Sunday, May 1, 2011

Final Report on my PLN

ROAD sign saying personal learning network
     I have added many things to my PLN since the last report. One thing I added was the ALEX Website which is very useful to me. I think Twitter has been the best thing I have added to my PLN since being in EDM 310. I have found so much valuable information since I have begin using Twitter. I hope to continue to build to my PLN through the years ahead.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Final Project # 16

Our Tips For Surviving EDM 310

This was a collaborative project by Courtney Starkie, Joshua Ragsdale, and Jacob Webb

Friday, April 29, 2011

Comments For Teachers # 4

Ricky Trione
     I was assigned to comment on Dr. Baggett's blog. The first post I commented on was titled "Leading by Example and a Pointer Finger: Enriching our Lives through the Arts and Technology (high and low)". This post is about Ricky Trione and how he overcomes his disability to achieve his goals in life. He is blind but still paints and uses both technology and his fingers to show people how to paint. I commented and told Dr. Baggett that it was wonderful that Mr. Trione was achieving such great things despite being blind. I also pointed out that it would be easy for someone with a disability to never try to do something that others said was impossible. I also said that he was an inspiration to many people.

      The second post I commented on was on her post about lbiyinka Alao. He is Nigeria's Ambassador of Art. He visited the University of South Alabama and showed his paintings on African life. I commented and said "Hi Dr. Bagget, I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I enjoyed all the pictures you posted of lbyinka's art. His work is beautiful to look at. I have a friend that is from Lagos, Nigeria."

Blog Assignment # 14 ( Special Assignment On Metaphors)

desk with metaphors on it
     I really don't know why I missed this metaphor. I went back and read it again and now I understand Mr John. Spencer's blog post. I guess I was just in a hurry do get the assignment over and did not take time to really try to understand what he was saying. I now see that he was talking about technology and was using the pencils as a metaphor.

     I have heard some metaphors used lately now that I am looking for them. I hear them more often now that I am watching for them. I was watching a basketball game and the announcer said the shooter is on fire. I know that the shooter is not on fire but the announcer is implying that the shooter is making most of his shots. Another one I hear often is that America is a melting  pot. I know that this is a metaphor to describe that America is a place of many different people and cultures.

     We should first teach students what metaphors are and show them many examples. One way we can do this is by encouraging them to read blog posts like we do in this class. The blog post by Mr. Spencer has sure helped me understand more about metaphors. Another way to help or students understand metaphors is to use them ourselves when we teach and see if they are understanding and recognizing them.

     We use metaphors to make someone really think about what is being said. It grabs the attention of people when we use a metaphor and makes them put their thinking cap on and try to understand what is being said. I believe metaphors can sometimes confuse people as it did me, but they are intended to help someone learn and we should use them when needed appropriate.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

C4K Summary - Post 7,8,9 and 10

C4K # 7 
kids in the classroom

     I commented on a blog about the Missouri Compromise on MR. McClung's world. The class made a video where they were talking about the Missouri Compromise. I am a history major and had also been learning about the Missouri Compromise in class at USA. The video had three girls talking about the three components of the compromise.I commented and told them I enjoyed  watching the video they made. This video was under the section of Arkansas History in Mr. McClung's class blog.  

C4K# 8 

     The second student I commented to was Zoe. Zoe is a 6/7 year student at an International Baccalaureate school in Adelaide Hill, South Carolina. Mrs. Pam Thompson  is the teacher of this class. Zoe wrote a blog post about sports day being cancelled because of bad weather. he seems disappointed but realizes this will give her team more practice time. I commented and said I was sorry that the sports day was cancelled. I also told him that his blog was cool and really well organized. I asked him what sports does he play. 

  C4K# 9 

     I had to view and comment on Mrs. Yollis' 3rd grade classroom blog. I was very impressed with this class blog. It was better than most classroom blogs I have seen. It is very organized and very detailed. This class blog has won many awards for being excellent. I have actually used this blog this semester at times. I used the HTML code post and referred to it many times when blogging. There is also a video about the state of California on her blog that I watched. This gives you some information and facts about the state of California. There is also a link thatI found interesting that shows different clocks to let you know what time it is in other parts of the world. This can be helpful to students to let them know what time it is in their friends world. Mrs. Yollis' also emphasizes making quality comments when blogging. She refuses to post comments that have grammatical errors in them. She also has a video on her class blog that teaches how to make a quality comment.
     I commented on the post about family blogging month. I told Mr. Yollis' that I enjoyed reading her class blog and that I had found the post on HTML code very helpful to me. I also mentioned that I had actually visited Los Angeles, California last year. I told  Mr. Yollis' and class that their class blog deserved the recognition and awards that it has achieved.


     I commented on student in Mr. Yollis's class named Grace. She wrote a blog about her stuffed animal named Bunny. She had received Bunny from her aunt when she was born. They are both nine years old. She shows pictures of bunny dancing and playing the piano. She also mentions that Bunny plays hide and go seek. At the end of her post, she asks the question do you have a stuffed animal? I commented on her post and told her I did not. I told her if I was to get one it would be an elephant. I mentioned to her that I played the piano also. I ended by telling her that her blog looked great!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blog Assignment # 13

Alabama Learning Exchange photo
     ALEX stands for the Alabama Learning Exchange and is a great resource for teachers and students to use. I had heard of ALEX before but did not realize what a valuable tool this is for teachers. It has a lot of helpful information that teachers can find instantly online. It has many great lesson plans that you can use. One thing I really liked was the web links which you could find useful and interesting web pages outside of Alex that are related to education. You can also sign up for an Alex account and login to ALEX Personal Workplace. Here you can create a personal workplace for storing and submitting lesson plans.
     I am sure I will be using this great website in the near future when I start teaching and probably some before. It will for sure be in my personal learning network. Today, teachers have so much help and resources they can find on the internet. I think that teachers need to take advantage of sites like ALEX. I think teachers in the past before their was internet would love to have something like ALEX to use. We are very fortunate to be living in times where we have so much knowledge at our disposal.

