Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Podcast With Katie Allsup: The Ipad

Here is a link to our podcast on the EDM310 class blog!


This is my farewell post to all of my EDM310 classmates and Dr. Strange. I have enjoyed learning all of the skills we have reviewed in class and will actually miss commenting and reading my fellow classmates' blogs. I wish each and everyone of my classmates the best with all of their future endeavors and hope that we will all have some classes together here at South in the coming semesters. Dr. Strange, you're a great teacher, and I appreciate everything you've put into our class. Thanks again! That's all folks!

Final Blog Assignment

For this assignment, there are nine items/topics of which we are to address:

1.) I've learned so much in this class! Almost everything mentioned in the question were things I learned in this class and had never used prior to this class. These include: Google docs, spreadsheets, presentations, twitter, podcasts, plns, iTunesU, ALEX, Google Earth, blogging, commenting on blogs...the list goes on and on. My favorite of all of these listed was ALEX. I really do think the website will be very beneficial to me and my future career as an elementary school teacher. I will be able to access it for lesson plan ideas and such, and it gives me a source to turn to.

2.) I learned more in this class than I ever thought I would. I honestly cannot think of any tool/application that would benefit me more as a teacher that we did not discuss in class. However, the use of a Smartboard might be a topic to consider covering in future EDM310 classes because we will all need to know how to effectively use one.

3.) I certainly will not try to forget anything we've learned in this class! Though I may not use every tool/application we covered, I appreciate having the knowledge to do so if I wish. I, personally, do not see myself using podcasts to teach an elementary school class; however, I'm glad the topic was covered for those that are majoring in secondary education or special education.

4.) This may seem crazy, but when Katie and I did our interview and actually made a working video, that "excited" me. I was nervous and very unsure about how to approach the project, but I really enjoyed viewing our finished video. This is definitely a tool I will keep in mind for the future. I found it to be one of the most fun projects we were assigned.

5.) Honestly, nothing in the class seemed extremely intellectually challenging to me. I worked hard and viewed the tutorials, and I seemed to understand most of what I was assigned to do for the class. Figuring out how to make a video was a bit of a challenge, but once we figured it out we had fun with it.

6.) The only thing I really got bored with was commenting on so many blogs. I do see where there could be benefits to doing so, but it was a bit of a drag for me sometimes because it seemed so repetitive.

7.) I can't imagine what I would add to the class if I could. We covered so many skills and topics that I don't see where anything extremely vital could have been left out. However, going over the use of a Smartboard might benefit all of us a bit more than some of the skills we learned such as making a podcast.

8.) I feel like I have definitely become more technologically literate since taking this course. However, I still feel like there is a lot out there for me to learn. I feel like I'm at a nice medium, though, and hopefully will be able to share what I've learned with my future students.

9.) To maintain my literacy and to learn more, I will continue to build my PLN through twitter. I will also contribute to our EDM310 Alumni Blog. I will keep an open mind about new technology, also.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Final Post on PLN

I have continued using Twitter to build my personal learning network. I've added several educators from around the world and enjoy reading their posts just as much as reading the stars of hollywood's posts. Some of the people I have added and continue to follow include Karl Fisch, Nicholas Provenzano, Mr. Chamberlain, Web Wise Kids, and several other educators and educational groups around the world. I found most of them after I added Dr. Strange on the network. I really enjoy the links the Web Wise Kids post. Today is Earth Day, and they posted a link to the website of the whitehouse. The link included an article entitled, "A New Foundation For Engery and the Environment," and I encourage everyone to read the article. It includes some very interesting ideas for the future. I intend to continue building my PLN for the remainder of my college career so that by the time I graduate, I will have many connections to look to for advice with my teaching. I had never considered using Twitter or any other form of social networking to help benefit my career, but I'm excited to see where all this will be going!


Wordle - Untitled: "Wordle: Untitled"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Project 12 Google Earth

Project 15 Interview

For this assignment, I worked with Katie Allsup. We interviewed each other about the edm310 class in general and talked about our opinions on technology. I hope you enjoy the video!

Project 14 Substantive Presentation

Katie Allsup and I decided to work together to create our substantive presentation. Our topic was one in which we are both familiar with--volunteering! I hope you all enjoy the presentation and learn about great opportunities to volunteer and help our community.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 15

Welcome to my PLE!

WOW!! This seventh grader is very in tune with technology! When I was in seventh grade, I certainly did not even have a blog, much less a PLE. I thought doing online research for a paper constituted being technologically literate! Anyway, the young girl's PLE seemed great. She really seems to know what she's doing. My PLE definitely does not compare to her's just yet. I'm still adding people on my twitter account and checking tweets regularly. By the end of summer, I expect to have a decent PLE that includes people from all over the world. I'm very interested in education elsewhere, and hope to learn more by making new connections.

