not even sitting down setting. As I mentioned in a previous blog, a vibrating metronome app can assist someone that is without the ability to hear beats of a song. As for blind students, there isn’t an app for action. Short of the bionic eye implants I mentioned above, I know of no technology that will help someone learn how to waltz better than doing the waltz. Perhaps, items like Kinect can be used in schools the same way VISIONS in Manhattan is helping senior citizens with vision impairments. Xbox Kinect is a device that is connected to the TV through the Xbox gaming platform. In the current form it responds to voice commands and uses cameras to track the motions of the user. No remote needed. But it isn’t designed for be full audio feedback, the system isn’t something that can be used without sight at this time. I’m not a programer but I’m sure, once it’s set up, it can be used to inform a visually impaired student of their body position and help them correct problem areas such as arm level or posture. Things like Microsoft’s Kinect, Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s Playstation Move are all using a similar approach to motion controlled video games. Hopefully these companies will begin to see the further use in the field of visually impaired learning aides. I would even lend my voice and knowledge to work on a dance game. “Raise your right arm to a height that allows your partner to travel under it in a clockwise motion.” Yeah… I could do that. The search continues.

“A man holding a bionic eye.

I watched the video “Teaching Math to The Blind-Professor Art Karshmer University of San Francisco”. This video mainly talks about how blind students can’t use a lot of mathematics only a rare amount of it. So this professor from the University of San Francisco is trying to experiment a better and more helpful way to let blind students teach and learn math as well.

The professor of the University

Art Karshmer is the professor explaining this experiment and invented this scrabble-like object to help the students who are blind. What this scrabble-like object does is it has wooden pieces just like the game of scrabble does except instead on letters on the pieces it has numbers.

When you put now numbers on the board it has a sensor to tell the student/students what the number is and if you put an addition or subtraction problem down it will read it too you as well. In my own opinion, I think that this a really cool invention for blind kinds because it gives the students hands on mathematical aids, just like when people who see they write the math problem on a sheet of paper and work it out that way. This scrabble-like object is this same thing for blind students as us seeing students use paper to solve problems.

how FM systems work
Hearing loss is something that can be detrimental in life— and in the classroom, especially. I speak from experience. I have significant hearing loss in one ear and I remember having to ask other students what the teacher’s instructions were or what he or she said. It was a waste of my time, as well as the other student’s time. Luckily, I have learned to adapt with my hearing loss. I try to sit closer to the teacher and make sure I pay close attention to what is said. For those with more serious hearing problems, this does not help much. But a FM System can. This system uses “radio signals to transmit amplified sounds.” The teacher wears a microphone connected to a transmitter, and the student wears the receiver that is tuned to a certain channel. These signals can be transmitted from as far as 300 feet and are easily used in public places. Since radio signals can be transmitted through walls, users should be aware of other users nearby and pick a different channel. Another assistive technology is a personal amplifier. This is better to use from day-to-day life. It amplifies sounds levels and decreases background noise. A personal amplifier can even come with a microphone to direct at the source of sound. I believe both of these tools can be extremely helpful in the classroom.

It may seem hard to imagine trying to talk to a child or an adult with Cerebral Palsy. That is just our assumption until we do further research. In this post I will be enlightening you upon assistive technology in the classroom for students with Cerebral Palsy.

Eye Access Technology (Tobii C12) allows students with cerebral palsy to communicate with
Picture of the Tobii C12 Speech Generating Device by Tobii C Series
just heir eyes. The camera on the device picks up the movement of their eyes. C12 Speech Generating device by Tobii with an eye control module device. The device is called the Communicator Device. There are word pages to make sure the student's speech is making accurate progress despite their disability.
Here is a video of a student with cerebral palsy communicating with a teacher using the Tobii C12 Speech Generating Device.

Sources: Tobii Series


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

C4KSummary for April

screenshot of Desmond's blog

My first C4K for April is Desmond from Miss Ouano's class. His blog post is about Eating Pikopiko which he explains is a fern-like plant that tastes like asparagus and cucumber. In my comment, I told him that I had never heard of pikopiko before and now I knew how to cook it because of him.

screenshot of Lomio's blog

My final C4K for this class is Lomio in Miss Lavakula's class. His blog post is a brochure that he made about local plants. He had pictures of three different plants and their descriptions. In my comment, I simply told him he did a great job on his brochure and I learned alot.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Project #12, Part B

Here is Team Tokyo's Project Based Learning Plan, presented via SMARTboard.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Project #10, Interview Movie

Here is my interview with Mrs. Medlin of Baker High School.

