Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sir Ken Robinson

The first video we watched by Sir Ken Robinson was about finding "your element". He made several important point during this video. His main points were 1. Personal Fulfillment, 2. Health of Communities, and 3. Economic Argument. He stated that when you are in "your element", you are doing something you are comfortable with and you love. Simply being good at something is not a good enough reason for doing it. He said that life revolves around opportunities that meet us, and this is why some people do not know what their talent is. I agree with him on the fact that we should base education on diversity rather than conformity. Education should be more about personal growth and culture. On the second video, he discussed human creativity. He pointed out that all kids have a talent, and they are not frightened by failure. The Hierarchy of Education puts more emphasis on math and language than the arts. I agree that America has an epidemic of ADHD, in which most kids are wrongly diagnosed. I feel it is important to include the arts in all subjects, because if we don't, the students that are strong in the arts will not feel they are successful. Sir Ken Robinson was very informative and humorous.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My EDM 310 Blog Assignments are Now Complete

I have enjoyed this class, and I hope to see some of my fellow classmates in the Fall. Have a Great Summer!

EDM 310 Reflection

The majority of topics we discussed in this class were new information to me. I was very familiar with Microsoft Office 2007, but I had never heard of Google Docs. I think this will probably be the most useful out of everything we learned. It's easy to use, and you have the option to make power point presentations and spreadsheets. It's nice to know all the Google products are FREE! I will be using each of those in my classroom. Making forms were also neat. I'm sure I will try to use this again in the future. The Blogs were also something I was not familiar with. I enjoyed learning about the different topics we were required to make posts about each week. My professional blog will be very useful, because I plan to include it on my resume from now on. iTunes is a great place to search for teaching material, and I would not have known that without this class. This class has given me so much information and so many new options to work with. I feel this class has shaped me into a more professional teacher. I now have the tools to incorporate technology in a variety of ways into my lessons on a daily basis. I have really enjoyed this class and found everything to be useful. I understand why it is a requirement. I don't think I would have been exposed to all this information without this class.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Teacher Contact

To establish contact with another teacher, I used Twitter. I sent a direct message to Mrs. Michelle Tegrootenhius on Twitter asking her to assist me with this specific project. Mrs. TG is a 5th grade teacher at Hospers Elementary in Iowa. She replied with her email address and a link to her website (http://www.mrstg.com). The website has a link to her class blog through Classroom 2.0. Her students also have a blog through 21classes.com. I asked Mrs. TG what types of technology she uses in her classroom, and what suggestions she has for me as a future teacher. She informed me that her students have blog assignment that they complete in class using 20 laptops. She reads and approves the material before the students can post it to their blog. The students enjoy showing their family the blogs. Mrs. TG also said she absolutely loves the SMART Board. It eliminates writing on the board, and allows you to move around the classroom. Mrs. TG uses her iPod frequently to provide the students with fun and calming music throughout the day. I enjoyed my conversations with Mrs. TG and found her advise to be useful to me.


Exploring Twitter was a great assignment for the class. Before this assignment, I had read about Twitter in a magazine and how it was becoming popular among movie stars. I had no idea so many people in education were also Twittering. I use Twitter when I am at my computer, which is usually a few times a week. I haven't posted many comments. I really just enjoy reading other people that I follow, especially the teachers. They give useful information about teaching. I used Twitter to establish a contact with another teacher. I think this is a great way for teachers to communicate with one another and share ideas. Twitter's format is much like a chat room, and this could be used for class discussions. Teachers could also use Twitter to answer homework questions, and the students could help one another as well. I don't feel Twitter should be used with younger students. It is more suited for middle and high school students. I plan to keep my Twitter account active and use it on a regular basis.

