Sunday, May 6, 2012

Final Project #16

FINALLY, the project is complete! The idea for this project came to me earlier this semester when Dr. Strange discussed, with his EDM310 class, the lack of blog posts that children involved in the World Blogging Challenge were publishing. By the end of this class discussion we concluded that the problem resided with the teachers rather than the students, and if teachers were the source of the problem then how could EDM310 address this problem? My proposal was that EDM310 students should create a video designed to motivate teachers to utilize more technology in their classroom, and before I knew it this proposal became the theme for my final project. So, without any further delay, I proudly present to you the Scholars United Final Project!



Friday, May 4, 2012

Collaboration (Project #13)

star Wars hologram meeting
WOW, where would Scholars United be without collaboration? One of the hardest assignments for college students to accomplish is group assignments, and this is primarily because of the difficulty that each group has with collaboration. Dr. Strange asked his students to construct their projects in a different way than most professors would propose, and I am extremely appriciateive for his instruction. Dr. Strange was concerned with the quality of the projects that each group produced, but he was equally concerned with the collaborative tools that each group used to accomplish their projects. In a math class, for example, students are worried about finding the correct answer, but in actuality the process taken to determine the answer is what the professor is actually looking for. The most important aspect of any task is the process that was taken to achieve that task. In the same way Dr. Strange was absutely concerned with teaching his students the importance of the collaborative tools that will help them systematically achieve their goal.

I Heart Google

There were SO many different ways that Scholars United collaborated this semester, but the majority of our collaboration efforts revolved around Google. Online collaboration was an important aspect of our success in EDM310, and at times I even felt like we worked better when we communicated through technology than we did in person. The most important tool that we used to collaborate was Google Docs. Most people would not imagine a document to be a collaboration tool, but Google has created a remarkable new way for people to create and share documents. Because the advantages of Google Docs are so difficult to describe, watch this informative video which describes Google Docs in Plain English. We as a group created two documents for each of the assignments that we worked on, and the documents that were created were ABSOLUTELY our home base for collaboration.  All other collaborative tools centered around Google Docs.

Dogs hanging out on a laundry line

Each member of Scholars United did occasionally communicate through text messages and phone calls, but the majority of our vocal communication was also done through Google. Through Google's social platform (Google+) users are offered a tool called Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts could be described as Skype on steroids, and it is basically a free video chatting tool that multiple people can chat on at once. There are so many ways to have Fun with Hangouts! We as a group did not use Google Hangouts as a means to accomplish boring school work, but rather we used it as a means to spark creativity through curiosity. We really enjoyed using Google Hangouts, and through having fun on Google Hangouts we were ultimately motivated to be creative with both of the projects that we produced.

Most of Scholars United's collaboration took place through Google. All online chats, video conversations, and email were done through Google, and for us Google triumphed all other technological communication! The video posted below is a short demenstration of how we used Google Hangouts and Google Docs simultaneously.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Blog Post #13

computer that has been thrown out of a window
Challenge accepted!!! This was the phrase that immediately popped into my head after reading the instructions for Blog Post #13, but upon accepting this challenge I had no clue how hard it would be to accomplish. The challenge was to abstain from the use of technology for 24 hours. I immediately saw the benefit of suppressing my technological addiction, and this is because of the time that I waste using unproductive media. I was more than happy to accept this challenge; although, I do wish that the assignment would have been given at an earlier time in the semester. The end of the semester is an extremely strenuous time for any student, and unfortunately the majority of my school work revolves around technology.  Abstaining from technology will be impossible for me to accomplish, but I do plan to abstain from every technology that is not school related. My goal is to abstain from: social networks, blogging, email, music, videos, television, internet searching, and any use of my iPhone other than making or receiving phone calls. With my newly created rules I have most likely disqualified myself from the original fast, but I was curious to know how I would handle 24 hours without technological enjoyment.

This fast was one of the hardest things for me to accomplish, and it helped me to realize how dependent I have become on technology. I was able to successfully complete the media fast, and it helped me realize how technologically dependent my life has become. I feel that I have ended this assignment with many different thoughts concerning my use of technology. It really depresses me to realize how dependent I have become on technology for my enjoyment. I know that I MUST be technologically literate as a citizen of the 21st Century, but I can not stand the idea of being addicted or totally controlled by technology. All I remember is the desire to check my iPhone to see who might have contacted me through social networking or email. I believe strongly that I should have total control over my desires, and all that I remember was trying to suppress the desire to use technology. Don't get me wrong, technology is extremely beneficial and I do see a need in my life to be well versed in the workings of technology, but I can not stand the thought of knowing that I have fallen under the control of technological desire.

I have no trouble understanding a student's addiction to technology when I examine my own practices. I do wonder at times how schools can restrict the inclusion of technology when technology is the very thing that children spend the most time using. I know quite well that students will enter my classroom with a good knowledge of technology, and I do plan to take full advantage of this knowledge to enhance my class. Schools need to be institutions that are willing to educate students on the things that they will use most in their lives, and in our modern day culture, technology is used most often. As stated earlier I feel that anything in excess can be a bad thing, and I do feel that schools should limit the use of technology to a healthy extent. I personally feel that it does a student good to participate in class lectures and activities, but to completely restrict the inclusion of technology in the class can be a hindering action.
I came away with the same mentality toward the inclusion of technology in the classroom as I had before, but I definitely plan to modify my own personal use of technology.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Final Report On My PLN

There are multiple assignments that I have created this semester which bring forth a sense of personal pride in my work, but of these accomplishments I am the most pleased with the improvement that my personal learning network (PLN) has undergone this semester. Many assignments in school are created and completed, but my PLN has developed into an ongoing evolution of connections and organization. I foresee my continually developing PLN becoming the most beneficial tool that I have developed in EDM310, and this is mostly because of the various technological programs that are utilized in my PLN. In my previous PLN progress report I illustrated that which I thought to be an accurate representation of an extensive PLN, but in actuality I had barely scratched the surface in regard to the organization and communicative ties that I would develop as the semester progressed. I have divided my PLN final report into two separate categories which I believe accurately represent my blog. The two categories are organization and communication. 


