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.