Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blog Assignment #5

iSchool Initiative

Travis Allen and his team members holding an iPad
Travis Allen made several great points in his video, The iSchool Initiative. He introduced the argument that the iSchool could be more efficient in the areas of “going green”, saving money and conserving space. His example is the iPhone and all of its applications. He stated that the applications can go beyond greater use than video games and entertainment. It can assist in everyday classroom learning.

I thought he had a great idea. I think it’s even greater that he was in high school and made such a huge impact on technology’s society and our eventual way of learning. I would love to learn in a classroom setting with the assistance of this type of technology. I don’t think I would enjoy our entire learning curriculum on the iSchool, though. I feel like I would get distracted throughout the day with having the iSchool. He had an example of using a globe on the iSchool instead of a physical one in the classrooms. In my opinion, some things are just better to be seen and learned hands on. It could eventually pose a problem for people that require tactile-style learning, like myself, with remembering what they are studying. That is my only objection to his idea. I enjoyed watching his second video, ZeitgeistYoungMind's Entry. I thought it was awesome that his program has launched to become so big. It’s very inspirational. Also, just a thought, but, without the technology of YouTube and other internet sources, it is very unlikely that his idea would have been discovered and turned into the program that it is today.

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
Eric Whitacre pulls together hundreds of people from all over the world to make a virtual choir. The choir sings “Lux Aurumque”. I have seen this video, Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir, before. It gives me chills every time I listen to it. It’s absolutely stunning that we have the ability to make something so beautiful being so spread across the world. I would have never thought, imagined or dreamed of anything like this ever happening. This man is a musical revolutionist and genius.

Teaching in the 21st century

 a picture of an apple on a laptop
After watching Dr. Strange’s version of Kevin Robert’s presentation, Teaching in the 21st Century, my mind was blown. I had never thought about the fact that teachers are no longer the source of knowledge and that the internet is. Our new job, as instructors, is to show our students the proper way to use this resource. As much as I really don’t want to admit this is true, it is. I think that this class, EDM 310, is a perfect example of how to teach the proper way to do this. I have already learned so much from this course that I will definitely carry over into my future classroom. Education is changing today. This means our jobs, as instructors, are to learn to adjust accordingly, also.

Flipping the Classroom
 diagram of the positive effects of a

The idea of flipping the classroom is BRILLIANT! I have never thought of that. When a teacher "flips" the classroom it simply means that they are now putting their lectures online via videos accessible at home. They students will go home, watch the lectures and come into the classroom with previous knowledge about that lesson. The teacher can then, address any questions or problems during the class time. This is what is being discussed in the following videos: Why I Flipped My Classroom, Dr. Lodge McCammon's FIZZ - Flipping the Classroom and Flipping the Classroom - 4th Grade STEM

I can see how easily this process would encourage the students to be engaged. I think that it may help their parents get involved, also. I remember when I was younger and would struggle with math problems. I always came to my parents and asked for help, but they never knew how to help me, because they could not understand it themselves. With flipping the classroom, parents will now be able to watch the lectures for themselves. This might help eliminate questions the students may have for the teachers the next day in class.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

C4T #1

The blog that I am assigned to is titled Manaiakalani. She is from New Zealand and the facilitator of Manaikalani Cluster Schools. The main purpose of Manaikalani is get children in the classrooms in touch with technology and assist them in speaking good English.

The first post that I read on Manaikalani's page was titled "Agents of Change". She had a video about the technology she has introduced her students to. I commented on that post telling her what a great job she is doing and how I look forward to viewing future posts on her blog.

The next post she had on her blog was titled, "Partnership Hui". It was also a video. The video described the events held on their first annual Hui. On this day they got together to discuss what will be occurring in the future of Manaiakalani. I commented on this post and told her she was still doing a great job. I also introduced myself this time. I made the mistake in my last post of leaving that out.

Here is a link to Manaikalani's blog:

Blog Assignment #4

Flat Stanley Podcast

Flat Stanley
Ms. Tolisano had her first grade classroom do a podcast on the children's book, Flat Stanley. Flat Stanley is a story about a boy who gets squished by a bulletin board, becomes flat and realizes that it has many advantages. He is able to go all kinds and types of places. Ms. Tolisano allows her children to tell their own version of Flat Stanley and choose their own place to visit.

My favorite story told by the children, was a little girl's story of her trip to London. She described how it was her hometown and all of the places she missed and loved doing. She even discusses Les Miserables. It shocked me how detailed each one of their stories were (especially, being that they were in the first grade!). I enjoyed listening to each of their stories!