Two Questions That Can Change Your Life

When I read the title of the video, I began wondering what exactly the questions would be. I pondered this a moment before moving on to watch the video. The first was "What will your sentence be?" I interpreted this to basically mean what will your life be about? What meaning or difference will you bring to the world around you? At 19, I definitely do not have an anwer to this yet. I know what direction my life is going in; however, I'm not sure what my "sentence" will be just yet. The second question was "Was I better today than yesterday?" I really liked this question because I personally feel that there is ALWAYS room for improvement. I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, and I always try to do better than I've done in the past. Therefore, I hope my answer to this question is always yes.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Project 8

For this project, we were supposed to teach a lesson using some form of technology we have learned about in edm310. I chose to use a google presentation to teach about something I'm passionate about: giftedness and the Honors Program here at the University of South Alabama.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 14

For this assignment, we were supposed to select a topic related to EDM310 and write a blogpost that sets forth our thoughts and feelings related to the topic. I would like to discuss time management. Many people have stated that EDM310 is a very time consuming class, and many have made up excuses as to why he or she cannot complete their work on time. Though I do agree that EDM310 can be very time consuming, I also feel that it is manageable. I live an hour away from Mobile and commute to school everyday. I work 20 hours a week, and I'm enrolled in 15 hours worth of classes. I also do not have DSL where I live because it is not yet available in my area, believe it or not. One of my classes is an honors course, which means I basically have to teach myself some concepts that wouldn't be expected in a regular course. Yes, sometimes I feel like I am overloaded. However, I have not yet submitted any assignments or projects even so much as one day late. This class has taught me major time management skills. I've also enjoyed commenting on the blogs of students and teachers around the world. Though it is a lot of work, it's work that I enjoy and benefit from.

Comments 4 Kids

I really enjoyed watching the video, Vivienne! Great job! Very creative and colorful. Keep up the wonderful work and good luck with all of your future activities. I will stayed tuned!

The above comment was one I left for a little girl named Vivienne. She had made a colorful video with a ship sailing off. I hope she keeps up the great work. It's awesome to see children so creative with technology!

Voice Thread

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 13

Dr. Seuss-The Zax

This video was SO cute! It also made a very valid point. The video basically showed how some people can be so set in there ways that they refuse to change at all. I, myself am a bit old-fashioned, and I'll admit that I wasn't a huge fan of technology prior to taking Dr. Strange's class. However, since then, I've seen how great a tool the internet and other sources can be. It's very important to be open to new ideas and ways of learning because new ideas may provide student with an easier way to learn.

PS22 Chorus of "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac

First of all, I must say that I LOVE this song. I've always thought Fleetwood Mac was awesome, but I appreciate Stevie even more now because she was so humble in regard to the performance. I was very astonished that she wanted the PS22 group to perform at Madison Square Garden. Had the group not published the video of their version to the internet, this great opportunity may have been passed up! This is a prime example of the benefits of posting work to the internet. Clike here to view their wonderful, touching performance.

Comments 4 Kids

For this week, I commented on a blogpost done by Room 1o. They were making butter for their fairy bread and made a video of them doing so. I thought this was an awesome, creative activity that differed from the norm and allowed the students to have fun at school! Below is my comment and a link where you may watch the video, too!

Hi, Room 10!

My name is Jessica Eaton, and I'm a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I really enjoyed watching the video of you guys making fairy bread. It looked like you all had a lot of fun!! Keep up the great work on the blog.

Jessica Eaton
Mobil, AL

Comments 4 Teachers Assignment 3

Hi! My name is Jessica Eaton and I'm a student at the University of South Alabama. I never thought I would be hearing about the internet being nominated for a Nobel Prize. Though it has led to great things, it has also had negative impacts on society. For example, what about exploitation? In my opinion, I do not believe the internet deserves such a prestigious nomination.

WOW! This is amazing. It's great to see how far technology has come. This would be a great tool in classrooms, especially science classrooms. Thanks for sharing!

These were my two comments for the teahers' blog. The ideas that were shared on this blog were truly amazing! I encourage you all to take a few moments and check them out.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Google Questionnaire

When I began my Google questionnaire, I wasn't sure what I wanted to base it on, but I did know I wanted it to be an enjoyable topic. I chose to do mine on music. Twenty-two people answered my survey which included a total of seven questions. I asked the participants what his or her favorite genre of music is, if he or she had xm or satellite radio, and I also mentioned some upcoming bands/artists and asked whether or not the participant had at least heard of them. I was excited to see that most people had at least heard of a few of my favorite new artists. My survey showed the following results:

1.) The majority listened to music 1-2 hours per day. (43%)
2.) Most people seemed to like the alternative genre the best. (38%)
3.) Most people do not have xm radio in their vehicle. (81%)
4.) Most people said that they almost never download music. (43%)
5.) Most people also said that they almost never download music illegally. (52%)
6.) The majority of the people I surveyed had at least heard of Ke$ha. (71%)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Comments 4 Teachers Assignment 2

Hi! My name is Jessica Eaton and I'm one of Dr. Strange's student's in his EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. Your post was very helpful for me because, until I enrolled in this class, I didn't have a gmail account. I had been using yahoo, but Dr. Strange required us to get a gmail account. This was definitely a good idea. Your tips were very helpful, and I'm sure I will keep them in mind in the future.

Thank you,

Jessica Eaton

Wow! I really enjoyed watching the video about google! Very funny! But it’s definitely true. As a student at the University of South Alabama, I use Google multiple times each day to assist me with research, and you really can find ANYTHING. It’s definitely the search engine of my choice! Thanks for sharing!