Blog Assignment #11

In my EDM310 class, I am a part of Team Tokyo. We have had many group assignments so far, and this blog post is one of them. We each took two videos and here are our responses. I encourage my readers to go check out my teammates Aaron and Leanna's blogs!

Brian Crosby, from the video Back To The Future, showed me how he has innovated the use of education to include experiments, technology, and networking to not only meet the standards, but to educate and engage the students in their own education. He reached out to others in the use of blogs. Not only the blogs his students read, but blogs twice removed from his typical blog circle. In this way, he exponentially increased his student’s networking and influence. At the start of the video, he showed how his students were unsure of the city they lived in; throughout the video he showed how he made those same students, not only aware of their city, but globally aware. Perhaps the most touching element was when they brought a typical issue of health concerns that keeps most students at home, into the classroom. Celeste was struggling with cancer and through the use of technology, she wasn’t just a student who fell through the red tape cracks. Crosby set up video sessions that kept her involved in the classroom environment. This type of interaction would have certainly kept up her morale and helped aid her recovery. “Now we are including Celeste in a regular day in school.” This simple statement from one of the students foreshadows Crosby’s follow up statement, “Not only are we learning but we are learning to change each others lives.” I wish I could do experiments in a class. As it is, P.E. majors have other duties. I have considered sending a balloon into the atmosphere in the past few years on my own. While I haven’t yet spent the time or money to learn and invest in this fun and simple idea, I’m sure, without any doubt, that those kids involved in that experiment will not soon forget it.

air balloon ready to ascend

Paul Anderson’s video Blended Learning Cycle brought an interesting concept to bare in his AP Biology class. It is called Q.U.I.E.V.R.S. (Question, Investigate/Inquiry, Video, Elaboration, Review, Summary quiz). He starts a class with a Question and a Hook. In the video he used an Euler’s disc to both bring up the question, and by his method of presentation it creates and sets the hook all on its own. He goes through one of his lessons on evolution and shows how he uses this method of Q.U.I.E.V.R.S.. It’s a very student driven learning experience. He gives the students the content and informs them of what they are to know. If they have not met those standards by the time the quiz comes around, they are required to figure out what they are missing. He allows them to stumble on their own a few times before he intervenes. This self exploration and requirement to be self critical is essential to be an active learner. Again, if I were teaching a science class, I would steal a page from his play book. Self determination of education, is possibly one of the best things that a teacher can give a student.

the letter Q with quivers going through it

In Mark Church's video Making Thinking Visible, he talked about students critical thinking. His idea was for the students to think of a banner from a video that they watched earlier in the week. In my opinion, I think that this video was talking about how the students should brainstorm things from stories they have listened to. For example, in the video the whole class reads a book and then they have to think and brainstorm on what the book was about. The teacher gave the student a piece of paper to make a banner about something in the story something that stood out to them. The question the video asks in the middle is “What’s it all about?”

light bulb in someone's head

In Sam Pane 4th Grade, a 4th grade teacher was talking about internet safety. To get the point across, he taught his students how to build their own superheroes on the computer. They were creating a Super Digital Citizen, then a comic in which this superhero can help them be safe on the internet. I thought that this video was very good. I especially liked the quote from Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I also liked how the students built their own superhero and made a comic out of pictures of themselves and the superhero they built.

picture of superheroes

In the video Project Based Learning, the viewer visited a school in Canada in which they integrated History, Language Art, and Information Processing. Instead of having three separate class times, these three classes met together with all three teachers, and crossed-over subjects. By integrating each of these three subjects within each other, it created much more time for students’ ideas to develop. It also gave the teachers more time to spend time with each student to assist their developing ideas. I learned from the teachers in this video that it is extremely important to get advice from a variety of different people because this enables your ideas to fully develop.

PBL classroom

In the video Roosevelt Elementary’s PBL Program, the teachers explained how Project Based Learning presents in-depth, “real world” problems and allows students to research their answers. It also allows students to practice public speaking at a young age, which can help develop their skills and let them practice. I learned from the teachers in this video that through PBL you can bring your community into the classroom and it is a great benefit to the students. It also creates curriculum integration, as the prior video demonstrated. Curriculum integration builds background knowledge and helps students in all areas.

parts of PBL

Thanks for reading!

Team Tokyo

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Project #15, Project Based Learning Plan #3

Here is my third Project Based Learning Plan.

