Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Goodbye>?

Dillon Rogers
I have to say goodbye to my viewers and classmates for now, but I have a feeling I will be right back here again in a week or so. 
So,
Goodbye ,
For Now!

Dillon Rogers


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

EDM 310 Summary

man under light bulb with and without lit
I learned so much from these tools and forms of technology this semester that I don't think one blog could cover it. I have constructed my own Personal Learning Network and I think out of everything, this will be the one thing I take with me forever. I really enjoyed some of the other things, but this was something that I didn't think was necessary and was pleasantly surprised by how important and helpful having one can be. I realized that I could use this whether I was in school or not and could continue learning. I realized that throughout life, we will not always be surrounded by school or personal learning, even if we are educators, and it is so important to create your own network at which you can continue to learn and be  up-to-date with current issues. It also creates a solid ground for teachers to collaborate on, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, culture, etc. This is not something I would have given the digital world credit for, before this class.
The blog posts (one's I read and one's I posted) were also very influential. They were the medium in which I reflected on things I experienced or learned. I have never been able to keep up with a diary but I am very consistent with checking my blog posts, responding to comments, and reading other posts in order to respond in comment or blog post form. Comments4kids was a good example of this. We were just posting comments for new to the web teachers and students in hopes it would reinforce their efforts to become more technologically literate, since in theory that is what we were trying to do all semester. I became more interested in a blog by a three year old named Kaia in Qatar. She was so little and with the help of her dad, she was blogging about things she was learning as she was growing. This was awesome, because that is one of the rubies of teaching-watching children grow, learn, and succeed. I just became connected to the little girl and her family and I interacted through videocast/podcast. It was exciting because I can't wait to have a classroom full of little girls and boys who are learning and growing as well.
YouTube, Delicious, Skype, and ALEX all became parts of my PLN. I felt they were each useful in their own way. On the other hand, I did not take to Twitter, Wiki's or Foliotek as well. I admit, if I had more practice with Twitter and a mobile device to support it, I think I would have liked it more, but I just couldn't pick it up in the time we had to learn it. The Wiki's were useful for only a few specific things, and all though I learned that historical information was close to accurate, I still didn't feel comfortable using it as a direct source of information, and I didn't feel good about the fact that anyone could change one. Foliotek. What can I say? By the way it is set up, you would infer that a bunch of tech-gurus in a cubicle office came up with it in two days and sent the package past the editor straight to our University staff who missed out on their coffee, thus forgetting to survey the package and blindly installed it into every professor's home page with a quota of $35 from anyone who wants to get a degree or help students to graduate college.
I also learned a lot from the Google tools. I really enjoyed the Google Presentation and so much so that I went on to pick up a Mac for the first time, learn to use iMovies in a few days, and create a more than one video for projects concerning technology in education. This was another one of my favorite projects, and as I did in the credits, I made sure to give Dr. Strange credit and show my gratitude for his willingness to new ideas and creative freedom. Thanks again! I also learned something that I didn't realize before. As I became more intimate with the Mac, I learned that although it is not created for data, spreadsheets, and word processing, Google offered the online use of these same programs for free. I didn't have to worry about not being able to write a paper on my Mac, I could write it on my Google Documents, save it, and transfer the information to another computer and printer in seconds.
I have expressed how I believe this knowledge will help me in the modern age (in previous posts), especially within the school system, but let me reiterate. Students and adults as well, don't go anywhere without a cell phone or some form of technology that keeps them in constant communication it others. We will have to use this fact to motivate our students and find new creative ways to include technology into classrooms. Yes, the entire academic system needs a renovation, but the system doesn't work for us, we work for it. What does work for us, if so many teachers would open their minds to, is technology. It was created for us, and is constantly being improved-for us! We have to use it to our advantage, as well as to our students advantage, or else we are selling ourselves and our students short.
I think I have learned to become a more technologically literate person and I feel as if I have gained box seats to the ever changing phenomenon of education. I think I can do so much more as a teacher, and most importantly, I have learned not to be afraid to ask, fail, or try something new. I have learned, that is what learning is- Learning is Technology.

Check out this video for a little tech-humor. I thought it was quite funny!
New Technology In the Old Days