Jessica Eaton

The comments above are the two that I left Lisa Thumann on her blog. Her blog was very interesting because it included helpful information that I know I will use in the future. In the second comment, I am referencing a video entitled "Just Google." It's a parody of the song "Beat It" by Michael Jackson. I will include a link so everyone may view it. I found it not only entertaining, but it also rings true.

"Just Google"

Blog Assignment Week 12 (No Week 11)

Mr. Chamberlain's Blog

I really enjoyed listening to the voice thread on Mr. Chamberlain's blog. It was a creative way for the class to stay connected with little Kaia since she is unable to read yet. I'm also sure Kaia is learning a great deal pertaining to technology by listening. This proves that one is never to young to be come familiar with the most useful technology of today. I also thought that recording a voice thread instead of simply leaving a comment in text made the comment more personal and the connection to Kaia stronger. This is much like calling and talking to someone over the phone rather than just sending an SMS text message. It's great to see a class of 8th graders in Missouri become connected with a 3-year-old in Qatar. It's amazing what technology can do today!

Kaia and Skyelar's Blog

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the girls' blog and looking at the pictures they had taken. In one post, under a picture where Kaia was examining a shell, she mentioned that some things that initially look discarded and ugly at first sight can be very pretty if you look at them just right. It's nice to see that Kaia and Skyelar are not only learning about technology at such an early age, but they're also learning the importance of taking a deeper look at something. In the most recent post, Kaia posted a picture she had drawn of her baby sister. Yet another trait is exhibited through the blog: creativity.

Singing Hearts

At the end of the post, a question was asked, "Is the risk of exposing ourselves and our children online worth the connections that will be made and the lessons that will be learned?" In my opinion, the answer is definitely! Of course there are some risks involved, but there are risks involved with nearly everything one does online. Yes, this even includes Myspace and Facebook. But most people are willing to take the risk on both social networks in order to stay connected with friends. Therefore, I don't see the problem in exposing oneself or children for the sake of learning new information. I find Kaia's blog inspiring. This is evidence of one putting the internet to great use.

Comments 4 Kids
Kia ora!

My name is Jessica Eaton and I attend the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am going to school to become a teacher. I really enjoyed listening to you speak Maori. Keep up the great work and keep posting to your blog! Thanks for sharing!

Jessica Eaton
http://eatonjessicaedm310.blogspot.com jessica.eaton3@gmail.com

The post above is the comment I left for the kid I was assigned. His name was Paul and for his post he had a video in which he spoke Maori. I found this to be very interesting and fun to listen to. I hope Paul continues to post to his blog. Maori is a beautiful language!

Ps. "Kia ora" means Hi!

Paul's Blog

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 10

Morgan Bayda's Blog Post

Wow! I was initially very surprised at how well I could relate to nearly everything Morgan Bayda wrote in her post. She stated that she struggles to keep awake during lectures while the professors just recaps the readings she didn't do because there's simply not enough time and many of them were not relevant. She also mentioned that in her small class, while she was encourage to speak about the topic at hand to her professor during discussion, she was never encouraged to speak individually to her classmates about the topic. I honestly can't relate to that; In my honors classes and seminars, there may only be 15 people enrolled in the class. This allows for a great class discussion, and many times half of the class time is spent debating an issue back and forth (with peers). I'm also taking a Lifespan Development course this spring, and though there are 70+ people in the class, we are still able to debate and discuss with our fellow classmates about the topic at hand, and our professor even encourages this.

Morgan also mentioned how blogging and using twitter to collaborate with her peers was actually a relevant form of learning for her. I think this is what Dr. Strange has been trying to explain to us throughout this course; You can learn A LOT from people who are doing/going through the same things you are. You just have to be willing to look for people on twitter, build your PLN (personal learning network), and keep an open mind. Bayda also mentioned how she posted on twitter about her frustration in finding affordable and safe volunteering opportunities, and in less that twenty four hours, she was provided a link by TEFLScotland that included a list of several great volunteer opportunities. She stated that she "can now make a difference without going broke." This is a very good example of how building out PLNs will benefit us in the future. Not only will we be able to gain knowledge from others, but eventually we'll be the ones sharing this knowledge.

"An Open Letter to Educators" by Morgan Bayda

Comments 4 Kids

Dear 2km,

My name is Jessica Eaton, and I'm a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I really enjoyed watching the dance, and it looked like all of you were really having fun. Keep up the great work and keep having fun!!

Jessica Eaton

The above was comment on the blog of Leopold Primary School. In the post, the teacher wrote about how some of the students were involved in a school assembly. Some of the little girls performed a dance that was very cute! I hope the school continues to keep the little kids involved.

2KM @ Leopold Primary School!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Time Toast Timeline

Click here to view my timeline on my educational path!

I decided to do my timeline on something that's very important to me: my educational path. It starts from high school, includes my graduation, and my acceptance to the Honors Program here at the University of South Alabama. I also included my predicted date of graduation from the program at South!


Prior to enrolling in this class, I had never used Skype to communicate with anyone. However, I have recently discovered it and WOW! It's awesome! I used to play golf in high school with my best friend, Shelton. Since her dad lives in Texas, she decided to go to school in San Marcus. I only get to see her about 2 or maybe 3 times a year, which is very sad because we are close. However, with Skype, I can chat with her any time. It's almost like we're having a conversation in person. This is one of the best forms of new technology!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 9

Alabama Learning Exchange

The first thing I noticed when I googled the Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX), was the the website was VERY well organized. On the home page, you can choose to explore things such as lesson plans, courses of study, web links, ect. Then, each topic is broken down between either subjects or for the teacher or student. The website provides links to the Alabama Department of Education, career and technical education, counseling and guidance, and several other links that may be useful to teachers everywhere. I didn't know anything like this even existed!! There is even a link you can click that will provide access to several podcasts that cover many educational topics.

