Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blog Post 14 Final Reflection

Project 16

Progress Report on Project 13

My group and I have met via google chat, skype, face time, and oovoo. We had a hard time with the video chat on skype, we could hear one another (sometimes) but couldn't see one another. So we tried face time, and couldn't figure out how to group chat. Lashunda Barnes found oovoo, it seems the most user friendly. We did 2nd grade math, from the Mobile County Pacing Guide.

Project 14

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Blog Post 13

Engage in an E-Media Fast

I tried 3 different times to do the media fast and all 3 times was a failure! Facebook was a breeze to stay off of for 24 hours, t.v. no problem there either. These things were easy to do without seeing as it is the end of the semester and I have 3 finals next week. This assignment actually did me a huge favor and forced me to study! Sad that I have to basically have my computer and laptop taken away from me in order to focus on the things I need to get done. My cell phone...well that is a different story! I have a landline, but I only use it for work...and hello you can't receive text!  Text is my main form of communication with family and friends. This assignment made me realize that as a high school teacher I will have to be very diligent about keeping my students engaged during class so that they won't be on their phones playing while in class. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Final Report PLN

My PLN has grown so much over this semester and I know it will continue to grow through the rest of my time at South and when I become an educator. My PLN includes many websites but the ones I frequent the most are symbaloo and reddit. I am also on twitter frequently although I know I need to interact more on there, I have many great contacts that I follow on there. My PLN is ever expanding and I look forward to finding new websites and apps to add as I keep exploring all of the wonderful things that technology has to offer. I am so thankful for the many wonderful and inspirational educators I have been able to find this semester and know that they will continue to inspire me and I know that I will use the wonderful information I have gained from them throughout my career.

C4T for April

I was assigned to Kathy Cassidy's blog Primary Preoccupation for my C4T for April.The first post I read was a post about commenting with pre and emerging writers, it was a post about her grade1 students and the comments they receive on their blog posts. She talks about how she holds a parents night at the beginning of the year to show the parents how to comment on student blogs, and how she gets students from previous years to help with commenting for her new students. She also teaches her students how to leave comments themselves. She encourages them to post more than just "I like your blog' and uses a chart in her classroom for reference. There is 4 steps to leaving a good comment. 1. Say something nice 2. Make a connection 3. Ask a question and 4. Re-read your comment. She talks about how learning to leave good comments is a long journey and once she is sure that her students can comment on their own she lets them start commenting independently. Most importantly she talks about how much her students love to know that something they wrote on their blog was valuable enough to provoke a response from someone they have never met.
I think it awesome how she holds a parents night to talk to parents about blogging and to show them how to comment on blogs. I really like the idea of a chart to help remind them of steps but still giving them freedom to write what they want to write. Reading about how much her students enjoy reading the comments they get, and how amazed they are that something they wrote was valuable enough for a complete stranger to respond to really hits home the importance of the C4K assignment we have done this semester.
The next post I read on Ms. Cassidy's blog was Kids Teaching Kids. She talks about what she thought were some great lessons about the difference between needs and wants. At the end of the unit she had students makes videos of one another showing the difference between the two. After reviewing the student videos she realized that despite her great lesson 3 of her students still did quite understand the concept. Instead of her reteaching the lesson to the students she decided to show these three students some of the completed videos from the students who had understood the concept. In no time, those three students were able to create a new video that showed  that they, too, understood what the difference was between the two ideas.  Just by seeing and hearing their peers explain it. So when a combination of the flu and extremely cold weather (windchills of -45f...brrr) caused many of her students to miss several days of class she knew that starting anything new would be pointless. She decided to review some past lessons and let her students that were there be the teachers for the ones that were out, by making videos of what they had been reviewing. The students were all motivated by the idea of being the instructors. 
kid teaching
I love how she thought outside of the box to not only help the students who had been absent, but it also gave the few students that were present something to work on. Something other than just busy work while their peers were out. I think it's a great idea to try a different approach to help those students that just don't quite get it rather reteach them the same lesson! It’s great to see that children who don’t understand the concept can be taught in a fun way by their peers, and that students can be motivated by the idea of helping their classmates.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Project 15

