Wednesday, December 11, 2013

“I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.”

― Albert Einstein.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blog Post #16

         For my final post in EDM 310 we are to look back, read and reflect on our very first post from the beginning of the semester. Before I started reading my Blog Post #1, I stopped and really thought about how I felt at the beginning of the semester. The first thing I remembered was a Ted Talks video of Sugata Mitra discussing where education came from and how it began its traditions that we still practice today. In this video he talked about how early education goal was to create a global machine; that when an educated person was transferred anywhere
 in the world, they were able to do the same type of work with the same types of tools. He also stated that today's education has changed, still is changing and will continue to change as we advance through technology, and new ideas and forms of teaching. The second thing I remembered before reading the blog post, was being asked something I had never been asked before, "What is your dream school?" This question is enough to make your imagination go crazy! I also remember having to organize my flood of thoughts.

            When I looked back and read my post, and began to read the first sentence, a rush of ideas and activities that I have learned this semester, filled the missing educational space that was once empty at the beginning of the semester. When I was describing my thoughts, I wrote things like, a giant tree house in the library and a bus with unlimited field trips. Can you imagine, having unlimited field trips, being to able to go explore any place you wanted!? Now I remember this part really had me excited about the physicality of my school as well as the mental and emotional aspect. Besides the decorations and the awesome field trips; how would I run my school? How would learning take place? What would the environment be like?

             Going back and reading what I wrote really made me chuckle when I realized I had no idea what I was talking about when  I answered those questions; I maybe thought I had an idea, but I never actually had a 100% dedicated answer. The first question I was asked was, what do you want your students to know, in terms of content? Looking back at my answer, I still hold pretty strong. Part of my answer included, "I want my students to know about life, everything that makes it what it is. What makes things tick. What keeps things moving. What keeps people going." These things are very important to me, however, I now believe that it is our job as educators, to prepare our students for competing with their peers in the 21st century. This also means teaching and incorporating technology  into literacy and various subjects in your classroom.

             Now the answer to these next three questions have made a huge 180 since I last answered them. I almost want to do a before and after picture of how I answered these questions before taking EDM 310 and after taking EDM 310. These questions were, What will be your primary way of teaching your students what you want them to know and to do? What tools will you use in your classroom? What role will students play in your classroom? I am baffled at how much I have changed since answering these questions. My answer to the first question was that I haven't set any concrete methods. Now I could be more sure about how the students are learning and what they are learning with. Now, There is absolutely no way I would not use technology in my classroom, and there's absolutely no way I'd be confused on what tools I would incorporate and use in my future classroom

            The tool I prefer the most is blogging because it motivated students to learn seamlessly. It creates an online audience, it incorporates and promotes literacy and grammar, and it teaches you how to use relevant 21st century technology .I would also include computers, iPads, Nintendo DS's, Video Chat, and the SMART Board 100% in my future classroom, because the possibilities are endless! Now when it comes to the last question, I had a general idea and I was headed in the right direction, but now I feel as if the the students and I are equal, and I am there to guide and support them throughout their time spent with me. The students will no longer be students, but teachers as well. I can't believe what I turn around this class has been for me.

            If you re-winded all of this semester to the beginning then fast-forwarded all the way to the end you would see two different people. When I look at myself now and why I want to be an educator, I see a purpose, as to where before I was walking around aimlessly. Words can not truly express how much I have learning throughout my time in EDM 310 and how the things I learned have completely changed my life. EDM 310 has taught me the importance of technology and why its place has become the classroom. I have learned that through technology our horizons on education have become limitless. Through tools such as the SMART Board, you can create an endless amount of lesson plans and activities that are more interactive and relevant to traditional teaching practices. Just in the last ten years, technology has advances rapidly, there is always something new around the corner, and by around the corner I mean nearly every three months.

            When I say purpose I mean giving 21st century students the proper and relevant education they so desire and need. It is a need for 21st century students to be technologically literate in order to compete in the modern world. It has now become my duty as a future educator, to prepare my students for the future and the ever changing, mysterious world of technology. By incorporating technology in your classroom, you are giving your students the upper hand to succeed in their future, and being a guide to steer them down the proper path of technology and learning. Below I have prepared an outline, that makes what I am trying to say more black and white.

Beginning of Semester:

1. Methods of Teaching
a.       “No concrete methods.”
b.      “Want children to search for answers.”
c.       Student centered.
2.    2. Tools of Teaching
a.       Classic Lectures.
b.      Activities (admitting technology).
c.       Visual Hand on Tools
d.      “Activities that didn't make the students bored.”

3.    3. Classroom Environment
a.       Encouraging students.
b.      Partners in learning.

End of Semester:

1.    1.  Methods of Teaching
a.       Frequent Blogging.
b.      Project Based Learning.
c.       Interactive SMART Board lessons and activates.
d.      Video Chat with other teachers and students.
e.      Students become their own teachers.
f.        Online Audience.
g.       Lectures through YouTube videos.

