Sunday, November 25, 2012

Progress Report on Project #16

Made At The USA

For Project 16, our group decided to make the 1-2 minute commercial for The University of South Alabama's 50th year anniversary. The theme is "Made at the USA". Our group has met several times. We have taken a collection of pictures and recorded some video. We're all very excited to get our video finished.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blog Assignment #12


1. Read the article, "Should schools embrace, Bring your own Device", By Emma Chadband.

2. In two paragraphs or more, discuss your thoughts and reactions to this article. Would you use this type of technology in your classroom? Why or why not? Follow the requirements in "Writing A Quality Blog Post."

Should schools embrace, Bring your own Device

Bring Your Own Device

After reading the article, "Should schools embrace, Bring your own Device by Emma Chadband", I am certainly on board with bringing your own device (BYOD) in my classroom. I think there could be a positive learning environment for students using their own devices. I am a secondary education major. There will be many students who have technology readily available, but they are not allowed to use them in the classroom. School districts must come up with a way to allow the use of these personal devices in the classroom.

As Ms. Chadband tells us in this article, teachers who are users of these devices could host training workshops for other teachers. Schools will have to implement policies to govern the use of these devices. “With the proper policies and ground rules in place – and the program doesn’t exist merely to cut costs and corners – BYOD can work for educators and students,” states Chadband. I am a firm believer that school districts should do whatever it takes to ensure the students are being taught with the best technology available. Whether the schools own the devices or the students should not matter. It is necessary to prepare students for their future.

As Ms. Chadband states in her article, there are negative possibilities for allowing students to bring their own devices to school. Cyberbullying is certainly a concern. School districts must be prepared with policies and procedures for the inadequate use of the devices. The students must be held accountable for their content and unauthorized use. I am not saying it will be easy, but it is an option worth considering.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

C4T #3 Summary


Jen Deyenberg's Journey Through Teaching with Technology

"Jen Deyenberg"

Post #1 - Tablets in the Classroom

Hello! My name is Jamie Ham. I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I love your idea of technology in the classroom for creation and sharing of knowledge. Tablets in the classroom would be a very beneficial piece of technology to be successful. All students will be different. There is so many apps out there that can be used to meet each students' needs!

Post #2 - Going Back To School!

My name is Jamie Ham. I am an EDM310 student at the University of South Alabama. I can relate to the comment you made about that you like being a part of a learning team. I like how you said that technology is not only an essential learning tool but also by being used the correct way for students and the curriculum. I have learned so much about the advancements in technology through this EDM310 class. My goal as a future educator is be use these technologies to best benefit my students.

C4K Summary for October


C4K #3

"Briana-Cari's" post talked about the season of Fall and playing in piles of leaves.  This is what I said:  Fall is one of my most favorite times of the year. I can remember when my friends and I would rake up a pile of leaves and jump in them. We had so much fun playing in the pile of leaves!

C4K #4

"Kevin's" post is about American values.  This is what I said:  I can tell by your thoughts on this project that you have learned many important characteristics that make us Americans. I remember doing a similar project in high school. I had the opportunity to interview my great aunt who lived during the Great Depression. I learned more from her interview than I did from the classroom. I think you are right to conclude that freedom is an integral part of American identity. We must continue to fight everyday to insure this freedom remains deeply rooted in American values.

C4K #5

"Scott's" post is about Thanksgiving!  This is what I said:  I enjoyed reading your story about Thanksgiving! I have had similar experiences. My whole family gathers for Thanksgiving. My family is huge. We talk and play games. Then we eat a huge meal. We have a great time together.

C4K #6

"Sadie's" post is about buying a house with windows!  This is what I said:  I really enjoyed reading your blog post. It was very interesting to see your view about windows. I love the comment you made about God creating the earth and allowing us to see and experience nature. I also agree that God created windows for this purpose. A house with no windows would be no fun at all. I have many windows in the house that I live in. I also believe in windows!

Blog Assignment #11

Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy

Ms. Cassidy's Classroom Blog

After watching, "Little Kids, Big Potential", I was completely amazed. These first graders in Ms. Cassidy’s class are much more advanced than most. I think it is incredible that the teacher involves all the technology that is available to her. Working with blogs, web pages, video, and Skype in the classroom will better prepare these first graders for their future education.

The "Skype interview" with Ms. Cassidy was great. As a senior in college, I have been subjected to a lot of technology. I cannot imagine how advanced I would be if I were to have begun my education as these first graders.

