Sunday, October 31, 2010

Project 3: Teacher's Summary

I was assigned to comment on a history teacher's blog. Over the summer we was involved in a lengthy seminar in Mount Vernon. He documented everything through podcasts, writing, and photographs. His students were able to view these in class in August or in the summer directly through his blog. He posted everything. Even for us he gave links for the lesson he created called "George Washington's Big Decision." He did a brillant job in creating this lesson through his experience. The lesson was mainly about Washington's decision on growing and using tobacco. It's a helpful site for teachers and I suggest you see it! His blog is titled "Speaing of History" and the following is the link:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Additional Assignment #3

What do you think is the most important thing Sir Ken Robinson says in this presentation?

One of the most important things to get from this video is the following: Brad Pitt may be rich, but that doesn’t make him smart. John Doe may be in the streets, but that doesn’t make him “dumb” or incapable of learning. I like that he mentioned that there are many brilliant people that just don’t consider themselves smart. Anyone can be successful.

Is there anything you disagree with in this presentation?

I don’t think I’d say that one of the two reasons for reforming education is for cultures identity. Yes, there are many different cultures in just the Unites States. Yes, the number of people who speak only Spanish is growing. However, I still don’t think this could be a top 10 reason.
Also he mentions that long ago people assumed that certain kids did not benefit from education; they’d never learn. I don’t think that’s completely changed.

How congruent are Sir Ken Robinson's positions with those which you are being taught in the College of Education. In other words, where is there agreement? Where is there disagreement?

Different classes have different arguments, even with each other. In Dr. Fregeau’s course you learn that there is so much diversity even within a classroom that there’s a course for it! This course is the most difficult one I have because of the intensity of studying this subject. Obviously Sir Ken Robinson agrees. The discussion of ADD & ADHD is very true in the college of education. We are constantly talking about modifications for students and IEPs and other “rules” we have to go by for every student. Does ADD is exist? Are we quickly diagnosing kids with this disorder just because they’re struggling? This topic is up for debate in the Ed. building.

What can you do to address the issues Sir Robinson raises?

I would really like to do more research and look into the ADD & ADHD issue. I’m not sure how to go about that, but I am definitely interested. I really like the topic of classifying kids by age and the lack of freedom they have. When they hear a bell, they go.

When they hear the next bell, they come. The next is for lunch. They can only wear blue pols, khakis. “Is that a logo on your shoe? You’re suspended.” Isn’t it stupid to take a child out of school because their shirt tail came out? Aren’t we sending the wrong message? When I really think about it, it seems so military. And yes, is age really the most important thing? I would want to encourage my students to be themselves, their “civil” selves that is. I hope they’d fight for their own rights as people. I did when I was a student and I won’t hold another back.

What do you think of the presentation? If you had to do a presentation with others like this, what role on your team would you like most to play?

Author: This is very well-written. It completely grabs you from the beginning with the choice of words. This is the person I’d like to be. I don’t have “the voice” and I am no way artistic. I am creative in my head but I can’t lay it out. I think I have good points to make about education and I’m always thinking, always thinking. I’m thinking of all my opinions about education and turning them into arguments with some authority I’ve made up in my head.

Narrator: I enjoyed the narrator’s voice. Not only the accent, but he wasn’t monotone. He had my attention for all 11 minutes.

Designer: Whoever designed or came up with this idea is brilliant! (Maybe he doesn’t think he/she’s smart.) It’s very catchy and once again, eye-catching.

Artist: The artist was great! I like following the marker across to figure out what was coming next and where. The idea of only using a couple of colors was also a positive feature.

Sound Effects: They were so real! At first I had to turn down my volume because it was like nails on a chalkboard. But I liked the realness to it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blog 10

Morgan Bayda

This video had good arguements about education. Truthfully, I agree with Morgan.
Public school system: Why is the United States so behind in education? Why are we not more knowledgable about what to do in order to acheieve greatness in the school system? The only time you hear about education in the US is when someone is talking about how bad it is. In fact, just Tuesday I went to lunch and mom told me she knew a mom and son from Brazil. The boy is a junior at Fairhope High School and he doens't have any courses to take because he's taken all of them. Yes, the system is screwed up. What are we supposed to do to fix it? I do not have any answers!
College education: I couldn't wait for my undergrad classes to start because I was so sick of learning things I'd never use in my career. I've spent 13 years doing that. However, I guess I'm not done with classes that do nothing. This semester I am in diverse society. All I've done in that course is do history research about myself. This is never going to help me in the classroom; I don't care what anyone says! It's unfortunate that I'm spending ALL of this money for nothing.

Pencil Integration

I'm glad this blog was assigned to everyone. I've been assigned this teacher as my teacher comment guy. I tihnk his posts are very itneresting, funny, and worthwhile!