2.    2.   Tools of Teaching
a.       Blogs/Blogger
b.      Skype/Video Chat.
c.       iPads/Computers/PC’s.
d.      Nintendo DS’s.
e.      SMART Boards.
f.       YouTube
g.      Google Sites
h.      Google Drive
i.       Symbaloo
j.       Twitter
k.      Edmodo
l.       iRubric
m.     Google Presentation

3.     3.  Classroom Environment
a.     Student centered.
b.    Strong encouragement to learn.
c.    Strong encouragement to explore.
d.       Questions are the basis for everything.
e.        I am learning as well as the students.
f.         Learning becomes even more engaging and enjoyable.
g.   Teacher takes on a more of a "guider" role.

You can tell from these two outlines that my ideas and knowledge of how to answer these questions have grown tremendously!! Below is a video/podcast I have created to pair with Blog Post #16.



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

“iPad Usage for the Blind.” & "Teaching Mom What Her Deaf/Blind Child Is Learning On the iPad."
by: Lauren Bradley

            Before I watched this video I had no idea that Apple Products even have this capability! In fact, when I saw the title in the video I thought how in the world could an iPad be useful for a blind person. It turns out, iPads are way more useful than I ever imagined, and a lot less difficult than I perceived them to be. They guide you step by step through whatever process you want to carry out by a voice that reads off what you are touching. For example, when your iPad settings are set for a blind persons use, simply slide your finger over the glass and when your finger grazes over an app, a voice tells you what you are touching. So, if you slide your finger over notes, it will read off notes; to open, tap twice anywhere on the page.

            So far this is the most innovative technology I have come across for students with disabilities. The iPad can seamlessly guides a blind person to complete whatever action is desired. Once you have it down, working an iPad is painless! This technology really enhances and broadens  what people who possess this disability are capable of.

“Assistive Technology for the Blind” by: Malary Booker

            In the video titled “Teaching Math to the Blind” by Art Karshmer, he tells us how to help blind children learn Math. He invented blocks that allow students to do Math more easily. The computer has a touch pad and a scanner. If you scan the block it tells you what the number is and then you just line the numbers up on the touch pad in the order that the problem should be in. This will allow blind students to learn Math at a much younger age than they are currently learning it.

            In the video titled “iPad Usage For the Bind” by: Wesley Majerus, he gives us some helpful hints about the iPad that blind people can use. He tells us that an iPad is equipped with a program called “Voice Over.” What this program does is talk to blind people and let them know what they are touching on the iPad. The most interesting app for blind people on the iPad is iBook. The voice reads the book to you and lets you know exactly what page and chapter you are on. It also describes the images which is really cool.

            On the National Federation For the Blind website we found an assistive technological tool that we thought was great. It was an Audio Newspaper Service for the blind. All they have to do is call a number and it goes to a free telephone service that provides access to newspapers from all over the world. This could be very helpful in a Current Events class or something of that nature. For more information on being visually impaired or blind visit NFB’s website. Here is the link:

“The Mountbatten” by: Sarah Barnett

             The Mountbatten is an assistive type tool for the deaf and blind. It is a great tool because it allows for audio and tactile feedback for these students.  The way it works, when the student uses the machine it starts to Braille, as it does this it uses audio so that student knows what they are doing. The Mountbatten is like a computer, it can do a lot a computer can do. It can send, receive, and share files from/to a computer. It is a pretty advanced gadget and so useful for the deaf and blind. It is also a wonderful tool for those students who do not know Braille. It is a great teaching tool so students can learn Braille and be successful. Overall, we thought this video was awesome! This device has helped many blind and deaf students be successful in learning.

“Assistive Technology for the Vision and Hearing impaired” by: Sarah Barnett

            This type of technology enhances learning, removes the barriers, push boundaries, give hope, and challenge they way we think. 1 in 2500 Australian children have a vision impairment and on a avg. 1 Australian child is identified with a hearing impairment everyday. The question is “Are we doing enough for these children with these impairment?”. We as teachers should help teach these children to overcome these barriers and get over the hump and help them learn to the best they can be! All these children who have an impairment should have the same opportunity to learn, explore, discover, and engage just like a child who does not have an impairment. With technology we can help these  children and if we learn how they learn we can help them to discover and interact in the world.

Monday, November 18, 2013

PLN Project #2: Final Report

          I haven't added much to my personalized learning network since you guys last saw my first report. I added a few more tiles; ones that I discovered I would need chronically in my future and that I find useful in EDM. I have still have been using the Symbaloo site for my personalized learning network, and I use it every single day as my homepage. I have introduced it and recommended it to everyone who is constantly surfing the web.

           If you look directly under my Google Drive button, you will see a white tile with an orange "R". This is iRubrics; an absolutely amazing sites where you can search through thousands of rubrics and even create your own. If you use rubrics for any grade level, I highly recommend this site, you can create an account for FREE. Another great thing about iRubrics is when you log on, you can touch or click on the rubric and grade without ever using paper. Curious? To find out more, check it out for yourself!

