Sunday, July 15, 2012

Project #15 SmartBoard Group 3 Lesson

Group 3 SmartBoard Lesson

Our group SmartBoard project was done based on a reading lesson concept from the Mobile County Public School Curriculum. We formed a lesson to teach the 4 elements of a story: 
  • Setting
  • Characters
  • Plot
  • Problem / Solution
We used the book "The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Pets" by Jan and Stan Berenstain. 
The pictures we used were obtained from PBS Kids, Berenstain Bears Live, and the official Berenstain Bear Website. The video played at the end was found on You Tube.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Project #13


Group Collaboration

My group members were myself, Mary Anderson, Angyl White, and Angelia Gafford. We couldn't have found a more perfect fit. We were like a hand to a glove, pb&j, peas and carrots, you get the picture. We all worked together to come up with ideas, delegated tasks and responsibilities, and worked to fulfill those requirements on time.We could not have made all of these things come together without one thing: COMMUNICATION.

We had several face-to-face meetings which were always fun and productive. In between those meetings, we used several different ways to communicate. I would say our most common method was gmail. This allowed one group member to address a question or concern to everyone at one time. We could then all see each other's responses and address the issues. Texting became a tool we used on occasion. If we were away from our computer, it was always easy to send a quick text to ask a question or remind someone of something. 
Google was used A LOT! We depended on Google for research, ideas, and pictures to use in our projects. Of course, we also used our I Phones to tape the Smart Board project #15 and portions of Project #16.
I just don't know how people got things done back in the day. All of these tools allowed us to work together without always having to be together to get things accomplished. Thank you Technology Gods!

Blog Post #13

Crosby's Class


Someone of great importance did me the tremendous favor of pointing out that I had missed what could personally be one of the most meaningful blog post video viewing assignments of my EDM 310 career. 
Mr. Brian Crosby shared his "Back to the Future Video" which was a reflection of the dynamics of his students, overcoming language barriers, and the excitement of bridging the gap through technology. The reason I claimed that this could be one of my most meaningful assignments to review, is that I have developed such a passion for blogging and using it in my classroom, that it would have been unfortunate had I not had the opportunity to see the tremendous excitement that Mr. Crosby ignites in his students. 

I plan to use wiki, blogs, and podcasts in any way possible while teaching. Mr. Crosby seems to be the kind of teacher that I could learn a lot from. Now that I have an appreciation for the tools and methods, I need more ideas of how to use them in teaching. I would absolutely LOVE to have a teacher like Mr. Crosby to do my student teaching assignment with! I also have great respect for him because he didn't give up on his students just because they had a communication barrier and seemed to be on a low comprehension or learning level due to the ESL challenge. He looked for a way to get them all excited, writing, blogging, working on group projects, wiki; which all include and enhance communication. Birlliant!

The most heart touching moment was when he did not settle for having a student with leukemia on his roll and doing her work at home. He made it a point to include her with Skype so that she could feel like a part of the class. This was the closest to a real classroom environment this child would get. Can you imagine the difference this simple act of kindness made in this young student's life and that of her parents? Not to mention, the lesson he was teaching her classmates. With Dr. Strange teaching me the importance and value of technology in the classroom and Mr. Crosby's example of overcoming barriers with ESL and Leukemia students, I feel like I have turned off of a one way road onto a busy Interstate with options and turns that can take me and my students anywhere. 
21st Century College Students

A Vision of Students Today

This video was a shocking depiction of what it is like to sit in a crowded classroom or auditorium in a University setting. I experience and witness many of the phrases shared by the students on a daily basis. Some teachers write on a chalkboard, throw a quick lecture at you, assign reading, homework, and don't even know your name. Technology is great if someone knows how to use it and help students learn from it. On the other hand, it doesn't help much if you are an effective teacher but have students texting and on their computer doing other things during class. 

I consider the college education process to be a contract between the University, students, and teachers. The University should provide the best possible environment, equipment, and instructors. The teachers, even if they have their doctorate, should do their best to teach students who are depending on their knowledge and guidance to assist in achieving their education goals. It helps to get to know your students on a personal basis and share your experience with those dedicated to learning rather than riding into class on your intellectual high horse. They started in the same place we are in now. Students should fulfill their end of the contract by attending class on a regular basis, being prepared, and paying attention in class. It's one thing to be there, sitting in a seat, filling up space, but your mind should be engaged and absorbing everything that instructor has to give you. These were also addressed in the video when one girl said that her neighbor pays to go to school but never comes to class. The fact that some students are on facebook during class and on a computer that is worth more than some people make in a year speaks volumes about today's generation and their lack of value of their opportunities. 