PLN

Personal Learning
My PLN has been created during Dr. Strange's EDM 31o class and I am always working on improving and adding to it. There are several different things that make up my PLN and ways in which I have aquired them-mostly through assignments given by Dr. Strange (ah-thank you!). As I have began to watch the videos by Michael Wesch, read the posts by W. Chamberlain and Mr. McClung, and following a blog by a three year old in Qatar named Kaia, I have pieced together a foundation for a digital learning network that I can always update and collaborate on.
By registering for Delicious, I have an online bookmarking database that not only keeps track of the websites that I want to remember, but can also generate other websites that are related to the ones I have saved. This is so useful, I have already gone onto my Delicious account in order to reference websites for information, projects, answers to questions, and suggestions for fellow students.
I have created two separate blogs at www.blogger.com one being my EDM 310 class blog which you are reading right now, the other being my professional blog at  
Dillon's Professional Blog . 
I use these blogs for different reasons. The class blog is less formal and more for research, collaboration, community growth, and virtual exploration/review. I can post videos I've seen that are useful in the educational community or for my personal interest. I can also post reactions to websites, reviews, articles, blogs, comments, and any other sources online.
The professional blog is more formal and is also for online collaboration between other educators. This blog is more like a digital RESUME for my profession as a teacher and my philosophy as an educator. It is centered around my idea of what a classroom should be like and includes resources I will use as a teacher. You can learn to create a professional blog the way I learned by viewing this video by Dr. Strange at How To Create A Professional Blog.
I have become a member of the Twitter network and am still learning to Tweet but I have been able to read and subscribe to others' Twitter networks and it is a great networking tool for the teaching community.
I have learned to Skype and am currently teaching my parents and long distance family members how to Skype as an approach to staying connected. I have done research on Skype and have had the opportunity through my class to speak with someone all the way across the world who teaches. This is real-time communication and learning and I have already begun to think of ways I can successfully incorporate it into a classroom setting. The possibilities are endless!
I have created videos on my Mac computer and posted them to a website I have been following 
Dear Kaia in which I read a book to a three year old little girl named Kaia from Qatar. She has responded, with the support from her parents, by reading a book to me and posting the video to her blog. I have established written, verbal, and video representation of a PLN in these ways and have learned so much from it. 
Having a PLN as a teacher in this Century is mandatory. It is the foundation to becoming technologically literate. It should not be an option. It is the equivalent to having an Educational Network through school but this way has much more options, less time constraints, and more possibilities. Like I said, The possibilities are endless!
* Name dropping in green

Comments4Kids

Mr. McClung
I have been posting comments for the specified websites required by my teacher, Dr. Strange for this EDM 310 class and I have to say it has been a wonderful experience. I have been able to add to different teacher's newly created websites while creating virtual interaction for students to learn from. The wonderful thing about this is that you can comment on a teacher's post or on a student's individual post and this virtual interaction gives them the courage and self-assurance they need to continue keeping their classrooms technological tempo up to par! I have been able to learn about some of the lessons that teachers are using to incorporate technology with and have added some to my PLN. 
The last comment I did was for an 8th grade teacher at Woodland Jr. High in Fayetteville, Arkansas named Mr. McClung. He posted a video on the Protestant Reformation which he incorporates into his class. I watched the video, which was very interesting, and posted my comment. You can view this posting and/or video at  
Mr. Mclung's World.
Overall, I think posting for Comments4Kids has been really helpful for me and for the teachers/students which I have been commenting to. I really think this is a useful and collaborative effort and hope to continue posting comments.

Rules and Mistakes Considering Technology

Doug Johnson
I read the article by Doug Johnson called Seven Stupid Mistakes Teachers Make With Technology and it seemed very matter of fact to me. I completely agreed with his point which was, don't abuse your privilege to have a school computer and make sure you are taking the proper precautions you would take with your own personal computer. In short, he says, "back up your data, use the computer for school related things, supervise students using the computers, be aware that online communication is not ever private, adapt teaching styles for better use of new technology, don't ignore kid's motivation by technology-use it to your advantage, and don't think technology will go away" Doug Johnson. He also wrote an article called Seven Brilliant Things Teachers Do With Technology which states the positive things that he notices in schools. He mentions, "putting kids in touch with the real world at real-time, using kids own devices to motivate and teach them, creatively find new resources, and empower not only yourself but the students with this technology" Doug Johnson. 
I also read a new list of Classroom Rules and the two most important ones I could pick out were:
Know what you are supposed to be learning, why, and what you will do with the knowledge, and Be polite, courteous, and respectful at all times in both physical and virtual space.
I picked these rules because I think they convey the same general rules we would use for a classroom without technology, but appropriately adapted for a generation of classrooms with technology. Students should always be polite, courteous, and respectful and they should understand that just because they are not being directly viewed online or on a computer, they should still maintain the same idea of proper behavior- virtual space is not a place where one can be unkind, disrespectful, and/or impolite. These skills will be needed in the future when he/she may be using this feature for a job and they need to understand how to "get along" or collaborate effectively with others online. I also liked the idea that students know what they are learning because I think it is important that they can recognize the importance of each lesson and how it will come into play in their individual lives. Relating lessons and knowledge to oneself is a big step in metacognition and that is what we are always working towards for our students. 


Thursday, November 19, 2009

At the Teacher's Desk

Wordle
I checked out the website At the Teachers Desk and I love it. It is a great example of a collaborative professional blog. It has all of the requirements of a professional blog: A title and subtitle explaining the purpose of the blog, informative resources such as a map of worldwide visitors allowing viewers to see where other viewers are coming from, contributors to the blog and a link to their pages, other related blogs, a rating of the most active commenter's, a live feed of who is currently viewing the page, a list of followers, Comments4kids, and several labels including the names of each post.
What I find the most interesting about this blog is that it does not have the name and picture of the author at the top or anywhere, it focuses on topics to be discussed. I like this because you get straight to the point when navigating the page. I read several of the posts and each were so interesting. Some of my favorites were Using Technology for Effective Communication, discussing how we (as teachers) can use our current technology to keep parents and students more tuned into the classroom. Examples were using mobile devices at all times, and Facebook regularly. I also liked the posts, How do I Know I'm Not Being Selfish, It Is Imperative We Help our Students Create a Positive Digital Portfolio, Teachers Need to Become Social Networking Experts, and How to Get (and Keep) More Visitors. This last blog sets up a great foundation for adapting your blog to becoming more efficient and popular.
I added this site to my PLN, because I think this is a great way to keep oneself updated with -what we need to keep ourselves updated with! It is a wonderful tool for collaboration because not only do the posts touch on extremely important and current topics, but anyone can comment and several conversations/debates are recorded. On top of that, if you are really moved by a topic, you can comment and create a discussion via comments while gaining more inside information on the subject once the responses begin to post. Overall, I think this is a great site not only for collaboration, but also for personal growth as a technologically literate teacher.

