Sunday, May 6, 2012

Project 13

My group members are Abigail Cooke and Susie Salter. I really enjoyed my group because I think we not only worked very well together but we had fun with it and did our best to make our projects original and creative. We used emails, texting, phone calls, and Google Docs but mainly Google Docs. However, it was easiest to meet in person to put our ideas together and to rehearse our individual and group parts on video. Google docs was very efficient but meeting in person was definitely the easiest of all and ended up working the best for us, as a group.

Project 5

Sunday, April 29, 2012

C4T Summary Post

Jerrid Kruse Jerrid posted on his blog that an Apple iPad commercial was destructive. He states that the commercial ends by noting how a new screen allows us to be better connected to the things we care about most. The image is a video playing on the iPad of a child laughing and Jerrid thinks we should be angry at this message and unfortunately, most of us are not even aware of the destructive nature of the message and that some are not even aware of the message at all. However, I fall under the category of not being aware of the message at all. Jerrid's post completely confused me. I responded and told him that I must be missing the point as well because, personally, I think technology has come along way and only enhanced our ways of communication and allows us to share memories and stay in touch with family and friends no matter how far apart from each other we may be. I told Jerrid that I was interested in hearing more about his viewpoints and reasons why this commercial was destructive, in his opinion.
Jerrid Kruse

Blog Post 13

E-Media Fast It is crazy to think how much we rely on technology in today's society without even thinking about it or realizing it. I found this assignment extremely difficult because I am a huge "texter". I text all throughout the day to multiple people. It wasn't really difficult at all for me to not make phone calls because I RARELY talk on the phone and would rather just send out a quick text. My first attempt at the technology fast was Tuesday and I accidentally responded immediately, out of habit and without thinking, to a text message I had just received. Therefore, I had to start completely over the next day just from that one slip up. Wednesday comes around and I am determined to not slip up. Wow, what a long day! It was so hard receiving text messages from my family and friends and not being able to respond! I felt like I was back in highschool and was on restriction. I had told a couple of my friends (the ones I text the most) the day before that I was doing this fast as an assignment and that I wouldn't be able to receive their calls or return any of their messages the entire day and that the only way I would be able to communicate with them would be face to face or on a land line. Of course they all didn't think that I could do it and said that I would end up texting them back. However, I proved them wrong! :) Honestly, not being able to use the computer might have been even harder than not being able to text especially because this coming up week is the last week of school so I had a million things I could be doing as far as school goes. Fortunately, I deleted my Facebook account a few months back because of personal reasons but if I still had a Facebook account that may have proved to be the hardest of all for me to not access as I had developed an addiction to it! I had the Facebook App on my iPhone and I would get on there SEVERAL times within a day so I am glad that was one less thing I had to "fast" from. Another thing was the T.V. because I have a three year old little girl so when she got home from school and wanted to watch cartoons I made her turn the T.V. on in her room so that I could say I wasn't a part of that! It was awful quiet in my house not having a T.V. on in the living room. Last but not least, we have no land line telephone in our house! People don't realize how convenient cell phones are because if you don't have one and you need to make a quick call AND you don't have a land line then you are stuck with driving to a gas station that has a pay phone (which is becoming more and more rare) or going to a neighbor's house to borrow their phone (if they have a land line). This assignment made me gain a whole new respect for technology and the convenience of it. I learned that I rely on text messaging wayyy too much as a means of my daily communication. I think it would be interesting to have students (particularly teens), do this assignment as well. People are TOO relient on their cell phones, laptops, and T.V. shows and I think this is a great way of proving that to them and making people be aware of how technology has completely taken over our daily lives.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Project 10

I decided to use Symbaloo for my PLN because it is extremely easy to use and is very convenient to have all of the places I visit on the internet made available to me in one spot. I look forward to using and further developing my PLN.

Project 9 B

Project 9 A

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Summary Post for C4K

Grace Grace posted a song by Demi Lavoto called Skyscraper. I had never heard this song before but she posted to listen to the words carefully so I did and to my surprise it was a really great song! She said that it meant a lot to her at the moment so I commented and told her to always stand her ground and to never back down. As a young girl, she will soon experience probably more than she should have to with the way today's society is so, without scaring her, I wanted to offer her some words of encouragement. I hope it helped! :) Here is a link to her blog Grace's blog. Charles is a first grader in New Zealand and he posted a video about what he might do on a rainy day. Charles said that he would use his "inside voice", read a book, or play with his puzzles. It amazes me that first graders are able to use blogs and videos and share them with people all over the world! This assures me that nothing is impossible :) Here is a link to Charles' class blog Charles' blog.

Progress Report on Final Project

I am in a group with Abby Cooke and Susie Salter. We have been using a variety of methods to communicate with one another about our Smart lesson. We have used text messages, emails, and Google Docs but mainly Google Docs, which we found easiest because we could type back and forth right away and get answers immediately. We plan to meet, in person, this Tuesday at 2pm to work on, and hopefully complete, our project.

Blog Post 12

Watch the video What do students expect from teachers? (2:36) Write one or two paragraphs about how you plan on earning your students' trust and respect. Are you willing to treat ALL students equally? How do you plan to do so? In my classroom, I want each and every one of my students to feel as comfortable as if they were in their own home. I want my classroom to be a warm and welcoming environment and for my students to KNOW that they can come to me for anything and that I will always be there for them through good times and bad. I plan to treat every one of my students with respect so that I can gain their respect in return. I plan to LISTEN to my students. I will make it known from day one that they will abide by my rules so that they will be aware of what the consequences are if my rules aren't followed. Children are more likely to abide by rules if the rules are inforced. I do not believe in "special treatment" or having "favorites". In my classroom, we are all the same. The song "Don't laugh at me" by Mark Wills, has lyrics that say "In God's eyes, were all the same" and I stand by these powerful words. Everyone will be treated the same and equally because that is what we all deserve. No one is any better than someone else is. My classroom will also be a strict "no bully zone" and I absolutely will NOT tolerate bullying of any sort. My students will respect each other and treat others in a way in which they would wish to be treated or they will suffer repercussions. I look forward to having a friendly and welcoming classroom someday! :)

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts-Special Post #12A.