            The next is the Teaching Tolerance website tile. It is located directly to the right of iRubrics; green background with a small square tile. I have turned to the Teaching Tolerance website for many of my diversity and multicultural educational lesson plans and ideas for classes. It provides a variety of subject and topics that can be incorporated into any grade school classroom, or can even be altered to service college students. I have referenced the Teaching Tolerance website many times in my classes this semester, and I know I will continue to use it throughout my teaching career.

            Now, to the right to the Teaching Tolerance website is my SMART Board website tile. EDM 310 is all about incorporate technology in your classroom; one major way has been through the SMART Board. I use this tile to take me to the websites resources, interactive lesson plans and downloadable content for the SMART Board. I want to familiarize myself with it now so I wont be a spring chicken when using the SMART Board in my first few years of teaching. I have visited this site many times throughout EDM 310 and decided it was time for this website to have its own special tile. 

          To the right of that is my Google Sites tab. I added this tile when for project #14 lesson plans where it was an option to use Google Sites to house all the details of our lesson plans. Ever since I have fallen in love with Google Sites. It's such a perfect site and you can use it for any presentation. Instead of jamming all of my information on a Presentation, or Power Point, you can easily create a site. I had to make Google Sites a tile because I found myself using it for the next lesson plan, and then another lesson plan in a different class. Google Sites can be so informative, especially if your classroom is technology friendly and is a frequent user of blogs. Google Sites is so easy to work, it took me three minutes to learn how to create a site. If you're a teacher who encourages technology in your classroom. CHECK OUT THIS SITE!

          The huge compass tile underneath the iRubrics file is the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards. We reference these all the time in EDM 310. We use them for many activities including all of our lesson plans, I will continue to use them throughout my entire career. Now, last but not least, underneath the Google Sites tile I added a Hotmail tile because I have a Windows email address. 

           After creating and getting accustomed to my personalized learning network, there is no way I would go back to the way I used to run things of always typing and switching through tabs. Symbaloo has made my life so much more organized, it has allowed me to personalize down to a T, how I want it set up. I don't know what I would do without it and my future students are most definitely going to have their own personalized learning network.

Blog Post #14: Bullying

Blog Post 14 Instructions:

1. Watch three of the five Bully Movie Clips from the documentary Bully on YouTube.
    a. Bully #1 Movie CLIP - Tyler's Dad
    b. Bully #2 Movie CLIP - Kelby
    c. Bully #3 Movie CLIP - Handshake
    d. Bully #4 Movie CLIP - Bus Ride
    e. Bully #5 Movie CLIP - Alex and his Mom

2. Talk about what you think bullying is and why bullying happens.

3. What can you do to change things?


            This week Dr. Strange wanted us to create a lesson plan in our area of specialty, that I think he should have created and assigned for in EDM 310. My area of specialty happens to be elementary education  I chose the topic of bullying. Why? Because this is something I am very passionate about changing. It doesn't matter what age you are, bullying exposes itself throughout many ages of life and in many forms, . There's the physical type of bully; who likes to physically inflect pain on someone. There's the the verbal bully who uses their words to strike out. There's the passive aggressive bully; the emotional bully, the list could go on and on.

            Throughout the years, I have formed my own golden rule through my experiences...don't be hurtful. That's it, just don't do or say hurtful things to other people period. So why is bullying an infection in our schools? What causes a bully? In fact....what is a bully? I looked around and developed a conglomerate definition of what a bully is; A bully is one that uses force, threats, and actions that are meant to abuse, intimidate, and to aggressively impose domination over the victim.

             However, the problem with how bullying in schools is approached could be the problem. Most of the time, when a bullying situation is confronted (and this is coming from personal experience), the bullied are those that receive the majority of the attention; however, not the right type of attention. The bullied gets told to "get over it", that "kids will be kids", while the bullies see, to just be dismissed and permissible.

            What teachers do not see, hardly see, or even choose not to see, is the perspective of the bully. Why do bullies bully? Think about it for a second...really think. The way you treat others is a DIRECT reflection of how you treat yourself. When you make other suffer it is because YOU YOURSELF is suffering. If teachers took more time to focus on why the bully is bullying and what is making him suffer, you can gain insight and a better understand of how to handle the situation and nip it in the bud. Children deeply want someone to understand them, it is crucial to take the time to understand them and develop a plan of action.

           The next thing you need do as an educator and as a defender of these children's futures, you  need to talk to someone, just as the students needs to talk to someone about their bullying problem. There is power in numbers. You need to talk to the principle, the vice principle, parents/guardians and other teachers, so that all of you are in collaboration and can be aware and to take charge of the bullying or stop it in its tracks. TAKE A STAND. These are human lives I'm talking about.