C4KSummary for March

screenshot of Alamoni's blog

My first C4K for March is Alamoni from Mrs. She's class. He wrote a story about Harold the Giraffe and drew a picture. In his story, he described what the giraffe looked like with very good descriptive language. In my comment, I asked him if he had ever seen a giraffe up close and told them how tall they actually were. His English was very good as well.

screenshot of Lisia's blog

My second C4K this month is Lisia. She made a very good Google Slides Presentation on how to solve a math problem. In my comment, I told her how good her presentation was and how I used the same method to solve some of my math problems.

screenshot of Annliz's blog

My final C4K this month is Annliz. She wrote a very descriptive story about her sister snoring and her not being able to sleep. In my comment, I praise Annliz for her writing and told her that I felt like I was right there in the room with her.

C4T #3

screenshot of Jen Deyenberg's blog

C4T #3, comment #1

Assistive Technology Toolkit: Multimodal Supported Writing – Annotated Bibliography is my first post to comment on for C4T #3. It's author, Jen Deyenberg, is an educator with ten years experience in the field. This post is simply two examples of annotated bibliographies. In my comment, I asked Jen if there was a place for annotated bibliographies in the elementary classroom, and if so, what would be the best way to present it to the students. Her two examples were very detailed and are something I can refer back to later. C4T #3, comment 2

The second post of Deyenberg's I am commenting on is Assistive Technology Toolkit: Multimodal Supported Writing Tools. This post is about the different things you can use to enhance just plain words. Deyenberg connects the reader to Mindmup, which is basically a collaborative mind-mapping tool. She explains the pros and cons of this tool and how it incorporates multimodal writing. The second tool she talks about is Kaizena. This is a feedback tool that also allows multimodal writing. The final tool she reviews is Prezi. It is a presentation tool that helps you tell a story. In my comment, I thanked Ms. Deyenberg for showing me these tools and told her I have already been using Prezi.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blog Assignment #10

"Education, in a way, dislocates many people from their natural talents." -Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Ken Robinson provides a comedic relief in his video Bring on the learning revolution! For as long as I can remember, people have talked about an education reformation and how the existing system needs to be changed. In the video however, Robinson says we need a revolution because fixing a flawed system will not improve education. We need an entirely new system! One of his examples was how someone said college starts in kindergarten. Robinson completely refutes this point. Kindergarten starts kindergarten. There is such a pressure on students today to go to college, and not everyone is made for that. There are also jobs that we need in society in which one does not need a college education. Another one of Robinson's stories was of a young guy. Robinson asked the man what he did for a living, and he replied that he was a fireman. The fireman explained that this was what he always wanted to be so school was difficult for him. As soon as he finished school, he applied to fire school and got in, and started living his dream. This story is wonderful because firemen are such an integral part of our society. Without them, life as we know it would literally go up in FLAMES. The last point of Robinson's I will go over in this post is that teachers need to start personalizing what they are teaching to fit their students. You cannot just take the same lesson plan and teach it the exact same way for 25 years and expect it to have the same effect each time. This is something I am going to hold close to me as a future teacher. You have to adapt the information you teach each year to your new students. You may have to present it in a new way, whatever will make the information resonate with your students. All in all, Sir Ken Robinson was a delight to listen to and he shared some of his wisdom and insight into the education system. It just makes me more excited to start my future career!

Thanks for reading!

Jennah Rose

Project #12, Part A

Here is my SMARTboard tutorial.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blog Assignment #9

"Technology is not going away, it is here to stay." - Mrs. Cassidy
Mrs. Cassidy is a 1st grade teacher in Canada. In Dr. Strange's Interview Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 Mrs. Cassidy explains how she incorporates technology into the classroom. She said she started getting into technology about ten years ago and started a blog about five years ago. When asked what was the best way to start using technology, she said that one should start with something you are interested in. If you like to write, you should start blogging. If you like photography, you should check out Flickr. Her 1st grade class has personal blogs and they blog about once or twice a week. This blog allows her students to have an online portfolio of their work. While it mostly hones in on their writing skills, their parents and other family members are still able to see what they are accomplishing in class. The blog also allows her students to have an audience. It is set up with page reads and a cluster map to keep up with visitors. Mrs. Cassidy teaches her students how to be safe on the internet since their blogs have so many visitors. For example, her students do not use their last name on their blog. She also shows them how to focus only on the places that they are supposed to go and not the many flashing and colorful links that surround that particular educational tool. Skype is another tool used in this 1st grade classroom. The students are able to Skype with their online "buddies" and even experts on whatever they are studying! When asked about how students respond to technology, Mrs. Cassidy explained how technology was part of their world. They do not know anything different so using different technology is normal for them. And about those people that think technology does not have a place in the classroom she said, "You are handicapping your students, and yourself in fact, by not taking advantage of those tools." As was explained in the videos, teachers need to keep up with the new and upcoming technology. Especially since there is such a shift in the way we collect information now and how it is more of a collaborative effort than a single effort. Teacher and student use of Personal Learning Networks can help with the keeping up of technology. All in all, Mrs. Cassidy's interviews were extremely helpful in ways to bring technology into the classroom.