Betty White Twitter

How Will You Teach Me in the 21st Century?

Melinda Kraft does an excellent job of getting her viewers engaged in the thought process of implementing technology. I love the part, If Grandmas are doing it..... The beginning of the video has us understanding the impact of the necessity of technology skills being taught to students now. In a world where communication skills mean more than writing skills and analytical thinkers are shaping the future, teachers have an immense responsibility to prepare their students to become those future leaders.

Ms. Kraft seemed to see value in email, being connected on the web, collaboration, being creative in lessons and on the computer, telling stories, perhaps through blogging, and working together when becoming overwhelmed. It's a bit ironic. I recently completed a project for another education class using blogging as a history assignment with students. I wrote a letter to parents explaining the assignment, that it would only require them to purchase one folder at the cost of .89, and the rest would be up to their children's imagination and dedication. Many of the points I addressed in my letter were in Ms. Kraft's video. Including "Don't freak out. It can be overwhelming. We will all learn and work together." I couldn't believe it! At first I thought maybe I'm just a bit intuitive, but the more I think about it, I think Dr. Strange and EDM 310 have made their mark on me and I'm actually on the right track!

I would want my students to become familiar with and know how to use basic tools such as podcasts and blogging. Students would also be able to complete assignments which include technology. These could be individual or group projects. Most importantly, I would want my students to learn a lesson about technology that I just learned as a 40 year old student this summer. Students will be exposed to a learning environment which challenges to push the limits of what they believe is possible. I want my students to experience the same pride and self worth of accomplishing goals and learning that they can learn and do things that they never thought were possible. When these goals revolve around technology, not only will they have self confidence, but they will be prepared for the next step of their intellectual and educational journey.

As far as Ms. Kraft's video, I can't imagine a different way to make it more effective. You can always do the poor class sitting in the seats with boring work compared to the fun class learning about ipads, but I believe Ms.Kraft's video to be more positive and encouraging. She covered all aspects; what to expect and be prepared for in the future work force, grandma texting her bff Jill, and kids on fire for learning in that classroom full of computers. Sometimes, you just don't mess with a good thing, and I think this is one of those times. As a matter of fact, I have saved the video for future reference. This was an interesting and fun part of Blog Post #13. I enjoyed it.

Not Required, but Worthy of Mentioning

The Basic Technology Tool Kit was an extremely useful assignment. I seem to get a bit stressed over something when I don't know what to expect. I like to be prepared. After reading this blog post, I know what is expected of me in order to be a teacher responsibly equipped with technology tools. I know what I am already confident with, thanks to EDM 310, and what I need to continue learning on my PLN path. 

The Miles Webb video from New Zealand was the sweetest, cutest, most inspirational thing I have ever seen! It was remarkable that they chose a legally blind student to be one of the stars of this video! His excitement was contagious and you could tell that he was loving every single minute of what he was doing! To create that kind of excitement in even one child makes a difference, but imagine the confidence that child gained through that assignment! Remarkable!

It was also super-cute to see the little girls sharing earbuds and viewing their ipad movie in Ms. Jenny She's class in England. While I was at her site, I took the opportunity to look at some other things she had done with her class. I viewed several of their individual podcasts. One boy talked about his holiday, but my favorite was a little girl talking about how she loved cupcakes! It was a Jerry McGuire moment.... Hello, you had me at cupcakes! Ms. She has her students excited and I think that was the overall theme of Blog Post #13; excitement in learning and how we can do that with technology. It doesn't matter if you are a college student or an elementary student learning to use podcasts, video, or ipads, we all need to be stimulated in the learning process. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Final Report on PLN

PLN Wordle

Where to start.... The amount of information I have learned in this class and the sources I have learned to obtain information from are overwhelming. Once someone realizes what a PLN is and what it can do for you as an individual committed to becoming a life long learner, you feel like you have discovered a priceless treasure.

