Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Blog Post # 15 Reflection Video

Project #13 Collaboration Report

Anna Zhou on Skype CallSkype call using shared desktop feature

Anna Zhou and I are the surviving members of the TRIAD group. We collaborated on both project 15 and 16. Initially we used emails to set up Skype calls. We used the Skype calls to brain storm about what we wanted to do for our projects. Once we had an idea for a project we used Google Docs to actually plan them out. We only used email when one of us needed to know something quickly. Our projects were made more difficult by members of the group not being responsible and doing their part.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Project 16

Blog Post #13

Picture of a student holding up a sign saying My Class Size Averages 115
In their YouTube video A Vision of Students Today Michael Wesch and his students at Kansas State University are depicting what the collegiate world is like today for the average college student. College classrooms are much to large, professors rarely know anything about their students beyond a number. Most of the information taught is out of date, and what is taught is rarely relevant to everyday life. Students purchase,completely overpriced textbooks that are rarely used. They spend over twenty six hours a day on an assortment of tasks of which only about five hours are spent working and studying. Comparatively students spend an astronomical amount of time using some sort of technology.

What is Michael Wesch's solution? Why technology of course! I thought this video was a nice way to sum up what we have been learning about, the importance of technology, and the role it needs to play in education. I have seen first hand what college life is like having already received my degree. Upon returning to school this semester I have to say that while some things have changed for the better I still have a class that fits the description in A Vision of Students Today. I purchased a textbook,that I have used once, that cost over a hundred dollars. Class time is spent going over Power Points that I already have. Fortunately not all my classes are like that and my technology class is one of these. When I compare the two classes it is like night and day. Despite all the headaches and frustration, associated with my technology class, I have learned a great deal more pertinent information and skills than either of my other two classes combined. I agree with Michael Wesch that the education system is completely flawed and that technology may be the key to getting it back on track. Today's students are so tied into technology that you would need a scalpel to separate them. Why try? Why not incorporate what students are passionate about into our classrooms? Why are we trying to fit a square peg into a round hole? A good educator tries to connect with his or her students. What better way than through technology? I love the old saying "If you can't beat them join them".

C4T #4 (Comments for Teachers)

Post 1
Author: Dianne Krause
URL: http://diannekrause.edublogs.org/
Diane in her Nov. 12th blog entitles Dianne's Digital Discoveries has posed the question of where education will be by 2020. She has linked two videos to her blog that are extremely thought provoking. Both videos basically describe a world in 2020 in which education is online,available anywhere anytime and is free. Instead of tuition driving the education model skills will. The success of the top ten percent of students will finance the education of the rest of the world. Companies will pay to have these students work for them and that money will be used to fund the educational programs.
Hi Dianne,
I really enjoyed your Nov. 12 blog! I found the videos to be very thought provoking and exciting at the same time. The education system is in dire need of an overhaul and it looks like that overhaul is on the horizon if not already here. I look forward to more of you blogs!
Post 2
Author: Dianne Krause
Diane's November 29th post is a two part post. Part one is all about Flipping the Classroom. Flipping the classroom involves reversing the time students spend learning a subject and the time they use applying it. This is accomplished by teachers prerecording videos detailing the learning process that students can watch prior to coming to class. The result is that the students come to class already knowing the topic and this frees them up to apply what they have learned. It also frees up the teacher to be able to spend more one on one time with those students that need it. Diane has included many examples of this technique's successful implementation from all over the country.
Part two is about comparing how adults learn as apposed to youth. In part two Dianne does a great job of describing how each group learns and also includes tips on how best to teach each group. This part of her post is targeting anyone that is thinking about setting up an online course. Her main point is that it is critical to take into consideration who your students are going to be when putting together a course. Your course will be a success only if this is done correctly. Comment:
Once again I have really enjoyed your blog! I found both of your topics for Nov. 29th to be interesting but since I teach 6th grade your flipping the classroom was more pertinent. Flipping the classroom is a technique that I have been introduced to before. I am thinking of using it but I am not exactly sure how? I really appreciated all of the examples you included in your post of schools all over the country successfully implementing this technique! There were so many different subjects covered that I know that if I apply myself I can figure out how to use it. Thanks for sharing and for giving me the confidence to try flipping my classroom!

PLN Update #2

 Picture of my personal learning network
Above is my latest Personal Learning Network.
The Red Box
This box contains all of my educational sites as well as sites to edit and share photographs.
The Green Box
This box contains all of my sports and news sites.
The Yellow Box
This box contains all of my online search and entertainment sites.
The Purple Box
This Box contains my personal sites such as my schools website, and my school email and blogger sites.

Smartboard Lesson Video

C4K (Comments for Kids)November

Student: Justin Y.
Class: Mr Seliskars
Hi Justin,
My name is Paul and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am working on getting my teaching certificate renewed. I teach 6th grade Science so I really enjoyed your blog about plants! You obviously have learned a lot about them. It sounds like you are really interested in plants and Science in general. Is Science one of your favorite subjects? Well I hope you keep working hard in Science and I can't wait for your next blog! Good luck in school!!
C4K # 10
Student: ibChas03
Class: 9th grade World History
Hi ibChase03!
I am a 6th grade teacher getting my Alabama certification renewed at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed your rendition of the storming of the Bastille! I grew up overseas and world history is one of my favorite subjects so your twist on this historic event was very refreshing! I think you did a great job of changing the story just enough to make it exciting while still keeping the historical points accurate. Keep up the good work!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Project #16 Progress Report