ALEX is used to help students, teachers, and administrators share educational information through things such as links and podcasts that pertain primarily to education in the state of Alabama. You can create an account and become a frequent user. My favorite part was the link that led me to the courses of study. You can choose nearly any subject ranging from math to art to physical education. You are able to view objectives, and choose the grade level at which you teach. I believe this may be the most useful thing I have learned about in this class because I know I will definitely go back to this website later when I am teaching.

Alabama Learning Exchange

Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide (ACCESS) Program

When I first started to explore the website for the ACCESS distance learning, I found that it was interesting, but compared to the Alabama Learning Exchange website, very overwhelming and slightly confusing. The website states that their goal is to "create equity through additional educational offerings for all Alabama public high school students." This distance learning could truly be a blessing for some students who are very interested in learning, but because of the location of their school and the school access/use of resources, are not able to explore everything they may wish. The program was started in 2004.

I explored the tab on the website that strictly pertained to the students who might use this type of distance learning. I was surprised to see that the program provides students with access to 10 AP, or advanced placement, exams to practice with! WOW! I wish my high school teachers had known about the program and shared this information with me because I was in AP English and AP Chemistry as a high school senior. This tab on the website also has information for parents so they will know just exactly how distance learning will benefit their child. The program also provides ways to help you decide if you are ready for distance learning. I think the program is a great way to help students prepare for the transition between high school and college.


Comments 4 Kids

This week I was assigned a student named Robert. He is in Room Six. He and some of his classmates made a video of a race that some of them had ran. One little girl won the race, and they were all very excited to be a part of it. I was very surprised that students that young were making videos and posting them online! That's very awesome!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 8

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

When I began watching Mr. Pausch's lecture, I was very impressed by his amount of enthusiasm. How could someone that is terminally ill be so...well...seemingly happy??? I like his positive attitude. He didn't feel sorry for himself and remained strong throughout the lecture. He even did push ups in front of the audience and made jokes saying he was in better health them most of them. Everyone enjoys a good sense of humor, and I'm sure it put the audience at ease. Throughout the lecture, Pausch spoke of some of his childhood dreams and how he either achieved them, or learned something from them. He then spoke of how to help other's achieve their dreams, and how we can achieve our own dreams. He stated that anything is possible, which I think is a statement many children today need to hear because they like self-confidence.

When introducing the three topics he was going to discuss, Pausch stated that "enabling the dreams of others is even more fun." I recently learned in my lifespan development class here at the University of South Alabama that studies have shown that people are generally happier with their life when they are helping others rather when they are simply concerned about their own success. Randy Pausch's lecture emphasized this point. He stated that his childhood dreams included experiencing zero gravity, playing in the NFL, writing an article for the World Book Encyclopedia, being Captain Kirk, winning stuffed animals, and being a Disney imagineer.

Surprisingly enough, Pausch either achieved or learned something from all of his dreams. Pausch stated, "Brick walls are there for a reason: They let us prove how badly we want things." I found this to be a very interesting quote because to achieve anything worthwhile, you've definitely got to be determined. Even if things get in the way, if you really want something to happen in your life, you'll work through it, find an alternative, or make it happen. You've got to be an active dreamer. Pausch also stated, "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted." Basically, even if your dream doesn't come true as you had it planned out in your head, maybe you should look to see what you gained from trying to make it happen. If you think about it, sometimes the experience of a dream not coming true may be even better than if the dream had come true.

Because I am a HUGE Disney fan, I was very interested in his dream of become a Disney Imagineer. It just so happens that Aladdin is my ALL TIME favorite Disney movie, too! Overall, I thouroughly enjoyed this video, and it was definitely worth the time spent watching it. Randy Pausch is an inspiration, and I believe many people could learn a lot from him, if by nothing else but his attitude. He quoted someone saying, "When you're pissed off and mad at someone, you just haven't given them enough time. Give them time, and they will most likely impress you." Obviously Pausch knows the value of patience. I think it would be an awesome experience to just meet and talk with Randy Pausch.

Comments 4 Kids

Wow! I am very embarrassed to say that I was very irresponsible and did not read the syllabus in regard to our Comments 4 Kids project. Though I have commented on ALL of the kids' blogs that I have been assigned, I failed to realize that I needed to make a post in my blog regarding the comments. I apologize for this, but starting now I will continue to post about all of my comments. For this week, I was assigned a student named Gerardo. In the post I commented on, he discussed the pros and cons of being out of school for a break. He stated that he was happy to be out because he didn't have to learn. I encouraged him to always keep an interest in learning. I also encouraged him to find something that interests him, even if it has nothing to do with school, and learn all he can about it. I hope the young child never loses the will to learn.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Comments 4 Teachers Assignment 1

Hi! My name is Jessica Eaton and I'm a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama in the United States. I'm majoring in elementary education. You mentioned working full time for Mathletics? What exactly does that entail? I'm very interested to learn more about it. You also mentioned teachers' use of technology...that's the core purpose of the class I am enrolled in right now; we're learning how to use certain technology and how it will be beneficial in our future classrooms. I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts. I will be summarizing my visits to your blog in a post to my own blog on or before March 21, 2010. Here are the links to my own blog and our class blog:



Hi! My name is Jessica Eaton, and I'm a student majoring in elementary education. I attend the University of South Alabama. I really like the creativity of your ideas you shared. I'm sure it allowed the students to have fun, and provided an outlet for them as well. I also like how you gave ideas for the use of technology such as digital photographs and podcasts. In my EDM310 class, we're learning the importance of technology in the classroom. Thanks for sharing such great ideas!