I don't think any one school INTENTIONALLY destroys creativity. I think that certainly there is always room for improvement on the development of curiosity and creativity because we can always get better and there is always room to grow. I think the main thing is staying focused on keeping creativity alive and fresh and remembering to make it a priority. To increase the curiosity of students, I think it would be a neat idea to have students create assignments for their classmates. This gives them a sense of responsibility, freedom, and a chance for them to feel powerful. Of course there would have to be guidelines but just think of the possibilities! Also, I think it would be neat to have students create powerpoint presentations or make posters about themselves (in detail) about their interests, hobbies, families, and dreams and have the students guess which of their fellow classmates each report belongs to. This will give them a chance to learn things about each other that they may have otherwise never learned. To increase the creativity of students, I would assign more tangible, hands-on experiments. Students tend to learn more through self-exploration and personal experiences. Also, I think it would be a good idea to have more open-ended discussions (for all ages)to allow students to really THINK and discuss certain issues/topics. Some students learn better when they hear their peer's views and perspectives on things because they can express to each other in ways that teachers can't. I would also incorporate more Art projects and more activities where the students have the freedom to come up with ideas on their own about creating the assignment (with approval). I would also encourage a lot of feedback and ask them what worked, what didn't work, and what they would change (if anything. Also, in my class I would have more essays over multiple choice because this is a method where we, as teachers, can really tell if they understand the term/concept, rather than just choosing A, B, C, etc. To increase the curiosity of my students, I would play into their interests by gaining knowledge on students' interests/strengths, and share with them new facts/information about that particular subject. I also might assign projects and have prizes such as "no homework passes" for students who go into elaborate detail on their reports. To increase my students' creativity, I plan to make them THINK, constantly. I would like to have open-ended, debate style discussions as frequently as possible, as this makes them "dig deeper" and think about the topic at hand. I will ask them WHY they think/feel certain ways about particular things/issues and I will ask them to put themselves in uncomfortable situations and explain what they would do to get out of them. During an Art project where everyone is given the exact same instructions, I will ask them what they plan to do to make there project unique and different from everyone elses. What would help me to become more creative is to be as well-rounded as I possibly can and to never stop learning. I have never been that great of an artist so I would love to gain some artistic ability. I will watch all the videos on creativity that are made available to me. I will take field trips to museums/exploreums and I will converse with other teachers/faculty members on creativity and what inspires them. Honestly, I don't know that there is anything that would help me become more curious than I already am! I have always been very curious in nature since I was a little girl, which often got me into trouble. I am very eager to have my own classroom one day and to learn all about my students from their strengths and weaknesses to their hopes and dreams. I am also curious to see how I will make a difference in their lives, because I know I will.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blog Post 8

"This is how we dream"

Compared to Dr. Miller who "grew up in a house FULL of books", it was interesting to me that there were hardly any books in my house growing up, yet my mother has been a school teacher for over 20 years and I am studying to be a teacher as well...Ironic?
It STILL amazes me how our "workspace" has become solely a desktop rather than books, papers, and pencils. To think that we will have the ability to tell what city is the happiest in the world at an exact moment based on technology is just astonishing. In a nutshell, I think it's safe to say that Dr. Miller knows his stuff!

Carly's post was truly inspiring to me. One of my best subjects and greatest strengths has always been writing. Yet, when I read Carly's post, I could only HOPE to someday become a writer as great as she is. I did in fact watch all of the videos that she posted and those all inspired me as well. I LOVE to be inspired because it pushes me, motivates me, and gives me the drive to do bigger and better things. When I am truly inspired by something or am very passionate about a certain issue, that is when I perform my best or create my best works. I also love and admire creativity and want to be creative with each and every thing that I do. Life is too short to do the same things everyone else does. I think it is so important to just be YOU. Be bold. Make statements. Be a leader, not a follower. Inspire people (like Carly did/does). Motivate people. Encourage people. Love unconditionally. MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
I like how Carly said "In a perfect classroom, students actually have to think". I think that most of what today's learning has become, memorization, is a complete joke and waste of time. One of my favorite billboards that I will never forget says "A mind is a terrible thing to waste". After all, what good is a mind if it's never put to use? Making people truly THINK is what inspires imagination and creativity. Thinking and coming up with ideas of your own can be so satisfying and rewarding so it's important that we have people in our lives who encourage us to do so.
The thing in Carly's post that stood out to me the most was when she said "You don't have to think big, just think different". I'm not even sure why but after I read that the 1st time, I just kept saying it to myself, in my head, over and over again. I love that. What she was saying is that you don't have to be over-the-top extraordinary, just be unique. Carly has a true God-given gift in the way that she expresses her thoughts in words and can make them flow so freely. I admire her for that and she has inspired me to become a better writer. I think this post is the best possible example of what Dr. Miller means and is trying to express when he talks about writing with multi-media.