Podcasting With First Grade
Vacation Under a Volcano

This teacher does a podcast with her first grade classroom, and titles it Podcasting With First Graders. The book they chose is Vacation under the Volcano. In this teacher's podcast, she got her students to be very expressive with what they were to say. I loved how the teacher said that it brought out a side of the shy students that she has never seen before. Doing a different style of reading with kids so young makes it an exciting and challenging, new experience for them to take on.

Zoo Trip

The children in this classroom are discussing and learning about animals in their habitats. They are doing this via podcasts. The parents of the students are curious as to what the children are doing and learning in the classroom. Podcasts are the perfect way to show and exhibit the work that their children are doing. This may get the parents more involved and interested in the child's life if they can physically hear it for themselves.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blog Assignment #3

Thoughts on the Peer Editing Tutorials

The videos gave me a different outlook on how to properly peer edit another classmate's blog. I was unaware that I should be leaving a detailed comment; including everything the peer did correctly and incorrectly. It is a great feeling to be praised on what you did right or what another person enjoyed about your post. In saying that, it is very important that you are positive throughout the entire post and assist the person on the correct help necessary.

The videos and slideshow provided for EDM 310 to watch are as followed: What is Peer Editing?, Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial and Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes. Each one was extremely helpful in its own way. In all of the videos, each referred to editing on paper, not in a blog. So it makes it difficult to follow some of the tips like signs and signals for certain mistakes. My favorite video was Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes. I thought it was very original and super cute; of course everything is cuter with children, though!

Technology in Special Education

I think this video is nothing less than WONDERFUL! It shows just how important it is to stay up to date with technology and how it is more helpful than harmful. This video really hit home to me, considering I am a special education major. Technology in Special Education guides us through a day in a special education classroom. It shows how much easier it is for children (and adults) with special needs to communicate with others and help themselves learn. Helping yourself learn is the best way, in my opinion... and Dr. Strange's, to learn. When you teach yourself something, you are more likely to retain it. These children with special needs would require one on one attention if not for the iPad and other technologies used to assist them in learning. Therefore, they are more likely to progress in their studies each day.

This summer I attended Camp S.M.I.L.E.(Special Meanings In Life's Experience). Camp S.M.I.L.E. is a camp for children with special needs located here, in Mobile. It was, by far, the most eye-opening, beautiful experience that I have ever been a part of. I was surrounded by hundreds of special needs children for a week. It was so neat to watch and observe how each child functioned in their everyday life. More than half of the kids there had some sort of technologically based instrument that helped them communicate or function in their every day life. These kids are just like every other kid in the neighborhood; they want to be loved on, annoying, have fun and just, simply enjoy life itself. They just need a little bit more, or different type of, assistance doing so versus the average child. And that's where the iPad, along with other forms of technology, come into place. Technology helps these kids work at a pace that is more socially acceptable. It helps them become part of the world and keeps them from being or becoming segregated. I WILL have all the technology I can get my hands on in my future special education classroom.

Special Education and the iPad
Proloquo2go app for the iPad or iPhone

It is truly amazing what a little technology can do and how big of a difference it can make! The iPad is more than just a fun toy or video game to special needs children. It becomes their voice. That's why I chose to use the Proloquo2go app for your iPad in my future classroom.

Proloquo2go is the perfect solution for special needs children who have difficulty with speech and communication. It provides pictures for the children to show what they are doing or want to do. Once they click on the image of the task they want to perform, it speaks for them. It becomes the voice they do not have. It's truly amazing that these kids have a chance at communicating with others that, if not for the iPad, they would not normally get the opportunity to.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Vicki Davis discusses in her video, Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts, that students need to be self-taught and explore the virtual world for themselves. That way they get a sense of empowerment when they accomplish something or figure it out. They are most likely to remember that, versus when a teacher is just lecturing about it. I found it to be a pleasant surprise that I just began following Vicki's twitter today! I cannot wait to see what other great advice she has to give.

I'm so glad that we got introduced to this video. My mother just got the job at a local high school as a media instructor. This is her first year teaching, as well as teaching computer technology. She has become very discouraged lately because she does not know everything there is to know about computers (but, really, who does?!). I think that if I show her this video, it will make her feel better and give her the lift that she needs to carry on in the classroom. If she see's how a very successful technology teacher, like Vicki, admits that it is okay to be wrong or not know everything all the time, it will encourage her and give her more confidence.

