Monday, October 28, 2013

C4T #3

             I must say C4T #3 has been my favorite so far. Maybe you have heard of it...the blog that goes by the name of #WmChamberlain His name is William Chamberlain and he is an award winning teacher and blogger that incorporates learning through innovating technology such as the blog I was assigned for C4T #3. This blog is dedicated to his classroom that consist of assignments, discussions, questions, videos, etc. Now I'm not sure what grade in particular he teaches but I did see in a earlier post about an eight grade class.

             The looks of the blog alone are enough to capture your attention and draw you in. The purple beach sunset, the chill vibes, the elaborate pictures; they all make you want to find out what this blog is about. Let's talk about the picture you see here; that's a picture that belongs to the post I was instructed to comment on. Just what was this post about? Washington's famous crossing of the Delaware. Then they were instructed to write a persuasive paper on the point of view from two women during this time period;  Molly Pitcher: Why Women Belong on the Battlefield or Abigail Adams: Why Women Deserve Suffrage. Followed by a inspiring paragraph by Abigail Adams. You can read it by clicking on the link in the first paragraph.

Comment #1:

              When I was preparing for my  my comment, I was skimming his page to find more about himself and his blog. During my search I discovered his About Me tab. Contained in this tab was a multitude of recognition, speeches and presentations, all by/for Mr. William Chamberlain. Here are some examples: "I presented a session at METC in February 2011 on Comments4Kids, a blog and hash tag on Twitter that promotes the leaving comments on students and teacher blog posts." (Sound Familiar?). Or here's another one, "I have been a guest on several BAM Radio education podcasts." Very Cool!

             I started out with the usual introductory sentence than proceeded to leave my comment. I didn't waste any time explaining Comments 4 Teachers because I already knew he was involved in Comments 4 Kids. I let him know first thing how much this blog has already inspired me. He is incorporating technology and learning so fluently and effortlessly. I was honored to have his blog. In my comment, I told him that this post was special because it gave instructions to an assignment, while also being informative; informative enough to where I was able to learn something new from this post also, not just from people in the class!

           There was a certain sentence in Mrs. Adam's words to her husband that caught my attention, and I discussed this in my comment. The sentence was, "Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could." This topic is very interesting to me because feminism is still a broadly noticed topic in today's society. I left a story in the comment about an interesting story I had once in a Western Civ. 2 class.

Comment #2:

           The second comment for C4T #3 is posted on the Mr. Chamberlains latest post. On this post Mr. Chamberlain is discussing his latest insight. While commenting on another blog, he had an "epiphany" of some sort. When I looked at the blog he was talking about, I understood why he had his epiphany. I am not going to say much about that blog but I am going to leave you the blog title in case you want to check it out yourself. I highly recommend it, it was very interesting. The title was "Student Achievement is Not The Same as Student Learning." (

         He talks about how the hard fact of assessment is when you have to show it to a third party such as a parent or guardian. He pointed out that the education system does not have completely accurate ways of determining what our students have learned; that students only allow us to know what they want us to know and only show us what they want to show us. He said that assessments can be incompetent and do not show all of what the student has actually learned. He told the audience that they best way to assess what a student has learned and obtained is by having an actually conversation with them, and it involves sitting them down and just having a casual conversation.

         Mr. Chamerblain said he just had a parent/teacher conference at his school last week and began to wonder why they did not have regular meetings with the student, their parent/guardian, and of course the teacher. Hmmm, good question...why doesn't the education system do a lot of things?

        Well, for my comment I attempted to empathize and join in on the insight of the post. I started off by telling him that he poses a very interesting question. Assessments and grades really do only go so far when dealing with how much students actually learn. Because after all, students really have the power to keep their intelligence hidden, and that is a major fallacy in assessing students. I told him Dr. Strange, my EDM 310 professor, always tells us he wants to do away with grades completely. Instead you would observe students work and assess whether they are progressing and advancing in whatever subject area it may be.

        I told him therefore I think it is a great idea. With this the students can show what they know under less pressure. You lesson plans would be more efficient, you may be able to find common ground among the students, and it's a great way to gain insight about what your students feelings are about the lessons.

       However there may be a fallacy in this because you know how nervous children get around their parents, but if the students were accustomed to this pattern, maybe it would not be so difficult to open up to parents about grades and to get them involved. I told him I don't see why school have not already tried this and that it could not be that difficult to get approved and worked into a schedule, and that each class could personalize their own Student-Parent-Teacher Meetings. What do you think?