igoogle logo

Seeing as my PLN is centered upon technological connections and organization, I will start this representation by stating that Google Chrome and iGoogle are the two leading factors in organizing my PLN. Allow me to use an analogy to illustrate the role of each. I could compare Google Chrome to the office in which I work, and I could compare iGoogle to the desk on which I work. Comparing Google Chrome to an office and iGoogle to a desk is the best way for me to describe the benefit that each have served in organizing my learning network. Through Google Chrome I am able to organize and view far more than I could through other web browsers, and iGoogle allows me to add gadgets which link me to various websites right from my home page.


google apps

An extremely important aspect of any PLN is communication. I have fallen in love with communicating ideas through my blog, but a problem that I continually run into is that the majority of people spend more time on social networking websites than they do on blogging websites. I feel however that I have developed a method, that was posted in Blog Post #12, which helps provide a solution to this problem. A large aspect of my PLN, that most would not recognize as a learning tool, is the social networking sites that I incorporate such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Each of these social networking websites are also termed "micro-blogging websites", and in my previous blog post I illustrated an idea that would use micro-blogs to catapult personal blogs into social popularity. Through using this tactic I have witnessed an increase in my blog views. 

The last thing that I would like to address is the collaborative tools that I use regularly, and the benefit that each tool has had on my PLN. Most college students will end up doing at least one collaborative group assignment during their college career, and I do not know of any better collaborative tools to aid in group communication than Google Docs and Google Hangouts. Skype has been one of the greatest video chatting tools that I have used in college, but Google has far exceeded Skype in the collaborative aspect of communication. The way that my group worked collaboratively was by chatting on Google Hangouts while working on a Google document. I was wanting to wait for project #13 to post this video, but I suppose this video will serve as an accurate representation of utilizing both Google Hangouts and Google Docs at the same time. I appologize for the rough video quality...Enjoy...

As you well know Google is the primary aspect of my personal learning network. I wish that I had the writing ability to illustrate an in depth representation of the various tools that have enhanced my personal learning network but I suppose that this will suffice

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

C4T #4

a talking cloud
I am excited to be given the opportunity to visit Mr. Kemp's blog for a second time. Dr. Strange asked me to substitute my second C4T (which would have been my second time to comment on Mr. Kemp's blog) in order to comment on his blog post. I really enjoy reading Mr. Kemp's Tumblr posts, and I feel that Mr. Kemp has the unique ability to say much in a few words. I decided to comment on Mr. Kemp's blog post, The More You Talk About What You Believe. The majority of the post consisted of a quote that Simon Sinek posted through Twitter. Simon's quote stated, "The more you talk about what you believe, the more everyone will know what you believe". I loved this quote so much that I could not help but tweet it myself! We as "people", not just educators, should be extremely passionate about the things in which we believe. Of Course, people should be open to new ideas, but if your not passionate about what you beleive then how do you expect to progress in life? Mr. Kemp put it best when he wrote, "My belief is that we can be better, we have to better, we will be better. But we’ve got to be willing to step outside of our comfort zones, we have to be willing to admit it’s a process and we have to learn from all perspectives. It is great to celebrate where we are, but the key is to keep moving". My comment is posted below...

Hey Mr. Kemp,
I have enjoyed visiting your blog for the past few weeks, and I enjoy what you said in this post. People should be extremely passionate about the things that they believe in. People should definitely be open to new ideas and give every belief a chance, but if people are not passionate about what they beleive then how do they expect to progress in life? I am a firm believer in voicing my belief on each issue that I encounter. Thank you for your post.
a banner that has goodbye written on it
I'm sure that this week is a very sad week for all EDM310 students, because this week will bring to an end the C4T and C4C weekly assignments for this course. This week I was invited yet again to leave Mr. Kemp a comment. This week I commented on his post which was titled, Obstructive conservatism - closed minded arrogance. The title completely describes the entire post. Mr. Kemp left his reader with the question, "So, how do we combat this obstructive conservatism?" My response is below.

 Hey again, I would like to begin by stating that I have very much enjoyed visiting your blog for the past few weeks. Each quote that you post has been extremely relevant to the things that interest me. I generally think of myself as a conservative individual, but I would never define myself as Obstructive conservative. I would go as far as to say that I am "passionately" conservative in regard to moral issues, but I do see the hindrance that people can be that cling to their own personal "traditions". I am in 100% agreement with whichever approach best benefits the the task at hand, and I have seen people be extremely obstructive through their closed minded arrogance. I think finding a way to combat obstructive conservatism is one of the great mysteries of the world.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Blog Post #12

man scratching his head
I was speechless when I viewed the blog assignment for this week in EDM310. Dr. Strange did not assign his class a step by step assignment as usual, but rather he asked us to propose our own assignment for EDM310. I spent all week thinking about different ideas that Dr. Strange could use in his class, and I came across many excellent ideas through viewing previous EDM310 student blogs such as Carly Pugh's proposal of a YouTube playlist. After viewing various blogs and thinking day after day about what I should propose for EDM310, I was becoming very discouraged in my pursuit for an assignment. I wanted to create an assignment that would be more than just a one time affair, and I wanted this assignment to be a continuing effort and the centerpiece of each EDM310 student’s social and professional life! All of a sudden the idea occurred to me to create an assignment in which “blogging” would become the centerpiece of each student's personal and professional career, and in which social networking would become the tool through which each student would advertise their blog! Each student in EDM310 created their own blog when classes began, and the work that each student produced through blogging is extremely important for their future professional career. I want to see each EDM310 student continue blogging, but I do not want a student's wonderful class work to become hidden by their continual blogging brilliance. So my proposal to Dr. Strange is to assign a blog post assignment in which each student creates his or her own personal blog, not for one time use, but for CONTINUAL publications throughout their professional career!

The goal of my proposed assignment is for Blogger to become the theme of each student's social and professional life. Most people in the world today have a facebook or a twitter account, and my goal for each student is for them to utilize their most private social connections to catapult their new blog into a social popularity. Social Networks will not be the only aspect of this assignment. As stated by Carly, videos are an extremely important part of education, and videos add life and excitement to each blog. The second part of this assignment was inspired by Carly’s blog post. My plan is that students will take full advantage of the attraction that videos provide. Students who take part in this assignment will be asked to create their own video that they will publish through Facebook and Twitter. This video will serve as an advertisement to their newly created blog. The  video will explain the student’s reason behind creating his or her blog, and it will explain the student’s overall goal for that blog. In this assignment I will also encourage each student to continue using video’s in their blogs to enhance the “entertainment” aspect of their “brilliant” and informing post. The possibilities of this assignment are limitless, and each EDM310 student can use their blog to communicate various video assignment with their future students. Here is my assignment (written as if it were an assignment).