Blog Post 12

apple on top of books
 I think one of the required blog posts should be to reflect on technology literacy and see how your ideas on this subject might have changed this semester. After learning about so many new technologies, which ones you like the most and how you will use in them in your classroom to connect with our students and/or parents. What are some of the things you learned about this semester that you don't think will be helpful in your classroom? Write a summary of your thoughts, be sure to include your reasoning for either using or not using these tools in your classroom. Make sure to follow the requirements  in Writing A Quality Blog Post. 
This class has definitely changed my perspective about technology. Before I thought that our youth spent way too much time on their smart phones, gaming devices, etc.It has never occurred to me that we could take these things and use them to help better educate our students! Technology is changing each and every day, as a future teacher I must be willing to evolve and keep up with these changes. Of the technologies that we have learned about in the class I think that the blogs and smartboards are the most beneficial along with having a website in which you can incorporate podcast and skype interviews with professionals the kids might not otherwise get to talk with. Blogs are beneficial to help parents know what is going on in the classroom and the progress that their child is making in the classroom. Because I am a secondary education major I don't think I will use the storyboards in my class, although I did enjoy learning how to make a storyboard.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Progress Report on Final Project

My group and I have met via google chat, skype, face time, and oovoo. We had a hard time with the video chat on skype, we could hear one another (sometimes) but couldn't see one another. So we tried face time, and couldn't figure out how to group chat. Lashunda Barnes found oovoo, and so far it seems the most user friendly. After looking at the Mobile County Pacing Guide we have decided on 2nd Grade math and we have going to use the Smart Board for our lesson.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts - Special Post #12A

In my opinion schools in the United States destroy the development of curiosity and creativity in students. The education system is driven by standardized tests. There is no need for curiosity in order to score well on  a standardized test. Teachers stress over the material they have to cover in order for their students to do well on these tests because low test scores reflect badly on the teacher, the school, and the school system.Students are being shoved information required to pass these tests, and there is not much time for teachers to teach anything else. Art or other elective classes are not viewed as being important. I think if we started putting more emphasis on art, music and other electives in our schools curriculum this would give students an opportunity to explore their creative side. It is important for teachers to provide maximum opportunities to develop a student’s creativity and curiosity.A teacher has to show that he or she is just as enthused about their students' creative side just as the students are. We must let our students know that we are here for them and that we will help them achieve all their goals. Teachers must be willing to look at the curriculum and come up with new ideas to enhance the curriculum to get their students motivated to want to learn! I think I have grown so much this semester because of this class. EDM 310 has made me curious about technology, and how many wonderful ways it can be incorporated into classrooms.  The people and programs I have learned about have sparked my curiosity and creativity far past the level I started with this semester. As a teacher I know I will  have to find out what interest the students and then modify the lessons so they are more meaningful so the students will remember them and want to find out more.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Post 11

Little Kids...Big Potential
Ms. Cassidy has done an outstanding job with incorporating technology into her first grade classroom. She integrates technology into her curriculum in order to help her students achieve skills they will need to become lifelong learners.My favorite part of Mrs. Cassidy's curriculum is incorporating Nintendo DS games into the school day. Educational video games can provide those "head fake" learning moments, Randy Pausch, talked about.  Students can be actively engaged and learning while they think they are just playing a game and having fun.  The skype interview with Ms. Cassidy  was very inspiring. She began integrating technology into her classroom when she received five computers for her first grade class. She was not able to download anything onto the computers, so she searched on the internet for things to do with the computers in her classroom.  She started out with her own web page and then decided to start a class blog. She chose to help herself, research, and find ways to make use of the technology she had available to her. It is great how she changes the way she uses technology depending on the needs of her students. I definitely plan on using blogs in my classroom. I also plan on allowing my students to use their own personal handheld devices in my classroom. As a future high school history teacher I know that most (if not all) of my students will have smartphones. I believe this approach will benefit my students because it will make learning history more interesting than strictly traditional lecturing. I also believe it will help them to become more engaged in the learning process as well as retain more information.
educational gaming cat and numbers

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blog Post 10

Do You Teach or Do you Educate

This video was short with few words, but it was very inspiring. To teach is to show or explain how to do something, to encourage someone to accept as fact or principle or to cause someone to learn or understand something. To educate is to inspire and empower. To give intelligent, moral, and social instruction. When I think back about past teachers that touched my life in some way, I realize that they weren't teachers..they were educators. They inspired me to want to learn, they were mentors that gave me guidance, and they inspired me to want to pursue a degree in education. I've always said that if I become a teacher, I'll be so much more than that. A friend, a mentor, a role model, as well as an educator. I want to inspire my students to want to learn, we cannot simply give students information and force them to learn; we have to show them the way to obtain and use information to help them become functional outside the classroom. I want to give my students lessons that they can they take with them and use later in life.