Two Questions That Can Change Your Life

1. What's my sentence?
"I do everything in my power for others to help their lives be easier and a little happier."

2. Was I better today than yesterday?
Oh goodness! This seems like a very difficult question. In fact, I kind of feel like a reject because I'm pretty sure my answer is "no." I really don't think I can consider yesterday. I think that because days are up and down for everyone, it's hard to get better and better with every passing day. Am I better than six months ago? Yes. Will I be better tomorrow than I was today? Now that I've been asked that question, I will be more aware of that going troughout my day in order ot better myself!

Project 12: Skype Interview

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blog 9

What I've Learned This Year

It's scary going into the profession. I am glad to hear that not all lessons are perfect though! I also hear that what you'll learn 10x more in the classroom than you'll learn in classes to prepare. It's encouraging to know that our nerves are not alone! Our first year of teacher will be the most stressful. We will be learning so much through experience and we will be frustrated with USA for having to pay thousands of dollars to learn stuff that did not prepare us! I am very excited and anxious to find a job and get in a classroom! It's very comforting to know that not everything we will be perfect, especially year 1!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blog 8


Wow! Some people have very strong feelings about the Smartboard. One says that they may be cool, yet they're expensive and don't fix and education problems. Another agrees that these cost way too much. She says that she only used two or three cool lesson plans with the Smartboard. Yet, she still had to the same amount of work if not more with having to learn how to use it.
I found a blog that talked highly of the Smartboard. This site listed the benefits of a Smartboard. Those positive characteristics include project computer displays, presntations, saving your work, and there's no need for dry-erase marker or chalk. This means it mess free! I agree in that they're expensive, but I think that's the only downfall of the Smartboard. The price is worth it with these benefits! The following is a link to the beenfits page:

EDM for Dummies

Well I'm glad I'm not the only one! I really liked this video. It was very eye-catching and entertaining! I liked that the actual characters were not the students producing the movies. It seemed like this was Poppy's video. Even though it was a rehearsed video with lines, it didn't seem staged. It was well acted out. Anytim the Jaws-like msuic played it grabs my attention and sends chills down everyone's spine! This movie was for sure informative and I think I should have looked at this video when it was encouraged!
JAMIE-LYNN: 2011 Emmy Nominee!!!!

The Chipper Series

I enjoyed the "rawness" of this video. I was hoping that the YouTube video didn't have to be too technical! I like that they used the same people in one day. I enjoyed the actual context of the video too. Every now and then we all need another review on procrasination. I liked the point made about her dropping out just because of Dr. Strange's class. Students, including myself, need to be constantly reminded that one poor test grade is not going to end their life. On the other hand, other students should be more stressed about their test grades. (this is where the video froze and I could no longer view it) Because the video messed up on my computer, I am actually pretty anxious to find out from a classmate what ends up happending to Chipper. I think at some point in the video, she will not be so "Chipper" anymore and really think about what she's done with her life and where she wants to go. Hopefully she'll head down the right path.

Richard Miller

I am partially prepared to write with multimedia. I use technology resources more than I do physcial paper. I will probably not incorporate THAT much technology in my classroom as Richard was saying. I want my kids to be successful in all areas. This means I will do some assignments one way, some another, and some that may be a little odd to them!

Richard Miller talked about all kinds of changes. As he was talking, images and words were popping up on the screen. Some of it, I could do on my Mac and I don’t even know how. Richard E. Miller shows what can be done to change the “reading and writing with products” people to “multimedia” people.

An incremental change is how we have taken writing with pen and paper and going to the library, and we are now doing virtually everything without having to touch paper or step foot into a library book. As he was talking about this, a Mac laptop came up and showed someone with two Word documents and one Safari page open at the same time, and he could see all three. It showed him simply research what he needed and copy and pasting it into the document. He then went on to talk about collaborating.

In the second part, he talks about how he can compose writing on the web, and he shows his colleague’s tool, and it is an application on a Mac that searches blogs as they are written moment by moment. It looked really cool and pretty with all the colors and visual effects. But then he says we don’t have the way to teach what he just described to us in that video. He says “technology articulates our dreams and allows us to shares them with others.”

Monday, October 11, 2010

Additional Assignment #2

1. What do you think? If learners are motivated, can they teach themselves?

I think if someone is motivated to do something, they are in good shape to do it! However, maybe not all people are teachers. Yes, you are the one that knows how your brain works. But, you may not know how really get the information into your brain either!

2. If those motivated learners are kids, can they teach themselves?

Regardless of an age, anyone can do anything! They say that the best teacher for a third grader is a fourth grader. I can’t agree more. So my answer to this question is: absolutely!!

3. What conditions are necessary for kids to teach themselves? For anyone to teach him or herself?

I think that all a child needs is the will to learn. It’s very difficult to sit yourself down and tell yourself that you have to sit there until you get it. If someone is determined enough, I truly believe it’s possible.