C4K for October

Comment 1: 

             Ah yes, the "Comments 4 Kids"...October edition! Let me start you off by introducing you guys to a very interesting, motivational, inspiring, and insightful blog for my first C4K of October. This C4K was very special to me, mainly due to the fact that it is an online female AP government class consisting of seventeen and eighteen year-olds. This blog is a place for them to place their ideas, thoughts, interests, debates and just straight up information. It is nice to sometimes explore the difference of what the secondary school communities are doing compared to what I was doing when I was in school.

             This particular blog post was named "An Interactive Understanding of the Government with an Emphasis on Learning Through Modern Example". The class was discussing the recent events with Syria and were left to take a deeper look on the United States ability to wage war through assignments and by reflecting through posts on their blogs. Now, let's take a look at the last four words of the title, learning...of course; now whats next? Through. Where have we heard this word? What does it sounds related to? Aha! Project Based Learning! Now the next two words...Modern Example.

             She discusses with you the most engaging part of this topic was discussion given to the class by the teacher that prompted the students to use their imagination to put their own twist on legislation. For example, during their studies on Federalism, they were asked to come up with some of their own laws and amendments. She talked about how the assignment forced the class to take a look at issues our society was facing in this present time. Being able to see what other students across the country thought were of the up-most importance and relevancy of the topic.

            Another part I especially enjoyed was the last paragraph, where she talks about how she has never enrolled for an online, all girl, AP class. She finds herself more and more interested in Politics and worldly issues as CNN has become her homepage and a new growing interest as this subject for a major. She used words like electrified; so I'm sure project based learning has taken place more than once for her in this class.

           For the comment I first introduced myself, told her about EDM 310 and talked to her about project based learning and how much I have learned from and about project based learning since starting this class in mid August. Project based learning has been almost the basis of EDM 310 and that you learn by DOING. I told her it was awesome to see someone else learning so much and being so electrified about their class. I discussed with her that she is a perfect example of project based learning can change your view on a subject. It is a new spin on learning! I told her I was excited to see other schools put project based learning to good use and that it was working so great for her. I myself, think it's motivating to see someone or an entire class get this excited about project based learning. Which further more reinforces my positive opinions on project based learning.

Comment #2:
             My second comment for the October C4K was for a 7th grader named Jessica whose blog is part of a whole class. There wasn't much information on this class; all I could find was that they were in a 7th grade class. Each classmate had random topics so each students blog was pretty unique. The student's blog I commented on however was a girl named Jessica. This is all the personal information I know about Jessica. However I did learn a lot in a short amount of time from reading the post she wrote on October 7, 2013.

             I want my audience to read her post so that while I discuss it they will have an idea of where I am coming from when evaluating her paragraph. Now if you read the paragraph to the left, you will see she had many grammatical errors. She seems like she is struggling in the language department and has not have the adequate amount of learning and practicing and has not competent teachers throughout schooling. Honestly, I do not know how to go about correcting a younger students blog, if I have the power, or how it would affect them. I know this is something I could improve on.

              Next her sentences sound as if she is uninterested, and inattentive. From the looks of it she has never used a blog before so this is her first experience with literacy through technology. I just feel as if she had a list of questions to answer and she non nonchalantly listed them off. However when you reach the end of the paragraph things start to get a little bit more personal as she is describing her feelings and attitudes towards the first day of school. "The first thing I felt is that I was shaking of sacredness and I also felt butterflies in my stomach."

               My comment empathized with Jessica. I told her I too had a nervous stomach and butterflies as I entered those intimidating doors every year. I told her I was so scared and nervous about starting high school that me and my best friend went together. Sometimes school is hard when you feel like you can't find a meaning or purpose behind it, but I told her to stay strong. I shared with her one of my favorite quotes regarding education, "Education does not measure intelligence, it measures memory." I told her although sometimes this is the case, true intelligence can be achieved through discipline, learning the material and using it to your advantage. I encouraged her to outsmart the current education system and that she would be in my thoughts.

Comment #3:

               My third C4K for October was another blog on by Mr. So's second grade class. When I checked out the teachers personal blog, I learned they were very involved in project based learning and the blended learning cycle. The students are actively using their blogs and the class seems to be blooming. I feel like I always luck out or something on C4K because I get the best students.