Ms. Cassidy told us she was given five computers with no programs on them, although they did have internet. She wanted to use the computers, so she had to go online to find places for her to use with her students. She had to research and what she found for her students is extraordinary. She taught her students to blog and how to navigate her webpage. When asked about safety on the internet, I loved her statement, “We must teach.” She taught her students to only use their first name, use no photos, and use only the links that she approved. She taught her students to always be kind when online. Ms. Cassidy also searched for federal grants and funding for her classroom. What a dedicated teacher! Instead of waiting for money to come in, she went and found it. I hope I can mimic Ms. Cassidy with her enthusiasm for technology.

One of her comments about having a great technological coordinator, I think, is an essential key for success in the classroom. Ms. Cassidy said he was skeptical at first, but used her as a guinea pig with her first graders. It worked! Technology is always changing and we must keep up with the changes. Ms. Cassidy said some teachers do not want to change. Others are trying to change. Ms. Cassidy believes all teachers should be technologically literate. What worked even ten years ago, does not work today, according to Cassidy. She also tells us that some administrators have no interest in adding technology. Some do not care, and offer no encouragement.

Parents love to see their child’s progress through their blogs. The kids love technology. It is not new to them. They think it is a part of their world. They love to see how many people have looked at their blogs and the comments on their blogs. They get excited and are eager to learn. Ms. Cassidy tells us that we are handicapping our students if we do not take advantage of opportunities of technology. I also want the parents to have access. I want my students to get excited and eager to learn. Adding something new all the time will keep the students interested and not get in a rut. Having some peers not encouraging what you do and the way you teach will be a hurdle for me. I will always have to put by students first, no matter what.

Some great advice from Ms. Cassidy is to learn about something before you reject it. You may like it. She also tells us to start learning technology with something that interests us such as video, photography, and writing. There is no limit as to how you learn. I want to use this advice in my classroom. Trying something new is sometimes hard and time consuming, but we must persevere to accomplish our objective.

Another student asked Ms. Cassidy about blogging and cheating. Her response was blogging is collaborating, not cheating. This is a little hard for me to comprehend. I think I will have to work hard on learning this concept. I would like to use any type of technology available to me and whatever I have to learn will only better my students.

Facebook for education? Why or why not? Most students use facebook everyday. Ms. Cassidy had a great suggestion. Create a different account that is used only for education purposes. This would be a great way to deliver information, especially for a coach. I believe this would probably be a hard sell for any teacher to their administrator. When you are talking about first graders and technology is one thing. When you are talking about teenagers and technology is a very different story. Facebook is practical, but I am not so sure it would ever be approved by administration because the kids use facebook for negative purposes sometimes.

Ms. Cassidy said Twitter was a huge tool for her. I have recently become a Twitter user and I hope to have the same success with it as Ms. Cassidy. She told us that she would never have found some of the links to use in her classroom if she had not found them from her followers on Twitter. This will be a great tool for support when I become an educator.

I love all the technology that Ms. Cassidy has talked about in this interview. I believe I can use everything she has mentioned if I work hard and prepare. Blogging will be hard for me because of the cheating opportunity. Skype will definitely be a useful tool for me. I am looking forward to using everything available to me to better prepare my students for the future.

Ms. Cassidy

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Special Blog Assignment

Interviewed some of the USA's greatest visionaries to talk about the world of tomorrow

As I read "A World Where Grades Will Be Left Behind", I learned a lot about the future of education and what it may become. Mary Beth Marklein, author of this article, interviewed Sebastian Thrun. Thrun is the founder of Udocity, which is an education company. He teaches free online classes to anyone who wants it. He taught a class composed of more than 160,000 students. Thrun states that after this experience, he could never go back to the traditional classroom. He explained to Marklein that there are no tardies, and failing grades are not an option. He said the class is almost like a playground. Thrun told Marklein that he believed education should be as fun as playing a video game.

Udocity is not the only online start-ups that Thrun oversees. He hopes to develop a catalog of free online courses taught by prominent professors from all over the world. Sal Kahn, a friend of Thrun’s, has gotten some schools to “flip” their classroom. The students watch a video at night and complete work the next day in class. According to Thrun, some charter schools have also built curriculum that involve game playing. Making online college as affordable as a phone bill is the goal of other places, such as Charter University. Thrun also states that classes could be as large as thousands of students. As Marklein listens to Thrun, he tells her he does not know how education will be in thirty years, but he does know that educators are using technology to personalize their teaching strategies. He says grades will not exist, nor will a time limit exist. Students will be able to work at their own pace and take as long as needed to master a skill or concept. Thrun uses an analogy of the live theater versus film-making in explaining his theory. When film-making became popular, it did not destroy the live theater. Films were just different forms of entertainment. He believes this stands true for the education system. The online college will not replace traditional classroom education. The online college will be just another option for students to learn through a different form of education.