There are many technological methods that I am quite fond of, use on a daily basis, or anticipate using when I begin teaching in my own class. I had never heard of many of these methods and tools when I first began EDM 310. Podcasts, Twitter, Symbaloo, and Blogging are some of the things I have enjoyed the most. I plan to continue blogging and building my Twitter contacts as I complete my education. Dr. Strange's assignments have already connected me with numerous kind, helpful, passionate teachers with wonderful ideas. Becoming a part of a network community like this excites and encourages me. When we were first received the assignment of forming a PLN I hardly had any tiles on my Symbaloo page. Now, I have added so many extraordinary sources and blogs that I am about to begin a second page! This reassures me that I once I leave the nest of EDM 310, Dr. Strange has taught me to fly on my own. I know to continue to research, stay connected, and remain informed of updates in technology.

I discovered a wonderful blog that sums-up everything I just said and offers even more ideas. Barabara Sakamoto appears to have a great aspect of PLN. I have already bookmarked her blog and followed her on Twitter. I'm including a link to her blog post and encourage you to read it. I loved the way she outlined the evolution of PLNs for teachers. I hope you enjoy it!

C4T Assignment #4


I was delightfully surprised to discover that the teacher blog I was assigned to review this week was Mr. Michael Fawcett. Mr. Fawcett and I had recently become Twitter contacts as a result of an earlier EDM assignment and my attempt to branch out and make connections with educators I may gain valuable insight from. 

Mr. Fawcett's blog site "What Now? What Next? So What?" included an interesting blog titled "Tears". The blog depicted the story of a driven young, nine year old student of Mr. Fawcett's who had donated most of his day planting trees in honor of Arbor Day. I was both shocked and impressed that Mr. Fawcett communicated with this student via Twitter. Not having the opportunity to ask the young student about his volunteer experience, he tweeted to inquire. The student replied with 4 words, "I'll make a doc," and he did! It's not surprising that a teacher would be moved to tears when presented with the opportunity to reach a student who seems so motivated to make a difference and learn. I should also mention that this student, with his parent's permission, regularly tweets and follows Mr. Fawcett's blog. What an inspirational story. If we could all be so lucky......


As I stated earlier, it was a treat and surprise to receive Mr. Fawcett's blog as my C4T Assignment. It was delightful to read about such an inspirational young student, his early dedication to volunteering, and appreciation and use of technology. I complimented Mr. Fawcett and the student's parents on their nurturing of his interests, skills, and education at such a young, impressionable age. I would relish the insight of Mr. Fawcett's secret of connecting with his students on a professional level to peak their interest and encourage their fostering of technology.
Google Scribbles App

Final C4T

In my final C4T assignment, I reviewed and commented on a post by Michael Fawcett left on his blog December 15th, 2011. Mr. Fawcett announced the updated ingenious app feature added by Google, Scribbles. The post reiterated the opinion of Dr. Strange regarding the disastrous first attempts of Google, but in this case, they seemed to have come through in the end. 

I told Mr. Fawcett that I could imagine using the Scribbles app as tool for students to play games like "Draw Something" as a fun way to practice or study lessons. An interactive approach using technology like this would be much more exciting than sitting quietly and completing a worksheet.  Mr. Fawcett seems to have a true passion for his students, teaching, and technology. I'm thrilled that he was my final C4T assignment. What a way to end the semester!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blog Post #12

Founding Fathers App

Lesson Plan for History Blog

EDM 310 has been a class which has been filled with many surprises. My perspective of teaching has been expanded to include the implementation of technology in the classroom. Each assignment taught me different methods of technology that can be used in teaching. However, I believe it would have been beneficial to have had an assignment devising a lesson plan for students which included one of those methods. All future teachers will have to prepare lesson plans, and an assignment like this would allow EDM 310 Students to become familiar with incorporating technology in lessons they will someday teach.

History is one subject that I feel would benefit from this philosophy. Nothing could be more boring to a group of students than hearing about a bunch of people doing a lot of things that happened a long time ago, but imagine assuming the role of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abigail Adams, or Phyllis Wheatley and blogging as them every week! I wrote a lesson plan which allows students to learn about the American Revolutionary Period through the perspective of an assigned historical figure.