              This time it was also a young girl named Jen; discussing her thoughts on the definition of a "hero" for her latest post. When I read it, I could feel emotion oozing from the paragraph. Specifically for this post, students were to describe their thoughts and opinions of a hero, not just a textbook definition. As well as their opinion of it they were to explain why, how, or what experiences brought them to believe this.

            Her definition was strong and you could tell she was being sincere and open. It has to be hard, for anyone her age, to express emotion openly and freely without being condemned. It read, "A hero to me is someone who is right beside you to save you." Followed by sentences of reasons why her mom is so special to her. In one sentence she says, "My mom is my hero because when I get hurt she takes me inside and puts bandages and when I have the flu she takes care of me." One of the last sentences reads, "It makes her a hero because when I get hurt she is always with me."

             It really does make me feel warm inside knowing whoever this young girl is, has someone so special she could trust. I began my comment with compliments. I told her I loved the post and that is was very detailed and very descriptive. I applauded her prowess of expressing emotion. I told her I could feel the emotion she poured into this post. I let her know that sometimes it's hard to express honest emotion, especially in school.

             Lastly I admired her writing skills. then I expressed my thanks and gratitude for letting me be a part of her blog and letting me read something so honest. I am so glad I get to be a part of these students learning experiences and vice versa. I am also learning so much from these students.

Comment #4: 

           Lately I have been more than impressed with the blogs I've been getting to comment on. I am so pleased to see more and more children becoming more literate through technology and blog posts such as these. For my last "Comments 4 Kids" in October, I was assigned Haylee J. from Mrs Gelde's class located in Nebraska! However, I'm not quite sure the grade to which this blog belongs. C4K is really starting to show me the use and importance of also. Nearly every students blog I have commented on has used

           Haylee's latest comment was about her favorite season. Her favorite season, as well as many others, is autumn. Off the bat I liked how she preferred the word Autumn over fall, it makes the post a little more descriptive. Although the post still would have been excellent if she hadn't used the word autumn. Haylee's post was very descriptive and interactive. Within the first two sentences she already has the audience engaged in the post by asking what their favorite season was. Then proceeds to get vivid examples of why this is her favorite season.

          She gave examples such as, "I love how all the leaves turn red, yellow, and orange." And, "I can smell the sweet pumpkin bars just came out of the oven and we eat them all up." Then she adds activities and experiences she has had with autumn that brings her to love it so much. One example is, "The activities I do are going to pumpkin patches, going on long walks and playing with friends."

       When she finished her paragraph she ended with the beginning in mind. In school you are taught to end your writing with a summary or restate your opening paragraph. Haylee did a great job of acknowledging this technique and also putting it into practice. I want my audience to be able to see her paragraph if they want to I am leaving a picture beside this paragraph if you would like to read it.

        Of course when I left a comment, I left my name, and all that good stuff. But I was more focused on being part of her audience and giving her praise for what i have seen and read today in her paragraph. I mean if I am putting it all out on the table here, this post is better than some of the posts I've seen from some students in my own EDM 310 class. It really does make me feel good when I see student excelling in what some would consider a quite difficult task of running a blog (especially educational).

         I told her that she did an excellent job. The post was very descriptive and you could feel the enthusiasm that went into writing this post. I told her it was very personable and easily relatable. I discussed with her that fall is also my favorite holiday; that the food is great, the temperature is perfect, and that I love the holidays. 

         She also added a picture which was a very nice touch. Picture somewhat put more ease on the post, so instead of just looking at words, you brain can relax to a nice picture, and it relates to your post. The post was great because she wrote it to where you could emphasis with her while reading the post so many miles away. Good job Haylee!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blog Post #10

             So it is half-way through the semester and I must say that Project Based Learning has by far changed my perspective on teaching. It has given me so many new ideas, and new way of approaching learning through technology. In this week's blog post we were to watch the video titled "Randy Pausch's Last Lecture". Randy Pausch was an inspiration for educators and students everywhere who drastically changed the way we veiw Prject Based Learning today. This video is of Randy's Last Lecture before he passed in July of 2008 due to pancreatic cancer. In this video he explains his life, beginning from his childhood dreams to his crazy career to his last life lessons. If you didn't know who Randy Pausch was before watching this video, you certainly will after.