Don't Let Them Take The Pencils Home

 I thought it was very interesting how Mr Johnson expresses his opinions about the many flaws in our education system today.  Mr. Johnson is arguing with the school’s curriculum instructional interventionist academic specialist, Gertrude. She is adamant that Mr. Johnson does not allow his students to take home "pencils" after reading an article that stated students who come from a low income neighborhood and bring pencils home ultimately have lower test scores. The kids "play" with pencils instead of using them to learn. Mr. Johnson does not necessary agree with the article, but rather than continuing to argue with her, he offers a solution that involves meeting with the parents and explaining how "pencils" could be used for learning. She still is not convinced this is going to work and for Mr. Johnson to take their pencils away from them at the end of the day. Through this conversation, Mr. Johnson, creatively divulges his annoyances with the educational process today.  He expresses his distaste for the use of standardized test, and the degree to which many teachers go to teach toward those test.  He expresses the need to get parents more involved with their child's education.  He points out the importance of project based learning that keeps students interested.  He expresses the need to have some level of trust in our students and children. Far to often, we look for insignificant causes of problems rather than finding solutions. Or everyone just plays the blame game, instead of actually finding and addressing the problem.
pencil with computer
The pencil in the story can be replaced with a variety of tools. One could think of computers, internet, and other media tools as “pencils” that student just use for entertainment and have no idea how they can be used as educational tools. I believe that if children are instructed to use technology in the right way, then it can be absolutely beneficial.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog Post 9

Joe McClung, shares in his blog, what he has learned about becoming a new teacher. I decided to read and summarize his first two years for this assignment. In the very beginning of his post What I learned this year (2008-2009) he starts with a simple note "Stay Positive." Something I think is so important and so simple to do, but sometimes we forget to think that way. He also learned that lessons are never perfect! Be flexible. If you have a plan in your head and it comes out different don't try to steer it back to what you originally wanted. If things go wrong, work with it and try to better the situation.....and make sure you do it with a smile on your face! He talked about how he had developed a mindset that was all about him, the teacher. This doesn't mean you don't care about your students, just that you become so worried about how you are being assessed by superiors, that you lose touch with your students. It's easy to become so concerned with the delivery of the content that you miss the most important aspect of teaching, and that is checking for student comprehension. He talks about being reasonable in the goals you set for your class. Often, a new teacher will develop expectation levels that are to high. This leads to a teacher doubting the results of their lesson. Students are now set up for failure if the expectation levels are too high. Communicate with your peers and your students. Feedback from that communication will make your students better and yourself.
 Mr. McClung, expressed the necessity to embrace technology in the classroom. Our society is rapidly changing, and computers are everywhere. New teachers should not become overwhelmed by technology, and give up on using it in the classroom. He also expressed the need to listen to your students. By listening to our students, we can build long lasting bonds that promote student growth. Teachers must adapt with the changing needs of their students. Teachers must continue to educate themselves to keep up with the needs of their students.
 The summary from his second year of teaching really shows how he has grown as an educator. The beginning of his second year started with many obstacles. He was teaching history instead of science, 8th grade instead of 6th, and teaching in a new school district. The teaching style used in his science classes from last year were not going to be effective in his 8th grade history classes. Through hard work and research Mr. McClung, found ways to make history fun and educational. Mr. McClung, found out that many of his students lacked the ability to think or express their personal opinion when the discussion required no right answer. He realized that he didn't want his kids to be giving an exact answer that was expected. Instead he wanted to promote individuality and free thinking. Letting the students give an answer in their own opinion, not making things up, to express what they came away from a topic from their point of view.
He also allowed himself to be taken under the wing of a more experienced co worker. Setting pride aside and finding a comfort from what McClung referred to as "school mom" to help bounce issues that he was having off of to help him get back on track. He informs us how beneficial the "school mom" can be, and he informs us to through our ego out the door.  School moms can be a huge asset to a new teacher who will become overwhelmed by the workload thrown at them. He tells us the importance of not being a control freak! That we can't do it all, and it's alright to delegate some of what has to be done.  He also informs us to pay close attention to the scope and sequence of our lessons.  It is easy to spend a lot of time on the content we enjoy, while neglecting some important content our students will benefit from.Most importantly teachers must never lose sight of what's important! Despite the variety of obstacles we can face, it is important to keep their interest in mind at all times.  Mr. McClung, experienced a small conflict with his administration that interfered with his classroom.Then he reminds us that no matter how bad things may be, as a teacher you can not let surrounding factors effect how you conduct yourself in the classroom. The reason is because the students are what is really important. It's not about petty differences you may have with your boss or co-workers, it's about bringing your best effort for your students.

