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.

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 .
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

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.