Screen capture of skype call with Anna
Dr. Strange wants us to share what progress if any we are making on our Project #16. Project #16 is our final project and we had a choice of three different projects. Anna Zhou and I chose to do a 15 minute video that will benefit future EDM 310 students. We are planning this primarily using Google Docs but also Skype and email as well. We are well along in the planning stages and are going to commence filming early this week. We hope to have a very entertaining yet useful video to present to the class during our last week.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blog Post #12 My PRP

Google docs image
Create a Personal Recommendation Page (PRP).
This activity or project is good for getting students familiar and comfortable with Google Docs.
Step#1 Using Google Docs create a page on which you recommend free software programs that you like and or use.
Step #2 You must have at least three different categories of programs. i.e. photo editing, presentation, communication, networking, etc...
Step #3 For each category you must recommend three programs.
Step #4 You must have an image and a link on your page for each program.
Step #5 You must either embed or link the finished page to your blog.
Take a look at my PRP below.
My Personal Recommendation Page

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Blog Post #11 Ms. Cassidy the Technology Queen

Picture of Ms Cassidy during her Skype interview
For this post Dr. Strange had us watch a skype talk with Ms. Cassidy, a first grade teacher in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, Canada, who uses technology quite a bit in her class. We also had the privilege of watching a video she produced showing her students engrossed in using technology. Ms. Cassidy has her 1st grade students blogging, making movies and pod-casts as well as a myriad of other applications of technology. I am totally blown away by what I have seen and heard! I teach 6th grade and was hesitantly considering ways I could use technology in my classroom until I saw this. Now I feel a bit sheepish about my hesitation since watching 1st graders blogging and making movies. I teach Science and what I am thinking about doing, once I return to my classroom, is to start by creating a class blog. I think I will tailor the blog to help my students get a head start on the material in my class. I will do this by posting a syllabus, the Power Points for each chapter, any test reviews, and any quiz and test dates. I will also have an announcements area that will hold any pertinent information my students might need quickly. I will also take class time to show my students how to access the class blog. Once I get the class blog up an running I am going to work with our IT guys and get them to help me put together a time when I can use the computer lab and teach my students how to blog on their own. Once they are comfortable blogging then I will let them gain experience by personalizing the class blog with pictures, student work etc... and also give them opportunities at least once a week to update their own blogs. I am also going to try to get the school to install a Smart Board in my classroom so that I can take advantage of the resources available to me on the internet. With the help of the Smart Board we can do virtual dissections, watch up to date videos on just about any subject area, and travel to other parts of the world to see first hand what we are studying. Since my school is located in Nairobi, Kenya I would like, if possible, to also set up an online relationship between my school and one here in the States. I think both schools would benefit tremendously from this! The greatest challenge I am going to face will not be my fellow teachers or my administrators but rather the unreliability of the local internet and electrical grid. We lose our internet at the drop of a hat and even though our computers all have battery backups sometimes the electricity is off longer than they can last. Why bother you might ask? Well I think that by getting these programs started in my class I will see a huge boost in my classes appreciation and interest in Science. I think these strategies will go a long way towards getting them to engage at a much higher level than I have previously been able to! I look forward to the days when my students are excited about Science and look forward to being in my class not because of my personality but because they are eager to learn!
First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class
Skype Interview With Ms. Cassidy

October C4K (Comments For Kids)