C4K for March

students going on a field trip
My first C4K for March was Filez and Jozel who are grade 6 students at Ferry Lane School, in Tottenham, London. Jozel had written the post I read. It was about a field trip that they had went on to the museum of Welsh life (St. Fagans) . He talked abput a house they went into where the door was read, and explained that the door was red because the people that used to live there were rich. HE talked about a garden they saw and how many different kinds of things were in the garden. I commented on how much I enjoyed visiting museums, and about when I visited the MET a few summers ago. I really enjoyed what he said about the door being red, because I did not know that  meant the people who lived there were rich.  

My C4K assignment for 3/25 was to read a post by a students in Ms. Sarah Stones class from Bradford Schools. The students are participating in the 100 Word Challenge. The story I read was about Saif, who was going downstairs to get a drink of water late one night. On his way down he saw a spider that was sleeping, so he crept quietly past  the spider. He kept trying to walk quietly down the creaky steps and saw 50 little spiders! Thankfully they were all sleeping too, so he crawled past them too. After making to the kitchen he saw his mum, and knew that he was in trouble for being up. I thought the story was creative and well written. I commented that Saif must have been very thirsty to have been brave enough to walk past all those spiders! I would have went back to bed after seeing the first one!

C4K summary April

100 word challenge pic

My C4K assignment for 4/1 was Joe from New Zealand. Joe is taking part in the Student Blogging Challenge. This is a worldwide challenge that is made up of a series of 100 weekly tasks all designed to improve blogging and commenting skills while connecting students with a global audience. I read Joe's post for the 2nd week which was to tell readers about where they live. Joe told us that he is from Mount Maunganui, New Zealand and how great it is to live there. He goes to school in the mount, and plays lots of sports like Rugby. He also told us about his favorite place to visit, Atiamuri, new Zealand. He likes it there because there is a lake where he can wake board, and a reserve where you can ride motorbikes. After reading Joe's post about New Zealand, I decided it is a place I would love to visit one day.
Eva G. was my second C4K assignment for April. Eva posted about the big oil spill in 2010 that happened in the Gulf of Mexico. She talked about how awful it had been for the wildlife. I commented that she was right the oil spill had been devastating for much of the marine life here on the coast and told her about how it had put many people out of work that depended on the gulf for their lively hood. 
My 3rd C4K for April was Chris who is in room 9 at Pt England School in New Zealand. Chris is a new student in room 9. I commented that I hope he has a great year, and asked him what was some of the things he liked about his new class.