Wordle

life in a glass house lyrics
Radiohead Life in a Glass House wordle


EDM310 What IF?

This is my other project for EDM310. It is called What IF ? as in What if technology lost its patience and left?...




video

EDM310 Apples are for Teachers Presentation

We had an assignment to create a presentation using new media (video, audio, text, etc.) and my group- Jamie Lynn, Autumn Wiggins, and I- decided to make another video. It's called Apples are for Teachers.






video   

Thursday, October 29, 2009

For Kaia

This video is for Kaia and her family.
video

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why Is It Important to Publish Student's Work to the Web?

wordle
Oh, it is so important to publish your student's work to the web through blogs, podcasts, videos, or any other medium. I could list several examples and reasons why but I will list these videos instead. I will leave it up to you to view these and decide for yourself if it is worth the positive reinforcement provided from doing this. Be proud of your students and everything they achieve.

They did their own version of American Idol and this was the winner.
PS22
Let There Be Peace on Earth
YouTube Anthropological Introduction
And finally, a little girl who is only three years old and named Kaia shows us the importance of publishing our children's work to the web in this video her father created for her:

ACCESS

ACCESS
ACESS or Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide is a site available to all Alabama public high school students to "provide equal access to high quality instruction to improve student achievement through distance learning opportunities"About ACCESS. In other words, it provides opportunities for high school students who may not have the average learning environment, resources, or capabilities to get access to better education in the specific areas needed. This program was presented to Governor Bob Riley in September of 2006 and has been instated since then. It has online courses that students can take in order to improve their educational benefits and academic achievement. It includes the D2L or Desire 2 Learn courses and AHSGE Alabama High School Graduation Exam Remediation Modules in Moodle. There are different support centers- Madison City Schools, University of Alabama, and Troy University. It also offers professional development opportunities to teachers and in connecting these teachers to D2L staff. This site also provides "ongoing professional learning modules which include training in Wimba Voice Tools, Elluminate, NetTrekker, Curriculum Pathways, and other web tools used in the distance learning environment"ACCESS professional development.
Overall, I think this site can be very useful to teachers and students, especially those who need and want the opportunity to advance in their academic situation. I would assume this program would reach out to those ESOL students or other students who may not have a proper learning facilitator or environment. I believe this program can be used for students who are schooled at home or who may have parents who's jobs re-locate them all over the state. I think this information could be more useful if the site's navigation and overall layout was different.

ALEX

Alabama Learning Exchange Icon
ALEX is the Alabama Learning Exchange. It is a really neat collaboration of information for Alabama state teachers. It has a section called courses of study where you can pick from any course of study taught in public schools and it will give you the standards for that course of study and what ever grade level you need. It also has a section with a compilation of good lesson plans that can be used by teachers. It is delegated by grade level, subject matter, author, title, school, and other areas such as character education. It has a section for professional learning that offers Alabama Department of Education websites for opportunities, teaching and learning tools, etc. It also lists resources for professional growth and communication. If I needed a specific form for my special ed. classroom, I could go to Alex and look under this section and it would lead me to the educational form(s) I needed. This site also has a podcast gallery where you can download podcasts for just about any subject area. It also has a search engine attached that will help you find accredited information and sites, as well as a help section if you have any trouble.
Personally, I find this site very useful and helpful. It is a great starter for a teacher's PLN and will direct you in the right direction if you are looking for helpful and legit information. I added it to my Delicious bookmarking account. I am excited to use it when I have to start creating lesson plans and curriculum for my classroom.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Singing Hearts/WMChamberlain's video

Kaila Raisdana
I watched and listened to the video/voicethread by Mr. Chamberlain's class and I was very impressed to see that these students were able to do this. I read the posts and comments and I learned that all of this began with the "Intrepid Teacher's" daughter Kaia. He has been recording and maintaining a blog for her and shares the things she's doing in life with the world! It takes some guts to be open minded enough to open your daughter up to the world and have the world receive her- I say kudos to her father (Jabiz Raisdana). It is very important not only to share the world with our loved one (especially with the mediums with which we are familiar), but to share our loved ones with the world. Sure, some negatives can come of this, but no different in value than the one's that come from sending our children out into the world any other way.
Mr. Chamberlain's class has been following Kaia's blog and viewing her pictures and communicating with Kaia through her dad. Her dad responded to their comments by asking the class to send a video or voicethread so that she could understand what they are saying, because she can't read yet.
I thought this was a wonderful idea! So the class did this Dear Kaia which you can see for yourself at this link.
I then went to Singing Hearts Intrepid Teacher and got a better perspective on what was going on. This was the father's blog and it explained his feelings, analysis, and impressions of digitally recording his daughter online. He also poses some questions that I would like to address:
This could go anywhere and much like the dessert trash/treasure, isn't that the concept we want our children to know and be aware of?
I think to a degree, much like the rest of our lives, we can only control so much. You just have to hope that more good things come of it than bad, and be prepared for it when something negative may occur because let's face it- we learn from both good and bad experiences.
I think the value of this experience is so incredible and mandatory if we want our children to understand the world they are in. I think it is worth exposing ourselves online. This world, being so fragmented, is in need of communication and community. Why shouldn't we be part of something that connects the unconnected and provides useful communication at the click of mouse? I think you can see it as putting yourself and your daughter out there for others to view, or you can see it as creating an online community/resource for yourself and your daughter.
I'd like to think that my daughter would have plenty of people all over the world, not just immediate family, looking out for her if I wasn't there or able to for some reason. To clarify, I don't mean that she wouldn't be taken care of by her family or close friends, but that if she needed advice or help or someone to talk to, she would already have a network of people to learn from. I'd like to know that others knew and shared some of awesome memories of her growing up. These students in Mr. Chamberlains class will never forget her and will feel very connected to her. She is important to them. There will be a bond there that she will someday understand and may someday need.
I think this whole thing is exciting to watch and wonderful to see. I don't have children of my own, but I would like to sat that when I do, I will have the courage and openness that Kaia's father has had.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NML's New Media Literacy Re-