Student: Jessie
School: Peace Wapiti Academy, Alberta Canada
Hi Jessie,
My name is Paul Bedsole and I am a 6th grade teacher who is working on getting my Alabama teaching certificate renewed. I usually teach in a small school similar to yours called Rosslyn Academy. Rosslyn is located in Nairobi Kenya and I teach Science and Math. I can definitely relate to your experiences starting in a new high school. I took French in grade 10 and did not enjoy it very much so I feel for you there. I will say this though, my high school French came in handy when I went to Madagascar last Christmas break so don't dismiss it out of hand. I am glad that you are starting to get the hang of high school and speaking from experience it will get better. Many of my most treasured memories are from high school and I hope this will be true for you as well! My advice is to get involved! Start with something small and simple, like photography, and see where that takes you! You have the best years of your life ahead of you so enjoy!
Student: Diane
School: Oregon Episcopal School / Online School for Girls
I really enjoyed your post! My name is Paul Bedsole and I am currently a student at the University of South Alabama. I am a teacher who normally lives and teaches in Nairobi, Kenya at a small school called Rosslyn Academy. I am currently in the States to get my teaching certificate renewed. I think you have done a really good job of researching global corruption and you obviously have become somewhat of an authority on it. I am not so sure that I agree with the UN that 80 billion dollars will wipe out poverty but then again I am not an expert. You are correct however, that 1st world countries are not immune to corruption. I think they are just better at hiding it. Living in Kenya I have had the, you might say "pleasure" of seeing blatent corruption first hand. I found it very interesting that several people who commented on your blog brought up the topic of corruption as a positive thing. Corruption is a way of life in Kenya from the lowly taxi drivers all the way up to the highest public officials. Corruption is the bane of our existence but, at the same time, you can hardly do anything in the country with out it. For example if you want to get a building project done right and on time it all depends on how much you "encourage" the builders to do so. So, while I don't condone corruption in any form, sometimes it is a necessary evil. Great job on your report and I look forward to reading many more!
Student: Fone Bone
School: Hillcrest Elementary School, Surrey B.C.
Hi Fone Bone!
My name is Paul Bedsole and I am a Middle School teacher, who is attending the University of South Alabama, to get my teacher's certificate renewed. I normally teach at a small school in Nairobi, Kenya. I really enjoyed your web site and I had a lot of fun surfing through it! I can't wait until you fill out all of the sections on your website! Your I Am poem is first rate and you are right the pictures do add a lot to it! It is nice to meet another person who enjoys rugby! What is your favorite team? Who is your favorite player? Stay warm up there in B.C.!
Student: Hunter
School: Unknown
Hi Hunter,
I enjoyed both of your latest blogs but because I haven't read "The Outsiders" I thought I would comment on your "Hello World" blog. I am a 6th grade Science teacher who is working on renewing my Alabama teachers certificate. I normally teach at a small school in Nairobi, Kenya where I also coach soccer. What position do you like to play in soccer? Do you have a favorite professional team? I love Manchester United and have since I was about ten. I also enjoy watching "The Call of the Wildman" but sometimes I get a little disgusted when he does things the hard way. By the way which of the Rocky movies do you like the best? Well I have enjoyed reading your blogs and I hope to do so again real soon!
Author: Dr. Santolli
Location: Ireland International Conference on Education
Hi Dr. Santolli,
I really enjoyed your historical blog about Trinity College! I have traveled extensively and I love to visit places like this that are steeped in history! I haven't been to Ireland so thanks for sharing! I just wanted to briefly answer the questions you left in your blog. Queen Elizabeth I founded Trinity College to consolidate the Tudor rule and promote the protestant faith in Ireland. Trinity College's famous alumni include; Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's travels; Ernest Walton, Nobel prize winner for his work with atoms, and Samuel Beckett, Nobel prize winner in literature. The Library of Congress receives two copies of every book published in the U.S. Vellum is finely worked leather made from calf skin. Just curious, but what has been your favorite part of the convention so far?
Student: Kara
Location:Lochearn School Alberta, Canada
Hi Kara,
My name is Paul Bedsole and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. USA is located in coastal Mobile, Alabama. I am working on getting my Alabama teaching certification renewed. I normally live in Nairobi, Kenya where I teach grade 6 Science. I really enjoyed your blog! You have really done a great job of portraying your beautiful town and province! It reminds me of my trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons! I can definitely see why you have so many tourists in the summer! We have a lot of tourists who come to our beautiful beaches so I know what that is like. We also get a lot of folks who come down in the winter and we call them snowbirds. Do you have a special name for the people who come to your area? You are doing a great job with your blog so don't stop! I look forward to reading and seeing more!!!


Picture of an instant camera
Post 1
Teacher: Dean Shareski
Blog Summary:
Dean's October 25th blog is about the Instagram application and how he finally realized it's importance. Dean was at first skeptical and a little bit put off by Instagram because of the many filters posters were using with their pictures. He was also a bit miffed at the lack of basic amenities like being able to crop a picture. Dean finally though figured out that the main strength of Instagram was not necessarily the program itself but what could be accomplished with it. He realized it was a great tool for telling a storyies using pictures. Dean now wishes that more schools would use it to tell their stories.
Blog Comment:
I really enjoyed your blog about Instagram! I am an avid amateur photographer and have never heard of Instagram before. After reading your blog I think I will check it out. I am like you in that I have a hard time moving away from apps that I know! So it may be a while before I switch over if I ever do.
Post 2
Teacher: Dean Shareski
Blog Summary:
The Impact of Twitter on Blogging
Dean in his Oct. 31st blog is discussing a pole he put on his blog to determine what effect if any twitter has on blogging. His hypothesis was that since Twitter is easier and less time consuming that it would have a negative impact on blogging. What Dean found instead was that there was a pretty even split between the blogging categories in his pole. The findings are as follows, 31% never regularly blogged, 17% had a blog before twitter and blogged more before, 18% created a blog after twitter and blog regularly, 13% had a blog before twitter and blog more now, and 21% had a blog before twitter and blog the same now.
Blog Comment:
Hi Dean,
I found your latest blog very interesting. I am new to twitter and to blogging having done both only for a couple of months. Your findings were not what I would have expected. Like you I would have expected for twitter to have a negative impact on blogging. I guess it just shows how interconnected social media tools are. Where one leaves off another picks up so that in the end you have a seamless blend.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A World Where Grades Will Be Left Behind

Picture of Sebastian Thrun in his studio.
A World Where Grades Will Be Left Behind,
An Interview of Sebastisn Thrun by Mary Beth Marklein

The USA Today is celebrating it's 30th anniversary. Mary Beth Marklein, as part of that celebration, is interviewing some of the USA"s most visionary people to talk about what we can expect in the next 30 years. One of these visionaries is Stanford professor and Google VP Sebastian Thrun. Sebastian Thrun was so moved by the experience he had teaching 160,000 students in an online artificial intelligence course that he vowed to never again teach in a traditional classroom. What he did instead was to found Udacity an online education company. Thrun's dream is to use Udacity and several other online education companies, that he controls, to create a series of free online courses that would be taught by star professors from all over the world. Thrun believes that the world of education needs a revamp and that in the next 30 years internet based educational programs will play a big part. Online courses will be free, available to thousands of students and will be personalized to the individual student. Grades will be a thing of the past. There will not be time limits for students to master skills but rather each student will be mastering them at their own pace.
I enjoyed reading what Sebastian Thrun had to say in his interview with Mary Beth Marklein. I think that Thrun's dream of offering online classes taught by the best professors available free to perhaps tens of thousands of students is highly commendable. I think Thrun's vision is great but only targets a narrow scope of the educational world. The issue is student accountability. I just don't see students below the college level being personally accountable to do what is needed with out oversight from teachers or parents. In order for an educational program to work you have to have accountability.
I also found it interesting when Thrun makes the statement that he wants to do away with grades yet is planning on having a system of quizzes and tests attached to his courses. What is he going to give students who take these quizzes and tests, a pass or fail? I do like his proposal of letting each student master skills at their own pace.
I think Thrun is on to something with his idea of free high quality education and it will work at the upper educational level. In my opinion, what needs to happen at the lower levels, is to have a classroom in which students are being taught primarily online via courses like those proposed by Thrun. However each classroom would be under the direction and monitoring of a technology savvy teacher who would hold their students accountable for completing their tasks. This could eventually change and become an entirely online class with the teacher monitoring remotely. I think that teachers will have a role to play in education for many years to come but the type of role they play will change drastically. I just pray, for the students sake, that teachers will embrace the change!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blog Post #10