     ACCESS is another website created by the Alabama Department Of Education on November 1st, 2004. It is available to all Alabama public school systems. It helps students who may be struggling in a particular area by providing web courses. It also provides teachers with additional multimedia and tools to enhance instruction. It also allows to students to study something more in depth with advanced classes.It is a great website that provides an equal opportunity  for every Alabama high school student through 21st century technology.(ACCESS website)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Progress Report on Final Project

I am trying to figure out who I can be in a group with to do the final project with. I have talked to someone about doing this project with and am awaiting an answer. I am a little bit behind on this project due to thinking we were still in the same groups that we started the year with. So if anyone has room left in their group please let me know ASAP!

Project # 15

Blog Post Assignment # 12

Blog Post Assignment: Watch this Video and write your reaction to it in at least two paragraphs

What Does it Mean to be Literate in the 21st Century?

    This video raises the question of what does it mean to be literate in the 21st century. Many teachers answer this question in this video. Many of the answers that the teachers give are different and reflect their opinion. I think this video is trying to convey that some people are moving forward and understand that in order to be literate today you must be using technology. Others unfortunately still want to view literacy as the same thing it was many years ago.

     Being literate is different today than it was in the past. Being literate in the 21st century involves knowing and using technology in multiple ways. In the past it only involved only whether someone could read or write. We live in a different world today. Today if you do not know anything about technology or how to use it, many people would possibly consider you not literate. I don't think teachers can sit back anymore and refuse to incorporate technology in the classroom. We are living in different times where a student need to be technology literate in order to be literate. Teachers can actually learn about technology from many of their students. Many students in this generation have grown up using the internet and technology. I think it is vital for teachers to learn about technology and to use it in the classroom. We can no longer pretend that is not necessary. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Project #14 Teach Someone

Special Assignment

mcclungs world
     Mr. McClung's blog is very organized and well structured. It is very evident that he is a very organized and likes for things to run smoothly. I can also tell that he wants students and parents to have access to the class blog so they can keep up with assignments and to know what is expected of them. I believe Mr. McClung is a very good educator because he requires students to learn through collaborating with one another and by using technology. He is also encouraging students to be very organized which will help them in other classes and everyday life. He requires each student to purchase a day planner. I think he is preparing students how to learn independently.

     I think Mr. McClung has some very basic rules in his classroom. The first one which says follow directions quickly is the one the one that stuck out to me. I think this lets students know that they need to pay attention to what is being said and to be ready to learn. Another one I like was the one that said make smart choices. I think that gets the students attention. I think these rules are very different from most classrooms and it might make students a little nervous at first until they see the reasoning behind the rules. I think by requiring each student to purchase a day planner he is trying to prepare his students to be organized like he is.

     The penalty for late homework or assignments is very strict and requires students to be responsible and turn their work on in time. Dr. Strange's  penalty is light in comparison. I do find it interesting that middle school students have higher expectations on them than some college students do. I think this is good in a way for the students in Mr. McClung's class. It teaches them to very responsible and professional at an early age.

     I really like what Mr. McClung says about his class blog. He wants it to be the central tool used by students, teachers, and parents to keep up with what is happening in his classroom. I hope one day I can also use a class blog that benefits my students and others. I think the class blog in my EDM 310 class is a lot like his. I would be lost without our class blog and confused. It helps me to stay on top of things and to be better organized.

     The first useful link I discovered on Mr. McClung's list was the The Plagiarism Checker. This tool helps teachers find plagiarized text in homework and in essays. All you do is just copy a paper or text in a box and it checks it for you. I imagine that Mr. McClung uses this because he teaches history and grades a lot of papers and assignments. This will be a great tool for me to use since I plan to teach history one day. Another link I looked at was the translation website. I really liked this one. I like to look up what a word is translated to in another language. On this site you can put a word in a box in English and it will translate it into Spanish. You can do this for many different languages. Mr. McClung probably uses this because many times when studying history you might need to know what a word is translated into in another language. I think this tool will be very helpful to me one day as a teacher.

     I really liked the search engine on Mr. McClung's blog. I could not find his safety tips for internet use and had to use the search engine to find it.I also like that he had different categories on top of his page and that you could just click on them to go there. I think his blog is extremely organized and easy to navigate through. I also like that he has useful links on his page with material that might be helpful for other teachers and students. There were several that I liked and will be using one day.

     Mr. McClung's blog is very useful to parents, teachers, administrators, and students. It allows everyone to see what is happening in his class. His students can always use the blog to keep up with their homework and assignments. Parents can also see what their children are learning and doing on a daily basis. I think his blog also helps me as a future history teacher. It gives me some ideas and gives me some tools that I will use one day when I teach.

     I think Mr. McClung's blog is better organized than most blogs I have visited in the past. I think he has spent a lot of time developing his blog and making it easy to use. His blog seems to give the visitor a better perspective of what is happening in his classroom than many of the other blogs I have visited. I just think that he has really put a lot of effort in his blog than most do. I think some people just set a blog up and forget that it is there and never update it. He seems to continuously be working on his blog and making it better. I enjoyed viewing Mr. McClung's blog and learned a lot by looking at it. I think it will be something that I can model my class blog by one day.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Blog Assignment # 11

First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class
first grade student

     This video is about all the technology that Ms. Cassidy's first grade class is using. I was surprised that such  young students were using so much technology. It appeared that each student had a personal laptop. They were blogging, skyping, and even using a nintendo DS to learn in the classroom. I wish I had these things in the classroom when I attended school. I do not think this is a good representation of every school. Many students in schools do not have access to these technology tools. I think it is great that these students have all these tools to help assist them in learning. They are on their way to being technology literate at a very young age and way before I was at their age.        