Podcasts Review

Overall, I think think the podcasts were a success, especially since a number of us had no idea what a podcast was, including myself. After listening to several podcasts, I found that most of the groups had one main talker. It appears that only one person in the group did the research, which I'm sure is not the case, but the other group members should have equally contributed during the podcast. The podcasts I listened to were very informative, but there was a lot of awkward silence moments when group members hesitated. This was probably due to anxiety, so the only way to improve would be have a practice run-through so the students would know what to expect. Personally, my group could have improved by meeting and discussing our topic. We each did research, but our schedules conflicted, so we only met right before our podcast. I was satisfied with our podcast, especially the format we used, because it was different from the other podcasts. I believe if we had time to practice, it would have been much better.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Blogging in Education

Blogging was something I had never heard of until this class. I was somewhat familiar with "MySpace", which is similar to blogging, but I had no experience with blogs. It took me some time to learn how to navigate and effectively use my blog, but once I got the hang of it, it became very useful. I plan to keep my blog and continue adding to it throughout the years. I have published a lot of useful information that will help me during my teaching career.

I reviewed a few different student's blogs, because I found that some students did not understand the blogging assignments. I came across one student that did not have one single post that related to the actual blog assignments. The student's blogs were about their own personal life and interests. Other students were so far behind on posts that I really don't think they have time to catch up before the end of the semester.

There were several students that had completed the correct blog assignments, and I found there opinion to be informative and interesting. This allowed me to re-evaluate my stand on certain subjects and take their opinion into consideration. This was actually similar to class discussions without the heated arguments that take up class time. I found this to be a very effective way to have students listen to others opinions. This also showed me that some students put more effort into their post than others, and there were a few that only did enough to barely skim by.

I hope to work at a school that promotes the use of blogs in the classroom. I think it is a great way to promote parent involvement. Parents can view what their children are learning and contribute when appropriate. I do think there would be issues with students not having computers or internet access at home, so I would not require them to work on their blogs for homework. I would allow class time for blogging and help the students become more computer literate.

The Stanford Challenge

Carol Dweck, from the University of Stanford, is the author of the book "Mindset: The New Philosophy of Success". Dweck developed at workshop consisting of two groups, "Growth vs. "Fixed" minds. One group received study skills and growth mindset skills, while the other group only received study skills. The first group had significant improvement in grades, while the second group received lower grades. Dweck points out that people who believe in "growth" never quit learning. These are the same people that believe the brain is a muscle that grows with frequent use.

As a teacher, I will strive to stretch my students thinking capacity to new depths. I believe in life-long learning. The brain has never stopped developing, and there is always new information to learn, no matter how old a person is. Encouraging the students to have a growth mindset is important for success. I enjoyed watching the video, and it confirmed what I already believed about learning.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

iTunesU (K-12 Videos)

WGBH has amazing videos that are useful for teachers of all grade levels. The videos are categorized in sections of K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. This makes it easy to search for a video targeted at the appropriate grade level. These videos are also short, sweet, and to the point, which is very important when dealing with younger children. Teachers can use these videos to introduce new concepts or help students grasp a concept that has already been taught.

The first video I watched was "Observe Clouds". This video explained the different kinds of clouds and how each of them are formed. This would have been very useful to me a few weeks ago in one of my college classes, because we studied just that. I will definitely use this video if I teach about clouds in my class. The second video I watched was "Solar Eclipse". I chose this video because the description stated it was a video of an actual eclipse. This interested me, because I have never actually seen an eclipse. I will use these videos on a regular basis in my classroom.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Edible Schoolyard and Global Village

The Edible Schoolyard is an amazing way to incorporate several subjects into one project. This teacher had the students plant and harvest food. When the food was ready, they were able to cook and eat it as well. This is a great hands on experiment and I love the way it teaches the children material and relates to real life at the same time. Children sometimes have a hard time understanding why they have to learn the material and when they will have to use what they have learned in the real world. This kind of teaching is a great way to help the children understand and comprehend the use it had in society.