When I one day have a classroom (which I am hoping is sooner rather than later), I will definitely have class blogs. I think it is a great idea for students to have an online portfolio of their work along with an audience for it. With this, I believe students will put more effort and take more pride in their work. The only thing I would be afraid of is student participation. I do no think you have to worry as much about participation with younger students as you do older students, but it is still a problem that could arise. If I had a student not participate, I think I would take them aside and talk to them about why they are not doing their work, and then keep an extra eye on them to make sure their future work is completed. These videos make me really excited to have a classroom and try out my new ideas!
clip art of a teacher's desk

Thanks for reading!

Jennah Rose

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blog Assignment #8

YouTube icon
YouTube is a video gallery that has been around for awhile. You can find funny, instructional, and even educational videos in its archives. (Note: Just like text sources, you should probably make sure the author is a legitimate source for your information.) This is the first tool I go to for intstructional information, and we have watched many YouTube videos in this class. In the writing prompt for this blog post, Dr. Strange gave us a few links to Flipping the Classroom videos. The one I found most useful was Katie Gimbar's "Why I Flipped My Classroom". As discussed in one of my previous posts Blog Assignment #2, I was wary about "Flipping the Classroom". I was not sure it would work or if the students would participate. After watching Gimbar's video and her many FAQ videos, I have changed my opinion. I really do think it is a great idea. She said that since flipping her classroom, she is now teaching in the middle of the room and has time to be with her students one on one. 90% of her class time is now devoted to application while only 10% is devoted to delivery and review of content. With this, all of her students are engaged and challenged- no matter their intellectual level. As more schools are moving towards this method, I am glad her videos answered all of my questions and gave me the confidence that this method works.

Teaching Channel logo
The Learning Tool I want to discuss is the Teaching Channel. Its statement is "Great Teaching. Inspiring Classrooms." It is basically like YouTube, but for teachers. I immediately signed up for it so I could receive a weekly newsletter about new videos, etc. When signing up, it asked my position. You could choose from Student Teacher, Teacher, and many other positions you would find in the education field. After you choose a position, you choose which subject areas and grade levels you teach and/ or are interested in. Their videos are categorized under subject area, grade level, and topic so it is very easy to find whatever you are looking for. It even has videos explaining Common Core and example lessons. Most of the videos I watched incorporated technology within the lessons as well. I could not be happier that I was exposed to this website. I know it will be very helpful to me, especially during my first year teaching.

You can find information about other learning and communicating tools for the 21st century classroom in some of my previous blog posts. iCurio and Discovery Ed are both explained in Blog Assignment #5. You should also check out Khan Academy which is a website with hundreds of instructional videos for math. I have used this website countless times myself, and found it to be very useful.

Thanks for reading!

Jennah Rose

Project #9 Video Book Conversation

Team Tokyo's Video Book Conversation, Topic #7 )

Monday, March 10, 2014

C4T #2

screenshot of A GeekyMomma's Blog

C4T #2, comment 1

Why I Deleted FourSquare, and You Should, Too! is my first post to comment on for C4T #2. It is written by an anonymous educator from Palm Beach County, Florida. This post is about why she deleted the popular application (or app) called "FourSquare." FourSquare allows the user to check-in to places and some places even offer special deals if you check in so many times. In this post, she talked about how FourSquare was the perfect avenue for potential stalkers. In December,the app took away the ability to privately post your check-ins. After seeing this, the educator checked other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter for location settings. She urges readers in her blog to be careful what they post and to what audience- for their own personal safety. She also demonstrated how easy it was to get a complete stranger's information through social media. She made some very good points in her blog about always being aware about the information you share.

C4T #2, comment 2

Strengthening the Ties Withing the Blogging Community is my second post to comment on for C4T #2. It is some sort of chain type blog in which questions are asked to people who are tagged so people have an excuse to update their blog. She believes this will helpe strengthen the ties withing the blogging community because it helps bloggers get to know each other better. It also helped readers and followers get to know their bloggers better.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Blog Assignment #7

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?

