Wednesday, February 23, 2011

C4K 1, 2 & 3

C4K 1

For the first C4K, I was assigned to Jessica W.'s blog. She is in Ms. White's 4th grade class at Crozet Elementary in Crozet, Virginia.

In her post she talks about what she was giving her grandfathers for Christmas. She said she was giving one of her grandfathers a leather sketchbook for him to draw his sculpture ideas in because he made sculptures out of metal. She said she was giving her other grandfather an international farmers calendar because he liked them instead of John Deere and because he was a part-time farmer. She also talked about how she likes to make candles.

My response:

Hi Jessica! My name is Samantha, and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I love the thoughtfulness behind your presents to your family. I think those are always the best gifts to give and to receive. How did your grandfathers like their presents? I bet they loved them! I’m very impressed with the fact that you make candles; that is so creative and sounds like a lot of fun! I would be scared of burning myself. Do you make them often? I would love to see a picture of one that you made!

C4K 2

For the second C4K, I was assigned to Subika's blog. She is a 5th grade student in Mr. St. Pierre's class at Terryville Elementary School in New York.

In Subika's post she talks about heart to heart day. She said that she wore red socks, red bracelets, and a red shirt in support of "Go Red for Women."

My Response:

Hi Subika! My name is Samantha and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. What a great cause and a great way to raise awareness! It is very inspiring to see children of all ages supporting such an amazing cause. I hope you continue to raise awareness for heart disease in the years to come. Thanks for sharing!

Go Red for Women

C4K 3

For the third C4K, I was assigned to Anamei's blog. She is a year 5 student in Mr. Marks' class at Pt. England School in New Zealand.

She started a new blog for her new year of school so she only has one blog post, which was just a picture of herself titled "This is Me." 

My Response: 

Hi Anamei! My name is Samantha, and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the U.S. I was assigned to comment on your blog for one of my education classes here at school. I think it's so neat how we can communicate with people from all over the world with the click of a button! I like your picture, very cute! You seem like a very happy little lady! Well, it was nice to "meet" you, and I hope to read more about you in some of your later blog posts. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blog Assignment 5


Eagle Nest Radio & Class Blog:

     These kids did an amazing job with their podcasts! I listened to Episode #3, "Roamin' with the Ancient Romans." In this episode, the students discussed Roman architecture, Julius Caesar, gladiators and Cleopatra. The students read very well to only be in the 3rd grade; they also spoke clearly so it was very easy to hear and understand them. It's so neat to see/hear such young children use technology in this manner.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom by Joe Dale:

     This video gives several benefits of podcasting in the classroom such as creating an effective way of interacting with students outside of the classroom, they allow for differentiation and project based learning, create a form of learning today's students are familiar with and therefore makes it relevant to them, students can access higher-order thinking skills and they promote creativity and innovation. In addition, podcasts can offer distance learning opportunities for absent students and parents can see and hear what their children are doing at school. Podcasts help excite students when it comes to learning. This video shows just how beneficial podcasts can be in the classroom.

The Practical Principles with Melinda Miller & Scott Elias:

     This blog defines a podcast as "rich media, such as audio or video, distributed via RSS." Although this podcast is just free-flowing conversation, it still has a sense of professionalism. They didn't use slang or bad grammar, they talked very clearly and professional. However, they still came across as relaxed and easy-going. This made it very easy to listen to and follow along with. I think this podcast will definitely help me and my group with our project. I really liked the format of it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please? by Scott McLeod:

     I liked Dr. McLeod's take on this. I like how he made you wonder the entire time if he was really against technology. He makes a bunch of valid points though. Technology can be dangerous; sexting, cyber-bullying, cheating, predators, porn.. it all exists. It's all out there. However, it's out there in the real world too, not just online. So, I think it is extremely important to not only teach about the positives of technology, but the negatives too. I think we in EDM should also be taught the negatives of technology. I think we should be taught about parent control settings in addition to blogging, skyping, twitter, etc. After all, if computers are going to take over schools and the world in the near future, don't we need to learn how to protect our children to some extent? Having a child of my own, I think so.
     Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Education Administration Program at Iowa State University. He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues. Also, Dr. McLeod is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues. 

The iSchool Initiative:

     My first question after watching the video is who is going to pay for these? Is the school going to provide them like they provide books or is it going to be the responsibility of the parents? If so, what about the families that have 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 kids? Are they going to get assistance? I know I  went to school with two different families that each had 12 children. So at $150 a piece, that's almost $2,000. And what happens when one break or messes up or freezes? I know my internet at home goes out at least once a month. Over the summer when I was enrolled full-time in summer courses, my internet was down for a week. What will happen then? Do the students get counted as absent, do they get penalized and have to make up the work that they missed? Will they just fall behind? In my opinion, technology is not quite there yet; it has not been perfected enough for a school to go completely technology-based.
     In addition, I truly believe that children need a classroom environment. They need that experience, that outlet. When a school turns technology-based and you attend "class" by logging in online, what does that do for social interaction? This is the same reason I would never homeschool my son. I think they need to be surrounded by children their age and experience learning hands-on. That's how they learn and how they grow... not staring at a computer, iphone or ipad all day.

The Lost Generation by Jonathan Reed:

     Very clever I must say. It is sad to say that in today's work, a lot of people do put work before family, rely on material things for happiness, divorce rates are rapidly increasing, and the rising generations are becoming ever more apathetic and lethargic. And the video is right, it will remain true unless we reverse it, but how? I think now more than ever we need to reevaluate the importance of family, work, money, technology etc. We need to return to our roots and realign our priorities; that's where change begins.