A Night in the Global Village is a great way to educate students about other cultures. They were able to see first hand how families in other cultures live and some of the problems they face. This teaches the students that hunger and poverty are more prominent in other countries and just how privileged Americans are. Most of us that are born and raised in America don't really understand the severity of the situations present in other countries. When you are able to experience that, it really makes you appreciate your country.

iTunes University

Honestly, I had not heard of iTunes university until today. iTunes University is a section of iTunes that provides educational materials from some of the top universities in the U.S. It's easy to use, because you can control how you search. You can search by categories, particular universities, or iTunes search and filter the results to fit you needs. Once you find what you are looking for you can download the material and/or subscribe to receive any new updates.

This is a great way for teachers to incorporate different styles of learning. Also, teachers can send digital lessons to their students, and the students can review the lessons when it's convenient for them. The students just download the lessons to their iPods and can have it with them at all times. This allows students to study more often. Personally, I feel this would help students progress better and have more efficient scores on tests.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

iPod use in Schools

During my research, I found a site, http://cit.duke.edu/pdf/reports/ipods_initiative_04_05.pdf, about Duke University. According to the site, in 2004, Duke University handed out free iPods to incoming freshmen students. The purpose was to incorporate more technology into instruction. It was a success. The students and teachers loved it. Teachers altered their lesson plans for the use of iPods. Many teachers would have their students do podcasts instead of research papers. This made it more interesting for the students, and they did not dread the assignment.

I also found httl://learninginhand/ipod/indeex.html which is a very useful site for people that are unfamiliar with iPods. The site allows you to either choose iPod Touch or iPod with click wheels, and it is divided into different sections. Each section tells what it can be used for and how to use it. I could definitely use an iPod just to have a dictionary on hand at all times.

Dr. Christie's Website

Dr. Alice Christie has developed a wonderful website for educators. The website is located at www.alicechristie.org. I encourage all teachers to check this website out. This site is easily accessible and well organized. The site is divided into various tabs for easy maneuverability.

A few things that interested me as a future educator included Educational Technology and Google Earth. I think Google Earth is a great tool for the classroom. You can explore any area you are studying in your classroom. Another topic on her site involved internet safety. This is also very important when dealing with young children. It is very important to educate students and parents about the dangers of internet use and what precautions teachers and parents can do to protect the students.


I have always been told that Wikipedia is not a reliable source. I have even had instructors that have forbid the use of Wikipedia on research papers. After reading the articles, I personally will not use Wikipedia. Virgil Griffith invented a Wikipedia scanner that can tell whether or not information has been changed. The scanner can tell who, when, and what information was changed and can even trace it back to the computer the change was made on. It is also able to distinguish if any information has been deleted. The scanner helps Wikipedia become a more reliable source, but in my opinion, it is just to much work. When you are doing research, it is always important to get information from a variety of sources to insure the information is accurate, but not many people want to waste their time with a source that is known to be unreliable.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch was an amazing man. He was a professor at MIT and his philosophy was to have fun in everything you do. He was both inspirational and motivational all in one. He was so loved by his students that they would have to stand in line on registration day just to get in his class.

Pausch started "Building Virtual Worlds", which was a project-based curriculum. His students had so much fun completing the activities that they actually did not realize the projects were hard work. This experience allowed students to become experienced, and most students received contracts with companies while awaiting graduation.

In Pausch's last lecture, "Achieving Childhood Dreams", he used family photo's, class video's, graphs, charts, and various other props. I perceived this lecture as sort of a tribute to his life and accomplishments. He spoke of John Snoddy who said, "Wait long enough and people will surprise you." I really like this quote as it refers to your students, because sometimes the ones you think are hopeless, are the ones that impress you the most. Pausch also said, "You can get more out of not achieving a dream, then you can if you do achieve it." The journey is the most important part.

My favorite comment was when Pausch referred to schooling as "Edutainment". I believe it is extremely important for teachers to make education interesting and entertaining in order for students to truly learn. Randy Pausch died from pancreatic cancer in the summer of 2008. All future educators should view his last lecture.

Best of Fischbowl 2007/A Formula for Sucess

I chose February's post "A Formula for Success". In this post, he described math and the way we teach math to our students. Basically, he said we teach math as an isolated subject and only focus on the application of math. He also provided an example quiz on the quadratic formula.