To be completely honest, I was very wary about this video when I saw it was over an hour long. I was afraid it would be very long and irrelevant to my life. However, as soon as Randy Pausch started talking, I realized that the video was going to be worth watching. An hour and sixteen minutes later, I could not be happier that I was given the chance to watch this video. Pausch was so inspirational to me and honestly taught me a lot about not only how to achieve your childhood dreams and help others achieve theirs, but how to live my life. With the tragedy that surrounds life today, it is refreshing to hear such positive things. I learned an infinite number things from Pausch, but I will only go over a few things that stuck out the most to me.
Fundamentals are the key to anything. If you do not understand the fundamentals, you will not be able to expand on ideas properly. The perfect example is in math. You have to learn 2+2=4 before you can fully understand why 2x2=4 as well. This is my mission as a teacher- to make sure my students understand the fundamentals so they can succeed when faced with more in-depth information.
A quote that really stood out to me was by Pausch's assistant football coach. "When you're screwing up and no body's saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up." This is a heavy statement. I think teachers are so worried about hurting a child's feelings now that they will not tell the student when they are doing something wrong. This is robbery! Teachers that think like this are robbing kids of their education. For example, I was on color guard in high school. During practice, the instructor would make us do the same 8-count some ten to fifteen times because one person was out of sync with the rest of us. She refused to call out the one person who was wrong as to not hurt anyone's feelings. It was infuriating. How can someone know they are doing something wrong when no one tells them?! Of course, a teacher should never be rude to a student, but constructive criticism can help them succeed! A little enthusiasm with that constructive criticism can do wonders as well. To elaborate on this point, teachers especially should get their students to become self-reflective. Self-reflective people become self-respected.
Pausch was talking about the above things in football terminology. One of his childhood dreams was to play in the National Football League. He said he did not accomplish his goal, but he ultimately got more out of working towards it than he would have accomplishing it. He said, "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." This statement is incredibly correct. Students need to realize early on that they will not always get what they want, even if they work really hard for it. "Brick walls" will always be there. They are there to stop the people who do not want it bad enough and to see how badly you want it. While things might get hard, you should always have fun learning and accomplishing your goals. Another piece of advice was to never lose the child-like wonder.
In his Last Lecture, Randy Pausch stressed the importance of the "head fake", or indirect learning. When you have kids, you do not let them play football, baseball, basketball, or whatever other hobby or sport to learn that hobby or sport. You let them play to learn important skills such as teamwork, leadership, sportsmanship, perseverance, etc. It is so important for children to learn these skills at a young age, so they can carry it over in to their school and personal lives. It will ultimately allow them to live better lives.
A close friend of Pausch's is Jon Snoddy. His quote, "Wait long enough and people with surprise and impress you." I feel as though teachers need to keep this on their minds. As he pointed out in his video, teacher cannot just put the bar anywhere for students' work. Let them set the bar, and it will be higher than you could have ever imagined- especially if their work has an audience.
A few other pieces of advice from Randy Pausch was to help others, loyalty is a two-way street, be earnest, apologize, focus on other people, and tell the truth. This video is immeasurable in the amount of good words it has for someone wanting to lead a better life. I will, without a doubt, carry these words of wisdom with me in both my personal life and my future career as a teacher.

screenshot of cmu.edu/randyslecture/

Thanks for reading!

Jennah Rose

Project #13, Project Based Learning Plan #1

Here is Team Tokyo's Project Based Learning Plan.

C4KSummary for February

screenshot of Brady's blog

My first C4K assignment was Brady from Mrs. Reuter's class. He was comparing two different comic websites: "Make Beliefs Comix" and "Toondoo". He thoroughly explained each website by listing both their positives and negatives. He then told his reader his favorite, which was "Toondoo". I think his blog post was very good!

screenshot of CoCo's blog

My second C4K assignment was Coco. She is a 3rd grader in the Hong Kong International School. She is 8 years old and used to live in Singapore, but moved to Hong Kong. The post also contained a picture of her, but there was no other information provided.

screenshot of Zeshan's blog

My third C4K assignment was Zeshan. He is a high schooler from Austin, Texas, and he reviewed the book Of Mice and Men . He described the characters and then said he would probably get along with George better because he is more logical. In my comment, I asked him why is George more logical and whether or not he liked the book.

screenshot of Kylie's blog

My final C4K assignment for February was Kylie B. She is a seventh grader from Missouri. Her most recent post was about a project her class had to do. They had two options to discuss the theme of the book. The first option was to pick five songs that had a similar theme to the book. The second option was to create a presentation that had five things with a similar theme to the book. Kylie said she chose to do the presentation. In my comment, I asked what book she read, and if she liked it. I also asked her what she thought about making presentations in a Google Doc.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blog Assignment #6