4. What role do computers and internet access play in the process?

The internet can help someone so much! When I have to teach myself, even to this day, I usually end up referring back to the internet for backup and/or assistance. Even my twelve-year-old brother yesterday was looking up definitions of parts of speech. I can’t imagine education without the web and I’m thankful for it every day!

5. What role does motivation, a desire to learn?

I don’t understand the question, but I will answer it to the best of my ability! I motivation plays a large role in learning. Without it, I can’ imagine how many kids would still be in school. Most people’s motivation comes from their college of choice or their career of choice. Kids that come from wealthy families see the positive that comes from having money and then they are motivated to do well because they want the same benefits. It also works if someone comes from a low-income family. That person may think that is not what they want from themselves so they’ll be motivated to do more.

6. What roles do a problem, a question or multiple problems or questions play in the process?

Coming along questions and problems can damper the process! If I’ve done all of this research on one topic for a paper and still can’t find some of the assigned criteria, I would get down. In fact, I do get down! It’s hard, at least for me, to get motivated for the same thing again. Even now I think, “this is stupid.” And other times I’ll think, “one day at a time…” It all depends on the outlook. Mine is usually a poor outlook! However, about twice a week and I will try to get back into the positive side of my brain and truly realize what I will get out of my education.

7. How do you motivate someone to learn?

When I’m working with my little brother, I will try to encourage him. I explain that learning how to add fractions may not be used in your career, but it will be used in the next seven years of his education. I try to help him understand that even though he may not use it forever, he will have to know it and use it in order to graduate. In order to be successful and live the college life, he’ll have to graduate. It’s one big cause and effect cycle!

8. How are you motivated to learn?

There aren’t a lot of things outside of my own head that can motivate me to learn. There’s nothing so extravagant that is helping me now. I have always wanted to do well in school. That being said, I am also realistic. Let’s say it’s 11:00pm and I’m studying for a midterm that is at 8am the following morning. I’m probably exhausted yet I still have other study material for another class to look at and still have six questions I can’t find on the original study material. Knowing that I’ve done well in this class so far and from the previous tests in the course I will assume that the exam will be multiple choice. I will probably settle with what I already know and not worry about the six I can’t find. I’ve always been an A-B student and I’ve worked hard. However, I am not going to get only three hours of sleep to make a 100% when I can sleep seven hours and make a 92%. I’ve been my own motivator. Nothing outside of me has ever pressured me or motivated me to learn. It’s just my own goal.

9. Can anyone who is not motivated to learn, learn?

Even if you are determined to not be knowledgeable, you will learn something new frequently. For example, let’s say there’s a high school dropout. She’s 17-years-old and she’s driving around town today. She gets pulled over and the officer informs her that she’s receiving ticket for her music being too loud. She may have never known that loud music could get her a ticket. Even though this is a small example that doesn’t have much to do with school knowledge, still she learned something. People learn through experience. As long as you get out of bed everything, you will learn.

10. Do you teach yourself? When? Why?

Sometimes I’ll have to go home and review things to completely understand what we went over in class that day. Usually I will do this when I’m at home; I will do this before going to bed at night. I do this because if I don’t help myself out at all, I will struggle. Sometimes teachers don’t explain things thoroughly or you asked them a question in class and they didn’t answer the right question. If I don’t teach myself, I will probably not succeed in the things I want to succeed in. I will have to teach myself in those ways. In others, I may teach myself without intentionally doing so. For example, interacting with others throughout the day teaches my valuable lessons. This also is not necessarily school knowledge, yet people and problem-solving skills will help me throughout my life.

11. What role does a teacher (either answer generally or use a specific example) play in your learning?

(Dr. Strange… this is not referring to you!) Some teachers motivate me and they don’t even realize it! I have two in particular teachers this year that are terrible instructors. We don’t do anything at all in the actual class time given, yet we are expected to know how to do all of the assignments when we learn nothing in class. One of the two to who I am referring is really instructing a history class. Surely this is not part of the Elementary Education curriculum. I can’t relate any of her assignments to education. Everything in that class is a pain. The other teacher to whom I am referring is funny, but that’s it. She’s so scatter brained and everyone is left hanging, confused and frustrated! Because I don’t these teachers are good in any means, they’re motivating me to be better. I can’t stand teachers that “just don’t get it.” It’s frustrating as a student, regardless of the age. I want to be the teacher that the students and parents are not talking badly about at the dinner table!

12. What is the most important idea, question or emotional response you take away with you as a result of watching this video?

Teachers are needed everywhere! I do think it’s good that teachers have an incentive to teach in a inner-city school to get good teachers in there and not just richer places. Even though it may be more challenging to teach in one place than another, all students deserve the best!!

13. What other questions or issues are raised by this video that should be considered and discussed by aspiring teachers?