The Instructions

This will be a two part assignment that will primarily consist of Blogger, and the assignment will also incorporate YouTube. On the first day of class you created your own class blog, and through your class blog you would post your classwork. Now it is time for you to create your own "personal" blog that will be advertised through your existing social networking sites! This blog will be beneficial in communicating your ideas with fellow educators!


1) Open up Blogger and create a new blog. Follow the easy step below to create your new blog.
>Go to
>To the left of your EDM310 blog you will see a button that says “New Blog”. Click on that Button.
>You will then be asked to title your blog and create a URL for your blog. (Think for a moment about an interesting, catchy, and easily spelled title that will be easy to remember)
>After naming your blog click “Create Blog!”.

2) Now that you have your own personal blog make the blog your own by customizing it however you would like. Remember this is your own personal blog, and there are no requirements as to how you should set up your blog. Use the skills that you learned in EDM310 to make an interesting blog. Do not publish a post yet!


Videos are an extremely important part of education, and this is mainly because of the visual and auditory benefits that they provide. Videos can add that additional attraction to your blog, and a video enhanced blog can be extremely beneficial in regard to education. The main aim of this YouTube assignment  is for you to create a video that will be published through the social networking sites that you use (such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+). This video will act as an advertisement that will invite your social acquaintances to visit your blog on a regular basis. Remember to tell the viewer why you are creating the blog, and what your goal is for that blog in the future. Keep in mind that you are trying to “persuade” people to visit on a regular basis!

1) Create an interesting video that will persuade your viewer to visit your blog on a regular basis.  
2) Post your video to YouTube.

3) Find your video on YouTube. DO NOT SHARE  


Now comes the step which will pull your YouTube advertisement and new blog together!

1) Create your FIRST blog post that will inform readers who you are, and how your blog will interest them in the future! Follow the requirements in Writing A Quality Blog Post. DO NOT PUBLISH

2) Now incorporate one video from YouTube that will best exemplify your blog. Pick a video that will create a sense of attraction to your blog (It can be the video that you created for this assignment).

3) Insert a clickable link in your blog post that will connect your friends and future professional acquaintances to the excellent work that you did in EDM310. Also include a link in your EDM310 blog directing viewers to your personal blog.

4) Now PUBLISH your post....NOT DONE JUST YET!!

5) In order for this new blog to become the center of your social connections you will need to invite all of society to visit your blog! This assignment will be useless without this LAST STEP!
>Through using Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ SHARE the YouTube video that YOU created.
> Now SHARE a link to your new blog post. This will encourage all of your friends to read your newly created post. Remember to SHARE EVERY POST that you publish on your new blog with EVERY social network that you are involved with. By continually doing this your blog will become the most vital part of your professional and social life!

As I mentioned before, this assignment is designed to encourage students to continue blogging by separating their EDM310 work from their professional publications, and it is designed to link all of a student's social connections to one central location. Through the newly created blog each student will continue to share more in depth ideas with the same people that they communicated with through their micro blogging sites!

So the second part of Blog Post #12 was to do everything that I proposed in my assignment! Here is what I accomplished. I created my own personal blog "Redeeming The Classroom". I have shared my blog and blog post with everyone that I have ties with on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. I also published an advertising video that invited people to my blog.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my proposed assignment, and PLEASE leave comments below!

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

the future belongs to the curious

Do modern day educational institutions destroy the curiosity and creativity of their students? This is the main question that I will address in this EDM310 special assignment. I will also address the seven questions that Dr. Strange listed on his EDM310 class blog, and at the end of this blog post I will respond to the original question, that is stated above, with a clear yes or no response. Each question that I will address will help develop a better understanding of my final responce. I ultimately plan to make known the relationship between student curiosity and creativity, and the influence that public education has on each student's curiosity and creativity.

Have schools in the United States systematically destroyed the development of curiosity and/or creativity in students? I personally feel that schools have drained students of their curiosity, and by doing so they have unknowingly robed students of their creativity. Creativity is the product of curiosity, and every human has been given an unquenchable curiosity about the universe around them. Students have a strong desire to learn, but when education ceases to provoke curiosity students will then cease to respond with creative analysis. The schools in the United States have put too much emphasis on lecture, and have put too little emphasis on creative analysis and student participation.

Can a curriculum be developed that increases the curiosity of students? All assigned curricula can be interesting for students, and it can provoke curiosity in the mind of students. I personally feel that students should be given more control over their own curriculum. Each state has centered its educational requirements around a fixed curriculum that each student is forced to endure, or should I say suffer, and each student's curiosity is murdered by enslaving the student to the abominable state wide examination process. Therefore I feel that curriculum should undergo some serious improvements if schools plan to provoke student curiosity.

right brain and left brain digram

Can a curriculum be developed that increases the creativity of students? This question is hard for me to address because of how restricted educators are when it comes to developing different curricula. The majority of the courses that students take are required for their entry into higher levels of education; however, I do feel that students should be challenged in areas which provoke right brain thought processes. The brain is divided into two separate halves: the right half produces the artistic thought process, and the left half processes a more logical and mathematical thought process. Schools in the United States have, in my opinion, put far to much emphasis on left brain development, and they have placed far to little emphasis on right brain development. Student creativity has much to do with both halves of the brain working together to process information.

Can a teacher's actions increase the curiosity of students? ABSOLUTELY!!!!! In the same way that a cause results in an effect, so does an action result in a reaction. The curiosity of a student, in my opinion, is totally dependent upon the actions of the educator. For example, any educator who would take advantage of his or her ability to lecture, with a monotone voice, would produce in me a process of total apathy. Do not misinterpret my point, lecture can produce student curiosity when it is used appropriately, but I have generally found the interesting educators to be those individuals who would use different stimuli to provoke curiosity among my class.