Personal Learning Network Venn Diagram

Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)

A Personal Learning Network is basically a global network of educators and other professionals that can help you throughout your career. It is a space where people can collaborate ideas and share information through Twitter, blogs, and other social sites. As we learned previously in this class, teachers have to be learners. Through this network, we are able to connect with people we can learn from so we can become better teachers. As Steven Anderson said in Building Your PLN- A Primer for Anyone teachers do not have to know everything, or feel like they have to know everything. (Just as Dr. Strange always says, "I Don't Know. Let's Find Out.") They are able to ask the other people in their network to get the best and most well-informed answer. Michael Fawcett pointed out in PLN- Michael Fawcett (@TeacherNZ) Offers His Insights, a student in his classroom wanted to know the exact time Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon. Fawcett tweeted out the question, and NASA replied in about thirty minutes! I would say that is a pretty well-informed answer! I think this could become extremely useful to me as an elementary educator especially. Younger children have the thirst for knowledge and are apt to ask as many questions as possible. Me not knowing the answer is bound to happen more than once, and I can use my PLN to give them the best answer.

PLNs are formed by subscribing to different information, such as conversations on blogs, etc., that intrigues you or what you are currently studying. After seeing the video Welcome to My PLE, I decided to check out Symbaloo. I absolutely love this way of organization. As the 7th grader said in the video, she is able to construct her page in such a way where all of her school resources are together and all of her social media sites are together. I think this is a great idea and can help students stay on task. Especially if they are like me and as soon as they log onto the internet they type in Facebook without even thinking about it. Although I have gotten better about it (mostly because of this class), it still happens from time to time.

To create my own PLN, I will definitely be using Symbaloo and Delicious. The first people I will probably add are Dr. Strange, along with other teachers I will have throughout the education program at the University of South Alabama (such as Dr. Vitulli). I will also add some of my elementary school teachers if they are education-based active on blogs or Twitter. I will also add the teachers I have been assigned to for C4T assignments along with other teachers that are elementary education centered. The last group of people added will be people that I find on the internet that talk/ write about my future profession that I could find useful later on when I start my teaching career.

Personal Learning Networks seem as though they can be extremely helpful, even for those teachers that have been teaching for years. I know I will find it especially useful as a new teacher, and maybe even as I am continuing my education through the University.

Cartoon explaining the importance of PLNs

Thanks for reading!

Jennah Rose

Project #8 Book Trailer

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Trailer

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Sentence Videos

My Sentence Is...

My Passion Is...

Blog Assignment #5

What did I learn from these conversations with Anthony Capps?

I want to start by saying these videos were extremely helpful in a way that is difficult for those of us just getting into our education classes. It is hard to know exactly what we are getting ourselves into, but these videos showed the inside scoop of what it actually means to be a teacher and how to teach effectively. Here are a few things I learned from Dr. Strange's and Anthony Capps's conversations.

PBL emblem
Project Based Learning: Part 1
-Create a project that has an audience, student interest, community, and content that follows ACCRS standards.
A project that Capps did was writing letters to congressmen. The students were given a topic that they were able to research and then they peer reviewed each other's letters. Only eight letters were chosen to actually send off. I think this is a great way to incorporate both history and writing, and it also gives the students a feeling of doing something important and being heard.

Project Based Learning: Part 2
-You have to listen and include parents.
-Never limit students' ideas and creativity.
-Take students' opinions about the projects into consideration for future classes.
I think parents are always the ultimate "say-so". If they are not comfortable with their children researching a specific topic, then as the teacher you have to respect that (as Capps had to do). Also, you should never limit a student. Let them dream and create in their own way.

iCurio emblem

iCurio is basically an online search engine that is safe and appropriate for school-aged children. It has texts, pictures, and videos. It also has a storage capacity so students can save certain resources to look at later. I think that is my favorite part about iCurio because it enables students to start becoming more organized. I also thought it was pretty cool how there was a read-along feature. If a student comes across a word they do not know how to pronounce, this feature could help them.

Discovery Education
I think this is a great tool. (My mother has even told me about this before-she loves it!) It enables the teacher to bring experts into the classroom via video and it can help bring certain texts to life for the students. Most students are listeners and watchers, which Dr. Strange pointed out in the video, so these types of things can really help positively impact student participation.
Discovery Education emblem

The Anthony-Strange List of Tips for Teacher Part 1
1. Be interested in learning as a teacher!
2. Teaching is a constant process. It does not stop once you get home.
3. You have to be creative and flexible when things go wrong.
4. Start with an end goal, but sometimes you have to flexible to get there.
5. You need 100% student engagement in everything you do! Figure out a way to make this happen!
6. Have time to reflect your work or your students' work with an audience.