Cartoon of a heavy man and a skinny man.
Part I: Cartoon Explanation
Having just finished making my book trailer, and having to borrow a friends Mac to do it, I think this cartoon could be about computers. My friend and I had a conversation about Macs and PCs and some of the pros and cons of each. The main thing that I have against Macs is that they cost so much. I think others feel the same way and I think this cartoon could be depicting that. The character on the left could represent PCs and the character on the right Macs. I like Macs and I think the software they come with is great but I just can't get over the price. I just can't justify paying two to three times more for a computer. I just wish that Macs were more comparable in price!
Part II:
Author: John Spencer
Title: The Con Academy
John Spencer is a very unique writer. I love his style and his careful use of sarcasm to make his point! In his post entitled Con Academy Spencer pokes fun at areas where our school system needs improvement. He specifically targets the way in which our school system goes about selecting and implementing educational programs and strategies. Spencer targets two areas in particular with his witty sarcasm. First he goes after the administrations focus on money. He believes, as do I, that just because something is free doesn't necessarily mean it is good. Unfortunately what a program costs is often the ultimate criteria for whether or not it gets used and if it is free so much the better regardless of its merit. The second thing Spencer is poking fun at is the common occurrence of administrators deliberately ignoring the advice of their teachers when it comes to the implementation of educational strategies. This often ties in directly with what a program costs. If the program is free many administrators have a tendency to overlook negative feedback or advice and focus more on saving their school money. I wonder what Mr. Spencer would have to say to those administrators who believe that the more an educational program or strategy costs the better it must be?
Part III: Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff! Please? by Scott McCleod
I absolutely loved Scott's satirical poem! I think he does a great job of portraying the struggle he faces getting teachers and administrators to accept technology as more than a convenience. I agree with him on almost all of the points he made with the exception of one. I think he doesn't give enough credence to parents and teachers fears of what students can get into on the internet that may be a negative impact. These are real fears and the news is full of stories of misled young people. I think the main problem is that parents and teachers don't know enough about technology and the internet. This lack of knowledge makes them feel out of control and they feel very leery of trusting something they don't totally understand. It also makes it difficult for them to trust someone who is promoting the internet and technology. It seems to me that the solution is to educate teachers and parents so they can play a more active role in their kids lives and not feel like they are on the outside looking in. By educating them you give them confidence in an area they previously felt inadequate in as well as giving parents commonality with their kids not to mention the unlimited possibilities for teachers both personally and in their classrooms.
Scott McCleod Bio:
Scott McLeod, is currently serving as the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8 in Iowa. He is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky and is on leave from that position. Dr. McLeod founded the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators. He is the co-creator of the video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, the National School Boards Association, and the Center for Digital Education. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly and his blogs include Dangerously Irrelevant, Education Recoded and The Huffington Post. He is also an author who just completed his first book entitled What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media.
Scott McCleod is a very thought provoking writer and makes a great deal of sense when it comes to technology and its role in our classrooms and preparing our students for the future. If this is an area you would like more information about then please check Scott's website out at the following link!
Scott McCleod

Project #11 Green Screen Movie

This is a video entitled The Misadventures of Mouseman that Anna zhuo, Keely Smith and I put together. Enjoy!

Project #14 Smart Board Basics

These are some of the skills that I have learned to do on a Smart Board.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blog Post #9 Mr. McClung's Reflections

Mr. McClung's World header
First Year Reflection
What I've Learned This Year (2008 - 2009)
The first year for a teacher is usually the most difficult but at the same time the most rewarding. Mr. McClung's first year was no exception. He learned so many important things his first year and thankfully is willing to share them. Mr. McClung learned that he is not the center of the universe but rather his students are. He learned the importance of communication both with his students as well as with his colleagues. He learned that flexibility is a must in the classroom and that there will always be a difference between the lesson you plan and the one you actually teach. McClung offers a ton of other advice for the first year teacher including, not setting unreasonable goals for students, really listening to students, to not be afraid of but rather to embrace technology, and finally to never stop learning.
I really enjoyed reading Mr. McClung's first year reflection and it took me back to my first year as a techer. Yes, my first year was my toughest but it was also my most rewarding. I can second the advice Mr. McClung gives to first year teachers. I would take it a step further and suggest that one of the most critical and rewarding aspects of teaching is the development of strong teacher/student relationships. Strong relationships between teachers and students will go a long way towards making teaching a love rather than a job or chore. Resourceful teachers can find a myriad of ways of using these relationships in their everyday teaching.
Picture of kids attending the cross country lock-in
Third Year Reflection
What I've Learned This Year -Vol. 4 (2011 - 2012)
In his third year as a teacher Mr. McClung had fewer lessons to share with his readers. This is understandable due to the huge learning curve first year teachers are faced with. In this reflection Mr. McClung deals with two areas he feels like were learning points for the year. First, for some reason in his third year, Mr. McClung began to worry about what his teacher peers thought of him as an educator. It sounds like he not only worried about it but became mildly obsessed. In the end however, Mr. McClung was able to refocus his attention on what was important, his students. This refocusing, allowed him to come to the realization that it did not matter what his peers thought. The second thing he struggled with during his third year was complacency. He found himself relying on old lesson plans and realized that he was not being as creative as he once was. This realization spurred him to make the decision to fight his complacency and work harder to be a more creative teacher and insure that his students enjoyed his classes.
Mr. McClung's third year reflection could have been a page taken out of my own life. I have been teaching for seven years and a couple of years ago my school began 360 peer reviews. Basically what happens with these reviews is that you are critiqued by your students, peers and superiors in a process that is supposed to make you realize where your strengths and weaknesses lie. During this process though I became similarly obsessed with what my peers thought to the point that it became distracting. I had to reach the same conclusion that Mr. McClung did, that as long as I was focusing on my students, and doing the best job I could to teach them what they needed, my peers opinions didn't matter. I have also struggled with complacency as did Mr. McClung. I found myself skating along using the same material from year to year with out realizing what I was doing. I had to make a conscious effort, it wasn't easy, to become the teacher I once was but it has been worth it! I am also going to be teaching at a different level when I go back next year and I am eager for the challenge!