What would help you become more creative? What would help you become more curious? What role would teachers and/or schools have in that process? Yes I know, I did combine the last two questions into one large concluding question. I did this is because of the similarity between creativity and curiosity, and because of how similar my responses would have been for each question. My curiosity and creativity are totally based upon the relevance of the material that is addressed in class. A vast majority of educators feel that it is their job to dictate information to their students and demand that they memorize it, but in actuality educators who feel this way miss the most important reason for the existence of education. The most important reason for education is to provide students with the skills that they will need to succeed in their personal and professional lives. If the addressed curriculum in schools, and the educational actions of the teachers, where directed toward making information relative to each student's future, then I do not think that there would be a problem with curiosity nor creativity in the school system. People learn through doing, not through being told what to do! Curiosity proceeds action and creativity fuels that action!

With all of this said I will now respond, as promised, to the first question that was stated.  Do modern day educational institutions destroy the curiosity and creativity of their students?  Yes.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Progress Report on Final Project

progress report written on a chalkboard
Prior to the previous class meeting in EDM310, I was clueless as to what I should do for my final project, but during this mandatory class meeting I developed an understanding about what I would do. Each semester in EDM310 Dr. Strange assigns his students various children’s blogs that they are to comment on, but this semester he decided to join the World Blogging Challenge. Through the World Blogging Challenge Dr. Strange's students would comment on one child’s blog for three consecutive weeks. In the last class meeting Dr. Strange addressed the issues that he had encountered while participating in the World Blogging Challenge. The biggest problem that he encountered was the minimum amount of blog posts that these children were publishing, and Dr. Strange asked his class' opinion about how he should address this issue. The lack of blogging reflects largely upon the educator’s view of blogging, and Dr. Strange's second question was, “how can we motivate the educators to blog more often, and how can we get them to motivate their students to blog more often?”.

baby saying you can do it
My suggestion was that EDM310 students should create a motivational video to illustrate to educators the benefit of incorporating various types of technologies in the classroom. Creating this video is the very thing that I plan to do for the final project, and the best way to achieve this goal is by involving a group of people who are as passionate about education I am!!! I am extremely excited that my group (Scholars United) was willing to help me create this video. The video will start and end with a narrator who will discuss the goal of the video. Each member of Scholars United will pick a subject that he or she will teach in the future, and will determine which technologies will best enhance their lesson plan. So far, each member of Scholars United has selected their own subject to address, and each member has selected different technologies that could enhance student comprehension. This final project will be centered around the idea of motivating educators to incorporate technology in their classrooms, and to make known the connection between technology and student comprehension.

I see too many videos in EDM310 that are stationary and lecture biased, but my goal is to utilize: various classrooms, the green screen, several smart-boards, and several people. We are not planning to create a normal video, but rather an extraordinary video that will inform and motivate educators to rethink their teaching approach. Through motivated educators will come motivated students.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

C4K Summary for April (World Blog Challenge cont...)

world map

C4K #8

This week I am continuing the World Blog Challenge in EDM 310. This is my second consecutive week to comment on Dharmk's blog. Dharmk hasn't posted since the last time I visited her blog. Dharmk previously created an AMAZING post about new years resolutions, but she didn't allow anyone to comment on that post. Because Dharmk only posted three times i was forced to comment on her post titled Seven Random Facts. I suppose that this post was directed toward those who know Dharmk, but I commented on the post regardless. In this post she described things about herself that no one close to her would have known. My comment is below!

Hi again,

I am visiting your blog again to see how you have been doing! I notice that you haven't posted anything since the last comment I left you, and I encourage you to post as much as you are able to. I did enjoy reading your post about new years resolutions, and I also found this blog post to be a very interesting read. It always amazes me how little I actually know about people, and I am sure that the people in your class learned a great deal about you by reading this post. You appear to be doing great work, and I encourage you to continue on your path to success!

C4K #9

Stop Bullying
On the last week of the World Blogging Challence Dr. Strange assigned me to Alexis. Alexis' post was about the resonantly hot topic about bullying. Alexis wrote about how destructive bullying can be. She constructed a very informative post. My comment is posted below.

I am a student at the University of South Alabama, and I really enjoyed visiting your blog. You wrote a very informative blog post about bullying. I encourage you to continue blogging in the future! keep up the great work!


C4K #10

New Zealand flag
We have finally reached the last C4K assignment of the semester in EDM310, and for this last assignment I was assigned to comment Aneelis' post on his class blog. Aneelis is a student in Ms. Jenny She's class, and Aneelis lives in New Zealand. Aneelis posted a picture and a video in the class blog which described what he does after school. Aneelis stated that he loves to play xbox after school. Below is the comment that I left Aneelis.

Hey Aneelis,

I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your post, and I enjoyed watching the video that you created. Keep up the great work!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blog Post 11

students looking at a computer
For Blog Post #11 I was assigned to view two separate video’s: Little Kids...Big Potential, and Skype Interview With Ms. Cassidy. Ms. Cassidy teaches a first grade class in Moose Jaw, Canada. Ms. Cassidy incorporates technology in her classroom to enhance her students’ ability to comprehend multiple types of information. I took a look at Ms. Cassidy's Blog and discovered that a 1st grade class in Greece viewed one of her class’ videos and made a video of their own in reply to Ms. Cassidy’s class video. Through incorporating technology in her classroom Ms. Cassidy has introduced her students to cultures and information that they would never have been able to “experience” without the use of technology.She has provided her students with learning tools that encourage students to learn by having fun and communicating with others. Ms. Cassidy presented many tools in her video that most people are unsure about using. My opinion is that educators should be willing to use any tactic that could better enhance a child's learning. Mr. Kemp, my C4T assigned teacher, spoke about this when he published a blog post which stated, “My belief is that we can be better, we have to better, we will be better. But we’ve got to be willing to step outside of our comfort zones, we have to be willing to admit it’s a process and we have to learn from all perspectives”. I definitely learned a great deal of information from Ms. Cassidy’s video and Skype interview.