Use Tech, Don't Teach It
You cannot teach technology in the classroom; allow the students to figure it out for themselves. Because you should not teach the technology, do NOT expect perfection. Throughout your lessons, use one tool at a time like building blocks. One week might have a lesson that needs to be researched by the students. The next week, allow them to research and then make a video of their reflections, etc. Lastly, always do it yourself first. You cannot know if it works, if you have not tried it. This is the best way to use technology in the classroom.

Additional Thoughts About Lessons
I though this was a great video. It helped put things in perspective for me. Capps described to the viewers that a lesson is at least four layers thick. The all-inclusive layer is meeting the Alabama standards for the year. Every lesson should be centered on this. The next lesson is the unit size- how long will it take to cover this one standard? The next layer is the week- what can you do over that week to ensure students are getting what they need? The final layer is the daily lesson. Is this lesson going to help a student master this one aspect and put it towards the lesson tomorrow? The way Capps described lessons makes it not seem so overwhelming, which is extremely helpful to me.
Cartoon teacher

All of these videos help me understand what it really means to be a teacher- all of the work and the progress that has to be made every step of the way. I feel as though being a teacher is one of the most important professions out there. We are shaping the future, and we better do it right. The videos above have pushed us in the right direction to be able to do this.

As always, thanks for reading!

Jennah Rose

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Project #3 Presentation

Blog Assignment #4

What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?

Question Mark made up of other question marks

I have never actually thought about what kind of questions are best to ask in a classroom. Now that I am looking back at my experiences as a student, I realize that many teachers do not ask the class questions that are capable of gauging the extent of the class's knowledge. The general questions most teachers ask, only benefit those students who are actually listening, which as The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom pointed out, is very rarely the entire class. From the resources provided for us, there are a couple of things we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher.

1. Ask open-ended questions
By asking open-ended questions, students have time to answer questions in a logical way. It also gets everyone in the classroom to start thinking istead of a select few. This was best described in Asking Better Questions in the Classroom.
2. Prepare Questions
Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom explained this way the best. I have never thought about actually preparing questions to ask my students, but it made complete sense. If a teacher does not prepare before-hand, how is he or she able to effectively find out if their students understand the material or not?
3. Do Not Interrupt Student's Answers
I think this is extremely important in the classroom. Interrupting students can lead to low confidence. By allowing students to completely finish their answer, the teacher shows them that he or she cares about what the student has to say. And that can be one of the most important things in classroom. This point is best explained in Asking Questions to Improve Learning

As there are many things that can aid a teacher in the classroom, asking the right kind of questions could be the most helpful. Asking the right kind of questions in the classroom can open a student's mind and thought process. This could lead to them being better students and gaining a thirst to learn- which in turn, turns the teacher to be an effective teacher.

Thanks for reading!

Jennah Rose

Thursday, February 6, 2014

C4T #1

Screenshot of Deyamport's blog

C4T #1, commment 1

"The Greatest Stories Never Told: Showcasing Our Gifted Classrooms Through Social Media & WebTools" by Elvira G. Deyamport is my first C4T assignment. She traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana to the 60th National Association for Gifted Children Conference. Her presentation focused on how she integrated social media and technology in her classroom. She had a twitter account and a blog for her class and allowed the students to contribute to the blog. Along with how to integrate these things in the modern day classroom, she also talked about important safety measures such as monitoring the tweets and the comments that others leave. Deyamport gave me a lot of great ideas for my future classroom.

C4T #1, comment 2

The second blog of Deyamport's I commented on was "Animal Research Poems." In this blog she talked about how she gave her students templates to write poems about endangered species. I like how she was able to incorporate both poetry and environmental science. She also showed some poems that her students did and they were really good! Once again she opened my eyes to some great ideas for my future classroom.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Blog Assignment #3

Peer Editing. It has been used in schools as long as I can remember. As much as some students dreaded it, I was okay with it- probably because I was (still sometimes am) a "Grammar Nazi." My mother is an English teacher, after all. However, no one is perfect. I have a habit of putting too many commas in my writing and sometimes I get confused on where to put punctuation marks, whether inside the quotation marks or outside. Anyways, peer editing and review can be tricky. Like the presentations communicated, constructive criticism is very important. As the video What is Peer Editing? and the presentation Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial stressed, staying positive, being specific, and following the three steps are very important to peer editing. The three steps are compliments, suggestions, and corrections. Peer Editing is very useful. It allows others to view your work and see mistakes that you might not have seen yourself.