Skype Interview with Ms. Cassidy

      I enjoyed watching this interview. Ms. Cassidy seems like a great teacher who has incorporated a lot of  technlogy in her classroom. She talks about how her students are blogging and using other tools in technology. I think she is a good example of a teacher using technology responsibly in the classroom. She only allows students to use first names and does not post pictures with names. I think it is great that she is using technology and also protecting her students when they are online. I also like the idea she raises in creating  seperate accounts on a  social media site. One for personal use and one for educational use. She also talks about how students like blogging because it is available for many people to see and comment on. If they were just writing on paper, only a few people would ever read it. 
     One thing I really liked that Mr. Cassidy said was that "collaborating is not cheating". I think some people are worried that people will cheat and copy other people's work when doing so much online work. It is not necessarily cheating when you collaborate and use other people's ideas. I don't personally think you can cheat easily in a course like EDM 310. You have to think for yourself and be creative in this class. This video was definitely worth my time watching and will help me as a teacher one day in my classroom and incorporating technology. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Comments For Teachers # 3

     I commented on  Mr. John T Spencer's blog. I commented on a post he made about joining the Acceptable Use Committee. He posted a dialogue of a conversation during a committee regarding the Acceptable Use policy of the district. After researching Acceptable Use policies to have a general understanding of the conversation, the post made by Mr. Spencer demonstrates his beliefs that teaching ethical behavior should be used over setting use policies and that he made a mistake joining the committee. I replied in a manner defending the use of setting rules and boundaries for students not only for their protection but to keep students off websites that are not school related. In my opinion teaching ethical behavior alone will not keep students from doing right and wrong.
tom johnson's pencil integration

      The next post by Mr. Spencer that I commented on was titled "5 reasons for Leaving The Pencil Conference Early". This post was about Mr. Spencer leaving the pencil integration conference early. He listed five reasons.

1. Many presenter's I've met were unaproachable.
2.Many presenters were arrogant
3.Many presenters fail to grasp complexity,paradox,and mystery.
4.Many presenters speak like addicts
5.Many of the New School folks won't admitthat there are some great ideas from the past-whether the idea is ten or two thousand years old.

     Mr. Spencer lest the conference early and felt like he could learn more from his daughter than this conference. One thing I like is when he said that many presenters want to claim they love social media but then shy away from using it themselves. I commented on his post and told him I did not blame him for leaving the conference. I told him that one should practice what he preaches. I think it is very hypocritical to advocate something when you are not doing it yourself. I also told him that no one likes listening to someone that is arrogant.
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Blog Assignment #10

An Open Letter to Educators
 chalboard saying reiventing America's schools

     This post was about a guy named Dan Brown who made a video describing how schools in general interfere with education. He talks about how the world is changing and you must change with it or you will be left behind. Education in many schools are refusing to embrace the change and are being left behind. Many classrooms still resemble the classrooms of twenty years ago. Little has changed in many schools despite the world around it changing at an astonishing rate. Dan brown has dropped out of school because he feels like it is hindering his education instead of helping it. That is sad to me. Schools should be a place where you are learning new things and things that are relevant to this ever changing new world we live in. 
     Morgan Bayda talks about this video in her blog post. She agrees with Dan Brown in many aspects that the schools in North America are falling behind the world. She talks about how she is bored in most of her classes and can hardly pay attention. She feels cheated by the University in many ways. She is not challenged to learn in most of her classes and just sits through boring lectures. One class is different however. Her Ed Computers class is much different. She is constantly collaborating with other students and other people in the world through blogging, using Twitter and many more things. This kind of learning is relevant to her and she is learning new things. 
     I enjoyed this blog post and it seems to paint a good picture of what most classrooms are like today. We must change our education system and make it more relevant to this generation of students. We can no longer sit back and use the same methods of teaching that have been around forever. I also feel like most of my classes are a waste of my money. The same information I am getting from my teachers is already available to me on the internet. Why do I need to pay someone to learn things that are already available to me online. I hope that one day as a teacher that I will be encouraging my students to learn things that are relevant to them and things that challenge them. I do not want to be known as a teacher that hinders someone's education.

Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home

     This post was about a teacher that did not want to let students take pencils home because she feared it would lower their scores on a standardized test. Another teacher thinks it will be fine and that it will be beneficial to let the students take pencils home. I think we focus on the problems too much as a society instead of a solution. Almost anything in life can be used for good or for evil. We cannot just assume that letting the students take their pencils home will have a negative impact. Creativity is something that we must never discourage from our students. If we take away tools that allow them to be creative and learn on their own, how can we expect them to be creative. We cannot assume the worst in every kid because of another situation. We must be careful as educators to not take away something from our students that might be beneficial to them and encourage learning. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Summary Post C4K Comments 4-6


     I was assigned to comment on the blog of Hueloata. He goes to the Pt England School in Auckland, NZ. He is in the sixth grade. His teacher is Mr. Ted Barks. He had a picture of two cute puppies on his blog and had a link on his page where he found the pictures. I told him that I liked the pictures of the dogs and that they were very cute. I also told him that I have two dogs and two cats of my own. Below is a picture of the the two puppies he had on his blog post. 