Little Kids Big Potential

words that read, I blog therefore I am
The first video that was published to YouTube by Ms. Cassidy’s first grade class basically described the type tools that Ms. Cassidy has her students use to enhance their comprehension of the material. The first tool that was described by Ms.Cassidy’s class was blogging. Some of the most emphasized curriculum in elementary education is reading and writing. Students can be taught to read and write all day long; but at the end of the day, if the student did not enjoy reading and writing, then the child's chance of continuing the art of writing will be slim to none. Blogging provides students with the opportunity to see the importance and the WORLD WIDE influence of their voice. If a student were to write a paper that only they and the teacher would see, then they would write for no other reason than “passing” the assignment. When children are encouraged to write for the world to see, and their peers and family are given the opportunity to read their work, they will go to great effort to provide the reader with a great read. Blogging helps children understand how fun writing can be, and also allows for students to encourage one another to continue writing. Positive affirmation is the perfect way to encourage anyone to continue doing anything. I also love the fact that Ms. Cassidy has taught her students to write positive comments which will greatly motivate students to write. Communicating is the most important aspect of the professional world, and blogging definitely provides students with the tools they need to communicate their ideas.

four people being connected by wiki

The second tool that was discussed in Ms. Cassidy’s video was the “web page”. There are many different ways that a class can be enhanced, but the best way to enhance a class is through a class webpage. I personally feel that every class should be enhanced through a web page. Classes that do not include technology can even be enhanced by web pages. Teachers can post multiple things on a class webpage that can be beneficial for the students such as: assignment lists, assignment instructions, links to videos, links to class lectures, links to historical sources, links to student blogs, and many more things can be utilized through a class webpage. Web pages can be utilized by all age groups, and they can be used for all curriculums. This is a teaching tactic that I believe should be required of every educator because it provides for both teacher and student organization. The third tool that Ms. Cassidy uses in her classroom is Wiki. Before undertaking this assignment I had no clue what a wiki was nor how to use it. Wikis in Plain English is a video which helped me to fully understand what wikis are, and how to use them. It was through Ms.Cassidy’s wiki that her class was able to interact with Dr. Stranges EDM310 class. A wiki enables a class to communicate with other people and other classrooms around the world. This tool allows students to broaden their knowledge of the assigned curriculum by getting feedback from people who are passionate or also highly educated about the very things that they are studying. The possibilities of using wikis in a classroom is unlimited, and it allows students to realize how important each topic of study is to people around the world. If a student’s only intake of academic information is through lecture and a text book, then they will not realize the absolute importance of each assigned topic.

Skype logo
The fourth tool that Ms. Cassidy uses in her classroom is “video”. Video is a tool that is used in limited proportion when it comes to education, but is the one tool that can provide students with a great opportunity for learning. I am currently studying to be a history teacher, and I can foresee unlimited opportunities in which videos can help my class comprehend the assigned material. In high school, I enjoyed it when a teacher would assign me the task of reenacting a scene from a play or a historic event. Teachers who have created a class website have the opportunity of posting student created videos onto their website, and I can not think of any better way for students to become more prideful about their work than when videos are posted for the world to see. Another tool that Ms. Cassidy used with her class is Skype which uses video feed to communicate. Skype provides students the opportunity to communicate face to face with someone, rather than the traditional reading assignments. As previously stated an important concept of student understanding is communication, and any technology that allows students to directly communicate with professionals or other researchers should be encouraged. The last technology mentioned by Ms. Cassidy was the Nintendo DS. I can understand the benefits associated with incorporating the Nintendo DS with younger students, but I am slightly questionable about their benefit with older students. Students see the Nintendo DS as a fun way to learn, and I do like the fact that the teacher can regulate exactly what games each student is playing.

Each form of technology that was mentioned in Ms. Cassidy’s video can be extremely beneficial to any classroom, and determining a favorite form of technology would be extremely difficult. All technology mentioned in the video can be used together to enhance student comprehension. I do feel that each classroom should have a class webpage, which would absolutely provide resources and the organization that every class needs. The webpage is the center for distributing, collecting, organizing, and sharing all of the tools mentioned earlier. The technology that I plan to utilize the most as an educator (as long as I am permitted to) is class blogs. History can be a hard subject to teach because history revolves around reading and writing, and one technique that I think might enhance student reading and writing is blogging. Every writing assignment that I assign could be greatly enhanced through blogging. Chances are that the majority of my students will not become doctorate level historians, but they will absolutely become professionals who will blog in the future. My goal as an educator is to provide students with the tools that they will need to succeed in life, and by utilizing blogs in my classroom students will learn to research, write, read, and comment. Blogging will absolutely help students in this present technological era.

Skype Interview

Ms. Cassidy on Skype

Watching Ms. Cassidy’s class video and looking over Ms. Cassidy’s blog provided me with much information about Ms. Cassidy’s approach to education, but nothing helped me understand Ms. Cassidy’s view of technology quite like viewing the Skype interview that she had with Dr. Strange and his students. Dr. Strange asked Ms. Cassidy multiple questions about her personal experience with technology and how technology has benefited her class. Dr. Strange asked Ms. Cassidy a few questions that I have been wondering about all semester. Listed below are some questions that Dr. Strange asked which stuck out to me.

1.)Through viewing the video I was given the understanding that Ms. Cassidy’s students have a good understanding of the technology that Is used in their class, and Dr. Strange took the words right out of my mouth when he asked “how long does it take for your students to learn how to use this technology?”. I have always wondered how technology can be utilized in secondary education if students have never been introduced to technology, and Ms. Cassidy’s response to Dr. Strange’s question helped clarify this for me. Ms. Cassidy explained that it takes her students about a year to fully comprehend the technology that she uses in her class, and she added that some of the students in her video was from her previous class who had already mastered the the assigned curriculum. I encourage elementary educators to teach children these technological tools, in order that high school teachers will be able to better enhance their class.

2.)Lots of things might be beneficial in the classroom, but if the administration is not in full support of an educator's approach to educating, then the educator will ultimately be restricted in educating. An important question that Dr. Strange asked Ms. Cassidy was, “Is the administration supportive where you work?” Ms. Cassidy replied to the question by stating , “No one has tried to discourage me, although some have not necessarily encouraged me”. She went on to add that some kids are sent home with a waiver before they are allowed access to the technology that she uses in her classroom, and she added that parents are generally extremely supportive of the technology used to educate their children.

3.) Dr. Strange asked Ms. Cassidy what her advice would be to students who see technology as unimportant in reference to education. Her answer sparked a process of thinking for me. Ms. Cassidy responded by saying, “they are wrong!” She went on to add that the old tools of educating will not continue to work, and the old tools of educating will ultimately handicap children. I do agree with Ms. Cassidy’s opinion of the future of education; although, I do see the “old tools” of educating as being beneficial as long as they are used in balance with technology. Regardless of public opinion, technology is the future, it is here to stay, and it will be the future of education; although, the inclusion of technology in education will be a slow, steady process. The inclusion of technology will be a process that will utilize the old tools of education along with the new tools of education.