New Media Literacies video
I watched the New Media Literacy video on Youtube at
New Media Literacies and I really enjoyed it. I do agree that these skills are the ones we will need to have and be able to teach to our next generations. As educators, I think it's important to take a look at each skill here (judgment, negotiation, appropriation, play, transmedia navigation, simulation, collective intelligence, performance, distributive cognition, visualization, multitasking)and really think about how each applies to how we live today and what we will need to know in order to live tomorrow. Right now, I think I possess a few of these skills moderately speaking. I am no expert in any of these. I like to believe that I understand how to make judgment calls especially on information that is legit. I believe that I do the "play" skill pretty well, because I am always clicking on things I don't know about (which may be why I have had so many viruses...lol)and I am becoming better about collective intelligence and sharing information. I don't know if I am efficient at some of the others, but I think there is somebody out there in a chat room, on a blog list, or who may happen to click upon my blog one day, who can inform me of how to incorporate these skills into my life better.

Wendy Drexler- The Networked Student

The Networked Student video
I watched the video by Wendy Drexler The Networked Student The Networked Student and I really thought it was a very creative way to express the idea of mostly using the Internet for learning. The speaker explains that a student learns a thing called "Connectivism" by only attending class a few days of the week and only doing work for it online. The class does not have a book. Instead, each student creates their own PLN and the teacher guides them as to what sources are the best to use, how to respectfully ask advice from other scholars or experts, and how to share, create, and validate information on any subject.
I think the teacher is a very important figure in the life of a networked student, but not in the way teachers are used to being needed. Instead of needing to create homework and ways to find and prove knowledge of a subject, the teachers of networked students will need to help their students navigate through the Internet finding useful information on a subject and prove their understanding of it by creating and sharing it with people all over the world! Instead of being judged/tested by one teacher, the students will be judged/tested by the world; so I'm thinking each student may want what they write about to be correct and informed.
I am trying to learn how to be a networked student myself because I know it is very important to be prepared for this when I have my own networking students.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Richard Miller-How We Dream 1 and 2

This is how we dream part one

R Miller How We Dream
I watched/listened to the two 7-8 minute clips by Richard Miller on how communication and writting has changed with the web. Richard Miller is from Rutgers University Department of English. He makes several great points about how important it is for us as educators to learn all that we can about the new forms of communication (through technology) and to come up with better ways of teaching our students to use it advantageously. There are three things that he said that stuck in my mind when I listened to this podcast.
The first thing he said was about how this new technology "allows us to articulate our dreams and reach them or find ways to reach them"(RMiller). I agree. This is exactly how I would describe technology to someone who was uninterested or afraid to learn about it. He then says,
"how could we not be interested in this attempt to make sense of the world?" (R Miller). This is exactly right! How could we say that we truly care about helping our students live in the world to come, if we are not ready to live in it now? And finally, my favorite quote from this lecture. He focuses more specifically on writing and teaching a new kind of writing in a new kind of way.He says,
"we do not have a pedagogy at hand to teach the kind of writing i'm describing-it needs to be invented..." (R Miller). I love this! It is exactly what needs to be said, heard, and done. And it doesn't exclude anyone. Everyone is and can be responsible for coming up with ideas to match the new ways we write and teachers should be the one's leading the way.
I think i'm becoming prepared to write with this media, now. I will have to be prepared to do this because I will be teaching my students to write with this media.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

ITunesU RE...

Being an ITunes user, I already recognized the layout of the page I was viewing when I went to see what ITunes University was. Basically, it is an add-on to ITunes which allows anyone to explore what the designated schools have to offer through podcast and vodcast. Some of the schools include Stanford and Duke and they have provided a list of topics with a pod or vodcast teaching about that topic to follow link.
I really like ITunes University and think it can be so helpful both to students and teachers. As a student, I could use it for research papers and projects that are required. I could see myself using this in the classroom to show students informative clips of a particular lesson we would be working on and I could also see my students using this site for their own individual research. I searched Language in ITunes University and was led to this link Miami Dade College Home . This college helps contribute to the podcasts and class files you can find under the title ESL- Instructor Kathleen Biache. Overall, I think ITunes University will be a very important tool in the effort to continually learn.