two puppies


     I was also assigned to comment on Maree's blog. She is in the eight grade and also attends Pt England School. The name of the blog I commented on was Room 22's Favorite food. She was using google docs to make a line graph to show what the classes favorite food was. She had been studying statistics in her math class. I left a comment for her telling her that it was great that she was using google docs already. I told her that I had been using google docs for the first time in my EDM 310 class and that she was way ahead of me.I asked what her favorite food was also. Here is the line graph that she made. 

line graph


     I also commented on a video made by 12 and 13 year olds from Melville Intermediate School in New Zealand. They have an elective class one day a week where they can decide what they would like to do. They chose to follow a recipe and cook. They did a good job of cooking and recording their adventure. I left a comment on their blog post and asked them if they were able to eat the food they cooked. I told them that 
I wish I would have been able to choose an elective when I attended school. I think it is so cool they they have the option one day a week to decide what they want to learn. They seemed to be having so much fun cooking and it gave them a break from being stuck in the classroom all day long. Here is the video if you would like to watch.

Kennedy Options - Cooking from myles webb on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blog Assignment # 9

What I've Learned This Year
book saying first day of school

     Mr. McClung talks about what he has learned in his first year of teaching in this post. He describes how he developed a mindset where it was all about him during his college years. He now realizes that checking for student comprehension is the most important aspect of teaching. He also learned to be flexible when things did not go his way. I think this is very important for new teachers. I believe that we all get frustrated when things don't go exactly the way we planned them to go. We should be flexible and realize that some things happen for a reason that we might not see at the time they happen. I also agree with Mr. McClung when he says communication is very important. Many problems can be avoided if we communicate with one another. We should also not be afraid of technology according to Mr. McClung. Technology should be used to help us and our students. The last two things he talks about is to listen to your students and to never stop learning. I agree! I think if we ever stop wanting to learn something new as teachers, we should consider finding another field to work in. If we stop learning, how can we except our students to learn new things.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Smartboard Presentation Group # 1

This was a collaborative project worked on by: Brittany Hamilton, Courtney Starkie, Joshua Ragsdale, and Rashad Adams

After the Smartboard lesson, we sent a quiz to our participants. Click on the link below to see the results of that quiz.

     I had fun working on the Smartboard project. I had never used one before. I think I will enjoy having one in my classroom one day. I can see it being very beneficial to a classroom. I do not think that every classroom needs a Smartboard, but it is a very good technology tool to use when teaching a lesson. I enjoyed playing the game at the end of the lesson and I think that is a great way to reinforce what you just taught to your students. 
     I learned how to make forms using Google docs which I will be able to use one day when teaching. I think this Smartboard presentation made me aware of some good tools that I can use one day when I teach history. I also think this project was a good collaboration project. We had to work together as a group to create a lesson. We all had to help gather information for our presentation and quiz. 

Blog Assignment # 8

Richard Miller :  This Is How We Dream

     I enjoyed this lecture by Richard Miller. He talks about how the world is changing and how we need to adapt. There used to be books everywhere and that was the way most people learned. Today people are using the internet way more than they use books. There is so much more available to us because of the internet. I think people were limited in what they could learn in the past. People could only learn from books they read or by going to a library to do research. Today people with the click of a button can find valuable information on anything they want to learn about.
     I believe we have to teach our students how to use technology if we want them to be successful. If we try to hang on to the past and teach them the way we were taught, we are neglecting them. We have to teach them the new way of learning. In order to teach them the new way of learning, we have to be able to do it ourselves. If we as teachers do not stay updated with evolving technology, how will we expect to teach our students this new way of learning.
     Am I prepared to write with multimedia? The honest answer to this question is no at the moment. I do feel like I am on my way. Taking this course (EDM 310) has helped me a lot. I am more prepared than I was a few months ago. I do think my students will be able to write with multimedia. I think they will be more prepared than students in the past to write with multimedia. I believe that in a few years it will be necessary for every student to write with multimedia or risk the chance of falling behind their peers. This makes it vitally important for me as a future teacher to stay updated with the newest technology and to learn something new everyday that may one day help me teach my students.

The Chipper Series

     This video is about a young lady who is searching for the easy way do things. She is in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class and wants to turn her work in late and procrastinate all the time. She eventually drops out of school after making bad grades. She thinks she should be able to turn her work in whenever she wants. She starts her own flight school. She lets the students make their own schedules and come to class whenever they like. The Flight school is not a success and it is quickly shut down by the FAA. Chipper then decides to get an online degree and Dr. Strange helps her get a job at a school. She is not responsible and misses class all the time. She is eventually fired by the school. She then gets a job as a waitress. This does not last long either and she is fired. Chipper decides to be a nanny next. She thinks this will be easy and she can do her own thing all day instead of watching the kids. She is never offered this job. She finally decides to be a garbage collector. This job does not last long either. She finally comes back to Dr. Strange and tells him that she had a "cleansing" of her mind. She decides to come back to school and get her master's degree in education. This time she is determined to not procrastinate and to study hard.
edm 310 for dummies book

EDM 310 For Dummies

     This video is about two girls who are frustrated and hate EDM 310 in the beginning. Their attitudes change quickly when they are introduced this book titled "EDM 310 For Dummies". They find in this book many helpful things and tutorials that help them with the class projects. They start enjoying EDM 310 and start looking forward to doing their work now.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

     This video is pretty much encouraging us to change the way we are learning. We are sticking to the same way of learning when the world around us is changing. We need to change the way that we teach in many aspects. If we continue on this path, our students will not be ready for the real world that awaits them when they leave school. We should teach students things that are important for them in the future.
     Many jobs in the future will be dependent on us knowing how to use technology. The old way of teaching is not going to enable our students to be successful . Most jobs in the future are going to be computer and technology related. It is not easy to change our old habits sometimes, but I believe we have to adapt to the world around us and give our students the best opportunity to succeed in life. I agree with the gentlemen in the video that says we need to get away from requiring students just to learn facts. We need to teach our students how to find useful information. We should encourage students to learn independently and by working with others.