Political Cartoon of a person trying to get his paper peer reviewed before it being accepted

Peer editing is a useful tool, when used correctly. The video Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes outlines the do's and don't's of peer editing. I found this video absolutely hilarious and extremely helpful- I even sent it to my mother so she could show her classes. But let's face it, we have all been paired with one of the types of people outlined in the video. Their criticisms are often unhelpful and hurtful. It is very important to stay positive throughout the whole process! Even when you see someone's work that has numerous errors, go through one by one with them and show them the correct way. All of these presentations were extremely helpful in reviewing a peer's work.

Thanks for reading!

Jennah Rose

Monday, January 27, 2014

Blog Assignment #2

"Proffesor Dancealot"
In the video, the author makes a very valid point. The central message of the video is that it is nearly impossible to learn how to do something if you cannot put it into practice. You can take all of the notes possible, but in order for the student to completely understand it and know how to do it, they have to do it for themselves. The author makes a case for this conclusion simply by putting a scenario in front of the viewer. Professor Dancealot told the students how to do the different dances, but they were not able to do them correctly by the time of the final. This is because they were not able to put their knowledge into practice. I completely agree with this conclusion. There have been countless times in my education career where I had absolutely no idea how to do something until I could put it in practice. For example, I was on color guard in high school. Learning the choreography for the routines was difficult (especially at the beginning) until I had someone show me which way to twirl the flag in my own hands. Even then, it took me a few times to get it right. The "Professor Dancealot" video makes a very good point that you have to practice what you study in order to gain a complete understanding of the subject.

Sillhouette of a dancing couple

"Teaching in the 21st Century"
Roberts's presentation makes it very clear how teaching has changed in the 21st century. He said that teachers are no longer the main source of knowledge. There are so many different ways people are able to look up information nowadays. But that does not make teachers useless. Their job just changes a little bit from providing all of the knowledge to filtering it. By filtering it, Roberts means that teachers need to teach students how to identify reliable sources and how not to plagiarize, etc. After all, what good is having the world at your fingertips but not being able to handle it? In the presentation, Roberts also compares entertainment to engagement. He makes points such that entertainment is very short-term, whereas engagement is long-term. He also makes the point that entertainment is usually meaningless, but engagement is meaningful. Because engagement is so powerful and important in the world of technology, it had to be meaningful and powerful. Otherwise, what's the point? I agree with what Roberts has said about how teaching is changing. Students now literally have all the information they could ever want at the push of a button. Education has become completely different to where teachers are there to teach the students how to properly USE the information they have.

A computer spitting out tons of information at the user

"The Networked Student"
My first reaction to this video was, "Wow. That teacher kind of sucks." But the more I listened and watched, the more I realized that she did not. It is exactly what I have discussed on this blog. Although it is daunting when a teacher expects so much of you, it is all for the better. They know that the information is there for you, but they are there to help sort through it. Although students always have that professional outlet when they need it, they have the chance to become their OWN teacher. So please, go ahead and start calling me Ms. Medlin. I'm ready to teach myself about all that information at my fingertips (with my real teacher there to guide me, of course).

Cartoon figures networking with each other

"Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts"
The thesis of this video is that students can teach just as much as teachers can. If you get students engaged and interested about what they are learning, then they are able to learn the material better through teaching it to other students. It goes back basically to the first and third videos we watched. You have to present the students with opportunity to learn and to teach others.

A students teaching his class

"Flipping the Classroom"
The idea of flipping the classroom is a new idea for me. I am not entirely sure how helpful this program could actually be towards instruction because I have not participated before; however, I definitely think it could help certain students. There are a few reasons I am skeptical about this idea. The first is simply time. Teachers already bring their work home with them (which is completely understandable), but I feel as though this may really be overkill. The second reason I am skeptical is student participation. Whether it is because they do not have the means of getting to a computer or the motivation to basically learn things on their own, I doubt kids will want to do this. I understand the teaching yourself idea, but I do feel that most of that should be reserved for older students that have a better understanding of what's going on around them. I think at the elementary level, it would be difficult to check for understanding because students could be embarrassed if they are the only one who did not understand the material from the night before. I think this method could be useful to an extent, but maybe it should be more geared to the older kids.

An upside down classroom

Thanks for reading!

Jennah Rose