IPod Final Evaluation Report I found that Duke University distributed 20GB Apple IPods with voice recorders to the students entering their freshman year in 2004. They wanted to see how effective IPods would be for course feedback. They found that there was an outstanding amount of research effectively stating that these IPods increased the overall motivation for learning and expanded the academic college experience to new levels. Reported were findings that IPods were convenient for faculty/staff/students, flexible for multiple locations, effective for field research/interviews, and actually enhanced support for individual learning needs.

Dr. Alice Christie's Website Review

Alice Christie
I checked out Dr. Alice Christie's website at http://www.alicechristie.org/ It was very impressive and not difficult to navigate at all. I really enjoyed the Educational Technology section of this website. It discussed ways to implement technology into the classroom by showing an overview of many different lessons for each academic field. It also discussed a new program they are using at the school to incorporate GPS and Geocashing in the classroom and it's called GEOPA. There were different lessons she used to incorporate the GPS and I looked at an art lesson. This lesson was about the sculpture Fire station #30 created by Joe Tyler in Arizona.

She had a group of 5th and 6th graders from Alhambra School District visit the structure to discover important qualities about the art form. She covered many standards by having them answer several important questions and give their personal analysis on the piece. The students had to use the GPS to find their way to the structure and while answering questions, they enjoyed their lunch there as well.

Along with several of other interesting and helpful lessons, this one shone some light on how to effectively incorporate technology into classrooms for all different areas of academics. I will be bookmarking this site on my Delicious account and using it for future guidance.
This site gets a thumbs up!
Dr. Alice Christie Website

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Just Practicing...

My blog link.EDM310DillonRogersBlog

What I've Learned This Year- Response

Mr. McClung has posted some advice concerning his introductory years of teaching elementary students. It deals with communicating effectively in order to maintain a good work environment and healthy relationships with co-workers. It also talks about how important it is to not beat yourself up when a lesson doesn't go the exact way it was planned and let go of the feeling of failure. He shows us that we should not be afraid of technology as teachers and that it is our job to always be learning. We should always remember our audience and listen to them. He makes a point that I really liked: "We do everything short of beg students to learn on a daily basis, but sadly some of us refuse to learn and grow as professional educators." - Mr. McClung I definitely agree with this idea of constant learning and adapting; after all, isn't that what we are preparing our students to do? If we can't continue to learn, how can they?




Response to: Wikipedia edits/Wired story

picture of Virgil Griffith
Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, available to anyone and available to edit by anyone. It has been, what some may call, misused by politicians, companies, and agencies to change information written about them to make them look better.


Virgil Griffith has created a Wikipedia Scanner which lets you see who has made changes to Wikipedia, where, and what they changed. It was created in order to reveal these companies and politicians for the changes they made in order to make them or the companies sound better. By keeping detailed logs of this information, you are able to see for yourself if a company is changing information or deleting information in order to convey a better image.

There are still ways that companies can do this without being caught and this Scanner is not necessarily full proof. If I worked at WALMART and wanted to change something, I could go to the closest Starbucks or some other location and log on using that IP address. Then, it would not seem as if someone from the company did it. Also, if I had issues with WalMart for some reason and logged on in the store, I could change information and make it look like it came directly from the company.

I don't think this Scanner provides a reliable way for people to track what others are changing because there is no way to know who exactly is writing what. This may help others to feel as if people are held more accountable for what they are changing, but it doesn't make me feel any better. This program, like all programs, has its good sides and not so good sides. I just don't see Wikipedia ever becoming a factual, reliable source of information.

http://tinyurl.com/2qyjjj

Saturday, September 19, 2009

comments 4 kids

I read the posts for fablogs English8. The students were responding to a particular chapter they read in The Lord of the Flies. The students I responded to were very intuitive about the underlying meanings of the scenes in the story. I asked them questions to provoke more thought on their answers. I noticed that the teacher is having them post responses about their literature first, but later on they will be podcasting and I though that was wonderful. It seems like a good transition into technology into the classroom.

I also read the 1st post for RBS 4th grade blog. This class of 6 year-olds did a podcast about the upcoming year and the monthly events. There was more than one student speaking and they began by introducing themselves in Spanish. They all spoke at the same time as a way of welcoming the listener and I though this was very effective and creative. It's wonderful that this teacher is introducing podcasting so early in their schooling.

Finally, I listened/watched Ms. Tanea's Class blog Post 1. This introduced the Wells Science Club in Thailand. This was a wonderful video with what sounded like current Thai music. It showcased the girls in the Science Club and they did an experiment with airplanes. Ms. Tanea seems very tech literate and excited to incorporate it into her classroom. I think the students are also excited, maybe that they can see themselves on the web. I think this is a wonderful use of technology in the classroom, especially internationally.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Randy Pausch- Last Lecture

There is no way someone can watch Randy Pausch's Last Lecture and not feel as if they are a part of what he is speaking about. I was blown away by this presentation and I was engaged the entire time. This man is one of those that people will remember for a very long time. The point of this lecture was, "If you only had one lecture to give, what would it be?". He structured it by going over his childhood dreams, reaching childhood dreams, how to enable the dreams of others, and lessons learned through time while doing this.

