Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Post 32: Goodbye

I just think you are super cool! Thanks for being such a supportive teacher who really cared about getting her students through this semester with good grades! You did a great job! :)

Dear Classmates,

I have enjoyed getting to know you (even if it was by your presentations) and I actually enjoyed coming to class on Thursday nights. I think we had a really good group and I look forward to seeing you in the future... maybe even in the teacher's lounge! Good Job- we did it!

Post 31: Covering It ALL

I have to be honest... there were times when the very thought of our class syllabus made me want to cry, but overall I got through it and I actually learned a lot!
1.)As a blogger, I of course loved the idea of a classroom blog. I want to be an English teacher so blogging seems like a great tool to use in my writing classroom. Another thing I really liked was the igoogle pages. I really liked how you can add such neat educational games and tools for students to check out. I learned how to do grades in Excel which is something that I have always wondered how to do. I had never really heard of a personal learning network, so that was interesting when I had to set up one of my own and now I understand why it is important to do so. Comments4kids was so cute and actually gave me some ideas for my own classroom if I end up teaching middle school. I am still trying to get used to iTunes and iTunesU, but I will get the hang of it.
2.)I can't think of anything that I would have liked to have learned in this class that was not taught or discussed.
3.)This question made me laugh- how could you not want to use everything we learned in this class?
4.)Reading the kids stories for comments4kids was my favorite assignment! Their stories made me smile and I was always excited to write my posts about what I had read on their page.
5.)The only thing that I had issues with was getting iTunes on my computer at home. It still will not download to it and I am unsure why.
6.)I was never bored. There was too much work to be done to be bored.
7.)I think I would wait and give out one project at a time. I did not think that there should be so many projects due on the same dates and given all at the same time. It was overwhelming.
8.)I would say I am pretty great at being technologically literate!
9.)I plan to maintain and improve my technological literacy by staying involved with PLN's and keeping up with my blogging. You learn something new everyday when you sign online. I do anyway.

Post 30: Stupid is as Stupid Does

After reviewing the lists of Seven Stupid Mistakes and 7 Brilliant Things Teachers Do With Technology by Doug Johnson and the list of New Classroom Rules by Education Innovation, I chose two rules from each lists that served as the most important ones to me. Here they are and underneath them are my reasonings:

3. Not supervising computer-using students. It is really stupid to believe Internet filters will keep kids out of trouble on the Internet. If they choose to do so, even the slow kids who can't get around the school's filter, can still exploit that 10 percent of porn sites the filter won't catch. They can still send cyberbullying e-mail -- maybe even using your e-mail address. Or they can just plain waste time.
Teachers would be neive to think that students don't go around filters to do what they want on school computers... and this goes for parents at home too. There is so much more communication going on through technology now rather than note writing. Students not only can go on sites that they should not be visiting, but can also send horrible e-mails to other students that teachers may never even know about. If grown people will do this at their job sites then why wouldn't kids at school?
6. Ignoring the intrinsic interest of tech use in today's kids. Kids like technology. Not using it as a hook to motivate and interest them in their education is stupid.
Ah man... teachers would be crazy to not captivate these young minds with the wonderful tool of technology. I love it! Kids love it! So... let's use it!

1. Empower kids with technology. Technology is an amplifier of natural abilities. Brilliant teachers see that good writers become better writers, good debaters become better debaters, good French speakers become better French speakers, good mathematical problem-solvers become better mathematical problem-solvers, and so on. by helping their students harness technology. They do not see technology as a crutch, but as a propellant. Brilliant teachers have experienced the empowering power of technology themselves. Brilliant teachers use good assessment strategies to rigorously determine the quality of technology-enhanced projects.

This is a prime example of why I chose #6 in my previous list as being a STUPID thing for teachers to do. Look at all the great ideas!

2. Creatively find and use resources. I can't believe the technology found in some of our teachers' classrooms. And it was neither provided by our department nor stolen (I don't think). Through personal purchase, through parent-teacher groups, through grants, through business partnerships, through parental contacts, through fund raising, and through classroom supply budgets, brilliant teachers amazingly amass digital cameras and clickers and sensors and classroom computer labs. One of our brilliant teachers MacGyver-ed his own document camera out of an old camcorder, plastic pipe, and duct tape. He calls it his Grover (not his Elmo).
I personally got to see an Elmo for the first time this semester in my Teaching Composition class and that is the neatest little tool! There are so many different techonological tools that teachers can use today that make learning more interesting for the students.