Project #2: Wordle

Lauren Cunningham's Wordle

Friday, September 7, 2012

Blog Assignment #2

Technology and the Web
"Did You Know?"

After watching the two videos provided, "Did You Know? 3.0 A John Strange 2012 Version" and "Did You Know? 3.0 by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod", I left with the feeling of having my stomach tied into knots.

The first video I watched was Professor Strange's. It's so hard to believe all of these statistics. I do believe them, it's just amazing to see them in real terms. We, as Americans, tend to put ourselves at the top of the ladder (the social, economical, educational ladder; the list could go on) in contrary to other countries. All of my friends that are from foreign countries are 10, if not 30, times more educated than we could ever dream of. For instance, two of my very best friends are from Germany and Czech. They both speak, at least, five different languages. When they first came over here, they were both about two years ahead of our public school education and became very bored with ours. Us Americans have the mentality (especially down south) of "Well, if you ain't from 'Merica, you need to get the heck outta here and take your non-English speaking friends with ya'! (as he spits into his spit cup)." It's really a shame how highly we consider ourselves when, really, we are at the bottom of the ladder struggling while these other countries our surpassing us in every aspect that's possible.

While watching the second video is when I really started to feel my stomach knot up. THAT VIDEO WAS FROM 2008!!! Those statistics and facts were absolutely mind-blowing while watching them in 2012; that was from four years ago. Can you imagine what kind of numbers and facts are out there now? Technology progresses every day, let-a-long every year and every four years. The video was discussing how in 2016 they are projecting to have a computer with the capacity, capability and the information of the entire human brain. If that doesn't get your attention, I am not sure what will.

Needless to say, I am very impressed with what the world of technology is capable of doing.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle Wakes is a modern-day spin off of Rip Van Winkle. It discusses how Mr. Winkle wakes up from his 100-year slumber and realizes the world was not quite the same as he had left it. He notices technology changes, building structure changes, changes in the hospital and just everyday life. One thing that he finds comfort in is the school. He said that the school has not changed and he enjoys being there.

I couldn't imagine the feeling of waking up after being asleep for 100 years. I can barely imagine technology exceeding the point of where it's at today, let along how much it will change over a century. I imagine it would be like living a whole different world. He mentioned that he liked how the school hasn't changed. I feel like it has. Although, we still go to a classroom and get taught by a teacher, we have different methods of learning and being taught by now. We have smart boards, projectors, computers and many other new and useful tools that have transformed throughout time that have adjusted to the new advances of the technological world. `

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

In Ken Robinson's video, The Importance of Creativity, he discusses a whole new skew of things that people (teachers, students, professors, administrators and etc) are not accustomed to. He says that school alters and interferes with students ability to be creative; which I believe to be 100% true. School's teach conformity without even realizing it.

For example: they push college on everyone. We need people in this world to do the simple things like picking up trash, putting mail in our mailboxes, restocking the shelves at the local stores and so on. On a different side of the spectrum, some people just don't want to go. Artists don't need professors to tell them how to do it. That is something they figure out themselves and it becomes original because of that. Not everyone is made for college. People wait to find that out once they are in hundreds and thousands of dollars in debt from school loans and end up dropping out anyway.

Thinking About the Future: A Day Made of Glass 2, A Day Made of Glass 2: Unpacked and Project Glass by Google in light of Mr. Winkle Wakes.

After watching these videos I am in absolute awe and amazement at how technology has advanced and is currently advancing. When I first watched A Day Made of Glass 2, I did not know what to think. Everything seemed unreal. Fortunately, I realized it was after watching the sequel, A Day Made of Glass 2: Unpacked. In the Unpacked version of the video it discusses the probability of the things in the first video actually occurring. Most of them would or already have. There were a few things in the video that made me almost angry. Technology is a great thing and everyone should learn how to use it. Because the way that it is progressing, it will become a necessity in the near future, more-so than it is today.I feel that we are being lazy though. We are getting technology to do the dirty work for us. I hate to be old fashioned, but when I saw all of the glassware in the park outdoors it made me uncomfortable. The outdoors is where you go to escape classroom technology and everyday life for most people; why corrupt it with what we have everywhere else?

If I went to sleep for 100 years, as Mr. Winkle did, and woke up to what is going on in the world today I would probably just go back to sleep. I can't believe what is changing and transforming now, let a long in 100 years. We have glass walls that tell us what and how to do everything. What does the future hold for us then? What will we get to do ourselves? The future excites and scares me at the same time.