C4T #3

For my C4T assignment I was assigned to teacher Kathy Cassidy's blog, Primary Preoccupation.  The post I read was about a Canadian educators conference Unplugd11, the people that attended gave up their time and paid their own way to get there. Everyone met at a hotel in downtown Toronto and traveled by train to a solar-powered experience at Norther Edge Algonquin, a retreat center on a lake surrounded by a forest. There is no internet access, or cell service there. No contact with the outside world. There was just rich and passionate conversation. Everyone that came brought a piece of writing with them. They divided into groups that worked on the writing and brought it together in a collaborative authorship experience. She talked about how all the food there was organic and locally raised. Mealtime was a time for relaxed conversation. She wrote about how the next conference Unplugd12 was not going to be just for Canadians. It will be for educators across the world to come together in an international education summit. Kathy plans on going back for more great conversations, unspoiled wilderness, writing, and great food.
This sounds like a wonderful experience, and something I would love to attend when I become an educator. I think it shows the dedication these teachers have to being great educators in that they were willing to give up their time and pay their own way to attend. Their willingness to unplug from the rest of the world shows the true passion they have about education.

learning with dsi


The next blog post I read of Kathy's was  Nintendo DS: An Assessment Tool?
Some weeks before she had a Bring Your Own Device Day. After seeing her students enthusiasm, and what could be done with their DS she decided to do it again. One of the interesting features of the DS and the DSi is called PictoChat. PictoChat allows you to chat with other Nintendo DS machines through its own wireless connection. She talks about how useful the DS was to help with spelling. Usually she would say a word, ask the students to sound it out and write it down. Then she would have to go to each students individually to check what they had written. With the DS units they all logged into the same chat room in Pictochat and wrote each word as it was said,  but didn’t click on the send button until we counted “1, 2, 3, send”. This was a much better way to assess the students’ understanding. Within ten seconds she knew exactly who needed help and with what. The students were able to help assess as well.  Because of all the correct answers flying by, students could instantly self-assess as well. Most did not need to have their peers point out their errors–they could see the mistakes for themselves.Later when doing number sentences to go with number stories, the same held true.
I think this a great idea for a way to use something that so many children have as an educational tool. My children has the DS, and the DSi and I had no idea this feature was on there! It could maybe even be used as a way for them to help test each other at home! The only problem would be if you couldn't come up with enough for every student. I do think it would be well worth the investment to be able to have a class set! This was an awesome idea!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Project 12

Blog Post 8


This is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2: Richard Miller
Dr. Richard Miller an English professor at Rutgers University paints a compelling change within the way of communication in this 2008 lecture. In his 2 part videos Mr. Miller is talking about how writing has changed. He believes we are in the greatest moment of communication changes, since we have the ability to communicate instantly and globally. He discusses the importance of literacy and how we write, research, and publishes information. Students no longer use encyclopedias as a source for information, or have to go to the library to gather information. Using a pencil and paper are not necessary tools in order to compose information. They are using laptops and word processors. This workspace allows researching information worldwide over the internet. Another important aspect Dr. Miller talks about is the possibility of collaborating using networking technology and how documents are compose with real time materials. Instead of using text only, multimedia tools allow us to compose with real time, up to date materials filled with images, film, sounds. The documents produced are both text and visual enhanced, making it much more interesting and engaging. Richard Miller believes the fundamental change is not technology itself, but what it makes possible; to change the underlying principal of how we work, write, research, and publish. As he states in the video these changes need to be beautiful and compelling so, it inspires curiosity, creativity, and collaboration.
We must be prepared to inspire and guide our students into these emerging technologies some of which have yet to be created.  Students are more likely to learn from an experience in which they are interested and actively engaged. Professor Miller makes it very clear that the restrictions we face are the ones that we place on ourselves. Today's student is not apprehensive of technology. They have already embraced it for years. The teacher and student can now operate as a creative team where each one has something to give and receive.

Carly Pugh Blog Post 12
I think Carly is a true inspiration to others. Her dedication and enthusiasm for education shines throughout the entire post. I loved the way she incorporated links throughout her post and didn't just include one near the end. Her playlist assignment is just what Richard Miller is talking about in his video. It allows students to use multimedia tools like YouTube for more than entertainment, it allows them to use it to learn and become multimedia writers. Miss Pugh has invested a lot of time during her semester researching and creating a playlist on YouTube what she considered to be the most interesting and relevant videos to share with her students and classmates. She used every opportunity she could to lead us to something elsewhere and in doing so, gave us more insight in to what she was writing about.