            However, The absolute first thing you can do to prevent or stop bullying is to create a positive learning environment. If you want your school and your classroom to be a safe and effective learning environment, you must stay strict and firm when dealing with bullies. When it comes to your classroom, you need to set ruled and guild lines and make sure they are fully understood, you may not be able to stop bullying completely, but at least you can take charge of your classroom. and see to it that something is done, before bullies diminish the learning equilibrium.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Blog Post #13

Video 1: Shane Koyczan: To This Day...for the Bullied and Beautiful: By Lauren Bradley

            First off, wow; Shane Koyczan couldn't have presented a more brilliant speech. “To This Day...for the Bullied and the Beautiful” is a speech on what it is like to be young and different in today’s world; and if you’re anything like me...grade school wasn’t easy. Koyczan talks about how he would constantly hear, “Just stand up for yourself, you have to stand up for yourself.” But how do we do this, if we don’t even know who we are. You know kids, one day they want to be a fireman, the next a dentist; but what is the fallacy in this? Or is there even one at all? The education system expects children to define themselves at such a young, inexperienced age; and if you did not define yourself, someone would for you; teachers, faculty, students, "grown-ups". Everyday another child is defining themselves by what other people say or think about them; fag, gay, stupid, ugly…and we are expected to accept this.

            You are being told what you are but at the same time, you are being asked who you want to become. You know those high school days of visiting the counseling services and the career centers by force; being asked who you want to become. Well...I’m myself aren't I? Koyczan's experience with this was about the same as mine. He was asked, ‘’What do you want to be when you grow up?’’ he replied, “A writer.” followed by, “Choose something realistic.” This is the problem with these types of actions; they asked him who he wanted to be, but told him what not to be. Why can’t we be who we already are? Why do people refuse to accept that? We are expected to somehow must become what we are not, sacrificing what we are, to inherit the "masquerade" of what we will be.

            But what made his dreams so easily dismissive? Who has the power and the right to shutdown someone else’s dreams, to tell them, “No, you can’t be that.” And at the same time, his dreams were being defined by some else, being defined as stupid, unrealistic and so on. But just like a boomerang, his dreams came back to him, and he used those dreams to take a stand. He told the audience one of the first lines of one of his first poems was about a world who demanded that he hate himself, and at age of fifteen through eighteen, he hated himself for becoming someone he knew he despised; a bully. When he was nineteen he wrote the words, “I will love myself, despite the ease in which I lean towards the opposite.”

With this he expressed that he was not the only kid who grew up like this, that is or was bullied and hurt by people's words and actions. So kids are growing up, being forced to believe they aren't special, that no one will ever grow to love them, that that are unimportant. To this day kids are still being called names, still being hurt by other children who are raised to believe that looks and beauty are the of the utmost importance; and anything tossed aside. He says if you don’t think you are beautiful, if you don’t think you are perfect, get a new mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer, because there is something inside you that made you keep going, that pushed you just a little further, despite everyone who told you, “You can’t.” As kids and as adults we must fight and push to believe that those people are wrong.

As educators we HAVE to take a stand. No longer will the phrase “Kids will be kids” past my ears while another child sits in silent agony, hopeless from the pain of fellow classmates have caused. The education system needs to wake up!!! It does not understand that this type is behavior hinders learning in such a tremendous way, yet it continues to happen every day in schools all around the world. We must find a way to change this, but first, by changing ourselves. Maybe you were the bully or maybe you were the bullied, but no human life should ever have to go through this pain, especially in a place that should be embracing who you are and who you are going to become.

Video 2: Alison Gopnik: What do babies think?: By Sarah Barnett

Alison Gopnik explains how babies and children think. She is a wonderful speaker and full of tons of information. She delivered this presentation beautifully.  To sum up the video; she basically says that children and babies are like sponges. They soak up information better than adults. She showed a few pictures of a study of fifteen-eighteen month olds; the adult gave the children two bowls with broccoli and goldfish in the bowls. The adults then observed which bowl this children would choose. As you would imagine they mainly chose the goldfish, but who wouldn't. Then the adults pretended to like the broccoli and not the goldfish, after that they asked the children to give them something out of the bowls. 


           This research showed that most of the eighteen month olds gave the adults the broccoli because the adults pretended they liked it. So, basically the eighteen month olds responded to instruction and absorbed what the task was to be done. Although, the fifteen month olds just stared and handed out goldfish. We learned from this video that in all actuality, children are the quickest and most efficient when it comes to learning. Children have brains that are always willing to learn new things. Alison Gopnik also said that when we (adults) say children are not paying attention, we are really saying they are bad at paying attention. This statement is so true because it takes children a few tries or experiments to figure out the correct answer. All in all we learned some great information.

Video 3: Mae Jemison: Teach Arts and Sciences Together: by Malary Booker

Mae Jemison says that we are failing to act in the future. She says that our mission is to integrate Science and art together. If we keep thinking that Science and art are separate then we are in trouble. Many people say that scientists are not creative and this is not the case. Mae Jemison is an astronaut, a doctor, an art collector, and a dancer. She told stories from her own education and from her time in space. She calls on educators to teach both arts and sciences, both intuition and logic, as one to create bold thinkers. Mae told about how she became an astronaut and how she incorporated creativity into it. A quote from her is:

“Science and art are two parts of one thing. They come from one source and that source is creativity.”