New Rules
8. Do not cheat, but remix, re-purpose, and sample other peoples’ work and ideas and give them credit.
I think it is very important that students know that they can't take whatever they won't off of the internet and use it without giving proper credit. It works just the same as copying information form a book. BUT students should know that it is a good thing to use others ideas and thoughts and use them as brain storming tools for their own ideas- just give them credit for it.

15. Know what you are supposed to be learning, why, and what you will do with the knowledge.
If you don't know what you are supposed to be learning- how can you learn it?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Post 29: At The Teachers Desk

I think it is important that we have blogs like "At The Teachers Desk" because teachers need a place outside of the teachers lounge to talk and discuss issues that occur in their classrooms. A blog allows teachers to talk to other teachers outside of their own schools and see what great ideas a teacher across the country may have for teaching a lesson that they have been stumped on lately. I think it is great! Part of this being teachers need to get out there and get past their phobias of technology and start interacting with others through the internet. Teachernz posted an entry titled "Getting Over It" in which he does not like to hear the sound of his own voice, but gave in and recorded hisself to help out another class by partaking in a youtube video. He asks how can we expect children to do this (get over our dislikes, fears, and phobias)if we don't?

Another post by Teachernz titled "Pencils and Crayons to be banned in Schools" was interesting. I personally thought the idea was insane and really enjoyed reading the post. I also liked "Why I Blog" by Mr. McClung because it gave a clear reason for why we should blog. I gave a teaching demonstration last week on 6th graders using blogs to learn how use descriptive writing more and the teacher's question to me was "so.. why blog?" I wish I would have read this blog entry first. The entry"Why Did I Move Out of My Comfort Zone" by Chamberlain I could understand where they were coming from and wonder if one day I might be in that same situation. Over the past semester I have changed my mind about wanting to teach 11th grade and now I would like to teach 9th graders.

"Preparing for the First Day" made my mind wander to that exciting place that I have dreamed of my whole life.. the first day of class when I have my very own classroom! I wonder what it will be like and I wonder how many times I will have to change rooms like Mr. McClung had to do (3 times).

Post 28: Dr. Michael Wesch

I thought the video by Dr. Wesch was pretty neat. It made me think back to how much I have used computers in school. I remember being in 2nd grade and seeing an Apple Computer for the first time ever and my teacher instructing us on how to play Oregon Trail. Throughout elementary school I remember typing stories and printing them in computer class. In 8th grade I learned how to make banners in my typing class. Then in 10th grade instant messaging and e-mailing became a big deal with all the kids at school. My family did not have the internet but I loved getting on friends computers and talking to our classmates. I made my first profile when I was a freshman in junior college (2002). NOW... computers and the internet are a part of my everyday life. I don't know how I would function without one.
The picture Dr. Wesch showed and discussed as being what he sees in his classroom (similar to the one above) every semester is a lot like what I see when I go to classes. It seems as though everyone has laptop computers now and if they don't have one of those, then they have internet access on their cell phones. I liked how he compared the use of the word "whatever" from over the years to how technology has changed over the years and how it means different things to different people. Some people could go without technology. I simply cannot.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Post 27: Importance

I think it is important for student's to be involved with today's technology and grasp the learning tools that are sitting at the finger tips! There is a world out there that some have no idea exists... the internet. Can you imagine being one of those people- a person who has never been online? Student's should get the oppurtunity to express themselves online and explore the world from their own classroom. Their are all sorts of things students could do on igoogle... such as add tabs to their igoogle homepage that lets them access cool things like Amazine Photos of Places to See Before you Die or the Weather Forecasts, Educations Games, and more! There are endless amounts of educational tools that can be added to one's igoogle page including a link to their teacher's, classmate's or their very own blog on blogger!
On blogger teacher can not only keep parents and students updated on classroom activities and assignments, but student's can express themselves through partaking in writing assignments by blogging. Teacher's can give out writing topics or sites for student's to visit online and then have them write a blog entry about them. Another neat place student's can be part of is facebook. Facebook could be the beginning of a student's very own personal learning network. They can keep in touch with student's all over the world- not just in their own schools.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Comments4Kids: Assignment 3

-Me on Christmas Morning-
I read Savannah's friendly letter on Mrs. Goerend's blog and I loved it! Savannah decided to write about the holidays and how much she loves Christmas! She discussed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. I loved how she talked about all of the delicious candy bar pies she likes to eat during the holidays. Her blog really got me excited about the upcoming festivities of Halloween this weekend and all the holidays to come soon after. She was very creative and festive! I told her that Christmas is my favorite holiday as well- I just wish we could have at least one snowy Christmas here in Mobile, Alabama!