 The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies

The Chipper Series  and EDM310 for Dummies are two movies made for EDM310 that deliver the not so subtle message that diligence, timeliness and hard work are the key to surviving the EDM310 course. I liked how Chipper's "do the bare minimum" characteristics came through in every scenario. This was a great way to show students that quitting and being lazy gets you absolutely nowhere. It doesn't take Chipper long to figure this out! There are plenty of  resources out there to help make EDM310 easier: assistants, classmates, and professionals we have followed on Twitter. So no matter how overloaded I may feel at times I am happy with the fact that I know am not going to have to go it alone.
 EDM310 for Dummies did an excellent job of portraying how I felt coming into Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class. It does feel overwhelming at first and seems like a lot of work, but what you come to realize is, it is actually teaching you to teach yourself, to be self sufficient, and accountable for yourself. It teaches you how to stay focused and how to use your time wisely. It is teaching use how to become lifelong learners so we can become not just teachers, but great teachers.  
 As I was thinking about creating my own video, I started thinking about the Magic School Bus books that I loved so much as a kid. A video where we are transported into the future where classrooms are virtual, and students used game based learning. What is great is that through the information I am learning in EDM310 I know that classrooms like this can be in our very near future. 

Learn to Change, Change to Learn
This video shows that our classrooms are falling behind on producing graduates that are suited for the real world. Today's employee needs to be collaborative, highly communicative, and creative. In the video, there are many individuals discussing the need for change in the classroom. One statement that stood out to me was “The kids are having a much more stimulated and rich environment outside of school than they are inside of schools". I think it is important for teachers to recognize the interest of today’s children, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, video games and learn how to incorporate them throughout the curriculum in order to create a rich learning environment. Every place I can think of right has a sign or sticker somewhere saying "like us on Facebook". So why are children not allowed to use these resources in school? Under a controlled environment, we can teach kids how to use these sites properly. I agree with the speaker who stated that change needed to start with the teachers being given the technology to connect with other teachers worldwide for collaborative purposes. Social networking can be as enriching and creative inside the classroom as outside. According to this video there are many organizations and individuals pushing for change and spearheading technology inclusion into the classroom. Where there is change there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.

 Scavenger Hunt 2.0
   The Discovery Education's WEB 20.12 site has some amazing technology available for students and teachers. There were do many options for different presentation tools, video tools, mobile tools and even a link for community tools.
1.) Locate a tool that is similar to Twitter/Facebook
Edmodo, like Facebook allows you to share and collaborate. This is a great tool to stay connected with both students and parents. I also like the fact that you can sync your Google Docs with the Edmodo Library so you can easily access and share Google Docs with the groups.
 2.) Find a video tool that you have never used
I liked Aminoto, this is a site that allows teachers to enhance their classroom with videos and presentations. They even have different options for images, music and sharing.
 3.) Find a tool to create a poll anywhere and at anytime
I used poll everywhere for my poll.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Blog Post 7

The Networked Students by Wendy Drexler

This is a video about a student and his Personal Learning Network. In this video, student use  research  to spread and gain knowledge by utilizing social networking tools such as Twitter, Skype, and Wikis.They gather information and use internet blogs and search engines to gather information and build a network of people that can help them to understand and learn. The student will in return create their own personal blog and speak on their formed opinions.   
As we are learning right now in EDM310  creating a PLN takes time and work, but by putting forth the effort and making use of valuable resources, you can make lasting connections that will benefit you for life.

Project 10


Personal Learning Network progress report

Over the next few weeks I plan to expand my Personal Learning Network. What is a PNL? It is your personal connections that you use in your journey of knowledge and acquiring of skills. It can be classmates, teachers, and others that you collaborate with for assistance. It can also be tools like Symbaloo, Facebook, Twitter, and many others. Twitter is one of the ways I am expanded my PNL, I also think the C4T assignment for EDM310 is a great way to meet and connect with other educators. I hope to establish my PNL this semester, but I know that it will continue to grow as I continue my education and become a teacher.