            This TED Talk video made us wonder about Mae Jemison’s whole biography so we looked it up. If you go to this link there is a mini biography video and a biography of Mae Jemison: . She is very inspiring and we encourage you to read her biography and learn from it!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


This week I discovered a documentary on Netflix that follows various families from different areas and gets an up close view of bullying and its effect on children. I was in shock by what I saw. I am making this post because I want every educator, future educator, or anyone else for that matter, to watch it for themselves and take a stand.

C4T #4

          Yet again I feel like I have had the luck-of-the-draw when it comes to any C4- assignments. Comments 4 Teachers #4 proved very interesting and insightful; as the name "Moving at the Speed of Creativity" has sparked some curiosity. The blog is run by Wesley Fryer who has had made a tremendous impact throughout his educational career. Fryer is the author of two books, "Mapping Media to the Common Core: Vol I." and "Playing with Media: Simple Ideas for Powerful Sharing"; he has a Ph. D in Curriculum and Instruction, he is a Google Certified teacher, an Apple Distinguished Educator, and has presented numerous speeches. So I am really looking forward to reading his blog and finding tips and ideas I can use from here on out. If any of you are interested in his blog here is the link:

Comment #1:

          Comment number one was on his second most recent post called "Podcast410: Powerful listening - Powerful Influence: A Conversation with Tim Hast." Tim Hast is a friend of Wesley and also the author of the book "Powerful Listening. Powerful Influence. Work Better. Live Better. Love Better: by Mastering the Art of Skillful Listening." Tim's book focuses s on people that already obtain skills on and off the professional world, but are missing that spark or that one skill that really bridges the gap of communication. Therefore, the podcast was mainly about listening and why skills for listening are so important in the classroom, the home and so many other places.

          Within the first two minutes, Hast made a statement that said, "Anyone in life is more successful if they learn to listen and listen skillfully." He gives an example of a employee who comes to his manager and discusses a problem and in how in our fast paced society, that manager will say, "Oh yea, we will fix it." and then gets brushed to the side. If that manger would just invest two or three minutes to really hear and understand that employee, the manager really has a chance to resolve a deeper problem. He also uses an example of when couples fail to listen to each other, and how any other relationship for that matter need skillful listening. Communication is the number one component in an intimate and business relationships.

          Hast also shared some findings of some research he conducted recently. He found that the US Department of Labor conduced a study and found that in order to remain competitive in the 21st century-on, we need to teach active listening skills at the elementary and secondary levels; it needs to be part of the curriculum. He said there are four simple tips to improve listening: (1) Listen Patiently, when someone is speaking to you, don't be thinking about your answer or other things, focus on them. (2) Listen with your body, body language! (3) Listen with your voice, anything that reinforces the fact that you are listening and interested. (4) Listen with your mind, if you visualize what the person is telling you, you will be able to understand more efficiently and be more engaged.

        When I left my comment, the first thing I stated was that this post was a slap back to reality. I discussed how lately I haven't been listening; especially to my friends and family. I talked about how just last night my best friend was telling me a story, and I found my mind  wandering off thinking about other things. Is this the way I would want to be treated? Because I definitely wouldn't want someone looking at their phone, texting and looking into space while I am talking to them. Another thing I dislike about when I don't listen is that when I come back to the story I have no idea what is going on, so I can't empathize with the person.

       Listening is key to understanding, especially when you are dealing with teaching elementary students. It is absolutely crucial that you listen and understand your students; it is part of the learning experience. You listen to your students and you adjust and respond accordingly, listening can be the window to success. The things I learned from this podcast will be put into use right away! Because I want treat others how I want to be treated. The four things we learned will also go into my everyday life as well as in my elementary curriculum. I realized from this post that listening is such a needed skill for success in the 21st century and centuries to come. It is my duty as a teacher to the absolute best I can to ensure the success of my students.

Comment #2:

       Okay, I seriously couldn't have been more lucky when it comes to "Comments 4 Teachers". The post that I got to read and comment on was a perfect subject for what is going on in my life; the tittle is "Empowering Women, Worldwide by Creative, Handmade Designs." In this blog post Freyer got to meet with Nicole Moore. Nicole Moore is part of an organization called Creative Women of the World; which is a non-profit organization that helps support women in other countries that are starting out with a small business. This blog includes includes about a three minute video, in which she explains what this organization does, and how the selling of their handmade products can make a huge impact.

       What was truly amazing about being assigned to this post was that during Nicole's speech, she talks about living in Africa and how they need education. She says that people really don't understand the impact that education can have on these people. This is crazy because it has been my dream to go join the Peace Corps and teach in Africa and to give all I have into giving someone else education, who cannot afford it, or is less fortunate than me.

      I am also a firm believer in empowering women and diminishing gender roles. One of my main goals as a future teacher is to knock down these so called "gender roles" and have equality for everyone. Often by being born a female, the world makes us grow up to believe that we they are superior and cannot compete against a male. Women are often objectified and mocked, while men take on the "leader" roles. We see Disney cartoon of princesses waiting for a strong man to save her; then often as we grow up...there are some female hero's, but they are often sexualized, materialized, and glamorized. I want young girls to empower themselves and use their education to grow and change history.  I think receiving this post wasn't just coincidence.  I want to do my best to educate these young women to become strong, self motivated leaders.