Mr. McMahon,

Congratulations! I'm sure you're quite stressed with worrying about income and whatnot, but I'm very happy for you that your mathletics program has been successful. I look forward to hearing more about your new position.

Jessica Eaton
University of South Alabama
Mobile, Alabama

These were the three comments I left for the teacher I was assigned, Mr. McMahon. He is an Expact Educator in Asia. Unfortunately, he did not check his blog regularly, so I never got a reply to my comments. However, some of the things he talked about in his posts were very fascinating. For example, he has created an organized math program called "Mathletics." As you can tell from my first comment, I was eager to learn more about this program. In the second post, he provided students with some craft ideas for Christmas time! I thought this was great because it provided the students with an outlet and allowed them to just have some fun for the holiday. In the last post, I had just found out that Mr. McMahon had received a promotion! I am very excited for him and hope to have a reply to comments very soon.

Mr. McMahon's Blog

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 7

Richard Miller: This is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2

My initial thought about the videos was that this type of communication would be very convenient for most students. Most of us are taking many classes and work part time. One is generally able to watch videos faster than we can read a selection based on the same topic. I love today's new technology, but it seems somewhat intimidating to me. I'm not so sure I like the idea of not having something tangible that I can hold while studying, however. The first video mentioned that even newspapers were beginning to spread the news more through videos online than actual print.

While all of this use of technology is exciting, I differ from most of my peers because I liked things the way they were, to be honest. I prefer an actual text book to an ebook, for example. I mentioned that sharing information via the internet is very convenient for most students, but I'm a small exception. I live in a very small town and am not yet able to even get dsl where I live! Most find this crazy, but it's true. I do all of my online school work between my classes at the University and try my best to get it all done before the weekend, so I won't have to go to a place with wifi. This is sometimes very hard to do with my work schedule.

Another thought I had about these videos was that if we go from reading and writing to watching and listening, couldn't this hinder students' reading and writing skills? Even with today's technology, we will always need good reading and writing skills, and it seems that this type of communication would not promote these core skills. The internet is an amazing tool, but I'm not so sure we're ready to start relying on it quite so much. Both of the videos by Richard Miller did have good aspects, though and showed a great use of resources.

Windy Drexler: Then Networked Student

Wow! The video was very imformative. I'm a bit nervous to think of how technologically literate our students will be. They will be able to connect and learn from people from all over the world. This type of learning is called connectivism, and I'm unsure yet if I'm a supporter. I can definitely see where one could learn many things by connecting with people from different states and even different countries, but the student in the video didn't even have a text book! I realize I sound somewhat "old-fashioned," but I actually like the standard way most students learn and go to school.

The student in the video only went three days a week and did most of his work online. It seems like he was already in college in a way. What if students aren't ready for this? One would have to be very eager to learn and a very diligent student in order to benefit from this. While there are several students that may be described in this way, some need to be pushed a bit more. I'm just wondering if this type of network learning would give a high school student just too much freedom. Some students would probably never do the work and not make any attempt to learn new things or talk to new people.

I honestly don't know if I'm prepared to teach the networked student. I think this type of learning can either be very beneficial or very inefficient. It just depends on the type of student, and as everyone knows, there are many types in the classroom. I can see this being a good form of learning for colleges and even for high school students in their free time. I'm just not so sure that I would support it as the PRIMARY form of learning for anyone below the college level.

Toward A New Future of Whatever by Michael Wesch

I really enjoyed the video by Michael Wesch. I liked how he mentioned major figures in history. I found it very funny when he spoke of how he looked up the history of the word, "whatever." He talked about the "MTV generation." I can relate to this because I've been watching MTV for quite a while! I love how he went through a history of how things on tv and in the world have changed. I could relate to most of the shows and quotes that he mentioned. My generation is known as the "Me" generation, and I understand exactly what he meant when he spoke of how the generation is narcissistic.

Personal Learning Network

For my personal learning network, I started out by obtaining a twitter account. I wasn't exactly sure how to go about all of this networking stuff because I had definitely never done it before. I first added Dr. Strange and looked to see who he was following. When I saw Mr. Chamberlain, I then added him because I knew his name from the earlier assignments Dr. Strange had us do. I also added Karl Fisch and Nicholas Provenzano. On Mr. Provenzano's profile it states that he "brings nerdy ideas to nerdy teachers," so I definitely thought he would be someone interesting to follow. I'm continually adding more and more people that are interested in education and learning stuff that I can't learn about teaching just from sitting in the classroom at USA.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 6

Dr. Alice Christie's Website

The part of the website that I found to be most beneficial to teachers was the part concerning educational technology. In EDM310, we are learning how to use new technology and how it can benefit us later as teachers. In today's fast-paced world, it is almost mandatory that teachers and students become familiar with technology. I am also learning, however, that it can be very fun! In this particular section of the website, Dr. Alice Christie has different links for teachers to explore. Each of them concern an area of technology. She even has one link explaining the importance of internet safety.