I agree with his theory, because that is exactly how I learn math. I just simply memorize it for the test and forget it as soon as I walk out the door. I definitely agree that it is more important for the student to be able to describe the process and how they obtained that answer then actually getting the right answer.

Podcasts from Last Semester

The first podcast I listened to was Useful Websites for the Elementary Teacher. The group spoke loud and clear enough for the audience to understand what they were discussing. The podcast was kinda dull, because they did not have conversation between one another. Each one basically took turns talking about a website. Even though the websites were useful, I had trouble really tuning in to the podcast.

I also listened to Facebook as an Educational Tool. This podcast was in question/answer format. I found this one by far more interesting than the first. The podcast was very informative and a bit persuasive. I liked the fact that the speakers interacted with one another. I will definitely consider doing this type of podcast with our topic.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Best of Fischbowl 2007

Karl Fisch created a post called "Is It Okay to be a Technology Illiterate Teacher?". He was merely responding to a similar post made by Terry Freeman in which he proposed having a set of technology standards for teachers. Fisch's post was nominated as "The Most Influential Post of 2007" and won a EduBlog Award.

I completely agree with both men. Teachers should definitely be up to date on the latest technology. We are in a position where we must teach students everything there is to know, and if we aren't knowledgeable in the subject, then what good will we really do. I would consider myself slightly technology illiterate, but I am trying to learn more and more everyday.


I had a hard time learning how to work iTunes, but I think the problem was mostly my Internet service provider. Once I finally got things going, I was able to listen to several podcasts. I think this will be a great tool to use with my future students.

SmartBoard Lessons was actual teachers communicating with other teachers. They discussed current teaching issues and new teaching requirements. They also discussed the misuse of smartboard, but they used a positive approach to it. KidCast were broadcasts in the actual classroom. A few of the podcasts had kids doing the speaking. An interesting topic was how they discussed incorporating podcasts into the curriculum. EdTech Talk focused on technology, news, and resources in education. They encouraged blogging and podcasts. Also, they requested speakers from other parts of the world to participate.

This Week in Photography was really interesting. They focus on recent photo's seen in the news, magazines, and TV. The speakers are discussing the photo's among one another. The one I listened to was about President Obama and what it was like for the photographers at the inauguration.

I did not care to much for MacBreak Weekly because it was mainly about Macintosh computers and accessories. Overall, I enjoyed this assignment. I will definitely be exploring more podcasts, and I will use this when I begin teaching.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

International Class Blogs

Outside ObservationIn Canada, Ms. Kreul's class were discussing "A Room with a View", and they took this picture to represent what it would look like. Ms. Kreul asked her students to describe what they saw. On Ms. Kreul's class blog, she describes the activities in the classroom and provides photo's. She also has links to the class newsletter, supply lists, and a calendar. Currently, she has a poll on her blog asking who will win the Super Bowl, Steelers or Cardinals. She plans to incorporate the results in math class.

Rock ProjectIn New Zealand, Jody Hayes' class of year five and six, which includes students ages 9 to 11, uses blogmeister as her blog source. She uses the blog to keep her parents informed about the activities and current events going on in her classroom. She also provides brief information about herself. This picture was taken of toffee used to simulate different types of rock formation.

School's Using Class Blogs

Mrs. Alvis' ClassIn 2005, Goochland County Schools began encouraging the use of class blogs by teachers. Now, every teacher has his/her own class blog. The schools encourage parents to use the blogs to continue the learning process beyond the school day. They also ask parents to leave comments and have conversations with each other about the activities listed on the blog. This is a picture of Mrs. Alvis' Kindergarten class after they made reindeer ears as a Christmas project.