      When I left the comment, I just talked about how exciting it was to see someone, especially another women, standing up for change. She is working hard to raise money for a non-profit organization, not something a lot of people would do. I told him that I appreciate and respect him so much for being a male and fighting for the cause of women. I told him often people do not see the struggle women have now a days, or maybe they see it and do not acknowledge it. Either way I thanked him in his support of the Creative Women of the World.

    Towards the end, Freyer left some pictures and some snapshots for the online store of the CWOW, which is Check it out for yourself

C4K for November

Comment #1:

           Right off the bat I recognized the homepage from a C4K I wrote earlier in the semester. Pt. England School's the name! And is located in Auckland, New Zealand. I always get excited to comment on these students blog because it is awesome to connect and learn from someone half-way across the world. The student I was assigned to was a seven year student named Cheyanne. I commented on a post from October 25, 2013 titled "My First Day at Pt England School." Within this post she expressed her attitudes and feelings toward her first day of school. She said she was separated from her brother during class, when she walked into the new room she was happy and joyful but all the kids were looking at her like she did something wrong, and on top of that she started cross country that she was already having mixed feelings about; but she persevered and began to enjoy it.

         I like to see kids being so honest, especially at a young age and especially through technology such as her blog. I feel for Cheyanne because I know how people can be during elementary and secondary schooling, and I know how hard it can be when people are often taught to perceive "different" as "bad". I was also proud that she kept at something she wasn't 100% about. When I left my comment I was hoping to cheer her up a little (not that she was too sad). I of course introduced myself followed by congratulating her on her blog. It had an appealing deep blue background and you could tell by her archive that she had been working on it for a long time.

        I told her I read her post, then I empathized with her; it is always nice to know that someone understands what you are going through. I told her not to let the students bother her and that sometimes people see different as bad, but everyone is perfect regardless or their opinions. I also praised her for not giving up on cross country. I told her I ran cross country once and that she should do it only if it makes her happy. Then I wished her good luck and finished the comment. If you are interested in viewing her blog visit

Comment #2: 

               Mrs. Yolli's class blog was unlike anything I had every seen since I began EDM 310; this blog was a complete portal to learning. You could tell from the looks of the homepage that these third grades were already learning so much. Each post is filled and decorated with exciting educational information. I believe posts like these making learning so much more effortless and can even disguise learning. Mrs. Yollis and her class is located right outside Los Angeles, and like myself is a teacher truly dedicated to learning through technology. I encourage everyone who passes this sentence to check out her blog It will be worth it! Mrs. Yollis blog is such an inspiration and I know it can inspire you as well. 

          What I loved about these blog posts is they are not just housekeeping posts but informational posts, learning posts. Within these post, their are lessons and interactive videos. What is also great about posting lessons like this online, is that students can access them from virtually anywhere at anytime; in the classroom, the library, the computer lab, and even the home! They can even get their whole family involved and this is where my post comes in.

          I was assigned to comment on a particular post. The name of this post was "How to write a Compound Sentence." (I would also like to note that November for Mrs. Yollis's class is family blogging month). This post is obviously on compound sentences and what exactly makes that sentence. Well in this post Mrs. Yollis defines a compound sentence and gives a few examples. Here is a little piece of the post.

A compound sentence:
  1. Combines two shorter sentences (so has TWO subjects)
  2. Joins the two sentences with  a conjunction (and, or, but, so)
  3. The comma goes BEFORE the conjunction.
*       *       *       *       *
 Here are some sample compound sentences, and they are all about Thanksgiving!
(Hey, that's a compound sentence!) 

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, and many families gather for a traditional feast. 

            Then she presents the class with a challenge she wrote, "In the comment section, tell about your plans for thanksgiving. Be sure to include at least two COMPOUND SENTENCES! This is such an effortless way to self motivate students to learn. There is no pressure behind this challenge, only to include two compound sentences. It is already sparking interest by getting your family involved, and it is available at any time! Blog posts and comments are so much more interactive than boring worksheets. Mrs. Yolli's blog is such a great reference to new coming technology inspired teachers

             I left two separate comments on this post. The first one just explaining who I was and why I was commenting. I told Mrs. Yollis and the class that what I love about this post is it is so effortlessly educational and fun. Post like this get right to point, and involving your family makes it more interesting! What I have learned from the C4K series is that blogs create an audience for the students, whether it be parents, guardians or people halfway across the world, they are motivated to learn. I let them know that I have not yet seen a blog like this are it is greatly appreciated. The second comment pertained to the challenge of writing two compound sentences, where I told the class about my holiday plans.