Project #12 Book Trailer

Above is a trailer I did for the book Miss Smith Under The Ocean. Take a look if you're interested! I'd love to know what you think!

Project #10 PLN Progress Report 1

Picture of my personal learning network
Above is a screenshot of what my PLN currently looks like. I have used symbaloo as my program of choice to set up my PLN which is divided into five areas. The top left corner contains the online tools that I have worked with or have had recommended to me. The top right corner is where all of my news and sports sites are. The lower right corner is where my personal sites like email, blog site, school website etc...are. The lower left corner is where my social networking sites are as well as Netflicks and Youtube. The bottom center section is where my currency exchange, travel and shopping sites are located. I am still working on this site and I definitely see the advantage of having all of this in one location.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Comments For Teachers #2, Post 1 + 2

Comment For Teacher #2, Post #1
Teacher: Brian Nichols
Blog Summary:
In His blog The Evolution of Education Brian believes that we as teachers need to stop using the term "at risk" when discussing struggling students. He thinks we need to do away with this phrase because it focuses on all of the things that can't be fixed or we don't have control over. Instead Brian believes that we need to change our way of thinking and adopt "school dependent" as our new phrase. His reasoning for adopting this phrase is that it shifts the focus from areas beyond our control to areas we can affect and control. He wants teachers to focus on things like quality of instruction,interventions, mentor programs, and getting our students involved in clubs and other extracurricular activities. By focusing on what we can control instead of what we can not we can make a difference!
Comment Summary:
I told Brian how much I appreciated his blog and that I am tired of hearing teachers use "at risk" as an excuse to explain away struggling students. I said that I was a proponent of positive thinking and that is what his "school dependent" idea is all about. I told him that I agree with him that teachers should focus on areas that they can influence and control and not waste their time in those they have no control over.
Edscape banner flying in front of a highschool
Comment For Teacher #2, Post #2:
Teacher: Brian Nichols
Blog Summary:
Brian in his post discusses his recent attendance at an Edscape conference. He describes the wonderful experience he had attending sessions taught by people he looks up to and follows in the educational world. He himself also presented a talk about leading and learning from connections. Brian definitely is a proponent of having good connections to help you as a teacher. Brian obviously left the conference refreshed, stimulated and challenged to improve himself as a teacher and highly recommends attending an Edscape conference.
Comment Summary:
I told Brian how much I enjoyed reading about his experience attending an Edscape conference. I mentioned that it sounded similar to an ICEC conference that I attend in Kenya every 3 years and how much I enjoy it. I told him that what I enjoy the most is being in an environment that is rich with knowledge, passion, and experience and that I wish we could have the ICEC conference more often.

Blog Post #8 Writing With Multimedia etc...