4.)As mentioned in the beginning of this post, I did not fully agree with everything that Ms. Cassidy mentioned in her interview with Dr. Strange, and I would like to briefly write about that SLIGHT disagreement. One of Dr. Strange’s students asked the question, “With all of the stuff on the internet how do you protect your students?” Ms. Cassidy responded by stating that there are two different issues when it comes to protecting students: protecting them, and protecting what they see. Ms. Cassidy protects her students by not allowing them to put their full name on the internet, nor allowing them to put any personal information on the internet. Ms. Cassidy protects what her students see by telling them what they should click on and what they should not click on. In actuality I am in full agreement with Ms. Cassidy view; although, I do feel that child protection should be slightly more involved than just teaching students what not to click on. The students should LEARN what they should and should not click on, but I feel that schools should provide strict parental controls for any student that has access to the internet. Students should also be closely monitored while using the internet. Sure, students need access to certain websites that contain inappropriate material (such as Youtube), and this is when teachers should closely monitor the content that each student views and instill great decision making qualities in each student. I am not in total opposition to Ms. Cassidy’s view, but I do feel that student protection is of utmost importance when in comes to their access to the internet.

I absolutely enjoyed viewing Ms. Cassidy’s approach to education, and I absolutely was able to draw some important information from examining Ms. Cassidy’s teaching tactics. Please provide me with your feedback on how you feel about the technology mentioned in this blog post!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Blog Post 10

a head on fire
This week I am required to watch Joshua B. Bloom's video Do you Teach or Do you Educate. This video is a great conversation starter, and Joshua's video definitely started a process of thought that I hope will not be to difficult to sort out and describe. The center point of this video was based on a Socrates quote which stated, "Education is the kindling of a flame not the filling of a vessel". Do you teach or Do you Educate pointed out the importance of educating students as opposed to teaching students. This video most definitely cast a negative light upon teaching, and it cast positive light upon educating. I am in full support of Joshua's video. I perceive a teacher to be limited in approach, and an educator to be unlimited in approach!

I am going to jump out on a limb and make a radical statement here, "TEACHING IS BENEFICIAL!" Now I will back my point up with another statement, "EDUCATION IS REQUIRED!!" I do not like to refer to an educator as a "teacher", because I feel that the term is too narrow in relation to the task of educators. Yes, teachers do teach, but the role of a teacher is far more in depth than teaching! Teaching is an important aspect of education, and it is an aspect which takes a great deal of skill to master. Not every person can convey curriculum to a student in an understandable manner, and educators who have mastered the skill of teaching can greatly benefit a student. If a talented teacher were to base his or her class solely on teaching, then the class would be robbed of the education that it deserves. Teaching through lecture is beneficial and can be one of the greatest techniques that a teacher might use, but lecture is only processed by students audibly. Students who receive an over abundance of lecture-based lessons never put to the test the information that they have learned in class. Students are not as able to grasp a full understanding of the material addressed in class, because they have only perceived it through one receptive sense! I find the best educators to be the individuals who are able to verbally convey information to students along with ENCOURAGING students to research information, and to put to practice the information that they have HEARD in class. By researching information students are able to see how assigned information applies to their personal life, and students can see the importance and the relevance of the information addressed in class. Once students fully perceive information through RESEARCH, then a good educator would encourage his or her students to put to PRACTICE the newly learned information through DISCUSSION! I find that students become far more passionate about learning when they are asked to defend what they have personally researched. With this theory of education the teacher becomes the instructor who motivates the students to put into ACTION the material addressed in each lecture. It's hard to learn when information is dictated to you, and I definitely have never done well in a class where the teacher decides to flaunt his or her own knowledge of the curriculum. Teaching puts too much responsibility on the educator and not enough on the student. Education puts all emphasis on the student’s comprehension.

student teaching the teacher

Teaching is beneficial and it is an extremely meaningful use of time. Educators must understand that the mind of a student is not an empty bucket to pour information into, but rather the mind of a student is a consuming fire that is hungry for all sorts of information. Educators MUST learn that it is not their job to cram information into a child, but to encourage the child to ENJOY learning within the bounds of the curriculum that is assigned. When a educator has this outlook, then the student is more likely to perceive the information that is spoken in lectures, because in their personal pursuit of knowledge they will welcome any help that is offered to them. The student who is ENCOURAGED to work for the information that he or she learns will be more likely to ask questions during lecture, while the student who is FORCED to listen to lectures will be more likely to take for granted the beneficial instruction of the educator. This is why I will strive to be an educator and not just a teacher. A teacher is limited in approach, and an educator is unlimited in approach!

Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home


For the second part of blog post 10 I was assigned to read Tom Johnson's blog post Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home. Through visiting Tom's blog Adventures In Pencil Integration I learned that "Tom Johnson" is John T. Spencer's pseudonym. When I first clicked on the link to view John F. Spencer's blog post, Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home I could not believe my eyes! I could not believe that Dr. Strange would have his "technology" class read a blog post about pencils. I took the privilage of following Dr. Strange's instructions in the blog post instruction manual by taking a gander at John's blog and I AM GLAD THAT I DID!! John Spencer does a remarkable job illustrating some extraordinary truths about teaching in his blog, and come to find out, John Spencer's post has NOTHING to do with pencils.