The Secret Powers of Time

     This video was a good demonstration of the changing world around us. I think Professor Zimbardo is trying to point out that we are more past oriented in our thinking when we should be more future oriented. We should embrace the future way of learning things and let go of the past. I think it is sad that so many people are more worried about being successful than spending time with their families. I agree with Professor Zimbardo when he says " There is a disaster recipe developing for boys in America." The amount of time that boys are spending on video games and on the computer are staggering. This means that they will never fit in a traditional classroom. They are expected to sit back and be quiet in a classroom. They control nothing and are being taught nothing that interests them. I think this is why so many boys are dropping out of school. It is not challenging them and they are not in control of anything. I think we could do better as teachers to try to incorporate some new ideas and make learning more fun and more interactive. We can still teach the necessary things, but make it more interesting and challenging.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

     Daniel Pink discusses what really motivates us in this video. Most probably think that money is the leading motivator for why we do something. Pink talks about a study at MIT where they took a group of students and gave them a group of challenges. The students were given monetary rewards based on their performances. The result was a strange finding. Once the task called for rudimentary cognitive skills, a larger reward led to poorer performance. This is opposite of what most people believe would happen. The point MR. Pink is making is that people perform better when they are allowed to be creative and think for themselves. When people are just told what to do and how to do it, they are less creative and are not challenged to learn independently. I think this is what is happening in a lot of classrooms. Students are just being forced to memorize material so they can pass a test. If we let students be creative and force them to find answers for themselves, I think we will see better results and positive attitudes toward learning.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Comments For Teachers # 2

     I commented on Royan Lees's blog. He is a teacher leader in the York Region District School Board, Ontario, Canada. He is currently an intermediate literacy teacher in Richmond Hill. The first post on his blog I commented on was about mobile app logos. He had his students analyzing and designing app logos. The students were very engaged and doing their homework because they loved doing this. Their was a high level of collaboration among the students that Mr. Royan says he wish he could bottle up and sell. The students are obviously having fun learning. I commented on his post and told him that I thought this was a great idea he had to make students excited about learning. I also told him that it was exciting to see students so engaged in their schoolwork and being creative. Below is a picture of some of the apps his students designed.

mobile phone apps

     The second post I commented on by MR. Royan was titled "I heart tech". In this post MR. Royan basically says that we need to get past the excitement of technology and use it for learning and teaching instead of just using it because it is cool! He says "To get past novelty,however you must experience the novelty." He gives an example of his daughter loving the ice cream shop. It is unavoidable that she will love the ice cream shop at first. I commented and told Mr. Royan that this was a great post. I told him that if we just focus on how cool something is, we often lose sight of what we can actually learn from something.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

PLN Project # 10

1st Progress Report on PLN

     I have made a lot of progress towards my PLN in the last several weeks. Before this semester, I was not on Twitter or Blogger. I had been using Facebook a lot in the past. I have now connected with a lot of other web sites that have enhanced my learning. I am following many educators on Twitter which I have found is a very valuable tool for learning. I also created a Gmail account and have learned that Google has so many valuable tools needed for educating. I really like Google Docs and have used it frequently. I am excited about the progress of my PLN and how much better it will be in the future. I am using Symbaloo for my PLN right now. Here is a link to my PLN.

View my symbaloo.

Project # 11 Short Movie

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blog Assignment # 7

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

      I was very impressed by this video and Randy Pausch. He had a great attitude despite being stricken with liver cancer. Most people would just roll over and give up. Randy had several childhood dreams that he wanted to accomplish before he died. He achieved all of them in some way. The six he listed in this video were:

1. Being in zero gravity
2. Playing in the NFL
3. Authoring an article in the World Book of Encyclopedia
4. Being Captain Kirk
5. Winning Stuffed animals
6. Being a Disney Imagineer

picture of bricks

     I really enjoyed the part in the video about hitting a brick wall. We all may hit a brick wall in our lives when trying to accomplish our dreams. We should not let this stop us. It should be thought of as gaining an  experience instead of a stopping point to give up on our dreams. I really liked the Quote by Mr. Randy Pausch that said "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted". I think a lot of time people do not realize that just because you didn't achieve something that you wanted in life, you can still use that experience to help you get where you want to be.    

    I also learned from watching this video what a head fake was. A head fake is when you make somebody think they are learning something that is fun when in reality it is something that is very valuable and important that they are really learning. It is something  hard to learn but you do not realize that when you are doing it because you are having fun with it. It is like manipulating a student to learning something hard by making it enjoyable. I also like the points he made about how to get people to help you. You can get people to help you by doing the following according to Mr. Pausch.

  • Realize you can't get there alone
  • Tell the truth
  • Be earnest
  • Apologize when you screw up
  • Focus on others, not yourself
   I enjoyed watching this video and admired the courage shown by Mr. Pausch. This man may have been dying, but he was still having fun and helping others. I think he is a great example for future teachers! He challenged students and made fun learning at the same time. I hope one day I can have this great attitude about teaching as he did. I am not going to let a brick wall stop me from achieving my dreams anymore. I am going to use my failures as experience to make myself a better person and a better teacher. 