Picture of multimedia writing process.
Part I: This Is How We Dream; Part 1; Part 2
Dr. Miller, in his Youtube videos This Is How We Dream, is bringing forth the argument that individual writing, as a print based entity will, and probably already has, become obsolete. He uses the example of his own book As If Learning Mattered and the process by which it was published to show us the traditional writing and publishing process. Dr. Miller took months to write his book, which in turn took months to publish. It then was relegated to the shelf along with all the other academic books where it eventually became less than popular and was available on Amazon for under a dollar.
Dr. Miller believes that we have moved beyond the traditional printing process to being able to print straight from the web. He has coined the term "Writing With Multimedia" to describe this ability. What Dr. Miller means with this term is that we can do everything, that was done in the traditional printing/publishing process, all on the web. Dr. Miller thinks of it as creating as opposed to writing and we can do this thanks to a multitude of new and innovative programs available on the web. We can add audio and video clips to our creation. We can add links to information sites that are updated minute by minute allowing access to the latest information available. The best part of writing with multimedia is that unlike books, that have a shelf life, a web based creation can potentially live forever!
I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Miller's video clips! I am impressed with his forethought when it comes to the process of writing. It was hard for me to grasp some of the concepts that he dreams, will be and may already be, possible with the technology of today and the future. It has been hard to wrap my head around a lot of the video clips we have watched in this clip and I can only shake my head in amazement at what is and what may be available in the future. I would love to be able to write like Dr. Miller envisions but at this point I think I probably would not be very successful. I think I could ultimately produce a well done creation but it would take a long time mainly due to my unfamiliarity with the available technology. I am also a person that likes to do things very well which means extra time consuming practice. I am working hard to try and alleviate these set backs and I can't wait to be at the point where I can successfully write with multimedia! I don't think I am too far off but only time will tell!
Picture of a young African American boy with the question Are you as honest as a child?
Part II: Carly's Blog Post #12
To say that I enjoyed Carly's post would be an understatement. It was quite a piece of work and extremely well written. I think Carly did a great job of intertwining print with technology in the form of video links. Her proposed project, of having her students make a playlist on Youtube is a brilliant one. The teacher in me sees so many opportunities for using this in many different ways and subject areas. This could even be used in Math and Science to help students build background knowledge of a particular subject matter prior to its assignment by the teacher. The best part is that the students would enjoy doing it! I think Carly has come very close to what Dr. Miller envisioned as multimedia writing. I loved her choice of video clips because it shows a bit of her personality while hammering home her reasoning points.
Picture of a girl holding a copy of EDM310 For Dummies
Part III: EDM310 For Dummies etc...
Having to go back and watch these videos again was a great reminder of how far I have come in EDM310. At the beginning I could definitely relate with the ladies in EDM310 For Dummies but looking back I can see how much I have accomplished and it gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. I think this video did a good job letting me know, then, that I was not alone in my frustration with EDM310. I found the Chipper Series to be a bit droll but their message of not procrastinating was definitely a wise one. I hate to think where I would be if had procrastinated. I think that I would like to be a part of making a movie about proper writing. Writing is important and good writing is the hallmark of an individual with a well rounded education. I think I would make the movie in the style of a narrated PowerPoint or something similar. I would embed video clips throughout the PowerPoint that offered examples and tips for better writing. I would also include links to handpicked sites offering advice on writing with style and purpose etc... I would make sure to show examples of poor grammar, writing and style, including those that come from the EDM310 instructional manual, as well as the proper corrections. If teachers ever want to be looked upon as professionals we need to write like professionals.
Picture of a man talking about educational change
Part IV:Learning To Change; Changing To Learn
This is probably one of the most thought provoking videos I have watched to date! It deals with what schools will be like in the future. Gone will be the traditional schools of brick and mortar and their rigid standards. Schools will only be used as a place to meet for collaborative work and social networking. Everything else will take place outside the physical school. Schools should be more engaging and interactive than the world outside of them, not the other way around, as it is today. I love the quote at the end of the video that states "This will be the end of education but the dawn of learning" This speaks to the current notion of what schools and education are and what they should be. I think this video is probably spot on as far as their predictions are concerned and I agree with them as to the role teachers will play in education. The video stated that students need to know how to find information, validate it, synthesize it, leverage it, communicate it, collaborate with it, and problem solve with it. In order to do that they need teachers to teach them. To accomplish this, teachers need to be up to speed on the latest technologies, and be able to teach their students how to make use of them in the best way possible. This will be, in my opinion, probably the single most difficult hurdle to overcome in order to get the school of the future off and running.
Part V: Scavenger Hunt on Web 2.0
Sect A: Make a Comic strip
Children's Comic starring a frog, rat and alligator
I used Make Beliefs Comix to make this comic strip. If this looks like something you would like to try just follow the link!
Sect B: Never Before Used Video Tool
For this task we were to pick a video tool we have never used before and give a brief description of some of its unique feature. I chose Animoto.com/education because it is tailored for teachers. Animoto for teachers has four features that stand out. First is Cinematic A.I., in this feature the program automatically analyzes your music, pictures and video and puts a video together for you. All you have to do is concentrate on the content of the video and how you are going to narrate it. A second feature is Include Text and in this feature you can add text in and amung your pictures and videos. This can simply be for identification purposes or can be motivational snippets designed to inspire your audience. Feature number three is Spotlight. With Spotlight you can highlight a specific image or video or give it more time to play during your presentation. The last feature I want to share is not necessarily unique but extremely beneficial. Animoto makes it very easy to share your completed work whether that is to your blog, website or Youtube.If Animoto.com sounds like something you'd like to use feel free to use the link and enjoy!
Sect C: Poll Making Tool In this section we were to find a tool that would allow us to create a poll anywhere and at anytime. I chose PollEverywhere.com to make the poll you see below. Follow the link and make your own!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blog Post #7 The Networked Student

Screen shot of a teachers role in the future.
Part 1: The Networked Student
by Wendy Drexler

Wendy Drexler, in her video The Networked Student, offers a window into the future. This look she provides gives us an opportunity, to not only see what technology will be like, but also some of the skills our students will need in order to succeed. Networking is simply an individual linking themselves to other individuals, in some manner, who have common interests or who may be able to provide a service or information at a later date. These networks can be of a social, business or academic nature. Networking has been around for eons and has been a major tool for the success of the average individual. Networking has gone from a list of phone numbers, to email accounts and now to blogs and websites. The internet lets us come into contact with leaders in every field in moments no matter where they, or we, are in the world. We can do now in minutes what would have taken days, or longer, as little as ten years ago.
The future is going to be a very competitive place in which to live and work. Who ever can complete work in the shortest amount of time and at the lowest cost will be successful. This is where networking comes into play. The stronger and better the personal network the faster and more efficiently an individual can accomplish whatever task may have been set before them. The internet is an incredible networking tool and when used correctly and efficiently can help an individual build a network second to none.
So if an individual can do all of this then one might ask why do we need teachers? We need teachers to teach our children the skills they need to build their own network. Sure an individual could ultimately teach themselves the appropriate skills necessary to build a good network but we want them to build a great network! We as teachers are needed to teach them the finer points of networking. Teachers, along with parents, need to teach our students proper social skills. We need to teach them how to communicate properly and respectfully with those they are networking with. Teachers need to instill in our students the ability to separate the good information from the bad. Teachers are also needed to provide inspiration and encouragement throughout the network building process. So as you can see, despite all of the advances in the future, there will still be a place in the education process for teachers.
Screen shot of a 7th grader's personal learning environment.
Part II: A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment
This is a brief look into one 7th grade student's personal learning environment or PLE. A PLE is nothing more than a collection of information, and contacts, on various subjects brought together by a single individual. The individual then can use this information for all kinds of things.
This 7th grade student's PLE is amazing! She has so much information, on a huge assortment of topics, stored on her personal site. I thought it was incredible how many different tasks she was able to complete using her PLE! I also found it quite interesting that she had both academic and social links on her site. Most people don't think the two should mix but I think this is a great way for students to learn!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