             Randy Pausch was like any other typical child, was full of dreams and imagination. Pausch's list of childhood dreams seems to match up the untamed imagination of any child; being in zero gravity, playing in the NFL, being Captain Kirk, winning stuffed animals. Pausch also had dreams of being a Disney Imagineer, and just like any child, these come up with some huge dreams! Pausch talks about completing his list of dreams, first starting with being in zero gravity then working his way into the more...larger of dreams. Pausch received his bachelors degree from Brown University and eventually achieved his dream of becoming a Disney Imagineer.

            After competing his master and revieving his PhD from Carnegie Mellon, he began working on a project at CMU's Entertainment Technology Center called "Building Virtual Worlds". Where fifty students from CMU's art, design, and drama classes were broken up into groups and told to create a virtual world from scratch. With it being the first year a project like this had ever been attempted, Pausch did not know what to expect. However when he came back two weeks later, the work he saw blew him out of the water, it was phenomenal.

            His words in the video were, "Ten years as a professor and I had no idea what to do next." So he calls up his mentor and his mentor tells him to tell his students something out of the ordinary; he told Pausch to say, "Guys, I know this is pretty good but I know you can do better." But if Pausch was so pleased with the students work then why would he say such a thing? Well, Pausch's mentor explains to him that he obviously does not know where the bar should be, and that he would only be doing them a disservice by putting it anywhere.

          Oh how true this is. Because no bar was set, throughout the course of a semester, the students kept going and going; creating virtual worlds unlike any he'd ever seen. The video actually showed you one of his group's virtual world. Here are some screen shots.

Visit the video to see the whole thing!

         Pausch also created a masters program that consisted of five virtual reality projects with no book work involved whatsoever, all you time was spent "makin stuff." This program was called "The Dream Fulfillment Factory" and became a HUGE success. It was project based, there were bi-weekly peer evaluations so the students could see where they stood amongst classmates. Along with that, the students and the teachers were given freedom, so students were able to have fun and express themselves and really get creative to come up with some great stuff.

        From this a software for teaching how to work computers was developed by Pausch and other educators called ALICE. In this program kids can make movies and games, all while having no idea they are learning! (Also called "head fake"). Pausch created a program that has sold over a million copies and is used by 10% of colleges in the U.S. For more information on ALICE, you can go to

            Towards the end of the video, Pausch shares the lesson learned from all of this; to never lose your childhood wonders, to help others and to never give up. He told the audience to tell the truth and be honest and apologize; and lastly to focus on others, not yourself.

           This video is just another example of Project Based Learning and how effective it is. Pausch even said it himself in the video that you learn from doing. There is so much to be learned from this video, not just that Pausch was a great man and educator, but how he changed education and how he learned through trail and error. This video also comes to show that Project Based Learning can be utilized at any grade level and has been proved so time after time. If you are to take away anything from this video, take away the idea that you can learn by having fun, and that you can learn by starting from something unfamiliar. Project based learning has limitless ideas and opens the door for so many life changing learning experiences.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Project #14

Below is the site I created dedicated to Project Based Learning and Project #14. There you will find everything you need to know on the Project.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Blog Post #9

Collaborative Blog Post # 9 By: Malary Booker, Sarah Barnett, and Lauren Bradley

1. Video Titled: “Back to the Future” by Brian Crosby
Mr. Brian Crosby’s showed us in his video that no matter where you come from, you will learn something if taught the right way. Mr. Crosby did a lot of projects with his fourth grade class. Each project was recorded and embedded into each of the student's blogs. Then the students would write a summary of how each project was accomplished on their blog page. One project they performed was to send a giant balloon into the air . This was science project, but Mr. Crosby incorporated History into it as well. He did this by studying the history of ballooning with his class. The class then had a 25 question multiple choice test on the project from everything they learned.

           Mr. Crosby also incorporated Language Arts into this project by telling the students to write a story from beginning to end in the balloon’s point of view. They were also to explain where the balloon went, what the balloon did, and where the balloon landed. We really like how Mr. Crosby used one project and incorporated it into every subject. This is definitely something we all agree would be effective in our future classrooms.We think that using projects to teach kids different subjects is a great way to get them to fully understand what you want them to learn. Mr. Crosby is a great teacher and future teachers can really learn something from him.