              Now that "Comments 4 Kids" has taken its final lap, I just want to take some time and share my feelings all of the things I have learned from "Comment 4 Kids". I have learned so much, far more than I ever imagined going into EDM 310. I had no idea that technology could change the learning experiences of children all across the world for the better. A worldly audience through the use of blogs is what I will take away the most from my experience. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Blog Post #12

Collaborative Blog Post: Sarah Barnett, Malary Booker, Lauren Bradley

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the TED Talks Series; for those of you who are not familiar with TED Talks, it is a set of informative and educational conferences, presented by recognizable speakers from all around the world and runs under the slogan “Ideas Worth Sharing”.  This particular TED Talks video was presented by Sir Ken Robinson. Ken Robinson led the British Government Advisory Committee in 1988 on creative and cultural education quest where we was eventually Knighted for his work. He is a New York Time’s Best Seller for the book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything., and has been translated into twenty-one different languages, and has now gained millions of views for his TED Talks conference videos.

Changing Education Paradigms

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson? That was the question proposed in this video. Sir Ken Robinson explained a lot about how education was…and is today. He basically puts it like this; in the past people are expected to attend grade school, then college and then finally get a degree to get a job. The current education system today has schools that ring the bell at a certain time, divide children into age groups, and have separate subjects. By doing all these things, children tend to just follow the drill and not broaden their education. We have all been expected to do certain things a certain way and that is that, no questions asked. However, if we encourage children to learn and discover new ways that help them learn best rather than hindering their talents, they will be confident and will be able to achieve their goals.

Some children can work more efficiently in small/large groups, work better alone, or even may learn more efficiently at different times of the day. In today’s world we have access to so many electronics that when they get to school, they are bored! We have to make learning engaging and enjoyable while they are still students. Sir Ken Robinson talks a lot about ADHD. A cool fact about ADHD was that children more on the east coast are prescribed medication. He talks about too many children are on medication to focus in school. The reason children have ADHD is because they sit there and do busy work all day; while they have all this energy and curiosity balled up inside them. All in all we really enjoyed this video. Sir Ken Robinson did a great job explaining changing education paradigms. We hope you all go check out his video and learn just as much as we did.

The Importance of Creativity Video

In this video Sir Ken Robinson talks about creating an education system that nurtures rather than undermines creativity. He believes that creativity is as important as literacy. He told a story about a little girl who only paid attention in class during drawing time. When the teacher asked her what she was drawing she replied, “I am drawing God.” The teacher said, “No one knows what God looks like.” The little girl then replied, “They will in a minute.” This is an appealing story, but it also lets us know how creative and insightful children really can be. Who are we as teachers to stand in the way of that? Sir Ken Robinson said, “If you are not prepared to be wrong, then you will never come up with anything original.”

            As future teachers, we will one day need to let our students know that it is okay to be wrong. Sir Robinson says that by teaching kids they are wrong; we are undermining their creativity. This could not be more true. Encourage kids that there is more than one way to do something. The one thing that we completely agree with is when Sir Ken Robinson said, “We do not grow into creativity, we grow out of it.” All kids are born with a creative gene. What they do with that gene when they get older makes them who they are. Education Systems are now based fully on academic ability. Creativity really needs to be pushed now more than ever. Academic ability is important for students to achieve, but so is creativity.

How to Escape Educations Death Valley

In Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talks video titled “How to Escape Educations Death Valley.” he discusses three principles that are required for a fit and healthy mind and how your current education status actually works against these principles in what is called the educational “death valley”. He starts off by discussing the recent “No Child Left Behind Act”; he described it as “Ironic” because he says, “It is leaving millions of children behind.” He goes on to explain that in some parts of the country, the dropout rate of high school students is up to 60%, then in Native American communities, it is up to 80%. If you cut that number in half and estimate the net-gain earned by these students, it was be somewhere around...a trillion dollars; and that it actually costs more to come up with money and labor created by these so called “drop-outs”.

He states that what those statistics don’t show you, are the percentages of kids that are in school, yet are being disengaged, uninterested and not gaining any benefit from the educational system. Despite the fact that America spend more money on education and its progression than any other country, despite the fact that America on average has smaller classrooms than other countries, despite all the conferences, speaks and presentation, our progression is seems to be moving in the wrong direction. He suggests that real education gives weight to the arts, to the humanities, to physical education; not just science and math and gives recognition to other talents.

From here Robinson shares the three principles for the human mind to flourish. Let’s start with principle one, that humans are different and diverse by nature. He expressed that No Child Left Behind focuses more on conformity then celebrating children’s diversity. Principle number two states that curiosity is a great thing. Curiosity causes humans to learn with little or no assistance. He states that standardized testing is acceptable for measuring outcomes, but in no way should obstruct learning. Principle three states that human are curious by nature, but being stuck in a “paradigm of standardization” is killing our creativity.

So how do we change things and where do we even start? Robinson gave us some imperatives to counteract the principles. Imperative number one states that we MUST MUST MUST individualize learning and personalize our curriculum down to each and every student. Imperative number two states that we must hold high status’s and bars for the teaching profession, that it should be seen as an investment not a cost. Imperative number three says we must make our schools responsible for the decision making, who else knows what better decision to make about the students rather than their own school?