The Chipper Series

I loved watching The Chipper Series because it was refreshing to watch a humorous video over videos we have been assigned to watch throughout the semester that we really have to think about and discuss. I was laughing the whole time watching this video not only because it was funny but because I have been guilty of being a procrastinator throughout my whole life up until recently when I realized that it just doesn't work anymore, as Chipper proved, ESPECIALLY not in college OR the education field. It is almost impossible to get caught up once you have fallen so far behind.
I would like to participate in creating a video about how this class requires 9 hours a week. I enjoy anything with humor and/or sarcasm and think that this would be a really fun video to make. EDM310 For Dummies was also funny because that was my exact perspective on the class in the beginning as well. It is just overwhelming all of the assignments and projects that we are required to complete on a weekly basis and it only makes it worse if you aren't that familiar with technology.

"Learn to Change, Change to Learn"

It is heartbreaking to hear that Education was ranked below coal mining. I will NEVER understand why professions who have the biggest impact, make the biggest impressions, and actually make a difference, such as: police officers, fire fighters, teachers, etc., are the lowest paying jobs. We are the ones who make a difference in people's lives and society, yet we receive little respect or praise. This is why we are a rare breed. We don't do it for the money. Obviously. We do it because we care. We do it because we want to make a difference, we want to share knowledge, we want to educate, promote creativity, inspiration, support, and love. All my life, after I would tell people I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up, I received comments such as "Teachers don't make hardly any money", and "Do you really want to be poor", but my answer was always the same. "I don't care how much money I make, I want to do what I love". At the end of the day, money doesn't REALLY matter. If you are miserable in your profession and loathe getting up and going to work everyday, then you aren't living life the way it is intended. "Do what you love, and the money will follow". I think this is a quote I made up when I was a little girl to make me feel better. Now, whether that is true or not I have always believed that happiness is far more important than being rich because if you are truly happy in life, then you have already won anyway. I think it's safe to say that this is a case where "money doens't buy happiness". I assume for some people it does but I am proud to say that I do not fall under that category. Making a difference in a child's life is far more important, to me, than having all the money in the world.

Scavenger Hunt

I researched Animoto, an ideal tool for creating videos and presentations, because I had never heard of it or used it before and was interested in learning about it and possibly incorporating this videotool into my future classroom someday. This videotool is rather simple and easy to use, especially for "technologically slow people", like myself. This tool can help bring any or all of your lesson plans to life and give them some color and excitement. This tool will help get students' attention because it is a way to interact them with the criteria that is different and new. You can incorporate any lesson of your choice into Animoto or, no lesson at all. It can just be pictures or a slideshow if you want. This is an extremely versatile tool yet, best of all, is easy and FREE to use! This videotool can not only incorporate pictures and videoclips, but also music and text. Animoto also allows you to share your videos or presentations via email, blogs, websites, Youtube, or download to a computer.

Edmodo is so much like Facebook but of course more professional and not solely for personal use or desires. I would definitely use this in my classroom as a bulletin and as a way to stay connected and provide information, assignments, lessons, and news for my students and their parents to have access to. This could also serve as a great communication and FAQ's tool. I also like how you can connect with other teachers. You can even upload or create quizzes for your students to take on this website as well as upload assignments, take class polls, and makes alerts, and notes. Also, I like how it provides a nice, big calendar so that you can keep things neat and organized because I can't live without my planners/notepads! Organization is key. You can also keep track of students' grades/progress. What a neat and HELPFUL website that could, and will, be of great use to me someday soon. I will definitely be returning to this social network.

The tool used to create Teaching in the 21st Century, was probably Animoto. Animoto offers 50% off to teachers and students. Saving 50% sounds like a great deal to me! Teachers live off a low enough income as it is therefore, any deal should be taken advantage of.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blog Post 11

Skype interview with Mrs. Cassidy

Skype interview with Mrs. Cassidy was very inspiring to me and answered a lot of questions I had. I am glad Dr. Strange asked about the point in time in which we were watching the 1st graders because I was wondering as well if these students were nearing the end of the semester as they showed great knowledge of the technology in which they were using. I was also wondering, as Mrs. Cassidy answered in the interview, if permission was given by the parents for their children to be seen and/or interviewed on the worldwide web as this raises a number of concerns to numerous people especially given they are so incredibly young. Mrs. Cassidy had a neat idea not only just giving 1st names but also not matching names with pictures/faces. The class blog is also very convenient for parents to be able to monitor their child's progress on their own time and not have to wait for conferences, open houses, etc. I also like how the blogs become personal portfolios so that all of their work throughout the school year will be available and progress can be reported and tracked. I think it would be neat to literally watch my child improve in certain subject areas, such as writing, all from viewing a website from my home.
It was interesting to me when Mrs. Cassidy said that we would be "handicapping" ourselves if we didn't take advantage of all the technology that is being offered in today's society. That statement made an impact on the way I have been viewing technology over the past year and made me realize that since the world is changing and improving, we do in fact have to change with it, regardless of our viewpoints on change. I realized that when Mrs. Cassidy said "some teachers just don't want to change" that I do not want to fall into that category. After hearing this, I want to make an effort to be more open to change not only in technology but in other fields as well so that I can become a more versatile and well-rounded educator. I agree with Mrs. Cassidy about becoming technologically literate with tools that you are interested in such as Youtube for people who enjoy videos. People tend to learn more when they are interested in the topic at hand.
I have always been more into Facebook rather than Twitter (as Dr. Strange noted that most of the class is), but after hearing so much about it in this class, it sounds like I really need to take the time out to research and play around on it to see what it is all about. Surprisingly, I learned more than I thought I would from watching this interview.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Blog Post 10