2. Video Titled: “Blended Learning Cycle” by Paul Henderson

            Paul Hendersons is a AP science teacher and a “learning through technology” enthusiast. In this video he explains his version of Blended Learning, then explains how successful it has been in his classroom. When Mr. Henderson created this version of the Blended Learning Cycle, he simply combined two models; one being Blended Learning and two being the Learning Cycle. He used a Venn diagram to illustrate blended learning. It consisted of 1) Online, 2) Classroom and 3) Mobile; when you combine each piece you then get blended learning. Now the cycle in Blended Learning Cycle comes from the Learning Cycle Model.

            The Learning Cycle model consist of the five E’s. First you Engage your students with a question. From there your students will be able to explore the said question, explain it, expand upon it, then evaluate what they have learned. Engage, explore, explain, expand and evaluate. This learning cycle is a great way to present material with your class. The screen shot below should give you a better image of the two.

        Now when you mix the two together you get the Blended Learning Cycle. The Blending Learning Cycle consist of all the components or Blended Learning and the Learning Cycle.
To elaborate on the Blended Learning Cycle. Mr. Henderson uses an acronym for remembering the steps of the Blended Learning Cycle and it goes by QU.I.V.E.R.S. The QU stands for question. Start with a question that the students are able to make predictions about and gets their interest (Also called the “Hook”). Next you want the students to investigate, experiment and inquire more about the question. Then you use a video or video podcast to make lessons. This way instead of lecturing your students you can upload the video and make it available to students at any time.

           Next we have elaboration. This is the part where you encourage finding more information to support your answer, using any tools imaginable. Share with the students why this information is important and relevant to their everyday lives. When they complete that step, they move on to the review. For Mr. Henderson's review, he breaks the class up into groups; then moves around and asks each group questions and reinforce learning, basically checking their understanding. They cannot move onto the next step until he is sure they know what they are talking about. Last but not least is the Summary Quiz. If they do not understand the material you must take steps backs. After they have completed the learning cycle about 5-10 times there is a good ol fashion hand written exam where they have to show what they have learned.

           When you are using quivers you are starting from a question and breaking down the learning process. Mr. Henderson said this blended learning cycle is working excellent so far, that he feels more involved in the classroom and returned to some old roots of starting with really really good questions. So here we see just another example of blended learning and how it can improve the learning experience. This video just goes to show that you can create any type of learning cycle you want, and customized and personalize it to your classroom.

3. Video titled: “Making Thinking Visible” By: Mark Church
Mr. Church got his students to work in small groups based on the topic “early human beginnings of early origin of society”, they had been discussing about their ancestors and backgrounds. The students were to then discuss and decide on a headline that explains what the topic is all about. Once, they figured their headline out; Mr. Church gave them a paper to write it on. The students were to discuss and analyze; in the phrase they were to explain the question “How?”. The next step was to share their headline with class and explain in three words why they chose it. Mr. Church would then take all the papers up and place on a bulletin board for all students to see. The students will do this same assignment in 2 weeks and then explain how their headline has changed in a 2 week period.

We all loved this video and thought Mr. Church did a wonderful job explaining the lesson. The children seemed to be very engaged in the assignment.  They also looked like they were having fun too. We feel that we learned some valuable information from Mr. Church and we will definitely use it when we all becomes teachers.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blog Post #8

21st Century Learning and Communicating Tools - Collaborative Post

          As educators and even individuals we are consistently finding and inventing new ways to make things run a little more effective. I had a teacher once tell me that every invention was made to make something easier. Think about how far inventions have come; starting with the creation of the first ever “wheel” to where they are now. Or even consider the technology that were in use during the 1980’s compared to today’s present technology. If we can learn anything from these examples it’s that technology and innovation are moving fast. It is no longer an argument that students in the 21st century classroom have no choice whether they want to be exposed to technology or not; they simply are born into this society.

          So now we are left with little or no choice but to give into the ever changing demands of modern technology and manipulate it in a way to our advantage...which has simply become known as the 21st century classroom. But what about being in the 2000’s that makes a classroom “21st century worthy”? Is it simply the use of technology in the classroom? Or is because the students are technologically literate? Or could it even be both or more? Our group, as well as Dr. Strange, have searched and found you guys some 21st century learning and communication tools using technology that makes way for modern effective instruction and a more technology friendly classroom..