School Blog Use Continued

Mr. Ludlow's ClassThe Weber School District currently uses blogs for all of its faculty. Each teacher has his/her own class blog that students and parents can view current events, assignments, pictures, etc. This is very helpful in keeping parents involved. Students that miss a day can also use the blog to find out what work needs to be made up. This picture is of Mr. Ludlow's 6th grade class at Hopper Elementary School. This picture was on his class blog and it includes students that received reading awards for summer reading. Mr. Ludlow also posts U-Tube video's of class discussions and activities. I think that would be great incentive for the children to be on thier best behavior and to be attentive in class, because they know their parents can view the video's and see their behavior on the class blog.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Fisch Bowl Video

I visited http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2007/06/did-you-know-20.html. This is a very informative video that discusses how rapidly technology is advancing and how our students are not being prepared in the classroom. The video begins with the fact that every 8 seconds, 34 babies are born. Also pointed out were the number of college graduates in the U.S in 2006 (1.3 million). Most of the other countries in the world encourage their students to learn other languages, with China being the #1 English speaking country as a second language. It is estimated that children born in 2006 will have had 10 to 14 by the age of 38. One in three of these children will not make it passed the 5th grade. On the up side, 70% of four year old children have used a computer.

Some other interesting facts were that the internet became increasingly popular in 1995. One in every eight married couples met online. If the number of Myspace users were a country, they would be the 8th largest in the world. They predicted within 15 years, the computer would be more advanced than the entire human race. I found this video very informative. I sat there with my mouth wide open during 90% of the video. I encourage everyone to check it out. The message I perceived from the video is that all people involved in education should do everything they can to incorporate technology into everyday learning, encourage students to learn a second language and go to college, and teach the students to maintain a job for a significant period of time instead of moving from job to job.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Access is Alabama Connecting Classroom, Educators, and Students Statewide. This website offers perks for teachers, students, and even parents. Students can take advanced placement courses through Access that may not be offered in their school. Also, students can get early admission into college and take college courses while still in high school. This a great tool to get a jump start on a college education. Parents are able to view what courses are taught and other options that are available to their children. Teachers can use the interactive classroom option to have video conferences and other unique learning experiences. Under the distance learning tab, teachers can view job opportunities that are available to them. Access can be explored at http://accessdlstate.al.us/.

I plan to use Access for the interactive classroom on a regular basis. This will give my students the opportunity to see first hand what we are discussing in class without the cost and headache of a field trip. Most schools only allow one or two field trips per year, and this will be a great substitute. I may also be interested in teaching a few distance learning classes once I get my masters.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


ALEX, The Alabama Learning Exchange, is an amazing tool for new and veteran teachers. The website, http://alex.state.al.us, can also be used by students, as well as administrators. This website provides teachers with a multitude of resources. The site is broken down into tabs for easier access. Teachers can search by subject and grade level, locate current standards, and view sample lesson plans. The tab for professional workspace allows teachers to store and submit lesson plans and teacher web pages. There is also a tab for ACCESS, Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide. ACCESS is a distance learning site that allows high school students to take college classes. This allows students to get a head start on their college education.

As a future educator, I am truly impressed by ALEX. This site will be very helpful to me as a new teacher. I will definitely refer to this site for lesson plan examples and to search various activities. I would like to teach high school in the future, and I will encourage my students to take college courses, and ACCESS makes that possible. I plan to teach in Mississippi, so I'm not sure if Mississippi has a similar website. If not, I will refer to ALEX. I encourage everyone to check out ALEX.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Little Info About Me!!

I'm 25 years old. I've been married for 7 years and have 3 children. Natalie just turned 7, Kynsea is 4, and Jathen is 2. So as you can see I stay pretty busy. I live in Hurley, MS. I graduated from George County High School in 2001 and have been going to college on and off since then. Sometimes it feels like I am a professional student! Fortunately, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. My expected graduation date is Dec 2010. I can't wait. I worked for Singing River Headstart teaching preschoolers for a few years, but my classes conflicted this year, and I could not juggle both, because I would never see my family. Now, I play the part of Supermom!! It's tough but definitely worth every minute!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Hi, and Welcome to my blog!