I became an Education major because it has been my dream from a very young age not only to TEACH but to inspire and empower young children to push them above and beyond their limits. I want to further enhance the knowledge of my students to their full capacities and instill in them the drive and motivation to always perform to the best of their abilities and to never give up.
I don't WANT to just be a teacher and shove facts and information down my students' throats for them to memorize and then immediately forget. Education is LEARNING, not memorization. I want my students to obtain knowledge that will be useful in everyday life IN ADDITION TO educating them about past events and history. Education should not be limited to just textbook material and busy work. I plan to become a more tangible, hands-on educator where I can relate content and criteria to the subject matter in a way in which my students will not only be able to understand, but also enjoy. Children are more likely to learn if it is something they are interested in, can relate to, or simply be involved in. Teaching and reading out of a textbook is not Education and if you are unable to tell the difference between being a teacher and an a educator, then you are probably in the wrong field to begin with! :)

Don't let them take pencils home was very interesting to read because the teacher, unsurprisingly, got caught up in the "the only thing that matters in schools is standardized test scores" mentality. It is really sad if you sit back and think about just how many educators are out there that have this very narrow, closed-minded way of thinking when it comes to Education. Measuring and assessing student learning and knowledge can be done in multiple other ways than just standardized test scores! That's not the ONLY thing that matters in our school systems; or should I say "SHOULDN'T be"? Not to mention, since when has Hangman become a "sick and twisted game"?! Using your mind, creativity, and imagination to form and practice the spelling of words...sick and twisted wouldn't exactly be a way in which I would categorize this game? At the end of the day, educators become way to caught up on test scores that, unfortunately, their views on teaching in general become clouded and they miss out on what really counts and that is EDUCATING the students and making sure they UNDERSTAND and can APPLY subject matter when necessary rather than what their grades will be on the next test.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Post 9

One of my biggest fears is what McClung discussed about not connecting with your students in What I've learned this year and having them not comprehend anything that I will be lecturing on or teaching. Another thing I am almost positive that I will struggle with as well is not having your lesson plans go the way that you originally had them planned. I am a very organized person and I like having a plan and sticking to it and I realize I will just have to work on becoming more adaptable and flexible on these kinds of situations that WILL happen. NOTHING ever goes exactly as planned in life and the only thing we can do about that is be prepared for it and not be afraid of change.
I like how McClung says "don't be afraid of technology" because that is something I have always been guilty of and need to work on. I think it's also extremely important to listen to our students because the more trust and respect we put in them, the more they will put in you as their teacher. He is also right when he says that it is never too late to learn. It doesn't matter how old you are, we never stop learning. I enjoyed reading this post because there were several good points that I may never have thought about unless I read this. I LOVED the point he made when he said to remember the reason we got in the business in the 1st place, the kids! I am guilty of getting wrapped up in being a people pleaser as well and becoming too concerned of what people/colleagues may think of me. This will be something I will always keep in mind. I love McClung's passion for new ideas/concepts and will strive to learn this technique for myself, as I am not the biggest fan of change either. I hope to be as happy with myself as a teacher as he has become someday. What a great and satisfying feeling that must be! I also enjoyed reading the section on "don't touch the keyboard" because I can relate to this. Growing up, I feel that a lot of things were basically "done for me" so I never had the opportunity to learn how to do certain things for myself and I can honestly say I wish I had. I like how McClung always wants to be challenged and never become comfortable. What a great quality to possess! I admire that in him and hope to always possess that quality for myself. I thoroughly enjoyed reading his posts and what he has learned thus far. He had some very interesting and helpful points and I look forward to reading even more of his posts.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Summary post C4T Teacher #3.

Jerrid w. Kruse

Mr. Kruse's post was about a process by Dan Meyer and his "3 Acts" that he has been following for quite some time now. Mr. Kruse thinks the reason Dan Meyer has so many followers is because his ideas are worth paying attention to. Mr. Kruse decided to focus on figuring out what makes "3 Acts" so effective. He concluded that the video helps make the problem more understandable and relatable to the students, which Kruse calls the "Developmental Learning Theory". Act 2, in Kruse's opinion, is the Act in which teachers struggle with the most because it cannot be planned for which forces teachers to react to student thinking. Kruse suggests that we need to encourage students to apply their thinking to new situations, which is where Act 3 takes over. Students are asked to apply their abstract knowledge to a new concrete situation. This was a very thorough and interesting post for me to read because I liked his correlations between the 3 Acts and the developmental learning theory as well as the Learning Cycle.

March C4K Summary Post

Grace B.

Grace's blog was about a dance she had just learned in school called Samoan Sasa Dancing. Grace mentioned that she was one of the tallest girls in her class which I can highly relate to because I am 5ft 10in and was always one of the tallest girls in my class as well. Grace was very nervous about their dance performance but ended up having a lot of fun. Grace shows her innocence in her blog by stating that it embarrassed her to have a guy as her dance partner. I enjoyed reading Grace's blog because I thought it was very well written and she seems to be a very outgoing and happy 12 year old. The last thing Grace mentioned was that today was her birthday; Happy Birthday Grace! :)

Project 14

Friday, March 9, 2012


Dianne Krause
Dianne created a post, Diane's post, in which she included links to her favorite sites and a slideshow that she created using PhotoSnack. However, I could never actually access the slideshow or her photos. I don't know if her links just didn't work or if it was something wrong with my laptop but I asked her about it when I commented on her post to ensure that her links were in fact working. PhotoSnack seemed like a great site for creating slideshows for networks like Facebook and I will definitely look into this.