Some other links Dr. Christie included were ones concerning podcasting, multimedia, and internet tools/resources. Because I don't exactly consider myself "computer literate" yet, though I am working on it, I find all of the links useful. In a few years, when I am done with EDM310 and find that I want to implement some of the technology I learned in the class, I might not be able to remember everything I learned. This website might help to jar my memory and allow me to use some of the tools I actually learned in class.

iTunes University

When Dr. Strange mentioned using iTunes to help everyone keep up with the course material, I was instantly very interested. I live an hour away and commute everyday to school. While taking 15 hours worth of classes here at the University, I also work 20 hours a week at USA Mitchell Cancer Institute. I am a very busy person. I own an ipod touch and downloaded the podcast for the class as soon as I was able to. Now, while making my long trek to and from school, I am able to keep my assignments straight and never miss a beat.

Since I am going to be an elementary school teacher, I'm not sure how much use I will get out of iTunes University later in life. However, for those who might be going into secondary education, I can see where the application would be very useful. I'm sure more students are doing well in class because of the weekly reminder, and that's always a relief for a teacher. It is also beneficial to people who might not be able to afford a college education. According to CNN, though they will not receive the tangiable degree that one attending the University would, many people are downloading the free podcasts just to gain new knowledge. This is extremely refreshing news!

CNN's Take On iTunes University

Using iPods for Instruction

Most college students own some type of iPod. I have an iTouch, and I absolutely love it!! I never thought teachers might use this type of technology as a form of teaching, however. I've already written about how useful iTunes University can be. At Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, it is expected of students to use their iPods as an aid in several of their classes. One teacher even used a photo iPod to enhance his Functional Anatomy of the Human Brain class this past fall. His iPod housed over 500 images and showed the students how to correctly pronounce each structure of the brain. I imagine that most of his students were engaged in learning because of his use of technology.

I've not yet had a teacher at South Alabama to use such technology in the classroom. Most lectures simply consist of professors reading off powerpoint slides and little class participation is encouraged. We are becoming teachers ourselves and must continue to be eager to learn. I believe this type of technology might help to keep certain students' attention for longer periods of time in class. Because of this, technology might even improve students' grades as well!

Duke University's Use of iPods as Instruction

Monday, February 8, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 5

Wikipedia As a Source of Information

After reading the NPR article and blog and listening to the podcast concerning the reliability of the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, I now understand why it is that teachers in the past have always requested that I not use it as a source for any paper. Absolutely ANYONE can add to or make adjustments to any topic on the website. In fact, the blog stated that Wal-Mart, the Church of Scientology, and the Catholic Church had all made adjustments to any topic concerning them. They weren't the only ones either; both the Republican party and the Democratic party had also made adjustments. It is very easy to see that anything on the website may be biased and in some cases even fictional.

Though the information on the website may tend to be a bit biased, it can be useful in some cases. For a curious student who understands that the information is coming from a variety of sources, it can be a quick and easy way to look of different topics of interest. As long as the student understands that it is not a good source for a research paper or anything else to do with school, then there is no harm in the student just exploring the website for fun. Also, there are are large variety of topics included in the website; such things may not be found elsewhere. The website should be used by people with a good understanding of the sources and an open mind.

"What I've Learned This Year" by Mr. McClung

I definitely enjoyed reading Mr. McClung's blogpost. One of the most useful things I learned was that as a teacher, I will need to be flexible. I am very much a perfectionist and sometimes get upset when things don't go just as I had initially planned them. He wrote that we need to stay positive and not get down when things don't go perfectly right. He also wrote that as teachers we must be reasonable. I am in the Honors Program at the University of South Alabama, and I hold very high expectations for myself. As I said before, I am a perfectionist and work hard to achieve everything I do. I dislike when I don't earn an A or a very high grade because I know what I am capable of if I just work hard. This will be a trial for me in teaching because I know that I will set high standards for my students; though this is good in some ways, I must remember to be reasonable and not get agitated when every student doesn't do as well as I had hoped for him or her.

I found Mr. McClung's last statement to be of most importance. "Never stop learning!" Though we expect children to want to learn, we sometimes lose interest in it. This reminds me of when I first stepped foot in Dr. Strange's class. I was intimidated by the thought of using such technology, since I had never even been a huge fan of computers. However, because I did stick with it, I'm excited about all that I am learning. I can't wait to implement new things in my classroom in the future!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 4

Langwitches Blog: The Magic of Learning

I chose to review this website in preparation for the making of my podcast. One article on the webpage was entitled "Long Distance Storytelling." The writer described how her 5-year-old niece lives in Brazil, and she is therefore not able to see her often. She could only communicate with her through skype. She wanted to be able to read to her niece, so she recorded a book that her mom used to read to her and her siblings. Her hope was that she could connect with her niece via a podcast.