5th grade students would have weekly blog assignments which would revolve around the curriculum and lessons taught. Requirements and expectations for each student's blog would include:
  1. Create a blog as assigned figure containing a title, brief biography, and picture of their figure.  
  2. Post information on their blog, in character, as the history curriculum was covered.
  3. Contain at least 4 embedded photographs or videos.
  4. Contain at least 6 links to web resources.
  5. Properly cite sources with the use of alt tags on photographs or videos.
  6. Comment on at least 2 classmate's blogs each week.
  7. Become familiar with and properly use blogging etiquette such as responding to comments left on your blog and the responsibility of leaving appropriate comments. 
  8. Writing, spelling, grammar, and punctuation will be considered in grading.
I created a grading rubric which outlines requirements students would be graded on. Receiving a weekly grade would allow students to earn points for fulfilling blog requirements, writing skills, and summarizing the history information covered in class and homework assignments from the point-of-view of their assigned historical figure. It's my opinion that blogging would allow students to make history a reality.

I would recommend the following sites to students and parents to help them become more familiar with blogging:

This is an example of a student blogging as John Locke from a school in Bronx, NY.

A partial example of my grading rubric is listed below. I hope that someone becomes inspired by my lesson idea and can bring a part of education to life for their students through the magic of blogging!

Patriotic Owl
Grading Rubric

Ideas & Content
The ideas expressed are not original, often confused and are not connected to discussions around history time period and character.
The ideas expressed are not necessarily original, and are not usually connected to discussions around history time period and character.
The student expresses some original ideas. The majority of ideas are related to history time period and character.
The student has many original ideas and expresses them clearly. The great majority of ideas are related to history time period events, character, and emotions.
Evaluation Comments
Post Frequency
The post frequency is well below course expectations.
The post frequency is slightly below average.
The post frequency is slightly above average.
The post frequency greatly exceeds course expectations.

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    Progress Report: Final Project #16

    ipad kids

    Personal Progress Report

    With so much going on toward the end of the semester, it has been a challenge to focus on Project #16! Our group has been working on the individual contributions for the i Book as well as collaborating via email. My Sentence video and Book Trailer are both complete. I have submitted my chosen blog, #7 PLN, for my group's review and recorded my personal video about the most important technology tools I think I will be using when I teach. I have started collecting my 10 pictures which relate to members of my family and family history. I have now moved on to choosing a single picture to annotate and researching the steps to do this. 

    Our group has made plans to meet on Wednesday, July 11th to begin to put individual things together. I am definitely beginning to see that someone can't just sit down and create an i Book. Extensive thought and planning is put into a project like this. As I become overwhelmed, I try to remember that if a group of third grade students can produce one of these, I can too.  

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Blog Post #11

    blog report

    Ms. Cassidy + Technology with 1st Graders = Inspiration

    There have been numerous assignments involving the reading of a teacher's blog during the summer semester of EDM 310. However, viewing the Skype interview with Ms. Cassidy in Canada seemed to bring a realism to the concept of teaching with technology. To actually hear how the implementation of technology began and evolved in her class confirms that everyone begins somewhere. Her clever use of technology (blogging, educational games) in centers is something that I will use. I can also envision myself having students post writings and work on blogs. Students in her class seemed so proud to see their work posted on a blog. They were also encouraged by comments left by family and other students. 

    Ms. Cassidy's method had many advantages. First of all, blogs form a portfolio of work. Students, parents, and teachers are able to see students' progress over time. Everyone learns that good manners are important. The second advantage I noticed is Ms. Cassidy's lesson to her students of the importance of social manners online. Hurtful words cannot be taken back once they are said or posted. This is a lesson in responsibility and good citizenship. Ms. Cassidy isn't simply satisfied with teaching her students to blog and play educational games. She introduces other elements of technology such as Wikis and videos to keep her students interested while laying the foundation of tools they will continue to build upon.

    One comment made by Ms. Cassidy struck a negative chord within me. It is discouraging to hear that while administration may have tolerated and allowed her to use technology in her teaching, she wasn't always encouraged. She also did not refer to many other teachers using these methods in their classrooms. To be honest, if I were her, I would not be able to resist wondering why other teachers could not see this importance and join in. Would other teachers be judgmental behind my back? It seems like it would be difficult to be unique. Hopefully, I will be surrounded by other teachers who value technology in the classroom as I have learned to.