Dianne also created a post on podcasting. She stated that when she first thought of podcasting she immediately thought it would be complicated, expensive, and just plain technical. However, after researching it and becoming familiar with podcasts, she soon learned just how easy and cheap it actually is. I commented on her post and told her what I had learned about podcasting in EDM310 so far, including that podcasting allows interaction outside the classroom, parental involvement, higher level thinking, and promotes creativity and innovation, etc.

C4K Summary for February

Cesar wrote a story about a trip he took to a lake with his father, step-mother, and step-sister. In the story, Cesar made it very clear that he wasn't exactly fond of his step-mother or step-sister, therefore he wasn't very excited about going on the trip. Cesar makes a comment to his step-sister (in the story) encouraging her to committ suicide. This comment concerned me so when I commented on his post, I asked if there was any truth to his story or if he just made it up for fun.

Eldridg wrote a post on South Africa about where it is located, how long it is, the languages that are spoken there, and what types of animals live there. She had some grammatical errors but seemed to know a good bit about South Africa. When I commented on Eldridg's post, I told her I enjoyed reading it because I wasn't aware that there were so many different languages spoken in South Africa and I also asked her if she had ever been there.

This student's post was a poem he/she had written about teachers. There were some spelling errors but the poem was creative. I commented on this post and said that I enjoy poetry and write poems myself as well. The most recent poem I have written was one about my grandfather, who recently passed, and I read it at his funeral.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Blog Post 7

"The Networked Student" by Wendy Drexler

After watching The Networked Student, I wouldn't say that I am necessarily prepared to be the teacher of networked students but I do know that I like to push myself and I am not afraid of a challenge. I think teaching a networked student would be good for me because it would broaden my horizons in the teaching field and open up my eyes to the ever growing technologically advanced world. Sometimes it's good to step out of your comfort zone and be willing to take a chance.

As teachers, our goals should include pushing ourselves, setting limits, and once those limits are reached, set new ones. I am not positive that I would like the student-oriented teaching style verse the teacher-led, traditional style. This would definitely be something that would take some getting used to for me since I am more old-fashioned in my ways.

However, I am a strong advocate for more concrete, hands-on interation for learning rather than the standard "busy work". I believe that students learn more when they are physically involved and testing theories in real experiences rather than reading material, memorizing it, and spitting it back out, better known as the "burp back method" by Dr. Strange. It is a bit intimidating but never-the-less, I am excited and anxious to take on "networked students" and also see what they can teach ME because we all know that we learn from our students.

I like the idea of PLN's because it is a personalized way of learning and you can design it the way that best suits you. I am a very organized person so I particularly like how easy the categories are to find and how everything you need can all be accessed within one click of a button. Also, I'd like to note that this was a very well-spoken 7th grader!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blog Post 6

Randy Pausch. Wow, what an inspiration! I thoroughly enjoyed watching his "lecture", Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. However, it wasn't necessarily a lecture in my opinion, it was rather enjoyable and I must say, a very fast hour. I thought it was interesting how he said he got more out of NOT accomplishing one of his dreams (to be in the NFL) than he got out of accomplishing all the others on his list. I think what he was trying to say here was that he was taught true discipline which can be a very strong foundation to form and live by. This, in my opinion, could be viewed as what Randy calls a "head-fake", or better known as a type of distraction or making someone think they are learning something other than what is intended. In this case, Randy thought he was learning how to play football but instead he was learning how to become a better person by developing characteristics such as discipline, team work, communication, courage, loyalty, etc.

Randy mentions numerous valid and interesting points in his "lecture" but one of them in particular stood out to me and that was when he was saying if someone stops giving you advice altogether or stops offering help then they have already given up on you. Which is a very bad thing! You always want critics in your life because there is always room for improvement but only if you know and are aware of what you are doing wrong or need to improve. Criticism is a great thing that many people take to the heart or take the wrong way which defeats the purpose of the initial critique; to make you a better person. Criticism is about to become a very big part of my life as I enter the candidacy program and begin student teaching. However, in all honesty, I would love as many critiques as I can receive because I know that they are only going to enhance my abilities and knowledge necessary to become a future educator for our children. I want to be the best that I can be so that I can offer the best to our children and, in return, form THEM into the best that THEY can be. "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted". This statement speaks for itself and is pretty self-explanatory but is better known as "a lesson learned". The majority of people learn from past "experiences" or, where you went wrong, because you can take away something from that, learn from it, and move on. Mistakes are unfortunately often perceived as a bad thing but what people don't realize is that we all learn from mistakes and they only make us better and who we are as individuals today.

What determines where you will end up is how much motivation you have and how much effort you are willing to put in to make it to the top. This is where the "brick walls" come into play. Whenever these brick walls stop us dead in our tracks, we have to find any way that we can to get back up and fight to push through it to make it to the other side. This teaches us to never give up and never back down because once you DO achieve your goal you will feel like you are on top of the world and will immediately want to set another goal to accomplish. I will use this sense of motivation in our ever struggling economy. It is near impossible to find/keep jobs today and I will have to have the motivation to keep fighting for a teaching job no matter what it takes.

Another technique Randy mentions is allowing time to recognize the good in people rather than just always pointing out the bad. No one person is ALL bad. There is good in everyone, we just have to take the time to find it and see it. I will definitely use this in my classroom and with my future students. I want to try my hardest not to form initial opinions on my students and really focus on finding the good in them and what their interests, talents, goals, and dreams are.

I also strongly believe in "giving credit where credit is due" as Randy suggests. When someone does something good we should take the time to recognize it and applaud them for doing so because this only makes them feel good about what they have done and will make them want to do more of it. Encouragement goes a long way and is contagious so we should pass it on and pay it forward.