            I’m sure you have all heard about iCurio through our EDM 310 blogs as well as some other sites that promote learning through an online or technological source. So we are here today to tell you about some new tools we have found to add to your students 21st century classroom experience.

            The first site we are here to tell you about is Edmodo is a social network learning website for teachers, students, and also parents that enables learners to  connect with the people, resources, and information needed to reach their full potential. It is thought of as an online commonly (ex. of schools, as called by students, teachers and parents alike. Where better than to start than an social network site dedicated fully to learning?! With edmodo reaching information is painless and you can easily search through educators to find learning experiences personalized to you and your classroom.

            Another awesome feature about, is you are able to track student progress  All grades, assignment, and activities are awarded through Edmodo are stored within the website and can be easily accessed. Teachers can get the status of their classrooms by the students reactions to quizzes, assignments, discussions, activities and posts that demonstrate understanding, confusion, or fallacies.

            Edmodo is also equipped with hundreds of educational apps. You and your students can pick and choose the apps you want for your own page and personalize those as you choose and use them for interactive lessons or activities in your classroom. The only fallacy I can find so far about this website is just a minor speed bump. You as a teacher, your school, or your classroom must acquire an activation code before you can create an account. Otherwise you are on your way to quick and easy learning, sharing, and researching with thousands of other educators or fellow students.

         Above are some snapshot from the Edmodo website that give you some insight on how it is set up.

            Use as a way to stay connected with your students. is a great way to give your students a jumpstart to usung research and tasks through technology. Use it to connect with other educators or classroom around the world to learn about different cultures and different ways to approach teaching and learning. Use it to create a diverse idea of interactive and engaging lesson plans. Remember, think of it as a Facebook, only dedicated to learning; just imagine the possibilities!


The second tool we want to discuss is #PTchat, or Parent-Teacher chat. Parent-Teacher Chat is a weekly Twitter chat where parents and teachers around the world come together using hashtag #PTchat. This chat helps parents and teachers become open as a group to questions and concerns they may have. The chat starts every Wednesday around 9pm EDT. A topic is chosen every week and parents, teachers, and school leaders are able to give their opinion on each topic .

            We believe that this is such a helpful tool for teachers as well as parents. Teachers will be able to extend they PLN, or Personal Learning Network. Parents will be able to show their support and raise questions to teachers all over the world. As a future teacher or parent, please use this tool to your advantage. IIt will help you grow both individually and professionally. For more information visit the eFace Today blog page at:

ABCteach is a website with a ton of free course materials and documents. There are over 5,000 different activities for students.  We thought this website would be perfect for teachers new and old.  All you do is find a subject/category that you want; then look for more specific categories within the main category list.  We all feel that this resource is very useful and that all teachers should use this at some point in their career. I hope you all find it as interesting as us and will use this awesome tool.

Friday, October 11, 2013

C4T #2

               For round two of Comments 4 Teachers I was given an elementary teacher's blog named Kathy Cassidy. Mrs. Cassidy's blog is mainly about her classroom growing and learning through technology. I absolutely adore her blog; it is so very insightful and relevant to today's advancing world. She even has an e-book about global learning in primary school.

                 Comment #1: 

                  Just like in our first Comments 4 Teachers assignment, we were to read their most recent blog post then comment on it. Mrs. Cassidy's most recent post was titled The Early Literacy Shift: New Words, New Media, and New Friends. Now going into more detail, the post was about how literacy has changed due to technology. For example Wii, iPod, and pingback - these are all words that contradict the traditional ways of spelling in English grammar.

                 She talked about how she would often have to explain why we and Wii are spelled different but sound the same, why iPod doesn't start with a capital letter, and pingback isn't even a word in the dictionary! She explained that now-a-days, there is a "New Vocabulary". But what is this "new vocabulary" and what does it consist of? New vocabulary is a list of words that did not exist twenty years ago that is shaking things up in the literate world and making grammar a bit more difficult to tackle.

                 Mrs. Cassidy had a video of her students being interviewed and asked about certain new vocabulary words; and what their definition of those words were. The first boy was about seven or eight year old answering what an embedded code was...I didn't even know this word existed when I was that young. They also answered what a pingback was, which, be honest, I haven’t even heard of that word until now. For those of you who are like myself and are wondering what a pingback is, a pingback is a type of comment that is created when you link to another blog post.  Underneath the video she has a section on new ways of teaching literacy in the modern classroom using new tools, new ways to learn, new audiences, and new communication forms. 