Let me take a moment to list a few of my favorite publications that I found on this blog: Why Were Your Kids Playing Games, Acceptable Use Committee, Avoid Social Networking (which I really enjoyed), I Banned Pencils Today, and He Just Likes the Class For the Pencils.I did not favor any one of John's posts more than another THEY ARE ALL GOOD. Ideas and thoughts about education were presented in a brilliant way through John's blog. Multiple times John uses pencils to help illustrate his point, and the main point that he is trying to convey through his blog is the idea that students are more likely to learn when they utilize technology. John feels that students are more likely to learn through technology, because the students see technology as a tool for fun rather than for work.

pencil laying on a keyboard
John Spencer did an exceptional job illustrating the problem that most educators have today. Far too often, an educator will focus on eliminating a problem, rather than promoting a fun solution to that problem. John told a story, though his blog post, about a conversation that he (Tom Johnson) and the School Curriculum Instructional Interventionist Academic Specialist (Gertrude) had about technology (pencils). In the post Tom and Gertrude discussed the consequences associated with allowing students to bring "pencils" home with them. Gertrude was against the idea of children bringing "pencils" home with them, and Tom was for the idea of children bringing “pencils” home with them. This dialog was based on a statistic which stated that students who take home their “pencils” perform poorly on standardized tests. Gertrude's reaction to the statistic was directed toward eliminating the cause of the problem, while Tom's reaction was directed toward the solution of the problem. Educators must aspire to approach situations like Tom did. Tom saw the positive that was associated with allowing students to take home "pencils", while Gertrude focused on eliminating the negative aspects associated with bringing the “pencils” home. Tom's main point was that the children in his class were more likely to learn because they viewed the “pencils” as a toy rather than a learning tool, but Gertrude displayed strong opposition to the idea of allowing children the ability to learn through having fun.

Educators should embrace the tools which provide positive responses in the classroom. If a child is able to obtain a better grasp on a subject through a certain stimulus, then who is the educator to eliminate the very thing that benefits the child the most? I often wonder why people think that education cannot be approached with technology, because students who have fun while they learn will be more passionate about mastering new curriculum objectives. Educating children is about the CHILD and not about the view of the educator. The educators main job is to provide the student with tools that he or she needs to fully comprehend the assigned material. I encourage any future educator to utilize the learning method that will best encourage fun and interactive learning. I might have over-shot the "brief response" requirement for this assignment, but I did enjoy conveying my perception of John Spencer's blog post.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blog Post 9

Mr. Joe McClung

the term experience

In this weeks Blog Post assignment the students of EDM310 were asked to read Mr. Joe McClung's blog At the Teachers Desk. Mr. McClung graduated in 2009 with a degree in elementary education, and since graduating he has been teaching for three years. With the completion of each school year Mr. McClung writes a blog post which summarizes his experiences for that past year. The students of EDM310 were required to read, summarize, and explain their reactions to the blog posts that Mr. McClung published. I have decided to comment on Mr. McClung's first and last summary posts, and by doing so I hope to see the changes that Mr. McClung has experienced during the past three years.

May 27, 2009 What I've Learned This Year (2008-09)

paper that says stay positive
Mr. McClung's first summary post was titled What I've Learned This Year. Mr. McClung stated that this was his first year of teaching, and after one year of teaching experience he claimed to have learned TONS of information! Mr. McClung learned that being an educator is not about how the educator delivers the lesson, but rather the students comprehension of the lesson. I am in total support, and I have made remarks about this topic in blog posts, that the main aspect of education is the students comprehension of the material. It is the teachers job to HELP the student comprehend the material, but it is not the teachers job to spoon feed the student. Mr. McClung put it best when he said, "They become so concerned with the delivery of the content that they are missing the most important aspect of teaching, and that is checking for student comprehension".

The idea of being flexable was an important lesson that Mr. McClung claimed to have learned. Mr. McClung stated that, "we have to remember that we are performing in front of a crowd that struggles remembering what they brought for lunch that day". Through previous experience I have learned that lessons rarely go as planed, and I can completely sympathize with Mr. McClung in this aspect. He also made mintion of the importance of communication. In order for any student to learn they must have communication with their teacher. Lecture can be beneficial and can serve an important purpose when it is used in balance with other approaches, but lecture will be of no value if there is no communication between the student and teacher.

Mr. McClung hit me square between the eyes when he made mention of being reasonable with students. I often set high expectations for any student that I teach, and this is due to my passion for people to master the things that I teach them. I'm sure that experince will cure this flaw in my teaching approach, but Mr. McClung definatly helped me realize the high expectations that I place on the people I teach. I had to smile when Mr. McClung mentioned the use of technology which has been the theme of EDM310 all semester, and technology has been the emphasis of many blog posts that I have published. I did enjoy how he presented the notion of incorporating technology. There are many people that fear technology without fully giving it a chance. The theory of technology being fully included in school has been debated regularly, but schools should not exclude technology for the sole purpose of excluding technology. I love the way that Mr. McClung put it when he said, "We cannot expect to master computer skills the first time we attempt them, so jump in head first....the water feels fine :)".

hand with listen written on it

Listening to the students is an important aspect of teaching, and it was an aspect that Mr. McClung brought out quite well. If educators agree that the students comprehention of the matterial is the most important aspect of education, then educators must always be willing to listen to what students have to say. If a student is passionate about learning and understanding the matterial, then they will ask questions and want to meet with their teacher. I find the best teachers to be the individuals who do not view themselves as superior to the student, but rather submit themselves to the students as their supporters and mentors. I mean lets be real, if you care for the student then I would image you would be willing to help the student in any way possible. The last thing that Mr. McClung mentioned was the fact that educators should never stop learning. To many people are set in their ways and refuse to change for anyone. This is the main problem that people incounter when trying to incorporate technology in the school system. Educators should be WILLING to try what ever tactic might help a student understand the curiculum. The greatest thing about being willing is that if it doesn't work you don't have to continue using that tactic. I can agree with and fully understand the things that Mr. McClung stated in his first summary post.

June 23, 2011 What I Learned This Year (2010-11)
Mr.McClung's homeroom class
Mr. McClung's Homeroom Class

Mr. McClung seemed to have ended his third year of teaching just as passionate as he had his first. In What I Learned This Year (2010-11) he explain that the past year was not the same old experience that he had previously gone through. Mr. McClung made mention of the new experiences he had during his third year of teaching. This was his first time to complete two consecutive years at a school, and this was his first experience as head coach at a school. Mr. McClung's first major point in this post was centered upon recognizing the student as the most important person that educators come in contact with everyday. Mr. McClung mentioned the amount of people pleasing that teachers do on a regular basis, and he warned educators not to lose their passion for the kids. He went on to write about how peoples attitudes can so negativity influence your own passion for success. Mr. McClung put it best by stating, "I guess the moral of this lesson is that you cannot allow others to stifle your own excitement and joy that you experience in teaching or any other facet of life for that matter". I have always found discouraging people to be near when I come up with a new tactic, and I have discovered that if I buy into their negative influence then nothing will ever be accomplished.