I have a 3 year old daughter so when Randy was talking about taking the time to enjoy the little things in life like letting our kids paint their own room, this really hit home with me. I have always been a strong advocate of noticing and enjoying the little things in life rather than the things that can be bought so this concept was very important to me. Life is truly just too short, as Randy sadly proves, so it's important that we live each day to the fullest and if our kids want to do something harmless like painting their own rooms, let them do it.

"Sell something worthwhile, like Education". What great advice. In today's society we seem to be losing all sense of innocence, imagination, and youth and it's a complete shame. I look forward and am anxious to become a teacher so I can offer something fresh and bring back imagination and creativity to children. Children are MUCH too advanced these days and exposed to things we could never dream of being exposed to when we were kids and this will only continue to get worse. I also strongly believe that we learn from our students so it's important to listen to THEM as well.

Last but not least, Randy points out that the best of the gold is always at the bottom of the barrel so it's important that we dig our way to the top, or in this case, the bottom. We have to push through the hard times in life to get what we want and never look back. Do the right thing and good things will follow, take feedback to heart, and always admitt when you're wrong. Randy Pausch, a true inspiration!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Blog Post 5

Scott Mcleod
Scott Mcleod is one of the nation's leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues. He is an Associate Professor of Education Leadership at the University of Kentucky and is the founding director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). He has also received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work.

I agree with everything in Scott Mcleod's post up until he said "I don't want them creating, sharing, thinking, learning". Technology can be an AMAZING learning tool IF used with proper precautions and necessary adult supervision. There are countless things that can happen including child pornography, attempted kidnappings, cyber-bullying, child predators preying on your children, ect which lead us to have our doubts about the internet. However, if children are properly monitored (which can't be stressed enough), technology can not only enhance but exceede your child's learning capacities beyond belief.

The iSchool Initiative
I strongly disagree with this revolution!!! Technology should absolutely be incorporated within our school system but should NOT completely take it over. Students should still use textbooks, have to hand-write assignments, and complete homework/exercises out of books just like we have been doing from generation to generation. If everything changes to technology base, how are kids supposed to learn to write/enhance handwriting/penmanship skills? Also keeping in mind that we can't rely on technology to work 100% of the time. There are things that do go wrong with technology such as gliches in the system, power outages, internet servers go down, and even cases of lost/stolen devices such as iPads, iTouch, iPhones, laptops, or whatever is being used. Whereas, pen and paper will always be there and are 100% guaranteed!

Virtual Choir

I think Roberts went by a theory such as: "In order to know, you must ask/learn first", and always asked himself "And just who do we learn from"? Our teachers. So don't feel quite so hopeless yet. Without even realizing it, we use techniques and tools every day that our childhood teachers taught and embedded into our brains, like HOW to think, the process of thinking, how to become creative and put our imaginations to use, evaluate/analyze information we have been given, and then APPLY that to what we need to do to get our answers. "The tools provide temptation, but they are not the source of negative behavior". WE, as educators, have to become the source of inspiration for our students. Don't just teach the contents from a text book, go above and beyond because ultimately, that's what your students will remember.

Reading Rockets
I have a 3 year old daughter who will be entering the Pre-School Program next year and it just so happens this is the age group I am interested in teaching one day, therefore the category "Preschool Teachers" on the
Reading Rockets Website stood out to me and became the one I most explored.

I found several great resources on reading that will be of much use to me in my classroom one day such as Toddling Toward Reading and the ABC's of Teaching Reading. The idea behind Toddling Toward Reading is that the best predictor of how children will do in school is how much they know before they get there. This program encourages you, as a parent, to be involved with your child through their toddler years and take the time to review with them letters, sounds, shapes, colors, and so on. Repetition is a key tool in child developmental learning.

With the ABC's of Teaching Reading, you learn that several concepts are incorporated into learning to read such as: print awareness, the sounds of speech and what sound each letter makes, phonemic awareness (letter placement), Phonics, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, and writing. One of the most important techniques a teacher must posess is patience. Not all children learn and progress in the same way or at the same pace.


Blog Post 4

I learned several things about Podcasting after reading and listening to the videos provided. To begin, what IS Podcasting? The term Podcast is a cross between "broadcast" and "Ipod" and is a "radio-style" talk show. Podcasts allow information (of any criteria) to be shared with millions of people all over the world via internet. In order to create a Podcast you will need a microphone, a computer, and software that you may download for free.

Some tips to succeed in making your Podcast include: Familiarizing youself and becoming comfortable with the software, give students a variety of topics so they may choose the one that appeals to them, and provide examples of acceptable Podcasts just to name a few.

You can also connect your computer to a Smart Board in order to obtain easy access so that every thing you need to control can be done from the touch of a finger. You can also upload videos and/or audio and have it replayed back to you to ensure correctness.

There are many benefits of Podcasting in the classroom. They include but are not limited to: Allowing your students to interact OUTSIDE the classroom, project-based learning, higher-order thinking rather than lower-level (according to Bloom's Taxonomy), promotes creativity and innovation, and allows parental involvement to where parents can see what their kids are doing/learning.

I also liked the read-a-long interview scripts the teacher produced for her students to follow along. She incorporated specific sounds after a chapter ended and another one began in case students lost their place in the script. I would use this mechanism in my classroom one day particularly because I plan on teaching the younger ones as well and they always need certain reminders, such as this one, to give them a boost and further enhance their learning.