He made several wonderful points about how to achieve ones dreams. He says to work on the fundamentals. This is something that helps us put goals into perspective and reach them one day. Another thing he mentioned was the possibility and idea of failing and what it really means to make a mistake or not necessarily reach a desired goal. Randy Pausch said, "experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted". I have always felt this was true. Like Pausch, I had dreams growing up and one of them was to play soccer for a college team. There were brick walls for me as well. There was no girls team like I had wanted to play on, so I tried out for a boys team and learned how to cope with constant struggle and got the knack for beating the odds. I also made some of the most loyal friendships I've ever had to this day. My experience led me to become a desired recruit once I transferred to girls teams. I played soccer for the University of South Alabama and had one of the best experiences of my life.

Another thing that Randy Pausch mentioned that really grabbed my attention was something that he learned from a man named John Snoody. He said, "if you wait long enough people will always surprise you." I think this is a very important quote to live by and teach to others in life as well as in academics. He also had a story about setting the bar which interested me. In this story, his students went far and beyond what he expected after their first assignment and he realized that he obviously didn't know where the bar should be, so he didn't do them an injustice by putting one there. Instead, he let the students break their own barriers and told them that they could always do better. I think this applies to classrooms today, in a very big way.

As he wrapped up the lecture, Pausch went over some lessons that he thought others should remember and stick by. He reminded people to, "never lose their childlike wonder, help others, loyalty is a two way street, never give up, get people to help you, be honest, be earnest, apologize, and to focus on others". I think that many of these lessons are not only ways to help others reach their dreams, but also ways to lead a life. I also think that if used collaboratively and efficiently, these ideas could bring more students to success by the way that they deem it, not by the way others deem it. That is the point many are trying to make about the way our educational systems are set up today. They try to tell people what they should do to become what they think is possible, but who are THEY to set the bar in this aspect?

Finally, I'd like to say that enabling millions of kids to have fun while learning something hard, without letting them know they are learning something difficult- that is key when incorporating technology into the classroom. It is necessary for the teacher to be tech literate enough to allow creativity to spawn more learning- this is what lets students push the bar higher for themselves.

REsponse to Karl Fisch's post..

WOW MOM! Does anyone know what a Palindrome is? "Why don't you Google it?" Has become an expression today. If you are teaching and do not understand the meaning of this phrase, you are in serious trouble.

This is my response to Karl Fish's post in http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2007/09/is-it-okay-to-be-technologically.html .
He brings about the question, "why do parents and teachers speak about their techno-illiteracy as if they were proud about it?" How is this socially acceptable, when 90% of our everyday lives move around some usage of technology? I agree. It is not acceptable and people should be embarrassed to say so. It is impossible to live and/or succeed in today's society without the interactive use of technology, so why on Earth would we not prepare our students to be?

I really like reading, listening, watching Karl Fisch's posts and videos. I can comprehend his ideas very well and I can relate to them too! I would not be opposed to more learning through the use of his blogs, videos, etc.

REsponse to Kelly W Hines...

Kelly Hines
When reading Kelly W Hines' blog about teaching and technology, I had much to agree with but I also had some ideas that I disagreed with. I do agree with the implication of Kelly Hines' ideas. I do think that teachers should be able to their jobs without relying on technology to convey the information, but if they are teaching successfully they will be integrating technology.

I can not get my little brother (who is a junior in high school) to read his textbooks. He relies solely on the notes he has taken and the projects which relate the concept of the lesson to him better. (These projects include some type of Internet usage to find recent information about a concept)He will hold conversations about the concepts he's learning because through the usage of technology he has ingested the information willingly and applied it collaboratively. New generations are born with cell phones in their hands and computers next to their cribs!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

REaction to Michael Wesch

As I watched the Youtube video by Michael Wesch, I realized that I agreed with 99% of the stuff that was presented. I really was amazed that someone had the gumption to speak out against the way our school systems run without throwing it on the ground and spitting on it. Usually, those who speak out against anything to do with schools are deemed ignorant because they are seen to be speaking against the concept of bettering ourselves for the future. This video does a wonderful job of pointing out some statistics that represent a student body and has the students themselves taking part in relaying these statistics to the viewers.

I thought this video was very creative with the way it was produced. I didn't feel like I was just listening to somebody ramble about a topic, rather, I felt that I was listening to the voices of many who felt the same about a topic- without hearing their voices. The background music went along very well with the video and the pace of it all. I'm not sure I would add anything to this video except for a sequel. I have to agree; I will also be in debt when I graduate but the one thing that keeps me positive about this debt is something I've been told all of my life: If you're going to live in America, it means living in debt. If you're going to go into debt, it's one of the best things to go into debt for... I guess we will all find out soon...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mr. Needleman's Video

I was amazed by the student's ability to work with this technology and create these videos. I hope I can integrate this into my classroom one day.

The Benefits of Podcasting~ a resource~

I watched The Benefits of Podcasting In the Classroom and was very surprised at the effectiveness of the podcast. Not only did I learn that podcasts can help students who are out sick and parents who want to check in on what their child is doing but also how to integrate podcasts into lesson plans. I saw that the teacher, Mr. Delsey, used a podcast to tell a story that the students were reading. He even had some other teachers act out the different characters in the story! I loved this idea. The students seemed to love this as well.