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    Blog Assignment # 6

    photo of kids using computers

    The Networked Student

         This video made me realize what the future classroom may look like. There is so much more information available to us these days than ever before. I think students will like this new way of learning instead of having to hear boring lectures all the time and do the same thing in class every day. Most students are bored in the classroom these days and I think if they are allowed to learn more independently they will be more successful. 
         I also think this way of learning challenges students to find answers for themselves instead of just depending on a teacher or other student to help them. A student today can find information on just about anything through the use of  networking. Connecting with people from all over the world is a great way to learn more. I think in the past we were limited to how much we could learn. When I was growing up I never was able to talk to someone who was in another country. I barely even talked to any one who do not live in my same city. Today we are able to learn so much more by being connected to people from all over the world.
         I think the networked student does still need a teacher. A teacher who is technology literate can help students with questions they have or connect them other people who can help them. A teacher can guide them and show them how to network with other people and use his or her experience to help them along the way. I think a teacher should encourage students to be  networking. A teacher also needs to be networking. A teacher should not be complacent and always willing to learn from other people also. 

         A 7th Grade Personal Learning Environment or PLN

         I was impressed with this 7th graders personal learning environment. It looked way different than what I did in school when I was a young boy. Technology has definitely changed  the way we learn today. My personal learning environment in EDM 310 is similar to this. I never have to use paper or pencil just like this 7th grader did not have too. Most of my classes in college are still not using much technology. I think in the future everyone will be using technology in their personal learning environment or risk the chance of falling way behind those who do use it.

    A Critique of Smart boards
         In The two critiques I read about smart boards both think that the smart boards are a waste of money and do not really help the student that much more than a chalkboard or projector. Both educators seem to think that most schools have them just to show them off because they are cool and neat. They seem to think that they are really useless.

          I read a post by Jessica Cook titled The advantages of Using a Smart Board. She believes that smart boards are very beneficial to the teachers and students. She likes the fact that you can save your work on a smart board and retrieve it at any time. She also likes the idea that the smart boards can be connected to different computers and be useful in distance learning. Another advantage is after a teacher is through with a lecture or lesson he or she can print out what was on the board and give a handout to each student. Here is a link to the site.The Advantages of Using a Smart Board |

         I believe smart boards are a good investment and offer more advantages than disadvantages. The only thing I do not like is when a school receives a new smart board and a teacher refuses to use it because he or she is scared of learning how it works. It is a waste of money if it just sits there unused, but it can be very beneficial to those who use it in a productive way.

    Comments for Kids 1

    C4K # 1

         The first kid's blog I commented on was a fifth grade boy. His post was titled What I like to do. He said that he liked to pogo stick and that he was the best one at it at the boys club. He also mentioned that he like to ripstik. He said that he like to read at that he had read many books since he was five years old. He also had a positive attitude about attending school and seeing his teacher everyday.

         I commented on his post and asked him what pogo stick and ripstik was. I had never heard of that. I also encouraged him to keep reading and told him that was great that he had such a positive attitude about going to school everyday. I asked him what was his favorite kind of books to read.
     picture of 4th grade

    CK4 # 2

         The next student I was assigned to comment on was a girl named Chyna. She attends Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand. She is in the fourth grade. I commented on her post titled I am getting a Netbook.  She was very excited because she evidently had won a netbook. She mentioned that she had won the netbook because she was good on the computer and did cool things on the computer. She also mentioned that when she first turned on her netbook that it turned off because her battery was flat!

         I commented on her post and told her that it was so cool that she was getting a netbook. I asked her what all she had learned on a computer and what could she do on it. I encouraged her to keep learning all she could on a computer. I told her that when I was growing up that we did not have computers in my classroom.

    CK4 # 3 

         The final student I commented on was a sixth grade boy named Mateo. He also attended Pt England School. His teacher is Mr. Kent Somerville. The title of the post I commented on was Christchurch Earthquake. He was saddened by the earthquake in his country. He mentioned that 75 people had been killed and many more injured in the earthquake. He said that almost all the houses had been destroyed in the city of Christchurch. 

         I commented on his post and told him that I was very sorry for the earthquake in his country. I could tell that this was really sad to him and that he was concerned for the victims. I told him that I would be praying for  all the people involved in this terrible tragedy. I also asked him how far was Christchurch from where he lived. 

    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    Blog Assignment # 5

    podcating in the classroom
    Podcasting In the Classroom

         I think this video shows many examples of why podcasting is beneficial in the classroom. I love the idea of parents being able to see what is going on in their children's classrooms. I also think that is is a very good tool to use for someone who may be sick and needs to study at home. Podcasting allows a student who may have missed a class to still learn and to do it from the convenience of their home. I would love to use podcasting in my classroom one day and plan on doing so. I believe it is a great tool to use and should be used in our classrooms

    Eagle Nest Radio & Class Blog

         I really enjoyed these 3rd graders podcasts. I always thought that podcast were for older students and not lower grades. I now see even the young can do podcasts and it is a great learning tool for them to learn. I really think podcasts help students be more creative and it keeps them more interested in learning because it is fun and is a new way of learning. I listened to the podcast about the ancient Romans. I would have loved to have been able to use this technology when I was attending school.
         I also liked hearing these students interacting and collaborating with one another while doing these podcasts. I think it teaches students to work together and learn together instead of just trying to learn alone. I hope more teachers in the future will allow their classrooms to do podcasts and use this wonderful learning instrument.

    100 Ways to Use Your iPod to learn and Study Better

         I was amazed at all the the ways you can use an iPod for educational purposes. I had no there was so many things you could download on an iPod to use for learning. I can see where having an iPod can be so beneficial to have. You can have access to lesson plans and all kind of tools to teach students with the use of an iPod. I thought Ipods were just used to listen to music. I had no idea they could be used for so much more. This is definitely great technology that I need to get more familiar with.