As I read and thought about this article, I wanted to know more about Udocity. I went to their website and looked at a course that I could take. I could see the instructor’s hands writing on the white board as if I were in his classroom. The site was easy to navigate, but someone with limited computer skills would probably struggle. The class forum is exceptionally helpful. You can ask questions, seek help from others taking the class, or just make a comment.

However, in the video segment of this article, Thrun says that human interaction is essential in education. To be online, with no personal interaction, as Thrun has described, makes that statement contradictory. He even stated he did not ever want to go back to the traditional classroom. My personal view as a future educator is still a little skeptical of the free online college. First, the traditional classroom should be enhanced by technology, not replaced by it. I do not want to teach from a computer. I love technology and the advancements that have been made in the education system, but sometimes I think teachers want to teach technology instead of the subject at hand. I do not want to be one of these kinds of teachers. I do not have anything against “flipping” my class but only if all students have access to computers and internet at home. I am all for game playing to learn a skill or concept. I will try anything I have available to better my student’s educations. I also believe in the grading system. I have learned through my educational journey that it is okay to fail sometimes. If we teach our students that failure is not an option, the wrong message is being sent. I believe in accountability for the students and the teachers. I want to be held accountable for what I teach. If I were to have one student who did not learn anything from my class, I would consider myself a failure as an educator.

The free cost of online learning will be a very positive force for many people. I know my college education has cost a lot of money, but it has given me something money cannot buy. I have learned about life and made lifelong friends that could never be taught from a computer. I do not want my future students to miss the opportunity to experience the life lessons that can be learned in the classroom. The major goal I have is to teach my students the subject at hand, but also about life.

I know change is necessary, but I believe change can happen to better what we have in place already. Enhancing our education by technology is acceptable. Using technology as an alternative for educating our students is still to new for me to accept.

I love technology, but interaction with people is essential. Society is filled with advanced technology, but there are people behind the scenes of the technology. Social skills that are learned in the classroom can never be replaced by technology.

As I prepare for my future as an educator, advanced technology skills will be essential for my students to succeed. I also believe life lessons are essential for success. I, for one, believe we can have it all!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blog Assignment #10


Cartoon Picture

After reviewing the cartoon from Mr. Spencer’s blog, I believe he is trying to state that both the papermate pencil and the Ticonderoga pencil both provide the same services. One is just more expensive than the other is. He is also trying to say that the Ticonderoga pencil is better quality than the papermate. I think Mr. Spencer is telling us to use whatever technology we have available, even if it is just pencil and paper.

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?

After reading "Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?", it made me realize that not everyone will approve of your style of teaching. When the principal does not support your teaching methods, it would make your job a lot harder. As long as no rules, laws, or safety practices are being compromised, let the teachers teach! Each teacher and each student are individuals, with individual styles, and whatever works should be allowed. This scenario is eye opening because it tells me there could be “brick walls” even from your administrators.

It’s Not Opium and It Won’t Kill Our Writing

After reading John T. Spencer’s blog, "It’s not opium and it won’t kill our writing", it has made me realize that the communication tools we use today is like the pencil and paper. We can just call it the keyboard and monitor or keypad and screen. The technology is different, but the concept is the same.

The mother in this story was concerned about her son writing with the pencil and paper and becoming addicted to it. She was concerned it was taking away his study time and his playtime. She was also concerned that he would lose his ability to write. She did not realize that this writing was a learning tool for him. He says it made him learn how to distinguish between formal English and informal English. He also said he communicated with his friends by these letters. Our technology we use today to communicate is “not opium and it won’t kill our writing” We use the computer and cell phones every day. Tweeting, facebooking, or texting is teaching us something every day, especially how to use technology available to us. . We are learning something. I know the texting language is different, but each one of us will have to make a conscience effort to commit to using formal English when necessary. As the son in this story used letters to communicate with his friends, we use computers and cell phones to communicate with our friends. I thank Mr. Spencer when he says we are not a generation of stupid, illiterate, shallow thinkers.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

After reading Scott McLeod’s post, "Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?", I thought it was quite amusing. I absolutely love sarcasm and he did it well. He summed up all the negative and positive aspects of internet technology and computer technology in his post. There are concerns about use of the internet in the classroom, but we must figure out a way to monitor more efficiently because the use of technology is adamant. We must teach our students about the technology available to them to be able to compete in their future careers and endeavors. How can we do this if it is not available in the classroom? Calling out the parents, teachers, administrators, and board members did not leave anyone out of the equation. We must all work together to make a better education system that will prepare our students for the world ahead of them.

Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D. is currently the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency in Iowa. He is also on leave from his position as an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He is also the founding director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), which is the only center in our nation dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators. He also is the co-creator of the video series, “Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received many awards for technology leadership work.