The same I just talked about in #12 I think is so important. Teachers need to realize that every child has an opportunity. Most of those chances come from their knowledge. If those kids aren’t receiving the bet education, they may not get to do everything they were capable of doing. What if Billy, current age five, from African has the ability to cure cancer? Yet, because of the small chances we will be given in the future, we don’t allow Billy to do so?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blog 7

Randy Pausch: Dreams

I thought this was very interesting! Randy Pausch spoke how the steps to achieve your dreams and to help others achieve their dreams! This is nothing but positive. Everything in the world today seems so down and negative. It’s refreshing to see something uplifting every now and then. Mr. Pausch spoke about his personal dreams and aspirations. He is a very inspirational guy and seems to have gone down the right path in life. He says that experience is what you we get when things may not go your way.

Asking for help should never be a shameful act. Always know that not everything is going to go your way. Stay upbeat, be positive, and keep your head up! He believes that parents, mentors, and even educators have the ability to help others achieve what they want to achieve in life. Hearing that makes me nervous and also excited. I will be a teacher/mentor soon. I will be in that situation in just a couple years. Hopefully it will be a while before becoming a parent, yet I will still have people around me that need help, children and adults.

Randy explains that it’s not really about how to achieve your dreams. Instead, it’s about how to lead your life. It reminds me of the saying “Life is not about how many breaths you take but about the moments in life that take your breath away.” If you believe this is true and you continue on the right path, your dreams will come true!

Project 10: PLN

Monday, October 4, 2010

Project 3: Teacher's Summary

I've been commenting on John Spencer. His title is "Tom Johnson: Adventure in Pencil Integration." I love ready his posts! The first was a conversation he has with his students. He told them they were to substitute their paper and pen for slates that day. The students were so confused! Here is what I left under this post:
"I too was puzzled at the reason for slates when I just saw your title. It is intereseting that students at any age respond with, "But this is a pencil classroom." It's interesting how even students know how cut and dry our mediums are. Hopefully technology is changing that. I absolutlely love the idea of the human voice as being old school! That's exactly what I am really trying to develop in my brain before becoming a teacher. It seems like you are doing great things with these kids."

I was anxious to see what his next story was! The second post I commented on was also a conversation he ahd with students concerned with the future! He took pictures of his students. Most of the facial expressions of the kids' faces were pretty serious. One student thought this may not be the best pictures because 200 years from now, someone may look at these pictures and get the wrong impression. Mr. Spencer explained that documentaiton and artifacts are important and that people make their own judgements. He said that there are gaps in history and we may have the wrong idea about a lot of things. The following was my thought:
"I love the conversation you had with your students. Kids are so funny and I can’t wait to be in your shoes one day! The children bring up a great point. When I go to Cracker Barrel and look around, there are the strangest pictures of children, adults, and whole families throughout the store. I’ve always noticed that none of those people in the photos are smiling; they aren’t even smirking! I asked mom why she thought that was and she suggested that it may have been because the dental services weren’t the best! It’s funny that I, 20, would be wondering the same thing as your kids are wondering. I am impressed that your kids knew to think so far ahead into the future. I constantly worry about what’s to come but I was definitely living in the moment before I hit the age of 16! Selective memory has its pros and cons. I wish we all knew what the past was actually like. I guess it’s our job to do the right things, in technology and other aspects of life, and to leave the right things so future generations will better understand us." 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Project 7: Kid's Summary

My first and second kid's comment were for Trystan. The first blog I commented on was his "About Me" section. I left the following response:
"This is not very important but I love the name of the kids in your family! I'm always trying to come up with different names for my future kids. I'm not a huge reader but I do love listening to music. I always have to be listening to something when studying. Craziness is very important in a family! I also agree in that every teacher can explain things a tad more! It is difficult when you go home with an assignment, thought you understood it and all of it a sudden it takes up your whole night! But hang in there; I'm sure you'll do great in and outside of school! Look forward to reading more about you! Have a great remainder of September!" I really wanted to try to encourage him. All students, regardless of the age, struggle with teachers that maybe aren't fit for the job or that level.

The next post I commented on of Trystan's was his manifesto, which I really enjoyed! I left the following comment:
"Committing yourself to being a better student is always good! Most students, including myself, should be promising this to themselves also. My little brother, a seventh grader, hasn't come across this phenomenon yet! Television is always interesting. I have my shows that I either DVR or watch as it comes on. When they're DVR-ed, I usually watch those while I'm in bed, after everything has been completed. Television is not a bad or evil thing, but we can make it evil with the amount of time we put into it. It's difficult for me to set my own bed time. Some days are just more intense than others. But I always try to get in bed at a REASONABLE hour! Basically, before 11:30 is good enough for me! Good luck with pushing through your wish list!" I really hope that Trystan tries to stay with his desire! Those are all important things to edit for a positive outcome. Hopefully he will stick with it and I took will develop my own determinations!