              I will definitely use some of these tools for my future podcasts. I watched a video on how to make a podcast using Audacity. I will use this for future podcasts.I like how you can cut out background noise in Audacity. I will definitely use that one day! I also would like to buy an ipod and explore the many things you can do with it for educational purposes. I really liked how the 3rd graders used a podcast to learn history and would love to do that in my classroom one day.

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    MY Sentence Movie

    Blog Assignment # 4

    kids passing a note in class
    Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?

         I really liked this post by Dr. Mcleod. I know that he was being sarcastic and did not really mean the stuff he was saying. I think he was trying to make a point of how many teachers and parents try to make an excuse in order to keep technology out of the classrooms. There are definitely some things that could be viewed as potentially harmful due to technology being used in the classroom. This should not stop us or give us an excuse to do away with it all together.  
         I believe we have to teach students to be responsible with technology just as we teach them to be responsible with other things. We cannot be scared to use technology just because there are bad things that can be associated with it. We will be putting the students we teach at a serious disadvantage if we deny them the use of something that will be very important for them one day. Dr. Scott Mcleod is an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration program at Iowa State University. He is widely recognized as on of the nation's leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues.

    The iSchool Initiative

         This video changed my perception on how I thought technology would be too expensive to be put in all schools. It made me realize that  a lot of money could actually be saved if we used more technology. Less paper would be used and some of the things required like a calculator are already in the iphone or ipad. I think that people sometimes want to believe it would be more expensive just because they are afraid to learn about new things and it would require some changes in the classroom.
         After watching this video, I realize that we are not using enough technology in the classrooms today. We have all these new things today,but we continue to want to stay in the past and not move into the future. Most of the new technology would make things easier on us and would put those we teach at an advantage over those who do not get to use new technology.

    The Lost Generation

         I did not like this video at first as it was all negative and seemed to stereotype my generation. Then it switched the words around and it made it into a positive message. I think a lot of people think that this is a lost generation with no hope and that we have strayed away from our past values. All we hear today it seems is negative and not painting a good picture of what our future will hold.
         I do not believe we are a lost generation. We may be looked on that way right now,however I think we have more tools to be successful today than we ever have. We have more technology on hand and if we use it to our advantage we may be known as the generation that saved us instead of the lost generation.

    Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

         This video was great! To think that no one ever came together to do this and it was done all on the web is amazing. This video really makes me aware of the things we can now do thanks to new technology. This was really well put together and it sounded beautiful. It was different voices of people from all around the globe coming together to make a beautiful sound. This gives me hope that I can form relationships and get to know people from other countries and possibly work with people that live so far away!

    Teaching in the 21st Century

         Teaching in the 21st century is way different than in the past. We have much more information than in the past. Students can now find information on any subject through various ways on a computer. I think teachers sometimes look down on people who come to class with cell phones and computers because they are just assuming that the they are using it for entertainment instead of learning. I like the part in the video where it talks about students engaging with their technology instead of using it simply for entertainment. Engaging is when students take advantage of technology to learn from it. Teaching in the 21st century means taking advantage of all that is out there to teach methods of learning.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    C4T Summary Post # 1

    a baby reading a book
    The State Writing Test

         This blog by Paula White is discussing the upcoming writing test administered by the State. The test will be given online on a computer. Mrs. White is talking about some of the teachers concerns about this test being alone. Some are concerned that some students do not know how to use a keyboard very well. Others are concerned that kids who do not text on their phones will be at an disadvantage. Most are concerned with the fairness of this kind of test. Mrs. White believes from what I gather is that we should be teaching kids how to write on a computer all the time and not just to prepare them for the test given by the state. I agree! We should try to teach our students everything that is given to us to learn. In this case the state has made computers available and they should be used by the students .

    Expect More

         This blog by Paula White encourages us to expect more from our students and to not underestimate their abilities. I think often times we just believe students to not know how do something when in reality they do and are willing to learn. I like the quote in this blog made by Adora Svitack. "No matter your position or place in life, it is imperative to create opportunities for children so that we can blow you away." Mrs. White goes on to say that her students do not need to grow up to blow her away because they are already doing so. I agree with that. We can learn some much from young people if we just let them teach us what they already know. I also agree with Mrs. White that we should let students choose some of the things they want to read or learn about. I think a young person is more likely to study things he or she is interested in. I think teachers should try to incorporate things that interest kids so they will be more excited about studying and learning.

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Project # 5 Google Presentation

    Blog Assignment # 3

    picture of students in a classroom
    A Vision of Students Today

         I think this video is a good picture of what is going on in most classes today.It seems most classes that I attend do not have technology involved.I just show up to class and hear a lecture in most classes without being included. I have bought many books and never even opened some of them. I feel like I wasted my money and feel like I have been robbed of learning.
         I think we should be challenged to learn when attending classes. I also feel like we should bring new technology into the classroom and be allowed to use it when it helps us to learn.It is a shame that we are in some cases living in the past and if we did not not know any better we would think that things are the same as they were 30 years ago. It is time for us as educators to become committed to bring change into the classrooms through new technology!

    It's Not about the Technology

         I completely agree with Mrs. Hines. What good is technology if we as teachers do not know how to use it and teach our students. We have to change our mindset and be flexible. If we do not try to change we will be guilty of not becoming learners ourselves. Just because we are teachers does not mean our education stops and we stop learning. We should try to learn something every moment that we can in hopes of being the best teacher that we can be.
         I also agree with the four points that Mrs. Hines makes that we need to do to be effective in the classroom. We should adapt and change our teaching strategies if the students we teach are not learning. We should never forget that the reason we teach is to make learners. If we as teachers don't know about technology how are we going to expect our students to learn it. We have to be good teachers first and then we will be able to use technology more effectively.