Project 9b

Friday, March 9, 2012

C4T #2

reverse education pic

I was assigned to read Amanda Ooten's blog, Science Teaching for the Future for my C4T #2. Both the posts I read were about The Flipped Classroom: Turning Traditional Education on its Head. What is a flipped classroom and why is everyone talking about it? The flipped classroom inverts traditional teaching methods, delivering instruction online outside of class, and moving "homework" into the classroom. Basically students watch lectures at home at their own pace, communicating in online. the the concepts engagement (or homework) takes place in the classroom with the teachers help.
In her post The Nuts and Bolts of Flipping she explains how to start flipping your classroom. She points out that you have to have the courage to give up some of the material (lectures, power points) and let the students take on the responsibility of learning through group work or other activities. The goal is to get more class time to dig deeper in to the material through activities, labs, and real world problem solving.
She advises to start small and use as much material that has already been produced by others as possible while you are just starting. She gives a list of the 25 best free online educational videos, and helpful links for making and editing your o;postID=6736584170083141003wn screencast. She has some tips on keeping your students engaged with constant movement, writing, and examples or stories to highlight your point. You can also engage your students by assigning tasks to go over the next day in class. She talks about the time she sets aside for each screencast, a total of 3 hours to prepare, record, and edit each video. When she is finished she feels the product is well worth it, and that she will use the videos for a few years before she has to make new ones.

The second blog post I read by ms. Ooten was My Flipped Classroom, part 2 . It's 2 months into the school year and she is talking about how this new perspective has impacted her and and the students in her advanced placement biology class. She touches on some problems earlier in the year, that made her fell like the worst teacher in the world. She had been so focused on "flipping" her classroom that she moved way to quickly at first. She assigned chapters and videos for her students to complete on their own at night in order to have time in class to do discussion and in-depth activities that applied their “already learned” knowledge. She thought students were spending an hour each night with the material, it turned out they were spending twice that and still felt unable to keep pace with the material. This caused the students to become overwhelmed and she realized that they weren't really learning the material at all. After some consideration she decided to use the "flip' only half the time in her class. The students still watch video and participate in class discussions, but she realized there are some concepts that need direct instruction. By using the flip model in her class she no longer just gives this instruction through lecture. She is still in the front of the room, but she doesn't just give the information to them. She challenges  them  by asking probing questions, forcing  them to make connections to previous chapters, and frequently group them during this “lecture” time to repeat important concepts to one another. She talks about the energy this has added to her class, and about how her students enjoy themselves in her class. 
Her students have taken charge of their learning because she has forced them to, and they enjoy it. She has seen a huge increase in students emailing me with questions, coming in early, and staying late to get extra help. She allows students to retake quizzes and to correct their tests, something she has never done in the past. Students can come to class and meet with her, and then make the appropriate corrections. She's giving them a chance to realize their mistakes so they can learn from them. She talks about how you can still be a great teacher without 'flipping" your class, but that she is now the teacher she always wanted to be. 

I really enjoyed reading about how "flipping" has worked in her classroom. I like how she decided to only use it part of the time when her students seemed overwhelmed. One of the things that makes a great teacher great is being able to inspire and challenge students. I want them to think of it as their class, and I want to inspire them to want to learn.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blog post 6

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Randy Pausch was a professor of computer science and human computer interaction, and design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pausch gave his last lecture about Achieving your childhood dreams just a year before he past away from pancreatic cancer in 2008. He started off with the things he didn't want to talk about which were his cancer, his wife and kids, and his religion and spirituality. The things he did talk about were his childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others, and lessons learned: how you can achieve your dreams or enable the dreams of others.
Mr. Pausch was very entergetic and upbeat throughout the entire video. This video was very inspiring to me as future teacher. I really enjoyed his story about his football coach, Coach Graham. Coach Graham taught him the importance of fundamentals. That you have to get the fundamentals down in order for everything else you want to be possible.  He has a lot of inspiring quotes but the one he put the most emphasis on was the one about "Brick Walls". "Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who do not want them badly enough. They keep all the other people out." Whatever it is that is in the way, as long as you truly want it, you can achieve dreams and reach your goals. Pausch talks about how sometimes you have to take a different roads to get to your dreams but they are always reachable if you want it bad enough. He also said that "experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." I really like this quote, it reminds me that you always have to be willing to keep working. If you hit a brick wall, then don't give up...keep trying. 
Randy Pausch taught me new ways of learning, and that I can achieve my dreams no matter what I encounter. I like that he said you should always try to be good at something so it makes you valuable. I believe he is an amazing teacher and individual. I want to be a dedicated teacher and hopefully motivate my future students.