I'm going to be honest now. I did not initially like the idea of a podcast. I, like many students, am a visual learner. I like to be able to read words and see things written out in order to better understand them. Until I read this article, I thought podcasts would be somewhat pointless in teaching children because so many of them need visual examples. However, I now see how podcasts can be used in many ways to connect with loved ones or to share information with people overseas. I am sure the writer's niece was very excited to be able to hear her aunt read her a story, since she never got to see her aunt much. Because I have learned the value of things such as podcasts, I will go into my EDM310 project with a bit more enthusiasm and with a positive attitude. I am very excited!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 3

SmartBoard Lessons Podcast

I listened to episode 131 of the podcast. It was entitled "Design & Innovation." On this podcast, the hosts interviewed Arnold Westman, a speaker at the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Conference. I really liked that they introduced the podcast with music, and both of the speakers had very good speaking voices. The entire podcast was smooth and pleasant to listen to, while also providing beneficial facts about teaching innovations. The speakers were also very descriptive when speaking about the different programs and applications for computers. This helped since you can't actually view anything with podcasts, you may only listen to them.


Episode 17: Oprah Has My Book was the episode of my choice for this particular podcast. I instantly noticed how they introduced the episode with what sounded like a robotic voice. I found this to be very creative. A song was also included in the podcast and, like most people, I love music. Therefore, just as I was starting to become distracted, a song begins to play, and my attention was quickly directed back to the podcast. He then discussed the origin of the song that was played, and explained that the singer was actually Swedish. He then elaborated on how global America is today.

Ed Tech Talk

I listened to Conversation #62 of this podcast. Three teachers discussed their favorite ipod and itouch applications for the classroom. I love my itouch so after hearing the topic of the conversation, I was immediately interested. What also immediately caught my attention was that one of the teachers was across the world. It was 2:30a.m. in Australia. Compared to the two previous podcasts that I watched, this one did sound a bit less clear. The voices did not go over as well, probably due to the fact that the people participating were in different parts of the world. The volume was also much lower.

Macbreak Weekly

I found this podcast to be particularly interesting because I enjoy learning about new technology. I'm very pleased with my itouch, and I'm eager to learn more about the ipad. Just as the speakers discussed the name of the new invention, I had the same discussion with some of my fellow honors program members just the other day. We all agreed that the name fit the product adequately. They discussed whether or not "regular" people on the street would buy the product and concluded that yes, they would because the device is appealing to several different types of people.

This Week In Photography

I chose to listen to episode 126 of this podcast. It was entitled "Racism in Photography: Don't Blink!" The speakers of this podcast were Alex Lindsay and Frederick Van Johnson. The topic of the discussion was "racist cameras." They first discussed how cameras can now detect when you blink, smile, ect. A certain type of Sony camera continually showed that all Asians in pictures kept blinking. It was decided that they might not have thoroughly tested the cameras before putting them on the market. For a camera to even be able to detect such slight movement is incredibly fascinating to me.


I found this podcast on the link provided in the syllabus. I listened to the episode entitled "Liquid Diamonds and Cold Eyeballs." It was the most recent episode. They discussed both safari and google chrome. This podcast also used music in its presentation. The only thing I find that I dislike about podcasts is that it is sometimes hard to visualize some of the things the hosts discuss. However, this podcast posts their news on their website. I found this to be beneficial.

Media Literacy in the First Grade

Wow!! First graders blogging?? I'm almost embarrassed to say I was a bit scared of the thought of blogging at first! I've quickly learned that it's a great way to communicate with people all over the world and learn new things. In looking back to when I was in first grade, I realize how things have changed dramatically. We did not even have computers in the class room. We went to computer lab about once a week, and there we just learned basic principles such as typing. The students in the video also seem to be very knowledgeable about what to say and what not to say when blogging. One little boy mentioned that you should never say anything hurtful, only helpful things online. Not only has Mrs. Cassidy taught the students how to blog, but she has also taught them how to do so politely.

Little Kids, Big Potential

The most important thing I saw in the video was that the kids are not only learning how to use to the internet and how to blog, but they are also learning how to be safe online. Though the internet can be a great resource, it is also scary to think what kids can get into these days. There are all types of predators in the world, and a child's safety is very important. That said, it seems that they are benefiting in many ways by blogging. Their writing improves, and the children get excited to see comments on their blogs from family and friends.

Here's What's Coming!

I found it amazing that the child was showing an interest in technology at such an early age. I'm also a little intimidated to think that one day I will be teaching these children who are growing up with such technology. There wasn't much technology when I was growing up, so I'm still getting used to the whole idea of it in the classroom. I'm excited, however, to implement such new inventions in order to help each student achieve academic success. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for my classroom!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 2

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

As a student at the University of South Alabama, I can relate to most of the statistics in the video. I am now a sophomore, and during my first year of college, I had major time management issues. I had to get used to making to-do lists and writing everything in a calendar just to be able to function. The video mentioned multi-tasking. That's something that has become a normal part of my life, especially since I drive about an hour to school everyday. I'm enrolled in 15 hours worth of classes, work 20 hours a week, and drive a total of about 2 1/2 hours a day. Plus, I have hours of homework and studying, and I am active in my church. Though, sometimes it seems like life never slows down, and I'm completely worn out, I know that it will all be worth it in the end.