    Is it okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

         I really enjoyed this blog and after reading this it changed my way on how I view technology. I always thought that teachers might could get away with not being technologically literate. I do not think that anymore. I think technology is moving so fast that if we do not try to stay caught up we will be jeopardizing our careers as educators in the near future.
         When I first started reading this blog I thought that Mr. Fisch was crazy when he made the comparison with being technology illiterate and not knowing how to read thirty years ago. I think that is a good point and I can see that being true in the very near future. We can longer stand still as educators and not be willing to learn more. We have to use technology if we want to be successful in the classrooms.

    Gary Hayes Social Media Count

         This was unbelievable! Anybody who sees this and does not realize how fast technology is moving and how you will be left behind if you are not constantly learning must be blind. More and more people are using technology everyday and pretty soon you will be in the minority if you do not keep up.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Blog Assignment # 2

    kids using technology in the classroom
    Did You Know?
         This Video really opened my eyes as to how fast technology is growing and that if you don't keep up you will be left behind. I had no idea that so many Chinese people spoke English and that it would someday soon be the number one English speaking country in the World. The United States seems to be falling behind countries like India and China in the race for new technology.
         I believe we as a country need to put more emphasis in teaching our young people about different technology and that we as teachers should be willing to learn the most we can about new things. I was really shocked with the amount of people that were using google searches these days. The number is growing every year by large numbers. I am amazed at how many people are using social networking sites these days and how popular that has become in the World. I knew it was popular in the United States but did not know the whole world was using these sites so much.

    MR. Winkle Wakes
         This video is about a man who wakes up after one hundred years and finds out the world has changed and that new technology is almost everywhere he goes. There are computers and electronic devices everywhere around him in this new world he awakes to. He is very uncomfortable with all this new stuff and just wants to go somewhere that seems normal to him. He gets sick and goes to the hospital only to find that technology is there also. There are computers and machines that keep alive everywhere in there.
        Mr. Winkle finally finds somewhere where life is normal. He goes to a school. He is happy to find that things are back to the same and he can finally relax. There are students who are writing notes on paper and teachers who are lecturing. The only sign of technology is an old computer that is dusty. I think this video paints a good picture of what some schools are like in our country today. Many schools do not have the resources and material they need to become technology literate. They are living in the past and being left behind the world when it comes to learning new things. I know there are some exceptions and some schools are doing a better job today,but we need to strive as teachers and educators to incorporate new technology in our classrooms when we teach.

    Sir Ken Robinson : The Importance Of Technology
         I enjoyed listening to Sir Ken Robinson very much. He was very funny at times, but made his point in a very strong way. His main point in the video is the lack of creativity in schools today. We teach students the things we think are important and put so much emphasis on those things that we forget to let them use their minds and be creative. We emphasize reading, math ,and english but do not take a lot of time with other subjects that we deem not important.
         This video opened my mind up to what is happening in our schools today. We don't let students be who they are and learn stuff they are interested in. If they don't do good in the core subjects we look at them as failures and just assume they are not smart or intelligent. We should allow our students to be creative and explore the world they live in and not just what we want them to learn. We should give them more time for art and other electives that they are interested in learning and not try to change who they are or who they want to become one day. We are really stopping their learning when we do these things.

    Cecelia Gault
         This article and interview by Cecelia Gault is very good. I was surprised  that Finland kids do so well in school. There is no such thing as failing in school. They have shorter days at school. I think maybe the reason they do so well is that they are not stressed as much as kids elsewhere because they cannot fail. I think that in our country we may put too much pressure on kids to get a good grades and that makes them nervous and only focused on remembering something just so they can pass a test instead of actually learning new things. I think we need to use other things instead of just grades to evaluate if a student is really learning or not.
         The interview with Sir Ken Robinson was very informative also. I also think we should put more emphasis on the arts and science subjects and allow kids to be more creative. According to Sir Ken Robinson, we think only certain kids are creative and all the others are just not. I too think every kid is creative and we need to teach students to be more creative. One way to teach them to be more creative is to let them use the technology that we have access to. The world has more resources to learn today than ever before and we should take advantage of it to educate those we teach.

    Vicki Davis
         This video is about a teacher in a small rural town in Georgia teaching kids about technology. She is challenging students and allowing them to learn for themselves using technology. She has incorporated many things in the classroom to help these students in learning. She has them blogging with people around the world and sharing different ideas. She is allowing them to be creative and use their own ideas also.
         I really think Vicki Davis is a wonderful teacher. She has prepared her students for the real world and the technology that is in place all around us today. I like her idea that she does not have to know everything about something to teach it. She allows her students to teach her new things and learns things with them together. I think by allowing her students to be creative she is making them think and find out information for themselves instead of just relying her to teach them.

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Blog Assignment # 1

         My name is Joshua Ragsdale. I was born in Montgomery,AL. I also lived in Pascagoula,MS. for many years. I now reside In Grand Bay,AL. I have been married for a little over five years to my wife Stephanie. I also have an identical twin brother named Jason. I really love watching college football and I attend many Alabama football games every year. I also like to play basketball and play the piano in my spare time. 
         I started attending South Alabama in 1996. I had to drop out due to personal reasons and did not come back until the spring of 2010. I am in the college of education as a secondary education major. I want to teach history in a middle school or high school one day. I enjoy working with young people and have a lot of patience. I really like history and have a passion for learning about the past. I want to know what happened on this earth before I was born. I will be successful as a teacher because I care about people and want to help them learn as much as they can when in my classroom.