Together We Can Change the World

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir:

     Although I am still for social interaction, this video was a great demonstration of one of the many uses of technology. It is crazy to think that 185 people from all around the country could collaborate and make such an amazing video; it was very creative and interesting to see!

Teaching in the 21st Century:

    What does it mean to teach in the 21st century? It means you not only have to teach facts and content, but you also have to teach skills as well. You have to integrate technology (in moderation, in my opinion) into the classroom to enhance these skills. Since technology is expanding and everchanging, the upcoming generations need to be familiar with how to utilize every source that is at their disposal, but at the same time, need not be reliant on it. Teaching in the 21st century also means that you must challenge, push and engage your students.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blog Assignment 3


A Vision of Students Today by Michael Wesch:

     Some parts of this video do capture my college experience. I have paid hundreds of dollars for textbooks and never used them; I will be over $20,000 in debt after I graduate; I do spend countless hours on the phone, sending emails, surfing the web and studying. There are problems in the world today that I did not create that are still my problems.

     However, it does not capture my college experience in that I do not sit around and fret over the negatives. I know that my college experience is leading me to a great place. I know that despite the massive amount of debt I will be in thanks to student loans, I am very fortunate to even have the opportunity to attend college so I am trying to make the very best of it.

It's Not About the Technology by Kelly Hines:

     I absolutely loved this! She is exactly right, teachers must be learners. Teachers have to have a desire and a willingness to continue to learn throughout their entire career in order to remain an effective teacher. Times are constantly changing and new technology is rapidly evolving. Also, learning has to be the goal of every teacher. A teachers can teach all day long, but if the students aren't actually learning, well then the teacher's job has not been done.  

     In addition, technology can be a very efficient tool in education. This can only happen though if a teacher is adequately trained and familiar with it. Like Mrs. Hines said, "when we put innovative tools in the hands of innovative teachers, amazing things can happen. If you put these tools in the hands of teachers who are not willing to innovate, money has been wasted." She couldn't have said it better!

Is it Okay to Be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher? by Karl Fisch:

     I agree with Mr. Fisch in that it is not okay for teachers to be technologically illiterate. When you live in a time when things are advancing as quickly as they are this day in age, you have to keep up with times in order to be effective. And, if you are dedicated to being a lifelong learner, well then you probably won't succeed as an educator in today's ever changing times.

     However, I do not agree with him and his statement that "School inspectors that are technologically illiterate should be encouraged to find alternative employment." I do not think that is fair. School systems should offer and require technology classes for teachers in order to keep them up-to-date with times and technology. They may not use all of it in their classrooms, but they still need to know it exists and be familiar with it.

Social Media Count by Gary Hayes:
     This social media counter, to me, means that I am definitely going to have to be a lifelong learner. I am going to have to stay up-to-date with all technology if I want to really be able to reach my students. I may not use all of it in my classroom, but I think it will definitely be beneficial to at least know the basics of it all just in case an opportunity ever arises for which I would need it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

C4T 1

     I was assigned to follow Bill Ferriter's blog, "The Tempered Radical." Mr. Ferriter teaches sixth grade language arts in North Carolina, where he was named a Regional Teacher of the Year for 2005-2006.

     In the first blog post that I commented on, Mr. Ferriter shares about an Educon conference that he attended called How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Citation, offered by Bud Hunt and Joe Bires. He tells how Bud argued that the ideas of others are important enough to honor and that citation is essential in almost every circumstance. However, Joe argued that citation is increasingly difficult in a world driven by co-creation and a barrier to innovative thought. 

My Response to Mr. Ferriter:

     I can see both Joe and Bud's side of the spectrum. I agree with Joe in that citation is increasingly difficult due to co-creation. It becomes extremely challenging trying to cite something when that person is citing someone else and so on. I also agree that it becomes a barrier to innovative thought because you have to be particularly cautious of what you are saying for fear of plagiarism and copyright issues. However, I still agree with Bud in that the ideas of others are important enough to honor. I know you nor myself would like it if someone took our work and tried to play it off as their own.

     My issue with citation is that every teacher I have ever had to write a paper for has stressed the importance of citing references. However, not a single one of those teachers ever took the time to teach us the correct way to it. In my opinion, all students should be given a course, class, or seminar of some sort on how to correctly cite references if it is going to be a requirement.

     In Mr. Ferriter's second blog, he talks about another seminar that he attended where they talked about the challenges faced by public schools and the steps they're taking in Philadelphia to address those challenges. He talks about a survey that was given to Philadelphia parents designed to highlight what the general community regarded as "must haves" in a good educational system and how once you know what a community values, you can work to protect those components of your system. At the end he asks the questions, "Isn't a bit arrogant to design a system that completely ignores the very programs that parents value the most?  When the choices that our schools and systems make don't align with parent desires and interests, aren't we setting ourselves up for an #epicfail?"

My Response to Mr. Ferriter:

     In response to your last question, I agree that it does seem a bit arrogant to design a system that completely ignores the very programs that parents value the most. However, I don't think that it should be solely up to the parents. Every parents' values are going to be slightly different; therefore, you aren't going to be able to please everyone. I like the idea of taking a survey to find out what it is that's important to them, but I think when it comes down to designing the system, it should be left up to the school board with them taking into consideration the surveys of the parents in the community.

Survey Picture