C4K Comment Summary for September

C4K Comment #1
Student: Jordenne E.
School: Pt England School, Auckland N.Z.
URL: http://pesjordennee.blogspot.com/2012/09/basketball.html?showComment=1348432508050#c2185832744105278415
Hi Jordenne,
My name is Paul Bedsole and I am a teacher from Alabama in the United States. I normally teach grade 6 students in Nairobi, Kenya but I am now back in the States to get my teaching certificate renewed. My students are 10 to 12 years old. What would be the same grade level in your school system? I really enjoyed reading your blog and learning a little bit about you. You and I share a love of sports just different ones. I love soccer(football) and volleyball and coach both at my school. I know that you are finished with basketball so what sport will you play next? Congratulations on your netball results and good luck with whatever sport you play next!
Paul Bedsole
C4K Comment #2
Class: Mr Capps Third Grade
School: Gulfshores Elementary
URL: http://campcapps.edublogs.org/
Greetings Mr. Capp’s 3rd Grade class,
My name is Paul Bedsole and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am taking a class called EDM 310 which is why I get to learn about your class. I really enjoyed reading your class blog this week and if I had to take that many tests in one day I would be tired too! Do you have that many tests often? I wish that I could have been a visitor in your class Friday because it looks like you have a lot of fun even when you have a lot of tests! Have a great week next week, keep up the hard work, and don’t stop blogging!
Paul Bedsole

Project #8 Podcast Video

This Podcast is based on Rafe Esquith's book "Lighting Their Fires" and is a book I would highly recommend to any and all teachers!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Project #9 200+ Years Of British Monarchs Timetoast Timeline

Picture of Queen Elizabeth II
This week we were required to pick one of three or four different programs and make something we could use to help us teach a lesson. I enjoy history so I chose the last two hundred plus British monarchs and used timetoast to make a timeline. I know British history is not a common subject here in the States which I think lends itself as an excellent subject matter for a timeline example. Here is the link so take a look if your interested.
200+ Years Of British Monarchs Timetoast Timeline

Blog Post #6 Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Picture of Randy Pausch
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Randy Pausch is an amazing speaker! Randy Pausch is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University where he teaches students how to make virtual worlds using computer generated graphics. Randy is also a motivational speaker, who has terminal cancer, so he is taking this last opportunity to impact as many people as he can. In this video Randy talks about the things that everyone needs to know and do to achieve their dreams. First Randy believes that everyone should have dreams and that we should strive to attain those dreams. Second we should help others to attain their dreams. Randy, during his lifetime has learned many lessons, many of which have been difficult, on how to accomplish these two tasks and these are the focus of this talk.
Randy believes that everyone should have dreams and we need to try our best to attain them. Now obviously we have to be realistic about which dreams we strive to attain but Randy says that the pursuit of dreams is what drives us in school, in business, and in life. I love Randy's comment that "brick walls are there to let us prove how much we want something". If we want it bad enough then we will find a way over, under or around that brick wall. His point is that we should never give up, on our dreams and our goals, but should persevere to the very end.
The area that I thought was most beneficial to me was when Randy talked about our responsibilities to help others attain their dreams. This is where we as teachers come in. We need to insure not only that our students have dreams but that those dreams are not crushed or extinguished but rather are fostered and allowed to blossom. We need to set the standards bar high for our students and hold them accountable to those lofty standards. We need to be more than just teachers we need to be mentors, guiding our students in the directions they need to go to realize their goals.I love Randy's comment about it being "a bad thing when you are messing up and nobody says anything". What that means is that as mentors we need to have the courage to voice the negative criticism with the positive. Teachers should never give up on their students and Randy's comment that "the best gold is often found at the bottom of barrels of crap" is priceless and right on the money. We as teachers need to see the best in every student no matter how long it takes for them to show it. Teachers need to ensure that our students are prepared for the world out there and Randy's comment "Be prepared, luck is where preparation meets opportunity" is probably my favorite!
Probably the most beneficial section of Randy's video is the last third. In this section he talks about the lessons he has learned that helped him realize his dreams. So often we are too much the realists, when dealing with our students dreams, and we often inadvertently snuff them out. Randy says that "we should never lose the child like wonder of our dreams because it is what drives us". He talked about his parents, his mentors and his students and the roles they played in his life. If an individual is going to realize their dreams it is absolutely critical that they have their parents support but more importantly that their parents believe in them. It is crucial that everyone has a mentor or mentors that they can use as a sounding board. They need to have mentors who are not afraid to tell them what they need to hear and not necessarily what they want to hear. This keeps them balanced personally and professionally. Randy also believed that we can learn as much from our students as they learn from us and often we learn more.
Randy also has a lot of personal advice, on how to live your life, that has a tendency to be left out in this day and age. Some of his advice might be considered archaic by today's standards but I think it is very relevant and should be taught in every school in America. Randy believes that we should focus on others and not ourselves. We should tell the truth, be earnest, and apologize when we mess up. Randy believes that when we are working towards a goal that we should never give up but that it's ok to ask for help because often our goals are impossible alone. If we expect loyalty from those around us then we should be loyal because loyalty is a two way street. Show gratitude to those around you and when life gets you down don't complain just work harder. Randy's video is packed with valuable information that need to be imparted to our students and I would recommend this video to anyone young or old! Take a look the link is at the top!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This Is My Sentence Movie