The video also mentioned facebook a couple of times. I do have an account and use it to communicate with some of my teachers and classmates. While it has come into great use for many students, I have seen students using their phones or laptops to login while in class. It's generally more of a distraction. Another statement in the video I can relate to is that many of the students paid for very expensive books and never even opened them. This was the case in several of my classes in my first year of college. Today, nearly everything is online and several classes can be taught without the use of a text book.

"It's Not About The Technology"

Hines made four major points in her blog post. Of the three, the one that stood out the most to me was the second. It explained that learning and teaching are not the same things. If the student does not understand the material the teacher has presented and has not learned the concept, then there has actually been no teaching done. She used a basic physics principle to illustrate this. If force is applied on an object, and the object does not move, no work has been done. Regardless of how much force has been applied.

The third point
Hines made in her post was that teachers must put the technology to good use. Every classroom could be filled with the newest technology, but without innovative teachers, it's pointless. It's also a waste for schools to spend an excessive amount of money in order to provide the newest technology to schools if there are no teachers motivated to put it to its best use. She also mentioned that the teachers are in need of proper training to learn how to use the technology, such as smartboards.

"The Fischbowl: Is It Okay To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?"

The first thing that stood out to me in the post was Karl's list of standards for teachers. He first stated that everyone needs to be technologically literate and that if you aren't, you should be "embarrassed, not proud," to say so in public. He also stated that if Universities let technologically illiterate students graduate, they should have their license or funding audited. He also stated that we need to quit being so nice because the future of the next generation is in our hands.

I completely agree with Karl in every aspect that he mentioned in his post. It's not fair to cheat the next generation out of learning just because we are too stubborn to learn what is needed to best benefit them. It is not uncommon for people to joke about being technologically illiterate. This is a very serious matter, however. Some might believe that he sounds harsh, but this is the harsh reality.

Gary Hayes' Social Media Counts

I found this website to be very interesting. It's shocking to see how the statistics change dramatically every second. In less than 5 minutes, there were over 1000 new users on Facebook. It is clear that the entire world is constantly becoming more technologically literate. This will effect my career as a future teacher. I will be expected to know more about technology and how to effectively use it in the classroom. It will probably be a norm for many teachers to posts blogs and even assignments online. Since this is actually the first blog I have ever had, I feel that I am slowly becoming more technologically literate.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blog Assignment Week 1

"Did You Know 3.0?"

As I first started watching the video, I was shocked by some of the statistics. It's crazy to think how fast the world is changing. The most shocking fact was that soon that half of what you learn your freshmen year of college will completely change by the time you're a junior in college. This fact is almost discouraging, however it simply shows how much research is being done every year and how much knowledge is being gained. Another shocking statistic is that India has more honors kids than America has kids total. This may prove that America is not pushing its children to their fullest potential.

I was also surprised to see that there are only 540,000 words in the English language. Though that is a lot, I was sure there might be more. However, the video did state that this is 5x what was in the English language during Shakespeare's time. At the end of the video, the statistics regarding the number of births in America, China, and India were larger than expected. Their growing population is outrageous.

"Mr. Winkle Wakes"

This video can easily be related to the previous one, "Did You Know 3.0?". So much time has past after Mr. Winkle wakes that he is unfamiliar with all the world's new technology. Just as the previous video proved, technology is changing by the minute. To one unfamiliar with such, this could be somewhat scary, I imagine. In today's world, it may sometimes be harder for the older generations to accept and familiarize themselves with this empowering new technology.

I found it interesting that Mr. Winkle felt comfortable and safe in the classroom because there did not seem to be as many changes there as there were in the office building and hospital. Classroooms everywhere are changing just as fast as the latter. Today, we now have smart boards and other media to educate our children. Teachers are finding new ways to explain different material, and we are no longer limit to simply textbook learning.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

As an honors and gifted student, I found this video to be particularly interesting. I agree with the fact that creativity is being supressed in today's classrooms. Not every child learns things the same way, and many yearn to explore things beyond mathematics and language arts lectured in the classroom. Sir Ken Robinson explained that if you are afraid of having the wrong answer, you'll never discover anything original. Because creativity is being supressed today, it can almost be certain that less orginial material is being discovered. What does this say about education in future generations? Scary thought, in my opinion.

The No Child Left Behind Act seems to be a possible contributer to the supressing of creativity. Classes are centered around standardized testing, and therefore, teachers are limited in what they may be able to cover in class. Robinson asks the question, "Why is dance not taught in classrooms?" and compares dance to mathematics. Well, the answer seems simple; You cannot test children on dancing the way that you might test them on mathematics and language arts. In an attempt to improve academics, creativity has been tossed aside.

"Vickie Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts"

The most valuable concept I grasped from the video was the teachers do not have to know EVERYTHING in order to teach. This is relieving. It was interesting to see the students actually teaching the teacher about technology. It is apparent that you are always able to learn something from other people. Davis also allowed the students to teach the class which I thought was very neat because sometimes it is easier to learn from people your own age.

Davis emphasized how she used new terms, and the students were expected to google them if they did not know what they meant. They were in charge of their own learning. They used their own creativity to discover new things and didn't just watch the teacher perform a task and repeat it. It was cool to see how a small rural town in Georgia became connected with people all around the world and even went to the Middle East to attend a conference.