    Now let’s move on to the comment I left. First I started off by telling her that I was a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. Then I let her know how relevant this post was in today’s word! It is so nice to here this idea being embraced by a teacher, some teacher may want to refuse the acknowledge of this "new vocabulary", especially not teach it.. I told her that often as a child, and even sometimes today, I find contradictions in grammar rules; which is even harder today for elementary students because they see so many contradicts, many more than I saw when I was a child. I talked about how I had the "I before E except after C" rule pounded in my head in elementary school yet saw words that contradicted this statement so many times, I was so confused! It would have been nice if a teacher sat down with me more even as a group with the class and discuss with is the contradictions and what to do when we see one.

    I let her know how insightful her post was and that more educators need to make the transition with her. It is important to educate your children on modern technology, because if you don’t, they will be behind the rest of the world! We need to educate our children on relevant information from the source that they can use for the future; not just traditional grammar rules. If you do not teach the children the correct way, they may get the wrong information from someone else down the road, and be stumped for the rest of their lives.

Comment #2: 

For my second comment for Mrs. Cassidy's blog was on a post titled " Miss BLC? You Can Still Watch the Key Notes." Not sure exactly what BLC is but I can tell you what the post is about. It was a video of her attending and presenting a speech the Building Learning Communities Education Conference. Which is the perfect conference for her to be speaking at because she and her 1st grade class run a class blog that is a learning community and has become widely noted and hugely successful.

 What she discussed in her speech was extremely insightful. I loved it because you got to know how this blog started out, how it became such a huge success with her students and how it gained so much recognition. She starts off with telling the audience about one of her students in her 1st grade classes; when told that for their first day of class they were going to use Skype to connect with other educators to talk about what they would want to learn and what were their goals for that year, he asked, "How is this going to help me read?" Of course he thought his only goal then was to learn how to read. Oh how little did he know of the adventures that awaited him in Mrs. Cassidy's class.

As I'm sure you have seen from the first comment, she runs a blog completely dedicated to learning through technology, that she first intended for the parents to use to keep up with the class. In her speech she talked about how she discovered that you can learn and promote literacy not only through books but through blog posts, comments, and tweets; that you can use new tools other than the white board and traditional forms of teaching like iPad's, iPod's, the SMART Board and the computer.

 She discussed how technology in the classroom is a new way of thinking, a new way of communicating; and that you are not only gaining new skills in technology but you are connecting with other people around the globe. You create a members of a community that support you and become your most treasured audience as you grow and learn. The comment I left her expressed how insightful this post was for me. I told her that as a future educator with absolutely no experience by myself in a classroom; I find myself more than often, believing that I am not going to succeed in manipulating technology successfully for my classroom. 

             I wanted to tell her how greatly this speech has affected me changed my mind, although I am afraid I cannot truly show her my appreciation for posting this speech, I still let her know that I gained more confidence as an educator through her words and her journey and major success with this blog. Lastly I talked to her brilliant her blog is and how different things would have been for me in school, if I was able to connect and grow with an audience all the way across the world. I will most definitely be back!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Podcast Project #9

Collaborative Podcast Project
By: Sarah Barnett, Malary Booker, and Lauren Bradley

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blog Post #7

Part 1 by: Sarah Barnett, Malary Booker and Lauren Bradley

         One of the things that Anthony Capps really put into perspective was exactly what project based learning is all about. In his first video, Capps told us that when carrying out the processes of project based learning, students are creating something as they discover knowledge. The goal is to create a project with the content needed for learning within and throughout the project. Project based learning should relate to the real world and be relevant to students lives.

         A great example of project based learning comes from one of Anthony Capps third grade classe. He and his students were learning about how women were recently just allowed to fight in combat. The students were to write a letter to the Congressmen Joe Bonner about their opinions on this subject; but not before they got involved and formed opinions of their own through a project.

         The students were to conduct research using anything from iCurio to a book. They were to find a female or minority history figure that demonstrated success and that rose above challenges; such as the first female astronaut. They could also interview a family member or friend who served in war. Then they can go and use the information  and decide whether they think it is appropriate. Then reflect on each others letters. While students are performing PBL they are also also meeting many social studies, writing, and reading standards.