We believe a HUGE lesson is to be learned by all of us, thanks to Sir Ken Robinson. He speaks the truth when dealing with the education system, no longer is he ignoring the elephant in the room. If we want our future generations to be successful and to grow up and be able to compete with their peers in this swiftly changing world; we have to take a step back and focus on our students. No longer should it be about standardized testing and numbers, it should be about celebrating diversity.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Blog Post #11

         Week eleven has really gotten me revved up about teaching. Not only from Project #12 and learning how to work the SMART Board (which I thought was very exciting), but from this weeks blog post and the videos that came from it. I have learned so much from this course already, I argue with myself about saving my thoughts for the last post, or write them now.

         Part of my enthusiasm comes from a previous C4T and C4K posts and from exploring her blog. If you haven't already heard about Kathy Cassidy or have read about her on previously on my know who I am talking about. For those of you who don't Kathy Cassidy twitter refers to herself and her learning style as a "Grade one teacher inviting the world into her classroom".

          Her classroom has achieved that goal of reaching a worldwide audience, and it is truly inspiring and motivating her students to learn in a new way. through the use of classroom and individual student's blogs to Skyping with people half-way across the world. Kathy Cassidy has become one of the most inspiring 21st century teachers and her blog has become a reference tool in crafting my future career as well as my current educational path.

Video #1:

         The first video I watched was of Kathy Cassidy's class and how their classroom blends learning with technology It involved going a little more in depth, through the use of videos, pictures and narration by the students, to show us the various technological tools they use in their classroom. It showed pictures of the student's blog, videos of their classroom skyping, pictures of collaborative blog work.

          The video was divided into five parts. Blogs, Webpage, Wikis, Video, and Nintendo DS, In the back ground, the students narrate the video. As you go through each stage, you hear the students describe what tool their are using, what it does, and how it is useful. For example, in the Blog section, students talked about commenting and how they use it to connect with other students just like them. They talked about their family being able to view it and also comment. This is also another example about the online audience I have been talking about; it gives the students a sense of purpose behind their work, they want to make others proud.

         During the Webpage section, a.k.a. the class blog, they discussed how everything they need to know is in the class blog; homework assignments, activities and information that can all be accessed quickly and easily. Next are the Wikis, I'm sure you have heard of Wikis. It is an online website, much like Wikipedia, that is a collaborative information editing website. The kids talked about how if they did not know the answer to a question, or needed to obtain information, they could easily search for information on Wikis, or ask a question with soon to be found answers.

        When dealing with videos and online learning, Skype is mostly emphasized to arrange meetings with teachers and students from across the world. Lastly the Nintendo DS are used to decision making and predictions. The students use them to play NintenDogs, which is a game where you take care of a virtual dog. If you wish to watch the video and find out more information on your class click the link to view her video Little Kids...Big Potential.

Video #2:

        Now the second video describes Kathy's beginnings of learning through technology. It all started ten years ago when she was given five computers that turned into this huge snowball effect of learning. She began wanted to make the computers useful and find information and lessons where the computers could be manipulated by her students. She embarked on a journey of teaching herself how to do webpages and blogs. Kathy was also able to get funding. And just look at how things turned out? Her classroom now inspires education systems all across the world.

      She also talks about the various challenges she faces throughout this journey. When asked if every teacher should be technological literate she answered with, "Absolutely, technology is not going to go away, it is here to stay." She talked about how doing a simple spread sheet, was technological literacy from twenty years ago. She stated that, "We have to keep learning.", to find a way that works for you and how you or your students learn best.

Video #3 & #4:

        Video three picks off with Dr. Strange asking Kathy where you should start, as far as technology in the classroom goes. She believes you should start from where you are interested in and go from there; if you are interested in video, you should start there and move on. Same with photos or blogs, everyone is different and no method is fit to every student or teacher.

       The fourth video consisted of the students asking Kathy questions details questions. One example asked from a Physical Education major was, "How often do you use the blogs?" This question is perfect because it is something I have always wanted to know about Kathy's classroom. She answered by explaining that it depends on the year, but usually twice a week. Some examples of some good questions where,  "Do you think Facebook could be used for education?", "How do you protect your students from potential harmful information?" and so on.

Final Thoughts

        As I talked about in the first paragraphs, I adore Kathy Cassidy as a teacher and as a person. I feel like I have learned so much from her already and I have never seen her in my life. I think that it is crazy for someone to have that much impact on you from someone in a different country. She has given me such an effective model for the framework of my future classroom.

       I believe the world-wide audience is a deciding factor in why I intend to use ALL of the techniques she practices. She has shown me that students can learn in new ways and how effective it actually can be. Also, all of these tools tie in so many subjects. Blogging for language, literature and grammar, and Wiki for science and other various subjects.

     Let's not forget the major factor in all this As she said in an earlier video, spread sheets were acceptable twenty years ago. Imagine how advanced technology will be by the time these students get to college. Using these tools in the classroom can prepare students for the advancing technologically literate society. I cannot wait change and enrich my students life through technology and blended learning.