one against many
Mr. McClung went on to write about how we should not be ashamed to be an outsider. This idea falls inline with Mr. McClung's perivious point about not letting the negative addutudes of others influence our own passions. Every time that I have tried to be positive about change I always seem to be standing alone. Mr. McClung mentioned in his first summary post that people are not always passionate about change, and if an individual embraces change they will defiantly feel like the outsider. Yet again Mr. McClung's experience was directed toward me when he made the statement "don't touch the keyboard". The concept of not touching the keyboard refers to teachers who help their students by doing the work for them. All to often teachers have helped me by doing certain tasks for me which ultimatly created an attitude of laziness in my work. Teachers who teach by touching their students keyboard always encourages students to ask more questions and cease thinking for themselves. All to often I have taken the reins from a peer that I have tried to help which ultimatly displayed my skill and did not result in their learning. In my opinion there is no difference between doing the work for students and just lecturing to students all day.

a fat teacher sleeping

Don't Get Comfortable is the last point that Mr. McClung made in his summary post. He was refering to the his own desire to coast through the students daily work, and not passionatly seek to go above and beyond in order to better benefit the student. To become comfortable is not a benefitial way to achieve a task. The best things in life will take time and effort to achieve, and anything less than active learning will not benefit a child.

the facebook like button
I did enjoy reading Mr. McClung's summary posts, and I benefited greatly from reading these two posts. Please feel free to comment on my comentary of Mr. McClung's exceptional work.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

C4T #3

Tumblr logo

Scott Kemp's blog is different than most of the blogs that I have visited; because, he uses Tumblr which is a completely different format than most blogs. Kemp's blog was titled The Radical Tactical Shift, and was composed of multiple quotes which were linked to their source. I did like the way that Scott Kemp organised his Tumblr, and Tumblr reminds me of a larger twitter composed of short quotes and sayings.

Scott Kemp's First Post

Scott Kemp's first post was a quote by Shantanu Sinha. Sinha's article can be found in the Huffington Post and was included in Scott Kemp's blog. I really enjoyed the quote that Kemp included which stated, "If we build a game in which someone is demotivated or disengaged for 45 seconds, we know we need to improve. Forty-five seconds! Imagine if we thought this way in education". Scott Kemp wanted to bring out the importance of incorporating active fun learning in the classroom as opposed to passive and boring learning. The next paragraph is the comment that I submitted in response to Kemp's post.

I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am currently enrolled in the course EDM310 through which I was assigned to your blog. Most Scholarly students might search for one of your more lengthy post, but I was especially drawn to this post. I found great truth in your post which especially peaked my curiosity to read more into Shantanu Sinha's article. I find that educators are robbing children of their bright future in higher education by sucking the fun out of learning. They create a dull atmosphere in their classrooms centered upon the sole technique of lecture. I feel that lecture should be strengthened by research, and mastered by in-class discussion and activities. This method, in my opinion, does not provide any down time and promotes active learning rather than passive learning. Classrooms should be alive with activity, and on all levels of education learning can be fun. The problem is that teachers do not have fun themselves, and they view their job as a job rather than investing in the lives of their students. I am an avid sports fan and lover of education so I can relate to this illustration extremely well.

C4T Teacher Swap...Dr. Strange on Lecture

man alone in a lecture hall

Dr. Strange commented on blog post #7, and he asked me to visit his blog and comment on a post that he had made. Dr. Strange allowed me to substitute one of my C4T assignments in order to comment on his blog. Dr. Stranges blog post was titled Lectures Part 1. Dr. Strange provided plenty of information, both pro and con, concerning the benefit of lectures in the classroom. Below is my comment.

Dr. Strange,
I would like to thank you for the invitation to comment on your blog this week, and for allowing me to substitute my C4T assignment in order to read and comment on your blog post. The debate concerning the benefit of lecture in the classroom is a topic that I am extremely passionate about. There are many different theories among educators concerning how to manage a classroom, but all educators seem to revert back to the default method of teaching which is said to be lecture. I hope that all educators would agree that student comprehension of the curriculum is the most important aspect of education, and right behind student comprehension is the teacher's method of presenting the material in a way that will provide the student with the best chance of comprehension. Take note that I mentioned the student before the teacher; this is because the students comprehension is far more important than any other aspect of education. Each teacher should be open to the teaching method that will most benefit the student. Student comprehension is of the most importance!

The question that needs to be answered centers upon the teacher's method of enhancing a child's comprehension. I feel that the material must be stated to be understood. The classroom material and objectives must be stated by the teacher in order for the student to have a direction or starting point. I find that people learn by experience regardless of how many instructions have been given. For example, I would have never learned to write in cursive or do my multiplication tables if a teacher had never given me the opportunity to learn from experience. I often wonder why teachers change their philosophy of teaching as students grow older by excluding student involvement from the classroom.

We as humans are given five senses. Each of these senses enable us to perceive the world around us. I often wonder why educators find it beneficial to limit a student to one sense because by doing so they limit the child's comprehension by 80%. Lecture is strictly limited to oral communication, and oral communication will not provide a student with a full comprehension of the curriculum! Is lecture therefore of no value? Lecture seems to always be practiced in the classroom but as the ancient saying goes, everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. However, I do find lecture to be extremely beneficial in regard to education. Lecture is beneficial when used in balance with other teaching methods.

Lecture puts more emphasis on the teachers knowledge, and lecture puts less emphasis on the students comprehension. I feel that teaching tactics could be grouped into three categories: lecture, research, and discussion. People know very well the role that lecture plays in the classroom, but I find lecture to be best utilized as the instruction which enables students to explore and comprehend ON THEIR OWN. The learning method of self motivated comprehension is what I would term “research”. Students should first audibly consume instruction form lecture, then the student should take full advantage of his or her other four senses by researching the information addressed in lecture. Classroom discussions are absolutely necessary for each student to fully understand the information consumed through lecture and research. I have never become more passionate about a topic until I discuss the results of my research with peers. I find that discussion enables students to practice what they have have learned rather than the traditional consumption of information through lectures and research. I do not rank lecture, research, nor discussion; but I find each of them to be dependent on one another. To exclude one of these teaching tools, in my opinion, cripples a student from fully comprehending the material.

Lecture can be beneficial when used appropriately in regard to providing a student with the best learning environment. Feel free to give me constructive feedback on my comment! I look forward to your reply!

-Keeley Bryan