Blog Post #5 Technology And Education In The Future

Travis Allen
Part 1 Travis Allen and the iSchool Initiative
If you haven't watched Travis Allen's Youtube clip entitled the ISchool Initiative you should. Travis makes the argument that technology will be the savior of the education system. He believes that use of technology, the iTouch in particular, in the class room will do three main things for education. First the iTouch will make schools greener by reducing, if not eliminating, the use of paper by students. Second the iTouch will save the education system over $600.00 in things like textbooks, writing supplies, etc... while only costing $150.00. Third the iTouch will improve communication and transparency between the teacher and student, as well as the teacher and parents. Parents can check on their child's progress from any computer, iTouch, or iPad.
I think that Travis is on to something with his iSchool Initiative. There is no question that the education system is flawed and in desperate need of overhauling. Technology definitely could be the answer but there would be, and are, a lot of hurdles that would have to be overcome. First high level decision makers would have to be convinced of the iSchool Initiative's feasibility, logistically and monetarily, so they could vote to make the necessary changes. This may have to happen with educated parents electing knowledgeable politicians as the ones we have certainly aren't up to the job. Second teachers have to be educated in the use of any and all technology they may encounter or use in their classrooms. This will probably be the biggest hurdle to be encountered as many teachers are intimidated by technology. Last but not least this is something that will not be done overnight but will require a dedicated effort on the part of all concerned from the politicians down to the average student.
Part 2 Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
I found Eric Whitacre's Choir to be incredible! I first thought that maybe they recorded a song and then put together the graphics using pictures of people on webcams. However if you listen long enough, you realize, that this is not the case. These people are singing this song, all together, and no two are in the same room with each other. The logistics involved in this clip blows my mind! I never thought something like this was possible! Make sure you check this clip out!
Students can get information anywhere, anytime and any place
Part 3 Teaching In The 21st Century
Kevin Roberts is a very thought provoking individual. In his video Teaching In The 21st Century he puts forth a lot of ideas about what teaching will be like in the future and the role that technology will play in it. I am still processing a lot of what he said but the point he makes about teachers not being the main source of informationv anymore really hit home. I guess I haven't really thought about that much but Roberts is right. My students are much more likely to go to the internet for information than to come ask me. I thought his question about who is teaching them the right way to find information to be profound. We as teachers need to evolve from our rolls as information givers and instead become information filters, directors etc... for our students. We need to teach our students the best ways of finding information and how to get the most out of their technology. I agree with Roberts and also think that the days of information giving by teachers are numbered and will soon be coming to a close.
Katie Gimbar demonstrating flipping a classroom
Part 4 Flipping The Classroom
The concept of flipping the classroom is an awesome concept! The premise is that instead of spending 90% of the class on concept delivery and review and 10% on application to flip this and spend 10% on delivery and 90% on application. In order to do this students are required to preview the concept prior to class via online videos. Students then come to class already knowledgeable about the subject material and require minimal help to take the concept to the application level and beyond. Teachers are then free to spend their time offering differentiated instruction to those that need it.
I wish I had known about flipping the classroom years ago. Up until this last year I have been teaching a 6th grade math class and this approach would have been perfect. Yes we would have had a number of speed bumps to overcome, like students not having computers or internet access, but we could have overcome these and had a really productive class. Starting next August I will be teaching 6th and 7th grade Science and I am already thinking of how I can use this concept in those classrooms. Lots of hurdles to jump over but I know it is possible. I need to share this concept with my fellow teachers and administration and see if we can't make this a school wide endeavor. If this sounds like something you might be interested in I urge you to check out the following links.
Why I Flipped My Classroom
Flipping The Classroom
Flipped Classroom FAQ

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Google Presentation

Blog Post #4 Podcasting

Children recording a podcast on a laptop

Podcasting, the transmission of audio or video media through the internet, has been around for quite some time. Podcasting has a multitude of uses from audio tours of museums,towns and cities to law enforcement updates but it is extremely beneficial in education. Podcasts can be used to simply offer an audio version of a book or text, 30% of students are auditory learners, or they can be the final product of an ongoing class project. Podcasts are great because they are familiar to today's students and their format makes them interesting and engaging. Podcasts are very easy to make and use which allows for a great deal of flexibility when it comes to learning. A podcast can be used in a regular class or, if a students misses a class, they can get the same information the class did from their personal computers while they were elsewhere. Podcasts are also a great way for teachers to interact with their students outside the classroom while still allowing students to be innovative while expressing their own creativity. The ability of podcasts to be shared via the internet means that students have a greater audience than ever before. Before if a student did a project only their classmates, teacher and parents would see it unless it was displayed somewhere in the school but now they have a worldwide audience! I have included some links to some great podcasting sites take a look!
Podcasting Using Garageband, How To Podcast