I noticed that podcasts could be used in the classroom by the teacher and by the students. The students were making their own podcast to present a project to the classroom. There are so many ways to integrate a podcast! At first, I thought a podcast was a few people having a conversation about a particular topic, but now I've realized that it doesn't have to be that simple. One can integrate a podcast into a lesson and a student at home could learn from this same lesson as well. I am learning that the public speaking aspect of a podcast is only a fraction of what it really can be. What is more important for having a good podcast is how creatively one can convey an idea through the media presented, to the audience participating. This does take planning and practice. The more willing participants, the better. I can not until we get to create our own podcasts.

1. TechLiterateTeacher

1.
As I watched the Tech Literate Teacher, I noticed several things that made it work, and several things that could have made it work even better. I think the atmosphere was simple and not too distracting for the viewer. The speakers were dressed appropriately and spoke clearly. Everyone introduced themselves and the topic. All of these things are necessary for a good presentation when thinking about the video aspect of the videocast. It took a bit for the speakers to become comfortable but then they began to really contribute to the conversation. After someone would speak their mind or tell their opinion, someone else always responded, whether they were agreeing or disagreeing. These things made this a good podcast/videocast.

On the other hand, I noticed that not everyone in this podcast/videocast contributed equally. I think, if two of the four girls had spoken more, this would have been much more interesting and it would have grabbed my attention more. I felt like the two girls who were not really speaking, did not seem interested and didn't want to participate in the conversation as much as the other two girls. I don't know if they practiced speaking, but they were not very collaborative even though they were speaking about the importance of collaborating with technology. It was not a convincing conversation, in my opinion. I will try to practice with my podcast/videocast team and will try to carry out the positive actions that were displayed in this podcast. I will try to be more creative about how my conversation is carried out and will do my best to make sure that everyone in my group is participating equally. I hope that will ensure a convincing conversation.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Assignment 2- Podcast Critique

I listened to the Podcast assigned and realized that I should only subscribe to podcasts that: 1) I am very interested in, and 2) Have entertaining hosts that keep my attention for longer than 5 minutes. I really didn't like the Smartboard podcast. The way they set up their discussions made it extremely boring and I had to skip through most of it. The commentary and jokes were kind of corny and I just couldn't bring myself to listen through to the end. I do think some of the topics they discussed were interesting topics and I would like to have heard more about some rather than others.

When I played to EdTechTalk, I had trouble listening to their discussion because the sound quality was very low. It sounded like they were in a tunnel speaking on a cell phone. Another thing that I did not like was the conversational structure. It was patchy at times and I felt like I was eavesdropping on someone else's conversation. I don't know if this is typical of podcasts. I did enjoy the topics they brought up because they spoke about teachers' involvement with technology and ways to meet the demands of a classroom using this technology cooperatively.

As I listen to these podcasts, I see that they all begin with a little bit of introductory music and the speaker introduces him/herself. I really liked Kidcast compared to the other podcasts. It was easy to follow and I was much more focused on the speaker and the message he was sending out. I believe a podcast usually tries to involve aspects from more than one speaker, but I feel that this takes away from the main focus- which is the topic of the conversation. I also felt like the speaker was not using jargon that I was still not familiar with. I think this would be a great tool that I could definitely use in my own classroom one day.

I liked the Teacher's Podcast. The sound quality was high and I was able to really listen to the speaker. Their was more than one speaker but they did not interrupt each other, they took turns speaking and they both stayed on the same topic, being careful not to jump ahead of each other. I really enjoyed the content of the conversation and these people were very organized about what was going on with teachers. I am realizing that a good podcast, in addition to interesting content, will make listeners not only want to listen more but want to join in and be a part of the conversation. I think this is a good example of a podcast because it makes the audience want to interact and I believe that to be a large part of this new technology. If you go to the Smartboard Podcast site and look under Listeners Also Subscribed To, you will find The Teachers Podcast: The New Generation of Ed. Tech Professionals.

The KPSforParents podcast was done a bit differently. It was conversation created and monitored through a blog that was converted to a podcast series so that the audience could get the information they needed "on the go". I really loved the content of the conversation and it was right down my ally for becoming a special ed. teacher. I learned some things from this podcast as well. The sound quality was high and the message easy to follow.

The Special Education podcast with Thomas Cervantes was once again right down my alley for special ed. content. The speaker, Thomas Cervantes, was easy to listen to but I could tell he was reading and I think it would have been done better if he would have spoken differently. I think practicing one's message is important for creating a good podcast. This podcast was very short and didn't have as much content as I would have liked to hear. I don't think this would be a podcast I would use directly in the classroom or for it. If you want to find this podcast you can enter Special Education into your iTunes search window when on the podcast site, and several options for Special Education podcasts should show up in the main viewing window. From there, you can click on Special Education with Thomas Cervantes and it should take you to his site. Look under Viewers Also Subscribed To and you will see a podcast titled Making Education Actually Work. If you click on that link it will take you to the KPSforParents podcasting site.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vicki Davis-Harnessing Digital Smarts

I just watched the movie Harness Your Student's Digital Smarts by Vicki Davis and I was very excited to see someone working so diligently towards making her students technologically proficient. She gave them the opportunity to learn about the connectivity that technology can offer by letting them participate in projects with other students all around the world. To me, this is a very proactive teaching stance, but I also noticed that she gave the children assignments to learn and teach others about new technology and her students were not only motivated but also succeeded! She merely gave them the tools they needed to properly research the assignment and once they did (as she guided them along) the students discovered they were able to do most of it on their own. This gives students a sense of empowerment and is a strong motivator for them.

