Thursday, October 29, 2009

For Kaia

This video is for Kaia and her family.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

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

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.
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:


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.


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 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 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