         In the second video with Anthony Capps, he discussed with us one of his favorite, most effective PBL activities yet. His class was studying culture, specifically the culture in Afghanistan. His class was to search using iCurio for text, images, movies, activities and create an educational video of their own. Some students focused on food, some fashion, religion, warfare, or a blend of all. Third graders were using iMovie like a pro!!

         The outcome of passion from this project was phenomenal. He discussed with us the reactions of his students, his colleagues, his principal and all his other “bosses”. He says students love project based learning. They are invested and engaged in their projects; and when they are engaged, they are learning. The only times the project receives negative feedback is when there is an fallacy in collaboration. Principals, teachers and parents are enthralled with high approval ratings. With project based learning you are going to get more than you expect. Don't limit your students, create an opportunity for them to go beyond your expectations.

VIDEO 3: iCurio

         In this video Capps discusses with us iCurio and why it is so effective in the classroom. iCurio allows students to safely search the web. iCurio has been curated through professionals and through educators and is intended for educational uses only. Another part of iCurio that is effective for classrooms is it allows students to search not only text, but videos, audio, images, you name it...even the standards at any grade level! With technology, students are becoming more engaged and given more than one aspect of learning. Another thing iCruio contributes to the classroom is practicing organization, not only in the real world but organization through technology or virtual organization.

“Don’t Teach Tech-Use It”: by Anthony Capps and Dr. Strange

We agree with what Anthony Capps says about technology. The world is advancing in technology every day and it must be incorporated into our curriculum when we start teaching. Dr. Strange was correct when he said that it probably takes less time for third graders to learn how to use iMovie then it does for his EDM 310 students. Children are able to learn so much faster at such a young age now. Anthony chooses one technology at a time to use in his class week by week so that the students are not overwhelmed with a lot at one time. We believe that this really is a great teaching strategy. Students will be using technology for the rest of their lives, so it is important for them to learn how to use it and incorporate into their daily lives while they are young.

“Additional Thoughts about Lessons” by: Anthony Capps

Anthony Capps had great information.  He proposes that a lesson plan should be 4 layers.

1. Year Lesson
- covering all content standards
- written curriculum map
2. Unit Size
- devise and come up with plans to teach the lesson where the lesson is understood
- students should be able to master the lesson taught by the end of unit
3. Weekly Lesson
- getting goals done
- have to think about M-F; know the goal will be accomplished
4. Daily Lesson
- how you deliver the lesson to your students
- something to measure the students so you know how well they are doing so you can
  move on to the next day.

         Anthony Capp’s advice should be used when we create our own lesson plans.  He explains what we should know and how we need to deliver our lessons to the students.  We all feel this information is very valuable to our own careers as teachers.

Part 2 by: Lauren Bradley

         It seems education has lost its luster, its impact and its desire to change things. We as individuals and as citizens, often find ourselves presented with challenges everyday; therefore we are constantly evolving and shifting our ideas and our methods for a more effective learning experience. So where exactly does this change begin? Where better to start then your own classroom? What can we do to polish-up and refine our education system? By starting with you. Being a new and hopeful future educator, I need all the help, criticism, and advice I can get. 

             During the video The Anthony - Strange Tips for Teaching Part 1, Dr. Strange and Anthony Capps gave us some quick tips to prepare new educators, like myself, for the teaching field. Capps told me to let my work become a fun experience; check! I also believe this is CRUCIAL to teaching. Passion is essential. Be open to change. I know sometimes it can be hard or frustration, but acceptance is key! Teaching is a constant process but yields many rewards for you and the students. 

            Dr. Strange says to be flexible! Life is one big learning experience! No one expects you to be perfect. Be creative! The great Eisenstein once said, "Creativity is intelligence having fun." When children are expressing themselves, they are learning and growing; it is part of being creative! Einstein also said, "A true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." With creativity, the possibilities of teaching can be endless. 

          Dr. Strange also told us to reflect; to look back on our work and evaluate. Evaluate what works and what makes less of an impact on the students. When you are reflecting you are learning more about what's effective and therefore, a more personalized learning experience for your students. Respond to your work and adapt, do not teach the same lessons the same way over and over again. All of these play a hand in each other. You create a lesson whether it be a PBL or a group activity, with imagination and creativity in mind, you reflect on it after you carry out the process, and you respond to the information you learned. To sum it all up here, begin with the end in mind!