Another thing I saw that I liked was that Vicki Davis was not affected by the demographics of the town she was in. It was a small rural town and many times these types of places are the ones that are slow to take in new things. She did not let that stand in her way. Sometimes I think it can be easy to just say "well these kids will never need to know how to blog or twitter" because of their surroundings, but she did not. Instead, she made her class informative, entertaining, and opened the students' imaginations up to the entire world around them. She kept them "connected" to the places they otherwise may have never known about. I loved seeing her students excited to present their findings on avatar's and hope that I am able to instill this attitude among my students one day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Box- Sir Ken Robinson response

I was blown away by the video on You Tube by Sir Ken Robinson. The Importance of Creativity sank in very deep once I watched it and realized that much of what he explains is true. The entire fundamentals on which we base our education system are out of date and need to be remodeled. "We educate children in public school systems to prepare them for college and for the future, but we can't even tell those children what their adult futures are going to be like for sure." Ken Robinson I definitely agree that creativity is what will enable us to adapt and secure a better future for ourselves and for the generations following. His concepts were huge yet easy to grasp.

This video made me want to do things differently in my own classroom one day, but I don't know how or where I would start to implement ideas such as his. Sure I could pay more attention to the talents and creative abilities of my students, but I would still have to make sure they passed the reading and math achievement levels they needed in order to progress to the next grade level. This video was very inspiring but the next thing I did was wonder- how do we integrate ideas such as these when we are stuck in the "box" system ourselves? To me, it is simple to tell someone to think outside of it, but how do we get there from where we are now?

Teaching- response to Mr. Winkle Wakes

The You Tube video Mr. Winkle Wakes seemed to have a very interesting view point on technology in the classroom. I did not necessarily agree with the message it sent because many schools are transitioning to the usage of new technology at this moment. I do agree that it has taken too long and it makes me curious as to why? There are theories that because schools don't receive enough federal funding, the import of technology has been put on a back burner for classrooms and teachers. It has also been said that because parents have so much control of the curriculum and because they are not comfortable with new aged technology, the importance of having it in the classroom is minuscule.

I am not sure that I agree with either of these theories, but I do understand that only recently have public schools begun instilling smart boards into their classrooms. Administrators are finally forced to educate their personnel on how to use this new technology and integrate it into the curriculum. Mr. Winkle obviously felt comfortable with the classroom because of its familiarity to how things used to be before technology, but I think the video wants us to ask ourselves if we would and should feel the same way.

I do not feel the same but I know my father would. He has never had experience typing on a word processor or navigating a web page until this past year. Taking online courses, he is being forced to communicate and learn this technology. With a man who is very set in his ways, to me, this is what it would have been like teaching Mr. Winkle! But as confused as Mr. Winkle and my dad once were, my dad has made the effort- catching on quicker than expected. He is not as uncomfortable with the Internet or creating Word Documents as he used to be and has gained confidence about himself. This tells me something more about technology in the classrooms. If my father (who hates trying anything new!) can learn and adapt to new technology, than yes it is necessary to implement it with our youth.

Tomatoes- response to Did You Know?3.0

After watching the YouTube video Did You Know? 3.0 by Karl Fisch, I realized how much I did not know about how much information was being processed throughout time. Every second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year and so on, so many people are using technology to live and document their lives. It is amazing when one is presented with so many facts and numbers based on our current population. This gives us great insight to the transition of our times.


It used to take a long time for new ideas and technology to generate a large population's interest and following. Now, with the use of technology, we can generate new ideas to the population like wildfire! I also did not realize that other countries had adopted English and less people in America actually spoke our main language, than those of other nations. This is shocking news to me and I worry about our technologically dependent generations. I wonder if this ever-emerging technology is more of a threat to the knowledge of basic functioning-
Or if it will be able to adapt, creating solutions for our fragmented ways of communication. I am very much all about new technology and the wonders it can do for us today. There are so many creative ways to communicate and share information, but I also notice gaps that this leaves in the "old-fashioned" ways of carrying on relationships and dealing with the grit of survival. My American Lit teacher asked us today, "if a stage 5 hurricane was going to hit us tomorrow and all of the stores were empty or sold out, how many of us would be able to gather our fresh grown tomatoes/other vegetables and can them so we would have food for the aftermath of the storm?" One girl knew how to can tomatoes.

So my question is, how do we balance knowledge of evolving technology with the knowledge of basic survival without technology?

Background Information

My name is Dillon Rogers. I am twenty two years old and my major at South is Special Education Elementary K-6. I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama and lived in Pensacola, Florida for one of the twenty two years. I played soccer for 11 years and one year I played for South Alabama Women's soccer team. I have two brothers (one older and one younger) and a yellow lab (who counts as the youngest member of our family) who's name is Gus. I love the outdoors and I love to be active. I am currently getting my SCUBA license and hope to be diving by the end of Fall. I am very friendly and love a good laugh. Presently I work at Foosackley's off University and Airport, so if you stop in to get some chicken and fries, look for me and say hello!


Dillon's 1st Post

This is Dillon Rogers. This is my 1st post.