Sunday, February 19, 2012



Blog Post 3

" Technology in Special Education"-
Not all special needs children are the same or have the same disabilities, therefore they all have different and unique individual requirements needed to enhance their learning skills and allow them to learn the same content that all other kids are learning but in a specialized manner.  There are several tools out there made especially for special needs children which include, but are not limited to, books on tape (for the blind), IPod Touch, IPad, IPhones all have countless tools for special needs.  Students who have lost the ability to speak can use some of these tools and special computers with specific keypads and mouses with advanced technology to help them read, write, and even speak.  These specialized computers can help us, as educators, form and build personal relationships with these children that were not there before. Here is a link to Technology in Special Education  

There are also computers that have extreme magnified settings for children who have trouble seeing small print.  This program is called Zoomtechs.  Zoomtechs can also be used to help children who have a very hard time writing or takes them a considerable amount of time to write much more efficiently by typing or using a special keypad.  They can be used for students to point to the letters on these keyboards to help them form sentences to relay to people and teachers what they are trying to say, what they are feeling, and what they may need or want. 

Apple Education Apps-
The App I chose from Apple Education Apps is called The Articulation Station and it is designed especially for special needs students.  This App allows you to learn how to pronounce and practice the sounds in the English language with 6 engaging activities which include Word Level (Flashcard activity), Matching Game, Sentence Level (Rotating sentences), Unique Sentences, and Story Level (with level 1 and 2 stories for advancement).  This App has quick tips for teaching each sound, specific target words, in depth scoring and data tracking for each child/student for instant feedback, multiple users for group sessions, the ability to shuffle multiple sounds, and voice recording and playback feature for monitoring responses, just to name a few!

 This App would greatly help special needs students in a number of ways including repetition of letters, words, sounds, and pictures to be imbeded into their brains for gaining the knowledge they need to memorize and learn.  This App would be a great learning tool and would enhance and improve learning and best of all, its free! :)

"Gary Hayes Social Media Count"-
The astounding rate of rapidly changing social media counts in this video Social Media Count, is rather intimidating.  These rates will only continue to grow and in a few more years when I am hopefully teaching, will only be higher.  Technology is so advanced and our kids today learn how to do things beyond our imagination or that we even know existed. 

Some people may not realize it but these constantly growing social media counts could present a challenge for educators.  Almost all students have cell phones now so it has already created issues with texting during class.  Teachers have to take away cell phones during class but ultimately, they must be returned therefore this becomes a never ending challenge.  Not to mention if you are a computer teacher, you have to set restrictions and maybe even block major websites and networks altogether such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Youtube, etc to prevent class interruptions.  There will always be challenges in any profession but with the shockingly growing rates in technology, it appears these already difficult challenges will only escalate. 

"A Vision of Students Today"-
As many resources there are made available to us, it may shock you how many students don't take advantage of what is being offered.  We pay hundreds of dollars on textbooks each semester, yet many of us never even open them.  We pay thousands of dollars on tuition but choose to skip class.  We choose to go through classes only doing the bare minimum but then complain when we receive a poor grade. Here is a link to A Vision of Students Today  

The truth is we spend a considerable amount of time each day/night on our cell phones (talking/texting), online (emails/Facebook/Twitter/Youtube), watching TV, listening to music, playing video games, etc but very little time is left to dedicate towards our schoolwork.  All of the things we are required/expected to do on a daily basis forms us all into being multi-taskers wether we know it or choose to believe it.


Blog Post 2

"Did You Know? 3.0 A John Strange 2012 Version"-
It will never cease to amaze me how advanced technology has become.  And it's only growing!  The amount of children with cell phones these days is absolutely absurd to me, in my opinion.  I will never understand what 8 year old would need a cell phone?  Or even 10 year olds?  Parents should know where their kids are!  Bottom line.  This is where house phones come in handy.  If your child is at a friend's house and you need to contact them, simply call the land line, or even the parent's cell phone.  Why does your child need one? 

Childhood is increasingly losing its innocence and it is pure heartbreaking.  There are so many things that could happen that should make parents think twice about allowing their children to have their own cell phones and electronic devices at such young ages.  A child could receive a provocative or inappropriate text message (or picture!) from someone who has the wrong number, they could be bullied via threatening texts, they have internet access on nearly all cell phones now to where children can look up videos or just about anything they want to see or know about all without needing any parental consent, therefore half the time parents don't even know what their kids are looking or reading about.  By giving children cell phones and laptops, without proper restrictions, we are destroying childhood and innocence as we know it. Watch the video Did you know?  

"Mr. Winkle Wakes"-
Mr. Winkle Wakes taught me that now-a-days if you blink there has already been a new source of technology created or invented.  Technology never stops and is constantly growing and improving, however one thing always manages to stay the same, year after year and that is school.

 Education will always be around.  Students will always be learning and teachers will always be teaching.  We have to learn to appreciate Education, as it sets the standard for our futures.  Educators all over the world are under paid and taken for granted, when they are the ones influencing and enhancing the lives and minds of our students and children on a daily basis.

"Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity"-
Robinson said "Degrees aren't worth anything".  I strongly agree with this because sadly now-a-days it's almost as if once you graduate from college and have a degree, you STILL aren't guaranteed a job because of the way our economy is.  We are preached to all our lives and have it impounded in our heads the importance of going to college to have a brighter future, and now unfortunately all of that suddenly means nothing and has no worth.  I know more people who never went to college that have amazing, high-paying, steady jobs than I know people who have college degrees and are unemployed.  My sister-in-law graduated with a BS in Education, went back and received a Masters in Education, has been graduated for three years, and STILL has no teaching job.

According to Robinson, back then if you didn't have a job it's because you didn't want one (basically stating that if you applied for a job you were almost guaranteed to be hired).  These days it's near impossible to find a job no matter how bad you want it because of our poor economy.

I do agree that intelligence is diverse and that we all have different ways of thinking and learning, however I do not agree that we ALL have an interest in Education.  I also absolutely agree that women are indeed better at multi-tasking than men.  I strongly disagree with Robinson's opinion of the correlation between medication and creativity.  I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 13 and have been on medication ever since and have done SEVERAL creative things throughout my life.  However, maybe there are certain medications out there that can diminish the ability to have creative thoughts more so than others but I do not think ALL medications completely kill the ability to be creative.  I do agree that the gift of human imagination is an incredible thing and should never be wasted or taken for granted.  A mind is a wonderful thing to have and we should use it to our full advantage everyday because it is just that; a gift.  Our job, as educators, is to help children see their talents, abilities, and creative capacities for their future and encourage them to make something of it because ultimately, what good is a talent or gift if it is only going to be wasted? Watch the video The Importance of Creativity.

"A Vision for 21st Century Learning" -
In our generation today, whatever you want to see, read, or learn about is all made available to us from the click of a button.  Information ranging from cultures and countries all around the world, to the weather in the state of your choice, to pictures or interviews of well-known actors and singers, can all be accessed within seconds due to our ever-expanding technology and software programs offered.  I think it is an effective tool when children are using online learning games to gain knowledge on certain subject content and not even realize that they are in fact learning because they are enjoying it and having fun. 

However, I think the amount of video games and technology that is offered is also contributing majorly to childhood obesity at an alarmingly scary rate.  Childhood should be about playing outside, learning through self exploration and personal experiences, and maintaining happiness and innocence without having such easy access to view age inappropriate content all within the click of a button.  Technology is an amazingly wonderful thing, when used appropriately and effectively! Here is a link to A Vision for 21st Century Learning.

"Vicki Davis: Harness your students' digital smarts"-
I do agree that only certain children can learn when they are limited to only paper and pencil and not a wide variety of resources, including technology.  Not all students learn the same way.  We all have our own unique learning styles and techniques.

 I really like Davis' approach in Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts on focussing on her students' strengths and interests and how she correlates that into accomplishing curiculum.  I also agree that you have to first familiarize yourself and become comfortable with the software and technology you are using before you can further enhance your learning of certain programs.  Vicki makes her students "learn the language" of her class so that they are familiar with all of the terms she uses throughout her classes so that she doesn't have to take out valuable class time to explain what she is referring to.  Most of my college professors also use this teaching strategy , which proves to be very effective.  I also agree that when teachers think "I have to know everything before I can teach it" is the wrong way of thinking.  We are constantly growing, learning, and making ourselves better everyday so it is good to learn as you go.  You can always learn more.  Learning new things gives us empowerment and that sense of self satisfaction or achievement which only makes us want to learn and do more.  Our students often teach US things we don't even know.  Self exploration is sometimes the best teaching method of all because once a student discovers or learns something new on their own, they want to teach or show us in return which enhances self esteem and confidence levels which is extremely important in children and adolescents.  Digital technology allows us to learn and share information with people all over the world and brings us together to educate ourselves and work collaboratively.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blog Assignment number 1.

My name is Ashton Counselman and I am 23 years old, have been married for three years, and have a two-year old daughter named Isabella.  I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama and plan to have more children and continue rasing my family here.  I am majoring in Elementary Education and plan to become a Kindergarten teacher as my passion for children is extraordinary.  I have dreamed of becoming a teacher since I was a little girl and hope to one day have the privilege of influencing the lives of children on a daily basis.  My mother was a teacher all her life and has recently started tutoring children instead of teaching.  I began babysitting at the age of nine years old and never looked back.  Children bring joy to my heart and they are what I live for.

I went to Faulkner State Community College in Bay Minette my first two years of school and transferred to the University of South Alabama this Spring.  I will be entering the Candidacy program next fall and am very eager to begin student teaching.  I cannot see myself doing anything else with my life other than teaching and look forward to the day I start.

I have two older brothers who mean the world to me and they both recently got married and I am happy to welcome two sister-in-laws to our family.  My family means everything to me and this is why I could never see myself living anywhere other than Mobile as I would be severely home sick.

Some of my hobbies, or things i enjoy doing include: spending time with family and friends, raising my daughter (she is my heart), playing sports (for fun), laying out, swimming, hunting, fishing, shooting skeet, four-wheeler riding, boating, going out to eat, going to the movies, listening to music, dancing, working out, shopping, traveling, holidays, going to the fair, Bayfest, Mardi Gras, following Alabama football, pretty much anything that involves being active.  I am a very outgoing, on-the-go type of girl and would rather be out doing something rather than sitting at home.

When I watched Randy Pausch on Time Management, I learned that we, as a society, are typically more interested in managing our money rather than our time.  I also learned that you are much more likely to succeede in life if you always have a plan, a goal, and that know you know WHY you will succeede and why you are going after this particular thing to accomplish in life.  Make sure you always have a goal in life so that you can have something to strive for and once you reach it, you will know what it feels like to experience satisfaction and achievement.  Don't worry so much about always doing things the right way, but DOING THE RIGHT THINGS.  Experience comes with time so things are going to happen over night.  If you always have a plan for yourself you have the opportunity to change that plan yet if you never make one, you will never have anything to revise or go by.  Last but not least, always make sure to have to-do-lists in life so you won't forget the most important things you need to accomplish or achieve.  It is also best to do the ugliest, or worst, thing on your list that you have to do FIRST so that there leaves no time for procrastination!